Fortunately, or unfortunately for Alex, Ejike had received an urgent call and had to leave the club. Earlier, Nora had gone back outside to bring Alex in, and Alex sat with Ejike, trying to make sense of everything that was happening.
“So you work at that Bank. I know your MD. He’s an old classmate. Dunt worry, I will give you the money. Is N25 million good enough?” Ejike had said.
It was weird having to pretend like she did not know his wife was Joan or his daughter was Rhoda. Ejike received the call and Alex had heard him say something about going to block the Deputy Governor of his home town at a guest house, before he left Lagos the next morning.
As Nora drove back to the house, Mafikizolo’s Khona played on repeat in the car. Nora loved the song. Alex always wondered what she liked about it, since no one knew the meaning of the lyrics. Alex’s own question was answered when she began to unconsciously dance a sitting position Azonto as the beats played through the powerful speakers. Nora glanced at her and laughed.
“You’re falling in love with the song too, eh?”
“Don’t worry about Ejike. He will fulfill his promise but you have to be good to him too. Bankole said Ejike can even do more for you. I’m planning to quit my job soon, and open a personal business. I think you should start saving towards same. Marketing can kill person, abeg.” Nora said.
Alex smiled, nodded, and looked out the window as they approached Law school.
That night, Alex couldn’t find any sleep. She had been thinking about what she was about to get herself into, and decided she would not do it. It was better she went to her mother humbly, like the prodigal daughter she was, and apologized. What would it cost her?
It was Sunday Morning, and Nora had insisted on catching more sleep but Alex had forced her out of bed. Since she had moved in with Nora, they hadn’t been to church much, and her conscience was beginning to prick her bit by bit. Nora finally agreed, and got dressed.
They were a little late and had missed praise and worship, but were just in time for the Choir’s ministration. That was Alex’s best part. She loved her church choir and was even considering joining them but she always claimed she didn’t have time for Choir practice.
Nora had looked entirely bored, as the choir sang Donald Mc.Lawrence’s There is a King in you. Alex ignored her, and as usual, stood up and joined the choir in singing the song.
“You come from royalty, an aristocratic dynasty, the goal of the enemy is that you don’t know who you are…
There’s power when you speak…”
The choir got to a part of the song that Alex didn’t know. She looked around and saw that she was the only one on her row that had stood up. She sat down quickly, to avoid any shame of chopping mouth. Nora had noticed though, and laughed at her.
The Minister came on the pulpit, and the church began to clap. He was a UK based guest minister who had been invited by the Church Pastor. Alex liked the Church pastor's sermons, but decided she would as well listen to what the guest minister had to say.
“We are talking about Realising who you are in Christ Jesus.” He started. Some people were already writing down the topic in their journals and iPads.
The guest minister brought out something from his inner pocket. The church camera projected it on the screen. It was a one pound coin.
Nora had been pinging someone on her phone, but she heard him mention the coin, and she remembered she had been tossing one sometime ago. She began to give the sermon some attention.
“I want to use this small but important legal tender, to pass a message across to someone today.
You see, the coin seems so small, but it is equivalent to about two hundred and fifty naira, depending on the exchange rate presently. So it’s not as inconsequential as you might think. I actually didn’t even remember I had it with me but once upon a time, I had been so broke that this one pound would have gotten me an item in my grocery list at the Pound shop in the United Kingdom.”
“Where is he going with this?” She nudged Alex.
“Just listen jo.” Alex whispered.
“There are two sides to every coin. But in this case, specifically, there is the head which is the Queen, and there is the tail which is the Royal Coat of arms. The Queen is royalty, and let’s just say the other side is established, to keep the royalty safe and functioning. But they are both integral parts of this coin, and they both have their roles to play in the system. Every society needs a ruler. Remember the times when Israel did not have a King. The people requested for a King because they needed to be governed rightly. How many of you studied Government in secondary school? Remember Thomas Hobbes’ Social Contract Theory and how the state of nature was nasty, brutish and short. Samuel had to anoint a King for the people, appointed by God because there is need for leadership and authority.1 Peter 2.12 also explains to us the need to obey authority."
The congregation began to open 1 Peter 2.12.
"As I have explained that there are two sides to this coin, that is the way human beings are brought into this life. We don’t all come rich. Jesus was born in a manger, but Jonathan, Saul's son, was born a prince. In fact, David was born short and ruddy, and girls would have ignored him, unlike Saul who was handsome and tall, as the Bible put it."
Some people laughed.
"We don’t choose which families we are born into. We just find ourselves where we have been put. But know one thing, God put you in your families for a reason, irrespective of the financial situation, or genetic composition. Hey, some people are born and never have to work for three or four generations, but some are born and have to struggle from day one. Does that mean God is unjust? Of course not.
We don’t choose how we come, but we choose how we want to live, and how we want to spend eternity, because it is not the now that matters. It is the eternity, that really counts.”
Nora felt a chord strike in her heart. The guest minister kept looking at her and she almost felt he was speaking to her directly.
“Brethren, you need to understand that no matter what part of the coin you think you fall under; the head or the tail, Christ has made you the head always! I love the choir’s song this morning. There is a king in you, somebody! There is royalty within you! Christ has paid the price, and now, we reign with him as kings and priests unto our God.
Somebody it’s high time you told the devil to stop messing with His Royal Highness. Somebody say to your neighbor, I am Her Royal Majesty…”
Nora smiled, and faced Alex.
“I am Her Royal Majesty Nora.”
“Always have it at the back of your mind that how you were born, is not your peak in life. God has given you so much, and all you need do is to realize who you are, and walk in the reality of life. Fast life never pays anyone. Be patient. God never fails in His promises. Has He said He will save you and bless you? Then He will surely do it, at His own time! Don't believe the devil's lies. He is the father of lies. He looks for who to prey on and deceive, and to steal from you because he has been cast off and can never be royalty. The devil always gives you a short cut but trust me, shortcuts never last…”
By the time he made the altar call for anyone that wanted to accept Jesus into their life, or re-dedicate their life to Christ, Nora jumped up, and went forward.
Alex noticed that Nora had been quiet all through the ride back home. When she couldn’t bear the silence anymore, she poked Nora.
“Are you okay?” Alex asked.
Nora shook her head.
“No, I’m not. I don’t want to go on living like this. I’m tired of it. I’m thinking of calling it quits with Bankole although I don’t know how I’m going to do this.”
Alex sighed. She didn’t know what to say.
“Alex I think you should forget about seeing Ejike. Don’t get yourself into this mess. Once you start, it will be difficult to stop. You will always want more money and it goes on and on.”
Alex nodded, and hugged Nora, as Nora started to cry.
Monday morning and Yusuf had made the office a living hell for Alex. He had embarrassed her in front of her other colleagues, and gave her an ultimatum of one week.
She dialed her mother’s number, but Lisa Udeh didn’t pick up the call.
Ejike’s call came through almost immediately.
“My dear, how are you? You haven’t called me since Friday. What is the matter, biko?” He said.
Alex closed her eyes. All she could see in her mind was Yusuf humiliating her more.
“Will you meet me tonight at the club?” Ejike asked.
“I will.” She replied after much hesitation.
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