Belina (Tender Beauty)
Mr. Badmus sat down in his living room, thinking about the best way to convince Belina. He remembered the discussion he had with his friend the previous day and hissed. He had entered his friend’s large sitting room and was told by the servant to wait and after close to ten minutes, he was ushered to a mini parlor where he saw his friend.
“Oh… it is nice seeing you my friend”, Chief Popoola said, standing up to greet him. Mr. Badmus smiled faintly. “Since I need to get visa before I see you, what do you expect?” “It is not like that”, chief popoola responded.
Mr. Badmus sat down without waiting for the permission, the chief offered him drinks from his over-filled bar and within minutes, they were talking.
“See, this Belina of a girl would not kill me o, she sees a lifetime opportunity and cannot jump into it”. Mr Badmus said after some minutes of discussion. “What do you mean?” “Do you remember the birthday party of senator Olowodolu that you invited me to some time ago which I forcefully dragged her along?” getting a nod, he went ahead to explain everything up to the latest development and what did he get? “Listen to me my friend, I would advise you to leave her alone. Every child has the right to do things the way they please, our own duty as parents is to advise them and if they insist, we ought to-“ “Shhh, pls spare me the lecture Mr. Lecturer, I don’t need it ok?” he said and left immediately.
Mr. badmus hissed for the umpteenth time. “That idiot does not want someone to be better than him”, he soliloquized. Belina would have to do my wish whether she likes it or not, he thought. I would find a way.
The church was half way full when Richard and Tony arrived. Richard noticed that the auditorium could definitely occupy 1000 people and looked at the structure of the building appreciatively.
Tony looked around desperately looking for a place where they could get a good view and found a spot that was just perfect. They both sat down and Richard had a feeling that he was in for a good time in God’s presence.
As the usher led me to my sit, my mind started rolling asking so many questions; what if I fall down on the stage? What if my voice cracks? What if …
I stood like the pillar of salt that the bible talks about as I stared at the one person I wished I would never set my naked eyes on. Kelvin also stood there looking like someone who was standing face to face with a ghost. I wondered if he thought i should be dead. He was about to say something but I guess my eyes sent a warning signal and he swallowed his words. Wise choice, I thought as I joined the usher who had been looking at us, puzzled. As I followed her, I no longer saw the crowd, I only saw a chance to prove to Kelvin that I am not a piece of trash.
The sitting room was freezing cold because of the recently purchased split air conditioner, the plasma TV was on and was showing cool music videos but Adewale could not relax. His friend had been in the hospital for two days now and was still in a coma. he had stayed there and was forced to come home today in order to freshen up.
Adewale stood up and went to the bar to pick up an alcoholic drink but hadn’t tasted it when his mind started wandering. he remembered his discussion with Deji and how he persuaded him on phone to some over so that they could both attend a function together the next day. he downed a cup of wine at the thought and before he knew it, he had finished the bottle but still could not wipe out the sense of guilt that was clouding his brain.
He remembered how close they were and could not hold back the tears that came to his eyes. He looked at the wall and saw, ‘Jesus is Lord’ on a photo frame and walked to it. As he stared at it, he knew he had only one thing to do.
I had to admit that the theme of the concert which was ‘Opening Heaven’s Gate’ was not an exaggeration. The atmosphere seemed to be charged with the power of God and the singers seemed to possess angelic voices even though I hadn’t heard the voice of an angel before. I was lost in a world of my own when I suddenly heard, “We would now like to welcome a young lady whom God really took time to design and package. After moulding her, her put in her throat an angelic voice which cannot be rivaled. Pls put your hands together as we welcome Miss Belina Badmus.
My heart started running a 100m race and I remained on seat for some seconds until I summoned courage to stand up. I walked up to the programme coordinator and smiled as I collected the mic. I faced the congregation and instantly wished I could disappear but that did not happen, then I remembered Kelvin was somewhere amongst them and everyone seemed to vanish before my eyes.
I had previously arranged for a piano to be set on the altar. You know the kind of setting you see in any of Don Moen’s live performances? Well, that was what it was like and after taking in enough breath I introduced myself and introduced the song. I planned on singing a personally written single since I had no back-up so I sat down behind the piano and the show began.
Immediately the songs started coming, Richard instantly knew that his attendance was not a mistake but he felt that he was looking for something more. He received a text message and his attention was instantly diverted to his phone.
His head jerked up as he heard someone speaking but his breath was instantly taken away as he stared at the slim figure on the altar. The sky blue filmy gown she wore perfectly brought her curves to light. She was the perfect description of figure 8.
He left the gown and the next thing that came to his eye was the hair; long, black, and oh-so-beautiful. He has the urge to tough it in order to feel the texture. His eyes then moved fully to the face and all the words that came to his mind could not do justice to that work of art; she had an egg shaped face, she was neither fair nor dark, her lips were full and well shaped, and her eyes…
Her eyes seemed to tell a story. There was a moment of uncertainty in her eyes and a bold stare replaced it. He desperately wanted to be close to her in order to find out the mysteries behind the eyes.
Of everything he saw, it was her song that totally blew his mind away. He stared at her as her slim fingers pressed the piano. She seemed to draw everyone into her song with so much ease that within seconds, Richard found himself listening to the lyrics of the song.
Tony had earlier on stepped out to receive a phone call from Prisca, the damsel that captured his heart, and was away throughout the ministration. When the lady in blue finished her song, stood up and curtsied with a lovely smile on her face, Richard wished he was closer in order to capture her that way. He wanted to have that image with him. An ear deafening applause followed and Richard joined.
Tony came in five minutes after Belina’s presentation and found Richard looking around like he was searching for something. “Are you looking for me?” tony asked
Richard stared at tony like he had suddenly grown horns, after some seconds, Tony was about to touch his head to check if something had grown there when Richard said, “this ridiculously long talks you have with prisca would soon put you in trouble. You have just missed the best performance this evening”. Tony hissed, “when you allow yourself to love again, you would find yourself doing the same thing. So, who sang?”
Richard opened his mouth to speak but nothing came out, that was when he realized that he was the biggest idiot in West Africa.
Prisca stood at the veranda of her dad’s house thinking about the love of her life, Tony. She remembered the first time she set her eyes on him and dwelt on it though it was not such a pleasant day.
She had been standing by the road looking dejected. She was close to tears and she felt stupid. She had gone to visit her boy friend at ikeja but she ran out when he almost raped her. She had been thought by her parents to remain chaste till marriage and that fool thought he had seen a mugu. She had been lucky that her bag was close to the door but after walking some distance, her bag was snatched from her and all she was left with was her shirt, her trouser and her flat shoe.
She stood by the road and no matter how much she hated it, she had to stop a private car. The first car happened to be Tony’s car and immediately he consented to carrying her, she entered and did not as much as glance at him throughout the drive. Tony wanted to say something cos he was not used to being overlooked but when he looked at her, he noticed that she was secretly crying so he kept quiet. He dropped her at her door step even after she insisted on coming down earlier. After he left, Prisca had been sad that she didn’t really appreciate his help but after some days, she forgot all about him.
He appeared on her doorstep two weeks later and the rest is history.
Prisca left the veranda smiling as she went inside and when she saw the picture she had snapped with Belina, she decided that she would involve another person in their escapade.