Cobby Grant came out of his room, dressed and holding his Bible, ready for church.
He lived in a compound apartment in Takoradi. He was a twenty-five years old, a science teacher at the NYAME KESE SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOL.
Cobby was tall, fair and masculine.
His best friend, twenty-seven years old Jacob Acquah, also lived in the same house, and he was a wages accountant at a financial services firm, DONKOR BOTAN.
Cobby crossed the yard, humming to himself, and greeted some of his neighbours. He was headed for the door directly opposite his, which was Jacob’s room.
He knocked hard once and waited. There was no answer. He knocked again, harder, and when there was no answer again he hammered on the door now.
“Hey, Jacob, open up, it’s me!” he called.
“You who?” came the instant annoyed response from the other side of the door.
“Stop the concert and open the door!” Cobby shouted and banged harder on the door.
The key turned in the lock and Jacob opened the door angrily.
He had wound a piece of cloth around his waist, and he yawned hugely.
He was stocky and had a huge bald head and a ready smile all the time, although he tended to be a bit tempestuous sometimes.
Cobby looked at his friend with surprise.
“Goodness me, Yacubu!” he said, aghast. “We’re late for church already! You haven’t even gotten out of bed!”
“If I haven’t gotten out of bed why am I standing here?” Jacob asked crossly.
Cobby walked into the room and stood staring at the messy hall, shaking his head with dismay at the sight of the bottles of beer, packs of food and other stuff spread around the room.
“Seems to me like you really had a ball last night, bro!” Cobby said with disapproval, turning to his friend. “What happened, Yacubu? You told me you wouldn’t drink again! You told me you would go to church today.”
“Well, I drank last night,” Jacob said, dropping into a settee. “The church koraa I’m not going again. I’ve stopped.”
Cobby scowled darkly.
“Why, Jake, huh? Two weeks ago you promised me you want to stop living in sin, so you would go to church with me and receive Jesus Christ. So we went, and pastor prayed for you. We went last week too, and now just a week later, you refuse to go to church? Why?”
“That pastor koraa he talks too much,” Jacob said with a scowl of his own. “One short Bible verse he took, he talked and talked and talked.”
“So you want to stop going to church because the preacher spoke for too long?”
“Oh, no, that’s not what I’m saying,” Jacob said. “I told you I didn’t understand Christianity, and you promised me that you’ll let them explain to me so I should follow you to church.”
“Exactly,” Cobby said patiently. “That’s why I let you spend some time with Elder Amponsah after church so that he would explain the basics of Christianity to you. You assured me you understood, Jacob.”
“Yes, only because I wanted to come home and eat some fufu!” Jacob replied and yawned. “That Elder koraa he didn’t know huuuu! He ended up confusing me even more!”
Cobby Grant, shocked, pushed some magazines from a desk chair and sat down.
“And how did he confuse you, Yacubu?” he asked carefully.
“He couldn’t explain to me why Jesus should come and die for our sins!” Jacob said defensively. “Look, God created this Adam and Eve, and later this son of God called Lucifer sinned and changed into a snake to deceive the couple in this Garden of Eden, right?”
Cobby Grant nodded. “Yeah, right on.”
“Good,” Jacob said, leaning forward. “Now after the deceit God threw the people out of the Eden garden. God didn’t forgive that one sin. Now God sends His son down here to die, so that if I believe that, my multiple sins would be forgiven.”
“Yes, basically, yes,” Cobby said carefully.
“Aha!” Jacob said. “Now why would God send his son to die? Why didn’t He just forgive this one sin of apple eating by the man and his wife, and then killed the snake? That was the solution! It was the first sin, only one sin! Just eating of apple! Apple o! are you getting me? Apple! It wasn’t fornication or murder or rape! Just eating of an apple! If my son eats my apple, I’ll forgive him! Why couldn’t God forgive them then, and killed the snake, and instead wait for his son to die so terribly before saying if I believe that death my sins would be forgiven?”
“Goodness me, Yacubu!” Cobby Grant exclaimed. “Why are you thinking of all those things? I explained them to you! I’ve always been explaining them to you!”
“And I don’t understand them!” Jacob said, his voice getting angry. “See, you’re a scientist, right? Suppose you invent a robot, and give the robot a command. When you tell the robot to walk, it slaps you instead! Now, that’s a malfunctioning robot! So you either correct the malfunction or you turn that robot into scrap and fix your notes and manufacture a better robot!”
“Your point being?” Cobby asked.
“My point being that God should have put Adam and Eve to sleep and repaired the malfunction that made them eat the fruit before sending them out to give birth to sinful children!”
Cobby got to his feet and looked at his friend.
“You know what, after all that I’ve discussed with you, if you still have that mind set, then it’s going to take a long time explaining. So I’m going to church. We’ll continue this in the evening.”
He turned to leave, but Jacob suddenly held up a hand.
“It wasn’t all a waste, though,” he said with a smile. “I made a new friend at church last Sunday.”
Cobby turned round.
“Oh, you did, did you?” he asked, intrigued. “And who is that friend, if I may ask?”
Jacob was smiling broadly.
“That usher that seated me, the tall, dark one with the big shankus!” he said, holding out his hands to indicate the size of the ‘shankus’. “She even gave me her hymn book, and she stayed near me, helping out. She looked at me when I sang, and I could even smell her perfume. You people always say I have the voice of an apotro, but she really did enjoy my singing. When the pastor said we should greet each other, she greeted me. Her palm was so soft. We exchanged phone numbers, and we’ve been chatting.”
Cobby’s eyes widen with both shock and surprise as he gaped at his friend.
“Yacubu!” he said, his voice high. “That’s the real reason you’re saying you won’t go to church again, aren’t you? Instead of being man enough to tell me you’re making fornication plans with Cecilia, you were sitting there giving me bullshit talk!”
Jacob scowled darkly.
“Hey, my paddy, watch your mouth!” he said crossly. “Yes, I met Ceci. She entered my soul. Is it wrong to want to see her again?”
“Yes, from you it is wrong, because I know you have numerous girlfriends, and all you want to do is sleep with the poor girl!”
“Poor girl?” Jacob said and laughed. “You don’t know that girl! She knows more than your grandmother! The things she says koraa me mpo I’m afraid of her! But this one, if everything goes on well, I want to marry her. I’m falling for her paa! It is as if I’ve known her for years, Cobbyby. She flows with me! She thinks like the way I think, she understands things on my mind, bro. It’s almost spiritual.”
“You’ve known a girl for just a fortnight and you’re already in love with her?”
“Listen well, Jake! I said I am falling in love! Actually, she’s visiting me today after church.”
Cobby walked toward his friend and stood glaring at her.
“I know you want to crawl into any skirt you find.”
“Gowayu!” Jacob said, scowling. “Am I a gecko? My friend, watch your mouth!”
“You’re my best friend, Yacubu, and I took you to that church. I’m going to be made an Elder of the church soon, and I’m not going to allow you to come and play any of the girls in the church like your other girlfriends, you hear? That girl is the only daughter of her mother. Her father died before she was born. Don’t you come and mess up her life, please. Her mother has suffered enough. If you think you love her, we’ll go and see her mother, and you’ll get married to her. You’re not sleeping with her until you do the necessary rites!”
Jacob burst into laughter and slapped his thighs.
“Ei, Ebusuapanyin Cobby Grant! The way you’re talking I’m tempted to think you love that girl, and you’re jealous I took her from you.”
“I’m not like you, Jacob, and I’ve warned you!” Cobby said crossly. “You leave that girl out of your fornication plans. You’ll treat her decently, do you hear?”
“Massa, go to church!” Jacob said crossly. “Find some super glue and fix her thighs together, or take her to some carpenter to nail her legs closed. If she opens it nkooaaa dea I go shoppo!”
“You go on doing these things!” Cobby said quietly. “Keep on sleeping with any girl you get, Jacob. Keep on fornicating. The Bible warns us to flee fornication, and there’s a reason for it. Go on doing that, and you’ll live to regret your acts some day!”
“Go to church Jeremiah!” Jacob said with a laugh. “Go and worship God, Habakkuk, Apostle Nehemiah, Saint Nebuchadnezzar!”
Cobby turned away and left his friend.
Jacob yawned and stood up, and began cleaning up his room.
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