THE DEVIL ON THE ALTAR
Written by: Grace Olayemi
“Mummy! Mummy! Mummy!” Patricia kept on shouting as she ran towards the main entrance of her father’s compound.
Patricia was a lady of about twenty-four, she was the only daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Adams, the village headmaster. She had completed her secondary school education for about six years and all efforts to gain admission into the higher institution proved abortive. Being a headmaster, her father valued education but he didn’t have the means to provide it for his only daughter and that always made him sad.
Six years ago, when Patricia completed her secondary education and gained admission to the university, her father could not raise the money for the acceptance fee and she had to forfeit the admission.
Even though her father saved his meager salary since then, Patricia has been denied admission for various reasons. She had almost lost hope of ever going to school when she got the news that the institution she applied to had released the admission list and when she checked it, her name was shortlisted for the admission.
She could not contain her joy as she ran down from the cyber café to the house. Everybody was happy about the news and there was singing and dancing and rejoicing in Mr. Adams house after such a long time.
Patricia went down on her knees as she couldn’t contain her joy and gratitude to God. She worshipped God all through the night, singing songs of praises, dancing and even rolling on the floor.
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Patricia couldn’t wait to share the news with her friends in their local church. Very early the next morning, she got dressed and hurried to the church since it was a Sunday. After the service, she informed her pastor and he was also very happy for her, everyone rejoiced with her and then she went home. Patricia’s parents were not born-again Christians even though they go to church occasionally. Patricia gave her life to Jesus while she was in the secondary school and she had been living for God since then. Even though her parents frowned at her religious beliefs and most of the time taunted her for taking it too far and becoming a fanatic, she never lost focus and she was resolute about her conviction.
“I’ll be a good girl and make you proud.”
Her parents kept on giving her all the sermons African parents give to their children when they are set to go to school. She had a mixed feeling of both joy and anxiety that night as she packed the few things she had into a leather box. She committed her ways to the Lord that night before going to bed and she was rest assured of lifting the status of her family once she graduated with a very good result. Very early the following morning she took the first bus leaving their village to Ibadan and off she went.
THE DEVIL ON THE ALTAR
Written by: Grace Olayemi
Patricia got to Ibadan tired and worn out due to the stress of the journey. It was not difficult for her to find her way around since she had been to the campus before. She entered her hostel and was greeted with a warm smile and a big hug.
“I’m Patricia Adams also a part one student from the same department.”
Celestina could not contain her joy as she jumped up from the bed and gave Patricia a big hug.
“Wow! Wow! Wow! This is so awesome!” she shouted.
Celestina helped Patricia settle down and they became best of friends because they had a lot of things in common. They were both Christians from a humble background, from the same department and also roommates. They became inseparable and because they were both fair in complexion many people started calling them twins and at first they would protest and say they were not but as time went on they both accepted it and started calling one another twins. They went as far as dressing in matching outfits to almost everywhere they went.
Patricia and Celestina joined the campus fellowship in the school. They were very committed, zealous and passionate about the things of God. They would be the first to get to the fellowship on meeting days and the last to leave and since they have not been integrated into the working force of the fellowship, they would just help with the cleaning and arrangements of the chairs for the service. They were so committed to doing this and in no time they caught the attention of the executives of the fellowship. They were trained alongside other people and they became workers. Patricia had always been a chorister and she loved singing and registered her interest to join the choir of the fellowship but she was asked to join the prayer team and even though she was not happy with the arrangement she accepted it and was faithful to discharging her duties as a member of the prayer team. Celestina on the other hand wanted to join the ushering team and she was allowed to. She was very happy and started her function as an usher also.
Lectures, assignments, tutorials, seminars and other activities started fully in school and Patricia and Celestina were gradually getting used to the rigour of campus life. They would wake up as early as 4am and would be out of their hostel by 6am to meet up with their 7am lectures. Even though their hostel was inside the school, the distance between the hostel areas and the lecture halls was quite great and it was always very difficult to catch up with the bus so they mostly trekked to class.
Patricia had always been a very brilliant student so she had little issues with difficult courses and most of the time she would be the one to teach her roommate and others. She was also very pleasant and outspoken and she loved making friends. She talked to virtually everyone in her department and because of her many good qualities many people wanted to be her friend and she would always give her consent.
This attitude of hers was also transferred to the church. She was always making friends with everyone and because of her zeal and passion for the things of God, she became quite popular. Her beauty also made a way for her amidst all other things and everyone wanted her.
Even though she was aware of what was happening she didn’t allow anything to distract her from her studies and from her devotion to God. She would go to the library after lectures and on fellowship days she would go from the library to the church. She had no time for social engagements and even though she had a lot of friends, she knew how to handle them so they would not be a source of distraction for her. Everything was going on very fine and smoothly and the semester was gradually drawing to a close when the unexpected happened.