The Pastor’s Daughter

The Pastor’s Daughter

“Everybody, praise the Lord!” boomed Reverend Dan, his inky-black face shiny with sweat.

The congregation chorused its “Hallelujah” and in a heartbeat, the entire church was filled with the pious voices of three hundred people. Some had their eyes closed, some their hands clasped together in front of them, and like the pastor, their faces were dewed with sweat and their mouths opened and closed as they denounced the devil.

“He is here!” screamed Deborah, an evangelist and Reverend Dan’s wife. Her eyes were shut tight and she shook and quivered like she was having an epileptic attack. “He is prowling around, seeking for one to possess! Banish him, my brothers and sisters! Banish him back to the pits of hell from whence he came!”

The already-agitated crowd lost its mind and the people were screaming their prayers at the top of their lungs. A couple of women broke loose and began to run around the church, shaking their fists at invisible beings and stamping their feet hard on the ground. The members of the choir were praying vigorously, their instruments abandoned in the dust. Tears flowed freely down the cheeks of some of the faithful, and several cast themselves to the ground and began to roll around, emitting piteous moans and pleas for mercy from their grievous sins. Even the pastor and his wife were not spared from this strange madness, as they waved their enormous Bibles around violently and spat insults at an unseen enemy.

Only two people appeared to be apart from the madness, their positions of repose a stark contrast to the pandemonium going on around them. One of them was Sarah, the head pastor’s daughter, who was looking at her parents with an expression that mixed resignation with exasperation. The other was Chinenye, the young woman she was seeing in secret. Chinenye was attending the church for the first time and was watching the chaos around her with a look of barely-contained horror. They were up on the dais, well away from the rampaging congregants and occupying seats of honor directly behind where Sarah’s parents had been seated.

Chinenye turned to Sarah with wide eyes, and Sarah shrugged in response, as if to indicate that she was used to it.

Eventually, the crowd calmed down and the service continued from where it had been interrupted by Deborah’s prophetic vision.

It’s like a circus show, Sarah thought to herself, paying no attention to her father’s sermon of doom and instead focusing on the hand that Chinenye had stealthily put in hers. Besides, her father wasn’t preaching anything she hadn’t already heard before.

Reverend Dan had nearly had a heart attack the day America had had the temerity to legalize same-sex marriage. After launching an impromptu five-hour-long prayer session in the house, Sarah’s parents had eagerly rushed to their phones to organize a crusade to save the world from America’s abomination, which they were so sure would spread to Nigeria if they didn’t do something urgently.

Sarah’s feelings for Chinenye had just begun to bloom, but the uproar that the US Supreme Court’s decision wreaked in her household had nearly crushed her infantile attraction. However, Chinenye wouldn’t be deterred. She began coming to their house when Sarah started avoiding her at school, a development Sarah’s parents welcomed very warmly. It helped that Chinenye was intelligent and appropriately mannered, so that her parents saw their friendship as mutually beneficial.

Sarah, of course, tried to fight her feelings, tried to ignore Chinenye and stay unaffected by her persistent presence around her. But after Chinenye burst into tears one afternoon during an argument where she was expressing her exasperation with Sarah’s self-denial, her walls came crashing down, and the next thing she knew, they were on her bed, their bodies writhing against each other as they feverishly tried to slake the passion burning between them.

And so began their relationship – which of course they carried on with, with the utmost discreetness. They were smart about it, never hanging out in secret places for too long, and making sure that they’d actually been given homework whenever they used that as an excuse to be in Sarah’s room for a makeout session.

The love affair appeared to bring happiness to Sarah, and this lit a noticeable spark in her personality that had her mother becoming suspicious.

“Don’t ever let any of these boys touch you o,” she lectured her daughter one day she caught her humming R. Kelly’s Step In The Name Of Love. “This one you’re now singing these kinds of songs…”

“But mom, it’s R. Kelly,” Sarah had protested. “He’s the one who sang the U Saved Me that the choir sang in church two Sundays ago.”

“Whatever,” her mother said dismissively. “Just don’t let these boys use their mouth to deceive you. I will not have any daughter of mine bring the shame of an unwanted pregnancy to my house. You hear me?”

Sarah nodded and acquiesced to her mother, playing the part of the dutiful daughter. She chuckled after her mom was gone. Don’t let a boy touch you. As if!

Sarah was pulled from her reverie when the musical sounds of the choir intruded on her consciousness. People were getting to their feet again, and this was a sign that the service was about to end. A few minutes later and the service was over. Expectedly, some members of the church began milling about her parents on the dais, shaking hands, ingratiating smiles on their faces.

“Pastor, your sermon was powerful today,” said one congregant, a shriveled husk of a man that looked as if the slightest wind would blow him away.

“And you, Mummy,” he added, turning to Deborah, “your prayer session was just electric. I could feel the presence of God moving through the congregation.”

“It is not by the power of our hands, but the blessing of God that gives us strength,” Deborah answered with appropriate modesty.

This went on for a few more minutes, an after church exercise that Sarah usually suffered through in stifled exasperation. After dealing with everyone who sought their audience, the pastor and his wife were finally getting into their car with their daughter and her friend.

“How was today’s service?” Reverend Dan asked, looking at Chinenye through the rear-view mirror.

“It was just wonderful,” Chinenye lied with a shamelessness that made Sarah smile. “I didn’t know you could preach like that, sir. You have to teach me sometime.”

Sarah’s father laughed, allowing himself to be flattered.

“Well, it won’t be a day’s job,” Deborah said, smiling and basking under the spotlight of the proverbial woman behind the successful man. “It took Sarah’s father three years of intensive training and a lifetime of experience to get to this level.”

“Eziokwu,” said Chinenye in mock disbelief. Sarah had to stifle a chuckle. Her parents were too self-centered to pick on her girlfriend’s facetiousness. “I bet I can preach better than you,” Chinenye continued. “In fact, that should be the theme of this year’s youth convention – Can you preach better than Reverend Dan?”

Sarah’s parents exploded into laughter, the boisterous sounds of those who were enjoying the stroking of their shared ego. They shot Chinenye looks of delight and pride, as if she was their own daughter, but Sarah didn’t resent this. She knew that the more her parents liked Chinenye, the less they would question her frequent visits. It was all proportional really.

Her parents began discussing the youth convention and how the issue of homosexuality should be the primary agenda. Sarah wasn’t bothered by this, too distracted as she was with the casual hand Chinenye had placed on her lap. Heat coiled up from her centre and her nipples started to prickle behind the fabric of her bra, as she stabbed her girlfriend with a look that promised payback.

However, every now and then, when the censorious words of her parents penetrated her haze of desire to strike at her core, the fleeting thought would cross her mind: the thought where she wished she didn’t like girls. That she wasn’t born to feel this way about Chinenye. That she didn’t have to lie to her parents.

But the thought was always fleeting, in and out. The more time she spent with Chinenye, the more those feelings of regret and self-loathing diminished.

Now, as she stared into her girlfriend’s mischievous eyes, she didn’t regret loving her. She may be a pastor’s daughter, but that wasn’t going to stop her from striving to be as free as she could manage. The restraint she had to live with was all temporary anyway; she was positive that the future would be more promising.

At this thought, she smiled. Chinenye lifted enquiring brows at her. In response, her smile turned sly as she sat up on her seat, a deliberate move she made to block her parents’ attention from the swiftness of her hand diving backward to grope at Chinenye’s crotch. Her girlfriend’s sharp intake of breath filled her with vengeful satisfaction.

Yes, Sarah thought to herself, there was absolutely nothing to regret here.

Written by Michael Roars

Next “The Dangers LGBTQ People Face In Nigeria Is No Joking Matter.” Pamela Adie slams Cool FM Nigeria over its homophobia

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  1. Pete
    February 10, 06:48 Reply

    You write beautifully, Michael.

  2. Mitch
    February 10, 18:47 Reply

    This was a beautiful story, Michael

  3. Quentin
    February 10, 21:52 Reply

    Melancholy and erotic and the same time… How delicious! *sigh*

  4. Uzor
    February 11, 13:56 Reply

    I’ll never understand pastors. The church is apparently filled with the presence of God but the devil still finds space to slithering in and get spiritually pummeled just to win a few souls even though there’s thousands of easy pickings everywhere but the church.
    Beautiful piece btw.

  5. Rainbow Nova
    February 14, 19:58 Reply

    It’s too surreal to describe how nostalgic this elegant piece is. Pastor, Reverend e.t.c the endless titles go on but oh if only we had been warned before we were thrown into this overwhelming chaos of confusion completely opposite of love and edification.

    I must say though that to be honest, this does represent a key top-notch hats-off description of the general brouhaha it is to grow up and live in a religious household but I must say that not all Pastors/Reverends are quite as homophobic or intolerant as this to a level of absolute blind hate and I state this having lived and experienced so much hate and bigotry in such an environment.

    The percentage ratio is obviously quite 99:1 in general but that one does exist though hard to find or believe, I urge my Nigerian LGBTQIA+ family to choose love, understanding and more importantly though I confess dangerous too, trust, as much as I would love to pay back all the negative energy I’ve endured, I’ve realized that it only makes us bitter, shallow shells of who we are. I speak as the voice of a queen Nigerian christian having conquered internalized homophobia and whatnot, yes it is possible to find God right there with you in the midst of all this hypocritic madness, beside you all the way.

    I’m no preacher but a lover, brother/sister, fellow citizen who believes in a greater good we receive in forgiving, tolerating (without sentiment or hesitation to correct or reprimand) and accepting people regardless of how they treat us.
    For then we truly are stronger and more powerful than our enemies.
    ☆Happy☆ ♡Valentine’s♡ ☆Day☆

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