Emmanuel walked up to the stage and took the microphone. I thought to myself here we go again. He was our prayer leader and he seemed to always call down fire when he starts. A point came when I thought he had to have direct access to God and he did make effective use of it. He went on and on about the importance of God’s word during prayer but I had lost track. A war was raging within me; my emotions seemed to be in combat with my spirit. My spirit was losing ground but all I could do was yell for help. Here I was thinking while others blasted in tongues. Different thoughts occupied my mind, everything except prayer.
Emma became our prayer leader when I resumed the second semester of my second year. I had not known him before that, not like I knew anyone. This was something my fellowship was good at, our leaders were the unexpected vibrant ones who no one seem to notice but were moving mountains for God. After he had conducted two services I was always eager to go to prayer meetings.
The first time he greeted me after service, I wondered why. To me, he was a celebrity who had the chance to greet only some privileged persons which I was not part of. I was one of the people who would come to service and leave immediately after the service has ended. The idea of the greetings and merriments that happened after service did not appeal to me. Ruminating on it now, our meeting must have been part of the devil’s plan all along. On this faithful day, I had to wait for a course mate and he walked up to me. He greeted me and I smiled trying to be as modest as I could be. We spoke at length about the bible study we had that day and eventually exchanged contact after which Dupe showed up.
Greeting him after service became a norm and as a keen observer, I took note of a lot of details about him. He had a small but visible mark on the left corner of his lips which he said he had gotten from an accident. It had gotten so comfortable with its place in that position that it seem to always be in sync with his lips as they moved while he talked. He was of good height I would say a 5’8 if you asked me. His caramel toned skin matched his noticeably brown eyes. He was always in a shirt well-ironed like a banker’s, excluding the suit. He had this unique body smell that announced his presence wherever he was. I had always wondered if he used two different perfumes to achieve this unique mixture.
Prayers had started, my eyes were shut but all that rent this heart was Emmanuel. God, what is this? I thought to myself. Even though I was not a full-blown worker in fellowship I took my relationship with God seriously. I took every lesson learnt in fellowship and applied it to my daily life and there was a difference in my walk with God until Emmanuel happened. Praying these past few days had been difficult without Emmanuel coming to mind at some point.
After service ended that day I scurried to my hostel so I had no reason to greet anyone. Dupe will forgive me eventually. I felt uneasy and it seemed guilt was consuming me from within in a bid to overcome my entirety with its shadow. I greeted my roommate with the last cheer in me hoping to find succour and strength from my plush foam. My mum was the best, she had gone the extra mile to get me the foam despite the cost. I took the deepest lungful breath I could in a bid to find blissful peace in night rest.
I heeded nature’s call but the peace didn’t last. By 1 am I was seated on my bed. All I could mutter was Holy Spirit please help me. Prayers made me feel guilty so I decided to stop for some days but days were becoming weeks. I picked my notebook for PNS 212 not even Emmanuel could make me fail my test.
I decided not to go for fellowship on Sunday much to the surprise of my roommate who I had always preached fellowship to. My thought was why go if I can’t pray? I told her I wasn’t feeling too well and would prefer to stay at home. I was gradually getting myself again, not seeing him made me sane. I went to the kitchen after my roommate left. Cooking gave me joy, I remember telling my dad I wanted to be a chef when I was ten. He had seen it as a childish ambition and discarded it. When it was time to apply for admission into the university I reminded him but he vehemently opposed and insisted I picked law.
My pillow was soaked with tears for many nights but even my mum could not help me. I accepted my fate and picked law hoping not to get the admission but everything seemed to work out in my dad’s favour. Here I was at the University of Idanre, the best in the country without a future in mind, no spiritual life and a messed up emotional life.
To be continued…
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