They skipped church this Sunday. Sam pretended to be a preacher while Larry decided he wanted to be the offering collector. In their mock church, Sam had stumbled upon the scripture 2Sam 11:1. He read it in Nigerian vernacular English.
“E kon happen say when the year don done, for that time way King them them dey para dey go woundjure person, Oga Davo bin send Joab, Joab boy boy, and all hin people for Israel make them go fight. Them kon kill the people for Ammon, kon still reach Rabbah discipline the people way dey there. But Oga Davo, no go with them, hin tander for Jerusalem.”
As Dwayne and Larry roared in laughter, Sam switched to an American accent, and re-read the scripture.
“And it came to pass, after the year was expired, at the time when kings go forth to battle, that David sent Joab, and his servants with him, and all Israel; and they destroyed the children of Ammon, and besieged Rabbah. But David tarried still at Jerusalem.”
Sam continued, “What this is saying is, be at the right place at the right time. King David was to be in battle, but he wasn’t and we all know what happened after that. He saw a fine hour-glassed woman having her bath outside, he did the deed with her, killed her husband to cover up and it goes on and on.”
“Preach on preacher.” Larry chanted.
“SO THE LESSON IN TODAY’S LESSON MUST BE WORTH THE LESSON” Sam screamed “AND TODAY’S LESSON SAYS; BE AT THE RIGHT PLACE AT THE RIGHT TIME!!! CAN I HEAR AN AMEN SOMEBODY. O YOU DON’T HEAR ME! CAN I GET AN AMEN???”
“Amen Pastor!” Dwayne and Larry chorused.
“Speaking of right place at the right time” Dwayne said, as he wiped tears from his eyes. “Next week Friday, Lara and I are to be in the Teatropace 33 Hotel, Rome for the weekend.”
“Not possible. Cancel it. We are doing lunch with the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Jubilee Committee for WiMax, Nigeria that Saturday. Cancel your romantic weekend.” Larry said immediately.
Sam rolled his eyes. “Listen, I know this girl is making your heart go jolly and your brain go wobbly. But you can’t…”
“I have already booked.” Dwayne interrupted with a tone of finality. “It is non-refundable and you know how I hate to waste money. Besides, you guys can handle it without me. I believe in you.”
Sam muttered a few words under his breath and looked at Larry. Larry kept a straight face fixed on Dwayne. Dwayne smiled. He knew Lara coming into the picture would cause a little ruckus in the group. They were used to his flings and non-commitment.
“They would have to deal with it” he thought to himself.
Dwayne Abdul stood up. “Don’t look so gloomy guys. Sam, let’s go look through the documents sent by Alhaji Mohmood. I want to meet with him on Tuesday. Larry, call Oswald. Find out why he sent that extra bill; let him know we don’t re-negotiate once we have made a deal. Let him know in very clear terms.”
“Travel on Friday. Serenade her on Saturday. Propose to her on Sunday. ” Dwayne heaved a contented smile as he went over his plans in his head.
“It all starts Friday.”
“OK Pastor” Jumebi said over the phone. “OK sir, thank you sir. Amen.”
Jumebi had never fasted for more than a few hours. The most Christian part of her life was that she prayed every morning before she started her day, at night before she slept and she respected spiritual authority. So when her pastor told her to fast and pray for five days, given the present situation, she accepted without any questions.
She had told her Pastor of the dreams she had been having. She had told him of the words her late mother had said to her in one of the dreams,
“I see blood.
I see drums.
In the beating of the drums
There is splashing of blood.”
Her Pastor had promised to seek God’s face on the matter and call her later that day. When he called, in the evening, he admonished her, prayed with her and told her she to fast and pray for the next five days.
“Lara, this is for you. I love you, but this is another dimension entirely. I am skipping food for five days for you; starting Monday. I wonder why I wasn’t the normal three days fast Pastor asked me to do. Now I have to wait till Friday; as if Friday is any special. But as a good sister, I will fast and pray for your sake so as to cancel this negative spirit over your life.” Jumebi soliloquized as she looked at a portrait of Lara hanging on the wall.
Jeremiah lay on his bed. He had told his family he was a little under the weather and couldn’t make it to church with them.
He thought of his little daughter and how fast she seemed to be growing.
“She is eating up a lot of money o.” He muttered.
He thought of his wife and pain shot through his heart as he remembered the previous night.
He had been enjoying the fore play with his wife when she touched a sensitive spot and he let out a moan accompanied by the name “Lara”
His wife had cried all through the night and had only placed the water-works on pause so to go to church.
He had to have her so that she would free his conscious and he would concentrate on his family. He had to satisfy his appetite at least once.
As he rolled to his right on the bed, he suddenly remembered the Palead Mobile contract which he was in charge of.
Jeremiah bolted out of the bed. He started pacing round the room as his mind schemed.
“Yes. I am in charge of the project. I will leave a major part out. When she closes from work on Friday, I will call her up and tell her we need to sort it out immediately. I will go to her house that Friday evening and then, God willing, I will have her!” Jeremiah looked up with a smile.
“I know the day now, this coming Friday; so the questions are how I will ensure she misses an important detail and how I will seduce her. Seducing her should be a breeze because I know what she likes.”
He walked towards the bathroom, adrenaline coursing through his veins.
“After all, I gave her the scented bouquet of flowers, and she loved it.”
They waited patiently for Lord Bucchi to finish his phone conversation. He was scolding Adelina for the stress she was putting him through and told her of the innocent lives that would be affected as a result of her actions.
He cut the phone in anger. Adelina was a fighter and talked back roughly to him. No other person could do that. It always left him red in the face.
Lord Bucchi looked at the three wise men with blood in his eyes and asked in a manner that suggested a wrong answer meant your death, “What do you want?”
Trembling, one of the men answered “We want to know, Muerto, when do we ‘off’ the girl?”
Without wasting another breath, he said “This Friday. Give her this week to live and do away with her on Friday.”
The men bowed and left.