Read Chapter 25 here
“Okay, that was…. erhm,” Omololu stuttered as he tried to find the right word.
“Unexpected?” I supplied, laughing as we entered the car.
“Most definitely,” He agreed, nodding his head. “And you found that funny?” He raised his eyebrows.
“You don’t?” I asked, laughing harder. “Surely, you must see the humor in all these,”
“I don’t,” he said, his lips twitching. I knew he was beginning to see the humor.
“By the way, brother Lolu, you do know the other sinful things Pastor was referring to includes all those stolen kisses right? Why did you lie?”
“Oh my God, I was already irritated at that point,” He said, finally laughing. “But as a good boy now, I can't be telling Pastor that I have been kissing sister Teniola,”
“You know what I thought he was going to ask next? After the whole ‘other sinful things’?” I asked, still laughing.
“If we are virgins?” He shrugged.
“Yeah,” I said, doubling over with laughter. “I think it would have been directed to me more specifically though.”
“Yeah,” He nodded. “I swear I wasn’t expecting this visit to turn out like this,” He said, sounding apologetic.
“On the bright side,” I perked up. “If he ends up not speaking to your parents, at least we got some marriage counseling practice questions,”
“He will speak to them,” He said confidently.
“Don’t sound so sure babe,” I rolled my eyes. “You can’t be certain what he will do,”
“But I am,” He winked. “You didn’t see how impressed he was by you, babe? You knocked his socks off, especially with those last words. I think he sees what I see every day; a woman so confident and comfortable in her skin.”
He grinned then continued, “So, he will speak to them, I’m certain of that but their response remains to be seen,”
“Okay then,” I smiled, suddenly feeling more positive. “Let’s go home,”
“Yes ma’am,” He mocked salute, causing us both to laugh as he fired up the car.
We both remained in comfortable silence, as he navigated through the heavy traffic within the Akure town. We knew that it would be late by the time we get back to Lagos, but staying the night in Akure was not an option. It just felt weird enough coming to the same town Omololu’s parents lived without visiting them, but I figured once the pastor speaks to them, it would be easy for him to explain a rushed day trip than an overnight stay.
“Don’t even think about sleeping off o,” Omololu chided, as I reclined my seat and got comfortable.
“Relax, I’m here with you all the way,” I smiled, curling deeper into my reclined seat.
“Well, where else will you go? Sha don’t sleep,” he grunted.
“See? My eyes are wide open,” I grinned, opening my eyes wider.
“Thank you,” He snickered. “Let’s keep…” He stopped, interrupted by the loud ringing of his phone.
“Saved by the bell,” I laughed, grateful for the interruption. “Answer your phone while I stay awake,”
“It’s Omolola,” He said as he clicked a button on his car sound system. “Shortcake, it went well, and we are on our way back,” He said, totally skipping the usual phone pleasantries.
As he gave her the details of our mission, I sat there listening, suddenly realizing that phase 2 of our plan was done. Everything was now dependent on Pastor Adeoti succeeding, I thought, biting my lower lip. I have never been a pessimist, but I have always managed to be a perfect blend of an optimist and a realist. I couldn’t help but worry about what happens if phase 2 fails, just like phase 1 had.
Hrruhrrrggg, I hate being dependent on another human for anything important, I thought groaning inwardly. That’s the one thing that is guaranteed to keep me worried.
What if the Pastor fails? What happens then? And if he succeeds? Will his parent’s acceptance be real? Or will it be forced because we had given them no choice? Will they come to love me, or just tolerate me? Questions after questions ran through my mind, none of which I had answers to.
Stop overthinking! A part of my mind seemed to scream at me. If anything, just focus on the immediate ‘what if’, I thought ruefully. What happens if he fails?
“What happens if he fails?” I heard Omololu asked, echoing my thought. Had I said that out? I thought as I turned to look at him. When had he ended the call with Omolola?
“What happens if he fails?” He repeated, glancing at me briefly before returning his eyes to the road. “If my parents still won’t budge after Pastor speaks to them, what happens next?”
“I don’t know babe,” I shrugged. “We should stay positive right? You did say your parents respect the pastor right?”
“Yeah, yeah, they do. I just can’t help but wonder, you know? I never want to lose you Teniola, and I’m worried that’s what will happen if pastor fails,”
I reached for his right hand with my left one, “I know babe, I know.” I squeezed his hand, wishing I could somehow promise and assure him that I was going nowhere, but it would be a lie. I also don’t know what next, and I’m scared to find out what I may need to do if Pastor fails.
“I am in love with you, Omololu. You know that right? You mean the whole world to me, but what good can come from me coming between you and your parents?”
“So, we love each other, that ought to count for something right?” He said softly, ignoring the last part of what I said.
“Yeah, it counts for more than something,” I assured him. “But going where you are not welcomed only brings a truckload of heartache.”
“You are welcomed here,” He insisted stubbornly, lifting my hand and placing it on his heart. “You are welcomed here,” He repeated.
“I know,” I nodded, unshed tears blurring my eyes a little. “So, Pastor will succeed then. We have to believe that.”
He nodded in agreement, as he lifted my hands to his lips. “But if he fails,” He started, kissing the back of my hand, “Will you stay and fight with me? We can continue to date till my Parents get on board right? They have to get tired eventually right?”
“Lolu,” I groaned. “Be realistic. And what if they never agree? We keep dating forever?”
“We can leave the country? Live far away?” He suggested.
I shook my head at the ridiculousness of his suggestion. Leaning towards him, I kissed him on the cheek, “Pastor Adeoti will not fail,” I said, with more confidence than I felt.