Hauwa Part 2

Chapter Five

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.

 

Chapter Six

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.

 

Chapter Seven

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.

 

Chapter Eight

 

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!”

 

Chapter Nine

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.

 

Chapter Ten

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 couldn’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.

Chapter Eleven

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.

Chapter Twelve

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.”

Hauwa nodded.

“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.

Chapter Thirteen

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

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Hauwa

 

Chapter One

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.”

“Yes Madam.” Gloria said.

“I’m going out now, take care of the house.” she took her car keys and her bag, walking towards the door.

“Yes Madam.”

“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.

Chapter Two

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.

Chapter Three

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.

 

 

Chapter Four

 

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

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Two Hearts – Episode Four

Chapter Twelve

 

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.

 

Chapter Thirteen

 

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.

 

 

Chapter Fourteen

 

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.

 

Chapter Fifteen

 

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.

 

Rachael nodded.

 

“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.

 

Chapter Sixteen

 

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,”

 

Rachael nodded.

 

“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.

 

Chapter Seventeen

 

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.

The End.

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

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Two Hearts – Episode Three

Chapter Six

 

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.

 

Chapter Seven

 

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.

 

Chapter Eight

 

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.

 

 

Chapter Nine

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.

 

Chapter Ten

 

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.

Chapter Eleven

 

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

 

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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.

“Mummy…..?”

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.

 

Chapter Four

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.

 

Chapter Five

 

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.”

Rachael gasped.

“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

 

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TWO HEARTS

Chapter One

 

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.”

 

“Really!”

 

“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.

 

 

Chapter Two

 

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.

 

Chapter Three

 

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.

 

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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.

 

~o~

 

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”.

~o~

 

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.”

~o~

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.

 

THE END

 

Please leave your comments below.

 

Written by Tonye Adenusi

 

EPILOGUE

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

 

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Finding Love Too

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Chapter Six

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.

 

Chapter Seven

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.
Chapter Eight

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.
Chapter Nine

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.
Chapter Ten

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.

Chapter Eleven

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.

“Really!”

“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.

 
Chapter Twelve.

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.


Chapter Thirteen. 

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.
The End.

 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

 

 

 

 

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Finding Love

Chapter One

“Victoria,” her mother, Beatrice called out again. “Victoria!”Victoria felt someone tapping her to wake up.

“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 was tired of hearing about 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.

“Mum-

“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 tie between them, changed her phone numbers and anyway he could contact her. That was six months ago, she realised 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 an evil or unhealthy relationship but a good future. Victoria drifted off into sleep with this thought.

Chapter Two

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 travelled 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 grown 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 fights with Albert, he was the one she always runs crying too. Both Albert and Olumide had both travelled together for their master’s study in the United Kingdom; although Albert had settled 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 a 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 organisations 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 ponders on the fight she had with her mother. She wondered if she should forgive Albert, makeup 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 neighbours 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 months 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 sleepover this weekend.” She said.

“I’m sure she will; she wouldn’t miss any chance of a sleepover.” 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 furiously.

“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 surprised 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 curiously.

“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.

Chapter Three

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.

Chapter Four

Almost a week later; things have returned to normal in the house, Beatrice had lightened up with her daughter, the 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.”

Chapter Five

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

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Lost – A Novel. Free Giveaway

Then, the chatter stopped, and all heads turned to face the far end of the walk. Down the aisle she came. The bride, Christy was a beautiful young woman. She wore an off-white gown, with embroidery on her bodice; her hair tied in a knot with a lace around it. She walked slowly, her face was bowed, void of any smile or expression. Her dad, Mr. Harrington held her left arm, and smiled at her as they reached the bottom step. She didn’t smile back, but nodded her head. There awaiting her was the minister, and her husband –to-be, Levi Brentwood. He was standing tall, his young face was firm. The rough, soiled farm cloth he usually wore was replaced with a clean suit, which seems a little bigger than him.

 

Kathy Barnes felt her stomach churned in a knot. A feeling of fear, and uncertainty filled her; she could relate to the reluctance of the bride. She was only three years younger than her, and already on her way to be married. She did heard rumours that Christy had attempted to run away with her boyfriend a few days ago, but was caught in the process of leaving town. The boy had been shut out of the community for aiding this escape, and being a bad influence to her. Christy would also had received severe punishment if not because her father, Mr. Harrington was one of the top elders of the Church. Kathy thought this marriage was enough punishment for her, being forced to marry someone she’d despised and hated all her life. The bride and groom had been rivals since they were children, would always fight at everything, and even sworn never to speak to one another again. This was no news in the community, and to their parents. But because of the fathers reputation in the Church, and the promised they made to one another several years ago that their children would be joined in marriage; they decided to bring this promise to light, regardless of how they felt about each other.

 

Kathy couldn’t help but noticed some of the haunting eyes of the women glaring mischievously at her. She could imagine the thought going on in their heart; they did said the reason why she wasn’t married was her lack of good manners, and her wild fantasy. They were laughing at her with their eyes, which she had seen so many times. They had often told her she would end up being alone all her life. Kathy often reminded herself that she was only seventeen years of age, and no matter how they felt about her, she was a young woman, and would never rush into the most important part of her life like that – marriage. Especially not with someone she wasn’t in love with.

 

It wasn’t that no man had approached her; but she had rejected about six marriage proposals in the last two years. She couldn’t find any of the farm boys or hunters attractive enough to say ‘I do’ to. One of the men, Steven was sitting to her left; he had eyed her when she walked into the ceremony few minutes ago. He was the last who had asked her hand in marriage, and went nut when she refused him. He was tall enough for her, strong and manly, but she couldn’t feel any butterflies in her stomach when he asked her. That was what Karen Coleridge wrote about in the novel,’ Love, but Sour’. Louis, the female character was a beautiful young woman who wanted nothing but love in her life. She wanted the right man who would sweep her off her feet. Everyone had told her such man didn’t exist but she believed otherwise, and decided to travel around the world to find her prince charming.

 

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Mom, I think I’m pregnant!

MOM, I THINK I’M PREGNANT!

Those were the words my fourteen years old daughter said to me. I froze up and stared intensely at her. It was a feeling I could not comprehend. I felt I was going to collapse right there.

“Mum….” The sound of her voice jolted me out of my thought. I walked quickly out of the room, and came back immediately. I was disorientated.

“How can it be?” I was blabbing over, and over again. “She can’t be.” I repeatedly said, ignoring the trembling girl before me. “She’s only fourteen, and she’s my daughter.” I whispered to myself. I was talking more to myself, asking questions that I couldn’t answer. This was something that shouldn’t happen to someone like me, someone like my daughter. She was a good girl, all A’s in her studies. She was a very good girl, and I just couldn’t understand what she was saying to me.

Then I flashed an angry look at my daughter, and saw her flooded in tears; not that, I was bothered by the tears, but terrified at what my daughter had become.

“How could you?” I shouted furiously at her. She jolted at the sound of my voice. I went to her, took her by the shoulders and vigorously shook her.

“How could you?” I shouted at her, ignoring the screaming, and fear in her eyes.

“Mummy, please….” she cried out in pain, but I ignored her. She wasn’t innocent as far as I’m concerned, and no amount of tears would get her out of this.

My eyes caught the pregnancy stick on her bed; seeing that made be more furious. “What on earth was she doing with that in the first place, she’s is only fourteen?”

“Mummy….” She pleaded again but I ignored her.

The voice of my husband, her father startled me.

 

What happened next is something I never want to re-visit again. We were so shocked, and mystified when Tess told us she was pregnant. I mean, she’s only fourteen, and couldn’t even imagine her kissing anyone, let alone having sex. We later discovered she’s been sexually active a year ago, and had been on contraceptive pills without my knowledge.

I was so ashamed, and angry at myself for not noticing this in my daughter; I felt I had failed as a mother. Why didn’t I notice? I just assumed my daughter knew what not to do especially when it comes to boys. I expected her to know the truth. That period was the most terrifying of our lives; our only daughter got pregnant at the age of fourteen. I was devastated. Days after this, we had to decide what to do; in fact, I had suggested abortion to my husband. Yes I did. ‘How can a mother could think of that?‘ I honestly don’t know, and could never have imagined such thought in my life but I did. I just wanted things as they were before, you know, not pregnant. I mean, where does a mother go in this situation, what am I expected to do?

My husband became both our pillar; he was strong for us as a family. Yes, he was heartbroken but he became strong for us. He was totally against abortion but we all needed a way out. The first thing he did was to move us all away from our house; he got a transfer to another city to start afresh. The shame would have been unbearable for us all but the shame moved with us. Our daughter brought shame to us. The first few months, I was so angry at myself and my daughter. I made her feel the worst; I wanted her to feel the pain she caused us, I reminded her daily of how she disappointed us, and how she threw her life away. She had confessed she wanted to tell me the first time she had sex, but had been so scared of what I would think of her.

She knew it was wrong but felt good about the whole experience. She said she wanted to feel like a grown woman, and repeatedly explored that until she found herself pregnant. She confessed the young boy responsible for the pregnancy was the same age of her, but my husband thought it wasn’t wise to confront him now. He just wanted us out first.

After five months gone, I was still broken but this time, I had to be broken in the right places. I went to my God; I cried and placed everything before him. I asked him if I were a bad mother, and if I had failed in my responsibility of bringing up my daughter in the right way. I needed answers; I needed to hear something in the midst of my tears, but I heard nothing. I mean, there was total silence in His presence.

 

The following day, I continued and cried before him, I cried, and asked Him to forgive me, most especially to forgive my daughter who had sinned against Him. I asked that he wash her sins away and clothe her once again in righteousness and yet again, there was silence. The next day, I was getting so frustrated but still went into His presence and cried more at my failure as a mother. I confessed I was ashamed of my daughter and even felt so ashamed of myself for feeling this way. I asked Him to forgive me and create a clean heart within me, a heart to love my daughter as I ought to have. I was broken in tears and just needed to hear a word from Him but nothing. He said nothing to me.

Now, the following day, I just stood right there in His presence without uttering any word. I let go my thoughts, worries and everything. I just stood right there in His presence for once without thinking or saying anything. Few minutes into this, I heard his voice saying, ‘Be still, and know that I am God’. That was it, nothing more. At first, I wanted to argue within me; what has that word got to do with all that I have said to him these past few days? I wanted more than that, but nothing, so I decided against arguing in my spirit and just stayed there. I was still before him; I surrendered to Him. I put everything on hold; my fears, worries, shame, disgrace, guilt, disappointment, everything became quiet before him. I mean, I was tired of holding onto the hurt and pain, I just had to let go. In that time, I felt his peace overwhelm me; I felt his power within me, I felt his presence and brokenness of spirit. I felt slain in his presence. I felt my spirit crying out to take away the pain, to take away the anger, the weakness, hate and the fear. I was crying out for restoration. During this time, I knew what he wanted of me, just one thing- to be her mother. A mother who would be there for her daughter no matter the hurt and pain, a mother who would love unconditionally. Just as he loves me despite my weakness and disappointment, just as he would carry me when I feel so weak and exhausted, just as he would love me- he wants me to love my daughter despite all.

I wept in His presence but my heart was at peace. After that encounter, for the first time in months, I spoke to my daughter as a mother should. I listened to her fears. She was scared and so disappointed at what she did. She wept bitterly, and asked me to forgive her. Then, I made up my mind to hold my daughter, to help her through this and back to the Lord. I spoke blessing into her life and reminded her how great and wonderful she is as a daughter. Yes, she made a mistake but I would never judge her by that. I will not look down at her or remind her of her past. She had a great future ahead of her and that she would accomplish by the help of God; nothing will stop the plan of God in her life. She is my daughter after all. The following months were not easy but I stayed with my baby. All through the delivery which was the most excruciating, and painful experience a mother could ever witness, I mean my baby bringing out another baby; crying in pain and there was absolutely nothing I could do about it. Well, she gave birth to a beautiful girl and I became a grand mother.

Ten years down the line, I am a proud mother of a daughter who achieved all her dreams despite all odds. She went back to school and also to college; gained a master degree in Business management, and going on to high places. I am a good mother and nothing can change that. I have learnt from this experience and I have been teaching mothers to have a good relationship with their daughters. Our teenage daughters need their mothers.

They need us to nurture them; a continuous nurturing and love them. Don’t just assume they know things or all is well; talk to them about their day, their friends. Don’t be afraid to talk about the ‘sex talks’ with them. Be open minded about it. Let them get more information from you rather than the cosmopolitan or so called magazines or internet. Explain to them the feelings, the love and all other things they may be experiencing. Teach them through the word of God, tell them the mistakes you made yourself whilst growing up if possible.

 

Teach them the way into the presence of God. Now, if by any chance you have been disappointed; don’t hold on to that pain. Give it to God, let him heal your heart and make you whole. That hatred does not belong there. You need to let go and be a mother to your daughters and Sons. If by any chance they have left home into the world and doing despicable things, pray them back into the presence of God; don’t give up on that child, most importantly, forgive them for the pain and hurt they caused you, for the things they had done. Love them and let God help you through. There is nothing impossible for God to do. No Child is lost if you give them back to the Lord. Let him heal your heart and heal your children.

God bless you.

© Circlesoflove 2013

 

Thank you for reading. Kindly leave your comments below. Thanks.

 

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The Final Battle

(Continuation of The Escape! You will need to read The Escape to understand this part)

 

10 years later.

 

Chapter One

 

Seth and his family had settled well in their new home in Michigan. He worked hard to build his own private IT Company while Angela worked as an estate agent. Things were moving well for the whole family. Josh, their son, had grown to be a fine young man and even as a teenager, his depth and knowledge of God had become part of his lifestyle. Since the incident with the saviours ten years ago, the family’s decision to move away from their home was a fresh start for them. Starting a new life was tough at first; they had to travel from one state to another to find a suitable place to settle. However, with time they were able to gain root in the state of Michigan. They found a beautiful house they loved, and a family fellowship they could be part of.

 

“See you later Dad.” Josh hurried towards the door to leave for school.

“Enjoy your day son.” Seth said after him.

Josh chuckled. “Seriously dad, in school.”

“Well, try to.” Seth teased him.

He turned to see Angela walked down the stairs all dressed up to leave for work.

“Honey, have you seen my keys anywhere?” she searched through her bag.

“On the Kitchen table.” Seth answered.

 

The doorbell rang.

 

“I will get it.” Angela said.

 

A young man stood there, he looked taken aback when he saw her.

“Good morning.” The man said.

“Morning, can I help you?” She asked. His face was unfamiliar.

“I’m…here to see…. Mr. Evans…. Please.” He was nervous.

“Excuse me for one second.” Angela closed the door behind her.

“Honey, there’s a man outside. He’s asked for Mr. Evans.”

Seth turned to face her. “I’m not expecting anyone.” He said and walked towards the door.

 

“Hello.” Seth stared at him for one second. The face looked familiar, but he couldn’t figure out where he’d seen him before.

“Hello, My name is David and I need your help.” He looked helpless.

Seth softened his look on him. “Please do come in.” He opened the door wide without a hesitation.

“I’m very sorry to bother you this early morning, but we really do need your help.” “What do you mean by ‘we’?” Angela frowned from where she was standing.

“Please, come sit down,” Seth said, ignoring her question. “Do you want anything to drink?”

Angela raised an eyebrow at him. She knew he was in the habit of ignoring some warning signs; eager to help everyone at any time.

 

“No, thank you.” David cleared his throat as he straightened in his seat. “This may come as a surprise to you,” He looked at the couple. “But I know who you are.”

 

Angela froze as she felt her heart skipped a beat.

 

“What do you mean?” Seth asked.

 

“As I said before, my name is David; David Blake and I used to be with the saviours.”

 

Seth became steeled.

 

“And I know you used to be with the saviours.” He added.

“What?” Seth gasped. “What do you mean…? How…..?” surging to his feet, he walked towards Angela.

 

“I used to be a finder in the ‘saviours’; I was one of their best finders,” his tone was almost of pride. He avoided the intense look on him. “It took me years to locate you, several towns, names……”

 

“Okay, enough! What do you want?” Seth demanded. He realized where he had seen his face before. He was a member of the saviours and Seth knew too well how effective and efficient a finder could be. They are the tools the saviours used to track down any runaway member.

 

Angela’s eyes were smouldering with resentment.

 

David realised the tension in the room; he gathered his visit was about to come to an end if he continued showing off the saviours. “You see, ever since you boldly stood up against the saviours ten years ago, despite all they did to you, and finally escaped.” His face lilted up in joy.  “They did everything to find you but all to a dead end. This gave most of us who wanted out the courage to also leave.” a hint of relief settled on his face.

 

There was so much confusion at the saviours’; they had lost control, many of us fled to unknown destinations, some changed their names, identities and all sorts.” He saw that their faces was softened, so he continued.

 

“The elders were furious; they lashed out in anger and came after us. Although, they found some but after five years, there was complete silence, no one heard from them. But a few months ago, we began to lose contact from some of us who had fled, they just went missing.” he said sadly.

 

Seth had eased up a bit; he walked towards him with a concern look on his face.

 

“Maybe they are still on the run.” He sat down.

 

“No sir, the saviours are back hunting; there has been series of unresolved murders in the news lately. Those were our members. They are back hunting, and this time, it’s bad, very bad.” His hands started to shake uncontrollable. The fear on his face spread all over the room.

 

“We have been terrified ever since these killings began; some have reported been followed.” he tried to steady his hands from trembling.

 

“Seth, can I speak to you?” Angela interrupted, and walked to the kitchen.

Seth responded immediately. “Excuse me.” He said to their guest.

 

He saw Angela pacing in the kitchen. “Honey, I don’t like this.” She said.

“I know….” Seth said confused.

“This could be a trap, we can’t trust him. How did they find us?” she asked, distraught.

“I’m not sure, he said he was a finder.” His answer was more of satisfying the fear building up in him.

She faced him. “We have to do something fast, we have to send him away. He looks mendacious” she whispered, pointing towards the living room.

“What?”

“Deceitful, dishonest, untruthful, disingenuous….”

“I know what you mean.” He snapped.

“Then you have to send him away.” She snapped back.

 

“But they need our help, I can’t do that.”

“Help! This man is talking about unresolved murders, killings…., the saviours are back!” her jaw tightened in fear.

“I can’t just turn my back on them, he needs our help.”

“I don’t know.” She started to pace again, agitated and full of fear. “All I know is that I don’t trust him. Tell him there’s nothing you can do.”

“You know I can’t do that!” Seth said bluntly.

“I knew you wouldn’t listen to me,” her anger was flaring out of control. “I’m going to work.”

“Work!” He threw his hands in the air in frustration. “we have an issue here, and you are going to work?”

“No! YOU have an issue to sort out; I already told you what to do. You can go ahead and do what you do best: ignoring me to start with.”

“What do you mean ignoring you?” Seth asked.

“I’m off to work.” Angela said and walked hastily through the back door.

 

Seth sighed as he was left standing there. He knew he couldn’t just walk away from all these; he had to do something, so he went back to the living room.

“Sorry about that.” he apologized while David just nodded.

“Sir, I know you were not supposed to be found but we really need your help.” his tone of voice was more of a cry for help.

“Alright, I would like to meet everyone,” Seth said. “Let me have your number and I can arrange a venue to meet.”

“Okay, here,” David said, he gave Seth his number. “We do appreciate your help.” He walked towards the door.

“Thank you.”

“Talk to you soon.” Seth closed the door behind.

 

Seth had to sit down for a while to absorb everything that had just happened; he knew within himself that the day was near when they would have to confront the saviours, but this time with an ultimate power in the name of Jesus. As he pondered on all that happened, he couldn’t but also think about his wife. Things had become so distanced between them for months now, they hardly talked as they used to, and he had been so absorbed in his own work and in church that he had forgotten how to be a lover to his wife. He planned to make it up to her this night; he knew they had to start by communicating with each other.

 

 

Chapter Two

 

 

“Are you alright?” Pam asked Angela seeing she just poured away another cup of coffee without drinking it. “Is there something wrong with the coffee?” she asked

“Oh! You noticed.” Angela said. “I don’t think it’s the coffee.” she tried to force a smile.

“Is something bothering you?” Pam asked.

“You know, same thing”. Angela looked wry.

“Oh dear, I thought you planned to talk to him a few days ago?”

“Well, I planned to but I got home late from work and we both have been busy ever since.” Angela said in distress.

“I understand dear,” Pam went to stand by her. “Things always get in the way but you shouldn’t give up honey.” she tried reassuring her.

“Thanks dear.” Angela smile was suitably grateful.

“Why don’t I take you out after work to talk?” Pam asked.

“That would be great.”

 

Since they had been on the run, Pam was the only friend Angela kept in her life. Pam was the sister she never had and she told her everything about herself except the saviours. Angela found it easy to talk to Pam; she told her everything especially now that things had been so dull in her marriage.

 

Although she loved the fact that Seth devoted all of himself to God but she felt lonely. Sometimes she hated herself for thinking this way, she felt jealous of the relationship Seth had with God and felt somehow replaced. She could not understand why that bothered her and since she could not bring herself to talk to Seth, Pam had been the second friend to her. Even with that, the thought of the saviours back in their life scared her most. After all they’ve been through, all she wanted was to have a normal life but she knew Seth would not back away from helping anyone. She feared for the days to come and longed for peace in their lives.

 

Chapter Three

 

Since Seth owned his own IT Company, he could choose to work from home anytime he wanted. After the whole visit in the morning, he had put himself into prayer to seek direction from the Lord. He knew he could not do anything without hearing from the Lord. It was almost four o’clock in the afternoon when he heard Josh come in.

“Hello Dad!” Josh greeted.

“Hey, Son!” Seth greeted from his study.

“Dad, there’s someone here to see you,” Josh came into the study “I found her at front door.” he said.

He felt a tight grip in his chest considering the visitor he had in the morning. “Who?” He asked.

“A Lady.” Josh answered, “She’s waiting in the living room.” Josh said, and went up to his room.

 

He got up quickly, and walked into the living room. To his surprise, he saw Bridget standing there.

“Oh my! Bridget.” Seth grinned with excitement.

“Hello Mr. Evans” Bridget hugged him.

“It’s been awhile, how are you?” Seth asked.

“Very well.” she answered, smiling.

“I thought you were in South Africa,” Seth was still surprised to see her. Since the incidence with Bridget, they had kept in touch. Bridget had been involved in various Christian mission programs and the last he heard from her was her transfer to South Africa working with some AIDS victims.

“Well, I had to come back,” Bridget said looking around. “Where’s Angela?”

“At work,” he answered, “Come, sit down, how have you been? What’s going on?”

 

She straightened and looked straight at him. “It’s time.”

“Time? What do you mean? He glared at her.

“The saviours are hunting and it won’t be long before they find out where you are.” she said.

 

Seth inhaled deeply. He had guessed her visit wasn’t a coincidence.

 

“Yes, I got a visit this morning from a guy named David; he said some of his crew who fled the saviours were missing, some even dead.” he said sadly.

 

She was startled. “David! How did he find you?”

“I don’t know, he said he used to be a finder.”

“We need to be ready, if this man could find you; I am so certain the saviours are not far behind.” Bridget said. “I had a dream about a great battle drawing near and I heard the Lord telling me to come home, to you.” Bridget said.

“Hmm, I am not surprised. Since the visit in the morning, I have been praying and studying the Word and the Lord spoke to me.” He stood up and went to pick a bible on the shelf.

 

“This is what the Lord said; ‘Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full Armour of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood but against rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil” Seth read out.

“Ephesians 6, the Armour of God.” Bridget nodded.

“Yes, but the Lord further explained to me; that for us to be fully ready for this battle, we have to stand firm with the belt of truth buckled round our waist; we shall know the truth and it will set us free, the truth of the Word of God” he said excited as he continued.

 

“Then, the breastplate of righteousness which is a defence; our righteousness is not from the law but through faith in Christ. Also, our feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace; taking up the shield of faith, which we can use to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one; then comes the helmet of Salvation and the sword of the Spirit, praying in the Spirit knowing well that this battle is spiritual and must be fought in God’s strength, depending on the word of God.” he paused and took a moment to catch his breath.

 

“I believe the Lord is with us, the battle is the Lord’s and the victory is ours.” Bridget said.

“We need to start praying, you know.”

“Yes, I agree, we have to be ready.” Bridget added.

“So, where would you be staying?”

“I already booked a reservation at the hotel.”

“Oh, but we have a spare room in the house, why don’t you stay here until we figure out what we are up against?” he offered.

“Are you sure?” she asked.

“Absolutely, Angela wouldn’t mind.” His smile turned tender.

 

Just then, the front door opened, Angela walked in.

“Hello honey!” Seth greeted Angela.

“Hello dear”, she answered. she saw Bridget, surprised to see her. “Bridget!” She went over to give her a hug.

“Hello Angela.” Bridget greeted.

“I thought you were in South Africa.” Angela said excited.

“Well, I was until I was told to come back home.” Bridget said.

“What! What happened?” Angela said in shock.

“Oh no, not them, the Lord spoke to me to come home. It’s about the saviours, they are back hunting.” she said looking over to Seth to explain.

Angela was taken aback in fear

 

“So the man in the morning was…..” .

“Telling the truth.” Seth finished her sentence.

“Oh God! Not again.” she felt the fear overwhelmed her.

“Honey, we have nothing to fear, God is in control.” Seth said while Angela just walked to the Kitchen.

 

“What is going on?” Angela looked straight at Seth who had followed her.

“Honey, we have to prepare ourselves, in fact, I told Bridget she could stay here until all this is over.” Seth said.

“You did what?” Angela shouted.

“Hush…” Seth said.

“Don’t hush me, you didn’t even ask me.” she raged at him.

“I thought……..” Seth tried to say.

 

“Why on earth would you tell the same woman, who tried to kill our son that she could stay in our house?” She shouted in anger

“What!” he gasped in disbelief. “You know better than this.”

“I don’t know any more, I cannot trust anyone Seth, I can’t; not now, not ever,” she shouted. “I am happy she found the Lord but that doesn’t mean I want her staying with us.”

“Why?”

“Why! For God’s sake Seth; the same people who hired her to kill our son many years ago are back hunting and you want her to stay here with us?” she shouted at him.

“So, what do you want me to do?” Seth asked angrily.

“I don’t care what you do Seth, you brought her in here so get her out.” she shouted and ran upstairs to her room.

 

Seth was stunned for a minute, taken aback at his wife’s reaction. After a few minutes to pull himself together, he went back to the living room.

“I am so sorry.” Bridget was already on her feet ready to leave.

“Oh, you heard?” Seth felt embarrassed. “I am so sorry you heard all that, you know…”

“It’s okay, I totally understand.” She went to get her bags. “I should probably leave now.”

“Alright then, let me get my keys to drop you at your hotel.” he offered.

“It’s okay, I would take a cab.” Bridget smiled to relieve him of the tension.

 

 

*****

 

After Bridget had left, Seth went upstairs to Angela.

“What is wrong with you?” he asked angrily, slamming the door hard.

“There’s nothing wrong with me.” Angela shouted back.

“You know Bridget very well and I don’t understand your behaviour.” he said to her.

“Why is it too difficult to understand that I am only protecting my son and it was you who brought all these to us, you started it.” she screamed at him.

“What!” he rattled.

 

“I can no longer do this, I can’t keep running, I can’t do this…; that guy in the morning found us, he knows where we are living…., and the saviours’ killing all over the town, I cannot do this again….  I want a normal life.” she was trembling all over.

“But that is what I am trying to do…”

“You brought this on us and now,” she looked up to him in rage. “you want to start all over again, you want to try to fight them.” she shouted at him.

Seth felt sick to his stomach, he didn’t believe Angela could ever accuse him of all these.

 

“You don’t care about us, all you want to do is go fighting some kind of battle,” Angela continued “Is this how we would continue to live our lives?” she cried out.

“What do you mean that I don’t care about my family? Of course I do; everything I am doing is for your safety, I have kept us safe all these years, you and Josh.” Seth said back.

“I don’t just want safety; rules to keep us safe, watching our backs each time we go out. I want to have a normal life, a normal family, a normal husband that will love and care for me, who will be there for me.” She said in tears.

“What are you saying?” Seth was confused.

“All you do is planning; spending more time with people in the name of helping them out. I want you here with me, by my side.” She shouted.

 

“You are the one who is busy, always has an excuse to come home late every night, you are the one with clients’ appointments and all sorts, nights-out with Pam. Every night is with Pam; Pam this, Pam that.” he shouted at her.

“You made that possible. Each time I am home, all you do is locked up in your study.” she shouted back.

 

Then, there was silence in the room. Angela swallowed hard, and bowed her head in dismay. She blinked back tears, looking off into the distance.

 

“I just want to spend some quiet time with my husband, without any thought of the saviours or some other demons. I want us to do things together as we used to, I want you to carry me along.” she cried out. “I have been enduring this for years on the run and I am tired of all this…”

Seth felt her pain and couldn’t believe he never realized how much she had been hurting.

“Honey…”Seth reached out his hands to her.

“Please don’t touch me, I can’t believe you never noticed any of these.” Her face showed the strain of hurt.

“I’m sorry honey, I didn’t know…” Seth tried to say

“You know what? Just go back to your study.” she whimpered. “Just go and leave me alone.”

 

Seth knew better than to press on, he knew she was angry, so he reluctantly left the room to give her time to calm down. After about two hours downstairs, he decided to go back to the room to speak with her but she was already asleep.

 

 

Chapter Four

 

 

Seth got a call from David the next morning and had arranged to meet with the others. He decided to pick Bridget up from her hotel on his way. Almost an hour into the meeting when they had introduced themselves, Seth and Bridget went on to explain how the Lord could save them from all these, by giving their lives to God and taking on the whole Armour of God. There was uneasiness in the group.

 

“I don’t believe this.” Rick, one of the men there scoffed. “You mean to tell me that while the saviours are fighting with guns, ammunitions, magic and all sorts, we would be fighting with some words. C’mon guys, where on earth does that happen?” he mocked them

 

“Yea, there’s a rumour now that the saviours have acquired more power, how can we compete with that?” Pamela, another member shouted from her seat.

 

“I thought you have a way of protecting us, like a safe house or one of those solid witness protection programs.” David said.

 

“Yea, yea…” some of the members shouting. Everyone started to talk all at once, there was tension in the room.

 

Seth looked at Bridget and sought for a way out. He wanted them to know what he knew, the only way out of all these. He realized these people had been hiding for so many years, they have seen and know what the saviours were capable of. He needed them to hear him out, so he stood up on one of the tables and shouted out for them all to be quiet.

 

He finally got their attention. He inhaled deeply, and started. “Alright, listen guys, our fight is not against flesh and blood but against spiritual powers; the saviours are fighting a spiritual battle and we have to be prepared too. We cannot do this on our own but by the power of God. You asked me to come here…, you wanted my help and I tell you, this is the way, the only way-

 

“I’m out then.” Rick stood up to leave. “I’m sorry, I cannot take this risk” he added while some others made such comments and followed him too.

 

“We need more, I cannot depend on someone I have never met to help me, I need much more than mere words.” Pamela said.

 

 

Bridget went over to them trying to stop them from leaving. “But this is the greater power, we believe by faith that God is real and His power is real too, I have told you my testimony; how he saved me from my sins, he took me in and washed me clean. He can do the same for you.” she pleaded with them. “I have seen His power at work every day, every minute, every second…. Look, think about the air you breathe in, you can’t see it yet you believe in it. God is real and He is here to save us, to expose the saviours and deliver anyone bound by them.”

 

“I’m sorry, I can’t take this chance.” Pamela said and walked out with the group.

 

With the meeting ending in such a disaster, Seth felt discouraged. He wanted so much to let them see the true way but no one could believe him.

 

 

 

Chapter Five

 

 

Angela tried several times to get Seth on the phone but she only got to his voice mail. Frustrated and angry, all she wanted was to hear his voice; she was unaware of the tears running down her face when Pam walked up to her.

“Angela, are you still crying?” Pam asked.

“Oh, sorry.” Angela wiped the tears away.

“Come dear,” Pam brought her to a tight embrace. “It’s okay honey, everything would be alright.” she whispered into her ears.

“I just wanted to tell him how I felt…” Angela sobbed.

“I know dear,” She gently patted her back.

“But why do I feel so guilty?”

 

“It’s not your fault dear, no of this is your fault.”

 

Angela whimpered. “I feel so alone.”

Pam gently rubbed her back. “I am here for you dear, I’m going to take good care of you.” she continued to pat her.

 

Angela rested her head on her shoulders. “He doesn’t get it.” she sobbed.

“They don’t always get it, that’s why we don’t stay with them,” Pam gentle stroke her hair. “That’s why we have to stick together, you know.”

Angela straightened, and wiped the tears away from her eyes.

 

Then, Pam held her hands and looked straight into her eyes. “Listen to me, you don’t ever let any man bring you down.”

 

Angela nodded.

 

“You have to be strong, can’t you see what he’s doing to you.” she locked her eyes with hers.

 

“I…..” Angela stammered.

 

“I love you so much, and I hate what he is doing to you. What they care about is their own feelings and nothing else. Men, husbands are such heartless people that you should never waste your time thinking about them, or loving them. They are pitiful, and good for nothing.

 

Angela felt her words were becoming harsh, so she took her face away, but Pam brought it back quickly, and held her cheeks into her hands.

 

“I love you so much Angela, and I hate to see you like this. I hate what he has done to you.” Her voice was barely a whisper but Angela heard her clearly. She could feel her breathe on her face. She had a strong feeling to pull away from her, but she didn’t.

 

“I love you Angela, and I will do everything to make you happy.” Just in a moment, Pam pressed her lips against her lips.

 

Angela was stunned, it took her a few seconds to come out of the shock. She stepped away from her, and then saw Seth standing at the door.

 

Seth had walked in on them. He stood there in disbelief staring at the ladies.

 

Angela was stunned. She wanted to say something but her mouth suddenly went dry.

 

Seth turned around and walked out of the office.

 

“Seth!” Angela ran after him but he was gone. So she turned back to confront Pam.

“What was that?” she let out a loud groan. “Why did you do that?” she shouted.

“What! I thought you wanted it.” Pam was gobsmacked.

“What? Why would I want that?” She pointed at her and back to herself,

“What about the signals, crying on the shoulders, talks, dinners, and all that time we did spent together?” She was wiggling her hands in the air.

“Whoa, are those signals? Can’t a woman have a normal relationship with a friend? A friend! What happened to having a woman friend?” She went to sit down, and then stood up again and started pacing around the room. She was disoriented.

“I thought you wanted me….., You had issues in your marriage, and you weren’t getting comfort from men but me.” She hit her hands against her chest. “I was the one there for you, every night, every day, every seconds of the day, I am here.”

Angela staggered “Are you serious?” She couldn’t believe what she was hearing. It felt absurd.

“I took care of you where he felt. I made you feel safe, comfort-

“Stop it.” She felt irritated at her words. “Stop it, stop it!” she shouted again.

 

Pam was startled. She did never seen Angela like that.

 

There was silence for a few minutes. Pam went to sit down, shame caused her mouth to tremble.

“I’m sorry.” Pam said.

 

Angela couldn’t believe what just happened. She never thought of Pam as being a lesbian. She knew this was not over, they would definitely have to talk about this, but now, she had to get to Seth. She went to pick up her bag and walked out of the office.

 

She got to the parking lot and found Seth still there, he was standing by his car.

 

“I’m so sorry for what you saw, It’s not what you think”, she started to say. “I don’t know what happened there, one minute she was consoling me, the next minute, you know…” she was flustered. She was searching for the right words to explain this to him, but couldn’t find any.

“I know…” Seth said.

“I never knew she is a….” Angela was saying.

“It’s okay honey, I kind of heard the whole stuff you said after.” Seth said.

“You did?” Angela was relieved.

“I heard you calling me but when I turned back, I overheard all what you said.” he said.

“I am so sorry you had to see that.” Angela pleaded. “I never knew that about her.”

 

“It’s okay dear, I actually came here to take you out to lunch.” he smiled.

“Lunch!” Angela was surprised. It’s been a while they had spent time together.

“Yes, with you.” His smile turned tender. After the meeting with the saviour, he wanted to speak so much with his wife. But he knew he had to make things right with her first.

“See, honey, I am very sorry. I have been so busy in my own little world that I neglected the most important thing,” he said holding her hands. “You know I love you honey and I would never do anything to hurt you or my son, you both are my life.” he searched her face to see if she understood him.

“I am sorry for disrespecting you in our home, forgetting your needs and putting you through all these…, God knows I love you so much…” He looked softly into her eyes.

 

Angela felt relieved at his words.

 

“I’m very sorry for what I said, I didn’t mean it.” Angela said. “I should be proud of you, for how far you have come with your relationship with God, not feel jealous.”

 

“I love you honey and miss us.” She said.

 

“I love you too dear,” Seth said. “Why don’t we go to Lunch, then we can talk about everything.” Seth said with pleading eyes

 

“Oh no dear, I think I want to go home to make love with my husband now, and then we can talk.” she laughed.

 

“Oh, that I would do.” he smiled, opening the passenger’s door for her.

 

Their excitement and naughtiness filled the car as they both giggled all the way home. They couldn’t wait to get into each other’s arms. At least for the next few hours, they would forget about their worries and everything they’ve been through, and just to be close to each other. They both ran out of the car like little children, opened the front door and locked their lips together as they held each other. Just then, they noticed something was wrong, the whole furniture was not in place, tables and sofa were scattered everywhere.

 

 

“Oh God! What happened here?” Angela quivered.

Baffled and surprised, they both went through every room in the house and found all of their things scattered around.

“Oh God!” Angela cried out again. “They have been here.” she shivered.

“Josh!” Seth called out.

“He has football practice after school,” Angela said while Seth went to the phone to call his school. Just then, he saw the beeping light on the telephone.

“There’s a voice mail, It’s probably Josh.” Seth pressed the button.

              

“Hello Seth!” Seth and Angela gasped as they heard a familiar voice they dreaded. It was Patterson.

 

“It’s been a while and I’m sure you are thrilled to hear my voice as I am. I hope you aren’t looking for your son, Josh. He’s in safe hands.” he said and hung up.

 

Seth was in shock as he continued to stare at the phone.

 

“Oh my God!” Angela cried out. “He’s got my son!” She said panicking.

 

Just then Seth started to walk away.

 

“Where are you going?” she shouted in fear, following him.

 

“My computer….. I need my computer.” Seth said.

 

“Why on earth do you need your computer?”

 

“I installed a GPS on Josh’s wrist watch, He always has it on.” He said fumbling through his computer.

 

“What!” When?” Angela asked in shock.

 

“Some couple of months ago, I also installed one on your wedding ring; remember when I took it a while ago to do some work on it?” He said.

 

Angela starred at her ring. “You what!”

 

“Don’t bother, you can’t see it.” Seth said as he searched through his GPS locator on his computer.

 

“Why would you even do such a thing without telling me?” she was furious.

 

Seth was busy searching through the computer.

 

“This is one of the things I have been complaining about, you doing things without letting me know. You live in your own little world and shut me out.”

 

“Seriously Angela, right now.” He looked up quickly at her.

 

Angela saw the fear in his eyes.

 

There was a beeping light from the computer.

 

“Got it.” He said in relief.

 

“You see the green beeping light.” he pointed at it for Angela to see.

 

“That is where he is, it’s a two-hour drive.” he carried his laptop with him, and started to walk.

 

“Where are you going?

 

“To get our Son.” he answered.

 

“Shouldn’t we call the police?”

 

He stopped for a second and made eye contact. “We can’t trust anyone, the police, the government, no one.”

 

“Ok, so what should we do?”

 

“I want you to stay here.” He said to her.

 

“Oh no! I am going with you, He messed with the wrong mother by taking my son.” she shouted in a defensive tone and followed behind Seth.

 

Seth knew better than to argue so they both got into their car and followed the direction on the GPS locator.

 

 

 

Chapter Six

 

Seth and Angela drove along the road, the only sound in the car was the instruction from the GPS; Seth battled with fear and anger as he went on. He was angry at himself for bringing this on his family. Then, he became angry with God for not protecting his son. He felt helpless as tears began to flow down from his eyes; He couldn’t dare to look at his wife as he felt he had failed her too; what she feared most was happening. His heart sank in dismay.

 

Just then, Angela started to speak, but not in the tongues of men; she was speaking in tongues. She remembered the word of God in Romans 8:26, ‘In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groaning too deep for words’. She started with one word, quietly, then, she went further with a sentence, then she began to speak more as the Spirit gave utterance.

 

Seth who was drenched in his tears joined her and began to speak in tongues, the words flowed well accordingly. Both in tears, they began to speak and sing in tongues. As they drove long, they felt the Spirit of God in the car, the whole tiny compartment was filled with the Power of God, they could feel His energy and they knew beyond all doubt that God was there with them. At some point, Seth couldn’t even hear the sound from the GPS, but he knew he was on the right direction. They could not fathom the joy and peace within them, the peace of God was indeed present.

 

As this continued, Seth felt he could hear the Lord speaking to him, then, he heard himself speaking those words out, “The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear? The Lord is the Stronghold of my life, of whom shall I be afraid? When evil men advance against me to devour my flesh, when my enemies and my foes attack me, they will stumble and fail. Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then will I be confident”.

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Seven

 

 

Josh had been on his way home when a black truck pulled behind him. Before he could assess the situation, he saw some men coming out of the van towards him and forcefully carried him into the truck and had driven off. He struggled but they over-powered him and after several seconds of screaming out, he realised that he wasn’t the only one in the truck. He saw some other men and women blindfolded and gagged in the mouth.

 

That was almost five hours ago when they had taken them all into the barn with in the middle of nowhere. They had no idea where they were; but as they were all thrown into the cage and locked in, fear griped them all. Everyone looked at each other since the blindfolds were lifted and they all panicked in fear. The cage was quiet small, a light flickered at the corner of the barn. It was difficult to see what was around them, but the terrible smell and cold air was frightening enough.

 

“Oh God! Bridget whispered to herself when she saw Josh.

“How did they find you?” She asked him.

Josh realized he had seen her in their house the other day.

“I was on my way home from school.” He said fearfully.

“Don’t be afraid Josh, Our God is with us.” she said to him.

“Remember every word your father and mother have taught you, every word you have read in the bible, this is the time to use them all, for God is on our side.” she assured him.

Josh nodded slowly, still trying to comprehend their situation.

“I met with your father this morning but shortly after he left, these men came. He said he was going to see your Mother.” she saw the fear on Josh’s face “But I’m sure they are okay.” she tried to assure him.

 

They both paused for a minute looking at everyone in their tiny cell; they saw they were nervous, fear and uncertainty all over them. Bridget braced herself and stepped out to talk to them.

 

“Listen, everyone,” she started. “Now is that time to decide what you want for yourselves. Our God is able to save us.”

 

“Then, why are you here?” She heard someone say to her.

 

“I do not know but I know beyond all doubt that God is able to save us all from this if we will ask him. Please, let’s give our fears to him.” Bridget said.

 

“You said the same thing this morning and see where we are now.” she heard another saying.

 

“Now, we are at the mercy of the saviours, I say we give in to them, beg them and ask for them to take us back.” he said.

 

“No, we will do no such thing!” Josh spoke out behind the crowd.

 

Josh realized what had happened. He remembered his father had told him several stories about the saviours. He felt his father had been preparing him for this day. Every prayer, teaching and instruction were meant for a day like this. He braced himself, and stepped out. “I am just a boy but I know the true way. My name is Josh Evans and nothing can separate me from my God. He delivered Daniel in the bible and He is able to save us all if we believe.” Josh said full of confidence.

 

“What can we do?” A woman asked. Her hands were trembling.

 

“We only need to believe that God is real and accept Jesus as our Lord and saviour.” Bridget said.

 

Suddenly, the door open and David and the council of elders walked in. Only then did they realize that it had all been a trap all along. David was still working with the saviours. He was still the finest finder and he did sought them out.

 

“Oh, very well!” Patterson applaud. “What do we have here?” He had the hint of arrogant in his voice. His face was taut when he saw Bridget “Hmm, the one that got away. I have been looking for you, and today, I have found you.”

 

 

Bridget swallowed hard. Although she knew she might one day come face to face with Patterson, the same man that gave her the special assignment ten years ago to murder the Evan’s son. She had always been so afraid of him even when she was a member; she felt the old fear creep him, but silently asked the Lord to strengthen her. Then she noticed the activities going on in the barn. They were all dressed in long dark robes with hoods covering their heads. They moved in line while some were lilting the candles on the table in the centre of the barn. Only then could Bridget and the others see the markings all over the barn, pentagram signs on the floor, and different kinds of animals’ skulls all over the place. The whole group shivered in fear when they saw all these.

 

The elders started to hum and chant as they moved in circles. Just then, flames of fire burst out in their midst all around the pentagram. The group trembled in fear as they watched. Bridget, seeing how scared the group had become, started quoting the scriptures.

 

“The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.” She said loudly for everyone to hear.

“He makes me to lie in green pastures; He leads me besides the still waters, he restores my soul, He leads me in the path of righteousness; For His name’s sake, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil-

 

“Enough!” Patterson roared out. “Shut her up!” he ordered David who unlocked the door and dragged Bridget out.

 

He grabbed her neck with one hand, and held a needle on the other hand. “You know, you should never have left”. He whispered into her ears. Then, he injected her with the needle. “That should keep you quiet.” Suddenly, Bridget slumped on the floor. He carried her and laid her down on the table where the elders just continued to hum and chant.

 

 

 

*****

 

“Turn left at the end of the road.” The GPS announced. There was no more road to drive on. Seth looked around and realised they had to start walking.

 

“We should start walking.” Seth opened the door.

“They should be around here somewhere.” He took his flash light from the car.

 

They both started to walk, with a few minutes they saw a few cars hidden in the middle of the woods.

 

“I think they are here somewhere.” He whispered to Angela.

 

They continued to walk and in a distance they saw a barn in the middle of the thick woods.

“There.” Seth pointed to Angela.

 

“Yes, I can see it.” Angela whispered. They walked carefully through the bushes and found a small window behind the barn. They saw the elders humming and chanting. They saw what looked like a cage but couldn’t see the people in it. Then they saw David standing by the cage, then they understood that he was a spy, he had led the saviours to them.

 

Suddenly, one of the elders started sprinkling incense on someone lying on the table, and then they heard Josh’s voice.

 

“Leave her alone you.” He shouted at them.

 

“Leave her alone…” He shouted again seeing one of them walk towards Bridget with a knife in his hands.

 

“Will you shut him up?” Patterson raged at David.

 

 

Josh stood in confidence and spoke out. “He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.”

 

“I said shut him up!” another elder barked at David who was struggling to unlock the cage but to no avail.

 

“I will say of the Lord, He’s my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” Josh continued to say.

 

“Shut him up!” Patterson shouted again.

 

“I’m trying, the gate wouldn’t open.” David said struggling to open it.

 

“Surely he will save me from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence.” he continued to say.

 

“Shut him up or I will.” Patterson raged.

 

Suddenly, the door was kicked open. Seth and Angela walked in.

 

“Touch not my anointed and do my prophet no harm.” Seth shouted.

 

Everyone turned to look at the two who just broke in.

 

“Seth!” Patterson was surprised.

 

“Patterson.” Seth murmured. “Why do you insist on evil?” Seth said to him. “All of you.” he said looking at the council.

 

“You defied us.” One of the elders roared out.

 

“And no one goes free.” Another said.

 

“My freedom isn’t in your hands; it is with the Lord and whoever the Lord sets free is free indeed.” Seth said.

 

“Open the gate.” Patterson shouted at David. “Get me his son.” he raged at him.

 

“Can’t you see,” Seth said to them. “There are Angels standing by the gate, your boy can’t get in.” Seth said to them. “You have been overcome by your evil and greed. This day, the Lord is set to put you to shame.” Seth said to him.

 

“Look around you.” Patterson said. “In this place, we are lords and kings. We owned this place, this is our sanctuary and your God cannot rule here.” Patterson said.

 

“You are mistaken; the earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof.” Seth said.

 

 

Just then, the council began chanting and reciting some words, Seth could feel a dark power in the barn, yet he was overwhelmed with the Power of God, so he held his wife’s hands and started speaking the words of God; as their chanting became louder, they also spoke louder.

 

“Some trust in chariots and some in horses but we trust in the name of the Lord our God. They are brought to their knees and fall, but we rise up and stand firm.” they said aloud.

 

With the council chanting louder, they saw smoke rising within them.

 

Josh was still locked up in the cage with the remainder of the group standing behind him.

 

“Lift up your heads, O ye gates and be lifted up, you ancient doors that the King of glory may come in. Who is this King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle.” Josh said in the most authoritative voice. Then, the ground started to shake and the gates were uprooted from the floor and fell to the ground.

 

The council were brought to silence as they saw the gates fall to the ground, the group who were with Josh watched in amazement at this occurrence and followed behind Josh as he went over to his parents.

 

The council held hands together and began to chant. Seth saw this, held hands with his wife and son and there, they knew what they should do. In one accord, they started,

 

“And God exalted Him to the highest place and gave him a Name that is above every name that at the name of JESUS every knee should bow in heaven and on earth and under the earth and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.”

 

Just at the mention of the name of Jesus, the whole place shook vigorously. While the council elders were struggling to stand; Seth and the whole group were firm on the ground, more like, they were not affected. The council kept on struggling to stand and then, what seemed like an explosion burst out in their midst bringing every member to the floor.

 

There was total silence after this explosion, Seth and the group stood firm on the ground and Bridget who was still lying unconscious was not even affected by the explosion. After the smoke had cleared out from the barn, then, they saw the whole picture; the saviours were all on the ground, motionless, dead.

 

Seth hugged his family tightly with joy.

 

“It’s over….” Angela cried out in joy. “It’s all over, thank you Lord. Thank you Jesus…” She kept saying as she held her family. The group were in tears, marvelled at the whole scene; their heart filled with thanks.  Seth went over to where Bridget was laid; it looked like she was fast asleep.

 

“She would be fine.” Seth said to the group, asking them to carry her.

 

“We should all leave.” He said to them.

 

As they walked through the bushes, they felt joy and victory like never before, ‘If the Lord be for us, who can be against us”. Indeed, the Lord had fought for them; He had given them victory and set the bound free. He is the Mighty Warrior and the Consuming fire, yet, He is our Father. They proclaimed.

 

Epilogue

 

It has been over a year since this incidence happened. Government officials could not find any explanations to the death of the council; all they found were evidences of rituals but had no idea what caused the explosion and so labelled the case ‘Unsolved’. They realized the unsolved murder cases were carried out by the saviours and after several investigations; they were able to discover their headquarters and brought a number of them to justices while some are son the run.

 

The whole group dedicated their lives to God, and went to live their lives as normal as possible but with Power of God in them. They never stayed the same as they knew beyond all doubts that indeed, there is a God and He is their true Saviour.

 

Bridget went back to South Africa to continue her mission work and remained closed to the Evans. Angela resolved her issues with her and they became best of friends by emails, phone calls and letters.

 

Seth and Angela have remained closer than ever, serving God. Also, not forgetting their love for each other, which has grown continually each day. They have learnt that nothing can separate them from the love of God and from the love they have for each other. They started a mission to preach against occultism and to help members come to the knowledge of God.

 

Josh experienced something beyond words could say and at his age, a overwhelming encounter with the Lord; he developed a closer relationship with God and remained steadfast in him.

 

Our God is the Mighty Man in battle.

 

 

To my Readers.

 

Thank you all for reading. I hope you enjoyed the concluding part of the escape. Please leave your comments below. God Bless.

 

 

Written by Abimbola CirclesOfLove

 

 

© Circlesoflove 2013

 

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The Escape

Chapter One

 

Seth Evans watched the prosecutor closely as he questioned the witness. He had studied the case for several months and knew every witness by name. Cecil Brooke, the daughter of the deceased; tears streamed down her face as she was been questioned. She had told the court of how her stepfather shot her mother and left her to die in cold blood.

 

“It’s your witness.” The Judge turned to Seth.

Seth straightened. “Thank you, your Honour.” He stood up and walked towards the docket.

His face was void of any expression; he stood staring at the witness for several seconds. He wanted to intimate her and did succeed in doing just that.

 

Cecil lowered her head to avoid his intense gaze on her.

“Miss Cecil,” Seth started, “you said you saw your stepfather, Jack Edwards shoot your Mother?” he questioned.

 

“Yes, I did.” She answered.

 

He paused and took a long look at her. Her hands were trembling; he knew she was terrified of the whole proceeding and he had no room for any sympathy for her. He had to do his job, and brilliantly for that matter.

 

“Do you love your mother?” He asked.

She looked up to see his face. “Yes, I do.” She whimpered.

He nodded to affirm her answer. He started to walk towards the jury and then turned back to her direction. “Did you kill your Mother?” He blurted out.

 

“What!” She was startled.

“I asked if you killed your mother.” His face was taut.

“No, I did not!” Cecil shrieked.

“Objection.” The prosecution raised. The witness is not on trial here your honour.

“Sustained.” The Judge said. The jury should disregard that question. The judge raised an eyebrow at Seth to warn him.

 

“Okay.” He said in a calm voice. He knew how to indignant any witness. He paused for a moment and then, he continued. “Miss Cecil, would you say you are an angry person?”

She flashed an angry look at him. “No.”

Seth moved closer to her, pretending not to hear her answer. “I’m sorry.”

“No.” She repeated.

“Are you sure?” He asked.

“No, I am not an angry person.” She snapped.

Seth raised an eyebrow. “I see.”

“Objection.” The Prosecutor said. “I don’t see how the witness personality is relevant this case.”

“Your honour, I am trying to establish the witness state of mind at the time of the incident.” Seth countered.

“The defence should go straight to his point and stop wasting the court’s time.” The Judge said firmly.

 

Cecil swallowed hard and took her face away from Seth.

“Isn’t it true that you and your Mother had a fallen out?” He asked.

“What do you mean?”

He went to stand in front of her. “There are people who have seen you arguing and shouting at your mother.” He went back to his desk and took some photographs and presented it to the Judge. He also gave a copy to the prosecutor and then finally to Cecil.

 

Cecil took briefly at the photograph and turned it face down.

 

“I have evidence to proof that your Mother threatened to take you out of her will due to your reckless drinking and drugs problem-

Cecil jumped to her feet. “That’s not true!” She Shouted. “I don’t have any drugs problem and my mother loved me and would never do that to me.” Her breathing had become heavy.

 

“Objection! Speculation. The defence is only making things up your Honour.” The prosecutor shouted from his seat.

“Your Honour, here are the official Will statements stating the changes the deceased made to her will shortly before her death.” Seth passed some copies of the document to the prosecution and also one for the Judge.

 

“Overrule.” The judge said after looking through the documents.

“Thank you, your honour.” Seth smiled. “So, Miss Cecil, I will ask you one more time, did you not kill your mother because she took you out of her Will because you were so angry at her and the only way you could get hold of her money is to kill her and frame your stepfather?” His voice was raised at her; he stood head straight to her with the look of intimidation.

 

“No, I did not!” Cecil shouted back in tears.

“Wasn’t the print found on the gun the same as yours? You were the only one at home when your mother was killed and no one could verify your whereabouts-

Cecil stood up in anger. “No, I did not kill my mother,” she screamed out, “I saw him shoot her; I watched him leave her to die……..,” She cried out. “she was already dead when I went to her; I was confused, I don’t even remember picking up the gun, He killed my mother,” Cecil shouted pointing at her step-father.

 

“Then, tell the court why you were hiding when you claimed my client shot your mother?” He asked, “Tell the Court why no one could account for your whereabouts on the day of the murder? Miss Cecil, tell the court why my client, your stepfather, who took care of you, paid your tuition fees, clothed you and took you in even when your own mother threw you out. Why would he kill his own wife, your mother?” Seth demanded from her but Cecil was quiet, covered in tears and confused.

 

Seth took a long look at her. The only voice in the room was the weeping from the witness. “The defence rest.” He said and walked back to his seat.

 

 

*****

 

 

It took several hours for the jury to deliberate on the case; finally, they were ushered back into the courtroom.

 

“Have you reached the verdict?” The Judge asked.

The foreman stood up. “Yes, your Honour.”

“Would the defendant rise.” The Judge ordered.

Seth stood up, with the defendant.

“How do you find the defendant?” The judge asked the foreman.

“We the jury find the defendant, Mr Jack Edwards not guilty.”  He read.

 

There was uproar as the verdict was read; the defendant jumped in triumph at the news, he shook Seth’s hands.

 

Mr Peterson walked up to Seth. “That’s my boy; I never doubted your ability to win the case.” He patted him on the back.

Seth nodded at the appreciation; he felt that feeling of disgust again. He hated the man so much but there was nothing he could do since he was his boss. Part of him hated what he had become, and the length he went to prove every client’s innocence, knowing full well that they had contributed to every offence one way or the other.

 

Seth also knew Mr Edward had killed his wife; he knew some evidence had been fabricated just to get him off it. He knew what Mr Paterson had to do, what they always do to let the guilty walk away freely. He was certain his client had killed his wife but there was nothing he could do; he was his defence lawyer and indebted to his boss, as they called it. Almost every major case that involved any of ‘the saviours’ were referred to him. The ‘saviours’ is the brotherhood cult he belonged to, in fact, his own father was a member before he died, so did his grandfather and his great-grandfather. Every child is commissioned into the cult at the early age of three, they are all sworn in and expected to do accordingly. Mr Peterson, his boss was one of the elders and he had raised him as his own ever since Seth’s father died of cancer fifteen years ago. He had helped him gain a scholarship into one of best Universities in the United States of America, gave him monthly allowances, paid for his law school and even gave him a job in one of the prestigious law firms in the country. He had everything to be grateful for. He knew he could not question any of his assignments and all duties must be followed accordingly.

 

The saviours controlled eventually everything; the press, law firms, oil, economy, education, financials, everything you can think of, even to the smallest industries.

 

Although, Seth was grateful for his life; for the things he owned, considering he’s just 28 years and has achieved so much, but part of him felt guilty at every crime that had been committed by members of the cult. The call themselves powerful and cannot be touched by anyone, the law or any other organisation. This last case had been carefully dealt with from the beginning; He knew Mr Edwards had killed his wife after she caught him with his mistress and had threatened to divorce and expose his deeds. However, because of the reputation and social connections, Mr Edwards murdered his wife to cover up his act. Seth watched as Peterson spoke to Mr Edwards, He knew they were all glad about the outcome and they expected nothing short of it. He excused himself and left for the day.

 

 

Chapter Two

 

“Honey, could you please attend to Josh,” Angela spoke over from the Kitchen.

“I got him.” Seth went to pick up their son, Josh from the crib. “But you know I leave by 8:00.”

Angela walked into the living room. “It’s Friday night; you promised to spend the night with us at home.” Angela looked disappointed.

“I’m sorry, there is this thing at work I have to attend to.” He lied. “An appointment with a client.”

“An appointment?” She arched a brow. “You are always away from home all day, why can’t you attend to all your appointments during office hours?” she said angrily and took Josh away from him.

Seth inhaled deeply and brushed his hands down his face. “I’m sorry honey; you know I have to work. I will be home soon.” He said, took his jacket and car keys.

 

Angela knew better than to argue with him, he always had work to do. Even though he worked very hard and did provide for the family, she was tired of being second best to him. His devotion to his work was effortless. He even had meetings to attend to at odd hours. Angela loved her husband and would work hard at their marriage but she knew she had to confront him with her suspicions even though it hurt her thinking about them.

 

Chapter Three

 

 

Seth drove into the car park of their meeting; he felt waves of fear washed over him. He had always questioned his position in the society. In as much as he was not comfortable with all that went on in there, there was nothing he could do about it. He feared Angela might be on to him one of these days as his excuses were becoming lame. After almost an hour in the meeting, all he heard were rules over and over again especially Madison’s family who were the main news of the day; the whole family had suddenly left town. Their reasons were unknown, but the elders concluded that Mr Madison had failed to carry out a special assignment which was to influence a legislation that was passed in the Congress and so, out of fear, they had decided to flee rather than face the punishment. A mandate was given to search for them and terminate the whole family as a consequence of defying the saviours, and also as a lesson to other members. There was utter silence as these announcements were made and each member feared for his life, of course, that was the whole idea, to force them into submission.

 

 

Chapter Four

 

 

It’s been nearly a month since the Edwards murder case, and Seth had been given another major case involving a father accused of molesting his son. Even the thought of the case repulsed him. As he read the file over and over again, he felt so much hatred towards his client, another member of his cult and he knew what was to come. He would have to stand in court and question a thirteen-year-old boy about his father molesting him.

 

Another day in Court, Seth watched as the young boy took his seat in the witness box. He couldn’t bear to listen as the prosecution questioned the boy, and the details of what his father had done to him sickened him. He was lost in his thought and didn’t even hear the Judge telling him to question the witness.

 

“I’m sorry your honour.” Seth apologized standing up; he searched through his files to find the note he had written. He knew he was nervous but he was Seth, he never lost a case, he had to control himself and pull himself together.

 

“Mr Evans, are you ready to question your witness?” Seth heard the judge ask again.

“I’m sorry your honour.” He went over to witness box.

“Andy,” he started, “can I call you Andy?” He asked, smiling at the boy.

“Yes,” Andrew said nervously.

“You stated in your statement that your father comes into your room almost every night?”He asked.

Andrew nodded quietly.

“I’m sorry Andy; I would like a yes or no answer please,” Seth said.

“Yes.” he answered quietly.

“What were you doing during those hours?” He asked.

“I was sleeping.” He answered.

“According to your father’s statement to the police, he said and I quote, ‘my son has been bedwetting even to this age, most times in the night, I go over to his room to wake him up. I was merely trying to teach him the routine of waking up in the middle of the night to use the toilet. I never for once touched my son inappropriately’.

Andrew had bowed his head in shame.

“Isn’t that true Andy?” Seth asked.

“Yes, but- he stammered.

“It’s a simple yes or no answer, Andy,” Seth said in a soothing voice and yet intimidating tone. “Isn’t it true that you mistook your father coming in to wake you up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom as him coming in to molest you?” He asked again.

 

This time, Andrew became quiet, he hands were trembling, and tears streamed down his face. He looked from Seth to his father. Seth watched helplessly as the boy swelled up in tears and suddenly rose up in anger.

 

“I know what I know!” Andrew suddenly cried out. “I know what happened those nights.., I am not a baby, and I know how he touched me.” He shouted out in anger. “Most times, I cried, and beg him to stop but he never listened. He hits me so bad and threatened to kill me if I ever to tell anyone. I know what he did to me and it’s not fair, he’s supposed to be my daddy.” He was panting heavily and then broke down into more tears.

 

“You bastard.” The boy’s mother shouted from her seat. “You are a sick, sick bastard.” She shouted, pointing angrily at her husband.

The Judge was shouting to maintain order but the woman wouldn’t listen.

“How can you do that to our son, my son.” She ran to attack him but was restrained by the officers in the courtroom. “Bastard,” She cried out as she was being removed from the courtroom by the security officers.

 

Seth felt sickened and couldn’t even bear to ask any more question. He hated himself for what he was doing to the boy so he just walked back to his seat.

 

“The defence rests.”

 

“Court adjourned.” The Judge said and left the courtroom.

 

As they all stood up to leave the Courtroom, his client turned to him.

“You could have done better,” Mr Robertson said angrily, “You almost got him at his weak point, why did you stop?” He raged. Seth looked at him furiously, so much that he wanted to hit him but had to control himself and walked away.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Five

 

 

The event of today in the court room made Seth very upset. After several attempts to sleep, he decided to go downstairs to the living room. He had never been weakened in court before, he always had everything under control, nothing could get in the way but these days, he had to question himself and his loyalty to his cult. Out of anger, he began to smash things around in the kitchen, using his fist against the wall. He was angry at himself; he knew he was becoming something he hated so much. He was a father who would defend his son, Josh, with his life and would never let any hurt come to him, yet his actions today made him felt like a shame to fatherhood.

 

The noise woke Angela up; she realized Seth wasn’t in bed, so she ran downstairs…

 

“Seth!” She called out quietly.

“Are you alright?” she called out again, then she saw him sitting against the wall.

 

He looked up at her. “I’m sorry I woke you up.” he said quietly.

“What’s wrong honey?” Angela knelt down in front of him.

Seth bowed his head.

“Honey,” She touched his head, “are you alright?”

“I’m alright…” he looked at her and then, took his face away out of shame.

“No, you are not.” She didn’t want to push him hard, but still wanted in on everything that might be wrong. She knew his mind had been occupied for some time. “Don’t hide anything from me, please…”

 

He brushed his hands down his face, and inhaled deeply. “I wish I could let you in Angela…” He swallowed hard. “There are so many things you don’t know.”

 

She cupped his face into her hands, and smiled warmly. “I am here with you Seth; I want to know everything, I am here honey.”

 

Seth was silent for a while, pondering whether to tell Angela or not. He feared she might walk out on him knowing everything. The things he had done, the people he had defended knowing what they truly were was despicable. Then, he looked straight into her eyes; he knew she loved him. She had been the one who held their marriage together all these while. She had sacrificed so much for them, even when he had not been truthful, she has been there for him. He realised he had to tell her the truth. He was tired of the nightmares, the silent voices, the hurt he sees every day in the court room; He needed to tell someone.

 

Seth decided to come clean to her, he told her all about ‘the saviours’, his alliance and loyalty to them; how they serve as lords over them and how tied his commitment was to them. Angela listened very carefully trying hard not to bring out the emotions inside of her.

 

“Oh my God!” She exclaimed when he finished. “Why didn’t you tell me all this?” She whimpered. She was overwhelmed by all she’d just heard, and tried not to panic. She sat back against the wall, and inhaled deeply.

 

“I’m sorry dear, I wanted to but things are very complicated, I didn’t want to involve you, I thought I could handle things my own way,” he said with tears in his eyes. “But it’s getting worse day by day…..”

 

Angela stared at him in utter confusion.

 

Then, she came to sit in front of him. “God! Honey, you need to get out! You have to denounce them.”

 

“I can’t!” Seth said bluntly.

 

“What do you mean that you can’t?”

 

“Because I can’t just walk away, I owe everything to them, my life…” He shook his head in dismay.

 

“Sweetheart, listen to me,” she cupped his face into her hands. “You owe no one anything, not your life, it belongs to God. God is your Saviour, not some occult men that use people to get what they want. They rule the world with fear and brutally. They manipulate the systems. What they make you do is wrong, what they do is horrible. We need to get out.” she looked straight into his eyes.

 

He nodded his head to disagree. “You just don’t understand dear, you don’t know these people we are dealing with.”

 

“I understand you honey. For some months now, I have been trying to get you to go to Church with us. You know the Women’s programme I recently joined, they don’t just do charity for the homeless and all; they teach us the word of God, Jesus came to save us from our sins and so, we have been brought by the righteousness of God, even when we were sinners, he died for us.” Her face lilted up.

 

Seth stood up, and walked away from her. “You believe in all that bullshit.”

 

“Yes Honey,” she said with all seriousness. “I believe Jesus came to die for my Sins, I believe He is my Saviour, He does good things and never asks anything in return, He doesn’t make me do bad things or threaten to disown me if I walk out on him; It’s a free gift dear, all you have to do is accept.” She realized Seth was beginning to listen, so she explained further what it means to be born again, and the Power in the name of Jesus.

 

“Honey, I can’t begin to tell you how much peace there is in Christ, He sets you free from every bondage of the enemy, gives you a new life and a new identity in Him.” she said with excitement.

“You think he can help me with ‘the saviour’s’? He asked soberly.

 

“Yes, He will; I’m not saying it’s going to be easy but we have got to trust Him and dear, I am going to be here with you, we are in this together.” She held his hands firmly.

 

“Oh my dear…” Seth held Angela into his arms. “You don’t know how long I have been waiting to tell you all these, I was scared you would leave me and yet, you are here telling me there’s a way out, you love me still; Thank you honey…” He hugged her tightly. “I love you dear, thank you so much…”

 

“I love you honey and that’s not going to change; right now, we need a higher power to help us, so dear, are you ready to accept Jesus as your Lord and personal Saviour?” she asked in tears of joy.

 

“Oh yes I am!” Seth answered her.

 

Right there, Angela led her husband to the Lord, they prayed and cried together. Her prayers had been answered. Ever since she came into Christ, she had tried to share the same experience with her husband but he always put her off, she had begged him to follow them to church but he bluntly refused. Although he had never stopped them from going, but never been fully interested until now. After they had prayed, cried and talked, they went back to bed.

 

 

 

 

Chapter Six

 

 

Seth woke up that Monday morning with a feeling of peace he had never felt before; although he had not fully comprehended what being a born again Christian was all about; but he knew he was sure in it. Over the weekend, he searched through the bible Angela gave him. He wanted to know more, and the deeper he read, he knew without doubt that he was in the right place. He also followed Angela and their son to church on Sunday morning. It was truly refreshing and the peace he felt in his heart was indescribable. He had never felt that free in many years, he knew God was with him, and he in Him. It was another Monday morning, and he left for work as usual.

 

“Sir, the director wants you in his office.” he heard his secretary from the intercom.

“I’ll be right there.” he answered.

 

As he walked to Peterson’s office, he suddenly felt fear wash all over him. He knew he was going to talk about the Robertson case, probably his client had reported him.

 

“Good morning Sir.” he greeted.

“Sit!” Peterson ordered without looking at him.

“The Robertson case. I was told things were a little bit rough the last time in court,” he said with an unpleasant tone. “Nevertheless, I know you will still pull it off.” he continued. “Now, we have acquired some new evidence that will pave way for us if you do your part well.” he passed some documents to Seth.

 

“That is a statement from the little sister. Andrew has been molesting his younger sister and you know how that goes.” he smiled knowing fully well the documents were manipulated.

 

Seth read the document carefully and the words disgusted him, he felt sick to the stomach. He could not believe they manipulated a child into giving this statement, making false allegation against his own brother. ‘Why would anyone do this to children?’ their lies to make Andrew lose credibility before the jury.

 

“I won’t do this Sir!” Seth voiced out

“What? You can’t or you won’t?” Peterson was confused.

“I won’t do this sir, I cannot use this against a thirteen years old boy, he’s only a kid, and How far do we want to go to destroy a kid’s life?” he asked angrily.

“That’s not your business Seth, you do as I want.” he raised his voice at him. “Your loyalty to us is the ultimate.” he added.

He threw the file on the table. “I am through with loyalty, I can’t keep destroying lives all in the name of loyalty.” He retorted.

“What nonsense are you saying boy?” Peterson asked furiously.

“I cannot keep bailing murderers, thieves, criminals out all for the sake of loyalty.” Seth said back.

“No, you will!” Peterson shouted back. “We are the reason you are here now, you owe us everything, I mean, everything.” He said. “So, Seth, you will do everything we want, I don’t care about what conscience you suddenly have.” He shouted at him.

 

“I won’t!” Seth shouted back. “I quit!” He said and walked out of his office.

“You dare not!” He heard Peterson’s voice behind him but he kept walking, went into his office to pick up his jacket and suitcase. Seth had no idea where the confidence came from to stand up against Peterson but he knew for sure that he didn’t want to continue in this lie. He won’t stand and defend the criminals all in the name of loyalty.

 

 

 

Chapter Seven

 

 

When Seth got home, he went into the Kitchen and found Angela attending to Josh, so he tiptoed there, carried her up and kissed her.

 

“Oh Seth!” she exclaimed “What’s going on?” She asked smiling.

“I quit!”

“What!” she asked confused.

“I quit honey, I’m finally out.” he said excited.

“Oh, honey.” she pulled him to herself. “I am so proud of you.” Angela said.

“Yes Honey, you don’t have to worry about anything, I will start looking for another job.” he carried Josh out of his chair.

“I know honey, I know God would provide all our needs.” Angela said smiling.

*****

 

Seth gave himself a week before he started searching for a new job; he got a couple of interviews the following week and prayed for the best. During this time at home, he devoted himself to knowing the power of God; he studied the bible over and over again, trying to get a hold of things. About two weeks after, he got calls from Mr. Peterson and some elders of the cult, they urged him to come back to them, forgiving him for walking out but he refused. When they realized he was determined to stay out, they threatened him and his family but Seth never gave in to them.

One day, he came back home from an interview.

 

“Honey, I’m back.” he called out.

“How was it?” Angela asked.

“Fine, I hope; they said they will get back to me within three days but it was a good interview.” He said.

“God would grant us favour.” Angela gave him cup of iced tea.

“Honey, I went out to the supermarket today but our card was declined.” she said confused.

“Declined? That can’t be.” Seth picked up his phone to call the bank.

 

After several minutes on hold, “Hello, Wallis Bank.” he heard the operator.

“Yes, my name is Seth Evans.” he said.

“How may I help you Mr Evans?”

“I would like to know my balance please?” he said.

“Account number please?” the operator asked.

“786469392.” Seth said.

“Sorry Sir, I can’t seem to find any account with that number.”

Seth repeated the account number again, his date of birth and address to help them find his account but to no avail.

“Sir, are you sure you are calling the right bank?” the operator asked

“What sort of question is that, I know my bank, I have my bank card here, what sort of silly joke is this?” he said angrily. “The last I checked, I had over $100,000 in my account, now you are telling me I got the wrong bank.” he shouted.

“I’m sorry Sir, I can’t seem to find any name Seth Evans or the account number you gave me, I’m sorry, I can’t help you.” the operator said and hung up

 

“Hello, hello, hello…” Seth shouted at the receiver.

“What is it?” Angela asked confused.

“My bank does not seem to have any record of my account; it’s all gone” he said as he slumped on the couch, “all gone.” he groaned.

 

“That’s impossible, is it?” Angela whimpered. “What’s happening? How?”

“The saviour.” Seth said. “They did all these, they think they can shake me.” he got up and picked up his car key.

“Where are you going?” Angela asked going over to stop him.

“I’m going to see Peterson, he did all these.” he answered angrily. “That was my money, I worked hard for that.”

“No, you are not going anywhere.” Angela shouted in fear, and went to stand against the door. “Don’t you see what they are doing?” she cried out. “We cannot fight these people physically dear, remember, we wrestle not against flesh and blood but against principalities, rulers of darkness in High places.” She held his hands, and slowly took the car keys away from him. “Please honey, don’t go over to them. God will sort us out, He would provide for our needs and He will provide you with a good job.” she said in tears.

“We can even move to another state, let’s start afresh.” she said.

 

“I am not moving anywhere, this is my home, and no one will make me leave.” he shouted.

 

Angela felt sad. Tears sprang to her eyes.

 

“They drained all my account, my own money and now you want me to run away from them.” he said angrily.

“Honey, this is not our battle, it is the Lord.” Angela said.

“So, how do you suppose we survive?” he asked.

“I’ve got some money saved, we can use that until we get a new job.” she said.

“How much?” Seth asked.

“About $5,000.” she said.

“$5,000!” Seth chuckled and went to sit down.

 

 

That night, Seth laid awake in his bed thinking. He couldn’t believe Patterson could go to this length. He had worked selflessly for him for many years, and the money was his. He felt he couldn’t just let it go, and he had to get all his money back. Suddenly, he heard some noise downstairs, and went to check it out. The living room was dark but he was sure there was definitely someone there so he switched on the light and there, he found Patterson sitting comfortably on the couch.

 

“What are you doing here?” he was shocked.

Patterson chuckled. “Just thought I should drop by.” He smiled arrogantly.

“You are not welcome here.” Seth shouted. “I want you to leave my house now!”

“Hush…” He whispered, “You don’t want to wake up neighbours or the little boy sleeping upstairs.” He pointed up.

“Don’t you dare?” Seth straightened, and stood a step closer to him.

Patterson stood up. “I trained you so well Son, I invested so much in you, now, you just want to walk away, you should know better. You cannot make it anywhere without us. We own everything.” He said.

 

Seth looked at him and felt so much confidence and said “I have a greater Power now, He that is in me is greater than he that is in the world, with God, I can do all things.”

 

Patterson roared out in laughter. “You believe in that nonsense.”

 

“I believe in Jesus Christ, I believe he has forgiven me and cleansed me of all my sins, I know that no weapon that is fashioned against me shall prosper and every tongue shall be condemned.” he said confidently to him. “I know what I know.” he added.

 

“You are full of shit Seth, we will squeeze you so hard, we will haunt you and destroy everything you have.” he raged at him.

 

“You can do nothing to me Patterson; even if you take my money away, things that I owe, you will never take the freedom I found in Christ. You are all lies, full of deceit and wickedness.” He said back at him.

 

“You will not survive, not anywhere in this world. With us, you can roar high, without us, even homeless man is much better.” He gestured with his hands.

 

“You are wrong, so wrong.” He roared at him. “I will bring you down; every elder of your demonic cult are going down.” He sneered at him.

 

Patterson was full of rage. He looked hard at him. “We are on your case Seth, every move you make, we will know about it, everywhere you go, we will follow you, every plans you make, we are very aware of it, in fact, every food you eat, we surely will know about it. I will see to it personally that you don’t make a cent in this country, until you come crawling back to us, begging us to pick up the crumbs we can give to you.”

 

Seth felt so much strength and faith regardless of Peterson’s threat. He chuckled and laughed at his face. “You think you know it all,” he said to him. “There is a God whose awesomeness you cannot comprehend, whose greatness is beyond what you can fathom, whose riches is more than the grains of sand, His power is greater than the Universe itself, He is the God that I serve.” Seth said smiling.

 

 

“I can see you’ve gone mad!” Peterson shouted at him in rage walking towards the front door, “this is not the last you will hear from us.” he pointed angrily at him, and then walked out.

 

Seth watched through the window as he drove out angrily. He felt so confident within him, although he knew he has not heard the last of them as he had said; the saviour will go to any length to intimidate him and pull him down but he knows beyond all reasonable doubt that the battle is of the Lord and the victory is his.

 

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Chapter Eight

 

After a few days of this incident, Seth called the firm where he applied to but unfortunately, they could not offer him a job. He was so angry but determined to keep his faith strong; he encouraged himself in the Lord and believed that God is faithful till the end. Then, he got a call from his Mum.

 

“Hello.” Seth said.

“Seth dear.” Sylvia, his Mum called.

“Hello mum, are you alright?” he asked.

“Oh dear, you have to go back to them; you are safe there.” Her voice shook in despair.

“Mum, what are you talking about?”

“Seth, listen and listen carefully, these people are very dangerous; please dear, do as they say.” She said wearily.

Then, he realised what his mum was talking about. Her mum had always referred to the saviours as his dad’s associate when he was little. Mr. Patterson was close to them after the death of his father, and his mum never said ill of them.

 

“Mum, there’s a better way, I found a better way.”

 

“What you do mean?” Her voice was tear-choked.

 

“I mean, I found a better way. The saviours are all about lie, deceit and wickedness.”

 

“Seth!” she exclaimed. “You need to be very careful at the way you speak about them, they are everywhere.” She whispered. “I don’t want anything to happen to you, you know…..

 

Then he heard the doorbell ring at the other end of the phone.

 

“Let me get the door.” she said.

 

Seconds later, Seth could hear his mother arguing with someone. ‘I told you I would speak to him, please give him some time.’ Seth heard his mother speaking to someone but couldn’t make the rest of the words as he started to hear her scream.

 

“Mum, who’s there? Seth shouted, but the phone went dead. He tried calling back, but the phone was disconnected, at that, he picked up his car keys and ran out of the house. As he raced down to his Mother’s house, he feared for the worst, praying for her safety.

 

It took him almost half an hour to drive down to her place. He ran out of the car leaving his door open; he discovered the front door of the house was opened. He called out for her but there was no answer, so he went through the living room, kitchen, and garden but there was no sign of her. Then, he ran upstairs and found her lying on the bed.

 

“Mum!” he called her but no response.

“Mum!” he touched her but she didn’t move. He touched her again and discovered she was cold.

 

“Oh God!” He checked her pulse. “Mum, please.” There was no pulse on her.

“This is too much Lord,” he cried out. “Why Lord……” he whimpered as he held his mother.

“I could have told her about you Lord, you could have given me more time…” he cried out.

 

 

The ambulance arrived to take her body to the hospital. It was later concluded that she had died of heart attack but Seth knew better. He knew the saviours were involved, they killed his mother. They knew how much he loved her and so, went after her. Seth felt he had failed her in some ways, if only he had taken their threat seriously, if only he had protected his mother, he had failed her.

 

 

Chapter Nine

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The days went by slowly. Seth was saddened about the death of his mother, and felt strong anger towards the saviour.

 

It was the day of the funeral, He had noticed some members of the saviours present there.

 

“How dare you?” He shouted at Peterson and the elders. “What are you doing here?” he demanded.

“Son, we are here to pay our respect.” Peterson said.

“Don’t you dare call me son; I am not your son and I don’t want you here.” He shouted.

“Your Mother was a dear friend.” Peterson spoke on behalf of the elders while they all nodded in agreement.

“Your friend!” he chuckled “Your friend and you killed her.” he shouted at them.

“Don’t say such a thing, we don’t kill people.” Peterson said.

“I know what you did, all of you,” he looked angrily at them all. “I know you are full of evil as your father himself is of the devil but I bet you all, you will regret this.” he said and walked away from there.

 

He didn’t want to disrespect his mother by making a scene, he knew their coming there was just to humiliate him and he won’t give them the satisfaction. He joined his family as the ceremony continued.

 

 

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Chapter Ten

 

 

A few months later, things had been so difficult for them, Seth couldn’t get a job, he even went so low to apply for a security guard position and he was turned down. Angela decided to search for a job herself; she eventually got a part time position in a day care centre to support them until something better comes. In all these, they continued to grow in fellowship with God, they found peace and joy and knew that God was with them; he had been providing all their needs according to his riches. His blessings filled their heart and they remained steadfast through these trials.

 

“Honey, it would be fun.” Seth said to his wife. “We haven’t gone out in like forever.”

“I don’t know,” Angela said. “We don’t have enough to go out.” she said.

“Sweetheart, we don’t have to go out to a fancy restaurant, even burgers; I just want to spend some time with you.” he said.

“Alright honey, how about Josh? She asked.

“I took care of that, I requested a baby sitter from the youth centre down the road; she should be here any minute now”. he said excited.

“Are you sure?” She asked.

“Yes dear, everything is been taken care of.” Seth said.

“Ok then.” she said smiling, “I don’t want to disappoint you seeing you’ve already planned everything.” she added.

 

Seth was glad he could take his wife out for dinner, nothing too fancy but spending the time together meant a lot to him. They went for drinks and spent most of their time walking in the park. They needed that time alone, falling in love over and over again.

As they drove back home, they noticed police cars were all over their street, ambulances and fire department. They were stopped along the road as no cars were allowed entrance. Angela and Seth got down from their car and started to run towards their house. Their heart skipped a beat when they saw their house on fire.

 

“Oh God, my Son is in there…” Angela shouted, running into the house but was stopped by one of the police offices, but Seth ran past them while some officers ran after him.

“Please…” he pleaded, “My son and baby sitter are in there.” he cried out. “He’s only three…” he cried out. “Please….” He cried, struggling with the men as they held onto him tightly.

“I’m sorry Sir, I can’t let you go in; the whole house is in flames.” He pulled him away.

“Oh God!” Angela cried. “Not my son…” she went to her husband.  “See what you did, I told you Seth, told you to let’s move far away from here but you knew better…” She cried out hitting him on the chest.

“Angela…”Seth tried to hold her

“Don’t touch me!” she jerked away from him.

“Oh God, What have I done, you promised you will keep in perfect peace, those who trust in you….” she cried out. “Why haven’t you kept your promise Lord?”

 

 

After several hours of putting out the fire, the building was thick black. Windows are broken all over, some part of the house had collapsed all on the ground. The police drove Seth and Angela to one of the hotel to stay for the night as they continued to search the whole house knowing well that, their Son was long dead but assured them to bring out his body or anything that remained of him.

 

They both cried all through the night.

 

 

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In the morning, a knock was heard on the door of the hotel room. Seth reluctantly stood to answer it only to find Bridget, the baby sitter standing here with Josh in her arms.

 

“Oh my God! Oh my God!!” he shrieked, and took Josh quickly away from her.

 

Angela ran to the door.

 

She screamed when she saw Josh, and took him away from Seth. “My baby,” she hugged him tightly, and kissed all over his face. Seth held his son and wife together almost forgetting Bridget. They wept as they held their Son in joy.

 

“What happened?” Seth finally asked, and took Bridget by the hand into the room.

“Please, tell us what happened?” he asked again.

 

All of a sudden, Bridget was flooded in tears.

 

“Please, don’t be sad, we are happy that you both are alive.” Seth said, but Bridget continued in tears.

 

“I am so sorry…” she wailed. “Please forgive me.” she begged.

 

“Dear, we are not angry with you, we are glad to see you both alive.” Angela went to her. “Did you leave the house before the fire started, what happened?”

 

Bridget whimpered, she couldn’t utter any word.

“It’s ok Bridget, we are just glad everyone is ok.” He tried to assure her.

 

“No, you don’t understand.” Bridget whimpered. “I was sent to do this.”

 

“What do you mean?” Seth straightened.

 

“The saviours sent me!” she cried out, and covered her mouth.

 

Angela stood up quickly, and held her son tighter to herself.

 

Bridget swallowed hard, and continued. “They said they wanted to bring you down, take you off from the face of the earth. Destroy all you have one by one. They waited patiently for you, they monitored your calls to the youth centre and knew you would need a baby sitter, they arranged everything. They asked me to set the house on fire.” she said in tears.

 

Angela let out a sob, but covered her mouth from screaming out.

 

Seth felt tears streaming down his face and made no attempt to wipe it. He stood there unable to move or utter any word.

 

“You can’t defy the saviours, you dare not question their authority. I had no choice.” She sobbed.

 

“Why?” Seth whispered, but Bridget heard him as she had looked up to see his face.

 

“They are everywhere. You cannot just walk out on them, and expect to have a normal life.” She answered.

 

“So you set our house on fire?” Seth shouted.

 

“I had no choice. I had to obey every instruction.” She shouted back in tears.

 

He walked angrily to her. “You were supposed to watch our son, keep him safe.” He raged out in anger.

 

“They are the saviours, I had no choice.” She screamed out.

 

“You had a choice.” He shouted back.

 

“Seth!” Angela shouted to get his attention.

 

He turned to her direction, and saw the fear on her face.

“Please…..” She whimpered. “Josh is here, he’s here with us.” she gently rubbed their son’s back as he was asleep. “He’s alive honey….”

 

Seth inhaled deeply, and walked away from Bridget. He went to stand against the wall.

 

There was silence in the room for a few minutes, then Bridget continued.

 

“I did as they asked, I started the fire in the Kitchen. Josh was asleep in the room.” She took a minute to look at their face and saw the horror in their eyes.

 

“But as I was leaving the house, I saw a man walked into the house.” her face suddenly lilted. “He just walked passed me without saying a word. His face was glittered up in light. He walked fearlessly in the air, more like, floating. He looked like a man, but not like a man. His clothes were not like normal clothing, more like clothed in cloud.

 

I was stood there shocked. I just stood there and watched him go into the house.

 

Seth straightened again, he couldn’t understand what she was saying.

 

“Just then, he came out of the house carrying Josh with him; so I ran after him…, I asked him what he was doing, who he was but he just walked on. He didn’t answer, he just kept going so I followed him. Suddenly, I realised I was lost. I had no idea where I was. The street weren’t like ours, it looked like I was on another planet, I don’t know how my feet carried me after him, and all I knew was that I was following him.”

 

Angela carefully laid their son on the bed by her side.

 

Bridget continued. “Then, I followed him into a house, a mighty house filled with so much dazzling of light, I couldn’t comprehend the description and beauty of that place. It was beautiful, peaceful and warm. The man laid Josh down on the bed and then looked hard at me. I became crippled in fear; my feet were weak that I could no longer stand. I was brought down to my knees.

 

He came towards me, and then I saw myself, more like a reflection and that scared me, all I saw were pure evil and darkness. I shouted out in fear and begged him not to come any closer but he did and then, he touched me. He touched my face.”

 

Seth could no longer stand, so he went to Angela and sat by her side. He had never heard such talk before, but something in he believed what she was saying. He was eager to hear more.

 

A broad smile suddenly appeared on Bridget’s face. “I felt illuminated, I felt peace, love, and compassion. Then, he began to speak to me, it wasn’t in English or any language I could understand. He spoke in an unknown language and yet, I could understand him. He said my sins have been paid off, he said he loved me so much that he died in my place so I can be free.

 

As he continued to speak, I wept and wept. He held my hands and told me that he loves me. I begged him to forgive me of all my wrongs and let me stay right there with him but He insisted I had to go back; he said I have to tell others what I have seen and received. I had seen how filthy and dirty my clothes were when we first came into the house but when I cried for mercy, I noticed my clothes became dazzling white, and spotless.

 

After a while, he said it was time to go; he carried Josh and held my hand and then, I found myself standing at your door.

 

Seth and Angela were soaked in tears as they listened to Bridget, the girl they knew nothing about and yet felt connected to her. They were supposed to hate her but yet felt love towards her. They knew it was the Lord, he saved their son.

 

“I am very sorry…., please forgive me” Bridget cried out to them. “The saviours used and manipulated me into this evil but I know better now, I know a better way…” She said in tears.

 

“If it has not been for the Lord who was on our side” Seth smiled at her. “We forgive you dear, and we don’t hold anything against you.” Seth added.

 

“I’m not sure what to say…” Angela said in tears. “I mean….” She whimpered. “I am grateful to God for giving me back my son…” She said in tears “But I have to forgive you dear, if not for God….” She allowed the tears run down her face.

 

 

“I know dear……” Seth said.

 

After several minutes, they all had stopped crying. Bridget told them more about her encounter and all that she was told to do. Seth also explained who God was and how to become a born again Christian which she wholeheartedly accepted.

 

“So, what are you going to do now?” Angela spoke out. “I mean, ‘the saviours.” she added.

 

“All I know is that I found God who is greater than them. I am going away for a while; I need to know Him more.” She said smiling.

 

Angela stood up going to hug her. Bridget felt so much love and forgiveness knowing that she didn’t deserve this despite what she did, but she knew that it could only be God working in them.  She said her goodbye and left the house.

 

 

Shortly after she left, they heard another knock on the door. Seth went to the door and found another guest, the face wasn’t familiar.

 

“I’m sorry Sir, Are you Mr Seth Evans?” The man asked politely.

 

“Yes, how I help you?” Seth said.

=8

“I am so sorry about your house, I was directed here by one of the Officers at your house.” he said.

“It’s okay.” Seth said. “What can I do for you?” Seth asked again.

“My name is Christopher Hutchins; I work with the Global communications. You sent us some computer programmers almost eight years ago, about some advance network.” He said trying to make him remember.

“Yes I did, that was a long time ago.” Seth said. “Please, come in.” he said.

“That was just a hobby I was so fascinated about in college but I ended up being a lawyer.” he said.

“Really?” Chris smiled. “The reason I’m here is because we have been trying to advance our technology for a long time and couldn’t find the best options, all our IT operators have worked so hard but nothing could be found, so one of our operators was going through some old files and found your programmes. It was very impressive, something we’ve all wanted,” he said excited. “I was sent here by the Managing directors to ask you to please come down to our office, if you are willing to sell us your prototype.” he said.

 

“What!” he said excited.

“Sir, that prototype is worth millions of dollars.” Chris said smiling.

“How much are we talking about?” Seth asked.

“We are offering 2.5 million dollars and open for negotiation.” Chris said smiling.

“Are you serious…..” he stammered.

“Oh my God!” Angela said from where she was sitting, listening to them.

“We will need you to come down to our office, if you are willing to work with us.” Chris said.

“When?” Angela asked seeing her husband was still in stock.

“As soon as you can.” Chris answered.

“Can we come now?” Seth asked.

“Of course,” Chris replied, excited. “But you will give me few hours to get the directors together.”

“Go on dear,” Angela said excited “We’ll wait here for you.”

“Oh no dear, I’m not leaving you both here for one second,” He said carrying Josh in his arms, “Let’s all go dear.” He said excited.

 

 

The deal was completed in three days. Seth sold the prototype but still retained ownership. They decided to move to another city, not out of fear of the Saviour but realized the battle is the Lord and their lives shouldn’t be spent fighting battles with the enemy, they wanted a clean slate, a new life. Seth decided to follow his life-long dream of computer design and programming. They continued to serve the Lord fervently, they also shared their testimony with everyone they met including this reader, they want you to know God does deliver and save his people, He always come true whatsoever the situation may be. He forgives our sins; he will wash you in the blood of His Son, Jesus Christ, clothe you with mercy, cleanse you with compassion, feed you with forgiveness, restore you with grace, crowned you with glory and comfort you.

 

Shout for joy to God, all the earth;

Sing the glory of his name; give to him glorious praise!

Say to God, ‘How awesome are your deeds!

So great is your power that your enemies come cringing to you.

All the earth worships you and sings praises to your name.’

Watch out for the concluding part. ‘The Final Battle!”

 

 

Please leave your comments below.

 

 

© Circlesoflove 2012

 

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Love never Fails

Chapter One

It was a cold and an uninviting night, but she knew she had to get their dinner out from there. She couldn’t see the far end of the alleyway because it had been blocked by two large wheelie bins by the owners of the Chio Chinese Restaurant. This was done months ago to stop the thieves and illegal sales of goods from there, which had affected their business for so long.  After so many years of struggling with the stigma and offences associated to the alleyway, it was finally deserted. Now, it’s dark, smelt of stale urine and things scuttled underfoot as you carefully trod its length. The walls ran with slime which covered the now long forgotten graffiti brickwork. No one like the alley. No one used the alley except the desperate and hungry, like Karen Burke. The wheelie bins behind Chinese restaurant was the perfect place to get leftover food to feed anyone who was brave enough to walk the alleyway.

Smoke bust through the air extractor from the back of the kitchen window; bringing warm sensation to her face. The light bulb at the back door was flickering, it looked like it was about to go off. It was a cold winter evening; flakes of snow drifted down lazily. It was always beautiful when it snowed in December. It brought out the Christmas magic to everyone, the pile of snow in the garden, children making snow men, and enjoying the excitement and the joy of Christmas. But this wasn’t so for Karen, the cold weather was rough on those without homes, or a safe place to keep warm.

Karen found a carrier bag on the floor; she opened it quickly but there was nothing in it. Then, she went on to climb the crate on the floor to help reach into the wheelie bin. There was definitely something in here; different kinds of food: rice, noodles, vegetables, even some salad. The cold weather had been kind enough to have preserved it from getting spoilt. She reached her hands into the bin, and helped herself to some noodles. There was also foil covered plates, with half eaten rice in it.  It smelt alright, so she added it to the bag in her hand. A rattle behind startled her; she scanned the thin darkness to see what it was, then a rat emerged with a half eaten fries  in it’s mouth and ran passed her. She inhaled deeply, and went back to her search. Like her, the rat also needed dinner. A whimper of exhaustion escaped through her chaffed lips; she shivered from the wind that entwined around her body. Suddenly, the back door opened. She jolted and looked up to find a man coming out. He was carrying a box filled with recycled bottles in it. Quickly, she got down from the crate and started to run.

 

“Get out of here.” The middle aged Chinese man shouted after her.

Karen looked back to be sure he was not following her.

“Don’t you come back here again.” He took one of the bottles and threw it in her direction.

Karen screamed. She dropped the bag on the floor and shivered in fear. She looked back to see the bottles had missed her.

“I’m going to put some rat poison into every food I put in the bin,” he yelled. “Bad people, bad for business.” He wiped his dirty hands down his face. Then he added the box with the crate of recycles and went back inside.

 

Karen picked up the bag and started to walk away. She knew he couldn’t come after her. This wasn’t the first time she had invaded the Chinese restaurant’s bin, and got yelled at for it. In fact, she had been there in the last year so many times that she  had lost count. It was the perfect place to get good food for a homeless person. She had often wondered why the staff in the restaurant always ranted at her. She was only after the food they had thrown away, not invading their kitchen. She looked inside the bag, and sighed in relief. This was enough for their dinner; she had promised Jo some Chinese takeout for dinner, and he was going to get just that. She was going to make some fire to warm the food. With that, she continued to the place she’d called home for several months now.

 

…………….

This is an excerpt from the new edition of the Circles of Love Magazine Fourth edition. It is packed full with new and captivating stories. Please click here to get your copy today.

This is the fourth edition of our magazine. It’s a Christmas and New year edition

It’s packed full with inspiring stories and articles featuring:

  • Love never Fails
  • The Betrothal
  • The ‘C’ Word
  • Rekindling Intimacy in Marriage
  • And more….

These stories are not only intriguing, captivating and breath-taking but are also inspiring, motivating and full of suspense. Have a happy reading!

God Bless

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Circles of Love Magazine Fourth Edition

I am so pleased, and excited to announce the fourth edition of the Circles of Love magazine.

It’s packed full with intriguing and captivating stories. Don’t miss it Folks.

It would be available to download tomorrow.

 

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Under the Veil

Chapter One

Sandra walked back to the living room with a bottle of drink Alex requested for. .

”Here you go, ” she said placing the drink on the table.

”Who was that you were talking to back there?” he flashed an angry look at her.

”Angela.” she answered.

”What Angela!” he snapped. ”Why would she be calling you by this time of the night?”

”Its only 8’o clock, ” Sandra answered back, displeased at the tone of his voice.

”Still, why would she be calling?” he asked again.

”She called just to say hello, ” she answered sitting next to him. ”Why do you always question me each time I receive a call, Alex”? She asked to tease him.

”I have a right to know who you talk to.” He snapped at her.

“That’s not what I mean; you don’t trust me Alex and that is one of many issues we have in this marriage. Do you have to question everything I do?” Sandra flashed angry look at him.

“You think I don’t know what you do? You save guys numbers as females names on your phone and then, you delete all messages on your phone, why then should I trust someone like you.” he shouted.

”Alex, I don’t know what you are talking about, you are so paranoid, and that makes you suspect everything and everyone.” she said back.

Just then, a message came on Sandra’s phone. Alex immediately took her phone and read it.

‘Thank you for today, I really did appreciate it.’ he read out and threw the phone at her hitting her face.

”Alex!” she shouted in pain.

”Who the hell is Ben?” he shouted standing up to her. ”I said, who is Ben?” He shouted. ”Now you go sleeping around and then, they have the gut to thank you for sex, is that it?” He raged at her.

“No Alex, you got it all wrong” she said fearfully.

He started hitting her all over, took the bottle of drink and poured it all over her.

”You are so disguising, ” he kept saying and hitting her.

”Ale… please….,” she begged. ”It’s not what you think, oh God! Please stop.” She pleaded but Alex continued hitting her. After few seconds, she was able to free herself and ran to the bathroom, locking the door behind her.

”Oh God!” she cried. please Alex; it’s not what you think.”

”Sandra!” he shouted, banging on the door, open the door Sandra, open the door right now!” shouting and banging on the door so hard.

”Alex please,” Sandra cried out, afraid he would break into the bathroom. ”Please Alex, I’m not cheating on you, Please….” she continued to cry.

After several minutes of banging on the door, he left for his room, while Sandra soaked herself into more tears.

Everything was fine for the first few months they started dating, but shortly after six months of their marriage; Alex began his rage of anger, his nagging, jealousy and then physical abuse. He promised to change time and time again and blame his work, being a police officer. It’s been five years now, and the story continues. At first, Sandra thought she could change him, so she stayed until now, the toil of abuse all these years have taken away her strength to break free; although all their families and friends think of them as the best couple, and so much admire what they have; if only they knew what she was going through and the shame of falling below her own standard, but she would rather endure the pain than face her demons. Her profession as a medical doctor has taught her the danger of an abusive relationship. She has treated several victims of this abuse and knows from experience that after a series of beating, it may one day lead to death.

After few hours in the bathroom, she knew Alex would be asleep now, so she gently opened the door and went to the room. Alex was already in bed snoring away, so she quietly changed into her night wear, praying he would not wake up.

”Finally, you came to bed, ” he murmured, pulling her to himself.

”Hmmm….” she said quietly, hoping he would drift back to sleep.

”I’m so sorry about this night; I don’t know what came over me,” he said gripping her tightly, ”so sorry honey.”

He started kissing her.

”It’s okay,” Sandra managed to say trying to stop him from touching her. She was tired of being used or even touched by him; it’s enough that he beats her, but having him closer than that was much worse. But as she was trying to get his hands off her, Alex pinned her hands down on the bed, trying to take off her night wear but she struggled with him, he pushed her back on the bed, ripped off her clothes. She kept screaming for him to stop and tried pushing him away.

“Stop it Sandra!” he shouted pinning her down. “I am your husband and have the right to your body.” He shouted.

“Please Alex, not this way, please…” she said in tears.

“I will have it anyway it pleases me.” He jeers at her.

She was tired and exhausted from the beatings, after fighting so hard, she eventually just laid there like the living dead as he thrust into her. She felt the hot tears flowing from her eyes, it’s a bad thing getting used to being rape all the time, rape is rape, whichever forms it takes or whoever it is.

Finally, after he was satisfied, he lay back beside her and slept off. What kind of life is it when you allow yourself to be used in this manner? She felt the tears flowing from her eyes and made no attempt to wipe them off. She entrapped and no way out. As an innocent child, she was raped repeatedly from the age of eleven to fifteen by her step father; at first she told her mother who slapped her immediately and accused her of lying to get attention. She remembered that day like yesterday, her innocent was destroyed and her mother did nothing to protect her. She later took her shopping; clothes, shoes, and all sorts, saying, ‘If attention is what you want, you got it’. That statement had rang repeatedly in her ears all through this abuse and made no effort to speak out. After that incident, she never told anything to her mother, she was raped repeatedly for four more years until He left her mother for another woman.

Chapter Two

The next day, Alex had left the house early. Sandra dragged herself out of bed, cleaned and nursed the wound from the previous night. She had taken the day off, so she decided to go see her Mum.

”Hello Mum,” she greeted her. She found her in the study working on her computer.

”Hello dear,” Alice greeted, ”how are you honey?”

”Okay.” she answered.

”You didn’t tell me you were coming over,” Alice said.

”I know, I was off from the hospital today and thought to come see you.” she said

”Hmm”, Okay.” she said and continued typing.

”Mum,” Sandra called out.” I came to see you and you are still typing, why you don’t take a break. Let’s go outside for some air,” Sandra said.

”I’m busy dear, no time for air; I have this disposition to summit in court tomorrow.” she said, her fingers still hitting the keyboard.

”And dear, you are inside the house, why don’t you take off your sun glasses.” she pointed out.

Sandra didn’t realise the marks on her face were so obvious until she got out of the house, so she went quickly to the store to buy a sun glasses before going over to her Mum’s.

”Oh my God! Sandra, what happened to your face?” her mother screamed out seeing the swollen eye. .

”Oh,” Sandra sighs, “I was hit by one of my patient yesterday,” she lied. She did always plan her story well after each beating.

”Patient?”  her mom gasped, ”why?” she asked

”Hallucination and struggle from the patient,” she turned her back briefly pretending to look another direction. ‘‘But it’s my fault really, I shouldn’t have gone in alone,” she fought the tears threatening to pour down her eyes. .

”Oh dear, we have to sue them, the hospital for this assault,” Alice said, standing up to take some statute books on the shelf, ”there are so many case law for this we can.”

”Easy mum,” Sandra said, ”no one is suing anyone here, it’s OK mum, am fine.”

”Are you sure?” Alice asked.

”Yes I’m sure, I’m the doctor you know.” Sandra forced a smile.

”Hmm, as you wish,” Alice said.” Alex must have been so angry to see this.”

”Yes he was.” Sandra answered back.

”So can we go out now mum?” Sandra asked, changing the subject.

”No sweetheart, sorry, I have this….”

”Disposition, I know,” Sandra finished her sentence.

”Alright then, I will come back later.” She said feeling disappointed.

”OK, sorry dear,” Alice said going back to her typing.

”Bye,” Sandra said but her mum was long gone typing. Although she admired her mum’s energy and commitment to work but their relationship of mother-daughter never quite existed, with her father, it was better but he passed away when Sandra was only five years old so her mother was left with the whole responsibility of raising her all by herself but even now that She’s all grown up, her mother still worked so hard, not really for the money, but habit she would say, however, this habit has gotten in a way of a better relationship between them. All she desire is just a mother to be there for her, a mother to protect her.

As she drove back home, she thought of all she has been going through, how much longer she would continue in this state. Another issue she has been trying to ignore kept coming back to her. The thought of being pregnant now scares her so much. She didn’t want to bring a child to this world, although she took all necessary precautions but not to dismiss her sickness on and off for few months now; she decided to stop by the pharmacy to get a pregnancy kit.

Minutes later, she turned into the aisle when she heard someone called her.

”Hey Sandra!” Ben called out.

”Hi!” she was taken back. ‘Not in this state’, she thought to herself.

”Hello,” he said again. How are you?”

“I’m good. You?” she asked.

“Good.” He replied.  ”Did you get my text message?’’

”Oh yes I did,” she answered, a flash back to what happened.

”I wanted to call but thought it might be too late, Thank you so much; my mother said you were very helpful. You know she’s been so worried going to see a doctor for a while now.” he said.

”I understand,” she replied. “The thought of having caner is enough to scare anyone but all the tests were negative.” She smiled.

”Yes she told me.” Ben said, “Now she would stop to worry. Thank you so much.”

”Not a problem Ben, I was just doing my job.” she unconsciously took her glasses away from her eyes.

”Oh my!” he gasped. ”What happened to your face?”

”Oh, it’s nothing, was hit by a patient; it comes with the job.” she said laughing.

”Sorry about that.” Ben said.” I’m the man if you need someone to sue them.” he said smiling.

”Oh, I would remember that ” she said laughing.

”Are you here to pick up something?” he asked

”Yes, some vitamins,” she lied. ”Oh, here it is.” picking up some vitamins on the shelf.

Ben taking it off her with the couple of things he picked up for himself, ”It would be my pleasure, although small but please, let me pay for it”, he said

Sandra smiled at his gesture. They both walked to the cashier and paid for the items.

”Thank you Ben,” Sandra said taking her item back.

‘‘My pleasure.” He said.

The both walked back to their cars

Just as Ben drove out of the parking lot, Sandra went back into the store, picked up the pregnancy kit, after paying for it; she went into the toilet in the store to use it. Her mind winding up and down as she waited for the result, afraid to look, she took it into her bag, went out of the store and drove home. The few minutes later, she was stuck in traffic. Then she heard her phone ring; checking her bag to pick it up, she saw the pregnancy stick and finally took the courage to look at it. ‘Positive!’ her heart pounding so fast.

…………………….

Few hours after Sandra had confirmed that she was definitely pregnant. She was so scared; unsure of what to do, so many questions ran through her mind. Was she ready to bring a child into this world of hers, even her thought seems selfish of her but she knew that, whatsoever her decision is, her life was about to take a great turn. Another issue she battled with was if she was ready to tell Alex. Telling your Spouse he’s about to be a father is supposed to bring a happy glorious feeling, a time to celebrate each other and thank God for his blessings but in her own case, it’s a dreading feelings.

After a week, things were better than worse between them, they both went to their separate jobs. At the end of the week, Sandra made up her mind to tell him she is Pregnant. After doing her rounds in the hospital, about to take her leave, she was called in for an emergency operation, she tried calling Alex that she would be late but he didn’t pick his phone so she text him instead. At around 3:00am, they finished the surgery with success and thought it was unsafe to go home, so she went in to one of the empty room to sleep.

Immediately her alarm rang at 6:00am, she hurried to her car and drove home.

”Good morning,” she greeted him as she entered the sitting room. ”I’m sorry about yesterday, had to work late.” She apologised.

”Work late indeed.” Alex flashed an angry look. ”I called the hospital and was told your surgery ended at 3:00am, so where were you?” he asked in an angry voice.

”It was late so I decided to sleep back and wait till the morning.”  She said

”You lying whore! Is that what you call sleep back; going to meet your boyfriends, or what do you call them ” he shouted again.

”How can you say such a thing, I finished my surgery late and thought it would be dangerous driving at that hour so decided to sleep back at the hospital.” she defended herself.

”You are lying.” he shouted walking towards her.

Sandra knew she wasn’t going to get free from this, so seeing him furious and coming at her, she took her bag and ran out of the house before he could get to her. She could hear him shouting after her but she continued to run out of the compound, to the street, ran as fast she could. She knew Alex would not chase her further into the street, so when she got to the main road, she hailed for a cab and headed straight to her Mum’s place.

Chapter Three

”What are you doing here.” Alice asked in shocked seeing Sandra this early.

Sandra sat down bursting into tears.

”What is it dear?” she asked again.

”Mum, I am tired. I can’t stand it any longer, I can’t live with Alex.” she cried out

”What happened dear; we can sort it out.” Alice said

”Mum , there’s no solution in this, I cannot stay with a man that beat me all the time.” she cried out.

”Okay, take it easy, I should call Alex now and resolve this issue.” she said picking up her phone.

”No.” Sandra shouted. ”You just don’t understand Mum, I don’t want Alex.” she shouted at her.

”Don’t you dare shout at me young lady.” Alice shouted back at her. ”I am your mother and know the best for you. Alex is a good man and he is good for you. Everyone has issues in their relationship but we must all find a way to live peacefully with each other, not running away at the sight of any trouble”.

Alice eventually called Alex to come see her at once. Sandra knew she did made a mistake coming to her mother, a mother is suppose to have her child’s back irrespective but her mother was the opposite. Just as Alice was still talking to Sandra, Alex came in.

”Good morning Ma.” he greeting Alice respectfully.

”Morning Alex.” she answered. ”So what happened between you two?” she asked.

”I am so sorry she bothered you Ma, we only had a little misunderstanding, only for her to run off.”

”See,” she turned to Sandra, ”only a misunderstanding. You two should go home and discuss this matter. A man and a woman should always find a common ground to resolve dispute.” she said. ”Come, off you go, waving them to stand up. I have a meeting at the office this morning; but would come by later to your house to talk more, Okay.” she said

”Yes ma.” Alex said standing up.

”Now give me a hug before you go.” she beckons to Sandra.

As Sandra held her, she whispered to her mother, ”Please, don’t let me go with him.”

”Don’t be dramatic.” she said smiling.

There was so much tension between them on their way back home, Sandra knew it wasn’t over between them and the show he put forward to her mum was his style, always give her mum what she wanted, the respect, responsible man, but his wild dogs hidden inside. She wanted a way out. This was not the first time she did ran away, two years ago when things became so heated that she need an escape, after series of abuse, physically, verbally, emotionally even sexually. One day, she left for work and didn’t come back; she was lodging in hotel for almost two weeks. Her plans were well executed until one day, she heard a knock, opening the door, she found Alex standing there. He begged and threatens her at the same time. She had no idea how he traced her.

Alex drove them into their compound, came off the car and dragged Sandra out of the car, pulling her inside; he locked the door behind them and hid the keys in his pocket.

”You don’t just get it, don’t you?” he screamed at her.

”If I can’t have you, no one will. You are mine and I can do whatever I like with you.” he shouted at her throwing her on the floor.

”What is it with you.” he screamed, ”Why can’t you be a little nice girl and listen for once.” he shouted taking off his belt.

”You know what we do to girls like you, hmm?” he shouted hitting her. ”We teach them the word ‘respect’, ‘Not to talk back to their husbands’. We teach them to behave.” he shouted.

”Please Alex.” she begged.

He kept hitting her all over

”Stop this please…” she cried in pain. ”Please Alex; for Christ sake, stop this!” she begged

But he kept hitting her harder, she managed to run off to the room, locked herself in but he came after her hitting hard on the door, she knew the door was not strong enough to keep him off, so she looked everywhere for something she could use to defend herself. Alex kept banging on the door, screaming abusive words at her, hitting so hard that the door was breaking. Sandra looked through the room but found nothing, so she checked through his side drawer and found his gun. By this time, Alex had broken through the door, so Sandra pointed the gun to herself.

”Don’t come any closer or I will shoot myself.” she said panting.

”What!” he laughed. ”Go ahead and shoot yourself, you think anyone would care about you,” he mocked her. ”Even your own mother would not cry at your grave.” he kept mocking her

Tears flowed from her eyes as Alex kept haunting her with his words, part of her believed him, she knew it would be a wasted life if she did kill herself but she wanted an escape from all these, she wanted freedom from this pain and then, she remembered her baby and then pointed the gun at Alex, who was trying to move closer to her.

”You know, I have watched you all these years abusing me, I did take it. I took everything you threw at me but enough is enough. I am no longer under you, I refuse to stand by and watch you destroy my life. I am taking my freedom.”

”Now, let me leave.” she shouted.

”You really like to amuse yourself.” he said  laughing. ”Listen and listen carefully, If I don’t have you, no one will. You will never and never go anywhere.” he shouted at her.” I own your life, your body, your will, your soul, and everything you ever have or will have, I own them all. Now, give me the gun.”  he shouted.

”No!” she shouted back. ”I want out Alex.” she screamed at him.

”I said, give me the gun.” he shouted again moving closer to her.

”Don’t come any closer.” he shouted again at him, but Alex ignored her.

BANG! she shot him, again, BANG!! she shot again, kept firing the gun screaming, ”you don’t own me, not my life, not my will, not my soul……….’ Bang!!!, Bang…….

Then she felt dizzy and blacked out.

Chapter Four

The sound of a familiar beeping woke Sandra up; found herself laying in bed with strings of drip attached to her, then she saw Ben standing next to her bed.

”Oh God!” she said. ”What have I done?”

”Hey.” Ben said.

”What are you doing here?” she managed to ask.

”You don’t remember, do you?” he asked.

”Alex,” she whispered. ”Where is Alex?” she asked

But Ben was silence.

”Dead, is he?” she asked.

”Yes.” he nodded. “The neighbours called the police after hearing some hot fire.”

“i…..”Sandra looked down to her stomach, ”My baby,” she asked.

”Yes, your baby is well. You were dehydrated but you would be fine.”

”Glad you are Okay.” Ben said.

”Okay is an understatement Ben; I just shot my husband.” she said. ”Tell me, how much trouble am I in?” Sandra asked

”Well, it depends; you will have to tell me everything that happened.”  he said

”Everything?” She asked.

”Yes, everything.” he answered

But Sandra was quiet as tears flowed from her. ”Ben, I am so ashamed of myself, I don’t even know where to start from.” she cried.

”Listen Sandra, I am going to fight for you as long as you want, OK. You will have to trust me on this. I know you have been abused; the doctors found some bruising on your body, both old and new. Something must have happened in there and you have got to trust me.” He stared into her eyes to get her full confident.

Sandra told Ben everything that happened, her abuse from Alex for the past five years, just then, her mother entered the room.

”Sandra!” she shouted, ”sweetheart, what happened? She  Brush Ben away from Sandra’s bedside. Have you seen outside, Police guarding the door, every News channel at the gate? What in God’s name have you done to yourself? Why didn’t you call me? What have you done Sandra?” she shouted at her. ”And who are you?” she pointed at Ben.

”His name is Ben and He’s my Lawyer.” Sandra replied her.

”What Lawyer?” she asked.

”I’m with Allen and co Solicitor Ma.” Ben answered.

”I know Allen & co and know you superiors.” she snapped at him. ”Now, get out of here, my daughter already has her own lawyer.”

”No mum.” Sandra shouted. ”I have had enough of your smothering. Your time of controlling me is expired. I cannot take it any longer mum.” she shouted at her. ”I wanted you to protect me, watch over me, but you failed. You were busying building an empire for yourself.”

”What do you mean?” she shouted back, whatever I did, I did it for you, all I have or I am is because of you.” Alice said.

”No mum, all you have are all for you, they were never for me.” she screamed at her mother. I begged you to please, not to let Alex take me home, but no, you knew it all. You were never there mum.” she shouted in rage.

”You remember when I told you your husband raped me repeatedly; what did you do mum?” she shouted at her.

”Don’t you dare bring that up Sandra, you were just a child, Frank could never have laid his hands on you.” she said.

”Oh, really,” she shouted. “Mum, I begged you then not to leave me alone with him when you travelled; I cried, but no, you knew it all. You left me at his mercy, he raped me for five good years and you never caught him; you said, I was seeking attention, hmm.” she chuckled. You have made my life a living hell, and you know what? I hate you. I hate so much. I hate what you did to me.” Sandra was shouting, she had to let out all you had bottled inside herself for so long.

“You know the first day I knew I wanted to become a doctor?” she asked, but her mother didn’t answer.

“One day, you were in your study, busy writing. I came to you telling you I was having stomach cramps; you said, I was probably having sugar reaction, you even told me I was getting too fat and needed to go on diet, then you went back to your typing. After  few hours in my room, the pain became unbearable and then, I realised I was having contractions, I did a quick calculation to the day Frank left, that was five months ago, I was pregnant, I did not know, even my mother had no idea. The pain was too much to bear; I could not bear to call my own Mother who didn’t even believe I was raped.” She cried out.

“I crawled to the bathroom and struggled to climb into the bath tub; the pain was so unbearable, contraction after contraction, at about 4:00am, and the baby finally came. He was blue in the face, not breathing. He was tiny but so precious. I stared at him for a long time; I knew He was gone. Before you woke up, I struggled to wash the blood from the tub and the floor, wrapped him in towels and waited for you to leave for the office. After that, I put him in a shoe box, went to the garden, dug a hole and buried him there.

”Did you know mother? I had a miscarriage mom.” She looked straight at her

”Did you?” she shouted in tears again but Alice was silence, filled with shame.

”’No, I doubt it.” Sandra said, “just like you didn’t know Alex was beating me, the marks on my face, the ones on my body, the marks I lied the patients inflicted on me,” she chuckled. No, you never knew.” she said in tears.

”Sandra,” Alice finally was able to say.

”Mum, please.” she stopped her from talking further.

”Please, leave my room now.” she said.

”Sandra Please,” her mother pleaded as tears flowed from her eyes

”No Mum, it’s over, please leave me alone now.” she shouted until Alice left the room. Sandra busted into more tears.

Chapter Five

Sandra had been charged with the Murder of Alex; the trial has been going on for two months while Sandra was remanded in jail. At the final hearing. Alice on the witness box.

”Ms Williams, Did your daughter ever tell you the deceased, Alex Brendon was physically abusing her?” the prosecution asked.

”She didn’t have to tell me, it was all over her.” she said.

”You didn’t answer my question, did she at any point voice out to say Alex was abusing her?”Prosecution asked again.

Alice looked at her daughter.

”She did but I never listened. A mother needs to know these things, when their daughter is in pain, they should be able to sense it,” she said in tears.” I failed my daughter.” She said in tears.  “she told me constantly with her tears, her visit, her words but I was lost in my own world. I am sorry,” she said to Sandra. “I am so sorry.”

The prosecution rest.

Ben decided it was best to present Sandra on the stand, after telling the jury and the members of the Court what happened the day she shot Alex…..,

”So Miss Sandra, Why didn’t you leave despite all these abuses?” Ben asked.

”I did tried to leave several times but he always come back for me; threaten me, begged. I was scared of what he was capable of doing.” Sandra said.

”Why didn’t you report him to the authorities?” Ben asked.

”Alex was the authority; He was one of the top Police officer. I knew no one would believe me if I told the truth.”

”Now Miss Sandra, did you mean to kill Alex?” Ben asked.

”No, I did not; all I wanted was to leave.” She said.

”No further question.” Ben said and sat down.

”Your witness.” the judge said to the prosecution.

”Miss Sandra, You said, you didn’t mean to kill Alex but you shot him five times. A first could be said to be a mistake, a second, What? third, fourth and …”

”Objection, speculations.” Ben injected.

”I am trying to established that Miss Sandra intended to kill Mr Alex here your honour.” the prosecutor said to the Judge.

”Objection overruled.” the judge said.

”So Miss Sandra, once again, didn’t you intent to kill your husband?” the prosecution asked.

”No, I did not.” Sandra shouted in tears. ”He was attacking me, he took off his belt to hit me.” she shouted again.

”Couldn’t you at least call the Police.” the prosecution injected.

”No, I couldn’t. He was the Police. He slain me like an animal, I pleaded always, I cried, I begged. Sometimes, he tells me to remove my clothes, handcuffed me to the bed and slashed me with his belt, then, he rapes over and over again, so hard that I sometimes pass out. Tell me, where is the police in that? He tells me he likes the pain to live, to breath.” Sandra cried out. ”He beats me so hard that I couldn’t move for days and watches me as I drown in my pains. You want to see?” she shouted out in tears, standing up, taking off her clothes. “You want to see the pains he inflicted on me?” she cried out. “I just wanted him to stop, I am pregnant for Christ sake, I wanted to protect my baby.” she shouted out in tears.

The prosecution watched in shocked as Sandra took off her clothes to show the marks on her body, those on her swollen belly, the Judge shouting for order, everyone in the court room shocked at this reaction. Alice shouting for them to stop tormenting her daughter. Then, Ben went over to Sandra, taking off his jacket to cover her.

”May I ask the Court for Recess your honour?” Ben asked.

”Yes, Recess for 15 minutes.” Judge said and went out.

Sandra was so much in tears that Ben had to hold her, while Alice who couldn’t bear to see her daughter in such state went over and held her tightly.

”I am so sorry honey.” she said in tears

”I am very sorry, please, forgive me. I should have been there, Please.” she sobbed as she held her.

Chapter Six

After the prosecution presented his closing argument, Ben also presented his…

”In conclusion to all this, It is evident that Sandra was victim of the battered women syndrome. She was repeatedly battered by Alex and as a result of provocation, She shot him. Day by day, she was battered, but on this day, the deceased had provoke her so much that he threaten to kill her and the defendant  fearing not just for her life, but for the life of her baby shot him in defending them both. Question is who is the victim here? My defendant is. We ask that you, ladies and gentlemen of the jury should look into this case with all wisdom.” Ben finished his statement.

The Jury went inside for deliberation and came back an hour later.

”Have the Jury reach their verdict?” the judge asked.

”Yes, your honour.”

”You may read it.” the Judge said.

”We the Jury find the defended, not guilty of Murder, but guilty of Manslaughter.”

”Thank you.” the Judge said. ”You are all excused.”

After the Jury were sent away, the Judge continued with his proceedings.

“I have read and heard from both parties and so find the defendant Sandra Brendon guilty of manslaughter, however, by her defence of provocation and evidence of battered woman syndrome, is hereby released of all charges.”

Alice went over to her daughter and hugged her. Sandra was swelled up in tears, relieved. She thanked Ben over and over again for believing in her and his support.

Although, her medical licence had been revoked but she knew she had all she needed. Her faith  in God. Preparing a better relationship with God who is able to restore all she did have lost, renew her and make her whole. She looked forward to the days ahead with joy and uttermost peace. She looked forward to having her baby in her hands, nurturing her and giving her the best in life, not forgetting that, God is the giver of  peace and able to protect her child and give her wisdom to train her.

She also decided to forgive her mother, we are all humans and bound to fail but we have a Father that would never forsake us. Although, she regret her actions of killing Alex, maybe, she should have  dealt with it better than this but in all, she continued to seek the face of God for forgiveness.

The End.

Shalom.

© Circlesoflove 2014

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My Pain, My Gain Part 3

Chapter Eleven

 

Kathleen says:

‘Where do I go from here? The event that took place several hours ago was life wrecking. I couldn’t get over what had happened. I kept playing the whole scene in my head. My mother finding out that I had been sleeping with Paul; the fact that my mother isn’t my real mother, or the fact that I am mother’s daughter? I just couldn’t believe how I have played my life. All these years, I had blamed my mother for all that had happened, not knowing that the blood of a betrayal had been flowing freely through my veins. Wait a minute! Make that the blood of two betrayals. My father whom I had always looked up to; he was my hero, the man that gave me everything I ever wanted. Yet, he was the same man who betrayed his own wife, and slept with a prostitute and a thief. Yes, I said it. My blood mother was a prostitute and a thief. She was the one who started this whole battle in our lives.

I had no idea of what to do or where to go from here. Mum had excused herself to her room since the whole confession. I knew her heart was breaking; finding out that her husband had molested her only child, and kept her as his mistress under the same roof was a horror to behold. I actually wouldn’t blame her if she hated me after this. She was the victim in all these; she had been the victim all the while. She had been living with all the lies, deceits and betrayal all her life. She served them, loved them and was loyal; she stood by them all, and got nothing good out of it.

 

Chapter Twelve

 

Sophia sat in the living room staring into the air. She was tired of crying; the pain in her chest was becoming unbearable, and she didn’t want any illness added to the one she was dying of. She realized how difficult the revelation would do to Kathleen, and how she would move on from all these. She knew she had to make things right, she had to let her know that none of these were her fault.

This morning after she left Kathleen in her room; she had gone into her own room and started to bring out everything that belonged to Paul. His clothes, shoes, their wedding pictures, and everything he had in the house. She took them all to the back garden and burnt it all. She couldn’t believe how she’d lived with the monster for many years and never figured out what he was doing to her daughter. Although she’d suspected he had been cheating on her; from the numerous text messages she had seen on his phone, the unexplained business trips and excessive spending and bills. But she never knew he was also sleeping with her own daughter. She felt like a total failure.

 

Chapter Thirteen

 

Kathleen had locked herself up in her room for three days. Her mother had to force her to eat something during these days. Sophia also took the time to apologize for neglecting her all these years, and for many other things that had happened. She had refused to go back to work; she knew something was changed inside of her. She couldn’t go on doing the things she did before. She had to make a change in her life, she had to come clean to herself and to everyone she did hurt, but didn’t know how.

She couldn’t bring herself to face Mrs. Jones; she felt bad for all that she did. She also regretted sending the email to Collins. She felt ashamed, and couldn’t face him after all that he knew about her. She had logged off from all social networks, and deleted all her accounts from them all. She refused to pick up any calls that came through her phone, and after few days of messages alert and missed calls, she took out her sim card and flushed it down the toilet drain.

 

On the fourth day, she got out of bed to have a bath. She finished, and got dressed; then she decided to go through her wardrobe to throw some of her old clothes away. She knew she would never wear some of it again; it was her way of letting go of some of her pasts. Then, she spotted an old box she’d kept as a young girl. They contained some old photographs, diaries, a bible and some books she used to treasure, but had kept them locked away for many years.

She opened it, and the first thing that caught her attention was an old picture she took with her father. It was on a fateful Sunday he had taken her out for ice-cream, and then took the picture when he poked her nose with some of the ice-cream. The beautiful smile on their faces brought tears to her eyes. She missed him so much, and wished he was here to tell her what to do. She remembered that particular day; she had left the tap running in her bathroom, and went off to church with her parents. On getting back home that afternoon, the whole bathroom and her bedroom was flooded with water. When Kathleen discovered this, she switched off the water, and went to hide somewhere in the house. She felt because she had been warned severally to always switch off. Her father had discovered this, and found her where she was hiding. He asked her why she was hiding, and she said she had been afraid. That day, her father reminded her about the story of Adam and Eve, how they also hid from God after eating the forbidden fruit. That incident brought about sin to mankind. He explained that, although they had sinned against God, but He still loved them. He also loved us so much that he sent his own Son Jesus Christ to die for all our sins. Her father also explained that he had also done many terrible things, but the Lord forgave him all his sin. He told her that when she does anything wrong, she should never hide from the Lord. She should always come clean to him, and His mercy and unfailing love would always be available to her.

 

Kathleen learnt in that incident that her father loved her no matter what she did. Even more, that the Lord loved her no matter what mistake she’d made in life. She’d forgotten that lesson until now. The picture reminded her of something great, something that was about to bring about a change in her life. She realised that she had been hiding and making more mistakes. She felt she was unworthy and couldn’t stand in the presence of God because of her sins. Just like Adam and Eve, she was afraid of what the Lord would do.

 

Kathleen allowed the tears bunching her eyes flow freely down her cheeks. She knew she had to go back home. Her father had always taught her that her home wasn’t just the four walls of her house; her home was also the presence of the Lord. She never did understand much of what he talked about then. He would always speak of the unfailing love of God. He said he wasn’t perfect, although Kathleen thought otherwise. She saw him as the most perfect man in the whole world. He did no wrong in her eyes; he was a good father to her. She remembered him telling her that when he sinned against the Lord, he did felt ashamed of himself. He said he couldn’t stand to go into the presence of God, but he knew the more time he was away from God, the greater the chances the devil had in his life. Kathleen had no idea what he meant in those days, but she knew now. He had been talking about the things he did to her mother, his betrayal. She was too young then to have understood all these.

 

Kathleen placed the picture on her bed, and knelt down. She wanted to pray, she wanted to say something to God, but words failed her. Her heart was screaming out to God to help her, her body was asking for forgiveness, yet her mouth wouldn’t utter the words in her heart. She was flooded in tears; she was moaning, and her hand had a tight grip on the bed.

“Oh Lord…” she whimpered.

She felt unworthy to stand before him. She couldn’t just ask him to forgive her of all sins. It felt like a free ticket than she deserved. She wouldn’t believe she could just pray and ask the Lord to forgive all the things she had done wrong, the people she had hurt, and he would just forgive her. Just like that! She felt she does not deserve to be forgiven, she does not deserve any mercy from him.

She knelt down there moaning in tears, but her mind was re-counting all the things she had done in her life. The mistakes, the sleeping around, the lies, deceit, those that trusted her, but she betrayed. The burden was just too much to bear; the pain was breaking her heart.

“Please, help me…,” she cried out. “Help me daddy…,” she broke down into more tears. She had not meant to say the word ‘daddy’. It just came to her. She was referring to God as daddy. She couldn’t imagine how torn down her own father would have felt if he was alive to see all the thing she had done. How much more God had felt knowing and seeing all her sins. She felt like a filthy rag before him, she wanted to stand up and run as fast as she could.

“I am sorry…,” she wailed, “Please forgive me….” She cried brokenly. She knew there was no where she could run to that the Lord couldn’t find her. In fact, she was tired of running, she was tired of hiding. Her mind flashed back to when she was hiding from her father after she had flooded her room; she remembered how her heart had been pounding so fast in fear of the punishment she could receive, only, her father never did punish her. Instead, he told her about the love of the father. The mercy that we do not deserve but he gave freely to us.

She knew that if there was anyone that could save her now, it could only be the Lord. She lay down on the floor and cried out for mercy. She prayed that he could wash her clean, that he would take all the evil she had done and cleanse her heart. A lot of things were making new sense to her now; she remembered when she prayed as a young girl and she would ask God to forgive all the sins she did committed. It was merely a religious routine to her back then, but it had a new meaning to her now. It wasn’t enough to ask the Lord just to forgive without cleansing. She had to also pray that he wash away all the things she had done. To take away the pain and the effect it had on her. She wasn’t asking for a new memory, like it never happened before, she was asking that He takes away the dirt, the stains it had on her. That night, Kathleen cried and prayed. She begged and prayed for mercy; she asked the Lord to make her new, to change her life. After then, she slept off there on the floor.

 

 

Chapter Fourteen

 

Sophia sat with unease at the waiting room of the St. Andrews hospital. She’d been waiting to see her doctor for twenty minutes; her heart seems to be pounding so fast that it felt like it was about to burst out. She had called in a few days ago to book this appointment after some unusual way she’d been feeling. A part of her didn’t want to get too optimistic about the result, but another part believed this may be the result of her prayers. Compare to weeks ago, she’d been feeling much better and stronger in the past three days. The fatigue she usually felt was lessening, and a renew of strength in her body. She had been praying for a miracle, a healing that only God could give to her, and felt this was it.

“Mrs Coker.” The Nurse called, but Sophia was lost in her thought.

A gentle tap on her shoulder made her jumped.

“I’m sorry to startle you,” the nurse said politely, “the doctor is ready to see you now.” She smiled at her.

Sophia nodded, and picked up her hand bag from the seat next to her. She followed behind her without saying a word. The pounding her heart made it difficult to speak.

The nurse led her to the room, and opened it. There, Doctor Lucas was waiting.

“Sophia, how good to see you.” He greeted.

“Hello.” Sophia smiled, and sat on the chair he offered.

The nurse dropped the medical file on his table, and went out of the room. Sophia noticed how big the file had become; it was only a few pages several months ago when she discovered something wasn’t right in her body.

“I’m so sorry I couldn’t see you before this, I was away on a medical retreat.” He took off his glasses, and smiled tenderly at her. Doctor Lucas had been their family doctor for quite some number of years. He had been a friend of her late husband; they attended the same University back then several years ago, and remained friends. It had been heart breaking for him when he announced she was dying of cancer, and that there was nothing medically he could do for her after months of treatment.

“So, you are here about what we discussed on the phone?” He made eye contact.

“Yes.” she braced herself to hear his thought, but before he could speak further, she started to explain. “It is possible, right?” she asked, and didn’t wait to hear his response. “Anything is possible,” she added. “I can be cured,” She sat forward to him. “I know medically it can be deem nonsense, but there is nothing impossible for God to do.” Her face lilted up to hear his response. “You and I know that God can heal all diseases? I have heard cases of people dying of cancer, and suddenly, the doctors couldn’t find any traces of it in their body.” She clapped her hands together. “It is possible, right?” she saw the distress look on Doctor Lucas’s face, so she settled back in her seat.

 

Lucas smiled warmly to her, and closed her file on the table. “You know I am all for miracles and I certainly believe God can do anything-

“Exactly what I am saying,” Sophia jumped in her seat. “I feel so much energy that I haven’t felt in months. I feel strength in me.” She raised her hands into the air.

“Yes I understand.” He said, and inhaled deeply.

“But-“ Sophia looked at him like he was about to say something different. She sat down. “What you mean but? I mean, you don’t feel the same way I do?”

He stood up from his seat and went to stand in front of her. “Sophia, I am your number one fan of fighting this disease. I want you cured, healed in fact from any traces of cancer in your body, but I don’t want to get your hopes up until I can see the results of the test I ordered you should take a few hours ago.”

“And what does the result say?” she swallowed hard.

“I expecting them by tomorrow.” He put his hand on her shoulder. “However, I want you to take plenty of rest; I don’t want you stressing yourself because of so much energy I see in your eyes.” He smiled at her.

“I haven’t felt this much energy in so many months,” tears were bunching in her eyes. “I just feel great.” She wiped the tears quickly before they could roll down.

“You look great.” He said to her.

She let out a soft laugh. “You always say the nicest things to me, but I stopped believing you a long time ago.” She teased him.

“You do look great, and I know the good Lord is in control of your life.”

Sophia brought her hands to her cheeks. “Thank you Lucas. I am blessed to have you as my doctor.” She stood up.

Doctor Lucas stepped away from her to open the door. “Please, do take things easy, ok.” He opened the door for her.

“I will. Thank you again, and my love to Angela and the kids.” She said on her way out.

“See you soon.”

“Bye.” She said, and walked out of the room.

 

Chapter Fifteen

 

Sophia walked out of the hospital building in haste. She was eager to get back home and do the things she’d been dreaming to do for days now. She wanted to go to the beach, and had planned to ask Kathleen to come along with her. She was looking forward to walking in the sand barefooted, and the wind blowing over her face.

She was getting to her car when she saw a familiar face standing by it. Anger arose in her when she saw Paul.

“How dare you.” She shrieked.

“Sophia.” He looked solemnly at her.

“What are you doing here?” she shouted at him. She had wanted to call the police on him the day after Kathleen had confessed to her. She had been furious and wanted to lock him up, but Kathleen had begged her not too.

“I was waiting for you.” He said.

“You do have the gut to come near me after what you did.”

“It’s not what you think, please Sophia-

She interrupted. “What!” she was stunned. She couldn’t believe he just said that. ‘What should she have thought?’ “Did you just say that?” She shouted. “You raped my daughter, you sick bastard.” She screamed at him.

“Please Sophia.” He tried to hush her when a man walking by had looked at them.

“Don’t you dare hush me?” She shouted louder. “I don’t want to see your face again; I don’t want you near me or my daughter.” She warned.

“You have to hear my side of the story.” he tried to touch her.

She jerked away. “Don’t you dare,” she shouted out in tears. “What kind of an animal are you?”

“Sophia.” He called out.

“Don’t ever call my name again.” She stepped away from him, and then walked back and faced him squarely. “I was at the hospital, grieving for the baby I had lost, your baby, and you were at home forcing yourself on my daughter. She was a child Paul; she was just a child, my baby.” She screamed at him, and started to hit him harder on the chest.

Paul tried to hold her hands, but she moved away before he could stop her.

“You are a wicked man,” she spat at him, and then wiped her hands down her face. She tried to steady her breathing, and reduce the swelling in the chest. She could feel her heart racing, and wanted to get it under control.

“I really don’t know what to say to you in this state you are in.” He said coldly.

This state.” She repeated, and felt anger bursting through her dam. “In this state, I would like to kill you!” She clenched her fist in disgust.

He looked stunned, and then he had a smirk look on his face.

Sophia felt repulsed by him standing there. He had no sign of remorse on his face. She realised that he was just a monster, he was a man whose mission was to destroy her life, and he almost if not succeeded in doing that. She had made a mistake the very first day she meant him, and then another greater mistake when he asked her hands in marriage and she accepted. She had been so blinded that she refused to reason with few friends who had warned her about him. They said he was in for her money, but she believed otherwise. He had been so nice to her, but preyed on her vulnerability.

Paul looked at her for a minute, and then picked up his car keys that had fallen on the floor when she was hitting him.

“I came home –“

“No no no….” she shook her head to disagree. “Don’t you call it your home; It’s not your home. It was supposed to be a haven to protect my daughter, to keep her safe but you made it hell for her.” She pointed angrily at him. She couldn’t believe he could still come to the house. He had no business to come over again, that was her house, the house she owned.

He chuckled. “Alright, I went over to the house, and Gabriel said you went to the hospital, but I couldn’t find any of my things.”

Her head dropped forward in exasperation. She made a note to warn Gabriel, her gateman about this when she got home. He had no business telling anyone where she went.

“Your things.” She looked at him in disgust.

“Yes, my things. I couldn’t find them.”

“I burnt them all, everything.” She straightened.

“You did what!” His hooded obsidian eyes held nothing but disdain.

“I burnt them.” She saw the horror on his face. She wanted to do more to him; she wanted to take everything away from him, just like he took something away from her daughter.

He threw his hands in the air. “God! You are so-“

She moved closer to him before he could finish, and faced him squarely. “if you dare mention God again, fire will strike you right here.” She poked him hard on the chest.

“How could you?” He looked angrily at her.

“I would like to do more than that to you,” she clenched her jaw at him. “I will like to destroy everything you hold dearly, but couldn’t find any. “Now listen and listen careful cos I am only going to say this once. I do not want you in my life. Your name has been written out of my life, my accounts, my properties or anything it was on before. You do not hold or have any right over me and if you dare come ten meters to where I am again in your life, I promise, you will regret it.” She locked eyes with him so he could see the fire in her eyes.

Paul swallowed hard.

“One last thing, let my lawyer know where to send the divorce papers.” She pushed him hard from her way; got into her car, and drove out of the parking lot leaving him standing there.

 

Sophia felt her hands trembling after driving for a few minutes; she had to pull to the side of the road to try to steady it. Tears flushed down her cheeks; she had sworn in her heart to kill him when she sets her eyes on him. She couldn’t believe she had to let him get away with his crime. She wanted him to pay, she wanted him to rot in jail, and above all, she wanted him to rot in hell.

Kathleen had begged her not to involve the police; she said no one would believe her, considering her own lifestyle now. She said Paul knew who she had become, and it would only be her words against his. She had confessed to her mother all the other things she had been involved in, and not even the police would give her the justice and clean slate she wanted.

 

She struggled to steady her breathing and reduce the swelling emotion in her chest. She broke down into more tears right there in her car, she felt defeated and hopeless. She had thought if God had indeed healed her, it would be a second chance to make things right, but somehow, she knew there wasn’t any second chance. Lives had already been destroyed, mistakes that no one could go back to amend had been made. Suddenly, she put the car into ignition and started to drive away, she knew one place she had to go. It was a place she had not been to for several years, somewhere she’d dreaded for a long time.

 

After about thirty minutes of driving, she parked her car in front of the Lagos city cemetery and found her way to her late husband’s grave side. She stood there for a few minutes staring at his name on the headstone, ‘Edward Coker’; there were over-grown weed all over the place. Then, she bent down and started to pull out the weed with her hands; tears sprang in her eyes. Her heart was breaking, she had tried so hard to stay away from him, and from the memory they shared. He had been her first love, the only man who knew her; they had their weaknesses, and setbacks in their marriage, but they worked through it, together. When Edward died, it was like her whole world had crashed.

After clearing the leaves away from his tomb stone, she knelt down and wiped the tears away from her eyes.

“I haven’t been here in a while,” she started. “I am so sorry….” She whimpered. “I am sorry for staying away……; I just couldn’t bear to see you here.” Suddenly, she let out a loud groan. Her throat felt like it was burning, there was pain in her chest; tears of utter despair filled her. She had a tight grip on her stomach and cried out.

“Oh God,” She cried out. “I messed up Ed. I really messed up.” She groaned. “You always knew what to do, you were the strong one.”

 

She felt a hard lump growing in her chest. “I am not strong like you, I don’t know what to do…..Tell me what to do,” she whimpered.

“Madam, are you okay?” A man was standing by her side. She had not seen him walk up to her.

“What!” She jolted.

“Are you alright?” The man asked again.

She stiffened, and stood up quickly. “Yes, I’m ok.” She said, and started to walk away.

“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to startle you,” the man called after her, but she continued to walk away.

She continued into her car, and drove away.

 

 

 

 

Chapter Sixteen

 

Kathleen had been hiding in the downstairs guest toilet for over an hour. It was when she heard a car drove into their compound. She had looked through the window and saw Paul came out of the car. She couldn’t believe he was back; she became frightened; old memories flashed through her mind so she went quickly to hide before he could see her. She had gone into the toilet to hide, but heard his footsteps when he came into the living room. A few seconds later, he walked upstairs, and then back downstairs.

Kathleen was trembling in the toilet, she sat with her knees to her chest, praying so hard he couldn’t check in there. Then, she heard him cussing and shouting for his things. Kathleen knew he wouldn’t find any of them since her mother had burnt them all. Then, after few minutes of barking hard in the living room, she heard a big bang on the front door. She later heard him driving out of the compound.

She couldn’t believe the amount of fear she felt, she wanted him out of her life, not to be afraid of him, and hiding for the rest of her life. But she couldn’t bring herself to face him; she was not strong enough to stand and look straight into his eyes again.

 

Again, she heard the door open again and someone walked in. She felt her heart skipped a beat. She heard footsteps fading away, like the person was going up the stairs, then few minutes later, the steps started to get closer. Her heart was beating so fast, sweat beads rolled down her head. The door opened, and her mother poked her head in.

“Kathleen, are you in here?”

She swallowed hard when she saw her mother. Sophia was stunned when she saw her face; she looked like she’d just seen a ghost. “Are you alright? she asked.

Kathleen went quickly into her mother’s embrace. He was here, he came home.” She shivered.

“Did he hurt you, did he touch you?”

“No, no he didn’t. I hid in the toilet; I couldn’t let him see me.” She whimpered.

Sophia brought her back into her embrace. “I am so sorry dear, I am so sorry…,” she rubbed her back. Sophia didn’t want her daughter living like this; she didn’t want her hiding for the rest of her life.

“I promise you Kathleen, he will never hurt you again. Never!” She patted her back to assure her. She knew what she had to do, she had to make things right. She had to protect her daughter at all cost.

 

 

Chapter Seventeen

 

Sophia sat in her car, looking straight at the entrance of the Ritz hotel in the central part of Lagos. She inhaled deeply and got out with her bag. She had called Paul earlier today that she wanted to come see him. He had been so thrilled to hear from her, so he texted his hotel address to her.

Sophia entered the building, and walked to the reception.

“Hi, I’m here to see my husband, Paul Adams.” She smiled at the lady at the reception.

“Ok, please give me a minute.” The lady picked up the telephone and spoke into the receiver; few seconds later, she smiled and put the phone down. “You can go up ma’am, room 46. Take the lift to the third floor.” She pointed towards the lift.

“Thank you.” Sophia nodded and walked towards it.

She took the lift, and pressed the third floor. Then, she walked up to his room, and knock lightly.

Her heart leaped when he opened the door; he had a solemn smile on his face.

“Sophia, I am so glad you are here.” He said.

Her face was void of any smile.

“I’m really glad we can work through this,” he went to stand at the centre of the room.

Sophia put her hand into her bag, and brought out a gun.

He turned around and froze up when he saw the gun.

Her face was quivering in rage.

He swallowed hard. “Sophia!” he put his hands up. “What are you doing with at?” he moved slowly away from her.

“I have to make sure you don’t hurt her again.” She pointed the gun at him, and used the other hand to shut the door.

“Sophia,” he muttered. “Please….”

“You can’t hurt her any more if you are gone.” She flashed an angry look at him.

“I will never hurt her…, I swear.” He was trembling.

Her face was smouldering with resentment. “But you did before, you hurt my little girl.”

“I….” he stammered. “I… don’t…”  shame and indignation caused his mouth to tremble.

“You are a monster Paul, an evil man.”

Sweat rolled down his face. “I am sorry…”

“I have to protect my daughter; I have to make things right.” She stepped closer to him.

“Think about what you are about to do, think about the consequences.” He said.

“What consequences?” She shouted.

“You might end up in jail, or sentence to death,” he nodded his head, “Please…” He begged.

“Guess what? I’m already dying. I have nothing to lose.” She dropped her bag on the floor, and held the gun with her two hands.

Paul shook his head to disagree; he saw the angry look on her face and he knew exactly what she wanted to do. He moved away from her until his back hit the wall. “I will never hurt her; I swear to you; I will never touch her.” He moaned in tears.

“I know you won.” Then she pulled the trigger. Bang! She felt adrenaline drove through her body. Bang! She pulled the trigger again.

 

To be continued.

Thank you for reading. Kindly leave your comments here please.

 

 

 

 

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MY PAIN, MY GAIN PART TWO

MY PAIN, MY GAIN PART TWO

 

Please click here to read part 1 of my pain, my gain.

 

Chapter Eight

 

Kathleen broke down in tears right there in the bathroom. She felt her heart tightened in dismay; in as much as she was hurting inside, her heart still sunk at the hurtful words she had spoken to her mother. Although, a part of her felt she deserved to hear the truth; she was the one who was battered and betrayed by the one person who should have looked out for her. It was the pain she had to carry for several years. She felt she had to tell the truth exactly as it was.

She couldn’t understand the sudden change of heart of her mother; why she was now interested in being part of her life. She knew the illness and the short time given by her doctors were a wake-up call for her, nonetheless, that was not an excuse to get a free ticket to a good relationship.

 

Kathleen hated the emotion she felt right now; it was a mixture of fear, uncertainty and regrets. The fear of losing the only family she’d known all her life overwhelmed her. The uncertainty of what the future held for her, especially with the pain and hurt she’d allowed herself to go through. Then, is the regrets of not making things right by her mother. In spite of their strain relationship, she was still her mother. Nothing in her life made any sense for a long time, but now, she felt something inside of her, something stronger than the pain and hurt she’d always carried with her. She wanted to scream out and ask it to stop haunting her; part of her was also trying to dismiss what it meant. ‘This was love’, a love she had denied her mother all these years, a love she’d tried to suppress with the pain, hurt and guilt. She realized that somewhere in her heart, she did love her mother; probably had caged it far away, but something or someone had let it out.

Then, she felt angry all over again. They had no right to do this to her, they have no right to make her feel this way; this was definitely not what she was made of, this is not who she is. They had opened her to a feeling of love, a deem weakness that she couldn’t afford to experience. She had trained herself to be numb to any feelings, in exception to the pain and hurt she felt. Then, she concluded that this was Collins’s fault; he had told her about love, he’d caused all these. He opened something in her, like a part of her she’d buried for a long time had suddenly awoken.

 

Suddenly, she stood up from the bathroom floor and walked back into her bedroom. She went to her computer, open her email to compose a message, and started to type. She felt If he indeed Collins loves someone like her, then, he should wait until he read her messages. She was not someone to be loved, not capable of loving anyone.

She started to write everything in her life to Collins; started with the rape, and how she became her step father’s mistress; she told him about her boss’s husband whom she’d slept with from time to time, also about the various things she had done. After she was done typing, without hesitation, she hit the send button and went straight to bed.

 

*****

 

An hour later, Kathleen had been tossing and turning in bed, unable to sleep. She had never opened up to anyone in her life; no one knew the things she’d done in her life. She wanted Collins to back away from any notion of love or admiration of her. She was not meant to be loved, not by anyone. After failed attempts to sleep, she decided to get up to take some sleeping tablet when suddenly the door opened, and Paul, her step father walked in.

“What do you want?” She looked hard at him.

“What!” he gasped in disbelief. He looked back to see if he had entered the right room.

“What do you want?” she asked again.

He moved towards her. “What do you mean?” He looked bewildered. She had never spoken to him in such manner before.

“I want you out of my room now!” She felt a strong anger in her to turn him away this night.

“I just got back from Port Harcourt, and thought to spend the night here,” he said, “your mother is fast asleep and doesn’t even know I’m back.” He started to unbutton his shirt.

She looked at him in disgust. Suddenly, every fibre in her wanted to strike him dead.

“So, let’s get down to business; I will leave very early in the morning before she wakes up and pretend I just got back.” He let out a wicked smile.

Kathleen rubbed her hand against her face in frustration. “Paul!” She shouted to get his attention. “I want you out of my room right now and out of my life!”

Paul was startled; he looked as if he was just woken up from a deep sleep. “What has come over you?”

Kathleen dropped her head forward in exasperation. “Nothing has come over me!” She raged out. “I’m doing something I should have done years ago.

He chuckled; amused by her anger. “So, you suddenly woke up one day and decided to do this?” he asked smirking.

Her breathing became rapid; even the thought of him standing there repulsed her. “I said I’m done!” she shrieked.

 

“I can see you’ve got your big mouth back,” He barked hard at her. “This reminded me of a certain fourteen years old girl, who thought she had it all, but later became the very thing she despised.” He growled at her. “I am not done with you girl, so neither get back on that bed and you will give me what I want or I will take it by force.” He demanded.

“You Bastard!” Kathleen raged, stood up and walked towards him with the scissor pointed at him. This time, there was no stopping, she wanted to cause him so damage, drive the scissor right into him. He was taunting her, and she’d had the last of it.

Paul saw the hot poker of anger in her eyes, he knew what she was going to do. He turned around quickly towards the door, opened it to escape, but found Sophia standing there, drenched in tears.

 

They both froze up standing there. A Few seconds later, Paul was the first to move, he walked quickly downstairs, took his car keys and walked hastily out of the house.

Kathleen dropped the scissors on the floor. She trembled, her body radiating heat. She felt an uncomfortable pain rose up in her chest. Even though she had blamed her mother for what Paul did to her, but seeing the truth out now was terrifying. she was the woman sleeping with her mother’s husband. She was the betrayer. She bowed her head in shame and indignation.

 

 

Chapter Nine

Kathleen says:

Right there, I knew it was over. I sat on the floor, with my back against my bed, a few meters away from my mother who was also sitting on the floor, in front of my bedroom. Both of us had broken down in tears the minute Paul left the house. I saw the pain in my mother’s eyes, she tried looking at me but each time she did, she was flooded with tears. At some point, she wanted to say something to me but nothing came out of her mouth, just more tears. The more she cried, the more I felt broken. Now, this was just the two of us, no in-betweens, just a mother and a daughter with a broken heart.
“I wanted to tell you,” Kathleen said wearily. “I wanted to tell you the very first day it happened but I couldn’t.” She was afraid to look into her eyes.

Sophia covered her mouth in a sob.

“It all started the few nights you spent at the hospital after the miscarriage, I was fourteen.” She gulped a sob.

Sophia gasped in disbelief, followed by more tears. Her hands were trembling.

Kathleen swallowed hard, “He said he would kill me if I tell anyone but after few trips into my room, I stopped fighting, I felt there was no use fighting; I thought you gave up on me,” she broke down into more tears; Sophia went quickly to her. She wanted to hold her, but Kathleen jerked away.
“Oh God.” She whimpered. She saw the shame on her, she wouldn’t even let her touch her. It’s been years since she held her daughter in an embrace.

“I gave up mom… I stopped fighting for my life.” She curled her hands around her body. She desperately wanted to be held, but couldn’t bring herself to it. she felt filthy and ashamed.

“What have I done?” Sophia whimpered, her hands were trembling. I caused all these…” she cried out.

“No no no no… Don’t blame yourself, mom, you never knew.” Kathleen shook my head to disagree with her.

“But I should have known. I am the mother here. God! All these years in my house and I never suspected anything, I never…” She continued to cry.

“I should have told you.” Kathleen wanted to stop her from blaming herself. All these years she had blamed her mother for everything that happened, but right here, right now, she couldn’t continue with that anymore. She couldn’t bring herself to do that to her.

“I should have known,” she shouted. “Oh God! What kind of a mother am I?” she broke down in tears.

“I allowed him mom, I couldn’t stop…..” Kathleen whimpered.

“You were just a child; you were my child, my baby.” She broke down into more tears. “God!” she whimpered. “Now, I know I deserve to die, I deserved what has come upon me…, I could not even protect my own child…

Kathleen wanted to say something but couldn’t find the right word. She felt heavy; the burden of the pain and hurt overwhelmed her and right there for the first time, she admitted she was tired. She became tired of carrying all the pain day to day, she was tired of blaming her mother for all that had happened, tired of fighting.

“I am so sorry.” Kathleen cried brokenly. That was the only word that came to mind. “I am so sorry for doing all these…

“What!” Her mother whimpered. “I am the one who disappointed you, Kathleen,” her voice was broken. “I let you down, I did not protect you.”

Right here, Kathleen knew she couldn’t let her go on crying; she was exhausted, they both were, but considering her health, she just couldn’t let her go on. She stood up and got her mother up from the floor and made her laid down on the bed; she also lay down beside her. She could still hear soft cries.

 

 

Chapter Ten

It was almost 5:30 am; Sophia had struggled to sleep. Sometimes, she stared long at Kathleen who was fast asleep, other times; she quietly cried and prayed to God to take the pain away. She finally stood up from the bed and sat on the one-sitter couch in Kathleen’s room.

All she wanted was restoration, healing and peace but feared she couldn’t have any of those.

She felt like a failure as a mother. How can a mother not know her daughter had been molested? How again could a mother have brought the beast that caused this into her home and continued to nurture the beast? She couldn’t understand these things, and how she allowed this into their lives. She had constantly prayed and does the things normal Christians should do. She couldn’t understand where she went wrong. But something was for sure, everything she had been doing especially since her late husband had been doing things all by herself. Trying to find a meaning to life, a path to walk straight on; to make things happen all by herself. She relied so much on her own understanding and thought she could do things all by herself. She failed to include God in her decisions, her affairs and her life. She felt the Lord did not fight for her when she needed him most; the silent tears, the scorned and prayers were all for nothing. She felt God wasn’t there for her, so she took matters into her own hands.

Her control of things increased when her husband had died; she thought she needed to be on top of things and prayer was slowing her down. She needed to make quick and fast decisions, and that was the beginning of a journey that had altered the rest of her life. Then, the decision to marry Paul was no exception, all of her own understanding and wisdom. All these were as a result of leaving the presence of God to do things her own way.

Then, she thought again, ‘Was it the un-forgiveness she had towards her own blood sister or was it the one she held against her husband? Was it betrayal or even abandonment? Was it the loss of a dear one or even anger that led her to this? Does that mean that the Lord had looked away from her when she walked out of His presence? Does God actually forget his own when they disappoint him? Are all these the consequences or punishment of her sins?

 

As she pondered on these things, she saw Kathleen turning in bed. Fear gripped her as the image that turned to her looked like someone she had tried so hard to forget.

Sophia felt pain gripped her heart. The face looked exactly like her sister’s; the one that took away everything from her.

“Mom.”

Kathleen’s voice jolted her from her thought.

“Are you still crying?” Kathleen asked wearily.

She wiped the tears quickly away from her cheeks.

Kathleen sat up in bed. She wanted to say so many things to her mother but wasn’t sure of how to start. She felt sorry for all she did.

Sophia cleared her throat. “I have to tell you something dear.”

“Mum, please, I am sorry.” Kathleen voiced out before her mother could continue.

Sophia raised her hands up to stop her.

“No dear, it wasn’t your fault; none of this was.” Her voice went through her. “You were right about the things you said earlier, I left you all alone, I allowed anger and other things take control of my life,” she rubbed her hands down her face. “I did so many things wrong; I took a wrong step, made wrong decisions and I allowed this into our lives.”

She watched as the tears flowed from Kathleen’s eyes.

“God!” Sophia whimpered. “I wish I could go back to make things better, I wish I loved you more than myself, I should never have walked out on the one person that could have straightened my life.” She saw the confusion on Kathleen’s face and knew she didn’t understand.

Maybe it’s time to tell her the whole truth, a time to be completely open before her.’ Sophia thought to herself.  

“You see, I walked out on God, I walked out of His Will for my life, I made decisions without Him, I gave up and allowed anger, un-forgiveness destroy the things I loved most in my life,” She started to say.

“Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom. Now is the time to do things right; Sophia thought to herself.

Kathleen listened carefully to her mother; for the first time that she could remember, she was actually eager to hear what she had to say.

Sophia started. ‘Many years ago; barely a few years after I married your father. It all started during a Christmas holiday. My sister, the only family I have in the world came to spend the Christmas with us. I was excited and happy to see her even though I was sceptical at first because of her wayward life. She was involved in all sorts of things, from drugs to different men. She always had me worried with her way of life, but no amount of pleading made her change.

Sophia flashed back to that day. She remembered her sister as the most beautiful woman she’d ever seen; a few years older than her but still maintained a great body feature. She was every man’s desire of a woman; she was smart, beautiful, confident and likeable, unlike her own reserved nature. You will fall in love with her within minutes of meeting her, she always had her charm on people and that didn’t exclude her own husband, Edward.

At first, during the visit, Sophia had nursed some jealousy within her when she saw something different in her husband. He lilted up when he spoke to Susan. He was a different man and would go on and on laughing and talking on matters his own wife couldn’t even find interest in. He was just happy, and Sophia felt there was nothing wrong in that. After few days, she felt she was being paranoid and was wrong to have felt jealousy towards her own sister. 
Some Few days after Christmas, Susan left and went back to her usual life of partying and all sorts but that Christmas changed their lives. Sophia noticed her husband became withdrawn, she knew something was wrong but couldn’t lay a finger on it, not until Edward came to confess the abominable to her.

He confessed he had sex with Susan one day when she was out. He said he had no idea what came over him as he never imagined or even thought about it before. He wept and asked for her forgiveness. Sophia knew her sister; she knew how every man would respond to her charm. She always had that effect on men but never thought her own husband couldn’t resist her temptation. That sort of thing shouldn’t have happened; she felt her sister should have made an exception but she didn’t, instead she defiled her home.

After several pleading, she decided to move on with her life and accept him back, although, she wasn’t sure she had totally forgiven him, enough to continue to live together. But as for her sister, that was the last Christmas she ever saw her, not until they got the surprise of their lives.

 

A year later. One morning, Edward was about leaving for work when he found a baby car seat in front of their house. He moved towards it to have a better look; suddenly, the car parked by the side of their house did a quick speed and drove off. He wasn’t sure what that was all about until he saw the content in the car seat. It was a baby, with a note in it. The child was sleeping peacefully in the car seat. It took him several minutes to come back to the reality of an actual baby seating there in his drive way.

He carefully carried the car seat with the baby into the house; as suspected, Sophia was shocked and appalled. How could someone leave a baby out there? It wasn’t long to realize what this was all about. Susan got pregnant as a result of the Christmas episode, she never called to tell them but after three months of having the baby, she realized she couldn’t cope and her life had no place or agenda for a baby so she decided to drop her off. It took her just a few sentences to say she was sorry in the note she left in the seat, and nothing more.

Sophia was infuriated. She couldn’t believe her sister allowed herself to get pregnant for her husband. It was enough she had slept with him, but for her to keep the pregnancy was appealing. She knew her sister had aborted several pregnancies in her life time, and couldn’t believe she chose to keep this one. This was like her sister; she always had a way of destroying everything she couldn’t have. She couldn’t have Edward but kept the pregnancy to tell her she could have anything she wanted.

Sophia hated her sister even more. She tried looking for her, but as she knew, she had no permanent residence and had changed her telephone contact details. Her child became a symbol and reminder of what her sister did to her. She couldn’t even dispute the paternity of the child as she looked exactly like her husband, like the female version.

Days that followed after that was like torment to her, especially since she’d been anxious to have her own baby. She watched in silence and anger as Edward tried to take care of his baby. He bathes, dressed, fed her and every other responsibility was catered by him. Sophia wouldn’t even pick up the child or even looked at her. She was hurting, and the baby reminded her of what her sister did to her.

It was tough and she wanted to punish Edward for what he did to her. Two weeks after this, with several sleepless nights; he was tired and exhausted and most of all, his wife was moving farther away from him.

One night, Sophia heard the baby crying uncontrollably; she tried ignoring it like she always did, but the sound of her crying filled the house. Her heart would not take it, so she went looking for her husband and found him right there with the baby in the living room; he made no attempt to carry her. He was drenched in tears, tired and exhausted. Sophia couldn’t take the pain anymore so she moved quickly to carry the baby, the same child she had not carried or cared for in two weeks was being held by her. She rocked and held the baby until she fell asleep in her hands. Finally, when she was certain the baby was fast asleep, she gently placed her back on the mattress laid there on the floor and proceeded to leave her room. Suddenly, Edward held her back. He wept more and asked for her forgiveness. He said he couldn’t do anything without her and he knew how much pain he had caused her. That night changed everything; Sophia decided to forgive him wholeheartedly.

Sophia realised that forgiveness is one of the most painful decisions we can make. We know that somehow we’re supposed to forgive, but when we step right up to it, we feel as though we’re being asked to turn ourselves inside out, tear out our hearts, and give them into the hands of our enemy. That was how she felt.

It wasn’t an easy decision but was a decision she had to make to move on with her life. Of course, Edward did hurt her, he made a decision that caused them gravely but holding un-forgiveness could also destroy her.

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,’ But Scripture says it only poisons us. Its 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 or they’re going to get away with it. 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. God is judge, he’s going to deal with them, and I’m going to show them mercy just like Christ showed me on the cross.

 

Another Christmas was just around the corner but the betrayal and pain turned to a blessing as Sophia fell in love with the little baby. Since the child was abandoned in front of their drive way, she had no name, not even from her own mother but that Christmas, Sophia gave her the name, ‘Kathleen’ meaning ‘Pure’. She finally had a name that brought a new beginning, new hope; she was blameless and pure before her. Sophia felt God was telling her something, God had fearfully created the little child for his purpose and no matter the circumstances she was given birth into, that would not change the plans of God for her life.

 

Kathleen’s eyes grew wide when she heard her name mentioned as the baby. This was the first time she would ever hear this story; she stared at her mother in disbelief.

Sophia stared back at her; fear and uncertainty filled her. She wasn’t sure what to expect from her daughter, what the new revelation would do to her.

“Please say something.” Sophia’s voice was barely a whisper. “Please…”

Kathleen wore a blank expression so it was difficult to know what exactly she was thinking. “So, what happened to your sister, Susan?” she asked, looking straight into her eyes.

Sophia felt uncomfortable at that question; she took her eyes away from the intense gaze of her daughter.

“Mom.” Kathleen’s voice echoed through her mind.

Hot tears now stung her eyes and began rolling down her cheeks. Sophia made no attempt to wipe them. “She died seven years later; drug overdose.” she stiffened.

“We were called one day by some hospital to come claim her body; they said our names and numbers were listed as her emergency contact,” she brushed her hands through her hair. ‘Can you believe that?’ the question was more to herself.

“We had not seen nor heard from her for seven good years: no calls, no letters, nothing.” She wiped the tears from her cheeks. “Just to claim her body.” Sophia rested her aching back against the couch. “I was so angry, so furious that I wouldn’t even go with your father to the hospital; God!” her hands were beginning to tremble.

“I was so mad: not only for sleeping with my husband but also for leaving me. She shook her head in dismay. “he lived a kind of life that it was just a matter of time before she dropped dead and she knew but cared less.” She rubbed her hands on her chest, to stop the pain forming there.
Kathleen swallowed hard.
She looked softly at Kathleen, “You have to know that she was my only family; we lost our parents while we were young, she was all I had and she did this to me. She just had to let herself die.” She said in tears. “I hated her so much that I did not attend her funeral; your father, he took care of the funeral arrangement, and the small possession she had. I would not even read the letters or go through the things she left for me, I just couldn’t. “

Kathleen stood up from the bed and started to pace in the room. Her heart was racing so fast. She felt so much sadness all around her and for the first time, she realized she wasn’t the only person hurting; she wasn’t the only person in pain. All these betrayals and hurt had been all around her for many years.

Sophia saw the fear in her eyes, but that wasn’t the whole story. She wanted to tell her daughter how much she loved her despite all that had happened. She stood up and slowly walked up to her.

“You have to know that I never stopped loving you Kathleen, you became the only thing that mattered in my life, and you are my joy.” She reached out to hold her, this time Kathleen made no attempt to jerk away.

Kathleen broke down into tears.

Sophia held her in a tight embrace. Then, they both sat on the bed. “I know at some point I panicked; when you started those behaviours, I was scared of losing you, and I was scared of you becoming my sister. I remembered the way she started, the shouting at our parents, the life she lived so I freaked out at you but that didn’t mean I didn’t love you, Kathleen.” She said in tears.

Kathleen looked into her mother’s eyes and saw the pain there.

“Mom… I am my mother’s daughter; the very thing that betrayed you, the very thing that destroyed your home, I did that same thing to you mom.” she broke down into more tears clutching to her knees.

Sophia went down with her. “No, don’t say that.” She tried to bring her up, but she wouldn’t let her.
“What have I done?” Kathleen cried out. “I thought I was getting back at you but I was only destroying the best thing in my life.”

“Please, stop.” Sophia cried out. “Please…”

 

To be continued.

 

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My PAIN, My Gain

Chapter One

My name is Kathleen Coker, and I hate my life. That might sound harsh to you, but wait until you read my story. I am ruthless, selfish, wicked and all together despise the things I have done. In as much as I feel bad about my life, nevertheless, don’t you dare judge me until you know my pain. My pain however has been my source of strength; the raging pain I feel inside of me has carried me on for so long; my pain is what keeps me alive.

People are afraid of themselves, of their own reality; their feelings most of all. People talk about how great love is, but that’s rubbish. Love hurts. Feelings are disturbing. People are taught that pain is evil and dangerous. How can they deal with love if they’re afraid to feel? Pain is meant to wake us up. People try to hide their pain. But they’re wrong. Pain is something to carry, like a radio. You feel your strength in the experience of pain. It’s all in how you carry it. That’s what matters. Pain is a feeling. Your feelings are a part of you. Your own reality. If you feel ashamed of them, and hide them, you’re letting society destroy your reality. You should stand up for your right to feel your pain.[1]

I feel pain in every aspect of my life; no one seems to understand me. My story may not be different from everyday life, but this is my life; this is what I’ve been through, this is the kind of life I lived, this is me; I am Kathleen Coker.

 

 

Chapter Two

It’s 7:30 am. Kathleen woke up with a pounding headache.

“Oh no,” she murmured. “another Monday.” She sighed, turning to the other side of the bed.

Her countenance turned to sadness when she saw the other side of the bed ruffled. She had come home quite drunk last night, and could not even give full account of how she got into her bedroom, but she knew her step father had passed the night here; his shirt lying there on the floor was a confirmation. She knew he was one man who would always take advantage of a helpless woman, not to talk of a drunken one.

She felt the nagging headache and tiredness in her body, but she knew no matter how she felt, that wouldn’t stop her from going to work this morning.

 

Kathleen had dropped out of school at the age of fifteen; a year before she completed her secondary school education. Despite all scolding, and begging from her mother, none of it mattered to her and no one could change her mind. Her father had died in a motor accident at the age of twelve, leaving her mother, Sophia to solely take care of her. She had started her rebellious ways shortly after her mother re-married, and Kathleen never for once accepted the new addition to the family. No amount of pleading and shouting changed her mind. A few weeks after she had dropped out of school, she announced she had found a job as a waitress in a fast food restaurant.

This behaviour had been so appalling and frustrating for her mother; nothing she did was enough to change her daughter’s behaviour. It became a constant battle between them and a struggle to keep her marriage and her daughter altogether.

Chapter Three
Kathleen says:

My mother had always thought my rebellion was as a result of losing my father, but unknown to her; her new husband, Paul had been molesting me for many years. ‘How does a young girl tell her mother she’d been molested, raped and abused without feeling the alienation, humiliation and sadness in her life?’

I had just turned fourteen when my mother introduced me to the new man who is now her husband, she asked me if I was okay with it but of course, what would you expect of me?

I was furious, angry and so very disappointed at her. I told her I wasn’t interested in whoever she married as long as I don’t have to call him ‘Dad’. That was the exact answer I gave to her that day, but mom wasn’t happy about my attitude towards her husband. She told me I would understand better when I grow older. I honestly didn’t understand; I couldn’t comprehend why she would need another man, after all, Dad had so much money before he died and I knew money wasn’t a problem so why would she bring another man into our house, especially a man who defiled and ruined my life. I hated her for what she did. She’d brought the criminal into our house and she should be responsible for every pain and hurt he caused me.

The day that broke me into pieces, made me who I became was on the 15th of August. Before this day that had turned the course of my life around, I had been a little bit relaxed with my mom since she announced she was having a baby. The thought of a baby in the house made me secretly happy. I was going to have someone to call my brother or sister but all these turned sour that particular night. Mom was rushed to the hospital as she suddenly had a miscarriage. I was so angry and sad at this news, most especially scared of losing the only family I had left.

Paul repeatedly assured me mom would be fine especially the few nights she had to spend in the hospital. He took special care of me, and for the first time in months I knew him, I felt protected, loved and cared for. I felt I had been childish all along and should give him a chance. You know the feeling you have when you know someone is watching over you, but this didn’t last for long. I had been wrong. This particular night, I had gone to bed relieved and happy that mom would be discharged the following day and even made a resolution to take things easier with her. I made so many promises like, never be rude to my mother again, listen to every instruction, help out in the house and so on.

That particular night, I was fast asleep when I felt someone pulling the cover away from my body; I opened my eyes slightly, and saw my step father standing over me. His smile was unpleasant and something in me told me to run but I couldn’t. I asked him what he wanted but he looked hard at me, at that instance, I knew this was it. Within seconds, he pinned me down on the bed and held my hands tightly together. I screamed, shouted and scratched him but nothing worked. I told him I would tell my mother and cried telling him to stop. Suddenly I felt a cold metal on my neck. He looked straight into my eyes and brought the cold knife for me to see and said he would kill me if I ever tell anyone about this. I was numb, and scared to death.

I know many of you have read or seen stories like this before, but this horrific experience and fear I felt that day was something I had never encountered before. I begged, cried, whispered, shouted, and then did what a child could do to save her life, I laid down there and allowed him rape me. He thrust so hard into me that I felt my whole body shivered in pain; I felt bruised and repeated pain in me. After he was done, he jeered at me and told me to be the good little girl I have always been.

That was the turnaround for me. I cried that night and that was the last time I ever cried like that again, and the last time I ever prayed. I mean, where was God when all these were happening to a child like me, why didn’t he save me? Why did my mother bring that pig into our home, to defile and destroy me? They all caused it. The people I loved so much in life, the ones I trusted to protect me were never there. They had no excuse; this should never have happened if my Dad was alive. I felt the same God whom I love took my dad away and still allowed this evil in my house.

Mom came back as expected the following day but my promises never held up, in fact, I became ruthless, rebellious; I felt a kind of anger towards them. I hated what my mom turned me into and blamed her for everything that ever happened to me. Telling her about her husband was out of it, at first I was scared but when his visit became more frequent, I adjusted and just lived with it. Paul’s visit became part of my life, they were my pain and I needed that pain to survive. I don’t know if that made sense to me then but I just couldn’t stop him or stop myself. We were never friends or lovers, just sex mates. I got so addicted to it. He made me do so many despicable things but after a while, I got used to it. I told you I was rebellious, and cared less what my body went through.

I honestly don’t know how I survived those days, turning into weeks, months and years but I knew I gave up on life. I had no purpose, no destination; I had nothing except the untold pain inside of me.

Now, almost eight years later, things have just been the same. All grown up, but still live in the shadow of my past. My life has become a constant battle and regret. My step father still comes in to rape me or rather have sex with me. Well, I wouldn’t call it rape anymore since I am fully aware, and consciously given my full consent to it. It became a silent deed between the two of us; he comes in to do his business, like he owns me or something. In fact, I had no idea what life was anymore. It’s not like someone coming in to ask for permission or something. He doesn’t come in to ask, ‘Hey Kathleen, can I have sex with you this evening?’. He just joins me in bed and does his business, no words spoken, nothing, just a numb transaction. But can you believe mom still never found out? I turned from a rape victim into a mistress sleeping with her mother’s husband. But now, I feel so terrible, oh yes, the pain is still there but my life has been filled with so much regret and mistakes that I can’t go back to amend.

 

The worst of it now is that mom has been diagnosed with ovarian cancer; another shock to my life. She’s in the final stage of cancer, and nothing can be done for her, only to manage the pain and prepare her for death. That was the exact sentence the doctor said to me. Now, you can see how ruthless I am, my mom dying of cancer and me still sleeping with her husband. I don’t know how I turned from being a victim to the culprit. Maybe I have been evil all the while; Paul only brought that out to the open. He was just a phase in my life, this is exactly who I am, a cold blooded, ruthless and evil person.

Now, let me tell you more about myself.

 

 

Chapter Four

Present day

Kathleen ran into the changing room at the restaurant where she’d been working for eight years. Closing the door behind her, she found Mrs. Jones waiting there for her. She had a stern look on her face.

“Before you say anything, I am so sorry.” She pleaded to her boss.

“Sorry! You are an hour late for your shift.” Mrs. Jones said.

“I am sorry. I was tied up, I mean, traffic was so bad, I couldn’t…..” She saw the angry look on her face and knew whatever excuses she made up this time wouldn’t work, so she turned to her sorry face to woo her over.

“I am so sorry ma’am.” She smiled at her and went quickly to hug her.

Mrs. Jones had taken likeness to Kathleen since the first day she walked into the restaurant, and asked for a job. She had been so impressed by her hard work and commitment to the job even after all these years. No matter how angry she was with her, she was still her best employee, and part of her sees her like family. She knew Kathleen never missed her weekend fun which always made her late to work every Monday morning, so she had waited impatiently for her in the changing room. Her smiles and charm are always irresistible and no matter how angry she was; she would always look past her all that.

 

Kathleen says:

Only if my boss knew the constant tears I have caused her. It all started about a year after I started working in the restaurant; I had finished my shift one evening and was walking home when a car suddenly pulled up to me. I looked into the car and realized it was my boss’s husband, Mr. Jones; he offered me a ride which I innocently accepted. He’d been to the restaurant several times and there was nothing unusual in this behaviour until I got into his car that day. He started to touch me right there in the car. I was shocked; he was old enough to be my father, but isn’t Paul and yet, they chose to have their way with me? The next encounter I had with him was in a hotel where we started to meet every fortnight. I don’t know why I did all these, I knew it was bad but that didn’t stop me.

 

This wasn’t about a man taking advantage of a young girl; this was me destroying lives, homes and myself. I was angry about life and this was the only way I could manage it. Those that know me would never imagine I did all these. I mean, I looked harmless. They all see me as this pretty young hard working girl. I wasn’t rude or anything, well, just to my mom but to every other person, I was the best friend, best employee and probably best girl friend to those interested.

 

I’m sure some of you have decided to hate me already. Why on earth would I sleep with another woman’s husband, especially the same woman who took me under her wings and treated me like her own daughter? I honestly don’t have an answer to that; I don’t understand what these older men saw in me and I honestly don’t know why I never resisted or just walk away. Mrs. Jones is one of the nicest people I ever met; she’d been kind to me and never did anything against me. I am the perfect young girl to her, ambitious and hard working. All our customers always find delight in me and would always come back because of the services they received at the restaurant. But this same young girl has done despicable things, things I cannot even put into writing. My life has become a shamble. I hate it so much but can’t end it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Five

 

Sophia sat in the living room, waiting patiently for her daughter to return from work. She was hoping to have some quality time with Kathleen since Paul was away on a business trip. She realized the short time she had left and hoped she could break into her daughter. She knew Kathleen had been avoiding her since the news of her illness. She understood what that will do to her; all she wanted now is to have her daughter in her life. So many things had happened in the past, the pain and hurt Kathleen had caused her. She was tired of the pain and bitterness, and since time was not on her side; the little left was all she had and hoped Kathleen would give that to her.

Sophia wasn’t sure how long she had but knew it won’t be long. Her pain had increased daily knowing her daughter would be left alone in this world and that alone broken her heart. These past few months, she’d been trying to remain strong for her daughter, not that Kathleen noticed but regardless, she hoped she would come around and it wouldn’t be too late.

How do you have a child and never understand or know her? Before the death of her first husband, Kathleen had always been a daddy’s girl. She was hoping she would have her turn when Kathleen grows into her teens, but things had turned sour and till this day, she never had a chance; no matter how she tried, nothing she did worked.

A few months into her marriage to Paul, she had regretted her actions and wished she never re-married; maybe things would not have gotten this bad.

Sophia turned to see the door open and saw her daughter walked in.

“Hello Kath; how was your day?” She asked.

“Fine.” Kathleen answered. She had been hoping her mother would be in her room.

“I made you some dinner.” Sophia smile.

“You shouldn’t have. I already had dinner at work.” She said calmly.

“Oh!” Sophia whispered; feeling disappointed.

Kathleen saw the sad expression on her face and felt guilt. “But that’s ok; I can have it tomorrow at work.” She said, and started to walk to her room.

“Kath!” Sophia called. “I was hoping we could talk.”

Kath turned to look at her. “This night?” She raised her eyebrows.

“If you don’t mind.”

Kathleen murmured something under her breath. She wanted to tell her she was tired but saw the pain in her eyes. “Ok, give me few minutes to take a shower.”

Alright.” Sophia’s face lilted up; she smiled as she watched her go off to her room.

*****

Kathleen shut the door behind her and started to take off her work clothes to have a shower. Then, she heard her phone vibrate. It was a message from Collins.

 

Kathleen says:

Now, let me tell you about Collins. He’s a guy I started to chat with on the internet. I met through Facebook a few months ago, although I have to tell you that I have met a lot of guys through Facebook; just long chatting and all. Some, I have meet in person, and you know how that always goes. I mean, those who live locally but those who stay abroad, we just continue to have fun through the internet.

However, Collins seems different, although, they all always seem different, they try to be nice to you online; keep you going with chats and all but when you see them in person, you realize they are all the same and only after just one thing- your body. Collins lived in South Africa. We talk about everything, work, movies and all. He also talked about good living, he called it ‘Christian living’ but don’t they all? I mean, they talk about being a Christian, but that does not change who they are.

To cut my story short, he just sent a message that he is in Nigeria for a short break; apparently, he is from Nigeria but worked in South Africa. But again, I’ve had so many so called friends who come for short breaks or whatever they call it, and they all still want the same thing.

My curiosity had the better of me as I had been day dreaming and thinking of Collins. Don’t know why but something about him intrigues me. I felt butterflies in my stomach as I hurried to take my shower and came out shortly to continue my chat with him. He sent me the hotel address he was staying, and we both agreed to see the following day after work.

 

*****

 

About two hours later, Sophia realized Kathleen wasn’t coming back to her so she decided to go to her room, but found her sleeping. Her heart sunk in dismay since she had been looking forward to this time. Again, another day is gone and never to be used again. A day marked away from her lifetime. She closed the door and went sadly to her room.

 

Chapter Six

Kathleen woke up the next morning feeling like she’d left something undone. She later realized while in the shower that she had left her mother waiting up for her yesterday. Again, she felt guilty about this, but not guilty enough to do something about it. She hurried off to work and thought taking the food her mother made yesterday might do some good.

Today was like any other day, great customers, busy in the kitchen, baking pies and all together a satisfying day. She always took pride in her hard working and nothing gives her joy than to see every day a success.

The thought of seeing Collins that evening had been so exciting and made her day worthwhile. She took a cab to the hotel. Her heart raced as she was about to see the young man she’d been chatting with for over two years for the first time. She went to his room and knocked.

Collins opened almost immediately

“Hi!” She said shyly.

“Hello.” Collins smiled, letting her in. It’s so good to finally meet you in person.” He wasn’t sure if he should hug or give a handshake, so he did neither.

Kathleen smiled too, trying to control the excitement she felt inside. “Me too; it’s nice to see you.”

Collins chuckled. “You look different from your pictures online.”

“How? She was curious to know what he meant.

“I mean, different, like more beautiful.” He smiled.

Kathleen couldn’t hide the blush on her face. “Oh, thank you.”

“Maybe it’s about time to change your profile picture so we can see the real Kathleen.”

Kathleen laughed at his words. “Well, you are not too bad yourself; only taller than I had imagined.”

“Really? Thank you.” He beamed a smile. “Is that a compliment?” he asked, smirking.

“Well, I think it is.” She replied.

“Alright, what can I offer my guest?” he asked.

“Oh, any wine will do.”  She smiled.

“Wine? That might be a problem.” He said. “Can you believe they have just alcoholic wine here at this hotel?” he said.

Kathleen was taken back. Of course, what else should they have?she thought to herself.

“I have requested some fruit wine which they just ran out off, but promised tomorrow.”
“Oh, that’s ok.” Kathleen murmured, not knowing what to say. “Any juice will do.”

“Alright then, give me a few minutes.” Collins took his keys and hastily went out of the room.

 

Kathleen took a careful look at the room, not that there was anything different, just a hotel room. She put her bag on the floor to relax properly on the chair; she had packed a pair of clothing for the following day since she had planned to sleep over.

A few minutes later, Collins came back into the room with some cans of drink and some pies.

“Thank you.”

“You are welcome.”

They talked and chatted all through the evening. The longer she stayed with him, the longer she wanted him. The dimples on his face made him irresistible; the excitement and increased heart beat made it so impossible watching him speak without touching him. Then, he said the unthinkable.

He glanced at his watch. “Oh, I have taken so much of your time. You should leave now before it gets too dark.” He stood up.

Kathleen gasped in disbelief; she was not expecting to leave this

Collins noticed her reaction to his words. “Did I say anything wrong?” he asked, confused.

The more he stood there, the more she wanted him. Kathleen was out of her mind, unable to resist him; she stood up and covered his mouth in a longing kiss.

Collins carefully pulled away from her. “Whoa!” he let out a soft laugh.

Kathleen was becoming angry by his attitude. “What?” She said angrily. “Isn’t that what you came for?”

“What?” he looked confused.

Kathleen stared furiously at him.

Then he realized what she meant. “Oh, you mean, this?” making gesture with his hands.

“What exactly are you doing?” She raised her voice. “Isn’t this the reason you came, all the long chats and all?” she asked.

“You mean I travelled almost 3,000 miles just to have sex with you?” He blurted out.

Kathleen flashed an angry look, embarrassed at his outburst. She took her bag and started to walk towards the door.

Collins quickly followed her. “I am so sorry.” He blushed; embarrassed. “I’m sorry.”

He took her bag away from her and led her to the couch.

“I think there was a miscommunication somewhere and I am sorry for this.”  He apologized, looking straight into her eyes. “Alright, see, I like you, I like you so much. Talking to you these past two years has done something to me. I mean, I know I don’t know you enough but that’s why I kept at it and then made a decision to come here to know you.” He smiled softly.

Kathleen was shocked at his words and her effort to hide this was unsuccessful.  Why would he want to know her?

“Why are you shocked?” he chuckled.

“I don’t understand.” She said. “I mean, it’s either you are joking or out of your mind.” She added.

“What! Why?” he asked.

“You just said you flew 3,000 miles to come here just to know me.” She said. “Me?” she questioned.

“Yes and I am not sorry about that. I have grown to like you and want to know if you feel the same.” He said.

She scoffed. “This is absurd. Honestly.” She stood up.

“You don’t believe me?” He followed her.

“Of course I don’t.” she blurted out. “I have met your kind, they all say the same thing and at the end, they want just one thing.”

“I’m different.” Collins defended himself.

“How different?” She faced him.

“I want to know you better; I want to know all you have been through, who you are, likewise, I want you to know me.” He said.

“Really.” Kathleen chuckled.

“I’m serious; this is not about your body; in fact, I have no intention of doing that.” He looked straight at her.

Kathleen straightened, looking straight into his eyes.

“Please, give me a chance in your life. I have few weeks to spend in Nigeria and this is all because of you.” He said.

“You are asking for something impossible.” She looked away from him.

“Nothing is impossible Kathleen.” He smiled at her.

Kathleen took a long look at him again. “I have to go now, as you said, it’s getting dark.” She opened the door.

“Alright.” Collins said, feeling a little disappointed. “When do I see you again?”

“I don’t know.” She answered.

“Kathleen.” He called out, going to stand in front of her. “I’m really sorry if I have done or said anything to hurt you this evening, please.” He looked sorry. “But I truly like you.”

The truth in his eyes scared her, she knew she had to get away from him and most importantly send him packing from her life.

“Good night Collins.” She said and walked quickly away from him.

Kathleen hailed for a Cab and couldn’t wait to get home. She was angry, embarrassed and so out of it. ‘Who does he think he is?’ She shouted out as she sat there in the cab. The Driver was taken back at her outburst.

She felt Collins had no right to say those things to her, I mean, she is Kathleen Coker.

 

Chapter Seven

Sophia sat quietly in her daughter’s room; she’d been sitting there for more than thirty minutes staring aimlessly into the thin air, but her heart was heavy and full of pain. She had waited for Kathleen to come back downstairs yesterday, but to her disappointment, she found her sleeping and this morning, she had left the house at the early hours of the day.

She realized Kathleen was avoiding her which wasn’t new, but right now, she was tired of the hide and seek games from her. They have both played that game too well for several years; avoiding each other or any confrontation and that has made their relationship strained. Although, Sophia blamed herself for not trying enough or doing things differently, rather she gave up on her daughter, but now she prayed and hoped for a second chance, a chance to make things better.

A few minutes later, she heard the door downstairs and knew Kathleen was back.

 

Kathleen quietly walked into the living room; seeing her mother wasn’t waiting up for her was a relief; at least, she wouldn’t have to face another episode of so called mothering love. She hastily climbed the stairs leading to her bedroom, opened the door and froze for a few seconds when she saw her mother sitting on her bed.

“Hello Kathleen.” Her mother greeted.

“Mom!” She took her gaze away from her and walked to the dressing table to drop her bag.

Sophia straightened; she followed her with her eyes. “How was work today?” she asked, trying to ease into the conversation.

Kathleen let out a soft sigh. “Good.” She replied, and then, stopped to look at her. “I’m sorry about yesterday, I slept off.” She said with a blank expression on her face.

“That’s okay.” Sophia managed a smile. “I gathered you must have been so tired.” She stopped for a second to get her attention. “I was hoping we could spend some time together now.”

Kathleen let out another sigh. “Not tonight mom; I am so tired.” She answered; she had hoped to get her head together after today’s meeting with Collins.

Sophia frowned with disappointment. All she wanted was just a moment of her time, but she felt her daughter cared less about anything, not even the fact that she was dying and wouldn’t even think to be a little nicer to her.

“When?” She asked.

“Later mom!”

“When would that be?” She asked wearily; she tried not to raise her voice. “When exactly are you going to have time for me? All I want is a quality time with my daughter but no, she wouldn’t give that to me”.

Kathleen gasped at the tone of her voice. “What exactly do you want from me?” she shouted. “What do you want from me Mom?”

“I want you to be my daughter.” Sophia whimpered.

“Since when?” she folded her hand around her chest.

“What!” Sophia froze at her words.

“Since when do you want me to be your daughter?” she asked again.

“What are you saying?” Sophia asked, standing up.

“You know what mom? You are so selfish and I am sick and tired of everyone telling me what they want from me.” She threw her hands in the air as a sign of frustration.

“All you ever wanted is just for you; just for yourself. You have never thought for once that I needed a mother; a mother to be there for me.” She shouted.

“I have always been your mother Kath,” she shouted back with her fragile voice. “Even when you never gave me the chance, I was there for you; I supported all your decisions, I stood with and by you despite all your disappointment and rebellion.” Her breathing became rapid and shallow.

Kathleen scoffed in irritation. “Now, I am a disappointment to you!” She gasped in disbelief at her words; quickly, she wiped the tears threatening to pour down her face.

Sophia took a step backward; she had not thought of the words before saying it out.

“Fine! What exactly do you want from a disappointment like me?”

Sophia saw the pain in her voice and that broke her heart. All the while, she had always thought her daughter was strong and nothing could get to her, but now, she realized that, underneath those strong headed child is her baby who is hurting, in pain and broken inside.

“I am sorry.” Sophia said in a shaky voice. “I didn’t mean to say that.” She moved closer to hold her, but Kathleen jerked away from her.

“Sure you did Mom!” She moved farther away from her. “You can’t fool me; I can see the disappointment, the regret all over you.” She said in tears. “In fact, you always felt I should have died instead of the miscarriage you had.”

“What!” Sophia gasped. “Don’t you ever say that Kath!”
“I see it all over you; I see it the way you look at me, I see it every day mom; You wish you had a chance to make things right with your new baby, to make her a perfect child, the one that would always make you smile, the one you would be proud of, but you lost it. You wished it was me instead of her.” She shouted out in tears.

“I have never for once in my life regretted to have you as my daughter.” Sophia choked back tears.

“C’mon mom,” she let out a weak laugh. “You just said I was a disappointment to you.” Kathleen retorted.

“You are a part of me Kathleen, the only thing left of your father in my life and I will never trade that for anything.” She placed her hands on her chest.

Kathleen scoffed. “My Father!” she looked straight into her eyes. “My Father was the only good thing in my life and that died a long time ago.”

Sophia leaned against the wall; her feet wouldn’t hold her much longer, especially the thought of her first love and husband broke her, not to talk of her only child rejecting her love and sacrifices all these years.

“You are my daughter Kath.” Her voice became more than a whisper. She put her hands on her forehead to relieve the ache forming there. “And I love you so much, so much that it breaks my heart everyday that you never for once accepted me.” She stopped to wipe the tears bunching in her eyes. “I love you my dear and nothing took your place in my life and nothing will take it.”

Kathleen’s anger rose within her, and her breathing became shallow and rapid. She wanted to scream out and unleash the anger within her. “Did you say nothing can take my place in your life? Mom, something already took my place in your life.” She looked straight into her eyes. “You left me Mom; you left me all alone and sure don’t make any difference if you are dying now.”

Sophia felt a sharp pain in her chest. Hot tears now stung her eyes and began rolling down her cheeks

“What…” Sophia whimpered.

“There’s no pretending here mom; this is me and this is you,” she gestured with her hands. “It never worked then, and nothing is going to work now even if you are dying.”

“Kathleen!” Sophia called out quietly with streams of tears pouring down her face. “I have just a little time to spend with you; all I’m asking for is a chance, a chance to make things right.”

“It’s too late mom.” Kathleen whimpered, and walked into the bathroom, slamming the door behind her.

Sophia jolted at the sound of the door; she stood there drenched in tears; she felt as if everything was tearing apart. After few seconds of staring at the bathroom door, she turned back and walked quietly to her room.

 

 

*****

 

 

Getting to her room, she collapsed on the floor; clutching her knees up to her chest. The more she tried to make things right, the more difficult it became. Nothing made sense to her now and for the first time since she was diagnosed with cancer, and given few months to live; she felt death should come take her right away. There is no point fighting to live when nobody cares for her, and not even her own daughter or her so-called husband, Paul, who had been nothing but disaster right from the beginning.

Her marriage to Paul was more of desperation than love; it was all to get away from the crouching claws of her in-laws who started to make life difficult for her when her husband died. All they wanted was her money, and properties; they didn’t take recognition of herself and her daughter. There were so many disputes over who would survive their son since he had no male child to carry on the family name. Nothing made sense to her. Why couldn’t they consider her daughter as the heir to her husband’s property, why wouldn’t they think of the years she had worked so hard with her husband to build his company? This is her life, not theirs but they would not relent and swore to make life a living hell for them.

Sophia however did the only thing she thought was right; she got married to keep them off. She felt another man in the house would make them back-off to enable them live the rest of their lives in peace. True to this, they did leave them alone after Paul himself made life a living hell for them. A few years later, Sophia and her daughter were officially disowned by her late husband’s family and they swore never to be part of their lives again and utterly disowned her daughter.

 

She stood up from the floor and helped herself to the rocking chair by her bed; she felt she couldn’t carry on like this. There was more to this that Kathleen didn’t know about; the secrets that pierced her heart every day. What would happen if Kathleen actually knew the truth about who she really was? She’d tried to hide the truth all these years, just not for herself but for the future of her daughter. If Kathleen would not accept her now, what would happen if she knew the whole truth?

“Help me Lord…” she groaned in tears. “I have tried Lord; I have done all.” She broke down into more tears.

Has she really done all she could do? Over the years, she had thought everything she was doing is all for the benefit of Kathleen, to secure her future and make life easier for her. She taught her the way of the Lord right from a young age, she even led her to Christ at the age of eight but everything turned around after the death of her husband and it became a battle even after she got married to Paul. Kathleen became a different person, she would scream and shout at every provocation and the best Sophia thought she could do at that time was to leave her alone. She was scared she might send her right into the darkness if she fought back but now, she questioned her decision. Maybe Kathleen was right after all, she had left her all alone, she left her to face the world all by herself.

 

Sophia broke down into more tears. How can she make things right now, how can she make her daughter see that she really loved her? Is the secret worth telling or forever sealed up? Those thought weighed heavily on her.

 

 

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Mom, I think I’m pregnant!

MOM, I THINK I’M PREGNANT!

Those were the words my fourteen years old daughter said to me. I froze up and stared intensely at her. It was a feeling I could not comprehend. I felt I was going to collapse right there.

“Mum….” The sound of her voice jolted me out of my thought. I walked quickly out of the room, and came back immediately. I was disorientated.

“How can it be?” I was blabbing over, and over again. “She can’t be.” I repeatedly said, ignoring the trembling girl before me. “She’s only fourteen, and she’s my daughter.” I whispered to myself. I was talking more to myself, asking questions that I couldn’t answer. This was something that shouldn’t happen to someone like me, someone like my daughter. She was a good girl, all A’s in her studies. She was a very good girl, and I just couldn’t understand what she was saying to me.

Then I flashed an angry look at my daughter, and saw her flooded in tears; not that, I was bothered by the tears, but terrified at what my daughter had become.

“How could you?” I shouted furiously at her. She jolted at the sound of my voice. I went to her, took her by the shoulders and vigorously shook her.

“How could you?” I shouted at her, ignoring the screaming, and fear in her eyes.

“Mummy, please….” she cried out in pain, but I ignored her. She wasn’t innocent as far as I’m concerned, and no amount of tears would get her out of this.

My eyes caught the pregnancy stick on her bed; seeing that made be more furious. “What on earth was she doing with that in the first place, she’s is only fourteen?”

“Mummy….” She pleaded again but I ignored her.

The voice of my husband, her father startled me.

 

What happened next is something I never want to re-visit again. We were so shocked, and mystified when Tess told us she was pregnant. I mean, she’s only fourteen, and couldn’t even imagine her kissing anyone, let alone having sex. We later discovered she’s been sexually active a year ago, and had been on contraceptive pills without my knowledge.

I was so ashamed, and angry at myself for not noticing this in my daughter; I felt I had failed as a mother. Why didn’t I notice? I just assumed my daughter knew what not to do especially when it comes to boys. I expected her to know the truth. That period was the most terrifying of our lives; our only daughter got pregnant at the age of fourteen. I was devastated. Days after this, we had to decide what to do; in fact, I had suggested abortion to my husband. Yes I did. ‘How can a mother could think of that?‘ I honestly don’t know, and could never have imagined such thought in my life but I did. I just wanted things as they were before, you know, not pregnant. I mean, where does a mother go in this situation, what am I expected to do?

My husband became both our pillar; he was strong for us as a family. Yes, he was heartbroken but he became strong for us. He was totally against abortion but we all needed a way out. The first thing he did was to move us all away from our house; he got a transfer to another city to start afresh. The shame would have been unbearable for us all but the shame moved with us. Our daughter brought shame to us. The first few months, I was so angry at myself and my daughter. I made her feel the worst; I wanted her to feel the pain she caused us, I reminded her daily of how she disappointed us, and how she threw her life away. She had confessed she wanted to tell me the first time she had sex, but had been so scared of what I would think of her.

She knew it was wrong but felt good about the whole experience. She said she wanted to feel like a grown woman, and repeatedly explored that until she found herself pregnant. She confessed the young boy responsible for the pregnancy was the same age of her, but my husband thought it wasn’t wise to confront him now. He just wanted us out first.

After five months gone, I was still broken but this time, I had to be broken in the right places. I went to my God; I cried and placed everything before him. I asked him if I were a bad mother, and if I had failed in my responsibility of bringing up my daughter in the right way. I needed answers; I needed to hear something in the midst of my tears, but I heard nothing. I mean, there was total silence in His presence.

 

The following day, I continued and cried before him, I cried, and asked Him to forgive me, most especially to forgive my daughter who had sinned against Him. I asked that he wash her sins away and clothe her once again in righteousness and yet again, there was silence. The next day, I was getting so frustrated but still went into His presence and cried more at my failure as a mother. I confessed I was ashamed of my daughter and even felt so ashamed of myself for feeling this way. I asked Him to forgive me and create a clean heart within me, a heart to love my daughter as I ought to have. I was broken in tears and just needed to hear a word from Him but nothing. He said nothing to me.

Now, the following day, I just stood right there in His presence without uttering any word. I let go my thoughts, worries and everything. I just stood right there in His presence for once without thinking or saying anything. Few minutes into this, I heard his voice saying, ‘Be still, and know that I am God’. That was it, nothing more. At first, I wanted to argue within me; what has that word got to do with all that I have said to him these past few days? I wanted more than that, but nothing, so I decided against arguing in my spirit and just stayed there. I was still before him; I surrendered to Him. I put everything on hold; my fears, worries, shame, disgrace, guilt, disappointment, everything became quiet before him. I mean, I was tired of holding onto the hurt and pain, I just had to let go. In that time, I felt his peace overwhelm me; I felt his power within me, I felt his presence and brokenness of spirit. I felt slain in his presence. I felt my spirit crying out to take away the pain, to take away the anger, the weakness, hate and the fear. I was crying out for restoration. During this time, I knew what he wanted of me, just one thing- to be her mother. A mother who would be there for her daughter no matter the hurt and pain, a mother who would love unconditionally. Just as he loves me despite my weakness and disappointment, just as he would carry me when I feel so weak and exhausted, just as he would love me- he wants me to love my daughter despite all.

I wept in His presence but my heart was at peace. After that encounter, for the first time in months, I spoke to my daughter as a mother should. I listened to her fears. She was scared and so disappointed at what she did. She wept bitterly, and asked me to forgive her. Then, I made up my mind to hold my daughter, to help her through this and back to the Lord. I spoke blessing into her life and reminded her how great and wonderful she is as a daughter. Yes, she made a mistake but I would never judge her by that. I will not look down at her or remind her of her past. She had a great future ahead of her and that she would accomplish by the help of God; nothing will stop the plan of God in her life. She is my daughter after all. The following months were not easy but I stayed with my baby. All through the delivery which was the most excruciating, and painful experience a mother could ever witness, I mean my baby bringing out another baby; crying in pain and there was absolutely nothing I could do about it. Well, she gave birth to a beautiful girl and I became a grand mother.

Ten years down the line, I am a proud mother of a daughter who achieved all her dreams despite all odds. She went back to school and also to college; gained a master degree in Business management, and going on to high places. I am a good mother and nothing can change that. I have learnt from this experience and I have been teaching mothers to have a good relationship with their daughters. Our teenage daughters need their mothers.

They need us to nurture them; a continuous nurturing and love them. Don’t just assume they know things or all is well; talk to them about their day, their friends. Don’t be afraid to talk about the ‘sex talks’ with them. Be open minded about it. Let them get more information from you rather than the cosmopolitan or so called magazines or internet. Explain to them the feelings, the love and all other things they may be experiencing. Teach them through the word of God, tell them the mistakes you made yourself whilst growing up if possible.

 

Teach them the way into the presence of God. Now, if by any chance you have been disappointed; don’t hold on to that pain. Give it to God, let him heal your heart and make you whole. That hatred does not belong there. You need to let go and be a mother to your daughters and Sons. If by any chance they have left home into the world and doing despicable things, pray them back into the presence of God; don’t give up on that child, most importantly, forgive them for the pain and hurt they caused you, for the things they had done. Love them and let God help you through. There is nothing impossible for God to do. No Child is lost if you give them back to the Lord. Let him heal your heart and heal your children.

God bless you.

© Circlesoflove 2013

 

Thank you for reading. Kindly leave your comments below. Thanks.

 

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Lost

CHAPTER ONE

It was a wonderful day for a wedding; warm breeze from the north rustled in the surrounding, cooling friends and families as they took their seat in the Harrington’s garden. The smell of fresh cut flowers filled the air; children’s laughter was a delight to hear. The great thing about a wedding is that everyone always seem happy, well, their physical appearances showed that. The gathering of friends and families to witness a bonding of two lovers; a vow made to be joined together for the rest of their lives take a lot of gut to commit to.

Then, the chatter stopped, and all heads turned to face the far end of the walk. Down the aisle she came. The bride was a beautiful young woman. Christy wore an off-white gown, with embroidery on her bodice; her hair tied in a knot with a lace around it. She walked slowly, her face was bowed, void of any smile or expression. Her dad, Mr. Harrington held her left arm, and smiled at her as they reached the bottom step. She didn’t smile back, but nodded her head. There awaiting her was the minister, and her husband –to-be, Levi Brentwood. He was standing tall, his young face was firm. The rough, soiled farm cloth he usually wore was replaced with a clean suit, which seems a little bigger than him.

Kathy Barnes felt her stomach churned in a knot. A feeling of fear, and uncertainty filled her; she could relate to the reluctance of the bride. She was three years younger than her, and already on her way to be married. She did heard rumours that Christy had attempted to run away with her boyfriend a few days ago, but was caught in the process of leaving town. The boy had been shut out of the community for aiding this escape, and being a bad influence to her. Christy would also had received severe punishment if not because her father, Mr. Harrington was one of the top elders of the Church. Kathy thought this marriage was enough punishment for her; being forced to marry someone she’d despised and hated all her life. The bride and groom had been rivals since they were children; they would always fight at everything, and even sworn never to speak to one another again. This was no news in the community, and to their parents. But because of the fathers reputation in the Church, and the promised they made to one another several years ago that their children would be joined in marriage; they decided to bring this promise to light, regardless of how they felt about each other.

Kathy couldn’t help but noticed some of the haunting eyes of the women glaring mischievously at her. She could imagine the thought going on in their heart; they did said the reason why she wasn’t married was her lack of good manners, and her wild fantasy. They were laughing at her with their eyes, which she had seen so many times. They had told her she would end up being alone all her life. Kathy often reminded herself that she was only seventeen years of age, and no matter how they felt about her, she was still a young woman, and would never rush into the most important part of her life like that – marriage. Especially not with someone she wasn’t in love with.

It wasn’t that no man had approached her; but she had rejected about six marriage proposals in the last two years. She couldn’t find any of the farm boys or hunters attractive enough to say ‘I do’ to. One of the men, Steven was sitting to her left; he had eyed her when she walked into the ceremony few minutes ago. He was the last who had asked her hand in marriage, and went nut when she refused him. He was tall enough for her, strong and manly, but she couldn’t feel any butterflies in her stomach when he asked her. That was what Marty Coleridge wrote about in her novel,’ Love, but Sour’. Louis, the female character was a beautiful young woman who wanted nothing but love in her life. She wanted the right man who would sweep her off her feet. Everyone had told her such man didn’t exist but she believed otherwise, and decided to travel around the world to find her prince charming.

Kathy wanted that kind of adventure and experience; a man who would sweep her off her feet, the prince charming that will make her feel butterflies in her stomach. She grew up in a small town in Tennessee, United State of America;  lived in a community known as ‘The Believers’,  where every member followed a rigid code of conduct based absolutely on selected bible teachings. They isolate from other people including other Christians as far as possible because they believed the world to be a place of wickedness. The society labelled them, an exclusive and secret religious sect.

Kathy focused her attention back on the couple as they exchanged their vows, and then the minister talked about the rules and duties of a wife to her husband. He made it sounded like the women were meant to serve the men, only obey their husbands at all times. Kathy couldn’t wait to get out of the ceremony. She glanced at Victoria at the other side; she was sitting with other married women. That was popular amongst the newly wedded; they isolated from their single friends the moment they say ‘I do’. They often think themselves more superior than them. Victoria used to be Kathy’s best friend until few months back when she got married; she had not spoken a word to her. Kathy couldn’t tell if this was her own doing or her husband had instructed her never to speak to her again. Although, Kathy wasn’t too surprised since she had been the one who told her friend back then not to accept his proposal. He had been so demanding, and controlling. Kathy told her friend she deserved better, but after several weeks of avoiding him, Victoria’s parents finally got to her. She got married to him, and never looked back.

…………….

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Confession of a Married Man

Chapter One

Deborah raced down to the hospital as fast as she could, shaking with indignation and fear. She struggled to steady her breathing and reduce the swelling emotion in her chest but all to no avail.

“Oh God! Please………” she wiped the tears obstructing her eyes to see the road ahead. “Please Lord…….., what have I done?” She pulled her car to a stop in front of St Thomas Hospital, and ran inside.

“Mr. Adebanjo please.” she called out to the nurse at the reception.

“Excuse me, who?” the nurse looked up at her.

“My husband please, I was called by one of your doctors that he was rushed here yesterday night, Please, where is he?” Deborah trembled in fear.

“It’s ok madam, I will take you right to his room.’’ The nurse stood up and led her to the ward.

She followed hastily behind, still shaking in fear.

“Please, what happened? Is he ok?” Deborah asked.

“I’m afraid I can’t tell you much but would page the doctor in charge to come see you as soon as possible.” the nurse tried to ease her, but could still see the fear written all over her.

The Nurse opened the door to Dewale’s room; her eyes widen as she saw him lying helplessly in strings of tubes all over him, she rushed to his side, holding his hands.

“Honey, can you hear me?’’ she cried. “Please honey, don’t leave me, I am so sorry….” she whispered in tears. “Can you hear me dear…..?”  Just then, the Doctor entered.

He just laid there with his eyes closed and the beeping machine making continuous sound tightened her heart in fear. Her breathing became ragged as fear whipped up in her and pushed tears on her cheeks. She covered her mouth with her trembling hands.

“Mrs. Adebanjo.” She called out.

Deborah jolted as she heard her name. “Yes, are you Dr Olamide?” She walked toward her.

“Yes, I called you.” She answered.

“Will he be ok? What happened….?” she whimpered.

“He was rushed here around 10:00pm yesterday after a collision with a drunk driver. He was badly hit on the head.” Deborah gasped in fear.

“But we were able to stop the bleeding. However, Due to the extensive damage to the head, we had to induce him into coma.” Dr Olamide explained.

“Oh my God! Deborah gasped. “Coma?” She pressed her hands against her chest as she felt tightened

“We cannot say how much damage was done until he wakes up from the coma.” Dr Olamide said

“When is that going to be?” Deborah asked in tears.

“Hopefully, very soon. We can only wait to see what happens.” Dr Olamide spoke softly; she gently touched her shoulder as a sign of sympathy. Few seconds later, she walked out of the room.

All alone again in the room, she looked at her husband and felt all strength drained out of her, she felt helpless and defeated.

“Honey, Please….., if you can hear me…..” tears ran down her face. “I am so sorry……, Please honey, forgive me, I caused all these….I put you in this state.., Please.” she sunk to her knees on the carpet square.

“Oh God… Please help me, forgive me Lord and give me back my husband, please God….., Don’t punish him for my sins, I committed the offence, I sinned against you; don’t take him away……., she was flooded in tears. “I am sorry Lord……, please……, don’t take him away from me….. I am begging you Lord, please…..” she continued to cry.

At some point, she couldn’t even understand the words coming out of her mouth as her tears overwhelmed her, she held his hands and cried out to God. She couldn’t believe how she had allowed the enemy used her to destroy her home and her relationship with her husband. Not just that, she had sin against God, and broken his commandment. She broke her faith, committed a detestable act against God.

As she knelt down there, she felt the word of God piercing through her, ‘Drink water from your own cistern, and running water from your own well. Should your fountains be dispersed abroad, Streams of water in the streets? Let them be only your own, and not for strangers with you.” Proverbs 5:15-17.

She felt an increased pounding on her chest; she had not even thought about God in all these. She knew His words and God’s stand against this act, her body was only meant for one person which is her husband but she defied it and gave it to a stranger and the evil.

She is an adultery who consciously walked into sin, just to fulfill the desires of her flesh. She is like a  broken vessel that only the Master could mend, ‘He that thinks he stands take heed lest he falls’, she knew this verse like no other and yet, she became a part of it. At this point, she had nowhere to go expect to her Maker; she cried to him to forgive her sins, to cleanse her and accept her back into his presence.

Chapter Two

It’s been almost a week that Dewale had been in a coma; Deborah refused to leave his bed side until she was pressured by the teams of doctor to at least go home to change. She felt weak and guilty to the bone; she continued to cry to God to forgive her sins, to restore her home and heal her husband. During this time, she had called her parents to explain the situation but left the part of her adulterous act. Her parents helped to take care of Temidayo, their daughter while she stayed with her husband; they visited her in the hospital and also urged her to go home to rest.

After so much pressure, she decided to go home to clean herself up and change of cloth. Getting home to an empty house was most depressing; all she wanted to do is take a shower and get back to the hospital. As soon as she finished cleaning up, she left the house to go back to Dewale.

“Mrs Adebanjo!” she heard one of  called after her. “I was about calling your house; your husband just woke up.” she was excited.

“My God!” Deborah exclaimed and ran to his room. Her heart leap for joy, she wanted to run to him and hold him close but cautioned herself when she saw his doctor attending to him, so she stood aside.

“We are so glad to have you back,” she heard his Doctor say to him. “You were in a coma for a week after the car accident you had; do you remember anything?” She flashed the pen light through his eye to access it.

“Accident?” Dewale was confused; he  touched the bandage around his hand.

“Do you remember anything?” she stopped to look at him.

“No.” He stammered.

“It’s ok,’’ Doctor Olamide smiled at him. “I’m going to ask you series of questions to determine how much damage was done, okay?” she said while Dewale just nodded.

“Can you please tell me your full name?”

“Adewale Adebanjo….” he murmured.

“When where you born?” She asked.

“10th of November, 1978.” He answered.

“Do you know what year it is?”

He stared at her, Confused. “I think…, 2005…” he said

“What!” Deborah gasped from where she was standing. “He said 2005, what does that mean?” she asked Doctor Olamide, but before the Doctor could answer, she went to stand by Dewale’s side, staring into his eyes.

“Honey,” she looked into his eyes but Dewale withdrew his hands.

She saw the confused look on his face, like he had no idea who she was.

Deborah was close to tears at this. “Do you know who I am?” she managed to ask.

“I’m sorry….” Dewale stared back at her, then looked from her to the doctor. “I …don’t know………” he stammered, puzzled.

“It’s me, Deborah, your wife…” she whimpered, searching into his eyes to see if he recognized her but she found nothing.

“Oh God!” she gasped again. “What’s happening to him?” she faced the doctor, “my husband does not recognize me,” she whispered in tears.

“Madam, please,” Doctor Olamide took her hands and led her outside. Deborah reluctantly followed her seeing how confused and stocked Dewale was himself. Getting outside in the lobby, she broke down into more tears.

“What’s happening to him?” she cried out.

“Mrs Adebanjo, you need to take things easy,” Doctor Olamide spoke gently to her. “It’s not uncommon for recovering coma patient to have memory loss.” She looked into her eyes. “When people experience physical trauma, such as a head injury in a car accident, this can have effects on their brain.” the doctor explained.

“But He does remember who he is except from 2005 till date, we met in 2008 so that means he does not remember who I am which centred into his loss memory, how can that be?” Deborah asked, mystified.

“We will have to conduct further tests to determine the extent of his memory loss. Sometimes, a trauma can cause a repressed memory loss on a patient. When an event is so traumatic, the memory has not forgotten in the traditional sense, but removed from the conscious mind, still present in the long-term memory but hidden from the patient’s knowledge.” Doctor Olamide explained. .

Fear gripped her hearing this information; she realized the event that happened at home may have caused him to forget all about her. She felt weak to the bone.

“Mrs Adebanjo.” Dr Olamide tapped her as she was lost in her thought.

“I’m sorry….” Deborah jolted.

“Is there anyone prior to 2005 you can call, someone he can trust to be with now.” she asked

“Trust! Who better to trust than me?” She looked angrily at the doctor. “I’m his wife for God’s sake.” She snapped.

“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to upset.” She spoke calmly to her. “At this stage, we have to be careful and help him recover.”

Deborah strengthened. She knew the doctor was right about one thing, she definitely couldn’t be trusted; after all, she put him in this state. She inhaled deeply. “I’m sorry.” She apologized to the doctor.

“There’s no one,” she said sadly “His parents are gone dead and he’s an only child.”

“It’s okay then; let me carry out these tests, and then we can go from there.” She gently touched her shoulders.  “Mrs Adebanjo, you need to take it easy, okay? She assured her before walking back into the room.

Deborah watched as the Doctor went back to attend to Dewale; this time, she could not bring herself to go in, she stood there watching through the window.  She felt lost in herself, Dewale was not just her husband, he was her best friend, and he is everything she has. She needed someone right now to talk to and her only companion does not even recognize her.

After standing there for a while, she decided to take a walk, just go anywhere. She got into her car and drove away; she had no destination in mind, just to drive as fast as possible. After several minutes of driving aimlessly and in her thought, she felt the car behind her had been following her for quite sometime, she took note of it and drove around for a little while and was sure it was definitely on her tail, then she recognized the car and immediately stomped on her brake which made the other car to brake harshly too. She got out of the car, went straight to the other car and opened the door to the driver side.

“Why on earth are you following me?” she shouted at Tunde. “What is all these.” she demanded.

“I’m sorry Deborah, I was just trying to get you to speak to me; I was worried after you left your house the other day in a rush. I have called your phone several time but no response; you’ve not been to work or even back home. I went by your house today again and saw you driving off so I followed you, I couldn’t catch on with you when you drove into the hospital so I waited….” Tunde panted for air as if a gun was been pointed at him. “Is everything ok?” he searched into her eyes for answers.

“So, what are you?” She challenged.  Why are you looking for me? Why are you following me? To see if your mission is completed? Isn’t it” She shouted furiously at him.

“No, no, I was just worried about you Deb…” he said in a sad tone.

“Don’t you dare call me ‘Deb’, you lost the right to call me that a long ago.” she raged at him.

“I’m sorry Deborah, I know you are still angry at me, but really, I am very sorry. I didn’t plan for things to happen this way. I can’t stop thinking about you Deborah….”

“Now, Tunde, I want you to stop right there.” She shouted. “Don’t think about me; I am not interested in you and what happened between us was a great mistake and I regretted it. I love my husband and that’s not going to change.” She faced him squarely.

“Tunde, put yourself in his shoe, how would you feel?” She asked searching his face but he was quiet. “I don’t know who you are anymore Tunde, I thought you are a man of God; a man who knew God and walked according to his principles.  What happened to the man that so preached against all these?” she asked. “I agree we sinned against God and what we did was wrong, but what I don’t understand is you.” She looked straight into his eyes. “You don’t feel remorse, you just don’t care.”

“Deborah, I am first a man before I became a Man of God, I have feelings, emotions and I loved you and still love you…….., Deborah, and I can’t find myself without you…. please…..

At that moment, Deborah realized she was making another terrible mistake standing there talking to him; she should be in the hospital now, by her husband’s side, either he remembered her or not; with that thought, she turned back without uttering any word and walked to her car.

“Deborah…, please, don’t walk away from me…” he ran after her. But she just continued to walk, got into her car and raced back to the hospital.

She was determined to work this through, in as much as she needed Dewale, she realized that Dewale also needed her, she was all that he’s got, she was his only family and she believed that is hidden somewhere in his memory and sooner, it will all come back to him.

Chapter Three

Deborah got back to the hospital and without hesitation; she walked straight to the ward. She stopped for a moment and looked through the window to his room, she said a word of prayer, and then she walked in.

Dewale tilted his head up to look at her, and then forced a smile.

“I am so sorry about the other time,” he apologized, “guessed I was still in a state of stock.” he followed her with his eyes as she came to stand by his bed.

“It’s okay; it wasn’t your fault.” she replied.

“You know, waking up from a sleep and then you realized you’ve lost six years of good memory is no good.” he chuckled.

“That sucks!” Deborah smiled.

“Yea, real bad,” he let out a soft laugh. “I must have scared the hell out of you.” he said with a look of concern on his face.

“Well….” Deborah said, unsure of what to say.

“And to say I have this beautiful woman before me who is my wife, aren’t I the luckiest of men?” he smiled at her.

“Actually, I am the luckiest of all women.” she managed a smile.

“So tell me, what I have missed?” he curiously asked.

“Well…,” Deborah smiled “You have a beautiful daughter, and she’s two years old; she’s at my Mom’s now.”

“I am so blessed.” Dewale smiled again. “At least, there is one thing I still remembered, that I am a Christian and love God; I’m sure He saved me and brought me back home, to you.” he touched the wedding ring on his left finger.

Then, he stared at her for few moments, trying to figure out her face.

“The doctor said my memory loss is as a result of the head injury,” Dewale said. “But it’s not permanent.” He added looking into her eyes. “It will come back soon, okay….” He assured her.

“It’s okay Dewale, I’m just glad to have you back,” Deborah smiled. “By the way, my name is Deborah.” She felt like the very first time they met; anxiety filled her.

“Hmm, Deborah…” Dewale said. “I love that name, Deborah, Debby….” He smiled.

“Yes, you call me Deborah.” She reached out to hold his hands, this time, Dewale returned the gesture.

“Everything will be fine dear.” Deborah looked into his eyes.

As Dewale looked back at her, he tried to remember the face, the feeling of her hands, her smell, her eyes, even her voice but they were all blur; she felt familiar but nothing was coming up to him.

Chapter Four

Dewale stayed in the hospital for two more week to heal after which his Doctor decided he was fit to go home. She advised that familiar places or things might help to jolt back his memory and she also booked him for weekly physiotherapy at the hospital. Deborah was glad to have her husband back home, even if they still behave like strangers, it was better than losing him.

Few days after getting home, Dewale went through the whole house to see if things would be familiar to him, especially when Temidayo was brought back to the house.

As he held his daughter, he felt so much love and warmth within him, love that overweight above his memory loss; he knew somewhere within him that she was his and wept quietly as he held her close. Deborah longed to explain what happened before the accident to him but she was warned by the doctors to take things slow with him and not relate past trauma events to him yet.

Days turned into weeks; Deborah tried to get Dewale to come sleep on their bed but she felt he was uncomfortable about this; sometimes, he slept for few hours and during the night, he went away downstairs to sleep on the couch. There were times she heard whispers in prayer, even as she couldn’t hear the words; she knew he was distress in his spirit. With all these going on, she felt guilty about having sexual desires for her husband; she wanted to be touched by him, she wanted to sleep in his embrace all night long, kiss him so passionately to express how much she love him, at the same time, she was unsure of how to come clean to him and felt deception about these.

There were days she wanted to ask him what he remembered as things were beginning to come back to him, but the fear of what it might be scared her.

Even with all these going on at home, she tried to keep Tunde off her back, although, she had quit her job, changed her mobile number but he kept sending her all sort of letters at home. There were times she noticed his car stalking her, at times he approached her and start begging and telling her he couldn’t live without her, other times, he just followed her. It was so bad that even when he wasn’t there, Deborah felt like she was been watched by him. She’s beginning to feel so much hatred and resentment towards him; even the sight of him was beginning to repulse her.  She stopped every confrontation with him as it was of no use. All she wanted now is her husband back to her but she knew she had to trust God. This all went on for almost two months.

One night, Dewale had offered to tuck in Temidayo to sleep, while she went to take a shower. When she finished in the bathroom, she found him standing there in the middle of the bedroom waiting for her.

“Is everything alright?” she was surprised to see.

“Yes.” He smiled and walked toward her. He took her into his arms and hugged her tightly.

They both stayed in each other arms for quite a while, then, he brought her to face him; kissed her softly, and stopped to look at her face.

Deborah was lost in all this; she was about to speak when he kissed her again, this time, so passionately that she fell under his charm; she kissed him back too and held tightly onto him, ignoring her towel which gently slipped away from her tiny body; she held on so tightly ignoring the tears bunching in her eyes.

She moved with him as he carefully led her on the bed.

“Dewale, I have to talk to you….” she said softly.

“Honey, I’m done talking…” he started to kiss her neck, finding his way up to her cheeks.

“It’s really important honey…..” she whispered.

“We can talk after this dear.” Dewale continued to explore her face with his lips.

Deborah knew what he wanted, but something in her held her back. She felt she would be deceiving and betraying his trust. She had to tell him what she did.

“Please….” She suddenly broke down in tears. “I did something….., something very terrible…. and you don’t remember.” she allowed the tears pour down her face as her lips began to tremble.

“Hon,” he stopped and looked at her with a kind face. “I don’t want you to talk about anything dear, whatever you did, I forgive you…” he gently wiped the tears from her face. “I love you so much and I know you love me too; whatever it is dear, let’s forget about it  and move on with our lives.” Dewale looked straight into her eyes, trying so much to steady the pounding in his heart. He felt he had to make this perfect; he had to get it right. He wasn’t ready to go back to the past.

“But, don’t you want to know?” she asked in tears, overwhelmed by his kinds words to her.

“I don’t want to hear it; now can I get back to kissing my wife?” He smiled and before she could reply, he started to kiss her all over again.

He placed his lips on her eyes and gently kissed it. Deborah felt the warmth that rested on her wet eyes and her heart sunk. She felt she didn’t deserve the kind of love he’s shown to her. He wasn’t even interested to know what she did or was it that he knew but didn’t care? Deborah felt a release from him, a kind of release devoid of any form of anger or resentment like he had forgiven her whatever she must have done against him. She wasn’t too sure but right now, right here, she was grateful for his love.

Then,  She turned her face up to his,  her half-felt protest became a moan of surrender as he drove his mouth down on hers with a hungry kiss which splintered her. She felt love like never before.  As he touched her, she moved with him and enjoyed every step of it. This is what love making should be, a feeling of total love and surrender to your partner, not of condemnation, deceit or betrayal.

Unknown to Deborah, Dewale had recovered completely from his loss memory but thought that revisiting the past would not make things better between them; rather, he decided to deal with things in his own way. During those days of recovering, he had spent several time praying and pondering over things. He prayed for the heart of forgiveness and restoration. He knew Deborah was sorry for her act and he needed something stronger to let go of the pain and hurt.

At first, he felt the hurt and pain in his heart, he felt she had betrayed his trust and could never forgive her. But the more he thought about this, the farer he was away from the presence of God. He couldn’t stand before God to pray, he couldn’t even think or move on with his life. Then, one day, he wept and cried to God, he told him he was weak to forgive her, he was hurt beyond words, and he needed God to help him, to heal and restore him back. He knew he needed to forgive her, and only the grace of God can help him through that.

That day, he made a choice to forgive her; he made a choice to let go. After he completely surrendered to God, he felt peace beyond all comprehension within and knew God was working in him.

Chapter Five

Tunde jolted at the sound of the doorbell. Opening the door, he found an unfamiliar face standing before him.

“Hello,” He greeted. “Can I help you?” He stared at the stranger.

“Yes you can.” Dewale brushed passed him and walked into the house. “I think its best we come inside to talk.”

Tunde was taken aback at the outburst of his guest.

“My name is Dewale; I think you know my wife, Deborah?” His face was taut.

Tunde shuddered when he realized who he was.

“You actually haven’t met me before and yet, you had the gut to come into my home and defy my wife.” His head dropped forward in exasperation. “Even still, you are still trying to find your way back.” He furiously looked at him.

Tunde was bewildered; he wanted to say something but his throat became dry as shamed caused his lips to tremble.

“I want you to listen and listen carefully.” His wide eyes rested on him. “My wife is my Jewel. I love her and would do anything to stay that way. Henceforth, I want you to stay far away from her; you don’t dare to call her, see her or even think about her.” He felt like dropping some few bunches into his skull so he can properly understand what he meant, but took all the strength in him to restrain himself.

He stared long at him for several seconds while Tunde bowed his head in shame.

Then, Dewale reluctantly took a step backward, walked toward the couch and sat down. “You know, when I first met my wife, before we actually started dating….” Dewale rested his back on the couch.

“All she did was talk about you, mostly about how she admired your commitment to God, how you served him and upheld your faith,” He rolled the wedding ring on his finger. “she said you never touched her or even tried to; You know she told me specifically, ‘I respect and love him because he never took advantage of me even when I was weak’, she called you a man after God’s own heart.” He chuckled.

“I knew she loved you and it was hard for her then, but she felt God brought you into her life to teach her some value, to grow and learn. She said she knew and understood God through every teaching you ever taught her.” He looked up for a moment and saw Tunde drenched in tears. He was trembling and Dewale knew his legs wouldn’t hold him much longer.

“Man, you raised such a high standard for me to meet up to. I mean, I wasn’t perfect or a man of God, I was just growing but I loved her so much that I would do anything, anything…” he emphasized. “To make her happy.” Dewale ran his hands over his face.

“I told her to go back to you; I made her realized that she was not bound to marry me because our parents insisted it or pressure from anyone. I wanted her to make her choice and be happy.” He inhaled deeply as he felt his heart sunk; for a moment a part of him felt he must have caused all these.

Tunde felt weak all over so he walked towards the next couch and quietly sat down.

“She went away and a week later, she came back to me. She said she was convinced that I was the will of God for her. She said she loved me.” Dewale looked widely at him. “She chose me.”

“You know, I never knew you then but I admired your commitment and all the things she spoke about you,” he tilted his head forward. “But now, I don’t know what happened to you but one thing I know is this, you are lost.” He said in a firm tone. “For you to come into another man’s home, eat his fruit and demand to take it away, then I am most certain that you are on a path to hell.” Dewale looked straight into his eyes.

Then, he became silent, intensely staring at him to what seems like forever. In as much as he felt some hatred towards him, he knew what the Lord had sent him here to do, to deliver a message; although it had been against his own wish, but who is he to question God. He inhaled deeply and silently asked the Lord to help him.

During his recovery, after his full memory had come back, he was so disappointed and angry at his wife, those nights he spent downstairs praying and pondering over things. He had asked God to help him get over all these. He so much loved his wife but he couldn’t get pass her betrayal and infidelity. He was shocked and surprised when the Lord had asked him specifically to go over to Tunde’s place to bring him back home to Him. He was stunned at this request, he had out rightly told the Lord that he couldn’t commit to that request; he wasn’t the best person to carry out that mission. Tunde had sinned against him too; he had defied his home, his wife. But days after this, Dewale couldn’t resist the word of God; he realized that he had to open his heart to the Lord to heal him too, he needed to let go and forgive, he spent hours crying and asking the Lord to help him.

“I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead. Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your deeds complete in the sight of God. Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; obey it, and repent”. Dewale quoted.

“Revelation 3.” Tunde whispered.

“I see, you still know your bible.” Dewale said.

“You need to move on…” Dewale spoke softly, “You need to let go, and let God back into your life.” At this time, he saw Tunde swelled up in tears. He realized how much he had fallen, he thought it was Deborah he needed but in the true sense, he needed his Lord and Saviour; he knew he had gone far away from his Maker. He tried to destroy another man’s home.

“The Lord asked me to tell you to return back to your first love.”

Tunde gently lifted up his head to look at him. He was surprised to hear what he said.

“I don’t know how and where you fell so low but God asked me to tell you that He is waiting for you to come back home, back into His presence. He said He would accept you back, cleanse you, wash and restore you back. He said he has not found all your works completed and…” Dewale rose up from the couch. “He loves you.”

Tunde suddenly broke down into more tears; he couldn’t believe God would still want him after all he did. His sins and disappointment to the kingdom of God; he felt this was too much and he didn’t deserve the kind of love God was giving to him.He sunk to his knees and wept bitterly.

Dewale felt pity instead of the anger he had walked in with; He felt the power of God piercing through the lost soul before him. He knew God was ready to work on him, if he truly surrender all to him. “You were a man with great vision; a purpose but you sold out to the devil, go home man!” Dewale turned and began walking to the door.

Tunde, who was swelled up in tears looked up at his guest leaving.

“I am so….very sorry….” Tunde spoke out in tears, “I am sorry, please, forgive me…”

Dewale looked back at him, nodded and walked out. He felt the tears threatening to pour down his own face.

He hurried into his car and there allowed the tears pour down his face. This time around, the tears weren’t of bitterness or pain, it was of restoration. He felt the presence of God all around him and knew it could only be God who can make the most bitter situation and turn it into healing.  The last time he spent in the presence of God, asking him to help him forgive and restore his marriage, he had thought the Lord was finished with him as he felt his presence and healing that day, but right now, right here, he realized that God was still working in him. He was taking every bitterness and hatred he thought he had let go of, he was giving him a clean and a new heart. A Heart like God, the kind he gave to Jesus to forgive our sins even after we nailed him to the cross. A heart that forgives even when we were still sinners. He continued to weep right there in his car, and felt the Holy spirit remolding and teaching him into the truth of the Lord Jesus Christ. He knew what he had to do when he gets back home, and even the things to continue doing. He has to be a priest in his home, to teach and nurture not just his wife but his family as a whole.

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. (Marriage Mission)

With those thought, he drove home to meet his love.

……….

The End.                                  




Please kindly leave your comments below. Thank you for reading. 
God bless.

© Circlesoflove2014

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Confession of a Married Woman

CHAPTER ONE
Deborah paced around the living room in anger. Her eyes full of rage towards her husband, Dewale; her heart beat skimmed the top of her chest.

I don’t understand why you have to be so difficult about this. Deborah raged at him. One day, you are all into it, another, you complain like hell. She threw her hands in the air in frustration. She brushed past him putting space between them.

I know I agreed you could go back to work, but it’s getting at me; your work takes toil on you and you hardly have time for us at home. Dewale said back in anger.

Dewale, what is it you want from me? I do everything I’m supposed to do as a wife for you and my kid; your food is on time, the house is always spotless and I do my best to satisfy all your needs. What else do you want from me? She challenged.

All I want is to see you more often at home, I want to come back home from work and see my wife waiting for me, not coming in four hours later. He grumbled.

Why are you so selfish? All those time when I was all alone at home with our daughter and you go to work; do you remember how you work all late at nights and endless meetings and conferences all over, days you travel and all that?  I endured and was patient with you. I had to put my career on hold to help you achieve all that you are today. She frowned.

Can’t you do the same for me, I’m starting to build up a career for myself and you want me to quit? She threw an angry look at him.

“No one is asking you to work Deborah; is there anything you lack in this house or anything you ever wanted and don’t get? I don’t see why you have to work or take up such a career that demands so much time from you, especially away from your family.” he answered back.

“Dewale, I am not working because of the money and you know that; I love the job I do, I love a challenge and I love to work. I can’t stand it anymore, moaning about in the house all day. I found something that I am good at and now, you want me to quit.” The emotions inside her collided and fused to a red-hot poker of anger.

Dewale stared angrily at her. He couldn’t understand why she would remain headstrong and always want to have her way. All he’s asking of her is just time to spend with his wife and for their daughter to have a stable family.

“Deborah, I’ve had enough of these arguments. You know, these days, I do wonder where your priority lies. I have made my decision and going to bed.” he turned to walk away from her.

“Fine.” She exhaled. “Commander Chief of armed forces,” Deborah called after him “You can’t control my life, okay; I also have my own life to live and no one is going to stop me.” She shouted after him, while Dewale ignored her.

Deborah was so infuriated with him; she couldn’t understand why he could be so selfish about this. They had both been on this issue for months now, but he still insisted she quit her job despite knowing how miserable she was in the years she stayed at home. She realised the demands and handwork bank jobs could take on their workers, but was determined to work her way through; in fact,  she had reduced her hours at work and tried to finish on time each day, but still, he’s still adamant on her leaving the job. She was so angry with him that she decided to stay in the living room until she slept off.

*****

A few hours, Dewale realized his wife was not in bed, so he went in search of her and found her sleeping on the couch in the living room.

“Deborah.” he gently touched him.

“Hmm.” she murmured.

“Please, come to bed.”

“Oh…oh… Dewale, please leave me alone,” she muttered. “Ah! Do you want to control my sleep too?” She hissed and went back to sleep.

Dewale stood there staring at the wife he loved so much, slipping away from him. They had both been having series of argument lately which has proven difficult for their marriage and sleeping in the living room was becoming a habit. He wondered if he handled the matter in the right way or his insecurities were getting ahead of his relationship with His wife.

He loved it when he gets home every day and finds her in the house, waiting on him, giving all her attention to him but now that she’s started working, he hardly see her or spend time together as they used to. In fact, they had to cancel two holidays because of her work. He feared that her work was taking much demand on her which is affecting their relationship.  One day, He had surprised her at work to take her out for lunch, he was taken aback by how much commanding she was at work; not in a bad way but seeing his wife with so much confident scared him. She was good at what she does and the best. He saw how she attended to all her clients, all smart, confident and beautiful.

Although, he knew he was way out of line telling her to quit her job just because of his selfish interest but he would rather do that, than to lose her to her job or another man. He’s seen the way men exploit female workers especially with these qualities. These days, men don’t care how many wedding rings you have on your fingers, they still chase after them; he has seen how his married business partners runs after women, even married women and he despised this a lot. He does trust Deborah, but not the craving wolves out there and he’s sure would do everything to keep them away from his queen.

CHAPTER TWO

The next day, Deborah did her best to ignore Dewale; she prepared his breakfast and hurried out of the house as she would have to go drop their daughter first at the day care. She was not ready to give in to him yet; she wanted to work and would make him realize how much this means to her.

Deborah knew she could get anything she wanted from her husband and she knows well how to get him to do her bidding but she was still determined to stay angry at him to get his attention.

After a long day at work, she had one last client to see before going home.

“Hello Mr…..,” she looked through her appointment book. “Williams.”

“Call me Tunde.” the gentleman offered his hands to her.

Deborah looked up to see the gentleman and was shocked to see who he was. It took her few minutes to pull herself together after seeing her ex-fiancé standing in front of her.

“Oh my God!” Deborah shuddered. “Tunde!” She said excited.

“Oh my! Deborah.” Tunde hugged her. “I can’t believe this.” he laughed out in amazement.

“I know,” Deborah blushed. “Please, let’s go into my office” she showed the way. “How have you been?” She looked back at him, still amazed to see Tunde.

“Me? Right now, feeling so great.” he laughed. “You?

“I’m fine.” Deborah answered, “So surprise to see you, Pastor Tunde,” she teased him. “You are still a pastor, right?” she asked.

“Oh yes, very much a pastor,” he smiled. ”I just moved into town and decided to come open an account at this branch.” He couldn’t get his eyes off her. She had grown more beautiful and mature from the last time he saw her.

“That’s good.” Deborah smiled, hoping he wouldn’t notice the excitement in her. She stared at him as he told her about his work and how life has been. She occasionally blushed and tried to ignore the emotion popping inside of her.

They both dated in the past for a long time; first love, she would say.  They had planned their life together, their dream home and their future. Things became tough for them when Deborah’s parent pressured her into leaving the relationship. They insisted that they had no future together. They wanted her to marry one of their family friend’s son whom they had tried to match make her with for several years.

After so much pressure and threat to disown Deborah, she eventually broke it off with Tunde. The break-up was so painful that she had to break all contact and even moved to another city to start a new life. It’s being three years now, but seeing Tunde today woke up those feelings she thought had gone away. How she loved him and wanted things to work for them back then.

Getting home that day, she tried to avoid any confrontation with her husband since they have been giving themselves the silence treatment. She wouldn’t say they have both fallen out of love for each other but things have become so dull between them, like the passion had gone. All they do is argue about little things they could easily overlook and when they aren’t fighting, it’s the silence treatment.

CHAPTER THREE

After several days of catching up with Tunde on phone, texting and chatting, they eventually planned to meet up for dinner at Tunde’s place. She tried avoiding his intense gaze on her as they ate their meal, but since it was just the two of them in the big dining table, it was difficult to avoid him. She would blush each time she caught him staring at her.

“I can see you’ve still got the cooking touch.”  Deborah took a sip of her drink and smiled warmly at him.

“Oh yes, thank you for graciously eating.” Tunde grinned.

“You are welcome.” Her tone of voice was dark and sensual.

He chuckled. “Since you ran away from me, I did comforted myself with my cooking.” He grimaced.

“C’mon, I didn’t run away.” she smiled, getting up to clear the table.

“Please no,” he held her hands to stop her. “You are the guest, I should do this.” He smiled.

“It’s the least I could do, you did all the cooking please, let me do the cleaning.” She countered, and continued to clear the dishes and walked quietly to the kitchen.

As she washed the dishes, she smiled to herself. ‘Irony’, who would imagine her washing dishes in Tunde’s house after all these years. She felt her heart pounding so fast at the increase emotion in her; she couldn’t but wonder why she had come to his house in the first place, and what fire she was playing with. Was it an ignite love or just a closure of their past, but part of her was enjoying the whole attention and the stares he was giving to her. Just then, she felt his hands around her waist.

“Tunde!” she moaned softly at his touch.

“I know,” he whispered. “I can’t help myself, Deborah.” he held her tightly.

His voice trailed through her, although she felt some hesitation on her part, but before she could do something about it, she felt his breathing on her neck.

“Oh!” she whispered as his lips touched her neck. “Please,” she turned around, “Don’t let us do this, Please.” she looked into his eyes, but saw a man longing for her. She knew she had to stop herself before it went too far.

“I’m sorry Deborah,” he reluctantly released her. “You are right, we shouldn’t be doing this.” He moved away from her, but their eyes were still locked together.

Deborah noticed how hard this was for him, and then realised she had made a mistake coming over, in fact; she had deliberately ignored her heart on her way to his place. All she had thought about for a whole week was seeing him one more time, and felt nothing was wrong in it, or perhaps had deliberately ignored the feelings of the lust that had eaten her up.

“You know how much I have thought of you since you left.” He brushed his hands through his hair.

Deborah saw the pain in his eyes as he spoke.

“I tried working on other relationships, but they never work, never Deborah.” His voice was weak and full of sadness. “I missed you Deb, I missed you so much.” He stared into her eyes.

As he said those words, tears filled her eyes, she was unsure of what to say or how to act. She knew what her head was saying to her, she ached to pull him closer, tell him everything would be fine, and probably ease him of the pain.

“Do you remember when we used to sit all day talking about our future, things we would do, ministry, our house, kids……..” He asked as his face filled with excitement.

“Hmm…” she tilted her head towards him.

“Yea, those days.” He chuckled. “I wished I could go back there; Come,” he stretched his hands towards her. “Let me show you something,” took her hand and hurried towards the front door.

“Remember, when we talked of how we would build our first house, and how the interior would be,” he brought her to the entrance, facing the living room.  “Entering the house, the first thing you want to see is the crystal light chandelier hanging from the ceiling.” he grinned in excitement.

“Yes.” Deborah answered; almost surprised he remembered the late night talks of their dream home and aspiration for their future.

“See,” he pointed to the beautiful chandelier hanging on the ceiling “and then, you want to see a very large living room with the couches in a big circle.” He pointed at the arrangement of the house, filled with so much excitement as he explained the whole details according to what they both had planned years ago, laughing and smiling.

Deborah had not noticed this when she entered the house two hours ago, maybe it was the excitement of seeing him again, but right there, she was able to see the beautiful interior in the whole house.

“I did it Deborah, It took me two years to buy the perfect land and I had to build it, I had to.” he whispered, and stopped for a minute.

“I had to Deborah; that was the only way to keep you alive in my heart.” He gently took her right hand and placed it on his chest. Deborah made no attempt to move away.

“I can’t seem to get it right with another person; my heart still aches for you my dear. This is all for you.” He stared into her eyes, hoping she would see or sense some form of love still waiting there for her.

Deborah was short of words as she stared right back into his eyes, she could feel his pain and disappointment. She saw how sad he was, she wanted to say something but couldn’t find the right words. Just at that moment, Tunde pulled her closer, his lips pressed against her lips so passionately that she gave in to him; she found herself releasing her body to him, more like, she’s being longing for it.

The past few weeks of chatting and talking had ignited the fire in her and she had once or twice lust after him. She held unto him as long as she could, her mind totally blank of all sanity, afraid to think. He lifted her unto the couch and just then, she felt him unbuttoning her blouse, kissing her neck all the way to her mouth, so engrossed in having all of her. Before she knew it, he was thrusting into her; she felt hot tears of shame and betrayal flowing from her eyes as she gave into him.

CHAPTER FOUR

The drive back home was the hardest she ever did in her life; her heart pounding faster than usual, her hands shaking and fear all over her.

“What have I done?” Tears flowed from her eyes. It was a feeling of fear, anger and betrayal. There was no excuse for what happened and she knew the worst was about to happen. ‘How can she face her husband now?’

She spotted her husband’s car in their compound as she drove in. She looked through the window, but noticed there was no light on. ‘Dewale has probably gone to bed’, she thought to herself. All she wanted to do was run into the shower and wash every smell and touch of Tunde away from her body. She was grateful Dewale had called her in the afternoon and offered to pick up their daughter from day care.

Opening the front door, she was taken aback at what she saw; rolls and layers of candle lit on from the entrance all the way to the stairs leading to their bedroom, pedals of roses on the floor, the house full of scented aroma, she noticed the dinner table was set and scented candles on it; a mixture of fear and betrayal filled her. She followed the candles upstairs to their bedroom and as she suspected, all filled with pedals of roses as she had never seen before, glowing candles everywhere and there, her husband standing there holding a rose for her. She stood there with tears flowing down her cheeks.

Dewale felt the increased anxiety in his heart when he spotted her walk into the bedroom; he had heard her car in the drive way minutes ago, and had stood in the middle of the room waiting for her. It was a mixture of anxiety and excitement, considering the amount of work he had to put in today to make it special for her. He felt like a groom waiting at the altar for the arrival of his bride.

He smiled warmly at her, and as suspected, she had been surprised.

“Sweetheart, I know things have been a little strain between us lately,” he cleared his throat. “I am sorry honey for being so selfish, and absorb in my own world. I should be more considerate and help you towards your dream, not to put you down.” He stopped to steady the pounding in his heart. He had worked all day to make this night perfect for her, and apologise for all the wrongs he had done against her. He just wanted to make things right.

“The truth is that, I love that you are an independent woman, but sometimes it makes me feel unwanted but that shouldn’t be. I should be more secure in you, believe in you and encourage you to be the best God created you to be, I love you honey and I am so sorry” he paused searching her face to see how she felt but all he saw was blanked. Just then, she busted into tears.

“Why are you crying honey?” he moved closer to hold her; he didn’t realise how much he had hurt her these past few months with their constant arguments. “I am so sorry dear, I know I put you through a lot, I know honey, please forgive me?” He looked straight into her eyes. “I’m going to be here with you, I will help out in the house, even bathe our daughter, clean the house if you want, make dinner, do the laundry, anything to make things easy for you, anything my dear, I am so sorry honey.” He pleaded with her; afraid he had hurt her more that he had thought.

Deborah wiped the tears clouded on her eyelid to see him properly.

“No dear,” she finally said in the mist of the tears. “Oh God!” she cried out, fearing of how she would tell her husband. She knew she would not be able to keep this as a secret from him, she had to come clean and that scared her.

“Please Honey, I have offended you”. She found herself speaking in tears. “I have wronged you dear.” she cried out, jerking herself from him.

“Deborah, What is it? You know you can tell me anything dear.” he moved closer to hold her again.

“We both have wronged each other and said hurtful things, but that’s okay dear.” He spoke warmly; he felt his heart ache seeing her in a distraught state.

“No honey, I’m so sorry. I did something terrible.” she begged, shivering all over.

“Deborah, what is wrong?” he asked again, this time with so much concern.

“I am sorry dear, I am so sorry. I didn’t mean to do it…., I was not even thinking….., I don’t know what happened…..” she continued to cry. “I don’t know what I was doing…., I allowed myself to fall into this. Please, I am sorry…., I am so sorry…” she collapsed on the floor crying, shaking uncontrollably.

“What happened?” His tone of voice was blank, dull of any emotion.

Dewale was confused and scared seeing his wife in such state. He looked at how scared she was, he wanted to pull her to himself, he wanted to tell her everything would be fine, wipe her tears but his fears held him back.

“Deborah, what did you do?” he asked again but this time, his tone was firm.

Deborah jolted at the sound of his voice.

“What happened?” he asked again.

“I cheated on you……” she cried out, trembling in fear.

His eyes widen and something like panic flashed through him.

“You what!” He shuddered. Sweat bead up on his lips.

“I am sorry………” Her breathing had become ragged as fear whipped up her in and pushed tears onto her cheeks.

Dewale stood there dog-smacked, staring furiously at her. He walked to the end of the room and walked back, still confused at what he just heard.

“When? Who? Where?”  He demanded; his eyes burned through her.

Shame caused her mouth to tremble.

“I said with whom?” He shouted at her.

She jolted again, afraid to look him in the eye. “Tunde…” She blurted out, shaking with indignation and fear.

“Tunde….” he whispered to himself, thinking the name should mean something.

“Which Tunde?” he asked.

“Tunde Williams….., my………” She covered her mouth with her hands, trembling in shame.

He felt blood draining from his face as he attempted to swallow but can’t because his mouth suddenly was dry. He stared at her for a long moment, trying to gasp and fully understand what had just happened.

Tunde……” he realised who he was. Then a sudden spurt of laughter broke free of his mouth for a brief moment.

He stopped and stared at her in fury.

“How? When?” His voice echoed in anger.

“I……” She stammered.

He took few steps towards her, this time, Deborah moved away scared he was going to hit her.

“When?” He shouted

“This afternoon…..” she cried out.

“You mean, today, this afternoon?” Her words made no sense to him; he never imagined or thought something like this could ever happen to him. She was supposed to be at work, and he had been imagining her on her desk, staring long at the files on her table, not sleeping with another man.

“You mean, while I was planning a surprised dinner for my wife; cooking and cleaning my ass off, you were sleeping with another man.” He pointed out savagely, his head dropped forward in exasperation.

”I dropped Temidayo with your mum so we could spend time together, I wanted to spend time with MY WIFE and she was somewhere sleeping with another man, this same Tunde!” he shouted.

“Unbelievable.” His eyes boggled. “Deborah, you are unbelievable. I can’t believe this.”

“Dewale, please…….” Deborah cried out, reached out her hands to touch him.

“Don’t you dare!” Tears were clogging his throat.

“I can’t believe you; you know, I fought like hell to get you over this same Tunde when we were dating; I went through a lot to get you to marry me, I waited for you, I was patient, I did everything you wanted me to do, you know it all.” He threw his hands in the air in frustration.

“God!” He wiped his hands across his face. “I made you realise you didn’t have to marry me because you parents wanted it, I waited for you to make your decision on your own terms because I loved you, I loved you so much and would do anything just to have you in my life.” He fought the tears threatening to pour down his face.

“I walked away, I walked away Deborah so you don’t feel coerce into this relationship but you came back to me, you told me you loved me and would want to spend the rest of your live with me.” His voice was full of sadness and pain.

“He couldn’t have you then, so you went to sleep with him now, just to see how good he is in bed, isn’t it?”  He allowed the tears clouded on his eyelid to pour down his cheeks, and made no attempt to wipe them off.

“No…… this was a mistake. It was a terrible mistake.” She crawled on her knees to him, but the fury in his eyes made her stop a few meters away from him.  “He showed up at my work place few weeks ago and things went out of hand, please Dewale, I am so sorry, I didn’t mean to hurt you, please….” she begged him.

“You know what? You can have him,” he shouted “You never for once loved me, I knew it, no matter how much I loved you, how much I waited for you to love me back me on your terms, No…., you only agreed to marry me just because you had nowhere to go, now he’s back, you can do anything you want to do.” he walked downstairs while Deborah ran after him.

“No Dewale, this was a mistake, I love you honey, you are my life, you are everything I want, Please, forgive me.”  She cried after him.

“God!” He turned to look at her. “Can you hear yourself?” He shouted. “You just slept with another man; you cheated on me and you are right here crying to me to forgive you, this is unbelievable!” He looked hard at her for a second and continued to walk down the stairs.

“Please Dewale, Please…” she ran after him. She heard her phone ringing from the table where she had left her bag but ignored it.

He scoffed. “Indeed, you love me; I can bet he’s the one calling.” he looked towards the direction of the ringing, and then walked out, slamming the door in her face.

Before she could reach him, he had gotten into his car and drove speedily out of their driveway. She went back in and slummed on the floor crying uncontrollably.

She never wanted to hurt him, and Dewale was very wrong at one thing. She does love him, and couldn’t live without him. This was all a mistake, it was like watching herself in a dream and couldn’t even believe how she had destroyed her marriage with her own hands, As she continued to cry, she heard her phone ringing again, she went over and saw it was Tunde; with so much anger and hate in her, she threw the phone against the phone and watched it crashed into piece.

She crouched her knees against her chest and cried herself out.

*****

Deborah woke up in the living room to the sound of the doorbell. She realised it was morning, and had cried herself to slept yesterday night. She ran quickly to the door thinking it was Dewale since he didn’t come home last night.

“Dewale!” she called out before she could open the door, but to her surprised, she found Tunde standing at her door step.

“What are you doing here?”  She shuddered, “What do you want?” she looked over his shoulder.

“I’m sorry to come here Deborah, the way you cried out of my house yesterday;  I tried calling you, but you didn’t return my calls, I was afraid something had  happened to you.” His breathing was heavy as if he’s been running few meters to get to her.  “I saw your car was parked outside, spoke to your security guard outside, and he said your husband wasn’t in.” He noticed her swollen eyes as if she’s been crying.

“What happened?” he asked.

“What happened?” she shouted back at him, “You happened, you have destroyed me Tunde, you have destroyed my marriage, isn’t that what you wanted all along; destroy what I have so that I can run back to you, isn’t it?” she shouted at him.

“No Deborah, I will never do that to you. I love you; what happened yesterday was not planned, I just wanted to spent time with you, I love you Deborah.” he whimpered.

“How dare you Tunde, I am married now and I love my husband, I made a terrible mistake yesterday, I regret it, I regret meeting you ever Tunde.” she cried out at him.

“Please Deborah, don’t say that.” he looked over his shoulder, to be sure no one was listening to them. “This is not the right place to talk about this, Can we meet up later please?” he asked.

“What!” she gasped in disbelief. “I never want to see you again.” she shouted at him.

“You can’t do that Deborah, I love you. I can’t do anything without you, please.” he reached out to touch her, but she jerked away from him.

“What! It’s been three years Tunde, you lived your life before you saw me again, didn’t you?”

“I lived a terrible life, I searched for you after you left, I tried other relationships, but none worked, then, I started searching, I searched everywhere until I found you. I could not do anything Deborah, I failed at every thing; I left my ministry, it was all in a mess, and I could not concentrate.” He broke down in tears.

“I had to find you, please. Don’t take this away from me again.” he begged with tears from his eyes. “They tore us apart in the past because I had nothing, no money or anything to my name, but they can’t do that to us now, they can’t.” he spoke in determination.

“So what do you expect me to do, leave my husband and run back to you?”

“All I know is that I love you Deborah, and I would do anything to have you back.” he said back at her.

Then, Deborah heard her house phone ringing, but she couldn’t get herself to leave the door, she was stunned hearing what Tunde was saying. She saw a different man from the one she knew years ago, she saw a man with no sense of purpose, a man drifting away on a lost mission. He was changed. Eventually, she left the door to answer the phone.

“Yes.” she said in an angry tone.

“Mrs Adebanjo.” she heard the other end.

“Yes, Can I help you?”

“My name is Doctor Olamide from St Thomas hospital in Ikeja; we have been trying to reach you on your mobile phone all night but just found you land line.”

“I’m sorry, what is this about?”  Deborah asked.

“Your Husband was brought here yesterday night after a collision –

“What!” she screamed out, dropped the phone, picked up her bag and ran out.

Tunde staggered as she pushed him away from the front door and walked angrily passed him.

“What is it?” He followed her to the car.

“Have you seen what you have caused me?”’ she shouted at him in tears. “Listen and listen carefully, don’t you ever call me again, don’t come near me; never again do I want to see your face, do you understand me?”  She shouted in tears and drove speedily out of the driveway.

******

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All I Had

Chapter 1

Elizabeth Cole peeped behind the curtain of the town hall of Suffolk county, United Kingdom. She watched as more people made their way to their seat; parents and family friends greeting one another. The school play had been announced two months ago, and had been the talk of town every since then. She was nervous, excited and terrified all at the same time.

Ms Elisa, the drama teacher beckoned to her to proceed, she inhaled deeply and slowly walked out on the stage. Within minutes, everyone were seated, all staring back at her to proceed; she watched nervously at the faces, her hands trembled.

She realised she had not thought thoroughly about taking this part in the play. She was to narrate the whole story in a manner where the actors would act accordingly. It was a master piece play that enhanced the work of art. She’d been excited at first, but the stage fright that overwhelmed her made it impossible to speak. She looked to her left on the stage, and saw Ms Elisa waving to her to start, but her hands were only glued to the microphone but no sound was ready to come out from her mouth. Quickly, she dropped the microphone on the floor which made a thunderous sound and ran to the backstage. She was trembling, hysterical, nervous and scared. She never thought of how difficult it would be to speak in front of a large crowd; now she’d going to disappoint everyone and drop out of the play they have all been working on for the past two months.

The idea and concept of the play was all of her own and her teacher and class mates were so excited about the whole story and all gave their total support throughout the rehearsals but now, her fear and phobia is going to destroy everything. She was swelling up in tears seeing Ms Elisa walk up to her.

“What is it Elizabeth?” Ms Elisa asked.

She covered her face with her trembling hands.  “I can’t do it, I can’t.” She whimpered.

“What!” She gasped in disbelief. “What do you mean?”

“I’m scared Ms Elisa, I can’t stand there in front of all those people, I can’t.”

“Oh Elizabeth! What are we going to do? Everyone is waiting for us to start.”

“I’m sorry, I am so sorry. Can’t you see everyone is there; the mayor is there, every important people in the town we had thought would not honour our invitation are all there, I am so scared Ms Elisa.” Her lips pale and trembled, then, she looked up to her. “Maybe you can take my part; you can narrate the story better than me, I promise, you can do it.” Her breathing becoming ragged, then, she placed her hands on her chest to reduce the fear popping out, but it looked useless.

Ms Elisa smiled solemnly. “Alright, take a deep breath dear,” She held her hands. “Look at me dear.” She gently pulled her head up to look at her.  “this is your time to shine; you have worked so hard these past weeks for the success of this story and no one is going to stop that.” She brushed away the brunette strains of hair that had settled on her face.

Elizabeth swallowed hard.

“I have watched you pull this off with your classmates and I know you are not about to disappoint them. You can do this dear, just imagine the audiences being your friends, the whole drama group seated there and most importantly dear, what you have always told us; we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us, so you can do this.” She looked straight into her eyes with all determination and conviction.

Elizabeth looked into her eyes, even though she knew her words were only meant to strengthen and encourage her, she also knew in her heart that this was something she had always wanted to do, not just for her, but also for the people who had made it happen, the people whose stories are to be heard. She inhaled deeply and forced a smile on her face.

“I can….” Elizabeth whispered to herself.

“Yes you can.” Ms Elisa reaffirmed.

Elizabeth inhaled deeply again, and looked at the remaining drama group staring back at her. She saw the fear and distraught on their faces, and knew without no doubt that the show must go on, and she had to pull all the courage inside of her to make it happen.

“Ok, give me few seconds.” She said.

She turned away from them all, and closed her eyes. She knew she needed the courage and confidence that only God could give to her, she bowed her head and said a word of prayer. She turned back to the eyes which were still heavily staring at her and then smiled at them.

“Alright, let’s go give it our best.” She announced in a brighter tone and walked back to the stage.

She could hear the murmurs and the whispers from the crowd, but this time she was determined to stay strong and focus.

She picked up the microphone on the floor, took a deep breath and warmly smiled at the audience. The whispers and murmurs became still silence, and everyone stared back at her in anticipation.

She swallowed the lump in her throat. “Good evening everyone.” Her voice was barely a whisper. “Good evening.” She spoke out in a much louder voice. “We are sorry about the delay, and would start shortly” She smiled, and received a generous amount of smiles back.

Elizabeth was the narrator of the story, whilst her other mates were going to act the scripts as she read it.

She began. “A Long time ago in Northern Ireland, there was war around the world. Crisis and disaster filled every country; young men were being recruited into the war, some made it back home while others were either dead or missing in action.

There was this young couple, Victoria and Matthew who were engaged to be married as soon as Matthew returned back from the war. Even though Victoria was so young, she had been filled with so much excitement to get married to the love of her life.”

Elizabeth stopped for a brief moment as she watched the scripts being acted.

Victoria and Matthew held each other’s hands, walking down the stage.

 

She continued. “it wasn’t uncommon in those days for a young girl to be engaged to be married. Even though they were both young, both were looking forward to the days when they would be together. Matthew already had a farm he inherited from his grandparents which he would be working on as soon as he got back from the war and Victoria had taken up the job of teaching young children arithmetic in schools. Both had ambitions and prospects for the future, not until disaster struck.

One day, Victoria was in her room when her parents came in; fear was written all over their faces.

“We have something to tell you.” Her father spoke out, looking straight into her eyes.

Elizabeth sat up quickly, straightened her dress; she watched her mother standing quietly behind her father, and her eyes were moist.

“What is it father?” She asked, nervously.

“We have news, about Matt….” He said, his face filled with sadness.

Fear struck her at the sound of his name; she stood up on her feet staring into her father’s eyes to say something.

“I’m afraid child, He died in action.” Her father said soberly.

“What!” She whimpered. She stood there motionless staring into his eyes. “That can’t be father, No!” She cried out.

“I’m sorry.” Her father bowed his head in grief and he left her room. Her mother quickly went to her, held her as she collapsed into her hands.

“I’m sorry dear.” Her mother held her close.

“No mama! Matthew couldn’t have died; it is a mistake, no mama….. They got it all wrong, it can’t be Matt. He just left four weeks ago, he wrote to me that he was fine…….” Victoria said in distraught, crying.

Her mother gently patted her back. “I’m sorry, his parents sent message to us; he’d been dead a week now.”

“No mama, no….…” She cried out. At that point, she felt as if her whole world was collapsing, like everything was over. She started to tremble vigorously, screaming out in pain.

“I cannot lose him mama, I can’t….. ” Her scream filled the whole house.

The actors acted the part perfectly; the audience watched quietly waiting for the next scene.

Chapter 2

Elizabeth continued.

“Several weeks later; Victoria was still dejected about the whole news. Her parents were troubled at her withdrawal, but the death of Matt wasn’t just their concern as Victoria was found to be pregnant, almost four months gone and that troubled them the most. They wouldn’t let her carry the baby, which would be disgraceful to them.

They were strict catholic, and when the church finds out their unwed daughter is pregnant, it would bring so much disgrace to the family and her father was not about to have that.

Victoria heard her father shouting as he walked towards her room. It’s been three days since she confessed to her mother that she was pregnant. Her mother had taken it so bad that she cried all through the day, she knew the consequences of her being pregnant and especially now since Matthew was dead. No one wants to marry a pregnant woman or someone with a child. Victoria was surprised her father had not come to her since she told her mother but later discovered it took her mother three days to tell her father.

“How dare you!” Her father shouted at her. “You have brought disgrace to this family.” He raged at her.

“No father, this was not meant to happen. Everything was supposed to be perfect if not because of Matt….” Tears poured down her face.

“That’s not an excuse,” He shouted at her. “You were not supposed to know a man, you know that!” His eyes darkened ominously.

“Please father, I am sorry…” Victoria whimpered, avoiding his intense fury gaze on her.  She saw her mother hiding behind the door, probably scared to death at his wrath. She sobbed quietly and jolted at every shout.

“Now, I have to call Doctor Albert to do something about it.” He said staring wildly at her. “He will be here shortly to take care of it.”

“What! Father! No please, you can’t do this.” Victoria screamed out.

“It’s better this way. We will be banished from the church, spoken at, and disgraced. You will remain unwed for the rest of your life; that is the consequences of your actions. Is that what you want?” he roared out in anger. “It is better we get rid of it.”

“Get rid of my baby!” Victoria shouted in fear. “Mother!” She called out, but her mother lowered her head trying not to see the pain in her eyes.

“You can’t do this father, this is Matthew’s child, and this is my baby

“Matt is dead; you and I don’t want any embarrassment from his parents when they get to know.  What happens if they don’t accept the child, what happens to you?”

“Father, Please, I can keep this child, I will take care of him, and you don’t have to worry a thing, please father, don’t do this to me…”

“Me!” He roared out. “You did this to yourself when you opened your legs…..” He stopped, looked angrily at her, and stomped out of the room.

Victoria collapsed on the floor in tears. She never imagined things to be like this; this was far from the fairy tales she had imagined for herself. Matt had promised her good life not this torment; now he’s gone and she’s left in this mess. Her mother came to hold her but she jerked away from her. She couldn’t understand why her mother could not support her in this; why she had always been so afraid of her father and never stood up to him or his decisions. Now at the most important part of her life when she needed her to stand up for her, she’d been hiding.

“Oh my child,” she said quietly to her. “You have to listen to your father, his intentions are right dear.”

“Right! Mother! What is right about killing an innocent child?” She said in disgust.

“It’s not as simple as that.”

“Like how mother?” Victoria shouted as she stood up from the floor. “What better explanation do you have for this mother?”

“The church does not accept a young girl pregnant before her marriage, you will never be accepted in the church, and you will be an outcast. Your father does not want this for you, don’t you understand?”

“The Church! Is everything all about the church? What about God? Does he condone taking an innocent child’s life, does he? You are all hypocrites, all liars…” She screamed at her mother.

“I understand how you feel Victoria, but that doesn’t change your father’s decision.”

Victoria looked at her mother with the most disgusting look. She couldn’t believe her. All she wanted is her mother, not her father’s photocopy, a woman who could share her sorrow, her pain, who would hold her up and make her feel safe. She watched her silently and after a while, her mother left her in her thought.

Victoria knew her father was determined to terminate the pregnancy, but she was helpless, she knew nowhere to go and who to ask for. Her father had been right in one thing, Matt’s parents might not accept her or the child so there was no going to their place but she couldn’t bring herself to kill her child whatever the circumstances. That was the only reminder of Matthew in her life and no one would take that away from her. She needed to devise a plan and the soonest the better. She didn’t want to wait until her father truly comes with the doctor, she had to run and run really fast.

Chapter 3

During the night, Victoria planned her escape; she was going to run away from her home, her only family, run as fast as she could from everything she ever knew. Very early the next day, she woke up at the earliest hour of the morning, packed some clothing into a small bag, took the small money she had been saving for a while and left the house. She was grateful she had accepted the money Matt insisted she had before he went to war; that would at least do her some good. She ran as fast as her legs could carry her. She took the first train that arrived at the station heading to London. She’d heard so many stories about the big city, although never had once in her life went there, but she knew the big city was full of opportunities for a young lady like her and would make way for her.

Elizabeth (Narrator) saw the eagerness in the audience for her to continue with her story; every eyes were fixed on her, but by this time her fears were gone, she was filled with confidence and excitement at the whole scenes. She watched as the curtain was drawn to set for the new scenes.

“A Few months in London, Victoria had exhausted all her money on accommodation and food supplies, now; she ran out of money with no job. She had tried endlessly to get a job as a secretary or teaching but no one would employ a young pregnant woman who was not even married. Her expectation had been cut short to what she had imagined about London, yet, she was determined to work her away through.

On a particular day, she walked into a hotel to try her luck again and apply for a secretarial position but on entering there, she was surprised to see men lurking around in the hotel parlour, drinking and smoking; she saw ladies in the most despicable dresses entertaining them with their dancing in the most indecent ways. She was sure she saw the sign hotel at the front post but this wasn’t just any hotel, it was a saloon, a brothel.

She sighed and walked quietly to the woman who seemed to be in charge.

“Good afternoon madam.” She greeted politely.

“How may I help you?” the madam looked arrogantly at her.

“I am looking for a job.” She lowered her head.

The madam looked at her from head to toe in the most distasteful look and busted in laughter.

“You! Work!” She had a smirk look on her face. “What kind of work can you do?” She asked, mocking her.

“I can write ma’am, I can type and do any accounting work.” Victoria answered.

“Where do you think you are?” She jeered at her. “This isn’t a bank. We don’t do typing, accounting or any writing here. Look around you dear, what do you see…?”

Victoria did as she was told; she took a moment and looked around, and then it consciously dawned on her where she was. She tried to fight the tears coming from her eyes. Those ladies were prostitutes and the Madam she is talking to seems to their boss.

“So my dear, what else can I do for you?” the madam asked.

“I’m sorry ma’am to bother you.” Victoria stiffened, and then turned to leave.

“We do need a cleaning lady here if you are interested.” She heard the madam’s voice behind her.

“A cleaning lady!” Victoria turned back to face her.

“Yes, cleaning, you do the normal daily chores; washing, cleaning and sometimes helping in the kitchen. The money isn’t great but you will have a roof over your head and food in your stomach,” She looked at her belly. “And the little one in there can be fed.”

Victoria was surprised she knew she was pregnant; she had tried so hard to hide her swollen belly for fear of rejection. She swallowed hard and looked around once again. She wasn’t sure she could work in this kind of place, but now she had no choice; no one had been willing to give her a job since her arrival in London and her whole saving was gone, it’s either she took the job or sleep on the street which she was not about doing to her child.

“When can I start?”

“As soon as you are ready.”

“I will be back in the evening. Thank you ma’am.” She said politely. The madam nodded at her and for the first time, she smiled back nicely at her.

CHAPTER 4

Elizabeth continued.

“Victoria moved into the brothel to resume as a cleaning lady; even though the pay wasn’t that great as the madam had said, but she was grateful for the roof over her head and the food. She knew all the ladies in the house by name, although they all ignored her and she in turn had always done her duties without any word to them or complain about the kind of job they provided. She washed all sorts of things away from their clothing and bed sheets and never asked any questions.

She watched with disgust as men paraded their rooms like a football field. She often wondered if the men had wives at home and for those that do have wives, why on earth would they go to a prostitute and then back home to their wives. As time passes, her hatred for men in general had grown, she would look them in the eyes with so much disgust in her eyes, they were dogs that would eat from anywhere.

A Few months down the line, Victoria was due for her baby to come out. The little money she earned, she’d used to buy baby clothing and materials for her baby. She was determined to give her baby the best that she could afford and spent all her available time making the tiny room a comfortable place for the arrival. One day, She had woken up in pain in the middle of the night; although, she had thought she would walk herself to the few miles to the clinic, but since the pain was unbearable, she did made it to the cook’s room who was a male and had in turn rushed to the madam to ask for help.

Victoria was surprised to see the Madam rush into her room in her night wear and immediately, told her what to do. She took charge of the whole procedure and told her to breath in each time she felt the pain. That day, she saw a different woman right in front of her, to think that since she started working there almost three months ago, the madam had never spoken to her or even looked at her. Victoria was amazed at how the madam handled her and her curiosity took the better part of her when the madam noticed her staring.

“Sure, you are surprised child.” She said.

“Hmm….” Victoria whimpered.

“I will tell you something I have never told any of my girls.” She said rubbing Victoria’s back.

“I came to London at about your age from Liverpool  long time ago. I was also pregnant. I guess I have been promiscuous at a very young age and had an eye for the business,” She laughed. “I couldn’t afford a place so I slept anywhere I could find for the day and after several months, still on the street and no help from any one, I was living and eating from the street. The day I delivered my baby, it was late like this and pouring rain like hell, I was alone and scared to death. Eventually, I had my baby all by myself, but the little one was dead. I guess the Lord spared her the pain of having a mother like me.” She jeered.

“She had been long dead in the womb before she finally came out. It took me several weeks to get myself together and can you believe that I found work just immediately. My madam then was getting old and after several years of working with her, she eventually died of some disease and I became the owner of this place.” She squeezed towel from the water and place it on her head.

“I guess I still have a soft spot for young women like you; still remind me of my young days, maybe when you are through with the baby, you can come work for me.” She smiled at her.

Victoria couldn’t smile back at her offer as she felt another sharp pain in her stomach. A Few minutes after that, she gave birth to her baby girl, and named her Elizabeth. She was everything beautiful and pure and it’s a shame she was born in that kind of a house but Victoria was still grateful she was well and healthy. She vowed within herself never to take to Madam’s offer no matter how tempting it seems, she would rather wash dirty clothing for the rest of her life to keep her child safe. She was determined not to expose her to that kind of life”.

The school actors finished that scene, then quickly cleared and prepared for the next stage. Every eyes were glued on the stage in anticipation of what it is to come.

Elizabeth felt gratitude to God for the renewed boldness to stand before this crowd. She braced herself.

CHAPTER 5

Elizabeth continued.

“Six years after, Victoria was still working at the brothel but still as the cleaner. She had moved to the Cook’s quarters after he quit; she took over his job which meant more pay for her. She had been saving for years to have enough money and move away from there. Elizabeth, her daughter had been the most amazing child, Victoria tried her best to shield her daughter from everything around her, and made sure she stay inside and took her time to teach her everything about reading, counting and ways of life. She knew her time there was numbered as she had few more months to work hard and gather all the money she needed to start off by herself.

During these times, Victoria had several proposals from men, from the delivering man to the post man and even some men that come to visit the prostitutes had come to ask her hand in marriage. Victoria had made up her mind she would never give her heart to any man especially since her arrival in London and had to see the way men had patrolled the hotel all day and night.

She had concluded all men were alike, and she would never give any man the pleasure of ruining her life. But there was still one of the men that stood out; David, but Victoria was determined not to be deceived by looks or behaviour. David was the man that brings in their food stock every two weeks, he was a farmer.

Each time he came in to drop her supplies, he always took his time to talk to her about God and that displeased Victoria. God was far from what she wanted, needed to hear about. The same God whom her parents had used as an excuse to try to kill her baby, and caused her pain and leaving her home. She felt God had never loved or cared about her. He condemned us and punishes us for our sins. But David was a different man, he knew she had a child but that didn’t bother him, he said he wanted her as his wife and he would love and care for her as Christ loved his church. Victoria couldn’t understand why any man would want to live as Christ example to the church when the church was filled with people who had no regard to life.

She was tired of hearing about different kinds of religion that aims to punish and separate sinners like her from godly people. His religion repulsed her and couldn’t understand why so much love for a God like that; but David didn’t give up on her, he continued to visit and tell her more about God.

Victoria was happy with her quiet life and was looking forward to the days when she would leave the brothel for a well respectable work, not until disaster struck.

She had been woken up by shouting and screaming; she went out of her room and discovered the house was on fire. Then, she heard some loud shouting from men in white clothing and white covering over their faces shouting, ‘Go to hell! Go to hell!! Go to Hell!!!’

She wasn’t sure what was going on, so immediately, she woke her daughter up and took her through the hole in her room that led outside and told her to run as fast as she could and hide. She immediately tried to pack as much belonging as she could and her life’s saving when suddenly, some men stomped into her room and carried her out.

She was screaming and struggling with them to let her go; at least to take her money which had dropped on the floor but no one was listening. They dragged her outside, and  threw her on the floor. She wasn’t sure what they wanted or why they were doing this; some of them were still pulling down the whole building. Fear gripped her as she watched helplessly at the whole confusion, they were shouting and screaming; only then did she realized they were anti-prostitution group that aim to wipe out every brothel from their community. They started to beat and throw stones at her. They called themselves ‘God-sent’, Christians who were repulsed at the way prostitution has destroyed their community, taking young men, fathers into sins and bringing the devil into their homes. They said they were God’s messengers and would kill and destroy any one that stands in the way of their God. Before their arrival at the hotel, someone had hinted the madam who in turn had woken up all her girls away from the house but forgot to wake her. She was left at their mercies.

After they were sure the brothel wouldn’t survive the fire, then, they focused on her and started to beat again , stone and pour dirt on her. She cried for help and asked them to stop as she was just a cleaner in the hotel and not a prostitute but no one believed her. Some poured oil, water and everything they could find on the floor on her. They called her the devil’s agent that aims to destroy their young men and homes”.

Elizabeth (the narrator) was stunned when a man from the audience suddenly stood up in anger, shouting.

“Don’t you dare lay another hand on my daughter again.” He shouted, walking angrily towards the stage.

“Please, stop…, please…, she’s only a child.” The man’s wife cried out to the actors on the stage.

“You don’t beat a woman like that; you don’t ever lay hand on any woman!” He shouted at the men who were beating the young girl acting as Victoria on the stage

The whole audience was taken aback at this outburst. The story seems too real to everyone in the room and every scene took them into the lives of the characters. The actors on stage were confused and didn’t know what to do.

“Please sir,” Elizabeth spoke through the microphone. “It’s only a play, she’s not hurt.”

“I’m okay daddy…” the young girl playing Victoria’s part stood up to face her father.

The man stood there breathing heavily. He swallowed the lump in his throat and looked bewildered. For a few seconds, he couldn’t believe he was just watching a play, not to talk of someone harming his own daughter or any woman for that matter.

Elizabeth went quickly to the actors, and picked up the sticks, belts and puffed stones that was being used and the bottle of ketchup hid carefully to pretend to be blood.

“It’s only a foam stick, not real; these aren’t weapons, and this is ketchup, not blood.” Elizabeth gently showed it to the man.

The Parents stared at them in relief, and reluctantly went back on their seats. The whole place was tensed, but no one could blame them at their reaction as their acting seemed so real. They all could feel the pain as Victoria was repeatedly beaten. They shivered in fear and couldn’t understand why some people could be so heartless to beat a young woman like that.

Minutes later, Elizabeth motioned to the actors to continue.

She started to read again. “After they were certain Victoria couldn’t survive their terror on her, they left her to die. Victoria was weak and in pain, she tried to move but her legs were so weak and sore; she weakly opened her eyes as she felt someone pulling her.

“Mama, mama, wake up…” Elizabeth cried out but her mother wouldn’t move.

“Please, mama, stand up…” Elizabeth cried. She was just a child and had no idea what to do; no one was there to help her or carry her mother. Her mother had made sure of no contact with anyone; but the only person her mother ever took her to was David’s farm for supplies when they ran low and couldn’t wait for their usual delivery. It was quite a distance for a young girl but that didn’t stop her, Elizabeth ran as fast as she could, her legs were tiring but that didn’t stop her either, all she saw was her mother lying there, helplessly on the floor and for a six years old girl, that was the most dreadful feeling. She got to his house and knocked violently on the door until it was opened. David looked at her, confused. He tried asking her what the problem was but Elizabeth couldn’t speak, she was all in tears.

“Mama…” She was breathing heavily.

“What happened?” David asked but she couldn’t say much, all she kept saying was ‘mama’ so immediately, he took her in his wagon, and drove back to the hotel and there she was still lying on the floor but unconscious, he carried her quickly and back to his place.

             

Elizabeth (Narrator) stopped to look at their faces but they wanted more, the audience wanted to know what happened to her, if she was dead and that scared them. 

She continued. “A weeks later, Victoria was still badly hurt but was beginning to open her eyes and see where she was. She realized David had been the one taking care of her; she was embarrassed. She wanted to leave as soon as she regained her strength but David had begged her not to leave. He told her she was welcome to stay as much as she needed to and every other thing was being taken care of. He told her he loved her and want to care for her, but Victoria would have none of it. She on the other hand had been so angry about the attack especially since her life’s saving had been burnt down in the fire. She had nowhere else to go or where to start from.

CHAPTER 6

Elizabeth continued.

“Few weeks down the line, David arranged the visitor’s room for her and her daughter. He never took advantage of her, and decided not to rush her about his own feelings. Over the months, he had taken keen to Elizabeth; she was a bright young child. She comes into his own lodge every morning to clean it and thank him for his kindness to them.  After a while, Victoria was beginning to like David; she couldn’t understand where the new feelings came from, but knew without doubt he was a good man.

However, there was still something missing in her life; she needed a purpose to live which has to be greater than that of her child, a purpose that would carry her through life even when all other fails. She needed to get rid of every pain, bitterness and hurt in her life and live a new life.

One evening, she couldn’t stand the torture of knowing something was missing in her life, so she rushed into David’s room and cried out. She wanted the kind of peace David had been telling her for a while now, she needed someone to take every pain and hurt away from her. She needed a sense of purpose and love in her life. David told her all about God and what He means and the gifts he offered to us. God is not a God of condemnation but of love and His love has kept her alive all this while. He had watched and kept her through all. Victoria broke down in tears and laid all her burden and fears before the Lord and he accepted her and gave her a new life, a peace that overweighs every pain and hurt, she forgave her parents and aimed to live a new life in Christ.

A month later, she got married to David; she had more children and continued to grow in the Lord.

Elizabeth (the narrator) stopped for a moment to see their face lilted up in joy.

She continued. “This is a story of a woman that fought her way through pain and hurt in life. Her parents were not in support of her and used religion as an excuse for their behaviour…” She said looking at their faces. “But she fought through it all. Now, Ladies and gentlemen, I want you all to please rise up to your feet and give a warm applause to my grandmother, Victoria Edwards…” She smiled and pointed to the old woman who had been sitting quietly since the play started. She was helped to her feet by her son-in- law and daughter, Elizabeth.

“I was also named Elizabeth and my mother…” She smiled at her mother who was helping her grandmother up the stage. “She told me stories about my grandmother; how she fought and struggled to teach her the right way, to love and to honour God in her life. Today, I live to tell the world the story about my Grandmother, Victoria…. It’s not a fight against religion but a realization of a greater love that supersedes any other thing. The love of God conquers all and gives a new meaning to life.” She said facing her grandmother.

“Happy Mother’s day Grandma.” Elizabeth placed a kiss on her grandmother’s cheeks and gently held her.

Victoria was filled with joy and tears; she took her grand-daughter in her hands.

The whole auditorium stood up in applause; some were in tears while others were fighting hard not to cry. The whole room was filled with joy at the survival of a young woman who had lived to tell her story.

Victoria took the microphone with her fragile hands from her granddaughter.

“I am ninety years of age,” She said in a strain voice. “But God has been good to me. I am happy and grateful….” She said smiling. “Happy mother’s day to every mother in here today and those yet to be; fight for your children and don’t give up on them. Pray continually for them; God does answer prayers and don’t be afraid to love.” She took her time to look at their faces. “All I had was my beautiful baby then,” She turned to Elizabeth, her grown daughter, “I forgot everything that was thrown at me but I needed God to live a fulfilled life. He gave me peace that the world couldn’t give to me.” She smiled warmly. “Every mother needs God, everyone needs God.” She said in the most beautiful smile. “Happy mother’s day…”

The End.

                      
A NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR.

Thank you for reading this story. It was written some time ago to celebrate mother’s day. However, this story isn’t just for mothers, but for everyone out there. If you have been let down by those who are closely dare to you, you’ve been disappointed by the one you love and so have lost hope of love in life. Please, don’t give up. The love of God can overcome every pain and hurt in your life. He will cleanse you in His unfailing love and give you peace. You may have all the security the world offers, the money and the things you desire but you still need God in your life. All you have now isn’t complete without God in it. Have a glorious week.

Please kindly leave your comments here. God bless.

Abimbola CirclesOfLove.

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Hauwa 2

Chapter Five

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.

 

Chapter Six

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.

 

Chapter Seven

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.

 

Chapter Eight

 

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!”

 

Chapter Nine

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.

 

Chapter Ten

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 couldn’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.

 

Chapter Eleven

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.

 

Chapter Twelve

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.”

Hauwa nodded.

“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.

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.

 

Chapter Thirteen

 

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.”  there two eyes locked together. “You have done so much for me Gloria,” his hands were trembling, Gloria quickly 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 here; 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 sir, and you deserve every good thing.” She smiled shyly.

“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 out.

Just then, the door opened.

*****

 

To be continued.

© Circlesoflove 2013

 

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Together as One

CHAPTER ONE

Anna Crane walked down the aisle at Tesco’s super market; she noticed the familiar face she had been seeing for some days now. The tall black built man reminded her of someone from her past, but she couldn’t put her finger on it. Just as she was about to walk up to him, he hastily left the store. She stood there watching him walk into the thin darkness outside.

”Here you are.” she heard her husband’s voice behind her.

”Got the vegetables,” Chris said. He noticed the uneasiness on her face. ”Are you OK Honey?”

She shrugged. ”Yes,” Anna lied ”Just a long day from work.”

”Alright then, let’s get going.” Chris took her by the hand and walked to the checking point.

That evening, when they got home, Christ asked Anna to lie down while he cooked dinner.

They both have been married for ten years, been through the tough times together, their love for each other held them stronger as years passed; although, they have been trying to have a child for years now but their faith was strong; they believed God would answer their prayers and give them their heart desires.

By the time Chris finished making dinner, Anna was fast asleep.

****

The next morning, Chris was already out of the house while Anna slept late since she was off from work for the day.

The doorbell rang.

”Who’s there?” she walked to the door and leaned against it.

”British gas ma’am.” She heard the voice at the door.

”Ok,’ she opened the door and there he was, the same man she has been seeing for several days. Her eyes widen. She realised it had not been a coincidence all the while; she definitely knew him from somewhere.

The man smiled broadly at her. ”Tamina.” He called out her name. No one knew her by that name; not even her husband. In that instance, she remembered who he was; Nazim, the smuggler, one of the guys that helped smuggled her out of her country many years ago.

”I remember you.” She pointed at him, You! What do you want?” she demanded in anger.

”Hmm.” He scoffed, brushing her away from the door; he walked himself to the kitchen, open the fridge, and brought out a bottle of drink.

Anna felt her heart skipped a beat. She was terrified but tried not to show her fears. ”What do you want?” She shouted at him, ”My husband is home.” She lied.

He chuckled. ”Oh no,” he let out a roar of laughter. ”Do you know how long I have been watching you, I saw him leave this morning,” he said with a smirk on his face.

Dread was binding itself tighter and tighter around her heart. ”What do you want?” She felt an uncomfortable pain in her chest.

Squealing with excitement, he looked up at her. ”I want some money.” He barked a hard laugh. I know your husband does not know who you truly are.”

Anna’s jaw clenched in disgust.

“Easy, tiger,” he jeered at her. “You know, that day your mother begged us to help her smuggle you out of Dominican Republic to the United Kingdom. I never knew who you were until I returned back; I heard that one of Dansley’s wife had run away; then, I connected the dot, the young woman we helped smuggled out.”

Anna felt a hard lump growing in her chest.

“I came back to London a few years later and then, one day, I saw you at the hospital where you work, I knew instantly who you were,” he touched her face briefly. “Your face, I couldn’t miss it, it’s been so long but I can’t miss that face,” he said mocking her. I have you on my list of insurance, you know, in case I need something and what do we know.” He cast a glance at her, I do now-

”Enough!” Anna interrupted, ”Enough!” She straightened and walked up to him. ”My mother paid you well; you took your share, this was twenty years ago, what else do you want?” She raged.

”Don’t you dare shout at me,” he faced her squarely, ”I want a little token for damages.” He demanded.

“What damages?”

“Damages, compensation; whatever it’s called these days.” He shouted.

“What! This is blackmail.”

“Oh, is that what it called.” He jeered at her. “Call it whatever you like. I want what you owe me. My business was shut down shortly after I returned back home. Your so-called husband found out we had something to do with your disappearance.” His eyes darkened. “Most of my team were beaten and some were even killed. I barely escaped to another town and all was because of a little brat like you.” He looked straight into her eyes. “What I want now is the damages you caused. I want £5,000.”

Anna was gobsmacked. ”£5,000, where on earth do you want me to get that kind of money?” She was trembling, her body radiating heat.

”I don’t care where you get it from, it’s a small token to protect your secret; I give you 48 hours to get it.” His face was hard. He stood another drink from the fridge and began to walk towards the door.

”Good day Mrs. Williams, I hope you enjoyed our service.” He smiled and walked out of the house.

”Oh God!” Anna sat down against the door and cried out. She began to shiver uncontrollable, scared and afraid of what it is to come. She realized her past was catching up to her, the secrets she’ s worked so hard to bury, not even her husband knew about it, now she’s been blackmailed.

 

CHAPTER TWO

Anna managed to serve dinner as usual. After Chris had finished his dinner, he sat down to watch his favourite soap opera, just then, Anna came toward Him, all drenched in tears kneeling down before him.

Chris sat up. ”Honey, are you ok? ‘Why are you crying Anna?”

She covered her face and gulped down a sob. ”I need to tell you something dear.” She couldn’t bear to look him in the eyes. She feared for her marriage, losing the man she loved so much and everything she worked for broke her heart.

Chris held her head to look at her. ”Honey, please, don’t cry, you can tell me anything, Please.”

Her heart twisted in dismay. “I…” she stammered. She looked up to his face again and this time the tears flowed freely and made it impossible to speak.

“You are scaring me Anna; please tell me what happened.”

Anna wiped the tears away from her cheeks; she inhaled deeply trying to sum up the courage to speak to him. She swallowed hard. ”You know how I told you about my past, living in the Dominican Republic?” She held her trembling hands together.

”What about it?”

She stood up from where she was kneeling and walked a few distances away from him. Her hands folded against her chest. ”I grew up in Barahona, in the Dominican Republic with my parents and fourteen siblings. As I told you, my father was a drunk; he drinks everything and everywhere, all his savings goes to his drinking,” She sat gently on the couch, facing him. “He was in so much debt that he was always beaten by his creditors. After a while, he started giving out his children in exchange for money, especially the girls to marry, and the boys to work for his creators. ” She paused for a minute.

”So, one day at the age of fourteen, my father called me out of the room and told me I was to follow some group of men who were already waiting outside to take me to my new home. He said my bride price has been paid and I was to be a good wife to my new husband.” She allowed the tears bunching her eye pour down her cheeks. She stood up and walked towards the wall.

She saw the hard look on Chris’s face. He swallowed hard.

I screamed and shouted for my mother as I was being carried away. I knew he was marrying me away. She whimpered. God! I was only a child. I cried so much as I was driven to the new home. The men only laughed and mocked me as they drove.” She paused to search her husband’s face to see what he was thinking but this time, his face was harder than before, and that scared her so much.

”When I got to the new house, I was handed over to an old man; old enough to be my father; he said he was my husband and I was to obey everything he tells me. I cried so much and wouldn’t allow any one touch me so I was locked up in a room for several days until I stopped crying. Almost every night after that; the man would come into the room and rape Me.” she cried as she cupped her hands around her body. ”I was so scared; no one to call, no one to help me. I wasn’t allowed out of the house, not even to go see my parents. Her trembling legs made it difficult to stand, so she sunk to the floor and sat against the wall.

After several months, I was very sick, so sick that they had to call my mother to come look after me, then, I realized I was pregnant.” She paused.

”From that day, my mother started to plan my escape; she said she knew some people who could help her take me far away from our country, and she was saving towards that. Finally, the day of my delivery came, my mother was there. I gave birth to my child, a baby girl, my mother told me to go take my bath which was just behind the house.

Chris’s eyes widen.

Her lips trembled. She wanted to stop, but knew she had to tell him the whole story. When I got outside, some men were waiting for me and from there; they took me down to the port. They said my mother had planned an escape for me. I told them to please allow me take my baby with me but they wouldn’t let me go back; they said, my mother only paid for my price. I cried all through the journey, I was so weak and tired. I mean, I just had a baby. Anna said in tears. All I had was a letter from my mother and some set of clothing and money she had given to the men to give to me.

Chris stood up abruptly. His face showed the strain of hurt. He stood still for a moment and then walked towards the window.

I was taken away from the city and into a ship with some goods that was supposed to be taken to the United Kingdom. I hid in the store room with some number of people who wanted to leave the country. It took us five days to reach the United Kingdom and then sought for asylum.” She stopped to look at him. He just kept quiet, staring back at her.

He was confused and never realised his wife of ten years had kept such secret away from him all these while. He watched her again and took his face away.

Anna was afraid of look at him as shame and fear made her bow her head.

”Why didn’t you tell me Anna, or is that even your name? He asked angrily.

”My name was Tamina, but I changed it legally when I got to this country.” Anna said in tears.

”So, Tamina or Anna or whatever you answer to,” he said angrily, ”Why didn’t you tell me?”

”I wanted to Chris,” she cried out. ”But I was so scared of what you would think of me, I was scared you would stop loving me,” she cried out again. ”Please, Chris, I am so sorry for keeping this away from you. This was many years before we even met, that was my past, and I didn’t want to drag that into our lives. My mother told me I had to go far away and never look back, that was my escape, I was just a child€¦..” she cried out.

But you are a grown woman now, no more a child. You had a choice, and you chose to keep it away from me. He tried to keep his voice low but the anger in him wanted to explode in torrent.

I just wanted a new life, a life far away from that€ She cried out.

”God! After ten years married to you Anna, it took you ten years to tell me this. Why now?” he shouted.

Anna was silent.

”I said, why now?” he shouted at her.

She jerked at the sound of his voice. ”A few days ago, I noticed a man had been following me, and at the store yesterday, I saw him again€ She let out her breath This morning, he came over and then, I recognized him, he was one of the men that smuggled me out of my country and now, he wants to blackmail me. I don’t know how he found out about me, about us, but he know you are unaware of my past and he’s willing to expose me out, only if I pay him £5000.” She bowed her head in shame.

Chris stared at her with so much anger. ”So, it took a man to blackmail you with £5000 for you to tell me?” he raged out.  ‘‘Tell me, if he had not come to you, when were you going to tell me?” he asked but Anna didn’t answer him.

”No! You were not planning to tell me, were you? So long as your secrets are safe.” He took his keys and headed towards the door.

”No€¦ no€¦ no€¦ no€¦ no€¦, Chris, please, I am so sorry. I know what I did is very wrong, please.”, she knelt down holding his legs, ”please, I am begging you.” she cried out.

”I love you so much……., we have been through tough times together, I told you everything about myself, even things I was ashamed of. I was naked before you Anna. It’s been ten years now, ten good years we€™ve been together and trying to have a baby and I have never for once challenged you, we’ve prayed together, laughed together, cried together,” he allowed the tears flow freely from his eyes. ”Please, take your hands off me.” he jerked away from her, and left the house.

”Oh God…., please. Chris, please……, I am sorry, don’t leave me. God, I am sorry, please Lord, help me this time. I am so sorry.” She cried out.

 CHAPTER THREE

A few days passed, Chris didn’t come home, although, he left a message saying he was ok and needed time to himself. Anna prayed like she’d never prayed before, she asked God to help her and keep her marriage even though she has been unfaithful by lying to her husband. Anna managed to go to work to keep herself sane. Two days after this incident, Anna was coming back from work, walking toward her front door, she saw Nazim coming out of her house.

She was frightened. He had been in her house. ”What are you doing here?” she asked him but he just ignored her and walked passed.

Anna was stunned and confused; she watched him drive off in his car. She unlocked the door and saw Chris in the hallway.

She was stunned. ”What happened?” She asked.

”Nothing you need to worry about again.” he said and walked to the sitting room.

Anna had no idea what had happened between Nazim and Chris but she was certain that Nazim won’t be seen or heard from again.

”Honey, I’m glad you are home.” She went to him.

”Come sit down Anna.”

Anna sat opposite him.

He inhaled deeply. ”For the past two days, I have thought and searched myself. I don’t understand why you took this long to tell me; I don’t know Anna.” his face was filled with disappointment

”I am so very sorry.” Anna started to say

He put up his hands. ”No, please, let me finished.” he said. ”Anna, you really don’t know how much I love you and would do anything for you. Right now, I don’t know how I can ever trust you again.”

She looked at him solemnly. Her eyes were moist as he spoke those words.

”I am so sorry Chris; I know I hurt you.” Anna begged.

”I don’t know what to do Anna, I really don’t know.” He wiped his hands down his face.

She made eye contact. ”So, what are you saying?”

He shook his head and grew silent.

After few minutes, Anna started to speak. ”I need to tell you something too.”

”Hmm,” he chuckled out of spite. ”Another something?” he flashed an angry look at her.

Anna ignored the sarcasm in his voice. ”These past few days, I have been thinking€ She inhaled deeply. I need to travel back home€ She searched his face to know what’s he is thinking.

”You have nothing to stay here for Anna, everything you ever had or want is back home.” he said in an angry tone.

Her heart tightened its beat. She couldn’t believe he said that to her. ”You know that€™s not true Chris; I have to go make things right, I have to€¦”

”I don’t know what is true anymore,” Chris cut in. ”You know what, you just do whatever you want to do, and I don’t care.” he walked out of the house.

CHAPTER FOUR

Everything was falling apart for Anna; the man she loved was walking away from her, her life in total confusion. Chris wasn’t even talking to her. He refused to eat at home, he sleeps on the couch. Sometimes, Anna hears him talking to himself and it breaks her heart to see him like that. She even heard him prayed to God in tears, telling him his feelings and emotions. In as much as she wanted to stay and settle things with Chris, she felt she had to back home and face her demons; everyday, her heart ached for her daughter and her mother. Since she’s never heard from them since she left; she felt guilty for putting her child through what would be horrific. Her mother had made her promised she would never come back. She had to run away, run so far from everyone. She promised she would look after her daughter, the daughter she didn’t even name. Her baby would be 20 years of age now, not a baby any more, a full grown woman

She left a note for Chris the day she left the United Kingdom, telling him how much she loved him and sorry for all she’s done.

Getting down from the plane at Dominican Republic brought fear and uneasiness to her. She hailed for a Cab to her Father’s house. During the two hours€™ drive, She kept praying to God to see her through this ordeal, she prayed for wisdom and guidance, She prayed for restoration in her marriage and peace for Chris. As they drove into their street, the whole place looked different, the roads are now tiled, more houses and a fresh breathe of air. As the car pulled in front of the house, she paid her fare and walked into the house, the house seems so quiet than usual, no women and children. She knocked but no one answered so she opened the door, seeing no one was in-door, she walked through to the back door leading to the garden and there, she saw her mother folding some clothes.

She stood there as her legs became weak to move.

”Mother!” she called out in tears

Her Mother looked back and was shocked to see her daughter standing there

”Tamina, My child,” her mother gasped, opened her arms towards her while Anna walked into her.

”Oh Mother.” She hugged her tightly while they both cried.

”Oh, I knew you would come back one day, I prayed for you my Child.”

”You prayed.” she looked into her eyes.

”Yes I did.” she laughed, and hugged her again.

”And God did answered mother, He did.” hugging her again. ”I am so happy Ma, I missed you.”

”Come,” her mother took her hands to sit down.

”Where’s everyone?” Anna asked looking around.

”Everyone” she sighed ”It’s just us.” she said. ”So much story to tell you my child.” She cupped her face into her hands staring deep into her eyes.

Her mother told her the short version of all that happened after she left; her supposed Husband was so angry when they couldn’t find her; he threatened the whole family and threw her father in jail believing he€™d set up the whole thing. He ordered her child be given to her Mother to take care of. After few years, He died of heart attack. At this time, Anna’s father had been in jail, had some infection in the eyes that lead to his blindness and stroke. Things were so tough for them as they lived on debt and nothing. During this time, all his other wives left with their children leaving her Mother to pick up all the pieces. She cared for her father and her baby.

”Oh Ma, you have been through so much€ she cried.

”I worried so much about you dear; it was tough for us but God took over. He found us. He took away all our suffering and gave us joy and peace.” Her mother said in tears.

Anna smiled softly. ”He found me too after I got to the United Kingdom and He has watched over me ever since.” she said in tears, then she looked around her anxiously.

”Oh, I know who you are looking for; Esther.”

”Esther!” Anna covered her mouth with her hands, awestruck.

”Yes, Esther, your daughter. That’s what we call her or don’t you like it?” she asked

”Esther is wonderful Ma.” she answered in tears.

”Your daughter, most beautiful like her Mother, She’s gone to School.” she said

”School.” Anna smiled.

”Yes, she’s worked so hard and she’s very smart too. She’s going to be a doctor,” she smiled, so proud of her.

”Ma,” Anna hugged her Mother again, ”Thank you Ma, thank you so much.”

”Now, you have to go see your Father, he’s in the room; Please go easy on him, He never forgave himself for what he did to you.” Her mother said.

”It’s okay Ma.” she stood up, and walked to his room.

As she opened the door, she saw her father, so fragile lying in bed.

”Angie.” her Father called out, thinking it was his wife but Anna was too shock to answer seeing how thin he was.

“Is that you Angie?”

”It’s not Ma.” Anna said softly. It’s me, Father€

Her father was shocked and surprised but He knew that voice.

”Tamina………..” he stammered. ”Tamina………, is that you?” he asked again, struggling to stand up.

”Yes, it’s me, father,” she reached for his hands

”My Child, you came back. You are really here.” he pulled her close to his embrace.

”Please forgive me…….” he whimpered.

”It’s okay Father.” Anna took his hands as she was drenched in tears.

Anna realized why she came back home; it wasn’t to face her demons as she had thought but a time for healing and forgiveness. She realized even as she already knew God and His love, she was yet to forgive her family, even herself for all that had happened. They all needed restoration and indeed, God had gone ahead of her to make a way for his healing. The tears were not of sorrow but of joy, of peace because she knew it was all God. They all cried and laughed together but most importantly, thank God repeatedly. Anna told them all about her life in the United Kingdom, about her husband.

As evening came, she went outside for some air while her mother attended to her father. There, she thought of her husband, how she wished things were not as they are now, she wanted him so close to her now. Just in her thought, she saw her pretty angel walked into the compound and she knew instantly who she was. Standing just there, she was filled with so much joy that she couldn’t move.

She watched as Esther moved closer to her, also staring at her.

”Ma.” Esther said

But Anna’s eyes were filled with tears

”You know who I am.” Anna said in tears

”It’s you, Ma.” Esther replied. ”My Mother.”

There was silence between them as Anna thought of hugging her but the fear of being rejected held her; as they both stood facing each other, she wanted so much to hold her. She watched her looking into her eye too and just then, Esther pulled her into her embrace and held on so tightly.

”Mama.” she heard her say repeatedly as she held her.

”I am so sorry.” Anna cried out.

”No ma, don’t say that. I never held anything against you.” Esther cried on her shoulder.

“I love you dear.”

“I know Ma.” Esther said looking into her eyes. I know€

They both held each other in tears.

*****

As they prepared the bed for Anna, her mother walked up to her.

”You look very tired dear; have some tea then, you will go to bed.” Angie said.

”I am not tired Ma, I could stay all night.” she laughed out.

”You know,” Angie took Anna palms and looked into it, then into her eyeballs.

”Ma, I’m ok.” Anna said

”Yes, you are my daughter, I know you are. You are with a child.” she smiled. ”Are you keeping more surprises for us€ she joked.

”What! No, I can’t be,  Anna smiled. I just had my period€

”Hmm, When?” her mother asked.

”Actually, was supposed to have had……..’ Anna sat down, trying to think.

”Don’t you be deceived by periods,” her mother said, ”I know a pregnant woman when I see one.” she smiled and left her room.

Esther, who had been listening to their conversation, spoke out.

”Don’t worry Ma, would get you a pregnancy kit first thing in the morning€ She hugged her good night.

As her Mother and daughter both left the room, Anna was stunned. She wondered if really she could be pregnant. She had been so stressed out for some couple of weeks, she knew stress could delay menstrual cycle but still, she knew something was different.

CHAPTER FIVE

Anna and her family spent the days talking and enjoying each other€™s company. They spoke about everything they did miss in their lives. They laughed, cried and hugged repeatedly for several days.

A week later, Anna and Esther had woken up earlier and took a long walk outside, talking about almost everything. She wanted her to come with her to the United Kingdom but Esther insisted on finishing her Degree first and would probably come to study for her school of Medicine in the United Kingdom, and also, she wanted to stay back with her grandmother for a little while. Esther told her mother how she thought about her every day and looked forward to seeing her. After a long day outside, they both decided to go back to the house. As they were about entering the house, they both heard chatting from the inside, opening the door, behold, Anna saw Chris in the living room.

”Chris!” she gasped in disbelief.

”Anna!” Chris stood up to hug her.

”What is…’’? Anna stammered. She couldn’t believe he was there.

”Oh honey, I am so sorry dear€ Chris said.

”No, honey, you didn’t do anything, I did all this.” Anna blinked back the tears in her eyes.

”It’s okay honey, I’m never letting you go again, I love you and want to spend the rest of my life with you, you alone€ He stroke her cheeks with his hands. We are together as one, I can’t leave without you dear; You are all that I am, you are everything to me my love.” he held her hands looking straight into her eyes.

”Well, it’s not just me alone you have to leave with.” Anna smiled.

”Yes I know, your mum told me everything about Esther, She is always welcome into our home and lives as long as she wants and your parent too. A€ Chris smiled.

”Well, but there’s still someone else.” Anna whispered.

”Who?” Chris asked, taken aback

Speaking in to his ears, ”I’m pregnant honey, we are having a baby.” Anna whispered.

”Oh my God!” Chris carried her and turned around to face her parents. ”We are having a baby€ he said out loud. ”We are having a baby.” he said again and took his wife’s hand and kissed her so passionately. ”I love you honey.” Chris said with tears of joy in his eyes.

”I love you too Christopher Crane.”

We are together as one. He smiled.

A NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR 

To forgive is the highest, most beautiful form of love. In return, you will receive untold peace and happiness€ Robert Muller.

‘To forgive is to set a prisoner free and then discover that the prisoner was you’. Sometimes, it’s not just forgiving those that hurt you but also forgiving yourself. Forgiveness is the oil of relationships.

Forgiveness holds the key to freedom. Sometimes, the pain may be stronger than our will to forgive; we need the love of God to strengthen us during the hard times of our lives. We forgive those who have wronged us, and forgive ourselves too.

Story written by Abimbola CirclesOfLove

The End

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© Circlesoflove 2014

 

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