SEPARATED EPISODE 30 – Finale?
Bible Quote for the Day:
Be good to your servant, God ; be as good as your Word. Train me in good common sense; I’m thoroughly committed to living your way. Before I learned to answer you, I wandered all over the place, but now I’m in step with your Word. You are good, and the source of good; train me in your goodness. The godless spread lies about me, but I focus my attention on what you are saying; They’re bland as a bucket of lard, while I dance to the tune of your revelation. My troubles turned out all for the best— they forced me to learn from your textbook. Truth from your mouth means more to me than striking it rich in a gold mine.
Psalm 119:65-72 MSG
Daniel turned around to find someone he knew in the choir staring back at him. She was one of the few people he could call a friend. Who hadn’t looked down on him or treated him with disdain when she found out why he had been on suspension all those years ago. She hadn’t paid attention to the rumours then but had sought him out and asked outrightly what had happened to him. He had been open as much as he could and told her he was at a low point in his life. Rather than judge him she had prayed for him and encouraged him not to remain down, as that was what the devil wanted, and bounce back up.
“Hi Tamilore.” Unfortunately, he had lost touch with her due to the frequency of her business trips.
“Wow! It’s really you.” She came over to him and gave him a side-hug. Her perfume lingered on his shirt when she pulled back. Her smile bright. “It’s so so good to see you. Where have you been? I’ve missed you and that your voice o!”
He chuckled nervously and from the corner of his eyes checked if anyone else he knew was coming over to meet him. He didn’t want a crowd around him. Most importantly he didn’t want the gossip-mongers.
“I’ve been around. Here and there. What about you? How are you?”
“Here and there ke? Meaning what?” She hit him playfully on his arm and placed her bag on the seat next to his. They took their seats. “I’m where you left me nau. Singing my heart out to God and trying to be all He wants me to be. One thing is sure, I’m not the same person you left in church.”
He raised his brow, not quite sure of what she meant. “You’re getting married? And I’m just hearing?”
“And so? Shebi you pulled a disappearing act on me.” She giggled. “No jor. I’m just joking. I would eventually but that’s not what I mean. I’ve grown more spiritually and I believe I’m getting better and better with my walk with God.”
“Wow, that’s good to hear.” He remembered the last they had spoken she had complained of there not being enough time for her to study the bible due to her line of work. She was a business analyst and travelled most of the time to various job sites, sometimes within the country and other times to Dubai or Ghana. “So what changed?”
“After making so many excuses as to why I couldn’t read my bible, I had a revelation/near death experience.” Daniel raised his brow. Before she could explain further it was time for praise and worship and they suspended their conversation to another time and focused on the service.
Daniel had forgotten how good he had it at HGC, His Glory Center. The worship was on point as usual and brought down heavily the presence of God. He was glad when he saw John step up to the podium to preach on the wonders of God. He looked good in a simple white shirt and jean trouser. Daniel’s eyes scanned the front of the congregation to see if his wife was around.
He chuckled when he saw a heavily pregnant and beautiful Funlola dressed in a flowing floral gown and seated at the front. From her facial expression he could tell she was far from being comfortable. He recalled his conversation with his cousin some weeks back about how she was journeying through pregnancy. He wondered how she was doing now.
“If we talk about the wonders of God we would never be able to finish it or get a total understanding of it. His wonders encompass a lot of things. Wonders of His creation, wonders of His personality, wonders of His love. You look at a God that has His throne in Heaven and earth is His footstool. You See a God that is a consuming fire and yet tells you He loves you with an everlasting love. Isn’t it amazing? I’m going to be focusing on the latter part this evening. Wonders of His love. I take my anchor scripture from Ephesians chapter three from verses fourteen down to twenty-one.” John read the sciptures and focused more on verses 17-19.
“’That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God’. Folks what do you think about that? Christ dwells in your heart when you believe in Him as your Lord and Saviour. From there you receive the promised HolySpirit who fills your heart with love. He teaches you how to love. This love causes you to act in ways that is incomprehensible to men. This love makes you yourself question what it is all about ‘cause you feel like you’re acting like a fool.”
He paused at that and smiled at someone endearingly. Daniel supposed the person to be his wife. He was right. “I was at home one day and my wife was having backpains and complaining of one thing or the other. I know it’s pregnancy things.” He chuckled and some in the congregation laughed. “Now, I try my best in the kitchen but I’m not as good as my wife. So knowing she’s going through all this do I just leave her and force her to cook my meal? No. I go the extra-mile to buy foodstuffs at home and sometimes I go ahead and cook. I’m not ashamed to say it.” He popped his collar. “I’m a man and I can cook.” Some ladies hooted at him and clapped their hands. Someone shouted, ‘That’s what I’m talking about!’
“Wait o! I know some of you would be happy to hear that. But please that’s not an excuse for wives not to be in the kitchen o! My family is different from yours. My marriage is different from yours. No comparison. And so because I know my wife is in pain I take it upon myself to do that which I have to do. Others may look at me like I’m silly or I’m not a real man. But I don’t care.
“Love compelled me to do what I did! God’s love pushes me to go the extra-mile. To do what others see as folly. Okay . . . That’s not part of my message but I believe someone out there needed to hear that. So now back to God’s love. God’s love is a whole package. Complete and needs nothing else added. I like how the Life Application study bible put it. His love is long; it contains the length of our lives. It is deep; it reaches to every depths of discouragement, despair, death. It is wide; it covers the breadth of our own experience and it reaches out to the whole world. It is high; it rises to the heights of our celebrations and elation. It just goes to say nothing can sepearate us from His love. Even His death could not separate you from His love! In fact, it just brought you closer to Him and opened the doors of your heart to receive His love. No matter what you think you’re going through know that God is with you and He loves you.”
After the service Daniel braced himself and greeted a couple of people that approached him and asked about his whereabouts. Some were genuinely concerned and it touched him to know there were people who really cared about him.
“I was just surprised when I didn’t see you anymore. Hope you’re back for good.”
Daniel nodded. “Yes, I am.”
“I still can’t believe you’re here.”
Efe shook her head for the second time that evening and stared at her half-sister. “Why are you here?” Efe couldn’t shake the surprise off her. She had spoken to her father just the day before and he never mentioned anything about Zainab coming over to see her. He only said Zainab came to pay him a visit and check up on him. Efe had found the gesture endearing. She was glad her father wasn’t all by himself. They had made peace and were getting their relationship back on track. She missed talking with him.
But that was something Zainab was now enjoying.
At first she had been jealous of their relationship, but she had pushed it aside knowing whether she liked it or not they had to get along with eachother. But she wasn’t prepared for it to happen this soon.
“I didn’t want him to tell you. If he had you might have talked him into pushing my visit to another time, right?”
“So I decided I had to come see you myself without and dissuasion. I know I hurt you – with the whole Adesewa thing at your wedding.”
“No. You didn’t hurt me. Yeah, your friend did and maybe I was hurt to know you were my sister and siding my then rival, but no,” Efe shook her head, “You didn’t hurt me.”
Zainab gave a sad smile. “I sort of did. The whole plan was my idea. I was more interested in Ade getting her man back. Well, I assumed he was her man. I just want to say I’m sorry about everything. I was wrong to have planted such thoughts in my friend’s head. If we hadn’t done what we did . . . You and Daniel may be having it good now.”
Efe blinked. She didn’t know what to say or think. Here was her half-sister apologising to her. The same person that had practically hated her back then. Looking at her now Efe could tell she had changed. But it had nothing to do with her appearance. Efe had looked her over when she arrived. She had on a white t-shirt that exposed the tattoos she had on her arms. Efe presumed the oversized shirt to be more for the male folk than female. Also, a pair of jeans trousers that were ripped at the knees and black sneakers with white laces. It all gave her that tomboyish look and it didn’t help that her hair was cropped like a guys’.
No. It definitely had nothing to do with her appearance. Efe could tell the difference in her eyes. They were kind and had this calmness that couldn’t be described. And if that hadn’t been convincing enough, then it was her coming over and seeking her forgiveness that assured her that the person seated before her wasn’t the same person months ago. It was evident that God had captured her heart.
Everyone deserved a second chance.
Just like how God had given Efe another chance, not just with Daniel but most importantly with Him. If God was willing to forgive her then she was meant to pay it forward and forgive as well. God was letting her know His strength was all she needed to move forward with her life and all she need do was trust Him and rest in His love.
Efe took a deep breath and said the words pressing heavy on her heart. “I forgive you. The you back then is no where near the you now and what you would be in the future. Whatever happened is all in the past.” She got up and walked over to where Zainab was and spread her arms open. At first Zainab hesitated but when Efe didn’t back down she rose from her seat and hugged her back. It felt good to know they could finally have a relationshio with eachother. After a few seconds they released each-other and Efe noticed Zainab brush away the tears in her eyes.
“So how have you been?”
Zaianb shrugged and sat back down. “I’m good. I should be asking you that question. Dad told me about your divorce thing. How are you?”
“I’m fine.” That was what she wanted to tell herself. That was how she wanted to feel. Fine. “He signed the divorce papers.”
“Ouch. Have you called him?” Efe shook her head and Zainab raised a brow. “What are you waiting for? If you guys are getting back together I think you should.”
“Thanks. I will. Now will you tell me how you are? Heard you almost got married and it didn’t work out. What happened?” Efe hoped she wasn’t being too forward by asking her. She barely knew anything about her and didn’t know if she was a private person. “That is if you’re cool to talk about it.”
“I’m good. Infact, I’m wonderful. I don’t know if I.K and I would ever have worked out but I’m not going to bother my head with ‘what-if’s’. It would just be a waste of my time.”
Efe smiled. Her half-sister reminded her of Funlola. Both were outspoken and didn’t care what anyone thought of them. There was no pretense. They were who they were and that was all that mattered to them.
Efe remembered her dream. More like a nightmare. She wasn’t getting married to Amanze, so there could still be a chance for her and Daniel. She was a little hurt that he had treated her the way he did back at his office but she partly understood his pain. She had also been in his shoes. But she needed answers.
“Let me know more about you.” Zainab said, pulling Efe from her thoughts.
“What would you like to know?” Efe shook her head. “Can you give me some time please. I need to quickly get some where.”
Zainab shrugged. “Sure.”
Daniel wiped the sides of his mouth with a napkin. “That was an awesome meal. Funlola you did good.”
“Thank you!” She beamed and cleared the dishes. “I’m glad you enjoyed it.”
“It’s been a while you’ve had home-cooked meal abi?” John asked.
Daniel nodded. “It may be a while before I ever have that again. Until I sha learn how to cook this kind of dishes your wife is giving you.”
“You better come and take lessons from me. All that time Adesewa was cooking delicious delicious for you, it didn’t occur to you to go and learn abi?”
Daniel’s jaw dropped.
“Funlola!” John exclaimed.
“What?! Am I lying? Did I say something wrong?” She asked innocently and John barely looked at her but she got the message. With a little hesitation she said apologised. Daniel was amazed at how much Funlola had changed. The babe he knew then had been so independent and had always wanted her own way all the time.
Daniel chuckled. “Don’t be. It’s my fault. I take full responsibility. I wasn’t bothered about such things back then.”
“Have you heard from Efe?”
“Yup, and the divorce papers have been signed.”
“I had really hoped things would be better and you guys would get back together. But God knows best. I haven’t spoken to Efe in a while.”
“There’s another guy in her life.”
John frowned. “Another guy? You mean she’s going out with someone else?”
Daniel nodded and told them about Amanze and how defensive he had been at their relationship. He told them that Efe was also interested in Amanze and had also stated his intention to get married to her.
John sighed. Funlola siad nothing but made her way to the kitchen with the dirty dishes. Daniel could tell they were both disappointed and sad at how things had turned out but he felt deep within him that God wasn’t done with the both of them as a couple. As if perceiving his thoughts John said, “I know you may not want to believe this but I know something great is coming out of this. The misunderstandings, the pain and hurts, the separation . . . It’s all going to work out well for the both of you.”
“I believe it bro. I feel the same way.”
“So are you back for good?”
Daniel knew John was referring to the church. “Yes, but I’m not sure I can be in the choir anymore. I feel like my sins are to big to permit me to be used in that section.”
John nodded. “Okay. Was it your being in choir that made you sin?”
Daniel’s eyebrows drew together. “No. It had nothing to do with that.”
“So why do you feel your sins. . . Your past, makes you banned from the choir? If it’s a man that likes money and was placed in ushering department one would understand. But what happened with you doesn’t have anything to do with your affinity for women. It was just one woman that blew your mind that time.”
Blew my mind that I became so thoughtless about life and what truly mattered.
“I get what you’re saying but the way people look down on you when you make a mistake. It’s as if you should just remain in a pit.”
“Leave those ones. They have their own judgement coming on them. Don’t judge if you don’t want to be judged.”
“In all honesty I still don’t know why God wants me back in the church.” Daniel told him about how God kept putting HGC on his mind.
John smiled. “You don’t have to know the full plan when it involved God. . . You just need to trust Him.”
Suddenly they both heard a scream. Daniel sat up and John ran to the kitchen. Few minutes later he ran back into the parlour with a look of joy and worry.
“Her water just broke. I’m going to be a dad.”
Daniel congratulated him but it was short-lived as they both heard her cream again and they both hurried to get set for the hospital.
Amanze sighed. The evening breeze did nothing to cool the deep fury he felt within him. He recalled when she came into his office and he had treated her badly; as if nothing had existed between the both of them. As if they both hadn’t cared for eachother and dreamed of a future together. How could she just forget everything they had been through over the past few months? Didn’t he mean anything to her at all?
“The devil you know is better than the one you don’t know.” His mother said, breaking into his thoughts. She stood near the TV, an I-told-you-so look on her face. He hadn’t heard her walk into the small living-room. She walked towards where he was seated and he shifted to accomodate her on the two-seater and they both stared off till mother broke the silence once again.
“She doesn’t deserve you.”
He rubbed his eyes with the back of his hand. “Mum, please don’t start.”
“I’m serious. Why would she break up with you for no reason at all? She just decided you weren’t what she wanted or what silly excuse do young girls give these days for not living up to their promises?”
Amanze wasn’t in the mood to have the discussion, most especially with his mother. She would just compound the issue. He wanted to be left alone to his thoughts. When he didn’t say anything she continued, “You know all these Benin girls can’t be trusted. You said she was a Christian. And so? You see that religion or faith or whatever, doesn’t matter. She was just using that as a cover. I’m sure she wanted you because of your money.”
What? “Mum stop. You don’t know her the way I do.”
She snorted. “I know her well enough to form an opinion of her and be correct. Look at what she did to you. So who did she leave you for? Another rich man or one who happens to be richer than you?”
She left me for her husband. . . But he wasn’t going to voice that out. He didn’t want to further tarnish Efe’s image. He still cared about her even if she broke his heart. “I don’t know.” His mother opened her mouth to speak again and he quickly added, “All I know is we didn’t work out. That’s all. Whatever decision she made is up to her so let’s leave it at that.”
She shook her head. “Amanze you really amaze me. How can you be so calm about this? But anyway, good riddance to bad rubbish! Better she left you now than leave you at the altar or worse, when you both got married.”
“At least that didn’t happen.”
He rose. “I just came by to drop off some things for grandma. I’m heading home.” He bent and have his mum a peck on the cheek. “I love you mum. But not tonight. Let me gather my thoughts.” He got home and was anything but hungry. He needed to rest. Needed to get his mind off Efe. He poured himself a glass of wine and sat on one of the high stools in the kitchen. He was on his third glass of wine when his doorbell rang. He looked at the time lazily. Who could be here at this hour?
Hey fam! This obviously Isn’t the end but we’re getting there.😊.
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