(Continued from Predators II)
Alice was brought up in a Christian home, and she has kept that faith even in her adulthood. She is a Pentecostal, just like her parents. She was the Christian Union chairlady in high school, and the treasurer in campus. She is currently the praise and worship leader in her church, the vice chair of the youth group and an active member of the intercessory group at the church. She attends both Sunday services that her church conducts, partly because she is required to as a member of the worship team, and partly because being in church is the only way she knows how to spend her Sundays. She cannot think of anything else to do on a Sunday, because all her life she was taught to ‘keep the sabbath holy’.
She spends Sunday afternoons with her boyfriend Joab, who is also a Christian. Their faith requires them not to be ‘unequally yoked’, which means they cannot date non-believers. They also cannot engage in the sin of fornication, which translates to keeping themselves sexually pure until their wedding night. Keeping themselves sexually pure means they avoid all manner of physical contact, including handholding and hugging, which more liberal Christians are allowed.
Joab himself is a Christian warrior. He was a bad boy in high school, and was famous for all the wrong reasons. While his future fiancé was preaching Christ to fellow teenagers in a different school, Joab was messing around with teenage girls and experimenting with alcohol. He was never too far away from trouble in school, but he still managed to sneak into university, even though he was number 65 in his class of 94 candidates. That is partly because of his superior brains, which allowed him to grasp concepts will little effort, and the privilege of being in a giant of a school, which provided all the facilities needed to succeed academically.
But Joab found Christ in his first year at Kenyatta University, and he became a gallant Christian soldier. He was an active member of the Christian Union ending up as the Prayer Secretary. After campus he joined Good Message in Christ Pentecostal Church (GMiCPC), and that is where he met a beautiful worshipper named Alice. Alice had also just joined the church, having spent four years at the Technical University of Kenya Christian Union. Joab plays instruments for the worship team. He is capable of playing the piano and guitar, but he primarily plays the drums because no one else in the church can.
Joab and Alice became friends through their interaction in the GMiCPC worship team and their chemistry was obvious. Their friendship was cemented last year when they started working together. Joab found himself at Tegeta Industries almost immediately after campus. He was hired as an intern, and was confirmed as a permanent member of staff at the end of his internship. When the company advertised an opening for an accounts assistant, Joab told his friend to apply. Alice had been jobless three years, since graduating from the university. The entire worship team prayed hard for her to get the job, and she did.
When Joab asked her to be his girlfriend earlier this year, Alice did not hesitate. She did not even ask for time to ‘pray about it’. She simply said yes. All their friends at church are aware of the relationship, and were not surprised by the news. But Joab and Alice have not told their workmates about their relationship, and do not intend to do so until they are ready to send wedding invites.
As per their faith, Joab and Alice are ‘dating to marry’ not dating to see if they are compatible. Accordingly, Joab has already introduced himself to Alice’s parents, and he has also introduced Alice to his family. The two families are set to congregate at Alice’s parents’ home in August, where the first of three traditional wedding events will be held. That will be the introduction. The main traditional wedding, the ceremony where dowry will be paid, will be held in October. The last ceremony will be held in November, and here it will be Alice’s family visiting Joab’s parents’ home ‘to see where their daughter is going’. The church wedding will be held in December, and Alice will officially become Joab’s wife.
This context explains Alice’s reluctance to go out for lunch with Albert. First, she feels as though she is cheating on Joab, even though she has disclosed everything to him. Secondly, the idea of being seen in public with a married man is repulsive to her…and potentially dangerous. If they come across his wife, she (Albert’s wife) will not understand that Alice was under coercion. She will surely believe that Alice is having an affair with her husband. Alice can do without such drama in her life. Lastly, but equally importantly, Alice knows that Albert wants to have sex with her. That is the last thing she wants. She belongs to Joab, but even he has to wait until they get married in December.
Joab nibbles at his lunch quietly, ignoring the banter that is going on around him. His heart is conflicted. There are so many things that are going on in his mind. But the one thing he cannot shake away is the fact that his future wife is dining with a wealthy man in a fancy hotel somewhere in this city. Alice is probably eating some exotic food in a five-star hotel with a bank CEO while he, Joab, is here eating chapati and beans. Joab is afraid that he is going to lose Alice, because he is aware only too well how relentless rich and powerful people are in their pursuit of worldly pleasures.
He knows because he is a victim.
Nancy started pursuing him almost as soon he joined the company as an intern. He will never forget that first day when it all started. It was his first week, and he was still finding his way around the company. That first Friday afternoon, Nancy called him to her office and told him that it was her tradition to take new employees out for dinner on their first Friday at work. She said it didn’t matter to her what position the employee held, their gender or age, she always took them out to dinner on their first Friday at Tegeta Industries. She told him to get ready to leave at four instead of five. He was to wait for her in the parking lot.
Joab obeyed. You do not start disobeying your boss on your first week. At four on the dot, Joab made his way out of the office, leaving his colleagues puzzled. Tegeta Industries is very strict on the time report to work and leave for the day. That is why Joab’s new colleagues were so surprised to see an intern leaving an hour earlier on his first day at work. There was murmuring and whispering as he walked out of the office, but he was too nervous to notice. He still hadn’t made any friends in the company, so no one questioned him.
Fortunately, the parking lot is found in a deserted area of the company, away from the administration block. His colleagues had no way of knowing that he had gone to meet one of the bosses. Maybe Nancy had planned it that way, but in that day Joab did not see anything wrong with following the tradition of the company. He was nevertheless nervous about the idea of being alone with such a powerful woman.
He found her leaning on a white Toyota Prado.
“You are late,” she said, looking at her watch. The time was 4.06 PM, as Joab quickly confirmed from his phone.
“I am sorry Madam…”
“I am kidding,” she said quickly, a smile plastered on her face. Nancy is a beautiful woman, but she is more so when she smiles. “And don’t call me Madam. Just call me Nancy. That is what everybody calls me. Come on, let’s go.”
She went around the car and sat on the driver’s seat. Joab remembers being confused for a minute. He did not know whether he was expected to sit at the front or at the back. If he sat at the back he would appear to be bossy, but sitting at the front seat in his view would be too intimate for his comfort. Nancy must have noticed his dilemma because she leaned across the front seat and opened the front door. Joab hopped in. As the vehicle eased out of the compound, Nancy probed him about his life. Joab tried to answer as honestly as he could, but without giving away too many details about his private life.
Nancy drove into a four-star hotel, and led him to a private dining room. Joab had never been to such a hotel before, and he remembers being very intimidated. Nancy did most of the talking. She even ordered food for both of them without consulting him. Whatever was brought was food that Joab had never seen before, but it was delicious. When wine was brought, he finally gathered courage and refused. He insisted that he would either take coffee or juice. Nancy conceded and kept the bottle of wine aside and ordered coffee for both of them.
After they were done with their coffee, Nancy started telling him how attracted she was to him. She stood up from her seat, walked around the table and stood behind him. She leaned towards him and kissed his neck. Then she unbuttoned his shirt and ran her hands through his torso. Joab knew he should run away. The story of Joseph and Potiphar’s wife came to his mind. But he was getting aroused and found himself paralyzed and anchored to his seat.
Nancy called for the bill and paid using a visa card. She paid that bill while shamelessly standing behind him, with one hand gentry stroking his chest. When the waiter left, Nancy told him that they should leave, Joab was embarrassed because of the bulge in his trouser. He stood up anyway, and as they walked from their dining room to their destination, he was relieved to notice that nobody seemed to pay attention to him. Except Nancy.
“I can see you are ready for me baby,” she teased him, grabbing his manhood over his clothes briefly. That embarrassed him even more.
They passed through a dining room with people, but instead of going to the parking lot where her car was parked, Nancy led him through a flight of stairs to a room to which she apparently had the key. Joab is not sure at what time she was given the key by the waiter. When they got to the room, she locked the door and started attacking him with kisses. Then she removed his clothes and led him to the bed. She took a condom from her handbag and gave it to him, before guiding him into sin. They had sex twice that night, and once the following morning. Then they showered, took breakfast and left the hotel.
But Nancy still wasn’t ready to let him go. In stead of taking him home, she took him shopping and bought him pairs of trousers, shirts, vests, socks, boxers and shoes. They had lunch at her house-which she cooked herself-and insisted they watch a movie. She nestled herself in his arms as they watched the action movie. He spent Saturday night in her house as well, and she once again led him into fornication. She drove him to his house on Sunday afternoon.
Joab was and still is very angry at himself for not doing the right thing: resisting her and running away. When he got born again, he had promised himself that he would practice secondary chastity, forsaking his former ways as a lover boy and living a purified life for Christ and for his future spouse. But he had been concerned about losing his job, considering that Nancy was and still is his boss.
After that first weekend, Nancy moved him from the filthy single room he lived in and moved him to a decent one bedroom, for which she pays rent to date. She also had a hand in ensuring his employment was confirmed at the end of his internship, although he probably would have been confirmed anyway because his immediate supervisor had recommended it. But Nancy was responsible for his rapid promotion to a supervisor. In return for these favors, he is required to be available when she needs him for her sexual fulfilment. That happens about once every week. These days she takes him to her house where they spend the night sinning.
Joab told Alice that Nancy has been making moves on him, but he did not disclose that he has actually been sleeping with her. Thanks to their strict beliefs, she wouldn’t know when he is not spending the night in his house. He wonders how this will play out when they get married. He has thought about coming clean to Alice many times before. But whenever this thought crosses his mind, he holds back due to fear of losing her. That makes him feel guilty, especially because he knows that Alice is preserving her virginity for their wedding night. Joab has not told Nancy about his relationship with Alice, or that he is planning to get married. He wonders whether she will continue to insist that he sees her even after he gets married. Most likely she will, and that is when his life will get very complicated.
The entry of Albert into Alice’s life is yet another complication. That is what is occupying his mind. He strongly suspects that Albert will eventually sleep with Alice, the same way Nancy has been sleeping with him. He is not angry at Alice, because he knows she is helpless, just as he is against Nancy.
Joab pays for his half-eaten food and leaves it on the table. He walks back to the office, dejected. He knows that he and Alice should probably resign and trust in God for other jobs, in order to protect their faith. But that is always easier said than done. Alice stayed for three years without getting a job. And he, Joab, has been applying for other jobs ever since that first time when Nancy slept with him. But he has not been successful so far. He is unable for take a leap of faith by resigning before he gets another job.
And because he and Alice have fallen short on that part of their faith, their marriage has been rocked by infidelity even before it begins. Involuntary infidelity, if there is such a thing.
Image by Anja from Pixabay: https://pixabay.com/illustrations/lovers-pair-love-sunset-romance-1259124/
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