HE SAID NO.
Grace had been attending to unsatisfied customers all day and she was getting exhausted as she glanced at the mini clock at the far end right corner of her table, the time seemed to be ti-ptoeing as she answered more and more customers.
A [email protected] angry woman with plenty of flesh stuffed at designated corners of her b©dy almost ate her up that morning,
“Good morning madam, how may I help you,” Grace greeted courteously.
“What is good about the morning? No, tell me, what is good about the morning?” the woman repeated, shaking angrily in front of a dumbfounded Grace.
“I am sorry madam, but I don’t un-derstand the reason for this sort of reaction, ”
“How would you un-derstand?” she barked, “You are just as daft as the albino that attended to me the last time!”
Grace was angry as the woman kept ranting but she tried her best to be as calm as can be while trying to calm her down, after all, she was a well-trained customer service repres£ntative. Her albino colleague, Nkechi had attended to the woman, the last time she [email protected]£ when she complained about not being able to access her account. The woman claimed that up until that moment, nothing had changed.
Thankfully, Nkechi was not on seat as the woman was set to eat her raw, Grace set to work immediately, and the troublesome woman left some minutes later after her account issues were rectified.
Grace felt relieved when she answered the last person on the queue in front of her and she demonstrated this by momentarily placing her head on the table before standing up to use the toilet. She got back after a few minutes she just as she sat down, she felt in her heart to talk to Mrs. Akinwale, it had been a while since they spoke. She picked up her phone and noticed that she had missed a few calls and a new message which re-ad.
“Grace, my husband tried to commit suicide, he is in the hospital and I am on my way there right now, plea-se stand in faith with us. “
“Oh my God! “Grace squeaked as she hurried back inside the toilet with her phone. She dialed Mrs. Akinwale’s number, she picked up almost immediately,
“Grace! My husband is not talking, he is not even opening his eyes. I caused it oh!” She lamented frightfully.
“Mrs. Akinwale, plea-se calm down, just calm down,” Grace said in a bid to pacify her. “For days now, I have been s-en-sing the urge to go back home but I refused, Ah! God alerted me throu-gh several means but I ignored every single one of them, ” Mrs. Akinwale lamented, as she relayed the dream she had and how God had been telling her to go back home.
“Ah! Why didn’t you tell me?”
“I knew you would ask me to go back home and I didn’t want to, ” she sobbe-d as Grace heaved a weighty sigh.
” Just calm down, I really nee-d you to calm down right now. Fidgeting and fretting won’t do anything now, so you nee-d to be as calm as possible ” Grace said as she gesticulated with her left hand. It seemed that Mrs. Akinwale heeded her advice because she st©pped acting hysterically, “Good, how is he now, what state is he in?”
“The doctor said he took a poisonous syrup and dropped a suicide note for me. Grace, his eyes have been ti-ghtly shut since I got here, the same with his mouth, the doctor said we should keep praying that his chances of living are minimal, I am scared, ” Mrs. Akinwale sobbe-d.
“That is the doctor’s verdict, not ours, he will live, ” Grace said with utter confidence, “Listen to me, Whether or not this is your fault, God is not angry with you, all the feelings of condemnation that you are having are from the devil and it is targeted at ma-king you keep your mouth shut and resort to fate. But we know that he is a liar, there is no condemnation to you because you are in Christ Jesus. The bible says in the book of Hebrews chapter 4 vs 15 to 16 that we do not have a priest who is out of t©uçh with our reality. He’s been throu-gh weakness and testing, experienced it all, all but sin. So let’s walk right up to him and get what he is so re-ady to give. Take the mercy, accept the help. ” she quoted, pausing a bit before she continued.
“You have to st©p anchoring that pity [email protected] and stand up to pray, that is the only way we can snatch him from the claws of death, tears and regrets will change nothing, it is the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man that makes tremendous power available. I will be praying with you from here and I will join you at the close of today, ” she said with authority.
“Okay, ” Mrs. Akinwale nodded helplessly.
As soon as Grace dropped the call, her heart was heavy, she immediately started praying in ton-gues as she left the toilet, she still had about 3 hours left before she closed for the day.
As she walked back to her seat, she kept praying, though rather silently so she wouldn’t disturb anyb©dy. Thankfully, she had no customer to attend to and she prayed she wouldn’t for the rest of the day.
Back in the hospital, Mrs. Akinwale who was sitting at the reception, following the doctor’s order, j£rked herself up and rolled up her sleeves, she ignored the hostile and questioning face of people loitering around the reception, including the nurses. Her tear-filled eyes were now red with red-h0t anger against the devil as she started pacing to and fro the hospital reception, praying in the holy ghost. The woman that was sitting close to her eyed her maliciously before hissing and walking far away from her but she was too engrossed to even notice.
“There is no condemnation to me, therefore, I stand in the gap for my family and I declare that the stronghold of darkness is broken in the name of Jesus, I decree and declare that my husband shall not die but live to declare the works of the lord in the land of the living. I snatch Akinwale from the cold hands of death in the name of Jesus, ” she was walking to and fro the reception.
Grace and Amifel were as supportive as could be alongside Mrs. Biodun was always with her daughter in the hospital, except at night when she went home along with Tobi.
Akinwale opened his eyes a day later and his wife’s joy knew no bound. The doctor put him some medications which made him sleep like a log of wood and Mrs. Akinwale couldn’t be more delighted.
Amifel [email protected]£ around the hospital to check up Mrs. Grace and her husband a day after before she went to attend to one of her numerous events. Amifel wasn’t so comfortable being around Mrs. Balogun as she didn’t want to listen to lectures from the marriage counselor herself, neither was Mrs. Balogun, she now knew why her friend talked to her the way she did, the last time they met.
Grace [email protected]£ around later that evening, and she was overjoyed to hear that Mr. Akinwale was responding to treatment. Although she met Mrs. Akinwale’s abs£nce, her mom was around to welcome her.
“She will soon be back,” Mrs. Balogun as-sured her.
“It’s fine ma, I can see her anytime, the most important thing right now is that Mr. Akinwale is getting better,” Grace smiled, looking occasionally at Mr. Akinwale who was slee-ping soundly while lying face up and a drip was pas-sed into his b©dy.
“Thank you, my daughter, may God keep you and uphold you ehn, your husband won’t leave you at your prime in Jesus’ name,” Mrs. Biodun interrupted.
“Amen mummy, amen,” Grace giggled.
“Why are you laughing?”
“I am not married ma, ”
“ Ehn Ehn! I thought as much!” She exclaimed, “You know, when I didn’t see a ring on your f!nger, I was puzzled but I just thought you were one of those women who don’t wear rings like myself… But why? Such a beautiful and Godly woman like you? Kilode? Time is going oh!”
“Very soon ma, very soon, God is always on time,”
“I know, but heaven helps those who help themselves, you know that women have limited time and important issues like marriage have to be settled very fast. It is the child that raises his arm that is carried oh, I am not trying to make you feel bad, you are a good girl and I am only talking from the perspective of a concerned mother. Uhmm, try and hurry up,”
“Yes ma, I un-derstand. A lot of suitors have approached me for marriage but I have come to un-derstand that not all men can be my husband. The number of men out there are more than the number of husbands and a lifetime empire like marriage has to be built patiently and prayerfully. Mummy, you know beautiful and long-lasting things like marriage takes time.”
“Uhmm, I agree with you, you are right. God will uphold you and bring a well befitting man your way, ”
“Amen, mummy,” Grace answered just as Mrs. Akinwale walked in, holding her son by one hand and a polythene bag, containing food for her husband with the other.
“Grace, you are here,” she smiled while dropping the food on the table beside her husband’s be-d as Tobi proceeded to sit on his granny’s [email protected]
“Yes, Mrs. Akinwale, mummy told me you went home to do some things. “Grace smiled back.
” Yes, yes. I went to prepare something for him to eat, I didn’t want to buy food around as my mom suggested, ”
“E ma wo omo yii o, “ Mrs. Balogun said in Yoru-ba, meaning ‘look at this woman’.
“Mummy didn’t just want to stress you,” Grace said in her mom’s defense. Mrs. Balogun herself nodded in gratification.
“Don’t mind my mummy, Grace, thank you for coming around yet again, I just can’t thank you enough,” Mrs. Akinwale said.
“We thank God for everything,” Grace smiled.
“The pastor of the church I now attend was also here, earlier today,” she continued.
“Yes, oh Grace, that man of God comes here to check on us every single day, the same with you and Amifel. Ah, God bless all of you for us oh!” Mrs. Balogun prayed, raising both hands while ru-bbing them over each other.
Grace stayed with them for a while before she indicated that she was re-ady to leave.
“Alright my daughter, plea-se take care of yourself,” Mrs. Balogun said jovially.
“Yes ma, I will. Thank you so much ma,” Grace smiled back. “Tobi, bye, ”
“Byeeee, ” Tobi dragged while waving his hands gently.
“And don’t forget what we talked about,” Mrs. Balogun ch!pped in.
“Yes, ma.” Grace chortled.
“What did you talk about with my mum,” Mrs. Akinwale asked as she locked the door behind her.
“It was nothing serious, Mummy just said I should hurry up with marriage plans,” Grace said with smiles.
“Mttchew,” Grace hissed, “plea-se, don’t mind her oh, take your time, don’t marry blindly or out of compulsion, “she paused a bit before she continued, “As I did,” she said sadly.
“Mrs. Akinwale, st©p talking like that, “Maybe you made a wrong choice, but God specializes in working all things together for good for his children, any situation that God steps into turns around for good, I can tell you for sure that God has intervened in your marriage, and he will perfect what he has started.” Grace comforted her while holding her right hand tenderly, they were alre-ady outside the hospital.
“Amen, “Mrs. Akinwale said as she handed Grace a neatly folded white paper. “That is the letter that my husband dropped for me before he attem-pted suicide, ”
I told you I hated my father, but I never told you why. Even if I will die, I can’t bottle up something as much as this and that is my reason for writing this letter.
My father had been manhandling my mom since I could remember and it always made me sad. She had different patches of wounds littered all over her b©dy because my Dad beats her up at the slightest provocation.
I wanted to help but I was too small and incapacitated to do anything. The hospital [email protected]£ my mom’s regular relaxation center, my mother never failed to visit the hospital every month to treat wounds. I later discovered that the reason why my mom had just me was that my dad’s punches would never allow her baby to stay.
This continued until one day, I went to [email protected] my friends and on getting back, I found my dad in the sitting room sitting on my mom while throwing [email protected] punches at her on all fronts. My mom pas-sed out and we rushed her to the hospital, that was the last time I saw my mom alive. I was devastated and angry, I refused to go to school nor talk to my dad, until one night I stood u from my be-d and went into the kitchen, took our kitchen knife, and stabbe-d my dad.
Everyone believed me when I said my dad committed suicide, no one could say otherwise. But I only did it for my mom.
My beautiful queen, you are my jewel of inestimable value, and marrying you is the best thing that has ever happened to me, I saw my mom in you and that endeared me to you all the more.
Beating you has never been my de-sire, I detest it so much but I find myself doing the very same thing. I know that God must res£nt me for all my numerous sins, especially treating you so badly but it is almost as if I am being controlled by some unseen f0rç£. It is strange how you find yourself doing the very things you hate.
I want you to know that I have always loved you and will always love you.
How can I live, knowing that the only woman I have loved as much as I loved my mother no longer wants to be with me?
plea-se take care of my son, tell him that I love him. I have left everything I own in your care. My lawyer would see you when I’m gone.
Although I don’t know where I am going, I know that whatever horror awaits me would be infinitesimal compared to what I feel right now.
I love you Grace Adunni.
Till we meet again or maybe not.
To be continued…
He said no Episode 27 & 28