After several deliberations, Peterson and the Babalawo agreed on a date to carry out the initiation and the graveyard visit. When they were done talking, Peterson took his leave. As he stepped out of the babalawo’s house, he was approached by an Evangelist.
Evangelist: “I welcome you, Brother in the name of God. While, i was passing by, the spirit of God told me that you are a special vessel whom God intends to use for his glory. But i can see you battling in a coven where your destiny is been played and toyed with.” He said, wiping his face with his handkerchief
Peterson: “Excuse me?” he replied, staring at the man in suspicion.
Evangelist: “I do not intend any disrespect Sir. I just feel it deep inside me that you need Jesus in your life before it becomes late. May i know your name, Sir?” he asked,
Peterson: “My name is Peterson.” He replied, quietly. His thoughts taking him back to the dream he had last night.
Evangelist: “Haa! You are welcome, Brother Peterson. The book of Psalm 8 verse 5 made me to understand every of God’s creatures are crowned with his glory. Brother Peterson, you are a glorious person. You will see the manifestation of God’s glory in your life, the moment you accept Jesus into your life.” He replied.
Peterson stared at the evangelist silently.
Evangelist: “I can see in the high realm that you are meant to be God’s disciple but you’ve been perverted. You should be a true and genuine disciple of Jesus Christ, Brother Peterson. The spirit is making me to understand that you intend to partake in a devilish initiation. Please this is the time you need God the most. Do not indulge in such evil.” He cautioned.
Peterson remained mute. “How did he know i was going for an initiation ceremony? Is this a test?”He thought to himself.
Evangelist: “You don’t want to say anything, Brother Peterson? Anyway, the spirit is leading me to tell you to keep to God’s word, read your Bible daily, and study it to show yourself approved unto God. Let’s close our eyes and pray…” he closed his eyes and stretched forth his hands towards Peterson.
Evangelist: “Eternal Rock of Ages, i want to thank you for this vessel, Brother Peterson. I give you all the glory and the honour for the way you’ve been supporting him. I thank you in particular for the special grace granted unto him, saving his life. I ask that you accept our thanks in Jesus’ name. For we have prayed in Jesus’ might name. Amen!” he ended the prayer and opened his eyes.
Evangelist: “Before i let you go Bro Peterson, one good thing about being a vessel unto God’s honour, whatever you are asked to do, do it immediately and God will bless you richly. That brings us to the question; Are you now ready to accept Jesus Christ as your Personal Saviour Bro Peterson?” he asked.
Biodun: “I am not going to join the military. I have other plans for myself…” He said, his body tense with anger.
Mr Okunola: “What plan is that? You could not pass standard 5… Do you think I have money to waste on you? You will go to Kaduna and you will become a recruit there. Whether or not you become a career soldier will be your choice but like the principal said you need discipline and I don’t have the strength for it. I wish your mother were here. She will know what to do.” He replied sadly.
Biodun stomped out of his father’s room, nearly running into Gladys, who was coming into the room with a breakfast tray for her husband. She managed to balance the tray without spilling anything as Biodun stormed pass, barely noticing her. She entered the room and met her husband seated on the bed, his hand on his shin.
Gladys: “you guys had a fight again?” she asked quietly, setting the tray down on the top of the bedside drawer.
Mr Okunola raised his head and sighed.
Mr Okunola: “since his mother died, he has become more difficult to handle. He has been expelled from school. He was accused of terrorising his classmates and beating up students. His size makes him think he should be feared. Well he should go to the army and express his propensity for violence there.” He replied, a little bit of fire in his voice.
Gladys smiled discreetly as she took her seat beside her husband.
Gladys: “I think the military is a good idea but that sounds like you are sending him away from home to avoid your responsibilities as his father.” She replied, placing her hands in hands.
Mr Okunola: “what would you have me do? He is not a baby. He is 21 for Christ sake. Let the army make a man out of him. I am always at work and he can barely stand your presence.”
Gladys sighed then she bent and pecked him on the cheek.” he is a nice man really. Not much of a disciplinarian though. If it were my father, God rest his soul, that boy would be lying on his bed now with broken bones.” She thought to herself and smiled. She got up and went to the tray.
Gladys: “come and eat before the food grows cold.” She said quietly.
Mr Adepoju was a tall man but quite lanky. What he lacked in size he made up with a baritone voice that surprised anyone who heard him speak. Nobody could believe that such deep voice could come from one so slim. Despite his size though, he took no nonsense from anyone especially his only child, Temitope. He expected the boy to be a top professional one day; someone who would one day seat as the director of a ministry or head of service. He had big plans for the boy.
He walked into his son’s room that evening after school and looked around. Tope was seated before his studying table, his head bent over his books. Mr Adepoju nodded his head and sat on the bed.
Mr Adepoju: “how was school today?” he asked quietly.
Tope raised his head from his books. He had not heard his father enter.
Tope: “school was fine sir.” He replied, his eyes moving from his book to his father and back.
Mr Adepoju: “sorry to disturb you while you are studying. I won’t waste your time. I heard Mr Okunola’s son was expelled from your school today?” he asked casually.
Tope: “yes sir, he was.” He replied, wondering where the conversation was headed.
Mr Adepoju: “both of you used to be good friends I believe?” he asked.
Tope: “not anymore sir. I have not interacted with him for years.” He replied quickly.
Mr Adepoju: “good. I don’t want my son mixing up with hooligans and vagabonds. We have a reputation to maintain, do you understand? It is people like that boy that give Yoruba people a bad name. Be very careful.” He said coolly then he got up and walked to the door.
Mr Adepoju: “how is your preparation for your exams coming on?” he asked from the door.
Tope: “fine sir.” He replied.
His father nodded and walked out of the room. Tope breathed a sigh of relief and turned back to his books but he could no longer concentrate. Chidinma’s face seem to cover all the pages of the book in front of him. “Ibo girls can be so pretty. Look at her skin and the way her eyes lit with laughter…God…Seyi was like a pale shadow beside her. If only I could just get her to talk to me alone… I know what to do.” He opened his notebook to the middle and settled down to write a letter. When he was done, he read it through, made some corrections and copied the letter into a fresh sheet of paper. He searched for an envelope and sealed the letter inside it. He quickly placed it inside a textbook in his bag. “I hope she likes it and doesn’t get angry o.” he thought to himself, smiling.
Biodun walked back from the cemetery slowly. His eyes watched his feet touch its shadow on the tarred road, his hands deep inside his trouser pocket. He walked without a thought to the direction, he was taking. He walked until he heard familiar voices; people he knew. He looked up and saw students of his former school returning home from school. He stood still and watched them. Then he saw Chidinma walking by herself, her bag clutched tightly to her side. He felt the old anger pulse within him. He made a move to cross the road to her then he stopped.
Walking hurriedly from short distance behind Chidinma was Tope. It seemed he was in pursuit of her. Biodun watched the scene avidly. Tope got to Chidinma and tapped her. She jumped in surprise and turned. They stood still for some minutes then Tope dipped his hand into his pocket, brought out a piece of paper and handed it over to Chidinma. She took the paper slowly and dropped it in her bag. Tope smiled and walked away. Chidinma looked at him as he walked away, a puzzled frown on her face then she turned to Biodun’s direction and stared. Biodun shifted back into the darkness of a shop close to where he stood. “How did she know that I was here? That girl is a witch. I will pluck out her eyes out for her.” He thought to himself. He waited for some minutes then he stretched his neck out. She was gone. He came out of his hiding place and kept on walking. A thought came to him as he walked and he smiled.
Seyi watched Biodun walk towards her house from her house veranda. She had been reading there before she noticed him. “This boy will not leave me alone?” she thought to herself, angrily. She dropped the novel she had been reading on the chair, stood up and went to meet him at the entrance to her house.
Biodun: “Hello Seyi. How are you?” he asked, his eyes roving over her body possessively.
Seyi: “I was fine until you came, Biodun. What do you want?” she asked, irritated by his hungry look.
Biodun: “ha…Seyi, is this how it is now? I remember a time when you couldn’t get enough of me o. What did I do to deserve this attitude?” he asked, vexed by her rudeness.
Seyi: “that time is gone Biodun, please get with the times. I do not like you as much as I used to. Let it go and move on. Stop pestering me, please.” She turned to go back to her house.
Biodun grabbed her arm to stop her and then released her when she turned back at him, her eyes flashing with barely held fury. He raised both hands in a peace gesture.
Seyi: “that reminds me. Stop disturbing my friend, Chidinma. The girl did nothing to you.” She warned, her face flush with the strain of emotion.
Biodun looked at her speculatively and smiled. The smile hung on his face like dripping paint then fell off.
Biodun: “well she seems to be doing something to you…” he replied, turning his gaze to watch a male dog sniff after a female dog with udders dangling under her.
Seyi: “what do you mean by that?” she asked, puzzled by his statement.
Biodun: “well let’s say I saw a certain crush of yours give a note to this friend of yours after school. Did she tell you that?” he asked casually, turning to look at her.
Seyi stared at Biodun, her brain doing a quick calculation. “That double crossing bitch. Even after I warned her, she is now meeting with Tope in secret shey? No wahala. She thinks she can take my Tope from me? She doesn’t know who she is dealing with but wait…what if Biodun is trying to pull my legs? Make me feel bad? Separate me from my friend?” she thought then her eyes flickered and she smiled.
Seyi: “Biodun, you are a sly one. You want to divide and conquer shebi?” she asked slowly,
Biodun: “I have said my piece. You know where to find me.” He said then he turned and walked away.
Seyi watched him leave. “He is a lot of things but he has never lied to me. I think it is time I paid my friend a visit.” She thought to herself as Biodun’s figure receded in the distance.
Tope walked into his compound still tingling from the brief encounter he had with Chidinma. He could still see her face vividly in his mind. He walked unseeing passed their neighbour, Alhaji Haruna Kadari. He walked passed Lady Ngozi, the palm oil trader who lived with her two daughters directly under their house, unseeing; then he passed her two daughters who stared at him weirdly. He stopped and looked back. The compound was quiet, everybody staring at him. There was something unfathomable in their eyes. Then he heard the scream
Mrs Okunola: “Honey, please it was a mistake. I thought you wanted to wear it…Ha! Somebody please…” her voice echoed through the walls.
Tope dropped his school bag and ran up the stairs. He burst into the sitting room and saw his father astride his mother, his face bulging with barely suppressed anger. He threw a punch on his mother’s stomach and she grunted and gasped for air. Tope stood still and watched his father pummel his mother into the rug with punches and slaps.
His mother’s pleading eyes stared at him, tears streaming down her face. He swallowed saliva to clear his throat so he could speak but nothing could come out. His hands started shaking
Tope: “Dad, the neighbours can hear you.” He whispered finally managing to get the words out.
Mr Okunola looked up. His eyes were red, veins wreathed his skull in pulsing rhythm, sweat dripping off his face to stain his crisp white long sleeve shirt. He looked at Tope then looked down and smiled
Mr Okunola: “so you want to fight your father now eh? You are now a big man, right?” he asked, his eyes staring down at Tope’s sides.
Tope looked at his sides and saw that his hands were frozen in a fist. He did not know when he had formed a fist. He slowly let go and spread his palm by his sides then he stepped back. His father wasted no time. He gave him a flying tackle and he was soon taking his share of his father’s unfounded rage. Nobody came to their rescue. He was Mr. Okunola, he was the landlord. No one interfered with his rages, no one.
Question: Do you think that beating a child or beating a woman is a right thing? Do you think Chidinma and Seyi can continue to remain friends? Do you think the Evangelist will be able to change Peterson’s decision? Is Orisha a reliable source for one’s life protection? How about Jesus Our Saviour?
See Episode 4 Below (You don’t wanna miss this!)…AdeLove Stories…Premier Naija Inspirational Blog!
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