HE SAID NO
You know, when the lord turned around the captivity of Zion and they felt like they were dreaming…
For Grace, it was a dream come true.
Her long-awaited wedding strolled in, and she was beyond excited to be tying the knots with her heartthrob.
Don’t even ask about Mike, his joy knew no bounds as he danced in his mismatched steps at the slightest opportunity.
Apart from the fact that Amifel organized her event, she also served as her maid of honor and she was so happy that her friend was finally getting married. Even though she worked her head off and felt like she needed to spend 1-week at the spar afterward.
Daniel came around to honor her friend and Amifel was so happy to see him. She stole occasional glances at him and he met her with his eyes virtually all through.
There were many emotional moments at the wedding party but one that stood out was when Mama Ologi went upstage to dance with her grandson. Now, for someone that old, she was such a vibrant and energetic woman, and their slow but steady movement did not fail to turn heads. It was obvious that the bond they shared was such a deep one.
Mrs. Robert was around to cheer the newly-weds, her pink and silver attire made her look even more beautiful.
Mrs. Grace Akinwale was also around alongside her husband and son, her sprouting baby bump was evident for all to see and Grace, in particular, was excited at the news as well as Amifel.
In all, it was a beautiful and fun-filled wedding.
Its been like a week since Amifel moved back home and her mom could not hide her excitement.
Amifel was also glad to be home again, especially because her dad was around.
The pampering and petty loving gestures were to die for, they made her feel like a baby all over again.
Amifel missed her bestie and it was not really easy adjusting to how things were before. It took so much self-control for her not to send her a WhatsApp voice note and disrupt her honeymoon.
“Don’t even tell me you are going to see any client because I won’t believe you.” Mrs. Robert said as she helped Amifel with her zip.
She giggled, expecting her mom to take that as her response.
She and Daniel had a date that evening and she looked forward to it like it was their first time.
She had been doing a good job keeping Daniel private so far and she had no plans to relent.
She picked up her bag and gave her mom a quick peck.
“Love you, mom!”
“You have not told me where you are going to…” She said in a loud voice after her. Amifel pretended like she didn’t hear her.
“Love you too.” She answered, resorting to fate.
She had been waiting for Daniel at Lakeside park as they agreed over the phone a couple of hours ago.
Time strolled by slowly but gradually.
She tried his number, it was not reachable. It was getting dark and she was beginning to get uncomfortable. The speckles of her silver dress was illuminated all the more by the lights offered by the park, making her look like a fairy tale princess who missed her way and found herself at Lakeside park.
She still had Daniel to worry about but she was sure that something probably came up.
Just as she headed for the main road, she heard someone call her name.
She looked towards the direction where the voice was coming from and saw him walking briskly towards her. She released the truckload of sighs that she had started building up in her chest.
His hands which were tightly knitted together said all of the ‘sorrys’ that he wanted to say.
“What happened?” She asked.
“I was caught up in traffic. It was a total standstill.”
Amifel was about to ask why he didn’t bother to call or send a text.
“I tried to call, but it wasn’t going through. My network signals went off totally.” He explained.
“Thank God you are fine.”
“Maybe we should just hang around here a little. I stopped by at an eatery and got us some snack.” He said as he flashed the content of the nylon he held.
Now it was her turn to smile.
Daniel led the way as he ushered them to an empty seat around the park.
“How did your day go?” Daniel asked as he unpacked the nylon to reveal meat pie and Amifel’s favorite Scotch eggs, he noticed that it was always almost part of her orders and he figured that she loved them to a fault.
“It was okay, how was yours?”
“Hectic and that traffic earlier just made it even worse.”
“I can imagine. Sorry about that.”
“It’s fine, now that I have seen you, I feel much better.” He answered without looking at her.
It seemed that it was going to be a blush-full night.
They pounced on the snacks and washed it down with juice.
“I heard G-mobiles yearly party is scheduled for next month.”
“How are you holding up?”
“Doing my best, my team has been as supportive as ever. We hope to impress them as usual.”
“I trust you.”
“I was wondering, have you thought of getting an office?”
“Yes. I mean, somewhere you can call your own.
Where clients can come book appointment with you instead of meeting at random places.”
“Yeah, sounds like a great idea. But to be honest, I haven’t thought much about it. Sounds more like money to me, if I want something nice.”
“What if someone gets one for you?”
“You want to rent a place for me?” Amifel asked, raising her brows.
“The last I checked, my name is Daniel, not someone.” He chuckled.
“Please don’t raise my hopes this night and dash it all by yourself.”
Daniel laughed as he took a big gulp of his drink.
“Let’s hurry up, it’s getting late.”
Amifel seemed to be filled up because she didn’t finish her juice but of course she ate every other snack.
“I had a great time. ” She said as she belted up inside Daniel’s car.
“Urgh… My lateness ruined our evening plan. I promise to make it up to you real soon.”
“Nothing was ruined, it still was memorable. Anyways, I look forward to the make-up plan.”
Some distance away from her house, Amifel motioned for him to drop her.
“Its quite late, why don’t you let me drop you off at home?”
Amifel did not want her parents, especially her mom to see her being dropped off by a man, neither did she want Daniel to think that she was hiding something because she wasn’t.
She agreed to let him drop her off at their gate while praying profusely that none of her folks sees them.
Amifel hurried into their compound as soon as they said their goodbyes. She could hear her parents chatting loudly as she approached the entrance.
“Good evening mom, Good evening dad. I…”
“My dear daughter!!” Mrs. Robert said excitedly at the top of her voice as she stood up to hug her. “You see that God that you are serving, is the one that you should keep serving oh! Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.”
“God is good!” Mr. Robert said calmly.
Amifel looked towards her dad, he had the same wry grin and funny look. For a moment, she guessed that they probably saw Daniel drop her off or what could be making them act so dramatic?
“Oluwa eshe o!” Mrs. Robert chanted on.
Amifel was obviously not ready for what she was about to hear.
Amifel woke up to a persistent phone call early the next morning. At first, she ignored the call but when the presumed caller did not act like a civilized person by trying to reach her later, she decided to switch off her phone.
On seeing that the caller was Grace, the dizziness that laced her eyelids veered off and she sat up almost immediately, but it was rather too late. She already hung up.
She tried calling her back, she picked at the first ring.
“Young lady, were you assigned the role of sleeping beauty?” Grace mocked.
“Married baby girl!” Amifel hailed her friend while trying to normalize the tempo of her voice.
“My love! You missed me?”
“Plenty! I missed you so much that I had to put on my home training graduation gown to make sure that I don’t call you up till now. Especially yesternight.” She chuckled.
“Awwwwwn… I missed you too.”
“What of Hubby? and this one that you are calling me so soon, is the honeymoon over?”
“Is the honeymoon forever? We’ll be doing the rest at home abeg, I have a job to resume to. Anyway, Mike is fine. What’s up with you?”
“Nothing is up with me oh! But something is definitely up with Blessing.”
“Blessing? What do you mean?”
“Last night before I got home, my parents had staged a praise concert, at first I thought they saw Daniel drop me off but nothing in the world could have prepared me for what I heard.”
“Stop all these suspense stories already and tell me exactly what it was that they said.”
“My mom said she heard that George has just been sent to jail for multiple cyber-crimes and money launderings.”
“Ehn!!! Jesus, Jesus, Jesus!!!!”
“See ehn, I couldn’t sleep. I was just tossing to and fro the bed.”
“Oh my God! Cybercrimes? Unbelievable! How long is the jail term?”
“We don’t know yet. That’s not even all… Blessing just gave birth to twins!”
“Ahhhh!!! But the wedding is not even up to a year yet!”
“I think she was already pregnant before the wedding. The shock has still not left my body.”
“This is such terrible news to wake up to! Blessing has finally hit her rock bottom. Her escapades have finally landed her in trouble.”
“To be honest, I feel for her.” Amifel sulked.
“I do too… But when God says no and you say yes, it always ends in premium tears!”
“As in… Where would she start from like this?”
“Ummm… It is well!” Grace sighed.
“I should have been the one in her shoes, you know?”
“You see what I was telling you then… None of you should have landed in such a trap. Blessing had been playing smart all the while, till she was cornered.
God sees the things that are hidden from human eyes and even though we find it hard to understand initially, it pays to obey God. Thank God for you dear, you should be doing thanksgiving. I am just not happy that Blessing found herself in such a mess.” Grace concluded.
“Let’s keep praying for her.”
“What prayer point can we even use to address this muddled up situation like this?” Amifel asked, sounding concerned.
“My dear, me sef I don’t know, pray in tongues for her.”
“I pray God brings out beauty from these ashes.”
“That is a strong prayer point o! It is only God that can perform such a miracle. Meanwhile, you should come to say hi to us when we move back home.”
“Sure thing!” Amifel smiled at the thought of seeing her friend again.
“Take care of yourself, dear. Talk to you soon and extend my greetings to mummy.”
As soon as they ended their conversation, Amifel knelt at the side of her bed, her heart overflowed in thanksgiving to God as it dawned on her all the more that she would have been the one married to George, the one whose husband would be convicted for money laundering and multiple cyber-crimes and worst off, she would be a new mother of two bouncing baby boys.
“Thank you, father, for not taking your eyes off me.” She managed to voice out.
Her heart also went out to Blessing as she spent a couple of minutes praying for God’s mercy over her and George.
There she was, unmarried but surrounded by God’s matchless peace.
There is no substitution for obedience to God, well except you want to go through an excursion in the wilderness.
It was a sunny Saturday afternoon and the dusty harmattan had come to prepare the way for the long-awaited Christmas. Daniel had gone to pick Amifel up at home, he said there was something that he wanted her to see.
“I hope this sight-seeing is not going to take too long. I am supposed to see a client later today and I won’t want to keep him waiting.”
Daniel started humming a tune as he jingled his head sideways. He was excited and she could see that, but she couldn’t tell why and he has refused to spill the beans.
He brought his car to a halt in front of a three-story building complex. The building housed a lot of classy stores and Amifel could not help but marvel.
He got out of the car but she remained seated.
Maybe he dropped by to see someone.
Obviously not, because he stepped right to her corner and opened the door for her before helping her down.
“Daniel, what is going on?”
“You are about to find out, cmon.” He winked.
They walked straight through the entrance and strolled down the hallway before using the stairs at a bend.
The building was even more beautiful outside than it was inside. Clean and classy paintings, silver glistering railings, glass doors, and expensive furniture everywhere.
They got to a room right on the middle floor and Daniel opened it.
Amifel was amazed at the sight that greeted her. The room looked like a ready-made office. The tables were gallant and fashion trendy, two soft cushion chairs faced each other and one rolling leather chair which was supposedly meant for the owner sat comfy opposite them.
“You like it?”
“Like? I love it! It’s beautiful, well-done Daniel. Boss move, you didn’t tell me that you were opening a new office!” She grinned.
“It is actually for you.”
“For me? Like, are you saying…” Amifel widened her eyes in amazement.
“Yes, Amifel. This is your new office.”
“Oh my God!!” Amifel screamed as she jumped on his neck so hard that he staggered.
She was short of words.
“So I no longer have to meet up with my clients in random places! Thank you, Daniel. This blew my mind.” She managed to say as she released him from her grip.
“You are welcome Nifemi. I am glad that it made you happy.” He smiled.
She took some time to assess the whole place after her excitement waned a bit and she was beyond impressed, Daniel must have spent a fortune to secure her a place in such a classy complex.
As they drove back, Amifel could not hide her excitement as she tried asking him when he kicked off the office plan.
“A few months ago.” He grinned.
“Before you asked me if I wanted an office?”
He shook his head in disapproval.
“I should have guessed that you had such plans in embryo since you started asking me strange questions.” She giggled.
“Are you still seeing your client?”
“I am almost tempted to tell him to come to see me in my office tomorrow!” She said with an air of pride.
If there was anything that she was sure of apart from the fact that God loved her unconditionally, it was the fact that the young man beside her, steering the wheels, cared for her to a fault.
To be continued…
Written by Sodamade Olamide Tolulope.