The emotions were so powerful they choked Temilade. Gasping for air, she muttered, ‘I’d go with you, sir.’
As they drove to Rev Ebuka’s residence, the silence in the car spoke of so many uncertainties. For Rev. Ebuka, he wondered what Mama Can Do’s reaction was going to be when she sees Temilade in her house at 2am, how much time he was going to spend trying to make her understand and if she ever would. For Temilade, it was obvious; what was going to become of her. Was this the end to her life’s greatest misfortune or the beginning of an unending emptiness?
The car halted in front of a very beautiful gate that had an A12 number tag hanging on the wall. Opposite the beautiful gate was an old uncompleted storey building that had a lot of rooms. One would wonder how two very different buildings could be on a street yet they set themselves apart from other buildings on the same street. It was 2:15am in the morning and the environment was quiet that you could hear the faint sound of worship music coming from a church two streets away. Rev. Ebuka got down from the vehicle and opened the rear door for Temilade. He was trying to make a phone call but there was no response. You could read the worry on his face and Temilade was not surprised; they were in for it with Mama Can-Do.
‘Masa, abeg make move so that I go continue my work,’ the driver called in an interesting accent and started the ignition. Temilade grabbed her laptop bag from the car with her left hand as her right hand was dedicated to the cloth she held over her half ripped nightgown. She was cold and still in shock — Pastor Tade asked her to leave his life. He moved her things out himself and asked Rev. Ebuka to lead her out of his house — the place she’d call home for over four years. This was the umpteenth time he was asking her to leave his house but this was the first time he’d moved her things out.
As Rev. Ebuka brought out the last bag from the trunk of the car, Temilade spotted a tiny piece which revealed itself from one of the unlocked zippers. On it was scribbled, I Love U, Rev. Mrs Temilade. Kisses. It was from Pastor Tade, written the last time he had hit her. She left the house to Rev. Fada’s until they called to inform Pastor Tade that she was there. After series of emotional conversations, he promised to treat her better, and she returned to the house with him. She woke up to different apologies and love notes around the house. But here she was, thrown out by the same man who took the pain to leave love notes a few weeks earlier. The driver zoomed off, revealing the entire beauty of the A12 house which had been obstructed by the car. Temilade was ready to lay on a bed and shed more tears in prayer. She was going to ask God why she had to suffer that much.
Rev. Ebuka walked across the road into the uncompleted storey building and beckoned on Temilade to follow after him. She did in silence. Her thoughts ran to Mama Can-Do and how she was going to react when she saw her. She could hear the cry of a baby and a mother trying to rock the baby to bed. Rev. Ebuka turned on the light on his phone because the entire place was dark. As they passed the second window, they could hear a woman praying and speaking in tongues. Temilade’s mind ran to Mama Can-Do but the voice betrayed her. Mama Can-Do looked the part but was the exact opposite.
They made their way to the slim staircase which had a broken stringer and no handrail. ‘Mama, keep to your left,’ Rev. Ebuka warned Temilade as they climbed. A very big rat made its way to the other end of the building in a rush as they walked. There were mosquitoes and cockroaches everywhere. It seemed as though rodents in the neighbourhood were welcoming the Rev. Mrs.
Temilade followed Rev. Ebuka with care. She supported her right hand on his shoulder. Rev. Ebuka was not surprised when he felt her hand on his shoulder; Temilade had a record with rodents. She disliked them and made it clear to everyone around her. He turned and gave her a smile but she didn’t notice. Her eyes were down, searching for the cockroaches and rats. They were on the isle now and Temilade could see the entire building at a glance. It was not a place she envisaged Rev. Ebuka lived. They got to the end of the isle and halted in front of a black metal door that had a handbill pasted on it which had Heavens Gate Believers Assembly written on it. That was the place. It was. ‘Mama, please wait here let me get the other bags,’ Rev. Ebuka said, dropping his phone on one of the bags. He left Temilade before she could say otherwise. Temilade hung her laptop bag on her shoulder and picked up the phone. She looked around the door — there was a cloth stuffed under the door and some more at the side of the door.
In no time, Rev. Ebuka returned. He dropped the bags, paused and began to knock on the metal door carefully. While he knocked, he dialed a contact which was saved on the phone as My Love. After a few minutes, they heard Mama Can-Do’s voice call from the inside, ‘Who’s it? Who’s it?’
‘Madam fear fear, open the door now,’ Rev. Ebuka bragged this time, knocking the door with some stern. The door was unlocked and the knob turned, revealing the yellow painted walls of the living room.
‘Why would I not be afraid, this is 2:30am, Oga pastor,’ she responded with sarcasm but continued when she saw him with bags. ‘Eii, where did you get all these lovely bags from, Bishop? Where are you even coming from, Oga pastor?’ She was about to speak when Rev. Ebuka called Temilade to come in.
‘Mama, come in o,’ he called and Mama Can-Do turned towards the door in amazement.
‘Lady Rev, in my house at 2:30am, what is happening?’ Neither Temilade nor Rev. Ebuka responded. Temilade walked in and sat down on the sofa with her head down. ‘Somebody should tell me what’s going on here,’ Mama Can-Do demanded.
‘Check your phone, dear,’ Rev. Ebuka responded after he fastened the lock to the living room. ‘Mama, please make yourself comfortable, all is well,’ he said as he walked into a small door. Mama Can-Do followed after him. Temilade could hear subtle arguments from behind the door and Mama Can-Do soon stormed out.
To be continued…
Nobody ever prays to go through a dark time in their life. Even Jesus, the King of kings, would negotiate with the Father when he had to face a chaotic experience. The loss of a dream job, relationship, loved one or marriage can leave you frustrated and completely powerless. Your mind would not cease to betray you. It would play back how much you worked really hard to save that which you lost.
To be candid, I have had my share of very dark moments where all I wanted was to die because then, all I thought was that my life was over. Those times, what frustrated me the most was that I was helpless, could do nothing.
I remember one time when I cried in prayer and it felt like God was silent. I couldn’t act because I knew I could do nothing without hearing from the Father. Doing nothing in time of chaos is the hardest job of all and it will take every ounce of energy you have. It is easier to fight than to stand still most times. It is so because we have trained everything in us to always do something, react to everything. Doing nothing therefore means that you go against everything you know and that is some hard work if you ask me.
I might not know exactly what dark time you are in at the moment but there is something I know for sure — it would surely pass. Just like the seasons of life, it would not last forever. Hold on to God’s promises, rest on it, have faith, learn new things about yourself and please keep a journal. For with time, the goodness of God would be too much that you may not remember it all.