Romance

Sugar Boy I-By Edward Maroncha

Ezekiel steps forward and looks at the congregation.

“Thank you Jesus,” he mumbles into the microphone. “I can feel the Spirit of the Lord urging me to say this. Perhaps you are here, and you are wondering why your prayers are hitting a brick wall. The Spirit of the Lord is this morning saying that you have to break away from the bondage of bitterness. You have to be free of anger and resentment. You have to be free…”

As he speaks, his voice rises in volume gradually and also increases in tempo, so that he is soon engaging in a fast rap. His eyes are firmly shut and tears are rolling down his cheeks. One hand is holding the microphone, while the other is raised to the heavens. The youthful congregation has followed his lead, and everyone is praying loudly. Some are speaking in tongues. Ezekiel is the Worship Secretary at Lower Kabete Campus Christian Union (L.K.C.C.U), the students’ Christian body at the University of Nairobi’s School of Business in Lower Kabete.

 “Come on church sing with me. Hossaaaana! Hosaaaana! Hosana in the hi-higest! Hosaaana…” Ezekiel’s voice rises and falls rhythmically as he leads the congregation higher in the spiritual realms.

Ezekiel is in L.K.C.C.U by virtue of being a Bachelor of Commerce student at the UoN School of Business.  He is a self-sponsored student and does not live on campus. But he attends all the Christian Union services and fellowships. Few would have believed it if someone told them two years ago that Ezekiel would be a Christian, leave alone being nominated to serve in the Executive Committee.

Everyone knows that he is the son of Nakuru Governor Magdalene Chepkirui. He works part-time at the Governor’s liaison office in Westlands. He lives at her Nairobi residence and even used to host parties there whenever she was in Nakuru, which is where she spends the bulk of her time. He never allows anyone to visit when the Governor is there because she is very strict.

In his first year at the campus, he was the ultimate bad boy. Driving a BMW and having seemingly endless cash, he was a magnet for girls and party goers. All that changed when he met Marion. She was about the only girl he had met who was not impressed by his car and money. He tried everything to catch her attention, but she resolutely resisted him. She used only one line on him:

“I shall not be unequally yoked.”

The more she resisted him, the more determined he was to date her. She became his obsession. Soon, he realised that the only way to get Marion was to get saved. But he also knew that if he got saved abruptly she would get suspicious. So he started by attending Bible studies and Friday fellowships. Then he started attending Sunday services.

Then one Sunday morning, after a particularly fiery sermon by a visiting pastor, he gave his life to Christ. Since that day, he embraced Christian life. He joined the worship team and the entire congregation was wowed by his melodious voice. It therefore did not surprise anyone when he was nominated to be the Worship Secretary.

Marion was nominated as the Chairperson, the first female chairperson on the Christian Union.

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Marion watches with silent pride as Ezekiel leads worship. She is proud of his spiritual growth. The truth is, she is attracted to him; she has always been. But she was not going to date him while he was running wild in campus. As a Christian girl, she knows that what she needs is a solid Christian man to marry.

She has been taught over and over again that the man is the priest of the home. He therefore needs to be grounded in the faith. What she is wondering now is whether Ezekiel has matured enough for her to consider him as a potential partner.

Marion is a beautiful girl, and even though she has a strong personality, she is not lacking in suitors. She ignores most of the men who make passes at her, largely because she finds most of her classmates to be immature, and not just spiritually, but emotionally and mentally as well.

There were only three men she was willing to consider. One was David, the current First Vice Chairperson at LKCCU; the second is Reverend James Mala, the Senior Pastor of Springs of Wellness Tabernacle in Westlands and the last one is…Ezekiel.

David has already pulled himself out of contention. Perhaps tired of being taken in circles by Marion, he told the Executive Committee last week that he and Faith, the CU secretary, are an item. That caught Marion off guard, and it hurt her. David has been a constant factor in her life since they were in first year. He is arguably her best friend.

Marion was on the verge of saying yes to him last year, but then Ezekiel got saved and she decided to see if he (Ezekiel) was serious. The truth is, she is more attracted to Ezekiel than to David. David is a solid friend: mature, honest, dependable and every other adjective that can describe a good man. If she hadn’t met Ezekiel, she would have married David without question.

But Ezekiel is here, and he is way more exciting. That is probably a carnal thing to say, but it is the truth. Ezekiel has a way with words and a strong sense of intelligent humor. His sense of fashion is on point. By saying yes to David, she would be shutting the door to Ezekiel. And she wasn’t ready to do that. She wanted to give him time to mature up spiritually.

Ezekiel is not a man whose word you can depend on. As a friend, he can be very unreliable. You cannot count on him if you desperately need help. Even as a leader, Marion knows that she cannot depend on him to implement any of the resolutions of the Executive Committee. Ezekiel is all talk and very little action. But he has such a sweet personality that it is difficult to hold it against him.

In a nutshell, if you want to be charmed, Ezekiel is your guy. But if you want something done, David is your person.

Reverend Mala is different prospect all together. He is David and Ezekiel rolled into one. She met him last year when he came to the campus to preach, and since then their friendship has solidified. Like David, he is a man she has come to trust. He is honest, trustworthy and spiritually mature. But like Ezekiel, he has a sense of humor, and he dresses really well too. Like Ezekiel, and unlike David, Reverend Mala is romantic to the core. He has asked her to be his girlfriend many times, but she always deflects that question without saying yes or no.

The reason she has been hesitant about dating him is because he is a single father. His wife died three years ago leaving him with two young children. Marion knows that if she marries him, she will be thrust straight to motherhood, and she doesn’t feel ready to be his kid’s stepmother. Besides, she is worried about their age gap. She is 23, while he is 31. Her friends insist that an eight-year gap  is no big deal, but it is still makes her nervous.

As Marion watches Ezekiel leading worship, she makes a decision. He is the right man for her. Today she will find him and accept his proposal, so that they can officially begin the journey of love. Every man has his weaknesses. She can mould Ezekiel into a more dependable person. After all, as a Christian, his heart is in the right place.

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As he drives home, Ezekiel can feel the thrill. The hunt is finally coming to an end. Today Marion has agreed to be his girlfriend. As a matter of fact, he has just dropped her at her campus hostel after taking her out for dinner at the Sankara Hotel in Westlands.

Over dinner, he had a strong urge to pull her close and kiss her. He has waited for so long. But he knows he will have to be patient. If he rushes things, she might leave him. He only hopes that when he finally takes her to bed, it will be worth the long wait, and the sacrifices he has made in the past one year. He has bypassed many fine babes on campus to keep up the vibe of being saved. He gave up his drinking mates. He even started singing for the choir.

He doesn’t know what his long term plan is, but the short term is clear. He wants to have sex with her. He wants to conquer her.  He made up his mind to pursue her because he could not believe that a woman, any woman, would turn him down. He would love to marry her, not because he loves her, but because she is a family-oriented woman. She is the kind of woman he would love to have at home taking care of his children while he is chasing wild girls in clubs.

But there are two problems with the idea of marriage. First, they might not make it to the altar because she will probably dump him when she realizes that he is a womaniser. He will try to be discreet of course. He has been having lots of sex in the past one year. He has just been avoiding Business School girls to avoid being caught. But hiding his amorous activities from her will be more difficult with time, especially now that she is his girlfriend. But good sex and sweet lies might convince her to stick by him even after she discovers who he truly is.

But even if that happens, he still will not be able to marry her because Magdalene will not allow it. Governor Magdalene is not his mother; she is his lover. Ezekiel knows that Magdalene can be ruthless if crossed; one doesn’t become a county Governor by being soft. She is also rather eccentric. When she was an MP, she once shot a male colleague in the thigh after he called her a prostitute in a political rally.

This relationship has to be kept secret, just like all his other affairs. By sleeping around, Ezekiel has been playing a dangerous game. By getting into a relationship, he had made it even more dangerous-Magdalene can destroy both him and Marion if she finds out. But he loves the thrill of it, and so far he has not been caught.

But even he knows that marriage is out of question-it would be a suicide mission.

(Continued Here)                                                                  

Image by StockSnap from Pixabay: https://pixabay.com/photos/people-man-guy-alone-indoor-2557416/
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