Gregory was trying to
concentrate at work when his intercom buzzed and his secretary’s voice came
through.
“Sir…Madame Benita is
here to see you.” She informed.
Without waiting for a
reply, the door opened and Benita walked in looking as beautiful as ever.
“My darling…” Gregory
said as he stood up from his chair and walked up to her with arms 
outstretched.
Benita walked right into
his open arms and rewarded him with a kiss on his lips.

“How are you baby?” She
asked.
“I’m fine…just trying
to get the work done.”
“I see you haven’t
missed me…” She said jealously.
“Ofcourse I
have…you’ve been away for days and I’ve been pretty worried.”
“Well, I’m back so, all
worries can fly out through the window.” Benita said with a smile.
“You smell nice…”
Gregory complimented her.
She hugged him tight and
he kissed her again.
“Hmmmm…I always smell
nice…” She said.
“Yea you do…”
“How’s your wife?”
Benita asked.
“My wife? How come she’s
so important to you?”
“Ofcourse she is…she’s standing in the way of our being together.” 
“That’s ridiculous
Benita! I told you that there’s this thing we have to sort out…” He said.
“What thing?” Benita
asked.
“Well, her niece came to
live with us and she’s pretty frail so, I’m helping her out.”
“So you’re the nanny?”
Benita laughed.
“That’s not funny!”
“How old is this child
anyway?” Benita pressed.
“She’s about six or
seven…she’s pretty small so…”
“Hmmm…well, maybe I
could get her some kind of present, just to make her feel welcome.” Benita smiled.
“A present? Really?” He
asked.
“Yea…I mean, she’s a
baby and I want to err….give her something that she’ll treasure…” Benita
said.
“Okay then…”
“I’ll quickly go to the
mall and when I get back, we can go have dinner at my place…” Benita said and
blowing him a kiss, she left his office.
***********
Lillian’s mother looked
at her again, she was very worried.
“I won’t repeat myself
again mom but I’m not sending Sophia out of my house, she’s an innocent child.”
Lillian said.
“With a wicked and evil
woman for a mother! Don’t forget what her mother did to our family! She almost
tore us apart and if I didn’t have a fighting spirit, you and your siblings
would have been products of a broken home.”
“I am glad you stayed
with daddy but you need to calm down where Sophia is concerned, she’s a
harmless child.” Lillian said.
Sophia chose that moment
to walk into the sitting room, she was dressed in one of the new clothes her
aunt had gotten her.
“Where are you off to?”
Lillian asked.
“To church.” Sophia said.
“Huh? Today is not
Sunday….” Lillian said with a smile.
“I know it’s not but the
church across the road is having a mid-week programme. The housekeeper told me
that the programmes hold every middle of the week and I want to go.”
“Alone?” Lillian asked
in confusion.
“You can come with me if
you want…” Sophia invited.
Lillian’s mother hissed
and looked away.
“I am terribly tired
dear, I am just coming home from work and I need to rest.” Lillian said.
“Okay then.” Sophia said
as she skipped towards the door.
“Where do you think
you’re going?” Lillian asked.
“I thought I told you…to
church.”
“I’m not letting you out
of this house alone.” Lillian said.
“Then come with me.”
Sophia said in a half-pleading voice.
“I can almost swear that
you have a way of making people change their minds.”
“If you don’t want me to
go alone, then you can come with me.” Sophia said with a smile and turning to
Lillian’s mother, she said. “Will you like to come with us granny?”
“God forbid! Who’s your
granny? Will you shut up? My grandchildren are better than you are and they can
never be like you.” Lillian’s mother spat.
“Mother!” Lillian said in warning.
“Why?” Sophia asked
innocently. ‘Why can’t your grand kids be like me?”
“That’s because their
parents are upstanding citizens and men and women of good reputation who can
never be as silly as your mother and grandmother.” Lillian’s mother spat.
“Okay.” Sophia said with
a smile and turning to Lillian she said. “Ready?”
Lillian took a deep
breath and walked up to meet her.
“I’ll just breeze in for
ten minutes and then, we’re out. Is that okay by you?”
“Sure…”
Lillian’s mother seethed
in anger as she watched her daughter walk out of the house with Sophia.
**********
The praise and worship
session was on when Lillian and Sophia got into the church and they joined in.
While Sophia sang with the church congregation, Lillian kept staring at her
watch and couldn’t wait to get home. Soon, the pastor
spoke out loud.
“I see a lady, you’re in
the middle of a huge separation from your husband. Infact, all is not well in
your home. You are married but you are living like roommates with your
spouse…” He said.
Lillian wasn’t
listening, her mind was on the Skype call she had to make to her beauty product
contact in the United Kingdom. Sophia nudged her.
“Are you listening?” She
asked.
“Listening to what?”
Lillian whispered.
“The pastor is saying
things that he’s seeing…”
“What’s he seeing?”
Lillian asked as she strained to listen to the pastor.
“Your marriage is broken
to pieces as the enemies have vowed to destroy your home but God loves you and
has sent you a helper. Someone who will help you mend your home but you must make effort as the person can only guide you.” The pastor said further.
Lillian rolled her eyes,
she hated hearing things like this and she wanted to leave desperately. The
pastor continued.
“No one must leave this
church without being anointed. The word of God says that the devil prowls
around like a roaring lion, looking for whom to devour. We must be on guard
always. I repeat, no one must leave this place without being anointed for the
battle is not between flesh and blood but principalities and powers.”
Lillian almost laughed
out loud, how was an oil going to stop the devil, she hissed and sat down, she was
tired of standing and raising hands all in the name of prayers.
An hour later she wanted
to scream, Sophia was busy listening to the preaching that it almost seemed as
though she’d zoned out the rest of the world.
“Sophia!” Lillian spat.
Sophia looked up at her.
“Let’s go!”
“We need to be anointed before
we leave and it’s not till the end of the service.” Sophia said.
“But we’ve been here for
more than an hour already, is this a vigil?” Lillian spat.
“We need to be anointed.”
Sophia said calmly as though explaining to a child.
“I won’t allow anyone
touch me with any oil…what rubbish!”
Sophia looked at her
aunt and shook her head.
When it was time for anointing,
everyone stood up from their seats and walked up to the altar. The pastor
rubbed oil on everyone’s head, when it was Sophia and her aunt’s turn, Sophia
was the first to be anointed with oil and next on the line was a grumpy looking
Lillian who desperately wished she could be somewhere else but here. When the oil was rubbed on her head, she fell down to the ground.
*********
Lillian’s eyes opened
some minutes later, her white silk shirt was stained with dust and her pencil
trouser had dust on it. She looked at a smiling Sophia who stared at her.
“What happened? What…what
happened?” Lillian asked.
“You fell…” Sophia
said with a smile.
Lillian jerked up with a
start and looked around, the church was virtually empty and the pastors were at
a corner praying.
“The pastor said you
should wait for him…he’d like to see you after prayers.”
“That’s ridiculous!
Come, let’s go!” Lillian said standing to her feet and brushing off the dust
from her clothes with her hands.
“Now? We can’t go now,
the pastor says…”
“Let’s go Sophia or I
promise to leave you here all alone!” Lillian said in anger.
Sophia nodded and
placing her hand in her aunt’s they both walked out of the church.
They arrived the house
to see Gregory’s car parked outside.
“Uncle is back.” Sophia
said as she rushed into the house.
Lillian followed closely
behind and they both got to the sitting room to see the Gregory with his mother
in-law.
Sophia noticed the
tension in the sitting room as Lillian’s mother was suddenly very pale and
quiet.
“Mom, is everything
okay?” Lillian asked. “I’m sorry we stayed so long at the church…I wanted to
come back home but something came up.”
Gregory stood and stared
at his wife.
“Welcome home.” Lillian
said, staring at her mother and then at Gregory.
“Yea..thanks…” Gregory
said and quickly turned to Sophia to hand over a large doll to her. “Here’s a
gift for you from a friend.” He said.
Sophia reached out to
take the doll, she stared at the large human replica and felt strange.
“Thank you.” She said.
Lillian watched her
husband walk up the stairs and as soon as he was out of sight, she turned to
her mother.
“What is it mom?”
“Why didn’t you tell me?”
Her mother asked.
“Tell you what?”
“That your husband doesn’t
love you anymore.” Her mother said.
Sophia wasn’t listening,
she was staring at the doll with so much intensity.  There was something magnetic about the doll that was pulling her so
strongly.
*********
Benita held up a black and red mirror and stared at Sophia who was staring intently at the doll she had gotten
for her.
“Hmmm…so you’re the
one who’s standing in the way of my happiness! Let’s see if your aunt would
live to see the morrow and by the time my bewitched doll is through with its
work, you’ll be history.”

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