Written by Maryrose Onejeme.
“Praise the Lord,” she shouted into the microphone.
“Hallelujah,” chorused the congregation.
“Prai-prai-prai-praa-a-ise the Lord,” she shouted again.
With her right hand she held unto the microphone and with her left hand she waved in the air. She was elegant in her apparel, with a hair scarf that stool like a crown on her head. Everything she wore wasn’t cheap, a clear testimony to my benevolence. I wasn’t just an in-law, I was also like a son. Or so I thought.
“Hallelujah,” the congregation chorused again.
“Umu chineke ibe m, soronu m kelee chineke,” she started her testimony, “my brethren, follow me thank this our god. I don’t know how to start thanking him. I call him ebube dike, oloro ihe loro enyi, el-shaddai, miracle worker, kabiyesi, oghenedo, Jesus igwe.e.e!”
She made a dance move like someone possessed by an unseen spirit. The she began to sing.
“There is something that makes me come into your presence, my helper,” she sang and the congregation joined her.
I sat quietly at the last row of the seats and watched in bewilderment at this evil woman that just masterminded my death. She was evil, she was an elder in the church and she was supposed to be a born again christian. I looked at the name of the church inscripted boldly above the alter, “Holy Ghost Deliverance Ministry.” Such a perfect name. I’m the ghost that’s going to deliver her today.
“There is something that makes me come into your presence, my helper,” the spirit that possessed the woman seemed to have taken over the congregation too, they went up in a roar, “My helper o-o, my helper. My helper o-oh, my helper. There is something that makes me come into your presence, my helper.”
“My testimony is very long but I will try and cut it short,” the woman continued, “my daughter was attacked by a ghost but survived.”
The church went up in an uncontrolled murmur. Some people adjusted their sitting position, the testimony was getting interesting. The person sitting next to me looked at me and said, “wonder shall never end.” I responded, “Ghost kwa? Mhhh!”
“My daughter’s husband died few days ago and disappeared into thin air.” she continued, “We’ve searched for him everywhere but can’t find him. My daughter is devastated because she loves him so much.”
She started to sob. A dead silence fell upon the church. Nobody, including me, wanted to miss the story.
“Some days ago, Chioma my daughter got a video call, when she picked, it was the ghost of the dead husband that appeared. He attacked her, causing her a partial stroke. Today she can’t walk properly and is speech impaired but is alive……praise the Lord.”
The congregation shouted, “hallelujah.”
“That ghost is wicked but the god I serve is greater. He wants to kill my daughter, a woman that loved him so much and took good care of him as a wife should. My daughter will recover fully soon and the enemies shall be put to shame in Jesus name.”
“Ame-en,” the congregation shouted.
“My brethren,” the woman raised her voice, “if you are praying to this our god, don’t……”
I remembered all I did for this woman, a woman I called mother and treated as such. From the moment I entered into her daughter’s life, the family’s life changed for good. She used to fry akara at a bus stop in Iganmu, I opened a mini supermarket for her and she was doing well. I paid the other of her children school fees. I stopped her husband from being a gateman and gave him two commercial buses to be managing. When her husband died a year ago, the burial was on me and was befitting. Where did I wrong this woman? I once loved her as a mother but now I hated her with passion.
BACK TO PRESENT:
“Praise the Lord,” she shouted after ending her testimony.
The congregation responded with “hallelujah.”
I had heard enough, this nonsense has got to stop. I looked at the name of the church again, “Holy Ghost Deliverance Ministry.” I stood up from my seat, this is deliverance time.
I started walking down the aisle to go take a seat at the front row. Then our eyes met, she froze.
“Prai-prai,” she stuttered.
She looked sideways, looked at the pastor like she was expecting someone to come rescue her and then back at me. People were confused at her sudden change of countenance. Her face was terrified and her complexion was beginning to change. She was becoming a ghost. I gave her a cruel smile.
“Prai-prai……no, no, it’s a ghost,” she was screaming. “Take him away from me, he’s a ghost.”
Her eyes rolled, and like a sac of cassava flakes she collapsed on the hard floor. The speakers made a cracking noise as the microphone hit the floor.
As quietly as I had entered the church I vanished.
THIS IS NOT THE END!
Chike, Chike, Chike…..how many times did I call you?
To Be continued…