By Mwangi Macharia
“One thing led to another,” Mama continued. Her eyes glittered with hope as her lips pronounced every word steadily. Her face seemed not to mind the fact that Mr Mukandi and I were around for it, the fantasy of a fallen past. Mr Mukandi’s face was a puzzle of anxiety. Mine was a reflection of the quagmire of emotions in my heart.
“I joined the praise and worship team. It was the perfect cover. All we had to do to spend time together was to say that we were going to practice.” Mama continued as a smile began to form slowly on her face. She slid back into the seat and sat comfortable placing her right hand on the arm rest. She then jerked her head and faced Mr Mukandi.
She breathed out heavily.
Mr Mukandi as if under a charm slid into the seat and assumed the same position as Mama. This was unbelievable papa. The confidence to stare at one another had been attained. Their bodies were now relaxed around one another. No fidgeting, nor sweaty noses. Hands were steady and so was the atmosphere between them.
“We did practice but more than that we were engrossed in knowing one another more than knowing God. It was awesome. We never ended without prayers least the devil tempted us as John was escorting me.”
Wow papa, you even prayed? I just hope you were not preying all that time in prayer.
“After a month of training I began to lead worship.”
Mr Mukandi’s face was just plain and ready to consume more yet his moth could not contain the questioning of his heart. “Why don’t you lead worship in church nowadays?” Mr Mukandi asked as Mama was about to continue the story. I was about to lash out at him with words for that ungodly interruption but the basic knowledge that I was here courtesy of him told me to hold my peace.
“I will explain that soon enough,” Mama said as she let her left hand caress Mr Mukandi’s right thigh. He smiled in show of content. I will always love mama, she is a story teller. “Now where was I?” they both giggled as Mr Mukandi apologised for the interruption and reminded mama where she was. “Oh yes…” mama continued. “I began to lead worship. People said it was so powerful, so but the only power I felt was the power of John’s love. It was real. Women in church began to note what was going on between us. They could clearly tell that it was not only the normal ‘praise the Lord’ that was going on. They spoke in hushed voices yet they were loud enough for me to hear all their speculations.”
At this moment I began to understand that the issue of always knowing and speaking in hushed tones has not begun now. “They accused me of being a witch, a devils agent yet they lifted their hands up and even shed tears in the presence of the Lord every time I sung. This was hypocrisy in its hybridity.” Mama giggled as she started to nibble on her fingers. Mr Mukandi joined in the frenzy of the moment. “So our friendship grew on and on and despite the accusations John stood by me. His assurances were always on point.” Mama sighed.
Mama began to smile to cover a guilt that could be easily seen. Mr Mukandi was still listening. His face showing no signs of boredom. His eyes a clear indication of his attention but more so an indication of unconquerable emotion.
He was hopeful yet no test had approved his love. I was not yet refined.
“I was his, he was mine. ‘John not the Lord’ I could not resist him for he was not the devil and he could not flee. Our love was consummated.” A layer of balancing tears could be seen on mama’s face as the face of guilt showed erasing the smile that tried to suppress it. “It was on that very alter that I sang…” Mama began to weep.