The look on her face when she looked at him made him want to throw caution in the air and laugh out loud. Ebube liked her already, though he couldn’t say the same of her church members, especially some of her Choir members. He tried to make eye contact with her again when she was handing the mic over to one guy that must be one of the pastors. What she gave him in return was a stern look rather and he wondered if it was her own way of saying thank you to him, he had only giving her an acknowledgement charming smile.
He walked back to his seat a little disappointed, it would be his third time of coming to the church since he was transferred to Port Harcourt, and it wouldn’t have been bad to hit up with the voluptuous curvy lady, a daughter of Eve in the house of the lord. The church was already in praying mood and he didn’t know what to do with himself, he wasn’t much of a prayer warrior himself, he had always relied on the prayers of his mother.
Women screaming, clapping and shaking their heads with reckless abandonment, some men were on their knees while the pastor was praying in tongues and calling out prayer topics.
Not too long a sister took the stage and the attention of everyone, jumping from her seat, she hopped like an antelope to the front where she would be seen by everyone,
“She does that every Sunday, always in the spirit” A young man beside Ebube said
“Hmm, why wouldn’t the pastor stop her?” Ebube asked
“Stop? It’s a sign that the holy spirit is in the church” the young man said in a hush
An elder turned and looked at the two men “reverence the spirit of God young men, don’t let him pass you by” he cautioned them
Ebube bent his head and closed his eyes, but his neighbor moved closer to him and whispered “Nice sound you made on the keyboard today…my name is mark by the way” the elder glanced at them.
The Pastor was already preaching when he was able to see her again, she was having a fight with what seemed like her bra strap, for she had her hand inside her cloth by the shoulder, tugging on something. she looked up and her gaze fall on him, this time she didn’t look away immediately, she held the gaze, lifting up an eyebrow, questioning him silently and challenging him. He gave her a smile and she gave him a finger with her lips forming the words ‘F*ck you’
“What the f*ck! Who does that in church” Ebube muttered, trying hard to bring down his voice, but his sudden exclamation drew Mark’s attention
“What is that?”
Mark looked from him to the Elizabeth following his eyes “Oh that…”
The Elder gave both of them a warning look, then shook his head “Where you not the one who played the Keyboard just now?” He asked
“I am sir”
“Are you born again?”
“I know you are not, if you are, you will understand the important of God’s word and will stop allowing this rascal distract you” Elder Walter said, referring to Mark as the rascal
Mark drew a breath but said nothing, the pastor was rounding up his message when Mark whispered to Ebube “I am f*cking his daughter and he didn’t know, yet he calls me rascal”
Laughter like a bubble escaped Ebube’s lips “Man you are wicked…what!!!”
They were lucky that elder Walter was on his way to the Alter to receive the commission for mission and evangelism, and the pastor’s son has resumed his cacophony which swallowed their conversations.
“See that girl?” Mark pointed at the beautiful slender Usher standing closed to the Alter
“Which girl?” Ebube asked
“Okay…I see her”
“She is the one, I love her though, but that old Elder would not allow me marry her. He would rather prefer Deacon Sotoye’s Son who has a car … I don’t have a car so, I am out of the picture” Ebube could sense the pain in the young man’s voice which disappeared almost Immediately.
“So… I haven’t seen you in this church before, are you new?” Mark changed the topic
“Yes, though this is my third time of attending” Ebube said, distracted, he had his eyes on the curvy lady who was had her thumb nails in her mouth absent minded.
“Hope you have come to stay”
“I actually was posted here three weeks ago” when he saw Marks confused look, Ebube added “I am with the Nigerian Nevy”
“I knew it! I knew there was something about your boldness…”
“The elder is coming back” Ebube mused
“Oh…” Mark adjusted and sat straight
She was known for acting on impulse, and that was what she did when she caught the Handsome guy looking at her with a smirk on his face for the second time. Now she felt bad about it and didn’t know how to undo what she did. After all she was the one that had thrown away her home training and had looked at a man like a fool.
She had forgotten herself, drown in his beauty and powerful structure, then came that taunting smile he gave her, it was as if he knew she had lusted a little bit
“Forgive me Jesus” she made an inaudible prayer.
She didn’t know she would still have butterflies in her stomach for any man. She had promise God that she would go celibate if that would bring a husband who would love her and her body size, and this man has come to tempt her now.
“Get ye behind me devil” she said waving her hand over her head and snapping her fingers
“What is that? Who is the devil that came to church?” Amaka asked
“Nothing… just a thought I remembered”
Elizabeth stole a glance at the Man again, he wasn’t looking at her, though she was half expecting him to do so, not after her being rude to him.
“…the church will be embarking on a twenty-one days praying and fasting to usher us into the new month. This praying and fasting is very important if we want to function well in this era of depression and lack…”
Elizabeth heard someone cleared her throat beside her by the left and turned,
“This fasting will be good for some people so they can be able to slim down and start coming to church early” Mitchel, one of the church’s lead singers said, drawing laughter from other members who heard her
“Hungry Bitch that looks like an HIV patient” Elizabeth retorted at the girl who was taken aback at Lizzy’s choice of words
“At least some of us are not on their late forty’s and single”
“What the f…” Lizzy was in her full rage
“Calm down Lizzy, you are in church” Amaka said, holding her friend
“Did she just call me forty and single?”
“Let it go Lizzy you are more than this you know…”
“Tell this cassava stem that eat poverty for breakfast that I …”
“We are calling on the Milk and Honey choir to come and take us to the throne of grace with hot praises so we can dance and come for our general offering”
With the church clapping, Mitchel stood up and walked to the Alter, swinging her buttocks and crossing her long legs in a cat-walking style
“B*tch” Elizabeth muttered
“Don’t be bitter Lizzy”
Elizabeth glance towards the Man again and caught him looking, he was looking at her the whole time, she didn’t hold the gaze out of shame and she didn’t know why she should care about what he would think of her.
It was eleven thirty-five when the service finally came to an end. Ebube had love to walk up to her and say hi, maybe get her contact, but by the time he was done exchanging pleasantries from those that wanted to commend his piano playing skills, she was gone.
He walked with disappointment out of the church, though he hoped he could see her before she left.
“Hi” Mitchel came to him with a smile
“Weren’t you the lady that did the praise section?”
“Oh yes! I did…hope you like it?” Mitchel batted her eye-lid like the wings of a butterfly
“It was okay” He said, looking around to see if he could get a glimpse of her
“And you didn’t play for me…”
“I am not part of your music team, I just helped out when there was no one there, I guess the brother that came later and took over did a good job”
“Excuse me, I have to go now” Ebube petted her on the shoulder and left
“I hope you will join the choir very soon” Mitchel shouted at him as he walked away.
He caught up with her while she was struggling to slut her car key and open the car;
“What!” she retorted
“Hey easy! I just came to say hi”
“Sorry… bad day…” she said and opened her car
“It is obvious…I mean the bad day”
Elizabeth stood with her hand akimbo “What do you mean?”
“I mean…who come’s late to church when she was supposed to sing, has anger all over her for no just reason, was ready to fight everyone in church and can’t even say ‘thank you’ to the guy that rescued her during praise and worship, that would have gone wrong by the way”
He saw color left her yellow face “Remind me who you are again? Oh you think I owe you now because you played the Piano while I was singing? What are you doing in this church by the way? Adding to my problems?”
“you have such a huge attitude problem for a lady with such a beautiful body like yours” he said, he was already getting angry himself
“What? did you just indirectly talked about my size? Did you just…?
He was already driving out of the church on his Lexus 330, with Mark chatting his life away.
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