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Wednesday, 7 December 2016


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          I have always believed that upon my young shoulders rest the dreamiest of heads.  It overcomes me, even now, in the remembrance of that Wednesday night.  I paid a visit to an uncle of mine whose name I see no need to share, why? Well you wouldn’t know him even if I gave his dossier. Anyways his name was Paul—sorry Uncle Paul, being highly un-African to address an older person just by his name.  He was in his early forties, average height, portly and caramel skinned. He had an oval shaped face, thick eye brows with large brown eyes, a protruding forehead and ridiculously large ears. A glance at my uncle would reveal to the beholder that if ever he, Uncle Paul, had a beginning, it would have been a humble beginning. What he lacked in beauty however, he made up for in character. There could never be a dull moment around him. Always merry and seldom weary is the closest I can come to describing the persona of Uncle Paul.
           My uncle was married to Aunty Bianca and they were blessed with two kids named Tom and Christy. Tom was 12 years old, Christy was 10 years old. I often offer myself as an adversary to the argument that love is blind.  Never in my years of unsolicited advocacy have I seen a more sturdy challenge to my belief of love’s blindness than when I see a picture of my uncle Paul with his wife, the exquisite Aunty Bianca. Aunty Bianca was in her late thirties and average in height. A fair lady with dark hair, a well outlined face and almond shaped hazel coloured eyes. She had a lustre skin devoid of any blemish. Her smile could be likened to a constellation of stars. I must be pardoned with the way I describe my aunt as though she were my lover than my aunt. So beautiful was my aunt that I harboured an untoward sentiment against Uncle Paul that maybe, just maybe, her being in his keep may have been occasioned by the infamous means of abduction. In furtherance of this sentiment I recall sometimes checking, covertly, the missing persons section of the dailies in hope that I may find a photo of her. I never found such advert. In disappointment I abandoned the covert operation, recalled myself from the shadows of espionage and rescinded myself to the position that Cupid must have been drunk or out to get a laugh or maybe like the myth of Psyche and Eros, jealous Aphrodite must have been so challenged by foxy Aunty Bianca that she charged her son Eros to cause my aunt to fall in love with a man so far from good looks like my dear Uncle Paul. Whatever my reservations, she appeared to be happy with Uncle Paul. I retired their love to the belief that beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder; although, I still harbour lingering sentiments that their union was nothing but the macabre doings of the jealous Aphrodite. What a jealous god.

          The Pauls occupied a three room modest apartment which I was always more than happy to visit. It was furnished with the usual articles of furniture. My visits often changed the sleeping arrangements. I occupied Tom’s room while he occupied Christy’s room. Sadly, his unable hands always made sure she never returned to meet it the way she left. Christy on the other hand slept with her parents. I reckon you ponder why I did not just share the room with Tom so his sister may have the comfort of her room. The answer to your pondering is not far-fetched. Unlike his quiet sister, Christy, Tom never sleeps. Even when he does, I believe it was merely to recoup lost energy. With Tom as my roomy, there would be no sleeping for me. In addition to his never tiring self were his never ending questions. “Why can’t I see my eyes Tony?” He would ask me, “do cows drink milk?”, “will I poo a tree if I swallow an orange seed?”, “why did they put Grandma in a wooden box and cover it? Wouldn’t she wake later?”  Such a loquacious fellow was the lad and with him there could be no sleeping. As much as I felt sad for the state in which he left poor Christy’s room, I believed the sanctity of her room must rank second place to my most cherished sleep. This feeling I held with no regret.
 The lawn behind the apartment was second to none. If ever there was a place where the legendary Don Quixote could be encountered in all his adventures, it was upon this lawn. The lawn afforded its visitor some kind of feeling mere words seem unable to explain. There was something solemn, something peaceful, and something graceful about the lawn. It was upon this lawn I encountered the spectre in the moonlight shadow. How did it occur? I shall relay.
          The heat that night was scalding. It was a few minutes past midnight. There was no power supply. As I lay on my bed, a part of me believed that maybe, Hermes may have successfully rescued the abducted Persephone from the confines of Hades and in their flight of escape left open the gates of hell. The heat that night was either a doing of Hermes or maybe there was finally some credence to the theory of global warming.  My escapist self however felt inclined to the former. With the scourging heat, staying indoors became less of an option. The Pauls were surprisingly asleep. Maybe they had gotten acclimated to the hot evenings in their part of the country, I thought. With the Pauls asleep and I believe, the greater members of the society except the robbers, highwaymen, burglars and other villainous members of the underworld in whose absence the criminal justice department would have been a redundant place, I chose to find solace upon the lawn. The mosquitoes who may have rejoiced at my decision to lie in the lawn would only come to be disappointed as I armed myself with some mosquito repellent. Even If I had no repellent, hell would have had to freeze over before I considered lying in my room for another moment.  With the repellent applied to my person, I took for purposes of convenience, a pillow from the bed, a mat from the laundry room and made way for the lawn.
          Now on the lawn, I felt ushered into a better realm. I spread the mat, dropped the pillow and lay down. It was a beautiful night made even more so by the comfort the lawn afforded me. The evening was calm, the air soon became soft.  I was being entertained by an orchestra of crickets chirping at various areas of the lawn. Their rendition for that night, I chose to believe, may have been the jeering of their bloodsucking colleagues who had lost the claim to my person by way of my calling in aid the use of mosquito repellents. As the orchestra played, fireflies added some form of lightening effect to the jeering crickets. I find myself tittering at my silly representation of the chirping crickets, the fireflies and the disappointed mosquitoes. Having had enough of nature, I looked up into the theatre of astronomy. I noticed only the moon gave its light. There seemed to be an occultation of the stars by the clouds. I marvelled at the mutiny of the clouds which however were no match for the sturdy moon who held his place as the light bearer of the night. This however does not last long for soon, the moonlight begins to wane. I presume the waning of the moonlight to be the consequence of it losing ground against the mutinous clouds. I believe the moon had decided not to go down without a fight and a good fight it gave. Sadly, there was only so much the moon could do and eventually it too, became overrun by the clouds. It still shone through the clouds to give a little of its light. A brave old fellow the moon proved itself to be that night and for that single act of bravado, won my respect. I turned away from the theatre of astronomy. I soon became swooned into a reverie. I pictured myself doing something heroic, something thrilling like walking away from a burning vehicle which explodes as I put on my dark shades after having gunned down a nefarious villain in the course of a nail-biting car chase. The explosion and the putting on of the dark shades are to happen simultaneously with some heart pumping music to do justice to my commando-like swagger. I lay in this dreamy state of mine before I became ‘’awakened’’ by a figurine in the moonlight’s shadow at the corner of the lawn close to the fence. The apparition was headless. It had no feet. It just floated there levitating in one spot. It was such a spectre that it slacked the reins on my heart. My heart beat like a galloping stallion, my spirit flew out like a bat out of hell. My goose bumps were so visible they could have been mistaken for a rash. Did Hades felt distraught by my accusation that its open gates were the reason behind the heat? Could this be why it decided to send its headless minion? Although it had no head, I believe it was looking at me. As I relay this event, I share in your marvel why I had not gotten up and shown this apparition a clean pair of heels by darting towards the apartment. Somehow I was fixated in a recumbent state. It felt as though my limbs had long fled the scene of this spectre without carrying my body along. To the religious reading this, he or she may wonder why I had not called upon the name of the lord my God. The sad truth was that I was one step to being a heathen and a thousand steps from being a proper Christian. Even if I called on God, He may have either not recognised my voice or may have been attending to some important affairs.  

          The wind began to sigh. As it blew, I noticed this apparition pointing at me. Was it confirming from another discarnate being whether I was its target?  But why in the first place was it here? Could it be a relative returning from beyond to communicate with me? Could it be Aunt Betty? It couldn’t be. She was on the plump side while she was alive. How did she lose all the weight? Could it be that when a person dies, they take their spirit form and not the shape of their body at the time of death? Could it be Mrs Paschal my English teacher who died 5years ago? I often remember being told that my English teacher would turn in the grave each time I made a grammatical blunder back in junior secondary school days. Is it remotely possible that on bieng tired of turning in the grave, she escaped its confines and has caused an appearance on the lawn to give me her customary knock on the head?  How could she give me a knock on the head? This apparition had no hands or at least from the distance I see it from, I could sight no hand, just two arms ending at the wrist. Could it be my grand ma? I remember seeing the inscription ‘’Rest in Peace’’ on her tombstone. Was it feasible that she had not rested in peace? I chose to doubt. Even while she was alive I do remember her longing to be in Abraham’s bosom. She was so confident that upon her death Saint Peter’s gate would be her port of call. She foresaw herself being ushered in with great fanfare, having been a most devout soldier in the lord’s army while on earth. I recall her intimating me that when I pass on and appear before heaven’s gate, I should only but introduce myself as her grandson and on the account of this introduction alone, I would be ushered into the pearly gates of heaven. I reckon this to be as a result of her premier standing with the lord.  There was no way this macabre headless figurine in the moon light shadow could be my dear grandma. Unable to ascertain who I thought the apparition in the shadows could be, I resolved myself to figure out what it was that lurked in the shadows. I rose from the mat, fixed my eyes on this spectre, took the leap of faith and hoped fate be kind to me.  If what stood in the shadows were a ghost, I skulked towards that area of the lawn in hope that it be a friendly ghost. I was now a few yards from the spectre yet it seemed unperturbed by my approach. All of a sudden the security lamp began to flicker.  I dove to the ground. My heart skipped a beat. What devilry is this? I wondered. I looked towards the apparition. It was still there. 
          The security lamp flickered three more times and gave its light. It brightened the lawn. Power supply was restored. True to my sight the figurine was headless, had no hands and no feet. How could it? It had been Aunty Bianca’s gown all along! How could I have been so spooked by a mere gown!! How did it “levitate”? Well, as I noticed, it was held up by a hanger! She had worn the gown earlier that day and probably aired it outside upon her return. It must have been that she forgot to bring it in. I heaved a sigh of relief upon realizing the supposed ghost on the lawn was a gown. I laughed at myself. I unhanged the gown and walked back to the mat. I picked it up with the pillow and began to walk back to the apartment. I have always believed that upon my young shoulders lie the dreamiest of heads but never have I thought that my escapist nature would have gotten the better of me as it did that night.

Friday, 18 November 2016

ZIP THE HECK UP! --by Nickz

Image source: http://lifehacks.stackexchange.com
Over the period, I have noticed many people tend to confide their life experiences in me. They naturally share stories of what they’re passing through. Sometimes, you hear the joy and jubilation in their tones, other times, you hear the bitterness and tears as they flow, and can’t help but wonder why some humans would make life unbearable for others. Knowing these about them helps in some way to clarify misconceptions as many ignorant outsiders may perceive the victim as the victimizer.
Today, I’ll share a true story of a nineteen year old girl I know. For the sake of anonymity, let’s call her Vivian. A year ago, Vivian finished her secondary education and ever since, has been staying at home, hoping to re-take the WASSCE for better results and gain university admission. Vivian has a mom and she lives with her. Her mom has two other young female kids—about 8 and 6—from her second marriage, as her first marriage which produced Vivian had failed. So, Vivian is a big sister, taking care of her step-sisters and trying to meet mom’s expectations. I’ll shade more light on the expectations but before that, let me say some things about Vivian or the things I know about her: she’s tall and light skinned, slender but not skinny, hard-working and to a good extent, respectful. I’d comfortably call her a good girl. Sometime ago, she told me she wants to leave home without her mother’s knowledge. I asked her what the matter was. She started sharing some of the battles she’s been going through in the hands of her mom. Her mom was always abusing and cursing her in spite all the efforts she’s been making to assist her in the house and take care of the younger ones. She said she couldn’t have rest of mind in the house because her mom was also comparing her to one of her neighbour’s child; a loose young girl who brings money and food items home from “runs”. She said Vivian had not brought anything good into the house but was always eating her food and hanging out with a broke boyfriend. This was not happening for a day or two months, but for a long while and it affected the teenage girl emotionally to the point that she actually executed her get away plan. It was on a Sunday when her mom and siblings left to church. She packed her bags and sneaked out to another state where she stayed with a relation on the low.
On realizing this, the mom made sure all the neighbours knew her daughter was a bad girl as she went about telling everyone that the child she’s been feeding and accommodating had the guts to flee from home. Some got the impression and said the young girl was foolish and disrespectful to do so. A concerned neighbour even suggested she made a report to the police.
To cut the long story short, after some months, Vivian later came back from the other state, down to her home state but was later hiding with her boyfriend. The mother was making investigations all along and when she found out, she ordered for the arrest of the guy (though he was shortly released) and for Vivian to be staying with one of her aunties within town.
Another case is that of a twenty year old female friend. Her dad had left the marriage without caring about how the kids fared and as if that wasn’t enough, she lost her mother who was their closest umbrella. Oftentimes, she’s full of bitterness and grief. She keeps asking why her father would be so heartless. Her job at a pharmacy is barely taking care of her transportation needs, not to mention feeding, taking care of her siblings and saving for her academic plans.
I also know another, twenty three years old, she hates the mention of her father because of the way he abandoned them right from childhood. He lives a rich and successful life but has not for once sent money for her fees in the university or provide any other financial care. She shed tears when she told me this and also said she initially was nursing revenge on him. Luckily for her, her mom’s new husband became the loving father she lacked for years.
Sometimes, I don’t blame young people for the unchaste path they later chose in life or the things they later do. They have to survive by any means available. This problem traces back to the micro-unit of the society: the family. Sometimes, I run out of condoling words and advice while listening to the storms people are forging through because of a mismanaged family. It would have made more sense if some men didn’t zip down and some women kept their legs closed. It hurts when a child comes into the world only to find life a miserable journey because the people that caused his/her arrival have refused to play their proper roles in the child’s life.
Dear potential parents and existing parents, you’re responsible for the child you bring into the world. Your responsibilities include loving and providing the basic needs of this child till the child is strong enough to be independent. I do not support divorce but even if that happens, transferring revenge or whatever punishment from your ex-spouse to your kids is insane. Bringing up a child is quite demanding and you can’t delve into it unreadily because of few minutes of pleasure.  Ladies, do humanity a favour by closing your legs and men, zip the heck up if you can't control the outcome. Stop making kids only to hate them or else one day pretty soon, you’ll sleep and don’t wake up again and kids will be giggling while peeing on your tombstone because you were full of sh*t while alive. Okay, that was mild. I mean to say you’ll wake up one day to find your genital replaced by an oak tree. Yes, an oak tree. Let the society worry about more uncontrollable situations like earthquakes and tsunamis and not about the menace from your irresponsibility.

Thursday, 17 November 2016

WHEN SHE SAYS "NO" --by Kreed

Image source: http://thequotesgarden.blogspot.com.ng

The first morning is always the hardest. Wishing you never woke, wishing the night never ended, wishing your life came with a huge eraser. You don't know what to look forward to. The hurt is one feeling I can't describe. It's like your mind just goes numb. You don't feel anything but then you feel like you've lost it all. The one prediction you'll never get, is when it all ends, like when do you finally slip out of this feeling?
           It feels like a merry-go-round. Like you keep cycling round, only to get back to the place you started. It is never all gloom, as there are few moments of happiness that overwhelms your heart but the moment you begin to feel like you're free, that's when you slip back in. Just like a patient with bi-polar disorder. The first day, is always the hardest.
All you want to do is sleep because it is the only remedy that seems to work. Only unfortunate thing is when you wake, it'll still be starring you in the face—the one memory you wish your brain never remembered. She said “no”. “Where do I go from here?” This one question always recurs in your head. 

There are many remedies but no specific remedy, as it's all relative to the individual—different strokes for different folks. But as I pen this, I'd probably say when it comes to this issue, I have a huge wealth of experience, unfortunately for me but not for you. To be honest, I’ve never gotten a positive response in most of my attempts but that's cool, shit happens. Okay, back to you. I know how you feel, like you're all messed up at the moment. Nothing seems to make sense. At this point, everything happening in your life seems to be negative even when it isn't. But don't fret, by the time you're done reading this, it'll feel like a mountain has been lifted from your heart. No this is not one of those promos where you'll be told to pay a certain sum of money after all the hype, and no it isn't a piece that will turn you to a Casanova or something (like seriously, it is the last thing this article will teach you). I've been there and it's not the best feeling in the world. However, I want you to take solace in one thing; you're alive. You have a beautiful future ahead, don't let this destroy that.

I'll just write certain tips that should help you out of your quagmire (I really hope it does).

1) Forgive: This is the most vital step. As a matter of fact, if you ignore the other steps, don't ignore this one. Holding onto something this hefty, will only weigh you down and no one else. Keep calm, re-access the situation and don't hold any grudge. Regardless of how she said it, just forgive and move on. 

2) Don't listen to blues: I know it is the only kind of song you'll desire to hear at this point but trust me, it isn't the kind of song you should listen to if you really want to get out of this depressive state. Don't download any of James Blunt's tracks, no. Not because he's gay but because you'll shed serious tears man. Try gospel praise...I'm not trying to sound churchy but that is just the kind of songs you should really indulge yourself with at this stage (and hopefully after this stage). You can try rap/hip-hop tracks too (for those who don't want to listen to gospel, the stubborn ones :-P). If you ask me though, I'd insist on gospel praise.

3) Work on yourself: Dude, remember when I said you were rejected not necessarily because you were bad? Well, every morning you wake up, lie to yourself! Look into the mirror and say, "I'm good, I can be better." You don't even need a heartbreak to practice this, it is something you should do every morning. Set goals and meet or exceed your targets. The truth is, few months from now, if she sees you at the same state you were when she turned you down, she'll probably say to herself, "Well, I made a pretty good decision to bounce him." Don't let this happen. If there is ever a time to push yourself in life, if there is ever an avenue that can be used to motivate or inspire a man, it is times like this. Don't waste this. This disappointment should be a blessing. It was a setback but this is the best time for you to make a comeback.

4) Hang Out with Friends: Bro, it's the best way to forget it all temporarily: hanging out with friends. Like somehow, time skips and you'd be so distracted you won't remember a thing. The downside however, is when you're alone again. If you're strong enough, you'll go through the night with no emotional issues but if you're not, errrmmmm...don't live your friends till you're strong enough.

5) Call her or not?: How did she say it? If she was rude, then don't call her like ever, if she wasn't...then don't call her for a week or 2 and when you do, please don't cry. Sound happy, even if you're not. Not that you're trying to show off that you'll be fine without them(which is a truth) but because it kind of disconcerts some girls, when they know that there is someone who is having a downtime because of their actions. It is not easy for them too. They can't possibly accept everyone who asks them out. It was unfortunate you were rejected but that doesn't necessarily mean you're not good enough. Put yourself in their shoes too. Regardless of the situation, just forgive and move on.

6) Smile: Regardless of the situation you find yourself in life, always smile. It has everything to do with positivism.

          In the end, I just want you to feel better about yourself. The whole aim of this piece is just to let you know that it has happened to others before you and they survived and they’re currently doing better than they were before, so don’t feel like it is the end of the world. I know it feels like your world has crashed around you but trust me, it hasn’t. It might seem like the end of the road but just know it is the start of another journey. At the end of the day, a closed door doesn’t mean a locked one, a lost opportunity doesn’t mean an end to opportunities. As a matter of fact, you’re a lot stronger than you were before now, which is a good thing. 
Every disappointment always leads to a blessing. Pick yourself up and dust yourself. I don't know how difficult it is for you, I don't know if you're even contemplating suicide (I have a rope, if you’re that foolish). I don't know how many NOs you've heard so far. It hardly matters, you’re alive and that means there is hope and above all else you still have a purpose to fulfil for GOD. I’m not going to say you'll get a yes soon. I don't know when but I'm confident you're few steps, or even less, away. Trust me you will and you won't regret this journey. I want you to get up from that bed, I want you to turn off that sad song, you've had enough and it's time to continue moving. Just be you and love will find you eventually (i.e if life was a fairy tale or a Disney movie)…Okay, I’m serious.
          Also, when you get out of this dilemma (Yes, you will), you will come across a brother who is facing the same challenge. Don’t forget to share this or if you have better remedies, help him with it. 

Wednesday, 16 November 2016


(Image source: www.informationng.com)

Genevieve felt like she was starstruck; she almost missed a note. Thoughts were powerful. She had just remembered him the night before as her mother advised her and now, here he was in their church. He was still the Femi she knew; dark and very handsome, except that a very pretty lady walked beside him with a toddler in her arms. Her heart twitched at the memories of what they shared. Femi could’ve been hers but he was from a low background back then. Now she had found a new life in Calvary. She wouldn’t let any woman come between them.
The service kept unfolding with more surprises as she spotted Calvary’s secretary among the first timers who walked towards the seat reserved for them. This wasn’t good. It only meant that the wretched lady was somewhere around the corner. She had to find a way to Calvary’s life permanently. She would make it happen or die trying.
“We welcome you all in Jesus’ name. This is the Grace Arena and we like to celebrate our first timers. Please wait after service for a brief talk with the pastor. Thank you.” The secretary announced but that wasn’t all. “Beloved of God, Grace Arena will be celebrating her 20 Years Anniversary!” On announcing, the church broke out in a number of jubilation sounds; some shouted out loud, some screamed, others clapped happily and some blew their whistles.
“Let somebody shout Hallelujah!” Pastor Calvary mounted the pulpit. The crowd responded immediately with a thunderous Hallelujah.  “Brethren, the Lord has been good to us in this church, He has been faithful.” He then paused as he saw yet another vision. This one startled him a bit.                                                                                                                            Genevieve and Yetunde were rowing a boat and a quarrel ensued. Genevieve immediately pushed Yetunde out of the boat and she fell into the river. Just then, his eyes glided to the area where first timers stayed but she wasn’t there. Something was wrong.

“It was such a glorious service Sir, we had a nice time.” Eddie spoke with relief. She was quite happy her fears hadn’t come to life. She remembered seeing Femi here the last time they attended the program but she had carefully looked around, there was no sign of the devil. For now, Yetunde was safe. “So where is your cousin?” He was bothered by the vision he had. Something wasn’t right. He had to go on a fast for deeper revelations. “She’s a bit ill, she couldn’t make it and she regrets deeply.” Eddie responded. “I see, okay. Just hang around, I’d love to see her so I’ll drive you two back home.” He smiled at his little friend.
Genevieve stared at them with so much cruelty. If she wasn’t careful, Calvary was going to slip through her fingers, just like Femi. She wondered where he was. Such a coincidence, the world was really a small place. She turned around to find him, her heart pounded harder in her chest. Was she making a mistake by searching for Femi? What did she hope to find? Her head told her to stay back but her legs carried her faster. She spotted Calvary speaking to Pastor Ogbonna, she ignored them and went on.
“Gene...” she heard the voice—deep male baritone that was so familiar and the memories flooded back again. “Femi,” she called and it sounded almost like a whisper she turned to face him and was happy at what she could find; this time, he was alone.  She stared into his dark eyes that always called to her. They were still so broody and seductive. He looked different now, not like the school boy he was, he was perfect and responsible; almost like her Calvary but he lacked that charisma. Still, she liked him this way. “It’s been ages.” She smiled shyly, avoiding his eyes but he wouldn’t avoid hers. He stared into them devotedly, her big brown eyes ever so beautiful. He remembered her vividly, one of his youthful ecstasies but she was a woman now and he was married. His mind drifted to the past where they unleashed their passions upon themselves. He almost kissed her hand but someone was around.
Ife cleared her throat. “Am I missing something?” She eyed the chorister viciously. This one was definitely a man-thief. “Ife darling, meet Genevieve an old friend back in the day.” Ife had nothing to say to the lady. She hissed and walked away. “I’m sorry about that Gene. Here’s my card, call me.” Unknown to them, they had created a scene and raised eyebrows. Genevieve looked at the card and smiled but her smiled faded as she saw the child in Calvary’s arms. “Yetunde,” she cursed.
They were approaching her. “Angel, you know Eddie my secretary…” she nodded quickly. “I want to drop them off and speak to her cousin as well. She’s very ill. I’ll see you in the evening fellowship.” He squeezed her arms and walked away. Genevieve had never felt so humiliated. She pulled herself together then something else dropped into her thoughts. The little girl that Calvary carried had a strong resemblance to Femi’s baby. That was odd.

She stared at his complimentary card once more. He had made it big, very big indeed.

Wednesday, 2 November 2016


Image source: printerest.com

Today wasn't supposed to end like this. My week wasn't supposed to end like this. It's always been like this since the start of the year. This year has been about taking a step forward and two backward. "Think positive Taye, Think positive. The day is not over, you still have eight hours, everything is possible." Tears began streaming down my eyes, I've been positive for so long, yet, it seems my situation has been ordained by fate. It seems God was just up there, watching all of this befall me. Already 50k in debt, been on half salary since last year, not been paid the last two months, no food at home and I'm down to my last 1k.

I was fortunate to have gotten a lift from this stranger. I wasn’t the only passenger in the vehicle, the man also picked up another person at a bus stop. He seemed nice, probably the only good that has happened in months. Had been under the rain searching for a cab but when I couldn't find, I decided to trek, out of frustration. That's when he drove by and offered me a lift. At least I could save that transport for tonight's food. Just last month, I had boasted I wasn't going to request for loans from anyone but I was about to chew my words. It was like every time I said I won't, I did and when I said I would, I didn't. Life was happening to me at the moment and I couldn't seem to stem the tide. They said life is an empire of choices but every single decision I've made has seemed to be the wrong one. "Exercise patience, it'll come." But I was getting old with every passing second and patience is one attribute time didn't have. Everything was just going wrong at the same time. Too many setbacks for one and some nights all I could do was just break down and cry. These days I had nothing to look forward to. I woke up these days not wanting to get up. I had lost every passion for the things I loved. I wasn't even productive anymore. My life was going downhill at the moment. I feel like a man in a battle field, waving a white flag but still getting shot at. 


I’m the first born and the only boy in my family. Dad passed away six years ago and it’s been a rough ride since then. I’ve been searching for a job ever since I finished my service but I’ve been unsuccessful in all my attempts. I just feel ashamed that I can’t take care of siblings as much as I have desired to. Though my mother says I shouldn’t feel this way that everything will fall in place at the appointed time. My mother is the nicest person you can have in your life but when is the appointed time? I’m not getting any younger, neither is she. She’s been our pillar all these years and all I want to do is lift this burden she bears by herself. What if she passes away, what happens? I’m 26 years and I can’t even afford my own rent and I still stay in my parents’ home. I can’t assist my sisters in school. Sometimes I just question the essence of even having university education. Wasn’t building my capacity so I can have financial independence, the essence of school? Now look at me, still wearing a worn out shoe and a faded shirt and trousers. If my entire tuition fee had been invested in a profitable business, I wouldn’t be moving around looking for a job. Mother slapped me the last time I told her this *chuckles*.

The other passenger in this car stared at me after I chuckled. I was not in the mood for pleasantries. I was too engulfed in my thoughts to start a conversation right now. Few minutes ago, I was at the bus stop waiting for the rain to subside, when this man drove by and asked where I was headed, I told him and fortunately for me, he was heading the same direction. This free ride was the only good thing happening to me today. I wish I could say the same thing about being alive but I don’t even know if I want to be alive anymore. I was just rejected at one of the firms I applied to last month. Yesterday was the same thing and it’s been that way all through this year. I cried my eyes out while I was at the bus stop waiting for the rain to subside. I don’t know how long I can continue like this. I’m tired of praying and I don’t even know if God exists anymore.


How did I get here? How did it all happen? How did it turnaround? These are some of the questions that ring in my head almost on a daily basis. Like how did a guy who had literally given up on life, get such a massive turnaround in his life? There were nights when I just got on my knees and cried, rather than pray. They were nights when I questioned His very existence. There were nights when I’d rather sleep than stay awake. Then they were those days when I was completely broke. I’ve lost count the number of nights I slept hungry, I’ve lost counts the number of times I had to cover long distances on foot.

Today I picked up two passengers who brought back these memories. I had found the first just walking under the rain, obviously frustrated and the second was at a deserted bus stop, under the rain as well. Both were dripping enough water to form an ocean…lol. Both were obviously at that point I was in life a few years ago—the beginning. Both had been quiet throughout this journey, obviously wallowing in their thoughts. Both were obviously at their make or break point. I have always been a keen believer of providence rather than coincidence and I had no intent of parting ways with them, without impacting positively in their lives. I had no intent of letting them cross the break-point, rather than the make-point. They were at the dicey stage of their lives and any wrong choice would obviously breed more frustrating results.  

They were so many events that often brought tears to my eyes every time I reminisced. That was then, that was in the beginning. Everything changed however, when I chose to see things in a different perspective. Things changed when I altered my attitude towards every setback I encountered. Things changed when I chose to embrace my challenge, rather than complain about them. Things changed when I stopped being anxious about tomorrow, when I stopped dwelling in the past, when I focused  all my energy on the present and trusted that GOD had set things in pleasant places for me already. You see, GOD didn’t hate me when He led me to every obstacle I encountered; rather, He was building me up for the enormous tasks that I would encounter later in life. Looking back now, I have fully acknowledged that I would be a massive flop today if I had continued to avoid those challenges. In the beginning, it felt like I was running through a maze with a blindfold. But along the way, I saw my destination clearly. Along the way, I realized I had been the one steering my wheel rather than Him. Trust GOD.


Image source: bluemoonstudios.com
I gathered motivation, picked up a notebook and pen and was ready to write a beautiful story. The story existed in a ghostly and patchy form within the mind. A lot of neat construction had to be put in to unleash its captivating ability. “Start something, the rest will form and link up in the process.” That was my mind. I picked up the notebook and pen, getting ready to break out of inertia and flow.
It had been weeks I put down pen on paper for this purpose. There was no logical explanation to why the switch flipped down but the situation made me unhappy, knowing I have disappointed myself and the circle of audience. Holding the pen now felt a bit new, the page of the note starring back demandingly. Would “It was a cold Sunday evening...”make a good opener for the story? I contemplated the first word to put down. Writing with pen and paper was usually faster and more bonding for me than sitting over a PC to type a fresh idea, knowing video games could replace any moment of boredom.   I put down the first word. It felt odd. I crossed it off.

The neurons and cells in the brain were working harder, trying to construct an ideal opener. Then, unfortunately, the mind had its way and started to wander. I noticed some leaves of the note were dog-eared. I straightened them out one by one. My eyes dropped to the pen in my hand, it was sky blue and labeled Avanti. It also occurred to me there was an overgrown cuticle on my right index finger. Carefully, I placed the extended tiny strip between my incisors and bit it off, avoiding injury. Mission accomplished. There was a ceramic cup on my table containing pens, pencils and markers. The handle would look better if it faced left, I thought. I repositioned the cup and it was satisfying. The notebook was still blank. I spotted my small toy “high performance” convertible on the table. I picked it up and spun the wheels just for the pleasure of watching it spin. I then placed it on the open book and drifted around like Vin Diesel. I placed it back in front of the cup. Why was my table unorganized? Maybe, that was the cause of my distraction. I placed books and papers properly and leaned back on the seat. Table in order, now write.

Innocently, my gaze wandered to the most avoided object on the table: the mirror. I stared at my early morning reflection; the speck in my eyes, the blackness and dryness of my lips and my dreamy eyes. My lips usually had a touch of pink but they looked as black and thick as that of a Jamaican marijuana smoker.  I licked them so hard the pressure made colour return to it. My hair was not much grown, just curly and uncombed.  I could stay a week before paying the barber a visit. The neck of my white t-shirt had sagged, enough to reveal a pair of deep, skin-covered collar bones. Maybe it was a symbol of masculinity...or malnourishment. But I fed well. I guess genes were just being genes.
A ridiculous suspicion sneaked into my mind. What if mirrors lied? What if what we saw was not what was? What if my ears and nose weren’t actually this big? I counter-argued myself too. The last time I saw my reflection together with someone’s, the person’s reflection looked exactly like the person so my spark of discovery quenched, robbing my chance of being a hero or a genius.
With some effort, I looked away from the glass of distraction. The notebook was still blank, the Avanti pen still waiting to be used. I propped my chin with my left palm and rested my elbow on the table, channeling my attention to the note before me, ready to focus on the main mission. Like gentle smoke, something worse than wandering gaze crept in; stray thoughts—in form of memories. I reminiscing a bone friend I lost few months ago. I was remembering his face, his talking energy, his humors, his encouragements and visions; I was remembering his last days on the sick bed too. It wasn’t the first or the second time of such. It stung. It hurt. I shook it off and resurrected to the present. The reality of dawn being swallowed by faint sunlight was setting in. I lost the tranquility of the dim morning hours. Other activities had to be attended to. The page was still blank. There was no story, or rather, there was no inspiration. Closing the note, I rose to start my day. Some things could not be compelled, they had minds of theirs. However, this is still a story—the story of my unwritten story.

Thursday, 29 September 2016


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He sat in the garden after another fight with the devil he had married, gulping the Chardonnay horridly. He was going crazy and was quite sure god was punishing him. Saturdays were usually his best days but today was ruined. His mood was in the garbage bin. He closed his eyes and recalled the early days of their marriage; they were very happy, at least he thought so. He had graduated with a second class upper in Marine Engineering and he was quick to get a job in an oil company. His life then changed for the better. He fell in love with Ife and got married to her. He felt bitter about the whole thing. How could he have been so callous? He had known she was Yetunde’s sister but he wanted her—her beauty was out of this world. He remembered how Edidiong had accused him of being the father of Yetunde’s pregnancy but he denied the allegation. He was so in love he couldn’t let anything stand between him and Ife. He remembered the nights he shared with Yetunde—he didn’t love her—he just needed a woman to abate his desires with and she gave him money and lots of gifts just to win his heart but she got pregnant. He knew his background. He needed money so badly to complete his education and couldn’t support a baby. In spite his urgings for her to abort, she had refused. 
He felt a bit bothered. Where could she be after all these years? Pushing her out of his mind became his only option. He had to find a way to make his marriage work. Ife had become such a thorn in his flesh. He only stayed in the marriage because of his little love, his beautiful daughter, Emerald. 
He prayed for God’s forgiveness. He needed peace in his life but wherever he searched, peace eluded him. He remembered the program they attended but had to leave few minutes after they were ushered in because his wife complained of migraine. He had been pondering on the church they should worship with, being new in town. One had to attach himself to a good place of worship. He picked up the flyer. Grace Arena. He mused. They would worship there. He rose up lazily to tell his wife of his decision, plucking a flower to fix in her hair .That usually made her smile.
“You need to stay strong while we are away. I don’t know how long the service is going to hold.” Eddie instructed as she tucked Yetunde in, feeling sorry for her poor cousin.  She had taken ill the previous night and was obviously feeling bad that she couldn’t attend the service. “Pastor Calvary would be so disappointed. He really wished for me to come.” Eddie nodded. “I would send him your regards.” She lifted little Naomi up and they scurried off. “Pray for me, will you?” Yetunde called after their shadows then the sedative started playing on her brain. Was it real? Maybe she was hallucinating but she gently closed her eyes and she saw him who brought smiles to her lips. He ran on a hill and she followed him but she stopped as she saw the other. “Femi what are you doing here?” But he merely acknowledged her presence instead, he rose up with glaring mischief and pushed Calvary off the hill and there was a river of blood.  “Jesus!” She gasped as she forced her eyes open. It was just a dream she thought and went back to sleep.
“I don’t like this decision of yours. For some reasons, I feel that church is not right for us. We don’t belong there.” Ife complained as she adjusted the rearview mirror. She preferred worshipping in ‘their’ church but on relocating, there was no branch of the church. Now she would be stuck up with a new set of doctrines and all that. She stared at the man beside her—Femi. She really wished he could say something but he was very silent. She struggled with her little angel Emerald who was trying to pluck out her artificial lashes.
Femi ignored Ife’s rants. Many things were on his mind. He was feeling depressed for no reason, like something bad was about to happen but he held composure. He regretted all he had done in his past. He wished he could amend them. That was why he needed to see that young Pastor. He spoke with the power of God and he seemed genuine. He made up his mind; Grace Arena was his own place of refuge.
Ife hissed as he gently brought the car to a halt. “You’re such a fool Femi, ignoring me like I’m a nuisance. See, I never forced you to marry me.” She had started with the nagging. He wasn’t in the mood to fight especially not in front of a church building. Ife had become a thorn in his flesh. Because of her attitude, they couldn’t stay for the Praise Night they had been invited for. She was the reason for his constant drinking. Instead of love, she gave him pain but he wouldn’t give her the chance today. He walked away quickly and slowed down his steps behind the usher. Then he saw a figure; he paused a bit and looked up again. What was Genevieve doing here? Her voice glided through the auditorium. She was such a nightingale. Ife’s voice brought him back to reality. “Shift for me.”

Wednesday, 28 September 2016


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Edidiong was stunned as Yetunde happily narrated her encounter with Calvary. “He is such an angel, cousin.” Eddie smiled trying to ignore the other issue that bothered her. “He invited us to church on Sunday,” Yetunde giggled.  She had never felt this happy in ages. For once, she noticed how beautiful the world was; her days were going to change and all at once, she forgot her past sorrows. She had never met such a kind person before. After all she did to him, he still forgave and apologized to her. Calvary was a wonderful man, a true man of God. Then her heart stopped As a wish escaped from her safely guarded thoughts. She wished he was hers. It would’ve been such a beautiful thing. He played with Naomi like his own daughter, patting her, petting her and encouraging her to paint more papers.

She felt a bit sad. Such a man could never be with a woman like her. She was soiled. Suddenly, she looked at her cousin who had become awfully reserved since their return from the program. “Edidiong, what’s it? Tell me what’s bothering you.” But she remained silent. “I’m fine Yetunde, just having mood swings.” She sighed and rose up to the comfort of her bed. “Let me get some rest, we’ll talk later.” Yetunde felt wounded. Was her cousin tired of sheltering her and Naomi? She pulled her little angel and pecked her soft cheeks. “i love you baby, everything will be fine.”

Edidiong laid on the bed, unable to find sleep. She had seen Femi and she knew what that meant. He would bring down Yetunde’s world down again like he did the first time. She recalled how her cousin had given him all her love. She was young and naïve. A guy like Femi only wanted sex. She sighed again. If her cousin found out the truth, if she saw Femi by chance, then their relationship would be over.  Yetunde would be so hurt that she had kept such a secret from her. She would feel so betrayed.
She was the closest friend and confidante Yetunde had. From childhood, they had been so close and some actually thought they were sisters. Yetunde had no other to talk to except her. Her younger sister,  Ifeoluwa ignored her completely. Ife was the favorite of their parents for some reason and when Yetunde got pregnant, Ife became their all. She tossed again on the bed, her conscience pricking her more than before. “I should’ve told her the truth. Now she’s going to hate me completely.” She sobbed silently.
But she couldn’t blame herself totally. Yetunde avoided talking about her family, especially after she was disowned so she had no chance to tell her the truth. She had opposed that idea but no member in the family supported her. That was why she moved to Oyo to start a new life, just like Yetunde. Her family disgusted her, they ignored her pleas that day, claiming she opposed the marriage of Femi to Ifeoluwa because of her strong bond with Yetunde. But she had told them severally that Femi was the father of Yetunde’s unwanted child…but all Mrs. Peters, Yetunde’s mother could say was that Yetunde was a promiscuous child who wanted casting a shadow on Ife’s good luck.
Praying for the last time, she drifted to a land filled with hazy dreams.
Genevieve paced angrily in her room. Something was going on with Calvary and she felt it strongly. Her mother hadn’t been lying after all. He confessed being with a woman. “That filthy wretch!” She screamed as her blood boiled. She remembered her vividly and their horrible encounter. How could her angel dine with her? And her mother had described them as “looking very happy like newlyweds”. She loved him too much to let him go and certainly, not to such a wretched woman. She had to act fast. She had to do something. “What are you doing here darling? You should come down for dinner.” Her mother called gently but she would not be pacified. Calvary was a matter of life and death. She needed him; his love, his money, his body. “Mother, we have to do something fast. I can’t lose him. I know he has proposed to marry me but a mere proposal is not guarantee enough.” She began to sob as she imagined the worst happening. Her mother watched her closely. “Get pregnant.”

She let the heavy words sink to her brain. “But Mom, the church will know and Calvary would not even touch me.” The older woman gave a short laugh. “Are you a virgin, child?” She shook her head as she blinked, feeling embarrassed her mother should ask that question. The distant images faded quickly from her eyes. She remembered her first lover Femi, her very first. She had loved him with everything in her but her mother didn’t approve. “You are a blue blood Gene. You need a rich and hardworking man.” She remembered her mother’s stern voice.
She still thought about Femi sometimes but few years ago, she learnt he was married. It made her sad but Calvary filled the void he left. She snapped out of her past life before she became born again, wondering how she would hatch her plan to get pregnant. Calvary would never agree but it was worth a try. “Mom, after the pregnancy, what next?” She asked. “He will be compelled to marry you quickly before the members and other pastors get to know the truth.” She was a bit confused. How could they pull off a wedding with her being pregnant? The brides were usually tested. Reading her daughter’s thoughts, the woman smiled. “Who is the head of the marriage council?” She asked, sounding more evil. Genevieve rolled her eyes. “You are…so what are you saying?” She rubbed her daughter’s chin. “Leave everything to me, Calvary would be yours, I swear on my blood.”

Tuesday, 27 September 2016


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Yetunde had moved in with her cousin for the mean time. She thanked God for Eddie. She took care of them so well. With a smile still plastered to her face, she placed the cash Eddie gave her for her personal shopping in her purse. She wished her job at the supermarket was well paying. She would never have any worries. Dressing up her little angel, she was ready to go get some personal items at the supermarket.  “Good to go baby. I’m going to get you ice cream.”
Calvary thought of Yetunde as he drove. He hadn’t apologized to her yet and he needed to do that. But he had been so busy with meetings here and there and had no time to engage Edidiong in any informal discussion. It was his lunch break and he had another task to accomplish. His mother’s birthday was coming the following week. From his observation, she liked his perfume because she made a nice comment about it. He was going to get it for her. He loved her so much. Since the demise of his father, Chief Ibrahim Aduga, she was their pillar and she loved her children dearly.
The salesgirl was all smiles when he walked in; she knew he would tip her. He did on most occasions. He was a very nice person. “Hello Onyinye, I’m looking for this perfume,” he showed her a piece of paper and she promptly referred him to the Paris collection section. Genevieve had gotten him that perfume on his 30th birthday. He wished with all his heart to find that exquisite scent. His mother made him laugh. She enjoyed wearing masculine perfumes, often saying, “I like the ones that smell strong.”
Yetunde walked into the supermarket and started her shopping. She needed to get toiletries for them. She didn’t want to use her cousin’s. The girl had done enough for them. She felt happy for at least having a helper. Her parents had totally abandoned her to rot. She saw a pretty girl pass. She quickly hid behind the heap of body creams on recognizing her. That was her course mate, Helen Ojoma. She too, would’ve been a graduate now if only she didn’t fall for Femi’s lies and deceit. But staring at her little angel, she refused to regret. She got up quickly and left for the counter, preparing to leave immediately.
The counter girl brought out each item and summed up. “Madam, your money is not enough. It your balance is Two Thousand Naira.” She stood still. This was horrible as Naomi was already whining. “Mummy, buy me ice-cream.” She breathed deeply and was about to return some items when a hand grabbed her basket and dropped it on the counter.
Calvary smiled at the lady who looked confused. “Onyinye double it. It’s on me.” The girl hesitated but obeyed. He was so happy he had seen her. He picked up Naomi who smiled, showing her beautiful dentition. “You want ice-cream?” He asked and she nodded excitedly and bent to pluck his lashes.
Yetunde felt glued and nervous. She felt like running out but he was holding Naomi. She swallowed and felt shame wash her like shampoo. The man she had slapped was now helping her. She collected the basket and followed him to where he parked his car, finding it difficult to look him straight in the eye; she was too shy to do that. It irked her to be helped. “Thank you” was all she muttered but he just kept staring at her.  He chuckled softly.  “You’re quite funny. I’m sorry for the way I treated you. I’m hoping we could be friends.” She nodded, not able to return his gaze.
A female voice interrupted them by the car. “Pastor, good day. I’m surprised to see you here.” The woman eyed Yetunde suspiciously. Who was she? And what was she doing with her future son-in-law? Calvary smiled politely. “Good afternoon mummy.” The least person he expected to see was Genevieve’s mother.
From the woman’s countenance Yetunde easily deciphered that she wasn’t liked. Who was she anyway? She looked away as Calvary discussed with the woman, still holding her little angel who was so engrossed in pulling his lashes. Then she thought of Femi, her one time lover who had asked her to get rid of such a beautiful child. Maybe one day, she would fall in love again but it wasn’t going to be anytime soon.
He cleared his throat and eyed her. She looked uncomfortable around him. “So where were we? This angel here says she wants ice-cream.” He winked at Naomi but Yetunde couldn’t have it. He had done enough already by paying for her stuff, even asking her to pick more. She didn’t want to impose besides, men never gave anything for free. Her heart raced. Maybe he liked her. That’s why he was so interested in her business. “I’m sorry Mr. Calvary but you’ve done enough. Thank you very much and I’m very sorry for the way I treated you.” He smiled warmly and squeezed her shoulders “That’s why you owe me. After the ice-cream, you’re free to run but right now, I need your apologies.” He directed her to the car and settled Naomi on her lap. Yetunde gasped. This was too much for her to bear. They looked like the perfect happy family she was not going to have anytime soon. Which man in his right senses would marry a damaged woman? He hummed his favorite hymn as they approached the fast food, stealing occasional glances at her. She looked worried and he wondered why. He felt drawn to this young lady for some reason. He was going to find out about her. Definitely she wasn’t married; she had no ring on her finger. Somehow, he felt relieved. This was getting very confusing.

Naomi devoured the ice-cream happily, gaining the attention of the two adults. She felt very special that very day.  “So, mind telling me a little about yourself?” He looked into her brown eyes but she quickly looked away. He was right! She was a soft lady with a tough exterior. She paused and stared at the window. “There’s nothing to tell.” Why was he so interested in her personal life? Could it be because of his generosity, he had the right to pry? She closed her eyes. This man was an anointed servant of the Most High and she had hurt him once. She was just not used to total strangers being overly nice.
She told him everything except the part about her illegitimate love affair and how she was abandoned by her family. She couldn’t bring herself to do that. She felt embarrassed. He nodded and wondered how she came about the little girl but he was afraid to ask. He didn’t want to spoil her mood. Then, his phone rang.  “Hello Gene, I’m not in the office right now but…” he paused as he tried to understand the reason behind her rude response. “Where are you right now? Tell me, I’m coming.” He cut the call immediately, she sounded so rude on the phone. For once, he wondered if Genevieve was a hypocrite because she had never raised her voice on him.

Wednesday, 31 August 2016


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‘There is power in the name of Jesus…to break every chain…’ Yetunde rushed in to see the owner of the angelic voice that sang those words. She loved that song so much; it was one of her best gospel hits. She held her baby tightly and hurried to her seat but she paused at who she’d seen. This was getting crazy. She stared at her cousin who looked like she had seen a ghost. But what greater surprise could be than seeing Genevieve? Eddie told her the name of the arrogant lady that attacked her at the bank. There she was, high and mighty, singing with the voice of an angel with the heart of a demon.

This was going to be interesting. She sat comfortably and hummed to the song. Although this woman was evil, she had to give it to her. She sang good. Eddie was surprised at her cousin’s composure because of the woman on stage but they needed to leave immediately; she couldn’t see Femi, not with Naomi. “Don’t you think we should go back home?” Yetunde stared at her. What had gotten into Eddie? “Are you okay? ‘Cause you’re acting all jittery like you saw a ghost.” Eddie avoided her eyes. “I just have a bad feeling. Are you sure you are comfortable and with Genevieve on stage? You must feel weird, you know,” she closed her eyes. She sounded really ridiculous. “Okay you know what Eddie, why don’t we stop talking and enjoy the praise and worship session.” She nodded quietly and prayed they shouldn’t bump into Femi.

The crowd cheered and clapped their hands. The praise session was wonderful. Faces were filled with smiles and hearts with joy, all giving glory to Jesus. Yetunde waved her hands in appreciation for His mercies upon her life. And at that point, she made a promise to God never to fail him again, always to trust Him in every situation. She felt her burdens being lifted up. She was at the right place—Bethel; the place of worship.

She closed her eyes and joined in the worship chorus then the voice switched to a deep male baritone. She paused. She didn’t want to get distracted but the voice sounded awkwardly familiar. No, it couldn’t be. What was he doing here? Then she felt Naomi’s little hands on her skirt and she was forced to open her eyes. Her cousin was right, they should’ve left a long time ago.

She saw him and shuddered. She had to leave immediately. She felt so bad but the crowd behind would ruin her plans. She sat down gently to gain some balance. She couldn’t believe it; the man standing on the pulpit was introduced, ‘Pastor Calvary Aduga’ and the crowd applauded very loudly . Her cousin stared back at her widely in disbelief. “Eddie, did you know about this?” Edidiong was just as shocked. So her boss was also a Pastor. She hadn’t expected it but she wasn’t too shocked because he lived a righteous lifestyle; he was very kind and humble except for his wife to be. She shook her head sadly and wondered how such a marriage would turn out.

Yetunde felt stunned as the man began to preach. She quickly whispered some words of prayer in her heart. She felt horrible—all her stubborn pride fled away—when she realized she had slapped a man of God. God, please show me mercy. I didn’t know. She shook the thought out of her mind as she remembered her stolen car. Maybe that was the punishment she got for slapping a Priest of the Most High. He was a genuine prophet as he had just spoken a word that met her at the point of her need.

“The bible says: whoever calls on the name of the lord shall be saved, and that is what we came to do tonight—to call on Jesus with our songs, our praises, our worship to Him—Hallelujah!” He paused and continued. “The Holy Spirit has just ministered to me. There is a young woman here, your life had been taken away from you since you fell into the sin of fornication. You are still running away from God’s presence but He said He has forgiven you and if you hold on to Him and worship Him tonight, He will make your life beautiful again.” Yetunde froze at where she sat. The crowd thundered amen as he began to make other declarations.

She couldn’t hold it anymore. That was God speaking to her. She had been forgiven. She knelt and cried. “Thank you Jesus,” while her daughter who sat comfortably with Edidiong looked confused and stared back at her Aunt for an explanation. Eddie was as shocked as the little girl she held her close and pecked her cheek.

Yetunde smiled as they boarded a cab back home. “I’m so happy you invited me, thank you Eddie.” Edidiong smiled and thanked God. They hadn’t seen Femi. But she felt a little bit guilty for keeping it to herself. Yetunde had the right to know but this wasn’t the right time. Her cousin had never been this happy and she didn’t want to get her in a bad mood again. The night had been eventful; they had recorded live performances of many songsters and they would talk about it for a long time.

“Edidiong you are awfully quiet tonight. Are you sure you’re okay?” Yetunde asked again only to receive the exact response as earlier: two nods. She sighed. Something was bothering her cousin but she let go of the issue and tapped her sleeping child as they approached the house. She believed every word of the Pastor. She had stopped thinking of him as Mr. Perfect. There was no good thing about mocking an anointed servant of God. Her admiration for him grew stronger—he was her ideal man. She pushed the haunting thoughts as she remembered his arrogant fiancée. She wondered how he ended up with such a vile woman but the bible said, “Judge not that ye may not be judged.”

They all walked toward the house. Something wasn’t right. Yetunde quickly walked to the lobby and found her neighbours weeping. “What happened here?” Yetunde asked anxiously, referring to no one in particular as she spotted the lifeless body of her landlady. “We were attacked by armed robbers,” one broke down and wailed loudly. Eddie took Naomi and rushed to Yetunde’s room. The door had been greatly vandalized and her television was missing. She hoped that was all and nothing more. “Yetunde, come over here.”

She paused and observed her one room apartment: her television was missing but that wasn’t the important thing. She had just received part of her gains from the savings committee she had joined. She reached her yellow bag from where it hung. She bit her lip and controlled herself as reality hit. “God, is this your promise to me?” she wept silently. Something was wrong in her life. She hoped to pay part of Naomi’s fees with that money but it was now gone.