©️ Opeyemi Ojerinde Akintunde

The atmosphere in church was so tensed it would take the HolySpirit to sweep away or unseat the competitive Spirit that had come to take its seat in the front row of the church…

Single ladies went shopping, everyone was dressing to kill. Ladies started coming to church early, fighting for the front seat. The single ladies in the ushering department started making their skirts tighter and shorter.

Sisters started struggling to give testimonies in order to get noticed by Apostle. You would always hear words like this…

“Apostle said it and so was it”

“ The God of my Apostle worked wonders for me… Apostle is the man sent personally for me…”

“ I wonder how my life would have been if I had not met My Apostle…”

I would always shake my head in pity at most of the girls especially those who were breaking up with their long standing Fiance, with the hope they would stand the chance of being the next Apostle’s Wife….

Mothers started advertising their daughters before the Apostle. A particular woman who was very close to the Apostle actually told her daughter to return to the country. It was very obvious Thelema came back to be the Apostle’s wife.

As for me, I endured my humiliating relationship with Julius, even though we had to postpone the engagement ceremony for another 2 months for Julius to get the money for my bride price.

However, at this point my mother was already getting frustrated and irritated at the sight of Julius whenever he came to our house.

My father was a bit friendly to him, encouraging him that God would provide for him.

Nneka and Christabel were always trying to outshine each other. They both suddenly joined the Ushering department in other to market themselves very well. I noticed Nneka was always going to Apostle’s office for Counselling every Sunday and she would spend hours with him.

It got to a point, we could no longer go home together and therefore our relationship wasn’t as close as before.

“ Hello Happy!” That was Joke waking me up from my sleep with her phone call…

“ Yes! Joke.. Good morning” I replied

“ Happy, have you heard?” Joke was the minister of information in our church and all her information were always accurate because she was dating one of the Pastors. Therefore, she always got first hand information.

“ What?”

“ Christabel was attacked yesterday night and the attacker poured acid on her face”

“ JESUS!” I jumped from the bed

“ Babe!, this fight is real ooo, I heard she has been shouting Nneka’s name and that the police are on their way to arrest Nneka.”

“ Ha!” Speechless was my state

“ Babe, is it by force to marry Apostle?…Now both of them have landed themselves in trouble….Christabel’s face can never be the same again… but she is from a wealthy home anyways, she might be able to afford a face reconstruction surgery” Joke said laughing

“ The face can never be the same, Joke, My Goodness after all the wasting of money on expensive Face primer, contouring, Botox and all that, Christabel can no longer flaunt her face as the million dollar face as she calls it “ I said remembering Christabel’s face and her arrogant way of calling her face, the million dollar face.

“ Yes ooo, by now her million dollar face will not even worth a Kobo, Babes, thank God we are satisfied with our own struggling boyfriends instead of fighting over what is apparently bigger than us… I will talk to you later ooo”

Joke hung up and I thought of Nneka…Nneka couldn’t have done this or could she?


©️ Opeyemi Ojerinde Akintunde

“ Happy, if anyone doesn’t believe me, you should, There is no big thing I do, that I don’t tell you” Nneka said over the phone

“ I know, I believe you , I know you couldn’t have done it, but those words you spoke that day at the back of the toilet were too powerful and implicating. You said you have bulldozers who work for you. If Darasimi or Christabel mentions that to the police , it could be concluded that you hired someone to pour the acid on Christabel on your behalf” I said but I noticed Nneka was panting hard like she was running fast…

“ Happy, That was just an empty threat, I was just bluffing…” Nneka said still panting hard

“ Nneka, where are you and why are you panting?” I asked

“ I am being smart, I am running away, before the police gets to my place, Joke called to inform me..” Nneka said

“Run? No … Nneka that makes you look guilty… You don’t run in times like this, you quickly contact a lawyer and tell him your own part of the story” I said in apprehension

“ Really?” She asked as she sounded obviously confused

“ Yes, right now do two things , First go back to your house now, Don’t let the police get there before you and secondly call a lawyer, preferably call the church Lawyer and explain all you know about the case…Make sure you are 100% truthful” I said

“ Ok, I will do that! Are you sure I won’t be imprisoned? Oh my goodness, to think I was just joking over this Apostle’s matter” Nneka said

“ Joking? Babe you did not sound like you were joking and for the past one month with your change of dressing and perfume, you have not been acting like you were joking… Don’t try to tell that lie, just remember to tell the lawyer, the WHOLE TRUTH” I said before hanging up…

I followed her up, made sure she called the lawyer.

The case ended up been messy as it made the headlines and Christabel’s family members were not ready to let Nneka go unpunished.

Nneka was detained in the police station for a week under serious torture to confess to the crime but she kept saying she was innocent. When there was no concrete evidence against her, she was eventually released.

After she was released, Nneka told me she was leaving the Church as she could no longer worship there again. She relocated to Enugu.

Christabel’s family also flew her abroad to have her face worked on.

In the midst of this, I realized I was happy within my heart and a part of me kept saying “2 down , more to go”. I would always silent that voice whenever the thought crept up in my heart and head.

Then the unexpected happened; One Fateful Sunday, I was invited by the marriage committee for a meeting. I suspected what it was, I suspected it had something to do with Julius changing our Engagement dates. I walked towards the marriage committee office shamefully, but surprisingly I met the usual frowning faces SMILING at me.

That was NOT normal, but I suddenly remembered that was exactly how my mother was smiling sheepishly at me that morning on our way to church…

“ Mummy, What’s with this smile and this look you have been blessing me with since you woke up this morning?”

“ Nothing ooo” Mum had said

“ Now, I know there is something, because whenever you add “ooooo” to your “Nothing” it shows there is actually something…Mum spit it out. You are hiding something “

“ Well, I am just amazed at the wonders of God…All I can say is God is good… I won’t say anything more” She had increased the music in her car to tell me the conversation was over.

Dad and Mum were not members of Apostles’ church, but Mum followed me once in a while when we had special programs. Surprisingly that day was not a special Sunday, so I was a bit surprised when she told me she was going to church with me.

Therefore, seeing the exact smile I saw on Mum that morning on the faces of the marriage committee members, my instincts told me something was up…

After exchanging all the pleasantries, they went straight to the point…

“ Blessed are you amongst women, Sis Happy” said one of the women and immediately my eyes widened, my heart started racing at 150km…

“Like you know, ever since the ugly situation between Sis Nneka and Sis Christabel, the entire church has been praying seriously for the Apostle, for God to give him a woman that will take the place of Pastor Maggie in his life to avoid more casualties among the single ladies in and out of the church.”

“Ok now, how this one tey concern me?” ( How does that concern me?) I instantly started thinking in pidgin, my knowledge of English went on sabbatical leave as I stood looking like a zombie listening to a foreign language that had no meaning to me

“During our prayers, Your name came up and the Apostle also confirmed to us by mentioning your name as the name the Lord had given Him” said the only man in the committee

“ He said the Lord told him, He is sending HAPPINESS into his life and we believe that is YOU, Sis Happy, knowing how unserious your fiancé has been, we want to let you know that God has chosen you to step into Pastor Maggie’s shoe…” An elderly woman concluded…

I stood like a robot that had been glued to a spot and then suddenly I ran out of the office and I just kept running and running. I knew I heard people calling my name and chasing me… I knew I heard my mother’s voice, but I couldn’t stop my legs from running…. I stopped a taxi and jumped in…

“ Where madam?”

“ Anywhere, far from here….just get me out of here”. I screamed at the Taxi driver

This had to be a dream, God forbid!…

I would never enter Pastor Maggie’s Shoe.. It wasn’t going to be my size, it wouldn’t fit me one bit….Julius was my perfect size….I refuse to enter her shoes and get killed with all the acid pouring and silent rivalry in the church…

“ God, Please if this a joke, abeg ooo, I am not smiling….I reject this shoe in Jesus Name”…