I frowned. Why is she calling me that.
I shrugged and said ‘I no go marry any wife. I want to be a reverend father’.
Everybody laughed and chorused ‘pastorrrr’. I smiled as they laughed the more.
I liked Biliki but I hated to be called her husband. I would cover up my crush by rejecting the title and claiming I wanted to be a reverend father. It was easy to understand why I wanted to be a reverend father. The landlord was a chaplain in the Nigerian army and they all felt my ambition was to be like him.
‘Uh, you just dey deceive yourself. Whether you like am or not, you go marry my pikin‘, Biliki’s mother laughed and walked away as I stamped my feet in protest that I hated what she was saying.
I was barely seven then. But I was called pastor or father from that day. Even those who didn’t know what I preferred to be called, called me the same.
At age 15, I became a regional prayer warrior in my church. I later entered the university and refused to join any campus fellowship. Instead I socialized more and mingled with women. I remember having a couple of unserious relationships most of which didn’t last beyond two days. Yet my school colleagues, even the ladies I had the two day romantic escapades with kept calling me pastor.
While serving, I became a zonal coordinator of the Nigerian Christian Corpers Fellowship in a community in Rivers State.
I was still answering pastor in the organization where I got employed after Youth Service when my colleagues added another title to my name- Tosin’s Sweetheart.
The funny thing is that I didn’t have a crush on any lady in my office until Tosin was employed. Even at that, I still was not interested in her. But we worked together on more occasions than I worked with any other colleague. I guess that’s why that title was created.
I cared less about the title and forged ahead with my work life but then, I suddenly had a strong crush on Tosin.
We were suddenly in a hot romance one day while alone in the organization’s kitchen, kissing and slamming each other on all furniture and flat surfaces in the kitchen, including the walls but were suddenly interrupted by footsteps.
‘Why are you breathing like you just ran a marathon?’ Vivian had asked me when she entered the kitchen. I didn’t reply neither did Tosin. Vivian gave both of us a suspicious look and left.
After giving Tosin a look that clearly read ‘this is unbelievable’, I left the kitchen feeling like I just had a hangover.
I have not stopped struggling with the crush I have on Tosin yet I have another name to contend with- Sister Nkechi’s Boyfriend. And this is the name I’m called among choristers in church. Efforts to stop them have proved abortive. What do I do? Sister Nkechi is married and experience has shown me that my nick names come true.