A SHORT STORY BY FOLAKEMI ADUFE JOLAOSO
You woke up this morning still slightly depressed by the thought of what transpired between you and Mama Labake. What is most saddening is that statement. That statement you have come to hate profusely. And you call yourself a pastor’s wife! You did not want those words to keep ringing, but, they did the exact opposite.
Because it is Sunday, a day that doesn’t permit you to be your true self, you cannot afford to be sad for long. So, you wrap your feelings and leave the remnant for the night, where darkness and silence will encourage you to be true.
Your husband comes in from the study and begins to complain that you have not started dressing for church. You know your gele takes time, he says. You do not respond, because you are angry.
You mount the pulpit to lead prayers; to make the path straight for the man of God who will come up after you to preach. You start by singing. You always start singing. Then, the tears pour. Although the congregation joins you to sing tearfully, you wish your reasons were the same.
The steps of people walking from the congregation toward the pulpit slowly jerks you back to reality. You check your note and stare at the title of the message; then you look up to watch as healings occur. You sigh, not for the thought of needing healing yourself, but how impossible it is for you to be in that line, with the congregation.
You decide not to stay to see people after the church service. As you head out towards the other wing of the auditorium, you remember that you should apologize to Mama Labake, to maintain the sanity of your conscience.
Mama Labake, good afternoon ma. I sincerely want to apologize for what happened the other day. I promise it won’t happen again. You say. You do not expect her response. So you leave. Then she calls out; I am sorry too. You look back; you see that her facial expression meant to say something. Something with which she could dispose of you without being outrightly disapproving. It’s okay. You say, then turn away.
When your husband arrives at home, you narrate the whole Mama Labake episode to him. He says that he is proud of you. You asked him what exactly he is proud of. He says because you did what Jesus would have done.
Deep in your heart, you know the truth. You know that he is proud because you acted like a pastor’s wife; a proper one.
Folakemi Adufe Jolaoso is a fiction writer and a passionate nutritionist that graduated from the University of Ibadan, in Nigeria. Her works explore various themes and notably, topics centered on combating social injustices, expressing women’s experiences, gender, social stratification, and racism. Her writing style is descriptive and filled with imageries that allow her readers to partake in the narrative of her works. Folakemi draws inspiration to write from people around her and through observation of daily livings in whichever environment she finds herself.
Folakemi currently resides in Abuja, Nigeria and in her spare time, she enjoys traveling and reading African Literature.