Shades Of Deceit Episode 7
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 21st, 2014.
Pastor Michael could feel the charged atmosphere and he knew he had the congregation’s full attention at the moment. ‘But it’s true,’ he continued, his eyes questioning the congregation, ‘Stop looking at me like you have not heard people translate woman to woe man, expanded further to mean woe unto man. And also the assertion that God has not rested, ever since He made woman,’ He paused for effect, letting his words sink into the congregation as his eyes scanned through the auditorium, seeing nothing but a sea of heads.
‘But I’m sure you want to know what really happened in Eden, right?’ He asked, smiling as he heard the shouts of Yes Pastor!
His smile bore an uncanny resemblance to the knowing grin of a father, who was about to present to his children, their Christmas gifts. And just then he started, ‘In Eden, God never set out to make woe man, like some people have now dubiously coined woman, what He did when He put man to sleep in Eden, was a se-pa-ration, not a cre-a-tion, get that right,’ he said, stressing the ‘separation’ and ‘creation’ for emphasis.
The church was quiet.
He liked it when the congregation was as quiet as this; he could feel them almost begging him to serve them some more. ‘Can I close up service now?’ He asked, teasing the congregation.
No Pastor! They screamed aloud, urging him on.
‘Ladies, you just cannot afford to miss the women conference that’s coming up from the tenth to twelfth of October, you need to know these things and not let any man tell you different,’ Pastor Michael digressed, while making sure he looked straight into the congregation to hold their focus.
This congregation didn’t look like they had a plan to go anywhere. They were entranced.
‘Just the way we have different types of cars, what God was making in Eden was a different type of man. This is not creation, this is make-tion,’ he said, causing a section of the congregation to erupt into laughter, while pictures of members nodding their heads in admiration flashed across the big screen.
‘I don’t have all the time, but in closing I’ll just try to describe the emotions that were present in the male-man in Eden, that led to the formation of the word, woman.’
The atmosphere in the church was super charged, but the congregation was super quiet. Thousands of eyes peered at the man on the pulpit in anticipation of his next words.
‘When a truck, sees a Porsche for the first time,’ Pastor Michael started, choosing his words like bullets, and shooting every syllable from his lips to the congregation with the deliberate precision of a sniper, ‘it’s inability to find words to describe the elegance of the machine and it’s excitement would make it go, Whoa! Car!! And in the same way, when Adam, who by the way is built like a truck, woke up to see this beautiful, exquisitely made, intricately designed being in front of him, he was struck with awe, and his amazement spiked to ecclesiastical proportions, leaving him with no choice but to rhapsodise, Whoa!…‘
‘Man!!’ The church chorused along with their pastor. With excited shrieks of Halleluiah!! renting the air and general applause from the congregation.
Rhema!!! A male voice caught in an instant of spiritualistic seizure thundered in pure ecstasy.
The big screen captured a few from a slew of the excited faces, with two ladies pictured on the big screen high-fiving themselves. It was a party and everyone was clearly animated.
Yewande stared blankly from where she sat, detached from the euphoria that was sweeping across the auditorium. She tried to form a picture in her head of Pastor Michael, the same one on the pulpit preaching, hitting or slapping his wife, but the images just wouldn’t add up, no matter how hard she tried. He was too spiritual.
She tried to form another picture of Uncle Michael, her brother in-law, hitting or slapping her sister, Laide, but the images again just wouldn’t form. Uncle Michael was too loving.
Maybe her intuition was wrong and she was just fruitlessly looking for trouble in paradise, after-all her sister looked very happy.
Ask her, a voice nudged her.
‘I’ll ask,’ Yewande replied, a bit too loudly as the person sitting beside her turned to ask if she was talking to him.
‘No,’ she replied with a smile, cut off from her reverie. ‘It’s the message, it’s just too powerful.’ She lied as she adjusted herself on her seat, her attention now fully focused on the pulpit, where the music group was about to start their ministration.
*** *** *** ***
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 22nd, 2014.
Gwarimpa Estate, Abuja.
Yewande held the novel, ‘Ransom’, in front of her face a while longer than she would have wanted to, before tossing it on the bed beside her.
It was not because the novel wasn’t interesting as it was written by her favourite writer, Danielle Steel, but rather because this was a time she had been waiting for the whole day, a time when her brother-in-law would leave the house and thus present her with an opportunity to speak with her sister, alone.
‘Where’s Jerry?’ She asked as she stepped into the sitting room, her sister reclining on the chair, watching Joyce Meyer preaching on television.
‘He’s sleeping. He dozed off immediately his teacher left,’ Laide replied, her eyes glued to the television.
‘Eya,’ Yewande said as she sat down on the soft cushioned chair closest to her sister, ‘I thought her schedule was in the morning?’ She asked, referring to the Joyce Meyer broadcast.
‘That’s on TBN,’ Laide replied with a smile on her face, her eyes still fixed on the television. She was engrossed by the message.
Yewande was therefore delighted when the program ended shortly after, as she had been deliberating in her mind whether or not to proceed with her inquisition. ‘Sister,’ she called softly, as if scared, immediately the broadcast ended.
‘Yes,’ Laide replied as she scanned television channels with the remote.
‘I’d like to talk with you.’
Laide stopped. Her sister was never this formal with her, except it was something serious. ‘What about?’ She asked, her eyes probing with care. ‘Is it about the introduction?’
‘No Sister,’ Yewande replied, forcing a smile. She suddenly felt a need to abandon the idea as she didn’t know exactly how to start the discussion.
‘So?’ Laide probed almost impatiently.
Yewande sighed, ‘Nothing Sister.’
Laide’s eyebrows curved in suspicion, as she sat up, ‘You know you can talk to me, or is this about the wedding? Are you having issues with Osas?’ Her voice carried a tinge of worry.
‘No …No,’ Yewande stuttered, ‘It’s not the wedding and it’s not Osas.’ She replied, watching her Sister’s face crease in worry, a testimony to her growing impatience. ‘When I arrived on Saturday Sister, you had a bruise on your lip, I was just wondering how it really came about.’ Yewande started.
‘But I told you,’ Laide replied, her eyes squinting inquisitively, not sure where the discussion was heading to.
‘I know you did Sister but …’ Yewande’s voice tailed off as she sighed, raising her head to look her Sister straight in the eyes. ‘I want to be sure.’
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‘Sure that the wardrobe was not Uncle Michael’s fist or his palm,’ Yewande blurted out, her eyes lighting up as she spat the words at her sister. She had become obviously tired of the game her sister was playing. ‘And before you cause yourself to sin by lying Sister, I’ve seen the card where he was apologising for hitting you.’
Laide’s upraised body slumped back into the comfort of the chair like the aching body of a boxer would hug the canvas, shortly after receiving a knockout punch. She swallowed the words already formed in her mouth as the quiet sound of saliva went down her throat. ‘It’s just this once,’ she heard herself saying, her eyes avoiding the stare from her sisters’.
‘It’s not the first time Sister, don’t defend him,’ Yewande’s obviously emboldened voice replied. ‘It’s on the card, he apologised for all the times he beat you, promising you like he has always done that this would be his …’.
‘So what do you want me to do?’ Laide asked, interrupting her younger sister’s rant. ‘He’s my husband.’ Her body racked with pain, as those words spilled out from her lips. ‘He’s my husband,’ she repeated, her eyes bearing pain and anguish.
‘Why don’t you talk to daddy, he can talk to him or better still, report him to his parents,’ Yewande suggested as she left her chair to sit on the arm-rest of her sister’s chair.
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‘How can we preach against third parties in marriages and then go against our very own counsel?’ Laide asked. ‘Besides how do I explain to the world that my pastor husband beats me?’
‘Your family is not the world Sister,’ Yewande countered, ‘and trust me those rules changed the moment he raised his hands on you, I’ll kill any man who does that to me and if you won’t tell daddy and mummy, I will,’ Yewande replied fiercely, her voice relaying her anger.
‘You will not do any of such. Yewande you cannot do that, please, I’m begging you,’ Laide groaned, her pain overwhelming her as a tear ran down her cheek. She made no attempt to wipe it off as she held her sister’s hands, searching her eyes for confirmation that the secret was safe between them. ‘I beg you in the name of God, if he hits me ever again, I’ll report him to daddy immediately, but please don’t do it just yet.’
Yewande freed her hands from her sister’s grasp as she closed her up in a tight embrace; it broke her heart to see her sister in such pain. ‘I’ll kill any man who lays his hands on me,’ she whispered to her sister.
Laide smiled. ‘Even when you’re married to him?’
‘That would make his killing even easier,’ Yewande replied, ‘I’ll just poison him.’
Laide unlocked herself from the embrace to look into her sister’s face. She looked so much older at the moment and nobody would have believed that they had ten years between them. And just then she saw the familiar mischievous grin playing around her lips. ‘You’re such a naughty girl,’ she said, as she drew her back into her arms as they both burst out laughing. It felt beautiful to have someone to hold and share her secrets with. As the warmth from the embrace enveloped her being, Yewande’s words resonated in her head, ‘That would make his killing even easier, ‘I’ll just poison him.‘