Rita sat opposite to Mrs. Funmi in an air-conditioned office in OLA and Co. Ltd. She had just finished an interview with the interviewing panel few minutes back. She was the last candidate to be interviewed; Mrs. Funmi took her to her office after the interview. Mrs.Funmi is a distant relative to Rita’s late father. It was during the interview (she was part of the panel) that she discovered that Rita is late Sam Benson’s daughter through her surname and after asking her some related questions. Rita had related her ordeals of job seeking to her. Mrs. Funmi promised her that she would do something about it, she told Rita to expect her call during the weekend. Rita thanked her and left after some few more discussions. The words of Mrs Funmi didn’t really sound convincing but she have to keep hoping. As she stepped out of OLA and Co. Ltd, She remembered what transpired between her and Mr. Shola at spring’s bank earlier that day.
Mr. Shola is the branch manager of Spring’s Bank; she had gone to collect her letter of appointment which she was told would be given to her over a phone call she received the previous evening. That was why she went late for the interview at OLA and Co. Ltd. Mr. Shola had told her that morning to come collect the appointment letter on Friday by 7.pm at Eboh hotel. She was reluctant at first but later collected his card telling him she would think about it. After all, her aunt has told her it’s a normal trend and that was the way she got her job. She had supported Rita financially while she was still in school, because of that she have always given her aunt so much respect. Actually she was already used to that, she had turned down many offers of employment earlier because of that same reason while others were blunt enough to tell her that she have to sell her body to them first before she could get a job. Her aunt always get mad at her anytime she tells her she lost a job appointment because she couldn’t concur to such agreements. She had so much on her mind (thinking of the next step of action to take) that when she got home, she decided to sleep over it.
She was awakened from her sleep with the noise going on in the house that evening. Pearl and Caro were at it again. They are having another round of disagreement all because of Dele. It has been going on for a while now since the day Caro told her friends about her prince charming (Dele). Pearl was blunt to take her aback to what they had learnt about godly principles of knowing and choosing a life partner.
Pearl told Caro that it isn’t a sin to love a person because God is not stereotyped in his leadings. Her point was that Caro should be sure it is of God and not just mere emotions because it could be dangerous. That evening argument all started when Caro had announced to Pearl that she is having an outing with Dele that evening. Pearl had been so worried about Caro, she loves her friend dearly that she doesn’t want her to get hurt but Caro is so blinded with emotions. Rita came in to intervene when it seems the two ladies will soon start tearing at themselves. Caro marched out of the house in annoyance. “Who is Pearl to educate me, is she my pastor. After all, I am a child of God, I can’t be walking in the wrong path” she murmured to herself. In Dele she have found all that she ever desire, Dele is also a Christian so she can’t be wrong. “Who knows if he will propose tonight” she said to herself excitedly.
It is Friday morning already; Pearl and Caro had gone to work that morning. Rita just kept pacing up and down the room, what is she going to do. She is so confused. Mrs. Joy had called her from Warri the previous day; she told Rita that God has impressed something in her heart to tell Rita that day. She had prayed with her husband about it and has decided to let her know about it. That wasn’t the first time Mrs. Joy have called Rita to encourage her since she arrived Abuja but this one was different. Mrs.Joy had told her that God will surprise her soon. She gave Rita a Bible passage “they that wait on the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings as eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint” (Isaiah 40 vs. 31). She told Rita that her testimony is already on the way and she is sure that is what God had said. Rita always opened up to Mrs. Joy but she didn’t deem it fit to tell her about Mr.Shola’s invitation probably because she already knew the answer Mrs.Joy would give her.
She also thought of the dream pearl told her. Pearl had woken her up early that morning to tell her the dream she had about her. In that dream, she saw Rita cooking a piece of meat in a pot, she kept stirring until she was tired and decided to taste out of it. A man who she couldn’t recognize commanded Rita to put down the meat and be patient till it’s well cooked. “It won’t be long before it would be cooked” the man said. Rita was adamant; she wanted to eat the meat that moment at all cost. Pearl was pleading with Rita to listen to the man when she woke up. “What could that mean” she blurted out. Just then her phone rang, its Aunty. Aunty had been calling her daily since she told her about Mr.Shola invitation.
“So, what is your decision, have you made up your mind? Aunty asked… “Em, em, am still thinking about it” was Rita’s reply. She made to sit down on the sofa. Aunty had always told her that God won’t come down to help her do what she ought to do, she have to play her own part. According to Aunty, It seems church doctrines have blindfolded her from the facts of life.
“Rita you are taking this too far. You told me the Mr. Shola or whatever his name is looks like a responsible man. Did he tell you he wants to sleep with you? Who knows, maybe there are some very important issues about the job he wants to discuss with you. After all he said you should meet him by 7pm, is that not early enough. Who will want to sleep with a lady at that time when the evening is still busy and knowing that he could be watched? Why are you drawing conclusions suddenly, I didn’t know you to be judgmental. This your Christianity is too serious, look I am a Christian too. You see, God loves you and don’t want to deprive you of our happiness but you keep depriving yourself because of your holier than thou attitude. My dear, there is nothing totally wrong with that, just go there by 7 pm as he said and collect your letter of appointment” aunty poured out… “What if something serious happens? I will lose my salvation. Besides, where will I tell my friend that am going to” Rita sincerely retorted. “You are a coward Rita, so because of your friend you will just sit, fold your hands and watch things get spoilt under your nose. Common don’t be stupid, didn’t your bible tell you God is a merciful God? No matter how grievous ones sins are, God will always forgive. Even if anything happens against what you planned, you can always come back to God and repent. I will not allow you lose this opportunity, never!” Aunty dropped the call after that.
Rita took to her purse and brought out Mr. Shola’s card, she took up her phone to call him. At first her hands were shaky but she suddenly took up the courage to dial his number. Mr.Shola picked up the phone during the third dialing, Rita told him the news he had been waiting for; “I will make it tonight”. “Alright alright, just call me when you get there, I shall be expecting you” he said. After Rita dropped the call, she noticed she had a message. It reads “Dearly beloved, the scripture says ‘walk in the spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh’ wait till the meat is cooked, it won’t be long” her hands became shaky; the message was from an unknown number. Who could this be? She wondered. She wasn’t in the mood for any introduction, so she decided not to call the number. She dropped her phone and headed for the radio. Turning it on, the first word she heard was “Abstain from every appearance of evil”. It’s a female preacher ministering on air. She turned it off, its better she get herself busy with the house chores, she have no time for this now; she thought.
TO BE CONTINUED….
Author: Afeme Christiana Eniwoeva
I’m a graduate of Accounting from the University of benin