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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I Forgive You

Sincere forgiveness isn’t coloured with expectations that the other person apologize or change. One shouldn’t worry whether or not they finally understand you. Love them and release them. Life feeds back truth to people in its own way and time . I can forgive, but I cannot forget, is only another way of saying, I will not forgive. Forgiveness ought to be like a cancelled note torn in two, and burned up, so that it never can be shown against one.

The wrong has been done, the way forward is to keep looking forward; forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future. Forgiveness does not mean that we suppress anger; forgiveness means that we have asked for a miracle: the ability to see through mistakes that someone has made to the truth that lies in all of our hearts. Forgiveness is not always easy. At times, it feels more painful than the wound we suffered, to forgive the one that inflicted it. And yet, there is no peace without forgiveness.

The love of God is able to conquer everything that life throws at us; we need the willingness and courage to give it our best. Your love for each other isn’t enough to hold through storming seas but the love of God can break through every pain, disappointment, and betrayal. As he sat in his car, he felt at peace, the kind of peace you cannot comprehend, the peace that only God could give. He realized that to forgive is the highest, most beautiful form of love. In return, you will receive untold peace and happiness.

Forgiveness is not a cruel demand that a sadistic God imposes on the hurting. It is the painful but healing door to freedom. It is surgery on the heart that extracts the poison of bitterness so we can move forward into a healthy life.

Forgiveness is a choice we make intentionally, not because we just want to put the memory behind us, because we’ve been told we must, or because we think it will cause God to give us what we want. We choose to forgive because we recognized the tremendous mercy and power in God’s forgiveness of us. If God is able to forgive us our enormous cache of sin, our forgiveness of one who has hurt us is small in comparison. (Marriage Mission)

 

Excrept from the ‘Confession of a Married Woman’

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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

 

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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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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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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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Insight4U – Forgiveness in a relationship

Every husband-and-wife combination needs the healing touch of forgiveness.

Where else could there be more opportunity to annoy, insult, offend, or ruffle another person than in the intimacy of married life when we’re constantly under foot, get in each others way, and have to share all things in common (whether we like it or not)?

That’s just ordinary living, without taking into account the astonishingly hurtful things husbands and wives do, which demands more forgiveness than any of us could work up on our own. (Dr Ed Wheat, The First Years of Forever).

Forgiveness is the oil that lubricates a love relationship, and it’s an oil we need daily.

Forgiveness is not a one-time event; it’s an attitude of wanting to partner with your spouse in spite of his or her imperfections and irritations. (David and Claudia Arp).

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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.

******

Please CLICK HERE to reading the Concluding part: Confession of A Married Man

 

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