Because she was feeling shy, she stammered several times and repeated some words many times so much that Kehinde had to interrupt her.
“Sister Sade, this is not you. Your bible expositions the previous months were far better than this. Even if you can’t tell me what is bothering with your mouth, maybe I should excuse you so you send it to me through a text message.” He said feeling very bad but she still insisted that she can’t say it. He swallowed hard, took up that particular scripture she was muddling and began to expound it more to her.
“Yes! Brother Kehinde, that was exactly what I wrote down in my quiet time note while studying, I don’t know why i diverted from them today .Look at where I wrote them down here.” She shouted excitedly as she went over to show him her quiet time notes.
“Maybe my presence suddenly started intimidating you, but no problems. I don’t want to get angry today, but if this absent mindedness repeats itself again during any of our spiritual outings, I would definitely not be happy with you…” He said, sounding very mean.
They prayed and then sat down to talk about other things.
“I will be taking you to the studio tomorrow, but I won’t be able to stay there with you till you finish, but I will come and pick you up when you are through…” He informed her and she became sad.
“Brother Kehinde, you didn’t stay with me at the studio last week and that guy at the studio was busy misbehaving because you were not around. You promised to stay this week?” She murmured childishly and he started laughing.
“And who are you doing that face for?” He teased her but she refused to laugh.
“See, something came up that would demand my attention at the hospital tomorrow and you know health is involved here…” He was trying to explain when suddenly he noticed tears streaming down her cheeks.
“Really? Sister Sade it hasn’t gotten to that please. Okay, you know what would happen?” He asked rhetorically then continued.
“We would go by 9am and I would stay there with you to supervise everything till 11am before leaving. Is that okay by you?” He asked searching her eyes for an answer as he fought the urge to go wipe off the tears on her cheeks.
“Come’on, stop crying; we are in a public place and passersby will see you crying and start thinking am a wicked person.” He said forcing out a smile to suppress the hurt he was feeling inside.
“You need to see how that young man was frustrating me at the studio that day. He would just be telling me to twist my voice in a way that the songs will choke me and he was telling me that it’s superb. Brother Kehinde, these are songs I received under the inspirations of the Holy Spirit while studying the bible, during prayers and from the dreams and I don’t want anybody to add any artificiality into them. I want to sing them in the spirit not the way he wants and if you are around, you would not allow him to order me to do it his own way…” She explained bitterly.
“Really? And she didn’t bother to tell me all these things since last week only to come here today and be crying like one small baby.” He said teasingly, calculating in his mind how to combine the two things tomorrow.
” I love my job but I also need to stand by and encourage her now than ever..” He thought briefly then came up with an idea.
“I didn’t know Jasper was frustrating you o, but you ought to have told me this before now. You see, you are now beginning to hide things from me.” He said feigning annoyance.
“Ah! No oo brother Kehinde, there’s nothing there to hide; just that I decided to keep quiet since you promised be around this week..” She explained laughing.
“Alright. In that case, we would go to the studio by 2pm instead of the usual 9am. And you know what that means, our coming back may be around 6-7pm. So, you will have to bring Toyin along.” He said and she smiled in a way that gladdened his heart.
“I was thinking you should also get Toyin a home lesson teacher. She is a smart girl but her performance last term wasn’t a good one. You know the standard of education in the village where she first started school can’t be compared with the ones here in the city. Besides, many of her classmates have home teachers…” He said and she kept quiet.
“I guess you have traveled out in your mind again. Only God knows what you are thinking about.” He said getting worked up.
“It’s true, I was just thinking about what you were saying and nothing else. Maybe I should take up the home lessons for her, because my pay is not even enough for me let alone getting a lesson teacher that will come and charge me ten thousand naira. How much is my salary?..” She said and started laughing as he gazed at her in a funny way.
“Get one first. You won’t have all of that time to teach and guide her to do her assignments because you are starting up your masters *program next year.” He said and she frowned at him.
“Where is the money for all these* things you are bringing up.?” She blurted out unknowingly.
“Well, Toyin is my friend and my gossip partner so,am taking up all her expenses. But for yours? We shall be trusting God to make provisions for you because, after your masters degree, you will pick up your PhD immediately…” He said with finality and began to park up his Bibles.
“I think we need to go now. I have clothes waiting at home for me to wash.” He said and she immediately spoke up.
“Brother Kehinde, thank you very much. I appreciate your love and care for me and Toyin..” She said feeling overwhelmed with emotions.
“Can we pray please?” He said in order to dispel her mood and immediately, he prayed briefly,then they shared in His grace and began to walk down.
“Brother Kehinde, can I come along and help in washing those dirty clothes?” She queried as they walked down side by side in the way.
“You never told me you also got a job in a drycleaning hub.” He teased her.
“Stop joking, I’m serious.” She sounding serious.
“Sisters don’t wash my clothes my dear. Besides, I don’t welcome female visitors anymore and you are already aware of that.” He said looking away from her.
“Brother Kehinde am I still a stranger to you? I thought…” She was trying to talk but interrupted her with another topic which made her to forget what she wanted to say. On their way home, he switched on his phone and many voice SMS entered, followed by Toyosi’s call. He ended the call and concentrated on the steering but she kept calling while Sade told him about a man in her branch church who lost his wife five years ago that was making advances at her.
“Brother Kehinde, pick your calls now.” She urged him when she saw how he repeatedly ended the calls.
“You advice me to answer calls while driving?” He said cunningly .
“But you used to answer my calls while driving.” She argued jokingly.
“That’s because it’s you. You are not every other persons.” He said, then continued.
“I beg continue with your story. So tell, do you want requite the affections?” He asked feeling a little bit jealous.
“I’m just telling you about it, I didn’t say I would requite anything jor.” She said feeling shy.
“But let assume the man proposes to marry you, will you accept to marry him?” He asked trying to know her mind but she kept quiet.
“That man is in his fifties brother Kehinde, though it’s my desire to get married ,i don’t want to have anything to do with old men after my past ordeal with Olori.” She said feeling sad.
“I’ve been praying seriously and trusting God for a life partner, at least a man who loves God and can also love me and Toyin unconditionally.” She added calmly without looking at him.
“It is well my dear, God will bring a man after his own heart for you. Just keep praying and trusting Him to perfect all that concerns you.” He replied then breathed down heavily and concentrated on the high way followed by a long silence. Within him, he was happy that at least she had begun to gain back her self-esteem but at the same time, he felt bad that he’s not been able to make his intention openly known to her because of his parents refusal to accept her . He began to regret telling them that Sade was a single mother in the first place.
Sade on her own part was feeling bad about the turn of things in her life.
” If only i had kept my body chaste, i wouldn’t be single by now, let alone being a single mother .” she thought in regrets.
“I hope you are not worried?” He broke the long silence as they were approaching the church bus stop where he would drop her off before going back to his own house.
“I’m worried brother Kehinde, I will be clocking 30 next month but there’s still no serious man taking interest in me for marriage.” She lamented in a way that broke him down internally.
“Sister Sade, I thought you said you have been praying and trusting God? If you are then calm down and wait on him to answer your prayers. You don’t pray and worry at the same time!” He said loudly getting angry with himself for everything.
“Alright. Ese gan” she thanked him and wiped off the tears that dropped down her cheeks before climbing down from the car.
That night, he couldn’t sleep and couldn’t pray at the same time, as he picked up his phone several times to call his father but will end up dropping it in defeat. As he was busy thinking of what next to do, his phone buzzed and a text message entered his phone.
“Brother Kehinde, I’m sorry to disturb you by this time of the night, but I don’t want to keep it to myself. I’m having a strong urge to have sex. Please pray for me, I don’t want to do anything stupid again.
From Sade” the text read and he…
To be continued.