Click to read Episode 8
This is the diary of a Nigerian Christian Girl- Season 1 Episode 9
‘That call was from mum right?’ Wale asked.
I nodded and looked down at my phone praying silently that he would not ask if mum had finally approved our plans to get married.
Wale pressed. ‘What did she say?’
I sighed, wondering what response to give. I didn’t understand why I was afraid to tell him what mum had said. Was this not the good news I prayed for?
My eyes fell on his and I could see how much he wanted us to settle down. I wanted it too but something kept holding me back.
‘Mum just called to let me know Dad is getting better. She said Akin got an opportunity to attend a training sponsored by the Federal Government.’ I stopped talking. Wale waited to hear more. When I didn’t say anything, he looked away and drummed gently on the steering.
‘She is still kicking against our relationship right?’ Wale said without looking at me.
I let out a deep breath and touched his hand. ‘We’ll keep praying Wale.’
He pulled his hand away and reached for the door. At first, I thought he was annoyed but I relaxed when he waited for me to alight and then he took my hand and led me into the house.
There were eight flats in Wale’s compound. Four upstairs and four downstairs. Even though there were cars parked in the compound, we didn’t hear voices from any of the flat. Everywhere was quiet and I had to wonder if the neigbours ever gathered for small talks. As we approached Wale’s apartment, a slender girl, possibly in her early teens descended the stairs with a little boy who held hundred naira note firmly in his hand. She greeted us before leading the boy out of the gate.
Wale opened the door to his apartment and we stepped in.
‘O boy!’ I muttered.
The sitting room was not big but it was neat and cozy. I loved the dark coffee settee and the frames on the wall. One frame carried the picture of Wale’s graduation from the WCA Bible Seminary. There was also a picture of Wale and his two sisters. The two other frames on the opposite side of the wall were scriptural verses.
I pointed at the picture of Wale and his siblings. ‘Do you realize I’ve not spoken to your sisters before? I was thinking since you are their only brother, they should be curious about the woman you’d be getting married to.’
Wale folded his hands, his gaze fixed on the picture frame. He smiled and looked at me. ‘I’ve had a lot of heartbreaks from ladies. Each time I decide to get serious with one, I always introduce them to my sisters. But somehow, we break up. The last one that happened, my sisters said I must not introduce any lady to them until I was sure the lady was not going to leave me.’
I looked away from Wale. He stood in front of me and held my waist. ‘That’s the reason I became afraid to commit to a relationship. Since the last lady left…’ He paused. ‘I don’t know why they always leave and now with your family not accepting me, I’m already scared I’ll lose you. So you see why I can’t introduce you to them yet.’
He pulled his hands away from my waist and thrust them into his pockets. ‘How do you like this place?’
I scanned the living room, my eyes stopping at the large TV screen with big speakers on each side. There was a new water dispenser at one side of the living room and an air cooler at another end.
‘It’s beautiful.’ I said and ran my fingers over the arm of the three-seater sofa. I looked at the TV. ‘Your television is something else. It’s so big.’
He pointed at it. ‘I bought that TV because of football. You should see how clear the pictures are. O boy!’ He glanced at me. ‘You know I don’t play with football especially when my team is playing a game. Once there is a match, no distraction.’
I chuckled. ‘I’ve known that for a long time. Wale will never pick my call once there is a football match. What if I go into labour on the day of Champions League?’
Wale laughed. ‘In the name of Jesus, you will not be in labour on any of those days. Champions League keh. God will not even let that happen. I will count nine months to that time and ensure safe sex is enforced or we will even go on sex sabbatical sef. It can fall before or after. Not during the game.’
I crackled with laughter. ‘What if it happens? Like the match happens at the time I fall into labour.’
‘It cannot happen Yemisi. It won’t.’ He laughed again. ‘Do you know what you are saying at all?
He held my hand. ‘Let me show you the kitchen.’
The kitchen screamed in need of a woman’s touch, my touch actually. There was an empty deep freezer standing against the wall. On another side of the wall was a gas cooker. Cartons of glass cups, cutlery and plates were stacked one the kitchen table. I opened each of the kitchen cabinets. Most of them were empty but I knew when I moved in, it wouldn’t take a week before they were occupied.
I stood back and felt like getting married immediately. It was as if I was already in my husband’s house preparing meals and taking charge of kitchen affairs.
Wale brought out his Samsung phone. ‘I think you should take pictures of the house and send them to mummy. Tell her this pastor you are getting married to is not like the ones they have in ijebu-igbo. Not all pastors are called to suffer. A man called of God who knows his onions should not start his ministry as a pauper. That’s not God’s will for us.’
As I took the pictures, Wale received a call from the rich lady he spoke about earlier. The one who paid a month’s fee for the church venue. She wanted him to attend a birthday bash she was organizing for her younger sister. She said she’d love to introduce her Pastor to some of her friends.
I was not comfortable with Wale attending the function. ‘Do you have to go?’
Wale shrugged. ‘I should. I’ll just breeze in and out.’
‘This party is holding in a hotel. Wale I don’t think you should go. Just tell her you can’t make it.’
Wale left me in the kitchen without saying anything. When I followed him out, he showed me the other part of the house before taking me back to the living room. He went into his bedroom and returned with two cold cans of malt.
He gave me one. I took it and popped it open though I was upset that he ignored my suggestion.
‘So you’ll still go for the birthday party?’
Wale was clearly irritated. ‘What is your problem Yemisi. What is wrong with going for a birthday party? If the party is going to hold in a hotel, so what? Don’t we have our services in a building like that?’
I felt hurt. Couldn’t he see that I was just looking out for him? ‘I’m just thinking about the kind of songs they’ll sing there and the skimpy dresses the ladies will wear. That kind of environment does not befit a person like you.’
‘I’ve told you I’m honouring a member’s invitation to a function. Simple!’ He sat and crossed his legs. ‘Let me teach you one lesson in ministry. You do not only minister to the spiritual needs of your members, you must also be concerned about their day to day life. ’
‘And attending a birthday party is one of them?’
Wale stood up. ‘Yemisi, I don’t have time for this baseless argument this afternoon. I have only slept for three hours in the last 24 hrs because I had to prepare for today’s service. Can we just be on the same side today?’
‘I’m sorry.’ I said and threw the empty can into a dustbin at the entrance.
Later that day, when I got home, I couldn’t stop thinking about the lady that called Wale. Was there something else going on that I wasn’t aware of? The way he spoke to me at his place showed that he honoured her words more than he did mine. I wished I had asked for her name so I could trace her on facebook or instagram.
Wale had said the lady sat behind me during the service. I tried to remember those who sat around me but no picture came to my head. I decided I was going to be at alert at the next service.
Adesuwa returned to my mind as I brushed my teeth that night. I had completely forgotten about the image I had seen while praying with Abigail. It also occurred to me that night that Adesuwa did not call me when my other students reached out to me after my meeting with Phebe at the market
Was it possible that she was pregnant? There was one way to find out. Phebe. I reached for my phone and dialed Phebe’s number.
‘Hello Miss Yemisi.’ Phebe said in a cheerful voice. ‘Please tell me that you have decided to come see us.’
‘Phebe, that’s not why I called.’ I could hear disappointment in her voice. ‘How’s Adesuwa?’
‘She is fine. We were together at the Physics lab on friday when we went to collect our exam scripts. Miss Yemisi, Adesuwa is something else now. The way she dig into her books is scary. At least when you were still around, she played and had fun with us. But now, it is only book o. She is definitely going to win most of the prizes this year.’
‘So Adesuwa is not pregnant.’
‘What?’ Phebe exclaimed.
My hand flew to my mouth. I didn’t know that I had spoken my thoughts aloud. ‘Hey Phebe, It’s just a rumor okay. I just wanted to be sure whoever gave me that information was referring to someone else.’
‘I understand ma’am.’ Phebe said. ‘Adesuwa cannot be pregnant. It’s not even a possibility. Since Daniel’s case, she has been aversive to boys. She doesn’t even look at them. All she does is read books. After our exams, she went to one corner of the classroom and buried her head in the biography of Oprah Winfrey. She is so boring to be with.’
I laughed. So much like the girl I know. Adesuwa had almost fallen down the staircase because she was engrossed in reading a novel. ‘Tell her I asked after her welfare. One of these days, I’ll come around. My love to all your classmates.’
‘I’ll deliver your message ma. We look forward to having you around.’
When I ended the call, I felt stupid for some minutes. If I had heard wrongly about Adesuwa, then definitely it wasn’t God who asked me to let go of Wale. All of those things must have happened in my mind. I was again confused. How then does God speak? Why would I believe that I received an information while praying and yet it turned out to be wrong?
I dialed Wale’s number, deciding to break the news to him about what mum’s approval. I was tired of having my mind deceive me. The day I prayed with Abigail, I had heard ‘Let him go.’ but right now, it was clear it was my mind and nothing else. At least Adesuwa’s case proved it.
Wale didn’t answer his call. I tried his line again and this time he rejected the call. Was he still at the party? I imagined Wale sitting comfortably with the rich lady at the party laughing and looking into her eyes and right there on my bed, I felt a sharp pang of jealousy.
Click hereply to read Episode 10