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Bible Quote for the Day:
John 16:33 AMP,
“I have told you these things , so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace. In the world you have tribulation and distress and suffering, but be courageous [be confident, be undaunted, be filled with joy]; I have overcome the world.” [My conquest is accomplished, My victory is abiding.]
There was a time she had searched for more meaning in her life. Now she knew she had found it but there were struggles she still faced each day. Sometimes she was victorious. Other times she let herself fall into the temptation and felt guilty over it. She squeezed her eyes shut and massaged her forehead, taking a deep breath. Her dad had assured her there would be times like that and she need not let condemnation take control of her. He had encouraged her to find a nearby church to worship and be encouraged by other believers. And so Zainab called Adesewa who had been ecstatic to hear about her conversion and asked for details on how it happened. Zainab told her everything including I.K’s visit. At the end of their conversation Adesewa told her about a church her boyfriend had recommended and she had enjoyed it. So she went there.
But that didn’t stop the temptation. . .
Zainab stared at the weed and every part of her wanted to light it up and enjoy the feel of getting high. Sometimes she felt bad about her past and all she had done. Doubtful if she was fully forgiven. She had read something in the bible the other day about doing that which you didn’t want to do, but thank God for His grace which helped out. She needed so much of that grace. She needed it in heavy doses.
She opened her eyes and got up from the couch and went straight to her room. She was feeling restless just like she had been feeling for some couple of days since she decided not to use weed any-more.
Any-time you feel like taking it again just try meditating on God’s Word. Distract yourself with other things. An idle man is the devil’s workshop. You need to be accountable to someone. She remembered the words of her father. She didn’t want to stay home and read her bible. She also didn’t want to throw away the weed. Hurriedly, she dressed up and went out of the house.
Zainab shoved her hands into her pocket and walked down her street. The weather was cool that evening. The thought of her mother suddenly came to mind and she recalled the good times. The few times they had laughed together. The pancakes her mum used to make . . . She missed her. It hurt to know her mother had never known Christ and Zainab may never see her again. The tears pricked her eyes and she used the back of her finger to wipe it away.
Amanze looked at the box in his hand. He had been toying with it for the last couple of minutes, trying to make up his mind when and where to execute his plan. A part of him felt maybe he was jumping the gun since she was yet to meet his family and she wasn’t yet divorced from her husband. The other part of him knew he couldn’t find someone as loving and caring as she was.
“So you’re really serious about this girl?”
He looked up to see his grand-mother’s eyes fixated on him. He couldn’t quite read the expression on her face. “I’m serious about her.”
“And how long have you known her?”
Why the questions? “Long enough for me to know she’s the kind of woman I want to spend my life with.”
“And how do you know the kind of woman you want to spend your life with? What makes her so different from Kokoma who is the mother of your child?”
Amanze knew there was no basis for comparison ‘cause both women were so much different from each-other. Kokoma was materialistic and a liar. Efe on the other-hand, was sweet, caring, loving. He could go on and on and his list would probably run long. “I have spent time with both women and I know who is good for me. Kokoma belongs to my past and the only reason she’s in my life now is because of Ezra and nothing else. I have forgiven her for what she did to me, but I can’t be in a relationship with her again.”
“I feel you’re moving too fast with someone you barely know. You said she’s here from Ibadan to do her NYSC. Won’t she leave? How would you guys manage? Can you do long distance relationship? Kokoma was right under your nose and you didn’t know what she was doing . . . What would happen with this girl?”
“We have discussed all that.” Amanze got up from his seat and placed the box in his pocket. He went to the fridge and brought out a pack of juice. “She’s even planning on her Masters in London or Ibadan. Grand-mum when you meet her you would know she’s nothing like Kokoma. In fact far from it.”
“I hope so!” His mother breezed into the kitchen and dropped some shopping bags on the counter. “This one you are talking about her like this and you haven’t allowed your grand-ma and I see her. Are you sure she’s not a ghost?”
He chuckled. “She’s not.”
“Okay, then let’s meet her next weekend unfailingly.”
“I’m not -”
“Ehn-ehn. Don’t make any excuses this time. We want to see her. We want to know if she’s good enough for our son. After all I have that right as your mother. Kokoma has been begging me to talk to you and I already told her I would follow your decision. So let me see this girl.”
“Her name is Efe.”
His mother gave a dismissive wave of her hand as she took out the things from the shopping bags. “Whatever.”
Amanze took a swig of the juice and wondered how he was going to convince Efe about meeting his family.
Despite the fact she was leaving the company there were still loads of things for her to do. She worked on getting the manger ready for his new position, going through some of the work done to ensure she was making the best decision on whom she chose amongst other things. It was hard work but she would be done by Friday and would say good-bye to the company she had worked so hard to have.
Adesewa used the cover of her pen to scratch a spot in her hair and heaved a sigh. She was still uncertain of what she was going to do now that she was out of a job. She still didn’t know what God had in mind for her but she was still trusting in Him to reveal it sooner than later. She flicked her wrist and checked the time on her watch. Dinner with her parents was slated for seven and it was four now. She was going to break the news to them and sit while they tackled her on her decisions and questioned what she was going to do now.
She wished she could avoid the moment altogether.
Brushing aside her problems for later she delved into her work and made sure she did a lot so she would have less to do the next-day and hopefully have some time to herself.
Dinner at her parents arrived faster than she wanted. She was tired and famished. She wondered if she should tell them before dinner, roasted chicken, boiled potatoes and vegetables with melted butter (her mother couldn’t resist telling her the meal of the day as if to lure her into coming over), and risk ruining their appetite or wait till after when they would be too full and tired to fight with her. Adesewa chose the latter. She got out of her car and carried in the red-velvet cake she had purchased for dessert. Her father had a sweet-tooth and if she could have him on her side it would make things easier with her mother who never liked backing down from a confrontation. There was a sleek car parked in the compound. She didn’t recognize the car nor plate-number. She wondered if they had a visitor.
The house-help took the cake from her and informed her that her parents were in the living room waiting for her. There was laughter coming from there and Adesewa walked in to see her parents and a man who had his back to her seated.
“Good evening dad, mum.”
“Adesewa darling, welcome. How was your day?” Her mother asked sweetly. Too sweetly.
Adesewa scrunched up her face. “Fine. What about you and dad?” The man got up then and faced Adesewa.
“Daniel! W-what are you doing here?”
He smiled. “I heard your parents arrived some weeks back and I wanted to check up on all of you.” He gave her a once-over. “You look great.”
Her eyes shifted to her mother who was grinning broadly and pointing at her wedding rings. Adesewa looked to her father who shook his head. Clearly, he had not approved of her mother inviting a man from her past for dinner without informing her. Adesewa held back her anger and forced a smile.
There goes my plans. . .
“It’s good to see you.”
“Let’s move over to the dining table and discuss over dinner.” Her mother led the way and Adesewa told Daniel to go ahead while she walked with her father to the dining room. She mentioned how annoyed she was at her mother and chipped in that she had brought his favourite dessert.
“So I was telling Daniel how established you are and have your own auditing company now.” Her mother said while slicing her chicken.
“Yes, and I’m currently signing it over to my partner and moving to another area of business.” Adesewa said and ate a forkful of buttered vegetables, relishing the taste in her mouth.
Her mother coughed as her cutleries clattered on the plate. “What?!”
Adesewa faced her father. “The company would be owned and controlled by my partner. As for me . . . I would do something else. It’s based on mutual agreement.”
“So what do you want to do with yourself? Which business is it you want to do?”
“Well, I’m waiting on God to tell me.”
Daniel looked uncomfortable with the whole setting; having to be in the middle of an awkward family discussion. “I think as long as God in involved it’s not a bad idea.”
“Adesewa of all the things you have done in your life I believe this is the most stupidest of all! Have you lost your mind?”
“No, I haven’t.”
Her mother opened her mouth to speak but her father raised his hand for her to stop. “Please, if Adesewa has decided to do something as huge as this, we should respect she has concrete reasons to do what she did. She’s a big girl and should know what she wants out of life.”
“I’m not so sure. How she managed to let Daniel out of her sight is beyond me.”
From the corner of her Adesewa saw Daniel wipe the corner of his mouth with a serviette. “I think I should take my leave and allow you all discuss. It was a pleasure seeing you all.”
Adesewa rose up. “I’ll see you off.” She tossed her napkin on the chair and followed Daniel out. She heard her father speak but had no idea what he was saying. She was too annoyed to stay in the same room with her mother.
“How are you?” He asked when they were out the door and standing next to his car. He crossed his arms over his chest and leaned against his car.
She folded her arms. “I’m fine. Just so pissed off at the moment. Why did you come here Daniel? I hope you aren’t trying to warm your way into my parents’ hearts and get back together.” She couldn’t get the edge out of her voice.
He was already shaking his head before she finished her sentence. “No. I didn’t come to do that. Like I said, I just came to say hi. That’s all. Then I also wanted to tell you I’m sorry for how much I hurt and treated you back in the days. I’m working on getting my marriage back on track.”
She was taken aback. “Oh?
He smiled. “Yeah, I guess time and a lot of thinking can change a person. I’m going to church. I’m working on getting my life together. God has really been patient with me.”
“Wow. I’m so happy to hear that. Has Efe agreed to reconcile? Is she still bent on the divorce?”
He frowned. “How did you know about that?”
“Oh, right. I haven’t spoken to her yet but what I want is for us to work on it.” He looked at his watch. “I have to go. I’m to pick up Ulunma from my parents’ place.”
She nodded and stepped back while he got into his car. “I’ll remember you guys in my prayer.”
“Thanks. Oh, why are you selling your company? Thought it was your dream?”
She shrugged. “It’s my dream but not God’s plan so . . .”
“I understand. All will be well. See you Ade.”
He drove away and Adesewa returned to the house all the while praying for God to help her speak calmly to her mother and the wisdom to do so. Her parents were no longer at the dining-room but had retired to the living-room. Her father was having tea with his cake. Her mother was flipping through a magazine.
“Mum I don’t appreciate the way you spoke to me. I can make my own decisions. You and dad should be confident that you raised an independent and capable woman. And I don’t like you assuming things that happened between Daniel and I. I already told you we didn’t work out. Must it be my fault? Can’t it be his? I’m your daughter for goodness sake and you should trust my decisions!”
“Adesewa, calm down and have a seat.” Her father said and set aside his empty plate while Adesewa grudgingly sat on the arm of a chair and took off her pumps. “Your mother and I know you are very capable and we do trust your decisions. Your mother is just concerned about you just as any mother would.”
But she’s taking it too far.
“We want to know everything. Please tell us.”
Adesewa looked at her mother and saw she had dropped the magazine and was picking her nails, distracting herself from looking at her. She narrated the whole story to her parents and steeled herself not to be bothered if they didn’t see things from her own view. Regardless of it all she would trust in God to lead the way.
“I’m sorry I said what I said.” Her mother began, “W e, your father and I, would support you all the way.”
“Yes. It’s not that I don’t trust you but I just don’t want you missing opportunities in life. I’ve known you to be a very independent woman, and as regards relationships I don’t want you chasing men away because you feel so strong and you can take care of yourself.”
“I’m not doing that mum.” Her parents had no idea she was in a relationship with Korede and she wasn’t ready to let that out of the bag yet.
“I’m getting to know that. Like I said if this is what you want your father and I would support you in whatever way. Do you know what business you want to go into yet?”
Adesewa shook her head. “No, not yet.”
Her mother smiled. “Okay then. Get something to eat.”
“Yes!” Her father pointed at the plate. “And please bring more cake for me.”
Adesewa smiled and shook her head as she rose from her seat. She thanked God all had gone well.
As much as I wish I could give it to you . . . I feel you’re heading the wrong path. Here I thought two of my daughters knew the Lord but one suddenly seems to be deviating from that path.
Efe couldn’t get her father’s words out of her mind. How had she deviated from God? She still prayed. She still read her bible once in a while. She hadn’t been attending church as frequently as she should but that didn’t make her rebellious. Did it? She ran her fingers through her hair and sighed in frustration. Why was she feeling like she was on the losing end?
“God are you still there? Are you still involved in my life?”
She wrapped her arms around her and curled up in a fetal position on her bed. She had never felt this alone and empty in a long while. What happened to those times when she would talk to God and hear from Him; either through that inner voice or through His Word. The silence was frustratingly annoying!
“God please speak to me.” She begged. “Don’t give me the silent treatment. Don’t leave me alone.” Efe picked up her bible from under her pillow and flipped it open. She read the first random scripture that she set her eyes on.
“For my brethren and companion’s sakes, I will now say, Peace be within thee.”
Daddy is wrong. God is involved with what I’m doing! With the realization of that she closed her eyes, hoping to doze for a little while.
She was late!
Where was her father to walk her down the aisle? She picked up a handful of her wedding gown and ran down the aisle with a beautiful bouquet in her other hand. Her shoe fell off. It was all she could do to stop and wear it again but there was no time and so she ran some more despite the difficulty doing it with only one shoe on. As she kept running to the aisle and seeing her groom waiting for her the aisle seemed to be getting longer and longer. The pastor was already going on with the wedding even though she wasn’t there.
“Wait! Wait I’m coming!” She shouted but no one could hear her. She then saw another bride come and take her place and she screamed for them to stop but apparently they couldn’t hear her. She saw a door suddenly appear on her left and she ran towards it and opened the door. This time the aisle was just a short distance from her and she hurried to the front. There were less people there and no one she really recognised.
The man in-front turned to look at her and the smile on his face turned to a frown once he saw the state of her dressing. A woman got up and demanded to know if this was the woman he wanted to marry. The disgust on her face couldn’t be hidden. Efe looked from the woman and back to Amanze. He just stood there and shook his head.
Efe woke up suddenly. Her hand flew to her chest as she breathed fast. It was a dream but it had seemed so real to her. She swiped the sweat on her forehead and tried to steady her heart at a normal speed. Why would she have that kind of dream after the word she got from God. What did it mean?
She swung her legs from the bed and went to the kitchen. Pamela wasn’t home yet and it was nine o’clock. Efe poured herself a glass of cold water and downed it. She poured herself two more glasses and drank. The dream still had her shaken. She looked at the pot on the gas-cooker. The food she had prepared earlier wasn’t appealing any-more.
God, what kind of dream was that? Are You trying to tell me something? She hugged herself and went to the living room and sat on her crossed-legs on the couch. As she pondered on it she heard her phone ring in the room. She let it ring the first two times but when it didn’t seem likely to stop she got up and answered it.
“Hey sweetie. How are you?”
She scratched her nose and shrugged. “I’m good. Just woke up not too long ago.” She sat on the bed. “What’s up?”
“Hmm. . . Hope you slept well and hope you dreamt of me. I’m just leaving my mum’s place. Guess what?”
Efe wasn’t in the mood for guessing. “Err – nothing comes to mind. Sorry.”
“They want to see you.”
“What? Why? I thought we already agreed not to meet them any-time soon. Amanze what are you planning?”
“Nothing. Trust me it has nothing to do with me. They just feel it’s a ghost I’m talking about. They want to see you this weekend.”
Efe bit her lip. With the dream she just had she wasn’t sure if it was a good idea. “Let me think about it and get back to you.”
“Oh,” Disappointment in his voice. “Okay then. We would see tomorrow. Have a great night love.”
“Yeah, you too.” She ended the call and tossed the phone aside. She caught a glimpse of her bible and looked away. She was more confused now than ever.
“Why would you do something like that?”
“Because I’m fed-up of seeing you morose. I need you to get your life back on track and if it means you and Efe going your separate ways then so be it.”
Daniel rubbed the back of his neck tiredly. He was drained in all aspects. Mentally, emotionally and physically. The news of Mitchell’s passing had been a shock to him. He had strongly believed God would heal her. Unfortunately, that never happened. The burial arrangements were under-way and she should be laid to rest a week before Christmas on a Friday.
Daniel dreaded the day.
“Mum, I appreciate it. But you shouldn’t have done that without talking to me first. It’s my decision to make. That’s what you and dad have failed to realise even up till now. I will make the decisions on my own. I’m not a kid!”
“I know you’re a grown man.” She tapped her chest, “But I’m your mother. This is not how I envisioned your life to be. I expected you to be happily married and living life and not so disorganized.”
“People make mistakes. Let me find my way back. You aren’t God. Take your hands off my life.” He realized he was being a little harsh from the hurt expression on his mother’s face, and so he softened his tone. “I love you mum and I know you love me, but please let me find my way back. Stop interfering.”
She nodded. “Okay.”
Pamela sat still, taking deep breaths.
God, please forgive me. Please forgive me. . .
She closed her eyes and talked herself into getting it done. She didn’t see another way out. Why had she thought there would be any hope for her? Why had she thought things would get better without doing her father’s wishes?
Pamela looked up as the nurse called her name.
“The doctor is ready for you.”
She felt a chill all over her body and she shivered. This was it. It was time for her to get rid of the burden and move on with her life. She rose to her feet and went into the small cubicle the nurse led her to. It smelled funny. The doctor was an old man. He had his gloves on and gave room for the nurse to prep her.