With brisk steps, Mrs. Akoka steered towards the front pew in St. Thomas Church, her cover shoes slamming against the marble floor, the echoes swallowed by the murmuring voices. Her red purse buried under her armpit, with a big red flowery hat sitting on her head and her white flowing gown hugging her to a fit. Her head tilted a tad over her shoulder and a soft smile crept into her face when she saw Cindy trailing her. At the front pew, she moved aside so her daughter could walk inside.
Then, all but Cindy stood immediately the pastor took to the altar, towering and overshadowing Cindy until her small body frame was buried out of sight. An inaudible hiss escaped Cindy’s lips and her eyes flashed resentment as the pastor landed the Bible on the lectern. Her heart was burning with rage, but then, her mind was made up to let it burst. She has had enough of the pastor’s incessant action of walking into her panties every time her mother wheedled her to his house for counseling sections.
“How lucky you are!” Pastor Kenneth had said the first time he forced himself on her, his moans drowned by the jazz music playing in the background. “Many yearn to have me wrap them in my pleasurable arms,” a wry smile spread across his face with more moans escaping his lips. “But no ear must learn of this,” he warned, before he began to pull into his pants and then he run up the zipper.
Staring down on the bloodstained bedsheath, tears ran down her face, sputtring on the two orange-like vestigial organs on her chest. She was broken. She pushed back a wisp of hair that had flopped down to blur her vision, before she climbed down to pull into a new gown, leaving behind the torn one that he had flung away to one corner of the room.
Then, it was time for testimonies and Cindy was up to grab the opportunity. The pastor saw something in her misty eyes which others couldn’t see. It was something mean or vengeful or anything in-between.
Standing closely to the pastor, Cindy was sure her nose picked up a familiar wisp of the sweet apple fragrance he was putting on.
The fragrance poked more on the ugly memories buried down in her heart with myraids of threats and she felt like a meek prey once again. Her teeth tightened as hard has her fist was clinching. A spurt of bile surged up to burn the back of her throat. She fought to keep calm as fierce anger course through her nerves. She needed to appear okay before her mom’s broken countenance.
With the index finger, the pastor pushed down his spectacle to have a clear view. He stared down at Cindy, hoping their gazes could lock again. He noticed the dryness in his mouth, and could hear the beating of his heart in his chest. Suddenly, the air around him froze, physically increasing his breathing pace. He was squirming when Cindy glanced at him. He brought out a clean white handkerchief and began to wipe off the beads of sweat in his face.
Taking the mic from the albino woman who was then receiving an applause from the congregation for her heart felt testimony, Cindy shuffled to the lectern. With her shaky hands pushing the mic into her mouth, she felt the ground dissolving under her foot.
“Praise God!” her voice blared through the gigantic speakers that sat at the back pew, sending the echoes high to fill the church.
“Hallelujah!” the congregation responded.
“Well, God has been so good to me…” she paused to tuck in the wisp of hair obstructing her view and also to sort for her words. “But I am standing here for one thing.. ”
“Sheribabababa!” the pastor chimed in with a speaking in tongues. “The devil is here… orobobokeriba!” he continued rising to his feet, “…and he has possessed her,” he pointed at her and ordered that she should be bound and taken away before she would ruin the service.
Before another word could drop from Cindy’s mouth, the mic had left her hand at the same time her feet was snatched off the ground and her body raised up to the shoulders of three hefty men as they moved her out of the church to where the supposed evil spirit would be cast out of her.
Cindy knew that no one would believe her story and so she decided to luck it up until such time her voice could be heard loud and clear.