If you have never been in a situation, you can hardly say for sure what you will do…
I stopped running 🏃. I saw two figures in front of me. I recognized one of them to had been my co passenger. You remember the guy with the nylon bag containing bread? Yeah. He was the one. I quickly ran towards him as he was about entering Okunola Road. Close to the Road, there was a big church. I could not make out the entrance of the church. So I asked him. ‘Good evening. Please do you know the entrance to the church?’ We walked down a little further. We could not find the entrance. On listening closely, there was no sound coming from the church. I asked if he knew any other church. He said there was one close to his house. I asked again if he had any idea if they held vigils, but he said he didn’t know.
We started walking down the street. As we walked, we began to discuss. He asked me where I was supposed to be heading to. I told him Igando. He said the area was not as safe as Okunola.
We saw different churches as we walked by. There was no sign of vigil. Then, he began to suggest that I pass the night at his place. What! A total stranger? I don’t know him from Adam. He was like I could stay and have a place to rest. ‘It is quite difficult. I don’t know you from Adam.’ He acted as though his suggestion was a normal one. He didn’t seem to see a big deal in it.
I was contemplating it. Many things were running through my mind. ‘If I don’t die this night or get sexually assaulted, nothing can harm me again.’
I must tell you, in my worry, I felt peace. Strange but true. Else, I would not have had the courage to take the decision I took.
We continued walking. I saw a church. Vigil was going on quite alright, but the door was locked. It was a small church. I could pass it for a Yoruba Church. You would say, you could have gone in like that. Yes, but I didn’t.
We kept walking down to his place hoping to get to the church he said was close to his house. By this time, the heavens had opened the floodgate. It was beginning to shower. Then I saw the church I thought he was talking about from a distance. There was crowd outside. I could not tell what was going on. Where they coming in? Where they going out? Or had they finished service? All these questions I could not answer.
Mr stranger, who later gave me his name as Tunde still suggested I stayed in his place. I was beginning to give it a thought, plus the fact that I felt peace. We took another turn to a street. There was another church holding vigil. It was a white garment Church. By that time, I had concluded I would go with Tunde. The rain became heavier. He suggested I put my handbag inside his back pack to avoid getting drenched.
It was expected that every residence’s gate would be locked at that ungodly hour of to 1am. Therefore, it was not surprising when we got to his house and the gate was locked. He dialed his neighbor’s line. It rang twice. Apparently, it was too late for some people to be awake at that time. On the third dial, she picked up. Her name is mama Deborah or so. I can’t really remember. She came to the gate. Tunde apologized for waking her up. She opened up and we entered the compound. There was another door leading to the main house. He told me he was going behind to knock at someone’s window, so they could open up. There are different apartments in the compound and Mama Deborah was not staying in the same building with. I waited outside for him. Two of his neighbors came out. I told the man that inquired that he went to call out for the door to be opened. He came back and I told him that the door was already opened. I eased myself outside and we went in. It was a single room apartment (face me I face you). He kept apologizing that his room was unkempt. That was not really my business. All I thought about was my safety with a total stranger.
I sat on the chair. I thought about my mum. Her degree of worry worried me. I prayed in my heart for God to keep her.
Tunde kept telling me to feel at home. He offered me food and drink. I declined. They were the least of my worries. He offered me soap. For what na? He said I should bath if I wanted to. Bath kwa? In this situation? Lai lai!
He tried to calm me down as much as he could. He offered me the bed but I declined. Instead, I took a pillow from the bed, placed it on the chair and rested my head on it. He then again offered to give me a change of clothes. I was drenched. I declined yet again. He noticed my tension. He told me to feel free , that he was not going to take advantage of me and that I could be his sister. That sort of gave me relief. Wait o, am I too trusting or do I just trust God too much for safety? You make your pick.
He went out to have his bath. I brought out my phone, switched it on and opened my Bible. I ready my favorite verse on safety Proverbs 21:31. I felt confident. I prayed. He came back and changed into a white jalamia. I was beginning to get cold, so I asked for a change of cloth. He offered me another jalamia and went outside while I changed. There are still a few good men right?
I finished changing, and he came in. He offered me the bed again. I was tired. I needed to sleep. I obliged this time. He gave me his bread, I ate a little and drank from my remaining coke. I lay on the bed. He had brought out his mat to pray. SURPRISED?! OH YES! HE IS A MUSLIM.
He said I could pray too, that I should do whatever I used to do and feel comfortable. He further said that he was going to join me in my own prayer when he finished his. True to his word, he joined me to pray, not after asking me permission to sleep on the bed. Shooo.. I go say no before? Na your house na.
I told him to just say ‘amen’. I shared the Grace while he repeated after me. Before then, he brought out his laptop for me to charge my phone. I sent my mother a text message that I was fine.
After the prayer, we got talking. I was feeling sleepy but I could not sleep. We talked like we had known each other for long. We talked about religion, family, music, his life, mine, everything. I got to find out that he is an only child (mother) like me. He told me he schooled at Yaba Tech. and that morning, he was going to write his final paper. He is also working in a reputable organization. We continued talking like friends.
Ok, the thing about me is that I am very easy to talk to. I make the atmosphere always conducive for discussion.If you know me well, think about the first day we met. My guess is that we talked like we had known each other. I don’t know if that is a good or a bad thing. But I do know that , for this story, it was not too good a thing. It brought up another story yet again…
*Oh my! I thought this would be the final episode but it is really long and there is still so much to be told.
What happened next? Did I sleep? Are there really a few good men out there? Watch out for the final episode.*