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"Walk in the spirit and you shall not fulfil the desires of the flesh"

Reverend Wisdom paused and waved the microphone for dramatic effect, the silence and gait that followed his loud pronouncement was a tactics to drive the message deep into the consciousness of the congregants.

"When you conciously obey the values and principles that are outlined in the Holy writings, and live your life by them, you would have no fear of being caught in the demoralising misdemeanour that characterises the relational world of today”

He knew he was doing justice to the message when he saw people nodding their heads and a few people shouting ‘preach on’ from the crowd. He smiled and swayed, it always felt good when he knew his message was hitting home.

“It is a simple substitution if you will” he continued, his voice louder, “if you are spiritual, you are automatically not carnal, on the other hand, if you are carnal, you are automatically not spiritual”

Emotion was not being her normal jumpy and excitable self today, the message Rev. Wisdom was delivering was hitting home a little too closely, so she sat there, judging herself and feeling pretty lousy. Yes, she was almost everything that Rev. Wisdom was saying that you should not be; talkative, overly expressive, quarrelsome, and a whole lot of other stuff. She needed Will now, he knew how to take the bite off the sting of criticism. He would have been whispering in her ear, outlining all her adorable qualities: sweet, kind, generous and then he’ll go on and on until the person seated next to them would clear their throat or glare at them. The image drew a smile from her that she quickly covered with a cough; people would wonder why she was smiling when everything Rev Wisdom was saying was anything but funny. She missed her husband. First for two weeks during her vacation with the girls and now she was home, he was gone with the boys.

The chatter after service was the equivalent of a New York stock exchange hall after the bell. As Emotion exited the auditorium she was accosted by her friend, Caution who told her that she would be visiting with her daughters later in the day. They talked for a bit and Emotion broke off and hurried towards the car, Stoic would be infuriated by now. She stopped again to commend Rest on her new song, and then she stopped again and again. She knew she wouldn’t hear the last of it from Stoic who always accused her of taking twenty-five minutes to walk from the auditorium to the car when it was actually a 2 minute walk. Sensitive took a whooping thirty-five minutes, worse even; Stoic went over the top with that one. They would argue over saying hi to people or not after service, Stoic insisting it was unnecessary, Emotion and sensitive disagreeing until they drove to the gate and started another Sunday ritual that Emotion had started to call ‘the gate debate’.  A hamlet of beggars had made the church main gate their abode, harassing church members for arms. Sensitive would empty her wallet all the while pleading with Emotion and Stoic to do the same. Emotion gave when she felt like, Stoic would beret them on how they are aiding the beggars handicaps and increasing social decay.

At home, the preparation for lunch was a bit flowery since Caution and the girls were coming over. They had spent days since their return cleaning the mess that her husband and the boys left. The I love you notes they had left stuck on the fridge had worked like a charm and had emotion and sensitive forging them as quick as the anger of seeing the mess had come but Stoic had muttered while she cleaned, refusing that the boys were anything but wicked. Anyway, Emotion was glad that her friend was coming over with her daughters. The girls were excited to finally hang out with their friends too.

“I need sugar in my system!” Sensitive moaned as she flung her bag on the floor and headed for the kitchen.

“I’ll have whatever you’re having” Stoic called after her picking up the bag, shoes and watch that sensitive left on her trail.

Emotion changed, came back downstairs and met Stoic and Sensitive at the dining table eating cake and ice cream  “This would ruin your appetite” she said taking a scoop of ice cream from Sensitive’s plate.

“I think we can handle a bit of ice cream and cake, with whatever we are making” Sensitive replied. “By the way, what are we making? I can see parboiled rice, stew things, cooked meat and whatever that other one is”

“That other one is Ukwa” Emotion snickered, “God help your father when they bring you back after your wedding demanding their bride price back”
Stoic choked on her ice cream as she laughed.
“Shut up Stoic!” Sensitive cried near tears. “Mum!” she screamed when Stoic continued to laugh.
“That’s enough Stoic. It’s my fault anyway; I should be more firm with these things.”  She took a deep breath and clapped, “Ok, I will need all hands on deck if this lunch is to be out in the next hour, Stoic I’ll need you on the goat meat pepper soup, sensitive can you start making the salad, while I cook the stew”

As the girls went to work, Emotion smiled and thanked God again in her heart. Her home may not be the best, but she had peace and even joy. When she thought of some of the stories that she heard from the other women at church, she couldn’t but bless God for her home, her husband and her kids. She was just… blessed.

“Mummy can I have a boyfriend now?” Sensitive asked breaking the rhythm of knives on chopping boards and the clanging of utensils

The question snapped Emotion out of her reverie like the ruthlessness of snatching off the warmth of a blanket without warning on an early harmattan morning. She struggled to gather her thoughts and Stoic, face over the broiling goat meat, starts humming the tune “here comes the bride…”

“Come on mum!” Sensitive persists “Dad encouraged Determination to get a girlfriend, and I’m older”

“It was not that” Emotion began, she sighed. She had told Will that this would bite them in the ass. “Success is not really a girlfriend, they are just friends”

Stoic still turning the meat, it’s aroma now filling up the kitchen, muttered under her breath, “Boy likes girl, girl likes boy, girl not boy’s sister, boy not girl’s brother, me thinks girlfriend, boyfriend”

“You are not helping Stoic” Emotion snapped, some seriousness creeping into her voice. Her palms were sweating. She rubbed them on her apron, she couldn’t handle these things well. Where was Will? This was his mess, he should be cleaning it up.

“Why do you need a boyfriend anyway?” Stoic asked with the same uninterested bland expression that made no one know when she was joking and when she was serious.

“You won’t understand” Sensitive replied, you’re still too young.

“I think it is a waste of time, and a waste of valuable energy you can put into useful ventures” Stoic continued, “and knowing you, it’ll become a thing and no one would hear again”

“Shut up, what do you know?” Snapped Sensitive, a quiver entering her voice, she was going to cry.

“Well, I think relationships are stupid and debasing, any progressive young woman should stay clear of it, that’s my opinion, and you can take it or leave it”

“Mummy!” Sensitive cried
It was fast turning into a chaos. It wasn’t how Emotion had foreseen Sunday lunch. Darn Will and his James Bond tactics. She knew she was on the verge of a collapse and she was feeling the onset of a panic when the sweet sound of the doorbell rang out.

“It must be Caution and her girls” Emotion stammered, hurriedly exiting the kitchen. She wiped her hands on the kitchen towel hanging on her apron. She had never been this happy to see her friend.

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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