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When Simi finished narrating how she and Muyiwa had met, she felt a deep yearning for him in her heart.
Why should talking about him make her feel this way?
‘You really need to relax and pray about this.’ Lola said.
Kola leaned towards Simi. ‘What rule says you have to marry a man older than you? Simi, that’s not the determinant of a happy home. A man can be five years older than you are and yet be a baby at heart.’
Eben smiled at his wife who was resting her arms on the back of the sofa. Simi wondered what was funny.
‘Simi, I can relate. I had the same fear before I married Eben.’ Tosin said as she came around to sit beside her husband.
Simi’s eyes widened. ‘You did?’
Tosin nodded. ‘If God is leading you to this brother, you better don’t hesitate.’
Eben cleared his throat. ‘My wife is three years older than I am.’
Simi shook her head ‘No way! I can’t believe this.’ She looked from Eben to Tosin. ‘No one will even know.’
Tosin chuckled. ‘I hardly remember too. I just know I am married to a wonderful man and I’ll forever be glad to submit to him.’
Eben covered his face. ‘I’m shy.’
Kola laughed. ‘Imagine, I didn’t know too and we’ve been family friends for how many years now.’
Simi’s phone rang again. Lola and Simi both glanced at the phone screen.
Lola burst into laughter. ‘This brother means business.’
Simi stood up, annoyed. ‘What is this now? Haba! This brother wants to kill me with calls ni. This is not fair. Forget the age sef, this is not how things are done. Do you know how many times he has called me today?’
‘Pick your call jare and be nice to the brother.’ Kola said, grinning.
Simi frowned as she answered the call. ‘Hi.’
‘How are you today?’
Simi sighed in irritation. ‘I’m fine.’
‘Where are you now?’
For goodness sake, what’s your business? Simi almost screamed out.
‘I’m hanging out with some friends.’
‘Oh, that’s cool. I’d love to meet them. When are you returning to the hotel?’
Simi rolled her eyes. Maybe it was a mistake spending the first day of the year in that hotel. If she hadn’t gone there, she never would have met Muyiwa and this conversation wouldn’t have been happening.
‘I don’t know yet.’
‘I’m busy at the moment. Muyiwa, I have to go.’
‘Okay. I’ll talk to you later.’
Lola tickled her playfully. ‘That wasn’t nice. You should have said, Hi dearie.’
‘Dearie koh. Sweetie ni.’
Kola and Eben began to talk about the football match from last night. The super eagles had been sent home from the games and Kola attributed the defeat to the incompetence of the coach. What kind of players was Nigeria raising? If things were working in the country, it would reflect on the field. Eben was optimistic. Nigeria would once again win the cup. As they argued, Tosin went into the kitchen and returned with a large piece of chocolate cake.
‘Who’s ready for a feast?’
She placed the cake on the table in the living room. Everybody jumped at the cake except Lola.
She looked uncomfortable, her eyes filled with fear.
Eben took a small piece and threw into his mouth. Kola and Simi followed suit, chewing slowly.
‘Oh my God, this is so nice.’ Simi exclaimed.
Kola turned to see his wife staring at the floor. He cut a large chunk and took it to her.
‘Open your mouth. You can’t miss out of this delicacy.’
She looked into her husband’s eyes and the memories returned.
You are fat like this and you are still eating cake! How more shapeless do you want to be. Don’t let me ever see cake in this house!
This is not the Lola I married!
Lola shook her head. ‘No. I’m fat. I need to get back in shape.’
They all stopped eating and stared at Lola.
Kola knelt in front of her and held her hands.
‘I’m sorry for those words I said to you. I wish I could take them back but I can’t.’
He tipped her chin and stared into her eyes. ‘I love you. All I see is a beautiful and gorgeous woman and I mean it.’
A tear trickle down Lola’s face. Kola wiped it with his hand.
‘Oya, open your mouth.’
She chuckled with tears now running down her face. There were tears in Kola’s eyes too.
I hurt this woman, God. I feel it so deep inside my heart. I hurt her. I don’t even deserve her forgiveness. God, I hurt her.
‘My mouth is opened o.’
Kola smiled and placed the cake in her mouth. She bit into it.
‘This is really good.’
Kola pulled her to her feet. ‘I told you. Let’s devour this delicacy.’
Laughter followed as everybody talked at the same time between mouthfuls.
Suddenly they heard a loud cry behind them. They stopped eating and turned towards the sound.
It was Tosin’s daughter, Sayo.
‘You people are eating cake and you did not call me.’ She began to cry again.
Simi laughed. ‘Is that why you are crying like that?’
Tosin exhaled. ‘But you’ve eaten your own cake.’
Sayo began to stamp her feet. ‘I want cake!
Eben frowned. ‘Keep quiet before I come and deal with you there! Go into your room! What kind of bad habit is this. Go to your room now!’
Sayo stopped crying and walked slowly back to the room. She stopped at the entrance and turned.
‘Go inside, my friend!’
Tosin pleaded with her husband and handed her daughter a small slice. She walked to a corner of the living room and sat down.
Eben shook his head, pointing at his daughter. ‘Just imagine. She doesn’t want to go inside because the others will ask her to share the cake with them. With prayer and cane, this spirit of selfishness must go.’
For months, Muyiwa didn’t stop calling Simi. At first, she thought he just wanted to be friends with her. She enjoyed talking with him but when the calls became consistent, it began to piss her off. What exactly did he want from her?
‘Simi, take it easy. Stop closing your heart against him. This might be the guy we’ve been waiting for. The few times I’ve spoken to him, he seems to me like he knows what he’s doing.’ Ada said one evening as they sat in the living room.
Simi thrust her legs playfully into Ada’s side. ‘You shouldn’t be fanning this fire. I don’t like what I feel for him.’
Simi’s phone rang. She sat up and put her hands on her head.
‘Ada, do you have any friend working in MTN?’
Ada giggled. ‘Of course I do.’
‘Can you help me beg your friend to disconnect Muyiwa’s line? Let him do it in a way that whenever he dials my number, it won’t go through .’
Ada threw her head backwards, laughing hard. ‘I trust Muyiwa. He’ll buy another line sharp sharp.’
The phone stopped and started ringing again. Angry, Simi answered the call.
‘Hello Simi.’ Muyiwa said.
‘On a serious note, what do you want from me?’ Simi barked.
Simi waited and when she was about to continue ranting, he spoke.
‘Simi, can we see so I can pour out my heart to you.’
If she agreed to his request, her anger would melt and she won’t have the strength to fire back at whatever he had to tell her.
‘No. Say what you want to say now.’
‘Please Simi. It’s not something we can talk over the phone. Let’s meet tomorrow evening at the hotel restaurant where we had breakfast together.’
‘Why that restaurant?’
Muyiwa was already seated when she got there.
How time flies, Simi thought. Five months had gone so quickly?
She stood at the entrance watching him. He took out an handkerchief from his pocket and dab at the sweat on his forehead. Why was he nervous?
When he turned towards the entrance, Simi walked briskly towards the table. He stood up when she approached him.
Simi sat down. She placed her hand on the table and waited for him to speak. He was so uncomfortable that she pitied him.
‘Can we order something.’
Muyiwa nodded and rang for the waiter.
When the waiter came, Muyiwa ordered Yam and fish sauce.
Simi laughed. This was deja vu right? He had ordered yam and fish sauce in January. She decided to play along. She ordered for bread and egg.
She noticed he was more relaxed and she was happy.
‘How are you?’
Simi almost swore that the next time he asked her how she was again, she would shout at him. Couldn’t he look for more romantic lines to start a conversation?
‘What’s on your mind? ‘Muyiwa said.
Simi shrugged. ‘I should be asking you that. You won’t let my phone rest. Seriously, I don’t understand what’s going on.’
Muyiwa sighed. ‘Can we order first.’
‘No. What exactly do you want?’
Muyiwa shifted in his seat. ‘Simi,’ He stopped. ‘You remember the first time we met? As you mounted the bike at the garage in Osogbo, God told me you were the person I was going to spend the rest of my life with. I felt so bad that I’d forgotten to exchange numbers with you. And then we met again at the hotel again.’ he paused. ‘In the short time I’ve come to know you, I’m convinced you are the right person for me. I love you Simi.’
Simi’s heart pounded as she stared at him.
Did Muyiwa just say he loved her? How was she supposed to respond.
Yes, she loved his passion for God. It was contagious. There were days they had talked for hours but she had put a stop to the long calls when her feelings for him skyrocketed.
Is spirituality all that mattered? Muyiwa had no relationship experience and sometimes she found him boring.
‘Can I ask you a personal question?’
Their orders arrived. Simi chuckled when she saw that it was the same person who had served them the first time they had eaten at the restaurant.
‘Yes you can.’ Muyiwa said.
‘How old are you?’
Muyiwa looked at her. ‘I’ll be 28 next week.’
Two years difference. That was still something. Wasn’t it?
‘Muyiwa, I’ll be 30 in June. That’s just a month away.’
Muyiwa sighed. ‘Does it matter?’
Simi stared at her meal and couldn’t bring herself to touch the bread. ‘Muyiwa, I’m still afraid of stepping into another relationship. I’m not sure I’m ready for one.’
When she raised her head, she was shocked to see that Muyiwa was already focused on his meal, the nervousness gone. What kind of man is this?
‘Can we just stop talking for now?’
He looked up from his meal. His face was so peaceful that it annoyed Simi. Why would he be at rest when her own confusion had just began.
‘I’m perfectly okay with it. I’ll give you the time you need. I’m sorry Simi if I’ve been too pushy and clingy.’
Muyiwa kept to his word. He didn’t call or send a text.
Simi became disturbed. When she woke up in the morning, she checked to see if he left her a chat on WhatsApp.
She scrolled through her call history several times a day. In the night, she was on his facebook wall, reading his articles and checking his pictures. A week passed and another week and she felt like she would faint.
How could he have quickly forgotten about her? Even when she turned 30, he didn’t send a text message. If he really loved her like he claimed, he would have called her.
She’d posted pictures on her Whatsapp status, the morning of her birthday. She had selected the best of all the photographs she took at the studio. He noticed he viewed all of the pictures and not a word had come from him.
Fear gripped her heart. What if he had already abandoned her like David did?
Men, weren’t they all the same?
She sat down on the sofa with her hands on her chin. Why couldn’t she control her emotions. Muyiwa had left like the others. Why do bad things always happen to her? He might already been thinking of settling down with someone else.
If he really loved her, he’d throw her request to be left alone and call her!
Ada stood at the entrance of her room, laughing. She was dressed in a simple long gown, holding her box.
Simi shot her an angry look. ‘What’s funny?’
‘You better call him and accept his proposal before you faint here.’ She walked into the living room. ‘I’m leaving for Lagos. My appointment at the US embassy is scheduled for tomorrow. I want to hear good news by the time I return.’
‘Do you really think Muyiwa is serious about what he said?’
‘Yes, I believe him. Take a step of faith Simi.’
Simi sighed. One part of her believed this but somewhere fear gnawed at her heart. What if after releasing her heart to him, he leaves like the others?
She turned on the TV but nothing interested her. Muyiwa filled her thoughts and with it came a strong desire to see him.
Her phone rang. Simi jumped with a start, her heart pounding as she ran to get her phone from the room.
It was Eniola.
Disappointed, she sat on the bed. ‘Sister mi.’
‘Simi, Can you come to Lagos this weekend?’
Simi hesitated. ‘Is anything the matter?’
‘I’m in Lagos right now with one of my lawyer friends. She runs an NGO for women battered by domestic violence. We need to get Olamide out of that house and out of Lagos.’
Olamide keh. Didn’t her mother say Martins came pleading to have his wife back and promising never to hit her again?
‘What happened to her?’
‘When you come, I’ll tell you.’
The evening before her trip to Lagos, Simi slept over at her mother’s place. She informed her mother about Eniola’s plan of getting Olamide out of the house.
‘Did she tell you exactly why she wants Olamide out of that house?’
Simi shook her head. ‘If Eniola is in Lagos because of this, then something serious must have happened to Olamide.’
Simi’s mother didn’t seem happy with the information her daughter had just revealed to her.
‘I hope Eniola is not trying to destroy Olamide’s marriage. Martins told me he’ll never touch her again.’
Simi stared at her mother, shocked. ‘And you believe him? Is this the first time he’ll be doing this? Mum, I can’t believe you are talking like this. We are talking about your daughter’s life here.’
She raised her hand. ‘I have heard you o. Before you call me a bad mother. If there was something serious, Eniola would have told you. In fact, why didn’t she call me?’
Simi was already getting pissed. ‘I’m going to bed.’
Before Simi hit the sack that night, she brought out her phone and scrolled through Muyiwa’s pictures on his instagram page.
Why was she missing him so much?
Angry, she deleted all his pictures from her phone. If he didn’t want to have anything to do with her, that’s fine. She didn’t even need a man in her life. Was it compulsory to get married? She’d just face her career and build a good life for herself.
Muyiwa’s face stayed glued to her mind. She closed her eyes and tried to sleep but she was back at the restaurant, sitting across from Muyiwa, and she was hearing him say those words again.
‘I love you Simi.’
Oh Lord, you know I am very weak. You know how easily I’m moved by words. Help me Lord. Help my heart. Help me stay calm so I don’t jump into making a wrong decision.
When Simi got to Lagos the following morning, she was surprised to see a police van behind the car Eniola came with.
Simi climbed into the car, Eniola introduced her to the lady in the front seat dressed in a navy blue suit. The man behind the wheels was dressed the same way only that he wore dark shades.
‘Simi, meet my friend, Deola. She’s the lady I told you about.’
Simi noticed she was strikingly beautiful and her smile was warm but behind that smile she saw tenacity and a woman who knew what she wanted from life.
‘Welcome Simi.’ Deola said curtly, and focused her attention on the road.
Simi looked at her sister. ‘Is the situation this bad?’
‘We don’t know yet. The only information I have right now is that the monster has been sleeping with his daughters.’
Simi let out a cry. ‘What!’
‘I wish I had been able to come around earlier. My husband was away for a conference and I had to wait until he returned yesterday morning. I flew into Lagos last night.’
‘I thought you’ve been in Lagos all the while.’
Eniola shook her head. ‘No.’ She folded her hands and stared out the window. ‘I don’t even know what’s going on right now. Cynthia called me again last night with her mother’s phone. She was crying and begging me to help them.’
Anger rose in Simi’s heart. Martins had been sleeping with his two daughters? Who for goodness sake brought a beast into this world. She had heard of a father sleeping with a daughter but not two. What was this? Why did her sister stay in that kind of marriage?
‘I want that man behind bars. You don’t just let men like that roam the street. The lives of our girls are not safe with him around.’
Simi folded her hands, shivering. ‘This is just so horrible.’
‘I remember some years back when I was in the hospital with Olamide. She told me how she had gotten into a fight with her best friend. She’d left her daughter in Olamide’s house for a couple of days. Her friend’s daughter said Martins had touched her thighs and she had kicked his manhood before running to the nanny’s room at the back of the building. She refused to return to the main building until her mother came to get her. The girl immediately narrated what had happened. The woman went beserk. They stopped speaking after that day.’
Deola hissed. ‘Only God knows how many girls he has touched.’
‘When Olamide confronted her husband about what her friend had said, he almost beat her to death.’
‘But why will a woman stay in a marriage that threatens her life? You guys are making me scared of getting married.’
Deola turned Simi and smiled. ‘There are good men out there, Simi. Your sister and I are blessed to have such men in our lives.’
The car stopped in front of a gigantic black gate. When Deola knocked, a man in a well ironed blue uniform opened the gate.
‘Good morning Ladies and Gent, what can I do for you?’ For a security guard, his accent was rather polished.
‘We want to see Olamide.’
He shook his head. ‘I’m sorry, my boss instructed that I should not let anyone in.’
His eyes caught two armed soldiers standing behind Eniola. When the man in suit moved towards the door, he noticed a gun tucked by the side of his trouser. He stepped aside quickly and they all filed into the house.
‘Is your Boss in? Deola asked the security officer.
‘No, he left early this morning.’
Cynthia was sitting at the entrance of the building. Immediately, she saw Eniola, she sprang to her feet and ran towards her. She led the team into the mansion flanked by neatly mowed lawns.
Simi looked around. Nothing had changed. The house was still intimidatingly huge. The sitting room was still wide enough to park four cars in. They climbed the stairs that led to another section of the house.
Cynthia opened the door to a large room that was beautifully furnished. Olamide was sprawled on the sparkling floor. She was unconscious. Her twin boys were crouched down, crying.
‘Jesus!’ Simi exclaimed. The man who had driven the car began to take pictures. Deola instructed the uniformed men to comb every area of the house. There was no sign of Martins.
‘We’ll find him.’ Deola said as they carried Olamide into the car. ‘Right now, we need to get her to the hospital.’
‘Where is Susan?’ Eniola asked, looking around for Olamide’s second daughter.’
Another search commenced. Susan was found on the floor of the nanny’s restroom. She was crying and couldn’t walk properly. Simi didn’t know when tears began to pour down her face.
‘Oh God, she is just seven years old. Why didn’t you prevent this.’ Simi carried the girl on her shoulder. The Nanny was nowhere to be found.
At the hospital, Simi watched Deola pace the reception while she made calls. Later she went in with the doctor and returned to the reception to make some more calls.
‘Your friend is really a blessing.’ Simi said to her sister.
Eniola nodded. ‘She really is. I remember when she wanted to kick off the NGO, she looked at me and said, ‘Eniola, you just keep helping ladies find God and connect them to their purpose. Keep leading them towards healthy relationships. I’ll be here rescuing those already stuck in hell.’
Eniola’s phone rang. Taiwo.
‘How’s she?’ Taiwo asked.
‘Battered. She is unconscious. Taiwo, her kids are emotionally traumatized.’
‘Will they be moving to Ibadan?’
‘I hope so. At least that’s the best option right now.’
‘I’ll be waiting for them. With prayers and our therapy sessions, they’ll be fine.’
Eniola’s eyes were teary. ‘Thank you Taiwo. How can I repay you for this? I’m so grateful.’
‘I’ll inform Kola and the others. We’ll raise prayers for Olamide. She’ll come around.’
The following weekend, the team- Eben, Kola, Lola, Taiwo, and Simi gathered in Eben’s house and spent the night praying for Olamide’s recovery.
God answered. Olamide opened her eyes after two weeks of being unconscious. She responded to treatment faster than the doctor thought.
When she got out of the emergency ward, the team took turns speaking to her on the phone, encouraging and praying for her until she was finally discharged from the hospital.
Simi’s mother was in tears when Olamide arrived Ibadan. She cupped her daughter’s face in her hands.
‘Forgive me Olamide. You deserve a good life. I’d rather have you here than dead. You are never going back there.’
She tapped her tighs and closed her eyes. ‘ God will punish you Martins. You will rot in hell. For what you did to my daughter, your death will be painful. Maggot will come out of your nose and mouth and stomach. Vultures will feed on your dead body.’
‘Mummy!’ Simi shouted.
‘Leave me alone o.’ Her mother retorted before pulling Eniola close. ‘Eniola, You are a blessing to this family. Thank you so much.’
Eniola held her close. ‘ I love you mum.’
‘How long will you be staying with us before leaving for Abuja with my grandchildren?’ Simi’s mother asked.
‘A month.’ Eniola responded. ‘As usual I take my leave whenever the kids are on summer break. My husband is in Portugal and this time he won’t be back until next month.’
Olamide hugged Eniola. ‘Thank you for everything.
When Olamide left the living room with her mother, Simi noticed Susan lying quietly on the sofa. Her siblings had quickly settled into the duplex especially now that Eniola’s kids had joined them for the summer break. They were running around the house but she’d refused to join them.
Simi folded her hand. ‘I’m worried about Susan.’
‘Taiwo will be here this evening with a doctor friend. The woman specializes in children mental health. She’ll be healed. I strongly believe God.’
‘I believe too. I pray they find Martins.’
‘He has been apprehended.’
Simi’s eyes widened. ‘Really?’
‘Deola called to inform me this morning. Don’t tell Olamide yet. We need to get her mentally stabilized first. That guy messed with her mind. Imagine Olamide saying what Martins did to her was out of love. ’
Simi sighed. ‘Marriage. It’s worth it right?’
Eniola glanced at her sister and remained silent. ‘That reminds me. There is something I want to talk to you about. After dinner.’
Simi quickly devoured her beans and plantain and rushed to Eniola’s room. She couldn’t wait to hear what Eniola had to say.
She had not told her sister about Muyiwa. She didn’t want to look unserious in Eniola’s eyes knowing that she was aware of all her previous relationships that had ended badly.
Maybe, God had shown Eniola a vision of Muyiwa’s hidden agenda…Or has her sister received a prophetic word for her? She needed answers.
‘Did a brother propose to you recently?’ Eniola asked when Simi sat on the bed in front of her sister.
Simi heart stopped. What kind of woman is this? How does she just know things about people?
‘You mean, a brother proposed to me?’
‘Simi, stop using question to answer question. There is a brother that has been coming consistently to your heart right? I saw a man in a white lab coat with stethoscope around his neck.’
Simi jumped to her feet and covered her mouth. Her eyes were teary. ‘I can’t believe this. Eniola how do you know these things.’ She sat back on the bed. ‘What did God say?’
Eniola was silent for a while. ‘God says he has already told you what to do. You should stop delaying the instruction he has given you concerning this. I don’t know what the instruction is, but you know. He says, trust and obey.’
They heard the sound of the gate opening and a car pulling into the compound. Eniola rose and went to the window.
‘Taiwo is here.’
She touched Simi lightly on her shoulder and left the room.
Simi put her hand on her head. She knew what Eniola was talking about. She knew what God wanted her to do. She had struggled with it since she got back from Lagos.
Call Muyiwa. Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Don’t lean on your own understanding. Let go of your fears.
She sat on the floor, battling the fearful thought that consumed her. ‘God, I’m scared. What if it doesn’t work out? What if he leaves like the others?’
There is no fear in love. For fear brings torment. Trust me.
She lay on her back, staring at the ceiling.
Remember how Damola left you for your best friend
Emmanuel screamed at you and said he was tired of you. After all you did for him.
Chika just withdrew and stopped picking your calls.
You attended David’s wedding ceremony. Didn’t you almost break down?
Muyiwa will do same to you. Men are all the same. You’ll never find a man that truly loves you.
Simi closed her eyes. ‘I bring every thought to the obedience of Christ in the name of Jesus.’
The negative thoughts stopped and then they were running through her mind again.
She sat up and began to attack the thoughts with scriptures.
‘The Lord is my light and my salvation, why should I be afraid?’
‘I am led by the Spirit of God. I walk in the light as He is in the light.’
She stood up and began to pray in tongues.
‘I have set the Lord always before me because he is at my right hand, I shall never be moved.’
‘Oh yes, I will bless the Lord, who has given me counsel. The Lord is my portion. The Lord instructs and guides me in the way I should go. The Lord guards what belongs to me and releases it to me in due season.’
She prayed in tongues for a while until her mind became calm.
In the quietness of her heart, she knew what she must do.
She called Muyiwa.
Her heart raced when he answered the phone.
Simi’s closed her eyes. Oh how she’d missed him. ‘Muyiwa. Can we talk tomorrow?’
‘I don’t know how possible that will be. Nysc posting is out. I’ve been posted to Kastina and I’ll be flying to Abuja from Lagos tomorrow by 1p.m. Simi, I must leave Ibadan as early as possible to beat Lagos traffic.’
Simi looked at the time. It was almost 10p.m. ‘ Can I see you at the park before you leave?’
7a.m the following morning, Simi got to the park.
The way he looked at her face made her pulse jump. Her face was flooded with heat. She looked away but when he didn’t say anything, she returned her gaze to him.
‘It’s so good to see you again.’
Standing in front of him, she knew Muyiwa was the right man for her. She couldn’t explain it. There was so much peace in her heart.
What if he leaves you? What if you are wrong? The fear returned.
My hope is in the Lord, Simi muttered calmly.
She wasn’t going to be ruled by fear anymore. She would take this step of faith and keep her heart opened to God.
‘Were you already thinking of seeing someone else?’ Simi asked.
Muyiwa laughed. ‘In this realm that I belong to, we don’t pick and choose Simi. We are dead men alive in Christ even when it comes to making decisions on marriage. We walk according to instruction. If you say No right now, all I’ll do is go back to God with your answer and wait for the next step.’
‘I want to walk this journey with you Muyiwa. My answer is Yes.’
Muyiwa sighed. ‘Thank you’
Simi was pissed by his reaction. He didn’t look excited. She expected him to hug her and shout for joy or just show that he was happy about her response.
Listen, Simi. This man does not wear his emotions on his sleeves. He is bursting with joy inside. He just finds it difficult expressing it as you would. On this journey, you’ll both learn how to handle your emotional responses to issues.
Simi let out a deep breath. ‘Yes Lord.’
This was indeed the beginning of a journey. There was still so much she didn’t know about this man. But she was willing to learn. But now that he was going to be away for a year. How would they cope?
As if sensing her fear, he held her hand. ‘I’ll only be away for a year. We must talk everyday no matter how busy our schedules are.’
Simi nodded. Was she really in a relationship or was this a dream?
The driver asked the passengers to get into the car, so they could leave.
‘I’ll call you when I get to Lagos and Abuja and at every stop I make. After camp, I should be back in Ibadan for a while before resuming at my p.p.a.’
He squeezed her hand. I love you so much.’
The driver started the car and sped out of the motor park. Simi stood there waving, staring until the car disappeared out of sight. Her heart ached for him. She wished they had spent more time together.
Simi laughed as she got into her car. ‘So I’m really in a relationship.’
She couldn’t wait to tell Lola and the other members.
She placed her head on the steering.
‘God, I believe you led me into this. I don’t know the future but I trust you are holding my hands. The path of the just is like the first gleam of dawn. It shines brighter unto the perfect day. I just trust you Lord.’
Simi’s phone rang. She jolted out of her prayers and smiled when she saw it was Muyiwa.
‘Are you in Lagos already?’
Muyiwa chuckled. ‘Can’t I call my sweetheart anytime I want?’
Simi laughed. ‘Of course you can.’
Tosin’s catering shop was located opposite the second gate of the University of Ibadan.
The bungalow was simple. A renovated building painted pink and white.
The opening party was a great success. Lola led a song that threw everyone into a dancing mood.
The DJ followed with loud roar of music. There was so much laughter and excitement. Everyone danced like they’d forgotten how to stand erect.
The kids enjoyed the party more. Tears welled up Simi’s eyes when she saw Susan dancing with Dr Taiwo.
The little girl stopped and turned to her mother who had tears pouring down her face. They were tears of joy. Her daughter was gradually healing from the sexual abuse.
‘Mummy, come and dance with me!’ she cried excitedly
Olamide wiped her tears and moved to the centre of the room. She held her daughter’s waist and danced moving to the beat of, ‘Morire morire mo r’anu gba.’
The other kids were crowded around the table that held different pastries.
At a corner, Sayo sat with a large chunk of cake, licking icing sugar off her fingers. She was oblivious to whatever was going on around her.
Simi looked from her wristwatch to the gate. Muyiwa was supposed to be here by now. He had returned from orientation camp the previous night and had promised he’d show up for the ceremony. The urge to see him made it difficult for her to enjoy the celebration.
When Muyiwa finally walked in, Simi sighed in relief. Her heart raced when she went over to hug him.
‘I missed you so much.’ Simi whispered, her hands wrapped around his neck.
Muyiwa grinned. ‘I missed you too.’ He gazed into her eyes and his heart rose with desire.
Seeing how her body against his made him tremble, he pulled away slowly and held her hand as they walked to join the others.
‘I’m sorry I’m late. My mentor didn’t release me until few minutes ago.’
Lola had just put a piece of croissant in her mouth when she saw the lovebirds walking towards them. She tapped her husband.
‘He is here.’
Kola turned. Eben and Tosin were already talking excitedly with him. He went over to greet him.
‘This must be Doctor Muyiwa.’ Eniola said.
‘We have been waiting for you!’ Kola shook his hand.
‘We are all having fun here. Come over.’ Eniola led him towards the long table where a crowd of people were trying different recipes.
The others followed. Simi stood there watching as he mingled with the people who had become very important to her life.
Lola stood beside Simi. Simi looked at her, and noticed she had greatly lost weight. Her face glowed and her eyes had this beautiful sparkle especially when she blinked.
‘You’ve really lost weight.’
Lola smiled. ‘When you have peace of mind, trust me, your body will get back in shape. I exercise though. Kola insist we do it together. I figured I wanted so badly to spend my old age with him and if that will happen, some of these fatty tissues must go.’
Simi rested her hand on Lola’s shoulders. ‘They say, family is everything.’
Lola let out a breath. ‘I think Love is everything.’
‘Love is everything.’ Simi repeated.
Lola folded her hands. ‘Show me a couple that exudes the depth of God’s love and right there is a marriage that’ll beat every storm and break down every wall.’
Simi pat Lola playfully on her back. ‘Girl, let’s go have some more fun.’
Together they joined the others who were now listening to Tosin as she gave her vote of thanks.
Even when the ceremony was officially over, it wasn’t really over. Lola took the stage, leading the audience into another round of dancing session.
…And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high and how deep his love is.
May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.
I hope you enjoyed reading this story series. Thank you for reading. I really hope to share more stories with you.