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We were a group of friends in the same field of work but working with different companies. We used to converge on any place of our choice (we had several joints) to relax after the day’s work. Some of us used to go there just to run away from marital problems, some to catch up with friends, while some would wait there to avoid rush-hour traffic.

The owner of one particular joint, a pretty and streetwise lady in her early 40s, happened to be the jovial type; she had so many highly connected patrons from all walks of life, who were regular callers at the joint. Because of the different social levels of her clients, she could switch from one mood to another depending on either the situation or the personality.

While waiting for the usual Lagos gridlock to subside, we could discuss everything under the sun and the madam would come around to join in the discussions if she was not too busy.

One day, we were discussing about the efficacy of love spell on men and the beer parlour owner agreed that, indeed, the love spell, which we termed ‘vegetable’ could be potent and that it was only in rare cases that it would have no potency on the target.

That day, one of our friends did not agree and insisted that, as far as he was concerned, no love spell could have any effect on him. The discussion on love spell continued the next day and still, he insisted that no love spell could have an effect on him.

As we were discussing, the beer parlour owner excused herself to attend to some customers. After sometime, she came back and asked all of us if we wanted pepper soup along with our drinks; we all agreed since we knew she was so nice that she could even grant us credit facility if we didn’t have money to pay. She left and came back later with steaming bowls of pepper soup and served each and every one of us.

As we were being served, she jokingly told our friend that he was being served with a love spell to which we all (except him) laughed uneasily. At this stage, some of us could not even take the soup again but our friend scooped everything, and even took from some of us who could not take ours.

We all left the place together that night and each person entered his car and drove off. But before then, the lady came and jokingly asked our friend if he would not stay back a little. But he laughed, entered his car and drove off. I was, however, surprised when our friend’s wife called to know if her husband was with me or was working in the office. Of course, I said no.

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