I wish I told you I liked you but the circumstance that surrounded how we met- twice- won’t let me.
We were in a special church programme which was held annually to exorcize all the evil spirits in persons present in church. I went to church exhilarated only to discover that mum persuaded me to follow her to church because she felt I had evil spirits In me. I’m sure she thought that because I exhorted my dad’s younger brother to exhume my dad’s dead body- I still believe someone killed him. He didn’t succumb tho.
It was a 10pm programme tagged, ‘Oh ye evil spirit, my body is not your house.’ The church was sited near a mountain few miles away from our house. It was big and the atmosphere seemed different from other churches I attended- it was my first time there. On entering the vicinity, it felt as if exhaust fumes was released as the church’s burning incense filled the air. At the right hand of the entrance, there was a small pool. I’m sure it was for baptism of those who were ready to get baptised. Wooden carves of Jesus on the cross was placed at every corner in the church. The church was painted white and roofed with blue roofing sheet. Inside, there were lots of picture frame of Jesus- too much for me to count. It got me wondering if any of them have seen Jesus and gotten so convinced of his looks to have so many a frame. Looking outside from where I was standing in the church, I saw people on the mountain praying fervently- I wish I can pray the way they did. My quietism that night came into manifestation as I did not want to offend my mother.
‘Now, it’s time to send the evil spirits out,’ the prophet said. Immediately he said that, my mother took a quick glance at me, signalling me with her hand and head to go to the front. It was so annoying. It was an exigency and i wished something that’ll make this moment go’ld happen so fast. As I stood up from my seat, I imagined how my dad’s spirit would walk into the holy of holies in his white gown. What if it isn’t a gown? What if it is a white suit? What if it is a white shirt, white denim, white sneakers and a white face cap? What if he didn’t even die a saint? He would be dragged into the burning fire in his black gown or black suit or black shirt, black denim, black sneakers and black face cap by one of devil’s agent. I quickly shook off that thought as I was beginning to laugh to myself. Walking away from my seat, to the middle row with the altar in view, I thought about how my wedding day would be. Beautiful gown, beautiful bouquet, lovely congregation. I imagined how I would gladly sway my butt. I was almost swaying my butt, the church’s bell called back my attention. I walked briskly to the altar to avoid a scornful stare from my mother when next we make an eye contact. You got to the altar before me. It was just the two of us that made our way to the altar.
I looked at you- you didn’t realise I was looking because you seemed focused on the prophet- and I thought you were handsome. I wouldn’t call it love at first sight tho. But I liked you instantly. You looked gentlemanly and calm. What you wore caught my attention too- Denim on denim, an Adidas sneakers and a blue Nike face cap. The prophet asked you to remove the face cap and you did. He also asked one of the prophetess to give me a cap to cover my hair- I don’t believe in the covering of hair. You offered me yours and I was surprised. We were asked to go on our knees- we did- as the prophet gave a prayer point and the congregation prayed for us. The prophet ended the prayer by ringing his bell and the church went silent. The prophet asked me to stand up and he looked undaunted by what he was getting himself involved in. I did, using my hands to wipe off the dust on my knee. He said I had no evil spirit in me and I am a very strong woman. He told me to keep being strong and to continually be of help to my mother. I smiled and turned my head in the direction of my mother, giving her an I told you so look- it seemed the first time I could prove myself right to my mother. He gave me some verses of the Bible to read and asked me to go back to my seat. I walked directly towards the main exit of the church.
I zipped through the first three questions in ten minutes and raised my right hand up immediately to signify that I was done with my questions. It was a scholarship exam. On looking at my right hand, I saw you- you wanted to collect my answer script. I felt bad and shy instantly because I was putting on your face cap- I didn’t get the chance to return it after you gave it to me in church. You smiled, collected my script and told me that I can leave the hall. I stood up, folded my question paper into one of my back pockets and walked out. I reduced the pace at which I walked, hoping you’d come after me to probably start a decent conversation and exchange contacts afterwards.