“He can’t be kept in”
Mr. Francis Akoto yelled to the only other person in the room, his son. They lived two houses away from the church and were the caretakers of the church. His son, Francis Akoto Jnr, officially was. Keys to key rooms were kept with them, in a large wooden box beside their dining table. Their large home was an eight bedroom apartment with two garages for four cars. The pink paint of the building made it stand out. It took a lot aback to hear Francis’ favorite colour is pink. He is supposed to be the man.
“He’s barely pass a quarter.”
Francis Jnr. cleared his throat, hesitating to speak.
“He’s barely pass a quarter?”
Francis tapped on the iphone hard and put it against his ears.
“You are beginning to sound exactly as the rest.”
He dropped the phone in the beige settee he sat in.
“There isn’t time to waste. No one on the board seems to get that. If he’s allowed to go on as he is, we’d soon have no board.”
He exhaled, infuriated.
“The church is not a company. The church is not a casino. The church is not a market. The church is a body.”
He mimicked Derrick as he spoke.
“The church needs elders, deacons. That’s what bible says. You heard him and how the crowd cheered him on.”
Francis stood up, towering over Junior. His presence intimidated and chased every courage out of him. He resolved to speak his mind when they got home. He knew his father too well. He’s never content discussing the matters where they belong. Home is where his actual discussion was done, alone or with an audience, always him.
“If Derrick succeeds, we’ll lose our place, our voice and this church will become ordinary.”
“It’ll mean losing all the contracts that comes in to our firm because of the church and the many building projects.”
“We’ve halted two building plans for pastors in favor of buying resources to start a library and a new convert’s class. We’ve lost two good contracts worth billions.”
Junior nodded. Francis sat in the settee next to him, held his chin, his eyes fixated on him. Junior dreaded what he thought Francis will say. For a month now, he’s kept a safe distance from the backbiting brewing over at the church and boiling over at home. He’s never been a good snitch. Never. The one time he tried it at St. Peters, the guilt never wore off – not until he traded it for a good late night pounding by his dorm boys. Whatever his father was about asking of him, he had to man up and say no. if it came down to shaking his head to signal that, it’d be worth it. In fairness, He’s seen Mr. Derrick Asamoah do nothing more than revive the essence of being in church to what it should be, the spirituality. He watched as Francis spoke.
“It will take more than a pair of eyes watching Asamoah’s steps. We’ll need two. And you, Francis Akoto Jnr., is going to be that new other pair. It’ll stay between us. The board will be shocked to see how much work I’ve done. It’s time to put that photography into its intended, most appropriate use.”
Francis smirked with his last words. Junior nodded. His plan was to shake his head but his mind won’t allow him have the joy. It obeyed one voice. And it wasn’t his.
“Why was he even at her door?”
Asaabea said. She was in the kitchen preparing supper. Croffet made it clear he wasn’t eating any more rice. 3fonu nnyipa ai*. She decided to spice the evening up with mpotompoto* her way. Her mum passed that recipe to her. To add just enough sweetness, she’d say with her pretty smile, add two fingers of ripe plantain before bringing the whole taste to closure with the roasted maize flour. She smiled.
“He really shouldn’t have been there this morning.”
Mrs. Benjamin said, one hand with the rubber and the other taking a good enough ball of banku to be wrapped up for keeping. The two, Asaabea Croffet and Mrs. Benjamin shared the house’s largest kitchen. Breakfast, lunch and supper was for them more than whipping up meals delicious enough to eat.
“Not with the way she was looking and looking at him.”
Asaabea laughed at the play of words.
“Looking and looking ehua*? She had the decency of putting on the morning coat.”
“And leaving him to wonder what could be underneath it?”
Asaabea smiled, uneasily. Mrs. Benjamin had a reputation for taking words and situations places you didn’t think of them travelling to. Christy told her this morning she didn’t tell Mrs. Benjamin Judith raped her husband. She’d said she suspected Judith could have made a move on him. Asaabea lowered the heat under her food and sat on a wooden kitchen stool. She enjoyed chatting with her nonetheless. Mrs. Benjamin knows everything that happens in Osu before the media gets to break it.
“Me nga bo.”
A man in his fifties curtsied Asaabea and grabbed the rope around his sheep, dragging it behind him.
She lifted her hand to the man. She’s lived all her married years here. Ga however isn’t a language she would speak any time now.
“He’s a pastor.”
“The more reason he shouldn’t be found in any compromising position with a whore.”
Mrs. Benjamin yanked a stool and joined her.
“Did you see the whole conversation?”
“I did. It could pass for a pillow talk.”
Asaabea said and put off the stove.
“You saw how her eyes was stuck on the big toe of his right foot?”
Asaabea laughed, coughing in the process. Mrs. Benjamin chattered on.
“I was wondering what they were both thinking standing there like two school lovers involved behind the boys urinal.”
Asaabea laughed harder, almost choking on it. Mrs. Benjamin joined in.
“She had her eyes on that toe for six good minutes.”
“Five minutes then.”
They sat down awhile. Mrs. Benjamin had a look of mischief on her face. Her gray hairs dyed black were beginning to fade into their original white. She gloated at Asaabea.
“I say they went on a date. He asked her out on a date. I saw them sneaking out in his car. If they did go out on a date then the board over at his church need not worry. Whoever they hired needs to get over there and get a good shot. It’d save them the time.” She paused. Her face solemn. “You do know the church is investigating his dealings with Judith and might soon throw him out?”
Asaabea shook her head. She wasn’t a fan of Derrick. She didn’t like him much, his build, dressing, face, style. He doesn’t fit for a pastor but Mrs. Benjamin was something else. Whatever Judith has done to her, it is terribly unforgivable. The sun’s light was dimming. Darkness is close.
Asaabea shouted for her husband. They have lived in darkness for too long. The outside bulbs needs replacement and it’ll be today.
Author’s note: I’m learning discipline and so here’s the fourth in the series, signed, sealed, delivered and yours. Goodnight!
© 2016 M’afua Awo Twumwaah