Sometimes, life can certainly surprise you. I have a story to tell you folks that revolves around some of life's surprises, both good and bad. My name is Stephen and I'm a big Black dude. Standing six feet two inches tall and weighing two hundred and fifty pounds. I'm not usually lucky. In fact, I tend to be one of the unluckiest people around. A while ago, my luck changed and I began to lead a life like no other. These days, I have power and purpose. I am also leading the kind of life that many people dream of and I make a difference in this world...as well as in other worlds.
It wasn't always that way, though. I was born into a bad family. My father Francis was a womanizer and he was almost never around. He left when I was around ten. I don't blame him for leaving. Our house was hell, thanks to the she-devil who ran it. I just wish he would have taken me with him. Unfortunately, he didn't. My mother Elise was an angry woman who drank and smoked too much. She would often take out her frustrations on me. She'd beat me with every damn thing she could put her hands on. As for my sister Larissa, she was a complete psycho too. Like my mother, she was a freak with violent tendencies. I left the house as soon as I turned eighteen. I had always been a decent student in high school, earning mostly B's and some A's. I won myself a scholarship to the University of Massachusetts.
I went to live in the dorms at Amherst. For the first time in my life, things were starting to look up. I was determined to succeed in life. I had left my mother and sister behind in Dorchester and I wasn't ever returning. I hated that place and everything in it. Amherst was a nice place. A lot nicer than the neighborhood where I grew up. I thought that my luck was finally turning around. I was going to graduate from college and get myself a wonderful job that I loved. I was going to get myself some money and do some traveling. I wasn't interested in any romantic relationship of any kind. The last thing I wanted was to wind up in a relationship with a wicked woman like my mother or my sister. No thank you. Two psychos were enough for any man. I didn't need any more drama. Flying solo sounded good to me.
At Amherst, I met this guy named Paul. He was a tall, good-looking Black guy. He was a senior, studying Business Administration. We had a lot in common. Paul told me that he came from a tough neighborhood and a tough place, like me. He was really popular with the ladies on campus. I envied him. He was handsome, smart and popular. He was also incredibly bright, having made Dean's List many times while attending Amherst. He wasn't just the kind of guy I wanted to be friends with. He was the kind of guy I wanted to be, period. We became fast friends.
Paul took me to the kind of places I never would have gotten into on my own. He knew all the important people on campus. He was good friends with the dean, a nice old white guy. He was also tight with some of the hottest girls at school. Paul always had good grades. He lived in a nice apartment off-campus and drove a fancy car. A Mercedes, if you can believe that. I didn't know many college kids who drove those kind of cars. I often marveled at Paul's luck. He simply smiled when I asked him. I asked him often. One day, he told me the truth.
Paul told me that he was Haitian. I wasn't very surprised by that. I knew many Haitian people growing up. So many of the kids I knew in Dorchester were Haitians. Paul told me the truth that day after I pestered him with questions about his extraordinary luck with everything that he tried. He told me that he was half human and half god. His father was Agwe Tawoyo, Haitian god of the Sea. I was very surprised by that. The dude looked serious when he told me that. Of course, I was still skeptical. I thought that my good friend maybe had a little too much to drink.
That's when he decided to show me his powers. And he did have powers. He simply stood up and looked at me. The next thing I knew, I was floating in the air, five feet above the floor. I couldn't believe it. Paul gently put me down. I was amazed by my friend's telekinetic powers. I was not freaked out, though I knew I should be. In my life, most people, both men and women, treated me like shit. Paul didn't. He treated me like a decent human being. I knew there had to be something special about him. He wasn't the average human being. After he put me down, I smiled and shook his hand. I asked him what else he could do. He showed me.
Paul had inherited his powers from his father, the Haitian Sea god. He could do many things. He could dive to the bottom of the ocean and lie there, without drowning. He could breathe under water. He told me that he had won a scholarship to Amherst for swimming. He was one of the best swimmers in the world. Along with being amphibious, Paul also had telekinetic powers and he healed rapidly from any injury that he sustained. He was after all, more than human. He was a demigod. I asked him if there were others like him out there. He told me that the gods and goddesses of his native island of Haiti were a promiscuous bunch and that they often had children with mortals. I wasn't surprised.
Paul told me much about the gods of Haiti. He told me that his father had introduced him to most of them. Although the official religion of the island of Haiti was Catholicism, Paul told me that many still worshiped the gods of Voodoo. First among the Haitian gods was Papa Legba Atibon, the Master of them all. He was the Speaker of the Languages of Man and also the Speaker of the Language of Spirits. He was also the Keeper of the Gate to the other worlds. Next came Marasa Dosu and Dosa, the twin gods. Danbala Wedo was the gigantic Snake god and the oldest of all living things. He was feared by many.
Next in power came Ezili Freda, who was the Mother of the Haitian Gods. She was said to own all people, and also to be very jealous. Agwe Tawoyo, god of the Sea was Paul's father. He was a very promiscuous guy who had affairs with mortal women and goddesses. Children sometimes resulted from these affairs. In the case of his affairs with mortal women, the children issuing from those unions were demigods like Paul. Beings that were half human and half divine. Gran Bwa Ile was the god of the Wilderness and the Beast Master. Ezili Dantor, a Haitian goddess represented as a strong Black single mother. She was supposedly bisexual, having affairs with both women and men. Known to be nurturing and protective but also very dangerous, even to her own children. Ti Jan Petwo is a handsome young fledgling god who was also one of Ezili Dantor's lovers. The Gedeh were the Haitian gods of Death. The Bawons were the Divine Guardians and Protectors of the Dead and the Grave. Ogou Feray was the Haitian god of War, particularly popular with the men and young boys.
I was amazed at what Paul was telling me. I felt like I had just been revealed the secret of Superman or something. I liked Paul and he was the only person I trusted but I was surprised that he was telling me all this. He laughed and told me the obvious. If I went around telling people that my buddy had magical powers, no one would believe me. I'd get locked up in a mental institution if I pressed the matter too far. It would be like talking about UFOs.
After these revelations, Paul and I got even closer together. I was discovering more and more things about him. Man, I really envied having those magical powers of his. The dude never got sick. He always had a pretty girl on his arm. He was simply irresistible to women, which was probably part of his magical power. He surprised me by telling me that his talent with the ladies wasn't magical but completely personal and natural. It wasn't something he did, it's simply who he was. His charm and magnetic personality simply worked great for him no matter what he was doing.
One day, I pointed out a young woman to Paul. This was the girl of my dreams. Monica. A very beautiful African American girl. She was around five-foot-eight, slender, with dark brown skin and long black hair. Her eyes were a pale brown. She had a perfect bubble butt. She was simply beautiful. The girl simply looked perfect. Man, it's like she had a glow or something. I'm not even going to lie. Usually, females who looked like that didn't even look at me twice. I wasn't bad-looking or anything. I was cute, or so I'd been told. I dressed nicely, kept myself clean and shaved. I was also very polite and friendly with just about any girl I talked to. Unfortunately, I always wound up in the Friend Zone. The Friend Zone is where you don't get any play. Man, I was envious of all those player-type guys I saw around campus. Always with a beautiful female on their arm. I asked my buddy Paul to hook me up.
When I went looking for Paul, he was busy with someone. That someone was Becky. Becky was a tall, brown-haired Irish girl from school. I had a Psychology class with her. She was rather good-looking. I'd seen Paul checking her out before and I knew that it was only a matter of time before they hooked up. Whatever Paul wanted, he got. That's just the way things were. Paul saw me, excused himself and came to me. He asked me if he could borrow my dorm for a couple of hours. I smiled. I knew what he had in mind. Naturally, I agreed. I'd help him out with Becky's pants and he'd help me out with Monica. It was simple. A favor for a favor. Or so I thought.
Anyway, Paul and Becky went to my dorm and locked the door. I went to the school cafeteria and got some grub. I thought about Paul and what he was doing. The dude was seriously lucky. I saw Monica walk by, surrounded by all of her fine-looking friends. I looked at them. Man, I really liked that girl. I really hoped that Paul would do his magic thing and introduce us. He was the ultimate player on campus. All the guys respected and envied him. All the girls wanted a piece of him. He was a sexy bastard and he always won at everything. He was the master of luck. With him on my side, I couldn't fail.
Three hours later, I went back to my dorm. When I came in, I found Paul lying on my bed, a naked Becky in his arms. I gasped. The first thing I noticed was Becky's butt. The girl had a fine booty. Whoever said white women didn't have butts had never met Becky. The Irish girl had it going on. Paul was a lucky bastard. He opened his eyes, which shone bright yellow for a second. I gasped. He smiled and winked at me. I gave him two thumbs up and ducked into a corner as Becky began to awaken. I hid in the closet. A few minutes later, I heard Becky leave and Paul gave her a kiss before she took off. I came out of the closet and looked at my buddy. He was smiling the smile of a very satisfied man.
I really wanted him to get on and hook me up with Monica but I also really wanted him to tell me about what he and Becky did together. The dude sat me down and filled me in. He told me everything. Apparently, shy and sweet-looking Becky was a freak in bed. I was smiling from ear to ear. I couldn't get enough of Paul's stories. Of course, I envied him to no end. He had women all over the campus. And probably off-campus too. I was a single brother who only wanted some love from a special lady. The least he could do was help a brother out, right? Nope. I kept asking Paul to hook me up with Monica but the dude didn't seem to make it a priority. I waited a week and when Paul didn't come through for me, I decided to approach Monica on my own one time. I was man enough to do it. I didn't need my buddy's help with everything. I saw Monica sitting by herself in the campus library and decided to make my move. I sat down and said hello. She smiled and greeted me, then said that I looked familiar.
I grinned. Of course I looked familiar to her. We had the same Government class together. She laughed at that, since that was the easiest class ever. We talked for a bit. The girl had an easy smile and she seemed easy to talk to. Most of the beautiful girls I had spoken to were really obnoxious and bitchy. Monica seemed nice. It's one of the things I found real great about her. I asked her number and she gave it to me. I smiled and shook her hand. As soon as I left the library, I was so happy that I was jumping for joy.
I called Monica and yes, the number was real. We talked about a lot of things. I told her some things about me. I told her about the time when my school cut the boy's volleyball team because nobody wanted to play on it. I liked volleyball and basically fought the athletic department to play on the girls volleyball team. I played on that team for a whole season and it was a lot of fun. I was big and tall and a great leaper. I was a good athlete and even made some headlines. Yes, a young man playing on a girl's volleyball team. I didn't get what the controversy was about. There were plenty of girls on men's wrestling teams in high schools across America. Why can't a man join a girl's team? That really doesn't sound fair to the guys, right? Amazingly, Monica agreed with me. I liked this girl. She told me how she played on the men's baseball team once, before her school had a softball team for women. She enjoyed her time with the men's team, made friends with the guys and told me that it made her a better athlete. I was in complete agreement.
Man, it was my first time talking on the phone with this girl and it was a lot of fun. We had a lot in common. When I went to bed that night, I had a big smile on my face. I thought about Monica, her pretty face, her smile, her sexy body, her cute butt. All of that and more was floating around my head before I finally fell asleep. The next day when I woke up, I felt more energized that that Bunny in the commercials on TV. I looked for Monica, wanting very much to talk to her. I also wanted to talk to Paul, and let him know that I didn't need his sorry butt to talk to the girl I liked. Unfortunately, I didn't see either of them. What in hell happened?
The next time I saw either Paul or Monica was in the cafeteria. They were...together. I couldn't believe it. The guy I considered to be my best friend had his arm around the girl I liked. I was debating whether or not to say anything to them. What could I say to them? I looked at Paul. There had to be a misunderstanding. He was my friend. He wouldn't just steal the girl of my dreams...or would he? I couldn't deny the evidence before my eyes. Paul and Monica were together. I turned to leave. Someone stopped me. It was Monica's voice. She smiled at me and invited me to join them. I looked at her, then at Paul. He smirked at me. I offered her a sad little smile, made up an excuse and left.
As I walked home that day, I felt angry and betrayed. I wanted to confront Paul. Why did he do this to me? There were thousands of pretty girls at school. He could have had any one of them. Why must he go after Monica? He knew I liked her. This was no mistake. The bastard had done this deliberately, to hurt me. I waited for him at the campus lounge and confronted him there. I asked him loud and clear why he did what he did. He looked at me, and his eyes flashed. I saw something in them. Something malicious and dangerous. He smiled wickedly at me, and winked. He shrugged and turned to walk away. That's when I grabbed his shoulder. I still had something to say. I wasn't done with him yet. Apparently, he was done with me. He grabbed my arm and flung me across the room. I landed on the floor with a thud.
When I came to my senses, moments later, I was still on the floor. In an extraordinary display of superhuman strength, Paul had thrown me twenty feet across the room. Someone was kneeling over me. I looked up and saw an older Black man. He was smiling. He gave me a hand up and I took it. The old dude looked me up and down and shook his head. I knew what he must be thinking. I got my ass kicked. Alright. I was definitely going to kick Paul's butt, magic powers or not. Nobody decks me and gets away with it.
The older man looked at me and muttered something under his breath. I am not usually rude to my elders but after getting hit by Paul, I was in no mood to listen to some old-timer laugh about me. I told him that. Next thing I knew, the old-timer had seized me by the throat lifted me off the ground. Effortlessly. I struggled in his grasp and looked at him. His eyes were glowing. A bright yellow glow, much like Paul's. Suddenly, I knew that the old man who had seized me was not exactly an ordinary human being. No, this was one of the denizens of the supernatural realm, much like my ex-friend Paul. I asked him who in hell he was. He grimaced and put me down.
I looked up at him. Who in hell was this dude? What in hell did he want with me? I looked at him. His eyes were still glowing. He was definitely supernatural. What was he, exactly? I looked at him. He looked at me. He commanded me to sit down and I obeyed. Something about his voice and his demeanor told me not to mess with him. So I didn't. The old man introduced himself as Papa Legba Atibon, Master of the Voodoo gods of Haiti.
I gathered my courage and asked him what he wanted with me. He told me that he was my father. I looked at him, shocked. He looked at me, and his stern gaze softened. He extended his hand, and I shrank. No way was I going to touch this man. He scared me to death. I couldn't believe this. My father was the same womanizer I had known until I was ten, the same one who left. There was nothing divine about me whatsoever. This guy could not be my father. What in hell was this dude talking about?
Atibon shook his head and clapped his hands together. I looked around, and watched as my surroundings changed. All of a sudden, I wasn't in the student lounge of Amherst. I was suddenly in a vast garden, someplace beautiful and exotic. Atibon was standing there, dressed in bright red robes. Welcome home, he told me. I stared at him. How in hell did I get here? How did he do that? I'd seen Paul display some powers before but this guy was at a whole other level. A whole different amount of power had been displayed before me. If Paul was a beginner at this magic thing, then Atibon was definitely a master. I sensed this about him and looked at him with new respect.
I looked around the place. The vast garden in which I found myself was unlike any place I had ever seen before. I'd seen beautiful gardens before but there was something different about this one. It was beautiful, yes, but almost unnaturally so. I looked around, and breathed the air. It smelled so clean and pure. Unlike anything I've ever breathed in the big city. Atibon smiled at me and gestured to me. He told me that we had much to discuss. I sat down on one of the large wooden chairs in his place and listened to him as he spoke, sitting across from me at the end of the table. He spoke with a clarity and an authority that other people simply didn't have, not even some of the best public speakers I had ever seen.
Atibon told me of a great struggle among the gods of Haiti. They were divided. Many of them remained faithful to his rule but some of the rebel gods had united under the goddess Ezili Freda and were vying for power. Dozens of them had rallied behind her. Atibon spoke the name of Freda with a certain discomfort. Whoever this goddess was, she must be something fierce if she could cause Atibon some uncomfortable moments. I listened to his tale. The war raged between the gods and some of it was felt by the inhabitants of the island. The gods used the Haitian people as pawns and waged war against one another. They pitted men against women, mother against father. It was dreadful. The gods were immortal. They had eternity. Their war lasted centuries. It caused generations of unrest in the island. Constant civil wars and political struggles. Whatever disaster struck the Haitian people, the gods were sometimes behind it.