ou are 37 years old. No man is discussing anything serious with you. No man is asking you whether you’re buying or selling. No man has ever asked your hand in marriage. But there is a rumour in town.

        Every time something strange or worth gossiping about happens, girls would broadcast it with their Blackberries.
This new broadcast message you just received, this new rumour says that Pastor Samuel of Saving Grace Incorporated secretes holy milk. If he sleeps with a barren woman, she conceives. If he sleeps with a young lady looking for job, she gets a well-paying job. If he pours his holy milk into a young lady, she finds Mr. perfect in no time.

         So when you receive the information on your Blackberry Messenger that Pastor Samuel’s semen has these unimaginable powers—while others laugh and curse and gossip and exclaim in surprise—you dress in your most alluring Sunday wear and walk into Saving Grace Inc.

You know that it is better to sleep with a pastor and be blessed with a husband than do nothing and remain unmarried. You convince yourself that even a virgin should sleep with a man to get what she wants—jobs, marriage, and money, after all, what is free on earth? Nothing.

      Saving Grace Incorporated is one of the most beautiful churches you’ve ever seen. It looks like the inside of a presidential villa. The walls are covered with brown-colored tiles. The roof has chandeliers descending down like angels. Air-conditioners as tall as human beings adorn all the sides of the church magnificently, pouring its chilled air at every congregant, making them so comfortable that they would have to return Sunday after Sunday. The pews are painted brownish red and the seats are stuffed with foam.

You sit elegantly at the front row and wait to see this pastor whose stories are so popular that a book ought to be written about him. You’re certain that such a book, if it were written, would make the number one slot on the New York Times bestselling chart.

       When the pastor walks into the podium, your jaw drops.
He is a gigantic man, tall, with huge shoulders. His face is square shaped, same as his jaw. His complexion looks like he has just been immersed in viscous chocolate. When he says: “Praise the lord, Church!,” your heart skips and you know that you have found a lover.

       The next Wednesday, you are one of the first persons to attend the special prayer sessions for young people. You already know where your pastor’s car is parked, so you wait there. When he alights from his vehicle—“thank goodness, he is alone”—you walk briskly to him.
“Welcome Pastor,” you say to him and promptly offer to carry the leather bag containing his prayer books, bible, and iPad. You can tell he is struck by your beauty, enchanted maybe. His eyes move to your cleavage thanks to the slightly plunging neckline of your flowing red dress.
As two of his assistant pastors approach, he says to you:

“Who are you?”

“I am Damilola.”

“Damilola. I saw you in this church for the first time last Sunday…”

“Sir, I am new in Lagos,” you lie. “I love your church. I love your preaching, I want to make Saving Grace my church.”

“We will be delighted to have you. It seems you are interested in the work of God. You have to join the God’s Works Department.”

“I will be delighted to.”

He locks the car. The two pastors are with you now. They collect the bag from you and eye you suspiciously.
“Sister, please could you cover up your chest?” one of them asks rhetorically. He is not expecting a response, but his tone commands you to do his bidding.
Pastor Samuel says nothing. He exchanges handshakes with his assistants, and you all head to the church. After the service, in the evening, he asks one of the assistant pastors to introduce you to the female pastor in charge of God’s Works Department. He does, and the female pastor gives you the rules. Rule number 1 – you must always attend all church programs. Rule number 2 – you must be punctual. Rule number 3 – you should never wear anything that shows your laps or your breasts. She goes on and on with the rules. You are uncomfortable because if rule number three must be obeyed strictly then your chances of wooing the pastor are minuscule. But you take solace in the fact that as a member of the Department, you have more opportunities of staying close to him.

     You have been in the department for about a month. You help to clean the church, dress the altar and work at the pastor’s compound every Saturday. For good measure you play with the pastor’s children every Saturday when you go with over twenty others to work in his compound. You also help to carry his bag every time he comes to the church.

      It is another Wednesday, and the service has just ended. The female pastor in charge of the department blocks your way as you go to the back of the church where the pastor’s car is parked.

“Good evening, Pastor,” you say to her.

“Good evening, Damilola. I have to tell you that we are not comfortable with how close you are getting to the pastor.”

“What do you mean, Pastor Zainab?”

“It is your duty to work in the church with the rest of the people in God’s Works Department, but not to try seducing the pastor. I… we have been watching you, Damilola. And I think the pastor is uncomfortable with the way you are always running around him as if you were his dog.”
Your mouth hangs open as you stare at her. You shiver and glance around quickly to know if anyone is eavesdropping.

“Listen Pastor Zainab,” you say, “you didn’t bring me to this church. I am here to do God’s work and not to seduce the pastor, who happens to be my pastor and who is married. Please don’t insult me…”
At that very moment, Pastor Samuel approaches and calls you. Both of you walk to him and Pastor Zainab says:

“Pastor, I want to relieve Sister Damilola of her duties as one of the workers in God’s Works Department.” She is standing close to Pastor Samuel, holding his hand, taking possession of him. The way he looks at her shows you that something fishy is going on between them. Who cares?

“Why, Pastor Zainab?” He asks. His face contorts as if he is worried. And just at that time, his beauty is so pronounced that you swear to God in your heart that you must one day kiss those lush lips and stroke his chins and jaws.
Draw me nearer, nearer blessed Lord…

“We… we think that she… Pastor, I am in charge of the department and I think that she cannot do our work.”

“But I have been watching Sister Damilola. I personally recommended her to that department.”

“Yes, but she is not humble. She does not respect me.”

“Is that true, Sister Dami?”

Pastor Zainab recoils visibly when she heard the pastor call you Dami. You are surprised too.

“God is my judge, Sir. God knows that I am trying my best, Sir. She thinks that I am 
 here to seduce you, Sir.” you blurt out. Your words surprise you even. You wonder what the pastor will say now.

“Oh, Pastor Zainab, how could you say a thing like that to her? How could you even conceive that in your mind?” he stares at both of you. “Now, Pastor Zainab get into the car. Sister Damilola, continue with your work. God is your strength, and He alone will bless you abundantly.” As they zoom off, you are sure that you saw the pastor’s hand go under the female pastor’s skirt. You are very sure.

As you walk home, you know that if Zainab could work her way into the pastor’s heart and be ordained a pastor of Saving Grace Incorporated, you would work your way into his heart too.
One of those evenings when it is drizzling in Lagos, around 5.30pm, you ring your pastor’s phone. He answers.

“Sir, this is Damilola.”
He hesitates for some time and says; “I know. Before you called I knew you were going to call. What can the Lord do for you, Sister?”
You are surprised. Then you begin to wonder whether you are on the right track. You wonder if all the rumors you’d heard are true. You wonder if you are about to make a costly mistake.

“Pastor, I wonder if I can see you. If I… it may not be today. But I want to see you for a private prayer.” He is silent for some time. Then he says: “Private prayer? Sister, what is the problem?”
You are silent. He is patiently listening and waiting for you to talk. “Pastor. It is about 

marriage. I am thirty-seven, and no man is asking me if I am buying or selling.”

Hmmm, where are you?”
Your heart skips. “In my apartment.”

“You will need a very special private prayer. Perhaps next Wednesday, or any other day.” You feel disappointed. You thought he would say he wanted to come. When he drops the call, you fling yourself on your bed and hit your pillow. You feel frustrated and tired.

That night you dream of him praying for you, his hand on your head and his lips caressing your neck and your ears.

So two days later, when your phone rings around 10pm and you see the caller’s name, sleep vacates your eyes. You find yourself calling out your address to the caller. You find yourself re-dressing your bed, sweeping out dust from your rug, spraying air-refresher in your room and putting on your air-conditioner even though it is drizzling and cold.

When he steps into your apartment, he says: “Your room smells good, Dami.”

“Thank you, Pastor.”

“No, you must call me Samuel.”

“Yes, Samuel.” As soon as he drops his bible on your bed and wants to sit on the only plastic chair in the large room, you grab him and draw him close to you and cover his large lips with yours. You push him to the bed and cover his face with your kisses, and it does not surprise you that he responds so easily and yearningly. His hand finds your breasts under the silky short gown you are wearing and squeezes them in a way that no one had done before. He turns and rests on top of you, using his lips to caress your nipples and just then you call out.

“Jesus… Jesus….”
You remove your hand from his manhood and unbuckle his belt for him and help him step out of his trousers. He helps you remove your gown as you raise your hands. You remove your panties and fling it to god-knows where. When he enters you after several minutes of teasing you with his fingers, you shout:

“Oh God! Oh God!”
After both of you finally reach the gate of heaven together, you begin to weep. You weep so much that he comes out, puts on his trousers and covers you with the duvet. He leans on the bed close to you. “What is the matter, Dami?”

“I am sorry, Sir. I didn’t know what came over me.”
Shhhhee! Hush! Shush!’

“I am sorry, Pastor.”

“Listen, Dami. I am not a pastor when I am with you, I am Samuel. Okay? And again. I liked you the first time I saw you in my church. On that first day, I fell in love with you.’
You keep calm, sniffing. You listen with astonishment. Your dreams are coming to reality.

“I think God wants to bless you. Now that I have made love to you, you will see unending blessings coming your way. You will be amazed at the blessings. You will be. You need not have regrets.”

“But you are married, Sir.”

“Yes, but who says because I am married I shouldn’t make love to someone I love.” Your heart does a twerking dance.

“Is it not adultery?”

“The bible that defines it as adultery was written thousands of years ago. Don’t you think that if the bible were written about a hundred years ago, most of the things in it wouldn’t have been there?”
You hesitate and say; “I think so, Pastor.”
That night, before he leaves your apartment, he makes love to you the second time. This time, you are sure that the face you see on top of you looks angelic. You close your eyes and feel blessings pouring on you. A few weeks later, Michael, one of the Accountants in your office, takes you out on a date and asks for your hand in marriage.
Pastor Samuel comes to your house on Wednesdays after service. He has stopped dropping off Pastor Zainab. Each time he comes into your apartment, you make love. It has been going on for months now. You have told Michael, your fiancĂ©, not to come to your house on Wednesdays because you always go to church and stay late.
Your traditional wedding has taken place. You are getting ready to move into Michael’s apartment at Victoria Island the following week. You have been busy planning the wedding, inviting friends, buying clothes and beads. Three weeks and counting, you have not made love to Pastor Samuel. Both of you have agreed that it will be his last visit, even though you know that you cannot stop dreaming of him, that he is the one you really love, that each time Michael is on top of you, you see the face of Pastor Samuel instead.

The Wednesday after your traditional wedding, Pastor Samuel picks you up from work. As soon as you return to the apartment, you notice the car parked in front of your apartment. You notice that Michael is inside your room. You ask Pastor Samuel to drive off, and he does. You walk in and Michael grabs you. You tease him, and he says he has missed you all these while. He removes your clothes and lowers you to the bed. When he takes your nipples into his mouth and enters you, you call out.

“Oh my God! Oh my… Samuel! Oh Samuel! Oh Pastor Samuel.”

TO BE CONTINUED...............................................................................................


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