I am going to tell you a story, a beautiful story of how love and beautiful emotions can make you sacrifice your greatest worth and service to mankind. A story of Stephen, a young seminarian dedicated to serving the church. How love brought him to a place- a place where only his emotions could save him.
We walked slowly to meet the new seminarian who was transferred to our church. His name was Stephen; he had introduced himself to us during mass. He looked so full of life and had the selfless manner of every seminarian. Chigo moved and inch faster and smiled as our parents went to shook him.
‘Good morning’. They smiled.
I looked at Chigo, how her eyes glowed as she smiled widely.
‘Good morning. I am Chigo’
He smiled back and shook her.
Mother looked at me and I said quickly.
‘Good morning brother Stephen’. I said.
‘You are very much welcomed to our church. We would be having a family dinner today and we would like to invite you’.
He smiled widely. ‘Okay’.
Chigo’s eyes were still glowing even after we got home.
Mother prepared a big dinner with varieties of food. Brother Stephen was so overjoyed and thanked us a lot. It was all over his face that he would so much love to come everyday. He called I and Chigo out as he was about to leave.
‘So tell me, how is studies?’
‘Very fine’ I said. ‘I am studying for my Senior exams’.
‘Wow. That’s great. So you attend extra lessons too?’
‘How about you Chigo?’
‘I am studying for my diploma course Father’
She said smiling.
‘Hmmmm. Big sister, I hope you are helping your brother out too in his studies’.
He paused. ‘You go to school everyday from home?’
‘I could pick you up tomorrow then. I have a seminar to attend; very close to your school’.
She hugged him and I waved.
Chigo wasn’t the attending church type but she started going for mass every morning before going to school and almost every evening too. Brother Stephen always came by to pick her up from school and sometimes she took food from home to give him. These days, Chigo started taking more and more pictures, I knew because I was her photographer.
‘Chi, this one you are now always taking pictures, Are you now becoming a celebrity?’ I smiled.
‘Don’t ask me oooo. Just take the pictures’ She smiles back.
The picture taking always took long because I had to get the perfect picture and the perfect angle.
I unconsciously looked over her shoulder and saw her sent pictures to Brother Stephen.
It was a cool Saturday evening. Mother had gone to the market, Father went to work and Chigo went out with Brother Stephen. It was very normal as he visited us almost everyday and there was food always at his table. One time, he bought Mother two wrappers. You could tell it was very expensive. Today, He had a public speaking class to attend and Chigo had offered to go with him.
There was a knock on the door, I opened and Chigo stood with a fancy nylon of gifts. She smiled and winked at me. I smiled back.
‘He is travelling tomorrow’ She said.
‘I would miss him’
She smiled. ‘He would be back next week’.
But Brother Stephen never came back the next week nor the following week. A month passed and Brother Stephen didn’t serve mass, no calls, no text messages from him. Chigo paid special attention to the announcements hoping she would hear about him. She was getting pale everyday, I was moved as I now clearly understood the depth of their fine relationship. I offered to ask the Reverend Father himself.
Chigo kept dialing the number I had given to her. Father Augustine had told me brother Stephen had travelled to the north to help in the relief and support of the recent crisis there. The number never went through and was never available. I could hear her soft cries and sobs every night.
It was three months after Brother Stephen left and Chigo was trying to get over her emotions.
A car parked in front of our compound. Chigo flew out and jumped on Brother Stephen, they hugged each other so tight for so long as Chigo sobbed. She kissed him. I welcomed him back and collected the giftitems he got for us.
‘We were worried you would never come back’ I said. ‘We missed you a lot’.
Mother prepared a meal as we ate, he made his intentions of travelling and residing in the North as he pursue his Priesthoodship.
Chigo let out a loud cry, she couldn’t hold back her emotions. His facial expression was priceless. I thought she was being selfish not to allow Brother Stephen pursue his priesthood ship. Why did she want to hold him back? He can’t forgo his priesthood because of her?.
I was laughing loud as I remembered how Chigo cried through those nights. I was there to comfort her. Brother Stephen still called and they always chat but she missed his presence. She wanted to see him everyday. I smiled as I waved to Chigo as she held her flight ticket boarding to Kano.
This article was written by Sandra Okenwa; connect with her on IG here