Rest, at six feet tall, fair as full cream milk with jet black hair, shape to die for, was every man’s dream girl. She had the most pleasant attitude you could find in anyone; she laughed at the driest joke, managed to have a conversation with the stupidest person and had a way of getting everyone’s attention. Her mother Faith would proudly say, “If you’re looking for my daughter, look where people are gathered and laughing, you’d find her there”

As everyone exited the hall after that Sunday service, Faith spotted Rest towering above the heads that moved towards the big doors that led out to the hot afternoon sun. The light from the massive chandeliers hanging from the ceiling swayed gently on their chains reflecting off Rest’s black hair. Faith smiled as the church technical unit queued in the hit song from Rest’s newly released album, the album had been topping the chart since it was released three months earlier. Rest’s smooth silk voice blasted from the speakers and like the smell of a well prepared meal would invade your nostrils, everyone roared a cheer and those closest to Rest started slapping her on the back. Faith could not hide her pride, she nodded in response to the acknowledgement that people gave her and accepted their congratulations with grace. Week after week there was always something that Rest had done, some achievement that had people walking up to Faith to say “well done ma’am”.

As they drove out of the church property, with people waving at them, Faith sitting in the driver’s seat said

“Today’s service was the best, right?”

“Yes it was mum” Rest replied

“You ask that every Sunday aunty, and you get the same reply everytime so why do you still bother” Obedience said from the front seat and rolled her eyes before looking out the window at some banana sellers walking the sidewalk, their trays balanced on their heads measuring their footsteps.

Obedience was Rest’s cousin who had lived with them since she was a child. Tall and freckled with large bulging eyes set on a small round face, Obedience had always faded into her younger cousin’s shadow. At school, as children, they had been called princess and the frog or the beauty and the beast, but irrespective of the teasing, the two had remained inseparable with Obedience fiercely protecting her little cousin from every perceived danger.

“Rev. Wisdom’s exposition on the four lepers was outstanding. I had never heard that story expounded from that angle, that in life we have alternatives and we make our choices by considering the alternative with the best option.” Faith said

“Hmm… you are right” Obedience said and was about to say something else when Rest spoke

“Mum I really don’t know why you invited that man to lunch” she whined, “He should have come to talk about the record deal at the office like every other person”

“Shush child, don’t you know he is a very important person, I even heard his record label is worth over fifty million dollars”

“Actually it was two hundred and fifty million dollars at the end of last fiscal year” cut in Obedience “not that I see why it makes any difference” she concluded.

“Mummy’s materialistic, Mummy’s materialistic” sang Rest from the back seat and Faith laughed.

At lunch, Prosperity, the rich guy with the record label, commended Faith on her beautiful home, as he settled at the dinning table facing Rest and Obedience, who were watching him intently. Rest watched curiosity, Obedience with suspicion. Faith, the ever gracious host chatted away about Rest and all her achievements as she dished the white rice and ofe akwu delicacy, drawing a “Mummy!” every now and then from Rest.  

Few spoons after they began to eat, Prosperity cleared his throat, clearly choosing that time to state his mission.

“I want to open you to the world my girl” He said looking at Rest who was looking back at him, her right brow raised. “I’m sure you must know that every producer wants you. You are the real deal, your voice is not just powerful and amazing but is very captivating, and even more, you have the looks to go with it, the stage presence to carry it off and a personality that fans would die for. I won’t lie to you; I need you more than you need me.”

He looked at Faith who was grinning from ear to ear “Ma’am, I may have a lot of money, but everyone in the industry knows that I am incomplete without Rest”. Prosperity said

He looked back at Rest, who now hand her hands folded across her chest,
“Whoever gets you is assured of lasting and real success. You are every producer’s dream” Prosperity said smiling sweetly.

The table was silent when he finished. Prosperity noticed that the two ladies were staring at Obedience wearing serious expressions. Prosperity looked from mother to daughter; he had heard from his informants that if he wanted to get Rest, he had to get Obedience to agree first. He was told that Rest didn’t attend shows except Obedience approved them and that anyone who crossed her, should kiss business with Rest goodbye.

Out of respect, Prosperity turned to Faith “Madam,” he said pleadingly

Faith’s reply validated what his informants told him. “Mr Prosperity, even though I am Rest’s mother, it is Obedience you need to be speaking to. Right from their childhood, it has been that way. She manages Rest’s career and decides her modus operandi. Even I can’t interfere with that”

Clearing his throat, prosperity turned to face Obedience “Whatever you require, we’ll provide. We’ll do as you say and promise not to overlook anything. If you have specific details on how you require things done, I very willing to meet them.”

Holding his breath he pleaded with his eyes at the bland faced artist’s manager who continued picking at her plate of food, even though every other person had dropped their cutlery a while ago.

After what seemed like an eternity of silence, Obedience raised her head and with the same bland expression of a born poker player, she said, “Where does she sign?”

Kanayo Aniegboka

Kani is a Nigerian born and based minister, public speaker, entrepreneur and life coach. His keen and unique perspective to life issues makes him a refreshing voice to listen to. He currently serves as the Executive Coordinator of House on the Rock - Word House and sits on the board of a number of companies.

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