DECEPTION (SHORT STORY)

The Young Professionals were so happy, they had no restraints, they worked hard but they denied themselves no pleasure, she told herself. That was the way to live! She too needed that sense of liberation and active pursuit of pleasure.

Kayla was staring at her phone screen. The image of a couple she had chanced upon on a Val card had her mesmerised. It was a full-length silhouette and the bodies of the guy and the lady were welded together. They were standing on a beach and the grey lighting suggested it was early morning.

Kayla often daydreamed and this image launched her fully into that halcyon place where the couple stood. She unlocked the girl’s arms from behind the guy’s neck, pried her loose and took her place. She buried her face in his broad shoulders and began to weep because much as she loved the feel of his warm skin against hers, she knew it was not real.

“Earth to Kay-la, earth to kay-la!” her friend, Chiamaka, sang into her ear from behind.

Startled, she slowly wiped her tears. Chiamaka leaned on Kayla’s oak reading desk and took in her cute, sad face. (You could never guess she was above 20, she looked not a day older than 18). Kayla’s dad had succumbed to diabetes a few months earlier, so Chiamaka thought the tears were part of her ongoing grieving process.

Placing her hands on Kayla’s shoulders, she offered kind words of comfort. Then she made a suggestion:

“I know you can’t stop the tears, they just come when you are alone. So, how about moving to the hostel with me in the meantime? When this phase is over, as I’m sure it will, you can move right back.”

Kayla played along. She was never fond of her dad. He had been a polygamist whom she and her mum (his third wife) hardly saw. But being a business mogul, he kept them in splendour and paid for her N150,000 efficiency apartment as soon as she got admission into the university. The furniture in her 10 by 10-ft room cost over half a million and her monthly allowance was a hundred thousand Naira. Her mum had assured her that they had been amply provided for by her late dad in his will and she had a thriving fashion store. So mourning her dad on emotional grounds or the loss of comfort his death portended was out of the question. But people would think her cold if she revealed that, so she heaved a few times and let loose a few more tears to make her friend feel useful as a sympathiser. Then she assured Chiamaka she would be fine alone.

But deep down, Kayla was angry with herself. She was all of 24 and still a virgin! As an only child largely left to her own devices, she could have had a boyfriend, boyfriends actually, but she chose to bury herself in her books. Mathematics was her thing and she spent three years teaching it at a private secondary school in Ikoyi where she and her mum lived before writing the University Matriculation Exam. She saw herself as a missionary mathematician, hoping that someday she would have a platform through which she could improve young people’s numeracy skills and show them that Mathematics is a part of life- it’s not something to be afraid of. She was in her penultimate semester at the University of Benin and certain to make a First Class in Mathematics Education, her dream course.

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But Kayla was unhappy with herself for not taking more interest in boys and disgusted that she was still a virgin. Chiamaka would be horrified if she could read her thoughts. She was a virgin too but just 19. Kayla felt she needed some diversion, otherwise she might graduate and carry on as she’d been doing.

“Don’t wanna end up as a cat lady,” she told herself.

Chiamaka was a Catholic girl promised to the son of a family friend living in the US. Kayla came across the image that had her transfixed because Chiamaka told her to find a suitable free card online where she could add a personal Val message for her fiancé. She was saving herself for marriage and that was the reason she befriended Kayla, a serious student and decent Anglican who wouldn’t pressure her to sleep with anyone.

Well, Kayla was determined to do just that: sleep with anyone, and if possible do it frequently before she left the campus.

She had no clear idea if she wanted to be married but she had started watching a TV series called, “Young Professionals,” some months back. It challenged her intellectually because in each episode, one of the cast members undertook a task and she enjoyed working along with whoever it was to accomplish the task. These people were computer programmers, accountants, lawyers and so on- very bright people.

But another strong feature of the show was its high sexual content. There was an underlying assumption in the show that sex was essential to existence, to happiness, to productivity, you name it. The cast ridiculed those who were not sexually active on a regular basis and hooked up casually with one another. They did the same with their colleagues at work and their neighbours, no strings attached. They also went to bars on weekends to pick up dates whom they brought home …..

At first, Kayla objected to this part of the programme but kept watching because she found the show mentally stimulating. The cast members were drop dead gorgeous and brilliant. She loved them and never missed an episode of the show (one of the benefits of being able to afford cable TV subscription as a student). She installed the app of the cable TV service on her phone so that she could watch the show even when she was away from her apartment. She assured herself she was a big girl and far from impressionable. But you can only watch so many explicit sex scenes and they begin to get to you. Kayla started having erotic daydreams and hated herself for living a withdrawn life on campus.

The Young Professionals were so happy, they had no restraints, they worked hard but they denied themselves no pleasure, she told herself. That was the way to live! She too needed that sense of liberation and active pursuit of pleasure.

“I think this is perfect. What do you think?” Chiamaka asked.

She passed her troublesome Comwi Android phone to Kayla. She had written a Val poem for her fiancé, Obiajulu. As Kayla read it, she told herself that the forthcoming Val Day would be the day. She still had three days to search for a guy to do the honours for her. Who would be the lucky guy? It didn’t even matter- anyone was anyone- as long as he wore a condom.

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Kayla recognised the apple tree. It was in the centre of her paternal grandfather’s compound. The apples were red and ripe. “What a waste!” she exclaimed, but a voice sternly asked her, “Why, why would you say that?”

As Kayla wondered who was speaking and whether they were really talking about the apples, the voice added, “I don’t expect that from you, Tinito. The world has gone crazy! What was once cherished is now despised. But I don’t expect that from you.”

Kayla woke up with a start. She was still sitting at her desk. She must have dozed off after Chiamaka left.

She remembered her dream and realised it was connected to her decision. Only Nana Oruke, her paternal grandmother, called her Tinito. Although she hadn’t seen her in over a year, she phoned occasionally to find out how she was doing and she was always praying for her. It was quite curious that the bond she lacked with her dad, she had in excess with his mum.

The thought of prayer reminded her that it was ages since she had prayed for herself or read her Bible. No wonder she had been sucked in by the Young Professionals. She stopped questioning their world view and accepted their progressive standards as the norm. She felt worthless and unfulfilled compared to them and saw her virginity as a load to be hastily discarded, rather than a part of her that should be cherished.

The worst of it was that all the while, she forgot that the show was not real. It was all make-believe. The cast may not actually be that bright and sophisticated and happy in reality. They were just actors playing out a script. There was no guarantee that anyone who lived the way they did in the show would get the same kind of positive outcomes they were portrayed to have. On the contrary, such a person would be more likely to lose his or her self-dignity and be miserable.

It was all a deception and she had fallen for it! She who was incredibly bright! How much more would less smart people be duped by such pervasive content from moviedom?

-The end-

Ⓒ Edith Ugochi Ohaja 2020

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Would love to hear your impressions of this story and do share it on your social media accounts. Cheers!
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I am a university lecturer. I teach Mass Communication, mostly writing courses like Feature and Interpretative Writing, Magazine Article Writing and News Writing, and let’s just say I’ve been doing this for a long time. As you have probably guessed, I am a born-again Christian.

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44 thoughts on “DECEPTION (SHORT STORY)

  1. We sometimes tend to take “hook line and sinker” what we see in movies, which in turn affects our decisions (usually negatively).
    May God save us from this “comedy of errors”.

  2. I must say Kayla is such a lucky child, not many people have or enjoy the privileges that she enjoys…and most importantly, being a virgin is not a crime and is nothing to be ashamed of at all,,so I really advise that we don’t make hasty decisions that we will live to regret. I’m glad she had that dream as it could help her have a change of mind. Nice post, ma😍😍😍😍

  3. I really lov this story and I think it is timely for Valentine’s day celebration on Friday.
    Lots of young people especially the females now see chastity as something to be ashamed of, all thanks to movies, music and the social media.
    I hope that like Kayla, anyone planning to venture into premarital sexual relationship will have a change of heart.

  4. This is really a very nice story, this story actually portrays what happens to most girls out there, they make decisions and then after they regret it, my opinion is that in all you do, involve God, any decision you make, let God be involved…… Kayla would have fallen into that hands of temptation if not for her grandmother in the person of an angel, her guardian angel to be precise who brought her out of her doom.
    I pray that God will recover girls out there who have decided to put themselves in doom.
    Thanks aunt Edith for this short story.

  5. Lol.. interesting twist…It’s a really nice story which I’m sure a lot of girls can relate to especially girls who weren’t lucky enough to have a grandmum giving warning signs in a dream.

    Virginity is cool…and should be embraced

    Thank you Aunty Edith

  6. She was deceived because she never believed in herself, she was deceived because she devoted her time in seeing all the parts of the movie without filtering them to select those ones that suits her personality, she was deceived because she was never proud of what she has(her virginity).

    But this not the end of her life, she still has the opportunity to amend her ways and follow the right path to her destination… Thank you ma for this wonderful story

  7. It’s sad how we get highly influenced by what we we allow to pass through our eye and ear gates. Most of the movies we watch on TV are very capable of depicting wrong themes. If only Kayla invested her time properly, she wouldn’t have fallen victim of this deception. Thank you so much Ma

  8. Wow! What an incredible piece! This story portrays what goes on in the minds of so many young ladies. Nobody is ready to wait and keep themselves but the repercussion always ends in disaster.

  9. It’s a story, but it’s happening in our society now, young people now boast of how sexually active they are,making it look like abstinence is a crime. God help us.

  10. What a beautifully-written story More power to your elbow, ma. Kayla represents many young girls out there who think that virginity is a curse because their peers say so. Thank God for the dream that brought her back to her senses.

  11. Just a second away from God can be disastrous in a man’s life. devil tries to occupy our hearts with things that can destroy our live so we can forget God. Thanks to God that we still have people around us that are interceeding for us in their secret altars even without our knowledge of it.

  12. Wow!!!!
    This is so Great……Indeed, the power of what we see and hear so often can never be over-emphasized, it could make the mighty weak.

  13. Wow! Very inspiring story!
    Most girls now see being a virgin a burden which is terribly bad. Kayla was lucky she had a granny that intervened spiritually.
    Nice write-up Ma. More power to ur elbow!

  14. Quite captivating ma! Basically there is nothing wrong with her keeping herself until marriage though she got influenced all because of the show she do watch… and most time they leave one in the world of fantasy.

  15. We should always be careful, of the kind of movies and programmes we watch and we should not allow ourselves to be pressured by society, we should always do what is right.

  16. I think most times in life we have misplaced priorities and that was the case with Kayla. I also wish to advise every youth out there to be careful of what we read and watch because it can go a long way in shaping who we become

  17. Some people thought that having premarital sex make one to know that she has arrived. I like this post and wishes that every young girl and some parents should read this literary peice in other to advise their children wisely.
    That most people are having sex on Valentine’s day doesn’t make it right…
    Thanks to Kayla who changed her mind.

    Nice literary piece ma

  18. Mehn!!! Awesome storyline ma, to all the youth out there, you don’t do something because others are doing it or become something you are not cut out for because others are, keeping your virginity either as a guy or a girl is your honor and a virtue, as a girl your husband will forever cherish and respect you forever, as for the guys let me just move on, smiles!! More grace ma

  19. Wowwwwwhhhhh, nice one. I love this story.Kayla was very lucky to retrace her steps back to the right road with good intentions. Well this story is very vital for young people so we can have a well mannered society where people will have to live a good life and a good legacy for generations unborn. And before I forget; I want to appreciate you ma for such story….you may not know but its helping us to grow. Thank you so much ma.

  20. This story draws attention to young people to be careful about the kind of movies they see. Kayla mindset was poisoned when she found pleasure in the movie ” Young professionals” and believed that was the right way to live but fortunately for her, she had a dream which served as an eye opener for her. The story also draws attention to the importance of prayers; Kayla discovered that she has not prayed for a longtime and this gave reasons for her being carried away by the movie.

  21. Many people are victims of movie deception especially when it has to do with the actors or actresses whom they admire. (their role models) Some have gone astray because they tend to learn from their so called role models, for instance, the Maryland, without asking themselves if these people (the role models or stars) are actually who they are being portrayed as, or if they can act or react the same way, if faced with a Similar situation in real life. May God help our generation

  22. Beautiful story, invaluable message!
    It’s a very real thing, and it’s unfortunate too how the media have advanced depraved ideals and make believes to such an extent that even smart people now question their choices and moral values.
    I’m really glad Kayla realised this in good time.
    Some people aren’t that lucky and only realise how dubious the movies are a little too late.
    Thank you again for the piece

  23. The television affects how we see things both in the positive and the negative light. Hence , it is important that as Christians we ought to know what to watch on the screen . It is also unfortunate that a lot of people believe what they see on the television without questioning just like Kayla .
    Lastly, Prayer cannot be overemphasized as Christians. We ought to pray often to avoid falling prey of the enemy and also to hear from God .

  24. We should be careful the kind of things we watch or read as some are just tools used by the devil to hinder our success. It is better we go through the word of God for better understanding of His word and to walk in His footsteps

  25. “The thought of prayer reminded her that it was ages since she had prayed for herself or read her Bible. No wonder she had been sucked in by the Young Professionals. She stopped questioning their world view and accepted their progressive standards as the norm.” The exact reason why Jesus warned against eating the leaven of the Pharisee. And funny enough Christians are not watchful, the devil isn’t sleeping, he master minds programs and shoots to the media and everyone is falling for it. We should endeavor to be selective in the content we absorb. Thanks a lot ma for sharing this, it is indeed needful in times like this when everyone has been quarantined leaving virtually every youth to the media.

  26. Just like what the magic bullet theory of mass communication states the media especially TV has a very very pervasive power…. Which sometimes or most times are deceptive

  27. Kayla’s weak relationship with her dad saddens me, I believe there is a major role a father plays in the life of his children and I won’t say unfortunately, but he probably had a lot children due to him being a polygamist….
    Well I am a person who loves happy endings, it pleases my heart to know that Kayla came to realize herself on how she had put too much thought into fiction and undue fantasies

  28. This story is really educucative. What happened to Kayla in this story, do happen to young people these days. They would want their relationship and family life be like the ones they see in movies forgetting that almost everything we see in movies are not real

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