I Put A Spell on You
Love is such a strange, omnipresent, wonderful, and pedestrian thing that it needs to be protected. Such were my thoughts when walking around Lusaka after seeing a banner for a certain ‘Dr M’ who – and I quote – could “BRING BACK LOST LOVERS”. In the throes of a romance myself, I took this as a twisted and incomplete premonition, a warning not to lose my lover in the first place. And so, in a moment of spiritual responsibility, I decided that a pre-emptive strike against lost love was necessary. I would bewitch my curse, so to speak. I took down Dr M’s number immediately.
Over the following weeks, I collected the contacts of other doctors around Lusaka – for if I was to protect my love, I ought to do it systematically. I was discerning, choosing doctors mainly on the quality of their banner designs: composition, use of colour, originality, degree of shameless self-marketing, etc. – all the criteria of a good artwork were taken into consideration.
All in all, I narrowed down my search for the appropriate love doctor to two names, who shall remain anonymous, for fear of counter-curses and other forms of spiritual abuse. I also reactivated an old burner phone with a new SIM card to further protect myself. And created a new identity for myself – a Prussian called Leopold von Wittgenstein, complete with a bad German accent. Because why not? If I was going to stir trouble in the spiritual otherworld, I might as well have fun doing it. I first called Dr C, who asked about the state of his banner before we got down to business.
Von Wittgenstein: My name is Mr von Wittgenstein. I am calling because I am in love with someone… [who] said I need help. I need to keep my love.
Dr C: Alright, alright. So, in short, your woman wants to leave you? Or what is happening there?
Von Wittgenstein: No, she doesn’t. But I am scared that she will.
Dr C: So you need help so that she does not leave you, is that so?
Von Wittgenstein: Yes.
Dr C: You can cast a spear for her. You can send us her name.
Von Wittgenstein: A spear?
Dr C: You can send her name on SMS, and then we can cast a spear so she will never leave you, even when going for another man.
Which, I thought, was a pretty good deal. Although I wasn’t entirely sure if Dr C was actually using a spear, or I simply misheard ‘spell’ – because I reasoned Dr C was also using a fake accent – I sent him my name, along with my ‘woman’s’, via SMS and agreed on a price. Dr C assured me that the entire operation would be done from afar initially – first, he would ‘cast it [the spear/spell] in the air’, and then I would have to visit him after three days.
Although I was happy with Dr C’s can-do attitude, I was unsure if this was standard procedure, so I decided to get a second opinion. Next, I called Dr M. He was more guarded at first, but soon, we got to the heart of the matter:
Von Wittgenstein: I am calling because I require some help.
Dr M: Help?
Von Wittgenstein: Yes, some lost love help.
Dr M: Lost love? Where are you now?
Von Wittgenstein: I am in New K_.
Dr M: Come to town – L_ station, town. And then when you get there, call me.
Von Wittgenstein: You see, my situation – the woman I love has cast a spell so that she doesn’t want to be my lover anymore. And I was wondering if you could fix this.
Which, admittedly, was a bit of a fib. But I had to cover all my bases – what would happen if she had indeed cast a spell on me? Dr M, however, was not interested in casting spells or spears in the air – I had to go to him. We agreed on a time and day to visit him in town – and on a price, and I sent him an SMS with our details.
Needless to say, I never went. I wasn’t afraid of what would transpire had I gone. Indeed, I have seen enough C-rated Nollywood films to know the outcome beforehand. My medical aid refused to cover me, pointing to the fact that these were not certified doctors. Well, who are they to decide what is worth my time, my money, or even my soul?
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