She turned and came face to face with Ben Carson or Ben Bruce, whatever. A soft smile tilted her lip slightly as the man hurried to her. He looked different from yesterday when he needed change. Then he wore jeans and snickers like a student. Today, he had on the regalia of one who was coming from or going to a ceremony. A red cap on his head lay skewed like the style of a man learning how to wear the head gear.

“I said I will see you today.” He took her hand as soon as he could. “I always keep my word.”

Maya tugged at her hand and he released it. “What are you doing here?” It crossed her mind she didn’t give him her name yesterday, so how did he know it, but she let it pass.

He snickered. “On a university campus? That’s a funny question.”

As though to buttress her point, she hugged her file folder closer to her chest. “You don’t look like a student.”

He looked at himself. “Perhaps, dressed like this.” Then chuckled. “But there is no other way to know a student. Definitely not by age.”

Maya shrugged. She didn’t care if he was a student or not. She had a prayer meeting to attend and didn’t want to be late.

“I need to run. Bye.”

She didn’t wait for him to respond. Her mother always warned her about stupid old men.




Ben turned and watched her go until he couldn’t see her anymore. What in the earth just happened? He touched his cap, tilted to the right angle. She saw it, so why wasn’t she immediately inclined to him? He touched her and felt the current, but she didn’t yield. By now, he expected to be having a drink with her. By night, she would be in his bed, and then she would never be free until he was done with her. He’d be happy to discard her living carcass.

He rubbed the face of his watch as should, and his image appeared where the face of the watch had been.

“What happened?”

The image shook its head. “You need to do more. She’s a strong one.”

Ben gasped. “Then why didn’t you tell me? Are you trying to make me a fool? Or do you not know you will live longer if this works?”

“Get angry if you like, it doesn’t change anything. Go and do the needful.” The image disappeared.

Ben exclaimed. He caught himself when he realized he was standing in the middle of a faculty. People moved around him. He leaned against the wall. Anyone seeing him would think he had a smartwatch and was probably checking his email or something. Instead, Ben was trying to reconjure the image.

“Come back, what’s wrong with you?”

After several attempts, he picked himself and returned to his house where his shrine was. He would do the extra rituals and hopefully, Maya would be conquered.

She had to be conquered.

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