I just want to drop a quick one. There will be no episode of Love, Your Enemy next week but I’ll be here two weeks later. Please, pardon me. I just want to sort out a few things.
Fatimah, the lady that brings you Omoge Campus apologizes for her absence. Her laptop went bad and she’s hoping to get a new one. Ibukunwrites promises to return soon with Memoirs of a Repentant Escort. She had been ill for a while and had also just recently completed her NYSC.
Meanwhile, I may resume adding pics to my posts, although not always. This is because I stumbled across a goldmine account on Instagram. OMG! The guy is Papa personified. I saw him and I was like there is no way I’m not sharing these hot pics. I just couldn’t resist. Don’t mind me; I can’t say no to pics of sexy men.
Okay, ignore that.
Today’s episode is dedicated to youth corpers who passed out on Friday. I wish you guys wonderful years ahead and loads of success. May you not suffer abeg. May Blessings find you.
Keep to a path far from her, do not go near the door of her house…
In those days, he wasn’t known as Papa. He was simply Pastor George. A down to earth, charismatic pastor, loved by the congregation he led. Sometimes, people addressed him as The Prophet. It was his ministry. He was blessed with the gift to see things no one else saw.
This prophetic ministry gave him an edge over his boss, a popular general overseer of a certain Pentecostal church in Abeokuta. George’s renown brought friction and a venomous amount of jealousy from the man. In those days, George began to nurse ideas of leaving and starting his own ministry. But before that happened, he became distracted by a pretty thing in the choir. Her name was Phoebe. She came from a decent family. She had just finished her NYSC program and was looking to find a good job in Lagos. While she waited for something to click, she became involved in the church as a chorister.
Now, George loved music. He was one of those pastors that never joked with the praise and worship sessions in the church. He had a preaching style that was unpopular in those days but caught on much later. His sermons and prophetic sessions were often enlivened with music. He would speak for a stretch of ten minutes or so and break into song. It was rare to have him minister without worshipping. It was also rare to find anyone asleep whenever he took the stage.
He didn’t always sing the songs himself. Sometimes, he employed the help of one of the choristers who would be on standby for the duration of his sermon. This was where Phoebe came in.
The first time he heard her sing, he felt heaven on earth. She had a voice that was emotive and commanded authority at the same time. It wasn’t the sweet, soprano-like tune that most of the lead singers in the choir bore. It was deep and coarse. If he could describe it in colors, he would call her voice a dark shade of grey mixed with brown. He fell in love with it, and with her. Or rather, what she could offer.
At first, he wasn’t sure what moved him about her – if it was the anointing she bore when she sang or her slim, dark beauty. Whatever it was, it didn’t take him long to latch onto it. He spoke to the choir leader and requested that she be specially assigned to him, to accompany him on his speaking engagements outside the church. And for a man whose popularity was growing by the day, he had a lot of programs to attend.
Thus began the relationship between George and Phoebe. For the musical services she offered, she was handsomely paid. She needed no other job. Ministering with him, he told her, was her calling and career.
But he hadn’t added the clause that came with the job offer. And for a while, Phoebe had no idea that she would be required to do more. George was a patient man. Like a shark circling its prey, he had a good swim inside her mind and worked her up to compliance before he sank his jaws into her.
On their first night together, in a hotel somewhere in Pretoria, South Africa, Phoebe had wept like she was being murdered. George, irritated by her, asked her to leave his hotel room. But she went on her knees before him and begged for his forgiveness.
“I’m very sorry, sir. So sorry,” she cried. “I’ve never done this with any man of God before. You’re the first and I’m so scared. I’m scared that God will punish me.”
He had given her no reaction, but sat on the bed, watching her in the nude until her tears dried up.
“Stand up,” he then said to her. She obeyed. “Come here.”
She went to him with shaky knees.
She sat on the bed.
“Do you know that I have a special anointing from God that covers you? That no matter what happens between us, you will not be held culpable?”
She looked at him in confusion.
“Yes, Phoebe. Whatever punishment comes is not yours to bear but mine alone. It’s all on me. You are covered, darling. Have no fears. Okay?”
Phoebe nodded, still unsure but willing to please.
“Just fulfill your duties by making me happy. Forget about anything else.”
Phoebe swallowed his words like choice wine and was soon caught in a situation too deep for her to wiggle out of. He had rules she adhered to. She was not to come to him before any preaching engagement. Their sexual encounters were always after he was spent. She would then ‘restore’ the virtue that had gone out of him. She was also not allowed near him whenever he was fasting and praying.
Phoebe didn’t care for the rules, as long as she was getting her regular dose of the holy staff. She became addicted to him and began to nurse the idea that he would someday leave his wife for her. This was as a result of an unwelcome encounter she had with the woman who showed up at her sister’s home to enquire about Phoebe’s relationship with George.
Phoebe, had of course, denied that there was anything between them.
“I’m not going to argue with you,” the wife told her. “But just to let you know, the thing you’re doing with him won’t last. You’re just his toy, and he gets bored easily. Try and find a job as soon as possible. You’re beginning to expire.”
The visit left Phoebe angry. And in desperation, she quit on her contraceptives with the sole intention of getting pregnant for George. Two months later, she discovered that she was with child, and in her profound foolishness, went to him to break the news.
He went livid and demanded that she terminated the pregnancy.
“Don’t you love me anymore?” she asked in bewilderment.
“Of course, I do, Phoebe.” He went calm and held her face. “But can’t you see that the tides are rough, sweetheart? I’m struggling in every sense of the word. I’m no longer wanted here. I’m about to leave Abeokuta to begin my own ministry. I’m going back to Lagos…”
“I’m going with you, George.”
“Phoebe, you can’t. Things are going to be difficult for me there. I don’t want you to suffer.”
“My sister’s husband just got transferred to the ministry of education in Lagos. We’re moving too.”
George’s hands dropped from her face. He bowed his head in thought and when he brought it up, he told her without baulking, “You’re taking that baby out.”
“You want to bring ruin to my ministry? You want to destroy God’s work in my life?”
“This is God’s baby,” she said, pointing to her tummy. “You told me everything we were doing was covered by grace. And that means this is God’s plan too. He wants this, and his grace is sufficient to see us through.”
George looked at Phoebe like she was mad. And he actually believed she was. He blamed himself. He had worked her peanut brain so much that she no longer had the simple facility to reason well.
He saw a huge disaster in the offing.
“Phoebe…” He held her again. “You can have another baby at another time…”
“No, George! No! I want this one! I don’t want another one.”
In frustration, he scratched at his brow, almost peeling it off.
“Fine. I’ll have a word with your sister about this. But until then, please don’t say anything to anybody.”
“Why would I want to tell anybody, George? I don’t want to be used by the devil.”
Again, he became afraid of the monster he had created in her. That evening, he sat with her elder sister, Priscilla, and exposed his transgressions to her.
“I am so sorry, Sister Priscilla. It was a moment of weakness on my part. My marriage has been void of physical activity for a long time. My wife seems not to be attracted to me. And this has been difficult… and Phoebe came into the picture…”
“There is no need to explain, Pastor George,” Priscilla responded with a knowing smile. “I’ve been with men of God long enough to know how very human they can be. We all fall, sir. It’s nothing new.”
George almost let out a relieving sigh but he held back out of caution. Priscilla was a woman of cunning. He knew there was a trap somewhere.
“I will speak to Phoebe and let her see sense in keeping to your wishes.”
“Thank you, Priscilla.”
“Might I ask if there’s a caveat somewhere?”
“Just one little thing….” She winced with a smile. “Or two.”
“What are they?”
“Your new ministry in Lagos…I want to be part of it. I know God will bless and enlarge your territory and I want to be one of the pioneers of that blessing. Make me a member of the board of trustees. Also make me the treasurer. With my history in accounting, I know no one better to handle the church’s finances. You know my husband and his archaic view a wife staying at home and doing nothing. This has prevented me from holding a job. But he doesn’t have any qualms with me working for God.”
“That’s fine, Sister Priscilla. I’ll be glad to have you on board.”
Priscilla beamed at him. “Go home, sir. Relax. I will handle my sister.”
Easier said than executed. Phoebe, like everyone else, had her own designs of greatness. She was not as dumb as they all supposed. As much as she had fantasies of taking over from George’s wife, she had the commonsense to keep to an alternative plan. When Priscilla brought up the idea of an abortion to her, she pretended to be against it. And then after much cajoling, she agreed to it, only if George would get her an apartment of her choice in Lagos and cater to her needs.
George was okay with the terms. Ergo, on a certain day, Priscilla escorted Phoebe to a private clinic somewhere in Lagos to have the deed done. But Phoebe hoodwinked her sister and instead, paid for antenatal services in the same clinic. Days later, she was in her new home, furnished and paid for by the man she loved, whose baby she was still carrying.
The affair continued but without any sexual activity. George was growing his ministry; he made it clear that he didn’t need any distraction from her. All he wanted was someone he could confide in. His marriage was falling apart. His son had gone rogue. His daughters were out of the country, studying. He was a lonely man with a lot on his hands. Phoebe was a trusted confidant.
But the trust was soon shattered when he discovered she was still pregnant with his child. She was six months gone by then and it would have been insane for him to suggest a termination. He was enraged, and in that mood, ended the relationship.
His rejection left Phoebe in a bad way. Her health suffered and deteriorated so badly that on the eighth month she developed life-threatening complications that landed her in the hospital where she was told that she would be put under a surgeon’s knife to save her and the baby.
Phoebe panicked. Seeing the end of her life drawing near so fast, she began to recall her past sins and sought forgiveness for them. But none of them shook her like her affair with George. She was certain that God was punishing her for it.
Scared of the unknown, she sent a message to George’s wife. She wanted her over so she could beg her forgiveness.
The poor woman had received the note with tears in her eyes. Coincidentally, her son, Leye was just walking into the house. She tried to hide the note from him but he pried it off her hands and read out loud the incoherent scribbles of the woman who was tearing his parents’ marriage apart.
“You’re crying over this?!” he asked, angry. “She should die!”
Moji put her hand over her son’s mouth. “Shh! Please, don’t talk like that. It’s not her fault. Let God not punish us for your father’s sins. Please, an innocent child is involved.”
“So what do you want to do?”
“What will I do, Leye? I will go there and pray for her. If she dies – God forbid – or if the baby dies, God’s wrath will fall on all of us. I have to forgive her.”
“You owe her nothing! On her own, she carried on an affair with a married man!”
“I know but let’s not judge her. Let God do as he so desires with her.”
“And your husband? You’ll forgive him too?”
Moji had no answer for her son. “I have to go.”
“I’m following you…”
“No, no, no. Stay here, please.”
“No, I am going with you.”
Moji dashed into her room, picked her scarf and followed her son out. Throughout the journey, he swore and cussed at his father. When she could squeeze in a word or two, Moji scolded him. Other times, she just let him be. She knew he didn’t understand the complexities of human relationships. He had just turned twenty.
Moji had been born to Deacon and Deaconess O. Ayoola who were both respected elders at one of the prominent Baptist churches in Abeokuta. Mojisola was the first of three children, the only daughter. She had been raised in strictness, under unwavering Christian values. Until her wedding night, she had not known any man. She hadn’t even found herself in a room alone with one before she became George’s wife. But she had been highly sought after in those days by the eligible bachelors in Christian circles. Slim and pretty she was, with soft, curly hair that had seen a razor only once during the course of her life. She was educated too, having schooled in a Christian university in the US under the kind auspices of American missionaries who had fallen in love with her because of her devotion to God. Her exposure increased her profile, and George, not known to be a dull man with women, made a beeline for her. Her parents gave little resistance because of the status of his family, and in less than five months of courting her, she became his wife.
Her wedding night was horrific. Sex had both shocked and bruised her. After her third sexual experience, she ran home, ready to quit the marriage for a life of celibacy to God. But her mother had sent her back with a reminder that it was her job as the wife to please her husband. Sex was for men alone to enjoy. Her duty was to lie there and take whatever he offered, and in return, bear him children.
“Even if you find yourself enjoying it, never show him. Only prostitutes enjoy sex, and you are not a prostitute!”
But Moji had felt violated by George’s touch, even when he was gentle with her. She felt filthy whenever his hand went between her legs or if his lips touched her nipples. She was glad each time she was pregnant. It was always the perfect excuse to avoid intimacy. He was often angry at her behavior and would do everything to ensure that she was sexually liberated, but Moji would look at him with deep embarrassment each time he tried. On a special occasion of their wedding anniversary when he brought home a romance movie in which there were scenes of explicit lovemaking, Moji had hidden behind a pillow and afterwards embarked on fasting and prayers to cleanse her soul from perversion.
She became miserable as a wife. The only joy she had in the marriage was found in motherhood. Sex ended for her and George after she found out she was pregnant with Folashade, their lastborn.
When she gave him the news, he said to her, “That’s the last child we’re having, Moji. And I think I’ve fulfilled my duty of giving you all the children you need. There will be no more sex. I’m tired of feeling like I am raping you. Enjoy the celibacy you always wanted.”
She had been relieved at his words, and had not even bothered when he moved to another room, abandoning her in their bedroom. Their children distracted her from the need for affection, and in a short period, she became a stranger to her husband.
However, the years passed speedily and the children grew up. When they began to leave the house, Moji fell into loneliness. At that point it dawned on her that someday they would all be married and gone and she would be left with her husband alone. She then decided on a U-turn to save her marriage. But because she was ill-equipped and unaccustomed to the ways of pleasing a man, her efforts fell short.
“Stop trying,” George said to her one night when she came into his room in a silky nightgown, her hair just relaxed and her earlobes hurting from having just pierced them. “I no longer love you and I stopped being attracted to you a long time ago, Moji. You wanted it this way, and it will remain like this until you get tired and walk out of this marriage with your own two legs.”
“George, I’m sorry.”
It was the only time she was addressing him by his first name and not ‘Daddy Leye’ or ‘Oko mi’.
“I want to be the wife you want…”
“It’s too late, Mojisola. Way too late.”
She wept for days and pleaded for his attention but her pleas touched nothing in him. It was during that time that Adonijah, a busybody in the church who wanted to be in the circle of pastors and enjoyed involving himself in every affair the leaders were concerned with, started to get close to the Omotosho family. After a certain anointing-packed communion service in which Phoebe led the church in praise and worship, he came to Moji and revealed to her that he had reason to suspect that George’s official trips with Phoebe were not as official as was supposed.
Moji became observant after the revelation, watching George and Phoebe for clues that would give an affair away. But it was a note in his sermon notebook, handwritten by Phoebe, that exposed their indiscretion. The note had been difficult for Moji to read because it had been brazen, filled with words and descriptions of a sexual nature her lips couldn’t utter. Nonetheless, she made a copy of it and took it to her mother, who after reading it, advised her to put the matter away.
“Men have their wives and they have their whores, Mojisola. If you break your head over it, you will go to an early grave. You have fulfilled your duty of giving him children. Face your God and your bible. But keep George in prayers to make sure the devil doesn’t land him a woman that will force you out of your home or lead him to an early grave.”
“But you told me not to do these same things she’s doing to him,” sobbed Moji. “Shebi if I had done them, he wouldn’t have gone to her.”
“Even if you do them, he will never be satisfied. That’s how men are. He will still look for more. And what will you then do with all the foulness you have learned? Don’t you know you will start craving to share your body with another man just to get rid of all the carnal desires you have acquired? Do you think God was stupid when he said the woman’s desire will be for her husband alone?”
Moji threw herself on her mother’s body and bawled. She returned to her house more miserable than she had left it. That evening, she paid Phoebe a visit as a last attempt to save her marriage. It took a lot not to break down when the girl came out to meet her, bursting with youthfulness and beauty. Childbearing and age had left Moji overweight. Her skin no longer glowed. She was beginning to spot greys in her hair. She realized, just by looking at Phoebe, how much she had changed from the woman George had married.
It was with abhorrence and bitterness she regarded Phoebe. And after giving her a short, spiteful speech, she added, “you will soon expire. Your skin will sag. You will become old and ugly, and he still will not marry you. One day, you’ll wake up and realize that your life was wasted chasing after a dream that will never come true.”
Moji went home, feeling bitter still. If Phoebe reported her to George, she didn’t know. He never spoke about the visit, and with time, she also put the incident out of her mind. She took to her mother’s advice and sought God instead. At the time, Leye was a headache to her and George. Concentrating on him was enough distraction for her. He was also her consolation. Despite his misdemeanors, he often created time to sit with and talk to her. Their bond was deep enough to fill in the gaps his absences created. Each time he was at home, she would scold him, and he would sit in remorseful silence until she was done, after which he would promise to return to God and change his ways. But the next morning, he would be out the door again.
On the fated night that Phoebe struggled with her life, Leye had come home for his regular dose of scolding. The night would have passed like the rest if he hadn’t come in at the exact time Moji was reading Phoebe’s note.
“I can’t believe he got her pregnant!” Leye’s anger was still burning, forty-something minutes later. They were a short distance to the hospital. “Did you know about this?”
“No, son,” Moji lied but she had been informed of Phoebe’s pregnancy by Adonijah a couple of months ago.
“Mom, I’m so mad. I just can’t believe this. You have to divorce him when this over.”
Moji looked at her son as though he had uttered a blasphemous word. “Divorce?”
“Yes. You deserve better than this, and we, your children, we’ll support you.”
“Ah, no, Omoleye. Please, get that evil idea out of your mind.”
“Let me guess, you can’t do it because of what the bible says. Well, let me let you know that the bible supports you in this instance. Feel free to divorce your lying, cheating, useless husband!”
“Shut your mouth, Jeremiah!” Moji yelled. “Don’t let me slap that face of yours! Have you lost your mind to speak that way?! What is wrong with you?!”
“I was just–”
“I don’t want to hear it again! Shut up, my friend! Honor your father!”
Leye said nothing further. At the hospital, he maintained his silence even when he stood by the door to Phoebe’s room, listening to her beg his mother for forgiveness. He was somewhat calm by then. Maybe it had something to do with the white walls or the strong smell of drugs. He just didn’t have the strength to continue with his anger.
“Nothing will happen to you,” Moji assured a pale Phoebe who had latched her hand on hers. “I forgive you and God will see you through.”
“Omoleye,” Phoebe called, breathing in difficulty, “please forgive me too.”
“Only God forgives sins,” he muttered and walked out. His mother joined him a short while later and together they sat with Priscilla in the waiting room.
“What are we still doing here?” Leye questioned. Moji ignored him and took the space between him and Priscilla. The woman had her head bowed. Moji tapped her shoulder. She looked up with weepy eyes.
“You have failed me, Priscilla. As a fellow woman, as a wife and as a mother, you have failed me. You knew about what your sister was doing with my husband and you didn’t tell me…”
Priscilla fell to her knees. “I am so sorry, mommy…”
“And you couldn’t even advise your sister to stop.”
“I did. God knows I did. But she didn’t listen. Please forgive me.”
Moji pulled the woman up.
“Phoebe is so stubborn, mommy. She has always been that way. I don’t know what to do with her.”
“You can start by telling her to leave somebody else’s husband alone,” Leye suggested calmly.
“I will. Let God just not let her die.”
“I have already prayed that God will have mercy on her and see her through,” Moji said. “It is well, Priscilla.”
“But I have also added that she will incur God’s wrath if she uses the baby to destroy my husband’s reputation and the ministry. It is therefore your business to ensure that the baby whether dead or alive is kept far from my husband.”
“He will never know of its existence. I don’t care what you do with it, just take it far from the Omotoshos. It can never be traced back to us. Do you understand?”
“And to ensure that this happens, I’ll be leaving my son here to make certain you keep to my instructions.”
“What?” Leye frowned. “Why?”
Moji continued, “Do as I instruct, Priscilla, or your sister will die miserably.”
“Yes, mommy. God bless you ma.”
When Moji stood up to leave, Leye followed her.
“Why do I need to stay here and monitor what she’ll do with whatever that woman gives birth to?”
“Because that whatever is your sibling, Omoleye. And wherever he or she ends up, if it’s not in the grave, it will be known one day. And when that day comes, you, as the first son might be responsible for him or her. So, it’s better you are involved from the beginning.”
“I didn’t get her pregnant. I don’t want to be involved.”
“I know, son. And I know you’re just twenty, and this seems like it’s too much to ask of you but Leye, you’re all I have in this crazy world. How I’m standing on these two feet in this hospital is a miracle. You and God are my strength right now. I need you to do this for me. If I get involved and anything happens, they’ll say I killed the baby because it belonged to my husband’s mistress. This is your opportunity to be in control of something that might become a thorn in your flesh tomorrow. Do you understand?”
“Do this for me, please. You may not understand it today but in the future you will.”
Leye nodded. She straightened his shirt for no reason, broadening tired lips with a sad smile.
“You may need some money. I will send the housemaid with something for you, and also the address to an orphanage that is been run by my friend. When I get home now, I’ll call her and tell her to expect a visit from you. Leye, please do not disappoint me.”
She gave him a pat on his cheek and left the hospital. He stood, staring at her, the weariness he felt giving way to sadness. He was just coming to see how much of a broken person his mother was. And also how strong and wise. He didn’t know any woman who would face what she was facing and yet come up with a plan like she had done. It intensified his love for her and gave him strength to tackle the task at hand. Before this, the only responsibilities he had handled were merely for his own selfish improvements. Now, a life was thrust in his hands, and he had to bear the weight of deception that would follow. As he thought about these things, he felt weighed down.
He returned to the waiting room and sat at a distance from Priscilla. It didn’t take an hour to have a nurse drop by to announce that Phoebe had been delivered of a healthy baby boy.
“He was born at thirty-eight weeks, and he’s doing fine. No complications.”
“And my sister?” Priscilla questioned.
“The doctors are doing everything to keep her stable. As it is, things don’t look good, ma. But we are hoping they’ll get better. I’ll keep coming to tell you how things are progressing,” the nurse concluded, hurrying off before Priscilla could ask more questions.
Priscilla fell back on her chair, shattered. Leye watched as she prayed and cried, muttering soundless words to herself. He felt no pity for her. He didn’t want to be there with her. All he desired was a good meal and his bed.
It was raining when the housemaid sent by Moji arrived. She had come with money and a lengthy note with detailed instructions on what should be done. At the end of the note, Moji added:
I have called Pastor Adonijah and explained everything to him. He will be in the hospital shortly to facilitate things. I know you don’t like him but he has promised to keep this a secret from your father. Please, cooperate with him.
Leye was annoyed at the postscript. It simply showed his mother didn’t think he was man enough to handle things. He believed involving Adonijah was poor judgment. The fewer the people who knew about the situation, the better.
But Adonijah burst into the waiting room even before he finished thinking these thoughts. The man came in with an air of officiousness. He was stocky, with impatient manners. He always seemed to be in a hurry. He owned eyes that roamed around like jobless sex walkers scouting for clients, and a set of sparkling white teeth that preferred to stay behind lips that were never known to smile. And if they did smile, they were done in some ass-kissing act or for sinister reasons.
This evening he burst into the waiting room with a bulgy tummy first, on which a pink t-shirt rested. Leye imagined the t-shirt belonging to his wife. The man had probably ripped it off her body in his annoying manner before leaving the house.
Leye faced him. He had mentioned the name with importance. He was the only person apart from family that addressed Leye with the name.
“I got a call from your mother on my landline.”
It was the early 90s. Everyone who owned a phone had it connected to a wall through some wire. The whole world knew this but Adonijah would always remind anyone within earshot that he had a landline. Same way he would rather say my Santana instead of my car. A car that would have been Leye’s if George had not gifted it to him.
“Can you explain to me how things have gone so far?”
Leye hesitantly let out the details of the Phoebe situation.
“Good. Good. Fine. Good. Okay. Good,” Adonijah said in one breath. “Allow me handle this, boy. You should go home.”
Leye didn’t like the man’s stubby hand on his chest or the way he called him ‘boy’.
“You’re talking about my younger brother here, sir. I’m not leaving.”
“Okay. Fine. Good. Good. Em…mmm…good. Okay. Let’s do it this way.”
And he took his time to echo back the plans Leye had just laid out to him a couple of minutes ago. Leye sighed, too tired to complain.
They sat beside each other, waiting another thirty minutes before a doctor showed up to announce that Phoebe had survived and was in recovery.
“Thank you, doctor,” Adonijah said loudly, shutting down Priscilla who had begun asking the doctor if she could see her sister. “When will we be able to transfer her to another hospital?”
“Is anything wrong with this one?” the doctor asked.
“No. No. No. Nothing wrong. It’s good. Good. It’s just that we have a family hospital and for certain privacy reasons surrounding this baby, we would rather have him and his mother where they will be safe.”
Adonijah leaned towards the man and Leye heard him say, “It’s political. His father was almost murdered in Abuja yesterday.”
Adonijah nodded conspiratorially. The doctor nodded back in understanding.
The country was in a perilous state under military rule then, led by the late Sani Abacha. The lives of the citizens were as flimsy as a basket of eggs rolling down a hill. People dropped at the snap of fingers that held the nation. Hence, it was understandable for anyone to make drastic decisions bordering on security.
“Well, if she’s stable tomorrow as she is now, you can take her to your hospital of choice,” the doctor assured.
“Good, doc. Good.”
“How about the baby?” Priscilla asked.
“You can all come back tomorrow morning to see them.”
“So, I can’t stay with my sister?”
“No, madam. Return tomorrow.”
Adonijah shook hands with the doctor who left afterwards.
“They won’t let me see her tonight?” Priscilla looked about, crestfallen.
“Go home, Sister Priscilla.”
“But before you go, I want to tell you that you should be ashamed of yourself over your sister’s conduct – trying to bring down a man of God. Shame on you both. I would bury my head in the sand if I were you. I pray that sister of yours disappears from this Lagos when she gets better. In fact, I advise that she does. And you, you’ll have to pay penance by giving God your all in his vineyard. Shameless lot!”
His words left Leye intrigued. Maybe even a little impressed. Still, he did not trust the man. He considered him one of those slithering snakes that had the ability to be chameleonic in all manner of grass. He stuck with him all through the night, however. They walked about the hospital premises, snacked on chin-chin and juice and talked about the state of things in the country.
When daylight came, it found Leye sleeping in Adonijah’s car, feet on the dashboard. Without waking him up, Adonijah went back to the hospital, and together with Priscilla who had just arrived, they facilitated Phoebe’s transfer to another hospital. She was then conveyed in an ambulance, accompanied by Phoebe, while her baby was put in the care of Adonijah who took him to where his car was parked.
“Hey. Jeremiah. Wake up.” Adonijah opened the passenger door and placed the baby in Leye’s arms just as he jolted up.
“We’re going to the orphanage. Hold him well. He’s fragile.”
Adonijah took the driver’s seat. “They say he needs to be monitored. This friend of your mom, she’s a doctor too, right?”
Leye hadn’t heard him; he was gazing at the baby.
“Your mom’s friend is a doctor? The owner of the orphanage?”
Adonijah fired up his car and eased it out of the spot it had been parked. As they headed to the orphanage, country music played from the stereo. Adonijah bobbed his head to it, eyes darting from the road ahead, the streets around them and at Leye who was held bound by the newborn in his arms.
Adonijah thought to himself that George had screwed up. If there was one thing a man of God was to be wary of, it had to be a female. Adonijah saw them all as serpents, sent out to destroy men from their rightful positions with God, just as Eve had done with Adam. George had been careless and foolish, and he was someday going to pay for his sins. He alone. And maybe his family too, Adonijah didn’t care. If they would all go down for it, then it was God’s will. As for him, he would stay faithful to supporting the man of God, as long as the work of God progressed. If George Omotosho was going to be an obstacle, then by all means, he should be taken away from the picture. It was one thing to destroy oneself; it was another thing to meddle with God’s kingdom in the process. In a case of the latter, there was to be no forgiveness.
Adonijah stopped his car outside an orphanage that had paintings of kids and animals on its walls.
“Have you thought of what to call him?”
Leye looked at Adonijah. “What?”
“Your brother. What do you want to name him?”
“Me? I’m not his father.”
“Think up a name fast. And a surname too. He can’t be an Omotosho.”
Leye looked at him in confusion. “I can’t do this.”
“You can, boy. It’s simple. You will go in there and tell whatever lie your mother told you to tell, and then name your brother.”
“She didn’t really leave a lot of instructions. She just told me to come here, that her friend would be waiting.”
“Do I look like I care? Just find a name for him.”
They both stepped out of the car. As Adonijah led the way into the building, he began thinking of ways he would benefit from the situation in the future.