Kojo was in the party headquarters, having a meeting with 2 party stalwarts. They had invited him to the meeting ostensibly at the Chairman’s request, to get a feel of him, his values and his manifesto. They were seated in sofas around a table on which lay some files and stationery. Kojo had prepared all night and even organized his manifesto into a 3-point agenda which he thought was very clever. He was more excited than nervous at this first step in the realization of his dream of representing his people at the House of Representatives in Abuja.
Honest cleared his throat noisily. “I’m sorry for the delay, my brother. We were hoping chairman would join us but he has called to say he is very busy.”
Kojo waved the apology away, doing his best to hide his disappointment. “That’s alright Chief. I expect he had a number of conflicting activities in his schedule.”
The 2 men grinned.
“You are right. He is very busy.” The man who spoke was Idemudia, a former mason who was rumored to have lost an eye in a fight with opposing party agents during an election in the past. He was now in charge of campaign strategy and also served as SSA to the governor on MDG. Kojo wondered if he even knew the meaning of the phrase as he doubted he had even basic education. However, he was the go-to-man if you wanted the support of the street and it was impossible to win any Nigerian Election without the loyalty of the street boys. Since he always wore dark glasses, there was no way he could confirm the story but his missing front teeth gave credence to his reputation as a street brawler.
“So, what is your plan, Honourable? How do you plan to win this election? Who are those you already have in your corner? Do you have a relationship with the market women association? Who are your loyalists?” Honest rattled off a series of questions, barely pausing in between to take a breath.
Kojo was perplexed. He had assumed they would listen to the manifesto it took him hours to prepare. Besides, weren’t they supposed to fall in love with his ethos, pledge their commitment and then set to work garnering him the support he needed in order to win? Why were they putting the cart before the horse?
“Ummm…” he stammered, gazing woefully at his tablet with his slides and graphs, “I thought you were the ones who I could count on to get all those people on my side.”
“No be say we no go bring boys. We go bring party boys for you, street people na me dey control them. We just wan know who dey your side first,” Idemudia responded.
“Mike Osagie, you know him?” He was grasping at straws and he knew this.
“Yes, we know Mike. He was the one who asked us to meet you.”
“He is my main contact with the local electorate. He promised to oraganise a meet and greet so that people can hear my ideas and get behind me.”
“Before then, you need an invisible structure. You need a godfather. You need someone to give you a seat at the table,” Honest said, crossing his legs impatiently.
Realization dawned on him. This was the way things were. Everything was oiled by money.
“How much will it cost me?” he asked finally.
The men looked at each other and smiled. Honest named a price that made Kojo whistle.
“Ah ah! That’s too much!” he protested.
“Na wholesale price be that!” Idemudia joked.
“The thing is your opponents will have godfathers, sponsors, loyalists and supporters whose loyalty is not just because of money. Some may be due to long-standing family relationships, oaths sworn at altars, help rendered in dire moments, political favors and so on. You are coming into the game very late but with God nothing is impossible.” Honest bobbed his head solemnly.
Kojo was impressed by his candid words. “This must be God helping me, breaking protocol for me, bypassing red tape in my favor,” he thought.
“That money no be say we wan chop am O! You go still drop our own. We go use am settle people,” Idemudia informed him.
“We will go to the health centre and pay bills of indigent patients in your name. Then we will go to the market women association and sponsor their end of year party or August Meeting or just share foodstuff to them. As for the street boys, they are loyal to my guy here. Once he tells them who to vote, you are as good as elected already. We need to begin spreading your name by using the money to do good deeds. It’s not to just bribe people on the day before election.”
“Them go chop your money vote who know road before.” Both men laughed, slapping their thighs in derision but Kojo was not amused though he attempted to relax his face muscles into a smile. All he could think about was the hapless people who must have lost money in the past.
“What have I got myself into?” he thought.
“You know the village community primary school in Mike’s village?” Honest asked.
“His father built it and equipped it with everything in it. Government had at the time owed the teachers for 6 months. He paid them an equivalent of what they are owed so they would call off their strike and return to teaching the children,” Honest informed him.
“The man sabi work,” Idemudia sucked his teeth, what few teeth he had remaining.
“When he died last year, they shut down the town to mourn him. It was like an oba died. You needed to see it.”
Kojo clucked his tongue in the appropriate signs of concurring.
“Mike is popular but he is still a small boy. His influence alone won’t be enough to get you in.”
“This thing is not a money-making venture for me. I want to be in a position to influence the policies that will better my constituency. Even though my mom is Ghanaian, you all know I grew up here and I know a how the government has neglected us,” Kojo spoke earnestly, willing them to understand and get with the program.
“Na wetin we wan hear be that. We don tire for people wey go promise us say them go better our life but na to use our head dey dia mind. God go help make you win.
Kojo heaved a sigh.
‘I’ll raise the money in 2 days. Do you want to give me an account number?”
“No Oh! Na cash…”
“All political transactions are usually in cash so that there are checks and balances. If you pay it into my account, tomorrow someone will come and accuse me of lying about how much I received.”
“Nkem, we have a meeting with the guys from the bank in 30 minutes. Should we go over the details before they get here?” Seun asked.
“I’m not feeling too well today. Maybe you should take the meeting.”
“What’s the matter?”
“I don’t know but I feel nauseous.”
“Hmm…are we throwing a baby shower?”
“Yes we are. We are birthing Baby Logixx in Kenya shortly.”
Seun laughed. “I’m sorry. Have you been to the clinic?”
“Is it because of Chuks? You can’t keep avoiding him.”
“Remind me never to date my doctor again.”
“Okay, you dated, broke up, moved on…why can’t you be friends?”
“We can’t be friends because he is engaged and I can’t stop wishing we were back together and I was the one wearing his ring. That’s why I can’t go to that clinic even if it was the only hospital in Lagos.”
Seun heaved a sigh. She could sense Nkem ruffling her hair over the phone in frustration. “Does your tummy hurt?”
“Yes. I’m suspecting the suya I had last night. That was my first time of buying it from that spot.”
“You know what? I’ll call Chuks to find out if he’s on duty. If he is off duty, we’ll go to the clinic. If not, we’ll find you a new one. How does that sound?”
“I can work with that.”
“Good morning Madam Fancy.”
“Good morning, my daughter. Forgive me for showing up at your office this early. I did not want to discuss this over the phone, so I came in person. Thank God you gave me your card that day we met.”
Seun smiled at the woman sitting before her, pushing away her mild irritation. Between trying to find Nkem a new doctor, handling her meeting with their bankers and other official matters, she had a full morning ahead of her. This was not the time for chit-chat.
“I hope all is well ma?” she asked politely.
“All is well.” Madam Fancy adjusted in her chair.
“Should I get you coffee or something?”
“Mba, I don’t take coffee. I won’t waste your time. My daughter, you are such a blessing. I have not figured out how you knew what that boy was doing to me. How did you do it?” Her brows furrowed over her piercing gaze.
Seun pursed her lips. “Hmm…I don’t know how to explain it.”
Madam Fancy inclined her head.
“It is not anything strange. The only reason it appears so is that few people bother to use the gift but it is available to us all.”
“I don’t understand. How can we know what is in someone’s mind? It is impossible.”
“We cannot know the thoughts of another person’s heart except it is revealed to us by the spirit of that person.”
“Are you a Christian, Madam Fancy?”
“Have you met the Holy Ghost?”
“Yes…met. He is the one who Jesus died to give us access to. He lives inside the believer and reveals hidden things to us so that they are as plain as day. It was he who told me what was going on in your shop. It is called the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Once He gives it to you, you can use it any time you need it just like a child plays with the toys you buy for him.”
Madam Fancy was staring at Seun, mouth agape so she paused to let her words sink in. Suddenly, her phone rang. It was Nkem.
“Hello, Nkem, I am still trying to find a hospital. Milly said she would call me back in 5 minutes to confirm the one she wants to recommend. I don’t want to just drive into any clinic on the road so we don’t end up in the hands of a quack. These things are not as regulated as one would wish.”
“Is someone ill?” Madam Fancy asked.
Seun motioned for her to give her a minute and then ended the call.
“If you have an emergency, my son is a doctor. He and my daughter own a hospital in Ikoyi. She is a surgeon while he is a pediatrician,” Madam Fancy said.
“That’s nice. What is the name of the place?”
“Dobbe Specialist Hospital; it’s a combination of their names, Dominic and Betty. They are doing great. I was even thinking of introducing you to Dom. He is always too busy. No time to meet people.” Madam Fancy winked at her, conspiratorially.
Seun did not smile because she was tired of being match-made with all sorts of men but in order not to offend her, she picked up her phone and pretended to be busy looking up their online profile. They appeared to have a good reputation. She decided to at least check them out in person and see if she would get a bad vibe. Nkem needed medical attention and this hospital might just be the answer to their prayers.
“Thank you so much Madam Fancy. I will ask the driver to take my boss there and join them after my meeting. God bless you.” Seun rose to usher her out.
“You’re welcome my dear. So you will be going there as well?”
“Yes, after my meeting.”
“Good. I’ll call Dom Dom and tell him to expect you. You are the kind of girl every mother wants for her son.”
“Thank you, ma.”
“I hope we can continue our discussion another day? I would really like to hear more.”
Seun had walked her to the door so she held it open. “Yes, ma. We’ll continue another day. I’m sorry I can’t walk you to your car.”
“Not to worry. You have done enough.”
“Have a great day ma.”
“God bless you my child. Don’t forget to say hello to my son.”
“No problem ma. Bye ma.”
By the time Seun walked into the ward where Nkem was admitted, it was 3pm. She had spent the day putting out fires at work only to get into a 2 hour traffic on a drive that should have taken 20 minutes. Her mood was not as chirpy as it could have been. Besides, Madam Fancy had called at least twice after she left. Once to inform her that she had told her son to expect her and the second time to remind her to see him. Add to that her concern for Nkem who was kept back because she threw up in the hospital, and she was a near nervous wreck.
“Emma, it’s getting hot in here. Isn’t that AC cooling?” she snapped at her driver.
“It’s cooling ma. Let me increase it. Sorry.”
She hissed in frustration as her phone beeped. It was a message from Emoche. “I enjoyed our date and I can’t stop thinking about you. When can we meet up?”
She felt like flinging her phone with the picture of his handsome face away.
“It’s not enough for God to spell it out clearly that he is not the one for me, he has to allow the one that is this good-looking and romantic pay me this much attention,” she fumed silently. “Sometimes, I feel like God is playing Russian roulette with me. Only send the right one, Iro O! God when?”
Her driver interrupted her silent conversation. “Madam, is it that building on the right?”
She looked up and saw a sign that read “Dobbe Specialist Hospital”.
“Yes, it is.”
He made a right turn into the driveway, stopping at the entrance for her to alight before zooming off. She tugged at her dark pantsuit, concerned about her friend but conscious of the fact that she was probably going to meet Madam Fancy’s son. It would not do to be rejected for not making an effort. “He is probably some mousy fellow who had spent all his life studying to make his mom proud and now lacking the social skills he needed to fulfill her desire for grandchildren. Isn’t it hilarious how parents shoot themselves in the foot with their conflicting expectations?” she wondered.
The staff at the front desk received her and directed her to the right ward after she introduced herself. She followed the nurse who had volunteered to show her the way, admiring the layout of the hospital on her way. It was an impressive 2 floor structure with great landscaping and a spacious waiting room. It didn’t have the overly gloomy air some hospitals tended to have and the smell wasn’t too antiseptic. She liked the fact that windows were positioned to let in maximum light. “Perhaps,” she thought, “that is what is lifting the mood of the place.”
At the first door on her right, the nurse stopped and asked her to go in. Seun thanked her and watched her leave before reaching for the door handle. The sound of laughter stopped her. She began to wonder if she was at the right door. She listened again and caught the sound of Nkem’s laugh. The second voice was unfamiliar, a soft baritone that gave a clue to Nkem’s excitement even as she ran through the list of Nkem’s male acquaintances and failed to think of any who could have made it to the hospital before she got there.
She knocked on the door and heard the male voice call out ‘Come in” so she opened it and stepped in. Nkem was sitting up in bed, smiling like she was a contestant in a beauty pageant rather than a patient admitted for serious symptoms. The owner of the voice Seun had heard was seated in a chair beside the bed though it failed to contain his huge frame. He was tall and dark, bearded like shaving sticks had gone extinct and muscular like he carried weights for a living. She glanced at the name tag on his white coat. It read ‘Dr. Dominic Ibe.’
That was when she knew Nkem had beat her to this one again.
TO BE CONTINED
I hope you are enjoying reading Unction. Do let me know. Also find me on twitter @nenabekee and follow so we can gossip about Seun, Kojo, Nkem and the gang.
If you haven’t checked out my stories on http://www.realrelationshipsmag.com It’s a good time to do so. I have a strory titled “Hunger” and a sequel to a story on the blog called “Baba Isheri Has Gone Deaf”. It would be awesome if you not only read but left a comment. Thank you for being the wind beneath my sails.
Finally, check out my course on parenting children 0-12 years old without depending on phones to co-parent them. Check out the flyer for details and send me an email if you are interested.
I hope you are keeping well. Don’t let the gloom get to you. Overcome the environment. Do not be overwhelmed. I believe the word of God for this season is “Do not be weary in well doing.” Rev.10:6 (The passion translation) says “No more delay”. The delays you see are in the physical. Where it matters, there is acceleration. Just wait on it. Your reality is catching up daily.
“I have 2 younger sisters who live in Ontario with me. They don’t understand why I come home so often but I have this attachment to Nigeria that cannot be broken. One of these days, I will probably relocate and people will ask if I am mad,” Emoche said.
Seun smiled, distracted. “They will say, people are running abroad and you are running home.”
“Exactly! It doesn’t make sense, right?” He laughed.
She smiled, trying her best to shake off the inexplicable sour feeling that had overtaken her from the moment Nkem mentioned that Kojo had invited her to an event and that they had been the cynosure of all eyes. It was all she could do to laugh as if she thought it a light matter that it had not even occurred to him to ask her.
“She claimed it was not a date. How come he didn’t ask me? It’s not like I would have gone but that was really rude of him. Who even wants to be photographed with that flirt?” she fumed silently.
“Is that frown because of the pepper in this food or did I do something wrong?” Emoche asked.
“This food is spicy sha…” she deflected.
“I don’t want to say I told you so but we could have gone to the restaurant I suggested.”
“I wanted to patronize Sis. Evo. You know she is my H.O.D in church and this is a new business.”
“She had better get a new chef. Zeal without knowledge is all I taste in this food.”
“Hush…lower your voice. She’s coming over.”
They plastered smiles on their faces as the C.E.O made her way to their table. “I hope you guys are enjoying your meal?” she asked, beaming.
“Yes…the smoothie is outstanding,” Seun replied.
“What of the Chinese rice?”
“It’s…” Emoche began but Seun interrupted him.
“The ambience of this place is out of this world, Sis. You really brought your vision to light,” Seun praised her.
She grinned, flattered. “Thank you so much. I wanted to evoke an experience akin to the transfiguration.”
Under his breath, Emoche murmured, “The pepper in this food can transfigure someone’s tongue…”
“Pardon?” Evo asked.
Seun kicked him under the table. “We really had a nice time. Thank you for all you do for the kingdom. May God increase you greatly.”
“Amen! I’ll run along and check on your dessert.”
Once she left, Seun made a face at her dinner companion.
“What? You had better tell her we don’t want dessert. There is bound to be pepper in it,” Emoche joked.
“Really? Is that you trying to be funny?” Seun tried in vain to keep from laughing.
“Let’s escape before she notices.” He winked.
She rolled her eyes at him. “We’ll do no such thing. Now pick up your fork and finish your meal. The bible says it is appointed unto us to suffer for his sake.”
“Eat up then…and try to smile.”
He bared his teeth in a grimace that nearly sent her into a fresh bout of laughter. “Anything for you your majesty.”
“You better believe it.” She picked up her fork and resumed her fuming over being overlooked for Nkem while Emoche tried his best to wolf down his food.
TO BE CONTINUED.
Nkem was interviewing candidates who had been short-listed for two vacancies in the firm. She liked to get a feel of who they were for real when all the academic and professional mumbo jumbo was stripped away.
“If Seun was here, this interview would have lasted just 3 minutes. By the time she sees you in the spirit, you would have been kicked out before you knew what was going on,” she thought and chuckled.
The candidate laughed respectfully, not knowing what the joke was but wanting to be in her good books.
“Maybe I should try that thing she does. What’s the worst that could happen?” she decided.
Silently, she prayed for clues and emptied her mind of all assumptions. “Whatever you reveal, I will not question, Lord. However weird it sounds, I will say it. That’s how Seun said she began to walk in the prophetic.”
To buy time, she picked up the resume before her and pretended to scan in while she prayed in her spirit. For some reason, UniBen kept flashing across her mind. She saw that the candidate graduated from UniJos and there was no mention of The University of Benin in his resume but she couldn’t shake off the feeling that she ought to ask him about it.
“Mr. Diette, why did you not mention that you went to UniBen?” she said finally, keeping her gaze averted because she expected the man to look askance at her. “Who makes such dumb accusations; and in a professional setting?” she chided herself. “He’s going to tell people I am some empty head who slept her way to the top.”
It was the tremor in his voice that caught her attention. The man was visibly trembling. She fixed her gaze on him, confident that she was on to something.
“What happened in UniBen?”
“I…I am sorry Ma.”
“Do you want to tell me the truth or do you want to continue to live in guilt?”
There was a long pause during which he all but broke into tears. He leaned forward and dropped his face into his palms.
“I was rusticated ma.”
“I raped a girl. I lost a bet and I couldn’t pay the money. The guy asked me to rape a girl who had turned down his advances. How I hate myself for what I did!”
He groaned and shook his head.
Nkem was shocked. “How come you didn’t serve time?”
“Her family did not want it out in the open. They wanted the matter dealt with as secretly as possible. Few people know about it.”
“Where is she now? Do you know if she ever forgave you?”
“I don’t know. I couldn’t look her in the face. My father disowned me. It was my aunt who paid my way through school in UniJos and that was because my mom lied to her that my dad was angry that I failed my exams and refused to continue paying.”
There was another pause while Nkem prayed for clarity. She couldn’t deny him the position for a crime he had been punished for, however unsatisfying the punishment was. At the same time, she wasn’t sure she wanted him to work for her.
“Why did you reveal this to me Lord? What am I to do with this information?” she prayed.
“I know you are disappointed in me and will not want me to work here but I want you to know I have changed. Since that day, I have not been able to have a sexual relationship with any other woman. I have made friends with a few but the moment they expect me to take it to the next level, I see myself hurting that innocent girl and I feel like vomiting. Please forgive me even if you don’t employ me.”
He was kneeling, his hands clasped together before his face as he pleaded. She knew then why God had brought him to her.
“Are you saved?”
“Yes ma. I have been saved for 9 years. I know it is because of this thing that I have not been able to get a job for 4 years now. Since I graduated, I have been selling odd stuff to make a living but each time I make a profit, something goes wrong and all the money is exhausted in solving that problem.”
“I think you need to forgive yourself. You have punished yourself enough. Find that lady and make restitution. Apologize to her and tell her that if she would prefer, you are ready to turn yourself in to the police so that the law can run its course but if not, she can live with the knowledge that you are remorseful.”
“Ha! What if she decides to send me to prison?”
“I promise to get you a lawyer and help you navigate the court system but you have to face her and put this behind you.”
He sank to the floor, shaking his head slowly as he weighed what she had just said. Finally, he looked up. She could see that he was resigned to his fate. “Why would you help a rapist like me?”
“Because you are not a rapist; you are a blood-bought child of God and you must never call yourself by a name that God did not give you.”
“I’m not sure I have what it takes Madam. I am not sure I am strong enough.”
“It’s been over 10 years. God wants to spring open the cage doors and set you free. Question is ‘do you desire freedom’ or are you in love with self-mutilation?”
Diette heaved a sigh. He didn’t know the answer to that question but he couldn’t shut down the voice of hope that had been lit like a candle and was now flickering in the wind of possibility. Doing what she suggested was tantamount to suicide. He would have to agree to be imprisoned, in hope that he would be set free. It sounded dangerous. It sounded like the only choice he had.
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Seun loosed her hair from the knot while her hair stylist Danjuma (who she called Danji) found a towel and placed around her shoulders. Getting her hair and nails done was therapeutic for her and she had used the same salon for over 10 years. She loved its ambience and the classical music the owner projected from the speakers. The stylists were neat and courteous besides being skillful so she didn’t mind driving a bit of a distance when they moved further away.
Nkem often teased her for paying so much attention to her hair and nails but wearing little or no makeup. Her thick natural hair needed a bit of help for her to appear well-groomed as she did not have the inclination to style it herself but she never felt pretty wearing makeup.
“It’s either they over-arch my brows or use a lip colour that makes my lips look bigger or they put blush on my cheeks”, she had replied Nkem. “I don’t know when dark women started blushing visibly.”
Nkem had laughed. “Just tell them their limits and they will stick to it,” she said, referring to the makeup artists.
“Will they listen? Talmabout ‘Let me just enhance it for you’. Next thing, a masquerade is in the mirror staring back at you.”
Danji interrupted her reverie. “Do you want to braid your hair?”
“No. The same style as last week is fine.”
As he began to work on her hair, she felt the urge to pray so she closed her eyes and began to pray under her breath. Danji was humming a tune so he couldn’t hear her. There were 2 other customers in the salon. One of them was a middle-aged woman, carrying on a conversation on her phone while someone did her pedicure. Seun observed her closely and saw that the conversation was getting heated and had degenerated into an argument.
“What an irony! An argument shows up to take away from the most relaxing time stamp on earth. Gosh!” she thought.
She attempted to ignore the raised voice but it was becoming more and more difficult. Probably out of respect for her age, no one wanted to tell the customer she was causing a disturbance. Danji bent and whispered an apology into her ear but she motioned for him not to worry. Minutes later, the woman ended the call and apologized to the room. Echoes of “It’s okay ma” filled the room. She rose from the pedicure table and took a seat beside Seun to get her hair woven into the hairstyle called ‘didi’. It was popular among women who wanted to wear a wig and needed to have their hair tamed underneath.
“Good afternoon ma”, Seun greeted her.
“God bless you my daughter. I hope I did not disturb you?”
“I’m very sorry. These boys want to kill me! My shop where I sell wholesale diapers, wipes and baby food is where I assigned a new manager. Now I hear he is diverting my goods and stealing my money.”
“Oh, I’m sorry to hear that!”
“The worst is that he is the son of my daughter-in-law’s cousin. He is a graduate who has been searching for work for 5 years. I said ‘let me help his destiny’. Shei destiny-helper has not turned to victim of armed robbery loun loun?”
“Wo…I just want him to return the money. If not, SARS is what I will use to deal with him. It’s like they don’t know me.”
Seun made a clucking sound, in sympathy. She was experienced in handling women of this age, her mom being enough of a tutorial all by herself. They didn’t expect you to solve their problem. All they needed was your listening ear, a few nods and sighs to show you were as horrified by the injustice done to them as they were.
The woman’s phone buzzed. She answered and could be heard giving someone directions to find the salon in the 2-storey plaza that housed it. Not long after, a young man in his early twenties showed up dressed in raggedy jeans and a white T-shirt on which was written ‘Madam Fancy Baby Shop’. He prostrated in greeting and stretched a hand to receive the money she was holding out.
“Go with the bus and handle all the supplies for today. I will take an uber home. I don’t want that thief to supervise supplies till he returns all my money. Ole…Oloriburuku!”
“You set up an innocent man to get money to pay for your girlfriend’s migration to Canada?”
Every eye in the room turned in Seun’s direction.
“Eh?” The young man paled.
“I saw you before you climbed the stairs. You are the one stealing Mama’s money. Why did you set up an innocent man?”
“What are you saying? Ganiyu has been with me for 7 years. He is not a thief.” The woman was puzzled at Seun’s boldness.
“Collect his phone and check his account balance.”
Ganiyu knelt down, raising a hand to lick a finger and point it at the sky. “Mama Fancy, if I have ever stolen one naira from you, let my mother die.”
“Your mother? I thought you collected money from me to bury your mother last year,” Mama Fancy asked, incredulous.
“That one na my step-mother. Na she train me when I dey small because my mama run leave my papa.”
“Ganiyu! Your story is not adding up. You collected money from me to pay rent for your parents not long ago because you said your mother called to ask for help.”
“Collect his phone and check his balance.”
“Mama Fancy, I swear, I no fit do you bad thing…”
“Bring your phone, guy. Wetin dey do you?” Danji had lent a voice.
The other staff crowded the scene, insisting on him handing over his phone. Finally, the manicurist jerked the boy up by his pants and extracted the phone from his pocket. He passed it to Mama Fancy who opened to his texts. There was a hush as everyone waited with bated breath. Ganiyu was still protesting his innocence when Mama Fancy yelled, “Kini eleyi?”
She passed the phone to Danji who turned the screen so Seun could see it as well.
“How did you manage to have N2m in your account? The last credit alert alone is for N800k and it is from the account of one of our customers.” She rose and grabbed him by the collar in a chokehold. “Do I look like your mate?”
“Kai! This boy na bad boy”, Danji remarked.
“See him face like bad dream”, the braider added.
“Why all these boys dey like to fall hand?” asked the manicurist.
“Ganiyu when I finish with you today, your ancestors will come and beg me! I will end your lineage. You don’t know me. Emi ke? Ah…”
“Please Mama Fancy, take it easy”, someone appealed.
“Let him transfer all the money back to you 1st”, Seun suggested.
“My darling, I haven’t even thanked you. I don’t know how you found out that this boy has been robbing me but God will bless you for me. Oya, wey your phone? Tranfer the money now now!”
His phone was handed back to him. “Mama, I no be thief. Andrew say make I keep money for am. You know say I no go school. I no sabi say na the money wey him thief be dat. I swear!”
“Shataaaap! Which Andrew? That innocent boy wey don dey beg since yesterday? You are a liar! Transfer my money now!”
“That is how someone would have been detained and tortured over a false accusation”, the braider commented.
“SARS for that matter! You don enter their cell before?” the manicurist asked.
‘I hear say you fit agree say na you kill Abacha make them release you,” Danji replied.
“Them don catch me for where we go drink say we dey loiter. The kind beating wey dem beat me, this ear still dey make whiun whiun whiun any time wey 10 O’clock nack.”
“Why 10 O’clock?”
“Na the time wey the beating take start na! E be like say the ear dey remember the slaps, dey rehearse am again. I don treat am tire. Persin even say make I piss for cup pour inside ear but e no work.”
“My brother, wetin man never see.”
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Thank you for your patience with me. I am so sorry I have been unavoidably absent. Today, I will put up at least 2 excerpts of Unction for your reading pleasure. Can somebody shout Halleluyah!
Also, I have been working with an online magazine called Real Relationships. Their vision is the recovery of people torn by life’s experiences.
I wrote 2 stories for them. One is titled “Hunger” and the other is a sequel titled “Baba Isheri Has Gone Deaf”.
They have a competition ongoing where you can send in a story and win cash! Yay!
My story is not competing because I have been involved behind the scenes but do subscribe, leave a comment on mine and other entries and submit something as well.
Find the link below
“Daddy Seun, come and talk to your daughter. I am tired of her.”
It was yet another day at her parents’. They had summoned her to their home on the pretext of needing her to talk sense into her little brother, Deji who was in his final year in secondary school. The ruse was that he did not want to go to the university but had chosen a career in DJing. She closed from work early and picked up a few things so she could spend the night and go to work from there the next day. Now that she had found out what it was all about, she wished she at least had the excuse of not having clothes to wear the next day. As it was, she was stuck.
While her mom ranted, she took stock of the things that needed changing in the living room. The wall clock was broken. Maybe if it told the time, they would realize that time is money and not waste it all beating a dead horse. Also, the paint was peeling like there was a leak in the roof.
“Mummy,” she interrupted. “Is the roof leaking?”
“Is that what we are discussing? This child! I am telling you that you need to settle down with a good man and you are talking about the roof!”
“If your roof is leaking, the water can damage the structure and even the fixtures. I would have thought that was more important than worrying about men. Mummy, you did not raise me to go after men, did you?”
“Egba mi! Did I say you should go after men? You need to be visible. They need to know you are available. When you are always at home, how will you meet anyone?”
“The man who God meant for me should be able to spot me in the spirit.”
“He will see you physically first, Seun! This is a material world. The man has to notice you before he prays about you or ‘sees you in the spirit’ as you say! This spiro should not confuse you Oh!”
Seun rolled her eyes. “Daddy, I can’t believe you aided and abetted this scam!”
Her father who had been pretending to read the paper looked up from his seat at the dining. “You need to listen to your mom, Seun, Omo mi, Omo dada. These things are time-sensitive.”
“It is not that I have not been meeting nice men, it is that once I perceive their spiritual apathy, their lying spirit, their jezebel spirit…”
“Seun, which one is jezebel spirit again?” Her mom asked.
She averted her gaze from her mom, buying time by rearranging the throw pillow at her back. “You will be amazed what people are up to these days. Even in the church, many are unable to stick to one woman. If I discern that, what am I going on a date with him for? Three months ago, I met one guy while standing in the ATM queue. We started chatting and he asked for my number. I was about to give him when I saw him in the spirit, sleeping with 2 women at a time.”
“What!” Both parents exclaimed.
“I took his number instead and called him later with the line I reserve for people I don’t want to give my number to. When I confronted him, he admitted that he was in the habit of sleeping with 2 women at a time. He preferred mother and daughter or sisters but sometimes it was a pair of friends or classmates in the university.”
“Abomination!” Her mom spat. Her father had dropped his paper and his glasses to fold his arms across his chest, as if hugging himself would somehow abate the shock.
“He has undergone deliverance and is now being counseled at the church. This was someone who claimed to be a Christian. I’m not sure people know the meaning of the word.”
“But, my daughter, that does not mean you should not…”
“I am open and eager to meet ‘The One’. I just don’t believe in entangling myself with unserious fellows. If it is going nowhere, why are we visiting restaurants and attending parties together? That even sends a wrong signal; it makes it look as if I have no room for the right man.”
Her mom took a deep breath. It was obvious she was struggling to overcome the natural instinct to worry.
“Mama Seun, I know many of your friends have crossed this stage and that increases the pressure. Remember it is not her fault that it took us 10 years to conceive her. That is why all our friends are grandparents now. Give her a chance. She has always been a special child.”
“You are right, Oko mi. The devil saw the kind of star she has and fought so hard to prevent her birth. This God is really a great God!”
“Yes, he is…” Seun looked to make her exit. “Should I get someone to look at this roof?”
“Thank you my darling. Your brother, Bayo saw it the day he brought his new car to show us. I assumed he would do something about it. Look at where we are,” her father made a hissing sound.
“I’ll make some calls,” she rose before they came up with something else. “Goodnight Mom, Goodnight Dad.”
“God bless you, my dear. It is well with you. The lines have fallen unto you in pleasant places. Favor is overtaking you every day. The increase of your peace shall know no end. Goodnight.”
She left for her room to the music of their blessings.
Nkem and Kojo were chatting via whatsapp.
Kojo: I think the pitch went well. You brought it.
Nkem: Thank you.
Kojo: I wish I had a spy or something to reveal their deliberations to me.
Nkem: That’s easy. As Seun would say, “Why do we need spies when we have the Holy Ghost?”
Kojo: Don’t tell me she has infected you?
Nkem: Seun has single-handedly brought in over 50% of our highest paying clients. 30% comprises my friends and family and for the rest, I’ll give credit to about 6 members of staff. She does more than I can possibly pay her for. I’ll take a little eccentricity at that price.
Kojo: A little? Did I hear you say a little? She made my would-be fiancée dump me!
Kojo: She once predicted it would rain and made me wear rain boots to see a client.
Nkem: It did rain, didn’t it?
Kojo: Yes, after the meeting…hours after.
Nkem: Lol. To be fair to her, she didn’t ask you to wear rain boots.
Kojo: No, but the site was prone to flooding and I didn’t want to show up with muddy shoes.
Nkem: Designer shoes for that matter.
Kojo: Ain’t no shame in the game.
Nkem: Yeah right!
Kojo: So what are you doing this Saturday?
Nkem: I’ll get my hair done, catch up on some reading and maybe go see a movie with some friends. Why do you ask?
Kojo: Totally random, yeah…I have to go to this event, a funeral. I kinda need a date.
Nkem: Lol! And you decided to ask me?
Kojo: I’m desperate. Please say yes.
Nkem: Whose funeral is it?
Kojo: It’s the mother-in-law of a family friend. I promise we won’t be long.
Nkem: Do I have to dress up?
Kojo: Dress like you want to break hearts. I want you to be the topic of discussion for weeks.
Nkem: I’ll think about it.
Kojo: What’s there to think about? Can’t a man take his business partner and ex-boss to a funeral seeing as her prize employee cost him his fiancée?
Nkem: Are we now resorting to blackmail?
Kojo: I’ll buy the dress, shoes, all the works.
Nkem: No, thank you. I should have something that will work.
Kojo: Is that a yes? Yipee! Thank you so much: Total lifesaver. Oh and by the way, it’s in Benin.
Nkem: Say that again?
Kojo: You already agreed. Thank you. Thank you. I have to run. Chat later.
Nkem: Hold on…Kojo…
Kojo: I promise we’ll talk later.
TO BE CONTINUED
I did not mean to disappear. I have been too busy to keep up. Here are 2 excerpts to make up for my absence.
Enjoy and do leave a comment.
Kojo and Mike were at a meeting with the core group. These were the men who were influential enough in the party to help Kojo get the support and votes of the delegates in order to win the primaries. It bothered him a bit that they were new acquaintances of his but he trusted Mike with his life. Anyone loyal to Mike was blood to him.
Mike, who he had gone to High school with, was the son of the ex-party chairman. He accommodated his dad and him in his flat in London, when the man went on self-exile due to political persecution years ago. For 3 months, he fed them, drove them to meetings and paid for medical care for Mike’s dad who was hypertensive. When his charges were cleared, he returned to Nigeria and was given a juicy political position. Mike built a chain of hotels and got married with kids but he stayed close to the political structure in Edo state, making him a formidable ally to anyone who wanted to attain any height in the state.
“You need to be more visible. People know you but you need to put yourself out there a bit more,” one of them was saying.
“Yes that is important,” another concurred.
“That can come after the primaries. For now, he needs the endorsement of the party strongmen like Chief Victor. He may have many loyalists as delegates because of his relationship with Chairman. That is the person we need on our side,” Mike said.
“His wife’s mom is being buried this Saturday. She died a few months ago in India,” another volunteered.
“What a pity. May her soul rest in peace,” Kojo said.
“Amen. Now, you need to attend that burial and you need to buy something impressive as a gift,” Mike said.
“Are we talking champagne or gin?” Kojo asked.
The men in the room laughed at him. “You will learn, not to worry,” one said.
“We should be asking how many cows you will buy, in addition to a cash gift.”
“You can even make a donation to the church that will officiate at the burial. I hear she was a staunch member of St. Anne’s. They have been raising funds for the wing they use for the children’s Sunday school. The flood of last year damaged the roof.”
“Hmm…” Kojo stroked his beard thoughtfully. “This is his wife’s mom we’re talking about, not his. How does that impress him enough to get his support?”
“That’s how it works, my brother,” one of them named Agbonsua said. “His wife’s mom is actually from your senatorial zone so it’s a win-win. Not only are you endearing yourself to your potential voters, his wife will be in your corner for honouring her mom and he will see you as a generous man.”
“In this business, you need to have the reputation of generosity,” another man added.
“Exactly,” Mike agreed. “The moment they suspect you are tight-fisted, people will avoid your camp.”
“You need to go with a lady. Don’t you have a girlfriend?” one asked.
“Yes, if you have any, propose to her quickly.”
Kojo burst into laughter. The men joined him not knowing why he laughed. The thought of him proposing to Seun who had opposed his political ambition had just flashed across his mind. He chuckled again at the memory of her prediction. “I’ll show her that all of us are serving God. Is not by tighting ya face,” he thought.
“I fit borrow you babe,” one of the men winked.
“Yeah, right!” he scoffed. “I’ll get someone, not to worry.”
“My guy no get problem for that area. Na dem dey rush am sef!” Mike remarked.
“I know na. No be Efemena son? Oga wey dey be like make him collect everybody wife for village that time. I trust…”
The banter continued as they were served more drinks and food. Mike had warned him to make cash available in plastic bags for each man. Anyone who saw them carrying it would assume it was rice and chicken packaged in a take away pack not knowing it was Kojo’s hard-earned money. As he rose to see to the money he thought to himself that his constituency was lucky he had the fear of God else his first assignment when he won would be to repay himself all the money he was ‘investing’ in winning.
“This thing is not for children,” he thought. “Not at all.’
“You refused to give me your number so I had to find you on twitter.”
“Started from the church, now we’re here.” Seun inserted a rolling eyes smiley.
“Can we have lunch?” Emoche asked.
“I’m too busy, sorry.”
“Why do I feel like you’re curving me? I saved your life remember?”
“And I rewarded you by getting you into Pastor Eka’s good books. Have you met her 3 daughters? Stunners, right?”
“Oh! Is this what the cold attitude is about? You think she introduced me to her daughters and I started something with one or more of them?”
“One or more? Bros, you’re too much!”
“Seun, I am single. Besides, I haven’t met her daughters. She invited me to dinner but I declined. May I have your number now?”
“Don’t you want to meet them first?’
“Seun…don’t make me grovel.”
“Give me yours and I’ll call.”
“Really? Are you going to use that old trick? Like how old do you think I am?”
“Give or take 38.”
“Wow! I actually turn 38 in 3 months. How did you guess?”
“If I tell you, I’ll have to kill you.”
“Lunch, tomorrow, 1pm, any restaurant you choose. If it goes south, you don’t have to give me your number. Deal?”
“I said I’ll be too busy…”
“Seun, I really like you and I want to get to know you. I will go to church and ask around till I get your address and phone number and show up at your office daily till they let me in. Would you rather I did that?”
“I’m not ‘forming’. I’m actually very busy tomorrow. We have a meeting with potential investors over lunch, my C.E.O and I.”
“I can do Friday 7pm, Magenta Bistro. Good for you?”
“A beggar has no choice.”
“Thanks Seun. It’s going to be so much fun. I can’t wait!”
“I have to go now.”
“Okay, then. Thanks again.”
After her class, Seun was making her way to her car when she noticed Mr. Jiggle-My-Ovaries standing by the exit. He wasn’t looking at her but the way he was standing, there was no way she could pass without making eye contact.
“Okay, Seun, tuck in the hormones,” she cautioned herself.
Just as she got to the door, he turned and smiled directly at her. It was a smile that said “I don catch you today!”
She never found out what he was about to say because she suddenly doubled over in pain. The back pain she had experienced before the class returned without warning. He caught her before she got to the floor and lifted her in his arms. If she wasn’t in pain she would have wondered what the members exiting the church would think of his carrying her like his bride when they knew well she was single to stupor. As it stood, she was using all the energy she could muster to keep from screaming in pain.
He was running with her in his arms. “Who is this guy?” she thought.
Then she saw they were at the office of one of the church staff. He pushed the door open with his foot and laid her on the carpet gently.
“What is the matter?” he asked finally.
“My back, it hurts.”
“Has it always hurt?”
The lady whose office they were in was already shouting for someone outside to call the pastor.
“Are you on medication? When last did you see your period? Do you have arthritis?”
He was firing questions at her faster than she could answer. She wondered whether he was a doctor. Then she heard him ask the other lady to help him put her in a particular position on her stomach.
“I’m going to do a manual adjustment. Do you mind?”
“Are you a doctor?” she asked.
“I am a chiropractor.”
“We have those in Nigeria?” she wondered.
“Yes. Do I have your permission?”
While he arranged her body on the carpet, she prayed silently.
“Hold on. Do I have to undress?” she asked.
She heaved a sigh of relief for she knew her pastor and a crowd of anxious church folk would soon show up. It would not do for her to be caught in her underwear under a man in church, even if he said he was a chiropractor.
He ran his hand along her spine, almost tenderly. Then, he motioned to the other lady to move over in order to give him more room. She moved behind her desk to watch. Seun could no longer see her but she could hear her praying in other tongues.
Mr. Jiggle-My-Ovaries began a series of short, sharp manipulations on her back. They did not hurt but she felt they were rather random. It didn’t take long for him to ask her if she felt better.
“Why, yes, I actually do.” She rose and sat up.
“Praise God!” She heard the lady exclaim.
Just then, Pastor Etim and his wife burst in. “What’s going on?” he asked.
She could see behind him one of the deacons who had attempted to cheat her in a business deal gone bad years before. “These people are like cockroaches; you can’t get rid of them,” she thought. “They cling to pastors like moss in order to gain a false credibility that they can use to defraud people. But they make themselves so indispensable that even when you report them, the pastor doesn’t know how to get rid of them.”
“Sister Seun?” he asked again.
“She had a sudden pain in her back that was so severe she couldn’t stand. I had to do an adjustment.”
“Adjustment? Iya mmi!” Pastor Eka exclaimed.
“How do you feel now? Do you need to go to a hospital?” h asked.
“I don’t think so. I feel perfectly fine. Thank you…um…” She stopped short of saying Mr. Jiggle-My-Ovaries.
“My name is Emoche.”
“I’m Seun. Thank you for coming to my rescue.” She couldn’t look away from his eyes. “Does he know what effect his eyes have on people?” she wondered.
“Thank you doctor. God bless you. Do you have a clinic around here?” Pastor Etim asked.
“Actually, I just got into the country last month. I’m supposed to be on vacation but my cousin introduced me to this church so I’ve been coming for 2 weeks.”
“That’s so nice.” Pastor Eka smiled and moved closer so she could shake his hand. “Emoche…what language is that?”
“I am Idoma.”
“That’s nice. Do you have a card or something?”
Pastor Etim had given Seun a hand to enable her rise to her feet during their exchange and was now looking her over as if to assure himself that everything was in order. She smiled to reassure him and saw him let out a breath.
“Thank you doctor. You are a lifesaver. Sister Seun, I insist you get checked out tomorrow. Let my driver drive you home. I don’t think you should drive,” he said.
“I am fine Pastor. I can drive,” she protested.
“I’ll take her home,” Emoche offered.
“Slick move,” Seun thought. “Mr. Jiggle-My-Ovaries gets to know my house and starts turning up at odd hours to check on me. The next thing is I’ve missed my period. Ko le work rara.”
Aloud she said, “I’ll let your driver take me home Pastor. I wouldn’t like to bother Doc any further after he kindly came to my aid.”
“That’s better,” said Pastor Etim. He motioned to his assistant who had hung back at the door and instructed him to get his driver. The deacon went with him, studiously avoiding her gaze.
The group began to make their way to the main hall of the building. Seun observed Pastor Eka surreptitiously pocket the card she collected from him and smiled. “Faith without works,” she thought with a smirk.
“Call me as soon as you get home. I’ll tell Otong to take an uber home,” Pastor Etim said when they got to her car. He had ignored all her protests about being walked to the car. “Aha…he’s here.”
Seun handed her keys to Otong and got in beside him. Emoche hung back. She smiled at him. He had a funny look which she refused to interpret. “Let him escape the clutches of Pastor Eka and her 3 daughters first.” She laughed to herself as Otong sped off.
Nkem was rounding up a phone conversation when Seun came into her office. She signaled that she should take a seat. Seun sat in the chair before her desk and crossed her legs patiently. Watching Nkem handle a conversation that would have thrown most people reminded her of how they met. They were both freshmen in the university trying to find an eatery where the food tasted great and cost as little as possible.
She was studying Mathematics while Nkem was in Civil Engineering. Nkem overheard her asking a classmate for directions to ‘Egusi Patrol’ and warned her, “I wouldn’t bother if I were you.”
“Why?” she had asked, frowning.
“Their egusi tastes like it was made with engine oil. I don’t know why students have not renamed them “Engine oil Patrol’. Yuck!” She spat.
“And worse…Let’s go to Aunty Bim Bim. My brother recommends her and he is a picky eater,” Nkem suggested.
“I hope the prices are fair. I am a picky ‘spender’” Seun retorted.
Nkem bowled over laughing. “You must be funny,” she managed to gasp.
Seun merely smiled. They became inseparable after that day, even when they stopped sharing courses. They joined the same school fellowship, lived in the same rooms and spent as much of their holidays together as they could (even though Nkem lived in Enugu and she in Port-Harcourt). After NYSC in 2 different states, Nkem had gone to Scotland for her masters while Seun got a job as a lecturer in the university she graduated from as she was the best graduating student. When Nkem returned to start a firm that manufactured essential parts for smart phones, she invited Seun to join her as COO (Chief operations officer). 2 years later, Seun owned 15% of their stock and had been responsible for much of the growth of the company. Their friendship had blossomed as well, deepening over the years to where they completed each other’s sentences to the amazement of their staff.
Nkem ended her call and dropped the phone to run both hands through her hair; a sign she was really frustrated. Seun knew how much she hated mussing her beautiful long hair.
“What’s going on?”
“That man is getting on my nerves.”
“Which man: the man who asked you out last week or the one you met on social media?”
“Social media? Get serious. I am talking about the Chairman of the parastatal that needs to give us a license for the next phase of our Nightingale project.”
“What is he saying?”
“First he asked for us to meet for lunch. I sent Idris. He nearly spat at the poor guy.”
“Next he asked for me to send him ‘special pictures’. I told him I am not photogenic.”
Seun laughed again.
“Now he is saying the only way he can grant the license is for me to accompany him to a conference in Switzerland next week.”
Seun was thoughtful. “Hmmm…”
“What is wrong with these men? Na single I single, I no kill persin na!” Nkem attempted to laugh her anger away but her voice was tense.
“Did he say next week?” Seun asked.
“Yes. He says he is hiring a private jet on Saturday.”
“He will call you tomorrow to apologise. That license will be granted on Thursday.”
“Eh eh? Just like that?” Nkem doubted. “Shouldn’t we declare a fast or something? Maybe do midnight prayer?”
“While you were talking about him, I saw him on his knees, begging someone not to fire him. The case is above us. I don’t think we need to pray.”
“Hei! Seun special! I di too much! God bless the day we met, biko. So, one bro will just marry you and be enjoying all this unction alone?” Nkem clapped her hands. “I sha have to approve him so he won’t take you away from me, abeg.”
“Mtchewww. I am not anybody special.” Seun rolled her eyes. She got to her feet. “Is there anything else?”
“No…you have shaved 10 years off my age already. I had worried myself sick.”
Seun chuckled. “Nkem,fi mi le jare.”
“Exactly what I was saying to him,” Nkem joked.
Seun made a face at her before making her exit to Nkem’s belly laugh.
TO BE CONTINUED
PS: I think the title stays. I was thinking of changing it when the scripture that says “We have an unction from the Holy One and we know all things” bubbled up from within me.
Also if you are a parent and you haven’t registered for my online course wyd? Check out my post titled online courses.
Cheers and do click on the title to leave a comment.
Kojo watched Seun and Nkem rush out of the restaurant and wished, like he had on several occasions, that he could wring Seun’s neck. Scratch that…wringing her neck would put him in jail. He wished he could tell her exactly how he felt. Shoot! His feelings were more romantic than irritated and he could not explain why this was so.
They had been rivals almost from the day they met. As he took his seat, still fuming, he remembered being introduced to her as a new hire at Logixx. He could barely focus on what she was saying. “Her smile…it lights up the brown flecks in her eyes. She’s so cute. And she doesn’t even know it,” he thought.
He soon discovered that she did not take kindly to being teased. It was in his nature to flirt (he thought it was harmless. Besides, many ladies found it flattering). Seun hated it. He felt she carried her relationship with God like a burden. Why would God have anything against paying ladies a compliment (howbeit occasionally exaggerated)? “My God is not uptight abeg!” he thought.
Abike was the girlfriend he hoped to end up marrying. He was serious about her. The rest were only fun to hang out with. She was the take-me-home-to mama type. He clearly remembered inviting her to the office Christmas dinner. Proud of the attention they generated, two tall, good- looking people who were deeply in love, he led her to the edge of the room to introduce her to Seun. As usual, she had no date and was standing there in an unremarkable dress; sipping what he was sure was fruit juice. He wanted her to wish she was the one in Abike’s place. He wanted her to lose her cool. He wanted her to want him; though he only admitted he had those thoughts after 3 years had passed.
Seun had fixed her gaze on Abike while they shook hands, till the girl became uncomfortable. He didn’t blame her. It had taken him months to get used to her piercing gaze that threatened to unmask all your secrets; like the fact that he could not remember when last he prayed or read his bible even though he was born again. It was nobody’s business. After all, God wasn’t complaining.
“Why won’t you tell him what you really think about him?” Seun had blurted just as Kojo excused himself to get Abike something to eat.
He turned back, confused. “What was that?”
“I’ll go use the ladies,” Seun replied. “You both have a lot to talk about.” With that, she left a bewildered Abike and a perplexed Kojo alone.
“Sweet…what is going on? Do you feel ill? You look like you’ve seen a ghost!”
“Who is that lady? Is she psychic or what?”
“Who, Seun? No. Why?”
“Never mind. I think we should leave. I’m not enjoying myself. This party isn’t much fun.”
He wanted to argue but something in her manner stopped him. That was the beginning of the end of their relationship. Abike became cold. She stopped picking his calls, reading his messages or replying as before. He held on for months, begging, cajoling but it soon dawned on him that he was in a relationship with himself. That was when he found the courage to move on.
Mike punched his friend’s shoulder playfully. “You mean you want to step down because of a prophecy or revelation from a dubious character who may have been paid by your opponents to discourage you? Kojo, are you under a spell?”
“I am not under any spell!”
“So why are we having this discussion? You are passionate about Nigeria. One of the reasons you returned to the country was to vie for public office. You have said it on many occasions, the present crop of politicians is building our much needed infrastructure in their rotund tummies. Who will bell the cat if you shirk the responsibility?”
Kojo rubbed his chin, deep in thought.
“Your father’s reputation as an astute politician has already given you a platform. There is no man or woman in your senatorial district who does not believe in him.”
“I am not my father…”
“You don’t have to be. All you need is his name. When you get in, you can build a legacy for yourself. Then you will have enough loyalists such that you will no longer need his name to open doors for you.”
“Mike, you know I have always wanted to take my father’s old seat in the senate. I want it so badly that I have turned down millions of naira in offers for me to step down and support Veno. My mom won’t let me give up that dream, even if I wanted to.”
“Now you’re talking! I have offered to buy the nomination form for you, as a gesture of support. Should I transfer the money to their account now?” Mike held up his phone.
“The deadline is Friday.”
Kojo bit his lip. “Do it.”
Mike smiled as he began to initiate the transfer. Kojo leaned back in his sofa, intertwining his fingers behind his head. He let out the breath he didn’t even know he had been holding.
‘I guess there’s no going back now?”
“Forward ever, my man, forward ever,” Mike replied. His phone rang just then. Kojo closed his eyes, his mind wandering to Seun and her numerous predictions that had come through over the years he had known her.
“This one cannot come to pass. Me too, I am God’s child and I know he needs people like me in government. I have a fair chance of winning. Besides, I can always get prayer support from pastors and prayer warriors. Seun can dive into the lagoon for all I care.”
Seun was driving herself to church after work. It was a Wednesday and that meant bible study at Jesus Centre Church. The congregation would be split into classes of 20-30 under a coordinator. Classes were interactive and highly enlightening which accounted for the high turnout. Apart from teaching the word, the gifts of the Spirit were demonstrated and activated in as many as were willing. Seun was one of the teachers and always had to turn people away from her class to join other classes.
As she parked, she felt a sharp pain in her back. She put her hand there and probed gently. Nothing appeared wrong so she dismissed it. She got out and locked the car behind her, stepping carefully around the puddles of water that had collected in the parking lot. It had rained that afternoon.
“Thank God we fixed this lot. It would have been a nightmare with the flooding this year,” she thought.
She was already at the door when she got a text notification. It informed her that she was to take Class C, cordoned off to the left of the seats in the section where the choir sat on Sundays. She headed there, taking note that the seats were filling fast, even though people were not told who would be teaching their class.
Someone bumped into her, jostling her out of dream world. “Oops! I didn’t see you coming. Pardon my clumsiness.”
She found herself gazing into the sexiest eyes she had ever seen. They belonged to a tall, fair man whose genes had blessed with eyes that were so brown they almost looked grey. His handsome face was beaming at her. “Really?” she thought. “I have a class to teach and Mr. Jiggle-My-Ovaries appears out of the woodwork? Not today satan!”
He was still apologizing. “I hope you are okay?”
“How can I be okay, when your cheekbones are higher than Naomi Campbell’s?” she thought. “Where is the church security when you need them? They should learn to screen overly gorgeous men at the gate. God’s daughters don’t need this assault.”
By now the man was staring at her, puzzled by her silence. She waved him off, not trusting her powers of speech and walked away. She could feel his eyes boring into her from behind but she resisted the urge to turn. Her steps were slower and more intentional though; the ever so subtle revolutions of her waist, calculated to leave a good impression.
“If he’s going to watch, I might as well be a blessing to his life,” she thought and smiled to herself.
TO BE CONTINUED
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