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Bela and Michael said good-byes after a brief introduction when service ended. Michael was the handsome guy who had mistakenly bumped into her during service earlier that day. He would have dropped her off, for she came without her car, but Bela had politely declined with an excuse, not wanting to look desperate. Therefore, they just exchanged contacts and agreed to catch up somewhere later on in the evening.
Afterwards, Bela took the passage to the Church office blocks to catch up with Rita for a ride home. She had caught a glimpse of her taking that bend, and it didn’t seem she would be waiting for the next service that day.
On getting there, she peeped and saw Rita pacing up and down the corridor to Mummy’s office.
“What’s up Rita? I’ve been spying on you for the past five minutes. What are you up to? Why are you pacing up and down like an expectant father?”
“Bela!!!!” Rita exclaimed. “How could you come to church in this!” She screamed examining her quizzically.
“Babe, abeg leave that one…” She snapped jokingly. “Are you OK?”
“Hmmmm… Not quite” Rita replied without thinking.
“See Bela, a lot is going on with me right now and I really need to talk to someone” she blurted, “only that I don’t know whom to talk to”
“With all the pastors and matured people around you?” Bela asked surprised
“Agreed Bela, but would they understand? Could they ever?”
“Hush!” Bela suddenly said blocking Rita’s mouth with her hand as though trying to catch up on something. Rita objected, but she hushed her again,
Mummy’s conversation with two other pastor’s wives seeped through the doorway filtering into the passage as the door to her office was slightly open.
They were chatting away excitedly.
“Bela, you know it’s wrong to eavesdrop…” Rita begun again…
“Hush! Just listen …”
Rita’s curiosity had gotten the best of her and she obeyed gullibly…
“Mummy, I tire o… only God knows what the world is turning to. An increasing number of young women are attesting to illicit affairs… I was listening to Heart Issues on Country FM the other day and Mummy, you really should know how many ladies called in to narrate their ordeals and seek help from their struggles……
“The sad thing is there was really no tangible help- just outright condemnations or poor-you’s, pats on the back, even some kudos and everything-is-going-to-be-alright’s from other callers…” Pastor Sade said.
“How carnal can you be! You mean you listen to such ungodly and unspiritual stuff on the radio …While souls are perishing…?” exclaimed Pastor Dorcas.
“Don’t judge so fast dear…” Mummy cut in to save the day. “While you may not be fanatical about such programs, neither should you totally block your ears nor close your eyes to any platform where everyday people seek help from their struggles and real-life predicaments…
“For all you care, some of those callers are hidden among the happy faces who smile radiantly at you every single day …”
“I guess she’d probably just faint should her house help confide in her that she just had an abortion right under her probing nose…” Sade teased tickling Dorcas…
“I reject that in Jesus’ name!” Dorcas quickly interjected snapping her fingers vehemently.
At this, Rita and Bela couldn’t help laughing…
“…now beware of ‘jestings which are not convenient’ as Paul exhorted”. Mummy scolded cheerily and the women laughed heartily as they made for the door to attend the next service barely missing the two naughty friends who had scurried out of the way.
Definitely, Rita had heard more than enough to confirm whom …
The Sweet Temptation which is now LIVE on Okada Books.
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