It was a very tension filled day as I walked unsteadily on the somewhat narrow staircase. I wondered how I was supposed to hold a microphone and sing to a crowd if I was already feeling sick to the bones. Hoping that my face was not as pale as I felt it should be, I walked along with my group into the rowdy church. The noise of the crowd made my head ache and my skin creep. Jeez, this is not my first time, ministering in a church, so why did I have this fear that I would disgrace myself. And it was certain that I would once I started feeling it in my veins. For the umpteenth time, I praised God that I was not the choir leader who would be in front, being the first person that would catch people’s attention. Even though I was the assistant, the title was definitely not glued to my chest for all to see, no one would know. Being horribly shy as I was, I hid under the leader’s shadow.
Immediately my legs landed on the last marble step, I shivered involuntarily. Forging a bold stare, I raised my eyes to scan the crowd and I saw him…..
Barely five steps away from my group; he was seated, wearing a white long-sleeved shirt. Contrary to what might be going on in our minds, he was not huge, and definitely was not tall but all the same, I noticed him. He was just as slender as I am which is really really slender; he had his hair low, not too low and was definitely good looking. Seated beside him was someone I presumed to be his friend, looking much taller but was dressed similarly. None of them noticed me and since just one glance was enough an assessment for me, my eyes did not linger beyond five seconds… I won’t want to be caught gaping at a guy…
Walking with the group to my seat, the probability of flaws became more obvious. The evening dragged on and I was praying that our choir would be skipped and my prayer got answered miraculously but something happened… Our leader, obviously known for her vocal prowess was asked for a solo ministration. I was definitely glad to be left alone but guess what; she asked me to back her up. Trust me to be a lawyer at times like this; I argued until I had no more strength for argument. It was not a myth that we both had a great vocal blend but this night was definitely not what I would term my lucky day.
She finally dragged me to the front, and as expected, I was a total disaster. Everything about me went wrong. I could have closed my mouth but Jeez… in front of that crowd? I had to open my mouth, which was worse because I could not even recognize my voice. I left the altar almost covering my face. I was tight lipped throughout the remaining service, waiting for the time I would go home. As expected, the guy I had noticed was called to sing and he went up, having my choir leader as a backup. It was an explosive performance.
Finally, the much awaited ‘Grace’ was shared and I dragged my disappointed self down the stairs, keeping a straight face. Then just as we were about to leave, he walked up to us. Up close, he still looked the same, if not better. He shook me and introduced himself, telling me he had seen me sing. I wished he hadn’t but I said nothing. He requested for a phone number and I obliged, wondering why I did. I walked home wondering what made him ask for my phone number when I was a total disgrace at the front of the whole crowd, but little did I know that I had just won for myself a male bestie.
If there were two people who could be termed as inseparable, it should be us. He called, spent minutes and when his airtime got finished, I would call and use up my own airtime also. We talked about useful things and useless things. He knew my secrets better than my own parents and it did not seem strange telling him. Happy days were those days when I could talk endlessly with a guy without any attachments. We fought and settled, fought and settled and fought again. Problems surfaced and friends betrayed me, hurt and shaken, I decided to shut everyone out of life, in order to piece up the pieces. Close friends became strangers and I lost touch of the world where friends and confidants existed but till today, if there is one experience I wish I could relive, it is the times I had with my closest pal.