Shadows Part 1

Hello everyone! It’s November 2 and a new series begins today as promised! This one is tilted “Shadows.” Please read, share and don’t forget to subscribe to my website and like my Facebook page (if you haven’t already).

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The service had just ended and the congregation filed out of the hall. Children ran up to the stage, women sat in clusters and men stood talking seriously.

“That’s how I weaned my baby o!” one woman said to another.

“Just send your CV, I’ll forward it to my guy in HR.” A well-dressed man said to another well-dressed man.

“Mummy, Teni ate my biscuit!” one child complained to his mother.

“This one is 50k, but I can bring the other one next week Sunday.” A lady said to a group of women who were engrossed in the human hair on display.

In the midst of this Rotimi Holder sat in his chair swiping on the screen of his iPad. His wife Kayinsola was holding their son and talking to a group of women. It had been a nice service and he felt refreshed. He glanced once again at the list of things he had made a commitment to do.

“Hey…” His wife greeted, sitting down.

“Hi. Are we ready?”

‘Yes, I just need to give Gbemi some money.”

“Okay so I should wait in the car for you?”

“Yeah. Emm… can you take Damola?”

“Sure. But don’t be long o.” He warned.

Kayinsola laughed. “I promise I won’t.”

**********

Rotimi listened to the new CD he had bought during the week as he reclined in his chair. Damola was asleep in his carseat and his mind drifted off to work and the things he needed to do in the coming week. Someone tapped on the window. It was Leke, his unit member.

“Hey, what’s up?”

“Can I come in sir?”

“Sure!” Rotimi replied, unlocking the central lock.

“Good afternoon sir.”

“Yeah. What’s up?” he asked again.

Leke exhaled, wondering how to begin. “I have something… there’s something I want to discuss with you sir.”

Rotimi smiled. “Okay first of all, stop calling me sir.”

Leke laughed uneasily. “Ah let me call you ‘sir’!”

Rotimi decided to let it go, it was one of the cons of being a leader in church. Besides, Leke already looked uncomfortable and he wanted to hear what he had to say.

“Actually, I don’t really know where to begin…” Leke was already debating the wisdom in what he was about to do. What if it backfired?

“Start from the beginning.” Rotimi urged.

“I kind of need your advice. The thing is, I took some money from my company’s account and framed someone else. The guy has been sacked now. He is a family man and I know that it would be difficult for him to get another job. My conscience won’t let me rest, should I give the guy some money? What do I do?”

For several seconds, Rotimi didn’t say anything and Leke began to regret his decision. He had come to discuss with Leke because he was the only one he had felt wouldn’t judge him. Now, it looked like he had been wrong about Rotimi after all.

Rotimi’s mind was in a frenzy, he kept reminding himself to calm down and not judge. Leke was an embezzler and he was part of the church’s financial team? He couldn’t help but think of the possibility that he could have stolen from the church as well. How could someone who looked so decent and easygoing have done something so callous? Say something!

He smiled stiffly. “Okay, first of all, I want you to remember that God loves you no matter what you’ve done. Do you still have the money you took?”

Leke laughed humorlessly. “That’s what I used to build my house!”

Rotimi remembered his testimony about the house two months ago. “You need to tell your company what you’ve done.”

“Ah, I can’t do that! I’ll most likely go to prison and lose everything!”

“What about the innocent man who has lost everything because of what you did.”

Leke shook his head violently as if he was struggling with the suggestion. “I can’t do that… I can’t… my fiancée will leave me… the embarrassment.”

“Leke what about the innocent man who has lost his job?”

“Can’t I give him some money?”

“You mean can’t you pay him off? Even if you give him money, what about his reputation? How much difference will that make? Or are you ready to be giving him a monthly stipend?”

“I can’t confess, I can’t lose everything. I’ve asked God to forgive me, isn’t that enough?” Leke said almost angrily.

“God has forgiven you but you need to do the right thing.”

At that moment, Kayinsola returned.

“Good afternoon Mr Leke! How is everything?”

“Fine ma.”

“And how are you enjoying your mansion? Na you dey reign o!”

Leke forced a smile. “Ah, it’s God ma!”

Rotimi smiled tightly. “Are you ready?” he said to his wife.

“Yes.”

“Okay, give me a few minutes.”

“Okay.” Kayinsola chirped, taking the opportunity to go and chat with a friend.

“You need to do the right thing Leke.” Rotimi said as soon as she was gone.

“I’ll think about it.” Leke said unhappily.

**********

Rotimi tossed and turned in the bed. The dream was always the same. The large eyes that had turned from anger to shock, the screaming and the sound of a child’s repetitive laughter haunted him again.

Where do you think you’re going?!!! The shadow yelled, chasing after him.

He felt someone shaking his shoulder. “Rotimi! Rotimi! Are you okay?”

He woke up panting.

“Are you okay? You were moaning. What kind of dream were you having?”

He waved his hands dismissively. “I’m ok.”

“’You’re okay? You didn’t sound okay to me. You kept crying for help.”

“I did?” Rotimi asked surprised.

“Talk to me, let me know what you dreamt.”

“I’m okay really, it was one of those senseless dreams and I’m sure it’s because I’ve been watching some horror movies lately. Let’s sleep. I’m fine, trust me.”

They lay back to sleep but Rotimi’s eyes were wide awake. The dream was back again after ten years.

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