Blood On the Altar: Chapter 1

FIFTY YEARS LATER

Blessing decided to check herself once again in her half-broken wall mirror that was leaning on the wall at the corner of her room. She touched her head-tie in many places, turning her head side by side as she did so, admiring herself in her broken mirror. The dress on her looked like her skin in its fitness and its light colour that matched her light skin. She didn’t need anyone to tell her that she was a beauty!

She reminisced about last week; last week was awesome, she had tested her popularity and it worked just fine. This is what happened….

A WEEK AGO

After the usual morning rehearsal on Sunday, Blessing left without informing anybody. Few minutes to worship time, the Choir Coordinator called her to ask why she wasn’t in the Church after the morning rehearsal;

“I’m on my period,” she lied.

“What? So, who will lead the praise and worship?” The Coordinator asked, more in the horror of no one to lead properly if she didn’t. Besides, she was the vocal leader.

“I don’t know,” she replied; “you have Sister Hannah, who has proven to be better than I am.” She tried to ask for his view indirectly.

“Ha, Sister Blessing, don’t say that; Sister Hannah is a new member and you know this. She couldn’t have been able to do it better like the Pastor wanted and the congregation might not feel the presence of God as you used to bring it down.”

“But, the Pastor already said that anyone on her period may sit with the congregation and not bother to minister.” She teased further.

“See, Blessing,” he removed the religious formality, “let this stay between you and I, you are not on your menses. Have you told anyone?”

“No, I haven’t.” She answered him, giving him the perfect answer. She giggled inaudibly and bit her lower lip.

“Good, I will try and stall the worship till you come back. How long will it…”

“Ten minutes,” she cuts in excitedly. She was sure the Church couldn’t do without her.

“Are you sure? Because your house is rather far and…”

“I will take the bike,” she explained better, since ten minutes was rather too small a time frame, if the distance from her house to the Church ever mattered. But only Blessing knew she wasn’t even at her own apartment.

“Thank you. Please don’t disappoint us, Sister Blessing,” the Coordinator begged.

“I won’t disappoint Sir,” she said and disconnected.

She dropped the phone and plunged herself into a resounding laughter. The truth was that, she has been feeling threatened by the presence of Hannah, the new girl who just got promoted to the senior choir. And she feared that Hannah already got the attention of the Choir Coordinator who always urged her to practice more, so that she could fill the void Sister Blessing might create in the future. This didn’t go down well with Sister blessing who wasn’t even ready to step aside; not when she hasn’t reached her goal.

“So, you are going back to Church?” Emeka asked.

“The Church needs me. The Coordinator just called me now. She wants me back in the Church.” She replied while putting on her skirt.

“But, I need you more.” Emeka responded, he stood up and caressed her as he held her close to himself. She shrugged him off.

“We will see later.” She started to wear her pink Choir uniform. “I am not supposed to be here in the first place. I just wanted to see their reaction if I skipped the worship session.”

Emeka, a cultist, who didn’t care about her commitment to Church, wasn’t ready to let go without a fight. “You are going to leave me after just two rounds of sex?” He asked as if two rounds were a joke.

Blessing flashed him a contentious look and hissed. She finished dressing and said goodbye. Emeka wouldn’t let her go until she agreed to a French kiss. She obliged. Minutes later, she was on the bike to the church, even though Emeka’s house was a trek-able distance to Church. She landed right into the hands of the worried Coordinator who hurried her through the back door.

She appeared just like that on the altar- she was right on the time. The rest was history as she took the stage by storm in her usual way. Angels came down and the glory of God was all over the congregation. People danced and rejoiced, and the Pastor kept giving her a thumbs-up as the praise and worship went up to the stars.

**************************

That was last week; this morning, she hummed rock of ages to herself as she prepared for the Sunday morning rehearsal. It is a usual tradition in her church- every choir must be at the morning rehearsals by seven in the morning. As she grabbed her bible as the final part of her readiness, Emeka came in naked; he had rushed to the toilet after the last round of their usual sexual escapade.

“Are you dressed already?” He asked as if he didn’t see she was dressed already. He sat on her bed, wearing a disappointed look.

“Yes, Emeka; I want to be in Church before the morning rehearsals. I have something I need to discuss with the Coordinator.”
She replied as she prepared to leave.

“This is not acceptable,” Emeka muttered. Blessing didn’t bother to reply; she already knew where he was heading. “Why do you always confine me to just two rounds of the sex?”

She didn’t bother to reply him. She grabbed her bible and announced her exit. Emeka shook his head at her silence, took his trousers from the floor where he had thrown it, dipped his hands in its pocket and gave her the transport fare. “I will wait till you’re back,” he said.

“You can’t wait; not here, not in my apartment!” She fired back, firmly.

“Is this because of the house fellowship?” Emeka asked.

“Yes, because of that; and because I couldn’t afford to be mentioned as part of the workers of Christ who allows a man to sleep over at her place or who sleeps over in a man’s place.”

“But, you are my girlfriend.” He snickered.

“That is even worse. Leave my key where I usually put it, and leave on time. I am the next host for the house fellowship, and I don’t want any problem. I am Sister Blessing, the perfect example to the younger ones; okay?”

Emeka starred at her in disbelief. “If you are the only Christian alive, and a perfect example of one, then I will rather be a pagan.”

“Good for you.” She answered without any worry. “It doesn’t really appear you are different to a pagan. Please, don’t let me meet you here.” She reiterated her instruction.

“So,” Emeka fluttered, “are you coming back after the rehearsal?”

Blessing looked at him, lost for words.
“I mean, just like last week. Last week was…”

“No!” She shouted him down. “I am not coming back. I thought I told you last week why I left. Please, don’t forget…”

“To close the door and leave- I get it.” Sullen Emeka interjected.

“Good.” She slammed the door after herself and went her way.

Emeka shook his head and prepared to leave. He scoffed at Sister Blessing’s statement as it crossed his mind again;
“Perfect Christian indeed.” He muttered with a frown.

A thought came to his mind and he was too quick to reject it.

“God forbid,” he said, snapping his fingers in quick backward movements above his head. Nobody knew what the thought was, but maybe the thought was a question that asked,

“What you will do if God says that Blessing is your divine wife?”

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