The sermon was a drag as the priest drone the homily. I am not in the habit of talking to scowling strangers, and definitely not in church. But there was this quiet sistah sitting to my right. It looked like she was scowling and I asked: “is everything alright?”, she surprised me with a smile. Her visage miraculously lost the scowl in an instant as the sunrise of a bright smile practically lit up her face, and the laughter lines on her temple deepened. She was not exactly the Mona Lisa, she’s not pretty, but she’s beautiful. A smile is a great make-up item every lady mustn’t leave home without. I am taking out a patent on this discovery, so help me God.
“Sure, why?” She spurted, her redlipsticked mouth widened in the smile mode. I nodded and smiled back. We’d started to talk. I neither commended her smile nor mentioned the perpetually scowling-look that would make a man want to stay out of the way of any woman, her winning smile was a beauty to behold. Jesus will not be fair if he won’t forgive the sins of a woman who can smile like this. I rather commented on the foreboding look of the cloudy weather of that Sunday morning, and how there was a beautiful sun shinning behind those scowling clouds, and how we may never know it until we look beyond the glum or the shadow passes.
I found out she could hold her own in an intelligent conversation. We talked about a lot of things like my beards, why I chose to keep it, like how I have a feline face that would look great if framed by shoulder-length dreadlocks. What’s that bead around my neck, a rosary? am I a charismatic catholic? etc. My bb was pinging, hers was pinging, the priest was preaching and God was watching, but we were riveted by our interesting conversation.
She has this great alto voice and a nice way of pronouncing words that got me thinking again about Mary J Blige. I once had a crush on Mary J Blige. I had fallen in love with her voice, and had become her fan- still am. So I asked if she sings, she said yes, that she sings in her church choir. Then we got talking about the best church Choir in Nigeria. She blew me away with her familiarity with all the big churches in Lagos. She’s been to all of the high falutting ones and had sang in most of them.
Something made me check out her hand to see if she was wearing any wedding or engagement rings- she caught me in the act. It is a open knowledge that only prospecting single Sistahs go church-to-church- like that. She flashed the smile again, her eyes lighting up with starry twinkles in them. She raised her hand, waved them in my face and said “see, not hitched, single and *not* searching duh”. Placing some emphasis on “not” and “duh”. I got the message. She laughed and I found myself laughing too. She asked me to show my hands too, I did: bringing the palms together like a penitent in prayer mode. She took my hands in hers, caressed the finger with her own soft fingers, as if confirming that there’s no unseen wedding band on them. It was a good sensation. It was mesmerising and I felt relaxed. This woman is beautiful, I thought. I am sure my thought showed on my face as she said, gazing bewitchingly into my eyes: “are the ladies blind? a handsome man like you shouldn’t be left single. Or are you the one who is hard to get?”
Whether I nodded or shook my head that time, I can’t remember now, but whatever my reaction to her overture had been, it must have been pretty dumb: I was hardly ready to be chased. Her eyes clouded over, she asked another question, and I heard the word “gay?”. I didn’t know how to react to a question I wasn’t clear about, so I kept a straight face. My reluctance may have provoked some other emotions in her, for the menacing scowl was back in place. She dropped my hands, and turned away; her attention focused on the preacher. I turned away too and went back to my blackberry.
That was how we were until the cathechist announced that it was time for the Holy Communion, and that only Catholics in state of grace are allowed to receive the body and blood of Christ. She got up from the pew without a glance at me, and joined the lengthening queue of graceful communicants. I saw that she had broad hips and a great arse nicely perched on a pair of well-turned legs too. Average height and robust she was. The gait of her walk and the wiggle of her butts could do things to a man’s christian resolve to not be led into temptation. Such Sistas should not be left single or to their own devices- that is if the brothas don’t mind the foreboding scowls. I mind.
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