Mr Afebioye was getting ready for the house fellowship which he usually hosted every Sunday evening. His neighbours had complained endlessly about the disturbance at a time when they relaxed in preparation for the coming week but he couldn’t be bothered. He knew he could prevail on his guests to be more considerate of his neighbours and say their prayers under their breath but he wanted to make sure that his neighbours heard the word of the Lord even though they had refused to honour his invitation. He smiled as he looked at his outline for discussion, they would be discussing temperance today.
Banke was sweating profusely. They had just had a meal of steaming hot amala and vegetable soup, she had been dreaming of the meal throughout the entire service and it had been worth the wait. Kunle got a handfan, agitating the still air as much as he could to make sure that his wife felt some relief.
“Sorry dear.” He sighed, “I look forward to the day when we will have constant electricity supply in this country.”
“I hope it comes soon.” Banke said wearily.
“I’m going to turn on the generator, I can’t bear to see you this way anymore.” He said rising.
“No, no! We have to think of our neighbours. No one else has their generator on you know? We just moved in, I wouldn’t want us to create a wrong first impression.”
“Are you sure?” He said doubtfully, looking at his already naked and sweaty wife.
“Brethren I want us to pray for our children!” Mr Afebioye was saying in a thunderous voice. “Let us ask the Lord to remove every spirit of fornication in them. Young people nowadays have no self-control, cohabiting before marriage and getting pregnant out of wedlock. Abomination in the sight of the Lord! Lift up your voices and pray for your children so that they will not be consumed. Prayers in the name of Jesus!”
The members chorused: “In Jesus’ name, in the mighty name of Jesus!” and then the rumbling of their intercessions began.
Kunle was furious, how dare they? He looked at his dumbstruck wife, her face was full of shame.
“I’m going to turn on the generator” he said quietly and left the room.
Olayinka laughed. “I don’t believe he just did that! That man is crazy, I’m sure he invited them and they said no.”
Effiong shook his head disapprovingly, he wasn’t amused. “The things people do in the name of religion.”
“Well, something good has come out of this because I’m sure that from now on, our new neighbours will be turning on their generator every Sunday afternoon! Someone has broken the jinx!” She said and laughed heartily. “Effiong dear, please put on the generator. Ah! Thank God!” She said and stretched out on the bed.
Effiong took one look at his wife, wondering how she could be so flippant and got up.
“What a relief!” Helen said as the cold air from the air conditioning blew on her damp skin. The kids had settled down on the rug eagerly waiting for the cable TV to scan. Obiora walked in and sat down on the couch beside his wife.
“Everyone has their generator on! Can you believe it? It’s almost as if we were all waiting for someone to lead the revolution.” He said chuckling.
“Mummy what is fornication?” Onyebuchi their first son asked.
“Er… Where did you hear that from?” Helen asked.
“Daddy Dotun just said it at their house fellowship.”
“Oh dear!” Helen mumbled looking to her husband for help.
“Well, Buchi it’s … it’s actually an adult thing.” He began.
Ronke Afebioye was angry, how long would she keep up with this man who was always poking trouble?
“Dear, you shouldn’t have said what you said during the fellowship. You know they would have heard you.” She said timidly.
Dapo hissed and shook his head disapprovingly. “I can always trust you to say something foolish. It is my house and I can say whatever I like. Besides, darkness and light cannot stand together and I will always proclaim the good news, even if you of all people discourage me.” He said angrily. How dare she challenge his spiritual authority? He picked up his phone, he had to call a compound meeting. They had to address the issues of the use of generators during his house fellowships, they had completely thrown him off balance with it and he had had to shout above the din. It was an unspoken rule that no one used their generators on Sunday afternoons. He dialed Kunle’s number, he had started the raucous, the call rang out. He tried again, the same thing happened. He huffed, the boy had chosen not to take his call, the battle line had been drawn.
Meanwhile Ronke was hurt, Dapo was always putting her down. She lay on her side thinking about how things were between them before they got married. He had always been this way, she had just refused to acknowledge it. The man had no respect for her.
“Are you sleeping?” Dapo asked in the darkness. She didn’t respond, she knew what he wanted and she was in no mood for it.
“Ronke!” He called. She was just awake, how could she have fallen asleep so soon? He shook her shoulders.
“My dear…” She still didn’t respond. He turned on his side and mumbled something incoherent.
Ronke pouted, the man couldn’t always have what he wanted.