Author: Joseph Otobo

Chapter 1

 My name is Paloma, the first child of my family. I am seventeen years today, I was born in scotswood, Newcastle in England where my parents lived, my parents had moved into the town out of Saint Peters, when father decided to establish his gin company, he had to leave Saint Peters due to some sought of indigenous crisis. This year is 1873,  the age of gin and the shadow stories of love potions: people get so drunk that they won't even go to work. This is an age where at least one out of two parents is a drunker, almost every man is a drunk. So many a couple will be so be drunk that they will beat their children leaving them with fatal injuries without any reason to point to. Majority of a clergy of priests are not left out of the spirit of the gin age, some priests have been caught countless of times drinking gin in the name of the church communion wine.

Out of every five couples, three were married as one partner had successfully hypnotized by the other with the use of a magical spell- the love potion.

 An age where true love seem not to exist, jinn was used by so many country folks to wish themselves of valuable things to the detriment of others, and even to wish themselves someone else's husbands. especially in the aspect of using love potions to forcefully collect someone's love partner, most of such victims act like puppets. 

This age was a dark age to me, in fact the darkest to me. The economy was crashing, business sectors were stricken down by the gin age, meeting had to cancelled often and often because everyone was too inebriated to talk reasonably even at work; some workers have to conceal a bottle of gin in a bag to take to work. Several of our school teachers have been fired because they were either caught molesting a damsel or caught in the act of drinking in their offices.  love lives were in the plight of the age's dilemma. Sex drive was ruling almost every soul, the act could take place anywhere: including religious centres. The streets were thirty being covered refuses, public rest rooms were unkept.

The age seems to be the darkest since the inception of time. The age was not different from Sodomy. Unfaithfulness was the emblem of every relationship. Yesterday, I saw two couples fighting, the woman was beating until she was stripped naked, what the country men could do was to laugh to scorn. No one seems to be secured. The government seems not to be functional. For two days now, the body of a young lady who maimed to death still lies on the street of our house. 

At several times, I had wished for a true love, the love that never existed among my parents, at several occasions, I had seen and heard my mom wept sore in silence, that image had stayed glued to my mind: the image of countless of brawls between my mom and dad; the endless night sobbing of my mom, over my dad's many late night returns from work, my dad was the Ceo of the Pinnacle Brewery. I had come to believe that I will never love any man, and that I will never even get married, I just hated every masculine creature, I hated all the boys in my school, I hated the more... our male teachers. No one will ever love me, except my mom, I knew I will only be hypnotized to love some bullies. Few years after developing such feelings, my night dreams began to speak contrary: my heart during my dreams were the exact opposite of my reality. I feel to love in my dreams, but not so in the reality. While I hate in the physical, I love every male in my dreams. My heart seems to be completely altered in my dreams.

 The image of the golden prince I see in my dream that has always startled me, the droplets of love from his royal lips, the hope that he should kiss me with the kisses of his lips that always popped up often within me countless of times in my dreams, the feeling that he should hug me to feel the warmth of his embrace. I always see this strange man who looks like a prince who had travelled from the past to the present with a charming love fragrance that surrounds him, his clothing looked achaic. I see that he smiled at me from a distant which I had never been close to, the place where I had always stood was never close to him, but I could see him clearer than nature could permit. In one of my night dreams, my face caught him. The man was wearing a golden dress: a golden wristwatch; a golden necklace, he has a brown glittering hair, he was perfect to behold: in fact his whole being was stunning, his standing tells me he is of a royal blood, his gorgeous look was tempting coupled with his charming eyes that could even make a saint fall for him. What amazed me most was the minute blinking of his silvery eyes. His lips fashioned with love, such a magnificent creature has never been seen before. The thoughts of whether it was a real life or a dream life flamed up inside my mind. Even when he whispered my name, I could hear him loud and clear. Then, I heard him said: Paloma, where is love? Its here in my bossom radiating a million time. What is love? It's an endless stream of merriment.

This creature was elegant, the aura around him loudly spoke royalty. The love in his eyes seems to be stronger than any story I had heard of love potion's power. The waves of the tender love I felt protruding from him was stronger than my little tender heart that had never in real time experience love. 

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