THE DEVIL ON THE ALTAR 9
Written by: Grace Olayemi
Every Wednesday was for prayer meeting in the fellowship. That was a time where every member of the fellowship looked forward to, mainly because it was always power-packed and the students were always revived and energized. The prayer was led by the president on most occasions and the prayer coordinator and other members of the prayer team assisted him. Missing the prayer was like missing an appointment with Jesus because every time spent in the prayer was always like the host of heaven and Jesus were bodily present in their midst. Every prayer request brought for the meeting was always transformed into testimonies. That made the prayer meeting to have more attendance than even Sunday service because other people from other fellowships also made it a duty to attend the meeting every week.
Wednesday came again and everyone was looking forward to the wonderful manifestation of the power of God through the fellowship president and other members of the prayer team. It was close to 6pm and the president was not in the church which was quite unusual for him because he always arrived hours before every church service. The prayer coordinator was calm since the president had informed him that he wouldn’t be around for the program and that he should anchor it on his behalf, but other members of the prayer team and other workers were worried about Paul’s absence. Patricia and Celestina were also worried about Paul’s absence and they all prayed for his well being.
The prayer went well, everywhere was charged and people really prayed and poured out their hearts to God but the absence of Paul was still felt and many people wished that he was around to lead the prayer. After the prayer, five sisters including Patricia and Celestina decided to pay Paul a visit after the prayer coordinator informed them that he was indisposed and that was why he couldn’t make it to the prayer.
“That is not a problem. In fact I’m so elated to see you all. How was the prayer meeting?” Paul said.
“It went well, just that we missed you and the touch of your anointing,” Patricia answered on behalf of others.
“Thank God it went well and thank God for His anointing. It is actually God that chooses whosoever He will use and no one has the totality of the power of God. We all have a measure and it is available for all Christians who ask the Father,” Paul said.
“Our pastor has started a sermon for us here oh,” Sis Mercy said, making them all giggle, she had always been a funny person.
They played with Paul, helped him with cooking and even did some laundry for him before they eventually prayed with him and left.
When Patricia and Celestina got to their hostel they could not find the key to their room, they searched everywhere and were about giving up when Patricia’s phone rang. It was Paul that called her to ask whether she was the one that left her key at his place; she was so surprised to find out that her key was lost in his house. She confirmed the key was hers and he suggested that she went back to get it even when she insisted on waiting till the next day since it was around 10:30pm.
“This is a school environment and you can even walk around freely by 1am,” he said trying to convince her to return.
Patricia could not understand why she was feeling so uneasy, she felt it was because it was so late and because she had to walk around alone so she decided to put on her earphone and listen to cool music which she did. Patricia got to Paul’s room at about 10:55pm; she knocked at the door hastily hoping to get her key and return without even entering but when Paul opened up he insisted she came in. He tried starting a conversation with her but Patricia was not listening, all that was on her mind was for her to get her key and return to her hostel.
“Have I offended you?” Paul asked, to Patricia’s amazement.
“Not at all, why would you say such a thing?” Patricia asked.
“I’m just wondering why you hardly talk to me and you are always in a hurry to go any time we manage to talk. In fact I noticed it the last time I visited you guys you were so cold to me, only Celestina was accommodating.”
Patricia was so surprised to hear that, she felt she had been relating with him well all along and she could not imagine that he saw her in that light. Paul was the one that paid for her mother’s treatment and the reason her mum is hale and healthy today so she was indebted to him and could not afford to pay him back with a cold attitude.
“I’m very sorry I made you feel that way but sincerely it has never been my intention to avoid you or be cold to you,” she said, hoping that her explanations were convincing enough.
Paul was seated on the edge of the only bed in his room while Patricia sat on the chair adjacent to the bed, he was looking down at the moment and Patricia hoped he would look up so she could read the expression on his face.
“I’m very sorry, sir,” she said, again looking at him.
“It is not a problem. I was just asking to find out if I had done anything wrong to you,” he said, still not looking at her.
He then began to cough, he was coughing so hard that Patricia became scared. She rushed into the kitchen to get water for him to drink so he could calm down. But all her efforts proved abortive and she was getting so confused, she checked the time and it was 11:24pm she didn’t know who to call at that moment.
The coughing ceased for a while and though she wanted to be on her way because of the time, she was scared of leaving him in that condition, especially after all he had done for her and what he just said. She sat beside him on the bed praying silently that he would fall asleep so she could at least leave him in a sleeping position, but the unexpected happened.
THE DEVIL ON THE ALTAR 10
Written by: Grace Olayemi
Paul was very thrilled to see a young, charming and very beautiful lady among the first timers in the church. As the president of the fellowship, his duty was not to welcome the newcomers but having sighted the lady he took it upon himself to do the welcoming. He got to know that her name was Patricia and then the name had not left his mind, it was his waking thought and his sleeping thought. He felt attracted to her by her beauty and when she became a zealous member of the church he just couldn’t love her less.
On a particular day, he had called Patricia into his office just to familiarize with her but two other sisters came with her and he could not ask them to excuse them to avoid raising any suspicion so he just talked on general stuffs and nothing personal and Patricia didn’t really contribute because she could not relate with most of the things they were discussing. There were other occasions also where he tried to start a conversation with Patricia but she was mostly not paying attention to him.
When Paul noticed the change in Patricia he was so disturbed that he had to inquire to find out what the problem was. It was then he got to know about her mum’s condition and he always prayed for her speedy recovery. He went out of his way to visit Patricia all through the period of the exam just to make sure that she was not moody and was reading her books. All through the holiday, he was praying and hoping that Patricia and her mum were okay even though he could not contact Patricia.
When Celestina informed him about not hearing from Patricia, he instigated visiting her because he was really worried about her. He was not happy at the condition he met Patricia and it really broke his heart. He had to take out of the trust fund his father left for him just to pay for the surgery and hospital expenses because he wanted Patricia back in school and was also hoping for an avenue to get close to her but the kind gesture was not really helpful since Patricia was only grateful to him and not emotionally attached.
Having Patricia in his room was like a dream come true, he was really excited about it and was just staring at her all through the process. When the sisters suggested cooking for him, he rejected it at first but when he discovered that it was Patricia who would prepare the meal he readily agreed to it. He secretly wished Patricia had come alone because there were a lot of things he wanted to tell her. He decided to look for a means to make Patricia come back to his room alone so they could talk, he then decided to take her key from her bag and keep it so that she would have to come back to get it. His plan worked and Patricia was back in his room but he did not like her impatience even though he also knew it was late and might not be safe for a lady to walk around, he could not help himself because he felt he might not get another chance to express his undying love for her.
Patricia kept on looking at him to check if he was asleep and was also checking the time intermittently. She was getting paranoid about the whole situation since it was quite late for her to go to her hostel and also impossible for her to spend the night there.
“I don’t think you would be able to go to your hostel tonight,” Paul said jotting her from her thought.
“I will go, sir once you fall asleep,” she replied.
“That would be quite dangerous. Don’t worry you can spend the night here and you will leave very early in the morning,” Paul said, trying to convince her.
“I think it is not right for me to be here by this time and not to even talk of spending the night here,” she replied.
“What do you mean by it is not right? Don’t you trust me? Or what are you implying?”
“We are still in the flesh, sir and everyone is prone to temptation. That is why we have to be careful and watchful.”
“I’m not disputing that. All I’m saying is, it is safer for you to spend the night here so you can sleep soundly than for you to be out there by this time,” Paul said, offering her the bed and he laid on the floor.
She hesitated for a while before consenting and then she insisted he should take the bed since he was sick and she would take the floor. But as a gentleman, Paul refused the offer and remained on the floor. He stayed there until he started shivering and Patricia had to get up to attend to him. He was burning up with fever and she helped him to the bed then he grabbed her and boom, he had his way with her. She tried relentlessly to free herself but he overpowered her and had his way.
Patricia could not believe what just happened to her. She sat on the bed and stared into space. She could not bring herself to cry or wail and she just kept on looking. Paul knelt down beside her and began to apologize for what just happened, he claimed that it was the devil that possessed him and he didn’t know when he did all he did. He started confessing his undying love for her and how he had always sought for an opportunity to tell her. It was at that point that the reality of what just happened dawned on Patricia and she began to cry and shed tears profusely. She was asking God for mercy for defiling herself. She took her things and left, not minding his pleas and even his marriage proposal.
Patricia cried all through her journey from his hostel to her hostel. She cried because she just lost a lot of things and some of which she can never get back. When she got to her hostel all she did was to pray for mercy and grace from God because those were the only things that could avail for her. She regretted going with the sisters to his place, her going back there to get her key and even her staying back to chat with him and everything she did that night. All she was saying was ‘had I known I wouldn’t have done this or that’. Patricia prayed all through the remaining part of the night hoping that she could erase the memory of his touch and even aggression, the sound of his voice and all that. She had lost the presence of God and her inner peace and was seriously praying for God to restore His presence into her life.
To be continued…