Written By: Lizzy Oyebola Oyekunle
I knocked for the umpteenth time!
“Bowen, please come have your food. It’s 6pm already and you have not eaten for two days” I called out again anxiously.
“Don’t worry ma. I will be fine. I am fine” He replied from inside the guest room.
Since her birth was approaching and I had resumed work plus Andrew was busy making preparations for his travelling, I had asked Bowen to come in from his office daily so that he could be of help anytime.
He came in three days before, looking saltless. I was very shocked as I had never seen him that way before.
“Is everything alright?” I asked again.
I tried to rack my brain but I could not find anything.
The other day Bowen came to take her for a walk, Talitha walked in silently when she came back and all efforts to make her eat breakfast the next day proved abortive.
Or was there a problem between them?
Did Talitha tell him about her feelings?
“Oh my!” I covered my mouth in shock at that thought.
“That’s impossible! Ehn, so impossible” I exclaimed silently once more. I knocked again and waited.
“Is there a problem between your daughter and you?” I asked again
“She is not my daughter ma. She has seen her father already” He said and I thought that sounded too hot.
Something must be wrong.
“You haven’t even seen her since you came here. And I invited you here majorly because of her” I said again since I knew he was heating up. He might talk, I thought.
“I don’t want to see her”He said and I was troubled.
What could be wrong?
Was he having feelings for her already and couldn’t tell her?
He probably didn’t even know that Talitha loved him already.
“What can I do?” I asked myself as I bit my thumb. I was anxious to know if he loved her too or if the whole thing was just one-sided.
I looked round the passage and thought deeply. Suddenly, I banged my legs on the floor
“Oh my God!” I shouted as I banged the legs again.
“Talitha. Oh Jesus!” I exclaimed and banged my legs on the floor as if I was running.
Magically, the door opened and looking towards it, I saw a very shocked, swollen, scared face. He literally jumped out of his bed like a plane crash survivor landing with his parachute.
“Where’s she? What happened mum? Where is she?” he asked as he looked around. I looked at him from head to toes and only then did I recognize the two different types of slippers he was wearing.
I couldn’t stop the laughter.
I laughed so much that I had to wipe the tears from my face and rub the sides of my head as they were aching already.
“Mum, you lied to me?” He asked and I sniffed wetly as I recovered from the laughter fit.
“This kain love o, na serious love nwantintin” I sang and started laughing again. He rested against the door post and rubbed his forehead.
“You scared me mum” He said and I walked close to him, placing my hand on his chest.
It was beating so fast.
“I know you love her so much. Its so obvious. Why are you pretending?” I asked again softly.
The cunning smile on my face must have made his stomach flicker as he frowned a bit.
He rubbed his forehead again.
“Of what use is the love that is thrown down to the ground and trampled under feet?” He said and I looked into his hurt face.
“Thrown and tramp….” I was saying when I heard the shattering of glass from inside.
Both of us exchanged looks immediately.
“Talitha…” He screamed and we started running towards her room.
“Mummmmmmmmmyyyyyyy” Talitha screamed all of a sudden from inside
“Oh my God” I exclaimed as we literally jumped down the stairs to her room.
“What kind of dangerous posture is this Talitha, ehn?” Mrs. Richards asked as we ran towards the bed.
Talitha kept hitting her head on the floor while her body remained on the bed, her protuding tummy really obvious.
She was wriggling in pain. Mrs. Richards tried helping her up and I went near too, packing the bedspread so we could help her sit up..
“Mummy, did she bedwet?” I asked anxiously as the bedsheet was a bit wet. Mrs. Richards collected the bedspread and felt it too. Talitha was moaning, sweat running down her face.
“Its her water. Her water has broken. Oh my God!” Mrs. Richards exclaimed and I kept wondering what that was.
“Oh Lord!…yeeeeeh” Talitha cried harder as she pulled at my trouser.
Just then, there was a kind of heavy slap on my shoulder. I never knew I was lost in thoughts. It was Mrs. Richards.
“What are you thinking about just now? Let’s carry the girl to the hospital..” she said anxiously and I nodded as I tried holding her up.
“But…” I stopped and shook my head for a while
“Can’t you see she is in pain Bowen, lets…” Mrs. Richards was saying when I looked into her face excitedly
“Wait ma….she is in what?” I asked again, to be very sure
“Bowen, why are you like this? She is in pain for goodness sake…oh my God, Bowen why are you..” She was saying dejectedly, probably wondering why I was behaving weird. I held her shoulder then as I pointed to Talitha with a wide smile on my face.
“She can feel! She can feel” I started screaming and Mrs. Richards shook her head in disbelief.
“Feel. That’s not true” She said interestedly too. She slapped her thigh just then and Talitha screamed in shock.
“What have I done?” She cried louder
“It is a lie oooo” Mrs. Richards screamed as we gladly rushed her out of the house.
“Hello doc, let’s meet at the complex now. The girl has been rushed out of the house just now. She felt pain. We need to work on her immediately to monitor and make documentations” I said and dropped the call.
I picked my briefcase then and moved to Talitha’s room.
“My wife must have forgotten that the head of the obstetrician is still in here” I said as I rolled my sleeves.
It would definitely be a busy time for the team as we bring her child out.
I paused as I surveyed the room again.
“Unbelievable! You mean to tell me that her dead system accepted the invasion of antibiotics in her body?….Unbelievable” I exclaimed again as I closed the door behind me and walked to the door.
“Like, it was a very chronic disorder, yes, very sure….Hmmm…this is nothing but a miracle” I kept talking to myself.
While I knew that the chances to have a record breaking research had been defeated to an extent, I was amazed at the way all happened.
I had had countless sleepless nights trying to procure different sides to the strange ailment; I had consulted personalities in and outside Nigeria to no avail and here was the girl feeling pain again.
“That their Jesus must really be great right?…Guess I need to find out what His terms and conditions are like” I said as my phone rang.
I turned the ignition key and using handsfree, picked my call.
“Hello Doc Richards. You must have forgotten your husband at home. Anyways, I am on my way” I said and zoomed off.
My hands were trembling!
My stomach tightening!
My bladder seemed to be failing too!
I imagined how the knife would be used on Talitha to bring out the baby. The nurses had hinted me that she wouldn’t be able to deliver herself. I couldn’t help but walk to and fro the theatre porch, praying in the Spirit.
I held my chest as I saw Dr. Richards move to the door, he was holding some gloves. Just then, his wife came running after him. She had changed into the surgical garment too.
Dr. Richards turned to look at his wife.
“Hey wifey, I have enough surgeons in there. I don’t need any emotional interference whatever so step aside” He said and Mrs. Richards smiled, nodding relunctantly.
“Ok dearie. The Lord will go with you then. He will help you and use your very hands to..” She started praying.
The husband turned towards her and frowned slightly.
“Tag along Mrs. Prayer. Guess we will need more of that in there” He said and his shocked wife smiled as she moved towards him. He turned to look at my side and I smiled.
“Lover boy, pray fire more! Talitha must cumi!” He said to me and I saw him smiling for the very first time since I had met him.
I managed to smile a bit too as my head started pounding.
What if she died?
What if the much expected baby died?
What if the situation got more complicated?
I slapped my chest over and over again as I trained it to think good thoughts!
I sighed again as I counted the many divisions of the ceiling.
My legs wouldn’t stop shaking as I smiled again.
“Thank You Jesus” I exclaimed again. Just then, the door leading to the private ward opened and Mrs. Richards came out. I smiled as I stood up.
“Bowen, why have you not entered?” She asked, her brows knitting into a frown. I smiled
“I am happy that she is fine and the baby is fine too. I don’t want to enter ma. How is she?” I asked and Mrs. Richards smiled as she moved closer to me.
“We entered the theatre o. After we had bombarded her system with enough analgesics, my husband asked me to pray before the operation would start and I prayed. Just as my husband was about dipping the knife into her, out of fear, she screamed ‘stop’ and started speaking in tongues o…” she said and my eyes widened in shock
“Tell me something” I exclaimed interestedly and she smiled graciously.
“My husband just stood there amazed. We were very shocked. She then screamed ‘Dove told me that it is written in the Bible and that I should always declare it. I believe and declare as it is in the Book of Isaiah 66:8 that as soon as Zion prevails, she brings forth her child…hence, as I have travailed now in pain, I bring forth my child in Jesus’ Name!” She explained on, demonstrating as she did. My heart started pounding at the mention of my name and the way the whole thing turned out to be.
“What!” I was trembling with excitement.
“Instantly Bowen” Mrs. Richards started picking her words. Impatiently, I kept nodding for more
“Hmmmm…Tell me more” I said agitatedly
“Instantly, we saw the head coming out of her ooooo” She danced, shaking her whole body as she did
“.Oh God! Incredible God doing incredible things! Oh God!” I threw my fists in the air joyously.
“Thats not all o” She said and I stopped in my tracks
“She screamed, ‘something is coming out again oh my God! Yeh, eh!…’ We were shocked and looked o. Bowen,…lo and behold, it was another baby! Making two wonderful and healthy boys!” She said at last and there was a real festival in my head
“Ma! What!…But the scan didn’t say that earlier…” I said and she nodded as she walked in front of me majestically.
“I tell you my brother! God is wonderful o…Chai! You are marvelous iye, You are marvelous iye, you are marvelous iye…” She started dancing and singing.
“You are marvelous iye…You are marvelous iye!” Dr. Richards joined us and I was intrigued by the rich baritone. He was wearing a very sweet smile
After a while, we were all laughing and congratulating one another.
“But sir, your voice earlier…you will do well in the choir sir” I said and his wife raised her nose and smiled
“I will think about it son. It’s a very good idea” he said and his wife looked shocked and then smiled.
“Won’t you go inside and see her?” He asked me
“I will go when I am ready sir” I replied and smiled softly. He came close to me and put his arm round my shoulder
“Well, see my son, you will have to go and see her right away…erm, you see, I might not be so active in the house but I know all that is going on in there. I know about your heartbreak too because she said no…you see..erm…” He was saying and really I had determined to put that behind me. It was like opening up an already healing wound.
“Sir, no problem at…” I was saying when he cut in.
“Oh! I have started seeing you as a prophet fa…no need lie o my pastor…hehehe…I know this thing called love can be very funny …” He said and laughed. His wife smiled as she looked at me and I was left with no option but to smile too.
“At the early stage of her pregnancy, we realized that if she was allowed to give birth herself, she might lose her womb” He started explaining
“Oh really!” I exclaimed too, looking deeply into his face. He nodded
“Yes but surprising, her womb is still intact” He said excitedly and his wife nodded with a huge smile too.
“Miracle worker the mighty king!” She exclaimed. I looked into their faces and gasped.
“Oh, was that why she said no to me? Because of an ordinary womb? What is womb when we have two executively miraculous boys waiting for our marital consumption?” I asked as my heart started throbbing again
“Consumption? Is that how excited you are?” Dr. Richards asked as they both laughed at me. I laughed briefly and looked into his face
“Please show me where she is” I said with so much readiness.
“Who?” Mrs. Richards teased. I held her hands suddenly and squeezed them with all firmness my quivering hands could gather.
“What ward is my wife?” He screamed excitedly as we followed Dr. Richards as he led us into the ward.
“Daddy” I teased him as he entered, beaming with smiles
“Eh eh, come here o, don’t dad zone me again…never ever!” He said and we all burst into laughter.
He went down on his knees close to the door and looked serious.
“Will you marry me Talitha, wombful or wombless?”
We all burst into another round of laughter
“Even if I wanted to say yes before, I won’t o” I said, raising my nose at him
“Ah, why?” The Richards asked in unison and Bowen nodded at them
“Please help me ask o” He said
“Because you are coming with so much authority nah!” I said and he ran to my side then, buried his face in the bed sheet and then looked into my eyes squarely.
“Errrm…Talitha, I have fallen in love with you so uncontrollably and I can’t help myself anymore. I want you to be my wife in sickness, need and forever, wombful or wombless” He said again and I shook my head as I smiled.
“Naughty boy!” Dr. Richards laughed.
“Please have mercy on him o my baby girl. At least, because of the two different slippers on his legs” Mrs. Richards said as she started laughing with her husband. I bent to look at his legs and I couldn’t control myself. I laughed till I had no more laughter inside while he stood, covering his face shyly
“With these kinds of shoes sef, I won’t say yes o” I said again and he stood up and jumped at me in a sweet, warm hug.
“Its love. Its love’s confusion that did that to me” He said into my ears
“Hey, we shouldn’t be doing this. We are supposed to be in a christian courtship c’mon!” I exclaimed as I tried pushing him away.
“She said yes!” Mrs. Richards started jumping up while Bowen, raised his hands up in the sky. I couldn’t but laugh.
Just then, one of the babies started crying.
“Daddy, can you please pass the baby from the cot?” I said to Bowen but he shrugged
“I am not daddy o. Lailai!” He exclaimed and there was another round of laughter in the ward.
“Daddy, pity our baby nah” I teased further but he pouted and kept shrugging
“No. Until you change that name.” he said with a playful frown. I was enjoying myself so I smiled.
“Oh, ok…Papa, please help me…” I was saying when everyone burst out laughing again
“I am not playing with you again” Bowen said and my soul stirred within me. I had found a very good man for myself. I could never have imagined that it would be Bowen. Never!
I never knew he would reciprocate that love- not in my wildest dream!
As he handed the baby to me, he gave me a very sweet smile that sent my heart strolling and back!
“Henceforth, when I want to feed my baby, you turn your back or go out of the room. We are not married yet. Is that taken?” I said like a mummy that I had become. He nodded with a funny smile.
“Oh, yes! That is very true! Hmmmm…yes ma” He said and I frowned slightly.
“Ma?” I asked with another frown. He laughed
“Oh, so, its paining you now right? When you were calling me daddy nko” He said and he eyed me.
“Please don’t let me grow old quickly o” I said as I pecked my baby’s cheeks
“And you want my head to turn grey?” He asked and I smiled
“OK, call me something sweet first. I will think about what to call you then” I said and seemed to think for a while
“That sounds daddyish” I said as I shook my head
“Ok…Tallie-love” he said and I laughed
“Ok…I can manage that” I said shyly
“Hmmm…Dovey?” I asked and he smiled
“I like that. Can you use it in a sentence now, I want it to sink in my being” He said and I smiled.
He was being childish and I wanted to deal with him…hehehe
“Ok…Dovey, please can you kindly turn your back? I wanna feed my baby please” I said and everyone in the room laughed so hysterically.
“Aish! That’s harsh” He said as he turned his back at me while instead of feeding my baby, I only admired on and on, the loving man that my soul had found.
I heard that and turned to look towards the door. Dr. Richards was on his knees before his wife who covered her mouth in surprise
“Another proposal?” Bowen asked
“Wifey, will you lead me to Christ who has been the only source of joy in the lives of these ones?” He asked and oh what joy that filled my soul as I saw mummy pull him up and hug him with tears on her face
“I knew this day would come. I just knew you will be changed one day. Thank you Jesus!” She cried on while I could only smile as tears had gathered in my eyes too.
“Thank You Saviour” My husband-to-be muttered too, smiling and waving heartily.
I was so joyful!
“Mum, are you sure that taking my Fifteen and ten years old children to a Christian summer camp all alone will be fine?” I asked again as I shut the travelling box.
“Well, you and your husband are going for a business trip in Dubai, right? And he wants you to drop the children at the summer camp, right? Go drop them then. They will be fine” My mum said as she helped buckle the shoes of Brenda, my second child.
“Brenda, would you love to go?” I asked and she nodded, frowning a bit
“Why are you frowning then?” I asked and she pouted
“Mohana, what’s up with your sister?” I asked and she smiled with her mouth cornflakes-ful.
“Mum, we all know you are spontaneous but please. It would be hell if you cancel this trip. We’ve looked forward to it really!” She said and my mum nodded in agreement
“Even Sonia and Serena will be coming too” Brenda said eventually
“Who are those?” I asked as I started wheeling their bags outside while they came from behind me.
“Sonia Richards is my new friend. Serena Richards is her sister and Brenda’s friend. They are our classmates too” Mohana explained
“They just came back from Scotland” Brenda added.
“Its alright” I said as I locked the car trunk.
“I told them we just came back from Ukraine too so they shouldn’t be proud” Mohana said and I gasped.
“Well, I am from Nigeria and I am proud of that fact. Why should I be proud of someone else’s country?” My mum asked from behind and I smiled as I looked towards the house.
“Honey, we are ready. Let’s go please” I announced.
“Learn to be humble my girls. Even if your classmates have visited Russia, Jamaica, Brazil, Italy, Dubai and the likes, that does not define them. That does not mean they are better than you. This is our home. This is Nigeria. Don’t compete or go around showing off anymore my dear children. You hear me?” My mum said again and I smiled
“Yes granny” They replied gently as they retired to the back seat.
“Mum, we will be back soon. Or would you like to go with us?” My husband asked and I looked at her
“Let me stay at home. Come safely. But please lets pray before you go” She said and we closed our eyes.
“Dear Jesus our Lord, thank You for this very day and all you have done for us…” she started praying and I opened my eyes to look at my beautiful mum.
Meeting Jesus and growing daily in His power after living a riotous and extravagant life was what I couldn’t fathom! Only Jesus could have done it!
Fifteen years ago, if anyone told me my model-turned-prayer-warrior mother would believe on Jesus talkless of calling on Him so fervently, I would have said a big, loud ‘Impossible!’
Thank God for the words of that man….
The man at Talitha’s bed…
How could I have forgotten his name!
“Will you be chanced to make the announcement for me at the nearest radio station again?” My mum asked and I gasped as my husband smiled
“I will try mum. Be calm. Jeff’s child shall be found” He said assuredly and mum said a resounding ‘Amen’ as we drove out of the compound.
“Why aren’t you making the announcement as mum has been demanding? Jeff’s child is her niece or nephew. She owes the child a whole lot of responsibilities” I said as I looked at my husband’s face but he didn’t reply.
“Is there any problem? Why have you been avoiding this question?” I asked and my husband shot me a dangerous look.
“That lady is my past. I want sleeping dogs to lie please woman” He said and I was alarmed
“Me, Happiness, woman?” I asked as I beat my chest.
“Which woman? Answer me Joe, which woman?” I asked, almost getting angry
“Which other woman are we talking about?” He asked and as I was about replying, I heard some sobs at the back seat. I turned back to find Brenda crying and Mohana looking pitiful.
“What’s the matter?” I asked
“Mum and daddy, please stop shouting at each other” Mohana cried and my heart got pierced
“Pleeeeeasssseee” My Brenda cried out too and tears rushed into my eyes as I looked at my husband whose face smelt guilt too.
It was actually the first time they had seen us quarrel.
I wondered always why Talitha’s name sparked fire between us when mentioned.
Joe wouldn’t tell me why!
“How many times has the jingle been relayed on air?” The head of programmes asked from the entrance of the door.
“Thirty times ma” I replied and she entered just then.
“Omoni, kindly air it more. The camp starts today and oga wants the news to be all over Nigeria. I am sure that he is monitoring everything going on right now. Make it almost ten times every hour from now. Okay?” She asked and I nodded as I searched for the advert again. I clicked on it and placed it on the playlist.
“Let it go now” She said and I double-clicked
“You are really sweating dear. Wind up and lets put on the A/C please” I said as I held my baby close to my chest.
“I was only thinking of Baby Ann” He said and I shook my head
“We will control the A/C. Sonia and Serena are even sweating too, please” I pleaded and he wound up the glasses and switched the A/c on.
“Let’s even listen to the news” He said and switched on the radio
“Have you heard! Its the first of its kind as the Taliwen International storms the city of Port Harcourt, hurray! Oh yes! 28th July to 25th August has a lot in store for your wonderful children. Ranging from ages ten to eighteen, your children can enjoy an unforgettable overhauling period of fun, learning and the manifestation of the power of God. With seasoned and experienced personnel and facilitators….”
“…No child will be left unchanged. Bring them here!” My children completed the advert and my husband and I couldn’t but laugh
“My babies deserve awards o” My husband exclaimed and I started laughing too.
“I am sure they will show them the stuffs they are made of when they get there” I said and started laughing too..
“Mum, in the good or the bad?” I knew it was Sonia’s voice
“Do you do bad stuffs?” My husband asked
“Yes, Serena drools when she sleeps.” Sonia said and I looked at my husband who shook his head
“You also don’t sleep well. My body is usually your bed. You like rolling in your bed as if you are in a palace” Safiya replied too, a frown on her face
“Have you seen yourselves?” My husband said and they kept quiet.
“Well, I was not talking about those childish things you do o. When I said the stuffs you are made of, I was talking about your talents. Sonia’s violin and Serena’s voice. I wonder why you are both fighting” I said
“Now, say sorry to each other with a smile and hug now!” Andrew ordered and I smiled as I watched them hug.
“Sorry sis” They said almost together.
“Dad, Sonia’s smile is not real” Serena said
“Its real” Sonia retorted.
“Smile smile smile” Serena tickled Sonia till the whole car shook with their laughter.
“I am so happy that Talitha and Big bros are taking this camping serious. I learnt children from other countries even registered” My husband said and I smiled
“Is that the only thing? I was so shocked when Talitha told me it was solely sponsored by the United Nations”
“I was shocked too honey. Well, I can’t wait to see this wonderful couple. It’s been a really really great while” He said and smiled. I smiled too as I squeezed his hands.
“Thank God for God. It never looked as if I would get over Dove. But see me here darling, I am enjoying my marriage. I am enjoying God, I am enjoying you Andrew” I said with a very grateful heart and he smiled lovingly, looking into my face.
He was stretching his neck to kiss my lips when Sonia shouted
“Trailer! Daddy trailer”
We looked up and the trailer was actually still far away.
“You need to be spanked Sonia” My husband said
“Sorry dad. I thought you forgot you had minors in the car with you. Poor Baby Ann too” She said and pouted. My husband looked into my face and gasped. I laughed uncontrollably.
“This what my eyes see my mouth must say girl, if I catch you ehn” My husband said as he pulled at her leg from behind while Sonia screamed.
“My husband cannot show me love again because of some naughty children. My dear, peck me jare” I said and just as he was about reaching my cheeks, I screamed.
“What was that?” My husband asked, obviously scared
“Baby Ann bit me” I said lowly and my husband sighed as my children laughed silently at the back seat
“When next she does that, beat her dear. She should know that what she is doing is bad. Ann! What kind of children are these for crying out loud!” My husband exclaimed again and I could only smile.
“Talitha! Oh my God! Oh good Lord! Am I seeing double?” I exclaimed as we both hugged tightly
“I really can’t believe that I am seeing Happie once again. Wow!” Talitha said too.
She was looking all posh and beautiful that I couldn’t take my eyes of her.
“Do you know how we have looked all around for you Tally? We went round Abuja, announced on the radio and TV, what haven’t we done? Right dear?” I asked my husband who was beside me but he was no more there.
“Dear..” I looked around me but I couldn’t see him.
“My husband too was standing behind me just now. Where is he?” Talitha asked and looked round her.
“Where are our husbands o” I started laughing as we held hands and looked behind us.
“Oh, see my husband running with those children. What is he looking for…” Talitha said
“Those are my children too, what’s up?” I asked as we hasted towards them as they went.
I knelt on the legs still left outside so he wouldn’t drag himself and run off again.
“Daddy, come out from under the car” One of the girls cried and I patted her on the back as I rubbed the other’s head
“Is he your father?” I asked and they nodded
“What is his name?” I asked
“His name is Dr. Joe Adameji” The elder one said and I shook my head.
I was right!
For fifteen years, we especially mum had worried and prayed and looked everywhere for Joe to know avail. Mum couldn’t even be comforted.
Just while my wife and I strolled round the camp for supervision and a friend that seemed to know her came running from afar, I smelt Joe!
From secondary school, he had loved using ‘Jelly Body Spray’ with ‘Happenings Perfume’ together. I perceived it immediately and felt it was him. I looked around at that point and saw that he was the one walking behind the woman running towards my wife.
“Joe” I muttered to myself. He must have read my lips as he started running right backwards while his children followed. I immediately took after him and just about time I laid my hand on him and sound him a hot blow, he did the unbelivable as he slid under the car.
Before he could go any further, I knelt on his legs and gave him some resounding blows to relieve my stress.
“Leave me…ah…what is it?…Leave me alone” He continued screaming as I held his legs intact.
“Dovey, what’s the problem? Who are you struggling with there? You need the security?” My wife asked and I shook my head as I panted.
The other woman came closer and charged at me.
“Leave my husband. What wrong has he done?” She asked, very shocked.
“If he has done no wrong, why is your husband seeking refuge under his own car? Why?” I asked and looked at the woman’s face.
Her face brightened.
“I know you. I know you from somewhere” she screamed and I shook my head
“I don’t know you ma” I said as I continued to drag Joe out of his hiding place. Being bigger than him, I succeeded in dragging him out from under the car and he looked so ashamed of himself as dust filled him from head to toes..
“Joe!” My wife and I called him almost together.
“You know my husband too?” The lady asked my wife and Talitha looked really shocked as she covered my mouth.
“I know him well my friend. Joe, we were supposed to see and hug one another. Why did you make matters this pathetic?” Talitha asked and the wife looked on cluelessly as she dusted her husband’s body.
“Joe, why did you stay away from home? You know how worried we all are? Why did you treat us that way? We loved you so much. Mummy has been so devastated”I said again and Joe started crying.
“How could I have come home after the issues I left behind?”
“Issues?” My wife asked, confused. His wife looked more out of place.
“I don’t understand” I said too.
“I left like a coward, like a wicked, heartless fellow and within few months, I had fallen in love again. It felt as if I was so bad. I couldn’t come back home” He cried
“What’s happening? I don’t seem to understand” His wife said
“I couldn’t come to face Talitha. I left her devastated and condemned her when she needed me most. I wasn’t even there as a friend was supposed to” He said again and I was so shocked at his excuses
“Joe, I thought you were very intelligent but I was wrong! If despite the many mathematics and calculus you can destroy, you could still think this cheaply, you aren’t intelligent at all” I said, dumbfoundedly.
“Was that why you didn’t want to look for Talitha? You had something with her, left her, found me, took me and was afraid of coming back home, right?” His wife asked and he started crying again
“I am so sorry. I couldn’t even bear to stay before mummy and daddy and tell them that I married in their absence. I actually don’t know what came over me” He cried and I hugged him tightly.
“We miss you so much Joe! You have to go home and get married proper before mummy and daddy. You have to go and show yourself to them and receive their blessings.” I explained and he nodded like an agama lizard while I helped him up.
I looked into his face and smiled
“Joe my brother…haha, the wicked runneth when no man pursueth! Haha” I laughed on and he laughed too, wiping his tears.
“I am so sorry bro. I lacked confidence. I really just couldn’t face all of you” he said, sniffing wetly.
“For clueless me, I need a really full explanation of what just happened. For you Joe, I need a deep, sincere apology” His wife said and started walking away.
“Darling, wait… Oh,…. Sweet… You don’t understand… Let me tell you something… I am so sorry.. Wait” Joe kept saying as he ran after his wife, dusting his clothes as he went.
“Do you understand what just happened?” the elder sister said.
“Strange things keep happening today. First, they were shouting at each other, next dad went under the car and now they are running after each other” The little ones said, looking thoughtful.
Leaving the little children to crack the hard nuts, I looked at Talitha who was smiling.
“I bet you are happy” She said and I smiled
“I bet you are happier” I said and her jaws dropped.
“Happier?” she asked and I smiled.
“Your first love is here now. You can see him again” I teased and watched as her fists formed into balls as she started pursuing me.
“He wasn’t my first love. I never even knew he had those thoughts about me, c’mon… Jealous guy” She said when she eventually caught me
I pulled her close to my chest and pecked her forehead.
“Thank God it was not Jeff that came back to life. The jealousy would have been greater o iyawo mi” I said and she started laughing.
“As far as I am concerned, he is my lover, my teacher, my father, my husband, my brother, my everything!” she said and I didn’t understand
“Who?” I asked, trying to calmly loose the knotty thread.
“Hehehe…Jealous Bobo. Bowen Adameji, my Dovey, is my lover, my teacher, my father, my husband, my brother, my everything!” She said and I smiled.
The past fifteen years with her had been heaven on earth!
I had played with her
I had cried with her,
I had cooked with her,
I had loved her,
I had argued with her,
I had had two other set of wonderful identical twins with her,
I had been her husband indeed!
I always had a reason at all times to say ‘thank You’ to God for making our paths crossed.
“Good afternoon fellow campers. I am Jeffery Adameji” One of my twins said
“And I am Japheth Adameji” The other said and I looked into Happie’s face. She was deeply engrossed in watching her very young cousins.
“They bear your husband’s name. So nice of him” She whispered into my ears and I smiled.
“You like that?” I asked. I had always thought that when any of their family members came around, they would want to claim their children as I had watched in Indian movies but I was wrong.
When Happie called her mum to tell her she found the boys and I, Happie’s mum had gladly volunteered to come over to see the twins and seeing Happie’s glad face, I was convinced that my children were really mine then and would be left to me totally.
“I over like it o my sister. See how the children look like my uncle. See how you immortalised his and grandpa’s name too. Jeffery and Japheth… Awwn” She smiled as she hugged me tightly
“The title of our presentation today is…. I will give my brother the chance to tell us the title of our presentation today. Lets give him a round of applause.” Jeffery said and I smiled as we clapped.
They had come to tell me they would like to have a rehearsal of one of the speeches they would be presenting during the camp before the two Adameji’s families and I accepted.
“The title is Talitha Cumi. Kindly follow patiently” Japheth said and the adults especially my husband laughed.
I looked into his face and shook my head.
“Sweetie, that’s your handiwork most definitely” I said and he squeezed my hands as he smiled lovingly.
As they were about to start their speech, Joe’s children suddenly screamed as they pointed at a car that had just packed.
“What’s the matter?” Happie asked them sharply.
“That’s Serena” Brenda screamed excitedly
“And Sonia too” Mohana said too with a large smile on her face.
To our amazement, the two children also started running towards us and instantly jumped at their friends.
“You made it. Oh!” They seemed to have exclaimed together.
I looked towards the car and saw the parents looking so confused. As they walked towards us, it was my turn to jump up.
“Its a lie! Andrew!” I exclaimed as I covered my mouth. I was more than excited.
“Ehhh…Who is it I am seeing o? Talithaaaaa” He exclaimed too as he ran towards me and hugged me tightly
“Hmmm.. Mr. Dove… The boss!” His wife exclaimed too as Bowen embraced her and took the baby.
“The Princess herself… Hehehe… Longest time. See how you are looking born again and mummyish… Hahaha” My husband laughed so loudly. We all joined too.
When I saw Joe and Happie’s confused face, I turned to face them and smiled.
“Andrew and Princess, meet my brother in law and his wife, Joe and Happie. They just came back from Ukraine” I said and they excitedly greeted one another.
“The Adameji’s too right? My children have told us about you. So glad meeting you” Andrew said as he shook them.
“Oh… You must be the Richards then” Happie said and Princes laughed.
“Your children must have told you so much about us too” She said and smiled. We laughed as we exchanged pleasantries.
It was a real great time as we felt nostalgic, talking about some fifteen years ago.
I saw Angela coming and quickly checked the time.
“Ma’am, 80% of the campers are around and have been lodged. Its thirty minutes before you address them so their parents can go” She said and I nodded.
“Thanks dear. We will be in the hall soon. Tell the camp commandant to ensure protocol in the camp” I whispered. She nodded and left.
“I have just thirty minutes to spend with us before I go. The camping is about kicking off”
“The organizer mama!” Joe hailed and I smiled.
“Hahaha… Thank God Joe didn’t find out that you are the organizer before coming here. He might not have allowed us come” Happie joked and we laughed.
“Chai! That’s true o my wife. I thank God that running is over now… Hehehe… Erm, I was thinking…Since mummy is coming here to see her nephews, we can as well go to Abuja to see my foster parents who have really been parents to me right?” Joe said and his wife nodded with a great smile.
“No one is listening to us” Jeffery called angrily from before the table. I covered my mouth in shock.
“Oh my! We forgot our boys’ speech” My husband exclaimed too.
“Oh my! So sorry darling cousins.” Happie said too.
“Should we start?” Japheth asked.
“Please do. Thank God we haven’t missed much” Andrew said and sat down.
“As we said earlier, the title of our speech is Talitha Cumi” Jeffery said
“Wow! Nice!” Andrew exclaimed again as he winked at his wife who smiled too.
“Boys and girls present here today, we have come with a charge this morning, arise!” Japheth said with so much gusto
“My dad told us a story of a Talitha who was down, forsaken, rejected and who eventually died” Jeffery said and I had goosebumps
“Hmmmm” Princess exclaimed
“But the story didn’t end there as the Talitha died, rose again, is still living and doing great exploits for the Lord” Japheth dropped in again
“Glory!” My husband exclaimed and I smiled as I pinched him.
“Well, we are here to present life and motivation to whatever is dead in your lives too” Jeffery said and I was amazed
“As Jesus said, we are saying too with so great authority, Talitha Cumi! That means, ‘Young lady, arise!’” Japheth threw his hands up in the sky
“Amen!” Mohana said and there was smile on people’s faces.
“No matter what has pushed you down, arise!” Japheth demonstrated as he spoke and my heart stirred.
Whatever my husband had told them to make them talk this way was definitely great. I could see God Himself at work.
“Hmmm…Oh yes!” Joe exclaimed too
“As a Christian, nothing happens to us, it happens for us” Jeffery said again
“Wow! Yes…true!” I found myself exclaiming too.
“No man can determine your destination except you allow him. People can walk you to hell but can’t walk you out of it, beware!” Japheth said again, tears already gathering in his eyes.
“Hmmm…True talk!…My God ooo” Happie exclaimed, shaking her legs with enthusiasm.
“A man that cannot be shaken is one who is holding onto what cannot be shaken. Hold unto God and you will stand out in adversity” Jeffery said, nodding with so much authority.
But my boys were just fifteen!
They were really ministering to my soul, wow!
“Also, God gives you what you are ready for and not what you are asking for. When next you ask God for something and it doesn’t seem to be coming forth, remember that God only gives you what you are ready for and not necessarily what you are asking for. Then, relax, again I said what…?” Japheth dropped it again, fresh and hot
“Relax!” Everyone exclaimed too and I really nodded as the words sunk into my very being.
“Another thing to learn is this…Every day, ask the One who prayed for Peter to pray for you” Jeffery said and I smiled.
God is great!
God is real!
I had experienced Him in so many ways and assuredly He is good!
“You know, it amazes me when I read about Jesus walking on water, feeding a multitude with a small amount of food, calming a storm, healing a sickness and so on but, nothing showcases His divine power like Him raising someone from the dead!” I heard my husband’s voice and I startled back to reality as I realized that the whole scenario had turned to a revival session.
He moved forward and stayed between the two boys, wrapping his arms round them.
“I have seen Him raise the dead before. The person was dead psychologically, physically, spiritually, emotionally, all ramifications I tell you, she was dead! It was a hopeless situation, very hopeless!” He continued and then, tears had gathered in my eyes.
“If Jesus could do this, there is nothing impossible with Him! That lost spouse or family member can be saved! That impossible situation in your life can be handled! That incredible need that you think is so great, it can be met! He can do everything, just everything! He’s never late. He is always on time!” He said again, facing the small crowd of parents and youngsters that had surrounded our small family reunion.
“Brothers and sisters, boys and girls, it is true! I am a witness of the manifest grace of the Almighty God!” Andrew started as he moved out to join my husband and the boys.
“The whole issue taught me that when sickness comes – Believe Jesus! When death comes – Believe Jesus! When the bottom falls out of life – Believe Jesus! When the answers to your prayers are delayed – Believe Jesus! When you are ridiculed for your faith – Believe Jesus! When you are looking at a hopeless situation – Believe Jesus. Just do what?” Andrew asked
“Believe Jesus!” They people echoed but I was too overwhelmed to speak.
Who am I that the Lord of all the earth would care to know my name?
Who am I?
“When I place my problem beside the Lord, it suddenly grows very small. No matter how great it looks in my eyes, it is nothing compared to Him! After all, a God who can create a universe from nothing can do anything! A God who can part a sea, rain down manna from heaven, heal a sick body, raise a dead body, and save a lost soul can do anything! The Lord is big!” Bowen exclaimed and I fell on my knees as tears strolled down my face.
“It may be that you are looking at such a situation right now. You may be here lost and you know that if you die, you will go to Hell. Your story does not have to end that way! Come to Jesus and trust Him to save you. Believe Jesus, He will not fail!” Jeffery said and I remembered those times.
Those times of going to church without really believing or knowing the essence.
No wonder I fell away very fast!
I wanted to just go to school and become the ‘big happening girl’ on campus but it really was not worth it!
“You might be out of God’s will, with a heart that is cold and far away from God. You can come home today and He will restore you to a place of closeness and usefulness. He does these kinds of things! Only Him!” Princess said too as she placed her baby on her back and held her with a wrapper.
Hmmm…even Princess had become a preacher! Incredible!
“You might have a problem that you cannot handle. It is bigger than you are and out of control. He can handle it! He can cut it down to size! Bring it to Jesus and trust Him to take care of it for His glory! Believe Jesus, He will not fail” Happie said too as she walked close to me and patted my shoulder as I raised my hands up high, tears strolling down my face.
“Yes…He ventures in that business. He can cut it down to size! Oh my Father!” I raised my hands up high and started crying in worship.
I had to stand up!
People had to see the Talitha!- The proof of the power of God.
“I am a testimony” I said as I sniffed wetly. My nostrils were blocked and my head ached.
“Halleluyah!” Some said and I continued
“In the course of this camp meeting, I tell you that your children will not come back the same. It is a catch them young strategy. Enough is enough that the devil catches our youngsters before we wake up spiritually!”
“Enough is enough that we don’t know how to counsel and advise but only judge and judge!”
“Enough is enough that we push our young ones out of the kingdom instead of pulling them in!”
“The time is now! The time to repent is now! Its high time our children look us in the face and say “Daddy, thus saith the Lord..” and we listen with rapt attention” I said again, my voice rising up and up. My husband had started prophesying.
“Before I end this talk, let me tell you something” I said and there was a pin drop silence.
“Let me just remind you that tragedy doesn’t care who you are!” I said and I meant it because I had experienced it and had seen it in the Bible too.
“It doesn’t my sister!” Joe said too, his face filled with tears.
“The trials of life are not going to pass you by… see, tragedy doesn’t care that you go to church and pay your tithes. Sickness and death could care less about your achievements and assets” I said and there were some prayers from different angles.
“But, when the trials of life come, you need a resource outside of yourself…When death, sickness, sorrow, marital trouble, financial trouble and so on comes, you need more than some religion or the stuff of this world!” I exclaimed with great power.
“You need a faith that rests in Jesus and in His power alone. What do you really trust today?” I asked rhetorically and several ‘hmmm’s ran through the crowd.
“Only Jesus! Only Jesus! Merciful Jesus!” Joe cried as he rolled on the ground.
“Have you lost your family members and friends and helpers simultaneously?…or have you lost your feelings that no pain can be felt?…Have you experienced fire burning in your body severally as antibiotics invade your system?…Have you looked for death and it wasn’t just forthcoming?” I asked as tears rolled down my face
“I bet you haven’t! But I have!” I said and shook my head
“Or even if you have experienced that? You think it’s an excuse to give up? You think it’s an avenue to question Him? See, He is unquestionable!”
“He is!” Princess exclaimed
I heard the sound of violin being played and saw that it was Sonia, Andrew’s daughter. Her sister Safiya was singing with so much glee as tears rolled down her face.
I was touched!
That was exactly my dream, my aim, my goal!
I wanted children to get it right really from a very tender age!
If Josiah could be king at 8, no child is small, I believed!
“For the God of the mountain, is still God in the valley, when things go wrong, He makes them right. And the God of the good times, is the God in the bad time. The God of the day…is still God in the night!” My husband started singing sonorously, joining the beautiful girls. I smiled as the song held so much power for me.
“You talk of faith, what you’re up on the mountain, but talks come so easy, when life’s at its best. But things change, when you’re down in the valley, that’s when your faith, is really put to test” I sang as the silence thickens.
My heart yearned for God the more!
My soul yearned for souls more abundantly.
As they sang the chorus over and over again, I fell on my knees and raised my hands up high the more.
My body was shaking with real anointing current.
“As we round off so we can do other things, say this prayer with me” I said and moved slowly to the solemn rhythms coming from the violin, Serena’s voice and my husband’s bass.
“Lord, like some useful raw material, make something glorious out of me that will make people glorify You, believe in You and turn to You!” I said and the voices that melted together and ascended the heavenlies in one accord must have made Jesus laugh.
Glory to God in the highest!
I thank God thus far He has helped us to fulfill purpose. In your life, I command that every dead thing should receive life in Jesus’ Name.
After reading this story, may your life never remain the same.
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