Chioma stopped coming to church, just like that. Several visits to her place revealed that she no longer stayed there. I kept going to the church and joined the technical team. The zeal of the young worshippers in the church spurred me on and life became less unbearable.
Tobi gave up on his girlfriend even after his mother reached out to her. Tobi began to complain a lot. He kept talking about the selfishness and obstinacy of girls and concluded that they were evil, after all, they follow after their matriarch, Eve.
School life was hectic with lectures, projects, and assignments. We were committed to our academics and put in our best. Exams came and went and we came out with good grades, having the best GPAs in our different departments. Tobi started dating again. I was happy for him; it was a sign, to me, that he had moved on. I encouraged him, not knowing I was leading my friend into trouble.
Tobi started keeping late nights and changed his girlfriend. At first, I didn’t object. After all, he is a grown man with rights and he could do whatever he wants. As assiduous as ever, he took his studies seriously and went to church but he changed his partners like the cloths on his body. He doesn’t think women should be given any chance. They were not worth any genuine attention. I saw the light go from his eyes.
Our Pastor preached a lengthy sermon one Sunday about life after death. He spoke about the beauties of a place called Heaven where the saints dwell, of the wonderful conversations he would have with Jesus when he got there. He spoke also of a place called Hell. His description of it gave it off as a horrible place for those who did terrible things.
Why would there be a place for people who did terrible things if we could do what we wanted? Why would such a good God, who gave up His Son to die, send his creatures to such a terrible place? Or maybe it was just a fable to make unbelievers convert. Or maybe not.
At the least likely moment, Chioma resurfaced. She was paraded on television as a member of a gang of robbers who attacked and murdered an influential politician. This girl whose passion made me a Believer is now a known and paraded criminal.
I shed tears.