Read Chapter 5&6 here
7th August, 2010
Noma heard the Voice and woke up. She had grown accustomed to the Voice of the Holy Spirit since she was baptized in the Holy Ghost at 15. She got up and glanced at the clock. It was 2.00 am.
“Ah, Holy Spirit, thank You for waking me”. Noma prayed a little and fell back on the bed, sleepy.
“Noma, pray!” The Voice returned, insistent.
“Ah, Spirit of God”. Noma got up again and glanced at the clock. It was 2.25 am.
“I’m sorry Holy One. Let me just rest a bit. I promise I’ll be up soon to pray”.
She set a phone alarm for 03.00 am and went back to bed.
At 03.00 am, the alarm rang repeatedly. Noma unconsciously turned it off, thrice.
She didn’t wake up till 07.30 am. Then, she had a hurried morning devotion and went to the kitchen to prepare breakfast.
7th August, 2010
“My dear, go out! Go out! Ah ah…Osanobua mwén! How do you expect to find a man when your daily routine is home to school to church. Now, schools are on holiday, you are just moving from home to church, church to home! If there are no men in your church, go out na!”
Noma listened to her mother’s ranting and began to get angry.
“Iyè mwén…” She began.
“Don’t ‘iyè’ me abeg”, her mother warned. “I’ve been telling you this for how many years. Osarenoma, get a man! You are not getting any younger. See your siblings, they are all married. Only you…”
“Iyè lahò!” Noma shouted. “Lahò, I’m tired. Let me rest na…iyè”.
“Hmmm”, her mother paused. “It’s okay. We’ll talk later. Meanwhile, Imose, your secondary schoolmate is getting married next weekend. Will you come to Benin?”
“No iyè. I’ll send her a congratulatory text”.
“Okay. Bye. Remember to pray Pastor Osaro’s prayers for singles. I sent it to you on WhatsApp”.
“Iyè I’ve heard. Bye.” Noma cut the call angrily and threw the phone on her bed.
Jackie burst into laughter. She had heard Noma’s angry interjections and had come into the room.
“I guess that was your mother”, she said, still laughing.
“Yes”, Noma replied angrily. As she stared at Jackie, she couldn’t help wondering why her mother was behaving like that. Jackie was 28 while Ada was 27 like her. To the best of her knowledge, their parents never called to disturb them of marriage.
“Noma”, Jackie called softly as she came closer and sat on the bed with her.
“Yes?” Noma replied.
“Sorry about your mum’s disturbance. You must be pretty worked up”.
“It’s okay. No big deal”, Noma shrugged.
“Noma…” Jackie called again as she placed her palms on Noma’s legs softly.
“Yes Jackie”, Noma replied.
“Come with us, Ada and I. Let’s go out together”.
“No”, Noma interrupted. “I know the kind of parties you guys go to Jackie. I’m not going…”
“Noma, just listen!” Jackie shouted. “Look, it’s not like I want you to do anything wrong. Look at you, your mum is on the phone everyday telling you of this wedding and that wedding or sending you prayers. Girl, you know you need some fun! Come on! Schools are on holiday but you have not gone anywhere except the church or the market!”
“Noma please”, Jackie continued. “Just this once. Just come out, have fun and return. This party is even celebrity stuff”.
“But, it’s all-night and…” Noma began.
Jackie smiled. “I’ve got her”, she thought excitedly.
“We’ll come home on time Noma. We won’t stay all night”.
“Hmmm…” Noma mused.
“Please? Please? Please?” Jackie begged repeatedly.
“Okay…but, I don’t have what to wear…” Noma reluctantly agreed.
“Don’t worry about that. I’ll handle it”, Jackie replied smiling. “As soon as Ada returns from work, we’ll get ready”.
“Okay”, Noma replied, still trying to get used to the idea.
“Yay!” Jackie clapped excitedly as she stood up and waltzed out of the room.
7th July, 2010
“So, Dave Daniel’s club, D-Den is going to be having its annual Touchdown Celebrity party tonight and the atmosphere in the beautiful city of Abuja is psyched!” The first lady on the show announced.
“Yeah yeah…” The other lady responded. “Since it was announced a month ago. Most celebrities have gone on social media to state that they’ll be there. It’s almost like a ‘must-attend’ occasion for the who’s who in Nollywood. Well…”
Dave turned off the TV with the remote and relaxed in his chair. He closed his eyes and meditated on nothing in particular.
The annual Touchdown party.
Daniels. As he remembered when he had first coined the name, his heart beat a little faster.
He had assumed the name Dave Daniels when he had left his home five years ago. It was almost 9 pm that night. He had been too afraid to leave at a time when his family would be around. Afraid that he’d look into their eyes and lose his determination to run away….away from God, his family and anything that had to do with Christianity.
On that night, 7th August, 2005, he had walked into a club for the second time in his life. He had asked for a job. He had been directed to the manager who asked for his name while staring at him through a puff of smoke from his pipe.
“Dave”, he had replied and in an instant, he decided not to use his surname. But, his father’s name was untraceable to his family.
“Dave”, he said again, as if sealing the deal forever. “Dave Daniels”.
“Knock knock!” Damian, his assistant and friend, called aloud as he opened the door to Dave’s office and walked in.”
Dave slid out of his reverie and opened his eyes quickly.
“Damian”, he called quietly. “How many times will I ask you to knock before you come in?”
“But, I did”, Damian replied, taking his seat in a chair opposite Dave.
“Yes…with your mouth”, Dave laughed.
“Boss, am I supposed to knock with my teeth?” Damian asked as he laughed too. “Besides, I know you too well Dave. There’s never any girl hidden anywhere in your office”.
“One day…” smiled Dave. “One day…soon…”
“Oh please. You’ve been saying that for years. All that time, there has never been a girl. No wonder the workers think you are gay”, Damian continued.
“What?” Dave exclaimed as he schooled his features to appear surprised. He had heard the rumours before. “You know what? Let’s forget about my sexuality. What’s up?”
“And this is how he changes the topic…” laughed Damian. “Okay, here’s the report”, he continued as he handed him a small booklet. “We made a total of #10 million from sales of the early bird tickets and #21.2 million from sales of the normal priced tickets. For the VIP room bookings, we’ve made #25 million. That’s #46.2 million in total”.
“Hmm…that’s good”, Dave muttered.
“Yes”, Damian concurred. “But, you and I know that when we extract our expenses on adverts, publicity, private invitations, DJs and all, we’ll only have a profit of approximately #5 million”.
“Yes, I know”.
“But, here’s the sweet part”, Damian continued, rubbing his palms together. “Some people will come late, as usual, and pay on the spot. Then, drinks and all. The projected profit for tonight amounts to #70 million”.
“Wonderful”, Dave smiled.
“Okay boss”, Damian smiled as he stood up. “Get ready. You’re almost up for your opening ‘ginger'”.
“I’ll be ready”, Dave replied and gave him a thumbs up.
Damian smiled and made his way to the door. At the door, he turned and said, “Maybe you’ll find a girl tonight”.
“Get out”, Dave laughed.
His smile lingered minutes after Damian walked out.
“Maybe”, he whispered to himself.
He suddenly felt uneasy.
“What’s wrong?” He wondered. He had organized Touchdown for three years in a row, he had never felt anxious. “What is it? What’s bugging me?” He wondered aloud?
To be continued next week🥰. Thanks so much for reading. Lots of love💕