“Today marks the 21st Sunday in ordinary time, year C, today we celebrate the ………..” was all I could remember to have had heard though faintly. All my mind had been set to gain access into the small gallery of the great St Peter’s Chaplaincy of the University of Nigeria Nsukka. As I stood there I was still full of amazement of how the magnificent building was already filled up with lots of people at just a few minutes past 6 am though that was very typical of St Peter’s Chaplaincy.
As I turned my neck through 180° to feed my eyes with the numerous people that filled the church, my eyes were drawn to a beautiful looking girl, dark-skinned or rather “ebony” and smallish in stature as compared with my body size. She wore a white long sleeve body hug top neatly tucked into a short black skirt adorned with gold stones.
The shape of her face, the bright eyes, medium-sized fairly pointed nose, beautifully curved lips and ears adorned with silver stoned earrings was just perfect. It was as if the Creator took a week off to create her so carefully and especially. She has a nice statue with necessary perfect curves and a smooth spotless legs that fitted into a black flat shoe. She was what could be described as “cute”. The look in her eyes was as though she wouldn’t mind not gaining access into the gallery which means having to stand all through the mass.
Going to bed on empty stomach and waking up early to prepare and come for mass still without anything to eat made me know that I had no other option than to get a seat. Despite that, I was ready to give up my seat for this angelic being here. The crowd soon started diffusing into the gallery immediately it was opened. Luckily, I was able to get a seat. As I stood in front of my seat waiting for the Priest to signal us to the seat, she walked in swinging her hips gently by her sides, taking majestic steps with her head high.
She walked past where I sat but couldn’t get a seat so she walked back gently to where I sat as there was still available space. My heart melted as she was settled just beside me but my joy didn’t last long because a lady soon appeared and sat between us in the little space that I was determined to close up sooner or later. The sonorous voice of the Psalmist drew me out of my inner lamentation. The mass continued with me stealing occasional glances at her.
Just after the Eucharistic rites/offerings, the seminarian at the sanctuary called for birthday thanksgiving. The beautiful angel stood up and headed downstairs and towards the altar. I was glad that at least I know her birth month. Somewhere inside of me, I wished I knew her earlier so I would have celebrated with her.
The Holy Mass was brought into conclusion by the priest saying: “Go forth serving the Lord, the mass is ended” and we all chorused, “thanks be to God”.
The Church then became rowdy as people struggled to go out while others who were for the next mass made to come in to secure a place to seat. I walked gently behind her keeping my eyes on her but unfortunately, she left the church door before me and was immediately lost in the crowd.
All effort to locate her proved abortive. I couldn’t help but beat myself up for allowing her to disappear under my nose. If only I had asked of her name, or even her department or even her number, I thought to myself. I then made a strong resolution to always attend Mass and sit particularly at the gallery with the hope of finding that beauty. I just hoped she wasn’t a visitor and even if she was, my silent prayer was that she would visit again.
UMEH Prisca Ijeoma (Peepee)
UNN, MLS ‘023