I understand that as a Christian it is wrong to father a child out of wedlock, but the deed has been done and abortion isn’t an option. That will be putting too many lives at stake; I am particularly disappointed in him and I know you are too. Please make this disappointment a big blessing, let the girls have a safe delivery. I don’t know what the church women council will say when they find out that my son will have a polygamous family, I will probably get suspended. I made the rule and I can’t be an exception; I hope I find the courage to reveal it to them.
Mrs. Coker prayed in her thoughts while she waited for her turn to use the confession box. It had been six days since her last confession so she decided she wasn’t going to start the new week without confessing her iniquities. Tayo had called her the previous week and updated her on his every move. Besides she had a nightmare that gave her the fright of her life, so after her confession, she went ahead to pray some more. She walked out of the church auditorium, trod a path that led to the church garden where a big Mother Mary statue was erected, While using her hand to make the holy sign of the cross, she knelt before Mary and made her supplications:
Hail Mary, full of grace. The Lord be with thee. Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.
Mother, I had a terrible nightmare and I am scared. Please, I need divine watch over my son. Since his father died, he has been my only source of joy and I cannot afford to lose him. The bible promises that we shall not bury our young ones; spare his life so that he can father my unborn grandchildren. I come against every plan of the devil to cut short his life, I rebuke every evil dream. My son shall not be killed by a gun. Amen. Bless his work, and let him find favour all the days of his life. I know that he has been careless in recent times, I plead that you cast a merciful look on him and help him arrange his puzzled life.
Jesus Christ, right now he has gone to see Mr. Idemili to discuss his misdeed with his daughters. I ask that you speak on his behalf so that his boss doesn’t overreact. In Jesus name I pray through Mother Mary. Amen.
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Damn it, he has the gun facing me. God if you save me from this one, I promise to serve you for the rest of my life. I will join a department in church and I will never fornicate again. Jesus, son of God, Holy Spirit… Why didn’t I just wait till tomorrow to see him at the office? This is what maami’s stubbornness has caused, and my spirit wasn’t in support of this visit. I should have just ran away. God, touch this man’s heart; let him just excuse me. I am not a party to whatever he came here for. Abi, let him just kuku kill me, that way I won’t get to face Mr. Idemili. Yeh, if I die, who will take care of my mother? See my life outside; my penis has gotten me into trouble. Ah, he is staring at me, God please don’t let him do something crazy. God abeg o. Yeeeeeh.
“Young man, what is your name?” George Elliot asked waving his gun at Tayo. “Lobatan! Mogbe!”Tayo screamed in his thought before finally breaking his silence, “Tayo sir. Awotayo Coker.” “Awotayo Coker, I am so sorry to put you in this position. I can’t guarantee that you will get out of this alive, but in the meantime I want you to be calm.” “Did he just say calm? How can I be calm with death staring at me in the face?” George continued, “I didn’t come here for you. If he cooperates” – he pointed his gun at Mr. Idemili – “no one will get hurt.” “Okay Sir”, Tayo replied “I am not a Knight!” George retorted with a scream, as he cocked his gun, “Don’t call me sir, I don’t deserve the appellation. At least not yet.” He yelled on, spittle spraying from his lips. “But you know what? I will earn that respect when I am done with this fight, and I mean today” He concluded with his voice descending. “You still haven’t specified what you came here for,” said Mr. Idemili with caution, “Oh! I am not the one to tell you, nah, she will tell you,” George countered, waving the gun at Mrs. Idemili,
“So, Osahon. Oh no, my bad. Mrs. Idemili, can you please tell your husband that he has something that belongs to me.” Mrs. Idemili just sat transfixed, without a reply, while her daughters wept on silently. Mr. Idemili kept a stare on his wife’s face expecting an answer; after few moments of silence he asked her,
“Sweetness, what property of his am I holding? And what relationship do you have with this gentleman?” He apparently was being deliberate with his words. Infuriated, George intruded, “Mister, don’t make me angry. Do not call me a gentleman. My name is George Elliot, and your Sweetness knows that.”
“Mrs. Idemili, please say something,” Tayo ventured, an act that further inflamed George’s temper. “Didn’t I order you not to say a word?” He asked Tayo as he thumbed back the safety of his pistol, preparing it for danger, “didn’t I?” “I’m so sorry sir,” Tayo pleaded, his voice vibrating,
George countered in elevated vexation, “Don’t tell me sorry; you don’t know yet what to be sorry for. Do not tell me sorry!”
He advanced towards Tayo as he spoke; breathing heavily with every step he took. Mr. Idemili realized George had turned his back on him; he knew that was his only chance if he was to disarm him. He jumped up, rushed towards him, and punched him on his neck. George reacted by throwing his elbow in defense of himself. Mr. Idemili reached for the gun in his hand as they struggled. The sisters panicked as they watched their father struggling with George, screaming “Daddy, Daddy, please.” Evidently Mrs. Idemili was in shock, as she sat transfixed; Tayo knelt down there hoping that Mr. Idemili would win the battle.
George’s finger flicked often, trying to locate the trigger. So Mr Idemili tried to twist his hand instead. That resulted in the gun being pointed in the direction of Tayo and the girls. So the scream got really loud. The fight continued for a moment and in no time a thunderous clap sound erupted. Both men immediately stopped fighting. Someone had been shot.