I had the most amazing time in the service the following day. The hymn session gave me butterflies in my bellies. The worship team of Ifeanyi’s fellowship was the best I have ever seen. The preaching was about God’s love for us and our responsibility to Him because of that love. I thought it was the first time I was hearing that responsible living was the effect, and not the cause of God’s salvation. Well, I wasn’t sure I really understood that though. By the end of the service, I had made my final decision to join the fellowship. I made the first decision the day before.
“When next are we having TDB? You know you are the Efiko. I need you to explain some stuffs to me in AGY 103.” Ifeanyi said on our way to his hall, the yoghurt in his mouth making a gurgling sound as he spoke. I should be irritated, but I wasn’t. This was Ifeanyi, not any random person. I could let it pass.
I love this about him; his ability to unashamedly accept I was better than him in academics.
“Efiko for where? Be whining me there.” I rolled my eyes.
“By the way, I think your fellowship is really cool. I would like to be a member.”
He threw both hands up while I laughed at him. His accent gave away his elementary Yoruba-speaking skills.
“That also means you will join TFC. TFC is short for Triumphant Fresher’s Club. It is the fresher’s arm of the fellowship.”
“Okay. We have a fresher’s club in my former fellowship too.”
“Former fellowship!” I giggled. “I am already calling Vine-Buds my former fellowship.”
“Because you are a member of TPCF now!” He joined me in laughter.
His laughter was like a melodious song, sung in perfect harmony.
“You will need to join a unit in TPCF. I’m in the choir. Come and join us.” He winked at him.
I loved his enthusiasm. I was really excited too.
Who would have thought I could get the opportunity to serve God while keeping what I wanted? At last, I have a ‘boyfriend’ with whom I can serve God! This was going to be fun! We were going to have a real relationship that would have God’s blessing. A relationship I would not need to be afraid that God will someday rain fire and brimstone on. And then, we would get married and have two children—a boy and a girl. I couldn’t have asked for anything better.
I looked at Ifeanyi again, and the mouth curved into a contented smile.
We got to his room to meet the absence of his roommates. He served me some warmed portion of his remnant breakfast. I was eating when my phone rang.
I had ignored tens of his calls in the last few days, and he hadn’t stop sending intimidating messages.
Staring at the phone, I was not afraid this time. I was furious. How dare he call me and try to ruin another good moment? Who did he think he was? What if I had a past with him? Jesus has forgiven me and washed me of all my sins, and I would not allow my past to decide my future. That was another thing the preacher said at the service today—not to allow our past to determine our future.
Before I could pick it up, I lost the call.
When he called again, I punched the green button.
“Esther Baby. How is my baby doing today?” His voice was husky.
“I am not your baby, Dare. Why are you calling?”
“You are asking me why?” I could sense the tension rising in his voice.
“Esther, you really think you can just become a born-again Christian or whatever you call it, just like that?” He made a short pause. “And forget about everything we have had together just like that?”
He gave a short laugh; the mockery in it was palpable. I pictured him clasping his hands if he was on hands-free. I wondered why I was simply listening and not responding.
“Babe, it doesn’t happen like that. Don’t let people deceive you. You know you love this. You know you can’t do without…”
“Stop it right there.” The words flew out of mouth without bidding.
“First of all, I am no your baby. Not anymore.” A sense of calmness suddenly came over a part of me, the other part was galloping.
“Then, to your questions; yes, JUST. LIKE. THAT. I do not have to explain my conversion to you or force you to believe me. But one thing I can do, and I am doing, is to stand by my decision. I am now a new person, and there’s nothing you can do about it. Dare, it’s over. Everything. This would be the last time I would take your call. Have a nice life.”
Before I hit the red button, I heard his unspoken shock—I had never spoken to him like this before. Ever.
Ifeanyi peered at me, astonished. I had not told him about Dare.
While I waited to see if he would call again, I wondered what came over me when I was speaking. Really? Just like that? Was I really sure of that?
I massaged my temple to try to ease the slight headache I was already having.
After five minutes of staring at my phone, I was certain—Dare was now passed away.