The Congruence XXII

I did everything humanly possible to avoid Folahan for the remaining days of camp. I didn’t even join the worship team on the last two days.

 Placement list was released and God did it, I was posted to my place of preference…O what joy that filled my soul. I didn’t have a place to stay because the Bank did not provide accommodation for Corps members. Luckily, NCCF was able to help with that…but I had to share a room with guess who? Tokunbo.

 I already knew that Bank work required putting in many hours and that was exactly what I needed…something to occupy my time. That way, I would avoid idleness and unnecessary drama with Tokunbo.

 I resumed at the Branch and it was a dream come true for me…it felt so good hanging the Identification Card around my neck. I was the only Corps member posted to the branch; although they had one that was almost done with his service…I must have been his replacement. I was trained for a few days and on the last day of training, a new Corp member joined the session. He was reassigned because the original place of assignment rejected him.

 When he stepped in, I almost fainted…it was Folahan

 “God, why now?” I thought to myself

 “I knew God had a reason when I was rejected by Schlumberger” he said with a mischievous smile as he reached out to shake my hand. 

I couldn’t even tell Tokunbo when I got home that day.

 I knew I would need all the strength I could muster to keep Folahan away. Although we talked, I didn’t give room for a deeper friendship, let alone a relationship. I could tell he liked me, although he hadn’t said anything but his actions were loud and clear. 

 How do you avoid someone you work with? Same Unit, reporting to the same manager…my seat was right next to his own. But somehow, I was able to pull this off for two months or thereabout.

 Folahan had a car and was always offering to drop me off but I didn’t let him. I would wait for him to leave then take public transportation or would ride along with our manager, who happened to be a Christian as well and we used to have deep spiritual conversations.

 I didn’t give Folahan my number either…he had to get it from someone else and I was angry when he called me one Saturday afternoon. 

He wanted to know if we could hang out…thankfully, Tokunbo was not around. However, I couldn’t stay angry because the guy could talk his way out of anything. He just knew how to diffuse people’s anger…he was the go to guy, when we had irate customers at the branch.

The funny thing for me was how Tokunbo always talked about the closeness between herself and Folahan but she had no idea we worked at the same place. “Folahan this…Folahan that…Folahan is so funny…Folahan is so deep spiritually”. I would just smile and face whatever I was doing.

Tokunbo found out which church Folahan would be attending and decided that’s her church as well…although it was almost 45 minutes from where we livedFolahan invited me severally to his church but I couldn’t attend…if you met Tokunbo, you wouldn’t attend either. There was a time the church had a program that I really wanted to attend…the guest minister was the author of a book Bro Charles gave me when I became a believer and it would have been nice to sit under the man’s ministration. I even showed interest when Folahan gave me the flyer but it quickly changed to reluctance…he wanted to know the reason but I couldn’t tell him it was because of his ‘secret lover’. In Tokunbo’s mind, she was already married to Folahan and would fight any known female that tried to be close to him.I was riding with our manager one day and he said 

“What’s your deal with Folahan?He’s a good guy and a child of God

He’s good looking and has a bright future

He’s so crazy about you that everyone can see it

Or are you betrothed to someone else? 

I don’t see a ring on your finger and I’ve never heard you talk to anyone else on your phone except your mum. 

I just want you to know that there are times God orchestrates things to execute His plan but we still need to align ourselves with it”

I was surprised because I wasn’t expecting him to get that involved in my personal life. I smiled but didn’t give an answer.

My birthday came and Folahan insisted on taking me out for lunch, our Oga gave us one extra hour for lunch…I had no excuse so I went. I could see the exciting look on the manager’s face as we walked through the back door. 

It was not a regular lunch outing. Folahan handled it like the chance of a lifetime…he went right for the jugular and didn’t mince words. He told me how he became a Christian at age 14 and had learned to hear from God. How he had never regretted following any of God’s instructions…even those that seemed ridiculous when he got them.

“I really didn’t have to come to Nigeria, I already got a Job where I was but God instructed me to come to Nigeria to meet my wife.

I was dating a girl from college but never had God’s approving peace in my heart.

Coming to Nigeria to work meant I had to go through NYSC…my folks thought I was crazy but when I insisted, they had to let me.

God told me specifically to choose Abuja…there was a mix up with that but it was later fixed which was why I got to camp late.

God told me I would know her when I saw her

The day I saw you at the Camp, I knew…I had no shadow of doubt.

But then you started avoiding me like a plague

I went back to God…who told me to keep praying that your heart be healed because you went through a very rough relationship.

I thought I had lost you after camp…I was shocked that they rejected me at Schlumberger. My uncle is friends with one of their directors. The man could not explain how my name got dropped from the list. He told me to go anywhere else and come back after Youth service for an actual job. He called the Managing Director of the Bank where we are serving at the moment, to get me a spot at their Abuja branch and it was done  just like thatWhen I stepped in the Bank for training and saw you, I just smiled in my spiritOf course, if God said it, He will do it.

I had wanted to tell you this from the first time I said hi to you but I didn’t want to freak you out”

 “Too late…you just did” I responded

Continues in episode 23
-Lanre Olagbaju

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