Read Chapter 24 here
“Don’t worry babe. This shouldn’t take very long. We are just going to talk to him about the situation and let him take it from there,” Omololu whispered, breaking the otherwise dead silence in the Pastor’s waiting room.
Pastor Adeoti, Omololu’s parent’s pastor had requested that we visited him today. It is the outcome of our visit that would help him decide if it was worth speaking to his beloved 'Elder and Mrs. Williams' on our behalf. So we had left Lagos in the wee hours of this morning, hoping to and thankfully avoiding the Saturday traffic caused by ‘owanbe’ party goers.
Omolola had tried and failed, or in her words, not failed, just didn’t quite succeed. Our meeting turned out great, she had quickly become my greatest ally only on the promise that I join her in pushing her brother’s buttons whenever necessary. It wasn’t a task I wouldn’t enjoy, so I quickly made the solemn promise. She started a crusade in their household for my sake, or at least that was the word their mum had used when she called to accuse him of using his sister and also assure Omololu that she was only looking out for him. The 'fierce angel' the nickname I had chosen to call her, had done her bit, but we needed more.
So, involving Pastor Adeoti became a necessity, our last recourse. And as I sat in his waiting room, twiddling my fingers, all I could hope for was that he sees in me whatever he needed to see to convince him to intervene.
“Did you hear me?” He whispered again, his hand gently nudging my shoulder.
“I did,” I smiled weakly, trying to hide my nerves.
“It will be alright Teni,” He started. “You know…”
“Pastor will see you now,” the perky receptionist interrupted, holding her hands out in the direction of the pastor’s office.
Here we go, I thought, taking a deep breath.
“Sorry to keep you waiting. I was on a call and it lasted longer than I expected,” Pastor Adeoti said, as he welcomed us into his office.
He was a stern-looking middle-aged man, probably in his 50s, and despite the smile he wore, he still managed to maintain the stern look.
“How are you my sister?” he asked, looking straight at me from under his eyeglasses.
“I’m very well sir, thank you,” I answered, managing a smile.
He nodded, and looked back at Omololu, “So, Omololu, when you called last week, I told you the conversation is not one to be discussed over the phone. Why don’t you start from the beginning now,”
“Yes sir,” Omololu nodded.
As he explained to the Pastor all that had happened and his Parent’s concerns, I looked at him, barely listening. He was different; the seriousness with which he spoke, and the way he seemed to choose his words carefully. It was obvious he respected Pastor Adeoti, but he didn't seem comfortable around him.
“You have told me about the problem, but nothing about the young lady,” Pastor Adeoti said, immediately bringing my mind back into the room. “How do you know she is the one? And why do you want to marry her regardless?”
“Sir, Teniola is the kind of woman you have to experience to be able to properly understand why she is the real deal,” Omololu said, glancing at me, and cracking his first real smile since we got here.
“When I met her, I was intrigued,” He continued, holding my attention. “I had just had a meeting with some potential investors, and there she was in the elevator, looking impeccable in a blue and black dress. She was beautiful, no doubt, but beyond that, there was something in me that just knew that I needed to know her. So, I told her some bad jokes and managed to get her number. She wasn’t ready for a relationship, but I knew instinctively that she is someone I needed to hold on to, even if all we ever have is friendship. So I did. And as our friendship grew, I saw for myself what my heart had somehow known, how special she is. Teniola is the smartest woman I know, she is kind, supportive, and above all, she fears the Lord. I’ve not in a long time met any woman who can hold her own like Teni, and is not afraid or intimidated by anything. She became my best friend sir, someone that I felt comfortable showing the weakest part of me, unashamed. That’s not something that comes around all the time sir, and I’m not prepared to lose her,”
Silence followed Omololu’s speech. His words blew me away, rendering me tongue-tied, but the Pastor’s silence worries me. Had he said something wrong? I wondered.
“Hmmm,” Pastor Adeoti finally muttered. “So, you love her. Do you love him?” He asked turning to me.
“I do sir. I love him,” I responded, my voice sounding hoarse as I struggled to swallow my emotions.
“Okay. Tell me about your parents?” he asked.
I wasn’t expecting the question, but I guess I should have since my maternal lineage is the main reason we are here. I didn’t know what to tell him about my parents, so I told him about how I was raised, hoping that he would deduce for himself the kind of people they are from the stories of how they raised my brother and me.
He kept on firing questions after questions like he was determined to dissect my life and see a chink in my armour. I may be wrong, but that was how his questions about my family made me feel.
“Are you engaging in pre-marital sex?” He suddenly asked, taking a total turn from his previous line of questions.
“No,” I responded immediately, looking at Omololu’s shocked expression. What's this? I asked with my eyes.
“Good,” Pastor Adeoti said, wiping off his glasses before wearing them again. “Why not?”
“We decided to wait till marriage,” Omololu answered, squeezing my hand below the table.
“Hmmm,” He muttered, wringing his hands, as he looked from me to Omololu. “And whose idea was this?”
“Both of us sir,” Omololu responded again, slight irritation obvious in his voice.
“I see. That’s a good decision because fornication is a sin, you know?”
“Yes sir,” We both nodded in agreement. I chuckled quietly, biting the corner of my lower lip to prevent me from laughing.
“And I hope you both are not engaging in some other sinful things right?” He pushed.
“No we are not sir,” Omololu responded fully irritated. I wasn’t sure if the Pastor heard the irritation in his voice but he simply nodded and changed his line of questions.
“Before I let you go. One last question for you Sister Teniola, Why did you come here to see me?”
I was confused. We had driven for hours to get here and spent another hour talking, yet he didn’t know why I came? My confusion must have been obvious on my face, because he smiled and said, “I know you both want me to speak to his parents, but why do you want it? And what happens if I’m unable to convince them?”
“Sir, all I want is a chance for them to either accept or reject me on my own merit and not for some pre-conceived opinion about who I am based solely on where I am from. I need them to meet me, and then decide what they see.” I said softly, looking straight at him.
“I think they will see a woman who not only loves their son but also likes him and wants to be a part of his life. And if for some reason, they don’t see that, that’s also okay. At least, I will know that I did all I could,” I ended.
“Okay,” he said, his eyes twinkling. “I will pray about you two, and then take the necessary steps,” He said, standing up.
“Thank you for your time, Pastor,” Omololu said, as we both stood.
“Have a safe trip,” He called to us as we shut the door behind us.