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Beside the historic museum on Helm’s street lay a thick bushy virgin land. Crowds gather on the street while an old woman wailed in agony. Her husband and three children have been killed right on the land which belongs to them, the same which shared a fenced boundary with the museum.
Rumours have it that this dead man gave his friend the documents to the land to help him transact with a potential buyer, but this friend sold this land and gave the owner and his family, stipend. Then, there was trouble as the owner was said to have rejected the money offered and asked for his land back. His friend asked them to meet on the land so he can meet face to face with the buyer and settle the matter, but it was an ambush, as the man was killed right there with his three sons that accompanied him.
This woman wailed, but there was no evidence that his husband’s friend killed her family. Thus, she has no helper, no justice.
FIFTY YEARS LATER
Blessing decided to check herself once again in her half-broken wall mirror that was leaning on the wall at the corner of her room. She touched her head-tie in many places, turning her head side by side as she did so, admiring herself in her broken mirror. The dress on her looked like her skin in its fitness and its light colour that matched her light skin. She didn’t need anyone to tell her that she was a beauty!
She reminisced about last week; last week was awesome, she had tested her popularity and it worked just fine. This is what happened….
A WEEK AGO
After the usual morning rehearsal on Sunday, Blessing left without informing anybody. Few minutes to worship time, the Choir Coordinator called her to ask why she wasn’t in the Church after the morning rehearsal;
“I’m on my period,” she lied.
“What? So, who will lead the praise and worship?” The Coordinator asked, more in the horror of no one to lead properly if she didn’t. Besides, she was the vocal leader.
“I don’t know,” she replied; “you have Sister Hannah, who has proven to be better than I am.” She tried to ask for his view indirectly.
“Ha, Sister Blessing, don’t say that; Sister Hannah is a new member and you know this. She couldn’t have been able to do it better like the Pastor wanted and the congregation might not feel the presence of God as you used to bring it down.”
“But, the Pastor already said that anyone on her period may sit with the congregation and not bother to minister.” She teased further.
“See, Blessing,” he removed the religious formality, “let this stay between you and I, you are not on your menses. Have you told anyone?”
“No, I haven’t.” She answered him, giving him the perfect answer. She giggled inaudibly and bit her lower lip.
“Good, I will try and stall the worship till you come back. How long will it…”
“Ten minutes,” she cuts in excitedly. She was sure the Church couldn’t do without her.
“Are you sure? Because your house is rather far and…”
“I will take the bike,” she explained better, since ten minutes was rather too small a time frame, if the distance from her house to the Church ever mattered. But only Blessing knew she wasn’t even at her own apartment.
“Thank you. Please don’t disappoint us, Sister Blessing,” the Coordinator begged.
“I won’t disappoint Sir,” she said and disconnected.
She dropped the phone and plunged herself into a resounding laughter. The truth was that, she has been feeling threatened by the presence of Hannah, the new girl who just got promoted to the senior choir. And she feared that Hannah already got the attention of the Choir Coordinator who always urged her to practice more, so that she could fill the void Sister Blessing might create in the future. This didn’t go down well with Sister blessing who wasn’t even ready to step aside; not when she hasn’t reached her goal.
“So, you are going back to Church?” Emeka asked.
“The Church needs me. The Coordinator just called me now. She wants me back in the Church.” She replied while putting on her skirt.
“But, I need you more.” Emeka responded, he stood up and caressed her as he held her close to himself. She shrugged him off.
“We will see later.” She started to wear her pink Choir uniform. “I am not supposed to be here in the first place. I just wanted to see their reaction if I skipped the worship session.”
Emeka, a cultist, who didn’t care about her commitment to Church, wasn’t ready to let go without a fight. “You are going to leave me after just two rounds of sex?” He asked as if two rounds were a joke.
Blessing flashed him a contentious look and hissed. She finished dressing and said goodbye. Emeka wouldn’t let her go until she agreed to a French kiss. She obliged. Minutes later, she was on the bike to the church, even though Emeka’s house was a trek-able distance to Church. She landed right into the hands of the worried Coordinator who hurried her through the back door.
She appeared just like that on the altar- she was right on the time. The rest was history as she took the stage by storm in her usual way. Angels came down and the glory of God was all over the congregation. People danced and rejoiced, and the Pastor kept giving her a thumbs-up as the praise and worship went up to the stars.
That was last week; this morning, she hummed rock of ages to herself as she prepared for the Sunday morning rehearsal. It is a usual tradition in her church- every choir must be at the morning rehearsals by seven in the morning. As she grabbed her bible as the final part of her readiness, Emeka came in naked; he had rushed to the toilet after the last round of their usual sexual escapade.
“Are you dressed already?” He asked as if he didn’t see she was dressed already. He sat on her bed, wearing a disappointed look.
“Yes, Emeka; I want to be in Church before the morning rehearsals. I have something I need to discuss with the Coordinator.” She replied as she prepared to leave.
“This is not acceptable,” Emeka muttered. Blessing didn’t bother to reply; she already knew where he was heading. “Why do you always confine me to just two rounds of the sex?”
She didn’t bother to reply him. She grabbed her bible and announced her exit. Emeka shook his head at her silence, took his trousers from the floor where he had thrown it, dipped his hands in its pocket and gave her the transport fare. “I will wait till you’re back,” he said.
“You can’t wait; not here, not in my apartment!” She fired back, firmly.
“Is this because of the house fellowship?” Emeka asked.
“Yes, because of that; and because I couldn’t afford to be mentioned as part of the workers of Christ who allows a man to sleep over at her place or who sleeps over in a man’s place.”
“But, you are my girlfriend.” He snickered.
“That is even worse. Leave my key where I usually put it, and leave on time. I am the next host for the house fellowship, and I don’t want any problem. I am Sister Blessing, the perfect example to the younger ones; okay?”
Emeka starred at her in disbelief. “If you are the only Christian alive, and a perfect example of one, then I will rather be a pagan.”
“Good for you.” She answered without any worry. “It doesn’t really appear you are different to a pagan. Please, don’t let me meet you here.” She reiterated her instruction.
“So,” Emeka fluttered, “are you coming back after the rehearsal?”
Blessing looked at him, lost for words.
“I mean, just like last week. Last week was…”
“No!” She shouted him down. “I am not coming back. I thought I told you last week why I left. Please, don’t forget…”
“To close the door and leave- I get it.” Sullen Emeka interjected.
“Good.” She slammed the door after herself and went her way.
Emeka shook his head and prepared to leave. He scoffed at Sister Blessing’s statement as it crossed his mind again;
“Perfect Christian indeed.” He muttered with a frown.
A thought came to his mind and he was too quick to reject it.
“God forbid,” he said, snapping his fingers in quick backward movements above his head. Nobody knew what the thought was, but maybe the thought was a question that asked,
“What you will do if God says that Blessing is your divine wife?”
It was all a plan, she didn’t have anything to tell the Coordinator; it was the just beginning of her grand plan to oust Sister Hannah, the newly promoted sweet voice who was beginning to garner followers. During the weekday’s rehearsal, the Coordinator has suggested that Hannah be given a chance to break forth and lead the praise and worship session. This didn’t go well with Blessing who sees the whole podium as her throne. The sight of the congregation, marvelling under her voice as she delivered the praise and worship, is always enough for her to reach orgasm without sexual contact.
“You called yesterday that you wanted to tell me something important,” the Coordinator asked after the service, “but you didn’t come to see me about it again.”
“Yes, I know.” She scratches her head; displacing her scarf. “I just felt it wasn’t necessary anymore.”
“Why would you say that? You said it was for the integrity of the Choir. Anything that concerns the Choir is of great importance.” The Coordinator stroked.
“I know. And I’m sure you know I don’t joke with matters concerning the survival of the Choir, it’s just that…”
“It’s nothing, Sister Blessing. Go on, tell me anything.” The Coordinator insisted.
He touched Blessing gently on her arm and their eyes met, and that was the exact position Blessing wanted to have him, and he fits right into the snare. Blessing moved a bit closer to him.
“Sir,” She started slowly, “why did you allow Sister Hannah to lead the special number today? She is still new, and no one knows a thing about her.” She went straight to point.
The Coordinator was taken aback by the question. He didn’t expect that to be her problem.
“I don’t get it.” He snapped at her, taking away his hand. “How is that a problem? You have been the only one good enough to render the session with such fluidity until the Lord sent a gift in Sister Hannah. This is someone I thought you will be glad to groom; but here you are, worrying yourself about her as if she didn’t deliver anything near perfect. In fact, her performance was impeccable. And for your information, the Pastor is interested in her, just as I am. I mean, she is being considered as your new assistant.” He finished, panting, perspiring.
He wiped his face with an already dirty white handkerchief. He was definitely angry, but that doesn’t concern Blessing whose plan was still on course. She smiled and asked to be forgiven and excused.
“See, Blessing,” the Coordinator started, having being knocked out by her silence and piercing eyes, “I know you are worried about Hannah, but you don’t have to be worri…”
“Brother Ade, please don’t create the wrong impression here!” She cuts in sharply and disconnects the respect of calling him the usual Coordinator. “I am not even worried about her taking over because I know you are already grooming her for that.”
The Coordinator was taken aback by her confrontation. He stood still, arm in arm, as she watched Blessing with great negative astonishment.
“Where did you hear these fallacies from, Sister Blessing?”
“Like I said, I am not worried about that, even if it were to be true!” She said, opening one of her palms in his front and standing half-akimbo with the other.
“That is not true!” The Coordinator shouted back. “What is the meaning of all these?”
“Oho,” she said, “Now, you want to deny? Yet, Sister Hannah visits your music school frequently. There is even a rumoured that you are helping in training her voice with the piano.” She laughed sarcastically, clapping her hands as she laughed.
“That is not a rumour; that is the truth!” The Coordinator fired back. “And I don’t care whether you believe it or not. Why are you doing this? Why are you trying to fight her progress?”
“Her progress, you say? Are you serious about that? Because only God knows what you always do with her after your purported practice.”
“What?” The Coordinator was left to gape, “What are you insinuating?” He shouted.
“Yes,” you can tell everybody that I said that. And that is exactly what I am worried about. Don’t forget, I was once your student too, and the stories I hear about… about Hannah or what is her name, is nothing but a heartburn because it will be a bad thing for both the image of this Church and the Choir to be dragged in the mud because of some set of sex-starved individuals who couldn’t afford to hold off their..”
“Enough!” The Coordinator shouted her down. “This is getting too much; the Pastor may have to hear about this. I have always wondered why those who have the gift to ascend to greater heights in this Choir always seems to either quit mysteriously or step down without reason.”
“Oh, now it is me, right?” She laughed and clapped her hands three times.
“Who knows? It might just be that,”Brother Ade concluded with opened palms.
Blessing smiled; she stood akimbo with both hands now. She was looking down, shaking one of her legs. Her plan has been perfect; working exactly how she planned it. She wanted the Pastor to know. She must accuse and provoke him until he takes his folly to the Pastor.
“Sister Blessing,” the Coordinator started calmly, “you need to calm down. Things will go fine; you might even get to like Sister Hannah as your own Sister.”
“God forbid!” she snapped her fingers backward over her head. “I only want you to think it through before enforcing your candidate on the Church. But as usual, you,” she said, pointing to the Coordinator’s nose, “always choose your dick,” she pointed to his trouser, “over your brain!” She concluded, tapping her forehead with her forefinger.
The Coordinator stood right there, transfixed by her behaviour. He unfolded his arms and swallowed the saliva that was about dripping. Blessing hissed, turned around and went her way; swaggering in grace and mercy as she dragged her elegant body along. She was confident of her beautiful stature.
The Coordinator, having diffused the sudden surprise that left him petrified, finally got the strength to move from the sudden state of paralysis. He reached out straight into his pocket and brought out his mobile phone. He dialled a number and waited for the recipient to pick. The phone rang out. He hissed and tried again—and again, until a husky baritone voice came through.
“Pastor, we need to talk; it is very serious. This is a very sensitive and an urgent matter. I have reasons to believe that Sister Blessing is running mad!”
Blessing got to her apartment- a fulfilled lady, glad and happy. There’s no other thing a man, sorry, a woman, rather, would have wanted than seeing her plans comes to fruition. She switched off her phone, knowing quite well that the Church might want to contact her. She was certain that the Coordinator would have reported her to the Pastor; something she wanted him to do. That was the reason why she had to provoke him and accuse him, or maybe it’s not really an accusation. She brought out a picture from her wardrobe and looked at it with all the admirations her emotions could produce. She was her godmother, Sister Mary, her Church-mother.
The position of the Choir Mistress has been vacant for years, ever since the new Pastor was forced to place a ban on that position because of the evil that the position has always managed to attract. In short, the office of the Choir Mistress has been nothing but a disaster.
The last Choir Mistress, Sister Joy was a prostitute. The Church got to know, and the rest was history. That happened some months after Blessing returned to Church. Before then, she has been forced to leave the Church on a self-imposed exile, in a faraway land. But this Church has always been her Church, and no one will come out of nowhere and take away that position if it were to be reconsidered vacant. In fact, she was sure that with her new plan, the position of the Choir mistress will be opened for vacancy soon.
She reminisced about why she left the church in the first place, and that brought about the story of Sister Mary- the vocal leader before Sister joy, the purported prostitute.
Sister Mary was not yet anointed as the Choir Mistress; she was just a vocal leader back then, but she has already been nominated for the office by the Church management. Sister Mary was just a fresh graduate then, with a good job at twenty-four years of age. With this, was able to spoil Blessing with gifts right from when she was just 9 years old.
Blessing’s mother will allow her daughter to sleep over at Sister Mary’s place for weeks. Sister Mary will drop her in school and pick her up with her car; she will even take her to Choir practice and every other place which other girls of her age could only dream of. And at times, mostly in the night, she will do some things to her that makes her body twitch and vibrate. She didn’t understand it, but she went on to love it.
When she was 11 years old, Sister Mary got crueller. One night, while they were doing that same thing they loved to do almost every night, her Church-mother, Sister Mary, suddenly graduated from the usual gentle stroking of her clitoris to puncturing her hymen.
She shouted, but Sister Mary covered her mouth in kisses in which she responded nicely with moans and curling of her waist. It was painful, but only for that period.
Surprisingly; it became more pleasurable to her as time went by. Since her narrow way became readily opened after the defloration, her church-mother always loved to throw in her whole fist into her honey pot, as Sister Mary has insisted they call it, out of respect. Every night, they got closer, and they became lovers.
By the time she was 14 years old, Sister Mary had introduced her to many sex toys, and her favourite was the Latigo leather harness- a strap-on Sister Mary always wore to have sex with her as a man would. Sister Mary likes to go hard, as she loved to say it, rough and deep. Something that was painful, yet, inexplicably pleasurable to Blessing. This didn’t stop there; they got so bad that one would think they were vegetarian when you open their fridge which was always packed with fruits of unusual shapes and sizes. They are mostly long and curvy; usually big plantains and cucumbers!
But one day, the whole story changed when Sister Mary cheated severally on her with a new girl in the neighbourhood! When the mother of the little girl found out, hell was let loose. At first, Blessing didn’t know this, until she noticed that her dear Mary was always down whenever she got back from work. Though, after much pleading, the mother of the victim promised to forgive the beautiful Sister Mary, who was just about to be confirmed as the choir mistress.
But it was all a lie. While rendering the special number during a lovely Sunday service, the mother of the nine years old girl stormed the Church and embarrassed the beautiful Mary while on the podium- the day she was to be confirmed as the Choir mistress! Blessing couldn’t believe her eyes; Sister Mary has betrayed her, but she was ready to forgive her anyways.
The Sunday service was short and quick. Sister Mary denied the allegation even though the poor girl insisted she did some things to her. That same day, when they got home, Sister Mary has asked for her forgiveness, and she didn’t have a choice than to forgive her. She was the only thing she knew, and she was emotionally sentenced to life imprisonment with her.
By the third day, things got worse as many revelations started to unfold, and the heat was just too much. Sister Mary turned out to be a serial sexual abuser as more parents threatened their daughters and many of them fessed up. Without exaggeration, Blessing was sure that Sister Mary could give an accurate description of the clitorises and wet-holes of almost half of the female Church members between the ages of 6 and 13!
After the revelation, Blessing’s mom called and asked her to start packing her things as she will be coming over to yank her off from her better half. Blessing told Sister Mary that her mother was coming the next day to take her home, and they both cried all through the night and made love like a wild dog and a shameless bitch would. Blessing could swear that that was the best she ever had- and maybe it was.
Her mom came very early the next day; she didn’t even return Sister Mary’s pleasantries. She was just concerned about taking her daughter away from the child-abuser. Blessing believed her mom was at loss of words to describe Sister Mary, so she resolved to occasional resentful glances at her, hissing, clapping of hands three times at intervals, mostly after a heavy sigh, and throwing of disgustful looks at her lover. Blessing didn’t like this, but nevertheless, she packed her things in silence, silently sobbing, but careful not to overreact.
As she and her mother closed the door behind them, she could hear Sister Mary wail in a loud voice. Blessing halted and wanted to go back. Her vagina throbbed and she wetted herself without a touch from her lover. Hearing her cry sufficed. Her mother cursed the wailing Mary silently and pushed her daughter away from the doorstep before she could contemplate on going back.
While inside the cab that was taking them home, her mom had insisted on knowing the truth that she never really wanted to know in the first place. Her Mom asked,
“Please Blessing, my daughter; tell me you weren’t involved with that devil. Tell me she didn’t do to you, what all the mothers claimed she did to her children. Please, tell me she just likes you and was only taking care of you as a sister.”
Well, that was what she got, because Blessing told her mom exactly what she wanted to hear-
“Mommy, I was not involved with that devil, she didn’t do to me, any of the things the mothers of those children said she did! And yes, she was merely taking care of me like a sister!”
“Thank God,” her Mom assured herself and Blessing just looked away, out of the car window.
Her mind was with her lover, not even in the cab with her mom. She cried inside, wishing Sister Mary hasn’t made the mistake that caused their untimely separation.
Two weeks later, she started preparing to leave town to her Aunt’s place in Jos, where she will lay low till the whole issue cooled down. It was her mom’s idea. There was no need to resist; people have started talking about them, and it wasn’t pleasant. They were not really bothered about their love-life as lesbians, but they believed that they were accomplices; defiling both infants and adolescents altogether.
That wasn’t the only reason she must leave the town; she technically has no business staying again since Sister Mary has decided to take her own life after the trouble heightened and legal actions started to peep into the whole simple issue. She left a suicide note and lied she was wrongly accused; she even said Blessing was a living witness to her holy life, that she was never involved with another woman!
But that made matters worse for Blessing. People kept asking Blessing if it were true that Sister Mary was clean; if it were true that they were not lovers, or they were accomplices. Some mothers started sending in notes and texts- they begged her to take her life so as to join her lover in hell, so that the female infants in the neighbourhood may grow up without being contaminated with her sexual abuse before they could learn to spell the letter ‘F’. So, she had no choice, she agreed to leave the town.
I mean, who wouldn’t?
END OF CHAPTER 2