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Written By: Lizzy Oyebola Oyekunle
Someone was sobbing.
I was so sure that I heard someone sniffing wetly from inside when I entered the house but I met my husband working on his computer system, Andrew was having a nap and Talitha was knitting a baby cap.
“Are you sure that you were not crying, my baby?” I asked Talitha as I felt her body temperature.
“I am fine ma” She said but I was not convinced. Her body temperature was high and she had a running nose
“When did the catarrh start” I asked and she smiled
“This morning” She said, her blocked nose being made obvious.
I felt the sides of her head and they were throbbing heavily.
“You were obviously crying” I said and there was silence.
“You don’t want to talk to me?” I asked and she shook her head.
“I just want to be left alone.” She said and I was shocked
“You love people being around you baby girl. You love me being with you, why chase me away now?” I asked and she shook her head.
“I have some weird, funny, unimaginable things in my mouth that I can’t say. They are crazy. I just want to be alone. I need to think” She said and I nodded
“Let me get you some juice. You look dehydrated” I said as I moved to the door.
What could be on her mind?
What could she be thinking?
“Is that Panam Percy Paul?” Andrew asked as he bit at the chocolate bar I bought him as I started the car
“Yeah. That’s his latest album” I replied. I looked at the side mirror and slided into the road as the journey to my office started
“Oh, I love that man like so greatly!” He said and I smiled.
“Yeah…” I replied and he stopped to look into my face as I drove on
“Yeah, bros, what’s up?” He asked and I looked into his face, my brows curved
“The sky’s up” I said and he broke out into a loud laughter as he hit my shoulder playfully
“Bro, you are bad mehn! C’mon” He laughed on
“You are badder!” I decided to play along and he laughed the more.
“You should be a comedian bro. You are the king of sarcasm mehn!” He said again and I smiled faintly again.
I wondered what it was that he wanted to discuss with me so badly.
I hadn’t stopped by at their house for a full week although I had been talking to Talitha on the phone. I just wanted to get over her and concentrate on my job.
I was at the shopping mall, getting some beverages to fill my office cupboard when his text came in.
Bro, can I come with you to your office today?
I replaced the pack of tea bags I had picked earlier and looked at the message all over again.
I started typing.
I don’t get Bowen. Is my office a sort of recreation centre? What about your office? Aren’t you going to work? Get serious bro
I read and re-read and shook my head
“Dove, you shouldn’t be doing this. C’mon!” I said to myself and started typing again
You aren’t going to work?
I started moving to the cashier. My phone beeped
I resigned bro
I saw that and I paused a bit. Why would he resign?
I am at the Ikeja Shopping Mall, come over
And in less than thirty minutes he was already at the park, waiting for me.
“Why did you resign?” I asked and he smiled
“I am going to settle down in Scotland” He said and I nodded severally, many thoughts running through my head.
“I told you that I wanted to share a good news over dinner last week but you didn’t bother replying, now see. The engineering company I told you about has called me to resume” He said and I blinked severally.
So, he wasn’t trying to tell me about his affection for Tally?
“Congrats bro” I said then
“Thanks bro. Let me make some Euros first and come back gallantly like daddy…chai daddy! The man raked the US dollars for twenty years… Haha.. came back to set up a gallant hospital in Lagos… He us reaping his cool cash now… He is the real nigga mhen” He said and smiled broadly. I smiled too
“When are you going?” I asked and he smiled
“You are missing me already?” He asked, tickling my side and I smiled faintly
“You should be a masseur, not an engineer” I said and he started laughing again.
“What! Why bro?” He asked and I looked into his very innocent, milky eyes. I sighed and faced the road.
“Your hands doesn’t feel like it had held a spanner before” I said and he started laughing again.
“Oh my God! Tally said exactly the same thing. Geez!” He laughed on but my heart skipped a beat at the mention of her name.
Andrew shouldn’t please stab my wound any further.
Moreso, how did Talitha know?
Has he tickled her before, or have they held hands?
I shook my head and concluded that it was not my business though my tummy had some peppery sensations, an indication that I was very worried.
“When are you going to Scotland?” I asked again and he changed the song playing. He started nodding to the blues.
“In the next five weeks. I need to put finishing touches to some things and by then, your daughter should have given birth” He said and I looked into his face once more. He looked lost in thoughts as he smiled to himself.
“Yeah, so you can take her along?” I asked and he shook his head
“Not exactly bro” he said and I frowned a little bit as I didn’t get what he was saying
“That reminds me. Andrew, have you sorted out your feelings for my daughter?” I asked and he laughed as he covered his face. I was distraughted.
“You go fear daddy nah” He laughed again.
“Talk jhur” I said, raising my nose at him. He maintained a serious face and held my hand
“Join me in prayers bro. I plan to propose to Talitha immediately after child birth” He said and my heart finally sat.
“But I need to be sure that I am doing the right thing” He added and I smiled faintly
“God’s will shall be done bro”
“Can we have some prayer sessions together? I probably sleep over at your place?” He asked and I sighed severally before I could even nod affirmatively
“Yes we can” I said as I brought the car to an end and tried to calm my heart down for my presentation in some minutes time
“Wow! What a very nice, beautiful, gigantic building your organisation has! Wow!” He exclaimed again as I opened the door and stepped out.
“I just believe that I am seeing men like trees mum” My son said and I smiled.
I could feel deep in my heart what turmoil was rumbling through his mind.
Few decades back, I was drowning in the river of confusion too. At first, I thought it was Daniel and oh, I loved him deeply. Then, I realized that I could not go into any relationship with him because though he seemed to be a child of God, he was very violent. On one occasion, he had raised his hand to slap me simply because I said I didn’t like green on him.
Then came Philemon. Oh the vision I had! It looked so heavenly that I was convinced he was the man for me. I was so wrong! He was already engaged to a lady in Kano before coming to propose to me in Lagos. He never mentioned it. Thanks to divine providence, a friend was around on our second date and she had to provide me with the information.
I was very heart broken.
I had dreaded having a very bad home and had prayed hard so that I would never miss it in marriage.
Right from babyhood, I had had memories of my dad beating my mum so badly; I could remember the shouts and the abuses and the worst gory memory I would never forget was when my mum threw a knife at my dad’s leg and my dad regrettably threw a stone at her chest- the stone throw that killed her.
Since then, I had determined that my marriage will not be my coffin!
I had made up my mind that come what may, I would wait till I find the one that will love me as his mother, his wife, his sister, his lover, his teacher, his everything!
I prayed and prayed and many other fakes came before my husband came right before me. He was an angel until after about ten years he became withdrawn and not so caring. I was consoled anyways by the fact that I was in the center of God’s will and come what may, he would get it right with God again and be the man I fell in love with once more.
My prayer for my children had been that they get it right in marriage so I was determined to help them get it right no matter what.
Seeing my confused baby before me now, I knew that it was not time to relax and allow him miss it but I must awaken my spiritual sensitivity once more.
“Seeing men as trees at first is not something new my dear. The blind man that Jesus applied his saliva-mixed clay on his blind eyes said he was seeing men as trees. Then Jesus went further to give him the clearest vision and he could see well. My son, you will see!” I prayed and he hugged my pillow tightly.
“Amen mum. Amen” He said emphatically.
“So, you don’t think its Talitha again?” I asked and he bowed his head for a while
“Mum, see, I love Talitha so madly! I pray for her, she makes me laugh a lot of time and I really pity her. Seeing Angelina in the office, I love the way she prays, she talks about sport so much, she is intelligent too, she is conversant with Scotland where I am envisaging for my future home, I am completely confused. I compared what I have for Talitha with what I have for Angelina and I see pity or better still, friendship” He said and I sighed.
I had hoped that he would get married to Talitha really!
We would need to pray so that all confusion would be gone, that I knew assuredly.
“We will need to pray the more, okay?”
“We will be giving God some crazy ultimatum here” I said with glee and his eyes widened as his mouth broke into some curves.
“Wow! That sounds scary now mum” He said and I smiled
“We will declare a fast and ask that your brothers also join in the whole prayers. At the end of seven days, all confusion must be gone. We declare peace in our spirits and our decisions. Amen”
“Amen!” He said firmly as he hit my bed.
“Wow, that’s my momma. She is one in a millionth million” He said as he hugged me tightly. I patted him and smiled wholeheartedly.
My soul blessed him greatly too.
“I studied Engineering” She replied and I gasped
“Wow! I studied Engineering too. I love it when ladies study Engineering. I see them as very strong ladies” I said and she smiled
“Yeah, ladies are awesome, you know?” She said and I smiled
“Yea, Godly ladies though” I said and she smiled
“I probably ain’t awesome then” She said as she flipped through some magazine pages.
“Why? You ain’t Godly?” I asked and she smiled
“Maybe” She said again and I smiled
“Its not too late anyways. I can easily teach you how to be godly since you are now my friend. I love to keep godly friends” I said and she smiled
“You are Bowen’s brother?” she asked and I nodded
“Yeah, from another mother anyways” I added
“Oh, okay.” She said and she stared into space for a while, tickled her nose with her ball pen.
“He was my crush for two years” She said and I smiled broadly
“He actually would be anybody’s crush. I love him so greatly too. If I were to be a woman, I would look no further” I laughed and she smiled
“What if you look no further and he doesn’t even care to look at your side?” she asked and looking into her face, I saw hurt.
Chai, bros must have hurt her!
“Well, if he doesn’t look at me, I look somewhere else then. He is not the only man alive anyways” I said and she smiled ruefully again
“What if you are too hurt to ever ever open the door of your heart to someone else?” She asked again
“That is where Jesus comes in my sister. He said, ‘come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest’ He is ever ready to cure our broken hearts” I said and she nodded as she smiled vaguely again
“Do you believe those words just like that? Just because they are written in the Bible, you believe? I can as well write a book and publish you know?” She said and I knew I had to tell her more
“These are not just words. They are Words! They are living! I have seen them at work in my life and family, I have seen them at work in my academics, they have been tried and tested. They are inspired Words! I believe in them so greatly!” I said and she nodded severally.
“Hmmm” She nodded. Seeing she nodded, I continued.
“One day, my dad asked my mum to pack her load and leave the house. My mum locked herself in a room, called us immediately and told us to repeat severally with faith and not fear “Peace be still”. My dear sister, we were on that joint intenational call repeating “Peace be still” for like an hour, speaking in tongues, prophesying and by the time we were done, my mum went back the sitting room where my dad knelt before her saying he didn’t know what he was doing”
“Hmmm, wow! Wow!” She exclaimed excitedly.
“Peace be still was what Jesus used to calm the raging storm while he was travelling with his disciples on a stormy sea. Using it in our stormy family, the storms died down!”
“Wow! Guess I need to get a Bible once again”
“Look at Bros Bowen too. He has a sick sister who calls him daddy. At some point, she was approaching death and Bros had to start praying deeply. In his dream one day, he saw her dead, about to be buried and there was nothing more to do. Just looking up in faith with the dead body in his hands, he screamed in the Spirit, ‘Talitha Cumi!’ The dead body came back to life in the dream and it was effected in real life”
“Wow! Talitha cumi?”
“Yes. It means, ‘Young Lady, rise up! It was Jesus’ Word which he used on a dead child in the Bible. Bros used it too and the whole situation received life”
“Ah, wow! I have never heard it this way before. Wow! I am so happy”
“Yes sis, I am so happy too. God exalts His Word more than even his name” I said and she nodded.
“See, I need some Word of God too. I have some aspects that I want to use the Word to remove” She said innocently and I smiled
“See, its just like in Nigeria. You are not in the army but you want to wear their camouflage. They might arrest you”
“Identity impersonation, right? Those proud soldiers tho” She laughed and I smiled too
“Well, that is how the Kingdom of God is too. If you are not the memeber of that kingdom and you don’t have your salvation ID card to prove that you belong, you might not be able to use that Name.”
“Yes my sister. You have to simply confess your sins as sins really, promise to do away with them, accept Jesus as your Lord and Saviour and continue to live in His power. Then, you can shoot at the devil, using his Word” I said and she gave me a genuine smile too as I led her to Christ right in the studio as Bowen continued with his programme.
“Congrats sis, you are now a child of God” I said as I shook her hands. She looked dazed
“What, just like that?”
“Yes sis, just make sure that you keep to the promise of staying from those things you promised Him never to do again. If you find yourself doing them, just say the prayers of salvation once more and you are fine. In this kingdom, faith is the currency we use daily” I said and she smiled
“So, I am now a good Christian? Wow!” She exclaimed excitedly
“Yes you are. But wait, if you plant a bean seed in a tin and hide it under the bed for two weeks, what will happen to the seed?”
“It will die away nah. I don’t need an angel to tell me that” She said with a rich humourful voice and I smiled
“You have that seed of righteousness in you already. Continually water it with the Word of God and let the Sun of prayer shower it daily”
“I am so excited. After doing that, if I say, Peace be still to my parents’ scattered relationship, it will be normalized?” She asked and I smiled
“Yes, when you say it by faith, without doubting” I said and she smiled
“I will come and share the testimony with you very soon.Oh, thank You Jesus” She said as she handed her phone to me
“Please put your number in my phone abeg. Ah, God will bless you for me o” She said on as I typed my phone number
“I don’t want to save your name with Aburo, so tell me your name” She said and I looked up at her and smiled.
“What makes you think that you are older than me? No be by body mass o” I said and she laughed out.
“I am 27, you?” She asked and I smiled
“I am 27 too.” I said and she looked shocked
“February 14…” She said and it was my turn to be shocked
“February 14th too” I said excitedly and she frowned a bit.
“Stop playing around jhur” She laughed on and I shrugged
“For real. Or, did someone steal my twin sister at birth?” I asked, trying to be funny. She laughed hysterically and slapped my shoulder playfully
“My name is Andrew” I said and she smiled
“Let me save your number with Twinny Andy then. Thanks for coming with Dove to work. I was and am greatly blessed” She said and bowed. I smiled heartily and pointed up. She looked up
“He is more happy. Glory to the biggest Daddy” I said and she nodded as she stood up.
“What is your own….” I was trying to ask for her name when someone called from afar
She then looked at me and pouted
“That’s my name. Guess I am being sought after. See you some other time my twinnee. God bless you” We shook hands and she left
The smile that remained on my face wouldn’t go away.
I had won a soul for the Lord!
What other joy is worth having?
As I raised the tea cup to my mouth, Andrew walked into the kitchen, looking sullen. He took water from the water dispenser and gulped it down his throat. He walked lackadaisically towards me afterwards
“I thought you went with Bowen again today. Didn’t know you were indoor” I said as I washed my cup with soapy water in the sink.
“On my way, I decided to check on Tally and met her deeply crying. She is deeply soaked in tears. I pestered her to tell me what was happening to her but she wouldn’t tell me. We’ve been on that for over an hour now. I am exhausted” he said as he rubbed his forehead
“Oh wow! I knew it. Last week, I heard someone sobbing but she denied. I wonder what the matter is. I will talk to her. You can go and meet Bowen now” I said and he nodded as he walked out.
I walked to the fridge and paused a while as I stared in space.
Holy Spirit, please help this girl to trust me. Let her open up to me and tell me what is happening? Give me the wisdom to help her too if need be, Lord!
I picked a pack of juice and poured in a tall glass.
Please comfort her Lord!
I spooned some ice cubes into it and placed on a tray and started strolling prayerfully to her room.
She was snuggly fitted into her duvet and she didn’t move as I entered.
I dropped the tray on a stool and helped her to sit up- her face looked swollen.
“Come and have a cup of juice my baby girl” I said as I placed it close to her mouth. Though she struggled with me not to drink it, I won as soon, she was gulping the fruit pulp down her throat.
I rubbed her very big tummy afterwards and kissed it lovingly while she smiled faintly.
“What’s on your mind?” I asked as I sat beside her and placed my arm round her neck.
“Nothing much mum” She said and I smiled
“Tell me small nah, please” I said as I nudged at her earlobes with my lips. She shook at that and started laughing excitedly
I paused and looked into her face
“You felt that?”I asked and she kept laughing still
“The air from your nose was hot against my neck. It was ticklish” she said and my eyes must have tripled in size
“You felt my warm breath? Isn’t that wonderful?” I asked and pinched her thigh but she obviously couldn’t feel that.
I hugged her
“You will be well. You will be fine. I can see the changed being effected. My God will do it.” I said and she smiled faintly
“What is your fear? What is the cause of your heart’s sorrows? Trust me and please talk to me my love” I said and she smiled
“This baby…” She said as she rubbed her tummy.
“What about it?” I asked and she sighed
“What if he doesn’t survive? I am afraid that carrying this pregnancy is a futile exercise, really” She said and blinked severally so that her tears wouldn’t fall.
“Your baby will be fine my love. I am so sure that he will be fine. When the time is ripe, we will help with bringing it out” I said and she smiled
“Wow, thank you ma” She said and I smiled too.
Ask further! Dig deep!
“But the Holy Spirit is making me to understand that you are hiding some things from me. The major cause of your tears, you haven’t told me yet” I said and she looked into my eyes calculatively for a while
“The Holy Spirit told you that?” She asked again and I nodded
“Hmmm…I actually have a big problem. I don’t know what to do and who to turn to. If I tell you now, I don’t know in what light you will be looking at me hence forth. I don’t trust anybody, any Christian anymore! They could be so judgmental” She said and I smiled
“Since over six months that you have been here, have I judged you my dear? I can’t judge you because God is not judging you yet, He is loving you, that’s all. I love you too. That’s it” I said and she raised her eyes as if to say I should not go further
“Mummy, don’t preach to me ma” She said and smiled faintly. I smiled too
“It is well my daughter. I am praying for you. Please trust me and let me know” I said and she held her chest tight as she started crying anew.
“The problem is right here. It is really paining me” she said and I reached for her chest.
“Oh my God! I pray you don’t have ulcer in there yet” I said as I hurriedly unbuttoned her shirt to have access to her chest.
“Not that mum” she said and I looked into her face
“What then?” I asked
“I am in love with an impossible person. How could I ever be in love again? Do I deserve it? If I were to love, why would it be that person? Oh my!” She started crying all over again.
I was confused but I held her hands close to my heart as I prayerfully asked God for what to say next.
“First darling, I will say that loving someone is not something we have power over. We love someone because God placed such on our hearts. The Bible says Jonathan loved David like his own soul” I explained as she sniffed the more.
“Also, you are talking about you deserving it. What are you saying child? You are beautiful, you are very young, you are a shining star, why would you say you don’t deserve to love? Why? You are more than able to love. Forget that you will be having a child soon, when you get to that bridge, you will cross it”
“Its because you don’t understand what I am saying mum. I am in love with an impossible person. Don’t you get that side? The person doesn’t even love me in returns. The person doesn’t care” She said further and I started thinking.
An impossible person!
It definitely wouldn’t be my Andrew as all and sundry knew that he did care for her.
And Bowen, oh no! He could talk to her on phone from morning to night, telling his daughter what and what went on with her during the day.
Who then could it be?
Or my husband?
I shook my head at that thought and rubbed her cheek.
“Nobody is impossible dear. If it is a genuine love, God will bring you both together.”
“Even if the person is married?” She asked and I stopped there at once.
“What? Who is that? Tell me” I said like hot yam was in my mouth
“Your husband. Daddy” She said and my heart hit the rock a number of time before it started strolling down the river bank. As it was about jumping into the river, I picked it and stuck it in its cage again.
“Daddy? Our daddy?” I asked and she nodded again.
“Its impossible, you see” She said and I was confused.
My husband even hardly visited her room, he didn’t talk much with her, he probably didn’t even know her name, how on earth could she have feelings for him?
I stood up and went to the table. I picked his frame and took it back to her.
“You mean this daddy?” I asked and she covered her mouth as she laughed
“That’s grandpa. I mean daddy, your husband” She argued and she brought out her phone and gave me.
“That daddy. He’s not been coming here for a while. Are you both quarreling? He even hardly calls anymore. Well, its good, so that I will stop building some fantasy up in my head” She said and I smiled.
“You love Bowen?” I asked and she nodded
“Its right in here. When he prays for me, even though I find it very difficult to say amen, it comes to pass. When he tells me ‘You’ll be fine’, then my heart jumps up as it believes. I don’t really understand how I feel about him. It is stronger than what I had for Uncle Jeff. It is strong!…It is such a blissful feeling, but for my dad? Oh God!” She started crying again and I smiled.
“You will be fine my lovely daughter. You will be very fine. Just believe.” I said as I rubbed her chest.
I wanted her to calm down.
I wanted to tell her that Bowen was not her dad and it was okay to fall in love with him.
I wanted to tell her that she would be fine and she needed not cry.
But how do I tell her? How? I dreaded another relapse in her health. I dreaded it greatly.
“Hospital?” I muttered to myself again to weigh it. I didn’t get at first but when I got what innovative idea the Holy Spirit had dropped on my mind, I jumped up and slithered like a snake to her wardrobe. I picked a nice, flowery maternity gown for her and threw it at her.
“Put that on and wear a nice slip on. Let me go and get dressed too. Let’s go out together” I said and I saw as she tried to stand up from her bed, very excited.
“Wow! Yes, I need to clear my head. Its been a while I stepped out of this house. Good!” I heard her say to herself as I closed the door behind me. I smiled as I pressed my phone
“Hello Mama the doctor!”
“Hehehehe, Hello Bowen the star!”
“Ah, mummy oooo” He screamed
“Are you done for the day?”
“No ma. I have a two hours break before my next programme. Any problem?”
“Can you join me at the hospital?” I asked
“What? Is Talitha okay ma?” He asked and I smiled
“She is very fine. Just come over. See you soon” I dropped the call and checked for a nice evening gown too.
I felt so excited!
It was as if bees were buzzing in my head!
I looked from the image on the bed to the image standing close to my mum- there was no semblance at all!
The face of the man on the bed looked so familiar that it hurt my heart that I could not place the face.
He smiled at me and I winced.
“You look very familiar grandpa. Do you know me?” I asked, smiling as I touched his shoulder. Tears ran down his face.
“Mum, your patient is crying” I called out and she smiled
“I am sure that he will be fine. Don’t worry. Maybe your face looks familiar to him too” Mum said and I nodded
“I said it!” I racked my brain as I bent my head to look at the face again.
“Princess Tally” The man said slowly and my eyes widened.
My eyes got blurred for a while and I had to swallow for a while as a 6D television got opened at the back of my eyes.
“I regret the day you were born to this world. I regret! Oh Lord, I regret!”
My heart resumed pumping again as I looked further into the face.
“I hate you!”
The horrible scenes relived in my face once again.
“You suck!” I remembered him say as he pulled at my neck and spat into my face
“Out of my house!” I remembered how he kicked me out though I had hit my bombom against a nail in the wall.
I blocked my ears immediately as my heart started beating as if it would fall out in a jiffy. I looked at mummy as I swallowed deeply.
“Get into the car. We have to go somewhere tonight”
I pointed at him then and afterwards covered my suspended mouth with my shaky hands
“No!” I screamed as my lips started shaking vehemently.
I was almost falling backwards but for my mum that held my back immediately.
I broke free from her embrace and staggered to the man on the bed. I rolled up his right sleeve and saw that round, black birthmark. The birthmark I had always played with as a child.
“Is it the mark of the devil?” I asked one day and he laughed broadly as he explained.
“It is from birth, so it is called birth mark. It is not from the devil. It is from birth” He had explained with love then.
I looked at the other man standing and staggered to him like a drunk man. I took his right hand and kept rolling the sleeve. I could find no birth mark.
I looked into the face that sent my heart jumping a little more deeper and my mouth opened up in shock as I struggled for words.
“So, you are the Pastor’s first son abi? You are part of the people deceiving us with Christianity right?”
I moved backwards and covered my mouth at that point.
“I am not indebted to you or your family or your church! I was not, I am not and never will I be!”
I could see at the back of my mind how I vomited inside his mouth.
“My God!” I exclaimed as I staggered backwards inside mum’s arms once more
“That was intentional! How did it taste, huh? Bitter? That’s how my stomach feels towards you all. I will never trust any of you even if you donate your eyes to save me! I hate all of you and I don’t want to be contaminated by your miserable lives.”
“Seriously?” I asked myself
“Pastor’s son, leave me alone!”
I shook my head vehemently as the events of those days relived in my head.
“I don’t think I have done anything to deserve you slapping me across the head Talitha. As far as I can remember, I am far older than you, excuse me”
“Ah!” I exclaimed as I surveyed the hands I must have used to slap him.
“Yes, go and tell them that she is not only pregnant but she is now drinking alcohol, and that she had renounced their Bible and that she will never worship their God. Tell then she is a lunatic and she even slapped an older brother. In fact, tell your dad that the Sunday sermon be centered round Talitha! Okay”
I fell on my knees at that point and he tried to bring me up but I wouldn’t let him do so.
“You are all the same. You can’t because you donated your blood and served as a day driver act all angelic. You are all evil like that! You are a bunch of disgrace. A flock of hypocrites!”
“Forgive me” I started crying
“I was looking for a gun! If I can lay hold on one, I will kill you, kill my dad, kill all your family members and kill anybody who dares mention care or Jesus beside me! Go!”
“I was wrong! I was so wrong sir. Forgive me” I cried further as I held his shoes with so great a firmness. I watched as my tears designed his well polished shoes but I was inconsolable.
“Take that thing out of this place as you move out”
“Me?! I am the thing that should be taken out? Ah!”
“Ah, it was not intentional sir. I didn’t mean all that I said…Ah!” I cried the more
“Tally, please stand up dear. I have forgiven you a long time ago my daughter” He said again as he helped me up from my knees.
“I want to accept Jesus as my Lord and Personal Saviour” I cried out and his eyes and his mouth widened in shock.
“Ah, Oluwa ese oooo.” Mummy started jumping in awe.
“You want to accept Jesus as your Lord and Saviour? Is that what you are saying?” He asked me and looking into his handsome, shocked face, I was sure of what I was saying.
“Oh my God! Ah, glory to Your Name my Lord” I heard mum exclaim behind me again.
“I’ve got my mind made up once and for all. If everyone that had been bad to me could come back and show me overwhelming love again, it means that Jesus is Lord!” I said as my heart quivered
“Yes He is!” Mum exclaimed.
“It means that I have all it takes to worship the Lord Almighty.” I said again as I nodded with assurance.
“Yes princess. You have all it takes as long as you have life” My dad must have said from the bed.
“I am more intrigued by Uncle Bowen. I can remember now how I had screamed at him to leave me alone! I had told him I didn’t want to have anything to do with him anymore. I had attempted to stab him, I hated him so much even though he gave me his blood when I needed life” I said on as I was about kneeling again but he didn’t allow me. He held my shoulders firmly and smiled graciously at me.
“I want that Jesus that would make a man throw himself away that way because of an ungrateful child! A child that deserves to be treated as shit was treated as a queen that means a lot. I want that Jesus” I said with my eyes closed so firmly, my hands raised up high
“Oh God!…Halleluyah!” I heard him shout
“Oh what a wonderful, wonderful day, day I will never forget….” I heard my dad sing while mummy joined in the chorus.
It was indeed a day I will never forget!
The day I met Jesus.
“Till next week, when I will be coming your way with another edition of this programme, remember that God’s love over you will never ever cease. Its your one and only Bowen Adameji. D to the O to the V to the E is my name. Have a wonderful day” I switched off the mic and dropped the head set. I looked around for a while, yawned and gulped down some cold water from my water bottle.
“Thank You Jesus!” I exclaimed as I opened the door.
Just outside the studio was Princess. She was smiling with glee.
I wondered what she was up to again.
But that smile looked different. I smiled and walked towards her
“Hi Dove. Nice presentation. God bless you” She said and I gasped as I looked at her from head to toes.
“Thanks my producer. By the way, you look so beautiful and decent in your lovely attire. You look changed” I said as she really did look different.
Asides the fact that her clothes were not revealing, her make-over was completely moderate.
She smiled as she stood before me.
“Love makes anew. Love changes things. Love is beautiful”
“Ehn ehn, tell me something. What is the love poem about?” I asked as she beat her hands together rhythmically.
“I have found my love too Dove and its not one sided this time around. Its a full blown, godly love” She said and I couldn’t but gasp.
“Godly love? Hmmmm…tell me something!” I looked into her very bright face interestedly
“You decided not to tell me about Jesus but instead kept on binding and casting the jezebellic spirit in me right? Well, I met Andy, Andy met me. He came into my life and led me to Christ. Now, I am born again! He loves me, I love him and my dad loves him too!…Ho la la!” She swung her car key round her finger. I didn’t know if I was to be happy or not.
Who is Andy for God’ sake?
I thought it would be Andrew. I would have been the happiest on earth.
I had realized the burning chemistry between Princess and Andrew for some weeks now. He always loved to go to the office with me but would instead spend his time in Princess’ office. He spent long hours with her on phone and rarely had time for Talitha.
I was hoping they would end up together so I could have my Tally to myself and now it was so sure that Andrew still loved Talitha or if not why would he allow someone else snatch Princess from him?
I saw the surprise on Princess’ face and I smiled
“Aren’t you happy for me?” She asked and I laughed softly then.
“Not happy? God forbid. That’s like the best news I have heard in like three weeks but I was just wondering why it is Andy and not Andrew? See, more than any Andy, Andrew loves you with everything that…” I was saying when she started walking away as she swung her car key on her finger.
“Andy, Andrew…Andy Andrew!” She kept singing as she went.
“Oh my!” I started laughing gladly as it dawned on me.
“So, Andy is Andrew?” I asked and I saw her raised hand curved to give me a thumbs-up
“Wow, congratulations Princess. You will enjoy that guy, he is a good cook, a child of God, very caring, very loving, very…” I kept on saying as I watched her turn at a corner
“Yes, I know!” She screamed happily and I started smiling so heartily.
“Lord, this is unbelievable! This is unbelievable! Oh my!”; I exclaimed as I reached for my pocket.
I needed to make an important decision right there!
I stepped down from the treadmill, dripping with sweat.
“So, that’s all for today. I have tried” I said as I wiped my face with a face towel and afterwards wrapped it round my neck.
My phone rang and I picked it up. I smiled
“Hello my prince”
“How are you darling?”
“I am very fine mum. I want to find out something qucikly mum”
“You will be fifty seven next month, I will be thirty one in two months also”
“Yes, so what? What is the matter?”
“Mum, are you ready to be a mother in law?”
I gasped as I looked at the phone as if to smack him from over the phone
“Of course, see, is that even supposed to be a question?” I grinned
“Mum, what if …erm….”
“What’s that? Talk to me” I said impatiently
“What if God is saying that it is Talitha?”
I sighed heavily.
I knew that the day when I would be faced with the bitter truth that my boy had fallen in love with Talitha would come. I knew it!
“Whatever God asks you to do from now on, even without telling me, please do!…Was that not what I told you few months ago? Why are you telling me this then?” I shouted into the phone and I heard a gleeful scream from the other side
“You love her that…” I was saying when the call dropped.
“Oh my God!” I exclaimed again as I remembered all that God had told me about the issue and what people wpuld say.
I had always wanted a chaste, very sexually chaste lady for my children. Someone I could be proud of and tell youths in church that “You see my beautiful daughter-in-law, she was a virgin on her wedding night”
My dream was dashed against the stone.
I looked at the treadmill then and nodded
“I am actually not done yet” I said as I climbed again and made it run very fast.
I needed God to come take charge of my life.
I wanted all my children to submit to God’s Will no matter how difficult.
“God, give me a heart like Yours. A heart that totally yields though everything looks very difficult. What You want to do with me, do not minding my frowning face and do it, Lord! Your will oh Lord! I’ll say yes!”
I nodded severally and swallowed.
“I’ll say yes or yes to Your Will and to Your way, I’ll say yes or yes, I will trust You and obey, when Your Spirit speaks to me, with my whole heart I’d agree, and my heart will be yes or yes” I sang on, running fast, panting, sweating…
… tears strolling down my face!
“Oh dad, you finally succeeded in making me finish the whole bowl of Ice-cream! C’mon!” she exclaimed as I helped her to sit in a comfortable recliner.
“Yeah, but we played football a little so you must have sent out the sugar through the sweat nah” I said and she laughed excitedly.
“Ok Doctor Dove. I hear you” She laughed again and I joined her too.
“So, you are making jest of me, huh?”
“Who am I?” She asked sarcastically again and I smiled.
“You are supposed to do some frog jumps you know” I said and her eyes widened.
“Oh, that can’t be today anymore dad. I need to rest now. Please” She said and I pretended to think about it after which I nodded.
“That’s okay then.” I said and sat on a small mat beside her.
The silence between us was as thick as darkness.
“Talitha, can I ask you a question?” I asked calmly after a while and I saw her go tensed as sweat appeared underneath her nose.
“The blood I donated while you were sick in Abuja, I want it back from you” I said and looked deeply into her face. All her facial holes became enlarged as she swallowed
“I don’t get that sir” She managed to say after a while.
My heart had started jogging then. I scratched my head and blinked several times, trying to calm my disobedient heart down.
“If you can’t give me the blood then, I want you to be the blood of my blood” I said and I couldn’t believe I was the one talking. Everything sounded like gibberish.
No one would even believe I had been doing some hours of proposal rehearsal before my dressing mirror every day.
“What?” She asked, her face curved in a question mark. I felt dehydrated all of a suddenly. I loosened the first button holding my designer shirt. I didn’t matter anymore if it was a designer or not.
“See, Talitha, I want us to share all together. Our sweat, blood, bone, flesh, spirit, soul, everything!” I said and she sighed as if I was offering her some hard mathematical equations to solve.
“I still don’t get” she said and I gasped too. I went on my knees before her and held her warm, beautiful legs. She shook her head and was about talking when I cut in.
“Talitha Bode-Davies…” I called as I looked into her eyes deeply.
It was the first time I was looking intently at her and though I was on the hot seat, I realized that she had really grown lean. She looked really fresh and beautiful but underneath her eyes were some bags. She must have gone through a lot.
I realized that she was also breathing at a rapid rate and that was when I realized what burden the pregnancy must have been.
It felt as if I should carry her into my hands and sooth her. I couldn’t wait to pet her and call her sweet names.
I couldn’t wait also to show her that the God-way is just the best way to tread as it is full of love.
I was impatient, my hands trembled, my lips shook, my head ached, my heart throbbed, I needed to do it quickly.
I needed to make her know how I felt.
“I want you to marry me Talitha. Please be my wife” I said, my eyes boring into hers searchingly.
In a second, a tear dropped down her face, and another and another. I blinked severally as I saw her shake her head in the negative.
I fell to the grasses behind me as her jaws clenched against each other and when she was about saying the answer, I couldn’t bear it.
I covered my ears with my two hands and looked into her red, teary face as she said the No!
And though my ears were blocked, I could hear as if ten microphones were placed in all the different parts of my body to witness to me that I was refused!
My proposal was turned down!
Talitha wasn’t going to marry me!
“I am sorry” I heard her say again. I watched helplessly as she stood up from the recliner and started running away barefooted. I buried my head into my hands and wept.
I had not wept for thirty seconds when I remembered that the lady running away was pregnant.
“Oh my!” I exclaimed as I picked her slippers, packed the mat and recliner and started running after her.
As I ran after her, the ground seemed to be fading; my heart seemed to be failing; my voice wouldn’t even call out to stop her.
It felt as if my world was crashing!
I never ever saw the ‘No’ coming!
Watch out for the next episode.
Thanks so much for staying tuned.
Lizzy Oyebola Oyekunle 2017
All rights reserved.