*ENEMIES OF THE CHURCH:*
Grace had not slept ever since she left Chief Ike’s office. She remembered all he did and everything he said to her and she regretted ever going to him. But she had to go because the money he gave her was finished and she needed to talk to him to employ her as a cleaner in one of his companies. At least that way she won’t have to rely on anyone or beg anyone for money again. No matter how small her salary might be.
Chief Ike welcomed her into his office and offered her tea which she refused. She then told him of her reason for coming. Chief Ike told her it was a brilliant idea and promised to help her and give her a better job than a cleaning.
Then he stood up from his seat and went over to her and place his hands around her neck and starts fondling her ears and her hair.
Grace was not comfortable with this but she kept calm so as not to blow her little opportunity of getting a job. She needed this job for herself and her little boy. But then Chief went far by putting his hands through the neck of her slacked Polo shirt down to her breast. He squeezed her breast gently and she jumped up from the seat.
“Sorry sir, what are you doing? Why did you that?” She asked.
“Relax Grace, I am only playing with you, see eh, the whole of this company is mine and I can give you any position you want. I can even go as far as making you the manager of this company, so long you are very hardworking and you make me very happy. Chief Ike said while smiling foolishly and walking towards Grace again.
A shocked and scared Grace moved backward as the Chief moves towards her.
“Please Chief, as you know I am already a single mother, I have nobody in this whole world. It’s just me and my little boy. I need this job mainly because of him, so that I can at least provide his little needs. Please Chief I cant do this, I can’t afford to get pregnant again when I have not got over the first. I really need this job sir. Please daddy!
A smiling Chief Ike looked at her again before he spoke. “The more you speak, the more I want you for myself. See how calculated your words are, and this is the reason I am now in love with you. See eh, you will not get pregnant okay? I will make sure of that, and stop saying you don’t have anybody in the whole world. You now have me all to yourself and I will take very good care of you. You can confirm from any of my wives, nons of them is regretting why they married me, I will send you and your son to any country of your choice, you will drive the best cars around, you will sleep and wake up in money. Just come to me dear. And even if you get pregnant, I will marry you and you will be my number seven hehehehehe” he laughed foolishly at himself.
Grace was irritated by his laugh but did not show it. “Chief number seven?” No ooooo, I don’t want to be number seven wife o, God said one man one wife. How can I marry you and be number seven? What will Reverend Leo and the church say to me? What will God think of me?
Which Reverend? Which church? I am the church and the church is me, without me that church will cease to exist don’t you know that? I am the pillar of that church and nobody can challenge me there, not even your Reverend. My money is what was used in building that church, I can wake up and decide that they all should get out of my property one day because I built it with my money and no one will be able to challenge me. Do you know how much tithe and offerings I give in that church? That is why they respect me and can’t cough when I talk. If I want to be the Pastor of that church today I can be the Pastor all I need to do is voice it out. But I don’t want that for now.
Do you know that when I don’t go to church they will all troop to my house and start asking me why? Then they will start kneeling and begging me to come back and using sweet words on me. Do you think they do that because of love? It’s not because they love me, but because they love my money, the money I give to the church. I am the sustainer of that church you see today. The Pastor and almost all the members they don’t know God, they are all pretenders. In fact all the churches you see today they don’t know God, they don’t go to church to worship God, they go to church to worship man and money. So my dear, forget the church. I rule the church, my money rules the church.
Chief Ike walks towards her and she tries to open the door and run away but the door was locked. The Chief smiled as he caught up with her at the door. He held her face and kissed her pressing the whole of his big body over her. Grace could not breathe or fight him off because he was far bigger than her. She struggles to get herself free from him but she couldn’t. The Chief went further and starts pressing her breasts tearing her bra from her chest and then sucking on her breast.
Grace screamed so loud that it got him terrified.
“What is it? Why are you shouting like that?” The Chief asked.
“I’m sorry sir, but I can’t so this. I really can’t. Please don’t help me anymore. Open the door for me let me go. Please sir. Grace pleaded with hot tears gushing from her eyes.
“You are very stupid. A very stupid girl. Do you know how many girls are begging me to marry them? Even in the church there, do you know how many twist and bend their waist at me just so I will notice them? And here you are getting a free chance from me and you are turning it down. You are really stupid.
He took out his brief case brought out fifty thousand naira in bundle and threw it at Grace.
“Take this fifty thousand naira and get out of my office and don’t you ever come here anymore. Stupid girl! The money is for your smelling bra that I tore. Now get out!
Grace took the money and ran out of the office. It was when she was outside she realized her cloth was torn badly and she can’t really go home like that with exposed breasts, and so she hid behind the big beautiful building to wait a little till the day was dark before going home.
Thank God she left her boy with Nkechi her friend, so she knew the boy was safe.
She sat behind the building crying and thinking of all that life had thrown at her and before she knew it she had slept off.
It’s been two months since the death of Reverend Leo and the church has taken up the responsibility of the burial. Pastor Jim who has automatically become the Pastor and General Overseer of the church has made himself the coordinator and the one in charge of the burial arrangements.
“Pastor Jim, don’t you think the budget for this burial is too high? How can we buy coffin ordinary coffin for 750k, it’s too much na. And you also budgeted 3million naira for just food and drinks. Don’t you think it’s too much? It’s a burial not a feast. And if we are not careful people might just start thinking we are celebrating and not mourning.” It was the Treasurer talking.
“But of course, it’s a celebration of life. Our Reverend has gone to be with the Lord and so we have every course to celebrate despite the circumstances surrounding his leaving. What is most important is that he is with our Father in heaven.” Replied Pastor Jim.
“I know this Pastor, but the budget is still too high. You’ve drawn a budget of almost 10million naira. Is it not too much?” The Treasurer asked again.
“Why are you sounding like this? Reverend Leo was a highly respected man in this society. He was a king and should be buried like a king. That 10million naira is just management compared to what I have planned for him. My very Reverend? God forbid that we bury our Reverend in a small way. God forbid it. Listen my dear, the money is there, our Reverend worked so hard to raise this money. It’s so unfortunate he was not wise enough to spend it when he was alive. At least now that he is dead, let’s give him a befitting burial. After all he won’t enjoy from the money anymore will he?”
“No, he won’t!”
“Ehn! So let’s bury him well and stop complaining about money. Jim concluded.
“Ah, but Pastor, it’s so surprising that Reverend Leo is actually gone. Just like that. His killers will never go unpunished in Jesus name.
*Jim:* Amen and amen. I feel so bad for him o, they didn’t even wait for him to carry his unborn child. It’s so pathetic.
“Now, what will happen to his wife, the church and everything he left behind?’
*Jim:* Well as for his wife, I really don’t know. She is still a very young and pretty woman. After having her baby she might decide to marry who knows. Then for the church, obviously I will be the new Pastor of the church. And the one in charge of everything. The account, and all.
“Wow! Pastor you don hammer be that o, there will be no fear of anything or anyone again abi? It will just be me and you running the accounts and everything. And maybe you will get an assistant too.” The Treasurer said excited
Jim smiled for a while before speaking out.
*Jim:* Well about that, I really can’t tell for now, I don’t think I’d be needing an assistant for now, I don’t want anyone coming to oppose me on anything or any decision I take in this church. So, I won’t be needing any assistant. And even the post of a treasurer I don’t think …, well I am still thinking if I’d be needing a treasurer in the church.
“How do you mean?” The Treasurer quickly asked.
*Jim:* Well, I don’t know yet, I’ve not really decided, I will make that decision after the burial.
“Are you planning to discard me now? After all we’ve been through together in this church?”
“Discard you how?” Did I say anything like that? Why are you getting yourself worked up over nothing? I just said after the burial, we will decide on that. Those things are really not in my head right now. We have just two months to the burial. It may seem far to you but is really not far. Please come let’s continue with the planning. After the burial we can discuss this.” Jim replied.
They both sat down and started writing some things down with Pastor Jim stealing glances at the Treasurer. He already made up his mind to drop him after the burial. He does not trust him enough to leave church fund with him. But he was going to relax and endure till after Reverend Leo has been buried.
WATCHOUT FOR EPISODE 14