Do as you would be done by (episode 1)

“I caught Janet and Nonso in a sexually compromising position!”

Wande sat transfixed as she stylishly surveyed the faces of the persons seated in the hall. What just happened? Why was Beatrice doing this? She surveyed the faces again and clearly, the reactions she expected from members of the choir began to etch on their faces one after the other. A long hiss diffused from one corner and echoed across the long hall. This was not the plan!

“I knew it!” Sope was the first to break the ice. “I simply smelt a rat when this meeting was announced. I knew Beatrice was up to no good.” She hissed some more.

Everyone began to talk at once.

“But this was not the agreement?” John glared at Beatrice.

“I simply know this Beatrice girl can’t be trusted. She is too mean.” Tricia looked like she was ready to pounce on Beatrice and give her a good beating. Chinwe, like Wande sat still, obviously still shocked at Beatrice’s action.

“Ehen, if you caught them nko? What is your business? Is that the reason for this meeting? Do you think we are jobless like you? Abeg, free me jooor, I have better things to do with my precious time.” Toks was clearly spoiling for a fight. She had never been a fan of Beatrice. Actually, most of the choristers weren’t.

Other members of the choir, including Janet and Nonso, preferred to stay quiet while sending invisible daggers from their eyes towards Beatrice. Beatrice stood at one side, from where she dropped her bombshell, looking unruffled. On the other side of the divide, the ‘exco’ members sat and watched the display of emotions among choristers of the Shine Jesus Shine campus fellowship. Ugo, president of the fellowship, motioned for silence. When everyone had kept quiet, he asked Beatrice to take her seat but she preferred to stand still.

“This is news to us,” Ugo looked towards other ‘excos’ to register their knowledge of the matter; they responded in the negative. “Can someone calmly explain what is going on?”

Beatrice proceeded to speak but Toks beat her to it. “Thanks, Ugo, for that piece of information. This just shows that Beatrice is simply a mean person. I wonder how she wears the Christian emblem because it does not suit her.”

“Watch your tongue and mind how you speak to me.” Beatrice glared at Toks.

“Why don’t you get a cane and flog me?” Toks glared back.

“Ladies, please, this is not helping.” Wande motioned for peace as she began to address the excos. “Well, we are as surprised as you are with this latest development. We thought we had settled this at the last choir rehearsal. Janet and Nonso have been reprimanded, they have apologized for their misbehaviour, and as one united front, we have prayed for them. This was not supposed to filter outside the choir unit at all. We do not understand Beatrice’s reasons for her current action. Permit me to say that what she just did was simply uncalled for and uncharacteristic of a true leader.”

“That’s it! Preach!”

“Go girl.”

“Yes ooooo, tell am make she hear.”

Again, the choristers started talking all at once and Ugo had to motion for silence. “Beatrice,” he angled his head to the corner where she stood, “is that so? Since you are the choir coordinator, could you please shed more light on this issue?”

“Those who cover their sins will not prosper, says the Bible. I wasn’t comfortable with helping them sweep their misdeed under the carpet. I won’t be a partaker in their sin.” Beatrice remained unruffled though she knew her choir members were itching to lynch her at that moment. They hardly got along with her anyway and she didn’t give a hoot. “Besides, if they are not disciplined as expected, others will find reasons to act in similar way. I can’t have that happening in my choir. This is the ministry God has committed into my hands and I must guard it jealously against pollution.”

“What an unfortunate speech.” Toks didn’t hide her disgust.

“Imagine! What holier-than-thou nonsense!” Sope hissed.

“Am I hearing right?” Chinwe finally spoke out.

Loud murmurings and angry expressions permeated the fellowship hall. Choir members expressed their displeasure at Beatrice’s approach to the situation. Toks was angry enough to walk out of the venue while John declared that he wanted no part in such hypocritical show of shame.

Ugo looked to Aishat, his vice president, for some help.

“Please, please, calm down everyone,” Aishat calmly spoke as she rose from her seated position, “we are civil people, we should handle this amicably.” She waited till angry voices mellowed before continuing her speech. “I understand that we are angry now,” she made eye contact with each chorister, “but as the leader of the group, I believe Beatrice simply did what she thought was best for the group. I apologize on her behalf for not carrying you along and I promise we will handle this matter as constructively as we can.” She took her seat.

“Goke?” Ugo made eye contact with his general secretary. “Do you have any addition?”

Goke took his turn to speak. He chose to stay seated. “I simply want to say, ‘Let brotherly love continue’. Let’s forgive one another’s misdeeds and move on. We all err, and we all need forgiveness.”

Sope made a high-five gesture. “Put it there! Better person. Forgiveness does not exist in some people’s dictionaries.” She gave Beatrice a sly look.

Goke laughed. “Sope, you should forgive too, you know…”

Ugo quickly cut in before Sope could make a smart retort. “Okay. Everyone has had one thing or the other to say and it’s time to move on from this spot.  We will sort this issue as soon as possible and I wish to see a show of maturity in every one of us.”

Wande asked for permission to say a word. “Speaking of maturity, can I crave our indulgence to keep this matter under wraps as much as possible? I know other exco members will eventually get wind of it, but is it possible that it doesn’t get beyond these two groups of people – the choir and the excos? We know the damage tale bearing can cause.” Though not a troublemaker, Wande couldn’t help but give Beatrice a knowing look. At this rate, Beatrice couldn’t be trusted.

Ugo assured Wande and the rest of utmost confidentiality. He said the closing prayer, they shared the benediction, and everyone dispersed to their different locations.

To be cont’d…

© 2016 AyotundeElegbeleye

Jesus is LORD!

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