“I called her father.”
Nene Turkson looked away from Francis Akoto seated opposite him. The room, enough to make a good single room self contain with one of either a bathroom or a kitchen, felt smaller, as if rid of air. Actually, he’d love to suffocate. For the past week, he’s had little sleep. His eyes wouldn’t shut. His mind was occupied with many little things.
“The others will be glad to know.”
Francis said, looking on his phone screen.
“Can you tell whether he’s already in Accra?”
“He came the day I called. I know he’s been here this whole week.”
Francis sat awhile, nodding his head gently. Nene dreaded what could be churning in that brain of his. He’s known him to be diabolic, now he knows he is worse. Whatever plans he had, he had some of his own.
“We must move a step further.”
Francis said and seemed to think for a minute, putting his elbows on the desk, eyeing Nene.
“You suppose you can get a meeting with the father. We’d have to get a word or two out of him. It’d be best to get him to agree, affirm, his daughter could have, is having an affair with Derrick. With that after we can finally kick him out.”
“Yes. You agree it’s brilliant.”
Francis smirked. When was he not brilliant?
“It’s brilliant. Really is but no, I can’t get him to talk with me so we get his testimony.”
“You have to.”
“I don’t have to.”
“You’re in this now Nene. Backing out to maintain your pathetic loyalty that has yielded nothing but an Associate Pastor for over 15 years won’t be a choice now.”
Nene sat forward and felt for his cross in his left shirt pocket. He pulled it out. It was wooden.
“My pathetic loyalty is because I owe it to this, Jesus’ cross. It doesn’t permit me to go any further.”
“You’ve come too far Turkson.”
“You dragged me this far Mr. Akoto; not mentioning how you lied about it. You drove into my house, sat myself and my wife down, narrated how you’re afraid Derrick’s passionate desire for lost souls could endanger him into an unhealthy relationship with the lady, Judith. I made this call because we wanted to save a good intent from going the wrong path and give Judith a decent chance of salvation with a possible re-connection with her father who himself, you said, is a minister.”
“Mr Akoto, you listen.”
Nene waited for him to hush.
“I prayed a whole week through this proposition you put before me, asked the Holy Spirit to lead me and made that call. You used me. And I believe He used me too. I’m not taking any another step.”
“Then allow Him to continue using you for the growth of the body of Christ. You are attentive, passionate and careful. These qualities put you better as the head pastor than that rogue.”
“Those are nice compliments of my character but we’ll leave the Holy Spirit to choose in what capacity I serve. I’m okay here.”
“Stubborn men have not lasted much in my company.”
“Wicked men haven’t in the Lord’s.”
“I expected this. You chickening out isn’t a surprise at all.”
“I’m honoured you anticipated this. It says a lot to me.”
“Have a Godspeed day. You can walk out of my office for the next person to come in.”
“You will walk out this office sooner and with shame.”
Francis pushed himself back and walked out humming. Nene stood up and paced about his window. Life as he knew it was about changing. He wasn’t given an opportunity to decide but his decision was right. He removed the white envelope from his drawer, cleared his desk, put a bunch of keys with it into a brown bigger envelope and sealed it. He paced about the office a few minutes, smiled , sniffed in the air and knelt beside the window.
Father, you brought me here. I thought for forever. Now, I know you think otherwise. It’s painful to leave behind my hard work. However, I’ll follow you. I pledged to so if you’ve called for this move, I’ll follow Lord. It doesn’t matter I don’t know where I’m going to once I know I’m with you.
He stood up, dusted off his trousers at his knees and walked out the door. He didn’t look back. His hand was to another plough now. He’s already called Derrick, explained things to him, informed him of what he knows about the web of lies being weaved about him. What he didn’t mention was that he’ll be leaving. He didn’t know till this dawn. So he wrote him a note.
Francis sat in his car and looked about the church one last time.
Central Community Church won’t be my home church anymore. I own a few pesewas for all the labour but I’ve pledged to follow.
The sun was as bright as ever, the birds were happily circling, the air wasn’t less fresh. It was the same. A ray hit his windscreen, reflecting beautifully.
Derrick jumped unto his wall and sat facing his door. His earpiece had one side hanging, the other in his right ear. He wore it this way often, so they’ll be a free ear to hear if someone talked to him. You can’t ignore you live with people. His favorite posture would have been leaning on the wall. He hasn’t done that for days now. It hurt him to look at Judith’s door. The demons wake up to destroy progress even before you make it. He listened quietly to Oceans by Hill song playing from his phone. He paid every attention to the words. It has been great help. He was slowly losing his sense of direction.
Please don’t call again.
Judith’s text with the message came through last night. He understood her and yet did not want to heed. She’ll be blaming herself for his misfortune. And he’s getting angrier he couldn’t get her to make a decision. Seasons like this, he regrets not staying in the US to pastor a megachurch that obviously did not need him. He thought he’d be useful back home in Ghana, availed for the growth of the hungry African church. For one, the African church he’s come to doesn’t look hungry to him. It is just a similitude of the giant American churches with deadlier politics.
How do you feed a flock that isn’t hungry Lord?.
He asked this question of God last night.
Open their eyes to their hunger.
He thought he’s heard the Lord say that. He laughed. He who couldn’t show one stray sheep home is to show a thousand people their hunger. God’s sense of humor.
Mrs. Benjamin’s voice came from behind him. Derrick got down and smiled at her.
“Afternoon mummy. I believe you’re strong today.”
Mrs. Benjamin got closer.
“The church hasn’t got rid of you.”
She said in a tiny voice.
“You must fight and stay there.”
“I plan to stay.”
Derrick said stunned. She knew the board of the church are plotting to move him. How?
“I like you a lot. I advise you stay away from that girl.” Mrs. Benjamins glanced at Judith’s door. “She’s trouble. Not to add that Pastors and Prostitutes have nothing in common than their Ps.”
She didn’t wait for any response and walked off. Derrick stood by the wall. The conversation drove home what the Lord told him. Open their eyes to their hunger. His eyes has opened to his own hunger – that Pastors and Prostitutes have more than a P in common. He won’t heed to Judith’s message.
He was about to jump unto the wall again when his phone beeped. He looked at it. It was a text from an unknown contact.
I didn’t know who else to tell. Judith won’t talk to her father and won’t stop drinking. I’m afraid Lewis is getting intolerant. I’m at Teye’s Street , Lane 5, third house. Come soon. Jane.
You lead me in perfect ways. Thank you.
He said, jumped down and rushed into his room. A trouser, a slipper and he’ll soon see Judith.
© 2016 M’afua Awo Twumwaah