“But why didn’t u tell us before now? Besides isn’t it too early, why not wait a little bit?” Pearl questioned Rita. Rita was dressed to go out. It’s already 6.30pm. She had just told Pearl and Caro that a friend invited her for a revival evening program in her church. That was the most presentable lie she could come up with. How would she tell them she was actually going to see Mr. Shola, and in a hotel for that matter.
“Sorry, I didn’t tell you earlier, I just made up my mind to go for it few hours back. I have to go now because it will start by 7pm and I don’t want to miss any part of it” Rita replied Pearl.
“Well, if you say so no problem, but what about your scarf?” Pearl questioned again.
“Oh thanks, I almost forgot that” Rita said dashing off to the room to take her scarf. She gave Pearl and Caro a hug before leaving.
While in the taxi, her heart was not at rest. She feared anything bad happening to her. Just then Mrs. Joy called but she deliberately refused to pick her call. After three attempts, Mrs. Joy sent her a message which read “Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way”.
By this time, she was already at the front of Eboh hotel. As she alight the taxi, she assured herself nothing was going to happen to her. She called Mr. Shola who told her to meet him at room 9c. As she knocked on the room door, Mrs. Joy’s earlier text kept ringing in her heart. Mr. Shola opened and welcomed her; he offered her a drink which she declined.
“Sir, I have come for the appointment letter, you told me I will get it today” Rita snapped. Mr. Shola amidst laughter showed her the appointment letter. “You need something and I need something; so you scratch my back and I scratch your back” Mr. Shola said in a business-like tone. Rita gazed like a confused person. Mr. Shola pointed to the bed smiling mischievously.
“Am very sorry sir, I can’t do this” Rita said standing up to leave.
“Maybe you need some time to make up your mind, I will be here waiting for you when you are ready”Mr. Shola assured Rita as she turned her back to leave.
As she stood waiting for a taxi, someone called her name from the other end of the road. She had walked a little bit further from the hotel to board a taxi. She recognized the face immediately the lady crossed to meet her.
“Oh my God! Rita, how are you” the lady said as she hugged her. It was Esther, her roommate while in school. Esther was a wayward girl while on campus, that has not changed now because it’s still evident in her dressing. Rita learnt Esther is presently a production manager in one of the textile companies; she is also getting married in a month time to the son of a famous politician. Though Esther sympathized with Rita concerning her employment status but didn’t fail to express how disappointed she is. She knows Rita to be God fearing, so why would God do such to a believer.
Rita boarded a taxi when they parted ways. She kept recalling the words of her aunt “YOU CAN ALWAYS COME BACK TO GOD AND REPENT”, it was so bold on her heart. And then in a moment, she remembered all what Esther told her about herself few minutes back.
“Oga, no vex abeg, take me back to Eboh hotel” Rita told the driver.
Pearl and Caro had just finished maintaining eye contact. Caro had slept off on the sofa and suddenly woke up with a yell. It’s obvious it was a dream. Pearl’s look was that of a person who had caught a criminal while Caro’s look was like that of a criminal caught red handed. Caro had been having recurring bad dreams. This one was dreadful. She was being forced in the dream to dig a grave, after which she was being pushed inside.
“I think it’s best to pray about it” that was all Pearl could manage to say, she knew there was no need asking. As Caro stood up to escape to the room, the bell ranged. Pearl headed for the door whole Caro waited to welcome whosoever it is. The two ladies welcomed Rita who in turn was insensitive to their greetings. When Pearl asked about the program, she just nodded and went into the room, the two ladies left in the sitting room exchanged glances as if signaling the other to go find out the problem. Caro took the lead with Pearl following behind. By the time they got to the room, Rita had already wrapped up herself on the bed not even minding to change her outfit.
“What’s the problem? Why are your eyes red and your face swollen? Have you been crying?” Caro asked.
“Nothing different from what you know, I promise I will be fine” Rita replied. She turned her face towards the wall. The two concerned ladies understood she wanted to be left alone and so they let her be.
The tears flowing from Rita’s eyes were so uncontrollable. What on earth have she done? She had thought she would adjust immediately but it is not as she had thought. She had lost her pride in a twinkling of an eye just for a mere job. How would she face God? She was warned, wasn’t she? She willingly walked into the den of lion and allowed the lion to devour her. She kept turning like so one in pains. That night was the longest night ever.
The following morning, she was not her usual self. She was so conscious of everything around her. A great fear has already engulfed her. She shivers at the slightest noise. She had indeed lost her peace with God. She couldn’t do her quiet time that morning nor have the appetite to eat. Her friends tried all their best to make her speak up, but it wasn’t working. She had no stamina to talk to any one nor to answer her phone calls; not even the persistent caller, not even her aunt. She just laid on her bed deep in thought.
TO BE CONTINUED….
Author: Afeme Christiana Eniwoeva
I’m a graduate of Accounting from the University of benin