David got back home that evening to discover Gloria had gone; he felt scattered and sadden by this news. He felt he was losing everything he loved and holds dearly to his heart. First it was his health, then his son, his supposed wife, and now, the only woman he hoped would love him and stay with him have suddenly walked away from his life. At first, he wanted to run after Gloria, to beg her to come back into his life, in fact, he had been willing to do anything she wanted just for her to come back but decided against it.
Hauwa on the other hand was also trying hard to get used to Gloria not being around. She had once or twice called for her in the house forgetting she was gone. However, she noticed how Mr. Williams had become; he no longer smiled in the house and looked gloomy almost everyday. Hauwa was becoming tired of this so she decided to take matters into her own hands; she had prayed for wisdom for days now and knew this was the right time to go forth.
David heard the faint knock on his door.
“Come in Hauwa.” He said knowing she was the only one who could have knocked.
Hauwa opened the door and smiled at him.
“Hello Uncle.” She greeted; David had stopped her from calling him ‘Oga’, he said she had become more like a family.
“Are you alright?” He asked, his face was still fixed on his iPad.
“Hmmm” She tried to get his attention. “I was wondering if you would like something to eat or drink?”
“No, I’m okay.” He replied without looking up.
“No, you are not okay uncle.” Hauwa blurted out.
He looked up at her.
Hauwa smiled. She knew one of these days, her big mouth might get her into trouble but she needed to get his attention.
“At last!” She grinned. “I got your attention.” She went to his side.
“You sure did!”
“Alright Uncle, it’s time to get back up and take charge,” she started, “You have allowed this sadness for quite a long time and this is affecting you.”
“I’m fine Hauwa, there’s nothing wrong with me.”
“You can’t fool me uncle, besides, as your therapist which I am, I am responsible for your well being.”
David chuckled. Hauwa had always used to line to get him to do his exercise for many months.
“Okay uncle, on a more serious note; I know what happened between you and aunty Gloria.”
David looked away from her.
“I am aware of your feelings for her but ever since she left, you have withdrawn to this shell and living like a miserable man.”
He arched an eyebrow at her.
She sighed. “I am sorry.” She was quite for a few seconds. “I know this is a difficult time for you considering all you have been through; you feel you have lost everything you ever had, you feel disappointed and lost.” She caught his eyes and stared at it for a moment. “You feel let down by the one you once loved; First was Madam; you gave everything to her but she let you down and betrayed your love.”
Hauwa saw that he felt uncomfortable about this discussion, but she knew she was the only one who could talk to him.
“I know you feel so much hatred towards madam, and even as you tried to overcome the hatred in you by trying to love aunty Gloria but that was not enough to heal your heart. What am I saying?” Hauwa watched him become more uneasy about the conversation.
“You have to let go, you have to get to the root of your hatred and let go of your pain.” Hauwa saw the fire in his eyes as she spoke those words.
“Someone once said that, when you hold resentment towards another, you are bound to that person or condition by an emotional link that is stronger than steel. Even though madam is no longer here but by reason of your anger and resentment towards her, there is still a link that binds you two together.
His eyes darkened ominously as he stared at her. “I am not bind in anyway to that wicked woman.”
“You are and forgiveness is the only way to dissolve that link and get free.”
“What!” He gasped in disbelief. “Did you get these from one of your school books? His face was taut.
“Actually, not from a school book but hear me out please, to forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was in fact you. Uncle, I know you understand what I mean but the only way to get your life back is to forgive anyone that has ever hurt you, you need to let go.” She looked into his eyes. “Even if Aunty Gloria had stayed, that wouldn’t have given you want you needed – Freedom. The freedom you desire can only be given by one person, God.” She knelt down by his side to look into his eyes.
David brushed his hands down his head. He stood up and walked towards the wall. He stared at the picture on the wall. It was an image of a toddler learning to walk.
Hauwa let the silence in for a few seconds but she continued. “I found out about this some months ago; I used to be very angry, I was sad and depressed and no amount of success or achievement could take that away from me. I needed something greater than feeling, something stronger to rescue me from myself and I found it.” Her face lilted up in Joy. “I found that out in Jesus, only He could have given the kind of peace and freedom I wanted and He did.” She smiled profoundly.
“I had hated everyone, I hated my parents or shall I say grandparents for giving me up at the first chance they got to live a better life. I hated what they did to me; I hated the man who took advantage of me, all these still goes back to my parents who gave me away. Then, I hated Madam and anyone that stood against me, in fact, I hated myself, I just couldn’t get free from the hatred in me until I found Jesus or shall I say, He found me. He gave me the kind of peace I could never comprehend; he gave me a new life, a renewed and cleansed life in Him and he gave me a purpose. He took away every anger and hatred in me and gave me love. God! Only if you can trust him Uncle, only if you let go of everything and give it all to him.” Her voice was broken. She swallowed hard and watched him go back to sit. He bowed his head into his hands.
Hauwa went to kneel beside him. “I know what you feel inside and God knows and understand everything; He knows your pain and knows where you are hurting and only Him can heal you.” Hauwa felt his pain. She knew he was hurting deep inside and he needed to let God in and heal him.
“Even after months of your recovery and madam gone, you are still living here in this basement; you are afraid of going forward, of letting go of the past. There is a passage in the bible that says, ‘the Lord has not given us the spirit of fear but of power, love and sound mind’, you need the peace of mind that comes with Christ, you need his love to take away every sadness, heartache, pain and hurt away from you; you need his love to cover you up so you can let go of those who hurt you, you need God uncle, you need Him.” Hauwa stayed quite there for several minutes; she knew he was in deep thought so she carefully walked out of the room to leave him to his conviction. She had spoken the words to him and she knew the Holy Spirit was speaking to his heart, speaking the truth and comfort to him.
David sat there for several minutes, unaware of when Hauwa went out. He knew she was saying the truth. All the while, he’d held unto resentment and blamed his wife for everything that happened to him. Even before his accident, it had always been from one fight to another; he knew Lydia was not really in love with him when they got married but he had done the honourable thing by marrying her when she got pregnant. He was determined to love her and give her everything she wanted but all his effort to please her was to no avail. He felt such great hatred towards her. He blamed her for taking his son away from him and depriving him of the relationship he was entitled to.
But now, after living in so much resentment, he knew it was time to let go, even though he felt something for Gloria, he realized he was just using that as an excuse to deny the anger in his heart but the truth be told, he needed freedom and only God can give that.
As he thought about these things, he was also struggling with the tears threatening to flow out, which successfully fought its way out. He realized he had to let go, he had to speak to the one man who can help him. He sat there in tears for a while before he could speak.
“I surrender..” he cried out. He had wanted to say so much to God but the one word that kept coming to him was ‘Surrender’. That summed up the whole thing. He had to surrender everything to Him: his pain, his struggles, his hurt, the disappointment and betrayal, he just had to surrender all to Him. “Help me Lord,” he cried. “I surrender all to you.”
Chapter Twenty Two
It’s been almost a year since Gloria left the house. They did maintained a close relationship; calls and visits to her but Gloria had never visited the house since she left. Hauwa was glad Gloria was getting back on her feet and going for what she always wanted. She had a passion for fashion, although she had looked down on her potentials for several years but now going out for it. Over the past few months, she had opened a small office with the money she’d saved over the years and started up with some designs which is blossoming.
Hauwa is also working hard in her career, and achieving her dreams of helping victims to get back on their feet. Most importantly, her faith in Christ had been growing stronger and stronger.
Mr. Williams had insisted she stayed with him in the house since he had practically adopted her like a daughter; he is also fully back at work and growing stronger in faith.
Lydia had asked for a divorce a few months when she left the house; she stated that she needed to move on with her life and wanted to make it official. David found out she was already in a relationship since the left the house. During this time, the Lord had strengthened his heart with peace. Above all these, the most happiest moment of his life was his son, Edward who had come back to him, although not physically but just one day, he called from United States and wept and talked with him for almost an hour.
Edward explained that he’d joined the United State Army and was shipped to Sierra doing some peace making Programme and having seen so many deaths and destruction, his heart was filled with sadness. He needed a purpose of living; he needed God in His life. So during this deployment, he had surrendered his life to God and prayed earnestly to God to return him back home safe and sound. He also apologized to his father for all the neglect all these years, even went as far as apologizing on behalf of his mother.
After this, there was a renewed happiness in David; His heart was glad the Lord was working in Him and bringing his family back together.
One day, Hauwa was at home enjoying her day off when she heard the doorbell. She went to open the door and to her surprise, standing there was one man she had not expected to see, Edward.
Edward stood there dog smacked.
Hauwa stood there too staring at him. He wasn’t that sixteen years old boy anymore; he was a full grown man.
“Edward! She called out, to be sure she wasn’t dreaming.
“Hi!” Edward blushed.
“You are here!” She eyes were wide open. Too surprised to hide the expression on her face.
“Yes… I am.”
They both stood there for several seconds staring at each other.
“Oh sorry!” Hauwa apologised, realizing she was standing in his way. “Please come in.
Edward pulled his bags in, while Hauwa went ahead to carry the hand luggage which was still outside.
“Thank you.” He smiled shyly taking the bag from her.
She returned the smile and stood there. She wasn’t sure of what to say to him; the fact, she actually never remembered talking to him before he went away except the glass episode and some other, ‘Madam wants you’ but now, there was something she felt in her stomach, a tingling feeling that she desperately wanted to get out of there before she embarrassed herself.
She cleared her throat. “Uhm, your Dad is still at work, maybe I should call him? She went to pick up her phone from the table.
“Oh no, don’t worry about that, I actually wanted to surprise him, he doesn’t know I had planned to come home today. He is expecting me in two weeks time.”
“Oh ok.” Hauwa remembered David mentioned that he would be coming out but she had thought in many months to come, not now, and not even today. She couldn’t help to look at how fit he was. He was tall and broad-shouldered. His beautiful brown eyes fitted perfectly with his face. She felt the uneasiness in her stomach again. She took her face away quickly when he looked her way.
“Would you like something to drink, eat?”
“No, thank you.” He answered, taking off his blazer.
“Alright then, I will be in my room.” She walked quickly out of the living room.
Hauwa walked as fast as her feet could carry her; she couldn’t believe she was seeing Edward Williams let alone the feelings penetrating inside of her. She felt childish at the emotion bursting out of her. Never in her life had she felt so different with anyone.
She stayed in her room till late evening. Even then, she wouldn’t but wonder what he was doing. She wanted to ask him so many questions but had to restrain herself. The feelings bursting through her would make it impossible. It wasn’t until she heard David shout of joy that she came back downstairs. She was overwhelmed when she saw the way David hugged his son. They held each tightly for several minutes and wept, laughed, and then wept again. She felt the tears bunching in eyes too, but most importantly the joy bursting through her. She was grateful for the restoration God had given to the family. She wasn’t sure the two men noticed she was standing there as the wept together. She turned away quickly before the tears started to roll down her cheeks. It was indeed a beautiful day; the tears she knew were that of joy, and unending happiness. When she got back to her room, she needed to speak with someone about this overjoyed news so she called Gloria. As she had imagine, Gloria was overjoyed.
Chapter Twenty Three
Almost a week after this, Hauwa was in her room resting; she had only seen Edward briefly having been extremely busy at work. She’d been working over time since some of the therapists were off to some conference in another city.
Then she heard a faint knock on her door.
“Coming uncle,” She had said, thinking it was Mr. Williams.
“No, it’s me.” Edward said.
She stood up quickly, straightened her dress and went to the door.
“Edward!”She opened the door.
“Hi!” he smiled. “I’m sorry to bother you but was wondering if you would like some dinner.” He avoided looking straight in her eyes.
“Oh, is it time?” Hauwa asked looking at her wrist watch. “I’m Sorry, I was so carried away, didn’t realize it was time to prepare dinner. I will be down in a minute to make something.”
“Oh no, I don’t mean that dinner.” He ran his hand through his head.
Hauwa stared back at him.
“I know you’ve been working all week and have not had the chance to properly meet again, you know, I would like to properly thank you for all you’ve done for my dad.”
She smiled tenderly. “Oh no, you don’t have to Edward, I am grateful for all your dad has done for me too, he’s a wonderful man.” She smiled.
“I insist, please, let me take you out this evening if you don’t mind
Hauwa looked at her feet. It was an excuse to avoid looking into his eyes. The feelings was back again.
“Please…” H said again.
“Alright, dinner it is.” She smiled back.
“I will be downstairs when you are ready.” He smiled and walked away quickly.
Hauwa stood there watching as he went down the hall way. She wasn’t sure what to do after then; maybe, she should change her dress or go with the one she already had on. She went inside and sat for a few seconds. “C’mon get yourself together,” she whispered to herself. “It’s only dinner, nothing more.” She stood up to brush her hair and freshen up. Twenty minutes later, she was on her way downstairs to meet Edward.
Edward stood up immediately he saw her walking down the stairs, he smiled and then waited for her to get down before he went to the door.
“I don’t know what you would like to have.” He said.
“I have Chinese in mind but you can tell me anything or anywhere you would like to go.” He opened the passenger door for her.
“Thank you!” She said.
She waited for him to get into the driver seat before putting on her seatbelt. “Chinese will do.”
They drove in silence for the twenty minutes’ drive to the Chinese restaurant. After ordering some food, Edward excused himself to the bathroom. Hauwa saw that he was quite nervous, well, that would make both of them. He returned back almost immediately and took his seat.
“I’m so sorry.”
“It’s okay.” She nodded. She could tell he was trying to get comfortable.
“I have so many things to say to you,” he laughed faintly. “But as you can see, I feel so nervous, can you believe that?” he laughs at himself.
“That would make both of us.” Hauwa confessed to ease him.
He chuckled. “Oh!”
She smiled back shyly.
“Honestly Hauwa, I really want to appreciate you; thank you for all you did for my family.” He started to say, this time, in all seriousness.
“You don’t have to thank me Edward; anyone could have done the same thing I did.”
“No, no one did it, I didn’t do it, my mom didn’t but you did. To think that I gave you so much hard time in the past, you still looked beyond that to help my father.” he took his face away in regret. He swallowed hard. “I am so sorry Hauwa for all I did back then, I am very sorry; it was childish and stupid.”
“I thought we came here to eat.” Hauwa straightened and smiled tenderly at him. She was not about to come here and think of the past.
Edward rested his back on his seat.
“I don’t have anything against you Edward, you were just a young boy, you were exploring……” She teased him.
He covered his face with his hands as he laughed. “And she is funny too.”
They started to eat in silence again for few minutes.
“So tell me about Sierra, Uncle told me a little but would like to hear more if you don’t mind.” She took a sip of her drink.
“Hmm, Sierra.” Edward murmured.
Hauwa saw the sad expression on his face. “Oh, it’s okay if you don’t want to, I will understand.” She added.
“No, not all.” he tired to assure her. The event that took place there was something he would have to live with for the rest of his life; some good, some bad but in all, they are part of him now.
“You know, I only joined the army out of fun; my friends and I were playing around one day and enlisted our names, never thought they would even call. Out of the four of us, I was the only one they called.”
He flashed back to that fateful day when he got the letter he couldn’t refuse.
“At first I was glad for the adventure, didn’t take it serious until I was taken to the army camp and then started training and all. At this time, it hadn’t really dawn on me what I was into; I had the wrong mindset to something they took very important, something that involved lives.
A Few weeks later, we were shipped to Sierra for a peace making Programme, in fact when I heard peace making, I was kind of settled that would be easy not until we got there and everything changed.” His face filled with such heavy sadness.
“The rebels made life difficult; I saw so much death like never before, I had to touch them, carried some of the villagers to get help and had to hold some until their last breathe.” His hands were beginning to tremble which Hauwa noticed.
“Children were crying for their mothers and fathers, some nursing their parents’ wound; it was terrible, so terrible.”his eyes were moist as he spoke.
“That touched me and made me realize what a selfish and spoilt boy I had been; I treated my own father as if he was already dead and left him in his pain. God! I felt so ashamed, I was broken. Then we were attacked, some rebels started to shoot at us while we walk on the streets, I was losing friends, those that I have called my family.” He took his face away as the tears that flooded his eyes were about to fall.
Hauwa stretched her hands to hold his hands. She could feel the tears bunching in her own eyes as well. She wanted to tell him to stop as the emotion bursting through him was too heart-breaking for her to take.
“Rick was one of them; the first day we met at the camp, the first question he asked was if I was a Christian. During these sad times, I had cried and wept like a baby, I needed something stronger to help me out of all these; Rick had led me to Christ and opened my eyes to the truth staring at me all along. Unfortunately, he was shot days after by the rebels and I remembered what he said to me before then, he said, ‘when I die, I’m off to see my father, God in heaven.”
He held Hauwa’s hands tightly and tried so hard to stop the tears. He inhaled deeply and took his face away from her.
“Since then, the only prayer on my list was, ‘Lord, I just want to come home.’ He sighs. “I just want to see my father, to make things right with him; I wanted another chance to do the right thing.” He paused for a while looking into her eyes.
“And you did.” Hauwa spoke out calmly. “You came home to him, not only to your father but also to God; you did it Edward.” She wiped the tears rolling down her cheeks.
Edward let out a faint laugh. “Yes, God gave me another chance and I’m not about to waste any moment of that.” He looked kindly at her. “Maybe a chance with you, a chance to be with you too.”
Hauwa was taken aback. She straightened in her seat.
“I know it’s been a week and all but I can’t let this pass me; since the first day I met with you again, I haven’t stopped thinking about you. I feel something here.” He touched his chest. “that I haven’t felt before; I know it’s early for both of us but would like you to know and consider me.
He stopped and for several seconds that looks like forever, they both sat there staring into each others eyes.
“I…” She was tongue tied.
“You don’t have to make a decision now, I don’t want to rush you.” He looked softly at her. “But please, have a good think about it.”
She nodded and inhaled deeply. She’d never expected this, not even in a life’s time. Although she had been trying to avoid the tingling feelings in her since Edward returned from the state but never thought he was also interested in her. The same sixteen years old boy she threaten many years ago. They both picked their food and ate in silence.
“I thought we came here for Chinese?” Hauwa spoke out to ease up the tension between them. They both laughed considering how cold their food had become.
Chapter Twenty Four
It’s been almost two years since Edward came back from the States. Six months later, he proposed to Hauwa.
Hauwa had been transferred to a teaching hospital in the city of Ibadan, Oyo state. Preparation was being made for their wedding, everything was coming into place and the best part of it is that God is with her.
The day the Lord has made.
As Hauwa held her father’s hand walking down the aisle, her heart was filled with thanks for the great things the Lord has done for her. Everyone that she loved were all there to share the day with her.
Aunty Gloria wouldn’t miss the day for anything. The past few years had changed her, she looked very confident and beautiful as ever; her business has been blossoming so great and clients are now looking to work with her.
Mr. Emmanuel who led her to Christ was also there to share the joy with her. Her soon-to-be father-in-law, Mr. Williams couldn’t be happier to see this day- she was going to officially become his daughter-in-law. Ever since he gave his life to Christ, he was a changed man; he trusted more in God and was grateful for the second chance he got in life. Madam was also there with her new husband, in fact, Edward had insisted she attended the wedding which she had declined. She had thrown a big tharum when she realised who Edward was getting married into. She had it was over her dead body her son would marry an iliteriate maid. Edward had told her bluntly she was very well invited and if she refused to come, it would be her loss. She grudily came and had been shocked to the bone when he saw Hauwa. Infact, she had concluded that it wasn’t the same Hauwa who did worked for her.
Edward saw his beautiful bride coming towards him, and his heart was filled with joy. She was beautiful, stunning and captivating. They exchanged their vows and were joined together as husband and wife.
The ceremony was joyous, everyone was happy. At the reception. David went to her new daughter-in-law and hugged her tightly.
“Thank you.” He whispered to her.
Hauwa smiled. “You should thank God.” She said back to him. Before he could leave, she pulled him back. “do you remember those days I said I would help you get back on your feet and you would do something for me in return?” she asked.
David smiled. “I certainly do.”
“I think it’s time I ask for that one thing.” she whispered to him.
“Alright madam. What would you want? He teased.
“I’m only asking for one thing, just one thing.”
“Anything for you my dear.”
“Don’t give up on her.” She nudged over to Gloria’s direction. “My one request is that you dance with her.”
David broke into a beautiful smile. “With all pleasure.”
She left him there and walked over to her husband.
Edward held his new bride, Mrs. Hauwa Williams in his hands as they danced. Hauwa rested her head on his shoulder, closing her eyes, she moved graciously to the song. She opens her eyes and saw Mr. Williams walking up to Aunty Gloria.
“Hello.” David smiled at Gloria.
David was stunned to see her. He couldn’t believe how beautiful she was.
“Would you like to dance?” David asked.
“Certainly.” She smiled taking his hands.
They joined the couple on the dance floor as they held hands together.
Hauwa couldn’t imagine what was going on in their minds but she knew definitely, this was just the beginning of great and beautiful things to come. As for her, she looked forward to great and exciting things to come. Looking back to those years, she knew definitely the Lord had been with her; he made all things beautiful and gave her beauty for every shame and scorn she had endured.
“The first time I saw you after so many years,” Edward spoke into her ears as they continued to dance. “Something inside of me changed forever. I found what I had been looking for; the magic and beautiful feeling I couldn’t have before.” he placed a kiss on her head. “You are God’s own miracle to me. Time and space ceased to be, our thread of love became one and all the pain, doubt and fear in the world cannot keep us apart.” He brought her face to his and covered it with a passionate kiss.
Right there, standing in the midst of all the people, they were lost in their own time and space; they felt like the only two standing there in the room.
Hauwa opened her eyes and looks straight into the most beautiful eyes staring back at her.
“I love you Edward” her voice shook with emotion. “I love you so much.”
Edward held her hands to his chest and smiled. “I love you too Hauwa.” Edward wanted to say more to her but the silence between them was far more better than anything he could say. He looked up and smiled, “Thank you Lord.” he whispered as he held his wife close to himself.
To my Readers If you have enjoyed reading this story, kindly leave your comments below. God bless you.
© Circlesoflove 2013