By ZENTS KUNLE SOWUNMI
Pastor PJ could not believe what he read from the note, it was scribbled in a funny handwriting more like what a second grade kid could be the writer, he excused himself from the pulpit to the discomfort of the congregation, and they followed him with their eyes, they wondered what could be wrong, a lady said maybe the Pastor PJ needed to take his medication urgently, what could be wrong? Was he on High Blood pressure medication? The other one asked? Maybe his sugar level went down, another lady said. I did not know Pastor PJ was Diabetic? Are you his doctor now? Another lady said from the back seat, however, no one could place a finger on it; however, the assistant pastor took over the rest of the sermon.
PJ was thinking if the message was from his brother, was he in trouble? He forgot to have his International Passport on him that morning and how would he get to the border town of Juarez which was the specific instruction with his brother if ever the law particularly FBI should be after his tail, PJ was not even scare of the Board of trustee after the last visit to Mayor Peterson place and how the all the members of the trustee were scared to death on the document he had doctored himself, what he showed the board was not really what they signed and unknown to him too the missing six document was ripped off by his wife, the copy was with Tina before she died.
PJ approached the door, he took a deep breath, and he remembered what his Doctor told him about breathing treatment, smell the roses to breathe in properly and blow the candles to breathe out. Who cares about the roses now, he needed all the airs in the world he was just anxious on what could be so important that he had to abandon his flock for an unknown messenger outside, he remembered the last line in the note he received, which was more of a threat “see me now or I will come in to finish the sermon for you” the usher pointed to a man in car outside the Church.
He walked to the car, it was a blue Honda corolla, his gaits was unsteady more like a man who lost all the ligament of his knees, his left knee buckled and he wondered if it was out of fear or a sign of arthritis, the man in car looked familiar, he knew him, he was the husband of late Tina, and he wondered why he called him instead of being the Church, even though he knew since he got divorce to Tina two years after their marriage he never returned to the Lord and or Pinnacle International service.
PJ gave him a big smile, he said “Brother, Lord have Mercy” I am pleased to see you Brother! Why are you not in the Church”? So much questions in two minutes.
John said. “Cut the crab of PJ I have just three questions to ask you”
PJ did not like the tone of John’s voice, did he just hear him use cut the crab out stuff, his countenance changed.
“Brother John what happened, the Lord will take of you, the whole Church could feel your pain” he said in a patronizing way.
The next question from John disorganized him.
“PJ will you tell me the truth if I ask you? He said, with a strained voice and cold.
“You know as a Pastor, I am not allowed to lie” PJ replied, he noticed john never called him Pastor, he was not enjoying the direction of the conversation, he suddenly felt a rush heat from the side of his head, it was not a blow but gravity of the next question.
“Ok I am relieved then since you are ready to tell me the truth” He said
PJ smiled, it was more like a grimace, the question was unusual, more like a man being interrogated in witness murder case in the court of law, and he could not believe what he heard next.
“How many times did you fuck my wife?” John asked with eyes as cold as ice.
PJ was deflated for two reasons, he did not know anyone apart from his wife knew the relationship between him and Tina, it was more, John was asking how many times, which one several times on his couch in his office, in the bathroom, the three some she introduced him to with his wife, Tina was a virus, which spread all over his brain like cancer, more like the victory sign, he had to tell the truth, not the whole truth anyway.
“Two times” He said.
“Two times?” John asked
“Two times” he said in voice that did not sound his own, it was shaky and husky
“Is that your final answer?” John again asked with colder ice voice
PJ kept quiet, he knew how porous and how dangerous his life could be right there in the open, it will be stupid for John to kill him in front of his Church within the eye reach of several thousand of witnesses but he could not bring himself to acknowledge more than two, occasion, the rest could be ugly to mention.
“Ok let us leave that question aside”. John said
PJ’s mouth dried, he needed water urgently, and he sucked his tongue as if all his life depended on the juice he could squeeze out of his tongue, the next question threw off the balance.
“How many times did you make my wife to have abortion for you?” John asked.
PJ felt like running away like a thief, there was nothing he could hide any more, he did not expect the next question.
“Do I need to stand on the Pulpit to ask you these questions?” Or what happened to your tell the truth stuff you promised earlier Pastor? John said.
“Three times” he said, PJ closed his eyes, he broke down, and he wept, the tears kept coming .
John asked him the next question, if the paternity of my son proved positive that you were his father, I will come for you.” John drove away.
PJ was still standing, he could feel all the eyes of his congregation behind him, and what did he do?