God does not play dice II

by - Tuesday, July 21, 2015

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Hey guys, good to have you here. So so sorry for not posting last week. I was busy rounding off NYSC: Ceremonies, handovers and stuff. Glory to the Father for the grace to serve. I can virtually say like Jesus, “Virtue has gone out of me.” I have served obediently, therefore I must eat of the good of this land. Anyways back to the story, you people want the conclusion shey? I saw no comments on the first part. I don’t know what you expect, I don’t know if I made flaws or heresies and the likes or the story even sucks.  I’m tempted to keep my story to myself. Joor oh, just kidding. Happy reading, but like I will always warn; LONG READ.

‘Hmmph’, went a long sigh from Mrs Adeoye’s nostrils. She put down her reading glasses on the wooden center table and laid back on the sofa, spread her bible on her torso, and closed her eyes. It was no use. She had struggled in vain to complete the Bible passage of the day from her devotional; John 10. Her mind was mulling on resentment towards God like a goat chewing the cud. She tried again and again to leash her mind for fear of blasphemy but it refused to be brought in. It particularly had problem with the latter part of verse 10, “…I am come that they may have life and have it more abundantly.” Despite herself, her eyes swept through the sparsely, impoverished living room “Abundantly indeed,” she found herself thinking. It would have been plain hypocrisy if she had continued reading. She opened her eyes to stare at the tick-tocking clock on the wall, making the only noise in the silent house. 2:22pm. She wondered why the children and their father were yet to come back from church. Casting a glance on her cell phone, she picked it up and fumbled with the buttons before she remembered she had no call credit, with a sigh, she dropped it again and shut her eyes again. No sooner had she done than she heard shuffling of feet, jingling of keys and vigorous jerking of the keyhole and door handle.
“These children ehn! Can’t they behave…”
Three happy faces burst into the room.
“E baje! se gbo, e baje! When you know the handle of the door is not strong.” (Spoil it, you hear, spoil it.) She barked. All smiles evaporated. Bankole, traditionally curtsied, apologized and greeted, Titi joined him in doing same, more out of guilt of being partially responsible for mummy’s recent bad mood. Mrs Adeoye responded to these gestures with a curt nod and a wave of the hand.
“Where’s Daddy?” She asked.
“He’s coming. He’s paying the bike men that brought us back.”
Adekoya , 5, skipped to mummy and announced with smiles, “Mummy, I eat rice in church today.”
“No wonder,” mummy smiled back, “see your stained shirt and big tummy.” she said, prodding his protruding belly with her finger. She looked at the older ones for answers. Bankole caught the cue and responded. “Eem, deacon Olusoji’s son, Emmanuel, celebrated his birthday in the children’s church.”
“All those big people sef…” she impaled the thought before she started to get depressed by the furtune of other people. She turned to the little one who was giggling from being prodded and tickled by mummy. “Oya, go and change your clothes so that I will help you wash them.” “I will help him wash them.” Titi interjected,  Mrs Adeoye nodded and motioned for her to take the boy away. The door opened again and Adekoya senior entered in
“Ee ka bo.” Mrs Adeoye greeted.
“Ooo.” He replied.
“Bawoni service?” (How was service?)
“It was wonderful o. You should have been there. I don’t still understand why you chose to sit at home on a Sunday…”
Mrs  Adeoye stared intently at her husband, how was she expecting him to understand, she thought. For her to come and dress up and smile and be saying ‘God bless you brother. God bless you sister,’ when God has not yet blessed her; or for her to come and ra baba. (dance heartily) during praise worship when she was crying inside; no, maybe it is the one that she would shout ‘Praise the Lord!’ for other people and sit down to listen to their testimonies of the goodness of God in their lives. How will he understand? Men and their insensitivity.
Her husband was still talking but she didn’t hear anything, as she was still immersed in her thoughts, though her body language gave the false impression that she was listening. It was when he got up to go inside that she jolted back to reality. She heard her husband say “They sha asked after you in church and I said you were a bit down.” Mrs Adeoye responded with a nod. Some moments after Mr Adeoye went inside, her cell phone rang. She checked the number on it, it was an unknown number, she supposed it was the choir director or some other member who wanted to check on her well being and she picked. “Hello, good afternoon” She spoke in apprehension.
A clear, rich female voice buzzed out of the cell’s speaker. “Good afternoon to you too, am I speaking to Mrs Adeoye please.”
She hesitated for a moment, she was sure the caller was not familiar with her, if not she would have recognized the voice of who she was calling. Abi it was one of those testimonies that when people’s faith was almost gone, they get strange calls, for contracts, scholarships, financial fortunes etc. “God na my turn?...” She thought.
“Hello o,” beckoned the voice on the other end.
“Oh I’m sorry. Yes, you are speaking to Mrs Adeoye. Who am I speaking to please?”
After the caller uttered some words, Mrs Adeoye let out such a loud shriek of delight, that everybody popped up at the living room, wanting to share in the ‘good news.’ Titi watched on with interest, trying to remember when last she had seen her mum in high spirits. Mrs Adeoye rapped on the phone excitedly some more, ignoring all staring eyes. When the call ended, she turned to her husband “An old friend called and she wants to visit tomorrow. I hope it is fine.” “Do I know her?” “That my NYSC friend.” “Oh, There is no problem then.” He said and turned back. She turned to the children and ordered. “You people should clean this house o, we are expecting a visitor tomorrow.” Titi eager to do anything to appease her mum, responded amicably. Bankole just turned away. “Mtchew.” He thought, “wey I even think say na better thing.”
*           *           *
It was 1996, Shagari village, outskirts of Akure. Motunrayo, clad in her NYSC khahi, sat on her luggage, with other corpers waiting for a vehicle to come and take them to their various Primary Place of Assignment (PPA). Motunrayo wore a visible scowl, hating the place and hating herself for been unfortunate to be posted here. She glared at everything within sight. “I have seen you smile before, in camp…” She heard someone say behind her and she turned to look at the person. “…and it is very lovely. Maybe if you smile now, this whole place would be brighter.” A smile forced Motunrayo glum lips open, exposing a remarkable set of white teeth. “Let me officially introduce myself.” The lady corper continued, stretching a hand. “The name’s Elizabeth.” “Motunrayo, its a pleasure.” That was the beginning of the deliverance from a service year of impending gloom.
Motunrayo forced her mind back to 2015 and the road she was plying, she couldn’t help it though, flashbacks of her time with Elizabeth during service year kept on coming back, she couldn’t wait to see her friend and her family. She was sure her home would be infected with joy she always carried. She checked out for the name of the last street in the text Elizabeth sent to her for directions. She slowed down and wound down the window to ask a young man for Oluwole street. She adjusted her shawl as he approached to direct her. “Keep going straight until you see a block industry then take the first turning to the right after it. That is Oluwole street.”
*           *            *
“Now you children had better behave yourselves. I don’t want any trouble from you people, you hear me? Hey Bankole, put that your phone away! Junior, c'mon remove that dirty hand away from your mouth! Don’t think any of you is past the age of flogging o. I don’t even need to flog, no food for anybody who misbehaves this night.” Mrs Adeoye announced shortly before the visitor arrived.
Bankole did not even argue. He was going to wear his poker face till all this drama ends, and then he was going to lash out at mum. “Couldn’t even thank us for cleaning the house.” He thought. He turned to look at his sister, who helped mum prepare something for the visitor. She seemed to look forward to see a visitor. He didn’t blame her though. It had really been a while people visited their house. Only the Landlord knocks occasionally to discuss house rent with daddy or give him NEPA bill. The last real visitor one was Pastor Innocent from their church who came to discuss something with daddy concerning Men’s day or something. As soon, as he entered, he contorted his face, staring here and there and started making sniffs as if he just stepped in a poultry farm. He almost did not want to sit down if father hadn’t insisted, and he grabbed the old armchair and lowered his posterior end gingerly like one does when sitting on a public toilet. Oh! The food. He ‘humbly’ refused the food in the name of modesty. Bankole saw the pained look in his mummy’s eyes as she earnestly implored him to eat what she wasted time, energy, food materials and kerosene for. He wondered if he would have refused if he was offered money. All these pastors, then they would climb the pulpit and preach on ‘LOVE’ and say look to your neighbor say “I love you with the love of God.” Then church would close and everybody was on their own till the next Sunday. Bankole thought there was a lot of hypocrisy among Christians. “Well, let's see if our visitor is any different.” He thought.
To Be Continued…

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