Tunji and Abimbola were in their pastor’s office to inform him of their intention to get married.
“Brother Lawal, I was waiting for you both to come sooner.” Pastor James said.
Tunji and Abimbola exchanged a knowing look and smiled. “Pastor, we would have come sooner but we wanted to give our children enough time… especially Mosope.”
Pastor James nodded slowly “Yes, I understand.”
“Sister Abimbola, are your children in support?”
“Yes, they are pastor. In fact, I was surprised by their reaction. My first son said ‘finally mummy, we had been waiting to hear this for ages.’
“We thank God.” Pastor James said. “Brother Lawal, how did Gbenga take the news?”
“Gbenga is fully in support. I invited him over to the house and we discussed at length. I haven’t told Mosope yet.”
Pastor James nodded. “I understand why you haven’t told Sope but you have to tell her soon Brother Lawal.”
“Yes pastor, I intend to tell her this weekend. She’s spending the weekend with Dolapo and she’ll be back tomorrow.”
“Okay good. How is she these days? I can’t remember the last time I saw her. I was told she goes to a different church now.”
Tunji sighed and Abimbola placed her hand on his. “Mosope just seems to be going down a slippery slope.” He closed his eyes tightly and opened them. “I don’t know my daughter anymore.”
“It is well, my brother. All we can do is continuing praying for her. Some people need to be completely lost before they find God for themselves.”
“Amen.” Abimbola and Tunji chorused.
“So, has the date been fixed?”
“We are thinking of December, when so Abimbola’s children will be in the country.”Abimbola’s children were based in the UK and both came to Nigeria every chirstmas with their families.
“When can we begin premarital counselling Sir?” Abimbola asked.
Pastor James laughed. “You’ll both be the oldest members of the class but it’ll be good to have a refresher course.”
“I agree sir. Tunji replied.
“I need to confirm when the next class is starting.” Pastor James reached for his diary. “Oh! Its round the corner, in two weeks. You should both pick out the forms from the church secretary on your way out and bring it with you to the first class.”
“Okay Pastor.” Abimbola replied.
They chatted for a few minutes and prayed before leaving the pastor’s office.
Bode was at his friend Patrick’s house. He had hitched a ride with him after worker’s meeting because his car was at the mechanic. The two friends were enjoying jollof rice and chicken prepared by Patrick’s wife.
“Guy, I think you should move on already, it’s been how many months now?” Patrick said before lifting a spoonful of rice into his mouth.
“One year, three months and seven days.”
“Ahhhh, you are busy counting. Sope has move on oh. Last I heard, she was dating Yinka Da Silva.”
Bode shut his eyes tight, the words he heard felt like a knife slicing through his heart. He had heard rumours about Sope’s new found love but he refused to believe them. He reached for his glass of water and took a gulp.
“I’m not only heartbroken but disappointed. What she sees in that bad boy baffles me.”
“Baffle you ke? That guy has a PHD in Womanology! He can have any woman he wants oh. With his looks, charm and money. ”
“But he’s clearly not saved!”
“You are still speaking Christianese Bode.”
“So the question is, is she still a believer?”
Bode still thought about Mosope every day. He was really shaken by their breakup that he lost so much weight because he couldn’t eat. Even his boss had to order him to take an unpaid leave for a month when his performance at work began to drop.
“I told you about my cousin, Nene. She’s correct wife material, Bode. Not just that alone, she’s also on fire for God. I think you two will get along very well.”
“When did you become a matchmaker Patrick?” Bode asked.
“Since my friend got heartbroken oh. It was even Adaobi who suggested it to me.”
At the sound of her name, Patrick’s wife walks in. “Bode, I think you’ll like Nene. She’s very lovely.”
“I know you mean well Mrs A, but-”
“But what?” Patrick cut in.
“I don’t think I’m over Sope yet.”
Husband and wife looked at each other and smiled. When Adaobi told her husband she wanted to introduce Nene to Bode, Patrick had said he didn’t think Bode was over Sope yet. She had insisted that it was worth trying.
“Just one date, Bode.” Patrick raised his eyebrows “One.”
Bode sighed. He had better give into this date if not, Patrick would keep pestering him.
What If she wasn’t like Sope? He remembered Sope’s sweet smile.
“Bode?” Patrick called.
“Sorry, what did you say?”
“Adaobi was asking you if you wanted her number?”
“Yeah…okay.” He brought out his phone and saved her number.
“I’ll tell her I gave you her number, just make sure you call her soon okay?”Adaobi pleaded.
“Okay, you have my word.”
“Thank you.”She responded.
“Thanks for the meal Mrs A, it was on point as usual.”
“My wife makes the best jollof rice.” Patrick said and winked at his wife.
“You are welcome Bode. I can pack a bowl for you when you are going home.”
“Bode go and marry!”
Gbenga and Onyinye were in their bedroom, ready to retire for the night. Onyinye had just tucked in Deborah, who was sleeping in her room.
“Gbenga, so have they fixed a date yet?”
“Daddy was saying around Christmas, so aunty Abi’s children can come into the country.”
Onyinye sat up. “That’s about…6 months away.” Onyinye said.
“Yeah…it’ll be a small-”
“We have to start planning straightaway oh!” She threw her hands up in the air in excitement. “I know a very good wedding planner on Instagram, I’ve been following her for a while. We can pick colours, so we can buy the aso ebi-”
“Calm down, see you getting all excited. Do you think they’ll want aso ebi considering their age and the fact that they’ve both been married preciously?”
“It doesn’t matter jare, it’s a joyous occasion.”
“Yes, it is, but I’d prefer an intimate ceremony with just family and closest friends. I don’t like all those Nigerian carnival weddings.”
Onyinye picked up her phone and opened to the event planner’s page on Instagram. “Gbenga see her page.” She handed her phone to her husband.
“Hmmmm this looks very good.” He said as he scrolled down her instagram page. “I hope she won’t cost a fortune though?”
“I’ll send her a DM*.”
”Like I said, an intimate ceremony for about 100 people.”
Onyinye laughed.”Very funny Gbenga, 100 people? Let’s see how we’ll manage that. When even family members alone are already up to 100.”
Gbenga handed the phone back to her and checked his phone for messages.
“I’m worried about Sope you know. I felt uneasy in my spirit so I called her.”
“Yeah, I heard when you were on the phone to her.”
“She cut me off and I sent her a message which has obviously read and hasn’t replied.”
“Maybe she’s busy, I’m sure she’ll call you back.
“Please mention her as you pray.”
“I will love. Let’s pray.”
Sope opened her eyes and looked at her surroundings, it was unfamiliar. Why did her room look so different? And what was that smell? Was something burning? Then she saw a male figure sitting on the side of the bed with what looked like a cigarette stick in his hand.
Then it hit her.
She touched her body underneath the duvet and confirmed her fears. She touched the lower part of her body, no clothes on either. Her eyes flew open. “Oh my goodness!” she exclaimed.
“Morning sweetheart.” Yinka turned to her. “Last night was amazing.” He said with a wide grin and winked.
“Oh Jesus.” Sope cried. She rose from the bed and covered whatever dignity she had left with the duvet and ran into the bathroom. She locked the door and sat on the floor as tears flooded her eyes. She tried to remember what had happened.
Yinka had brought the wine she asked for and they had dinner. He made egg fried rice and shredded beef which was very tasty and she was impressed. He kept refiling her glass with wine. When she protested, he told her it was good for her heart.
After the meal, he told her there was dessert but she declined because she was stuffed. So, he suggested they watch a movie and dessert could come later. She picked out a comedy for them to watch and they both sat on the same sofa to watch the movie.
“Why did you switch off the lights?” Mosope asked.
“Dunno…to create the right mood I uppose.”Yinka answered.
As the movie went on, Yinka moved closer to her and caressed her face and her hair and then tried to kiss her. He had tried to kiss her twice in the past but she had turned him down but this time around she couldn’t resist him. Breathless, Mosope pulled back.
“Oh baby.” Yinka said as he kissed her again, pulling down any walls of resistance she had left.
She heard a knock on the door.
“Sope, we are running late for church. Please hurry up, you know I’m ushering today.”
“Okay.” She mumbled.
How could she go to church today and pretend nothing happened? Will God should understand?
She turned on the tap and tried to scrub away her guilt.
• DM – Direct Message