JUST AFTER I SAID I DO
I had ba-rely finished with my house chores when I heard a knock at the door, I didn’t bother to ask who was there as I knew alre-ady that it was Amaka the sisters coordinator and the only friend I have here in Lagos.
I dropped the little napkin in my hands, adjusted my pyjamas and reached out for the door… The sight of Amaka’s smile and appearance very early as 9:30am made me remember when I was single and I wish I could just turn back the hands of time… “hey Mrs, are you going to let me in or you’re going to stand at the door for hours and keep staring at me like I’m one goddess”….. She said jokingly and it was then I realized I was lost in thought.
“oh sorry, plea-se come in”… She stepped in and walked directly into the sitting room while I followed her and I couldn’t just imagine how lucky she is to be still single. Amaka had ba-rely dropped her bag and settled down before she bombarded me with series of questions… “omolola, are you sure you are re-ady for this? Have you thought about this action of yours very well?… I walked straight into the kitchen ignoring all her questions and in no time I was back into the sitting room with a glas-s of fruit jui-ce and a tray of freshly baked chicken pie… ..” will you at least settle down and take something before borging my head with series of questions”… I handed over the glas-s of jui-ce to her and watch her as she carefully sipped some and dropped the cu-p on the glas-s centre table in front of her.
While she sat upright to make herself comfortable the more, I looked directly into her eyes with a broad smile and I handed over the tray of chicken pie to her… ” I made this for you cos I know that’s your favorite”… With a satisfactory smile, she collected the tray and bite the pie carefully… “Hhhmm, you won’t st©p acting like one nice lady. Thanks for this anyways, it’s so yummy”… She said jokingly and we both laughed.
I finally sat down on the soft leather couch directly opposite the one she was sitting on with my two legs crossed and placing one of the small throw pillows on my l@ps… ” Now back to your question Amaka, I am re-ady for this, I made up my mind about it long before now and I have decided to do it” I looked directly at the big picture frame that was carefully hanged on the wall beside the 24inches plasma TV and warm tears rolled down my chicks… “my marriage to ra-ph has been the biggest mistake ever, and I have decided to take it just the way it is and keep praying till the end of time.
But I won’t allow another lady out there make the same mistake I made years back. And that’s why I called you here this morning. plea-se Amaka, I believe in you and I trust you, that’s why I nee-d you to help me talk to every single lady out there on the ess£nce of serious prayer and genuine conviction before saying “I do”… I stood up to lock the main entrance door to ensure that nob©dy comes in and I walked back gently to take my sit.
I tried to pu-ll myself together and control the trend of my tears and I looked directly at Amaka who is alre-ady in a sober mood with a pen and a book in her hands while she stared at me speechless, and continued softly. …” yes, serious prayers and concrete conviction, don’t get so carried away because he’s a pastor. Fine, he can pastor a church so very well, but can he handle his family very well when no church member is in sight. Oh, the brother prays and speak in ton-gues like the apostles of old, can those ton-gues speak very well to his wife when nob©dy is in sight. Hhhmm, he sings and the host of heaven comes down, can his lordsh!pbring down the pres£nce of God in his own family.
Let them not be so overwhelmed because he preaches the Bible just the way it is supposed to be preached, they should find out if he can actually handle his wife just the way she’s supposed to be handled”…. I paused for a while, swallowing very ha-rd and I looked at the far end of the sitting room where ra-ph’s picture was hanged with a broad smile on his face and memories arised in my head again.
I quic-kly adjusted and sat upright as I continued softly… ” don’t be easily convinced because he speaks so gently, decently and softly to people in church, can he speak the same way to his wife and kids when nob©dy is watching. Amaka, let every single lady know that they shouldn’t be convinced with all these physical manifestation alone and feel there is no nee-d for serious prayers and conviction about Christian brothers before saying I do…. Look, sweetie, you are still so very lucky right now, because you are still single and can still change and rewrite a whole lot about your destiny without anyb©dy’s permission, trust me, once you are married, you won’t be able to change ordinary a TV station without permission”… I gently wiped the tears that were alre-ady dropping uncontrollably on my chicks with the back of my palm and I continued softly… “my dear, enough of this teaching, I didn’t call you here to lecture you, I called you here to share with you and every single lady the story of my life and marriage”… I reached out for my handkerchief to dry my we-t and swollen red eye ba-lls and I sat uprightly putting on a little smile to draw Amaka’s attention because I could s-en-se it that she was alre-ady feeling sorry for me. I tried to maintain the smile as I continued my story even though I knew the smiles were going to fade away so very soon…. “Omolola Ajibade is my name and I said yes to ra-phael Ajibade when I was in my finals during my university days. Ofcos, I have known him long before then.
We attended the same student fellowsh!pwhile we were on campus but he was a year ahead of me”… I paused briefly and I stood up as I excused myself briefly and I walked towards the refrigerator in the dinning room, I nee-d to get some water cos it appears I might die of thirst any time from now….
I walked back to join Amaka in the sitting room after gulping a cu-p of cold water, and I continued softly… ” bro ra-ph was known by all for his dedication in the church and to the things of God. And I on the other hand, I was a normal christian sister that can boldly say my life as an un-dergraduate was on the right track with God, I have a de-ep un-derstanding about what it means to be in a relationsh!pand so I never had any until I was in my p@rt three as a pharmacy student… My first relationsh!pwas the one I had with a guy called Joshua ibitoye who happens to be my course and level mate.
Joshua was a normal guy, who I can say his life is balanced but not the churchy type. That doesn’t mean he was not born again, sure he was, but should I just say he is not this spirikoko brother. My relationsh!pwith him was perfect, we were both doing fine academically, physically and spiritually even though he was not a member of my student fellowsh!p.
Joshua never seize to show me series of affections even though some of them left me doubting if he was actually a believer or not… And that was because of this general orientation about showing affections in relationsh!ps as a sin, so I felt Joshua was can-alsometimes, not knowing that affections in relationsh!ps can never be avoided but the important thing is how well can you manage it as a Christian. Yes, I was so convinced about Joshua, I know it vividly that he’s the right man for me, but what I was confused about is the fact that he won’t st©p acting can-alsometimes, I never knew God was actually showing me those can-alp@rt of him so I could know the major p@rt of his life where I’ll intensify my prayer the more in the relationsh!p. And sooner than I expected, my relationsh!pwith Joshua began to shake and I began to perceive him as one can-alguy who can’t even manage his feelings and emotions…
We both struggled to make things work but the more we struggle the more we see each others differences and we finally Settle down for a break up. Hhhmm… It took me no time before I got over Joshua because I felt he was not just the right man for me, and I felt I was only being deceived by the devil those times that I said I was convinced about him. And so I started afresh as a single lady in my p@rt four.
I was praying and watching out for the normal “right Christian brother” that every lady prays about. … Well, let me say ra-ph was my favorite brother in the church, he was been loved by all, his genuine love and dedication to the things of God got me attra-cted to him the more, talking about a brother who has an extraordinary balanced life, it’s ra-ph.
He’s always available and ever re-ady for anything that has to do with the church and so nob©dy was surprised when he was made the president of the fellowsh!p… We were friends on the church level, coupled with the fact that I am an easy going lady, dressing and living her life moderately in the right way. I paused for a while and I looked directly at Amaka with a faint smile…
”hey Sweerie, your pie is cold alre-ady, and you’ve not even taken more than a bite ever since you c@m£ around”… She took a glance at the tray of pie and I could see it so clearly that she lost her appetite alre-ady… ” let’s leave chicken pie out of this, I can always eat that later”… She said so softly looking at me with in a mood that is so visible enough for me to know she’s actually sorry for my situation more than ever before… I tried to hide my tears and pain and I gently place my head on one of the arms of the couch as I continued softly… …” Towards the end of my p@rt four, bro ra-ph walked up to me one evening after our normal workers fellowsh!pand broke the news of him been led to me.
Wawwu… My heart skipped, and I felt I was actually dreaming… Fine I know I have actually been crushing on him and I have always wished my future husband will have all his attributes, but I never for once thought about the fact that the bro ra-ph of all ladies could be led to me… Heyhey Heyhey… So I’m actually going to be the Fiance of a whole respected president of the fellowsh!p. My joy knew no bounds that evening even though I never showed my shock and happiness about what he just said. Me sef manage gather little courage to form one kyn spirikoko sister as my response to him was “I’ll pray about it sir, I nee-d to get confirmation before saying anything”… But de-ep down within me, I knew I was not going to confirm anything, my answer is yes alre-ady, abi what else am I confirming about bro ra-ph of all people… He smiled and nodded in satisfaction telling me that he expected that response from me anyway… My dear, the truth to be told, I never prayed or bothered to ask God about him. I was just satisfied and convinced about bro ra-ph’s personality in church.
I mean, I nee-d no other conviction that bro ra-ph is a husband material, not just any material sef, but a spiritual one for that matter. Abi what else am I looking for in a guy that he doesn’t have, to cap it up, he was a handsome guy with so much fear of God at heart and I couldn’t st©p thanking God for ma-king me hit such a big jackpot. …” hey, omolola, I’m still not comfortable with this bro ra-phael of yours ooo, I could remember your conviction about Joshua so clearly. Babe what happened to those convictions now “… That was Efe’s response when I told her about my step of saying yes to ra-ph very soon. Efe was my best and closest friend while I was in school, the relationsh!pwe share was so inti-mate to the extent that there’s ha-rd ly anything we do not know about each other, we were not room mates but you can ha-rd ly see us walking or doing things separately. “look madam, I am not even un-derstanding your stress over this whole issue again, you should be happy for me that God brou-ght a God fearing guy like ra-ph my way after the devil tried to truncate my destiny with Joshua”… I said this out of frustration to Efe one day after her usual pressure and warning against ra-ph. I felt Efe was only trying to make way for Joshua into my life because she likes him and they were both friends. She has gone out of her way several times to pray for me personally concerning the issue and each time we meet to talk, she’ll always ask if I have actually prayed seriously about ra-ph. And trust me, my response was always “yes I have “… And then she’ll press further to ask “WHAT ARE YOUR CONVICTIONS ABOUT HIM?
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