False gods #3

False gods

Read Also: False gods #2

Chapter 3: Evil has a mission

“Life’s but short; you might as well be amusing”

The concept of life after death has always had me fazed, it’s one of the most inexplicable belief systems I have held. Am I ‘good people’ because I need to chill in holy, gold streets forever? Am I only going to church because I am somehow assured of an afterlife that there is no proof of? Last night had me philosophizing on life in its entirety. I sat around the Pastorate contemplating the afterlife as Pastor broke down the message of the “Richman and the Eye of the Needle”.

“Heaven is not the eye of the needle, poverty is the eye of the needle”

He scoffed, Pastor Winnerman habitually did that whenever he was in the process of receiving divine revelation or as the young folks in church tritely say, rhema!

“When Jesus said in Matthew 19:24 that it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter, he meant that for his children that he preordained to be rich, they would not go through poverty, the eye of the needle.
“A camel is a lost animal in the desert, hard times follow it. The eye of the needle, poverty, it goes through that every day”
“Somebody shout I am not a camel”

The Church squalled in rapturous ecstasy, “I am not a camel”. Pastor ended the message by asking the congregation to sow a seed to escape poverty, even the already rich came out to secure their empires.

This Wednesday evening, the queen of the sky shone like a silver coin. On the flat rooftop of the church, about a dozen birds foraged noisily. Service had just ended and it was time for counseling and as expected, virtually the whole church waited behind especially the women folk, they always seem to have more pressing problems. I looked forward to this because of the seed-sowing money it brought. I was never left out of the spoils; perks of my job. As pastor walked backed to the office, our work was cut out for us as we were almost mobbed. Cheers and tears filled the air, you would think Michael Jackson was here. Few minutes later, I stood outside the office, ushering people in.

Recently, a lot of rumors have been circulating around town of Pastor’s promiscuity and unusual wealth. Pastor had jokingly replied when I told him; “Wetin concern me? Toothless dogs are always the first to bark”

The sun sank lower in the sky, as its ethereal light grew obscure, giving way to the velvety of the dark. Dusk was knocking, crickets chirped, mosquitoes buzzed as the shadows became more evident. The east end of Lekki stood still as if desolate. The Winnerman family estate stood at the end of a byway, with a custom iron fence, overlooking the street. Meanwhile, upstairs in the family house, the song “Obianuju” by Duncan Mighty played non-stop. It has been a week since I saw Pastor. He had been on one of his usual “retreats”. The serenity in Pastor’s compound could only be likened to the presence of God. Hands akimbo, I sat in the large living room, waiting for Pastor. “Hello boy!” He called out. Dressed like some dude from Mark Ronson’s Uptown Funk, he flew into my arms. Well, this was new. “I’ve missed you son” He cooed. Holding onto me, he grabbed my butt. Chaii, what’s going on? I wondered. I raised my hands to slap him but the shrill cry of the telephone pierced through the moment. He scurried for the phone, letting me go. I heaved a sigh of relief. After making his call, he stammered, “ermm, get the car re-ready.” I responded with a dry titter and excused myself. What did I just experience? Don’t panic Asari. Don’t! A whole Port-Harcourt boy. Pastor dey craze sha.

About an hour later, we were on our way back from the lounge on the mainland. Pastor was still in a mood because his team conceded defeat to Chelsea. We had made a brief stop at a local suya joint to indulge our cravings. Just as we walked back to the car, a knife-wielding thug approached us. He demanded that we hand over all our cash and lie on the ground. You know… Pastor had always preached on how he has commanded robbers, even terrorists to obey him in one of his unverified odysseys in Borno. Before I could say hallelujah, pastor was on the ground squealing like a woman in labour. I can’t say I was amazed; nothing surprised me anymore. If my spiritual head could oblige, I had no choice. The thug’s voice suddenly stopped, replaced by loud whispers. Angrily, I stood up to notice he was gone. Letting out a lifeless giggle, I watched Pastor’s display of cowardice. The sobs were stifled at first but as he tried to hide his agony, pearl-shaped tears rolled down his cheeks, from his bloodshot eyes. He kept screaming, “I can’t die now. I’m too young”. Then, overcome by his emotions, he shrieked helplessly, there was a rawness of it, like there was an open wound in his heart. I suppressed a chuckle as a small crowd began to converge. I whispered into his ears that the thug was gone. “God bless you,” he muttered. His easy tone and gentle voice dissipated the ugly situation like a crackling hearth. I didn’t want the lopsided smile on my face to be too obvious, so I kept my eyes on a car in the opposite direction. Back in the car, I turned to Pastor and said, “Pastor, Pastor… My father, my father… See what suya has caused.” We both burst into uncontrollable laughter and began our journey homewards.

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