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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.”

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