Through the Eye of FAITH (13)
“Thank you for coming, God bless you.” Patience repeated over and over again as the congregation left the church one after the other. It had been a wonderful fellowship time and she had been truly blessed. Pastor Mark had been exceptional and his message had been brief with a long session of revival prayer that ended with an altar call. She had recorded five visitors that surrendered their lives to God and that was amazing. There is nothing like ending each service with at least a saved soul, Pastor Mark would say. Patience wished someone else had done same, but he never stepped out, even when the Pastor added a special request as led by the Holy Spirit. You can keep running, Dapo, but cannot hide from your Creator forever.
“Miss Patience!” Faith pulled her ex-teacher’s skirt.
“Hello, dear.” Patience replied excitedly. “So glad you made it. Did you enjoy the service?”
“Yes, we did.” Mama joined them. She looked younger than when Patience last met her. “It was a wonderful sermon. It has been a while I heard such inspiring sermon.”
“That’s the Holy Spirit at work. I’m happy you are blessed and thank you for honouring my invitation. We should see the pastor once he gets into his office.”
“Of course, I cannot wait to meet him.”
Faith watched both women converse and she felt a tinge of happiness. The two most important people in her life were by her side and everything seemed alright. She turned her face and noticed a pair of eyes fixed intently on Miss Patience and she was shocked when she saw it was her school’s Proprietor. Why was he looking at her like that? She looked at Miss Patience, who was oblivious to the stare from the man, chatting happily away. Suddenly, the man stood up and started walking towards them. Faith tugged at Miss Patience’s cloth, but the woman was too engrossed in her discourse. Luckily, another man stopped the proprietor in his path and Faith was relieved. She had a feeling if he came around, the end result would not be good. She would never allow anyone to hurt the ones she loved. Never again.
Dapo was a bit irritated when Kunle blocked his way. He could not resist the urge to say hello to his former employee anymore and had started making his way through when his best friend stopped him and insisted they went to the pastor’s office immediately.
“Can’t it wait?” Dapo asked impatiently. “I am sure it can.”
“Actually, no. The pastor asked specially for you.”
“Really? Did you tell him I wanted to see him?”
“No, he just called me and asked if you were my friend since we came in together. Then he asked if he could see you.”
Dapo watched Patience pat a girl’s head and led her and her mother away. Failed mission, he sighed. “Okay, I’ll go see him now.” He reluctantly agreed.
Immediately, he heard the knock, Pastor Mark had a stirring in his spirit.
This is the man I told you about. He is a stubborn soul. Do all you can.
Yes, Lord. Your will be done. “Hello, grab a seat.” He smiled gently at the tall man who had come in through the door without waiting for a response. “You must be Brother Dapo.”
“Dapo, please.” Dapo shook the hand extended to him.
“Okay, Dapo. Thank you for attending God’s church today. I am most pleased you are here.”
“Were you expecting me?”
“Well, God was. I am just His servant.”
“Okay.” Dapo was not ready for all the mushy-christian talk, so he went straight to the point. “My friend said you needed to see me. It is strange because I came here today to see you as well. You see, I have been having some nightmares for a while now and last night, I had the worst encounter. A man visited me in my dream and left a strange mark on my chest.” He unbuttoned his shirt and bared some skin. “Here.” He pointed at the mark. “I told him I didn’t have what he wanted, but he was bent on his mission.”
“What did he ask for?”
“My life. Tell me, how can I give over my life to someone who has never bothered about me?”
Pastor Mark smiled. “If he doesn’t bother about you, He would not have reached you or brought you here.”
“I came here on my own.”
“You think so?”
The door opened and a lady came in with a tray of food and drinks.
“Thank you, Sister Patience. Just drop it somewhere on the shelf. Will pick up when I am ready.”
Patience carefully dropped the tray and when she turned, she froze. Right opposite her sat the man she least wanted to see. Both stared at each other until the pastor broke the silence.
“You’ve met before?”
“No… I mean yes.” Dapo replied. “We used to work together. She used to work for me until she decided to leave.”
“I had no choice. I had to.” Patience defended herself. “It was not like you were not happy to see me go.”
“It’s okay.” Pastor Mark was not ready for a scuffle in his office. He cast a quiet warning look at Patience. “You can leave us now. We’ll talk about this later.”
The way she quickly dashed out of the office showed the Pastor that something was really amiss. When the door closed completely, he turned to his guest. “So, where were we?”
Patience closed the door of the office, shaking terribly. She had not expected to meet him in the pastor’s office. Every time she was near Dapo, she felt a dangerous pull. She thought she had gone past that, but minutes ago, it had happened again.
“Are you okay?” Mama asked with concern. She was outside with Faith and seated just outside the office. “You look sick.”
“I’m fine.” Patience’s lips quivered. She sat down beside them and tried to regain her composure. “I’m fine.” She reiterated. How could she explain how she felt to any one?
“I don’t think you are.” Mama disagreed. She stood up and helped Patience to her feet. “Let’s go get some fresh air.” She looked at her daughter. “Sit here and wait for us.”
“Yes, Mama.” Faith watched the pair go out of the room and pondered on what could have caused the sudden change in Miss Patience. A minute later, her question was answered. Dapo came out of the office, looking upset and Faith knew he was behind her mentor’s predicament. Without thinking, she jumped on her feet and blocked him.
“What did you do to Miss Patience?” She queried with a frown. She was not afraid of this man or anybody whosoever.
“Excuse me?” Dapo was puzzled to see one of his pupils ask him such a daring question. “You are Faith, right?”
“Yes, my name is Faith and I want to let you know that if you do any other thing to Miss Patience, I will make sure you are arrested.”
“Any other thing? I have not and will not do anything to hurt her.”
“People said she left the school because you did not like her.”
“That’s not true.”
“Just leave her alone, please.” The eight-year old stood her ground. She returned to her seat and kept watching him.
Dapo didn’t know what next to do. He just had a short, disturbing conversation with the pastor and now, this. While one wanted into his life, the other didn’t want anything to do with him. What irony!
He walked to the exit and as he opened the door, Mama walked in and he saw Patience standing just outside talking to Kunle. This was it. He walked straight towards the duo.
“Can I have a moment with you, please?” He looked directly at Patience.
“Guy! I was talking to her. You cannot just burst in.” Kunle retorted.
“Please.” Dapo appealed to Patience.
“Okay.” Patience knew she had no choice. She turned to Kunle. “Sorry, we’ll continue later.”
She led the way out of the room into the main auditorium and in a corner in the church. “What do you want to say?”
“In the church? Can’t we go outside?”
“No.” Patience refused. Whatever he had to say, he should say where she would be comfortable standing by him.
Dapo’s throat went dry. This would be difficult, no doubt. He cleared his throat and said only the two words that came to his mind. “Marry me.”