I greet all of una.
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Na for inside one Sunday service last year this one happen.
For my church, na three times dem dey sing from our hymn book. And if you no get the book, you go draw near to anybody wey get am, and una go sing from same book together.
So na so o; as we sing second hymn, this fine sister wey sit down beside get the hymn book o, but when she open am, she see say her own version no reach hymn 258 wey dem talk say make we sing.
I reason am and I see say na opportunity for me to do good for mankind, and share my own book with am.
So I shift near am small, and she sef, she shift come my side.
Na so song start o.
I know say I no get perfect voice like some people here; but I dey try small small if I no too stress my voice.
I fit sing bass well, na tenor dey always destroy my voice.
As per person wey get sense, I quick choose bass key, and I start to sing as my mouth open like school gate.
As she see say I start sing, the sister sef start to sing.
The sister voice sweet ehn! Chai!
Come see as she dey draw her voice inside the song, wey she dey raise pitch, drop am back like who dey wash plate.
And when you come add my own low cool bass, our voice just gel together like beans and garri.
We sing first stanza, sing second one, sing chorus together.
Both of us know say we dey deliberately gel our voices o, but we no even look each other face.
We just dey sing the sweet song dey go, e come be like say na only the two of us sef dey church.
As the last line of the chorus come slow down to finish the song, na so me and she still use our voice take draw the song slow slow like okra.
The thing sweet so tey, even the usher wey dey for the next row begin look us.
‘Imagine say Na my wife be this sha…’ one mind tell me but I just bone am.
Na so that song take end sha.
Our Pastor come say make we sing the third one for hymn 18.
As dem call the hymn ehn, e be like say make I cry, cos I know say that one go dey the sister hymn book.
But you know wetin come shock me?
This sister no even bother check the book again, she just stand beside me like before, and wait make I open the book back to hymn 18.
My legs begin scratch me, say make I burst dance for the matter o, but I control myself sharp sharp.
Na so we start again, we begin sing the second hymn.
I shift near am, she sef shift near me small. As I dey sing, I dey smile. And she sef smile one kin tiny smile.
By the time we reach middle of the song like this, almost half of the people wey dey front of our row don dey look back.
Some dey smile, some dey wink, others dey shake their head.
The two of us sha do like that till the song end and dem talk say make everybody sit down.
As my body touch my chair like this, wey I balance well, I look beside me, say make I check the sister face well, take know who she really be.
But as I look her face small, na that same time this better sister sef look my face.
Like play like play, na so our face jam together like say car accident happen.
Me smile small, nod head give her.
She sef smile small, look front.
Me just dey sit down, begin thank God say He don finally remember me for my marital department.
Before before, if dem dey preach message for church, sometimes I go doze, even sleep sef sometimes.
But that day o, even devil and Jonah no fit combine make me sleep.
My eyes sharp like cutlass. I no even doze once till message end.
As dem share grace for inside church, wey dem say we fit dey go our house, na so I start my work.
I first bow my head small, pray on top the message wey dem preach and say make God follow me as I reason the sister wey dey beside me.
By the time I pray finish, wey I raise head, no be small matter I see o. The sister don carry her bag, comot from the chair o.
And no be say the prayers wey I pray long at all o.
As I look wey I no see am, I jump comot from my chair like frog, I run comot from church, begin look for the blue blouse wey the sister wear.
After like two seconds, I come see her for far front, she don almost comot from the church gate sef.
‘Bro! Head Usher wants to see you.’ One usher announce give me, but I no just send.
I first do like say I no even hear am.
But when she come talk am second time, I roll finger for air, signal am say I go come back.
‘Head Usher na everyday. Fine sister na once in lifetime’ I tell myself as I begin run comot from church go gate side.
I nearly use head nack one sister umbrella as I dey hurry make I no miss the fine sister.
Last last, as my Papa for heaven take help me reach, I catch the sister.
She stand beside road, dey wait for taxi.
Me sef quick arrange my shirt and trouser. I set my tie well, put my passport smile, begin near the sister well.
As I stand beside her for the road, I cough two times, and she look my side.
As she see me like this, come see the kin smile wey enter her face like angel Gabriella.
And that smile give me one kin inspiration and confidence say this sister na my own.
Na that day me sef come know say sisters sef fit like brother, but dem fit still wan form, make dem no talk.
Cos if u see the way she take smile when she see me ehn, you go think say I be another Messiah.
I gallant, smile my own smile, and then I hail am.
I stand there like say me sef dey find taxi, even though na my uncle car I follow come church.
She sef answer my greeting, come still smile another smile.
My belle just cold like say I swallow ice block, and the hair for back of my head begin rise like early morning sun.
I ask her name, she tell me.
She ask my own, I tell am.
When she finally see taxi, she enter, me sef enter follow her; even though I no know where she dey go.
Na for inside taxi we come start real matter. We start to discuss from the hymn and song matter wey we collabo do for inside church and she talk say I get better voice.
I do like say I blush small and I tell am say if dem hold competition for heaven choir, na she go win am.
We talk go front, yarn come back.
When she reach where she dey go, I thank God say the place no too far, and I come down.
I collect phone number and tell am say I go hala am before day end.
I wait make she carry another bus.
When her bus begin move, I wave am, stop one okadaman, come return back go church.
As I reach church, the place don almost dry.
I see the head usher where he dey record things for one big note.
‘Good afternoon sir. You said you wanted to see me.’ I hail am.
As the elderly man begin talk, na that sister smile just dey roll like DVD for inside my brain. Until one question wey the man ask wake me up.
‘Where do you know her?’ He dey ask about the fine sister wey I sing with for church.
I tell am say na today I just dey see her for my full life and the head usher begin look me one kin.
I adjust for chair, come look the man well well.
Before I fit talk am, the usher don talk first.
‘She is my daughter.’
The statement enter my ear like say dem pinch am with sharp pencil.
‘Chai! I go dey run matter with head usher pikin? No wonder dem dey look me one kin since.’ I reason am for my mind.
‘Don’t worry sir. I am a brother of the Lord too.’ Quick quick, I don rearrange myself.
I carry my Bible, put am for chest like ID card, I smile give the man like evangelist, I bow my head like say he be High priest.
‘Don’t you need extra ushers sir? I would like to join.’ My pure English come out from my mouth before I fit arrange am well.
The head usher look me again like who dey suspect thief; then hin shake hin head.
I no even know wetin the thing mean, but I plaster my smile for my face like billboard.
‘We shall see…’ The papa usher talk and I bow again.
As I comot from inside church, I search for my uncle car, see say dem don leave me go.
And bcos say I don use my money pay extra offering since I no wan make the fine sister beside me reason say I stingy for inside church, my money don go down.
The money wey be remain for hand sef, na hin I take pay for tfare for the sister and me.
So na just 50 naira remain for my hand after everything.
I kukuma dey waka go my house with my two legs. But for inside road sef, na smile I just dey smile as I dey reason everything wey don happen that day.
And na that day I know say truly, nothing wey Papa for heaven no fit do for hin people. vjw