I closed the door behind me. The room was swelteringly hot, and my eyes were not adjusting well to the darkness. I groped for the light switch. I found it. But the bulbs disobeyed. What was happening again? I had just seen light in the passage just now. I opened the door again, and the passage was now a tunnel of darkness. I cursed NEPA under my breath, and jammed back the door. My day had been hell. I had attended a five hours lecture where the lecturer dictated notes, and you had to write until blisters formed on your palm, like a farmer working arduously with a cutlass. My project supervisor had ripped off the whole of my thesis, and ordered me to choose another topic because I had argued with him about the definition of communication as given by Mc Quail. And I had had nothing to eat all day, except some groundnuts I bullied out from Ugo during our marathon note-copying. I slumped on the only chair in the room, my eyes gazing blankly into the dour room.
The bed was before me, but I did not have the energy to stagger towards it. I thought about my life. I thought about my lost project. Damn! I had worked on that topic for two months. I hated Dr. Momodu. “Bastard,” I said absent-mindedly. “Arrogant goat. Fat pig.” Then I remembered Jesus was coming soon, and I took my thoughts off Dr. Momodu. I ain’t going to hell ‘cos of some disgusting monster. I took of my shirt while still seated. I could smell my own nauseating odour. Out of habit, I put the stripped off shirt to my nose and quickly threw it to a corner. It smelt like shit. I needed to take a bath and head for Fellowship. I was the President of a very popular Fellowship on campus. I stripped of my trouser. I removed my singlet too. I brushed my hands across my chest. There was a bush there. I smiled at the thought of there being a bush there. A friend had once told me that women went absolutely crazy for a hairy-chested guy. It was a sexual turn-on for them, and it made them grow weak at the knees. But though I was proud of > my sexy asset, no girl had seen me bare-chested before, especially on campus. It was righteousness to always cover those parts of your body. Boxers only, I grabbed a bucket from a corner of the room, and proceeded towards the door.
I opened the door, and to Devil be the shame, Sister Gloria was standing before my door. “Good evening pastor,” she quickly said. Her eyes rested on my chest for about three seconds, before she said again. “Sorry sir, I would come back.” And she turned to leave. “Wait.” I said. My hands were now wrapped around my chest while I held on to the bucket. “Don’t worry, why are you here?” “No sir. Yes sir. I just wanted to give you the offering account for last Sunday.” She was facing the door of the passage, her side facing me. The passage was still dark, but I could see the outline of her face. Sister Gloria was our new Treasurer at the Fellowship. She was a good sister, but God had also blessed her with a beautiful face. Damn! She was fine. “Erm, why don’t you wait for me inside, I would be with you shortly.” I said. “No sir,” she said, “fellowship would soon start.” I did not know what got hold of me, I just grabbed her by the arm. “What’s always wrong with you sef?” She giggled: “Ha, pastor, nothing oh!” The next minute, she was in my arms. I dragged her into the room. Sister Gloria kept giggling like a little baby. My erection was no more flaccid, and my former tiredness had vanished like dusting powder. I slipped my hand beneath her dress. Sister Gloria was still giggling. The rest is left to your imagination. *** I met them on the bed, rolling over the sheets like some kid with stomach trouble. Christ! They did not even lock the door. I wasn’t really shocked. I was simply sad. The day Cosmos was ordained as the pastor of his fellowship, I had known all the sisters were in trouble. The guy had confessed to me that he was ‘fighting’ masturbation. And this was a guy who watched pornography on a steady basis. His excuse was that the Holy Spirit had > instructed him to do so, and that he had grace covering him. It was people like Cosmos that kept me from church. People who tell you logic is nonsense in the face of the spirits.
I understand the limit of human calculation, but I also appreciate its beauty. Cosmos was a fantastic preacher who moved mountains when he ministered. I knew that much by passing by during their Sunday services. Even I always felt the shockwave of the anointing. And he was also a man who believed the spirit was ever right. “Did the spirit of God not tell Prophet Haggai to marry a prostitute,” he often told me. They did not even see me as I left the room. I was not going to tell anybody. Myself was not a saint. The only difference between me and him was that I knew my own salvation did not guarantee me freedom from lust. But it guaranteed me freedom to evaluate my choices in the face of wrong and right.
Solomon Elusoji started writing fiction after he read the fifth Harry Potter book at age twelve. He hates school examinations and is in love with Asa’s music. His first novel is underway, and it is about magic and a school where exams don’t exist.
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