The reverend then gives her a lot of cheques and an A4 sheet with his bank details on it.
My dear, kindly deposit these cheques in my account for me tomorrow, okay? When the pressure comes down a bit I’ll go to the bank and open a joint bank account with you. You’ll be a signatory too, and can take any amount you want!
Kesewaa’s face beams with pleasure!
It is getting better and better!
She is going to enjoy life!
Yes, Apostle, I’ll do that!
She puts the cheques in her bag and waits with the other elders and pastors for the new Apostle to finish eating, and then she cleans up after him.
Happy and elated, they all head for the entrance, planning to go home and prepare for the evening’s ordination.
When they arrive inside the church auditorium, they see Amina coming towards them.
Kesewaa quickly puts her basket down on a bench and rushes forward to meet Amina.
Ami! What’s going on? What’re you doing here?
Amina looks at her best friend and shakes her head sadly.
Where’s Akoto, Kes?
A sudden look of guilt crosses Kesewaa’s face and she looks away quickly.
You know what he wanted to do to me, Ami!
That’s not what I asked! We haven’t found him in more than a week! He’s here, isn’t he? What have you people done to him?
Kesewaa looks over her shoulders with sudden worry, her face concerned.
Shh, shh, shush, Ami! Please keep your voice down!
Irritated and angry, Amina brushes past Kesewaa and walks towards the group of powerful men of the church.
Kesewaa, frightened, tries to hold her back, but Amina shrugs free.
She stands in front of the pastors, elders and the powerful Apostle Ebow Obuobi.
She glares without fear at the man of God, and her beautiful face is flushed with anger.
I know Akoto Nyameboame is here. Please, where is he, and how is he? You must release him to me immediately, otherwise when I come back I’ll be with the police!
The other men look at the Apostle.
It is evident that they are very uneasy.
Kesewaa has now reached her friend’s side and she takes her arm angrily.
What the hell is the meaning of this, Ami? You’re embarrassing us!
Amina whirls on Kesewaa and speaks with all the venom she feels.
Shame on you, Kes! Shame on you! How can you betray Akoto’s love like this? Let me tell you something you don’t know, friend! I introduced Akoto to you, remember? I told you I met a man I loved very much, a man I wanted to marry! Of course Akoto’s mother didn’t want him to marry a Northerner, although Akoto had by then encouraged me to embrace Christianity!
Her face was passionately frantic now.
I introduced you to him, in the University, and the next thing I knew, he fell in love with you! But I wanted him to be happy, because I loved him so much, and his happiness was more important to me than mine! I never dated again, because he was the only man I knew I was going to love! And so I supported you, as a friend, and kept all the pain inside, refusing to be jealous! I sacrificed my love for your happiness, and yet you stood aside and let this happen to him? Akoto told me this man of God wants you and that is why he said all those terrible thing about your fiancé. Is it true?
Kesewaa sighs with discomfiture and looks guiltily at her friend.
Yes, Ami. I won’t lie to you. Akoto uses demonic powers, and it has made him very sick! I’m sorry about that, but the Apostle is going to cure him. But yes, we’re going to get married, the Apostle and me.
Jesus! You’re such a fool, Kes! You throw Akoto away for this filthy man?
Hey, better watch your arrogant mouth, and the way you speak to a man of God otherwise I’ll let the most hideous of diseases befall you right now!
That one gets to Amina.
She spins, and with a stiff forefinger she jabs the chest of the man of God as she speaks angrily.
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Go ahead and do it, I dare you! You can’t do me foko! Do you hear me? You can’t do me foko! I come from the North! My father, my grandfather, my brothers and my uncles are all Mallams, do you hear me? Only I became a Christian, through Akoto, and my family disowned me!
She takes a step closer, and her fury is sizzling and absolutely volcanic.
These powers you’re exhibiting to impress these people doesn’t tickle me one bit! Do you know why? It’s because I grew up in the midst of gods who give eye-boggling demonic powers to my family, and so I’ve seen them a million times! My father can hammer a fresh egg with a cement block and it will never crack! My grandfather can make a person break down with leprosy and cripple a human being with just a flick of his hand!
She laughed then – a sharp vicious explosion of sound – but it did not soften her eyes.
My brother can hang in the air for an hour and make the ground open up and swallow up a cow! And my cousin sleeps in a room full of poisonous Mamba snakes, and they all slither away from him with fear! My brother can stand a hundred metres away, raise his hand in the air, and a man will be lifted into the air and slammed on the ground with such force that he would lose all his teeth!
She drew nearer still to the man of God, her face filled with passion.
If you’re a man, touch me! Just touch me right now, and all the evil and demonic powers of hundreds of Mallams from my village will visit you this evening and there you will witness the amegah of all evil forces! Now where the hell is Akoto?
She has spoken with such zeal, such fury, with such power, that the people around her are suddenly filled with more than unease.