Excerpt for Caught In The Middle by , available in its entirety at Smashwords




Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Chapter Twelve

Chapter Thirteen

Chapter Fourteen

Chapter Fifteen



From the Desk of The Simisola

Copyright © 2017

The Simisola

All rights reserved. No part of this e-book may be used or reproduced or reproduced by any means, graphic, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, taping or by any information storage retrieval system without the written permission of the writer. This e-book is licensed for your personal enjoyment and cannot be resold

All characters, names, descriptions and traits are the product of the author?s imaginations. Similarities of actual people, living or dead are purely coincidental.


ADENIKE Jaye fell into a chair at her favorite study room, removed her aching feet from her undersized shoes, and arranged her books on the table. After a long day of attending classes, completing group assignment and making arrangement for the upcoming executives’ retreat of her fellowship, she barely had enough time to prepare for her test on Friday. There was so much to do and so little time. Every day just seemed like a never ending rush even for a three hundred level student in the university. What could be more demanding than all she had to deal with right now? Maybe being the CEO of a multi-million dollar company, or managing the World Bank.

Nike has she was fondly called, studied the course of her dream, business management at Oregun Federal University. She was tall, light skinned and had a beautiful oval shaped face, adorned with cute dimples. She could not be missed in a crowd as she drew attention wherever she went. Though she was termed “SU” most guys still tried their best to ask her out on dates.

She was the head usher and also the welfare secretary of the Great Cornerstone Fellowship, which had over five hundred members and was one of the most popular fellowships on campus. The impact of the weekly executive meetings’ usually on her academics could not be downplayed. She hardly had time to study because of the many meetings she had to attend; fellowship meetings, executives’ meetings and departmental meetings.

As if that was not enough, the new pastor of her fellowship was her ex-fiancée. She broke off the relationship a year ago because she had caught him in a compromising position with one of the sisters in the fellowship. He was still the choir coordinator of the same fellowship at the time and he had always tried to involve her in several illicit sexual escapades. Only few people knew the whole reason for the break-up, and she never bothered to volunteer more information than was necessary, as she did not want to instigate any form of gossip.

However she knew most people blamed her for the break in their relationship, and most of her friends have not stopped wondering why she would let go of such a good guy. If only they knew that he was not has innocent has he appeared. She could not totally blame him though, at the time she agreed to go out with him, she was young and easily swayed by a guy who quoted the scriptures and led the choir; he had deep baritone voice.

He was the fellowship’s most eligible bachelor and he chose her, how could she not be swept off her feet? She never prayed with him or about him, she believed he would just be perfect for her; being so “worded”, he was perfect husband material.

Why was she even bothering so much about all that? It is all past now and it is the least bit of her worries. She comforted herself with the fact that he would not have gotten to the position of the senior pastor, if God did not want him there.

She channeled her thoughts to the present situation at hand, which this bad timed power outage just added to; thank goodness she had come with her flashlight.

She had a weekend retreat to prepare for, an executives’ meeting to attend and an important test to study for. “Gosh!” she gasped as she pointed her flashlight to her watch. She had barely four hours before study time would be over. “Lord, I need your extra-ordinary abilities more than ever,” she muttered under her breath as she flipped the pages of the book she was studying to see what she had left to cover.

Not too long after that, she heard noises at the back of the class. She turned around to check and saw a guy hailing another outside the class. The other person sauntered into the dark class; he was tall and was with some other guys who appeared to be his bodyguards. The other guys in the class joined in the hailing chorus which by now was becoming almost uproarious or so she exaggeratedly thought. She was going to caution them and tell them, stating the obvious fact that this was a classroom, but then on second thoughts, she kept her cool and told herself it wasn’t worth entangling herself with any cult troubles, suppose they were members of one of the rumored cults on campus.

The tall figure in the dark walked towards her and sat in a seat few feet away from her. Power was restored right about this moment and she was grateful for how short the outage was. He looked in her direction to return the “hailing” that was thrown at him by one of his fans. She turned and saw it was Rolling Dollars, “Ree-Dee” for short. He was one of her annoying colleagues, her senior though; he was a final year student. She hissed and turned back to her books. Rich kids usually annoyed her especially the ones who guys and girls bent over to please and this Ree-Dee wasn’t any different.

He is said to be of royal blood and an heir to a throne in South Africa. Rumor has it also that his parents owned a good number of renowned companies in Nigeria and other properties to their heritage. As if that was not enough, he was one of the top students in her department, not to mention how annoyingly handsome he was; annoying because he knew it and was one proud fellow. Always flaunting himself all about the place and flashing his charming smile every chance he gets. How does one person get to be so lucky? He had everything going for him. Spoilt Rich Kids! Nike hissed again and continued reading.

Ree-Dee whose name was actually Gboyega turned in the direction of where the hiss came from. He was used to girls making sounds and acting funny just to get his attention but if this lady thought that was all it took; she had better go up her game and try again. She sounded like an injured snake! This was the reason he did not read outside the confines of his house, going to classes was much hassle for him; everyone wanted to be his friend in any way possible. He thought it was nice at some point but then it got really exhausting. The ladies made it so easy for him, so the “ladies man” reputation was not even something to be proud of.

As a “fresher”, he did not know any better; he was free and had everyone on campus doting on him. Life was good! That could make anyone drift off his senses for a bit, let alone a rich teenage boy who just left the clutches of his strict parents.

Now, he was proud that he had better self-control, but more importantly he had received Jesus. All thanks to God and the mentorship of the senior pastor of his church Rhema Assembly International.

He smiled ruefully and shook his head, he knew most of his past friends do not believe he has changed but he knew he was different. Dear Jesus! How he loved Him, how grateful he was. They would just have to come to terms with his new life.

As he tried to return his focus to his study, the lady hissed again and began packing her bag noisily. He wondered what was going on with her. Apparently Nike had been trying to study but she was being distracted by all the girls drooling at him. He had also been smiling like the sex addict that he was. She was taking time to leave and was getting grumpier so he asked nicely, “Excuse me, can you be quitter? I am little bit distracted by the noise”

“Are you talking to me?” She asked with her eyebrows raised in disbelief.

“Yes ma’am” he responded wondering why she was so edgy.

She sighed to calm herself, put her bag down and looked him in the eye, “Ree-Dee or whatever it is you are called, I am surprised that you are actually here to study, really, I am. You and your minions are the reason I am leaving, you were the ones that upturned this room and yet you are asking me to keep it down?” She picked up her bag, “I don’t have time for this”.

“My name is Adegboyega Hilma Benson, if you were trying to steal a conversation, you didn’t have to be rude about it”, he flashed his smile

Why is this one smiling? She thought as she looked at him with disdain, sized him up and left muttering under her breath, “Stupid rich kids!” By now everyone in the class was looking, and those outside looked in to see what was happening.

That was quite a scene, he thought. Throwing his hands in the air, he said a little loudly “That goes today's reading”. He packed his books and left, catching a few flirty smiles on his way out. They just always have to make a scene, don’t they? This one was quite pretty anyways and pretty good at her act too.

Just as he was at the door, someone called, “Sorry Ree-Dee” she said and waved slightly. “Don’t mind that girl. She is one of those fellowship sisters that think they are better than everyone else. She be your junior sef o”. He nodded his head in appreciation with a faint smile and headed out. He had that girl’s face etched in his mind now and her funny reaction, what was he to do with that?

He wasn’t even angry; he was used to the drama. He usually went with the flow and gave them what they wanted, while pretending to be falling for their scheme. But there was no need for that anymore.

Nike was seething when she left the study room but she caught herself in the middle of it. She rarely got angry, more so, she never displayed her anger outside like that, let alone in public. Even when her ex, Pastor Mike, ridiculed her at most executives’ meetings, she never gave him the luxury that she was pained. She was a Christian, she should have tried to control her anger and not reduce herself before people like Ree-Dee.

She was quite happy that she said her mind to him though, she had been meaning to for a long time. He was notoriously known to be condescending, especially towards girls. She even knew ladies who had been played by him. Though she was not that naïve to lay all the blame on him; no reasonable girl should carelessly entrust her heart out to a guy like that. He was totally non-reformatory!

She went into another room to study; she could not afford a B in this course now. She hoped to pass out with a first class and nothing in the world was going to stop her. She was going to make her struggling parents proud.


THE lecture room for the class was very rowdy and noisy. While some students hung outside to finish their last minute study for the test, some sat together in groups discussing past questions while others were indifferent as they noisily chattered. The reason for the indifference could be because there had been a notice, that lecturers in the department had a meeting with the Dean of the faculty, Nike thought.

She turned back to her books to finish her revision. She was sure of acing the test if it held today. She looked around again and pushed out the unnecessary apprehension that was seen on most of her colleagues. “I do not have the spirit of fear, but love, power and sound mind”, she muttered as she turned back to Anna and Funso, her best friends who sat by her side also revising for the test.

Anna looked up from her book and caught Nike’s eyes. She was not only one of Nike's best friend but also the sister's coordinator of Great Cornerstone fellowship, “Nike what is wrong with you?" Anna asked.

Nike smiled ruefully and said, “Nothing, Mummy Anna just thinking about the test and wondering if it would take place”.

She was grateful for the timely arrival of the lecturer as everyone started to shuffle, putting their bags and books away. She knew Anna didn’t buy the garbage response she just gave. Other than the fact that she was a bad liar; Anna knew her pretty well and was going to probe further. At least she had escaped this session for now, thanks to Mr Afolabi.

Mr Afolabi who was nicknamed “Fobz” by students, stood in front of the class and shouted, “Everyone drop your bags and books outside. I have no time to waste.” The sight of desperate students trying to cram just one more thing before the test began put a tiny smile in the corner of her mouth as she shook her head and released a light chuckle. Perhaps some of them may get lucky enough to catch an “expo” before they rush back to their seats. He continued, “I would not be the one to invigilate you but your senior colleagues would be here with you. I have a meeting with the Dean but if you are caught cheating you would be severely punished”. Looking at the back, he called out “Gboye and Tony please do as I have instructed you; the test is just for forty five minutes,” with that he left.

Nike sat back on her seat after dropping her bag. Thank God they listened to the Holy Spirit’s prompting not to believe any rumor about today’s test not holding. She bowed her head and said a quick prayer as the questions were passed by the invigilators. Nike looked up just as Ree-Dee handed her the question paper, he just has to be everywhere, like a mobile bill board. She sighed.

She was just going to do her test and move on to the gazillion other things she had to attend to. One of which was finding very good accommodation for the executives’ retreat. It was not so easy to find a fairly comfortable and cheap place these days; the dilemma of a Welfare Secretary, even in the test hall. She shook it off her mind and focused on the questions before her.

The test started, Nike concentrated on her question and started drafting her answers at the back of the question to avoid getting the answer booklet rough.

“You are free to ask your friends for the answer quietly, or what do you think Gboye?” one of the invigilators asked. Nike looked up from her question paper at the invigilators. Who encourages such nonsense? Shameless people! She thought. Even though she knew the voice belonged to the other guy, but did birds of the same feather not fly together? If these were the people to stand in for their lecturer, they can as well assume this was a group assignment.

“Tony please stop encouraging them to cheat” Gboyega cautioned his friend, and then he turned to the class, “If I catch anyone cheating I would write a malpractice report on your answer sheet”.

As much as he would love to criticize Tony for encouraging them to cheat, he knew he would have said the same thing two years ago when he was not saved. He prayed quietly again for Tony as he looked through the class.

There goes the fierce cuteness he thought. He smiled as their eyes locked in for a brief moment. He had noticed her barely five minutes into his being in the hall. Apparently, she was as “prim and proper” as she portrayed; she was sitting in the front row. She appeared serious too, she was doing her work but he liked the thought that somewhere from the corner of her eye, she was stealing quick glances at him. He was almost sure that when she got tired of her game she would give up and melt like butter before him He had met some ladies in church when he just got saved and what he had found out about them made him not to make general assumptions about everyone that claims to be a Christian. He had given up on love for now.

“Gotcha!” He thought. He had caught her staring again but he wasn’t sure what it was, was that admiration or irritation? It had to be the former. He awaited their conversation after the test. This was far from being arrogant, but he knew all about female gimmicks to know that she was interested in him.

However much to his chagrin, she had filled his thoughts for the past three days, and somehow he wanted to see her again. Looking at her from the podium has she bent her head and scribbled answers on her answer booklet, shameful though that she had a nasty attitude to go along with such a pretty face.

Love was not even on his to-do list for now; he just wanted to concentrate on getting his bachelor’s degree and further his studies in Canada immediately after graduation.

Nike was irritated, but why? Maybe she was disappointed that he disappointed her. Who was this guy anyways, that made her think about him so much in just a few minutes, and while she was writing a test too? He wasn’t worth it, she shrugged the thought off. She scribbled down her last answer and looked over her answers from the top. She handed over her script and went out to wait for her friends.

Immediately her friends came out, Nike walked towards them and held out their hand bags “How was the test Anna and Funso?” she asked

“We bless God jare, Nike”, Funso replied tiredly.

“How can they encourage cheating during the test? What is this department turning into? I know they are bunch of irresponsible boys but at least they should have some decency”, Anna shouted angrily at no one not bothering to answer Nike’s greeting. Students outside stopped to look at her, has she continued ranting.

Funso responded calmly, “But Anna, it was not the both of them now. Ree-Dee did not encourage it, his friend did.”

Anna shook her head; she did not get Funso at times, the way she tries to justify bad situations was just unbecoming of a Christian, “Are you supporting them now Funso?”

“Of course not, I am just saying it is wrong to call both of them irresponsible for something just one of them did.”

“Is Ree-Dee any different?” Anna asked her voice laced with sarcasm, turning to Nike, “You should have seen how girls where crawling on him after the test. He could have cautioned his friend more sternly if he was not in support”

Funso rolled her eyes, she was always tired of Anna’s self-righteous stance at times, and everyone could not be harsh like her, adjusting her bag she said, “Excuse me Anna, all I am saying...”

Nike though in support of Anna’s assertion about Ree-Dee, wanted to stop the argument between her friends before it escalated to something else. She cut in hurriedly, “…Please both of you, we just finished a test we studied for throughout last week, and the executives’ conference is in two hours. Can we do something better than talk about Ree-Dee and his friend?”

They both kept quiet much to the displeasure of bystanders who were all pretending to be doing something else but were actually listening in on the argument waiting for a brawl to erupt.

Funso and Anna hardly got along; Nike was always playing the role of umpire most times when they were both in the same room. Though they were Christians, Funso was more liberal and accommodating of others fault than Anna. Anna does not believe in middle grounds, you either get it right in the faith or get out. Though she never said it out loud, Anna felt that Funso was not a serious Christian, but Nike knew when it comes down to it Funso’s life was all about God.

Once they left the department, Funso turned sideways and said, “I am going for my dance rehearsal; I would catch up on you executives later.”

Nike shook her head and said to her friend’s retreating back. “Don't worry, I pray you are chosen as an executive next year, then you would not bail on me like this.”

“Executive indeed”Anna scoffed, as they both turned to cross the road heading for their hostels in preparation for the executives’ conference.

* * * * * * * *

On Monday afternoon, Nike rushed into the fellowship’s pavilion where they usually held executives' meeting. She was fifteen minutes late. There should not have been any meeting today, considering the fact that they just ended the executives’ conference yesterday, but no one could go against the senior pastor’s order. Her prayer was just that she would not miss the fixed class she had today by four, as Pastor Mike can talk for hours.

Immediately she came in, she noticed everyone was already seated and Pastor Mike was in front of the pavilion. She walked quietly to the backseat hoping not to draw anyone’s attention. As she was about to sit, Pastor Mike looked up and told her to stand up.

“You are late Nike, would you explain to the whole house why you are here fifteen minutes later than the appointed time.” Pastor Mike queried her.

She was beyond embarrassed, this was the first time she would actually come late and if not for the fact that Pastor Mike rather had a personal bone to pick with her, he would have let it slide. She regained her composure and answered apologetically. “I am sorry sir, I just found out about the meeting some minutes before I got here”

“How come? Are you not on the Whatsapp group? Even if you claim that you are not but you are in the same hostel as mummy Anna.”

“Yes, but my phone’s battery has been dead since last night and mummy Anna and I have not seen each other today as I went to the library very early. I just charged when power was restored and put it on” she explained.

“You are just full of excuses aren’t you? Too bad” He said, earning a few snickers from some of the executives. Nike on the other hand managed to gain the sympathy of some.

“Sit, I’m in a good mood today so I will not be punishing anyone” he said, a smug smile on his face.

“Thank you sir,” Nike sat down quietly as Pastor Mike continued. She had decided not to give into anger whenever he made statements like this during meetings. He was her pastor and he had the right to correct her if she was late, regardless of their history. She tried to pay attention to all he said and prayed a silent prayer that the meeting would end before her class.

After two hours passed the meeting was not yet over, she started shifting uncomfortably on her seat. She was already late and Pastor Mike was not yet through.

Nike stood up and raised her hands to seek his permission politely, “Excuse me sir, please I have a class fixed for 4pm.” The whole pavilion went silent, Pastor Mike stared at her in anger, “You came late and yet you want to leave first.”

Seeing he was already annoyed, she tried to explain to him, “I am sorry I am not asking for favors...”

Pastor Mike cut in and shouted at her, “…Then what are you doing? No one leaves this place till I am through and all phones must be switched off.”

Thirty minutes after, the meeting ended and all the executives left the pavilion. As Nike tried to rush down to class, she switched on her phone and two messages came in, one of which was from Funso. She opened Funso's message and read.

“We had a test and it was 30 marks.”

Blood drained from her face has she increased her pace and got on a bike to her department. She prayed silently as she called Funso when she got to the department.

“Hello, where are you?” Nike said in panic immediately Funso picked her call.

“I am in my room already; we have already finished the test. Where did you go?”

“I was in an impromptu executive meeting, I tried to excuse myself but I was not allowed.” Nike explained.

“This Pastor Mike sef likes causing wahala jare.” Funsho said angrily over the phone.

“What can I do now Funso? I cannot lose 30 marks.” Nike said as she tried to control herself from crying.

“Try and go to his office and beg him.”

“Ehn!...” and just like that the call ended. She checked her phone and she realized that her air time had finished.

Looking at her purse she just had the twenty naira the bike man gave her. There was no way she could call Funso again; she would have to face her lecturer alone.

She summoned courage and prayed silently, “Just like Esther, I find favor.”


FADEYI Aderibigbe reclined on his seat in his office, as he smiled at Gboyega and Tony. They were both his students but the former happened to be his female cousin’s son. Looking at them he continued his story, “Your mother was love struck when she met your dad for the first time. I can still remember then, my uncle the Iwajale of Ijale, who happened to be your grandfather disowned her for marrying your father. It was a taboo then for someone from the five Iwajale’s royal family to marry an ajeji. Your mom stood her ground and said she was not leaving her man. Families tried to plead with your grandfather and even explained that your father was also from a royal family in South Africa but the elders and your grandfather refused to budge.”

Gboyega and his colleague Tony smiled as his uncle recounted to them a tale which was no news to the Bensons’ family and was also common knowledge to members of the public.

The news of his parents’ love story was almost a myth in Nigeria. Not only were his parents famous for their royal status and wealth, but their love story was always used as an example for inter-country marriage in Africa. His parents had loved each other for a very long time and even after 26 years together; their love had never gone sour. Their public display of affection much to their children’ chagrin was published in almost every blog spots in Nigeria.

“You know Uncle, I have always wished to find a woman who I can love like that but in this age where only slay queens reign and pepper dem gang ladies are the trend, I do not think such love can ever exist.” Gboyega said as he ran his hands over his face.

Uncle Fadeyi rubbing his potbellied stomach said in mockery, “That kind of love is rare but I thought you now claim to be a Christian, what happened to all the Christian ladies in your church, you people call them virtuous women.”

Gboyega rolled his eyes at the obvious jab to his faith. “Uncle I am a Christian and I am not claiming to be. The truth is that not all ladies that attend church service are Christians, just has not everyone in this university is a student. However we do not just pick any lady just like that. Just as God directs us in our daily lives on the choices we make, we trust Him to direct us on whom to marry.”

Tony who kept quiet all the while decided to chip in his own opinion at this point. “You see those Christian ladies they are the most confusing, they can convince you into believing you are the right one for them with their numerous dreams and visions. I had a friend that one sister said the same thing to, if not that my guy na sharp guy, he would have fallen into her trap. Also they are very gullible, unlike women out there they give their love cheaply expecting nothing in return, and to me they are just plain dumb.”

Gboyega shook his head vehemently, his uncle and Tony were already turning the whole marriage topic into a jest, it was better he put a stop to the whole discussion of his faith. “They are not cheap, when it comes to their emotions some of them act like those out there. A Christian should not allow his emotions control him, however till I find my own woman, I am still single.” He concluded.

Fadeyi sat straighter. “That is just saying it lightly Gboye...”

There was a knock on the door, putting an end to the conversation.

“Come inside.” Uncle Fadeyi bellowed.

Nike pushed the door and entered into Dr. Aderibigbe’s office timidly and found out that he was not alone. She had not expected any of her colleagues to be in his office, now she had to make her plea before Ree-Dee and his unserious friend. She silently said her prayers as she looked at the three pair of eyes studying her with different expressions on their faces.

“Would you care to explain to me what you want instead of standing there?” Uncle Fadeyi said impatiently, as he waited for the lady to state her business. It was common knowledge in the business management’s department, that he was always harsh to the female students. Every opportunity he had, he never failed to call them “Ashawo.”

Nike curtsied. “Excuse me sir, I wanted to see you about the test you conducted this afternoon.”

Uncle Fadeyi adjusted his glasses and glared at her. “Yes, what about it?”

She forced herself to meet his eyes and pleaded. “Sir, I was not around because of certain assignments that I had to take care of.”

Uncle Fadeyi looked at her for further explanation, when she said nothing he probed further. “What assignment was that?”

Dr. Aderibigbe was an atheist, who always tried to disprove the existence of God; he fought against any religious activity on campus and failed popular religious leaders in his department. Nike knew this, yet she could not lie even for thirty marks. She tried to look around the room to see if anyone could help her plead, but seeing the two guys’ blank faces she knew there was no need to bother.

Uncle Fadeyi scowled when she still said nothing. “I am waiting miss...”

“…Kupoluyi Nike.” Nike quickly supplied and continued stuttering. “Ehhhmm sir I was in an impromptu executives’ meeting for my fellowship but I just got to know around 2:00pm on my way to the meeting that there was a class. I left for the meeting but did not know the meeting would not end quickly.”

Uncle Fadeyi rarely lost his temper, but statements and outright foolishness like this irked him, looking at his nephew and Tony. “Can you imagine this one’s stupidity? Was she admitted into this University to study or to attend fellowship?’ The two guys kept quiet, knowing there was no required response to that question.

Uncle Fadeyi turned back to Nike. “Where were you on Friday when I announced after your test that there was a fixed class today by five pm?”

Nike knelt down immediately, almost in tears has she pleaded. “Please sir I left immediately after the test for a retreat and just got back last night.”

Gboyega looked at her incredulously. The girl was just unbelievable. Did she not know that his uncle hated church or any fellowship activity?

Uncle Fadeyi shook his head in disbelief. “You do not need the thirty marks obviously; I can see how unserious you are. Just get out of my office.”

Nike knelt down and kept on begging, holding out her two hands appealing to him. “Please sir I can explain.”

“I said get out, and just so you know I have noted your face and I promise to ensure you fail that course.” Uncle Fadeyi shouted as he stood up from his seat.

Gboyega seeing that the matter was getting out of hand, quickly stepped in. “Uncle please, e jo e ma binu.” He pleaded.

Uncle Fadeyi shook his head and shouted, ‘What are you begging me for Gboye? Young lady get out of my office.”

Nike left his office dejectedly, as tears streamed down her face. She tried to pray but she was just choked up. She did not bother to wipe her face as she continued crying along the corridor. She did not hear her name, until she felt someone's hand on her shoulder.

“Hey Nike, stop crying.” Gboyega said as she turned towards him with tear filled eyes. He had never been comfortable with crying women; he would love to be anywhere else than standing before her if not that she needed help. Trying not to be affected by her tears, he continued. “Wait here let me help you talk to him.”

Nike shook her head upon registering what he had said. “Don’t worry, I would see him again tomorrow, I don’t want to put anyone in trouble.”

Gboyega smiled, she was still showing concern for him when she was the one on the verge of losing thirty marks. “I can hardly be in trouble when I am talking to my uncle, just wait here for me.” Gboyega said as he turned away and went back into the office.

She waited as there was hardly anything she could do. She stared at him as he walked back into the office. God could anyone to help his children she reasoned.

Fifteen minutes later, Gboyega came out smiling. He did not know what had possessed him to help but he would not have found peace if he saw someone in pain and he did not do anything to ease that pain. He knew his uncle was not that mean he just hated religious activities.

He walked up to her as she stared at the wall post before her without any focus. Looking at her closely he realized she was naturally beautiful, even though her face was devoid of makeup and swollen with tears.

“What happened?” She inquired when she realized he was standing beside her.

“No test for you.” He started.

“Hmmm, thanks for your help anyway.” Nike said in dejection, she had known nothing would come out of it anyway; she picked her bag to leave.

Gboyega held up his hand to stop her and said. “Actually he gave me this assignment and expects you to submit first thing tomorrow.” He handed a paper to her. She collected the paper, read the question and looked at him for clarification. “An assignment?”

Gboyega smiled and confirmed. “Yes, but nothing less than 25 pages”

Nike was beyond overjoyed; this was a great testimony, looking at the question and at Gboyega. “Are you kidding me? Thank you so much, God bless you. I do not know what I can use to repay you…”

Gboyega smiled and cut in. “…Actually you know what you can use to repay me.”

Nike raised up her head in, looked at him in rage and with an even voice, she said “You must be on something if you think I would sleep with you for an assignment. I am not a prostitute you this sex starved animal. I don't care about the marks you can keep the question.” She pushed the question paper into his hand and picked up her bag that fell while collecting the question.

Gboyega continued looking at her as if she had grown two heads. Holding up his hand and pushing the paper back into her hands, Gboyega shouted in anger, “Hey hold up, what is wrong with you? I did not say you should sleep with me and I advise you to get your thoughts out of the gutter. I just wanted you to apologize for insulting me the other day. And madam, if you claim to be pure all actions would seem pure to you.” Shaking his head and lowering his voice, “You should ensure you submit anyway, but just so you know if I needed free sex I know where to get it and most definitely not from a deranged woman like you.” He angrily said as he stormed off.

What had she done!

Throughout the night she could not sleep, she tried to explain what happened to Anna and Funso. Anna supported her actions while Funso advised her to apologize. She wanted to believe that he only said what he said because she had lashed out at his “original intentions” but on the other hand, for some reason, she was sure he was sincere.

* * * *

Mum I just want to get married to a beautiful woman like you.” Gboyega said over the phone, has he tried to divert his mother’s attention from discussing his marital status. His mother had called him early this morning to talk about marriage and grandbabies. If she had her way, he would be a father before travelling for his MBA. She feared he had now lost his interest in women since he got saved.

“Adegboyega oko mi, everything is not all about beauty when a woman does not have good attitude or manners no matter how physically blessed she is, she would rebel against you.” His mother continued on the phone obviously not distracted with her son’s tactics.

Gboyega groaned, this was becoming a topic for most of their conversations these days, he was just twenty six years old and was in his final year in the university yet his mother was already insinuating that he should get married. “But Mum how would you know a woman who has a bad character? We just see their faces these days, and I really want to have what you and Dad share, you know that kind of love.” He placated her.

His mother responded immediately, “You would meet a better woman than me, no woman is perfect but you must ensure she is a Christian. Even though your father and I married as unbelievers because we did not know better, I thank God that in the last two years you have come to receive Christ, you understand the meaning of not being unequally yoked.”

“Okay ma. How was your trip to Addis Ababa?” Gboyega tried to distract her again.

This time, she fell for the bait. She started discussing the rigors of the trip and other events that took place during the trip, she finally finished her tirade and decided to end the call, but not before telling him to consider their earlier discussion.

Scoffing, Gboyega strode out of the car pack towards his department. Remembering again how that so-called girl called Nike looked at him as if he was a piece of shit beneath her shoes, he could not help but hold unto his resolve to leave relationship matter till when he got back from Canada. At first he was impressed that she was not attracted to him as a person as he first thought. That had hardened his resolve to help her, but he had gotten only insult for his trouble. Though he knew that he should not have asked anything in return, if kindness is expected to be repaid it is no longer kindness, however he had just wanted to clear the air or any misjudgment she had about him.

But another trait common to ladies these days, when a man is nice to them, it is assumed he wanted to flirt with them.

Everyone was entitled to their own opinion of him while he was to walk in love towards them. But even after consoling himself with these words, he still felt bitter as he thought about her words.

On getting to his faculty’s basement he saw his past clique of friends shouting loudly. He would have avoided them as he had always done in the past, neglecting them all the time would not help in encouraging them to receive the new life in Christ he now enjoyed.

“Ree-Dee baba what’s up now? My guy you no dey show face again for our usual spot.” One of his past friends known as Baby Face said in Pidgin English immediately he got closer.

Gboyega shook his head as he greeted all the guys before sitting down, he turned towards Baby Face and said ‘Guy show face for where? And I don dey tell you my name no be Ree-Dee na Adegboyega.”

“Please excuse me.” A familiar voice said at his back.

Gboyega turned back immediately at the sound of the voice, just to come face to face with Nike. Talk about a bad morning! Can this morning get any worse?

Nike waved at the guys who were all looking at her with keen interest, she turned back to Gboyega. “Ree-Dee I need to see you”

Gboyega scowled at her continuous use of past his nickname. “My name is not Ree-Dee.”

“Sorry Mr...” Nike looked at him waiting for him to supply his name again.

“Adegboyega,” Tony interjected, he was amused with the whole charade, if this was one of the reasons why Gboyega became a Christian past two years, he would not mind following him to church. The young lady was very beautiful and had cute dimples, as he remembered her from the other day.

“Please can I see you Adegboyega?” Nike continued.

Gboyega shook his head. “For what? Do you want to continue your insults again?” He said harshly.

Nike shook her head immediately, looking round at the guys who were all looking between Gboyega and herself, if he did not mind her saying what happened before his friends then so be it. “I just wanted to apologize for what happened yesterday, I did not mean to call you….”

Gboyega interrupted her abruptly. “Can we talk over there?” He motioned to the other side of the basement. He was mortified; seriously this lady had claws she wanted to disgrace him in front of his friends. He definitely won’t have been able to live it down.

Turning to her when they got out of the hearing of his friends, he tried to calm his nerves as he asked her evenly. “Where you really going to bring up yesterday’s scenario in front of those guys?”

Nike shrugged indifferently and said, “You did not give me any other choice, so I thought you did not mind.”

Gboyega shook his head as he stared at her in wonder. “And so all you could think of was to talk about it in front of my friends?”

He sat down beside her and waited for her response.

Nike looked elsewhere avoiding his scrutiny, she did not bargain for all this drama. “I just wanted to say sorry, and I know I would not have the courage to do so again.” She mumbled the words together.

Gboyega smiled at her stubborn stance, he found her reluctant admission of guilt to be endearing. “I thought you know that what you said was wrong”.

Nike looked up and defended herself, “I never said that…”

Gboyega cut in, “…So are you trying to tell me what you said was right?”

“See, Gboyega I am trying to make peace. Your reputation is not that good and I just thought you meant something else but I am very sorry and I really appreciate what you did for me. I have been able to submit and that is all thanks to you” Nike held her hands up as she rushed out the apology.

“What an apology! Anyway I am happy I could help you, and yesterday I just wanted to clear the air. I didn’t have any kind of intention in mind. I am also sorry for shouting at you yesterday. But even I can’t insinuate such things being a Christian as well.” He said casually as he stood up and straightened.

Nike shrugged, who was he deceiving? Christian indeed! “I would try to keep that in mind, let me be on my way now I have a class to be in.”

“Alright then, have a nice day.” He stepped back to let her pass.

Women! You just cannot understand them, yesterday she was rude but today she was acting like butter could not melt in her mouth. However she did not even believe that he was a Christian, behind all the smiles and apology he saw a spitfire.

This was not a girl he would want to mess with, not now that he had gotten a better life. He walked back to his friends.

Ree-Dee if this na the reason you dey go church, I no go mind follow you. Where you get d babe from?” Segun one of the guys shouted immediately he sat down.

Tony added mischievously, “Na yesterday I meet the sexy babe o, Gbo…”

Gboyega cut in angrily. “…Guys that is enough! She is not even my friend.”

Segun continued, not bothered with his outburst, “Abeg forget that side, if you no do abeg send her to my tent oo.”

“Would you guys just stop, there is nothing happening and she is not that kind of girl.” Gboyega tried to explain to them.

Baby Face tried to join the conversation, “Ree-Dee but that babe…”

Gboyega interrupted him before he said any other trashy statement about her, “…Enough! I said I want you guys to stop. If this is the nonsense you people want to continue doing just count me out and I am repeating it again, my name is Adegboyega Hilma Benson not Ree-Dee.” He picked up his bag as he left the basement in anger, he should not have bothered sitting with them they were not ready to change and they kept sullying his already tainted image.

One of the guys called out as he left, “Gboyega it has not gotten to that now.”


DURING the service on Sunday, Nike received a note from the senior pastor. He had asked her to wait for a brief meeting. She did not know what Pastor Mike wanted with her but it definitely must be something trivial. He hardly accosted her for personal reasons after service when other members were present.

Thirty minutes after the service, Mike finally walked up to where she sat waiting for him with her head bowed. “Nike, how have you been?” Mike asked as he put his hands around Nike’s shoulders as if they were longtime friends catching up. To those left in the fellowship’s auditorium, it would seem the pastor and his ex-fiancée were getting back together.

Nike smiled, stood up and moved out of arm’s length. “I am fine sir and the service was great.”

Mike shook his head, obviously displeased with her attitude as he chided her, “You never cease to amaze me Nike. What do you intend to achieve with all these childish tantrums you put up? I expected you to have grown out of this. I offended you by playing rough with Sophie and I apologized, yet you have failed to forgive me. If we were married is this how you would hold grudge unnecessarily till God’s kingdom comes?”

Nike shook her head at his rebuke. Mike has still not seen anything wrong as a Christian with what he did with Sophia. If it was just about her feelings, she would have forgiven him and moved on but he was not ready to let go of some bad traits. “Playing rough?” She cocked her head sideways and said, “Is that what it is called these days? You were caught in your underwear kissing and fondling another woman’s body parts, yet you call that playing rough, Pastor Mike.”

“Do no raise your voice, there are people around.”

Mike looked around to see if anyone had heard them. People were obviously looking at them but they were not within hearing distance. Nike shook her head at his obvious discomfort; he was more concerned about what people thought about him than actually doing the right thing.

“So much for rough play” she laughed bitterly. “I have forgiven you a long time ago, but we will not get back together if that’s why you called this meeting with me, my future is set”.

Mike pulled her closer and held her hands as he whispered, “You cannot mean that, I do not believe that you can forget what we shared. We made plans Nike, how can you say you have a future without me being in it?”

“Are you for real? Wake up Mike! The world does not revolve around you.”

Nike pulled her hands back and stomped out of the auditorium, not caring that she was making a scene. This was not the first time people gossiped about her anyway and it would never be the last. If anyone of them wanted to be with Mike, they could be her guest.

Funso looked up and saw Nike rushing out of the auditorium without looking back. She had been waiting for her outside to finish her meeting with Pastor Mike, so that they could go to the hostel together. The person she had been waiting for did not even acknowledge her; definitely the meeting had not ended well.

“Nike! Nike!! Nike!!!” Funso shouted as she ran after her, “Wait now, you know I am on heels. Nike!”

“What is it?” Nike turned around in anger and shouted.

“Wow” Funsho moved back and raised her hands. “What has our beloved Pastor Mike done again?”

Nike instead of replying started crying as they both started walking slowly to the bus stop to get bike back to the hostel. This was a common occurrence every time she had a meeting with Pastor Mike. She had given two years of her life to Mike and yet she did not even have anything to show for it, it was as if she had been blind to his misdeeds. Not only was he into illicit sexual affairs with church members but he also had serious addiction with pornographic materials. The stories she later heard from a lady that left the fellowship some time ago, was what made her to know that she had been overlooking his obvious shortcomings.

Funso walked closer to her friend and hugged her, “You cannot seriously be shedding tears for that guy? Babe please you know he does not deserve any version of your tears, either crocodile or genuine. Just wipe those tears and tell me about the new episode of Pastor Mike’s drama.” she said trying to make her laugh.

Nike sniffed and started laughing. “You are not serious Funso.”

“You can have me no other way baby”

Nike re-accounted her ordeal to Funso, who kept quiet throughout, though by her facial expression and the clenching of her fist she would have dealt with Mike herself if he was close by.

Funso looked at her and said, “I have said it, that a man flows in the gift of the spirit does not mean he is spiritually matured. That guy seriously needs help, he being the fellowship pastor should have helped matters, but it has just gotten into his head. He believes all it takes is just quoting scriptures. I pray he finds help before it is too late because that guy is a walking time bomb’.”

Nike smiled sadly as she wiped the traces of tears from her face. , “I just want him to leave me alone. I am tired of his constant insults; he is always picking on me during all executives’ meeting and even then I have to be careful in responding to his remarks.”

Funso held out her hands as she pulled Nike over a large gutter. “Babe obviously you are the matured one, you cannot disrespect authority no matter what happens. Even though I do not like what he is doing to you but he is still our pastor. Do your best to avoid confrontation with him and if it continues report to a higher authority like the fellowship’s patron He is just acting out because he cannot handle rejection, the guy wants to be the one to walk down the aisle with you.”

“If and when I decide to get married, I would marry a man who loves God more than himself.”

Na so!” Funso coughed and cleared her throat mischievously.

“What? Why are you coughing?”

Funso cleared her throat again, “Hmmph, what about Ree-Dee?”

Nike tried to stare her down. “What happened to Ree-Dee?”

“You know what I am talking about.” Funso pushed her shoulders lightly as she started whistling.

Nike shook her head at the obvious insinuation of Funso’s questions. She had explained her encounter with Gboyega to Funso, and Funso in her usual manner was already creating a fairy tale story about the both of them.

“He is just my friend or better still an acquaintance. You seriously do not think I would go out with Ree-Dee?”

“Why not?” Funso screeched.

Dur, because he is an acquaintance and he is Ree-Dee, though point of correction he prefers to be called Gboyega.” She remembered the last time she spoke with him; he had strong opposition to the use of the name ‘Ree-Dee’. “My name is not Ree-Dee,” he had angrily said.

Funso smirked. “So you are on first name basis now? I don’t know what is wrong with this guy because the last I heard, he is now a born again Christian.”

Nike turned sharply as they both stopped at the junction for motor bikes. “Na so! Born again indeed! All na wash Funsho!”

Funsho looked towards the other side of T-junction for motor bikes; she spotted Ree-Dee opposite Alima’s Supermarket as he walked towards his car with paper bags. Today could not have gotten any better than this; she smiled and said to Nike pointing to the other side. “Talking of an angel, is that not Ree-Dee?”

Without waiting for Nike to respond, she started waving and shouting hysterically, “Ree-Dee! Ree-Dee!!”

Nike looked towards the supermarket and saw Gboyega beside his car dressed in a navy blue sweat shirt and trousers. She beat the hands of Funso as she continued waving at Gboyega who got into his car. “Can you just stop embarrassing your ancestors? He cannot even hear you.”

Gboyega had gotten into his car and was now driving toward them. She smirked at Nike “You were saying?”

Nike looked towards the supermarket and saw his car backing out of the park and heading toward them. She suddenly became nervous and tried to pull Funso away before he got to them. “Babe let us just take bike home, I don’t know your obsession with this guy.”

“Is it your obsession? You are free to take bike home.” Funso adjusted herself and looked at Nike, “But as for me and my beautiful self, we are entering an AC fitted car this afternoon.”

Nike tried again to convince Funso as she held unto her hands to persuade her, “I don’t think it is right…..”

“Hello ladies.” Gboyega called out has he parked beside them.

* * * *| *

You are the lion and the lamb, the word of the father, forever you would be the same,” Gboyega sang as he opened the back seat of his car to drop the goods he bought from Alima’s Supermarket. He heard his name from a distance, looking up he sighted Nike and her friend standing at the other side, probably waiting for a bike.

Can today just get any worse? This was the lady he had been trying to avoid. He had met self-righteous people like her; so he knew they would never accept a Saul in their gathering. He smiled ruefully as the lady beside Nike continued shouting his past nickname hysterically. He saw Nike talking to the lady, against his better judgment he decided to drive towards them. It would have just been rude to drive off without acknowledging them.Why did he even care?

As he got to the T-Junction, he parked and got down. He saw Nike trying to pull her friend across the road, so she did not want to see him. He smirked, too bad that he was here now.

“Hello ladies.” Gboyega greeted and flashed a charming smile when he got to them.

Funso pulled herself away from Nike and ran to meet Gboyega as if he was her long lost friend, while Nike looked away. “Gboyega good afternoon how was church service?’

“Good afternoon Miss…” He raised his eyebrows in question.

“…Funso” She extended her hand for a handshake “I am Nike’s best friend, I have heard so much about you.” Funsho gushed like a school girl.

Nike whipped her hair angrily to the left and shouted, “Really?”

“Yes really. Is he not the one that helped with your assignment?” She said innocently. “I never said all I heard is from you, so stop being defensive.”

Gboyega looked between the ladies and tried not to smile as Nike tried to regain her composure, all the while avoiding his eyes.

She turned awkwardly to Gboyega, taking in his outlandish dressing as she looked at him. How can someone be this fine for just Sunday service? He looked more like someone stepping out of a GQ magazine front cover photo shoot rather than church.

“Good afternoon Mr Gboyega. How are you and how was service?” she said politely.

“Good afternoon Miss Nike.” Gboyega copied her formal tone as he held her gaze. “I am fine and service was great.”

“Oh that’s great! Let’s not keep you out here in the sun. Babe let’s go” she dragged Funso who was already pouting along.

“I can drop you if you don’t mind” He suggested.

Shaking her head vehemently, “We’d prefer not to bother you, we’d just…”

“…It is no bother at all” Gboyega cut in, “I was going to drop something off for my friend Tony too so I would just drop you off as well.”

“You see, madam, it’s his route, let’s go” Funso hurried back towards his car and stood by it. Nike reluctantly joined them. He opened the door for them and drove off.

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