“In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”
“Amen.” The congregation chorused as Sunday mass came to a close.
Some members of Redemption Evangelical Church thronged forward to pay their respects to Father Brown the presiding priest of the parish.
“God bless you.”
“God bless you.”
“You are blessed.”
Father Brown had a prayer for everyone around him. The 6ft 3 inches bulky man of God was adored by his people. Even though he towered above everybody else, he was soft-spoken and a calm reassurance accompanied his teachings.
He retired to his office and said a little prayer.
The Ibom’s were due to see him in a few minutes and just as he checked the table clock to confirm the time, they shuffled in, ushered by his secretary, Agnes.
Doctor Ibom and his wife were having trouble trying to have a baby. They were a wealthy couple who had tried every means to see their dream of being parents come to pass but had been unsuccessful so far.
“I need you both to be steadfast in your faith in God. Doctor Ibom, your wife has expressed worry over your family’s insistence that you have a child outside your marriage. I know you are not succumbing to that pressure, but I need you to always reassure of her of this,” Father Ibom said as their counselling session came to an end.
Dr Ibom nodded slowly.
“Let us pray.”
Three hours later, all was quiet.
The last member of the congregation had left
“Meet me inside,” the text read.
It was a command. One she knew she had to obey immediately. The genteel, kind personality everyone knew and had grown to love evolved into a beast if he was defied.
But it appeared only she knew that.
Many times, she had considered calling him out, but who would believe her?
Besides, she had gone too far into their unholy liaison, if she attempted to expose him now, she would take most of the flak. She would be excoriated and tagged a Jezebel who wanted to bring down a revered priest.
She was a married woman for God’s sake!
“What took you so long?”
“I…I’m sorry, Father, I had to quickly go to the bathroom,” she lied
“Don’t waste my time,” his words were laced with impatience
“Have you done the needful?”
“Yes…” her voice trailed off
Panties were not allowed in the inner recess; they desecrated the place, Father always said. As if what they were about to do…what they had been doing for the past eight months had not already violated what was supposed to be the holiest part of the church.
She had taken them off and stuffed them in her bag.
Now she came face-to-face with him. She could barely make out his round face in the dark room.
“Come, my love”
She could turn back now, she could end it here and now. She could refuse to do this.
Instead, she extended her left arm and he took it.
She could see his teeth, he wore a grin.
She couldn’t turn back now. Not today…