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Thursday, 29 September 2016


(Image source: www.informationng.com)

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 na├»ve. 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


(Image source: www.informationng.com)

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.