Christiana waited a few minutes before she knocked, she should have told her parents where she was going after church service. But, she had not thought that it would take so long to see the pastor. By the time she was through, they had already left. She would have called them, but, at sixteen years old; her parents didnt think she was old enough to own a cell phone. It was the twenty-first century but her parents lived in the past. She finally gathered the courage to knock, it took a few seconds for her mother to open the door, but, it felt like hours.
So you have decided to grace us with your presence in this house? Janet asked when she opened the door.
Her father sat calmly on one of the worn out cushion chairs, shaking his legs. Christiana knew from experience that his calm expression meant nothing, he was worse than her mother when he was angry. She had scars on her back to prove it.
Janet hissed. She couldnt believe that the child she carried in her womb for nine months had become wayward. She had no one to blame but her husband. If he had not gotten himself demoted, they wouldnt have left Lagos and moved to the North. Now, they were poorer that church rats and the first person to disregard them was their own daughter. But, she would not allow it.
Where do you think you are coming from enh? Janet barked. You think you have become a big girl abi, boys have started deceiving you. She continued without giving Christiana a chance to answer the first question. You will not become a prostitute in my own house, do you hear me? I will not raise a prostitute! Janet voice came in short breaths.
Christiana, who had fallen to her knees immediately she entered the house, cried softly. Her tears were not because her mother yelled at her, but because her parents had little faith in her. It had always been like that, even before they moved out of Lagos. They did not let her make friends, they did not even let her own a cell phone. If she came home from school a minute past four, she was dead; all because they didnt trust her. As usual, they did not let her explain before they made their conclusion. Maybe she was indeed cursed, like the Pastor had said.
Why are you crying? You think those tears will save you from punishment? You are only crying because you are guilty and you know it. Janet accused her daughter, breathing heavily as if she ran a hundred meters race.
Are just going to sit there, shaking your legs? Why arent you saying anything? Janet turned her anger to her husband. Christiana prepared herself for her fathers punishment, which was usually a tight slap before any questions were asked. With the number of slaps Christiana had received from her father, its wonder she still had the use of her ears. But, the words that came out of her fathers mouth surprised both Christiana and her mother.
I was waiting for you to finish shouting, so the girl can have a chance to tell us why she did not return home with us. Daniel answered his wife, his voice was thick and gruffly. That shut Janet up and she finally sat down and slowed her breathing.
Now, tell us where you went. And do not try to lie; you know I will eventually find out the truth. Daniel said to his daughter. Christiana almost scoffed, as if she had ever told them a lie. But, they chose to believe what they wanted.
I went to see the Pastor David she answered
Why? Daniel asked. His voice had taken up a sceptical tone, the one he used every time he interrogated his daughter.
He sent the choir mistress to me that he wanted to see me immediately after the service. I wanted to tell you before I left, but you were both engaged in a conversation with Mummy Bisi. I didnt want to interrupt, so I went to see the pastor. By the time I came out, you both had left.
So what did the Pastor say? Janet asked in more relaxed tone.
He said he saw a dark cloud over my head and that I need deliverance. He also said that the recent misfortune in our family is because of the dark cloud. He gave me an address of where to meet him and the prayer warriors for the deliverance, tomorrow evening. He told me to tell you that if you have any questions, you should come and see him before tomorrow evening, delay is dangerous. He added that other girls like me who need deliverance will also be there.
I knew it! Janet exclaimed, and almost jumped out of her seat. I knew all this misfortune was not natural. Although we were not rich, we were comfortable, now we are as poor as church rats, living in a place with unbearable heat.
Stop shouting Woman! Daniel cautioned his wife, he would not have her blame their daughter for his own mistakes.
So you are the cause of our misfortune, you have to go for that deliverance. So that we can leave this place, maybe if you go we will even be richer than we were before. Dont you want to brag to your friends, enh? Janet continued, ignoring her husbands warning.
She did not know the friends her mother spoke of; it was common knowledge that she did not have any friends. All the same, she nodded in agreement. She hated where they lived and wanted to go back to Lagos. But, she doubted if deliverance was the solution to their problem. It was not that she did not believe in miracles; something was just not right with the pastor. But as usual, her opinion never mattered. So, she kept quiet.
Daniel cleared his throat and gained everyones attention. Nobody is going anywhere for any deliverance. I want you to come home directly from school, like you always do. If you go anywhere else, youll have yourself to blame. And next time, tell me or your mother before you go anywhere. Now get up and go to your room.
Yes sir, thank you sir Christiana said as she got up from her knees, she could not wait to graduate from secondary school and enter the university. Only then, will she be free from their over- protectiveness.
What do you mean by no one is going for deliverance? Janet asked her husband as soon as Christiana left the sitting room.
It means exactly what you think it means. Im hungry please get me something to eat. He replied, dismissing her.
Janet shook her head as she got up I wonder what made me marry you she said, as she made her way to the kitchen. Christiana, come and help me in the kitchen. She called, just before she entered the kitchen.
Daniel shook his head. If only they knew that it was his greed that had led them into the mess they were in. If he had revealed the discrepancies he saw instead of trying to exploit it, he would have been promoted and not demoted. He was lucky they did not fire him. If anyone needed deliverance, it was him. It was time to change his church; he didnt like the Pastor in the first place.
I hope you enjoyed this short story, I haven’t been writing a lot lately but I have old stories that I can share with you guys. This short story was lifted off my first book ‘If The World Was Different.’ And as you can see it is everything you expect from a first book, I did not even bother to edit… Lol! You can download the full book here. Thank you and have a wonderful night.