A Novel Written By: Kolade Segun-Okeowo (KSO)
Gbayike thought of the insult in having to go and tell Morakinyo that she’s now ready to marry him. What if Morakinyo looks down on her and tries to prove difficult? What if he becomes vengeful? In case he says he’s no longer interested? ‘Will he not think I’m forcing myself on him?’
She was lost in thoughts forgetting that pastor Kalejaye was sitting there.
“Are you there?’’ Pastor Kalejaye said breaking into her thoughts. She stammered and managed to say a “Yes Sir’’
“Don’t waste time at all… go and meet him’’ said the pastor as if he knew what was going on in Gbayike’s heart.
“It’s better you don’t delay. Nobody knows what tomorrow holds… do you understand….Let me know as soon as you decide, so I can make arrangements for the escorts.’’
“Yes Sir, I understand’’ Gbayike said merely responding, though she did not hear what the pastor said, her thoughts were too far away.
Oyinkansola Oyero who is also known in the Kingdom of the Queen of the Coast as Princess Hagatha and Princess Sapienta, her emissary to the palace of the Queen of the Coast held regular meetings at the back of the parsonage. Twelve midnight was always the time for the meetings. Sapienta receives full report of Hagatha’s assignment and delivers to the Queen.
That night, as Sapientia approached the house; she stopped briefly to survey the interior of the parsonage carefully. From the outside she could see the inside perfectly through the special demonic telescopic powers granted her as a Daughter of Lucifer operating on level 777 of spiritual wickedness.
She beckoned to Hagatha who was already sleeping with her left leg thrown across the mud wall. An eerie silence pervaded the whole environment. No goat bleated; the usual chattering of insects was completely absent.
Hagatha received the signal and rose to join Sapientia outside. She moved first towards Morakinyo’s room and cast a spell over the room. The spell was meant to keep him sleeping as long as their meeting would last. She had learnt to do that since the causality of the first meeting she had with Sapientia.
Sapientia had beckoned to her according to their pre-arranged agreement. She rose to join her comrade outside and they began the discussion. They had not spoken for five minutes when the ground started vibrating violently. Unknown to them, twelve midnight was Morakinyo’s usual hour of prayer in the night.
The prayer was directly against all forces of darkness operating in the village. A sudden surge of power hit Hagatha violently crushing her against the mud wall, she rose quickly trying to gather herself together to rush inside but another force threw her violently against the door. That was repeated two more times before she could find her way back inside the house. Sapientia had quickly disappeared as soon as the violent force started the attack on them but not without some minor injuries.
The following morning, Oyinkansola’s eyes were swollen heavily. When Morakinyo sought to know what happened to her, she simply said a strange insect bite her during the night. They concluded it was an attack from the enemy.
Ever since that encounter, Oyinkansola would not risk another meeting with Sapientia without first casting a spell on Morakinyo. The spell would prevent Morakinyo from praying as his prayers would mean doom for the two Daughters of the River. Once the spell was cast, Oyinkansola moved to join her comrade outside in the dark.
Under normal circumstances, the meeting should have been held in Oyinkansola room, but the presence of Greatone in the house has rendered that virtually impossible. However, Greatone had lost much strength since Hagatha stepped into the house with Morakinyo.
“Hagatha! Her Majesty, the Queen is vexed with you’’ Sapientia started as soon as Hagatha joined her. “The report I gave her last night concerning your mission here was not pleasing to her’’ Sapientia continued her eyes sparkling with anger and deep concern. “Her Majesty believes three months is sufficient to achieve a breakthrough in this case”
“Sapientia, it’s not my fault!’’ Hagatha started, her countenance was sad. She was completely discouraged by the message of the Queen. She had expected her to understand that this special assignment is not only sensitive but also dangerous. On her part, she had expected the assignment to be completed within three months and here we are, she has not even achieved any major breakthrough within the first three months. She felt like weeping.
“Tell the Queen that this man is not an ordinary Christian. He’s stronger than we imagined. His prayers and holy life has scattered most of my plans. In fact, I had taken great care so that he would not discover who I am’’ Hagatha said pleadingly, her eyes begging Sapientia to understand her plight.
The Queen must be made to understand, or else she not only stand the risk of being demoted and dealt with, she also stands the risk of being subject to violent sessions of torture in the hands of specially trained demons.
“Please explain to Her Majesty to remember that I’m also handling the campus operation. She should please be patient with me. I have just started some subtle tricks and devices in order to get him trapped. Once that is done; I’ll afflict him and return to the palace simple!’’
“It’s okay I’ll deliver your message to the Honourable Queen of the Coast’’ Sapientia responded. “However, remember that Her majesty is really concerned about this operation. Ever since that man entered this village, we have not been able to get a single soul out again because of his disastrous prayers’’
“Thanks for your understanding, Sapientia…and lest I forget, there’s an assignment I’ll like you to carry out on my behalf’’
“Go on tell me, you know I’ll always be willing as long as her Majesty approves of it.’’
“She will, the assignment could speed up my operation in this village’’
“So what’s the assignment all about?’’
“There’s this girl called Gbayike in Ibadan, she’s a member of Morakinyo’s church at Ibadan, I’ll like you to…’’
Seven days after her discussion with Pastor Kalejaye, Gbayike finally made up her mind to go and confess to Morakinyo and accept to marry him. It was a hard decision to make. She wept for three days thinking about the implications of her decision. She knew she loved Morakinyo, and he’s the kind of man she wanted, but…the ministry and now the confession!
“Crying would not solve the problem, Gbayike I think the pastor’s counsel is the best. Swallow your pride and go to him in the village, at least he won’t kill you’’ Wonuola couselled her.
“Sister Wonu, what if he says he’s not interested in me again, what would I do?’’ Gbayike asked amidst sobs.
Wonuola sighed heavily, she had never thought of that. It’s true, Morakinyo might have found another lady and get engaged to her.
“That would be serious o… but I don’t think he can do that, he can’t find a woman of his standard in that place, at least, he can’t marry a village-girl’’ Wonuola said trying to assure her friend that all is well.
” Sister Wonu, you can’t be too sure’’
“Look Sister Gbayike, I agree with you that nobody can be sure of that, but I’m sure sitting down here and crying is not a better alternative’’
Encouraged by Wonuola’s counsel, Gbayike set for the village. She had stylishly got the direction from Ibadan to Shaki and Onigba-Iwofa from the head of the evangelism team but did not let him know her intentions.
She also kept the decision from The Senior Pastor. The thoughts of two members of the team following her to go and “beg” Morakinyo was nauseating to her. ‘I rather go alone and face the shame myself’. The previous day, she had gone shopping. She bought some provisions for Morakinyo.
The school was already in session, so it was not possible for her to go during the week. She chose a Saturday. The Team Leader had told her that the only vehicle from Shaki to Onigba-Iwofa leaves by ten in the morning, so she had spent Friday night to make all necessary preparations for the trip to Onigba-Iwofa the following morning. All things being equal she must get to Shaki by nine-thirty in the morning.
“This is serious!’’ Wonuola screamed as she entered the kitchen and smelled the aroma of the soup Gbayike was cooking.
“You mean all these for Bro. Morakinyo alone?’’
“Who else can they be for?’’
“Hey! Love in Tokyo! I go do o!” Wonuola said playfully. She could not help wishing she was in Gbayike’s shoes. At twenty-seven, no brother has ever proposed to her. She imagined what great soup she would cook for any brother that wins her heart.
“Gbayike, you’re lucky O’’
“You can say that again’’ She was now enjoying the teasing.
“Leaving Spinster hood for a married life is no joke!’’ She spinned her head as she said that.
“Hey! Iyawo O!’’
Just then, they heard a knock on the door. They stopped the giggling and listened. The knock came again
“Who could that be? It’s already 8 o’clock’’
“Are you expecting anyone?’’ asked Wonuola.
“Not at all’’ replied Gbayike.
“Continue your cooking, I’ll see who’s at the door’’ Wonuola said and strolled out of the kitchen into the living room and called out to be sure the visitor is familiar or not.
“Who is there?’’
“Good evening, I’m asking after Miss Adegbenro’’ A lady’s voice answered. Wonuola breathed a sigh of relief and opened the door.
Gbayike heard her name from the kitchen and quickly strolled out to see who was looking for her. Her heart missed a beat as she heard her name. Who would be looking for her at this time of the day?
‘What if Bro. Morakinyo decided to send a message to me?’ She thought.
Gbayike strolled to the living room smiling expectantly. The smiles soon gave way to blank-staring and surprise as she sees the lady looking for her. She tried to re-collect where she knew the lady, but her picture did not register anywhere in her memory.
“Good evening Ma’’ Gbayike said carefully..
“Good evening…’’ said the visitor smiling “I am from Mrs. Folake Ojuroye, the wife of Navy Captain Lanre Ojuroye of the National Ports Authority in Lagos’’
“My elder sister?’’ Gbayike was surprised. Her elder sister had actually promised to send someone to her recently, but why in the night.
“Is she the one who sent you to me?” Gbayike asked praying in her heart that the lady would say no.
“Yes ma! She’s the one.’’ The lady said. Gbayike almost cried ‘Oh no’. She simply restrained herself. She knew why her sister had sent her. They both discussed a business plan together, Mrs. Ojuroye had promised to send her secretary so that Gbayike might take her to some places as discussed in the business plan.
“I left Lagos around four o’clock, but our vehicle developed a technical fault that kept us along the expressway for about three hours.”
“Ah… what s pity… anyway you’re welcome.’’
“Your sister said she had discussed some business plans with her. She said you should take me to see those places you mentioned’’ Gbayike sighed heavily, the bombshell had been released.
“Why for God sake did my sister chose today to send her secretary. Can’t she see I have an important journey to make? It’s true I asked her to send someone to me …but em I hope you’re not returning to Lagos tomorrow?
“Ah! I have to, I just have to. Actually I ought to have returned today, but because of the incident I told you about.’’ The lady said with strong emphasis.
“I have a very important journey to make very early tomorrow morning. Please do you mind staying till I return from the journey?’’ Gbayike said pleadingly.
The lady smiled, shook her head regrettably “I wish I could do that but you see I must return to the office tomorrow before the closing time. Your sister will be angry if I don’t return by that time tomorrow”
Gbayike looked up and down; she would have to postpone the journey to some other time. The rest of the weekend was not possible for the journey. The church, programme on Sunday involved her as much as anyone. She would have to go at some other time.
“Well, my sister since you said you have to return to Lagos tomorrow, I will suspend my travelling to some other time. Please come inside and change your clothes, you need to take a shower and rest’’
Gbayike spent the whole of Saturday taking the lady from Lagos round all those places she had initially discussed with her sister. They had plans to supply second hand clothes from Cotonou to certain dealers in Ibadan. From Ibadan, they hope to buy foodstuffs which Mrs. Ojuroye will in turn supply to the Maximum Security Prison and the Ports Authority in Lagos.
Gbayike first took the lady to the food dealers at Oje market and Dugbe in Ibadan. From there they met some Ibo clothes sellers who agreed to buy from them if the prices will be the same as what obtains in Lagos. By the time they had finished going round the markets, it was two o’ clock in the afternoon. Gbayike cursed her luck. If her sister had not sent the lady, by now she would be in Onigba-Iwofa having straight-to-heart discussions with Morakinyo.
However, she remembered the contributions of Mrs. Ojuroye in her life. She single handedly sponsored her education throughout her stay in the University of Ilorin. She equally provided her domestic succour during the two years she went in search of a job after her Youth Service. Navy Captain Ojuroye, her brother-in-law was practically paying her monthly stipends in all those two years. She owed her sister a lot. The sacrifice of that one day was not out of place for a benefactor like Mrs. Ojuroye.
“So thank you Sister” the lady interrupted her thoughts “I‘ll tell your sister how everything went” She said smiling flashing her gap tooth. Gbayike would have appreciated her beauty but the fact that she came at the wrong time.
“Oh I should thank you” Gbayike quickly snapped not knowing what to say. “Please tell her to expect my phone call on Monday”
“It’s alright!” they parted at the bus stop. The lady crossed the road towards the buses en route Lagos at Challenge. Gbayike saw her entering one of the buses, she waved, the lady waved back. Gbayike turned around and let out a loud hiss.
The trip to Onigba-Iwofa had been sacrificed !
To be continued in Episode 15.