“Where have you been? I was so worried about you” George said, standing at one of the entrance doors to the lecture hall.
“We were clearing the plates” Fatima said, smiling.
“You’re impossible” George said, shking his head at his friend, then giving her a questioning look as he looked at the boy beside her and back to her.
“Oh sorry, bad manners. This is Uche, my new friend” she said looking at Uche, and then introduced Goerge. “And this is George, my closest male friend.
“A pleasure meeting you” George said, extending his hand for a handshake.
“Same here” Uche said, taking his hand.
“But why are you outside?” Fatima asked. “I can see the show has program has started.”
“I didn’t like some of the things I was hearing and seeing, I had to leave. Moreover, I was worried about you. Guess it’ll soon…”
An announcement interrupted him. “Next on the list is Banke. Fatima please get ready!!!”
“Right on time!” Fatima said, giggling. “Let’s go in”
“Not before we say a prayer for you” George said.
“Thanks George. That would be great.” Fatima said as she took Goerge’s hand in one hand and Uche’s in the other. Geoge also took Uche’s free, forming a chain. Uche was new to this but didn’t object. George said a short prayer and then they were on their way in. There was just something about the joy, unity and peace Fatima and George enjoyed that Uche could not wait to enjoy the same. Uche had planned to ask Fatima to lead him in the sinner’s prayer after the program but he remembered she said she would be meeting with Mr. Aminu after the program.
‘I will ask her to lead me to Jesus in prayer tomorrow morning.’ That was Uche’s thought. Little did he know that he was going to get a shocker of his life the next day.
Stanley was uncomfortable. He was unsettled, he felt unfulfilled. The day was about to end and he hadn’t gotten any girl yet. ‘Where is that Tunbosun girl?’ he asked himself as he looked round. He couldn’t find her. Moreover, boys and girls were hooting and some of them were standing to watch the girl that was miming a Janet Jackson song.
As he was about giving up, he noticed a girl was walking towards the back. She wore a short black gown. Stanley couldn’t take his eyes off her body. Looking at his face, he was surprised. It was Tunbosun. ‘How on earth!’ He couldn’t believe that the same girl who had shunned him would wear such a sensuous dress. He was dazed.
She passed by him and he called her. She looked at him, took her eyes away an continued walking. He kept his eyes on her till she entered the ladies. Her dressing had just provoked him more to do what he had been planning.
With her dressing, he was convinced she was just proving hard to get. ‘I don’t have all ten days to woe you girl. I will have you by force.’ He remembered what his brother told him had happened at the last conference. A girl that had proved hard to get had been raped at the uncompleted lecture hall behind the dinning hall. The shame had been too much for her, she didn’t tell the conference facilitators.
The thought appealed to Stanley. As he was still thinking, Tunbosun walked past again, returning to her seat. Stanley fed his eyes on her. ‘I’ll have you tomorrow.’
Tunbosun got back to her seat. She hated to stand up in the clothes she was wearing but he had been pressed and to go. As she sat down, she pulled her gown trying to reduce the flesh it showed; it was too short and she felt very uncomfortable. She was trendy and wore outfits that were in vogue. But she disliked wearing revealing clothes.
When she was leaving home, her mum had convinced her to take the black gown. It was one of her new purchases from Dubai. Unfortunately, Tunbosun didn’t try it on, assuming it would be okay. When she tried it on in the hostel, she had wanted to change it but the hoots, screams and encouragement from girls in the room made her wear it out.
Now, she felt so stupid she wore it. She couldn’t wait for the program to be over and put off the dress she was wearing. Worst of all was that she had allowed that guy to see her this way. She wondered what he would be thinking of her. ‘I promise never to wear this again, ever!’ she told herself, still trying to pull the gown a little more, unaware that she had already set herself up; unaware of Stanley’s schemes.
Shade was seated with Utibe and they were engrossed in the activities on stage. For a few minutes, she had been trying to remember the name of the girl that was miming. She was the girl she had seen earlier in the day. She still couldn’t place it.
“Do you know that girl?” She asked Utibe whose hand across her chair.
“Sure. She’s Faith Archibong”
“It’s a lie!” Shade was surprised. “Now, I remember. She was in Federal Government Girls College, Ipetumodu.”
“Really? She’s now in my school; The Rock Academy.”
“That’s strange. She has really changed” Shade said, looking at Faith on the stage and she did some sensual dance steps, causing students to hoot. Just then, Shade noticed Utibe hand slide forward and rest on her shoulder, but she pretended not to notice.
“Why did you say she has changed?” Utibe asked, moving closer.
“She was a strong Christian when I knew her; she even preached to me once”
“Faith! That seems impossible. I cannot think of a big boy in Calabar that hasn’t had her.”
Shade looked at him, questioning.
“Oh no! I haven’t” he said, taking his hand away from her shoulder. He raised his two hands. “I’m innocent. I only go with good girls, like you”, he said looking deliberately at her.
Shade was glad to hear that and wished Utibe hadn’t removed his hand, she was getting comfortable with it. And as if he could read her mind, he put his hand back on her shoulder and felt her relax under his touch.
Shade continued watching Faith perform while Utibe’s attention was on her. Things were going as planned. Utibe wanted to explore further. Shade had just been too easy. He remembered his friends’ words and decided to go slow.
‘This is better than I planned. I can’t wait for tomorrow to proceed to the more interesting parts’ Utibe thought to himself as he yet moved a little closer and noticed Shade inclined closer too.
“Now, let’s put our hands together for Fatima!” the moderator said.
As Fatima mounted the podium and the sound track she had chosen was played, Cece Winan’s ‘Alasbaxter box’, a new wave swept through the hall. As she started her one-man drama, the atmosphere was even more charged.
George, sitting with Uche was excited. Fatima was ministering through her drama and seeds of righteousness where beeen sown. Georege looked round, many students were talking, some distracted, but some were listening, being touched by her message. Her drama was titled, ‘When love prevails’.
It was the story of a girl who was down and out but she met Jesus and received His love and her life changed. George looked back and noticed a girl was wiping her tears. He made a mental note to talk with her later. He looked back at Fatima on the stage and just then, he felt God drop a burden in His heart.
Fatima needed his prayers. Something terrible was about to happen to her. He didn’t know what it was but felt God was asking Him to pray for this girl that had brought joy to his life; this girl that had introduced Jesus to him. ‘Lord, please have mercy on Fatima. Let nothing evil happen to her” he pleaded desperately with God.
…TO BE CONTINUED NEXT EDITION. (Please remember to subscribe if you haven’t, so you could receive the next edition. Only subscribers would be receiving editions on a regular basis. Don’t forget either that subscription for this magazine is free. All it costs you is browsing time, a text or a postage stamp!!! See ‘Free Subscription’ for details.)
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Written by Timilehin Adigun