That day, Blessing got home, sweating like a Christmas goat that just escaped being slaughtered.
“Men are wicked.” She told herself as she removed her shoes by a swing of her legs; the shoes flew to a corner. She opened her fridge and gulped down a bottle of water. “That was close.” She laughed at herself.
“And that was stupid too.” Sister Mary interjected her from the wardrobe.
Blessing went over to the wardrobe and brought out Sister Mary’s picture. She had accustomed herself to talking with the picture of the dead lady whom she always imagined also talked back to her. As usual, she placed the picture in front of her mirror and started the usual mental drama,
“I know it was stupid, I’m sorry. I didn’t know what came over me.”
“You cheated on me, that is what was stupid,” Sister Mary supposedly said.
“We didn’t have sex. I mean, we could have, but we didn’t. But I’m sorry.”
“Yes, you didn’t because Emeka spotted Ruth alighting from the vehicle just when he was about to take a condom. But, it’s okay, I am dead, anyways.” The picture said.
“Don’t say that. You are alive. I am sorry, please.”
“Okay, I forgive you.”
“Thanks, my love,” Blessing said and kissed the picture.
Just as she was about to put back the picture, her phone rang. It was Emeka. She let it rang out two more times before asking for the permission to pick from Sister Mary. The picture said she could, so she did.
Emeka was full of nonsense, begging her to come to his house because he wouldn’t be able to sleep if they left the business unfinished. After she stood her ground on not visiting him, he asked if he could come to her place- she refused that also. This went on for weeks. Not a day passed without Emeka begging and sending in his naked picture to her phone, hoping to stir a feeling. Sister Ruth has told Blessing that they should be meeting at Brother Ade’s music school and no more at her house. She still feared something may happen between Emeka and her while she was away. That was okay by her; it was better than seeing that gigolo of a boyfriend of hers.
Two months after the incident with her and Emeka, there was a rumour which was almost turning out into physical manifestation about the Pastor contemplating on making Sister Ruth the Choir Mistress! Everyone was happy except Blessing and Sister Mary. So, at home, they discussed the way out.
“You need to act fast,” Sister Mary said.
“I know, but I don’t know what to do?”
There was silence between them, as both the living and the dead mull over a solution. It was the dead that first got an idea,
“You once said that Emeka said he will do anything to have you, right?”
“Yes,” Blessing replied. “What about that?” She asked.
“Come closer,” the picture urged, and Blessing took the picture and placed it against her ear, nodding her head in agreement as Sister Mary whispered the way-out into her throbbing ears.
It was a good plan; she loved it instantly. Since it involved finishing the unfinished sexual business she and Emeka ignited a couple of months ago, she smiled. She admired her evil grin as she watched her reflection in her mirror.
The rest of the week was trouble for Sister Ruth; she couldn’t even have time for their musical lessons. She was so engrossed in winning back Emeka who has broken up with her. Even the winds knew that Sister Ruth was devastated.
“Emeka was like a prized possession to her; she was damn too ugly for that handsome man,” Blessing told herself in justification for her part in the breaking up process.
“So, what next will you require of me before we finish the unfinished business between us?” Emeka asked Blessing when they met.
“You need to relax, okay. I am not yet convinced you guys won’t get back after you must have had your way with me.”
“I have told you, I am not planning to just ‘have’ my way with you, I am planning on having you to myself. Why should I go back to that ugly girl? I have always been looking for a way to break her forced attachments with me. But I must admit she was always ready whenever I wanted it; so I never really bothered about her ugliness. Sex has been good.”
“Gross,” Blessing turned her lips in disgust. “Okay, you have just one step to go.”
“I told you, I will do anything.”
“And remember,” Blessing started the riot act, “we can’t be seen together. It will be bad; we have to make it remain a secret…”
“I know; I am not a kid. Just tell me what to do and I will do it.”
Blessing braced herself, “Tell her you didn’t feel compelled to be with her again after all you did together. If you needed a wife, you wouldn’t go for her type.”
“I already broke up with her. Is that not the same thing?” Emeka asked.
“No, it is not. It has to be a text message, and it has to be on Thursday evening.”
“I don’t get it, why…”
“Do you want me or not?” Blessing cut in.
“Okay, what time should I text her? I am sure the timing matters too.”
“It does. I will alert you, and you should text her immediately you see my signal.”
“A call- I will call you.”
“Jesus! Okay; all these for a pussy?” Emeka was puzzled with all the conditions and rules.
“Well, maybe my pussy was paved with gold.” Blessing said calmly.
“God; you are not even a virgin that you claimed to be,” Emeka protested.
“You don’t know that.”
“My hand does!”
“Well, then forget it, since you already have a taste of the gold mine.” She stood up angrily to leave, but Emeka quickly stopped her by grabbing her hand,
“That was a joke. You know that. I will do it. Just alert me, and I will send the message.”
“Good,” she said and yanked her hand off his grip. “And if she replied to your message, do not reply.” She finished and swaggered away.
Emeka watched her as she swayed; he bit his lower lips and held his crotch tightly,
“Damn!” He said. “All these for a mining permit?” I should have taken her that day!”
THURSDAY, FOUR O CLOCK
The Choir members gathered together as usual for the weekly rehearsals. Sister Ruth plugged her phone upstairs at the gallery as her usual practice and was conducting the rehearsals downstairs at the main auditorium. When they were deep into the practice, Blessing asked to be excused and went straight to the gallery. She called Emeka on her way up and asked him to send the message to Sister Ruth’s phone, immediately. By the time she got to Sister Ruth’s phone, the message was already in. She didn’t bother to open it; she just minimized and sent back a reply to Emeka from Sister Ruth’s phone. The message reads:
“You cannot do this to me, Emeka. Not after I aborted for you, six times! You need to think about it; where do you want me to start from?”
Emeka was confused with that reply. He called Blessing immediately,
“Was that you? Did you send the message about abortion?”
“Literarily, yes.” She answered coldly. “But technically, Sister Ruth did because it was her phone that sent out the reply.”
“I don’t understand where you are going with this but…”
“Stay out of this okay? I will see you on Saturday night if you can play along. Then you can have your way all night long.” Blessing replied sharply and fast.
“Okay, okay; but for the record, she never aborted for me, not even once. She never got pregnant- I was always protected!” He disconnected immediately.
Blessing hissed and took Sister Ruth’s phone along with her. She gave it to Sister Ruth that a message came in while she was at the gallery. Sister Ruth thanked her and continued with the rehearsal. Moments later, when she was free, she excused herself in order to read her message; Blessing watched her moment and she expected a reaction. The effect was awesome; Sister Ruth almost fainted when she opened the message. It was the message that Emeka sent. Sister Ruth shook her head and read the message again; slowly,
“Dear Ruth, it is over. You need to stop begging me. I am simply not attracted to you anymore!”
She collapsed in a chair.
Nobody really noticed except Blessing who has been watching her. She raised an alarm immediately and pointed everyone to Sister Ruth’s direction. Three of the Choir members rushed over to a surprised and sad Sister Ruth who kept saying she was fine that she was just feeling drowsy. She tried to stand up but fell back on her seat. There was commotion, everyone tried to make her feel better by doing their part, but she kept saying she was fine, even when her countenance said otherwise.
The plan was perfect, and Blessing loved every bit of it. Without being suspected, she took Sister Ruth’s phone from the floor and slid quietly into the Pastor’s office which was within the main Church premises. She explained the current commotion to the Pastor and claimed she knew what caused it. She handed over Sister Ruth’s phone to the Pastor and directed the Pastor to read Sister Ruth’s reply to the guy. The Pastor was lost in words; he couldn’t believe another vocal leader has been another mistake in his own part.
“This is serious,” he kept muttering to himself, “God, why all these?” He lamented. She scrambled for nothing on his table as he took and dropped everything, opening the drawers and closing it back.
Blessing enjoyed every bit of the Pastor’s confused reaction. At a time, she smiled without the Pastor noticing. The Pastor was silent with this head immersed in his hands. Suddenly, the door to his office flung open, and a very distressed Choir member rushed in,
“What is the problem?” The Pastor asked.
“Sister Ruth, she…” she struggled to catch her breath, “She…she has fainted!”
“Jesus Christ,” the Pastor said, and sank into his expensive leather chair. “Take her to the hospital; tell my driver to take her.”
“Okay Sir.” the town crier left.
“Blessing, Sir,” she reminded him of her name.
“Yes, Sister Blessing, you can go. But I will like to keep this phone as evidence”
“No problem Sir,” she said and stood up.
As she was about leaving, the Pastor called her back;
“This Sister Ruth, she is your Church-mother, right?”
“Yes, Sir.” she answered.
“And you didn’t deem it fit to cover up this mess? I mean, due to your closeness with her. I heard you guys are very close.”
“Well, Sir,” she started, “I really wouldn’t have done that if this … this building was never a Church. If it were some kind of a worldly music school, I wouldn’t have minded. But this is a house of God, and I can never cover such madness!” She started throwing her fist in excitement and enthusiasm like a preacher preaching about tithe. She continued her hypocrisy, “Worshippers of God must be holy and without dark secrets. I know this guy with her, and whenever he visited when I was around, Sister Ruth will ask me to go home, and that will be the end of our practice for that day. I approached her and she denied ever having intercourse with him, and I believed her because I never caught them in the act.”
“Hmmm,” the Pastor hummed, enjoying her. “So, you mean you believed that anyone who is to worship God must be holy? You mean only for the period of holding that position?”
“No Sir, I mean the person should live a holy life, worthy of emulation, forever.”
“I am sure you also have a boyfriend.” The Pastor tried to drill her. “But I am sure you don’t have sex with him.”
She moved towards the Pastor’s table and grabbed a bible,
“I swear to God in heaven that I have never in my life copulated with a man, and I don’t even have a boyfriend.” She dropped the bible and continued, “I am a virgin as far as a normal intercourse entails a man have sex with a woman. How can I even do such things? I mean, why should I live a double life? I have devoted my life to Jesus Christ, and I will never indulge in such practices until I am married.”
“You can go, Sister Blessing. Thank you,” the Pastor said and watched her leave.
That was the end of Sister Ruth who was suspended, and like Sister Joy, she never returned to the Church due to the shameful incident. Blessing denied the allegation of replying the message when Sister Ruth approached her for answers, but even if she did confess that she sent the message, it still wouldn’t have saved Sister Ruth, whose messages on her phone were full of former sexts between her and Emeka.
That scandal rocked the Church, and that was the last stroke of scandal under the Pastor’s nose. He was transferred to another Church, but not after he has already filed a letter of recommendation on behalf of Sister Blessing to be considered as the future Choir Mistress. And that was also the beginning of the relationship with Emeka.
The newly appointed Pastor-in-Charge didn’t even bother to read the recommendation letter; he scraped the office of the Choir Mistress completely and held on to the idea of a male Coordinator. The first Coordinator resigned few months after he was married, and Brother Ade took over. Sister Blessing was appointed as the vocal leader after her good works and zeal to the work of God were noticed; one which could not be placed under doubt. The night that she was appointed a vocal leader, she and Sister Mary had a nice time of celebration. She placed her dead lover’s picture on her chest and masturbated with a very big condom-wearing dark plantain!