Read Previous Episodes of High Falling
It was just hours after Ishi and Oby made their first appearance as the new senior pastors of BCC headquarters. Jibola, Lucy, and four other church leaders who were aggravated over Ishi’s presence at the BCC were having lunch at the Ayoolas’.
“Did you see the crowd he came with?” a certain Professor Stella asked. “Ushers had to ask our own people to give up their seats for them.”
“They came with four buses,” Jibola said.
“Plus, other cars,” Lucy added. “And they were not just from First Glory. From other churches too. I heard that Meredith lost her mind in church this morning when she found it nearly empty.”
“First Glory is going down,” Jibola opined.
“Well, Ishi will be partly responsible for that. But I won’t truly blame him for today’s turn out. I think the real person responsible for that crowd is the mother of his child.”
“But he used to run a non-denominational chastity fellowship,” Jibola mentioned.
“That was until he got her pregnant.”
Professor Stella dropped her spoon. “This gist is flying over my head so fast, Lucy. I’ve been hearing about him and this OAP, but it makes no sense to me. How did that happen? He was sleeping with her while he was a pastor at First Glory or what?”
Lucy knew the true story between Ishi and Kyenpia—how Kyenpia had needed a sperm donor and he obliged her, without sex. But it was better to have the professor believing that Ishi was an immoral man who would stain the reputation of the church.
“Yes, they were in an illicit relationship,” Lucy responded, “while she was dating his cousin. Then, they got together again a couple of years later. In fact, at that time, she was married to same cousin. Ishi left the church completely and they moved in together.”
“Jesus is Lord!” The professor snapped her fingers. “Where was his cousin in all of this?”
Lucy shrugged. Again, she had heard the story of how Leonel had been presumed dead, after an attack on the Igwe family buy political opponents. He was buried and Kyenpia had to move on with her life.
“I think he was kidnapped or something,” said Pastor Mark, a minister in training under Jibola.
“She was pregnant for her husband at that time,” Lucy continued.
“Oh my God! First Glory still allowed him up on that stage? And now, Papa is bringing him to BCC. What is going on?”
“I think Ishi is a wonderful pastor.”
Everyone glared at Adonijah, who had just spoken. He was slowly picking out the liver cubes from his fried rice.
“Hear me out, hear me out. I’ve listened to his sermons, I’ve watched him live, I’ve seen God use him mightily to change the lives of many young people. Ishi is perfect for BCC right now, and I can see why George brought him in. But that’s where the problem is. He is too perfect.”
“But he’s not,” Jibola countered. “He has a sullied past.”
“Forget his past. You don’t expect George who was a dog on heat for years under all our noses to see anything wrong with Ishi? Or is it Loveth who came from a family of militants and was once married to one that would care about the boy’s past?” Adonijah laughed and stabbed a single liver cube with his fork. “Ishi is dangerous. If for any reason he decides to leave BCC tomorrow, he takes his crowd…and more with him. He has a cult following everywhere he goes. Unfortunately, Papa and that Loveth human being are too carried away by what he has to offer that they do not see the black wings he hides behind him.”
“You’re right,” Jibola muttered. “His fans are not in BCC for God. They are there for him.”
“But you shouldn’t be worried about that, Apostle.” Adonijah pointed the fork at him, which still bore the liver. “You should be more worried over the fact that George crowned someone less deserving as general overseer instead of you. That should enrage you more than anything else.”
Jibola hung his head. “Reverend Malachi and I have no issues.”
“You think so? It’s time you stood up for yourself, man. Mm-hm. You need to tell George your mind. You should. And if he still doesn’t respect you, leave and find somewhere else where you are honored.”
Adonijah finally chewed the liver, letting his words work their way into Jibola. But they didn’t have the same effect on Lucy. She already saw the hand Adonijah was playing. However, she said nothing until after lunch, which ended as the sun began to set. She walked him to his car and sat in with him, shielded by tinted windows.
“Thank you for coming for lunch, Alloy.”
“My pleasure.” His eyes skimmed over her breasts.
“We should have dinner or go see a movie one of these days.”
“Margaret would love that. She would. She’s been talking about spending time with you—”
Lucy laid a hand on Adonijah’s. “Just the two of us.”
“Oh.” His lips parted into a smile. “Em…that can be arranged. We can even do a private viewing, if that suits you better.”
“Arrange it and call me.” Her hand dropped to his thigh. “Make sure it’s this week. I need to get away for a few hours.”
She stepped out of the car. Adonijah had crucial information about the Kanayo double-murder cases that could either help or ruin Obinna, but he was keeping it for his benefit. And his reason was strictly to use it against Papa. He didn’t care if Obinna got free or perished in jail.
Lucy wanted what he was hiding. She wanted to use it as leverage to get Papa to make Jibola the deputy overseer and put him in the Abuja church, which was almost as massive as the headquarters. She didn’t care what she had to do to get it. Everyone was fighting for power. Acting the saint like Jibola had done for thirty years would get them nowhere. Lagos was lost. Abuja was what she desired now.
While the Ayoolas’ guests departed, the Eresoyens welcomed theirs for an evening of barbecue and wine. A large table was set in the backyard with finger foods, grilled meat of all kinds, and drinks. It was Oby’s idea to do this instead of an informal dinner. She didn’t need Ishi’s help with the planning of the party.
Their guests began arriving at 5pm. By the time they were all present, Oby counted fourteen of them, asides herself and Ishi.
She clinked her glass of orange juice to get everyone’s attention.
“I want to thank you guys for coming this evening, and for showing up at church today. It was amazing the way you all turned up. I specifically want to thank Kyenpia. You dragged those people to that service this morning.”
“I did?” Kyenpia smiled. “I only tweeted that I heard gist that Ishi was going to be spending his first Sunday as pastor at BCC and somebody should confirm. I didn’t know they would take me seriously.”
A few people at the table laughed.
“Thank you, all the same.” Oby looked at Ishi. “Moving to BCC has been a challenging journey, but I’m looking forward to what God has in store for us there. Ishi and I are more than capable to do our jobs. We just want to be sure that we’re doing it the way God wants.”
“We’ll be praying for you, Pastor Obialunanma,” said Amaka, Kyenpia’s closest friend. “I can’t get over the beauty of your name. I love calling it.”
“Thank you, Maxy,” Oby responded. “I love my name too. But more importantly, I love doing God’s work and I am crazy about the man he has blessed me with on this journey.”
Ishi took her hand and kissed it.
“Having said that, Ishi and I want to announce to you guys that we’re expecting.” She smiled brightly. There was a general response of elation. Their women left their chairs to congratulate them with hugs. Ishi received handshakes from the men. But Oby’s bright smile soon disappeared as tears filled her eyes.
“Uh-oh,” Amaka muttered. “What’s wrong?”
The table went silent. Ishi pushed his chair closer to Oby’s. “What’s wrong, honey?”
“Nothing.” She shook her head. “I’m just so happy. I never had this all my life. After I lost my family, I had no one but my grandfather. Now, I have you guys. An entire family, so large that I can’t keep up. It’s overwhelming in a good way.”
“I think I’m going to cry,” Amaka said. She was the first to hug Oby a second time. The other women, asides Kyenpia, did the same. Kyenpia blew her a kiss from where she sat.
The party carried on until dark. They were all reluctant to leave, even when the clock struck nine.
“Anyone wants some chicken to take home?” Ishi asked, attending to the meat on the grill.
“Me!” Kyenpia left the table and went to him. He began to put together a take-home pack for her.
“Your sermon today was stirring,” she told him. “Even Leonel said he was touched.”
“Praise Jesus,” Ishi said in sarcasm.
“He also wants to start coming to church once a month.”
“As against once in two years.”
“He’s serious, Ishi.”
Ishi gave Kyenpia a doubtful look.
“He loves BCC. Says their way of worship is avant-garde, the choir especially. But he loved Oby’s ministration the most. He’s always been her fan.”
“That’s good to hear. If only he stepped out for the altar call.”
Kyenpia laughed. “Ishi, leave my bad boy the way he is abeg.”
“If my atheist brother can find Jesus, so can your demon.”
“I hate you.”
“But seriously, you don’t want him born-again?”
Kyenpia looked at Leonel who gave her a furtive wink.
“No. I like him the way he is. The willfulness, the sense of danger, the adrenaline rush, the spontaneity, the occasional insanity… I can’t have him any other way.”
“Here you go.” Ishi handed her a take-home pack.
“Thanks.” Kyenpia glanced at Oby. “She’s settling well into BCC.”
“Yeah. She’s changed. This morning, she was telling me that she realized that traveling for missions would affect the girls and our marriage, and she didn’t want to miss out on key moments of our lives.”
“I want to believe that pregnancy is responsible for her transformation.”
“I think so too.”
“You talked to her, Kay. Whatever you said to convince her, thank you.”
“I didn’t tell her anything.”
From where she stood, Oby was curious about Ishi and Kyenpia’s discussion. She sensed that it had something to do with her.
“They have a strong bond, don’t they?”
Oby turned to find a mischievous look in Leonel’s eyes. She was always surprised at how much she had ended up liking him after judging him in the early days. The tabloids painted a crazy and immoral picture of him; plus, there were certain family members that had written him off. But Leonel had turned out to be everything he was not portrayed as. The most surprising was how much better he was at parenting than she, Ishi, and Kyenpia put together.
“What are you insinuating about my husband and your wife?”
“Nothing. So… I’ve been studying Sochikaima closely.”
“I know this is going to sound crazy. Crazier even that it’s coming from me.”
“Don’t scare me, Leo.”
“I think your daughter has a gift of foresight like her father.”
“I’ve witnessed a couple of random predictions she made that came true, though they had come off like a child’s rambling. Chilling.”
“Okay. That’s…um….” Oby scratched her brow, chuckling. “Thank you. I’ll talk to Ishi about it.”
“Don’t tell him it came from me. Just study her a little. Maybe it’s wishful thinking on my side that she has that special gift. But I think if you pick it out on time, you’ll help her navigate through it, unlike her father who had no support when his started.”
“Dozie’s started early too?”
“Yeah, as a child. And his dad…” Leonel looked at Ishi and stopped. “It’s not my story to tell.”
He walked off with a smile. Oby stared at Ishi who was now packing something for Amaka and her husband. She walked over to help him.
It took more than an hour for everyone to get a take-home pack. Oby felt a sense of hollowness when they began to leave. After they were all gone, she asked Ishi if they could plan an Easter getaway to Ghana or some other West African country.
“Sure. Just tell Amaka if you want to make sure everyone shows up.”
“Great!” Oby clapped her hands in excitement. Her reaction amused Ishi.
“You’ll get tired of these things, Obialunanma.”
“I don’t think I will. They were there for me when I had Sochi, then I sort of isolated everyone, using the church as excuse. I really missed them.”
They went up to their bedroom and Ishi helped her out of her top. Then, he squatted to help her roll down her leggings.
“Seeing them in church today reminded me that I wasn’t alone. I thought that going to BCC was going to be isolating, but I had fun. Then, we have the Omotoshos on the other side that are already growing on me. I have family all around, Ishi.”
“And I have you.” Ishi pulled himself up to kiss her. “Do you want to have a shower?”
“No, my clean freak of a husband.”
Oby sat on the bathroom floor while Ishi had a bath, telling him what Leonel told her about Sochi.
“I’ll be more observant from here on,” Ishi promised.
She waited for him to finish showering, then she handed him a bathrobe. As he wore it, she toweled his hair.
“You’re so sweet, aren’t you?” He caught her waist, pulling her to his nude body. The only barrier between them was her granny panty. Ishi kissed her softly for a bit. She stopped him and went into the bedroom.
“So, did your own gift of foresight start when you were a kid?” she asked him.
“Yes, but my dad thought I was going crazy.” Ishi picked a hand cream from the dressing table. “He did some rather psychologically abusive things to me that I don’t want to talk about.”
“Yeah, the old man was the only sick one in the head, and yet he tried to make all of us crazy. He succeeded with my mom and Aaron.”
“No, he couldn’t.” Ishi moisturized his hands. “When God marks you, you can walk through the fire and not be burned. The more he tried, the more God showed me things. I think I might have predicted his death when I was just seven. I saw him burning, and I told him that he would burn, but he laughed it off. Sadly, I didn’t see my sisters dying in the same fire.” Ishi smiled at Oby. “Let’s not talk about this again.”
Oby understood him. They both had lost family members via tragic circumstances. The pain had no ending.
Ishi called her to bed and covered her with a duvet.
“You’re sure you don’t want to wear anything? I don’t want you catching a cold.”
“The duvet is fine, but I’ll feel better if you covered me with your body.”
Ishi sheltered her in an embrace before covering them both with the duvet. She was grateful that he understood her intimacy needs—when she wanted sex and when she didn’t.
Asher’s plane touched down at exactly 4pm. He had slept through the trip and wasn’t pleased to be awoken by his personal assistant who nudged him with her foot more than a few times.
“What the fuck is wrong with you?” he asked, yawning.
“We’re in Lagos.”
“Yes, Joey. I know.”
Asher stared out and leaned backward again. He wasn’t happy to be back home after a long weekend in Accra for a charity event ended on a high note. He had spent the last two days, partying like a teenager that just got into the university. There, he met Niamee, and they had a great time.
His body was bushed, though. Nobody talked about how physically exhausting it was to be popular. Four years in the music business and he was yet to get used to the fact that beneath the art, it was all about the money. Asher felt like he hadn’t even begun and he was already losing himself.
Four years ago, before his single ‘Alive’ became a hit, he was just Asher Omotosho, the lovechild of the popular George Omotosho of BCC. His biggest worries were centered around his faith and matching up to the bar his siblings set, as they were all accomplished in their careers. Now, he longed for life’s simplicities—to sing and not worry about the number of streams he had, to go about his business without fear of being recognized by crazy fans, to have a relationship with God and not feel like the world was tearing him away from his faith. Yet, he could not imagine his life without the fame. He was hooked on it and didn’t know how to escape its claws.
He looked at Joey. She offered a bottle of water to him, anticipating his need, as usual. She also tossed him a pill container. Out of it he took four pills and downed them with the water.
“You’re supposed to take two,” she said. He didn’t respond. “Think that maybe you have a little addiction problem?”
“Fuck off, Joey.”
It was ironic that when he met her two years ago, she had seemed like the least likely person to handle his life. She was a tomboy, had no prior experience as a personal assistant, and didn’t take life seriously. But she was a budding influencer online and Asher’s internet presence needed a boost. Hence, he chose her, despite Clint’s disapproval. He gave her a bedroom in his house and bought her a car to make her job easy. She had since been a positive presence in his career.
But Joey was more than an assistant; she had seen parts of Asher that he hid from everyone. Through the nightmares and difficult moments that came with being a star, she was there. Their relationship was such that he needed her more than she did him. He always overlooked her excesses and ignored the insignificant part of him that found her attractive beneath her boyish ways.
Nnani didn’t like her.
“Finish the water, Asher. It’s a small bottle.”
Asher downed the bottle of water and got a nod of approval from Joey. A flight attendant walked into the cabin with a smile.
“I hope you enjoyed your trip, Asher?” she asked.
“It was a pleasure having you onboard.” She spared Joey a glance. “You too.”
She had in her possession a basketball, and even before she said her next words, Asher knew she wanted an autograph. He stretched out his hand and she passed the ball and a felt pen to him.
“It’s for my nephew.” She grinned. “He’s such a fan.”
Asher smiled as he appended his signature on the ball. Joey grabbed the ball and tossed it at the flight attended who struggled to catch it but failed.
“Get my stuff,” Asher instructed Joey, who was distracted by the flight attendant, chasing after the ball as it rolled to the next cabin. “Joey?” Asher called.
“Yeah, your stuff.” Joey pointed a finger at a pair of guys, seated on the other isle, watching a video on a phone. One of them looked at her and she smiled. He jumped to his feet to do her bidding. Asher couldn’t remember their names. They had been hired by Ijo Records. Asher was yet to append his signature on his contract, but it was a done deal. The label was already filling his life with luxury.
“My phone?” Asher asked and Joey handed his phone to him. Seconds later, he was frowning.
“I know you hate the sleep pictures,” Joey said, “but you looked really cute and I couldn’t help myself.”
“For the last time, Joey, stop posting pictures of me while I’m sleeping.”
“Yes, sir. Oh, and by the way… Your pictures with Niamee have gone viral.”
“You don’t remember last night?”
Last night, he had been high. He didn’t recall taking any pictures. But then again, he couldn’t account for most of the images of himself online.
Joey showed him the ones of him and Niamee. They looked a little suggestive. Asher thought of Nnani and how she would react to it.
His phone vibrated with an incoming call from Taiye.
“Guy, how far?”
“You don land?”
“Just came in.”
“Show, come studio. We gast talk.”
An hour later, they were en route from the airport to Asher’s studio. While Asher got lost in a song from an up-and-coming artist whom he desired to feature in his next album, Joey attended to business matters. Now and then, she called his attention to a message or to answer an important phone call.
They arrived at the studio at 7pm. Asher went in without Joey. The studio was busy, as usual. He didn’t know half of the guys there. Taiye was in his office. Asher went in and lay tiredly on a couch. Taiye sat on one of the visitors’ chairs to face him.
“Sensitive matter,” he said.
Asher looked at Taiye.
“I dey hear gist say she and Black get something.”
“Who be Black?”
“Besi? Her best friend?”
“Ehn. Black wey get that Supermarket for Oniru?”
“You sabi the guy nau. Efe!”
“Of course, I know Efe. But what are you talking about, man? It’s not cool at all. No dey give me dis kind gist about my babe.”
“I just dey tell you wetin me I hear.”
“Who tell you?”
“I no fit talk.”
Asher hissed and sat up.
“The person no fit lie give me, Asher.”
“I don’t give a fuck. Tell them to come to me correct and tell me about Nnani to my face.” Asher stood.
“You wan simp for that babe, abi?”
“Taiye, you know me. I no be simp. But anybody wey get something to tell me should tell me, face-to-face. No dey try paint my babe like ashewo.”
“Same babe wey jump from Kenny to you?”
Asher eyed him. “Let’s not go there. Na beg, I dey take beg you, Taiye.”
“My own be say no simp for Nnani. She no worth am.”
Asher opened the door and walked out in anger. He hurried out to his car and asked his chauffeur to take him home.
“Is everything okay?” Joey asked.
“No,” he answered. “But it’s none of your business.”
He stayed on his phone until they got home. Nnani was waiting for him at the door. She ran to the car once he got down and hugged him. The sweet smell of her body erased every libelous word Taiye had said of her. They went upstairs, and as soon as the door shut, Asher closed the distance between them. He placed his hands on her waist, gazing into her eyes like he was searching for something.
“Asher, are you…?”
He stopped her question with a kiss. Soon, they were on the bed, taking off their clothes in response to Asher’s need to quieten the doubts Taiye had planted in him of Nnani. She belonged to him, not some other guy—and he let his body express this to her. The sex was angry and wild. He was mad at Taiye and at himself for questioning Nnani’s loyalty. Every thrust into her was a reprimand, but it felt good to see her screaming in pleasure to his service. He asked her if any man could do it the way he did, and she told him no. He asked a second time, and a third. The fourth time, he let go and spent himself within her. Normally, he would pull out, but this felt better.
Gasping hard, he placed his forehead on hers and kissed her. While she was still panting underneath him, he asked her if she was sleeping with Efe.
Her brows dipped. “What sort of question is this, Ash?”
“Are you fucking Efe?”
“Efe, Besi’s brother? Or is there another Efe?”
“Why would you even imagine that I’d have anything to do with him. He has a fiancé, Asher. And I have you.”
Asher pulled away from her. He didn’t believe her.
“Who’s even telling you this type of nonsense? Taiye?”
“Why would you call Taiye’s name?”
“Because he’s always saying shit about me.”
“It’s not Taiye.”
“It doesn’t matter.”
“It matters, Asher! It matters to me because it’s my name they’re trying to drag in the mud! It’s me they’re slut-shaming! And it’s not fair that you believe them!” Her voice trembled. “Not fair at all!”
She pushed his hand off and walked into the bathroom. Asher followed her. She was seated on the toilet seat, sobbing.
“There’s nothing going on between me and Black. I went to see Besi day before yesterday and she was sick. Black came in to get something and he and I drove out to buy Besi malaria drugs. I saw one of the boys from the studio at the pharmacy. He was there when we got the malaria drugs. You can call Efe and ask him.”
Asher was weak. The last thing he wanted was to make Nnani cry.
“Just go away and go and be with Niamee or whatever her useless name is! Have you seen the posts about the pictures you guys took? Everybody is saying you’re cheating on me with her! But I ignored them, because it’s all lies!”
“How did this switch to me now?”
“Because you’re a hypocrite, Asher! I was back here in Lagos, taking care of my sick friend. But you were in Accra, getting touched all over by another girl. Let’s not forget all the other ones in the past that I overlooked”
“Which other ones?”
“Girls are always all over you, Omotosho! Or are you going to deny it?”
Asher’s shoulders dropped. He was tired. This was not how he saw his evening going. “I’m done here.”
“Ehn, go nau! Go!”
He picked a bathrobe and walked out. He went next door to one of the guestrooms. There, he had a long, hot shower. He stepped out in the nude, deciding to spend the night away from Nnani. Her anger could burn for hours, and he didn’t want to be on the receiving end tonight.
He came out of the bathroom, nude, recalling that he had left the bathrobe on the bed. Entering the room, he froze, as Joey had just barged in.
“Em…” She froze too. “I…”
Asher covered his penis. “Get out, Josephine.”
She turned around, but he saw the smile on her face as she left. Weirdly, Asher was embarrassed. This added to his frustration.
When morning came, Nnani was sitting on the floor facing him. He opened his eyes and frowned when he saw her.
“I’m sorry I shouted on you,” she said in a contrite voice.
Asher turned away. She placed a hand on his body before climbing the bed to spoon him. As usual, she felt good. The full softness of her body could not be compared to anything he had felt before.
“I’m not cheating on you, Ash.”
“Let’s not talk about that.”
“We won’t.” She slipped her hand underneath the bathrobe to find him hard. “Let’s not even talk at all.”
Love paid Leye a surprise visit today at work. She went with lunch and Abitoluwa. She was on her feet a lot these days, eager to lose the weight she gained during pregnancy. Her balance was still off, but the pain in her waist had dropped a whole lot. She knew Leye wouldn’t be too happy that she drove on her own.
At the lobby of his office, a friendly receptionist received her and the baby warmly.
“Mr. Omotosho stepped out, but he will be back in a bit. You can wait in his office.”
Love wheeled Abitoluwa into Leye’s office. It was spacious and bright, situated perfectly to give an intimidating view of the island. Love stopped to admire the plagues of accomplishment on her husband’s small wall of honor. In the middle was a framed photo of him, Love, and the children; taken just last week. He had a similar wall in his office at BCC, decorated with awards for his work in the body of Christ.
Love walked to his desk and sat. On the table were framed photos of her and Dabira. She flicked off a speck from Dabira’s photo. Then, she drew out the top drawer of the desk.
The door opened and she slammed the drawer shut. Leye’s partner poked his head in.
“Pastor Love?” He smiled.
She got on her feet as he approached the desk. “Pastor Leye didn’t tell me you were coming in today.”
“Well, he doesn’t know. Abi and I just wanted to say hi.”
Eben stopped and turned, just realizing that the baby was in the office. “The prince graces us with his presence.”
Eben hurried to Love and extended his hand, head bowed. “Welcome, ma.”
Love shook his hand. “I think we can stop the whole ‘ma’ thing, Eben.”
“I can’t o. You’ll forever be my pastor and aunty. The same way I will always call your husband Pastor Leye.”
“Even in business meetings?”
“Everybody here calls him pastor. He doesn’t always like it, but hey, the anointing follows him around.”
“But I’m serious, ma. We were sinking until he stepped in and saved the day with his money and expertise. I was skeptical about his lack of experience with tech. I also feared that his knowledge of business was just book smarts, but Pastor Leye is a brilliant marketer. Plus, God is here with us because of him.”
“I’m pleased to know that.”
“He’s my hero.”
“Mine too. How’s Halim?”
Eben gave a shaky smile. “She’s fine.”
“Eben?” Love narrowed her eyes a little at him. “What’s wrong?”
“We’re… She’s leaving for the US with the kids. I think it’s the best.”
Love frowned. This didn’t sound good. Eben and Halim were God’s assignment to her. She was to keep that couple together and happy. She had been too busy and pregnant to check up on them. They had come to congratulate her on the birth of Abitoluwa and they seemed well. Recalling the jaded look in Halim’s eyes, Love should have noticed that something was off.
“You want to talk about it?”
Eben smiled. He shook his head. “We’ll be fine, Pastor Love.”
“Okay. You’re in my prayers.”
“Thank you, ma.” He returned to Abitoluwa. “Omo dada! You’re so like your dad. Send my love to Dabira.”
“Okay, ma.” Eben bowed again and left. Love wondered if he had opened up to Leye. She knew they were close friends, even with the eleven-year gap between them. It wasn’t the same with her and Halim. Theirs was strictly a mentor-mentee relationship, and she blamed herself for being away from her for too long.
Love picked up her phone and added Halim to the list of people she had to see this week. She returned to the desk and reopened the top drawer. In it, she left a letter, addressed to Leye from her. She hadn’t been too supportive of his move to go into tech. But she could see his passion growing and the dedication he put into it. Her letter was to let him know how much she believed in him and was rooting for him.
She shut the drawer and opened the second one, out of curiosity. There was nothing but a bunch of papers. But her eye also caught a drug pack. She picked it out and studied it. When she didn’t come up with anything, she consulted Google. The drug wasn’t for a specific illness, and she couldn’t imagine her husband riddled with any illness, let alone any of the ones listed for the drug.
Love opened the pack and drew out a sachet that showed that he had been taking the drug. Her tummy whipped. Interrupted by her suddenly ringing phone, she returned the drug and answered Leye’s call.
“Heard you’re in the building?”
“I’m coming to you. Give me a couple of minutes to sort some things out.”
He hung up. She pushed the drug matter out of her mind and went over to Abitoluwa who had begun to whimper. She lifted him out of his walker.
“What’s the matter?”
He made sucking sounds with his mouth and Love sighed. The boy was barely a month and he was already draining her.
“I’m the one that is supposed to be eating for two, not you.”
Love settled to nurse him. She picked a shawl from the pusher to cover herself, in case any of the staff walked in.
As she began to feed Abitoluwa, Leye entered. His smile was worth the trouble Love took to make it here. He lowered to kiss her.
“How are you?” he asked.
“You look great.”
“I came with lunch.”
“Woman after my own heart!” He pecked his son on the forehead and began to take off his suit. “I had an important meeting to attend in the next building. It went well…”
Love let her eyes run over her husband’s body as he spoke. He was a good-looking man, always dressed to the nines. Suits were his thing, and not once did he miss on a single outfit.
“God is doing great things for us here.” He was rolling up his sleeve. “We’re blessed.”
A red spot on his sparkling white shirt caught Love’s attention. “What’s that?”
She pointed. “That red thing.”
Leye looked at his left arm, at the crock of his elbow where the stain resided. “It’s em… I don’t-I don’t know. I’m just noticing it.”
He rolled the sleeve. “So, where is this lunch?”
“In the car.”
“I’m sorry. There was just so much to carry.”
Love pointed at her handbag. Leye reached in and took the key. He was soon out of the office. Love’s mind went back to the stain on his shirt. It hadn’t been nothing. She had seen a similar one on another shirt some months ago, and her conclusion was that he was running blood tests without her knowledge.
She looked at his desk.
Did the drug have anything to do with that stain?
©Sally Kenneth Dadzie @moskedapages
Had to rush to read this. Getting more and more interesting by the day. Thank you Sally one of my best so far
No to cancer oo. Pastor Leye.
Oh my God… Sally, please let Pastor Leye be alright.
Thank you Sally, you are always on the decimal.
Oh God abeg let love not get widowed again 😭😭😭 my heart can’t take it. Beautiful episode
Hope Leye is not injecting himself with any substance. I see a romance brewing between Joey and Asher. Thanks Sally, you are the best ❤️
Tot Sally has abandoned dis series ni, I m glad its bk
Ouch! Leye, abeg o! Abeg o!
As for Lucy, she needs the Lord’s help. All this scheming, regardless that souls are involved, nawa o.
Thank you for sharing, Sally.
Thank you for this,Sally
Please nothing should happen to Pastor Leye now that Love has found love, please
I have missed Amaka, the drama queen. Lol
Lord, what’s happening to Pastor Leye? I hope it turns out to be a false alarm. I have a feeling Nnani is lying through her teeth. Lucy, I hope all these will be worth it at the end of the day. Thanks Sally for being amazing as always.
Leye what is going on o?
People from Stranger in Lagos have joined the characters here. Great one!
This one that Asher and Nnani are having something to worry about. Hope it’s not the beginning of the end sha.
People like Lucy ehn! They know the truth but they will always hide it so as to pull down perceived enemies. Ishi has his work cut out at BCC already. With people being incited against him already, the drama will be lit lit.
The Fish brain people featuring here makes it even interesting. Maxy and her drama queen thing. Meanwhile, didn’t seem like Fiyin made the party 😊
Whatever it is that Leye is going through, I hope it will not be life-threatening o.
Thanks a lot Sally. Thanks for sharing your gift with us.
I had to wait till my free time to read this… I’m glad Amaka is also joining the characters here.
Well done, Sally
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