David got back home that evening to discover Gloria had gone; he felt scattered and sadden by this news. He felt he was losing everything he loved and holds dearly to his heart. First it was his health, then his son, his supposed wife, and now, the only woman he hoped would love him and stay with him have suddenly walked away from his life. At first, he wanted to run after Gloria, to beg her to come back into his life, in fact, he had been willing to do anything she wanted just for her to come back but decided against it.
Hauwa on the other hand was also trying hard to get used to Gloria not being around. She had once or twice called for her in the house forgetting she was gone. However, she noticed how Mr. Williams had become; he no longer smiled in the house and looked gloomy almost everyday. Hauwa was becoming tired of this so she decided to take matters into her own hands; she had prayed for wisdom for days now and knew this was the right time to go forth.
David heard the faint knock on his door.
“Come in Hauwa.” He said knowing she was the only one who could have knocked.
Hauwa opened the door and smiled at him.
“Hello Uncle.” She greeted; David had stopped her from calling him ‘Oga’, he said she had become more like a family.
“Are you alright?” He asked, his face was still fixed on his iPad.
“Hmmm” She tried to get his attention. “I was wondering if you would like something to eat or drink?”
“No, I’m okay.” He replied without looking up.
“No, you are not okay uncle.” Hauwa blurted out.
He looked up at her.
Hauwa smiled. She knew one of these days, her big mouth might get her into trouble but she needed to get his attention.
“At last!” She grinned. “I got your attention.” She went to his side.
“You sure did!”
“Alright Uncle, it’s time to get back up and take charge,” she started, “You have allowed this sadness for quite a long time and this is affecting you.”
“I’m fine Hauwa, there’s nothing wrong with me.”
“You can’t fool me uncle, besides, as your therapist which I am, I am responsible for your well being.”
David chuckled. Hauwa had always used to line to get him to do his exercise for many months.
“Okay uncle, on a more serious note; I know what happened between you and aunty Gloria.”
David looked away from her.
“I am aware of your feelings for her but ever since she left, you have withdrawn to this shell and living like a miserable man.”
He arched an eyebrow at her.
She sighed. “I am sorry.” She was quite for a few seconds. “I know this is a difficult time for you considering all you have been through; you feel you have lost everything you ever had, you feel disappointed and lost.” She caught his eyes and stared at it for a moment. “You feel let down by the one you once loved; First was Madam; you gave everything to her but she let you down and betrayed your love.”
Hauwa saw that he felt uncomfortable about this discussion, but she knew she was the only one who could talk to him.
“I know you feel so much hatred towards madam, and even as you tried to overcome the hatred in you by trying to love aunty Gloria but that was not enough to heal your heart. What am I saying?” Hauwa watched him become more uneasy about the conversation.
“You have to let go, you have to get to the root of your hatred and let go of your pain.” Hauwa saw the fire in his eyes as she spoke those words.
“Someone once said that, when you hold resentment towards another, you are bound to that person or condition by an emotional link that is stronger than steel. Even though madam is no longer here but by reason of your anger and resentment towards her, there is still a link that binds you two together.
His eyes darkened ominously as he stared at her. “I am not bind in anyway to that wicked woman.”
“You are and forgiveness is the only way to dissolve that link and get free.”
“What!” He gasped in disbelief. “Did you get these from one of your school books? His face was taut.
“Actually, not from a school book but hear me out please, to forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was in fact you. Uncle, I know you understand what I mean but the only way to get your life back is to forgive anyone that has ever hurt you, you need to let go.” She looked into his eyes. “Even if Aunty Gloria had stayed, that wouldn’t have given you want you needed – Freedom. The freedom you desire can only be given by one person, God.” She knelt down by his side to look into his eyes.
David brushed his hands down his head. He stood up and walked towards the wall. He stared at the picture on the wall. It was an image of a toddler learning to walk.
Hauwa let the silence in for a few seconds but she continued. “I found out about this some months ago; I used to be very angry, I was sad and depressed and no amount of success or achievement could take that away from me. I needed something greater than feeling, something stronger to rescue me from myself and I found it.” Her face lilted up in Joy. “I found that out in Jesus, only He could have given the kind of peace and freedom I wanted and He did.” She smiled profoundly.
“I had hated everyone, I hated my parents or shall I say grandparents for giving me up at the first chance they got to live a better life. I hated what they did to me; I hated the man who took advantage of me, all these still goes back to my parents who gave me away. Then, I hated Madam and anyone that stood against me, in fact, I hated myself, I just couldn’t get free from the hatred in me until I found Jesus or shall I say, He found me. He gave me the kind of peace I could never comprehend; he gave me a new life, a renewed and cleansed life in Him and he gave me a purpose. He took away every anger and hatred in me and gave me love. God! Only if you can trust him Uncle, only if you let go of everything and give it all to him.” Her voice was broken. She swallowed hard and watched him go back to sit. He bowed his head into his hands.
Hauwa went to kneel beside him. “I know what you feel inside and God knows and understand everything; He knows your pain and knows where you are hurting and only Him can heal you.” Hauwa felt his pain. She knew he was hurting deep inside and he needed to let God in and heal him.
“Even after months of your recovery and madam gone, you are still living here in this basement; you are afraid of going forward, of letting go of the past. There is a passage in the bible that says, ‘the Lord has not given us the spirit of fear but of power, love and sound mind’, you need the peace of mind that comes with Christ, you need his love to take away every sadness, heartache, pain and hurt away from you; you need his love to cover you up so you can let go of those who hurt you, you need God uncle, you need Him.” Hauwa stayed quite there for several minutes; she knew he was in deep thought so she carefully walked out of the room to leave him to his conviction. She had spoken the words to him and she knew the Holy Spirit was speaking to his heart, speaking the truth and comfort to him.
David sat there for several minutes, unaware of when Hauwa went out. He knew she was saying the truth. All the while, he’d held unto resentment and blamed his wife for everything that happened to him. Even before his accident, it had always been from one fight to another; he knew Lydia was not really in love with him when they got married but he had done the honourable thing by marrying her when she got pregnant. He was determined to love her and give her everything she wanted but all his effort to please her was to no avail. He felt such great hatred towards her. He blamed her for taking his son away from him and depriving him of the relationship he was entitled to.
But now, after living in so much resentment, he knew it was time to let go, even though he felt something for Gloria, he realized he was just using that as an excuse to deny the anger in his heart but the truth be told, he needed freedom and only God can give that.
As he thought about these things, he was also struggling with the tears threatening to flow out, which successfully fought its way out. He realized he had to let go, he had to speak to the one man who can help him. He sat there in tears for a while before he could speak.
“I surrender..” he cried out. He had wanted to say so much to God but the one word that kept coming to him was ‘Surrender’. That summed up the whole thing. He had to surrender everything to Him: his pain, his struggles, his hurt, the disappointment and betrayal, he just had to surrender all to Him. “Help me Lord,” he cried. “I surrender all to you.”
Chapter Twenty Two
It’s been almost a year since Gloria left the house. They did maintained a close relationship; calls and visits to her but Gloria had never visited the house since she left. Hauwa was glad Gloria was getting back on her feet and going for what she always wanted. She had a passion for fashion, although she had looked down on her potentials for several years but now going out for it. Over the past few months, she had opened a small office with the money she’d saved over the years and started up with some designs which is blossoming.
Hauwa is also working hard in her career, and achieving her dreams of helping victims to get back on their feet. Most importantly, her faith in Christ had been growing stronger and stronger.
Mr. Williams had insisted she stayed with him in the house since he had practically adopted her like a daughter; he is also fully back at work and growing stronger in faith.
Lydia had asked for a divorce a few months when she left the house; she stated that she needed to move on with her life and wanted to make it official. David found out she was already in a relationship since the left the house. During this time, the Lord had strengthened his heart with peace. Above all these, the most happiest moment of his life was his son, Edward who had come back to him, although not physically but just one day, he called from United States and wept and talked with him for almost an hour.
Edward explained that he’d joined the United State Army and was shipped to Sierra doing some peace making Programme and having seen so many deaths and destruction, his heart was filled with sadness. He needed a purpose of living; he needed God in His life. So during this deployment, he had surrendered his life to God and prayed earnestly to God to return him back home safe and sound. He also apologized to his father for all the neglect all these years, even went as far as apologizing on behalf of his mother.
After this, there was a renewed happiness in David; His heart was glad the Lord was working in Him and bringing his family back together.
One day, Hauwa was at home enjoying her day off when she heard the doorbell. She went to open the door and to her surprise, standing there was one man she had not expected to see, Edward.
Edward stood there dog smacked.
Hauwa stood there too staring at him. He wasn’t that sixteen years old boy anymore; he was a full grown man.
“Edward! She called out, to be sure she wasn’t dreaming.
“Hi!” Edward blushed.
“You are here!” She eyes were wide open. Too surprised to hide the expression on her face.
“Yes… I am.”
They both stood there for several seconds staring at each other.
“Oh sorry!” Hauwa apologised, realizing she was standing in his way. “Please come in.
Edward pulled his bags in, while Hauwa went ahead to carry the hand luggage which was still outside.
“Thank you.” He smiled shyly taking the bag from her.
She returned the smile and stood there. She wasn’t sure of what to say to him; the fact, she actually never remembered talking to him before he went away except the glass episode and some other, ‘Madam wants you’ but now, there was something she felt in her stomach, a tingling feeling that she desperately wanted to get out of there before she embarrassed herself.
She cleared her throat. “Uhm, your Dad is still at work, maybe I should call him? She went to pick up her phone from the table.
“Oh no, don’t worry about that, I actually wanted to surprise him, he doesn’t know I had planned to come home today. He is expecting me in two weeks time.”
“Oh ok.” Hauwa remembered David mentioned that he would be coming out but she had thought in many months to come, not now, and not even today. She couldn’t help to look at how fit he was. He was tall and broad-shouldered. His beautiful brown eyes fitted perfectly with his face. She felt the uneasiness in her stomach again. She took her face away quickly when he looked her way.
“Would you like something to drink, eat?”
“No, thank you.” He answered, taking off his blazer.
“Alright then, I will be in my room.” She walked quickly out of the living room.
Hauwa walked as fast as her feet could carry her; she couldn’t believe she was seeing Edward Williams let alone the feelings penetrating inside of her. She felt childish at the emotion bursting out of her. Never in her life had she felt so different with anyone.
She stayed in her room till late evening. Even then, she wouldn’t but wonder what he was doing. She wanted to ask him so many questions but had to restrain herself. The feelings bursting through her would make it impossible. It wasn’t until she heard David shout of joy that she came back downstairs. She was overwhelmed when she saw the way David hugged his son. They held each tightly for several minutes and wept, laughed, and then wept again. She felt the tears bunching in eyes too, but most importantly the joy bursting through her. She was grateful for the restoration God had given to the family. She wasn’t sure the two men noticed she was standing there as the wept together. She turned away quickly before the tears started to roll down her cheeks. It was indeed a beautiful day; the tears she knew were that of joy, and unending happiness. When she got back to her room, she needed to speak with someone about this overjoyed news so she called Gloria. As she had imagine, Gloria was overjoyed.
Chapter Twenty Three
Almost a week after this, Hauwa was in her room resting; she had only seen Edward briefly having been extremely busy at work. She’d been working over time since some of the therapists were off to some conference in another city.
Then she heard a faint knock on her door.
“Coming uncle,” She had said, thinking it was Mr. Williams.
“No, it’s me.” Edward said.
She stood up quickly, straightened her dress and went to the door.
“Edward!”She opened the door.
“Hi!” he smiled. “I’m sorry to bother you but was wondering if you would like some dinner.” He avoided looking straight in her eyes.
“Oh, is it time?” Hauwa asked looking at her wrist watch. “I’m Sorry, I was so carried away, didn’t realize it was time to prepare dinner. I will be down in a minute to make something.”
“Oh no, I don’t mean that dinner.” He ran his hand through his head.
Hauwa stared back at him.
“I know you’ve been working all week and have not had the chance to properly meet again, you know, I would like to properly thank you for all you’ve done for my dad.”
She smiled tenderly. “Oh no, you don’t have to Edward, I am grateful for all your dad has done for me too, he’s a wonderful man.” She smiled.
“I insist, please, let me take you out this evening if you don’t mind
Hauwa looked at her feet. It was an excuse to avoid looking into his eyes. The feelings was back again.
“Please…” H said again.
“Alright, dinner it is.” She smiled back.
“I will be downstairs when you are ready.” He smiled and walked away quickly.
Hauwa stood there watching as he went down the hall way. She wasn’t sure what to do after then; maybe, she should change her dress or go with the one she already had on. She went inside and sat for a few seconds. “C’mon get yourself together,” she whispered to herself. “It’s only dinner, nothing more.” She stood up to brush her hair and freshen up. Twenty minutes later, she was on her way downstairs to meet Edward.
Edward stood up immediately he saw her walking down the stairs, he smiled and then waited for her to get down before he went to the door.
“I don’t know what you would like to have.” He said.
“I have Chinese in mind but you can tell me anything or anywhere you would like to go.” He opened the passenger door for her.
“Thank you!” She said.
She waited for him to get into the driver seat before putting on her seatbelt. “Chinese will do.”
They drove in silence for the twenty minutes’ drive to the Chinese restaurant. After ordering some food, Edward excused himself to the bathroom. Hauwa saw that he was quite nervous, well, that would make both of them. He returned back almost immediately and took his seat.
“I’m so sorry.”
“It’s okay.” She nodded. She could tell he was trying to get comfortable.
“I have so many things to say to you,” he laughed faintly. “But as you can see, I feel so nervous, can you believe that?” he laughs at himself.
“That would make both of us.” Hauwa confessed to ease him.
He chuckled. “Oh!”
She smiled back shyly.
“Honestly Hauwa, I really want to appreciate you; thank you for all you did for my family.” He started to say, this time, in all seriousness.
“You don’t have to thank me Edward; anyone could have done the same thing I did.”
“No, no one did it, I didn’t do it, my mom didn’t but you did. To think that I gave you so much hard time in the past, you still looked beyond that to help my father.” he took his face away in regret. He swallowed hard. “I am so sorry Hauwa for all I did back then, I am very sorry; it was childish and stupid.”
“I thought we came here to eat.” Hauwa straightened and smiled tenderly at him. She was not about to come here and think of the past.
Edward rested his back on his seat.
“I don’t have anything against you Edward, you were just a young boy, you were exploring……” She teased him.
He covered his face with his hands as he laughed. “And she is funny too.”
They started to eat in silence again for few minutes.
“So tell me about Sierra, Uncle told me a little but would like to hear more if you don’t mind.” She took a sip of her drink.
“Hmm, Sierra.” Edward murmured.
Hauwa saw the sad expression on his face. “Oh, it’s okay if you don’t want to, I will understand.” She added.
“No, not all.” he tired to assure her. The event that took place there was something he would have to live with for the rest of his life; some good, some bad but in all, they are part of him now.
“You know, I only joined the army out of fun; my friends and I were playing around one day and enlisted our names, never thought they would even call. Out of the four of us, I was the only one they called.”
He flashed back to that fateful day when he got the letter he couldn’t refuse.
“At first I was glad for the adventure, didn’t take it serious until I was taken to the army camp and then started training and all. At this time, it hadn’t really dawn on me what I was into; I had the wrong mindset to something they took very important, something that involved lives.
A Few weeks later, we were shipped to Sierra for a peace making Programme, in fact when I heard peace making, I was kind of settled that would be easy not until we got there and everything changed.” His face filled with such heavy sadness.
“The rebels made life difficult; I saw so much death like never before, I had to touch them, carried some of the villagers to get help and had to hold some until their last breathe.” His hands were beginning to tremble which Hauwa noticed.
“Children were crying for their mothers and fathers, some nursing their parents’ wound; it was terrible, so terrible.”his eyes were moist as he spoke.
“That touched me and made me realize what a selfish and spoilt boy I had been; I treated my own father as if he was already dead and left him in his pain. God! I felt so ashamed, I was broken. Then we were attacked, some rebels started to shoot at us while we walk on the streets, I was losing friends, those that I have called my family.” He took his face away as the tears that flooded his eyes were about to fall.
Hauwa stretched her hands to hold his hands. She could feel the tears bunching in her own eyes as well. She wanted to tell him to stop as the emotion bursting through him was too heart-breaking for her to take.
“Rick was one of them; the first day we met at the camp, the first question he asked was if I was a Christian. During these sad times, I had cried and wept like a baby, I needed something stronger to help me out of all these; Rick had led me to Christ and opened my eyes to the truth staring at me all along. Unfortunately, he was shot days after by the rebels and I remembered what he said to me before then, he said, ‘when I die, I’m off to see my father, God in heaven.”
He held Hauwa’s hands tightly and tried so hard to stop the tears. He inhaled deeply and took his face away from her.
“Since then, the only prayer on my list was, ‘Lord, I just want to come home.’ He sighs. “I just want to see my father, to make things right with him; I wanted another chance to do the right thing.” He paused for a while looking into her eyes.
“And you did.” Hauwa spoke out calmly. “You came home to him, not only to your father but also to God; you did it Edward.” She wiped the tears rolling down her cheeks.
Edward let out a faint laugh. “Yes, God gave me another chance and I’m not about to waste any moment of that.” He looked kindly at her. “Maybe a chance with you, a chance to be with you too.”
Hauwa was taken aback. She straightened in her seat.
“I know it’s been a week and all but I can’t let this pass me; since the first day I met with you again, I haven’t stopped thinking about you. I feel something here.” He touched his chest. “that I haven’t felt before; I know it’s early for both of us but would like you to know and consider me.
He stopped and for several seconds that looks like forever, they both sat there staring into each others eyes.
“I…” She was tongue tied.
“You don’t have to make a decision now, I don’t want to rush you.” He looked softly at her. “But please, have a good think about it.”
She nodded and inhaled deeply. She’d never expected this, not even in a life’s time. Although she had been trying to avoid the tingling feelings in her since Edward returned from the state but never thought he was also interested in her. The same sixteen years old boy she threaten many years ago. They both picked their food and ate in silence.
“I thought we came here for Chinese?” Hauwa spoke out to ease up the tension between them. They both laughed considering how cold their food had become.
Chapter Twenty Four
It’s been almost two years since Edward came back from the States. Six months later, he proposed to Hauwa.
Hauwa had been transferred to a teaching hospital in the city of Ibadan, Oyo state. Preparation was being made for their wedding, everything was coming into place and the best part of it is that God is with her.
The day the Lord has made.
As Hauwa held her father’s hand walking down the aisle, her heart was filled with thanks for the great things the Lord has done for her. Everyone that she loved were all there to share the day with her.
Aunty Gloria wouldn’t miss the day for anything. The past few years had changed her, she looked very confident and beautiful as ever; her business has been blossoming so great and clients are now looking to work with her.
Mr. Emmanuel who led her to Christ was also there to share the joy with her. Her soon-to-be father-in-law, Mr. Williams couldn’t be happier to see this day- she was going to officially become his daughter-in-law. Ever since he gave his life to Christ, he was a changed man; he trusted more in God and was grateful for the second chance he got in life. Madam was also there with her new husband, in fact, Edward had insisted she attended the wedding which she had declined. She had thrown a big tharum when she realised who Edward was getting married into. She had it was over her dead body her son would marry an iliteriate maid. Edward had told her bluntly she was very well invited and if she refused to come, it would be her loss. She grudily came and had been shocked to the bone when he saw Hauwa. Infact, she had concluded that it wasn’t the same Hauwa who did worked for her.
Edward saw his beautiful bride coming towards him, and his heart was filled with joy. She was beautiful, stunning and captivating. They exchanged their vows and were joined together as husband and wife.
The ceremony was joyous, everyone was happy. At the reception. David went to her new daughter-in-law and hugged her tightly.
“Thank you.” He whispered to her.
Hauwa smiled. “You should thank God.” She said back to him. Before he could leave, she pulled him back. “do you remember those days I said I would help you get back on your feet and you would do something for me in return?” she asked.
David smiled. “I certainly do.”
“I think it’s time I ask for that one thing.” she whispered to him.
“Alright madam. What would you want? He teased.
“I’m only asking for one thing, just one thing.”
“Anything for you my dear.”
“Don’t give up on her.” She nudged over to Gloria’s direction. “My one request is that you dance with her.”
David broke into a beautiful smile. “With all pleasure.”
She left him there and walked over to her husband.
Edward held his new bride, Mrs. Hauwa Williams in his hands as they danced. Hauwa rested her head on his shoulder, closing her eyes, she moved graciously to the song. She opens her eyes and saw Mr. Williams walking up to Aunty Gloria.
“Hello.” David smiled at Gloria.
David was stunned to see her. He couldn’t believe how beautiful she was.
“Would you like to dance?” David asked.
“Certainly.” She smiled taking his hands.
They joined the couple on the dance floor as they held hands together.
Hauwa couldn’t imagine what was going on in their minds but she knew definitely, this was just the beginning of great and beautiful things to come. As for her, she looked forward to great and exciting things to come. Looking back to those years, she knew definitely the Lord had been with her; he made all things beautiful and gave her beauty for every shame and scorn she had endured.
“The first time I saw you after so many years,” Edward spoke into her ears as they continued to dance. “Something inside of me changed forever. I found what I had been looking for; the magic and beautiful feeling I couldn’t have before.” he placed a kiss on her head. “You are God’s own miracle to me. Time and space ceased to be, our thread of love became one and all the pain, doubt and fear in the world cannot keep us apart.” He brought her face to his and covered it with a passionate kiss.
Right there, standing in the midst of all the people, they were lost in their own time and space; they felt like the only two standing there in the room.
Hauwa opened her eyes and looks straight into the most beautiful eyes staring back at her.
“I love you Edward” her voice shook with emotion. “I love you so much.”
Edward held her hands to his chest and smiled. “I love you too Hauwa.” Edward wanted to say more to her but the silence between them was far more better than anything he could say. He looked up and smiled, “Thank you Lord.” he whispered as he held his wife close to himself.
To my Readers If you have enjoyed reading this story, kindly leave your comments below. God bless you.
© Circlesoflove 2013
Hauwa Part 3
Gloria was the first to sight madam come into the room. She took her hands from David immediately, and took a few steps away from him. Lydia stopped and took a long look at David and then back at Gloria. She had seen him move his head and hands without help.
Gloria had thought David would close his eyes, in pretence to be sleeping since he didn’t want madam to know of his recovery, but David was staring back at Madam; fury and hatred filled his eyes.
“What’s going on here?” Lydia asked, confused; she looked again from Gloria back to her husband. She knew something was definitely different in the room. David was sitting straight up, and not flapping around his hands.
Suddenly, David started to cough. Gloria moved quickly to the other table to get him a drink.
“No.” He commanded.
Gloria looked back at him. She wasn’t sure what he meant until she saw him started to move.
He pulled himself up, and carefully got down from his bed. He inhaled deeply, took his walking aide and walked to the table. He knew Lydia’s eyes were wide opened. She was mystified, and he felt triumph at every reaction. He took his time to pour himself a cup of water, and then walked back to the couch by his bed and sat down.
“David.” She whimpered, walked slowly to his side. “David.” She called out again; slowly brought her hands to his face. “Oh David.” She held him tightly in her embrace and started to cry.
“I knew you would come back to me,” she gulped a sob. “How did it happen, when?” How?” She looked at Gloria and then back to her husband and held him once again.
Gloria felt irritated at her the whole display. She couldn’t believe she was doing this; crying as if her husband had just come out of a coma but he’s been here all alone, lying helplessly in bed. For years, she’d never seen her spoken to him as if he was alive; he had been forgotten by the woman he loved and now, she’s wrapping herself all over him.
She swallowed the hard lump in her throat. Madam was still weeping and holding her husband in a tight embrace. Gloria decided to turn away to leave the room when she saw the intense gaze of David on her. He was looking straight at her. She took her face away quickly and walked out of the room. She wanted to run, but her feet wouldn’t let her. She closed the door, and leaned against it. She tried desperately to reduce the swelling emotion in her chest. She was breathing heavily; she held her hands against her chest, and closed her eyes. The feelings were there again; the ones that occasionally crept on her for a while now, but this time around, she had no control over it. It had a strong grip on her, and overwhelming her very soul.
She felt her heart pulling her back inside but she fought against it as tears threatened to flow out of her eyes. She felt something in her heart she’d never felt before; a raging emotion that took her whole body fiercely. His words kept ringing in her ears, I’m in love with you’. She felt her heart racing, and a strong desire to be with him. Suddenly, she realised what she was doing; what she was feeling right there did not feel right. Before she would tear her heart out there with the anger penetrating her, she walked quickly to her room; opened the door and found Hauwa pacing in the room.
“Aunty, what happened?” Hauwa asked fearfully, going to sit by her side.
Gloria looked into the thin air aimlessly.
“What happened?” Hauwa asked again.
“Nothing! Nothing happened.” Gloria snapped.
“What!” Hauwa gasped, confused. She had seen madam go into the room and the way Gloria came in now reaffirmed that something went wrong.
Gloria took her face away, trying to hide the emotion in her. Her plan was just to come in and drench her bed in tears, the unknown pain penetrating her was beyond words; she felt the sadness all over.
“I don’t understand.” She heard Hauwa’s voice.
“What do you mean?”
“I don’t know Hauwa!” She snapped again, which made Hauwa shudder.
Hauwa stared in disbelief; she couldn’t understand what was going on. “Is everything okay?”
Gloria looked up to her and then, the tears started to pour down her cheeks. Over the years, she had taken Hauwa like a sister and a friend, but carefully guarded her personal life away from their relationship. She had so many things she wished she could tell someone; just to listen to her. Now, she just want to cry herself out.
“Aunty, what’s wrong?” Hauwa asked again. She couldn’t bear to see her like this.
“I don’t know.” Gloria said in tears. “I really don’t know.” She wiped the tears from her cheeks, but they continued to pour down. “I’m feeling something I shouldn’t feel, something I have no right to think or even feel..,” She let her eyes settle on Hauwa for a moment, and saw she couldn’t understand what she was saying. “I feel something I shouldn’t feel, right here in my heart.” She placed her hands on her chest. “Is it wrong to feel this way, should I be feeling like this?” She saw more confusion on Hauwa’s face.
“I don’t understand aunty.” Hauwa was disconcerted.
“He said he loved me.” She looked straight into Hauwa’s eyes, stood up and walked towards the window. “He’s in love with me.” She whispered to herself.
“Who?” She asked.
“David…. Sorry, I mean Mr. Williams.”
Hauwa tried to hold back her gasp but did not quite succeed.
“Why would he say such a thing to me, why did he have to say it?” Gloria said to herself. “He can’t love me, he shouldn’t love me; I feel something I should not be feeling right here. What is wrong with me?” She shouted out.
She started to pace around the room. “This is not fair; you shouldn’t want something that you can’t have, you can’t just take something that does not belong to you, you just can’t. it doesn’t make any sense; he can’t have me so why would he tell me that he loves me when he knows damn right that he just cannot have me?” She kept rumbling her words together.
Hauwa went after her, and stood by her side. “Aunty, don’t do this to yourself.”
“He loves me Hauwa, Why would he say that, why?” She looked up in tears.
“What am I going to do?” She looked at Hauwa for answers.
She gently put her hand on her shoulder. “Don’t be too hard on yourself.” She said in a soothing voice; trying so hard to find the perfect words.
“But I cannot love him, I cannot!” Gloria interrupted.
“I know Aunty and I’m sure you will know what to do about this; you have to pray to God for wisdom. He will show you the way.” Hauwa said the only thing that came to mind.
Gloria looked at her confused. The fact that Hauwa mentioned God in her conversation surprised her.
Hauwa noticed the surprise look on Gloria’s face. “Don’t be surprised Aunty, I gave my life to God today, I accepted the truth; Jesus is the truth.” She smiled profoundly.
“What!” Gloria gasped.
“Mr. Emmanuel said something to me today; he opened my eyes to some truth and he prayed with me Aunty; everything is clearer now, I have a kind of peace that I cannot comprehend. I’m still trying to understand it.”
Gloria was fascinated as Hauwa went on about her encounter; she found her trying to explain deeply what she feels inside but couldn’t find the right word for it.
“My God!” Gloria laughed, almost in tears. She had spoken to Hauwa about God for many years, but she had always walked away. She always said she didn’t need God or any kind of God in her life.
“That’s great Hauwa!” She pulled her into her embrace. “I am so happy for you, praise God!” She smiled, but only lasted briefly. “I can’t believe what example of being a Christian I have shown today, God! I feel so ashamed.” She bowed her head in shame.
Hauwa carefully lifted her head up to look into her eyes. “I’ve only been a Christian for a few hours, but I still know we are all humans aunty; I really can’t tell you what to do about this but I pray God will guide you through your decision. One thing I have learnt today is the peace that comes with knowing God and I know you will have that peace when you make your decision.” She looked into her eyes in sympathy and assurance.
Gloria smiled and pulled her into her embrace again; she was grateful for what she said and also happy for her salvation.
The remaining hours of the day went so quickly; Gloria was still struggling with her thought. All her life, she’d never had anyone say those words to her. Her son was as a result of a reckless life as a teenager and since then, she’d withdrawn to herself while she concentrated on making a good living for her son and improve his health until his death. Love and marriage were two things she never explored, but these past few months, something had changed. First, it was the way David started to look at her, like looking right into her.
Other times, she had caught his intense gaze on her. It was the touch of his skin on her body when she held him or helped him with his workout. Then, she began to look forward to seeing him every morning and hear him improve on his speech. These things opened up something in her, a feeling she had securely hidden is trying to overpower her. But for him to openly say it to her face that he loved her was the height of it. She knew somewhere in her heart that she had began an unhealthy feeling towards him but never could think of having another woman’s husband all in the name of love. She believed there should be boundaries to such feelings and not even explore that area. She realized that the anger she felt at first was as a result of jealous, but now, she knew what to do about all these and prayed for strength from the Lord to do the right thing.
The next morning, Gloria avoided seeing David; she had intentionally sent Hauwa with his breakfast to his room.
Shortly after, Hauwa came back into the Kitchen.
“He asked me to call you.” Hauwa announced as she entered. She could also feel the tension when she went into his room, but pretended she knew nothing of it.
She looked back at Hauwa and dried her hands off the dishes she was washing. After all, he was still her boss and she knew she couldn’t avoid him forever; she took a last look at Hauwa who nodded at her and then walked out of the kitchen.
She inhaled as she stood right at his door, she knocked and went in; to her surprise, she found madam in the room. Gloria wasn’t sure if she had slept there, but seeing her in his room this early after so many years was quite shocking.
“Good morning sir.” Gloria greeted David. “Good morning ma.” She said to madam.
Madam flashed an angry look at her. “Yes, what are you doing here?” Madam asked angrily.
Gloria couldn’t understand her anger but again, she knew madam was always yelling and shouting at everyone, especially when she felt agitated or tensed up about something.
“I sent for her.” David said.
Madam looked at him, and quickly resolved the angry look on her face.
David smiled softly at her. “I was hoping we could start our work-out early today.” He said, looking at Gloria.
“Well, I can do that!” Madam spoke out, going to his side. “I can help you with your exercise while Gloria can help pack your things upstairs to our room.” She smiled at him, and walked to the chest drawers.
“What room?” David asked angrily.
“Our room of course.”
“I am in my room, where I belong, remember?” He straightened in his bed. “And as for helping with the exercise, I can manage with Gloria.” He countered.
“What!” Madam gasped, looking over to Gloria again with an angry look.
“After all, I have been managing without you for years now.” He said with his face fixed on Gloria.
Gloria was becoming uneasy about their conversation; she knew they both have issues they needed to sort out but was not about to be caught in the middle of it all. She noticed David spoke more fluently when he was angry as his stammering is lesser now.
“I can teach madam what to do sir.” She voiced out quickly to ease the tension in the room.
Madam and David looked at her direction.
“I can teach her what to do and all the routine.” She reaffirmed.
“No!” David snapped.
“But….” Madam was trying to say something.
“Lydia, what do you expect? That you can just walk back into my life and then, we start from where we left off, is it? He chuckled in disgust.
“I have been here all along David; I have been here with you.” Lydia cried brokenly.
He chuckled again. “Where?”He was amused at her words and then flashed the angry look at her again.
“I have been working so hard for this family, to put food on the table and to take care of our son, I had to make sure he has the life you desired for him and you had a business, remember? I had to take charge and work to make sure things does not fall.” She blinked back the tears.
“Then, go back to the business and other things you have to do, what exactly are you doing here?” David shouted at her.
“I am your wife David!” Lydia shouted in streams of tears pouring down her face.
Gloria stood there dumbfounded; the tension and anger in the room was beyond her so carefully, she walked towards the door and left the room. She wanted to keep walking but instead, she stood by the door to hear their conversation. She did never seen David talk in such manner, and for a second, she felt pity for madam.
David could not believe Lydia even had the gut to defend herself. He couldn’t believe the words coming out of her mouth. She felt justified, and that infuriated him the more.
“Then where have you been for more than ten years that I have been lying here?” He shouted back at her, his eyes were moist.
“I have been right here with you, I have been taking care of our son, of our lives; I had to stand up and do something.” She continued in tears.
“Don’t you give me that. God!” He raged out. “Never would I have believed all you did Lydia, never; I loved you so much, I gave you everything and at the first opportunity you had to dump me, you took it and walked away from my life.” He said with pain in his voice.
“I did not leave you David, I did not.” She cried out. “I was confused; I didn’t know what to do about you; seeing you lying there broke my heart; please David,” she held his hands but he jerked away from her. “I love you so much and would never walk away from you.”She said in streams of tears.
“Stop it Lydia, stop it! What do you take me for? You left me to someone else to clean up after me, to take up your responsibility?” He cried out. “You know what, you can go back to whatever you have been doing, go back there.” He shouted. “I don’t need you here with me, go, go now.”He screamed out in pain with tears pouring down his face.
The anger in his voice jolted Gloria as she leaned against the door; quickly she took to her heels knowing madam would come out any time from now.
Hauwa has been home for a week now after taking a break from the hospital; things have been so tensed in the house lately. Madam being so sad, as her husband withdrew totally from her. She stayed in her room all through the day drenching her pillow with tears. Hauwa couldn’t understand all of these, but couldn’t imagine that a wife who abandoned her husband for so long especially when he needed her help and then comes back after so many years of walking away to say she is still in love with him. The irony of this is that, Mr. Williams cared less; he continued his daily activities without asking after her or even bothered to know how she was doing. After madam found out about his recovery, he’d been determined to work twice harder than before; a kind of anger and resolution in him to get better quickly was upon him.
Hauwa was on her way out to the market one day; opening the front gate, she found a familiar face waiting by a car. She was taken aback to see her eldest brother, Idris, standing there. She ran to him quickly and hugged him. He later related the whole story to her.
He had gone home a few months ago to see their parent after so many years and then found out his father had passed away few months before then due to illness. He was sad and ashamed of himself for leaving his family for that long. He had left home with the intention of working hard to provide for his family but stayed too long and forgot about them. He later found courage to go home and face up to his responsibility but realized it was rather late as his father had suffered a terrible sickness and due to lack of funds had led to his death.
After inquiring about Hauwa; he was told mallam Abu had come to take her away after finding a job for her in Lagos and promised to pay them her monthly salary which they never received. Mallam Abu had suddenly disappeared and didn’t come back to Nassarawa. Idris was so furious when he learnt about this especially the fact that Hauwa happened to be his biological daughter which was unknown to her. He was given a wife years ago who had died during child birth, so his parents took Hauwa as their own daughter while he went away to work and promised to return. He had only gone home twice after but never introduced himself as her real father.
Now, much older and realizing how he forgot his family and his responsibilities; he discovered his daughter was off to some job in Lagos and had not returned home since then. He came to Lagos in search for Mallam Abu and few weeks later, he got hold of him and after he brutally gave him the beating of his life for scamming his parents, Mallam Abu gave up her address.
Hauwa was shocked to hear all these; she never knew for once that her eldest brother is her real father, of which difference it wouldn’t have made to her then. All her life, she’d learnt to find her own way and not depend on anyone; altogether, she wasn’t sure what this new revelation will make for her. Also, the death of a man she had known to be her father brought sadness to her; he had been a good man to her even though he had no money to take care of her as he would have loved to, but he was still her father.
She sat there in his car and spoke at length with him. Hauwa had planned to go home a year after she got to Lagos but the fear of being married off as they did her elder sisters scared her. Idris asked for her forgiveness and was ready to take her home right there, but she refused and promised to come see them all soon.
It’s been few weeks since the whole episode with David and Lydia; Gloria tried as much as possible to avoid the couple; after almost a week of madam crying her eyes out and her husband was not yielding to her, she went back to her old ways; goes out in the morning and comes home late at night. Hauwa had been so nice working with him and also checking up on him when necessary.
One day, she was washing dishes in the kitchen when she saw David walked in.
“What!” she gasped in disbelief, since this was the first time David would climb the basement stairs to come upstairs.
“Hi!” David said, shyly impressed by his work-out. “I thought since you refused to come to me, I could as well come to you.” He smiled.
Gloria forced a smile, impressed by his work-out. “You need to come out more often.” She dried her wet hands on a towel. David walked straight to her and stood right in front of her staring in to her eyes.
“I know you are avoiding me Gloria, and that hurts.”
Gloria felt her heart pounding so fast, the feeling was intense; she moved away from him to occupy her hands with the dishes, putting them away.
“I have missed you Gloria, I missed you coming to my room.” He walked towards the fridge and helped himself with a glass of water.
Gloria found something else to do, trying to hide her trembling hands.
“Gloria!” He called out which brought her to a halt. “Look at me please.”
Gloria turned to him.
“I love you Gloria, I am in love with you; every day for these past few years, I have always waited anxiously to see you early in the morning. I tried ignoring the feelings for a while but I just can’t anymore…”
Gloria looked into his eyes for a moment and took a step closer to him.
“It’s only natural what you feel for me considering how many years I have been helping out.” Gloria said softly.
“I know what I feel right here.” David placed his hands on his chest.
“Your heart belongs to someone else David.” She paused for a moment.
“You and I know there’s nothing there for me with her; we both know this.” He allowed his words settle on her.
“She is still your wife and part of you still loves her.” She retorted.
“There is no more love between us; our love died a long time ago. What is left of us are hurt, pain and betrayal.” He said, dejected.
Gloria could see he was talking straight from his heart; she sees a man hurting, a man seeking for love in his life, someone to love and take him as he is.
“You know, my mom told me a long time ago that love never dies a natural death; it dies because we don’t know how to replenish it. It dies of hurt, errors and betrayal; the fact that you don’t feel something in here,” She placed her hands gently on his chest. “doesn’t mean it’s not there.”
“Maybe your mum is wrong this time.” David said as he held her hands on his chest. “Maybe our love never existed to start with, maybe there’s nothing to water and it’s damaged beyond repair.” He countered.
“Or maybe you just don’t want to fight for it.” She said, and walked out of the kitchen.
Gloria knew the fight going on in heart and was not about to be left alone with him there. She knew what her flesh wanted; another minute alone with him might lead to something she would regret. Also, she understood the couple do have issues to sort out and she was not about to be a reason why David would not fight for his marriage. She just wanted him to think about things without putting her in the equation. There must have been something he loved about his wife when he first met her and his willingness to go back to the beginning of their love and relationship might help to revive things.
Gloria had gone to the living room with an intention of cleaning up when the Programme on the TV caught her attention: it was an annual African fashion exhibit where designers would show off their designs. She was intrigued by every outfit and their design since she also had a passion for African styles. The fear of being rejected had held her back all this while to fulfil her long term dream and hopes. One of these days, she was hoping to work through her fear.
“So you think you can do better than me?”Lydia said, standing behind her.
The sound of her voice startled Gloria; she had not seen or heard her come in.
“Don’t you dare madam me! We both know what you are up to.” She looked angrily at her.
Gloria was taken by surprise, she was unsure of what she was getting at.
“I took you into my house, I gave you a job when you needed it most and you stabbed me in the back.” She shouted at her.
“I beg your pardon!” Gloria snapped at her. “I have served you well; did everything you asked of me and will not stand here for you to lure insults at me.” She looked her straight in the eyes. “I was the one, who took care of your business, you should be grateful.”
Lydia gasped. She had been taken by surprise at the way she spoke back at her. “I never knew you had it inside of you.” She jeered at her. “Why don’t you go ahead and take what is left of him.”
Gloria felt like shaking her up until she was back to her senses. “You should be grateful you have a man like him.” She said angrily at her.
“Is that why you want him for yourself?”
Gloria was fuming in anger, and trying so hard to control herself.. “I don’t want your husband. “God! “You should go back and beg him for all you did. You left him, do you understand how that hurts?” She searched to see some form of remorse in her eyes but it was blank of any. “You need to ask your husband for forgiveness.”
“That’s where you are mistaken; I don’t beg. If he cannot accept me for who I am and appreciate all that I have done for him, then he’s not worth it.”
“Exactly what have you done?” Gloria asked in anger; repulsed by her attitude.
“I had a son for him, I gave him the best part of my life while he was wasting away in bed, and I took up the responsibility of taking care of his son all by myself.” She shouted back.
“The same son you took away from him; the same son you deprived him of and made him look like a curse to be seen with him?
“I will not have you insult me in my home!” Lydia shouted.
She scoffed. “Insult you.” She straightened. “I would not waste my breath on that. If indeed you really want a home, then, I suggest you start making it a one.” Gloria countered.
“Fine! You want to have him; you can have all of him.” She stood there for a few seconds and, then, walked away.
Shortly after, she was back with her bags pulling it through the living room. Gloria stood there bewildered; she watched as she went back for more and more bags. t first, she wasn’t sure if she was leaving for her usual trips or actually leaving the house. She watched as she went back in to carry her handbag but instead of walking towards the door, she came up to her.
“Here, you can give it to him when he returns.” She handed her a letter and walked out of the hourse.
Gloria shocked and confused; this is the same woman who had cried for joy when she found out about his recovery. She sat there for several minutes unable to move. Mr. Williams had gone to his doctor for check-up but the fear of her delivering this letter scared her. She waited there until she heard the door open. There, Hauwa and David walked in. Gloria stood up quickly.
“Is everything alright?” It was David who asked.
Gloria took the letter from the table, and gave it to him.
“What is this?” The tension on Gloria’s face made him open the letter.
I have tried to stay hoping things will change but it is evident that there’s nothing between us and staying in this house is of no use to you. I have to leave David; I have to leave to find myself. Please forgive me.
David dropped the letter on the floor and walked quietly to his room without uttering any word. His heart was heavy and dejected; he had thought he would feel a kind of happiness knowing Lydia was no longer in his life, but far from it; all he felt was pure emptiness. A feeling he couldn’t explain overwhelmed him. He had thought he lost everything during his illness but even after his recovery, he was losing it all over again. The woman he is in love with would not accept him into her life, and the one he once loved has just walked away from his life. He felt alone.
Hauwa was in the laundry room doing some washing when Gloria walked in. She stood at the door for several minutes watching Hauwa. For days, she’d been trying to come to terms with her decision, but telling Hauwa was the most she dreaded. She had decided she needed to leave; She couldn’t stay any longer in the house with the feelings penetrating her spin, and David believing that she was the right woman for him. She decided it was time she moved on.
“I am leaving.” Gloria spoke out.
Hauwa jolted. “What.”
“I am leaving Hauwa, I’m going away.” She tried to fight the tears bunching in her eyes.
“Going where?” She was still standing where she was; confused.
Gloria walked up to her, took her hands, “I have to go Hauwa,” tears poured down her cheeks. “This passion, feeling, emotion or whatever it is called is killing me inside; I have fought and fought so hard to get over it but I can’t. I can’t Hauwa.” She swallowed hard, and blinked back tears, “I love him but I can’t be with him.” Her face filled with sadness.
Just then, Hauwa pulled her into her embrace.
“Oh Aunty.” She held her tightly.
She tried to fight the tears. “It’s going to be okay aunty; everything is going to be okay. Hauwa softly patted her back.
“I can’t bear to see him in pain and I can’t give him what he wants; I wish I could but I can’t” She continued in tears. “Something in my heart is holding me back.” She wiped off the tears and looked into Hauwa’s eyes.
Hauwa wept weepily. She wanted to say something but her lips trembled. Over the years, Gloria had been the closet she has to a family. She couldn’t imagine what her life would had been with her, and losing her now is like a sharp pain to the heart.
“You do understand that I have to leave, I have to find my own way.” She gently wiped the tears away from Hauwa’s eyes. Then, she smiled softly. “Oh Hauwa, you have been such a blessing to me right from the very day you walked into this house; you changed me; you made me believe in myself with your relentless attitude.” She laughed. “You had a purpose, a vision and nothing stood in the way of achieving that; you wanted to do something you loved and against all odds, you did it, you did it girl and I am so proud of you.”
Her face lilted up. “Aunty, you are a God-sent to me; you gave me a reason to go on. Can you remember the first thing you said to me when I stepped into this house? Don’t be afraid, she said.”
“I didn’t need to say that seeing how you pointed a broken glass at Edward when he trespassed, you were fearless.” She busted into laughter even with the tears in her eyes. Hauwa joined her in laughter.
Then, they stopped and stayed quiet for a while.
“Aunty, you know, when you are troubled about decisions in your heart, the best thing to do is to stay back in His presence,” She took her hands and looked straight into her eyes. “He will teach you and direct you in the path to go, hold on tight Aunty, just hold on. Then, she hugged her tightly.
Twenty minutes later, Gloria was gone. The only woman who took her in at the lowest point in her life; the same woman who fought for her and made her believe in herself was gone. A Part of her felt sad at this but another part knew Gloria had to go to find herself, to fulfil her own dreams. She had worked hard all her life, lived through pain and hurt of loosing her only child but now is the time to go forth and be happy. A happiness that only God could give her .
Hauwa inhaled deeply; instead of going back to her washing, she sat there on the steps flashing back to old times with Aunty Gloria. She was her angel.
To be continued.
Photo credit: Shutterstock.com
Hauwa Part 2
Gloria stood there, stunned and mystified at the scene before her. She had heard Hauwa’s voice in the hallway leading into the room, but seeing her standing there in her towel and pointing a broken glass at Edward was beyond comprehension.
Hauwa became dog-smacked seeing aunty Gloria looking bewildered at the scene. She saw the look from the broken glass back to her, and saw the horrific look on her face.
Edward smiled profoundly. “Now, you were saying,”
His voice jolted her.
“Why don’t you do what you had in mind?” He jeered at her.
“Gloria!” he called out rudely, “Kindly tell this slave and slut who I am in this house.” Edward said in utter contempt.
Hauwa could see the irritating look on Aunty Gloria’s face; she was definitely repulsed by his attitude.
When he saw she was quiet, he looked sharply back at Hauwa, “In this house, I am the boss; I can ask you to do anything,” he looked hard at her. “You can do nothing to me.” He said arrogantly.
Gloria became more irritated than before; she hissed and walked out of the room.
Hauwa smiled at herself, she had watched him go on and on about himself and feeling so pompous. She wanted to burst into laughter seeing the shock on his face when Aunty Gloria left the room without uttering a word. She smiled once again to herself, and changed back to the angry look she had before Aunty Gloria interrupted. It was her turn to jeer at him.
She walked towards him. “Now listen and listen well; I don’t care who you are, and what you have. I actually don’t give a damn about you.”
Edward swallowed hard.
“You can do all you want in this house for all I care but the next time I catch you peeping at me in the bathroom or anywhere else for that matter, I will so make sure you don’t see again with those eyes of yours.” She stared into his eyes. “Now, Mr. Edward, could you kindly leave my room
Edward looked at her in utter confusion; he was dazed at her confidence. At first, his impression of her was that of an illiterate, but the girl standing in front of him was different. She had something in her, something that commanded respect. He took his face away, gathered his things quickly, and walked hastily out of the room.
Hauwa inhaled deeply in triumph, closed the door and went back into the bathroom.
It’s been few months now, Hauwa had been studying hard for her entrance exams and thanks to Aunty Gloria; she’s been helping her achieve her dreams.
She was glad madam was always on one trip or another since she started her plans for Edward to travel abroad to further his education. Hauwa always cuss under her breath each time she madam talks to some agents about her son’s travelling. She felt she was only wasting money on him since he does nothing but watch despicable videos and plays video games all day.
During these trips out of the house, Hauwa would sneak up to Mr. William’s room and watch him while he sleeps. Since Aunty Gloria told her about his accident, she felt so sorry for him and wished good things for him.
On this particular day, everyone was out of the house including Aunty Gloria who had gone to the market. Hauwa went into Mr. William’s room; she found him lying helplessly on his bed, staring away into the thin air.
“Hello,” she greeted him while Mr. Williams only stared at her. Hauwa moved closer to him.
“I’m sorry to bother you sir, but I was just alone in the house and thought you might need some company.” She smiled at him but his face was still blank of any expression.
“I’m not sure if we have been introduced but my name is Hauwa, she smiled at him. “I am working here as a maid.” She paused for a second wondering if he understood what she was saying. “Let me share a secret with you,” she whispered. “I know I’m only a maid but I’m planning to go to the University, I want to study to be a physiotherapist.” Her face lilted up in joy as she shared her dream with him.
“love to work with people; you see, I have seen so many lives wasted away in illness because of lack of care; I want to do something about it, I want to change lives, give them a new purpose, a hope to look forward to.” She went on and on about her aspiration.
“Now Mr. Williams, I think I should make a deal with you.” She straightened as she looked straight into his eyes. “I’m going to help you and you are going to help me. I will make sure you walk with your two legs someday,” she smiled profoundly at him. “I know I’m only a child but watch what I will do when I have all the knowledge I need, but you will have to do something for me too.”
She looked into his eyes. Part of her knew he could understand her, somewhere in his heart was still alive and he knew what she was saying. All of her life, she’d seen people treating disable or helpless people as if they aren’t there, she wanted to make him feel alive again, relate to him as if nothing was wrong with him. Her first plan is to lift up his spirit, make him come out of the depression that had settled upon him.
“So, what do you say, are you interested?”
“I’m sure Mr. Williams would like you to pass your entrance exams first before you talk of a deal.” Aunty Gloria walked up to them.
Hauwa froze as she saw her come in, but relaxed after seeing her smile. Aunty Gloria always has a way of sneaking on people.
“Now, off you go young lady and let Mr. Williams have his rest.” She said to her. Without hesitation, Hauwa took to her heels out of the room.
She really doesn’t understand the relationship between Mr. Williams and Aunty Gloria; her devotion and care for him is effortless. Despite Madam’s bad attitude to her, she never stopped helping Mr. Williams; she still respects him as if he was well; never for one day felt discouraged at her duties towards him. She wished she could learn from her; never to treat people as they deserve but with respect and dignity.
It was the day of the entrance examination. After studying so hard, Hauwa was satisfied she had answered all the questions completely so she went ahead to submit her papers. She realized she’s been gone for a long time and didn’t want madam to get back home before her. A few minutes to get home, her heart started to pound so fast, the anxiety of just taking an examination and the fear of being caught settled on her.
Entering the compound, she found madam’s car parked inside, there, she became more agitated than ever. She held the loaf of bread she had bought tightly to her chest; that was the plan just in case madam got home before her. They had planned that she had just stepped out to buy some bread.
She decided to go through the back door that led to the kitchen, but to her surprise madam was waiting in the kitchen and it looked like she was actually waiting for her.
The angry look on her face scared her to death.
“Where are you coming from?” She raised her voice at her.
Edward had walked into the kitchen with the smirk look on his face.
“Have you gone deaf? She slapped her in the back. “I have been in this house for almost thirty minutes; where were you? Is this how you go out on endless journeys when I’m not at home?” She hit her again. “You go around with those useless boys on the street, is that it, harlot?” She shouted at her.
Hauwa shivered in fear; madam hitting her made her more scared than ever. She went on her knees, trying to shield her face from the hands that were furiously attacking her.
“I will not have this kind of behaviour in my house.”
Gloria had been pacing in the hallway since madam came into the house and asked after Hauwa. She lied to her that she just stepped out to buy some bread but madam knew she was lying so she waited patiently in the kitchen for her return. She couldn’t bear to hear the soft scream and begging from Hauwa, so she ran into the kitchen.
“Please madam,” Gloria stood between them, going on her knees. “Please madam, she will never do that again, please.” She begged while madam stood breathing heavily.
“It’s my fault ma, I shouldn’t have sent her out.” She had tears running down her own cheeks.
Madam looked angrily at both of them and scoffed. “I don’t know what you two have got going on but I will find out.” She looked widely at them, “and if any of this repeats itself,” she pointed at Hauwa, “you are out of this house.” She hissed and walked out of the kitchen with Edward smiling after her.
Hauwa wept bitterly on her knees. Madam has always slapped her once in a while but never had she received such a beating before in her life.
“Look at me.” Aunty Gloria took her into her arms. “Look at me.” She brought her weeping face up. “You are not going to give up on me Hauwa; you will not let this put you down, ok.” She looked into her eyes. Hauwa sobbed quietly as she listened to her. “These are tough times dear and it will pass; I promise you, it will pass.” She took her into her embrace and patted her back whilst she continued to cry on her shoulder.
Hauwa stayed in the kitchen until she was certain madam and Edward were off to bed. She was so sad but had comfort and peace in the words of Aunty Gloria. She was determined to fight on and never allow anything or anyone to stop her from achieving her dreams. She wanted to be able to throw it all at their face, especially Edward that she did made it. She wasn’t about to give up.
It’s been few months since she took the examination; Hauwa would always go outside to check if they had any letter; she had instructed the security man to let her know if any mail comes in for her, in fact, she specifically wrote her full name on a paper for him to compare with any letter that comes in and keep it for her. During this time, Edward had travelled to the United State of America to continue his studies and Madam had gone with him for a few months to help him settle in. This time away gave Hauwa enough time to brush up on her studies; fortunately for her, Edward left his laptop at home so she practiced on it day and night, and taught herself everything that will help her achieve her dreams.
She was in the living room one day when she heard the door bell, she went quickly to answer it and found the security man standing there with a brown envelop in his hands. She knew instantly what it was, without any word; she took it from him and went back inside to find Aunty Gloria.
“It’s here!” She gave the sealed envelope to her. Aunty Gloria knew what it was since she’d been so anxious for several days about the result.
“You should open it.” Aunty Gloria passed it back to her, but she folded her hands in hesitation. “Take it Hauwa.” She said.
“No please, open it, my hands are already trembling.” She whimpered in fear.
“Alright then,” Aunty Gloria inhaled deeply. She was trying not to show any sign of fear, but her heart was pounding so fast. She brought out the paper and read it for few seconds.
“What does it say?” Hauwa was trying read the expression on her face.
“I think you should read it yourself.” Aunty Gloria passed it to her.
She took it whilst her face was still fixed on Aunty Gloria.
“You made it girl!” Aunty Gloria broke into a big smile.
“What!” Hauwa gasped. She read the score and immediately screamed out in joy. “I made it!” She threw herself on Aunty Gloria. “I made it! I made it!! I made it!!!” She continued to scream. “Thank you Aunty, thank you, thank you.” She hugged her and then, ran out of the room down to the basement.
“I made it Mr. Williams.” She shouted in joy. “I made the score, I made it.” She put the paper forward to his face. She noticed a smile on his face but she wasn’t so sure. “I am so happy Mr. Williams, I am so very happy. I am on my way to the University and of course, on my way to helping you get better.” She smiled at him. “I made it!”
The excitement and joy lasted for only a week and then, the thought of actually going to school while Madam is in the house, without her finding out became the problem. Another issue was the funding, she had no idea where the money would come from; her monthly salary was out of the question since madam paid mallam Abu who gives it to her parents. Aunty Gloria kept assuring her that all will be well and that God will provide all of their needs. Another thing Hauwa is yet to understand is the issue of ‘God’ in their lives; Aunty Gloria had tried to explain about the existence of God but she never considered it. Although, she had been a Muslim from birth but even as that, she wasn’t a practicing muslim but the thought of another God was something she wasn’t about to consider.
A few weeks later, another letter came in for Hauwa, she wasn’t sure what to make of it since she had already received her scores but was astonished when she read the content of the letter. It was a full scholarship to study Physiotherapy at a prestigious University in Lagos. She was shocked for several minutes when she read the letter. Although, she knew her score was very high but she had not expected to receive any scholarship, in fact, she had no idea such was given. Aunty Gloria was so overjoyed and excited when she read the letter; she knew it was God’s answers to her prayer believe if Hauwa believes it or not. Things were looking brighter now; with this new information, Hauwa was determined that nothing would stop her from achieving her dreams, not even madam.
Days were turning into weeks and weeks turning into months and months were almost a year. Hauwa had started University; Madam’s travelling’s to the United States made it easier for her and when she was home, Hauwa would either wait for her to leave for the day or not go to class for that day and that meant she would have to study extra hard to meet up. Things were looking good for her.
Towards the end of the first year, she realized she would have nothing much to do during the holidays so she made a plan. She searched every local hospital in the town, anyone who is willing to offer her some form of internship job, in fact, she had told them she wasn’t interested in the pay if they are not willing to pay her but she would like some experience to help with her studies. Being an intelligent student in school, her lecturers were more than willing to support her application with some recommendation and her progress in school spoke of itself. Finally, after weeks of searching and applying, the Lagos state teaching hospital was willing to give her a three months trial. She would come in three days in a week to work in the Physiotherapy department.
Hauwa wanted to be the best in all she does so she continued to work very hard. Everything she learnt back in school and in the hospital, she would come home and relate it back to Mr. Williams. Gradually, she was gaining his attention, she found him more responsive to her and one particular day, she heard him call her name. Hauwa was taken aback when she heard her name, she wasn’t sure she heard right but when he stammered again, trying to pronounce her name, she knew definitely, he was talking to her.
Hauwa watched carefully as the doctors worked with the stroke and accident patients in the hospital. Then, she would come back home and with the help of Aunty Gloria, they would put Mr. Williams on his wheelchair and massage his legs. After weeks of trying this, Hauwa was becoming weary when she couldn’t see any result, so one day; she spoke to one of the doctors who had taken her under his wings. She asked him if he could attend to someone on her behalf, just to do some general check-up and x-ray to determine the extent of his injury. Doctor Emmanuel was more than willing to perform this check and luckily, madam was on her usual trip so they hired a bus where they took Mr. Williams on his wheel chair down to the hospital.
Doctor Emmanuel diagnoses- he is definitely suffering from stroke- an illness in which part of the brain is suddenly severely damaged or destroyed. This results in loss of function of the affected part of the brain. It usually causes weakness, paralysis of the arm and leg on either the left or right side of the body, twisting of the face, and in some cases other effects which may include loss of balance, and difficulty in swallowing. He stated that if he had been taken good care of after the incident, he would have gotten better, so he advised he be admitted to some rehabilitation programs so that proper activities such as physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy and recreational therapy can be administered to him. Hauwa knew this was not possible but she is willing to do everything possible to get him better, which was her deal with him.
Hauwa took him back home and started her research on helping him; she decided to focus on learning more about occupational therapist, which would provide exercises and proactive to help him do things he could do before the accident such as eating, bathing, dressing, writing and walking. Also to help in speech language skills.
She devoted her time and attention to this, the more she read and learnt at the hospital, and the more she was determined to help Mr. Williams. Something should have been done a long time ago but Madam just left him to die; a heartless and wicked woman. Maybe because she knew her husband is an only child and his parents have passed away which meant no one would be coming to check on him. She just wanted him useless. Hauwa couldnâ€™t understand why she would just leave him all alone without proper help. She knew there was more to this but her main concern now is to get Mr. William better.
A year later; there has been a tremendous change with Mr. Williams’s health and well-being; he’d able to stand on his own with an aide of walking stick. His speech had improved and his confidence was returning. During this time, Hauwa laid strict guidelines for his daily exercise and Aunty Gloria helped and supported her when she wasn’t not home. The relationship between the three were distinct and unique especially with the fact that they had to keep all these away from madam at Mr. Williams’s request. He said he wasn’t ready for her to find out. Aunty Gloria and Hauwa respected his wishes and hid this from Madam when she was home; not that she’d really cared enough about him to notice any changes in her husband’s recovery. She goes into his room once in a while and sees him just lying on his bed; she would look around the room and find something to complain about to Aunty Gloria. The room was never cleaned enough; she would see crumbs on the floor or the bed is not properly washed.
Aunty Gloria had learnt to ignore any of her outburst, she knew she was somewhat frustrated about life and the only way she could survive is to moan and complain at everyone.
Hauwa had been working very hard to be the best that she could. She would always throw extra hours at school and at the hospital to learn and work better. She was dedicated and determined to be the best she could. Things were working better at home; every success and improvement she saw in Mr. Williams was an indication of how far she’d come and she was determined to do better.
During this time, Hauwa was struggling with some personal issues. She felt she needed something better, more like a void in her that needed to be filled. She wasn’t so much interested in material things; all she did wanted in life was coming into place, but that was not enough. She knew something was needed to fill the void in her life, and she knew she wouldn’t rest until she found it. Sometimes she wakes up very happy and other times, she’d feel terribly sad for no reason; a kind of uneasiness settled on her and the search has been unending with nothing to come out of it.
One day she was working a Saturday shift at the hospital; she had received a message from one of the nurses that Doctor Emmanuel would like to see her.
She knocked on his door before opening the door.
“Oh Yes, Hauwa,” Doctor Emmanuel said to her, “Come sit.”
Hauwa smiled shyly and sat in front of him. Doctor Emmanuel had taken so much likeness to her dedication and commitment to her career. After working with them for almost one year with no pay but had remained steadfast and hardworking, the administrator in the hospital decided to give her some money every month for welfare and transportation. Over the months, she had become a valuable asset to the hospital and all the patients took likeness to her. She had her way of getting them on track and her encouragement was always near to anyone that needed it. She made them believed in themselves and lifted up their spirit when they are down or discouraged.
Hauwa stared back at Doctor Emmanuel, she felt something was wrong.
“Hauwa.” He called out.
Hauwa jolted at the sound of her name.
“I have something I have been willing to tell you dear,” The expression confirmed this was quite serious.
“Firstly, I will like to ask you a question.”
“Do you believe in God?”
At that question, Hauwa relaxed a little, she let out a sigh.
“Well, I think I do.” She answered, unsure of what to say.
“Hmmm, you think you do.” he smiled. “My dear, it’s either you do or you don’t. You see, I have been watching you for quite sometime, you are intelligent, brilliant, lovable; You have everything you need to soar high in this world but you are missing something.” His face was fixed on her for a few seconds.
Hauwa felt uneasy about the conversation. She’d heard stories and talks about God but never considered thinking about it; after all, all that she is now had been her own doing. She’d made it this far without any God in her life.
“I don’t think I need God sir, I am definitely fine without any God in my life.”
“You are missing the point Hauwa. No matter the success you have in life, no matter how great, wealthy or comfortable you think you are and have no God in your life, you are nothing! He looked straight at her.
“Now dear, I’m not talking about any religion; I am talking about accepting Jesus Christ into your life, I am talking about the Saviour who died for you and me. There is a void in your life, you need God to fill that, you need his peace in your life. Listen girl, he has brought you this far; all that you have or you are, is not your own doing. Before you were even conceived in your mother’s womb, he knew you, he called you by name.
Hauwa straightened in her seat; every word he spoke was piercing through her. It’s like a knife cutting through every bone in her.
“There is more to life than what we see here; there’s eternity; that is where you and me will spend the remaining part of our lives when we die. Have you ever considered what will happen to you after this world? Do you know where you will go?” He searched her face for few seconds. “I’m sure you’ve heard of heaven and hell before, the question is where will go after this earth, heaven or hell?” He paused again to search her face for answers.
“Except a man is born-again, he cannot see the kingdom of God; except you accept Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Saviour, you will not see his Kingdom. You know, most times when I see you at work, you look so happy, there’s something about you that even makes everyone around you happy but I don’t see peace in you, I see someone struggling to live everyday, someone trying so hard to be accepted. But with Christ, you don’t have to struggle- there’s a peace that is beyond comprehension. A peace you cannot fathom, a joy in your heart that he gives freely to you. My dear, you have nothing to fear when you are in Christ, your future is secured with him. He will take the pain and hurt away from your life and give you so much joy you can never imagine.”
Hauwa tried hard to stop the tears bunching in her eyes. She looked away from him for a moment.
“Grace is unprompted by man and undeserved by man.” Doctor Emmanuel said. “All that you have and all that you are and all that you are going to be, God had given it freely for you. It is called, Grace.”
Just then, Hauwa busted into tears, every word he spoke pierced more into her. She needed God in her life; all her life, she had thought everything she did or have had been as a result of her handwork and intelligence but no, it was all the Master’s plan. God had been watching over her even when she didn’t know him; he loved and cared for her. Although, she had her own share of tough times in life but God had helped her through every one of them, standing here today is as a result of his love for her. She continued to cry as she felt an opening all over her, like she was seeing things as she ought to have seen them; the void in her life needed to be filled with God, she needed to know this God who had been so gracious to her. She’d been abused but here she is today, she’d been looked down upon and here she is today, she’d been beaten and told she wouldn’t amount to anything but here she is today; she’d been broken but he mended her back together. He had watched over all her these years, and here she is today.
Doctor Emmanuel told her more about Christ and led her to him. He prayed with her and asked her to speak to God as she would talk to a friend. Hauwa knew she has so much to learn and she was definitely going to learn more about God. After the prayer, she felt a peace within her, she knew something was different; a kind of feeling you know it’s there within you but can’t explain with words, she knew God is present in her life.
David Williams watched quietly as Gloria helped him with his activities; Hauwa has given instructions on the exercise to be done daily. She was so strict to these guidelines that sometimes she would forget Mr. Williams was her boss. Since she was out today, Gloria was in the basement.
“I think we’ve done enough for today.” David stressed out the words as he gently made his way back to his bed with the aid of his walking stick. His speech has greatly improved these past few months, although he sometimes stammered.
“Oh no, we still have a few minutes to go.” Gloria warned.
“I am… tired.”
“You know how Hauwa gets when you don’t finish you laps.” She dropped the laundry she was folding and walked to him.
David smiled at her. “Hauwa…is not here.” He smiled. He knew he could get away with anything when it comes to Gloria.
“Help me please,” he said as he carefully lifted his legs onto the bed which Gloria gave him a hand to.
She placed his legs properly in bed and tucked him in. David looked at her; he tried to hide the uneasiness as his heart raced. He had been thinking a lot about Gloria for months now and he knew the feeling wasn’t going anyway. He was gradually falling in love with her, a love that filled his heart, a love he could not question but his fear was if she felt the same way.
Gloria felt tingling feelings within her, coupled with the way he looked at her. The power of a simple touch is amazing; goosebumps rising, nerves tingling and the heart racing. She wanted to stay like that forever, but something in her held her back.
A few seconds later that seems like eternity, she turned to walk back to her laundry when he held her hands.
“Gloria.” His voice was soothing and that drove right into her. She turned to look at him, but David became tongue-tied.
The eyes staring back at him made it impossible to utter any word. He swallowed hard. He stared into her eyes as she did for several seconds; he wanted to pull her into his embrace and thank her over and over again for all she did for him. He wanted something greater; the feeling in his heart was becoming difficult to tame.
“Thank you.” He stammered.
Gloria blushed and nodded.
“Really…. thank you for everything.” their two eyes locked together. “You have done so much for me Gloria,” his hands were trembling, Gloria covered his trembling hands with her other hand.
“God!” he flushed, and felt his heart pounding to the base of his pores. “I wish I can tell you every..thing in my heart; you have done so much for me….”
“You don’t have to thank me sir, you were there for me when I needed you, you are a good man, and you deserve every good thing in life.”
“You are the good thing for me.” He whispered. “I love you Gloria.” He looked straight into her eyes.
Gloria was taken aback at his words; she stared into his eyes, unable to utter any word.
“I am in love with you.” He uttered.
Just then, the door opened.
To be continued.
© Circlesoflove 2013
Please leave your comments below.
It’s all about Grace…..
Grace is the full and free forgiveness of every sin, without God demanding or expecting anything from the one so forgiven. Grace is entirely the work of God, unprompted by man and undeserved by man.
Ephesians 2; ‘For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gifts of God; not as a result of works that no one should boast.’
Enjoy the rest of the day folks.
Hauwa stood before her new mistress, Madam Lydia, whose eyes were staring in scrutiny all over her. She asked Hauwa to open her mouth to see her teeth, then to put her hands forward to inspect her fingers; she checked to see beneath her hair to be sure she has no head lice scrawling in there. In fact, Hauwa was taken aback when she finally asked her to take off the gown she was wearing to inspect her body.
She looked hard at her when Hauwa hesitated, and told her she didn’t want any form of rashes brought into her house.
Hauwa noticed her young son, almost about her own age who was working on his laptop, but having heard his mother asked her to take off her clothing, he turned to her direction. Madam was so engrossed in inspecting every part of her that she failed to notice the intense gaze of her teenage son staring at her. Hauwa used her tiny hands to cover up her chest since she wasn’t wearing any bra to cover that up.
Growing up in a very poor family didn’t provide her with daily necessities. Her only possessions were five long dresses passed down from her elder sisters and three briefs which were also passed down.
At the age of fifteen, her parents had pulled her out of their local secondary school in a remote village in Nassarawa, a northern state in Nigeria to start work as a maid in Lagos. In fact, her parents were so thrilled when Mallam Abu, the local trade man returned from Lagos, and announced he found a job for their daughter. They were all excited at this offer, knowing it would bring more income for them every month.
Hauwa is the last of eight children, two boys and six girls; three of her elder sisters have been given in marriage after having to work as a maid for several years. Her elder brothers were also away from home, working in one of the states in Nigeria. Hauwa had no idea where they are as they often moved from one place to another to make ends meet. Hauwa had hoped to finish secondary school and proceed to university with or without her parents help or approval but the future looks unseemly now.
“I know girls like you are always very dirty.” She heard Madams voice but the shame of having to take off her clothing held her from speaking.
Hauwa wanted to cry but fought the tears about to drop from her eyes. Her face was fixed on the boy staring at her and she didn’t want to give him the satisfaction of seeing her in tears. After their faces met, he immediately took his face away.
“Why are you staring at my son?” Madam slapped her back which made her jolt.
“That is your master too; you don’t look him in the eye, OK!” She snapped.
“Yes Madam.” Hauwa replied with her eyes moist. At last, she had given him the satisfaction of seeing how weak she was.
“Get dress.” Madam ordered. “Gloria!” she called out.
Within seconds, a lady walked hastily into the living room. She was dressed in a blue and white uniform.
“Yes Madam.” Gloria stood, straightened with her hands behind her, avoiding looking into Madam’s eyes.
“This is Hauwa; she’s the new maid I talked to you about. I want you to show her what she needs to do and tell her all the rules.”
â€œYes Madam.â€ Gloria said.
â€œIâ€™m going out now, take care of the house.â€ she tookÂ her car keys and her bag, walking towards the door.
“C’mon Edward,” Madam called her son. “We have to leave now if we want to get your games.”
Edward stood quickly, trying to avoid looking at Hauwa. He followed his mother behind and closed the door.
Hauwa pulled the bag with her only possession tightly to her chest
“What is your name?” Gloria smiled at her to ease the fear in her.
“Hauwa.” She trembled.
“Ok Hauwa; my name is Gloria and you will be helping me in the house.” she looked with pity on the young girl.
“Ok madam.” Hauwa replied quickly, almost afraid of her.
“Don’t be afraid Hauwa, Gloria brought her face upward. I am not the madam, okay.” She said softly.
Hauwa nodded, unable to utter any word.
“Come; let me show you to your room.” Gloria said, leading the way.
She led her to the room at the end of the long corridor. It was a medium size room with two beds facing each other. It had a ceiling fan and a wide window for easy ventilation. There was nothing too special about the room, but the best Hauwa had even seen.
“This is your bed and this is mine.” She pointed to the beds. Hauwa was surprised to have a bed all to herself. After all, all her life, she’d had to sleep on the corridor leading to the kitchen, but now in an actual room, and a bed to herself was a great deal to her. And the room has a door; seeing that sealed the excitement in her.
“Have you eaten?” Gloria asked.
“No.” She replied.
“Alright then, let’s start with feeding you and then, all other things will follow.” Gloria smiled at her.
Her smile was soothing and soft. She led her to the kitchen and poured a plate of rice for her with stew and even gave her a piece of meat. Hauwa was overwhelmed with this. She couldn’t remember the last time she ate meat, probably during the Muslim festival where their king had shared ram to every member of the community.
Hours later, Madam came back but Hauwa didn’t have to attend to her. Gloria gave her easy chores to pass the rest of the day with. At night, when everyone was off to bed, Gloria asked her to go to bed while she waited few more hours before she joined her in the room. The bed was very soft and comfortable and it didn’t take long before she slept off.
It’s the dream; Mallam Abu grabbed her tiny body and threw her on his bed. She grunted, pushed and scratched him but he was too strong for her. She had been in Lagos for almost three days, and Mallam Abu still had not taken her to the place of work he promised. He took her straight to his small apartment at Isolo, some part of Lagos state she had not heard of. During the night when Hauwa laid one of her wrappers on the floor to sleep, he had woken her up to come join him on his bed. Hauwa bluntly refused which was when he carried her forcefully from the floor. When she began to scream, he tied a piece of cloth on her mouth. He pushed her on his bed and raped her.
“Wake up Hauwa.” Gloria gently tapped her.
“Please Mallam, hi kada wannan (don’t do this). She said in tears. Kana mini ciwo (You are hurting me).
“Wake up.” Gloria called louder.
Immediately, she stood up, pulling her wrapper over her body. She struggled to steady her breathing to reduce the swelling emotion in her chest.
“Please, don’t let him touch me again.” She said in tears, hysterical.
“Who? Gloria asked, confused, looking around her.
“Mallam Abu.” She answered, fearfully.
“Oh dear, you’ve been dreaming; there’s no one here.” She tried to assure her.
Hauwa took a moment to look at her surroundings and sure, Gloria was right, there wasn’t anyone here, it was just a dream.
Gloria looked at her in pity; what could have happened to this young girl to make her scream in her sleep? She asked her to go back to bed and her heart ached for Hauwa and also for herself. She knew there was something about this young girl and only time would reveal that.
It’s been several months since Hauwa had been working with Madam; she’s come to understand that people like madam are ruthless, cares for no one except for herself and her son was no exception. He behaved like he owned the whole world. Madam rarely stayed home; always out on one occasion or shopping, but Hauwa was glad about that, at least, it would reduce the amount of beatings she received each day. Madam never failed to correct with a slap each time she wasn’t pleased with her.
Edward on the other hand is a pervert. He sits on his laptop everyday doing some despicable things. Several times, Hauwa had caught him watching pornography clips on the internet and even tried some acts on himself. Since knowing about this, Hauwa avoided going into his room or clean it when he was home.
Gloria became a god-sent to her; her pleasant nature assured her each day that everything would be fine. Hauwa opened up to her about her family and what Mallam Abu did to her. She’s learnt to trust Gloria during these months; in fact, she treats her like her sibling; gives her little or no job to do when Madam is out and asks her to go to bed early enough to catch a good night rest. Her life here compared to the one she lived in Nassarawa can be liken to a palace.
One night, Hauwa laid in bed wondering what Aunty Gloria was still doing; she always had one work to finish every night, and Hauwa felt bad going to bed while she slaved away; so she stood up to go search for her. She checked the kitchen but she wasn’t there, she went to the laundry room, the living room but there was no sign of aunty Gloria; then, she noticed the door to the basement was open. Although she had been warned never to go down thee, but she’d seen aunty Gloria go in there several times. Hauwa quietly walked down the stairs leading to the basement; she switched on the light and to her surprise, it wasn’t just an empty room, it was a proper bedroom, with wardrobe, TV and every necessity you want in a room but it was empty. There was another door, she walked towards it but stopped suddenly when she heard a humming coming from there; she was sure it was Aunty Gloria’s voice. She hesitated for few seconds to go in there but then, succumb to the temptation and went ahead to open the door.
Hauwa was shocked at what she saw; Aunty Gloria bathing a well-grown man in the bathroom. Aunty Gloria jolted when the door opened and having seen it was Hauwa, she shouted at her to get out. Quickly, she took to her heels and ran out of the basement and back to her own room. She was shaken in fear; the loud voice of Aunty Gloria was enough to scare her. She sat on her bed for several minutes afraid to go back to bed. Now, she understood better , sometimes during the day, Aunty Gloria will suddenly leave the kitchen and go into the basement, also, in the evening, she does the same thing and every night while she tells Hauwa to go to bed, she would walk down to the basement. Hauwa wasn’t sure if Madam knew about the man in the basement, maybe, it was just Aunty Gloria secret which she has just found out.
An hour later, the door suddenly opened, Hauwa jumped up quickly from her bed, staring at Aunty Gloria.
“I thought I told you to go bed young lady?” she looked straight at her; this time, her usual smile was gone.
“I’m sorry ma; I was only looking to help you.” Hauwa trembled.
Aunty Gloria let out a faint sigh and then, sat on her bed, seeing how scared Hauwa was.
“Alright, sit.” Her tone was much calmer.
Hauwa obeyed without hesitation.
“I’m sorry I scared you,” Gloria said, watching the expression from her eyes. She saw that her eyes were asking questions.
She inhaled deeply, “The man downstairs is Mr. Williams, the (Oga)boss of this house.
Hauwa opened her eyes wide. She had never met the oga before, although she had been confused when she hears madam tell Aunty Gloria to take care of oga.This has often baffled her but she always put it off.
“I know you are confused, Gloria cut through her thought. Oga had an accident three years ago which led to the stroke, so since then, he’s been confined to the basement.” She said sadly, “You see, Madam kept him there away from everyone and I have since then bathe him, fed him and care for him. “She looked up at Hauwa who was tongue-tied.
“I don’t understand Madam at all; I have been living here almost since little junior Edward was born, and have seen how oga has been the best man to her and her son. He worked so hard to acquire all these properties to take care of his family and at the first chance, Madam just left him to his fate” She said, feeling sorry for him.
“But why are you doing this?” Hauwa asked; she couldn’t understand why she had to pick up madams mess. Why she had stayed for these years, taking care of a disabled man.
Gloria smiled. If I had gone at the first chance I had, that man would have died.”
“But, what’s the point of living in that state, even his wife does not care for him, why should you?” Hauwa asked. She knew she was going beyond her boundaries. Since, she got to the house; she had always restrained herself from speaking, knowing how she’s been often told about her loud mouth.
“Oga is very nice; he is so different from Madam. Gloria realised Hauwa is only a child and some things might be difficult to understand. She thought maybe if she told her about her life story, she would understand the things much better.
“I had a son once,” She started to say. “he was very sick with leukaemia; every day was a struggle to keep him alive and the worst, I had spent all I had on his treatment, so I went out to look for a job which I got. The salary wasn’t great but I get to take care of my son. He was living with my sister while I worked here to earn enough money for his treatment. After several months of battling with the sickness, and not enough money to give him the treatment he required,” Her face filled with sadness. “One day, I was so sad and angry at every thing; I started to cry and shout at God while in the kitchen. I couldn’t understand why God would allow such a thing to happen to my son knowing how I have struggled all my life with no one to take care of him, except me. I was broken in tears and didn’t know Oga had come into the kitchen; there wasn’t supposed to be anyone at home during this time; I was so engrossed in my suffering that I didn’t notice.” She stood up and walked quietly to the other side of the room as her mind went back to past.
Oga came quickly to me and lifted me up from the floor, he told me everything would be fine and asked me to stop crying. That day, oga went with me to see my son in the hospital and paid for all the required procedure he needed to get better, he paid everything.” She smiled briefly.
“He was there for me when no one was. Two weeks later, I lost my son, he was only fifteen and I lost him to the cold hands of death.” She made no attempt to wipe the tears pouring down her cheek.
Hauwa felt a sharp pain in her heart. She sat there in disbelief, staring at her.
Gloria wiped the tears coming down her face and walked back to Hauwa.
“You see Hauwa, even though I lost my son, Oga still did something for me, he tried his best for my son and to that, I am deeply grateful. Since then, Oga remained very good to me; although he was not able to save my son but he saved me. I was losing myself, I was almost going insane when I lost my son, I wanted to die but Oga was there for me. He would come early from work and take time to speak with me. He encouraged me that life was still worth living. He told me I had to be strong for myself. So you see, I cannot leave him now, not after all he did for me, I can’t. She said firmly.
“I’m sorry about your son,” Hauwa said. I am so sorry….
Aunty Gloria looked at her with the most soothing smile and then, walked to her wardrobe and brought out an envelope.
“Here, she gave it to her. Open it.”
Hauwa was surprised, but she did. To her surprise she found an examination form in the envelope.
“I have always caught you sneaking into Edward’s room to read some of his school books, especially the ones with entrance to the university. You have talked several times on furthering your education once you save enough and each time you talk about school, your face always lilted up in joy.” She smiled at her.
“Aunty, this is an entrance examination form to go to the university.” Hauwa said, shocked and confused.
“Yes, I want you to fill it and take the exams.”
“But how, I mean, how?” Hauwa asked, confused.
“You leave that to me but trust me, you will go to the university. God will bring all your dreams to pass, he will cause you to excel beyond your own imagination.”
Hauwa was in tears; she never expected this. Although, she’d been sneaking to read textbooks and entrance examinations books in Edward’s room but her furthering was only a dream and never thought it would come to pass. Even now, she had no idea how it would happen, but seeing Aunty Gloria’s determination gave her strength and assurance.
“Now young lady, go to bed; we’ll talk more tomorrow, okay. She smiled and walked to her own bed.
Hauwa was filled with shock; she lay quietly on her bed, holding the envelope to her chest. That night, all she dreamt about was being in the University.
Several weeks after this; Hauwa had been studying day and night for the entrance examination; As Aunty Gloria assured her, she gave her daily plan on when to do her chores and created enough time for her to study without being caught. Hauwa was glad for this; being a very intelligent student herself, she made sure she studied very hard and learned quickly.
One day, she was having her shower in the afternoon, when she noticed something strange creeping through the bathroom door. For weeks now, she’d alway suspect someone watching her in the bathroom through the door hole, but had thought she was only imagining things. But this day, she was definitely sure someone was there. She had thought the event with Mallam Abu had made her paranoid so she took some measures to make sure nothing like that ever happened again.
She left the water running, and put her towel around her; then, she noticed a small tube coming through the down part of the door, it looked like a lens tube but couldn’t make it out. Immediately, she took the broken glass they use as a mirror in the bathroom, and forcefully opened the door. There, she saw Edward with a camcorder in one hand and the lens tube attached to it. He stood there frozen, staring in shock at her, seeing the glass in her other hand, he carefully withdrew backwards.
“What do you want?” She shouted at him.
Edwards was mystified.
She knew the boy was up to something but couldn’t make out his plan until now.
“You want this!” she shouted, pointing at the towel wrapped around her tiny body. “Or do you want this?” She pointed the glass at him.
Just then, the door opened.
To be continued.
© Circlesoflove 2013
The Underwear Rule Help keep your child safe – join thousands of parents talking PANTS.
Privates are private
Be clear with your child that the parts of their body covered by underwear are private.
Explain to your child that no one should ask to see or touch their private parts or ask them to look at or touch anyone else’s.
Sometimes doctors, nurses or family members might have to. Explain that this is OK, but that those people should always explain why, and ask your child if it’s OK first.
Always remember your body belongs to you
Let your child know their body belongs to them, and no one else.
No one has the right to make them do anything that makes them feel uncomfortable. And if anyone tries, tell your child they have the right to say no.
Remind your child that they can always talk to you about anything which worries or upsets them.
No means no
Make sure your child understands that they have the right to say “no” to unwanted touch – even to a family member or someone they know or love.
This shows that they’re in control of their body and their feelings should be respected.
If a child feels confident to say no to their own family, they are more likely to say no to others.
Talk about secrets that upset you
Explain the differences between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ secrets.
Phrases like “it’s our little secret” are an abuser’s way of making a child feel worried, or scared to tell someone what is happening to them.
Good secrets can be things like surprise parties or presents for other people.
Bad secrets make you feel sad, worried or frightened.
Your child needs to feel able to speak up about secrets that worry them and confident that saying something won’t get them into trouble.
Telling a secret will never hurt or worry anybody in your family or someone you know and love.
Speak up, someone can help
Tell your child that if they ever feel sad, anxious or frightened they should talk to an adult they trust.
This doesn’t have to be a family member. It can also be a teacher or a friend’s parent – or evenChildLine.
Remind them that whatever the problem, it’s not their fault and they will never get into trouble for speaking up.
COPIED FROM https://www.nspcc.org.uk
It’s all Lies….
Today, I will like to encourage someone out there. Are you surrounded by lying tongues? Those who speak deceit against you? They throw accusations and try to bring you down with their words. Maybe it’s a co-worker, friends or even families. All they do is lie and speak words of hatred against you. Their tongues have become weapons against you and try to destroy all that you have worked for.
“Not a word from their mouth can be trusted; their heart is filled with destruction. Their throat is an open grave. Everyone lie to his neighbour; their flattering lips speak with deception. Hear this, May the Lord cut off all flattering lips and every boastful tongue that says, We will triumph with our tongues; we own our lips-who is our master.” Psalms 12:3.
The tongue is a very powerful weapon used by the enemy to destroy the righteous. They challenge with their words and boast of getting away with it. They speak negatively against you, destroy lives; manipulate and tear families apart with lies and deceit. Enough is enough! Many homes have been destroyed with this weapon; marriages torn apart with lies and deceit.
Are you a victim of this; suffering because of the words of the wicked? You’ve tried to plead your case but no justice has been given to you. Your bed is soaked each night with tears of sadness because of the agony in your heart.
This is what the Lord says, ‘Because of the oppression of the weak and the groaning of the needy, I will now arise, says the Lord. I will protect them from those who malign them. Psalms 12:5.
The Lord will arise on your behalf and fight your battle; He will speak fire against those who oppress you with their tongues; he will make all their plans void and destroy them with their own weapons. The pit they dug for you shall be their downfall; shame and reproach shall be their portion.
Folks, the word of the Lord is powerful and strong; listen, every negative word the enemy has spoken against your life, home, marriage, family shall be broken in Jesus name. It is written that, ‘there is no enchantment against Jacob and no divination against Israel. No enchantment of the enemy will stand in your life. Those that seek to oppress you with their words and lies will be put to shame in the name of Jesus.
Remember that the Lord will arise on your behalf and fight for you. He will give you justice and honour for every shame and reproach you have suffered. He will bring fruits from any part of your life that has been labelled barren. His truth shall pierce through every lies and deceit; God’s truth shall set you free and give you victory over your enemies.
Have a great weekend. God bless you real good.
Let Me Go
Many of us have read the story of the Israelites leaving Egypt; from where God called Moses, the burning bush, the plagues and finally, crossing the red sea.
Like the Israelites, some of us have felt this way in our own lives; we feel oppressed by some kind of situation or people that have laid a heavy yoke upon us and make it difficult to get away from. You have tried all sorts of method to get free, but still find the shackles and stagnation in your life. Maybe it’s a job you feel like a slave in, maybe it’s a situation that has tied you down or some spiritual oppression that seek to destroy every part of your life.
Now, I want to do an un-usual writing today- God would be speaking directly to some of you today as you read this. I would like to take you through some truth and revelation with this story. You have cried several times for a change; you have done all you can to get free but all to no avail. Some have done all kinds of fasting and deliverance but still, nothing seem to change. I have good news for you this morning.
This is what the Lord is saying to you today, ‘I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering. Exodus 3:7.
So you think the Lord has not been listening to you, or not seen all you have been going through? You think He’s forgotten you and left you to your misery? He hasn’t folks. He not only heard your weeping, he’s also seen the misery and the pain in your heart. Now, listen to what he said. ‘….I have come down to rescue them from the hands of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land. Verse 8.
Did you hear that? He’s not coming down, He’s not thinking of coming down; He has COME DOWN TO RESCUE YOU! Am I the only one excited about this verse? Trust me, as I am typing the message, I feel like screaming and shouting for joy because the Lord is already here to rescue me. Do you believe that for yourself? He’s seen all your trouble, he’s heard all your weeping and prayers, all your misery are all right there before him. He knows them all, and He has come to rescue you. If I were you, I will start singing and dancing for joy for a minute now. Halleluiah!
Look to your left and right, who’s there with you right now? I mean now that you are reading this? Alright, I am not talking about the person sitting right beside you; I’m talking about God, and He is right by your side. He has come down to save you, He’s come to deliver and take you to the land he has promised you. He has come to set you free from every bondage, oppression and domination. He has come to give you victory. The Snare has been broken folks. Common rejoice right where you are. The Lord is there with you with a victorious hand to save you.
Ok, let’s move along. When Moses asked God who he should say sent him in verse 13. God replied, ‘I am who I am’. Now, listen, the I AM WHO I AM is speaking to you today; this name expresses God’s character as the dependable and faithful God who desires the full trust of His people. Guys, you’ve got to trust God on this one. You have got to trust him to save and deliver you. Yes, this battle might have been going on for so long and you have tried all you can, but I tell you, if only you trust and believe God this time around, He’s here to set you free.
You feel bound; you’ve been going in circles for so long that you have even forgotten the promises of God in your life; you have learnt to endure the suffering and turmoil of the wicked one. Your life has become a shamble, and no hope of moving forward. You’ve taken all the examinations required of you but yet, no promotion in your life. You find yourself failing each time you take the courage to try again. Does this sound familiar?
I really want you to listen to this. I know God is talking to someone right now. He is revealing some truth to you now. He’s speaking light and freedom into your soul and he’s showing you what to do. Now, let’s continue. God later said to Moses in verse 19, ‘But I know that the king of Egypt will not let you go unless a mighty hand compels him. Can you imagine the kind of situation we are dealing with here? God has come down to save them, yet, there is a king that stands tall and thinks he’s lord over them. He thinks he has got dominion and authority over them and would not let them go. Do you feel like this? Is there someone standing as a strongman saying you won’t get free from this situation, from this sickness, from this failure of life. Someone who is determined to stay on your case. They have taken it a duty upon themselves to see you don’t move forward in that stage of your life. They are ready to thwart everything you do? Whether they are physical, spiritual, in form of a sickness or finances, you know it. They are determined to work against you. But listen, God said there is a Mighty hand that will compel him. Halleluyah; are you still there?
This is what the Lord is saying to you now, ‘I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians. I will free you from being slaves to them, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with a mighty act of judgement. Exodus 6:6.
No matter how tough your enemies think they are, the Lord is bringing you out of it, the Lord is setting you free right now. I will advise you to begin to charge up your faith right now. Remember, the word of God is active and alive. Hebrews 4:12. The same Word He spoke to the Israelites many years ago, He is saying to you right now. He is the same yesterday, today and forever more. His word that did wonders and set His children free years ago can do the same for you now. I don’t know what you are going through but I know the Lord is talking to you right now, Yes, you.
You need to believe His word today, you need to know that he’s setting you free; no matter how high or tall your enemies are the Lord will bring them down. The boss or colleague that has threatened or talked down at you, the one that said, you are going nowhere. The sickness that has held you down for so long, the spiritual bondage that has held you captive for so long, the Lord is setting you free now. For some of you, the Lord is giving you a brand new job, some are the highest promotion you never even thought of, some are restored health, and some are freedom from captivity. Let Me Go!
You need to decree and speak to that situation right now, I mean, now. Say it loud again, let me go! Whatever it is, call its name out loud. Let Me Go! Every bondage, every obstruction, every captivity, every slavery, every failure, every sickness, let me go now in Jesus name.
Now quickly, let me point your attention to something. I hope you are still there folks? I know this particular article is longer than usual, but trust me, you want to read this.
Alright back to our topic; Listen to what the Lord said in Exodus 3:21-22. ‘And I will make the Egyptians favourably disposed towards this people, so that when you leave you will not go empty handed. Every woman is to ask her neighbour and any woman living in her house for articles of silver and gold and for clothing, which you will put on your sons and daughters. And you will plunder the Egyptians.
Can you believe that? They are not leaving empty handed. When I read this verse, at first I was like, ‘Ah, if the Lord is saving me, I would just take to my heels and run as fast as I can away from these people. But the Lord is making them leave with wealth, riches, and plunder from the Egyptians. I hope you are speaking riches into your life right now?
You are not just leaving there empty handed, you are leaving with valuables. The Lord himself would cause even those that want to stand against you to favour you towards your glory. In that job, you aren’t just leaving empty handed to a greater place and appointment, you are going out as a celebrant; not as a slave, you are going out with glory, you are going out with celebration, you are going out rejoicing. in that sickness, you are going out with a renewed strength. In that bondage, you are going with all your possessions, those things the enemy has taken away from you, you are getting them back. Your valuables are leaving with you, whatever represents gold and silver are leaving with you; clothing are leaving with you. You are not going out in shame; you are not going out in dishonour. Your children are leaving the land of slavery with you, your sons and daughters will be dressed in glory. Now for those who are waiting on the Lord for the fruit of the womb, guess what? You are going out rejoicing because the Lord has blessed your womb. Are you excited about what the Lord is saying to you? Only Our Lord can do all these, only He can give you victory.
Let me point out something quickly. I noticed something wonderful in these chapters. In Exodus 3:15. God told Moses to tell the Israelites that ‘The Lord has sent him. Then, in the following verses and chapters, I noticed God emphasising to them as ‘The Lord. It got me thinking why God was using this particular name a lot to the Israelites. He said it in verse 15, verse 18, in many others verses. Then He took me to Exodus 6:2. Please you need to bear with me and follow the verses. He said there that, ‘I am the Lord. I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob as GOD ALMIGHTY, but by my name THE LORD. I did not make myself known to them. Then in verse 6, ‘Therefore say to the Israelites I am THE LORD, and I will bring you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians.
This is where I’m going; I had to take a few minutes to ask the Lord. Why did He reveal himself to Abraham as God Almighty but to Moses and the Israelites as The Lord? There must be something God was trying to tell them. Now, this is what the Lord revealed to me. Pharaoh portrayed himself as the lord over the Israelites, yes, he was the king but his yoke and authority over them was ‘I own you. I am head over you; you are my slaves and are not going anyway. I have ownership and authority over your life. I am the lord over your life. Do you understand where I’m going? The situation you are going through seems to have placed you under; more like subjected you to pain and misery, turned themselves as lord over you, the sickness has taken authority over your body, the captivity you are in now has taken dominion over you; The strongman or the boss thinks they are lord over your life.
Now, see what God is saying to them. I AM THE LORD. I am the complete and absolute owner of that life, I have the final say. I am authority; not you. Those people belong to me, I am their master, I am their Lord, I am their leader, I am their deliverer, and I am their God. The Lord is bringing them down from their throne. He has come to take authority and ownership of your life. You need to say to them now, ‘Come down and sit in the dust, ye virgin daughters of Babylon. Sit on the ground without a throne. Isaiah 47:1.
He is the Lord and that situation cannot contend with Him, He has come down as the Lord to rescue you today; He has come to deliver and to save you. Do you believe that? If you do, I want you to stand up and begin to decree his promises into your life, begin to walk out in freedom, the Lord has come down to rescue you, He has come to save and loose you from the bondage of darkness. He has come to take you to the promise land with milk and honey. He has come to take over. Common speak out now. Let Me Go!
The Lord still has great things to reveal to you so stay tuned for the next part of this message. Trust me; you don’t want to miss this.
Thank you for reading and God bless.
*Bible readings were taken from NIV.
© Circlesoflove 2013
Two Hearts – Episode Four
Rachael had been driving around for the past two hours since she left her home. She wanted to run away from the hurt and pain as far as possible. She never thought things could get this worst, but Chris had proved otherwise. His behavior made it clear that it was definitely Alex in his life and not her. She had been crying all through the driving around. She felt betrayed and cheated. Throughout the years of their marriage, she had always been on top of things. She never allowed any fight see the light of the day. She always took care of things; she did fix any argument before they became out of control. This was different; this was way out of order and she felt she had failed in her marriage.
YOU CAN’T FIX ANY MAN; YOU GIVE IT TO ME.
CAST ALL YOUR BURDENS TO ME
After a while, she did a quick stop at Asda petrol station to buy some fuel and also a bottle of water. She later went to the central park and sat there. She watched as mothers brought their children out to the park to play. Her heart arched at the thought of not having any child of her own. She longed to be a mother and wanted a happy home. She felt nothing would ever be the same with Chris. He had hurt her badly and there wasn’t any way she would forgive him.
IF YOU FORGIVE THOSE WHO SIN AGAINST YOU, YOUR HEAVENLY FATHER WILL FORGIVE YOU.
No lord. He has hurt me so much and the worst part is that he doesn’t even realize it.
She sat there for a little while. It was getting dark and she knew she had to get going. She went back to her car and started to drive again, a route away from home. Couple of minutes later, she realized where she would go
Where do little girls go to when they are hurt?
Mommy always make things better.
Mommy always have a solution to every little girls problem.
Mommy is the best.
Rachael got to her parent’s house and narrated everything to her mother. Alice listened quietly as she went on to tell her everything.
“Mum, Chris did all these to me.” She said bitterly.
“It’s alright….,” Alice brought her to her embrace. ” Everything is going to be fine dear.”
She looked up to her mother. “No mum. Chris has walked away from me…, nothing will ever be the same again.” She sniffed.
“Hush…” Alice gently rubbed her back. “There is always a way my dear.”
Rachael shook her head in dismay. She could not understand what other way there could be. She is the one who is hurting. “What am I going to do?” She whimpered.
“I know this is difficult for you but I don’t want you making harsh decisions.” She gently said to her.
“What harsh decisions mum?” She demanded angrily. “He left me mum. He left me for a woman he first fell in love with. I am nothing to him, I never even meant anything to him to start with.”
“No dear,” She tried to wiped the tears from her daughter’s face but she moved away. “Don’t say that. You are his wife and you mean so much to him.” She nodded her head to agree. “I think he needs you more than ever before. I know his methods are out rightly wrong. We all make mistakes my dear, even people we love make mistake and we have to learn to forgive them.
“What!” Rachael stood up and walked from her. “I knew you were going to say that.” She shot an angry look at her. “Why do we women have to always forgive them? Why do we always have to take the punch, the insult, the betrayal?” She was angry but tried not to raise her voice at her mother.
“They hurt us, cheat on us, betray us, disappoint us and yet we are still meant to forgive them. Why?” She shouted out. “That’s not fair!” She cried out. “I feel like we are suppose to give them a free pass when they hurt us. We are supposed to be the bigger man. We are supposed to be the one praying for their restoration, for their change of mind.” She threw her hands into the air in frustration. “Why can’t they take responsibility for their actions?”
Alice inhaled deeply. She could feel her frustrations. Old memories lingered through her mind. She’d been hurt too in her marriage. She had asked the same questions many years ago, but for the grace and healing power of God, things were restored back in her home. She wanted the same peace for her daughter. She wanted her to find joy in the Lord who only can bring restoration to our lives and home.
“I am sick and tired of all this mum. I am tired of forgiving a man who does not even realize that he has failed me. A man that cared less how much he hurt me. I want him to feel the kind of pain I am feeling now. I want him to know the pain in my chest,” She placed her hands on her chest. “Right here mum.” Her lips trembled.
Alice looked with compassion as she walked towards her. “My dear child, in marriage we need to learn to forgive over and over again; it doesn’t matter he deserves it or not; forgiveness is like soothing oil that heals the heart.”
Rachael whimpered wearily. “Am not you mum. I don’t have the strength or courage like you do.”
Alice smiled warmly and held her hands. “You have more courage in you than you realize dear. I am asking you to forgive, not because he deserved it, and it’s not also because you are weak. The freedom that comes with forgiveness is a powerful gift, but it must be entered into with caution —it comes with responsibility.” She reached out to touch her shoulder, this time, Rachael didn’t move away. “When forgiveness is necessary, don’t wait too long. We must begin to forgive, because without forgiving, we choke off our own joy; we kill our own soul. People carrying hate and resentment can invest themselves so deeply in that resentment that they gradually define themselves in terms of it.
Rachael looked up to her with her eyes moist.
“I know how you feel my dear. Forgiveness is not about another person who has transgressed against you; it is about you. Forgiveness is about doing whatever it takes to preserve the power to create your own emotional state. It is a gift to yourself and it frees you. You don’t have to have the other person’s cooperation, and they do not have to be sorry or admit the error of their ways. Do it for yourself.”
They both went to sit down. Rachael wiped the tears from her eyes.
“I know I have been saying this repeatedly but I have seen and known the power of forgiveness. Someone once said that you can’t heal until you forgive. Jesus used the analogy of setting someone free from a prison. When we get wounded by our spouse, what we do is we throw them in a little prison inside of our hearts, and we say, “You owe me, you hurt me, and I’m not going to set you free.” Her smile turned tender.
“But Scripture says it only poisons us. It’s only messing with our lives, and it messes with us spiritually with our relationship with God. Forgiveness is not saying that what they did was okay. It’s saying that I’m releasing my anger, I’m releasing this person out of a prison in my heart. I’m turning them over to the Lord, I’m turning my anger over to the Lord, and I’m going to show them mercy just like Christ showed me on the cross.”
Rachael wrapped her hands around her body. She wanted to hear more of what her mother was saying.
“When we face situations like this; things that are beyond our control. We need to fight the right battle, and not against one another. You and Chris are one. When you fight, you fight against the enemy who wants to steal, kill and destroy your home.”
Rachael arched an eyebrow.
“Now I’m not taking about Alex and her daughter.” She smiled warmly. “The enemy is the devil who wants to destroy your home and you won’t let him take it. You will rise up as the child of God you are and take what belongs to you.”
Rachael swallowed hard. She felt she understood what her mother was saying.
“I know that Chris loves you so much and he is committed to you. He is struggling now with a lot of emotions inside of him and you need to pray for him. I know it’s not easy as it sounds but your prayer is like you sowing seeds of kindness into his life. You are sowing seeds of restoration, seeds of forgiveness, seeds of unconditional love into his life. You stand in the gap for him and leave God to do the rest.”
Rachael nodded in agreement.
“For Alex and Grace,” She sighed. “As hard as it may sound, you also need to forgive and love them. Sometimes, things are not as we see them. Don’t think you have to do what other women would do in your situation. You my daughter have to do what God would want you to do – love them.”
After few minutes, Rachael was alone in her room. She thought hard about everything her mother had said to her. She knew the past few weeks of fighting with Chris had been tiring and depressing. She wanted to do something different. She wanted to try the right way. She knelt down by her bed and spoke to her maker – her God and father. She told him her deepest pain and the hurt she felt. She also told Him she wants to forgive Chris, and also Alex. She asked the Lord to please take away the pain and give her peace. She prayed for the strength and power to forgive.
Then, she went on to surrender everything to him. She told the Lord he was the head of her home. She prayed against the spirit of confusion and bitterness in her home. She spoke against the enemy who had come to steal her joy, the one who came to kill the peace in her home and destroy her marriage – to pack his things out of her home. She took control of her life and her marriage in the name of Jesus.
It was 11:00pm. Chris sat in his car staring at the house to his left. He got home and realized Rachael wasn’t in the house. He had gone to pick up Alex and the rest of their things from her house when he left earlier in the afternoon. He waited for several hours and still no sign of her. He was getting agitated that he called the hospital even though he knew she was off for the day. He also tried her mobile phone but still no answer. The remaining hours he waited made him think deep about the things he’d done to her. He remembered how he had walked out of her this afternoon. He had been so absorbed in making things rights, doing right by Alex and forgetting two had become one. Rachael was part of him and he had left her in the dark. He took advantage of her kind heart and broke her heart. He did wanted to tell her everything. He also wanted to tell her before moving Alex and her daughter to their home. He had even lied to Alex that Rachael was fine with them moving in. He had been afraid of her saying no so he decided to take it by force.
After several hours of waiting and no sign of her, he decided to take a drive and realized that there could only be one place she would have gone. He was right as her car was parked in the driveway.
These past few weeks has been so difficult for him but now he has to make things right by his wife, he realized that he needed her now more than ever. He needs her counsel, support and above all, he needed her love. No matter how much he cared for Alex, he wasn’t in love with her. he knew his actions may have said others but the circumstances surrounding their relationship couldn’t let him walk away.
Alice looked through her bedroom window again for the third time. It’s been more than an hour since she noticed Chris’s car parked in front of her house but he made no move to get out of the car. She decided to go out and meet him. She saw that he was already asleep so she gently tapped on the window.
Chris jolted out of his sleep. He rolled down the window.
“How long are you going to sit here?” Alice asked sharply, “Get down son and go do the right thing.” Her face was stern.
Without hesitation, Chris followed behind.
“She’s upstairs.” Alice said and went back into her own room.
Chris waited for his mother-in-law to go into her room. He knew where Rachael’s room was so he quietly walked towards there. He knocked faintly and entered, there, he found her in a coiled position, sleeping in the middle of the bed. He stood staring at her and felt his heart tightened.
“Rachael!” he quietly called out.
Rachael had thought she was dreaming when she heard someone call her name.
She opened her eyes. “Chris!” She looked surprised.
Chris immediately went to her side. He had so many things to say to her and this time, he had to do the right thing.
“What are you doing here?”
He looked unsettled. “I thought I could fix things all by myself, but I was wrong. I have been lost these past few weeks. I have been struggling, but…” He felt short of words. “I can’t do this without you, Rachael. I love you so much and I cannot live without you.” Tears sprang to his eyes. “I have been so self absorbed, tying to make my own way but I am wrong. I have hurt you so much these past few weeks.” He bowed his head. “I am so sorry.” He whimpered.
Rachael felt hot tears flowing down her face.
“I have never been so scared like this all my life. I wanted to fix things. I wanted to make things better but I can’t.” He said in tears. “I can’t change this, I can’t fix Alex and I can’t fix myself…..
Rachael wanted to say something but her mouth was trembling. She had never seen Chris this way before.
“I love you so much and I cannot live without you. I have been terrible to you. I have been selfish….I know I hurt you……
Rachael held his hands together and brought his face to look at her.
“I am sorry….” He cried brokenly. “I love you so much, please don’t leave me…..”
Rachael held him tightly into her embrace. “I love you so much…” She whispered. They held each other and cried.
“I am so sorry Rachael…..Please….I am so sorry.” He said in tears.
Rachael brought his face to hers again. “You know I will do anything for you, dear,” she said gently to him. “I will be here with you and I will also be here for Alex and Grace.” She held his hands. “When we have no strength of our own, God will see us through these challenging times.”
She brought him into her embrace as Chris continued to weep on her shoulders. It was a time of weakness for him, but he needed to let out his pain and sadness to someone who could walk through those hard times with him, holding his hands all the way.
They held each other all through the night and fell asleep right there on the bed. In their hearts, they felt stronger knowing they were together and that whatever happened, they would be there for each other.
A few days later, Rachael had come to terms with Alex and her daughter staying with them. In fact, after that night, Chris had said he was going to lodge them into an hotel until their house was ready, but Rachael insisted that they stay.
Alex had been becoming weaker and would stay in bed all through the day, sleeping most of the time. Rachael had brought in a heart monitor to monitor her. One night, she went into the room to check on her, but Alex was sleeping; after checking everything was okay, she was about to leave when she heard Alex’s voice.
“Hey.” Alex whispered.
“Oh, I’m sorry; didn’t mean to wake you up.” Rachael apologized.
“No, that’s okay; I have been waiting to see you,” Alex said weakly. “Sometimes when you come in, I’m too weak to speak.”
“It’s all right,” Rachael said, and returned the smile.
“Please…” Alex lifted her hands towards Rachael, beckoning her to come nearer. Rachael moved to Alex’s side and gently held her hands.
“I’m so sorry for everything we had to put you through.” she said. Alex held her tight with her fragile hands.
“It’s all right, Alex.”
“You are a good woman and Chris is lucky to have you.” Her smile was tender. “You know, this is hard on him but I know he will be all right because of you.” She looked into her eyes. “Thank you, Rachael.”
Rachael was almost moved to tears. She’d heard her dying patients speak to her before, but Alex’s case was different; she felt she was losing someone close to her heart even though she’d only known her for a few months.
Rachael gently sat by her side.
“Alex, you don’t have to worry about anything,” Rachael reassured her. “Grace will be fine; I know I can’t replace you as her mother, but I sure will do my best to be everything she needs. Chris is a good father and he will never allow any hurt to her. You know that, right?”
Alex nodded with tears down her face.
Rachael gently wiped the tears away.
“You have done a good job with her and she will always remember you.” She smiled at her.
“Thank you, thank you for everything.” She said weakly.
“Now, I want you to go back to bed, dear, you need to save your strength.”
“Good night.” Alex whispered.
“Good night.” Rachael replied, and then quietly left the room.
She was so emotional that instead of going back to bed, she went straight to the living room. The better she knew Alex, the more difficult it became to let her go. She could only imagine what Chris would be going through since he’d known her all his life. She sat there in the darkness and all she could ask for was strength from the Lord during this period of their lives. Strength for Chris, for herself and for Grace, and then she asked for the peace of God upon Alex, to make her know beyond all doubt that God was in control.
Rachael parked her car at the hospital. It was 7:00am and she was already exhausted, not out of any physical work she’d been doing, but from the emotional turmoil lately that had been difficult to bear. She found herself loving Grace more and more as the days passed, and she couldn’t imagine what she would be going through from losing a mother. Her relationship with Alex had gone beyond that of a doctor and patient relationship, and they had become friends in such a short period. Alex would relate memories of her childhood with Chris, telling Rachael about how Chris would always defend every little girl in the foster home, how he would gang up with the kids to speak against anything they didn’t like, and how he would also plan surprise birthday parties for everyone, even for their foster parents. Rachael began to see Alex as a friend and part of the family, rather than as a patient.
She got down from her car and noticed her ‘morning stranger’ standing by his car. She smiled at him as usual, and instead of returning the smile, he walked quickly to her. Rachael stood there, surprised at him coming towards her; they had always exchanged greetings most mornings, but it had never gone beyond that.
“Good morning.” the man said.
“Hello.” She replied, still mystified.
“My name is Josh, Josh Burke.” He said.
“I need to speak with you.” He face was blank of every emotion except sadness.
“Sure, I have few minutes before I start my shift,” she said. “By the way, I’m Rachael.”
“Thank you, Doctor Rachael.” He smiled faintly.
They walked towards the hospital building and found a bench in the garden area, where they sat on.
“I have been coming here for quite some time now,” Josh started. “You know my wife…” He looked up at her to see if she understood what he meant. “I just couldn’t let go. I feel guilty, I feel so terrible, and I miss her.”
“It’s okay to miss the one you love, but you don’t need to feel guilty,” Rachael gently said to him.
“You know, that day when the accident happened, I had been so angry with her,” said Josh. “She had asked me to buy some skimmed milk from the grocery store and I picked the whole milk instead. Kathleen was so angry, I couldn’t understand what the big deal was. All she wanted was skimmed milk. I told her milk was milk, so she would just have to live with it. She got angry at my insensitivity, and said I was inconsiderate about her needs and every time she wanted something, I just couldn’t accept it.” He bit his upper lip. “I felt this was just milk.” He looked gloomily at Rachael. “She went out angrily, back to the grocery store to get what she wanted, and was hit by a teenage boy who had been so drunk on the wheel…” He turned his face away to hide the tears about to roll from his eyes.
“I should have bought the skimmed milk. She wouldn’t have had to go out that night. Or I should have apologized and spoken softly to her… You know, it’s true about a quote in the bible that says, ‘soft words turns away anger,’ but I just didn’t bother about the way she felt. I am the reason she’s been lying here for five whole years in a coma.” He covered his mouth with his hands, unable to speak as anguish filled his heart.
Rachael felt her heart sunk in sadness. She wanted to tell him everything would be alright. She wanted to tell him he was a good man even though she barely knew him. “Don’t do this to yourself, Josh; don’t be too hard on yourself,” she gently said to him. “I’m sure she wouldn’t want you to feel this way.”
“I miss her so much. I miss the little differences we had, I miss the smirk on her face each time I was stubborn around her… she was the most amazing woman, she was my woman.” He whimpered and then wiped his face quickly, embarrassed. “I’m sorry.”
“No, it’s okay.” She smiled to assure him.
“I have decided to switch off the life support, this afternoon.” He lowered his head. “I have to let her go, you know.” He looked up at Rachael, whose eyes were moist. “I don’t want to, but I have to.”
“I understand.” She nodded.
“Do you think I’m doing the right thing?” He waited to hear her response.
Rachael sat there in silence for several minutes and thought about his question. She wasn’t in a position to tell him if he was doing the right thing or not.
“I can’t tell you if you are doing the right thing or not, but this I can tell you: taking her off the life support doesn’t mean you’ve stopped loving her or that you’ve given up on her. It doesn’t stop the love you shared together, and it doesn’t make you a bad person. Losing the one you love is a difficult thing to go through, but you have to be strong for both of you. The memories you shared will always be in your heart, the good times will always be treasured.” she said gently to him.
His mobile phone started to ring. “Sorry” he said as he disconnected the call.
“She will always be a part of you, in your heart,” she continued.
The phone began to ring again.
“I think you should answer the phone.” Rachael smiled to let him know it was all right.
“Hello,” Josh answered the phone and then just froze in shock. The phone slipped from his fingers.
“Are you all right?” she asked.
But he just stared into the air with streams of tears pouring down his face.
“Josh!” She touched his hands, which made him turn to her. “Are you okay?”
“I’m not… sure,” he stammered. “Does this happen often?” he asked, mystified.
“I don’t understand what you mean.”
“I mean, is this a test of faith?” he asked, then suddenly stood up. He saw the confusion on her face. “They called to tell me from upstairs..… she… suddenly opened her eyes.” He stammered.
“What?” Rachael gasped in disbelief.
“She’s awake.” He sat back on the bench.
“What are you waiting for?” she said, excited. “Go!”
At the sound of her voice, Josh ran into the hospital building. He didn’t mind the caution from the staffs who told him to stop running, but ran as fast as his feet could carry him.
At the hallway to his wife’s room, he could see some nurses and staff at the entrance, and when one of them saw him coming, they all turned to his direction, beaming at him. They parted and let him inside.
He entered the room but suddenly stopped a few meters away from her bed as he stared at his wife. The doctors were still attending to her, but when they saw him, Kathleen turned to the direction the doctors were looking at and she saw her husband standing there, crying. Their eyes locked, and Josh moved closer to her. His trembling hands touched her face and he slowly hugged her.
“Kathleen…” He was trembling. “I love you.” He kissed her forehead and looked at the doctors and nurses standing there. “She came back to me,” he said in tears. “She came back…” He suddenly broke down in tears again.
Rachael, who had also been standing outside the room was overwhelmed in tears.
“Welcome back, Kathleen.” The doctor said and then left the room briefly.
“Josh…” Kathleen struggled to speak.
“I am here, honey, and am not going away.” He held her hands.
A Month Later.
“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace……”
Rachael inhaled deeply as she read this passage of the bible in Ecclesiastes 3. For the time first in many years, this passage meant so much to her. There was always a time for everything. She looked over at Alex, who was sleeping peacefully in her bed. The heart monitor attached to her continued to beep as evidence of life, but that didn’t stop her heart from aching. Knowing someone you care about was dying and there wasn’t anything anyone could do about it brought so much sadness to her.
For days now, Chris and Rachael have been taking turns every night at Alex’s bedside. This night, it was Rachael’s turn to stay with her. She was dozing off in the armchair when she heard Alex’s faint voice.
“Rachael.” Alex called out.
“Hey.” Rachael stood up.
“I need your help.” Alex said in a weak tone.
“What do you need?”
“In the drawer by my bed, can you please bring the pink journal out for me?”
Rachael got it out and passed it over to her.
“No, you hold onto it; it’s for Grace.” Alex smiled. “I have been writing notes for her over the months, but these past few days, I have been too weak to write anything. But I need to write one last thing…” She looked up at Rachael. “Please, help me,” Alex whispered.
“Tell me what you need,” Rachael said to her.
Rachael took a pen by the dressing table and sat by her bedside, ready to write.
“My dearest,” Alex started. “You have been my joy and you have been the grace given to him. All I have to say now is, ‘I love you.’”
For days now, Alex had thought of her final words to her daughter, but nothing could be perfect. She wanted to say so much to her and she wished she had more time, but she knew her death was drawing near. All she wanted Grace to know was the best she’d been to her. She had been like God’s grace to her. After Alex ran away many years ago from Chris, she had thought she needed no one else to survive: not Chris, not anyone. Not until she gave birth to her daughter and during the years that had followed, she realized that her daughter had indeed been a blessing to her. It wasn’t just her daughter who needed a mother, she also needed her; Grace gave her a purpose and fulfillment after God.
“You know,” she said as she looked up at Rachael, “I had thought I would have to write a long note for her, a last long note, but I don’t have to. You know why?” She smiled at Rachael.
Rachael felt every emotion penetrating her as a feeling of sadness and fear filled her.
“Because I am at peace,” Alex said confidently. “I have faith and hope in God that everything will be all right.”
“Oh, Alex,” Rachael whimpered. She knew the time was now, she could sense it.
“Rachael, you are a good woman and I thank God for your life….” She paused. “Please, I need to ask of you one more thing,”
“Whatever you do in life, always trust in God….. you can be rest assured that everything will be okay.” She slowly closed her eyes.
Rachael stood there in tears.
“Thank you, Rachael,” she said slowly, her eyes were still closed.
“I have to get Chris,” Rachael said and quickly went of the room.
As she opened the door, Chris was startled. He turned and saw Rachael in the room and knew instantly what it meant.
“You have to come now,” Rachael said to him.
Chris felt as if his heart just skipped a beat; he stood up from the bed and followed Rachael.
When they entered the room, Alex’s eyes were closed; quickly, he moved to her side and held her hands.
“Alex,” Chris whispered as he feared the worst.
Alex weakly opened her eyes and smiled faintly.
“Christopher…” She whispered.
“I am here, Alex.”
“I am… at… peace,” she whispered. “Everything is going to be all right.” Her voice was faint.
“Alex…” Christopher whispered.
“He makes all things beautiful.” Alex smiled warmly and looked straight into his eyes.
Chris felt tears pouring down his face, but made no attempt to wipe them off.
“Don’t cry, Christopher. I’m going to be all right.”
“I don’t know what to do.” Chris whimpered.
Alex wanted to say more to him, but was too weak to speak. She slowly looked from Chris to Rachael and felt joyful. Peace overwhelmed her and she knew God was there with her, and she felt his presence in her life. It was a love that she could not comprehend. She closed her eyes for a moment and knew beyond words that she was going home, back to the presence of God.
“Beautiful….” She whispered.
The flat line of the heart monitor jolted them both.
Chris looked at his wife and the tears pouring down her face made him realize Alex was gone. He bowed his head on her bed and cried.
Rachael walked towards him; he stood up and held her in his arms. There were no words that could be used to compare or explain the feelings within when you lose someone.. Nothing could be compared to that. Knowing that person was gone forever broke the heart into pieces. They held each other as they wept.
It had been six months since Alex passed away. The first few weeks were the most difficult, especially since they had to explain to Grace that her mother wasn’t coming back again. It saddened them, but God was with them. He gave them his strength when they needed it most.
Rachael and Chris continued to grow in their love. The experiences they had those past months had brought them closer together and strengthened their relationship. They learnt to appreciate one another and to appreciate each day as a gift. The two hearts beat as one with unending love that was joined by a cord that cannot be broken.
Two months later, Rachael discovered she was pregnant, and that brought so much joy to their family. Grace had been so happy over the news and she looked forward to having a baby sister or a brother.
Josh Burke and his wife continued in their love. With the help of physiotherapy and necessary treatment, Kathleen was discharged from the hospital after a few weeks and both remained friends with Rachael and her family.
Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two hearts.
‘Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.’ I Corinthians 13.
Thank you for reading. I hope you have enjoyed reading this series. Please leave your comments here and continue to visit Circles of Love for more inspirational stories. God bless you.
I Forgive You
Sincere forgiveness isn’t coloured with expectations that the other person apologize or change. One shouldn’t worry whether or not they finally understand you. Love them and release them. Life feeds back truth to people in its own way and time . I can forgive, but I cannot forget, is only another way of saying, I will not forgive. Forgiveness ought to be like a cancelled note torn in two, and burned up, so that it never can be shown against one.
The wrong has been done, the way forward is to keep looking forward; forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future. Forgiveness does not mean that we suppress anger; forgiveness means that we have asked for a miracle: the ability to see through mistakes that someone has made to the truth that lies in all of our hearts. Forgiveness is not always easy. At times, it feels more painful than the wound we suffered, to forgive the one that inflicted it. And yet, there is no peace without forgiveness.
The love of God is able to conquer everything that life throws at us; we need the willingness and courage to give it our best. Your love for each other isn’t enough to hold through storming seas but the love of God can break through every pain, disappointment, and betrayal. As he sat in his car, he felt at peace, the kind of peace you cannot comprehend, the peace that only God could give. He realized that to forgive is the highest, most beautiful form of love. In return, you will receive untold peace and happiness.
Forgiveness is not a cruel demand that a sadistic God imposes on the hurting. It is the painful but healing door to freedom. It is surgery on the heart that extracts the poison of bitterness so we can move forward into a healthy life.
Forgiveness is a choice we make intentionally, not because we just want to put the memory behind us, because we’ve been told we must, or because we think it will cause God to give us what we want. We choose to forgive because we recognized the tremendous mercy and power in God’s forgiveness of us. If God is able to forgive us our enormous cache of sin, our forgiveness of one who has hurt us is small in comparison. (MarriageÂ Mission)
Excrept from the ‘Confession of a Married Woman’
Two Hearts – Episode Three
Rachael could not sleep well on the two seater sofa in her office. Not that this was the first time she had passed the night over at work, but this time around, the hurt and the pain in her heart made it difficult to have a good night sleep. She had been so furious yesterday that she could not bear to go back home and see his face. After she finished her shift, she had sat back in her office to ponder on all that happened between them. The more she thought about it, the harder it was to let go of her anger. She did checked her phone several time since she left the house and back to the hospital. He still had not called. Not even a text message to say he was sorry or even to check on her whereabouts, considering how she felt the house. She was hurting.
Oh Lord, have I lost him?
She opened her eyes wearily and checked the time on her phone. It was six-thirty. She knew she couldn’t avoid him forever. She would have to face him again. She would have to look into his eyes and wonder if he still loved her. That thought scared her to death. She loved him so much and did not want nothing short of that. She wanted to be the only love in his life. She wanted her life to mean something to him. She wondered if she had been the second best to his heart all along. Her heart tightened. She couldn’t bear to lose him.
Is this the punishment to my sins Lord? Am I paying for the mistake I made several years ago? She wondered.
She remembered the verse in proverbs twenty verse thirteen.
He who covereth her sins shall not proper but whosoever confess will have mercy. Maybe sins are really not forgiven, or rather the Lord had not forgotten and chose this time to punish me.
Her mind trailed back to when Alex walked into her office that fateful afternoon. Although she had contacted her several weeks before then on the phone and through email. She did received all her case file from her previous doctors in Australia and had studied it well before she finally arrived in the United Kingdom. She had taken immediate likeness to the young woman who had flown thousands of miles to find cure to the sickness eating her body away. She got to know during their talks that she was a mother and had no family to take care of herself and even her daughter. she had taken pity on her and promised to do all she could to help her.
Rachael knew her mistake had been her promise to Alex. Doctors should never make promises they can’t keep. She realised few weeks later that the cancer had spread to her bone and other vital part of her body. There was nothing more she could do for her. That thought had torn her apart for some days when she received the result. She couldn’t bear the thought of giving a hopeless result to a woman who had little or no hope of securing the future of her child. Now, that pity was gone. She wanted to be angry at her. She wanted her to suffer for the pain she had brought to her family.
Maybe Alex knew what she was playing into. She wondered how Alex had chosen to contact her of all the doctors in the United Kingdom. She couldn’t help but think she had planned all these. She probably wanted to find out who Christopher Ross’s wife was. She wanted her in the picture before destroying her family.
Abruptly, she rose from the couch and straightened. She knew what she must do.
The Kingdom of God suffered violent and the violent must take it by force. She had to take what belonged to her and fast.
She straightened her hair and put on her coat. Her glance caught the picture she had on her desk. It was of her and Chris. Her mother had taken that picture after they came back from their honeymoon. Alice said she wanted them to always remember what it felt like at that early stage in their marriage. The love, trust should never go away. That did helped for a number of occasion. Every time they did had a quarrel, she had looked at the picture to remind herself of what she wanted in her marriage. That feeling is different this time around. She took her face away, and picked up her bag from under her desk.
She walked out of the hospital building and into the car back. Then, she walked passed her ‘morning stranger’ and shared a warm smile with him. He was on his way to his wife’s room, as usual. Rachael couldn’t help but feel jealous of the love he had for his wife. Despite the fact that his wife wouldn’t know if he was there or not, he was still committed to her.
This is a lesson Chris should learn. Maybe a stranger can teach him to love and stay commitment to his wife.
Apart from having Alex back into their lives, Rachael felt his daughter would always take her mother’s place even when she was gone. All her life, Rachael had carefully guarded her relationships with men when it came to them having children outside of marriage. She just couldn’t bear raising another woman’s child or sharing his attention with them.
She got into her car and sat there for several minutes; every day for many years, she had always looked forward to going home after work, but today, a feeling of sadness and uncertainty overwhelmed her. The years waiting to conceive had also been tiring for her, but now that her husband’s unknown child was in the picture, it saddened her.
Rachael woke up at around 2:00pm later that day. She checked her phone again, but there were no missed calls from her husband. Chris had already left when she got back at morning. Although a part of her had been relief he wasn’t there. So she took a long shower, had a slice of toast with a cup of tea and went back to bed.
She had not expected he would not have called in to check on her or come home since then. She was filled with anger and resentment. Just a word from him is what she needed, and he had denied her of that. She got out of bed to clean up the house before she would leave for her night shift later in the evening, hoping she would at least have a chat with him when he came back from work.
After a few hours of waiting, Chris still wasn’t back from work. She wasn’t sure if he was tied up at work or ignoring her, so she decided to call his office.
“Hello, could I speak with Chris, please?” She asked the receptionist.
“I’m sorry, he’s left for the day. Can I take a…” the secretary started to ask.
But before she could finish her sentence, Rachael hung up.
That was around 5:00pm and his office was just roughly twenty minutes to get home. Two hours later, Chris was not back. By this time, Rachael was raging inside of her. she knew exactly where he was and what he was doing; her husband wasn’t the type that visited friends and since she’d known him, he was always on his way home after each day at work. There could only be one explanation for this, and that pointed to Alex. She felt betrayed.
How could he do this to me? He just didn’t care enough of her feelings and would forget her at his first chance he got. This was beyond what she could handle. She carried her bag and left the house. Filled with anger, she knew exactly what she would do; if he wasn’t going to speak with her, she knew what to do to get his attention.
When Rachael got to work, she went quickly to Ben’s office, her friend and colleague.
“Hey Ben! Are you leaving now?” She stood at his doorway, seeing him taking off his overall.
“Yes sweetheart, I’m off.” He beamed a smile at her.
“I need to ask you a favour please.”
“Alright.” He gave her his full attention.
“You remember the favour you owe me, I think I’m ready to take you on that offer.” She walked into the office and shut the door behind her.
He chuckled but seeing she wasn’t smiling, he wiped the smile off his face.
“I’m listening.” He said.
Rachael gently placed the file in her hands on his desk.
“I have this patient; she’s in the final stage of cancer.” She tried to avoid his gaze as she passed the files to him.
“I need you to take the case off me please.”
“Why?” he asked, surprise. He knew Rachael wasn’t the type to pass her patients around.
“Let’s say, too much on my desk and there isn’t any much I can do for her nw.” She retorted.
“Are you sure about this?” he asked in doubt.
“Please, I need you to do this for me.” She stressed out.
Seeing how determined she was, he nodded. “Alright then.”
“Thank you.” She said and walked hastily out of his office.
As she walked back to her office, her heart felt heavy. She knew she wasn’t making the right decision, but part of her just wanted to make Chris suffer and get his attention. Just as she got back to her office, she found a text message on her mobile that read, ‘Hi, how was your day? Sorry I missed you at home. Hoping to talk to you tomorrow.’ She hissed and dropped the phone into her drawer in annoyance.
That was it! That message from Chris made her even more furious. That was all he had to say; after spending the rest of his day with his so-called lover and forgetting all about her. Rachael felt resentment towards him; she felt he was taking her for granted and couldn’t care less about her feelings. She sat back in her chair to compose herself before starting her shift.
Alex struggled out of bed and looked at the clock. It was almost 10:00pm. For days now, she’d been getting weaker and weaker, and things like getting up from bed or walking around the house had proven difficult for her. She was grateful for Chris who had been here with her all through the day. He had come in early to take Grace to school, and even went to pick her up afterwards. They had spent almost the day together, although he briefly went to work to sort some things out. They talked and laughed together. Alex was glad he was here with her. Grace had also warmed up to him and had been excited when he told her he would be coming over to take her to school again the next morning.
Alex walked quietly to her daughter’s room to check on her; slowly, she opened the door and found Grace sleeping peacefully in her bed. She sat down by her side and watched her sleep. Part of her was grateful for the recent events, with Chris back in her and her daughter’s life. She was grateful there would be someone there to take good care of her when she was gone. Despite her effort to explain everything about her condition to Chris, he stubbornly still believed she would get better. Over the days, he’d been doing more research and speaking to some specialists to book an appointment to discuss her condition, but when they heard the stage of cancer she was in, the specialists all told him there was nothing they could do. But Chris would not give up, he was determined to do everything he could to make things right.
Alex stood up to open the drawer; she had carefully kept a journal under her daughter’s clothing. Over the months, she’d been writing to her daughter, telling her things she wouldn’t be able to say to her in the future, and she hoped that this journal would answer any questions Grace might have when she grew older and, most importantly, she hoped it would make her daughter feel closer to her when she was gone. She opened the journal and started to write.
‘Hello, my dearest; it’s another night as I sit in your room. I feel so much content and grateful. My angel, I love you as always and I want you to know that nothing can change that. I’m sorry this is how close we can communicate. Today you completed your seven times table. You had struggled with it for many days and thought you will never get it. But you did my angel. You read it out loud, and completed it. Just as I saw you today, I know in my heart that you can do all things you set your mind to do. You know, I once heard a preacher say that God has given everyone of us talents and abilities. We need to believe more in ourselves and never give up. To be honest, I wished I had known this a long time ago; maybe I would have spent more time focusing on the talents and abilities that I had. I have come to know that nothing is impossible with God. God loves us despite all we do and he holds us in the palm of his hands. Sometimes we don’t understand why things happen, but he does have a good plan for us. I think I’m a slow learner ‘smile’ as it took me a long time to know this. But I want you to always believe this no matter what comes your way dear. I love you now and always.
She wiped the tears from her face. Alex remembered the first few weeks after she was diagnosed with cancer; she had been so upset and depressed. This happened just as things were looking bright for her: she had been tremendously successful in her career and had been building up a comfortable life for herself and her daughter. She felt this was not something that should happen to her. Not now, not ever. All her life had been a struggle ever since her own mother had left her at the orphanage at the age of five.
After few months she settled in Australia and the news of her pregnancy. She had found comfort at the community church at the market place. She went every evening and listened to the minister preach. She wanted to find some sense of hope and strength in all these and she found it. She knew Jesus had died for her; she knew the tremendous gift of life he gave to her. However, a few years after the birth of Grace, she drifted away from church and needless to say, also from God. She found comfort in her rising career. The rush of the job gave her something to look forward to every morning. She was successful and that made her satisfied.
Then, came the news of her sickness. That had been the biggest blow. She felt weak to the bone. She had asked God many times if that was her punishment for walking away from the church. Maybe God was trying to get her attention back to him.
Alex inhaled deeply and put the journal down. She had so much to write but her heart ached the more. She wished she would be there to say these things to her daughter in person rather than a voice from the grave. She wished things would be different.
She laid beside her daughter and held her close to herself, trying not to wake her up. Grace shifted and made a faint sound. Alex gently rubbed her back, and slowly started to sing.
This little light of mine. I’m gonna let it shine.
This little light of mine; I’m gonna let it shine.
Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.
Rachael got home the following morning and was surprised to see Chris’s car still in their driveway. She inhaled deeply knowing how angry she’d been all night. She walked into the house with uncertainty.
“Morning,” She heard Chris say. He was sitting at the dining table with a cup of coffee in his hands.
He stood up and went to the coffee maker and poured some into a mug.
She ignored him and walked straight to the fridge. Chris came to her and offered her a cup of the coffee. She looked angrily at him and walked away.
Like a cup of coffee can make up for this.
He shrugged. “How are you?”
“What do you think?” She rolled her eyes at him.
“All right. I know I should have called, but I was just giving you time…”
“Giving me time for what?” She said out of spite. “Time to properly take in the fact that you have been lying to me and possibly cheating on me?”
“What?” He gasped in disbelief.
“Exactly what I said.” She snorted.
“What is this crazy talk?”
“Now, I am crazy?” She let out a short laugh and then looked at him with disdain.
“God!” He threw his hands into the air in frustration. “This isn’t my fault, you know.” he shouted.
“So now we are shouting!”
“This is the exact reason why I left you for days to think this through. Why can’t we be civilized about this? What is wrong with you?”
“You are what is wrong with me. I hate this whole attitude you are giving to me, as if you should be justified or given an award or something. You lied to me, Chris; you kept something very important away from me and then you left me all alone.” Tears were now threatening to fall down her cheeks. She desperately tried to avoid that. She didn’t want him to see how weak she was. Part of her also didn’t want him apologizing when he sees how upset she was; she wanted him to make things right. Make all these go away like it never happened.
“I said I’m sorry, how many times do I have to say that to you?”
“All right, you are sorry; but sorry for what, exactly?” She shouted. Tears were bunching in her eyes. It wasn’t what he said that made her angry. It was the way he said it that bought heat to her cheeks.
“For heaven sake!” he raged. “What exactly would you like me to do?”
“You can do whatever you want, for all I care.” She threw her hands into the air in frustration.
Chris stood there panting angrily as he stared at her furiously. The longer he stood there, the angrier he became, so he turned back into the living room, picked up his suit and keys and walked towards the door.
Her heart drummed; her body hummed. He was leaving again. “Exactly what you know how to do best, walk away.” She shouted in tears.
Chris stopped and stood there for a moment. He inhaled deeply and then turned back and walked towards her.
“What do you want from me, Rachael?” His voice was much calmer. “This isn’t my fault. I am so confused here, and you are not helping matters. What do you want me to do?” He looked straight into her eyes.
Rachael felt he was trying to put the guilt on her. Trying to make her feel pity for him. “No, don’t you patronize me; all you ever wanted is her. From the very beginning, Alex was the woman you always wanted and you have proved me right.” She said in tears.
He turned his face away, like he was dismissing what she was saying.
“You know what? Do whatever you like; I don’t care what you do!” she said, and ran upstairs.
Chris stood there in utter confusion.
After a few minutes, She heard his car in the drive way. Rachael swelled up in tears and cried bitterly. She couldn’t understand why he just couldn’t be here with her. Why he had to justify whatever feelings he had going on in his head. She hated Alex and her daughter the more. She hated what they were doing to her family. Her heart ached.
Rachael was in her office when suddenly, someone barged in.
“Chris!” She called out, startled.
“How dare you?” Chris said as he walked straight to her. “Who do you think you are?” he shouted.
“What is it Chris that can’t wait until we get home?” She walked past him to shut the door.
“Why did you pass her case to someone else?” He was fuming and panting heavily like he had ran all the way here.
“Oh!” she whispered to herself and walked back to her seat. “I have a caseload—
“Oh, shut up!” He interrupted. “You did this on purpose. What kind of a professional are you that cannot separate her personal life from her profession?” He asked angrily.
“This has nothing to do with my personal life; there’s nothing I can do for her and I have other cases where I can be of help. I just asked a colleague to help out.” She tried to talk calmly and avoid the intense look on his face.
He scoffed. “Help out, indeed! If this is your way of getting back at me, I am really disappointed in you. What kind of a woman are you?” He asked in disgust. Chris walked out of the room, slamming the door behind him.
Rachael jolted at the sound of the door; she felt hot tears pouring down her face. Guilt and sadness came over her. She knew her motive for passing down her case was revenge. His last words pierced right into her. What kind of a woman was she? Maybe she’d gone too far in her anger. Maybe it was time to let go and forgive him, and help him rather than making things more difficult for them both. She felt weak to the bone.
The following days were spent in silence. Chris refused to talk to Rachael, and would come home late than usual, and even when they were both at home, Chris was away on his computer. Part of her was still angry and expected him to beg her to forgive him, instead of making her feel bad about herself.
A week later, Rachael was on her way to the supermarket when she saw a van parked in front of her house. She didn’t make anything of it, as she was in a hurry. it wasn’t until she got back that she knew something was different in her house.
The door leading to the spare room was slightly opened. She went to close to the door and then she saw it. The room had been transformed. The spare room didn’t have any furniture in it. The room was meant to be a baby room and she wanted to specially decorate it herself. Rachael couldn’t believe what she was seeing. There was bed and a small chest door in the room. She felt her heart leap. Then she heard her husband’s voice coming from the other guest room. She followed the voice and found him on the floor with a little girl, helping her unpack her things into the drawer.
They both turned when she opened the door. Upon seeing the two, she froze for several seconds until she was able to get her strength and walked hastily to her own bedroom. Shortly after, Chris entered.
Her jaw clenched. “What is going on in my house?”
Chris shut the door. “They needed a place to stay, so I asked them to come here until we could figure something out.” he said calmly.
“What?!” She gasped in disbelief. She felt somehow she needed to wake up from this terrifying nightmare.
‘We’ echoed in her ears. who are the ‘we’ he’s talking about.
He straightened and walked towards her. “The electricity and water suddenly stopped working since the last few days, and I decided they should stay here while they waited for it to be fixed.”
She was struggling to control her rising anger. “You decided?”
He arched an eyebrow. “Yes, I did.” He answered bluntly.
“Without consulting me?” She looked bewildered.
He swallowed hard seeing how hurt she was.
Rachael stared at him in disbelief. She couldn’t believe what was happening. “You brought strangers into my house and didn’t have the guts to let me know.”
“She is my daughter!” He said solemnly.
Rachael felt a hard lump growing in her chest. Her lips were pale, her hands were shaking. He just called her daughter. Someone she didn’t even know existed.
Chris inhaled deeply, seeing her in tears, he went to sit by herself. Rachael didn’t move away.
Her eyes moistened as they searched his. “Look at me,” she said gently to him. “Why are you doing this to me? What have I done to deserve this from you.”Tears coursed down her cheeks. “Why are you tormenting me Chris?” She whimpered.
Just then, there was a faint knock on the door.
“Daddy, it’s me.” Grace said.
Rachael felt her heart leap. This was the first time she had heard anyone call her husband ‘daddy.’ It felt strange when someone you know nothing about suddenly became part of your life.
“Grace!” Chris stood up to open the door.
“Your phone has been ringing.” Grace gave him the phone and went back to the room.
Chris looked at the screen, and seeing the caller ID, he looked back at his wife.
“I have to take this.” He said, feeling uneasy. Then, he left the room.
Rachael stared in confusion; few seconds later, Chris walked back into the room.
“I’m sorry Rachael, I have to go now, but I will be back soon,” He said and hurried out of the room, and following behind him was Grace, who just smiled at Rachael.
She stared at the door, hoping he would turn around and come back. She was looking, arching inside. she began to shake her head, struggling to contain the turbulent emotions twisting and churching inside her.
Just then, she burst into more tears.
This is the last straw. I can’t take this anymore.
She remembered a quote she did read some time ago, ‘I didn’t give up, I walked away. I had enough of accepting actions that were less than I deserved. So… I made a conscious choice. To honour myself.’
Like the quote, she realized what she had to do. She went into her closet, brought out a suitcase and began to throw some clothing into it. Then, she carried it and walked out of the house.
To be continued.
Thank you for reading. please leave your comments below. Next episode would be on Wednesday.
photo credit: dsgnhomeanyar
Two Hearts – Episode 2
Alex blinked back tears, looking straight at him.
“I am sick.” She said.
Chris wasn’t sure he’d heard her right.
“I am dying…” She blurted out. This time, her voice was much louder.
He felt a hard lump growing in his throat. “What!” he withdrew backwards.
“I have cancer.”
Chris was dumbfounded; he continued to stare at her.
“I honestly didn’t want things like this.” She sighed. “I realised I had waited too long and had to make things right with you, I had to take care of Grace.” She whimpered. “I did tried all I could; the right treatment, chemotherapy, so many specialist to get better but…..” she gulped back a sob. “Nothing can be done.”
She looked up at Chris and couldn’t tell what he was thinking.
He looked straight at her. He couldn’t feel anything. He felt he was supposed to feel some sympathy but nothing of such. He still felt the anger, betrayal, despair and then came fear. “The only reason you came back is because you are dying?” he uttered. “You would never have come back, would you?”
“What!” Alex was dazed.
“Answer me, would you?” he shouted again which made her jolt.
Alex jumped. She shivered.
They both turned and saw Grace standing in the middle of the stairs with her face fixed on them both. She was frightened.
Chris looked at the little girl and saw how scared she was. He turned back to Alex and stared at her for a moment. Then, he walked out of the house. He went hastily to his car. He could feel blood draining from his face. He couldn’t really understand what he was doing and the emotion penetrating his spine. He felt anger, anguish and fear.
He switched on the ignition, and drove off. His mind was racing and felt his heart pounding very fast; he didn’t know what to do. He was angry and could feel the hurt over again. He felt she had no right to do that to him.
Just as he turned away from the Alex’s street, he saw a car approaching from the other lane flashing its headlight and just then, he realised it was Rachael; his heart started to beat twice than usual. He pulled to the side of the road and waited for Rachael to do the same. Before he could get out of the car; Rachael was already walking towards him.
“Hello honey.” Her grin turned into a smile. “I was hoping to catch you for lunch; been to your office but you weren’t there.”
“Oh, sorry. I was out viewing some properties” He lied, trying to put his act together.
“Hmm, I was hoping to spend some time together,” suddenly, she pulled him closer as she covered his mouth in a long kiss. “Like this.” She giggled.
“Oh, I….” He had not expected that gesture.
“Don’t tell me you are shy honey?” She laughed. “Anyway, see you back at home; I have a house call.” She kissed his cheek and hurried back to her car.
“Love you honey.” she said aloud.
He was still frozen. “Bye.” his voice was barely a whisper.
Chris stood there, still dazed. Then he got into his car, and sat quietly for several minutes pondering over things. The new revelation of having a daughter baffled him.
Chris had not seen Alex again or spoken to her for two weeks since the news of him being a father and of her sickness. However, these past days had been torture for him. He couldn’t sleep well and had lost his appetite. He had no idea what to do and even the thought of telling Rachael had made it more difficult.
Rachael had asked if he was alright considering his sudden withdrawal in normal activities but he gave series of excuse. He wasn’t sure of what to do yet so he didn’t tell her anything. His mind was drawing back to Alex. He had to see her once again. There were questions he needed her to answer and most of all he longed to see Grace again.
Once again, he pulled his car in front of Alex’s house. This time, he was more nervous than the first time possibly because he was about to meet his daughter again and desperately wished she would be willing to see him considering his first impression on her. She might probably hate him for making her mother cry, but Chris was determined to make things right this time.
He pressed the bell and shortly the door was opened but this time a nurse stood before him. He knew this because of her uniform. She greeted him nicely and asked him to come in. As he walked into the living room, his heart was racing so fast, ‘a nurse opening the door isn’t a good sign’. He gave his name to her while the nurse went upstairs to announce his presence. Chris could hear someone receiving a call from the Kitchen, he heard the other person at the receiving end on speaker giving some medical instructions so realised it was the doctor. He was about to walk into the kitchen to see who it was when the nurse came back downstairs. She told him he could go up and see Alex now.
He tried pulling himself together, but his emotion was getting ahead of him. He ran upstairs and even forgot to knock. Opening the door, he saw Alex trying to get up from the bed, then, he relaxed a little.
“I’m sorry,” he apologised, realising he had just barged in.
Alex pulled her bath robe over her tiny body.
“What’s going on? Are you alright?” His eyes swimming with concern.
Her smile was tender. “I’m okay. The doctors are only making a fuss of me,” She got down from the bed, and then walked towards him. “I’m glad you came back.”
All these while, Chris had been so absorbed of with his own feelings and emotions and had not really comprehend the issue of her being sick, let only dying. However, right there in the room, he knew something was wrong. She looked so pale and fragile.
“Please, sit here with me.” She patted on the couch beside her
Chris went without hesitation and sat beside her. Oh God! what am I going to do? He thought. Please make her better. I can’t lose her all over again.
He looked into her eyes and feared for the worst. “I am so sorry. What was I thinking the other day? I was so angry and selfish. I shouldn’t have walked out on you…”
She bit her lips and frowned. She didn’t say anything for a moment. “You didn’t do anything wrong. I brought all these on you suddenly and don’t expect anything less than what happened.”
“I should have been more understanding.”
“No. I deserved more than that. I walked out first and broke your heart. I should have looked back or kept in touch. I mean, I was the only one you had, the only family, if nothing, I should have been here for you.” Tears were threatening to roll down her cheeks.
Chris felt his heart tightened in despair. He loved her. Old memories lingered through his mind. it felt like everything he did felt for her started back from where it had stopped. He wanted to bring her into his embrace right there and tell her he had everything under control. He wanted to take care of her like he did many years ago.
“You have to know that I regret ever walking out on you, I regret not having my chance with you, and every day was a reminder of that.” She swallowed hard. “Please Chris, I ask for your forgiveness. I am sorry…” Tears flowed freely down her cheeks. “I know the timing is wrong, but I had to come back. At first I didn’t have the courage to, but after the surgery, I knew I had to come back home, to make things right…” Her gaze fell on him.
Chris reached out to touch her face and slowly caressed it. Oh God! He thought. Help me. I’m not sure what I’m feeling here, I loved her once Lord, I loved her so much and I am desperate now.
Alex slowly rubbed her cheeks on his hands. Her eyes were moist.
“Please don’t cry Alex, please…” he settled his gaze on her. “I am glad you came back; you did…” he gently rubbed her hands.
She had a soft smile on her face. Her face had lilted up at the sound of those words.
“I forgive you Alex; I already did a long time ago…” he smiled at her. “We are still family and have a long time to live together.”
Alex suddenly withdrew her hands. She stood up and went to sit on her bed.
“Chris, I’m not getting better.” She said in a calm tone. “I was diagnosed of ovarian cancer three years ago, and I have been battling with it since then. I’ve had surgery, chemotherapy and every necessary treatment …. The doctors tried their best but nothing could be done anymore…, I was told to go home.” She quivered.
He glared at her and watched the turmoil on her face. He was afraid of what he saw. It was void of hope. She was giving up. He trembled inside. No Lord. You are not going to take her away from me.
“No, you are not going to die Alex.” He stood up and went to sit by her side. “Remember I always take care of things.” He reached out to touch her hands. “I am going to take care of you Alex.” He made eye contact but she took her face away. “I know people, good doctors that can make you better,” He gently brought her face to his. “Everything would be just fine Alex.”
“Chris,” She whispered. “Listen to me dear,” She said tenderly, “I came home to you. I came home to the one man who fought for me whilst growing up, I came home to the man who would fight the bullies at school because of me, I came back to the only family that I have.”
Chris swallowed hard.
“Grace needs her father. I have told her so much about you and she’s been looking forward to meeting you…., my one request is that you will be there for her, that you would love her…..”
Dread was binding itself tighter and tighter around his heart. “You are not giving up Alex. No! I will not have you give up. I will fight for you Alex; I’ll go on my knees and fight in prayer…” Tears were bunching in his eyes and he made no attempt to wipe them away. “You are my family, and I will do everything to make sure you are alive here with me…” He swelled up in tears.
“Don’t do this to yourself Chris. Listen to me,” She wiped the tears away from his face. “I am not afraid of dying as long as you are here with me and I have a home for my daughter-”
“You will not do that to me Alex, you cannot come back to me and then lose you all over again. No!” He interrupted looking straight into her eyes.
Just then, the door opened and to his surprise, Rachael walked in.
Chris froze up beside Alex.
“Oh Doctor!” Alex wiped the tears away from her face. “I’m sorry, have I been keeping you waiting?”
“Chris!” Rachael called out in shock. “What are you doing here?” She asked looking from Chris to Alex.
She glanced at his hand, he was still holding Alex’s hands.
Chris immediately stood up, releasing his hands.
“Ms Curtis,” She looked over to Alex. Instantly, she knew. “Alexandra Curtis.” She whispered to herself trying to make sense of the whole thing. “Alex, you’re….” She pointed to Chris and then, ran out of the room.
Chris had been gob smacked. He had not planned for his wife to find out things like this. He wiped his hands down his face and looked at Alex. He saw she was confused.
“I have to go.” He said and walked quickly out of the room. He didn’t want to leave Alex like that. He turned back into the room and found she was still sitting where he had left her, still dazed “I will be back Alex, I promise you.” He said and went off her.
He hurried down stairs to see if Rachael was still there, but she wasn’t. The nurse was standing in the middle of the room with a tray of injection. Chris noticed the confusion on her face, but he walked out of the room nonetheless.
She’s gone. He rubbed his hands down his face again as though to push away the confusion but that didn’t help. So he hurried into his car and drove off. He knew Rachael would be going home and he had some explanation to do. Help me Lord.
Rachael was disconcerted. She couldn’t believe Chris would keep that away from her. The whole scene just made sense to her now. She had been on house calls today to check on her patients receiving treatments from home. Alex was her third house call for today; she had been her patient for a couple of weeks since her transfer back to the United Kingdom. She had gone into the kitchen to receive an important call from the hospital and waited a while in the living room when the nurse told her Ms Curtis had a guest in her room. When she realised she had no more time to spare, she had gone in.
How long has he been seeing her and what was he doing up there? Then she remembered two weeks ago when she met him on her way to see Ms Curtis. No wonder he was so tensed. All these became clearer now; his recent withdrawal and the lies to cover up his tracks.
Twenty minutes later, she pulled up in her drive way and went straight inside without locking her car. She noticed Chris’s car behind her but went straight in.
Shortly after, Chris entered. She faced him squarely, locking eyes with him.
“Tell me it’s not what I’m thinking?” She shouted at him.
“I can explain.” He flustered.
“Were you ever going to tell me?” she asked furiously. “What exactly is going on? I mean, isn’t that the same Alex? She asked in disarray.
“I’ m sorry, I was planning to tell you everything.”
“What!” She stared into his eyes, confused.
He reached out to touch her but she jerked away from him. “Honey, I was planning to, but was still confused at the whole thing.”.
“Confused?” What for?” She flashed an angry look at him. “Confused about going back to your first love or keeping up with me?”
His face went grim. “You know better than that Rachael; this is not what you think?”
“Tell me what I should think, tell me?” She was struggling to control her rising anger. “Seeing you both locked up in the room for so long and holding hands.” She rolled her eyes.
“It’s not what you think Rachael. She dropped in my office two weeks ago and then told me everything; I didn’t even know she was back.”
“Two weeks ago?” She stared at him and fought the surging anger inside her. “Christopher Ross, you knew all about these two weeks ago, and you are still planning to tell me?”
“It’s not what you think?” he barked hard.
“Don’t you dare.” She warned. “You have no right to shout at me here.” Tears were bunching in her eyes. She was disappointed at him.
Chris realised he was taking his anger on his wife. He pulled his emotions together.
“I’m sorry. I’m just overwhelmed. Honestly, I was planning to tell you but wasn’t sure of what I was dealing with.”
“I really don’t understand. You kept saying you were planning to tell me. I am not convinced still. What exactly did you want to tell me?”
“What do you want me to say Rachael? What?”
“I want you to tell me the truth and drop the attitude.” She was infuriated. “What about the girl?”
At that, he drew back and sat down.
He inhaled deeply. “She’s my daughter.”
“Honestly, I didn’t know about her, she never called to tell me.” He added quickly.
She was quite for a moment. She felt pain in her chest. Tears sprang to her eyes. The Old pain rose up, gripping her by the throat. She remembered when she first met him and the couples of weeks into their relationship, he did always compared her to Alex. Rachael knew he was still in love with her despite the fact that she had been gone for many years. She had doubted his true love for her several times, and she even ended the relationship but he came back begging. He said he had been so absorbed in his past life and held tightly to the pain. He assured her he was over Alex and wanted a new life with her. He said he loved her more than anyone in the world and she was his true love. Rachael knew it was not as easy as he had said it, but she was willing to give him another chance.
She glanced at him and could see he was in deep thought. “From the very day I met you, the first person you told me about was Alex. She was everything to you. You never got over her but pretended to be; part of you still longed for her. I fought for you Chris; I loved you even when I knew I was the second best but I stayed.. In your heart, you have always compared me to her. Alex was the best thing that ever happened to you…” Rachael moaned in tears.
Chris stood up and walked up to her. “Why are you doing this?” Chris asked. “Alex was in my past….she was family to me irrespective of the relationship I shared with her-
“No.” She interrupted. She isn’t family. She was your lover and I am your family.” She blurted out.
He turned away from her.
“If she means nothing more to you. Why then have you kept it from me. Why have you been so distracted for weeks now. You are still in love with her?” She felt a lump in her throat when she said that. The raging on her chest wouldn’t stop either.
“What!” He turned to her. “Don’t be absurd.” He had a dismissal look on her face.
Rachael wasn’t convinced. “Yes you are! You have been torn apart for many days now, and the same thing that built a wall between us is here to stay forever; the child would always be a reminder of her even when she’s gone.” She made eye contact.
He frowned. “What do you mean ‘when she’s gone’?” His eyes darkened ominously.
“You do know she’s dying or is she hiding that from you?”
He flashed an angry look at her. “She is not dying” He shouted.
“What!” Rachael was startled at the sound of his voice.
“Nothing is going to take her away from me now, not even death.” He yelled at her.
“What!” Rachael gasped in disbelief.
“She came back Rachael, she did and that matters and I am not about to lose her all over again. She was the only family I grew up with. We did everything together. She took care of me and I did took care of her. You think am going to sit back and watch her taken away from me again. No, nothing would take care away from me now, not even death.” He was panting heavily.
Rachael stared at him in utter confusion. She couldn’t believe the words coming out of his mouth.
“Even if she wasn’t sick, would you walk away?” She asked staring into his eyes.
“Of course not”! I will not walk away from the only family that I ever had; she was all that I had and for crying out loud. She is the mother of my child.” He blurted out.
Rachael was shocked to hear those words. She flushed and felt her heart sinking in dismay. She stared at him; tears streaming down her face. She took her car keys from the table and rushed out of the house, got into her car and drove off.
To be continued.
Thank you all for reading. Appreciate all your comments. Next episode would be on Friday 5/02
Christopher Ross looked through the list of housing properties once again. He had worked for several weeks to achieve the highest sales record, and it looked like he was on the high rank for a good bonus this month for the job well done. He smiled and inhaled deeply, a ray of relief swept through him. He had been working tirelessly for many weeks and now he could have this weekend off and raise his feet up.
Just then, he heard a faint knock on his door. He looked up and to his astonishment, he found someone he would never had thought in a million years standing right there. He was gobsmacked for a moment. He felt as if time had stood still.
“Alexandra!” Chris exclaimed. He looked at her intently in utter astonishment.
“Hello Chris.” She smiled.
Chris had not uttered any word. He was frozen again.
Alex stepped into the office and closed the door behind her. “I’m sorry there wasn’t anyone at the reception.” She said. She was obviously nervous. She stood there unsure of how to greet him, perhaps a platonic handshake or a tight embrace. She did neither but stood there staring back at him.
“Is this really you?” Chris stood up. He felt his heart rate had increased than usual.
“Well, I’m no ghost.” She let out a short laugh. “It is nice to see you again.” Alex couldn’t contain the emotion bubbling inside of her; she went straight to his side and hugged him tightly. She observed the shock in his countenance and how bewildered he was.
“How did you find me?” he asked. “I mean, it’s been how many years now?” he reaffirmed in disbelief.
She smiled, focusing on the emotional expression on his face. “How hard is it to find a good estate agent in town?” She smiled. “I looked you up on the lists of estate agents and found your address.”
“Well, we proud ourselves to be the best.” he smiled back at her. Chris couldn’t get his eyes off her. She had grown so differently compared to the last time he saw her. Her dimples were still there though. She was still as beautiful as ever. She had a head-scarf on so he couldn’t place it if she still had the long silk hair. “Honestly, Alex, I still can’t believe you are the one here. When did you get back?”
Alex glanced at the chair.
“Oh sorry, please sit.” He apologized realizing he had not offered her a seat.
“I got back to the United Kingdom barely a month, but moved back to Essex two weeks ago.”
“I have been trying to locate you since I got back. I stumbled on your address this afternoon.” she smiled.
“Great!” he smiled, and then took a long look at her. Old memories flashed through his mind. He remembered how much he loved and adored her. She had been the only important thing in his life for a very long time until she took off and left him all alone.
“How are you?” the sound of her soft voice jolted him out from his thought.
“I’m great!” he grinned. “And you?”
“Good” she nodded. The atmosphere was becoming tense; either of them knowing what to say. Alex had practiced her words before she walked into his office, but none of the words seem relevant now. Every glance at him was a reminder of how she broke his heart and betrayed him. She wished she could go out and re-trace her steps back in, perhaps, she could find the right words to say, but it was clear to her that no amount of words can take the pain and hurt away.
Chris on the other hand couldn’t imagine what she felt, but he saw the pain and sadness in her eyes too. The atmosphere and awkward silence didn’t help either. He had to break the silence.
He wasn’t sure of what to say to ease the tension so he voiced out what first came to mind.
“Would you like us to go grab a drink or something?”
“Actually, I have to meet with someone at my place in half an hour but would love to arrange a meeting. I wanted to be sure I had the right address.” She stood up. “Shall we say tomorrow afternoon at my place?”
He chuckled. He wouldn’t want to miss a date with Alexander Brown, especially now that she is back in town. He wasn’t particular about the lunch; a part of him longed for answers to those questions that had haunted him over the years. She gave him the address and left briskly, taking a last glimpse of him before shutting the door behind her.
Chris and Alex grew up together in a foster home in the South East of London. They were about the age of five when the meet in the same foster home and had been best of friends.
Early in their teenage years, they started a secret relationship without the knowledge of their foster parents until they were sixteen years of age when they left home together. Chris and Alex rented an apartment together and started living as a couple. They were both young but desperately in love with each other. Chris was determined to work very hard to cater for them both, considering their background. They studied at the same university and continued their lives together. Shortly after school, Chris got an excellent job which came with a decent income that could provide for them both.
He was willing to make her happy at all cost and give her everything she ever wanted in life but Alex had her preconceived agenda. She wanted adventure, exposure and get to see more opportunities in life. She desired to travel the world but felt she was being held back. However, things were about to change; Chris had planned a romantic weekend trip to Paris. On their last night there, they had dinner in one of the most exotic restaurants.
He had arranged for her best song to be played, ‘Do you love me by Jonathan Butler’, then, he requested to have a dance with her.
They were locked in each other’s arms; Alex leaned on his shoulder, enjoying every moment of it. He felt assured without doubt that she was the woman for him. He wanted to spend the rest of his life with her and make her happy. Toward the end of the song, Chris took her hands, knelt down on one knee and proposed to her. Alex had stared back at him in utter confusion for several seconds. She stood there embarrassed and when she couldn’t contain the look from everyone’s faces, she took to her heels out of the restaurant.
Chris had been gobsmacked for a moment when she walked off. In his widest dream, he never thought of being rejected. He was sure she loved him but couldn’t comprehend the spontaneous reaction so he ran after her as she made her way back to the hotel.
He found her in their hotel room packing her bag to leave. Chris started to apologise. he thought he must have done something to upset her. Maybe the way he did proposed or he missed something. She insisted that he had no fault, rather, she was to be blamed. She confessed that she felt choked by his love and wanted to be free; free to experience life. She had known Chris all her life but all these years of being together became tiring.
Chris had thought marriage was certain by reason of the relationship they had built over the years but he couldn’t understand her sudden change of mind. Alex on the other hand was not ready to be tied down in marriage even though she loved him. Her desire was to see the world. They both went back home the following day while Alex moved out of the house and travelled to Australia the following week but left a message, saying she was okay. That was the last he heard from her.
Chris was heartbroken and dumbfounded at all these. In fact, he lost all sense of sanity; he just couldn’t understand how in one week his whole life could change. He felt that she had used him and took advantage of his love all these years. It took him several months to get himself together. He held so much resentment towards her and hated every woman for the heartbreak and betrayal.
It took the grace and power of God to change his indignation into peace. He experienced God two years later. That was the most amazing thing that happened to him. All the while, he felt so alone and rejected but finding Christ brought a renewed purpose and a hope to his life. He trusted in His love and had faith for better days. More so, he knew holding unto the pain and hatred in his heart will only hinder him. Forgiving the past hurt and letting go might not be easy but that was the only way forward.
Two years later, Chris met Rachael and fell in love with her. They got married a year later. He tried so much to forget all about Alex and the life they had together. It was however difficult to let go, he felt Alex wasn’t just the first woman he did loved, but she was family to him and no matter how many years they were apart, he would never forget her. That was seven years ago, and now, she was back again.
Chris stared at the address in his hands. He was anxious to see her once again. In his heart, he had forgiven her of the past but seeing her again brought back those memories; questions he pondered upon for so long were beginning to flash through his mind.
Rachael was becoming agitated as the traffic moved slowly. She didn’t want to be late to work again. It was 7:55am. Traffic was usually heavy during this time, which meant school and transport buses would have to make several stops to pick up their passengers.
“C’mon guys,” Rachael murmured to herself. “I need you to move, move.” She rolled down her door glass for fresh air.
Despite the heavy traffic, she got to work at the nick of time. Rachael work as a Medical doctor at St. John’s Hospital in Essex. She hurried out of the parking lot, and as she was going through the double glass doors at the hospital, she passed by her lovely morning stranger. She did always met the same man precisely the same time every morning coming out of the hospital building. This certain man had smiled at her every morning when they walked pass each other. After several months, Rachael got so curious and made enquiry about him. She found out that he was visiting his wife who had been in a coma after being involved in a fatal accident. he had been coming every morning for the past three years to see his wife.
Over the years, Rachael had to restrain herself from going beyond the ‘smiles’ they shared. she wanted to ask him how he was holding up but she didn’t have the courage to do that. A part of her liked the mystery of seeing the same face and practically had the feeling of knowing him even though, in actual fact, have not really met in that sense. Rachael admired his devotion to his wife as he never missed a day of this. He held on to someone who seems so far away. Some might call it madness or depression but Rachael called it hope and faith.
She went in and started her rounds. She looked forward to her lunch time where she planned to surprise Chris at work. He always talked about them being ‘spontaneous’ in their relationship; something different and romantic since her job doesn’t allow much time together as they would like. She was going to take him out for lunch as well as walk together in the park. This was something they had not done in a long time and she looked forward to spending the afternoon with him.
Chris didn’t get too much sleep throughout the night; his heart raced as he thought about seeing Alex again. He didn’t have the courage to tell Rachael about his meeting with Alex; he wasn’t too sure what she would think of it.
He pulled his car in front of the address Alex gave to him. It was one of those new building in Brentwood. It was a beautiful house and the garden well-trimmed. He inhaled deeply and got out of the car. He pressed the door bell and within seconds, Alex opened the door.
“Hello Chris.” She had a wide smile on her face..
He had called her early this morning to say he would be stopping by.
“I hope I’m not too early?” He walked into the house.
“No, perfect timing.” She answered.
She was wearing a long flowery dress and this time, had no scarf on and that satisfied his curiosity about her hair. She no longer had her long silk hair but rather a short trimmed one. Chris tried to hide his surprise look, knowing how she was always too obsessed with her hair back then. He also noticed how pale and skinny she had become. The overall jacket she wore yesterday hid all these from him, or he’d been too shocked by seeing her that he didn’t notice.
“I’m glad you could make it” She offered him a couch to seat.
“Well, I guessed I had no choice, considering how you showed up after so many years.” he said and noticed the sadness on her face.
“I’m sorry,” he apologized. “I shouldn’t have said that.”
She looked at him solemnly. “Its okay. You are right.” Alex sat down quietly trying to avoid his intense gaze at her. Although, she wasn’t expecting that part of a happy reunion considering how they both parted, but she was glad he was here now. Over the years, she’d regretted everything she did; walking out of his life after all they’ve been through and her promises to him which she out rightly betrayed. It’s been so long now but every day for the past seven years had been tough and she never forgave herself for what she did.
After what looked like an awkward silence between them, Chris straightened in his chair looking around the house.
“You have a nice house here.” he smiled.
“Oh, thank you!”
“Maybe, we should have lunch now” Alex said. She had so much to tell him and had no idea where to start from.
“Hmm….,” Chris thought; although he had come for lunch but not literally to eat.
He felt she couldn’t just have asked him to come for lunch just like that and pretend nothing ever happened between them. Part of him was afraid she might be asking for something he couldn’t give to her, but he didn’t want to embarrass her by bringing it up.
“I made your favourite or still hope it is.” she giggled.
Chris stared at her. He didn’t want her getting the wrong idea.
“It’s been many years Alex, things have changed now.” he blurted out.
She sighed. “Of course I do.” She glanced at his wedding ring.
Just then, the front door opened and a little girl walked in.
Alex was taken aback; she wasn’t expecting her daughter so soon.
“Hello mum.” Grace greeted.
“I thought you were staying back for the music practice.” Alex said, trying to hide her uneasiness.
“It was cancelled.” Grace replied. She looked over to Chris.
“Hello.” she greeted him, shyly.
“Hello” He replied, speechless staring at the little girl.
Chris was also surprised to see her. He watched as Grace went upstairs and then, turned his attention back to Alex.
Chris stared at her in astonishment. “Your daughter?”
“Yes.” Her voice was barely a whisper.
“Wow. You are a mother?” he asked in disbelief.
She nodded, avoiding his intense gaze on her.
He couldn’t believe the Alex he knew back then could be a mother now. He remembered how Alex always said she wasn’t good with Children and never thought she would have any considering how her own mother treated her. Chris had loved her irrespective of that. He had thought he would win her over when they got married to have at least a child for him, nonetheless, he would love her the same.
He beamed a smile at her. “She’s beautiful.”
She had a tense look on her face. “Thank…you.” She stammered.
He had a soft smile on his face. “How old is she?”
“I…” Alex stammered. “She’s…” She became tongue-tied for a moment. “She would be seven in a few months.” She quivered.
This was not how she had planned this; she wanted to bring it to him gently, not like this, especially now that she was nervous. Her hands became to shake and but Chris had seen it before she could hide them.
“The smile had gone off his face. “Seven?” he looked widely at her. He saw her reactions. Her hands were a giveaway. He remembered she’d always shake when nervous. “How!” he whispered in exasperation. He looked toward the staircase and then, back at her.
“How can she be seven?” He frowned.
“I….” She stammered.
“Is this what I’m thinking?” His mind was connecting the dot.
“I…” she nodded repeatedly; she was afraid to speak.
His eyes were boggled. “Were you pregnant when you left?”
“Yes…” She whimpered.
“How? Were you cheating on me?” His face was taut.
“What!” She exclaimed. “No.”
He realized what this meant. “Oh my God!” A hot poker of anger appeared on his face.
She trembled. “I didn’t want you finding out like this, please…, ” She whimpered.
Chris flashed an angry look at her. “Like how, I mean, I don’t understand.” he looked straight into her eyes awaiting a confirmation of what he was thinking. “What are you saying?”
“I mean, I was planning to tell you, but not like this.” She looked away from him.
“What!” He gasped in disbelief. He was angry, but with supreme effort he managed to keep his voice a virulent hiss.
She cupped her hands around her tiny body and cupped a sob. “She is your daughter Chris.” she blurted out nervously; she could see the fire in his eyes, something she dreaded for many years each time she thought about this day. “I’m sorry…” She cried brokenly.
Chris stood there in utter confusion; then, he started to paced around the living room. He stopped and looked straight at her. “Are you telling me she is my daughter?” He asked, looking furiously at her.
She nodded her head with indignation and fear.
His head dropped forward again in exasperation. His eyes were smoldering with resentment.
She felt drain of the strength in her body. She was weak and needed to sit but the look on his face scared her so she leaned against the wall. She flushed and felt felt her heart sunk in dismay. “I had no idea that I was pregnant when I left seven years ago. I didn’t even know until I was four months gone. I had settled in Australia with a good job. I was getting the life that I always wanted, and I didn’t want to ruin it. I couldn’t come back to you Chris…., I broke your heart; I disappointed you; I couldn’t just come back and expect everything to be the same again.” She said in tears.
Chris swallowed hard, then rubbed his hand over his face as though to push away the confusion.
“At first, I didn’t know what to do with the pregnancy. I didn’t want to be tied down with responsibilities, but here I was, thousands of miles away from home and pregnant. I was angry and frustrated. I couldn’t stand looking at my stomach every morning. I just wanted a life without being held down by another. I mean, that was one of the reasons my mother abandoned me in the first place. I was extra baggage, and she couldn’t cope and I was about to be in the same position.” She looked at Chris briefly and saw he was definitely irritated by all he heard. His eyes held nothing but disdain.
“But all this changed when I had my beautiful baby in my arms. I named her Grace and then realised I had been selfish all along. She became the most precious thing that ever happened to me. I fell in love with her right from that day.” She smiled at herself with all sincerity. “I wanted to come back to you but I couldn’t; It wouldn’t be fair neither did I have the courage to come until few years later when I made up my mind to come back to you come back.” She looked wearily at him.
“I missed you so much and I wanted you back but I lost. I thought I could come back and everything would be alright…., you know back to what it was. I wanted to win back your love…, but I found out you were married and knew I had lost my chance with you.”
Chris couldn’t contain this new revelation. He couldn’t believe that he has a daughter, and it took her this long to let him know.
“So why are you back?” His face showed the strain of hurt. “Why are you back Alex?” he walked up to her, standing right in front of her. “It’s been seven years Alex! Seven whole years without knowing you were pregnant with my baby and you never told me; not even a phone call or a letter from you. Why are you back, why now?” he shouted, angrily at her.
She covered her face and gulped down a sob.
The look on his face was filled with fury and rage; everything she had thought was becoming real. She knew her comeback was selfish but it’s either now or never. She didn’t want her daughter to grow up without a father and considering her past ordeal.
“You wanted a life with experiences, exposure and what nonsense did you say back then?” He yelled at her. “Are you satisfied now? Did you find what you were looking for? He raged at her.
Alex bowed her head in grief. She struggled to steady her breathing and reduce the swelling emotion in her chest.
“I loved you Alex; I did everything you ever asked of me. I gave up everything for you and was ready to do more but you threw all away and took what belonged to me away for so many years.” he shouted.
“I was young Chris; I was just a child and wasn’t ready but you always had a plan; you made all the decisions, you had answers to everything and I had no idea who I was.” She cried out. “God”! I was only nineteen and just wanted a life. I wanted to know who I was, not who you wanted me to be- your wife. I wanted to make my own decisions, not out of necessity but what I truly wanted. I just wanted the freedom to think and have my own way, right to make mistakes and learn from them-
“Good! So it took you seven whole years to realize that you made a mistake walking away from me and keeping my child away too.?” He blurted out in anger. “Tell me, what more mistakes did you make out there?” He shouted at her.
“I took care of you; I gave you everything you ever want-
She looked at him with a heavy heart while he kept on screaming and raging at her.
“Why did it take you all these years Alex, why?” His jaw clenched in disgust.
“Stop it! Stop it!!” She screamed. “Fine!” She let out a loud groan; steams of tears poured down her cheeks. “I will tell you why I came back.”
To be continued.
Please leave your comments below.
Happy New Year folks. Hurray! We are in another glorious year. Praise God!
I pray that the Lord will visit each and everyone of us in this year. It shall be a year of answered prayers in Jesus name.
Chains shall be broken, dreams shall be fulfilled. Joy shall be full in Jesus name.
Happy New Year to you all.
Love from Circles of Love.
With a Grateful Heart, Farewell 2015!
Its been an exceptional year. I am grateful for the joy, blessings, grace, mercy, miracles, families, friends in this year. I am grateful for the trials that made me stronger, for the tears and the joy that came rolling in.
I am grateful for those times when I didn’t have enough faith to pull through but the Lord held me up.
I am grateful for the love of my life, for his strength, courage and support. I am grateful for my children, for their faith, smiles and laughter.
I am grateful for love and life. The Lord’s unfailing love kept me.
Thank you for being of Circles of Love this year; I am grateful for your support.
What are you grateful for this year Folks?
Let It Be
Written by Tonye Adenusi.
This story was featured in the last edition of the Circles of Love Magazine. Beautiful written and captivating. I hope you will be blessed and inspired as I was by this beautiful writer. Please leave your comments below. Enjoy!
Joseph whistled as he went entered the workshop he shared with his father, thinking to himself what a fine day it was. The temperature was unseasonably mild and there was an unmistakable scent of spices and the bustle of preparations for Sabbath. Today would be a good day – he could just feel it!
Sitting down at his Carpenter’s bench, he carefully examined the selection of tools that were neatly laid out in front of him, deciding on what he needed to bring the piece of wood he now held in his hands to life. He didn’t hear his father, Jacob, enter the small room until he cleared his throat for the third time.
“Someone is happy about something”, Jacob smiled indulgently at his son as he teased gently. Joseph tried to hide a grin as he said “I don’t know what you mean, Abba. Can’t a man just whistle for the sake of it?” “Whistling while you work is supposed to make your work go faster”.
Jacob laughed, his white curly hair gently bouncing. “Sure it does… I don’t suppose this sudden burst of good humour has anything to do with a certain young damsel returning to Nazareth today? Hmm?”
This time Joseph couldn’t hide his grin. Putting down the chisel in his hand, he said “Really Abba, I’m so excited I can hardly stand it! I had only just begun to discover her, and then all of a sudden, she was going away to visit her cousin. I didn’t think I would miss her so much, but she’s all I can think of each day. Her smile, her gentle ways, her teasing, her quick wit…” his voice trailed off as Joseph realised how much he had said to his father and flushed with embarrassment.
Jacob’s eyes twinkled, “Well, maybe you should put down those tools before you hurt yourself, son. A carpenter needs his wits about him when he’s working, and your wits have clearly deserted you today”, he said, nodding at the lump of wood in Joseph’s hands, which was looking rather like a heart. “I’m pretty sure Adir had a sturdier piece of furniture when he ordered his stool.”
Joseph looked down at the piece of wood in his hands “You’re right”, he said, abandoning all pretence of work, “I think I’ll take a walk to the market place”.
Grabbing a handful of grapes from a wooden bowl on the table by the door as he left, he made his way towards the centre of the town. His mother always left some grapes or dates in the bowl by the door. That was her favourite bowl, she always said, because it was made by her only son. Joseph used to tease her by saying “but you only have one son”, but it was a bit of a sore point for Rebekah that Adonai had not seen it fit to bless her with another male child. Rebekah said she could never question the Most High, but Joseph knew that it sometimes made her sad.
As he walked through the busy streets, Joseph realised he was doing a bit more than looking forward to seeing his betrothed. He found himself day-dreaming about their future together. Even though they had been betrothed for nearly ten months now, he had never really thought about the day they would start to live together as man and wife. He hoped that Adonai would bless them with many strong sons to fill his house and make Rebekah happy in her old age. He was a devout Jew, and he had followed the teachings of the Torah all his life. His father was a well-respected member of the community – a righteous man, and he had taught Joseph the ways of Ha’Shem from his childhood. Joseph believed that if he worshipped Ha’Shem faithfully, and went to temple sacrifice daily, Adonai would bless him and his family.
“Shalom, Joseph!” Ari, his best friend from boyhood gave his back a friendly, if boisterous slap, breaking his reprieve. “Today is the day, my friend. Your betrothed is coming home, and before you know it, the period of ‘Kiddushin’ will be over and you can get fat on Mary’s cooking”, he joked. Whispering conspiratorially, he continued, “You know, my sister Rachel says that Mary is a fantastic cook and she has been working hard to prepare for life as your wife”. Joseph smiled, but Ariel could see he was lost in thought. The men walked through the town and sat together in companionable silence at Ari’s market stall. Ari was a fabric trader, and from his stall, they could see all the comings and goings in Nazareth.
The sound of every arriving caravan or cart caused Joseph’s heart to race, until at last there was the face that he had been waiting for all these months. His throat was dry, and he swallowed several times while trying to dry his now damp hands on his cloak. “She’s here”, he whispered. He did not smile as his feet carried him towards Mary; before he knew it, he had broken into a jog. Not caring who was watching, he ran to the cart that was offloading its passengers and goods, his face now split in a smile that seemed to light him up from the inside.
Mary saw her betrothed running to her, and listened to the tutt-tutting of the elders who travelled with her. “He really should try to control himself”, said the old mother beside her, without any malice. But Mary just laughed. She was so excited to see him, she didn’t care much about traditions today, although she did take a minute to make sure her veil was secure and her clothes were reasonably decent, in spite of all that travel dust. She put her hand over her stomach protectively, knowing that as soon as she told him of the child she carried, Joseph would put her away. He was a principled man. How would he believe her when she told him that this Gift was from Adonai – (His name be praised)? How would he believe that she had not been defiled and she was still his woman?
Joseph reached up to help Mary off the cart, impatient to have her by his side and hear her voice, see her smile. He thought she looked a little different, but then thought it was perhaps his eyes playing tricks on him. Much to the amusement of all who looked upon them, he took her in his arms in a gentle embrace as Mary got off the cart. It was usually frowned upon for them to have such contact in public, but he was done waiting and some of the onlookers hid a smile.
Mary closed her eyes as she leaned into their Joseph as she savoured the moment. She knew there would be no more moments of tenderness between them.
Joseph could not believe what his senses were telling him. Having waited almost five months for her to return, he couldn’t understand why there was a lump between him and his beloved. Startled, he jerked away from Mary and looked into her eyes, searching for an answer, a different and more plausible reason for her body to be so different. The tears and pleading look in her eyes chilled him to the bone. Everything stopped. Everything changed in those few seconds. As he looked at her, a thousand questions filled his mind… each one vying for position, clamouring to be answered. His chest grew tight as if a vice had taken hold and was squeezing the very life from him. He could not be sure it was a child, but he remembered the last (and first) time he had held her, had dreamt about it all these months, and he knew for certain.
In that moment Mary looked up at Joseph and knew that her betrothed was lost to her, no matter what her cousin Elizabeth said. Elizabeth had told her “As Adonai – blessed be His name forever – has seen it fit to bless you Mary, then He will protect you.”
Conscious of the onlookers, Joseph picked up Mary’s bundle, turned and slowly walked out of the market square.
Mary followed Joseph silently as he led the way to her father’s house. She wished he would say something – anything but the silence between them would be preferable. As she walked, she drank in the sight of Joseph’s brown, unruly curls and his muscular back, made strong by hours of building houses or crafting some beautiful piece of furniture. As she tried to imagine what he could be thinking, her mind travelled back to when it all began.
She had been in the upper court, trying to get cool. The weather was so hot! Having completed all her chores, mama had said she could rest awhile before starting the preparations for dinner. She was learning how to be a good wife to Joseph and she really wanted to get it right. In the months since their “eyrusin” – their betrothal – she looked forward to being Joseph’s wife in more than name. She spent most of her spare time either learning to prepare tempting new dishes or sewing her wedding garments and other things she would take into her new home.
Sometimes though, she just spent her time daydreaming, which was what she was doing that day. Lying on her pallet, reminiscing about day Abba had told her that Jacob had asked for her hand in marriage. She could hardly breathe as she heard that the two men had discussed her possible marriage to Joseph. Her?! Marry Joseph?! He was very eligible, and handsome. Their fathers were good friends, as were Joseph and Isaac, Mary’s brother. As a little girl, she had worshipped them and often got into trouble with her mother for running off to play with the boys when she should have been doing her chores. “Leave her alone, Miriam”, Abba would say when mama scolded her “she is just a child”. “You spoil this child Eli”, mama would grumble, “You must let her be a girl”. “Yes, but there is so much time for her to do that Miriam”, Eli would retort, winking at his only daughter. He loved his daughter very much and was not ashamed to spoil her. “I hope she will have a husband who can deal with the madam you are creating, Eli”, Miriam would respond, good naturedly. Mary loved to hear her parents fight over her like this; she knew Abba would always take her side.
So when that evening Eli said Jacob wanted to unite their families in marriage, Mary was ecstatic. “What do you think biti?” Eli asked, watching his daughter closely, “Shall I say yes to Jacob when he returns for his answer?” He knew Joseph was a good man who would take good care of his precious daughter; he just hoped she would say yes. Mary crossed the room and sat in her Abba’s lap, the way she did when she was a little girl, she put her arms around his neck and said “Yes Abba. If this is the will of Ha’Shem, it will be my pleasure”. Eli’s arms tightened around his only daughter for a second. His baby girl was growing up, but he knew she couldn’t stay a baby forever.
The preparations for the “eyrusin” or betrothal were a blur. Her mother and female relatives seemed to be constantly bustling about the place and her cousins teased her about the handsome groom with twinkling brown eyes.
One evening when Miriam escaped into the compound for some fresh air and some peace and quiet, she was surprised to see Mary already there, sitting quietly and looking pensive. Crossing the small space, Miriam sat with her only daughter, asking after a few minutes of silence, “What is the matter, bubbaleh?”, she had not used that term of endearment in a long while. Mary sighed, recognising its significance, “I don’t know if I am prepared for this Mama. What if I can never be as good a wife or mother as you have been to Abba and to Isaac and I?”. Miriam, always a woman of few words, took her daughter’s hand in hers, patting it. “Look at the stars, Mary. It is Adonai – praise His holy name – who keeps them suspended in the sky. It is He who gives us the power to be good wives and mothers. He will help you. Never forget that.” Then Miriam went on to explain that the months between the “eyrusin” and the actual wedding ceremony was a time of sanctification for both the bride and his groom. “The kiddushim means to be set apart, Mary. While Joseph uses the time to prepare a place fit for you to live in, I will teach you all that I can to prepare you for life as a godly wife and a member of Jacob’s household… Remember Mary, the One who watches Israel also watches over us. You will be fine.”
When the day finally arrived, Mary thought of all that Miriam had told her, and as the stood under the canopy where they expressed their intention of becoming betrothed before their friends and family, she whispered a prayer to Adonai “Please help me to do this right”.
Lost as she was in her reminiscing, Mary jumped when she heard a man’s voice call to her “Greetings, Mary”. Startled, Mary looked up at the strange man before her. He was not a relative, and should not have been there, but somehow she sensed he meant her no harm.
Mary hurried to her feet as he spoke again. “You are favoured by the Lord! Yaweh is with you.” Introducing himself as Gabriel, the angel who stood before Yaweh, he said, “You have found favour with God. You will give birth to a son, and name him Jesus. He will be a great man and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David and his kingdom will never end.” Mary was stunned. When she could finally speak, her voice only came out in a squeak, “But how can this be? I’m a virgin.” The angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come to you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore, the holy child inside you will be called the Son of God.” He carried on, “Elizabeth, your cousin, is six months pregnant with a son in her old age. People said she couldn’t have a child. But nothing is impossible for God.”
Mary sighed heavily. She had told no one about the visitation. Not even when she began to notice the changes in her body, and now she wished she had. The question that had plagued her throughout her time visiting her cousin Elizabeth was who would believe her story? Joseph had her life in his hands right now. If he reported her to the elders, she could be stoned to death for committing adultery, or at the very least, disgraced. It was only a matter of time before everyone started to notice. “Oh Adonai, what am I to do?” She sighed again. “Even if Joseph accepts me as I am, he will most certainly be disgraced with me. People will think he dishonoured me during our kiddushim“. Her heart was breaking, but she was strangely at peace.
Joseph left Mary at the gate of her father’s compound, where her family was excited to see her. Mary took a deep breath, and walked in to her childhood home as Joseph slowly walked to the city gate. He needed to think about what this meant. He had not said one word to Mary. He simply couldn’t speak. He thought about what it all meant, but try as he might he couldn’t see his innocent, virtuous Mary having carnal knowledge of another. There had to be another explanation! He knew if he reported her to the elders, she would be disgraced and maybe stoned to death. He could not bear the thought! “Oh Adonai, what is to be done?” he asked as the sun went down.
Joseph walked slowly home. He knew his Abba would be waiting up for him, so he snuck in the back way, not wanting to answer any questions. As he drifted off to sleep, Joseph made up his mind. He would speak to the family in a few days and tell them that he had changed his mind. They would have to bear the consequences of whatever Mary had done. Finally exhausted from his weeping and walking and thinking, Joseph finally fell into a deep sleep.
Please leave your comments below.
Written by Tonye Adenusi
We all know the story of the birth of Jesus, but I really just wanted to explore it from the human perspective. Mary and Joseph had to trust God to see them through a very difficult time, in the face of their traditions and beliefs, and at great personal cost. Because they were obedient, we have Jesus today.
Matthew 1:19-25 (The rest of the story)
20 But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.
21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins.
22 Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying,
23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.
24 Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife:
25 And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name Jesus.
Photo credit: kingdomofdaughter
Merry Christmas to you all.
As we celebrate the birth of Christ, I am grateful for the gift of life- eternal life with Christ. God loves us so much that he sent His only begotten Son to this earth as a redemption for us.
Jesus is the reason for Christmas. He is the reason for our being and I celebrate you my Lord and Saviour.
Merry Christmas to you Folks and thank you for being part of Circles of Love Publications.
Have a wonderful Christmas.
Finding Love Too
Click here to read previous chapters.
The weekend went so fast with Victoria busy taking care of Ayomikun. She always does have the laugh of her life with series of questions from her. Victoria smiled to herself has she remembered her last enquiry.
“Aunty V!” Ayomikun had called out.
“Yes honey!” Victoria answered giving her full attention.
“When will you come for sleep over at my house?” She asked.
“Well, I don’t know, I guess I haven’t been invited.”
“Well, I asked my Daddy and he said I should have faith.” She said, unsure of what it meant.
“Hmm….” Victoria smiled.
“He said he’s working on it.” She continued.
“I see!” Victoria giggled. “Then you’ll need to have faith.”
“Yes Aunty V, I know I need to have faith, so can you buy it for me, please?” She looked up to her.
“What!” Victoria laughed. “We can’t buy faith.”
“Oh!” She was disappointed. “Why?”
“Don’t be sad honey; for you to have faith, you have to believe that you will get what you want.” Victoria tried to explain.
“What!” Ayomikun looked more confused
“Alright, you know God loves you?”
“Yes.” She replied.
“So when you have faith, you have to believe in God to give you what you want.” She said.
“So God can give me faith?” Her eyes lilted up.
“Yes.” Victoria replied.
“Then I will ask Him.” She said in triumph.
The topic went on and on until she finally took her out to get some ice cream.
During the week, Olumide had made up his mind to speak with Victoria; he felt that no matter what, she should at least know how he felt about her. He had no idea how to go about it but he had a plan. He had invited Victoria to come over to his place to get some document for the office.
Just as Victoria entered, he was standing in the middle of the living room.
Victoria was surprised to see him just standing there; she also noticed his dining table lit with dinner candles and food set on the table.
“What’s going?” She asked surprised.
Then Olumide showed her the first card in his hands reading.
“Hello!” She read out.
Victoria laughed, unsure of what this was all about.
“What is this about?” She asked amazed but Olumide made a signal to wait.
“Ok.” Victoria nodded.
“I have something to tell you.” She read as he flipped the cards
“I have waited so long to tell you.” She read the card loud.
“I am a total coward,” She read the next page. “And a fool.” she read and look up at him.
“Why?” She asked.
But Olumide flipped the cards
“Because I let you go.” She read. By this time, she was getting confused about what this was all about. She looked into his eyes for a brief moment and then saw he had changed the card.
“I have always loved you Vicky.” Her heart skipped a beat.
“But I have been a coward” She read, this time with all seriousness as she watched him flip again.
“I am in love with you Vicky!” She felt her heart racing.
“What!” Victoria said stunned unable to read further.
“I have loved you right back from school days.” Olumide voiced out; his voice was shaken and her intense gaze and shock on her made him more nervous but he knew he had to continue.
“I have always loved you, I wanted to tell you but when Albert came along, I couldn’t.” He said soberly.
“What!” Victoria was stunned.
“I had to wait and watch everything between you and Albert and it was the hardest of my life.” He said.
He paused for few seconds watching the expression on her face.
“How dare you?” Victoria shouted at him.
Olumide juddered. “I’m sorry, I know he’s my best friend but I can’t wait any longer.” He said.
“No, I don’t care about Albert. How dare you have allowed me to go on with someone all these years who caused me nothing but pain and sorrow, knowing you loved me?” She shouted at him
“I wanted to tell you Vicky but I couldn’t.” He said
“Yes, typical of you, you never tell me anything.” She said in a disappointing tone.
“I was scared you would not accept me, I didn’t want you to think that I took you for granted knowing everything between you and Albert.” He said in a low tone. “I wanted you to know that I have always loved you right before Albert; even with all you had to go through.”
Victoria flashed an angry look at him.
“I was scared that you might think I just needed someone to take care of Ayomi, a mother to her and not a wife, you are my best friend…” He looked straight into her eyes.
“I am so so sorry Vicky but I do love you; I am in love with you, I love everything about you, I want you to be my wife….” He said in a soothing voice. “I have watched quietly all these years and I can’t stand it any longer” He said.
There was silence in the room for a brief moment. Then, Victoria turned back to leaven and suddenly walked back to him.
“Are you telling me this because you think Albert might woo me back?” She was furious.
Olumide bowed his head.
“What if he wasn’t coming back for me; how long would you have waited to tell me this?” She searched his face for an answer.
“I….” He stammered.
Suddenly, the door bell interrupted them; he stood still for few seconds and then went to open the door.
“Albert!” he shouted surprised.
“Hey man!” Albert said excited, hugging him.
“How….” Olumide tried to say; shocked and confused at seeing him at his front door. He wasn’t expecting him.
“C’mon man, help me with these bags.” Albert pulled the bags to him. “Oh I’m so glad to see you.” He said as he found his way in.
Then, he spotted Victoria who was frozen in shock.
“My God!” Vicky.” He said excited going to hug her. He pulled her so tightly to himself while Vicky was still shocked.
“Oh, I have missed you so much. You are here!” He pulled her closer. “I wasn’t sure Olumide would get you here for me.” he watched her face with so much excitement.
“Thank you man!” he said to Olumide.
Olumide and Vicky were still stunned. it seems only Albert was doing all the talking at once and took no notice of the tension in the room.
“I tried your phone all through the weekend but nothing, so I thought I might as well email you everything as I wanted and you did it man, I am so lucky to have you as my best mate. You were even able to get the love of my life here , waiting for me, whoa man, you did good!” He cheered his friend.
Olumide was taken aback at all these; he had left his charger back home when he travelled last weekend so he was unable to receive any calls, although he saw an email message from Albert but he had totally ignored it, he didn’t even bother to read its content. Now to think Albert came today of all days, even to meet Victoria right in his living room infuriated him but he had to control his anger and go along with things. He could sense how angry Victoria was and he avoided looking at her.
“And you made me dinner,”
Albert’s voice brought him back from his thought.
“Thank you honey.” He said as he kissed Victoria on her cheek.
Victoria felt anger rising within her and it took all the strength she had to control herself, she felt so disgusted as he touched her. She couldn’t believe all that was happening, she tried looking at Olumide but knew he was trying to avoid her gaze. She had seen how surprised he was at this whole scenario, but didn’t understand.
“I have to go.” she took her bag
“Oh sweetheart, I just got in.” Albert held her hands.
“I…” She felt her blood boiling in anger; the sound of his voice and his own attitude infuriated her.
“She’s been here a long time,” Olumide interrupted. “She’s probably tired.” he added.
“Yes,” Victoria nodded. “I have to go now.” She said.
“Alright then” He felt disappointed. “I will walk you to your car” He said as he followed behind her.
As they got to her car, he opened the car door for her.
“Are you sure you don’t want to stay?” He asked, smiling. “You can even spend the night here, I’m sure Olumide wouldn’t mind.” He said in a smirk face.
“No, I won’t spend the night here.” she blurted out.
“Alright!” Albert nodded, disappointment at her refusal.
“I will see you tomorrow then.” He said as he watched her switch on her engine and did a quick reverse out of the compound.
Albert was excited as he ran back inside to Olumide.
“Thank you man, you don’t know how much this means to me, I haven’t spoken to her in six months and you were able to get her here for me, she even cooked, you are the best man.” He said slapping him on the back.
“C’mon, let’s eat up,” He pulled out a chair for himself to eat. “C’mon.” he said again as Olumide was just standing there still astonished at the whole scene.
Olumide felt his plans had been thwarted. He listened in frustration as Albert went on about how he planned to get Victoria back into his life and make things right by her, how he had decided to change for the better and have a stable life and family. Olumide felt like slapping him as he heard him speak about change, he knew him too well. As they were talking, he saw him log into his blackberry chatting all the way, grinning as he went on. Olumide had to excuse himself to his room as he felt disgusted at his friend.
“Alright then, see you tomorrow.” Albert said still locked on his typing.
“Hey man!” Albert called out, “Can I borrow your car tomorrow, got some couple of places I have to go.” He said.
“Sure.” Olumide answered as he left for his room.
Both Olumide and Albert have been friends from childhood even though they are both opposite of each other; they had remained friends all through the years. Olumide had always worked hard while Albert had the easy life; he always got what he wanted with his charm and words, he was the outgoing one, had so many friends, which most were of course ladies. It was difficult to say which one he was dating, he lived a fearless life. In all this, Olumide had remained loyal to his friend, even through his selfish and notorious life; he had always been his sidekick. But now he’s torn between his loyalty to his friend and the woman he loves.
How would he betray his friend? He remembered as a young boy, how they had both gone for the same thing, when he buys the latest video game, Albert would also go for it, when he chose his courses in school, Albert had insisted to study the same course, it was fun at first but he realized he was living his life through his friend’s. He was the one with the brain but Albert was the one with the charm.
He remembered back in the United Kingdom, after several months of studying, going to work and working hard, Albert had lived the other life of partying and having fun, he had tried to get Olumide to go out clubbing with him but he had refused on many occasion except for the night he gave in to him. That was the night Albert introduced him to Pat. He had reluctantly went along with all the fun; he was so humiliated when he asked for soda to drink while they were all partying with wines and alcohol; he eventually went along with them and drank every drink they had, he tried to show them he wasn’t all that boring and that he could have fun any time and any day. He felt so wild that night as he unleashed his other side; he drank like never before and danced all through the night.
Olumide woke up with a nagging headache the next morning; he had no idea how he got home but was grateful he was in one piece, not until he saw Pat on the other side of his bed naked under his duvet. He shivered in fear; he knew what he had done as he realized he was also naked. He ran into the bathroom to pull himself together and felt so ashamed of himself. Never for once has he found himself haven slept with a total stranger he knew nothing about, not even her last name or if Pat was even her real name, he felt so deterred.
After that incident, he moved out of the house he shared with Albert to his own rented apartment. He analyzed and came to a conclusion that his relationship with Albert had never been healthy for him, he had forced him to do things he would never have done, and he always sees his reserved nature to be somewhat of boring and unproductive to him. Gradually, he pulled away from Albert and his wayward life, he gave series of excuses each time Albert called to ask him to go out or come over for partying. He became absorbed in his studies.
Two months later, he found Pat at his front door; at first he had thought Albert must have sent her probably to woo him out to the club, not until she blurted out that she was pregnant. That was the shock of his life; he never had imagined such a thing happening to him. He had no idea what to do as she became constant in his life, she began to come visiting more often, asking him to take her food shopping, hospital appointment and clothe shopping, until she eventually moved in.
That episode changed his entire plans, he had to think about three people, everything was on his shoulder and he was still studying for his masters. Albert had been so furious with him when he learnt Pat was pregnant and to know that he didn’t insist on her aborting it, he had argued with him to deny the pregnancy and send her out packing. Olumide had no gut to do such a thing, he had to think on the other side of what if the baby is actually his and true to that, he couldn’t deny the fact when pat delivered his baby. She looked so much like him but in the female version. She was the most precious thing in his life; he loved her so much and adored her. He had another perceptive of life when she was born, he made up his mind to pull his affairs together, to be focus and work hard in achieving his goals.
Life became more difficult for him when Pat took off and left the baby in his care. He had to bathe her, feed her, did everything he could do to keep her safe. He remembered a particular night when his daughter, Ayomikun started crying uncontrollable in the middle of the night, he did all he could do to make her stop, fed her, changed her, bathe for her, rock her, everything but she went on crying, he even tried backing her but all to no avail. He felt so frustrated and started to cry himself, there was no one he could call for help or advice.
Then he went to go knock on his neighbour’s door, an elderly woman whom he had seen her grandchildren visit on some occasion. When she opened the door and saw him drenched in tears as well as his baby, she understood what he needed and helped him. From that day, Grandma Vera became his helper; she would always help to baby sit Ayomikun, especially when Olumide had to work over night. Grandma Vera had been God sent to him; she stood by him through the tedious months and made things easier for him, she had been the one who helped him rededicate his life back to God, not until then did he realized how far from grace he had fallen, he tried to do things his way own but now, he could look up to the author and finisher of his faith.
A Few months after, he returned back to Nigeria.
Victoria had reluctantly gone to work knowing she would have to face Olumide and that thought was unpleasant to her.
She had been alerted by her secretary that he was in but she made no move to go see him, not until she heard a knock at the door. She looked up to see him walked into her office and then immediately turned her attention back on her computer, typing some documents. Olumide knew she had deliberately ignored him so he moved forward to stand by her side.
“Vicky, I am so sorry,” He started to say. “I had no idea he was coming yesterday, although I saw his email but I ignored it, didn’t even try to read it.” He said.
“Please Vicky…say something.” He said standing there.
“What do you want me to say?” She asked.
“I don’t like it when you are angry, please dear.” He said back. “I’m sorry” He added.
“That’s the problem Olumide, you are always sorry.” She said out in anger. “You are sorry you never told me how you felt about me all these years, even when you had the chance, you are sorry you allowed your friend used me, lied to me and deceived me all these years, tell me, why are you sorry?”
“Vicky, please, I know I did wrong, I don’t know why it took me all these years to say something, trust me, I wanted to but things are very complicated, you know Albert………” his face turned pale.
“Yes, Albert, your best friend!” She said out.
“Yes Albert.” He said aloud getting frustrated by the minute. “He had it all, he had all the charm a woman would want, the look, the attitude, and all the luxurious things” He walked few meters away from her. “Would you have agreed to go out with me if I had asked you back in school, would you have accepted me? What of when I got back from the United Kingdom with a baby, would you have agreed to be my wife if I had asked, would you?” he shouted.
“We will never know Olumide because you never did ask.” She shouted back.
“Because Albert is my friend and you both were still together, even though it was on and off, I didn’t want you to think I was taking an advantage of you, I couldn’t ask you.” He said
“But you never made an effort even when you had the chance.” She said back.
Olumide stood in silence staring at her; he felt his strength drained from him. He wanted so much for her to understand him but all he saw was anger, he couldn’t understand why exactly she was angry, he should be the one upset about the whole thing.
“Alright, I am asking you now.” He looked straight at her.
“Isn’t it rather too late for you?” Victoria found herself saying.
He stood there motionless, staring long at her; his fear was coming to past. The one thing he had dreaded all these years, her rejection.
“Yes, I guess so.” He said dejected and walked out of her office.
Victoria found her heart pounding; she felt all emotions rushing within her. She knew he was disappointed and then found herself thinking of how frustrated it must have been for him all these years, especially when she goes crying to him about Albert. Every way and every step, Olumide had been with her, he had never for once said anything negative about Albert, and he had always respected and supported all her decisions. She knew the truth of the matter in her heart even though she had tried to hide it subconsciously.
Before Albert ever came into the picture, she had admired Olumide and waited patiently for him to ask her out but he was too busy studying, helping her with her courses, too shy and friendly. She on the other hand held by the ladies rules of never asking a guy out, but was baffled and surprised when Albert, his friend came asking her out and she had accepted his offer to make him jealous. She had always regretted her decision, but then, probably thought Olumide would come to his sense and do the right thing, now they are both paying for their immaturity and childish behavior.
She struggled with the remaining hours of the day at work, she tried to bury herself into work but her mind was all over the place, she felt so distressed and gloomy at the whole situation. She knew Olumide had taken the rest of the day off, obviously not bearing to see her. She felt so depressed, even her best friend whom she always run to is trying to avoiding her.
As the day slowly came to an end, she took off to go home and longed for her bed, just lay there and do nothing, the whole situation had affected her so much that she could not even utter any word of prayer to God, her heart wanted to pray about all these but her body was to weary to say any prayer.
She got home that evening and was surprised to hear laugher and chatting in the living room; lo and behold, she found Albert in the sitting with her parents. She felt blood rushing in her, ‘not him, not now’ she said to herself.
“Hello dear.” She heard her mother say.
“You didn’t tell us Albert arrived yesterday.”
“I..” She stammered.
“But I am so glad for both of you” Her mother grinned
Victoria stood there in total dismay.
“Hello Honey.” Albert stood up to greet her.
“How was your day?” He asked.
“I have to go freshen up.” She found her voice.
“Oh! OK then, will wait here for you.” Albert sat back.
Her legs were shaking as she tried to raced upstairs. In the comfort of her own room, she slumped on the bed feeling so confused. Not realizing how long she had been in the room, she saw her mother come in.
“Honey, what’s taking so long?” Her mother asked as she walked in.
“What!” She snapped.
“Albert is waiting, C’mon dear, don’t keep the guy waiting.” She said.. “I have food cooking on the gas.” She added and left the room.
Victoria sat there in utter confusion, she knew she couldn’t keep on being so nice to him, she was afraid of what she might say to him, and then she heard a knock.
“Hello dear…” Albert knocked and then ushered himself inside.
“Are you alright?” He asked.
Victoria just stared at him.
“Honey, you haven’t said a word to me since yesterday, Is everything alright?” He asked but she was still quiet.
“Alright, I know,” He inhaled deeply. “I know I have offended you honey and I am sorry; I am sorry for everything I did to you in the past, Please forgive me dear.” He looked straight into her eyes to see some affirmation.
“But I am here to stay now, to make everything right.” He smiled.
“I want you to be my wife Vicky; I want us to spend the rest of ourselves together.” He was grinning. “I love you honey,” He took a step closer to her. “I want to marry you.” he added.
Suddenly Vicky busted into an unbelievable spur of laughter.
Albert was taken aback by her actions. “Oh dear, what’s so funny?”
But she continued to laugh and excused herself to go to the bathroom but when she got in, her laughter was gone. She took a moment to look at herself in the mirror and knew exactly what she wanted. She wasn’t about to be taken for a ride at this stage of her life. She’s had enough of him in her life. She walked back into the room with a resolution.
“Albert, do you think you can come in here with all your smiles, charm and whatever you’ve got going on there to sweep me off my feet?” She asked in anger.
Albert froze up.
“Mister, those days are long gone when you come back asking me to forgive you and move on.” She said.
“But…”Albert wanted to say.
“Albert, I told you months ago that I am no longer interested in you and I made myself clear then and still stand on my decision.” She said to him.
“But I am home now, I am doing everything you wanted, a stable relationship, I even went for job interviews today and started looking for an apartment, even your mum knows all these.” He said back.
“Is my mum going to marry you?” She said out. “I don’t care what you do Albert, everything you have always done and will do are all for your own benefit.” She shouted at him.
“But I am sorry Vicky, please.” He pleaded.
“It’s rather too late for that Albert; I don’t love you, and I don’t want anything to do with you.” She looked straight into his eyes. “I went into this relationship with a negative intention, I continued in fear of not getting something better, I endured all your lies, deceit, cheating and countless of all. I know who I am now, I know my worth and I know what I want.” Her tone of voice was firm.
He straightened and looked straight at her. “Look at you Vicky, you are not getting any younger, I am the best you can get now.” He said arrogantly.
Victoria chuckled. “You are the worst I ever had.” she said back. “Tell me, why did you come back; out of all the numerous ladies you had back there, is there no one good enough for you, answer me?” She shouted. “You think because you travelled all the way down here will make me crawl back to you; you disgust me Albert and I am through with you.”
“Fine!” He shouted back, “I don’t have to take all these,” He walked out of the room, and then returned back. “I can see that’s why you haven’t been in any relationship since you left me. You think you are bigger than what you are now; take a look at yourself in the mirror, probably that will jolt you back to reality.” He said and slammed the door.
“How dare you?” Victoria raged after him and then stopped when she reached the door. She didn’t want to satisfy him by exchanging further words with him.
She went back and sat for a moment on her bed, she was so angry, wanted to scream or even cry but nothing came out, not until her mother barged in.
“What is wrong with you?” She shouted at her. “Do you have to chase everyone away?” She continued. “I have had enough of this stubbornness with you.”
Victoria shivered as tears flowed freely from her eyes.
“Fine! You can live your life of solitude but not in my house.” She shouted at her until Victoria heard her Father’s voice.
“Enough Beatrice, leave the girl alone.” Her father shouted.
“Fine, I will; go ahead and pamper her as you always do.” She hissed and walked out.
Victoria looked up in tears at her father.
“Daddy…” She whimpered.
“It’s Okay.” Her father sat down with her.
“I can’t marry Albert daddy.” She sobbed on his shoulder. “I can’t.” She said
“I know, I don’t like him either.” Her father smiled to cheer her up.
“You don’t?” Victoria looked up at him.
“But why didn’t you say anything?” Victoria asked.
“It’s all your decision dear and whatever you do, I will stand by you. Besides, I always knew you would make the right decision.” He nodded his head.
“Oh Daddy!” She said in tears. “I am more confused than ever.” Victoria said.
“Why?” He asked.
“It’s Olumide,” She said. “He said he has always loved me all these years but never said anything.”
“Hmm, it’s about time.” Her father said.
“What do you mean?” She asked.
“I have always known he had something for you but don’t know why it took this long to say something.”
“Oh Daddy, I am really chasing everyone away.” Victoria cried
“No, you are not dear; God will bring what is yours to you.” He said
“You think so?”
“I know so.” He wiped the tears away from her eyes and smiled softly. “So what have you decided to do?” He asked.
“I honestly don’t know” She answered “Can’t you just tell me what to do?” She looked into his eyes.
“My princess, there are some decision you need to make yourself and this falls under it, you need to ask God for wisdom and guidance.” He said.
“But Olumide is Albert’s friend, what would people say?” She asked.
“My dear, the day you start thinking of what people will say, that is the day you stop growing. I advice you go to God and hear what He’s saying. What he says is the most important of all.” He said as he stood up.
“I will pray for God’s divine direction for you my dear and don’t worry about your mother, she’s my beloved wife,” He smiled. “I know how to talk to her.” He said and walked out of the room.
Victoria was left all alone again, she wanted to lay down and continue to ponder on the whole things but realized worrying and thinking does not solve any problem, she decide to go on her knees and speak to her Maker.
“Father, I acknowledged that I am dependent upon you and your wisdom. I thank you lord that you created me this way so that I can learn to draw near to You each day and receive your abundant supply. I ask you for wisdom Lord and insight for my life. I need you to show me the right path to go and make your own decision for my life. Help me to know what to do in this situation. Help me not to rely on my own understand and others. Rather, let me judge and decide by what the Holy Spirit shows me. Thank you in advance for giving me all that I need. Amen!” She said still on her knees.
She stayed for a while in total silence as she felt His divine peace come all over her, she still had no idea what to do but she felt His peace within her, she felt assured of His presence and guidance.
Albert got back home all angry and frustrated. He stomped into the living room cussing and shouting.
“Who does she think she is?” he yelled out.
“What is it?” Olumide asked.
“That bitch, she thinks so highly of herself.” he shouted.
“Alright man, I’ve got a kid sleeping and no cussing in my house.” He said back.
“Sorry man.” He apologized.
“Can you believe her; after coming all the way back to Nigeria to beg her, she’s still behaving like a nut case, proving all stubborn.” He said angrily. “I have done everything for her, everything, what else does she want?” he yelled.
“What have you done?” Olumide shouted in anger after having to listen to him. “What have you done for her?” he said again.
“What!” Albert gasped as he was taken aback at his outburst.
“I am sick and tired, so tired of you lamenting of what you have done; you are so pathetic, selfish. You have no intention of making things right by her, you only came back to get her back with you then you travel back.” he yelled at him
“What do you mean?” He asked shocked and confused.
“Yes I saw your travel document, just left it lying on the bed in the room; you have a schedule fight for next week. Tell me, what were you planning to tell her after you get her back with you? An emergency you have to attend to back in the state, what? I even doubt that you went for any interviews today.” He said.
“What are you doing man; I thought you were supposed to have my back.” He was confused
“I am tired of having your back, I am tired of being your side kick, I am tired of being used by you, I am tired of you chasing and taking what is mine.” He said out frustrated.
“What!” Albert said standing there in utter confusion.
“Yes, you had to have her, you knew I had something going on with Victoria, you knew my weaknesses, you knew I was summing up the courage to ask her out back in School, you knew all these, yet you had to get her, You had to take what is mine and I have had to watch you hurt and disappoint her over and over again.” He shouted.
“It’s not my fault you are always slacking when it comes to women.” Albert said out.
“Slacking, yes, backstabbing, no; you are wicked, I don’t know why I stood by you all these years; the moment you got back into the country, you have had numerous calls and chatting with all your girlfriends. Tell me, what happened with Jade, the one you married just to get your papers?” He blurted out.
“I don’t know what you mean?” He lied.
“Liar, you think you can hide that from me, I know everything you ever did even when I was gone. You told me it was just an agreement between you two to get your papers and you did paid her off, but you lied, you have been sleeping with her, Jade doesn’t see it as a contract, she married you for real, tell me, what happens to her two children, your children?” He looked furiously at him.
“What were you planning to do: marry Vicky here in Nigeria and then have Jade in the United Kingdom? You are sick man.” He shouted staring at him. “When will you grow up and take care of your responsibility, you need to start taking responsibility for your action and stop hurting everyone.” he said in so much pain in his tone.
Then they were both silent, staring at each other to what seems like forever, pondering over all he just said.
“So what do you want?” Albert asked in a calm tone.
“I want you to leave Vicky alone,” He said. “I have always loved her and….” He tried to say but just went to seat down. He felt he probably had not thought this over, his best friend ex-girlfriend.
“Has she accepted?” Albert asked.
“No, she’s angry at me.” He said quietly.
“I’m sorry man,” Albert said. “I never realized how much I had hurt you, I was just having fun.” He said bitterly. “I’m sorry” He said.
“Yea.” Olumide stood up, and left for his room.
That was typical with Albert; always having fun with people’s lives and never had regards for other people’s feelings. It wasn’t about love as Olumide knew from the onset. He never did loved her, it was all a game and he wasn’t about to lose. He wasn’t sure what Albert made of his outburst but he was glad he said something. He had no idea what came over him, he had never in his life have to shout at anyone like that but he was glad he did. He left Albert alone in his thought. He had always felt responsible for Albert but its high time he started taking control of his life.
Days following that argument, Olumide and Albert had gone quietly in and out of the house. Olumide had no idea what to do about Victoria but as days went by, he felt so distressed and lonely, He wanted so much to talk to his friend, even if its to say hello to her but he couldn’t. He had not been to the office for a week now especially when he had to travel to Port Harcourt for an urgent business meeting. He tried to call her several times but couldn’t sum up the courage to speak. He felt like a total wimp, so frustrated in his inability to prove himself and felt failing all over again.
Albert had resolved to go back to the United Kingdom and make things right for himself, he thought hard those days following their argument and realized how he has hurt those who have loved him unconditionally through all his mischief and deceits. He couldn’t even bring himself to talk to Olumide as he felt ashamed of himself so he left a note for him and also left one for Victoria.
He was at the Airport waiting for his flight to be called when he saw someone that looked very much like Victoria, so he walked up to her to be sure.
“Vicky!” He called out.
“Oh God!” she groaned seeing Albert. “What are you doing here, are you stalking me?” She asked irritated.
“Easy,” He said quickly. “I am not stalking you, I have a flight to catch.” He said.
“Really.” She said confused.
“Yes really,” He answered. “Look, I left a message for you with Olumide,” He said. “I am sorry Vicky, I am so sorry for all I put you through and everything I said; I was selfish and wicked, I don’t deserve you Vicky,” He said looking at her. “I promise I won’t disturb you again, you deserved the best.” He said.
Victoria looked hard at him when she heard those words, she couldn’t believe her ears, she was surprised and shocked at the same time but she knew he was saying the truth.
“Where are you going?” He noticed her passport.
“Me?” she said.
“Yes, you.” he smiled.
“Ghana, I have a job offer there.” She said.
“Yes.” She answered.
“Does Olumide know about this?”
“No.” She said quietly.
“Vicky, are you running away?” He looked suspiciously at her.
“What do you mean?”
“I know,” He said smiling “and I don’t think you should run.” He added.
Then, Victoria heard her flight announced over the speaker.
“Hmm, I guess you will know something about running away, huh.” She pulled her hand luggage together.
“By the way Al, you need Jesus.” She smiled at him as she ran ahead.
“I know,” He replied over at her. “I’m trusting to find him.” he added.
“Good luck.” He said to her.
“You too.” She shouted back over the crowd.
“Thank you Vic.” He added as he watched her leave but she couldn’t have heard that. Then he heard his flight announcement made so he hurried to join the queue.
Olumide got back from his trip and found Albert’s letter to him, he felt so much relieved and grateful for his resolution but he knew he had one more thing to do, he hurried to his office and went straight to Victoria’s office. He was not about to run away again, he was determined to do the right thing and make her realized how much he loved her. He prayed he was not too late.
“Sir,” He heard her secretary called but he ignored and barged into her office but was empty.
“Where’s your boss?” He went back to ask her.
“Sir.” She said confused.
“Where is Victoria?” He asked annoyed.
“She….” She wanted to say something, but remembered the letter that she was supposed to give to him.
“You haven’t been to the office for days now, she asked me to give this to you.” she handed him the letter.
“What!” he said confused taking the letter from her. He tore it open and read the content.
“When was this?” he asked but left her standing not waiting for an answer.
He got into his car and drove to her house, luckily for him, he met her Father driving out.
“Sir.” He ran up to his car.
“Olumide!” Mr. Matthews said surprised.
“Sir, where’s Vicky?” he asked breathing heavily.
“Oh boy!” Mr. Matthews sighed. He switched off his engine.
“I need to teach you some lessons about lateness.” He said at him.
“What!” Olumide was confused.
“If you want my daughter, you need to hurry and get her; I don’t like all these cat and mouse chase.” He said.
“Sir!” he was more confused by the minute.
“She’s gone to Ghana, she went two days ago to start a new job.” Mr. Matthews said.
At those words, Olumide felt so disappointed and sad.
“What are you waiting here for?” Mr. Matthews spoke out.
“Sir!” He shuddered
“Yes, go for her, go home, get your passport and run like never before,” He said. “I will text you her address in few minutes.” He added.
Just then, literally, Olumide took to his heels and ran to his car, as he drove, he called his flight agent to get him the earliest plane ticket to Ghana irrespective of the cost.
Olumide had to wait for almost 15 hours for the next available flight to Ghana. Mr. Matthews was true to his words to text him the address. He had taken a cab from Kotoka International Airport straight to the address he was given. She was still staying at the Holiday Inn not too far from the Airport. He tried to pull himself together as he felt his hands shaking, he had no idea what he would say to her but trust that God would help him out especially to give him the courage, he had specifically prayed about it all throughout his flight.
He paid his fare and walked into the lobby going straight for the lift, he had been told what room she was in.
Victoria heard a knock on her door, thinking it was the room service she had ordered for dinner.
“Coming.” She saida loud as she walked to the door.
Opening the door, she was astonished to see him standing there.
“Olumide!” She gasped.
“What are you doing here?” She asked surprised. “How did you find me?” She asked again.
“Vicky, I am not here to tell you that I am sorry to have kept you waiting all these years and to all that had happened” He started to say. “I am done wasting time.”
Victoria was surprised at his outburst.
“But I have come to tell you that I love you and I will always love you, I love everything about you, I love the way you smile, the way you laugh, I love everything about you honey and I want you to be my wife, my lover, my soul mate, my best friend, my accountant, my business partner, everything you can ever think of.” He looked straight into her eyes. At this time, Victoria was also smiling.
“I don’t care where you move to or where you want to live, I will proudly follow you as long as I am with you,” He smiled softly. “I love you Victoria.” He said.
“I have waited too long and done dwelling in the past. I want to spend the rest of my life with you; I want you to be the mother of my children and trust me, I intend to have many,” He said in the most beautiful smile. “I love so so much Vicky”
Just then, Victoria jumped into his embrace as she hugged him tightly in joy, she felt every barrier and walls between them broken, she felt peace at his words and felt his love.
“I love you too Olumide,” She said in his embrace “I love you so much and I love your daughter, I love everything about you and I am in love with you.” She said as she looked into his eyes.
“I don’t care where we live as long as I am with you.” She added.
She suddenly went to her phone to dial a number.
“What are you doing?” Olumide asked amused.
Victoria waved her hands to him “Yes, this is room 201, Please can you book a reservation for two plan ticket to Nigeria please.” She said.
“When?” the operator asked.
“As soon as possible.” She said as she put down the phone.
“Are you serious?” Olumide said surprised.
“Yes, I am.” She said holding unto him.
“What about the job offer?” He asked.
“What job offer?” She answered winking at him.
“I want to live where our families are; I want our children to grow around their grandparents, cousins and aunties.” She said smiling.
“Yippee!” Olumide said out
“Hurray!” Victoria responded.
“I love you Victoria Matthews.” He lifted her and swirled her around with laughter and joy.
Olumide and Victoria travelled back to Nigeria the following day and got married within two months. They both have been living in their beautiful home now for fifteen years, surrounded by their children and growing stronger in love and friendship. Albert still remained friends to both couples and he eventually found the Lord, you won’t believe if I tell you that he later became a radical Evangelist and waxing strong in the Lord; you never know who the Lord can use, so stop doubting.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge him and he will guide and direct your path. Don’t give up on yourself and don’t settle for less because you think the Lord is taking his time and nothing seems right. Don’t be pressure into anything you don’t have peace with. Go to God, wait in His presence, no matter what you are seeking, be it marriage, job, opportunities, whatever it is, no matter how big or small that decision is, He can direct your path. There’s no mountain too tall that our God cannot move, there’s no valley too low, He will see you through, there’s no problem too big that Jesus cannot solve, ask in faith and he will pull you through.
To all my Reader
Thank you all for your patience in reading the concluding part. I do hope you enjoyed it. Please leave your comments and views below, it can encourage someone. God Bless.
© Circlesoflove 2015
Peace Be Still
“I’ve had enough of all this!” Meg screamed out in frustration to her friend, Lizzy.
“I don’t know what else to do again. Things are not just working as they should” She was feeling gloomy.
“They all questioned my decisions, they don’t understand why I have taken these steps, even my parents have asked me to come out of it. I have tried to explain to them countless of times that I am only following the Lord’s instruction but they never understand.” She cried out.
“It’s okay Meg,” Lizzy tried to console her. “Everything would be fine.” She said.
“I feel like giving up and giving in to them. Even the road the Lord has asked me to take does not seem easy, I have come across storms, earthquake and all sort of things. Every road brings new challenges and He still asked me to take it, I clearly heard His instruction, why?” She asked frustrated.
Lizzy inhaled deeply.
“Why is it that even when you clearly hear the Lord’s instruction for your life, when he asks you to take certain decisions, it doesn’t come easy, you find so much accusation, disapproval, discouragement all through the way?” Meg asked.
Lizzy looked at her friend with the most loving face, and felt her pain and frustration. “Alright dear,” She said. “Sit, let me share something with you.” opening her bible.
“Remember in the Book of Mark 4 from verse 35. Jesus told His disciples to let them go to the other side of the river and he went to sit in one of the boat at the sea side amongst other boats.”
“Now, note first that Jesus gave the instruction for them to go over and he even chose the boat to travel in but after being on the boat, there was a great storm which scared all those aboard and imagine, Jesus was sleeping in the back, undisturbed by the wave or screaming of His disciples. Then, when he was awoken, He commanded the waves to be quiet and the sea to be still”. She looked straight at her friend.
“Yes, I know the story.” Meg said wondering where she was going with it.
“Why am i saying this?,” Lizzy asked. “Even though he took them on the sea, they still had to face a stormy sea. Sometimes when the Lord tells us to do something does not mean things would be so smooth, we still have to face challenges on the way, discouragement sometimes, disapproval and accusation even from those we love and respect their opinions in our life. This does not mean that the Lord is not with us on that journey even though it may seem as if He is sleeping but He is there, He knows our pain, our trial, our confrontation, he knows everything but the good news is that He is going to pull us through. He will never leave or forsake you. He didn’t take you to the sea to make you drown, no! Everything He does, he does for your own good.” She paused for a moment watching the expression on her friend’s face who was pondering on all those words.
“Sweetheart, He didn’t take you on this journey just to leave you to walk alone, he walks with you all through the way” Lizzy said. “Now, listen carefully, what I want you to do now is stand up and command every wave and stormy sea to be still”. She said in a commanding voice. “Speak the peace of God into your life and you will have your peace”. She said as she saw her face in joy.
My friends are you facing any challenge in your decision to follow the Lord’s instruction? The fact that there are troubles everywhere does not mean that God is not there with you; it doesn’t mean that he’s unconcerned about our challenges or troubles. He will not leave you or forsake you. God is our refuge and strength, an ever present help in trouble. Therefore, we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountain fall into the heart of the sea, though its water roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. The Lord Almighty is with us, the God of Jacob is our fortress. Come and see the works of the Lord, the desolations he has brought in the earth. He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth; he breaks the bow and shatters the spear, he burns the shields with fire. Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted amongst the nations, I will be exalted in the earth. The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.
Rejoice and be glad for He is here with you, He is holding your hand all through the way and His joy, peace and victory is certain in your life. Now, take time to speak His peace in to your life. Peace be Still!
© Circlesoflove 2015
|Victoria felt someone tapping her to wake up.|
“Victoria,” her mother, Beatrice called out again. “Victoria!”
“Mum,” She moaned, opening her eyes. “What is it?” She rubbed her eyes. “Are you alright?”
Beatrice sighed. “I want to talk to you.”
“Talk,” Victoria asked. She looked at the wall clock, 2:30 am. “Mum, it’s the middle of the night, is everything OK?” She slowly sat up on her bed.
“Are you fully awake?” Her face was stern.
“Yes.” She rubbed her eyes again.
“Now, I want to ask you some series of questions and I want you to be totally honest with me, ok.” She looked straight into her eyes.
“Questions! Alright, I’m listening.” It was her turn to sigh. She couldn’t believe this was happening at this time of the night.
Her mother straightened. “Is there anything you are keeping away from me, anything at all that I should know about?” She asked.
“What!” Victoria moaned. “What do you mean?” She had an idea what her mother was getting at, but tired of hearing of it.
“Victoria, I am your mother, I love you and care about you.” her voice was broken. “See, my heart is heavy because of you, I can’t sleep and I am not happy, all these are because of you.” She said looking straight into her eyes, feeling stricken.
Victoria took her face away. She couldn’t believe her mother was making her problem all about her.
“You are not getting any younger, in few months now, you will be clocking 36 years old.” Her mother continued. “You have everything any young woman needs in life. You are a beautiful and remarkable young woman; you have a good attitude every man would want in a wife…” She smiled softly.
“Your beauty is flawless…., but despite all of these good qualities in you, I don’t understand why you haven’t found someone?” She paused for a moment seeing the hurt on her daughter’s face. She knew her words were piercing through her, although her intentions were not to make her feel bad about her situation but she had to speak her heart to her.
“I would never do anything to hurt your feeling my dear; everything I am saying is for your own good.” She gently said to her.
“Your immediate younger sister is married already with two kids, let’s say for the sake of arguments that she got married whilst still in the University at a very young age but look at Rachael, your little sister, she also got married last year and you my daughter, you don’t have any man in the picture, what is happening?” Her mother said with a lump of tears “Please tell me?” She whimpered.
“Mum…” Victoria started to say then paused to stare at her mother. She felt her pain but she had no idea what to say or how to start; the tears bunching in her eyes broke her heart.
“Mum, please don’t cry, please….”
“You are the reason for my tears, you are Victoria….” She said in tears. “I need you to tell me the truth…”
“There’s nothing wrong with me Mum but I promise you, things will change for me, everything would be fine…” Victoria tried to comfort her mother.
“I know everything would be fine,” Her Mum said looking up at her. “I know it,” She said again. “See, Albert called me today” Beatrice searched her daughters face.
“What! Why?” She snapped.
“He said he would be coming home in few days time, he’s coming back to you,” She said, excited. “He promised to make things right and start the necessary arrangement for both of you.” She said.
“No, wait my dear, things would be fine. This is all you have always wanted; for him to come back home, back to settle in Nigeria and that’s what he’s doing. He’s already set up some interviews for jobs here in Lagos.” She said.
“Mum, you know there’s nothing more between myself and Albert,” Victoria said fuming. “I don’t have anything with him and it’s a waste of time if he is coming home for me.” She said infuriated.
“But things would be OK now.” Beatrice pleaded.
“No! She shouted in angry, “He cheated on me mum, series of affairs, lying, deception, numerous of call from his so called friends and fiancée to tell me to stay away.” She said angrily.
“My dear, I know and he explained to me. Sweetheart, Albert is a good man and his intentions towards you are good. You have to forgive him, let’s go of the past for a better future together,” She said to her. “Every relationship has its own ups and downs and we must be willing to forgive the other party.”
“There’s no future between us Mum, not now, not ever,” She said bluntly. “Please Mum, forget about Albert, please.” She begged. “God will bring my own husband soon, only be patient.” She said.
Furious and angry, she stood up from the bed and look at her daughter with the most disgusting look.
“Patience! What patience. Can’t you see it, can’t you hear what others are saying about you, me.” She moved away angrily. “I don’t care what you do Victoria, reconcile with him!” She raged at her daughter, walked out and slammed the door.
Victoria was shock at her mother’s behaviour; she felt her heart jumped as she slammed the door.
“Oh God! She said as she felt the tears rolling.
She wanted to shout or even scream but her mouth were shut as she flooded in tears. She wanted to ask God to speak now or she would walk out but her mouth couldn’t utter those words. She expected her mother of all people to understand her plight. She had made up her mind long ago never to have anything to do with Albert again. It did took her several months to get over the heart break and pain of the break up, all she wants now is to move on with her life and no mention of his name to her.
They had dated for almost eight years; two years into their relationship, Albert travelled to the United Kingdom to study for his masters. A few weeks later, he stopped calling, changed his number and ceased every communication with her. Victoria was so scared during these times as she had no means of contacting him; his whole family also resided in the United Kingdom so there was no one she could go to. She had been afraid for several weeks thinking something bad had happened to him.
After few months, he suddenly showed up in Nigeria, apologized for his behaviour and had no solid excuse for his actions. After so much pleading, they continued their relationship but still had been one argument to another, fights and silent treatments. He came home once or twice in a year and during these times, he fought with Victoria who had refused to sleep with him and this enraged him the more. He argued that he loved her and she was already his wife in his own eyes; he saw no reason why she wouldn’t sleep with him if indeed she loved him.
After so much fight and pressure, during his last visit home, Victoria gave in to him, to satisfy his urges and express her love for him. After these incidents, they still continued their series of fight and argument. After almost six years of this struggle and unhealthy relationship, she came to an absolute resolution to leave the relationship but part of her still held unto him; he flew back home just to beg her and promised to make things right by her. But the last straw came when she began to receive series of emails and text message from a lady who claimed to be Albert’s fiancée and wanted her to stay away from her man. She confronted Albert who lied about it but later came clean that she was an ex girlfriend and the incident happened when both of them were not in terms. Countless of incidents like that gave her no choice but to end the relationship, she called off every ties between them, changed her phone numbers and any way he could contact her. That was six months ago, she realized the relationship was not healthy and she had to sort out her life and stop living in the illusion of them getting married.
This decision has proven difficult for her but this time, she had the strength of God to help her through, she had grounded herself in the word of God and believes with all of her heart that the plans of God for her life are not evil or unhealthy relationship but a good future. Victoria drifted off into sleep with these thought.
Victoria left home very early in the morning to avoid another episode with her Mum, especially now that her father who had always been a shoulder to cry on had traveled on a business trip. She tried to take her mind off the whole scene by loading her brain with so much work at the office since her confident and friend, Olumide has not been to work all day. it’s so funny to have a guy as your best friend but her relationship with Olumide has grew stronger all the years, they both have been through all the battles of life, both fought hard to be where they are today. Years ago, both attended the University of Lagos in Nigeria; Olumide had been the one who introduced her to Albert, his friend and he has been her confider ever since then; each time she has an episode of quarrel and fight with Albert, he was the one she always run crying too. Both Albert and Olumide had both travelled together for their master’s study in the United Kingdom; although Albert had settles there, never to make Nigeria his home again but Olumide had returned three years later with an eight months old baby to account for.
She had marvelled at this discovery when he told her all that happened back in the United kingdom; He said that he had a fling with a lady for one night and few months later, she came telling him she was pregnant for him, all his effort to avoid her was fruitless, eventually since she moved in with him till she delivered his baby and there was no doubt that child was his as she is a total replica of him. Few weeks after the lady delivered his baby, she one day left the house to go buy some baby food and never to return; only for him to find a note she had left saying she wanted a life free of any stress of a child and she was sorry to leave their baby in his care but trust that he would take care of her. That was a shock to his life, after so much effort to care for the baby on his own, also joggling with work, he decided to come back home. He took very his father’s business and has remained good friend with Victoria.
This was four years ago and since then, he has remained strong and a good father to Ayomikun. Olumide has worked hard to bring his father’s business to a high standard which has now become one of the best food organizations in the state; he later begged Victoria to come and head his account department. Since then, they had both work hard in building his company and remained best of friends.
After waiting for Olumide to call her for lunch, Victoria decided to go with or without him, as she slowly ate her chicken pie, she ponder on the fight she had with her mother. She wondered if she should forgive Albert, make up and probably marry him so she could leave this life of spinsterhood. After all, all her friends are reminder of her solitary not to talk of her sisters, cousins and neighbors who she grew up with. One of the things she regretted in her relationship with Albert was the fact that she had slept with him; she had always said to herself and held unto to was the fact that, she would never sleep with any one who is not her husband but since she had given in to Albert years ago, she had unconsciously held unto him in spite of all his behaviour towards her; but after a while when she had renewed her relationship with the Lord, she understood that although she could not get her virginity back again, she was renewed by the blood of Jesus. She had prayed to break any yoke or covenant keeping her with Albert; that was the starting point of her deliverance from him and since that day, she had held unto the Lord for direction for her life. She knew God’s plan was not Albert for her life, even though her body sometimes wants him to be, her heart was far away from hat notion.
She had to fight herself constantly from the urge of forgiving him to come back but six month down the line, she felt she is totally free from him but now that he’s coming back home and her own mother is totally in support of it brought the fear of uncertainty to her.
“There you are.” Victoria heard Olumide’s voice behind her.
“Oh! Where have you been boss?” she asked smiling.
“Well, taking care of business.” He said sitting down.
“What happened?” She asked.
“Ayomikun had a bit of fever yesterday so I took her to the clinic this morning.” He said
“Oh, is she feeling better now?” She asked concerned.
“Yes, was given some medication so I have asked Blessing to call me if there’s any change.” He answered.
“I pray she feel much better cos I have lots planned for her sleep over this weekend.” She said.
“I’m sure she will; she wouldn’t miss any chance of a sleep over.” He said smiling.
“So what have I missed?” He asked.
“Well, nothing much except my mum woke me up around 2:30 am this morning to talk about Albert. Can you imagine that?” She said looking gloomy.
“Hmm…” He said
“She begged or rather insist that I make up with Albert as he is coming back home for me.” She said irritated.
“Oh!” Olumide said.
“What do you mean oh?” She asked looking suspiciously at him.
“Well…” He tried to say
“Well what? What do you know?” She asked.
“Albert called to tell me he would be coming home and asked if he could stay at my place.” he answered, avoiding her intense gaze him.
“What! When? She gasped.
“Last week.” He said under his breath.
“And you didn’t tell me.” She said furious.
“I couldn’t, I’m sorry.” He said
“I thought you had my back.” She said back furiously.
“I’m sorry Vicky.” he said
“You never tell me things about him.” She said angrily
“I’m sorry.” he replied again watching her go on and on in anger
“That was how you never told me anything he does when you were both in the United Kingdom.” She said in anger
“I’m sorry again and again about that.” He replied in a calm tone.
“You never tell me about the way he lived his life, his cheating and lies…..” She continued.
“I’m sorry Vicky.” He said smiling at her as he watched her in frustration.
“Why are you smiling?” She asked
“You know I always smile when you are angry.” He said still smiling.
“But I really need you tell me things you know, I don’t want to be surprise by my mother or anyone else.” She said in a much calm tone.
“You know I have my reservation towards Albert, I don’t want to come in between you two.” He said
“Reservation! You introduced us!” She said back
“Yes and that was a mistake I haven’t forgiven myself of.” He answered.
“It wasn’t your fault.” Victoria said. “You had a good intention then and you didn’t know what he was going to do.” She said back.
“Yea…, so what are you going to do now?” Olumide asked.
“Nothing, you know very much I am through with Albert, it’s my mum I am bothered about.” She said.
“Okay, God will give you the wisdom to deal with it.” He said taking some of her chips on the table.
“So, what did you tell him?” She asked curious.
“Who?” He asked
“Albert, about your place.” She said
“I said OK.” he answered lowering his head
“You did what?” She snapped.
“I couldn’t say no, I had no excuse.” He said
“So much for having my back.” She said.
“I’m sorry Vicky.” he said.
“OK, I am NOW tired of hearing ‘I’m sorry’, my lunch is over.” She said standing up
“But I just got here.” Olumide said after her.
“You are the boss; you can come into your office any time you like.” She replied walking away while Olumide stood up to run after her.
Victoria had deliberately taken much work at the office to get home late. She knows her mother has a strong routine of going to bed before 9:00 so getting home late was good for her.
As she quietly tiptoed into the sitting room, she felt a presence there.
“I can see you took it pretty hard on yourself.” She heard her father voice in the dark.
Switching on the light.
“Oh Dad!” She said gong to hug him.
“I’m so glad to see you, how was your trip?” She asked.
“Fine.” he answered.
“So, you have taken to the night.”
“I’m sorry Dad, just had loads of paper work to do at the office.” She said
“Sweetheart, don’t be offended by you mother.” He said raising an eyebrow
“Oh, she told you.” She sighs.
“Yes, she told me about it and I have asked her to leave you alone. She can’t force you into a relationship with someone you have no interest in.” He said.
“I know Mum is concern but please, tell her to be patient and to keep praying for me.” She said pleading.
“I have told her many times and you have to be patient with whatever she does, ok?” He said.
“Okay Dad.” She said.
“I’m sure you are tired, go to bed, we will talk more tomorrow dear.” He said.
“Thanks Dad, good night.” She said standing up
“Good night.” He answered.
Almost a week later; things have returned to normal in the house, Beatrice had lighten up with her daughter, unusual happiness she displayed, although Victoria tried to embraced this behaviour but she knows her mother to be rather mischievous sometimes. Today being a Saturday was full of errands; she received a text message from her pastor’s wife to come see her, after then, she has to pick up Ayomikun for another sleep over. Most often when Olumide has to travel for business purposes, she arranges to baby-sit Ayomikun even though he had a nanny, Blessing to look after her but he felt more secure with her staying with Victoria during these time and Victoria has no objection to that, in fact she has grown to love her, even have a smaller bed and set of clothing in her house for her each time she comes to stay.
As she switched off her car engine in front of her pastor’s house; she took a moment to gather her thought before getting out of the car.
“Hello Ma.” She greeted seeing her relaxing in the garden.
“Victoria, hello dear, how nice to have come in such a short notice.” Stella said.
“No problem ma, how are the family?” Victoria asked
“They are doing great, please sit down.” She said.
“Thank you ma.” She replied.
“Alright dear, I think I should go straight to why I called you; I like to talk to you heart to heart, women to women.” She said
“Ok.” She smiled.
“Your mother asked me to speak to you and I’m sure you know why.” She said
Victoria realizing what the talk would be about changed her facial expression.
“Please my dear, I don’t know what the side of your story is, but I do know that your mother is troubled, she’s very sad.” She said.
“I know Ma.” Victoria said quietly. “Ma, I am not happy about everything going on in my life now but I am certain of one thing that the plans of God for my life are good and He will not put me to shame.” She said. “My mother should not try to force someone on me, I know what I want, even though it’s taking so long to achieve but it will all come true.” She said
“Alright,” Stella said. “What about Albert?” She asked.
“Oh Albert!” she sighed. We dated for a very long time, he promised marriage. We did have our issues; he cheated on me countless of time, deceived and lied to me. See ma, I have to move on, I can’t wait for him any longer, you always teach us that a broken relationship is better than a broken marriage. A kind of man like Albert that has taken up to drinking, fornicating and all sorts, I can’t have him as my husband, no Ma.” She said firmly.
“I do understand you dear,” Stella said. “But are you seeing anyone now?”
“Not now ma, but wait and see what the Lord will do.” She said firmly. .
“Alright dear, but please, whatsoever you do, do seek the face of God. I can understand your mother’s urgency and frustration but don’t be discourage, hold unto what you know and don’t compromise your faith for anything.” She said with all seriousness at her.
“I have known you for quite some years now, you are a strong young lady, diligent, hard-working, a woman of prayer and a virtuous one, don’t compromise come what may, OK.” She said smiling at her.
“Thank you Ma, I am so glad you understand.” She said
“My dear, I do understand more that you can imagine; I was once where you are now, I was almost thirty six years of age and had no husband; my boyfriend was not serious about marriage. After so some much begging and talks, he was still not ready. I loved him so much, would do anything, I mean anything to keep him; then, I decided to get pregnant to speed things faster; I wasn’t born again then, just a church goer but desperate, all my friends and their younger sisters were getting married, I was tired of being a bridesmaid or even going to weddings. Eventually, the planned worked. Then I broke the news to my boyfriend that I was pregnant, oh! He was mad, he was so angry; he said I did it deliberately to tie him into this relationship. ‘of course, that was the plan.” She inhaled deeply. “After so much begging and tears; he just took off one day and left town. That was how I became a single mother; things were very difficult, everyone blamed me, the society put a stigma on me, and some even said I was one of those women who is not submissive to their husband, who would rather be a career working woman than a wife under a man’s authority. At some point, I felt hatred toward my own child, an emotion no mother should ever feel but I was angry, confused and battered.
Then few months later, I met with the Lord; that changed everything, my worth, my self esteem. I was redeemed by the Lord, I wasn’t bothered by any condemnation or accusation from people, I knew who I am now; I cherished my baby and fell in love with him, he was a gift from the Lord. I came to a realization of who I am in Christ, not in the eyes of the world. God made everything new for me, all things became beautiful even through my trials and storms, I had peace, I was confident in the Lord. I embraced this new life with so much joy. Then, two years later, I found the love of my life, a man after God’s own heart and the rest you know.” She finished her story smiling in joy.
“Whoa ma, I never knew all these about you, you are a strong woman.” Victoria said in utter amazement.
“The Lord was there with me, he gave me strength when I needed it.” Stella answered.
“So what happened with your boyfriend, did he ever come back for his child?” Victoria asked wondering.
“My dear, Our God is good,” She said smiling. “Yes he did come back, He is my husband now, your pastor.” She said.
Victoria gasped. “What!” She said surprised.
“Yes, your pastor is the same man, He came back to me a changed man, while he was cruising around the world, he met with the Lord, He was renewed by the Lord, and he made all things new. He came back begging me and when he did, I could see the Lord in Him.” She said smiling while Victoria was still in shock.
“My dear, God works in mysterious way, He is always faithful to His own. Now listen dear, I am not saying you should go ahead with Albert, I am asking you to stay in the presence of God to hear from him, He will direct you in the right path,” She said. “Please and please I will say again, stay in his presence, only Him can direct you. I will put you in my prayers too, OK.” She said to her
“Thank you ma.” She said.
“Now, I pray that the peace of God that surpasses all understanding guide and guard your heart in Jesus name.” Stella prayed.
“Amen.” Victoria replied.
“It is well.” Stella said.
“Thank you ma,” Victoria said standing up. “I appreciate this ma.” She said,
“It’s alright dear.”
As Victoria drove over to pick up Ayomikun, she couldn’t but think about her conversation with her pastor’s wife. She had always admired the love and commitment between the pastor and his wife. She realized that every one has their own past and what they do with it is what matters. She was glad she spoke with her but still felt confused on some part; could she still hope that something new could happen between herself and Albert. What happens if he comes back changed like the pastor, renewed or saved, would that change her feelings towards him, could that make her forgive him, love and both get married? What if he meant what he told her mother, coming back to settle in Nigeria and making arrangement to marry her, after all, that was all she had always wanted from him. At this point, she felt more and more confused as she thought about her own situation. The sound of her phone brought her back from her thought.
“Hey!” She spoke into the phone.
“Where are you?” She heard Olumide’s voice.
“Hold on one minute; let me put on my ear piece.” She said.
“Ok, are you there?” She asked.
“Yes.” Olumide answered.
“Where are you?” He asked again. “Ayomi has packed all her bags since I told her you were coming.” He said laughing.
“Oh, I’m on my way,” She answered laughing. “Tell her I would be there soon.” She said.
“Alright but I’m on my way to the airport now, my flight to Abuja is in one hour.” He said.
“Alright, call me when you get to Port Harcourt.” she said to him.
“You know I will.” Olumide said hanging up.
Olumide inhales deeply. He remembered tell her he regretted introducing Albert to her and he meant it. Since they were both friends back in the University, He had tried to put his feelings towards her quiet for fear of destroying the relationship they had together and fear of Victoria rejecting him; so when Albert showed interest and begged him to introduced Victoria to him, he refused at first but after several pressure, Albert succeeded in forcing himself into her life. He had always regretted that in his life, he envied their relationship right from the start and couldn’t do anything about it. It was so difficult for him especially when they both travelled for their masters and he witnessed how Albert had flirt and slept with so many women; his lies, cheating and deceit but he couldn’t bring himself to tell Victoria.
He had tried to forget his feelings for her and move on with his life; but when he came back with his 8 months old baby,Victoria had been the one who stood by him all through the way.
How he loved her but could not bring himself to tell her. He felt so heart broken and angry each time Victoria comes crying to him about Albert but he has always restrained himself from talking. Almost five good years, they had worked together in his company and in their lives, he pretended to be in a on and off relationship with other women which were all lies. Six months ago when Victoria had announced that she has broken up with Albert for good, he had secretly celebrated but couldn’t bring himself to say anything to her, he had waited all these months to build up his courage but had no idea how to start. How would he profess love to His best friend and his friend’s ex girlfriend who he is still working his way up to get back? He felt perplexed.
© Circlesoflove 2015