I met her in a church and it was on a Friday during the evening prayers. It was my first time to enter into the house of God, two years after my campus life. I had been living a life of a lie because the picture I had in mind of the person I wanted to become and the life I lived, were like north and south poles.  I had become very sinful but I still wanted to be very successful and also go to heaven thereafter.

I had thought of making a U- turn. Slough. And become a new creature. It is over. I had decided not to continue betraying the son of man- Jesus Christ. I was tired of being a prodigal son and I had therefore decided to go back home, to my father.  And thus on that evening though I hadn’t planned to go to church, while just walking to have a taste of the area’s climate watching the sun set, while in my reverie, I all of a sudden found myself in front of the African Inland Church, Bilongo. It was few metres from the lodge where I was staying since I was travelling. And even though I used to be a Roman Catholic faithful, I decided to enter- after all God is one.

While inside, the church was almost full but there were spaces in front close to the altar. The structure was not that big and so it seemed the congregation had a culture of sitting from behind. It is one of those churches where the members know each other name by name and where every new member has to greet the congregation at the end of the service. People were still thronging in. And so just like the others, I walked nonchalantly to the front pew and sat down. Prayers had not started yet. So as I was sited quietly wondering what was happening and why I was in there, the other people were singing- some standing, and some dancing while others shaking their heads to the tune.

In the meantime, there entered a lady. She was very beautiful. She had the face and the body. She was in a long dark-blue skirt that swept the floor as she walked. On top she was in a crystal-clear white blouse and her head was covered with a scarf embroidered, ‘Jesus loves me.’  I suppose she was in high heels because I remember hearing the ‘go, go, go’ sound as she walked in, but they could of course not be seen. My old self started asking, ‘do beautiful girls still come to church. What is she after? Or did she come after having the same feeling like mine? Or maybe she is looking for a husband…’ Shindwe, I rebuked it. She smiled and bowed to the lady pastor and sat next to me.

“Bwana asifiwe,” she greeted me.

“Asifiwe sana,” I answered.

She continued, “I see you are a new member, welcome to our church and feel at home.”

Thank you.”

“By the way my name is Petronilla and my friends call me just Nilla so you can also call me that,” She said as she shook my hand.

“I’m John. Thank you.” I almost told her that I was scared but my lips couldn’t open. But I was happy because from just being a new member, I was now a friend. It is only in a church, close to God where you cans see that- where everyone is a friend.

The prayers started.

After the prayers I greeted the congregation after telling them my name, where I came from and why I was there. And now it was time to go home, no wait, time for me to go back to the lodging.

“It is so sad that you were just passing by. I thought you will be adding up to our number. But I hope you have enjoyed being with us.”

“Yes, I have had a nice time. I feel a new man now.” I answered.

“Aaaamen. So when are you going back to the city?” she inquisitively asked.

“Probably tomorrow.” I answered.

“Ok, and where are you staying? Am sorry if am asking too many questions.”

“No, am okay with that. I am staying in the Amara Lodge its just few metres from here.”

“Amara!” she asked surprised.

“Yes, why? Is there a problem with it?”

“No. Nothing. It’s only that there are so many night girls who hovers around there. And a child of God might be tempted.”

“Even Jesus was tempted. Temptations are not bad, how you react to them is what matters.”

“That’s true.” She agreed.  She continued, “Let me go home I don’t want to be seen with you around there, I don’t want people to start talking.”

“It’s okay. And thanks for your warm welcome.” I said.

“That’s nothing. Welcome.”

We exchanged mobile contacts, vowed to keep in touch and thus hoping to see each other soon, parted ways. And it’s true we saw each other again and again and again and again. We became good friends. we got into a relationship.We dated. We came to know each other better.  I proposed. Somebody said yes. Got engaged. And planned for a wedding.

But ours was a relationship whose rules were set in the beginning. There were to be no sex before marriage. And we vowed to abide to that. We dated for one and half years. Many are the times I slept in the balcony simply because she had come to visit me. And because we didn’t want to (at night while sleeping) start scratching each other pretending it was accidentally, I used to leave my room for her.


One week to the wedding Petronilla fell sick and her mother rushed her to the City general hospital. They were by then staying in the city. And before they went her mother called and informed me. I therefore rushed there also. I found her mother on the waiting room and after greeting me;

“The doctor want to see you,” she told me.

“Okay, where? Is she okay. Please tell me mom.” I became very anxious, worried and confused.

“Room 5.” She said.

“Five, five, room five, number five…”I run along the long corridor and within no time, I was in front of room number five. I took a long breath, composed myself and then knocked the door.

“Get in” a lady who softly spoke, said.

I got in. Petronilla was lying in the bed.

“Is she okay?” I asked the doctor.

“Come down my son, she is fine. I am Doctor Ann,” she assured me. And continued, “You must be John right?”


“Congratulations, your girlfriend is two months pregnant.”

“She is what?”

“Doctor, I am what? Ooh, my God,” Petronilla asked and fainted.

“Pregnant, is there a problem?”

“Ooh, mmmh, no problem.” I just lied. “Please check up on her I think she has fainted”

“Ok.” Doctor said and got to work.

After five minutes petronilla woke up.

“Baibe, I can explain. Am so sorry.” She said.

“Yes, of course I know you can explain. Whose?” I asked.

“My friend’s but there’s nothing between us, I only love you.” she said.

“Ooh yes, you only love me but I am sorry my dear. Remember for 18 months and… Your sorry is not enough. It’s over, you would have cheated responsibly.” I told her and got out, paid the bill and left.


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