HE SAID NO
“I will be there in less than 30 minutes, please pardon me,” Amifel said before she dropped the call, it was a client she booked an appointment with, she called to tell her that she was at their meeting spot already. She ordered for an Uber ride before she sped into the bathroom for a quick bath,
She was mopping her body with her white towel when her phone beeped, it was a new message notification.
“Maybe it’s the Uber driver,” she said to herself as she ignored it. She dressed up hurriedly so as to meet up with time, as soon as she was done, she put her purse, face towel, a jotter, and a pen into her navy-blue bag. She stretched over to the edge of her 6 inches bed and took a quick glance at her phone, she had just received a message from George. It reads,
“Hey, just wanted to let you know that we’re done!”
She blinked a multiple-time, she couldn’t believe her eyes as she gave a wry smile,
“Wow!” she exclaimed, “Wow! So, he couldn’t at least call or do this politely, what a way to end a relationship,” she said as she debated within her on whether to reply or ignore it,
“This is rude and
“Perfect timing,” she muttered,
Her mum was not around, so she locked the doors and kept the keys, as soon as she settled in the car, she thought to call Grace but she remembered that she would still be at work, so she sent her a text instead,
“Babe, there’s gist oh, let me know when you are less busy,” it read,
“Thank you, father!” She said in a low tone as her face curved into a smile.
Mrs. Grace Akinwale was feeling so much better, she had spent almost a week at Solid Rock hospital and she was feeling much better. Even though her husband came around every single day, she refused to see nor speak to him. Her mum stayed with her all through and only left to change her clothes and take Tobi to and from school. Also, her son was temporally staying with her mum.
“ ’Pele’ dear, hope you are feeling much better?” Mrs. Balogun asked as she took her seat on the iron chair beside her, that has been her regular spot over the past few days, she sat on the chair and rested her head on the edge of the bed to sleep every night. Grace on the other hand was seated on the
“Yes mummy, I am fine now,” she said, her face was as emotional as it had been since her mother came around.
“Adejoke mi,” she began, she usually called Grace by her native name whenever she wanted to say something really important,
“Mummy,” Grace answered,
“My child, I am your mother and I love you very much. What your husband did was painful, very painful and he has realized that he has been wrong all the while. He called me and he asked me to beg you, if you see his face, you will know that he has changed. He has grown so lean and long, ah, I pitied him,”
“Eeya,” Grace said mockingly as she laid down on her back and looked intently at the ceiling like she was seeing a vision. She was tired of talking about Wale, she and her mum have been arguing about him the whole week and she had told her that she does not want anything to do with him anymore.
“Is that all you would say?” she asked as her question was greeted by silence, “Anyway, the doctor told me that you would be discharged tomorrow,” she announced,
“So, I have told your husband that…”
“That what? Mummy, that what? I have told you a thousand times over, I don’t want to talk about him! is that too much to ask?” she cut in as she turned her back on her mum,
“Who are you turning your back to? Anyway, that is your business, I have told your husband to come and pick you tomorrow,”
“Pick who?” she said as she laughed wickedly, “It’s like you think I am joking, I am not going back to that house, I am not going back to wale!” she yelled, red hot anger with anger,
“Whose house do you plan to go back to or do you want to be living in the hospital?”
“I will stay at your house for a while before…”
“Da pada! Oya swallow it,” Mrs. Balogun yelled, “Stay back in which house? “she chuckled, “ ‘Omode o mo ogun, o n pe le fo’ (a child does not know the difference between what is dangerous and what is not) you cannot come back to my house oh! It is not me that you will disgrace, “ she said as she walked out of her room, slamming the door on her way out,
Mrs. Grace felt like her head was dangling on her neck, she was furious. Why would her mum want to see her miserable? Does she want her dead?
She thought about her life all day, she had sworn never to go back to Akinwale’s house. The question is, to where? She urgently needed somewhere to stay or she might as well remain in the hospital till she figured something out. She was still thinking about where to go when her phone rang. At first, she thought it was her husband but after the 3rd ring she decided to check who it was, it was an unknown number,
“Hello, please am I speaking to Mrs. Grace?” the caller asked,
“Thank God! I have been trying to reach you, the last time I called someone else picked and I was beginning to think you gave me a wrong number,”
“Sorry, who is this?”
“This is Grace, a staff of City bank, you gave me your number about 2 weeks ago,”
“Oh oh oh! I remember!” she exclaimed, “ You helped me with my card and all,”
“Yes ma, “
“I am sorry I forgot to save your number that day and thank you so much for the other day,”
“Its fine ma, it was a pleasure,”
“So, how have you been?”
“No problem ma, I am fine. Trust you are fine too ma,”
“Yes, yes, I am fine… I am fine” she repeated as if to assure herself that she was fine,
“Okay ma, I just called to check up on you,” Grace said,
“That was really thoughtful of you, thank you so much,”
“You are welcome ma and enjoy the rest of your day,” Grace concluded before she hung up,
Mrs. Grace Akinwale resumed back to her thoughts, she just told someone that she was fine when she obviously wasn’t.
“It’s of no use telling her, what help could she possibly render,” she thought to herself, then she remembered that she temporarily needed a place to stay, she unlocked her phone quickly and dialed her number. She might be of help afterall…
Grace waited for Mrs. Akinwale at the junction, she stretched and turned her neck at regular intervals, expecting to see a pregnant woman amidst the throng of people walking up and down the busy road. Mrs. Akinwale told her she was already almost at the junction that led to her house and she didnt want to keep her waiting.
She checked her phone at intervals for a call or message notification from her, there was none.
She decided to call to be sure she didn’t miss her way,
“I am almost there, on a bike already,” Mrs. Akinwale said as soon as she picked up,
Grace wasn’t too surprised when Mrs. Akinwale asked her the previous day to ask if she could stay with her for a while, she had had a feeling that something was not right about her since day one and her heart had been so drawn to the woman ever since.
The previous day, she felt a strong impression on her heart to call her, she didnt want to, especially at work but God laid it on her heart so strongly that she couldnt resist it, for someone that knew how God talked to her, she knew that she had to obey immediately.
Mrs. Grace didnt tell her why she was coming to stay at her place and she didnt bother to ask as she was about to find out,
Getting Blessing to agree was quite easy because she had not been sleeping at home for almost a week and she blamed it on some contract, so when she called to tell her that a friend would be staying over at their place, she gave her a go-ahead.
A slim lady waved at her from afar, Grace looked closely, she did not seem to know her or maybe she wasn’t waving to her. She looked away,
“She sort of looks familiar,” Grace said to herself as the lady walked towards her.
“Grace! ” the lady called, her eyes were sunken into their sockets, she looked so lean but she was simply dressed in a jean trouser and a round neck yellow polo. She held a small brown traveling bag another black sagging handbag was hung over her shoulder, like the one… She recognized her instantly,
“Oh my God, Mrs. Grace! ” she exclaimed, staring at her deflated belly, I didnt know you put to bed already? “Please dont tell me that…” she continued as she put her hands over her mouth to contain her shock.
Mrs. Akinwale smiled, without saying a word. She knew those smiles, they were smiles of pain and bitterness, the ones you give when you are hurting deep inside.
“Can we talk when we get to your place?”
“Yes ma, please dont mind me. I couldnt hide my shock, I’ll just help you with your bag, ” she offered, collecting the brown traveling bag from her, she wanted to collect her handbag too but Mrs. Akinwale refused to let her,
“Please let me carry this at least, ” she said. As they strolled to Graces place which was just a stone throw to the junction, a lot of things ran through Grace’s mind. What could have happened?
As for Mrs. Akinwale, she didnt know what she needed at that moment but one thing she knew was that she needed a break from Wale and her mums insistent naggings, Tobi can stay with her mum till she figured out what she wanted to do.
George sat at the bar with his friends as they helped themselves to chilled glasses of beer, it hah been a while since he went there with his friends. He had really tight schedules to catch up with and of course, he was dating Sister Amifel, a devout woman of God. She wouldn’t want to get married to him if she knew that he clubbed and partied.
“Feels good to be free at last, I felt so choked up, ” George said to his friends,
“Glad to have you back bro,” Yomi replied, Yomi and Lucky were his old friends, he stopped rolling with them, the moment he started dating Amifel which was a little more than a year ago.
“You guys wouldnt understand, I genuinely loved that girl but she messed up big time! ” George explained,
“Mehn bro, that girl really got you. I mean, the height of it was when you even started following her to her church, I was dazed! ” Yomi jested,
“That one? ” he hissed, ” I did majorly to please her, I wanted her to see that I could do anything for her. To be sincere, I was always bored in that church and almost always couldnt wait for them to finish,” they all laughed as he continued,
“Thankfully, I only attended mid-week services for a few weeks and since then I always managed somehow to dodge it every single time, I blamed it on work and she bought my excuse, ”
“You be child of devil oh, how would you say that church is boring,” Lucky said,
“Lucky cannot understand, Yomi here can relate. Their pastor spends as much as 3 hours preaching, lets not talk about their prayer sessions. Back in the states, we dont do all those church things, apart from maybe an hour service on Sundays.”
“They preach for long hours there too oh, na you no dey go, ” Yomi laughed heartily at George.
“For real man, apart from that, clubbing and partying were normal there but here in Nigeria, it is a sin. I dont even know how I fell in love with such a staunch religious chic, ” George continued
“It’s not your fault bro, that girl is fine! I give that to her, ” Lucky said, lifting his almost empty glass in the air,
“I admit it too, she is beautiful. Our parents wanted us to be together and the first time I saw her, I and my parent agreed on the same thing for once, ” they laughed while he continued, “Anyway, that is over with now, ”
“Yeah, my guy, congratulations to you, ” Yomi said as they took turns giving him mocking handshakes,
“What did she say when you told her you were no longer interested? ” Lucky asked, sipping his beer,
“Guys! If I told you that this girl said nothing, you won’t believe it. I thought she would come begging, I thought it would hurt her and that was what I desperately wanted to do, but she shocked me sha,” George explained,
“Maybe it didnt come as a shock to her, ” Yomi said,
“Yeah, maybe, ” George painfully admitted,
“What made you break up again? ” Lucky asked,
“I dont even know, to be honest, I just wanted to threaten her. I wanted her to come begging. I wanted to see if she really loved me, but its obvious she doesnt, ”
“Guy! Wait wait… If i got you right, you were doing break up testing? ” Yomi asked again and Lucky could not believe his ears,
“Ah, you messed up! Make I no lie, you messed up man. Listen, apart from the fact that she turned you into a religious hag who has refused to hang out with his friend? The girl is really a big catch, do you think it is easy to find a beautiful, hardworking, and Godly woman, if it was that easy, I would be married by now, ” Lucky chipped in,
“Guys please, I dont want to talk about this anymore, what has happened has happened. Moreover, I would find another God-fearing woman, ”
“I hear you, as if you are God-fearing yourself, ” Yomi said amidst laughter as Lucky followed suit.
The rest of the evening was miserable for George as the reality of what had happened hit him even more, they could have sorted out their differences without breaking apart, he shouldnt have pulled such a stunt,
Really, when God wants to deliver the children of Israel, he hardens the heart of pharaoh… Or what really came over him?