“Well, I just called to remind you of our meeting tomorrow, you’re still coming right?”
“Yeah, I am”
“Ok, see you then”
Frank hung up the phone and I quickly called Aunty Peace to tell her about my meeting with Frank and she said it was ok.
I arrived at Chips and Chats Plaza at about 5:10pm. I sighted Frank already waiting at the far end of the restaurant, he waved at me and I walked down to meet him. The eatery was a relatively small one, though quite exotic and it looked expensive. Everyone was busy talking to someone and they all seemed to be having a good time. Frank gave me a warm welcome as he pulled the sit for me to sit down.
One of the customers wanted to propose to his girlfriend and invited his friends; there were lots of cameras and people were taking selfies too, this made the place a bit loud and lively. They cheered at them as the girl blushed when he popped up the big question; she said yes and he slid the ring into her middle finger, she really looked happy and excited. I didn’t know I was smiling at them when Frank cleared his throat.
“That smile really looks good on you; you should wear it more often you know.” He teased
“Are you saying I don’t smile very often?”
“No, not at all. I am just saying that this one is special, I’m sure you know what I mean” He laughed.
“I don’t know what you are talking about” I giggled
We talked and laughed some more. I couldn’t believe I was talking and laughing heartily with a guy who had caused me so much pain.
“It’s really good to see you again after what seemed like ages. Please pardon my manners, what will you have?” He asked
“I’m fine, thanks. I will probably take a soft drink much later”
“I insist. You can’t come here and only take a soft drink, you will have to eat something. I will have chicken and chips with a glass of fresh orange juice and I will order same for you”
The waiter was already standing by to take the order which he quickly went to bring.
“I actually came into town a few weeks ago; I came to church because I really wanted to see you. I am sorry for how I left that day, I knew you were mad at me and I could feel the heat of your anger while we sat there. Nnenna, I am so sorry for what I did, I was naïve and afraid then. I still love you very much and I want us to be back together again. These past days without you have been unbearable, I don’t want to continue living without you, I can’t. I think about you every single moment of my life, you know we’ve had so much together that we can’t let slip by. I am a changed person now and I want you to give me another chance.”
I don’t know what got me confused at this point, it was either the sweetness of his voice or the manner in which his lips moved while he spoke or even the look of repentance in his eyes, I was speechless. Another chance for what? Did Frank bring me here to ask for forgiveness or to ask me to marry him? It had better not be. My heart was betraying me again and I didn’t want to be bitten by the same ant twice because I was gradually melting already.
Holy Spirit, please help me.
He stopped for me to talk, he gave me that irresistible look and I tried not to make anything out of it.
“Frank, I have forgiven you. I am not mad at you anymore. But as for us getting back together again, I’m sorry it’s not…”
“Don’t say that yet,” He cut in “I know you are still angry, you should be. Please you can take it out on me; you can shout, scream or even beat me. I deserve it. All I’m asking for is a chance to make things right and treat you like the queen that you are”
Kneeling, he held my hands gently and the warmth of his palms sent shivers down my spine “I love you Nnenna, I really do”
“Stop, Frank!” my heart was already in my stomach and it was beating too fast. I tried to catch my breath as I fought against the strange emotions welling up within me. “No, Nnenna, not again” I said to myself.
Nnenna, get up and leave
As I made to shake him away, he drew even closer raising my hands to his face and gently, he planted a kiss on my palms. Oh my God! It felt so good. He raised his head and reached for my face, he drew my head closer with his hand and his lips were moving closer to mine. I was sinking into his arms when the voice came again.
Get up and leave
“Emmm, sorry Sir, the orange juice is not yet ready, I came to inquire if you don’t mind waiting for about 15 minutes, my colleague is working on it or I could offer you pineapple juice instead, that’s what we have now.” The waiter interrupted
This must have been an act of God; I thought to myself or was it mere coincidence?
Frank was taken aback and he felt a bit disappointed as he regained his composure.
“It’s ok, you can bring it.” He said calmly, trying to hide his frustration
“I think I should go now, Frank. It’s getting late” I cried
“Ye—-s, I think so.” He stammered. “Wait please, let’s stay some more maybe we could wait while the waiter brings something for you.”
“No, thanks; I’m leaving now. Thanks for having me.”
Walking out of that restaurant seemed like moving against the tide, everything in me wanted to stay back, to be in his arms. My feet were heavy but I dragged them still, wondering if I did the right thing. I didn’t bother turning to say goodbye because I knew the look on his face would make my heart soften or so I thought.
- * *
The next few days of my life were life-changing, I avoided Frank’s calls and didn’t reply his messages. I was growing deeper in my walk with the Holy Spirit and I didn’t care about anything else but Him. Every moment, I knew I was in His presence and it made all the difference. I anticipated the Sunday service more than ever; I began to see it as a time to fellowship with God and with other believers rather than a weekly ritual that must be fulfilled by all Christians. I began to understand that I have a part to play in the body of Christ because I am a member of His body. I am loved, accepted and called to serve alongside other believers so I looked forward to doing this in anyway God would lead me.
It was Sunday and I was seated in Church, the service began in its usual manner, it was good to see everyone again. We sang and danced heartily as the praise and worship filled the room. Everyone seemed to be lost in the Spirit and very eager to stay that way or was I the only one feeling this way? The assistant Pastor, Pastor Emeka finally came upstage to lead us in a round of prayers. We prayed for our families, the Church and the country amongst other prayer points he raised.
When it was time for the Choir ministration, they matched to the altar from where they were seated near the pulpit. They wore a turquoise blue shirt with a red rosette for the ladies and red tie for the men with a navy blue skirt/trouser. I missed the choir, I missed the people and I missed ministering with them too.
Sister Mary was the soloist. She stepped out in her usual manner with the microphone in her hands as she faced the congregation. I couldn’t take my eyes off the high heeled shoe she was wearing, I guessed it was more than 6 inches and I prayed she wouldn’t fall. Her well fitted shirt and skirt was rather too tight for her robust body, but it looked good on her anyway.
“Lift up your hands unto the Lord Brethren, it’s another beautiful Sunday morning and we are glad to be in the sanctuary and not in the mortuary. Clap your hands and give God a shout of praise”
We all obeyed. Who wouldn’t? She with spoke with a sweet and polished accent,
“The Lord has been good to us and that’s why we are here to give him praise. You know our life is a miracle, a living, breathing, walking, talking miracle. If you know you are a miracle jump up and give the Lord a big shout”
Yaayyyyy! A thunderous shout echoed in the hall.
They scored the song very well just like Anthony Evans, the singer. Every one was on their feet jumping and singing:
“Am a living breathing, walking, talking, moving miracle…”
“Greater is he who lives in me and does all things…etc”
After the rendition, the moderator gave a wonderful speech on how awesome the choir is and how the church choir will be the one to minister in heaven, everyone shouted Amen!
It was time for the message. The moderator came forward to introduce the senior pastor.
“Brethren we have come to the most important segment of this worship. With a standing and shouting ovation, let us welcome Gods man for the now; the only man of God who heaven invites to the heavenly council meeting to decide on matters pertaining to your life and mine. He is here again today to make known to us the outcome of heaven’s council meeting. You see, we don’t know what God has done for us in this church by giving us a man like this; a man after his heart. With a shout and a thunderous clap please welcome our Daddy, Prophet Jerry Anointed Elijah.”
Everyone echoed a thunderous shout as Pastor Jerry came forward, the usher that was carrying his Bible placed it on the pulpit.
He quickly adjusted his 6-piece navy blue suit with a broad smile beaming on his face. Pastor Jerry was a handsome young man with a beautiful wife and two lovely children.
“Brethren I’m very excited this morning, who is as excited as I am?”
People were still clapping, shouting and carrying up their seats. The band also continued playing the last part of the song the choir rendered and the back-up singers sang softly in the background.
“You may sit down brethren. Today, God will be speaking to us again form His word; you know when God wants you to move further in life he gives you a word for your warfare and welfare.”
“Word sir! Hmmmmm!” The brother sitting on the next row shouted as he stood to his feet.
Another fellow at the right side of the hall screamed “Ride on Sir”
As the sermon continued, other people shouted different exclamations ranging from “ride on Pastor!”, “I hear you sir!” “chuck me word!” to speaking in tongues very loudly anytime he made a sentence. There was barely any line he finished that wasn’t followed by an exclamation from someone in the congregation, sometimes they even snatched the words from his mouth and completed the rhyme.
This distracted me greatly, I simply wished they would keep quiet and allow us hear the word of God. I desperately wanted to be fed with God’s word; my heart was very hungry and expectant. I longed for something more, I honestly did.