SPOILT AT CHURCH
© Bosede Fagbemi
When Revd. Bamiro asked the worshippers to stand up for the prayer at the end of the bible study, Kike saw an opportunity and quickly grabbed it.
Moving out of the auditorium, she prayed her Mum wouldn’t notice her absence. Leaving the church during a service was against her family rules and regulations for Christian living, and considered a grievous sin. She knew what the consequence would be if caught. But then, the need to leave outweighed whatever punishment was in store for her. Therefore, she took the risk, while earnestly praying her parents wouldn’t notice, especially her eagle-eyed Mum.
Kike hated church mid-week services, particularly bible studies and prayer meetings. She doesn’t mind being at the choir practice; where she always had the opportunity of showcasing her talent, or the youth meeting; where she would be free to do whatever she liked, without her parents watching her. But she detests services involving her and the adults.
To Kike, bible study is boring and depressing. She often questions herself on what else she needed to know in the bible. At age 17, she had read the bible through three times, since that was needed to qualify for various organizational requirements in the church. She knew all the events in the bible as she knew the palms of her hands and her name. Since she had represented the church in countless bible competitions and won many awards, she saw no new thing in the bible that warrant adults coming to church every week to debate on, and even tagging their innocent children along.
She envied friends whose parents aren’t strict on taking to church for mid-week services. Those were the busy types, or those who don’t deem it necessary that children should be in church. Kike would give anything to be in their shoes. Anything to be at home now, watching a film, reading a novel, or just doing anything different from being here and pitying herself.
As she left the church compound hastily, she almost collided with a friend; Martha, who was rushing to join the service. Accepting her apology, Martha asked why she was in a hurry.
“I need to catch up with someone,” Kike replied. “By the way, why are you late?” She equally asked.
“Mum came back late from work. I was all along waiting for her, not knowing she wouldn’t make it.”
“You mean your parents are not here?”
“Yes! Dad is not in town.”
“Then why are you here?” Kike asked.
“Because I want to be.” Martha replied, “I like being in church. Please let me rush in before I miss a good part of the prayers.”
Martha left Kike standing and gaping after her.
“Imagine her coming for bible study without being forced,” she said. “I wish we can exchange parents.”
Because she had lost more time, Kike walked briskly, a little short of running. She turned a corner and moved into a dark cluster of trees. Turning her head left, then right, she moved towards an uncompleted building, where a lone man stood.
“What kept you long?” the man asked, drawing her towards him.
“Same old story,” she replied.
“I’m getting tired of this hide and seek game,” he said, shrugging. I wonder why your parents are behaving like mother hens watching over their chicks. I prefer a girl with freedom, a girl that I can see any time I want. There are countless girls that would give anything to be my girlfriend, even in the church.”
“Why are you talking like this?” Kike asked.
“To let you know I might move on if things don’t change.”
“Please now Jide,” she pleaded. “Please don’t leave me, you know I love you.”
“I know!” he replied, drawing her closer. “Don’t mind me, I love you too. It’s just that I want more of you, morning, afternoon and night.”
“Good! but we need a little more patience. Once I get into the university, I will have all the freedom I want in the world.”
“That’s my girl, now let’s have a quick one.” He said.
“No Jide,” Kike protested drawing back from him, “not today.”
“Why not?” Jide asked. “I might not have the chance to be alone with you again for the next two weeks. And being my only girl, you have to satisfy me.”
“Today is not right. I don’t have much time to spare, and there’s an issue I want us to discuss.”
“What issue? Jide asked. “I want you here and now,” he insisted.
“Ha! We are having too much sex.” Kike replied. “I’m beginning to feel guilty. We should engage in productive activities.”
“Like?” Jide asked. “For crying out loud, when and how do we engage in productive activities? In the dark? In an uncompleted building? Do you have time for me? Maybe we should make babies as a productive activity. I will gladly ditch my cd, if that’s what you want.”
Kike’s heart sank at the mention of babies. Does he know? Is it obvious? Is it possible?
“That is even…” she started to say, but he cut her short.
“Feeling guilty is not in the equation of love. Forget about what you hear, or what is taught in the church. It’s not easy for a relationship to survive without sx. You are just 17, with years before we can get married. Do you expect me to stay for those years without sx? It won’t be possible, lailai.”
“But we are choristers, who sing that fornication is not good. You are also a Sunday school teacher. Won’t God get angry and kill us the way he killed Ananias and Sapphira because of our pretense?”
“That? God is a merciful God. If not, a good number of our church members would be dead by now. See! I can bet you that 80% of the youths in the choir are doing it. You talk as if fornication is the only sin God frowns at. There are bigger sins.”
“I insist we should reduce our intimate encounters.”
Jide looked her up and down and turned his head in anger. “Why this talk sef?” He asked. “Is this the first time I’m demanding for it? Have we not had it countless times? What is new? You weren’t even a virgin when we first met? Were you not exposed before I had you? I knew the kind of challenge I would face by dating a church girl like you, with your spiricoco mother and your deacon father. But I threw caution to the wind, tamed my fear with the hope that I would meet you as a virgin.”
“Please stop,” Kike cried, covering her ears.
“Stop what? The first misgiving I had about this relationship was that, you gave no resistance to my love advances at the first trial. You fell cheap, so cheap. I was very surprised that your gate was without a barrier. And when I got in, Instead of meeting a narrow way that would lead me to paradise, it was a broad and worn out way. I pray you will not lead me to hell.”
“Anyway, keep your body, and let me know where you want this relationship to lead to.”
Leaving her standing, he kids into the darkness.
Kike sank unto her knees, and burst into tears.
What will I do without you Jide? She whimpered. Oh God! And what am I supposed to do? He never cared to hear what I wanted to tell him.
She stood up and cleaned her face. Following Jide was out of context, except she wants to get into a trouble that would further compound her problem. She brushed down her gown, and ran all the way to the church. Into the waiting arms of a visibly enraged Mum, and a confused Dad.
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