SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 7th, 2014.
Laide Igbinedion watched on as Priye led select members of the music group in doing a special birthday rendition for her. She nodded her head to the music, enjoying the feel of the song, oblivious of the fact that she was on the big screen.
She froze momentarily as her eyes caught her image on the big screen, with her head bopping to the music.
Her reaction amused a section of the church as giggling sounds riddled the hall, followed by an applause with isolated chants of, we love you mama!
She smiled shyly in appreciation of the gesture, looking straight up to the altar as the special number tailed off.
‘Thank you so much music group for that song to a woman who’s been a pillar of support both to me and the work of this ministry,’ Pastor Michael Igbinedion started, his voice heavy with gratitude and his eyes filled with a sense of pride as he spoke about his wife.
‘She said yes to me when I couldn’t afford to buy her a box of chocolate and trusted me enough to become the very first member of this church, letting me practice my preaching skills and God’s word on her,’ Pastor Michael continued to an emotive audience who interjected his speech with either cheers, chants, or applause.
‘I love you very much,’ he said in a voice thick with desire and want. His frame turned away from the audience to the direction of his wife, whose image was back on the big screen as she pursed her lips, mouthing an inaudible appreciation to her husband, the love of her life.
The big screen captured quick shots of members of the congregation, particularly ladies, who had this, why is this not happening to me? Kind of smile, plastered on their faces. Their eyes filled with a longing for such an expression of love. One of the faces captured on the big screen, actually had a tear drop from her eyes, but quickly used a handkerchief when she saw her face on the big screen.
The men, especially the married ones were not smiling. The pastor was making them look bad.
‘I still don’t have a box of chocolate right now, but I have a box,’ Pastor Michael said as he shook his left hand to draw attention to a small black box in his hand.
If they were not already married and expecting their second child, it would look like a perfect casing for a ring -maybe just a tad bigger.
‘I know you’re curious to know what my gift is,’ the Pastor teased.
‘Yes!!’ the congregation screamed. A ‘Yes’ that was mostly dominated by excited female shrieks.
Pastor Michael Igbinedion smiled, exposing a perfect set of dentition. ‘I’d like to share, but I’m so sorry, my time is up on this stage,’ he joked amidst cheerful protestations from the congregation. ‘Please do help me make welcome, the best choir in the land!’ the pastor announced as he walked off the stage, smiling as he did so, to the applause of the congregation.
*** *** ***
Gwarimpa Estate, Abuja.
Laide snuggled up to her husband on the couch, placing her head on his chest. Her face lighting up the room with her smiles as her eyes twinkled like the glitters from a diamond piece.
She had just seen off Nike, her husband’s personal assistant, who insisted on doing the dishes to the door, and finally, she had the house to just herself and her husband as their six year old son, Jeremiah, was already fast asleep.
‘How did you pull off this surprise birthday party for me, man of God,’ she teased, emphasizing the ‘man of God’, to show her mischievous intent.
Michael smiled, ‘this man of God had no hand in that miracle, all of that was Nike’s idea.’
‘Really?’ Laide gasped, turning her head to catch her husband’s eyes.
‘True,’ Michael replied. ‘I still don’t know how she managed to pull this one off, imagine the calibre of persons she brought to the house…’
‘Yea, even Bishop Desmond,’ Laide interrupted, ‘that girl is something else,’ she said as she shifted up the frame of her husband’s body, planting a wet kiss on his lips. ‘I love you so much honey,’ she whispered.
‘I love you too,’ Michael replied.
‘And I couldn’t have imagined a Honda crosstour,’ Laide said, her eyes searching deep into her husbands’. ‘How did you do that?’
‘I knew I would answer this question for buying you that gift,’ Michael said, breaking into a grin. ‘I saved.’
‘Don’t be naughty jare, tell me,’ Laide probed.
‘I’m serious, I saved,’ he insisted. ‘And the publisher also supported with a check,’ Michael added, with the grin on his face growing bigger. ‘But if you don’t like it, I can take it back.’
‘Take what back?’ Laide asked, getting off her husband’s body in a quick movement. Her lips curved in a smile.
Michael laughed. He knew that suggestion would end the interrogation and had prepared it as his last resort. ‘Take the car …’
Laide closed her husband’s mouth with another kiss, stifling his words. Her right hand circling around his neck for a proper angle. ‘What are you doing?’
‘What?’ Michael asked, staring straight into his wife’s eyes.
‘Why are you giving me the pastors’ kiss?’ Laide questioned as she bit her husband’s lips softly, clasping her hands around his back. She ran her lips to her husband’s ears and cooed sweetly into them, ‘I want you.’
Michael munched on his wife’s lips, tasting first hand her desire from her lips. He expertly manoeuvred himself up from his sitting position and then cradled his wife in his arms like a baby. His muscles taut and strong. ‘We’re eight months gone.’
‘You talk like a first time father. Even on the day of my delivery we can still do this,’ Laide said, speaking to the doubts she could see in her husband’s eyes as her protruding tummy came into view. ‘Take me to your altar, pastor, don’t delay the sacrifice,’ she whispered, sucking on her index finger.
Michael smiled as he carried his wife to the bedroom. She knew the right things both to say and do to have him raring to go. His eyes blazed with passion as he watched her run her fingers on his lips. As he crossed the entrance of the bedroom, the craving in his wife’s eyes warned him that today’s praise and worship session would be special.
*** *** ***
She pranced around in her room like an angered tigress, seething with rage as her eyes caught the clock on the wall. It read 8:52.
He promised he was going to come and even went as far as re-assuring her that no matter how late it was, he would make the visit.
He obviously would not be coming today, ‘not this late,’ she cursed under her breath. To think that she had been pleased that her brother’s absence would create space for them to spend some good time together and then this disappointment.
A weekend of being alone in such a big house didn’t look too bad until he refused to show up, first yesterday, and now today.
She wished her brother hadn’t even travelled, but thank God, he would be home by tomorrow evening, by the time she would return back from work. Atleast, there would be someone to talk to.
Her phone beeped on the bed and she picked it up, her mind flirting with the thought that maybe, he had pinged to say he was sorry for his absence.
I love you so much boo. Sweet dreams my love.
She made a hissing sound as she saw the message, scrolling to the home page of her phone. She tapped on the #, 3, 1, # buttons in that sequence, and went ahead to type in some eleven digits before tapping the ‘send’ button.
She placed the phone on her left ear as she listened to the buzzing sound from the receiver.
She tried two more times and received the same response. She cursed again, wrapping her night robe around her much more sexy lingerie, before climbing into the bed, slipping under the cover of the duvet. It was a cold night and she needed all the cover she could get. Thank God, she had called as a ghost.
*** *** ***
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 8th, 2014.
Gwarimpa Estate, Abuja.
Laide crept back into bed beside her sleeping husband. She was eager to go back to sleep to continue the sweet dream that the ‘pissing’ sensation had temporarily disturbed.
As she tried to muster some sleep, the flashing light from the phone made it mission impossible as it pierced her sleepy eyes. She reached out for the phone to see what the notification was.
3 missed calls.
It was her husband’s phone, so she dropped it back on the bedside drawer, turning her face away from the disturbing flashing light.
She could feel her husband’s breath on her face as he slept peacefully, while she shifted uneasily, unable to sleep, with him breathing so close.
She turned back to the direction of the flashing lights and made to turn the face of the phone downward to veil the beeping, when she felt the urge to check on who it was that had called her husband. It could be for something serious.
She tapped on the view icon and there it was showing that the same number had called thrice. A frown formed on her face as she stared at the number. The flashing light had since stopped as she had checked the notification but as she drifted off to sleep, the number she had just seen on her husband’s phone was the last thing on her mind, Unknown number.
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