In this modern world filled with complications, simplicities and whatever is in between, people live and die, some discover their true selves, some indulge in what humans call “sin”, some live without any limitation, some starve and some eat, some have money and some just don’t, and many more other typical things happen in this never ending “present moment”.
We focus our attention on a most peculiar trio of friends, of which this story revolves around. The three are an atheist, theist and a mysterious person. It surely seems weird to read a story about people who contradict each other and are friends, conflicts are consistent but it makes these relations stronger, and, as we all know, we live in a world of infinite possibilities.
The atheist, Rob Malluie, is 38 years old and works as a male sex worker. He lives in a small apartment in a town called Hillbrow and lives out his life the way he wants to with no restrictions, and yet questions himself every night about happiness. He grew up in a place called Locksten town, where his mother ( Grace Malluie) and father( Bob Malluie) raised him and two other children( May Malluie and Tom Malluie). His parents were too lazy to give one of their children a long enough name or original names. Back to Rob. Rob was the black sheep of the family, his teen years were full of trouble and disobedience. Malcontent as he was, his adult life reflected on his teen years as he works as a sex worker, even he is not satisfied with that kind of life.
One day, a most interesting person came into his life, a theist.
The theist is Mary Monroe, a 39-years-old woman who is typically passionate about church and God. She is the CEO of her own company called Angelic beauty which creates and sells beauty products for women. She is a beautiful woman, possessing the kind of beauty which mesmerizes whomever dares to behold her, she lives in her own house in a town called Gracious and lives a lonely life. She was raised by Sarah and John Monroe, parents who also were too lazy to be original with her name. Mary grew up in a serene neighbourhood as the only child and she was bombarded by expectations of how to be a “perfect” girl. She is a powerful woman who has influence and handsome to boot. And yet, she would find out her charms did not work on two boys (the atheist and the mysterious one).
Mary met Rob in a brothel. She led a lonely life and even though she had many suitors, she upheld her belief of having sex within marriage. But she was still human and lustful and so ended up in a brothel. Although Rob was paid to pleasure Mary, they just had a conversation oddly enough. They talked to each other for a long time about their lives, and somehow deeply connected and understood each other. They would be friends for a long time.
The ‘mystery man’ is Percy Houston who is 37-years-old, the youngest of the trio. Not well known by a lot of people except his friends, Percy works as a psychologist and lives in an apartment in a town called Gracious. Percy prefers to be obscure and live a quiet life. He met Mary Monroe in a church, and it was a spontaneous encounter that led to them becoming friends, and later on Mary introduced Percy to Rob, and the trio became complete.
On a random afternoon, Rob and Percy sit on a bench within a park and they observe the people and nature as they converse about Rob’s thirst for happiness
Rob: ( in a low tone of voice) My job really drains the life out of a person.
Percy: What do you mean exactly?
Rob: I mean that sex is good and all that, but I feel like something is dwindling within me, like my life force or something.
Percy: I see (nodding, listening carefully)
Rob: And there is this thing I came across on the internet the other day, it’s about soul ties.
Percy: And that is…?
Rob : It states that the more you have sex with many people, a piece of your soul is taken by that particular person because sex is so sacred, and I feel like I am evidence of that, I feel weakened by each encounter. What do you think?
Percy: (remains silent and looks at the sky)
Rob: (sighs, seemingly confused by the silence)
Percy: (remains silent)
Rob: (irritated) Did you hear what I said?
Percy: (still silent)
Rob: ( even more irritated) Percy!
Percy: (in a calm tone) I think that you have been reading absurdity.
Rob: (yelling) What!?
Percy: What I mean is that the thing you have been reading does not shine light on your situation, it’s only making things complicated for you and I doubt that you want complication right now, and I get that sex is something sacred. Mary can second me on that. I think that you feel weak because you have no direction in your life and I don’t mean Godly guidance, I mean self-guidance since you’re an atheist and all. I for one respect what you do for women, it’s almost empowering… almost.
Rob: I see
Percy: And you also made the choice to go into this kind of life, you clearly saw something important for you to dive into it head first, but life will turn out good eventually.
(Rob’s phone rings. It’s a message from Mary, she is coming)
Rob: (frightened) Oh no Mary is coming, let’s talk about something else.
Percy: (confused) Why?
Rob: Because she doesn’t like my job, remember?
Percy: (amused) Oh because you defile the sanctity of sex as Mary says.
Rob: (annoyed) Hahahahahaaaaaa. It’s not funny.
(Mary makes her way toward the two men with what seems like dry tear trails on her face and her makeup ruined)
Mary: (mumbling) Hey guys
Rob: (surprised) What’s wrong with you?
Percy : (stands) Why were you crying? (and shows Mary to her seat)
Mary: (sits in the middle and sadly mumbles) Dan broke up with me today.
Rob: (covers Mary with his arm) I’m so sorry.
Percy: (calmly) Why?
Mary: He said it’s because I’m such a goody two shoes who acts all perfect and thinks is holier than thou.
Percy: Well he’s not completely wrong, you are a very prideful woman.
Rob: Jeez Louise!, you’re not really comforting her.
Percy: Exactly, I don’t want her to think she’s not in the wrong, even though Dan has most of the blame for their relationship ending. I don’t want to be the guy who says ‘I told you so’ but I did want her to question the purpose of their relationship.
Mary: And you were right, I did get caught up in the fun of dating a badboy, and this breakup is surely a sign from God.
Rob: I don’t know if it’s God but if it makes you feel better then so be it.
Mary: (irritated) Please don’t start with your atheist crap!
Rob: (annoyed) Oh so you’re going to insult my lifestyle choice now, and I’m the guy trying to comfort you, and where exactly is the “proof” little missy!
Percy: So you’re having this talk now?
Mary: I guess we are, so let’s go to a different venue.
(Mary, Rob and Percy head to a bar near the park and they sit close to the window, and Mary orders three glasses of wine as they finally conclude their conflicting belief systems)
Mary : (takes a sip whilst looking at Rob) So you say you want proof of God’s existence?
Rob: (serious) Yes please.
Percy: (takes a sip and listens)
Mary: I’ll give you a simple answer, look all around you and tell me if you don’t see God.
Rob: (looks around the bar) I’m just seeing a bunch of drunks who probably have problems your God forced upon them, since that’s his style of doing things, he creates things and then defines their purpose, basically forcing them to live a life they did not choose, and then if you live a life full of sin you end up in a place called hell for an eternity. So Mary, what the “hell” do you call that? Because I call it non-existent.
Percy: (chuckles a bit)
Rob: (annoyed) What’s so funny?
Percy : (mocking) It’s just that you are using her own belief against her but in actual fact you are believing what she believes in order to not believe.
Mary: (amused) And that makes sense unlike your ludicrous speech.
Percy: But don’t think your notions are to be ignored Rob.
Mary: (changes facial expression)
Percy: It makes a bit of sense for Rob to think otherwise about God because the bible does surely contradict itself, mostly the Old Testament, which states a God who uses fear to gain worship and gives people rules to live by and when they don’t, hell is used as a threat.
Rob: (confused) It’s like you agree with me but not really.
Percy: (serious) I’ll agree with what I think.
Mary: (irritated) You are clearly siding with Rob here.
Percy: Not in the slightest.
Percy: And I was not done, in the New Testament the arrival of Jesus did shine some light on the minds of ignorant people of the past. Jesus taught about faith and that topic was the most significant and yet theists focus their eyes on his death, which is weird since his life was more prominent.
Mary: (intrigued) What do you mean exactly?
Rob: (also intrigued) Yes, please go further?
Percy: What I’m saying entirely is that I have my own concept of who God is and what Jesus really did.
Mary: And what is that exactly?
Percy: It’s that most believers believe the bible without really questioning it and as they don’t question the bible, they also don’t question who God is to them. I discovered on my own that the most reliable concept of who God is, and it’s that a person who introspects and explores their internal world, who questions their own existence and who they are and also thinks about external aspects, that person can define who they are and who God is because God is not just one biased being, rather, he, she is something unique to each individual person and animal, but as we can clearly see, people will surely make their own notions. The problem becomes the denial of another’s notions of who God is, and you two are evidence of that and the many religions we have emphasise my point. I understand the existence of those who comprehend and interpret things “out of this world” and these few people try to lead others toward what they believe, the question is, where did they obtain the knowledge they have?
Mary: (interested) surely the bible has a role to play.
Percy: And you’re right. When a baby is born, they are then immersed into a world full of concepts people don’t even understand fully, thus that child will basically live an ignorant life, since they can’t really think because they were taught to accept mediocrity and not question its inconvenience, and the bible is one thing forced down your throat when you are born in most families on this planet and there will be the few who understand it better than most, but the bible would later on not appeal to a mind that comprehends what others don’t.
Rob : So then you’re saying that true understanding comes from within?
Rob: But wouldn’t your words just be something subjective? Like the words of those who wrote the bible.
Percy: Then I guess it’s about which words help a person “understand” themselves.
Mary: (anxious) You have really given us an open minded approach to this dilemma, I think I’ll have to contemplate hard on who I am.
Percy : (elated) And that’s what I hoped would happen, for you to think hard about all that you “think” you know and yet don’t understand.
(And after that eye opening speech, their drinks ended up warm)
Rob : (gets another three glasses of wine) You talk too much, it’s like you were doing one of those speeches from Transformers, the really long monologue after a very intense fight scene with exaggerated sci-fi noises.
And so this story ends like any other story, with a happy ending. But is it an ending when you still wonder why Dan really broke up with Mary? Or about how Rob will find happiness? And why Percy is a mystery for some reason? And what the point of this story is? And the most important question of all, what happened to the warm glasses of wine? Did they drink them or what?
The unofficial end
by Siyabonga Theo Khumalo