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Monday, 9 April 2018

I rode the treadmill for like ten
minutes non-stop before I slowed down
a bit to catch my breath. I wiped my
sweaty face with the towel hanging
round my neck and looking up, I saw
him standing, gazing at me with his
mouth twisted to the side- Tony!
My heart skipped a beat!
What was he doing here?
I obviously would not like him seeing
me all sweaty and manlier in the new
sportswear that I just got as I got
registered in the gym center.
What was he doing here?
Just then, still mouth agape, he started
What for?
“Bravo!” he exclaimed as he clapped
on, walking closer to me.
I smiled sheepishly.
“Good evening” I said, wishing the
ground could open and swallow me up.
The students’ comments were
obviously getting at me. I felt inferior
and unworthy.
“Good evening ma” he said, smiling too
“What’s with the ma?” I was almost
getting furious. He saw it and smiled.
“I was only joking but really, you are
my boss o. See how you handled a
treadmill so perfectly like a man!” he
said, still smiling
Even you Tony!
What’s with this man man thing that
everybody is talking about today?
Obviously not Tony should be saying
this right now.

He should just keep quiet and not allow
someone feel bad continually like this.
It’s just not fair!
He smiled and came over.
“Would you love to train me on how to
use the treadmill?” he asked, looking
deep into my eyes so much that it hurt.
“And who says I am a gym director or
something?” I spat out
I hope that was not too rude
“I just love this stature of yours and
now I know the secret. You work out!”
he said, smiling widely.
“I don’t work out. Since I left the NYSC
Orientation Camp about 6 years ago, I
had never done any rigorous exercise.”
I retorted
Get that into your skulls before
insulting me!
“Wow! That’s so beautiful o. We have
very few girls that have this kind of
stature and for real, its wonderful” he
said and I looked into his face.
Was he joking right now?
Just trying to console me right?
I had never had inferiority complex and
it wouldn’t start now but I just wanted
good words from Tony and I shockingly
seemed to be getting it.
“Really?” I asked to be sure and he
“I am serious. You just need a little
trimming down and you would be oh
my goodness, gorgeous! The treadmill
choice is just fine” he said further and I
It was looking real.
He seemed to like me, right?
“Thanks” I managed to say and he
“It’s okay. I have a question please” he
said and I looked up at him
“What?” I asked anxiously
“How old are you?” it was so sharp and
Very blunt guy!
“Are you for real? Asking for my age
out of the blue? Did you ask with the
intent of receiving answers from me?” I
asked and he pouted childishly
“Please one, please two, please three”
he said, childishly and I couldn’t help
but laugh out loudly.

What a very playful guy he was!
“Tell me yours and I will make my
addition or subtraction” I said and his
eyes widened
“Addition? Oh, because I look this
small shae? I definitely would be older
than you” he said and I looked into his
I chuckled
I was beginning to like him more
He saw me as younger than him and
not his mama…Nice one!
“I guess everyone can see that
underneath your muscular genetic
build-up lies your very young age” he
added and I mesmerized
This guy is good jhur!
“Ok, guess my age” I said, sweetly and
he looked at me, squinting and biting
his lower lips.
“Hmmmm, you would be 25 in few
months’ time?” he asked and my mouth
came open widely
“What! You have been stalking me?” I
almost screamed
“Stalk? Wasn’t it just an innocent
gentlemanly guess I made as instructed
by you? God does not lie, does he? ”
“Of course not!” I replied
“If I wanted to know your age, I could
just ask God and He would tell me,
right?” he asked again but I was
Talk to God?
Could this mean something?
Why would He be so concerned about
my age that He would ask God?
“I didn’t say I asked God o. Don’t get
me wrong. I just guessed. Now, let’s
treadmill a bit before I would leave. I
am on call this evening.” He said
“Your age?” I asked and he smiled as
he settled on the belt
“Just call me egbon” he said and I
“For real!” I said, trying to conceal my
He’s older than me!
Sweet sweet, oh sweet!
Joyfully, I took a hold of the machine
horns, pressed the button and on and
on, I ran on spot.
I’ve got to shed off this fat so that I
would look gorgeous for…any man…
Or Tony….
…the only man that had seen the best
in me and had voiced it out!

Oh my God, if it is Tony, just speaking
to him about me.
I still don’t know how to hear you well.
Most times when I really sit, kneel or
lie down to hear God speak to me, the
only thing I feel rushing into my ears
would be air!
Nothing more!
But I really did want Him to talk to
me…or Tony if my heart wasn’t in the
right condition to receive the best from
“Would you be coming to the choir
practice tomorrow?” he asked as he
slowed down in his exercise
“I don’t think so” I said and he pouted
“Are you avoiding somebody?” I asked
and I threw my head up in the air
This guy’s spiritual antenna is dope!
“Yes I am” I replied and he chuckled
“Me?” he asked and I almost fell off the
treadmill as I held my breath
How could someone be so blunt, huh?
He laughed.
“Hmmmm, I am really not scary person
o. I always enjoyed choir practice
whenever you are around” he said and
my heart started pumping more than
required plasma
I always did avoid people that are very
unapologetically blunt
This was someone that I had never
spoken a word to in that choir room.
He was always busy listening to and
counseling different ladies that had ran
to him for counseling.
Ladies liked to cling to his side too
So what was he saying now?
“I am talking gibberish?” he asked and
I nodded in affirmation.
He laughed
“You remember the day we had the
choir concert shae?” he asked and I
I remembered pretty well. He
performed a very beautiful duet with
Abigail, Mummy Pastor’s housemaid
and it was the bomb!
“What shirt did I even wear that day?”
he asked, walking in the treadmill
while I still jogged
“You wore a green shirt on a black
trouser at the beginning but you
thereafter changed to a white shirt and
a blue trouser. At the end, it was one
nice Ankara shirt you wore” I
explained on and on, gasping for breath
as I breathed heavily.
He stopped on the belt.
“Do you notice if I used cuff links that
day?” he asked again, maintaining a
serious face as if to remember
something important.
I didn’t need to rack my brain before
spitting the response out
“Yes. It was different cuff links sha. You
used silver ones at first and then ruby
colored ones afterwards with matching
ties” I said again.
When I did not hear any sound, I
stopped on the belt too and looked at

He looked really dazed, mouth
“What?” I asked, quite shocked,
breathing heavily from the long period
of exercise
He looked on at me, still dazed
“Now, who is stalking who?” he asked,
still looking dazed
Blood ran through my veins from head
to toes and I was covered in
I scrambled for words and found none.
He tested me and caught me read-
handed even to his own amazement.
Oh my God!
Should I get angry?
Or mad?
Or cry?
What was the best thing to do right
now dear Savior?
I watched him as he walked gently
I stepped down from the treadmill and
sat on a raised part of the gym center,
my head bowed low.
I felt a touch on my shoulder
“Take” Tony said.
I looked up to find two bottles of water
in his hands.
That was exactly what I needed.
Should I collect it?
No! my pride answer.
I looked into his face and his urging
smile made me to constipate
I collected it hurriedly and gulped
down almost half.
There was a grave silence between us.
What was on his mind right now?
His phone rang and he received it
“Yes Abigail…what? Jesus!… do you
know what you would do now, just use
a pillow to raise her head. Will join you
in a jiffy…oh my God!” he exclaimed,
cleaned his face with the towel round
his neck and looked at me
“I am sorry. I’ve got to go”
“Isn’t that Mummy Pastor?” I asked and
he nodded
“Yes she is.” He said as he walked to
the door hurriedly.
I followed after too.
What could be wrong with Mummy
Pastor today dear Savior?
My phone rang
It was mummy pastor!
“Hello mummy”
“This is Abigail ma.”
“Yes dear, is anything the matter?” I
“Its mummy o and daddy is not
around” her shaky voice rang in my
Was she crying?
I dropped the call.
“Was that Abigail?” Tony asked and I
“Let’s use your car. Mine isn’t here
now” he said and I nodded
I didn’t even know that he had a car.

As Tony drove with a great speed, I
could only pray for God’s mercies and a
safe journey.
“Should I call the pastor?” I asked Tony
and he shot me a one in town look.
“No please.” He replied and I looked
What does he know that I didn’t?
Nice one!…now, I remember.
He was the one I saw climbing the
stairs to attend Mummy Pastor that last
time. He must know what was wrong
with her.
“Tony, what exactly is wrong with
mummy?” I asked and he shook his
“Whatever it is requires our urgent
prayers for God’s intervention” he said
and concentrated on the driving.
Oh what a curt answer!
There really must be a problem and
that exactly was what I didn’t
God, please intervene and keep
mummy pastor for us.
“Visit her marriage and her family oh
God because I really do not understand
anything that is going on round me
now” I lamented silently
But I knew that it was just a matter of
time and all would be clear to me!

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