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The Parting Gift

29 Jun

I picked up the Bible, passed a surreptitious glance to be sure my target was still amongst us. Fortunately, he was. I looked at my wristwatch: 07:20pm. I had 20 minutes to preach this message.

I opened the Bible, looked around again, as if analyzing the faces of everyone present. It was my first time moderating the devotion. At 16 Alabi-Ajasin, we had a tradition. Every Wednesday and Sunday, we held devotions from 7:00pm to 8:00pm, and each tenant took turns to moderate. I had always avoided the moderations. I stayed away on those days. Surprisingly, I turned up today, and the neighbours could not hide their amazement.

‘’Bob, this one you showed up today, God must have touched your heart oh.” Mr. Jide shot at me. His teeth were brown and his breath stank.

“Yes sir. God touched my heart.’’ I joked, mimicking his Yoruba accent.

‘’Bob, you don repent? Thank God o’’, went Bolaji.

Ngozi, Joyce and even Mr. Adesina, our landlord, joined the chorus. They didn’t know I was on a mission- a mischievious one.

“If you are with your Bible,” I started, “please open to the book of Exodus 20:14’’

I turned to look at Oga landlord. His countenance changed as he opened the scripture and saw what it said. I smiled.

“Ehm, Oga landlord sir, please help us read that scripture.” I said almost laughing.

“Ehn? Me?” He asked.

The fear and embarrassment on his face were palpable.

“Yes sir. You.” I answered

“Okay. It says: Thou shall not commit adultery.”

“Again sir.”

“Thou shall not commit adultery.’’

“One more time sir.”

He became irritated.

“Thou shall not commit adultery.”

I dropped my bible and began: “We have heard it. It is not my word o, it is God’s. Thou shall not commit adultery. If you do so, God’s thunder will fire you. If you do so, thunder will fire your children.”

Oga landlord began to sweat and fidget.

“Adultery is an abomination, and curses will follow us, follow you, if you you try it. Thunder will…’’

Before I could finish my sentence, Oga landlord fainted. Chaos broke out and the devotion ended!

Oga landlord loved chasing things underneath skirts. It was common knowledge. His wife and children lived in Oshodi, while he resided in mushin. He took the liberty to womanise. The devotion provided me the platform to show him his wrong.

Did I here you say ‘quit notice?’ Forget it. Right now I am living at Ikeja. That message was a parting gift to Oga landlord, because I had already rented a new house.

By the way, my new landlord doesn’t womanise, but he is a chronic stammerer and a talkative. He shoots missiles of saliva when he speaks. I’m already thinking of a parting gift for him. That would be in two years time, when I’m 31 and would have bought my own house, I mean, sacked my landlord!

AUTHOR: MBAKPUO STANLEY OBINNA

Naijastories

 
 

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