Where am I?
I wished that someone could just answer my question.
Am I dead?
I felt ethereal at that instant but I was afraid because I felt pain and I had heard that you don’t feel pain in heaven.
Am in hell?
I felt serious pains in my joints and marrows and then, I felt wet- yet I could still feel warmth.
Somebody was holding me!
I heard sobs!
Where am I Lord?
I was afraid because if it was hell, then I was doomed! If I missed heaven, then I would be in eternal damnation forever.
I couldn’t even feel my body!
Just then I felt sudden weakness and I sneezed loudly.
‘Jesus!’ I heard that voice very close to me. Who was mentioning that sacred name?
Is this heaven? I kept on asking myself, very confused.
‘Princess!’ the voice called me, I felt firm, warm hands touching my bare shoulders.
My heart skipped a beat.
A man’s hand!
‘Am I naked?’ I screamed aloud and then, my eyes opened. I closed them again and then opened them.
Am on that earth again?
That deadly stupid earth?
I opened my eyes again in a bid to see who had earlier touched me.
Then, I saw him, sitting on the stool with a bible by his side. He was looking intently at me, his head bowed as if in prayers. I checked my body and I was well clad in a very free armless top, my body covered with a plain white duvet.
It was a hospital!- an intensive care unit ward!
What had happened to me?
‘Niel!’ I called out and he smiled broadly, his hands raised to heaven.
‘Lord I thank you. I really worship you. You are real!’ he said and my heart went sour.
This one too can pray? This filthy guy?
Don’t call what I have purified unclean! I heard that voice.
He has been activated! I can hear his voice!
I was excited to hear his voice but I wasn’t ready to obey it. Not as far as Niel was concerned!
‘I thank God you are awake! We have prayed and prayed. All thanks to God. It’s been a week’ he said.
Nice baritone voice! Gritty!
I shook my head to order
‘Don’t even think about it’ I said to myself and stood up. My head was tingling in pain and there was a tube connected to my vein.
‘Did you just say it’s been a week?’ I asked and he nodded
‘Yes it is. Today is Thursday’ he said, smiling, his teeth sparkling white.
I shook my head again.
‘Princess, get yourself together abeg!’ I told myself silently as I tried to stand from the bed. He stood up too, dragging the stool backwards
‘Please take it easy’ he said in a very caring, concerned tone but I was irritated.
Why was he here? Who brought me to the hospital and got me admitted in the hospital- the intensive care unit for that matter!
‘Where is my mother?’ I asked him and he looked into my face with his hands folded behind him in obeisance.
‘She went to the church with your sisters. She called me over here to stay with you.’ He replied and I looked at him.
‘My mother called you to stay here with me?’ I asked, almost irritated and he smiled, a little bit embarrassed.
‘Yes! She had no one else to call. After we both fainted that day, I woke up later when Briton started barking and I realised you were still on the floor, almost lifelessly. I called out in a loud voice but the soundproof door wouldn’t allow anyone hear my voice’ he said and I tried sitting back on the bed when I had a sudden headache.
He rushed to hold me so as to guide me back into the bed but I shrugged him off!
‘You are feeling dizzy?’ he asked and I smiled in my heart.
I loved a man who is sensitive and precise when dealing with a female counterpart like anything!
He got it correctly. I was feeling dizzy but I would not be deterred. I removed the thin tube fixed into the vein on my right hand and he opened his mouth.
‘Why?’ he asked and I didn’t respond.
I stood up again defying my pains and the heavy throbbing in my head, slipped my long beautiful feet into the slippers nearby and looked around the room for my purse- possibly and right beside my pillow it was. I smiled
Everything is working in my way!
‘Thanks for everything’ I said to him and the look on his face was sad
‘Where are you going to?’ he asked and I smiled. I nodded like an agama lizard as I approached the door.
‘Gracias!’ I exclaimed as I went out of the room
As I went past the wards that were nearby, I was determined not to allow anybody stop me from achieving my goals.
‘I have to go back to Germany! If I am there, maybe the Holy Spirit will come down from heaven and force me to Nigeria. I am not disobeying him o. But I am only saying no!’ I said to myself as I walked on fervently.
I flagged down a taxi and as I wanted to board it, I heard my name firmly behind me. I turned back and saw Niel. I frowned
‘What exactly is the problem?’ I asked him and he pursed his lips, folding his hands in balls.
‘Are you…perhaps…princess, are you running away from…everyone because of…perhaps because of me?’ I said incoherently, his voice shaky. I smiled
‘You defined it!’ I said plainly, entered the car and it zoomed off.
As we passed through the gate, I saw my mum’s car driving in. she had grown lean as her long neck had become longer. I noticed from afar and my heart ache
‘Au re voir mama’ I said, audibly and the driver turned to look at me
‘What?’ he asked and I gasped
Was I talking to this nincompoop?
‘Drive on to Ikeja’ I said and he went on.
God, I am not disobeying you but I just don’t want to marry now. I am not ready. So, please understand with me.
Justifying the self! I heard the voice to loud and clear
If the Holy Spirit thought His words could allow me go back and get hooked to that rapist, then never never! Even I was prepared.
I reached inside my purse and luckily, my ear piece was still in my purse with my phone. I removed the SIM card since my people could want to reach me. then, I plugged my ears and defied the warning that the highest volume could damage my ear drums.
Holy Spirit, sorry for that! I just don’t want you to talk too much!
Just then, I heard
‘Please, let’s jam our hands together as we invite Nathaniel Bassey to the podium’ from my phone.
I hissed. Nathaniel again!
Just then I heard again
‘I want you guys to please call me Niel for the occasion of today. Say Niel everybody’ Nathaniel Bassey said
And I heard a loud shout of ‘Niel!’ I hissed so loudly and changed the music. I loved his music but not his name this time around.
I scrolled through my songs to choose another song when the driver signalled at me.
‘Madam, where you dey go for Ikeja?’ he asked and I scratched my head.
Where exactly was I going to?
‘I need to travel to Germany but I want to lodge in a hotel first of all’ I explained to him as if he were my brother.
‘Ok madam. Which hotel?’ he asked again and I was stuck. I had never lodged in any hotel on the mainland.
‘I don’t know o’ I said. He smiled
‘Should I carry you to Niel Hotel?’ he said and I looked perturbed
‘Ehn?’ I asked and he repeated himself
‘It’s a new hotel in Lagos o. very nice’ he explained and I hissed silently.
Fumbling with my purse.
You be their ambassador! I exclaimed silently.
Then I remembered I needed to change my clothes.
‘Drive me to a boutique. I need to change my clothes’ I told the guy and he smiled
‘I know a very nice one nearby’ he said. I shook my head and hoped it wasn’t a Niel Boutique or something.
As I checked throught the decent clothes that would serve me well till I travel the following day, a man came near me and stretched his hands to me.
‘Good day. I am Niel’ he said and I walked away.
What was a guy doing in the lady section of the boutique sef! I thought to myself and hissed.
I gave the cashier my credit card and waited.
Just then, a woman with her baby swaddled to her back came in. the baby was adorable and I couldn’t resist touching her dimpled cheek.
She smiled and my heart warmed up within me. Suddenly she started crying. I was embarrassed
‘Baby, what is the problem?’ I said, trying to be okay.
Then her cries grew from ‘Wienn wieen, wieeeen’ to ‘Nieeel, nieeel, nieel’
My heart started pounding.
What sort of a baby is this?
‘Give me my card please. I need to get out of this place’ I said hurriedly, took my card and carried my packed purchases.
‘We dropped you some chocolate ma.’ The cashier said and I could only nodded as I hurried out as the ‘Niel’ cries of the baby rang in my head.
What is this oh God? I exclaimed as I entered the car.
‘Please don’t carry me to that Niel Hotel please. Find somewhere else to go’ I said and the guy smiled
‘Madam, the place is nice o’ he said and I shot him a dangerous look
‘I am not going there. Is there any problem?’ I shouted and my migraine started again. Damn! I didn’t have my drugs with me.
What a frustrating day!
I tummy ached for food and I held my tummy in pain. Then, I remembered the cashier dropped me some chocolate. I reached into the pack and tore one opened.
‘Bless it Lord’ I prayed and bit it. It was delicious.
This isn’t snickers o! What’s the make? I asked myself and checked.
Oh my God!
Tears ran down my face as I threw the wrap away and I tried to vomit the ones I had swallowed.
My father! What’s all these? I cried out and the driver turned back.
‘Madam, sorry o’ he said and I hissed loudly
‘See, driver, what’s that your name?’ I asked angrily. He smiled again and I was angry. I was ready to transfer all my aggression on him.
‘My name is Niel’ he said and my shoulders dropped. My mouth fell into a very bad posture as I started crying like a baby, beating the shoulders of the man.
‘Madam, don’t cause an accident here o’ he said as I beat him on.
‘Drop me. Let me get down jhur’ I cried on and he parked
‘Madam, are you angry about something or you are running away from something?’ he asked and I didn’t respond. I opened the door and with my purse and pack clutched to my chest, I alighted the car.
‘Madam, close my door’ he said but I didn’t respond as I walked close to a fence nearby. He came down and turned around to close the passenger door.
‘Madam, please go back home!’ he said and I cried the more. I leaned against the wall and beat it so hardly.
‘I can’t marry him oh Lord! I can’t’ I cried out
You are his other half. He needs you and you need him too
I don’t want to hear this voice anymore! Not on this matter! Please stop!
I cried the more as I was perturbed. I didn’t understand why all these was happening to me.
As I looked at the wall while I wiped my tears, I saw the flier pasted on it with the title ‘Go back home and do His will!’
I screamed and many faces turned to my direction as I cried.
‘Holy Spirit, stop talking to me! I don’t want to hear!’
‘My grace is sufficient for…’ he was saying again when I screamed louder, covering my ears.
And he stopped!
‘Stop!’ I exclaimed again, ran to the road, flagged down a car which drove me straight to Muritala Mohammed International Airport where I purchased a ticket and joined the flight to Germany slated for 5 minutes time.
I was lucky!
God had to just stop the expensive jokes!
As i surveyed the crowd and the calibre of people present at the occasion, my babies kicked in me.
I was excited as my very sensitive husband close to me realized, smiled at me while flashing his teeth and rubbed my tummy in the public!
I was shy and overly shy when I heard the MC say ‘Hmmm… This one is a gaju!’ playfully.
She was obviously was a Nigerian somehow because she spoke Yoruba language fluently.
Everyone had smiled and clapped happily
We were married for 7 years now and the twins in me would make the number of the kids i had bare to number up to 5! I already had three!
And I love them so much.
We had received a letter from the United States of America requesting that we should be the guest speaker and model at an International summit of successful singles.
It was designed for Christian singles male and female who had become successful but are unmarried because of one reason or the other.
Before that time, my husband and I had become a cable television marriage counsellor.
We had really blessed lives to the extent that since our 7 years of marriage, we had been invited to 1000 shows and we had honoured 800. We had been on uncountable television programmes and radio programmes too on different stations in and out of Africa.
‘Please, in this world and in America at large, virginity has become a thing of the past. It is no longer appreciated. To you, what do you see virginity as? Is it still as relevant as it was in the past?” the beautiful, blonde interviewer asked and I adjusted on my seat and smiled. I looked at my husband who clapped for me and signalled for me to answer.
‘Thank you for the question Molly. Virginity is still as special as it was in the olden days and even if the civilisation and all has made it the thing of the past, it is still special. Even God loves it and that was why he said ‘let marriage be honourable in all. The bed undefiled…’’ I felt a particular turning in my tummy and it was like a contraction.
‘Thank you ma. To a sensitive question ma, were you a virgin when your husband met you?’ she asked and I laughed. My husband placed his hand on my laps, leaned towards my side. He looked into my eyes and looked alarmed.
‘Are you okay?’ he asked, deeply concerned.
My husband was never shy to show me love and care anywhere! In the public, in front of the staring camera or a congregation or even in the secret place of our room. And I loved him!
I loved him so much that the thought alone made me tingle.
Then after the interview segment cane the programme proper.
‘Now, we welcome our guest speaker to the podium. She is no other than Dear Princess Gregory the wife of Pastor…’ the MC said and pointed the mic to the congregation so they would respond and they did, happily.
‘Pastor Niel Gregory!’ they screamed and clapped together happily and I stood from the beautiful and comfortable seat in which I was sitting while Niel followed me from behind, carrying my water bottle and a shawl.
The talk went on well as there were interactions with the singles around and while Niel occasionally gave me water to drink and covered me with my shawl, patting me whenever I got tired or stuck; it was a huge success though my contractions had increased and I was perspiring under the cool weather.
‘Princess, in your book ‘The Quirk of Fate’, the 4th episode ended where you said you eventually left for Germany. Please, as big fans of yours in here, could you give us the pleasure of knowing what happened eventually before the grand-finale is released?’ a young black lady asked and I smiled.
‘That’s called cheating’ I said and they all laughed, some blowing the whistles
Americans can so laugh!
‘See, in the plane, a man came to me, still named Niel!’ I said and waited for their reactions. They murmured and gave different expressions as they commented on what I just said. I looked at Niel who gave me a ‘thumbs up’. I smiled again and continued
‘He sat me down and asked me so straightforwardly that why couldn’t I marry Niel since he was already born again’ I held my tummy because it felt as if the babies wanted to drop.
Jesus! Help me finish this programme!
‘I didn’t even know he was born again already. How could he be born again in just a space of a week and the man looked into my face and said, ‘how many days did it take you to be born again? How many days did it take Paul to become born again? How God’s heart aches!’ he stopped and tears ran down his face. I was perturbed.’ I paused and surveyed the congregation of over 5000 people.
‘Ride on Princess!’ a guy screamed from the congregation and I smiled
‘I asked him what happened and he said God had cleansed the guy and that I should forgive. He said was it because of my virginity and the act in which it was broken and I answered yes’ I could still remember the day so clearly.
I had looked into the Elder Niel’s face and his curly grey hair and I listened perfectly.
‘You wanted to give your virginity to your husband as a gift, well wrapped but he doesn’t like surprises at all, so he took the gift, tore the beautiful wrapper and enjoyed the gift. Does that disqualify him from being your husband?’ he asked and I nodded in realisation.
I never saw it that way before.
‘But sir, what if he still does it again? Like, I get married to him and he goes around raping girls’ I asked and he smiled.
‘Niel is not a serial rapist!’ he said and I looked at him, very disconcerted.
How did he know?
‘The Holy Spirit is the ‘revealer’ of all secret things. He intentionally placed you on this plane with me. He loves you really!’ he said and I bowed my head because I was so speechless as to why he chose to look upon me favourably.
‘See, he was a virgin too until that night. He was under the influence of the drugs he took under desperation. God wanted to stop you from embarking on a dangerous course and that was why he allowed that to happen” he paused and looked into my face as his words sunk inside me.
A virgin guy!
‘Who says is impossible? See my dear, I was a virgin, keeping myself holy unto the Lord when God led me to ex porn actress!’ he said and I gasped in amazement.
‘Jesus Christ!’ I exclaimed, holding my neck firmly.
‘I married her and till today, I still believe that I deflowered her. She is the best wife for me although I had resisted severally before I eventually agreed. But for you two, he lost it to you, you lost it to him, in order to find healing, God and love. Find a place in your heart to forgive and Holy Spirit will heal you.’ He said to me and plugged his ear phones as if he wasn’t the one that just spoke to me.
I looked at the congregation again and smiled, trying had to conceal my labour pains.
‘As soon as I got to Germany, I came back to Nigeria but Niel was nowhere to be found’ I continued and there was silence in the hall.
‘I prayed, fasted and asked God for forgiveness if it was because of my hardness of heart that he had sent him away. I did not hear from God or from Niel.’ I said and looked back at Niel who smiled his arms behind him.
‘Hmmm’ the congregation said almost together
‘After two years, I was at a retreat in Lagos when a guest pastor from Germany went up stage to preach. He really preached and touched my heart. I was blessed so really and I waited behind to see him after the service. I was flabbergasted, shocked, bowled over, stunned, shocked, amazed, taken aback, use any adjective my people that it was Nathaniel that was about to counsel me. He was equalled taken aback and could only smile.’ I narrated and the congregation clapped heartily.
‘We prayed together and became friends although he went back to Germany and I had to stay back before I had started a business had started booming then. We still talked and were always happy together until God revealed it to him too. The proposal day was a great day when during a programme he church, he just popped up the question…’ I paused again. I was not finding it easy anymore. The pain had become intense. From the interval of 15 minutes, the contraction had become every 3 minutes.
‘Will you marry me’ everyone chorused to complete my sentence and I smiled, raising the mic.
My husband came near me, collected the mic and held me by my waist. I placed my head on his shoulder, for comfort but the pain was much.
‘And she said…’ Niel said into the mic and pointed it at the congregation for their response
‘Yes’ they shouted so ecstatically.
‘Thank you very much everyone. I really love and appreciate my wife, my born again father in law, prayerful father in-law and amazing Emerald and Ruby, my sisters-in-law. Of a truth, it’s been God! Princess is a gem and I love her so so much. God bless her for me. God bless you for listening. May we obey and do God’s will in all areas’ he prayed and they all stood up, clapping
‘Amen and amen!’ they responded.
‘As you can see, my wife is pregnant heavily but she only honoured your invite since this is one great story she loves to tell the world. She is due and in laboured already’ he said and I pinched him. He laughed into the mic.
‘Awwww’ the people exclaimed
‘Infact, she just pinched me for telling you. We gat to gerrarahere!’ he said, dropped the mic and we walked to my seat amidst a round of stand ovation and screams.
‘Thank you Princess. Before we go, could you tell us what name you are giving to your new baby?’ the MC asked and I looked at her faintly.
This woman doesn’t understand my condition
… but I loved her question.
‘I have a set of twins in me now. A boy and a girl’ I said, my hand shaking already, sweat infront of my nose.
The wows and the ohs lasted a while and I smiled, happily as my husband bent before the whole congregation and pecked my tummy.
I smacked him and said ‘This programme is live’ and he stood up, hugged me and said
‘That makes it better. Telling the whole world I love you and I love you!’ he said poetically and I laughed, defying my pain.
I loved it really!
‘And I am naming them…’ I paused because I hadn’t even told Niel yet and he looked at me anxiously.
‘Niel and Niella. Those are the names’ I said and there was a loud shout from the congregation.
‘Why do you want to name that those?’ the inquisitive MC asked and I laughed.
‘Because its our 7th year anniversary and it’s been a perfection. A real perfection and these perfect kids are symbolising that and my husband has been the perfect husband ever’ I said and before I knew it, Niel raised me off my feet, obviously forgetting the fact that I was in labor.
I let out a deafening scream as I felt the tingling between my legs and I was quickly rushed out by some medical personnel.
As I looked at his concerned face as I was being wheeled into the labor room by the white nurses, I couldn’t but bless God for the twist- the quirk of fate that brought us together- GOD!
THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME AND PATIENCE!