I looked at myself in my bedroom mirror & smiled. I definitely look stage worthy, I thought to myself. I took out a styling comb & combed my hair to perfection. Thank God for long hair, it could make u look presentable even when u did not make ur head.
I applied a little powder & lip gloss & set out. I alighted from a public bus & looked at the address again. Wole, who had made sure I was one of d guest artists had warned me that the church was a big church. I almost passed by a very massive building when I looked at d sign-board & discovered that that was my destination. I opened my mouth as my heart started racing.
“Hello miss” My head jerked round & I discovered I was already at d entrance.
“Uhh, hi”, I said.
“Are u one of our artists, ma’am”,d guy obviously an usher asked
“Ehm,Yes. I am Belina Badmus”. The guy checked his file & smiles at me b4 calling a lady to take me inside. As I stepped inside, my heart almost stopped. I saw nothing less than 500 people & still saw empty chairs which could easily take close to 300 people.
The highest number of people I had sang to was 200 & I was totally afraid that day. I considered turning back as I stood transfixed. The lady usher noticed my fright & gave me a comforting smile. She looked at me from head to toe & back again & said, “I am sure u can handle it”
Mr. Badmus sat down in his living room, thinking about d best way to convince Belina. He remembered d discussion he had with his friend d previous day & hissed.
“Oh… it is nice seeing u my friend, Chief Popoola said,standing up to greet him. Mr. Badmus smiled faintly.
“Since I need to get visa b4 I see u,what do u expect?”
“It is not like that” chief popoola responded.
Mr. Badmus sat down without waiting for d permission, d chief offered him drinks from his over-filled bar & within minutes, they were talking.
“See, this Belina of a girl would not kill me o, she sees a lifetime opportunity & cannot jump into it”. Mr Badmus said after some minutes of discussion.
“What do u mean?”
“Do u remember d birthday party of senator Olowodolu that u invited me to some time ago which I forcefully dragged her along?” getting a nod, he went ahead to explain everything up to d latest development & what did he get?
“Listen to me my friend, I would advise u to leave her alone. Every child has d right to do things d way they please, our own duty as parents is to advise them & if they insist, we ought to-“
“Shhh,pls spare me d lecture Mr.Lecturer, I don’t need it ok?” he said & left immediately. Mr. badmus hissed for d umpteenth time.
“That idiot does not want someone to be better than him” he soliloquized. Belina would have to do my wish whether she likes it or not. I would find a way.
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The church was half way full when Richard & Tony arrived. Richard noticed that d auditorium could definitely occupy 1000 people & looked at d structure of d building appreciatively. Tony looked around desperately looking for a place where they could get a good view & found a spot that was just perfect. They both sat down & Richard had a feeling that he was in for a good time in God’s presence.
As d usher led me to my seat, my mind started rolling asking so many questions; what if I fall down on d stage? What if my voice cracks? What if … I stood like d pillar of salt that the bible talks about as I stared at d one person I wished I would never set my naked eyes on.
Kelvin also stood there looking like someone who was standing face to face with a ghost. I wondered if he thought i should be dead. He was about to say something but I guess my eyes sent a warning signal & he swallowed his words. Wise choice, I thought as I joined the usher who had been looking at us puzzled.
As I followed her, I no longer saw d crowd, I only saw a chance to prove to Kelvin that I am not a piece of trash.
The sitting room was freezing cold because of d recently purchased split air conditioner, the plasma Tv was on & was showing cool music videos but Adewale could not relax. His friend had been in d hospital for 2days now & was still in a coma. he had stayed there & was forced to come home today in order to freshen up.
Adewale stood up & went to d bar to pick up an alcoholic drink but hadn’t tasted it when his mind started wandering. He remembered his discussion with Deji & how he persuaded him on phone to come over so that they could both attend a function together d next day. he downed a cup of wine at d thought & b4 he knew it,he had finished the bottle but still could not wipe out the sense of guilt that was clouding his brain.
He remembered how close they were & could not hold back d tears that came to his eyes. He looked at d wall & saw,’Jesus is Lord’ on a photo frame & walked to it. As he stared at it, he knew he had only one thing to do.
TO BE CONTINUED…