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Online Romance

Episode 02.

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I had just shut my eyes when my phone rang inside the room. It would be a crime for anyone in my house to receive calls once devotion was on, except my dad, of course. He justified his right to take calls at any time to his profession.
‘I’m a medical doctor,’ he would say, looking around as if to see if anyone will counter his assertion, ‘and sometimes emergencies come up.’

My mum would laugh sarcastically, but would say nothing. I and Ivie would eye ourselves, but say nothing too.
I listened until it stopped ringing; it’s tone seemingly louder than the singing around me. I squinted to peep at those around me. Others, including even Eseosa, were fully immersed in the task at hand. What was wrong with me? Why was I finding it so difficult to concentrate? The harder I tried to concentrate, the more distractions arose in my mind. I wondered who the caller was, I wondered if Ivie wasn’t faking her pained facial expression as she led in worship, I wondered what Eseosa could actually be thinking. So many thoughts crisscrossed my mind. Then, I remembered Tricia Ogbemudia, the beautiful lady that had sent me a friend request. Her surname was popular, the immediate past Senator representing us bore same name. Could she be his daughter or was it another Ogbemudia? I remembered having a jotter with the former senator’s portrait; I would have loved to check if there was any resemblance. I would have loved to do it that moment, but for the morning devotion. Why was I finding it so difficult to concentrate on the task at hand?

My thoughts were interrupted when the worship session ended and the praises commenced. The clapping and energetic singing rendered my thoughts disjointed. Thank God, I thought, He was proving Himself more powerful after all.

I joined in the clapping and tried to raise my voice even higher than the song leader’s. Eseosa, sensing a contest, raised her voice even higher. In spite of all our best efforts, my dad’s voice still boomed through. How he did it, I didn’t know. It was so effortless. I could still notice some pitch variations, but it was no longer as pronounced as it had been during the worship session. The only time he seemed in his musical elements was when the song in question was a native one. He had never sung a classical song in the presence of any of us, his children. How we wished he would, at least for once. All he did was to occasionally sing some tonic sol-fa, the accuracy of which I couldn’t readily confirm. I was still learning the piano and didn’t know the sol-fas offhand. Who knew if those weren’t incorrect too?

After some minutes of singing praises, my mum did the Bible Exposition; it was on a topic that had to do with Samson’s love for strange women. I half-listened as my thoughts returned to Tricia Ogbemudia. I hoped my mum will be through soon so I could go and accept the request and possibly start chatting with her immediately. I was surprised when all eyes turned in my direction suddenly. What was wrong?
‘Are you deaf, my friend?’ Dad asked, looking at me angrily. We only became his friends when we had done something he found offending.
‘Uhmm?’ I muttered in surprise.
‘I asked you a question,’ mum said gently, ‘does it mean you haven’t been listening?’
I nodded and shook my head, smiling stupidly. My dad’s stare made the smile disappear instantly. In its place was what I was sure would be a look of uncertainty.
‘Mum asked what you would have done had you been in Samson’s shoes after Delilah’s first betrayal?’
Oh, so it was just that? The smile returned as I prodded my memory for the complete story of Samson. I was never scared of answering questions once the answers were available. I had good diction – many friends had told me so in the past. I cleared my throat.

To Be Continued… . . .

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