GLORY ERA ASSEMBLY located at D/line a major business and residential neighbourhood is a church for the young and upwardly mobile. With the motto “Forsake not the lord in the days of thy youth”, the church is youth orientated and its members are drawn from the nouveau riche class; young business men and women and corporate workers. It also boasts of a high student population as students from the University of Port Harcourt and the state owned university are among its members. The church is pastored by the chubby faced and 30 years old Luke Okafor who also doubles as the founder/general overseer.
Amadi was a member of Glory era assembly.
The Sunday worship service had just ended and the worshippers were streaming out of the building. Amadi walked out of the exit door and headed towards his car. He held his black leather bound bible in his hands, a Valentine program flyer could be seen sticking out from the middle page of the bible.
Being the valentine week, the church had organized a valentine themed program and had given invitation flyers to the members for distribution to the public. Amadi had collected three flyers from the usher.
He knew he wouldn’t hand them out because he wasn’t sure of attending the program. His mind was still occupied on how to raise money. He couldn’t concentrate on the preaching from the pastor and the only part of the service that he took active part in was the praise and worship session. Glory era assembly choir known as The Praisers were reputed to be one of the best in the city and one couldn’t resist shaking a leg whenever they ministered.
Amadi opened the car door and dropped his bible. From the corner of his eyes he saw a young lady hurrying towards him. The lady was Sister Ruth.
“Bro Amadi, what’s up? It is good to see you” She beamed with smiles.
“Ruth, good to see you too!” He gave her a side hug.
Ruth was a member of the Divine vessels service unit, a group of members whose service description was to come up with creative ideas and ways of decorating the church, its offices and enhancing the beauty of the auditorium.
Ruth had a caramel complexion and a round face with brown lively eyes. Her hair was long and dangled over her shoulders. A generous dose of makeup was on her face. She was attired in a blue blouse and black short skirt whose helms flirted with her knees exposing a nice set of legs. Ruth was pretty.
She was Amadi’s crush in the church. He had approached her several times without gaining her full attention. He wanted a relationship with her but she appeared not to be interested in him.
“Are you leaving for home now?” Ruth asked.
“Yes, come in let me drop you?” he said hastily, his heart beating fast.
“No, I am not leaving yet, the divine vessels are meeting with Pastor Tunde’s wife at the moment. I saw you going out and I thought I should come over and say hi” she said with the air of a shy teenage girl
“She came over to say hi to me!” Amadi danced and leapt in his heart, “oh that is very thoughtful of you, thank you”
Ruth inched closer to him and said in a conspiratorial tone “I heard elections have been postponed, so Valentine’s day will hold, I am expecting a gift from you oh”
“Was she serious or joking?” Amadi was thinking.
“I hope you will attend the program on Saturday. At the end of the service, you will take me out and we should hangout, just have a little fun” Ruth added with a nervous laugh.
Amadi could scarcely believe his ears, she was asking him out.
Ruth wasn’t done yet, “Let me have your number”
They exchanged phone numbers.
“I will call you later” she said in a jovial tone and suddenly sprinted away as if she felt guilty of her bold move on him.
The girl obviously wanted someone to take her out on valentine day. “She wants a maga! Why didn’t she give me attention all this while? Why are these girls so parasitic and dependent?! Why must a man be the one to pay for pay for every goddamn thing? “
Amadi hissed and revved the car engine and drove away.
Mondays at COMPANION BANK are always frenetic as the staff deal with the high influx of customers coming to carry out their financial transactions. The high traffic of customers is mainly due to the strategic location of the bank at Plot 5 Trans Amadi industrial layout.
Amadi was at his desk all day and only left it when he went to other sections of the bank to carry out his normal work activities. His office was shared with three other colleagues. They occasionally discussed the current news item which was the election shift.
“Ol boy you hear say dem don postpone election?” David asked Amadi.
“Na so I hear am, these Inec people no well at all, shebi valentine go dey now”
“Yes na, dem don spoil boys plans. What about that your babe?” David asked.
“My brother, na three babes dey worri me. They have all called me saying they want to come over to spend valentine with me. Which kind wahala be this eh?”
In between a hearty laughter, David replied, “This one na real gobe, you don enter one chance. I told you that keeping multiple girlfriends is not ideal”
“How man go do? I am broke now and I won’t be celebrating anything unless you can lend me some cash”
“Lend you cash ke? Where you wan see money this time of the year. Forget about valentine, tell your babes to fashi that side”
It was true. He would have to tell them to forget about valentine. His current account balance was N57,000 naira and he was indebted to the tune of N200,000. The N57,000 was barely enough to feed and sustain him throughout the remaining days of the month. He had come to the realization that Amadi Briggs the fly guy was no longer at ease. If they insist on coming to celebrate valentine, he would leave the city to have peace of mind. Valentine has been cancelled for him.
Maria Ulonna placed the key into the keyhole of her door and turned it to the left. The lock was unlatched and she swung the door open and stepped into her room in AFRICAN RENNAISSANCE UNIVERSITY female hall of residence Block A.
It was a hot sweltering Tuesday afternoon and she had just finished lectures for the day. The campus was electrified with the valentine atmosphere, most students were hooking up with emergency valentine partners. As a beautiful young lady she had gotten many dating requests from members of the opposite sex, even the bald headed and pig nosed Dr Owala has asked her out for the valentine season. She was having none of that.
Her mind was focused on her boyfriend, Amadi Briggs. She would travel to Port Harcourt to celebrate with him. He was a heavy spender and had bestowed cash gifts on her. She knew for certain that he would awe her this time around, they will have so much fun! He might even use the period to propose marriage!
She had already bought and parceled her gift for him, three cotton boxer shorts and three white singlets. She was sure he would like them.
Maria stood up from the bed and lazily strolled to the wardrobe. She opened the door and pulled out an empty small black luggage with tiny wheels. She was going to leave the campus on Thursday afternoon and arrive in Port Harcourt same day. She would spend the night at Amara’s place and on Friday morning make a triumphant entry into Amadi’s apartment and set up camp for valentine.
She would call him later in the day to inform him of her travelling arrangements. He will be excited and will credit her account with a generous transport fare. Pinging him now will not be effective because he rarely replied to bbm messages while at work.
Maria began folding some clothes that she would need for the weekend and placed them in the black luggage.
Suzzy had doubted the efficacy of the potion but she bought it out of curiosity. Her friend Tina had prodded her to buy it. It is a not a fetish item, it is just a beauty enhancer, the seller had told both of them in a conspiratorial tone. They had gone to a hair salon in Waterlines axis of the city to buy some hair extensions when the hair dresser drew their attention to the bottle. She said she was a distributor and that it was very effective. The name of the product was REAL DESIRES.
The liquid was a colourless substance placed inside a small oval bottle with a tiny cap. The instruction was to apply a small amount of the liquid on both eyes. “Make sure that it touches your eyeballs and you will come and thank me later!” She had said. The purpose of the liquid was to make the user more desireable, seductive and irresistible. Anything the user said will be accepted and carried out by the target.
Suzzy was going to use it on Amadi Briggs on Valentine’s day. She would simply ask him to marry her. He was good looking, drove a nice car, had a good job with a steady income, had a nice apartment and was Godfearing; yes he went to church on Sundays. She wanted to get married before the year runs out. At 27, time was ebbing away from her. She had placed bets with her friends on who will get be the first to get married in 2015. She wanted to be the first.
It wasn’t fetish, she was a Christian and didn’t believe in fetishism. It was just something to use to enhance appeal.
Suzzy placed the bottle in her bag and zipped it up. She would call Amadi later in the day to inform him of her plan to visit on Friday night in preparation for Valentine’s day on Saturday.
Annabel sat behind the counter in her mother’s boutique and took a look at her BBm chat thread with Amadi her boo, the message was sent 24 hours ago and was stillon delay. It was Wednesday morning, just two more days to valentine. She wondered why Amadi has not read the messages. Could he be deliberately refusing to read the messages because he knew what was she wanted him to do?
Guys all over were fond of acting funny on periods like valentine but Amadi wan’t be one of them, money definitely wasn’t his problem. She knew that there might be other girls around him which meant that she had to fight to occupy the main place in Amadi’s heart.
She was lucky that a handsome and rich banker took interest in her. He had taken her on weekends to fancy restaurants. He had encouraged her to further her education by paying for her jamb form. He would support her university education. He said casually that he loved her, maybe he didn’t mean it then but now it is real. The way he chats with her, the way he calls her affectionate names all showed that he was in love.
Valentine was on Saturday and the best person to spend it with would be Amadi. All these broke boys disturbing her will be ignored. She intended calling him later in the evening to ask him to tell her where he lived. He had never taken her there before. She would visit him very early on Saturday morning. She will set camp in his house and they would spend the valentine together. She was certain that he had surprise gifts both in cash and kind waiting for her. Valentine will be fun!
The story continues….
By Iniobong Umoh
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