HOLY SEX BY OBINNA UDENWE ( PART I )
Your pastor secretes holy milk.
That is the story being whispered by everyone in the church—choristers, ushers, and the women.
They say he is God’s anointed. A man anointed by God must have all his body parts and fluids blessed too.
With just a wave of his hands, people fall in multitudes. When he talks the breeze ceases and the roof trembles. He commands the crippled to rise, and they rise. He lays his fingers on the blind, and they see. He touches a widow’s sick son, and he is healed.
Your pastor secretes holy milk.
If a woman has been barren for long, she is asked to wait behind for special prayers so that your pastor can minister to her in private.
That is why every Sunday, women who are barren give testimonies of what God has done for them.
“If not for Pastor Samuel, there would be no baby suckling at my breasts! Praise God!”
You have been attending the church for four months, which approximates to how long you have lived in this city.
Saving Grace Incorporated is located in the heart of the city in a gigantic edifice. A magnificent sight to behold!
You are attracted to the church because of the aura that surrounds it. At your new office everyone talks about it. For every trendy woman in town, there are three things in vogue: Blackberry Z10, Saving Grace Inc and pinging dresses—in that order.
Your pastor is handsome. His nose is finely chiseled. His clear white eyeballs are draped in long eyelashes. His lips are full and sensuous. His broad shoulders fill out his designer suits. And when he doesn’t wear a tie, his 22 carat gold necklace sparkles in the reflection of the glass pulpit. A thick gold ring on which is mounted a cross and a bleeding heart adorns the finger he uses to swipe the ipad screen during his sermons.
Every lady in the church love listening to his melodic voice and basking in the intense stare from his glistening eyes.
The first time you attended Saving Grace Incorporated, you fell in love with your pastor.
It was not a carnal passion, but deep reverence, the kind one feels for spiritual leaders. But now, you cannot remove your eyes from his face, his suit, his shiny black shoes and his iPad. You love the way he walks. In his church, your soul finally finds rest like a hare thirsting for water. Your soul yearns for his words. You feel his gaze lingering over you the three times you go for offering before the end of the five hour service.
Now you dream of him on most nights. You see him standing before the congregation, holding his iPad and his left hand resting on the pulpit. In your dream, his face looks angelic. His black suit and white starched shirt sparkle like the robe of Jesus Christ. When he notices you, he drops the iPad, walks down the aisle to the pew you are seated and suddenly kiss you. Sometimes you dream that after kissing him, he walks down the aisle with you, people clapping and singing:
Here comes the bride! Parararam!
Here comes the bride! Pararararam..!
When you wake, you don’t know whether to pray and bind the evil spirit that put the dreams into your sleep or to thank God. Sometimes, you notice wetness beneath your night gown and throughout the day you lick your lips and savor his kisses.
In your office, Zainab wonders why you are always in a daze—one moment, smiles tug at your lips and after a while your lips contort in a worrisome pucker. She calls you the worrying-smiling-lady. You always talk about Saving Grace Inc. in the office, telling everyone why they need to desert their own churches. You talk to them about Pastor Samuel—how angelic he is, how divine he is. You tell them that God has sent him to change and heal the world of all afflictions. You recount the number cripples that can walk because of him, the blind that can see, and the insane that have been made sane.
You tell them about Alhaji’s wife, a Muslim converted to Christianity who attends the Saving Grace church. How she donated a Murano jeep to Pastor Samuel and he invited her to a special prayer session and she conceived. You speak about her testimony last Sunday and how she has promised God to sow a seed of a Lincoln Navigator when she delivers the baby. Zainab shakes her head, calling you Pastor Samuel’s messenger.
You eventually convince her to follow you to church.
You are dressed in your new jeans trouser, the one that Zainab’s brother who lives in London bought for you. He thinks that by sending you gifts from London, he will get you to marry him. You wonder why men do not realise it when women do not like them. You enter the church and heads turn and stare.
You sit with Zainab as she looks around the large church, admiring the chandeliers hanging elegantly on the ceiling, the tall white air-conditioners in all corners of the church and the large projector-screen on the wall which Pastor Samuel uses to teach prosperity and success.
The church is not full yet, but Pastor Samuel climbs onto the altar, checks on the microphone, and places his iPad on the pulpit. He looks up and scans the congregation. His eyes connect with yours, and he beckons on you.
“Me?” you whisper as if talking to Zainab. He says, “Yes, you. Come!”
You walk elegantly to the altar, conscious of the hundreds of eyes that trail the movement of your buttocks.
“Can you please help the ladies over there with the curtain?”
“No problem, sir.” Your mouth quivers. His eyes lock with yours. You look down, and your eyes descend on his well polished shoes. His cologne wafts into your nostrils. You stare at the curly hairs on the back of his palm.
You turn to go and he says, “Excuse me!”
“Sir?” You turn.
“Are you alright?”
“Yes, Pastor. I am fine, thank you.”
“Please see me after service.”
“Ermm… yes, Pastor.”
You move to the side of the altar where some young ladies are having some difficulties drawing the curtains. As you lift the first curtain into a bunch and tie it into a knot, a beautiful lady, average in height, walks out from the vestry and sits at the end of the altar. She is Mummy Ada, the pastor’s wife. You gape at her—her head-tie, her long skirt, her blouse, and her beautiful make-up. You are jealous as you imagine her in bed with your pastor.
After service, you walk to the back of the church with Zainab. There are a lot of young girls waiting to see Pastor Samuel. There are some rich men and women too. Your pastor is standing with his wife. She shakes hands with everyone who comes close to her husband and talks briefly with them. When some hand envelopes to your pastor, she collects them and smiles. Sometimes, your pastor steps aside shortly to discuss with a person who has come to see him and then rejoins his wife. So when it is your turn, he says to his wife:
“Excuse me, Sugar.” He takes your hand and steps some feet away from his wife.
“My name is Pastor Samuel. I am the Senior pastor here.”
His alluring eyes search your face. So you look away and say: “My name is Blessing.” He smiles.
‘You have a nice name. What do you do?’
“I am a call centre attendant for MTN. I am new in Lagos.”
“You have a nice work. How long have you been in this city?”
“Four months, sir.”
“Lagos corrupts good girls—which is why I am glad that you are always in the church. I see you here every Sunday.’
“Oh, Pastor. Out of your over one thousand-member congregation, you manage to notice me?’
“Yes of course–”
“You wanted to see me, sir?” you ask, because you are conscious of his wife, who must be wondering what he was discussing with you. Your body is hot inside already and you cannot remove your eyes away from his long fingersas they clutched his iPad.
“What do you do every Wednesday? We hold special prayer session for young people. Perhaps you may like to come?”
“I will be delighted. I have been meaning to come for some time.”
“See you next Wednesday. And dress just the way you look today. Exquisite.” He whispers. He walks back to his wife. You turn and say “Good bye, Mummy’ to his wife, at which point she approaches you. You wonder what she wants with you.
“I love your top,” she says.
“Thank you, Ma.” You tell her your name, and she asks if you can come to their house on Tuesday. She was hosting a few business partners and would love for you to help her prepare food.
“I will be delighted to help, Ma,” you say. It is an opportunity to meet with the pastor again. By then your heart is thudding like your mother’s pestle against the mortar.
“Give me your number, and I will text you our address.” You give her your mobile phone number and leave with Zainab.
“What were you discussing with that man?,” Zainab probes on the way home.
“He is not a man. He is the Pastor,” you snap at her.
“And the Pastor is not a man?
“He is, but you shouldn’t have said that man. You should have said ‘what were you discussing with the pastor'” Haba!’
Zainab laughs aloud. “Okay, now tell me, what were you discussing with your Pastor?”
“Nothing. He thanked me for helping out in the church with the curtains. He said I should always come for the Wednesday prayer sessions for young people.”
Zainab is quiet for a while. You both arrive at the main road and are about to hail a taxi when Zanaib ask, “Okay o. So will you attend the Wednesday prayer session?”
“Oh yes, and you must come with me. Won’t you?”
Zainab says nothing. The taxi drops you off at your house, not very far from the church and leaves with Zainab. As you unlock your door, you get a text message from her. It says: Be careful with Pastor Samuel.
That Sunday, you prepare ofe akwu and play Asa’s The Way I feel several times in your self-contained room-and-parlor.
You cannot sleep that afternoon because his image has fogged your head like smoke.
Two months have passed since the day he spoke to you after church. And you have not missed a Wednesday prayer session.
In town, people still talk about Pastor Samuel. They mention the number of girls that have aborted pregnancies for him, and how they cannot talk because he pays them off. You are convince yourself that it is not true. If it were true, he would have made sexual advances at you on one of the several visits you have paid his wife.
Each time you visit Zainab, you talk nonstop about Pastor Samuel, but she retells a tale she heard in a hair salon about his escapades with women. She tells you that sometimes he uses his connection to get visas for his female friends and fly them to London or Canada or Romania for a day or two, on his short holidays or meetings which the church finances. At night you remember Zainab and all the people gossiping with your pastor’s name in your prayers.
It is another Wednesday, and you are surprised that your pastor has asked one of his junior pastors to call you. You meet him at the back of the church, and he is talking and going to his car at the same time. When he gets to his car he stops.
“You are really a child of God. I see that you have found a special place in the heart of God already.”
“Why do you say so?”
“The holy ghost has ministered to me about you. You are always at the church on Sundays and on Wednesdays. I like that. That is faith at work. And most times you help out in arranging things in the church. I am pleased with you. You are doing God’s work, and he has His blessings in folds reserved for you.’
“Thank you, Pastor.’
He unlocks his car. “Now tell me, what troubles your heart? Yesterday I saw you in my dreams, the fourth time since the last time we talked.” You raise your head in astonishment and stare at his handsome face. His eyes sparkles. You look at the sprouts of hair on his chin.
“I see you in my dreams too, sir.”
“Oh!” he looks surprised.
He asks you to enter the car, you hurriedly do so, turning to look around to ensure that no one sees you as you go into the pastor’s car. As soon as you settle into the cosy leather seat of the BMW, he places his hairy hand on your lap and you shiver. You recall the stories you have heard about his blessed hand. Images of those times he’d placed his hand on the blind and their eyes opened rush into your head and you swallow saliva.
“You see me in your dreams?”
“Yes, Pastor… but I don’t mean it that way—”
“Not to worry, my dear sister Blessing,” he turns his face to you. “God is talking to you. God is telling you to open your heart for the blessings that have been blocked from you for years by the kingdom of the wicked ones.”
You open your mouth to speak but he removes his hand and starts the car and drive out of the church slowly. You unconsciously stretch your skirt to cover your laps very well.
When the car eases into the Lagos traffic, he says, “Sister Blessing. You are beautiful, you know that?”
“Thank you, Pastor.”
“Oh, Blessing. Why don’t you call me Samuel. Always, call me Samuel. That is what my friends call me. Or are you not my friend?”
“I am your friend, Pastor.”
“Samuel,” you respond. Both of you laugh.
You find yourself giving him the direction to your house and when the car stops in front of your house. He says to you, “What food did you cook?”
“Pastor, I have vegetable soup in my fridge–”
“I am famished.” He alights from the car and you find yourself walking into the building and opening the door of your apartment for him. Once inside, he grabs you swiftly to your surprise and kisses you so tenderly on the lips.
“Pastor,” you moan as his lips cover yours. The room is very dark as you have not touched the switch. His hands are on your waist, moving down to your large buttocks. He presses himself so tight against you and suffocates you with his kisses. You hit him on the shoulder lightly as you call, “Pastor… Pastor…”
He lowers you on the rug and lies on top of you. His hand finds its way down your blouse, and he undoes your buttons. He finds your right breast and takes your nipple into his mouth. You moan.
“Oh God… Oh God…” you call, and even though it is very dark, you see an angel on your roof. You are sure.
When you see the angel, you close your eyes and kiss him back fervently. He unbuckles his belt with one hand and unhooks your bra with the other.
“Pastor, no!” you call as the image of his wife, who is your friend flashes in your mind. You use your two hands to cover your breasts.
“Pastor… this is a sin,” you stutter.
“Who said so? What do you know about the bible?”
“Yes. There are a lot of portions of the bible that were deleted to brainwash Christians. Haven’t you heard the story before?”
He laughs a little quietly.
“Don’t you know about Emperor Constantine and what he did with the bible and Christianity?”
“I don’t know, Pastor.”
“Now listen to me, I am your pastor. I cannot lead you into sin or into what will lead you to eternal condemnation. We are about to make love, the greatest gift God gave to mankind. Through love, the world is replenished. Why do you think God made sex the sweetest thing on earth? And we are His children and He loves us. Do you think God would deny mankind of that pleasure?”
You hesitate. “No, Pastor,” your voice crackles. “But it is meant for married people.”
“That definition was giving by humans. Who knows God’s heart? No one, the bible tells us. How do we know that God did not sanction it? Was it not man that wrote the bible? I cannot deceive you–”
“What about your wife, sir?”
“My wife? Some people have found favor in the sight of the Lord, you, my wife and a few others. And–”
“Do you have sex with others?”
“Blessing, I am a Pastor. When I say finding favor, I mean God’s blessings. I pray for people and they receive blessings. I lay my hands on them. If I like you I lay my hands on you. My wife is a very successful woman because I don’t just lay my hands on her, but make love to her. And each time I see you in my dreams, God tells me to reach out to you. This last one, I saw us making love, and I knew you needed his blessings, especially as you need to make a choice of a good husband and to know if that guy in London is the best husband for you.”
You tremble. You wonder how he got to know about Zainab’s brother.
“How did you know, sir?”
He kisses your lips again. “Do you doubt God?”
“Then, allow this holy milk to quench your thirst for blessings.”
His lips find your neck. Tears trickle down your cheeks. You moan.
It has been going on for three months now. On his way to midnight prayers at the church, he stops by your apartment and often stays until 11pm.
You cook Jollof rice with a lot of pepper. Other times, you prepare vegetable soup with a lot of kpomo and gizzard. He showers in your bathroom and applies his cologne now permanently placed at your nightstand.
Each time he leaves, you curl yourself into a ball and weep, half out of frustration and half out of love. You consider putting an end to the affair. There is this nagging feeling that you are committing a huge sin. But you are in love with him. Besides, who is to say that sex with Pastor Samuel has nothing to do with the blessings pouring into your life? A month after he came to your apartment and gave you his holy milk, you were promoted at work.
On a Friday, he enters without knocking because the door is open. Your pot of rice is simmering on the fire in your little kitchen. He sits with you on the couch, and you help him unbutton his shirt as you tell him about your day. He talks about the new branch he is establishing in Abakaliki. The TV is on, and the music video for Davido’s Aye is playing on Channel O. He kisses your lips and prevents you from talking as you try to explain why you did not come to see his wife.
“Wait, Samuel. I was telling you that I didn’t bring Madam’s new micro SIM-card today as I’d promised her. I forgot. Now, she cannot make calls because of my stupidity.”
“Don’t worry, Sugar. I will take it to her.”
“What? So where will you tell her you met me. There is no midnight prayer at the church today.”
“Yes, I told her I was going to visit a church member whose wife is sick at Apapa. I could tell her I passed by the church and saw you.”
He begins to kiss you again and you raise your hand as he removes your night gown. You unbuckle his trouser, and he steps out of them. A few minutes after he has entered you, the door opens just at the same time that you hear a knock. Pastor Samuel halts. You turn and both of your eyes behold the chocolate-complexioned woman standing by the door. Her mouth is wide agape. Her eyes empty.
When his wife runs out of the apartment, he reluctantly dresses up without a word and leaves. You sit on the couch, naked, tears running down the sides of your face.
Just then you recall that you have not seen your monthly flow for over a month.