Reverend Leo has been sleeping in the church office for almost two weeks now and people were beginning to suspect.
That evening, he sat in the office writing the sermon for the next Sunday when Pastor Jim approached him.
*Jim:* Reverend good evening.
*Leo:* Pastor, I thought you’ve left already. Hope all is well?
Jim took the seat close to him and sat down.
*Jim:* Reverend, I am afraid all is not well, and I just have to speak up.
*Leo:* (dropping the pen and the paper and adjusting himself on his seat) What is wrong my brother?
*Jim:* Reverend, for sometime now we have noticed you don’t go home, you are always in church from morning till night and you end up sleeping inside the church sometimes. Please correct me if I am wrong. It’s becoming a thing of concern for us who have noticed and so I have decided to ask what is happening? Is all well at home?
Reverend Leo needed to talk to someone badly about his situation and all he was going through. But somehow he felt no one would give him a solution to his problem except the Holy Spirit and so he has decided to talk only to Him. He smiled and looked at Pastor Jim.
*Leo:* Pastor firstly, I want to appreciate you for your concern and all, but all is well. Everything is in the hands of God.
*Jim:* Reverend you know you can always confide in me for anything. They say a problem shared is half solved. Talk to me, what is wrong?
*Leo:* My Pastor, I really appreciate your concern but I am fine. I just decided to take time off to be with the Holy Spirit, you know there are times when we need to seek His face and counsel. But you need not worry anymore, I’d be going home today.
Jim smiled to himself, he was relieved to hear that the Reverend was going home. Since his sudden stay in the church things had been difficult for him and the Treasurer. He had found it difficult to collect money from the church for this past two weeks. He stood up with a big smile on his face.
*Jim:* It’s okay Reverend, I knew I was getting myself worried for nothing. You know I love you so much and I always want what’s best for you and for you to always be happy. My family and I are always praying for you and Mummy Reverend.
*Leo:* (smiling) Thank you so much, God will bless you.
Jim turned to leave and then suddenly stops.
*Jim:* Reverend why don’t you just join me so that I can drop you off, it’s already late and you may not get a bike anymore.
*Leo:* Oh, thank you so much, but don’t worry about me, I will leave soon but not now, there are some things I need to round off before leaving.
*Jim:* No problem Rev., do you have a good night rest.
Jim left and shut the door behind him, he was worried that the Reverend might end up staying again. He didn’t like that Reverend Leo had refused for him to be dropped. However, he left, hoping that the Reverend would pack and get out of the church.
Leo sat for a while, and decided to go home and face his wife today and so Jim coming to tell him that people were already suspecting was just a motivation to hasten his leaving. After waiting for about thirty minutes he picked up his Bible and left.
True to Jim’s words there was no bike on the road, Reverend Leo was not even in the mood of getting home early, he just wanted to stroll and enjoy the cool of the night.
All the days he had spent in the church he had been at peace. But as he walked home in the darkness, fear began creeping into him again. Fear of what Rachael would say to him, fear of what she will do to him and fear of the next bomb she was going to throw at him. He loved his wife so much and whatever she does to him pierced his heart like a sharp knife.
As he got closer to his gate, he noticed he was being followed and so he hastened his movement. He tried to reach his gate and open it fast, but he wasn’t fast enough as the two men grabbed him from behind. He looked at them terrified.
*Leo:* Blood of Jesus! Who are you? What do you want from me. Please don’t harm me, I am a man of God.
The first guy who looked ugly with a big scar on his face turned to his second and asked.
“Na him be this? Look am well we no get time, na him?”
“Yes na him ” the second guy responded.
“Then wetin you dey wait? Waste am make we dey go, time no dey.”
Before Leo could say anything, they fired at him and as he fell to the ground with tears on his eyes all he thought about was his wife Rachael and how she would be able to live life without him?
“Rachael won’t survive this shock if I die, dear Lord for the sake of my wife please save me.”
Those were the words from his mouth as he blacked out in the dark of the night.
The news of the death of the Reverend spread like wild fire round the town. While some cried and pitied the wife some gossiped that God always keeps your punishment for you no matter your repentance and this was his punishment for killing a small girl years ago.
Rachael sat on the floor crying and wailing. The entire women of the church surrounded her, Pastor Jim’s wife was also there holding her, her parents were also there with Leo’s parents.
Some policemen came also to ask her some questions.
*Policeman:* Madam, we are so sorry for your loss, but can you please tell us when last you spoke with your husband? And why was he outside that night.
*Rachael:* Oh my husband, oh my beloved Leo, why? Why would you leave me now? Who will take care of me and our baby? Who would love me like you do? My dearest husband please don’t leave me now, please. May God punish your killers, may they not see the light of day. May God expose and disgrace them, may they suffer before their death. Oh Leo, oh my Leo.
(She falls on the ground and continue shouting and crying)
*Pastor Jim:* It’s alright Mummy, please stop crying or cursing. Judgement is of the Lord and he will surely be the one to judge this people who murdered our Reverend in cold blood. Dont curse anymore. Just leave it for God.
(Turning to the Officers, he said)
“Officers as you can clearly see, she is not in the mood to answer questions for now, I suggest and plead with you to give her time. She is still grieving and when she is a little bit better than now she will be able to take your questions.
*Police:* It’s alright. But, who are you sir? And how are you related to the victim.
*Jim:* Well, my name is Pastor Jim and I am the Assistant Pastor to Reverend Leo.
*Police:* Okay sir, please if you don’t mind can you answer a few questions for us?
*Jim:* Sure, why not!
*Police:* Thank you. Please can you tell if the victim had any enemy? Anyone who hated him and would have wanted him dead?
*Jim:* Well, I don’t know sir. Reverend Leo was a very nice man loved and respected by all. But, the day he died, I was with him in his office. In fact, when he told me he was going home I wanted to drop him off but he told me not to worry that he still had things to do for another thirty minutes. If I had known, if I had k-n-o-w-n (Pastor Jim starts shedding tears)
*Police:* Please be strong sir, we understand how you feel. From the way you sound it seems like the two of you were close.
*Jim:* Yes! Yes we were very close. He was like my big brother, guiding and directing me in the path of Christ. (He starts crying again)
*Police:* You have to be a man sir. One more question. Please do you know if he had any issue bothering him? Like he was being blackmailed or threatened by anyone? Anything?
Rachael raised her head when she heard this question. Leo had been out of the house for two weeks before he was killed. She didn’t know if he had told anyone about their marital problems the period he was away.
*Jim:* Erm, well, that day, he looked sad and worried like something was eating him up, I tried to make him confide in me, but he wouldn’t open up. I did everything to get him to talk but he just told me he would be fine.
*Police:* Thank you so much Pastor Jim, you’ve been so helpful. Here is our card if you remember anything please do not hesitate to give us a call please.
The men shook hands and the police turned to leave. And then suddenly Him stops them.
*Jim:* Officer excuse me, I remember something.
“What is it?” The policeman turned asking him.
*Jim:* There is this brother in our church, Brother Gbenga, Reverend Leo had openly confessed in church to the killing of his only child and daughter many years ago in an accident before he ever repented and became a Pastor. Brother Gbenga even lost his wife from that incident and he vowed not to remarry because he couldn’t let go that his only daughter was killed by a man he respected. Though, he later came and said he had forgiven the Reverend, but he left this town and we don’t know where he went to since then. I do not know how he can easily forget a grudge he carried for years so easily.
*Police:* So, what are you suggesting Pastor?
*Jim:* Nothing sir, I am not saying anything. I am just saying that he is the only one I know has something against the Reverend. Though, he claims to have forgotten o. But aside him I don’t know anyone else.
*Police:* Thank you Pastor for the information, we will definitely look into it. Thank you once again.
With that the policemen turned and left the house. With Rachael still crying and wailing on the ground
WATCHOUT FOR EPISODE 13
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