It is astonishing how people with grime hands go into the house of the lord to praise his name. How fallaciously they donate to the church and sham to be good towards people. I had always disliked Sundays when I had to look good, and comport myself in an upright behaviour. I disliked the scents of oozing perfumes from different corners of the church competing among it to smell its best. I disliked those big eye balls staring at one from the toe to head, monologuizing about how cheap or expensive ones attire was. I really hate to see those big ugly eyes and faces using their charms of canny laughter and smiles to cross paths with a woman in heels, causing her to stagger to the floor. I disliked the fact that those with large pockets had to be treated differently like they were saints; every action they took was perfect in the sight of men.
It was Sunday, and Mother dressed up in her traditional wear with her two wrappers tied to her waist; I on the other hand wore a long pink gown. We walked to church since it was nearby in the other street. We had always gone to church early since I was a little girl; and this time around we were late like most wealthy people who came to church. The toe of mothers shoe made a “Ko…Ko” sound as she walked inside of the church with me at the back. Mother was trying to imitate the steps of the wealthy; people stared at both us, and I could see faces turning around to each other.
As we sat on the wooden long chair in the church with other members, the hand of my gown began to fall, and expose the hand of my bra; I had to take it to my shoulder countless of times. When it had fallen over and over again, I let it be until an old woman sitting next to me had adjusted it for me, and whispered in my ears:
“Didn’t your mother see when you wore this church? Next time wear something decent”
I said and also thanked her feeling embarrassed; it was as if the whole congregation was watching me and saying to themselves:
“That’s the daughter of the owner of the bar that men come to take girls…hmm she is just like her mother”
I couldn’t wait for the service to be over; the pastor told us to kneel down and confess our sins to God after he had preached. I was reluctant at first until I closed my eyes, knelt down, and said quietly to God to listen:
I have had every opportunity to say a word, but I didn’t, even when I knew a life could be lost in a second. I am stained with the shame of looking up to you to know that my secrets are all you see; I am ashamed that life is unfair, but I too have treated it unjustly. Lord, have mercy on my soul for I have broken your commandment that says “thou shall not kill”. There is no a day that goes by that I do not think of the child I had aborted; there is not a day that goes by that I do not think of the abomination between my father and I. If your love is truly for all, forgive me father for I am a sinner. And also forgive my mother for the works of her hands. With this Lord, I have confessed my sins.
As soon as I finished the last sentence, my heart was empty and that was the first time I hadn’t thought of anything apart from God’s mercy and happiness. After the period of offering and few prayer sessions, the service ended and mother greeted a few friends especially those who patronized her bar, afterwards we headed home to a long day. We never opened the bar on Sundays; it was a day reserved for resting.
Adapted from the collection of my short story