“You don’t have to face your problems alone. It is like paying a debt you do not owe. Let God worry!” Pastor Ben shouted into the Microphone. “Let go…Let God! Choir Please…” he concluded as he left the Pulpit.
The Choir led us into a praise session and for that moment; I was lost in God’s presence. It has been ages since I felt like that.
“You age slowly Pastor Ben.” I said, catching up with Pastor Ben at the close of the service.
He laughed. “It’s all about God’s grace on my life.”
Pastor Ben started out as my Sunday school teacher when I was still a toddler. When I moved on to Junior Class, he was made my Sunday school teacher. Therefore, I had been very familiar with him.
“You should come to church more often child. There’s a lot going on around here.” He said.
I sighed. “I’ll try harder.” I replied.
“God grant you the grace, Amen.” He said.
I joined Dad for a ride home.
“When is your sister’s coming-out party?” he asked, that was immediately the driver started the car.
‘Dad couldn’t even wait for us to get home. Did he think that I was not interested in Dora’s party?’ I thought. “I haven’t figured it out yet, Office work has me occupied.”
“You have to find a way to arrange that event or get someone to do it, but by weekend, there must be a coming-out event for Dora. I have to acknowledge her.” He instructed.
I nodded my head in agreement.
“I will give you a credit card to cover all the expenses.”
I smiled. “I’ll like to cover 50% of the expenses, Dad.” I said.
“Really? Well, that’s good. That means you will be using your savings, and maybe your...”
I immediately cut in. “Let me worry about my funds.” I replied.
“Okay. Will do.”
Dad dropped me at the gate and he left with the driver for the Country Club. Dora had gone to church with KP and they weren’t home yet, so I was the first to return home. The Maids had fixed lunch, so all I had to do was eat and leave for my room.
I logged on to the internet to check my mailbox and to my greatest surprise, Paul had sent me his wedding pictures and he typed boldly;
“I’LL BE HAPPY, I SWEAR I’LL. TRY FALLING IN LOVE!”
I buried my head in my hand and replied his mails. “Congrats! ATB!”
“Ms Darlene, Mr Jake is here to see you.” The Maid said as she tapped the door lightly.
I closed my laptop. “I’ll be there soon.” I hurried downstairs to meet Jake.
“Happy Sunday.” He said, handing me a tulip flower.
I smiled and collected the tulip. “You too.”
“Why did you leave yesterday? You didn’t even notify me.”
I gestured to a Chair. “I had to leave.”
“How is your driving lessoning going?” he asked, taking his seat.
I took a deep breath. “Slow and steady. I should be driving by month end.”
“Is that what your teacher told you?”
I shook my head in disagreement. “I am optimistic about it. The hassles of Lagos City traffic is enough to deal with coupled with the long queues for mass transit vehicles. Its better I start riding myself.”
“You’ll be fine. You are a very strong woman, once you start driving full time, you’ll do well.”
I smiled. “Pending that time, I need your help with Dora’s coming-out event, Jake.”
“That word is so 1900.” He replied, with a grin. ‘That’s my Jake!’ I thought. He was lively again.
I grimaced. “What do you reckon I call it, Mr Classic?” I asked.
“Um...will come up with the name later, till then, how’s it gonna be?”
I smiled. “We intend to use the garden. The party is this weekend.”
“Party to plan. Okay, I will get a couple to guys to handle the arrangements and decoration, and since I know Sir Williams has great taste for Wines, I will be ordering French. You can see to the food and just let me have a list of the invited socialites and press, and then you are all set.” He said briskly, as though he had the event all planned in his head.
“Thanks Jacob, I knew I could always count on you.” I replied.
Dad nudged me in the waist. “You know I will always be there for you.”
“There’s something I would like to show you. Let’s go to my room.” I said and led Jake upstairs.
Jake bounced on my bed immediately we got in. “Easy on that Jacob.” I said, turning on my laptop. “Paul sent me his wedding pictures, with that Marie Branson.”
“Let’s see them.” He replied, smiling.
In all honesty, Paul and Marie looked happy. The kisses and smiles were enough to convince anyone and at that moment, I could almost say that Paul had known Marie Branson forever.
“I think he’s happy.” Jake said.
I then stared at Jake. “How did he meet this woman?” I asked.
“Are you interested in knowing the whole story? I must warn you, it’s not the perfect or epic love story, but I think it’s real between them.”
I rolled my eyes. “Let me be the judge. I am all ears.”
“Marie was also on the Body and Soul personal retreat that we attended.” He started.
I immediately cut in. “I knew it, this is a situation of two blind men. Now who’s gonna lead who?”
Jake smiled. “You sound jealous.”
“Jealous? Oh, come on Jacob. I do not see how realistic this event between them is. I cannot call it marriage. I see it as a long term ensnaring bondage. On the other hand, short term, people get divorced in 2-3 weeks. Kim is a perfect example.”
Jake laughed. “You can’t compare Kim Kardashians’s fancy wedding to Paul’s. Paul really wanted to move on with his life, and so did Marie. She is a divorcee, she was very interested in Paul, and they became close along the line.” He paused to catch his breath.
“Let me understand this joke, two people coming out of bad relationships decide to get married after knowing each other for only 2 weeks, is that normal?” I asked. “They don’t even know each other.”
Jake shrugged. “They must have felt that they can’t be worse than the people they know.”
I swallowed. That was deep. Jake had just branded me ‘Bad’ indirectly. I frowned slightly. “Anyways, I know they won’t be happy.”
“I think they will be. Marie is very understanding, and a kind lady.”
I scoffed. “Oh really, yet she got divorced from her previous husband.”
Jake smiled. “Who said a thing about her being married to a man?”
“YUCK!” I could almost puke at a second thought. “You have to be joking, right?”
Jake grinned. “Of course I was kidding.” He replied, laughing.
“Don’t ever pull that one on me again, even as a joke.” I said and closed my laptop.
Jake jumped down from the bed. “Don’t wanna be in your bed for too long.”
“Why is that?” I asked, checking my bed.
He laughed. “You don’t ever grab a thing, do you?” He punched the bed hard. “This is so feminine and will make me sleep in 5 minutes.”
“You look like you can use some sleep.” I replied. “Did you go to church?”
He covered his face. “You know how I feel about ‘God’s society’ I just don’t belong there.”
“Why do think so?”
He yawned. “I Club, I drink...and all the vices, why is he gonna open his house to me. I can’t go there.”
“You need to see Pastor Ben. I think I’ll soon be a regular church-goer.”
He laughed hard. “There you said it, Church goer. I do not want to be a churchgoer. I want to be a better person. Till then, let’s forget the topic.”
“Do you mind joining me for a walk?”
Jake yawned hard again. “I am so tired. Why do you want to take a walk?” he asked, slipping into his Supra.
“It’s good for the body. The sun is a bit down now.” I replied, checking through my window. “It will be a perfect time to enjoy the breeze.”
“I am ready.” He replied, heading for the door.
Jake and I walked down the estate to a lonely and quiet road.
“Darlene.” I heard my name so aggressively.
I turned round to see Daniel. I clutched to Jake. Daniel stood before me with fiery eyes, and a dagger hung carelessly from his waist.