Ella Jacobs hurried into the almost-filled church, her eyes
searching for an empty chair. An usher smiled at her and pointed her to another usher ahead, who directed her to a vacant seat. She walked briskly, her face down, feeling as though all eyes were on her despite the fact that majority of the eyes there were shut. She dropped her bag on the chair and shut her eyes in prayer.
A while after, Ella opened her eyes. On the pastor’s order, she
turned to her left to pray with her neighbour. She froze and stared at the figure facing her. The sound from the speakers around precipitously fainted. The voices of people became distant. And the intermittent shout of the pastor on the altar fell to the background. Her mind must be playing tricks on her, she thought. She blinked. The figure was too good to be real. A tall man, about6’ 2”, with thin musculature that betrayed his masculinity but graced his
appearance, and a well cut out face that displayed the grace with which God creates. He looked nothing less than a model on a fashion magazine. His clean cut disclosed a skilled barber did it recently. Hisheart-shape face, brown eyes with thick eyebrows hanging protectively over them like knights, and nose like a small almond fruit, were likenever she had seen. He had a one-sided dimple that branded his smile ina stylish way. Judging by his set of teeth, he could be taken for a dentist
or an ambassador for a brand of toothpaste. They were like sparkling gems, and his lips were liberal to expose them at every smile. The branded navy blue suit he was wearing, which had a tag showing thelogo of the church on its lapel, exaggerated his spotlessly fair complexion. Ella’s eyelids fluttered. To have gotten that special tag, he
couldn’t be but a ranked member of the church. But what was he doing amidst the congregation? He should have sat on the altar. Her eyes fell on his trousers. He must have aggressively ironed it for traveller’s creases to be so evident on it, she thought. His shoes were simple, but not like his brothers’. Even her dad, who was considered the richest in her family, in all his glory couldn’t have afforded the shoes. Her stomach rumbled. What time didn’t permit her to do was drool.
“Hello, did you get the prayer point?” he said, smiling.
She shivered. His voice nailed it. It must have been an angel’s indisguise. How could a man have such a pleasant voice? “U-uh yes, Idid,” she said. The environment, which had been somewhat distant few minutes ago, came alive again and she realized she had been lost in admiration of her neighbour, which the pastor had instructed her to hold and pray with. She held his hands, closed her eyes, and opened her mouth but words stuck to her throat. His hands were warm, suddenly making her realize hers were cold. She forced her mind off him but all she could do was hit her lips against each other continuously and nod her head. Her mind was choked to know what to pray for.“In Jesus mighty name we have prayed,” the pastor said from thealtar.
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