Series

THE VALLEY OF DEBT- EPISODE 2

Click here to read Episode 1

Jerry came into an empty house. This was exactly what he wanted. He’d write his suicide note and disappear before Kike returns.

When he got to the door of his bedroom, he stopped and continued to the children’s room. Clothes were scattered everywhere. A familiar smell hit his nose. He remembered getting into fights with Kike over the awful smell of urine that stunk up the room. Now it was a great comfort to him.

Would his children cry once they knew he was dead? When they became teenagers, would they be angry that he had left them?

‘Sharon.’ Jerry whispered, touching a small pink dress among the piles of other clothes in the wardrobe. He remembered that dress. She had worn it the day she turned four.

That morning, she rushed into his room and stood in front of him.

‘Daddy, see my dress. You like it?’

‘You look beautiful!’ He responded. He lifted her from the floor and swirled her around. She screamed in delight and when he dropped her on her feet, he pulled her to his laps and began to sing the ‘happy birthday’song.

His eyes caught his son’s toy car lying carelessly on the floor and he remembered how several times, he had placed Jide between his legs while he drove down the street to the supermarket.

‘Sharon. Jide.’ Jerry stopped. There was still one more. The baby growing in his wife’s womb. What name would he have given his unborn child?

He laughed sadly. ‘I’ve failed you. You don’t deserve a father who puts his desires before yours. Next week, you’ll be sent home for not paying the school fees and I am too ashamed to let you know I can’t pay. I’m still owing the last term’s school fees. You see? It’s better I’m out of the picture.’

He picked up their clothes and rubbed them against his cheeks.

‘I love you. I really do. When you grow up, don’t be like me, okay? You don’t have to prove anything to anyone.’ He stopped, the words choking his throat. He took one last look at the room and left.

In his bedroom, he wrote a letter to his wife and another to his kids. He tucked them gently under the pillow.

‘Oh God, I deserve to rot in hell for leaving only debts to my wife. She has done nothing more than love me.’

He reached for his best suit and put it on. Then he grabbed a comb and slowly pushed it through his bushy hair.

The bedroom door opened. Kike walked in, holding a bible. Jerry looked at her and saw a calmness on her face that unsettled him.

His eyes fell on her bible. ‘Has your Pastor decided to add wednesday mornings to your services? Don’t your members go to work?’

Kike poked him playfully in his side. ‘The way you talk about this church, one would think you were not a member.’

‘So where are you coming from?’

Kike sighed. ‘I told Rebecca I needed a place to pray for a couple of hours. She gave me the key to her flat.’ She wrapped her hands around her husband’s waist and placed her head on his chest. ‘I wanted so badly to find out what God wants me to do with my life. I feel like I’m just going round a circle. Nothing about my life makes sense.’

He exhaled. ‘This is my fault Kike. I’ve been an irresponsible husband and I’m so sorry.’

Kike raised her head. ‘Don’t talk like that. It is my place to support and help you but I guess I missed that. Sweetheart, I really want to assist with the financial burden on the family. But I keep taking and taking from you.’ She returned her head to his chest. ‘I wanted a baby and I was too selfish to see how another child would add a strain on our already tight needs.’

Jerry rubbed his hand on her hair, tears welling up his eyes.

She touched his face softly. ‘Please don’t cry. I told God I want to be the best helpmeet to you. I prayed for you like my life depended on it. God knows I love you.’

Jerry kissed her slowly at first and then passionately, the tears now pouring down his face. She moved away enough to catch her breath.

‘How did the meeting with Aunty Patricia go?’ She glanced at her wristwatch. ‘Wait o. This is just 11a.m. Why are you home so early?’

Jerry smiled. ‘I got a raise like you predicted. The M.D doubled my salary. ’

Kike’s eyes opened. ‘Really? This is great news. But why are you crying?’

He rubbed her shoulders. ‘Tears of joy. Imagine, within a couple of months, I’ll be able to pay up the car loan.’ He touched her stomach. ‘Now, we have enough to take care of our baby. We must name him Miracle.’

Kike smiled and looked into her husband’s eyes. She saw something dark. There was pain and anguish. Was she just imagining it?

God, please help me reach into my husband’s heart. I feel so weak Lord. I rest on your strength.

Jerry cupped her chin. ‘From the first day I saw you in that club, I knew I’d never let you go. Even when you became a freak and started going to all the church services, I still loved you. I wouldn’t have asked for a more perfect wife.’ He kissed her again.

‘I love you too honey.’ Kike said, softly.

Jerry stepped away and reached for a folder on the table. ‘Play time over. I have to rush back to the office. I’ll see you in the evening.’

She held his hands as they strolled out of the room. ‘What should I prepare for you?’

He chuckled. ‘Semovita and vegetable soup.’

Few minutes later, when Jerry held the bottle of sniper in his hands, he battled with the thoughts of going through it.

Kike’s laughter rang in his ears and the bottle almost fell from his hand. He had to do this. He was a failure. He couldn’t stand the shame of having Kike see what a wreck of a life he had made of himself. She’d hate him forever. He’d never forgive himself for failing his family. Even if he decided to give it a chance, where would he start from now that he had no job? What of the debts he still had to pay?

He started the engine and drove into the express before entering a street that led to a restaurant he’d visited several times.

This was the plan. He’d park a few miles away from the restaurant, gulp down the poison and wait for death to get him. He didn’t want Kike looking all over town for him. Better he died in the open and spare her months of searching for his body.

He was getting close to the restaurant when a young girl suddenly appeared in front of his car smiling and typing on her phone.

Jerry slammed the brake, but it was too late. The Honda knocked her to the floor. Blood oozed out of her head forming a pool behind her head.

People gathered. Two men opened the car and pulled Jerry out of the driver’s seat. They began to hit him. Others stood there, watching.  A muscular built man who’d been sitting in front of a kiosk rushed towards the unconscious lady.

‘How’s beating this man going to help the poor girl. Abeg come help me carry the girl.’ He shouted.

The men left Jerry alone and carried the unconscious girl into his car. Two women ran into a two- storey building and came out with a slightly obese woman in her 50s. She was followed by another pretty young lady who looked very much like the lady on the floor. They ran to the accident scene.

The older woman put her hand on her heaf. ‘Omo mi o! Mo gbe! Te mi bami oo. Jesus!’

She jumped into the back seat. The pretty young woman climbed into the front.

‘Move!’ The woman yelled.

Jerry sat behind the wheels trembling. He was unable to bring his hand to start the ignition. Who will pay the hospital bills? He knew what he’d do. Once they get to the hospital, he’d sneak into the restroom and quickly end it there.

‘Where are we going to?’ He asked the lady beside him.

‘Are you mad? Move this motor before I move it for you. My child must not die o!’

The young lady looked at him softly. ‘I’ll direct you.’

When Jerry finally started the engine, he sped out of the street so fast that the woman behind screamed at him.

‘Do you want to kill us too?’

Jerry pulled into front of a building painted white. The girl’s mother jumped down from the car and raised an alarm. Some nurses rushed out and the girl was carried into the hospital.

The lady who’d been sitting with Jerry spotted the bottle of sniper on the floor of the car. She froze. She looked from the bottle to Jerry and reached for it.

‘Drop that!’ Jerry shouted and grabbed her hand. With her other hand, she punched him on his nose. Surprised by the unexpected punch, he released his grip and held his nose.

She found a white nylon bag in the glove box and dropped the bottle inside it. She clutched the nylon to her side and hurried into the hospital.

‘Mum, where is Ronke?’

‘She is in the emergency ward.  Mary, my daughter must not die o.’ The woman wailed. Beside her, a woman held a sleeping child. There were other patients waiting to be attended to.

Mary held her mother’s shoulder. ‘She’ll be fine. My sister will live to declare the glory of God.’

Her mother raised her hand to heaven. ‘Amen o!’

Jerry moved closer ‘I’m really sorry for everything. I didn’t see her quickly. ‘

‘Shut up your mouth!’ She hissed and shifted in her seat. ‘Were you sleeping?.’

‘Ronke will be fine. Relax mum.’

A tall and huge woman in a white uniform came out of a corridor. Immediately, she saw Mary’s mother, she walked over to her. The two women hugged and moved towards the lab room.

‘I really need that bottle.’

Mary shot him a glance. ‘Do you want me to stand in the middle of this hall and announce to everybody that you want to commit suicide?’

Jerry stared at Mary, shocked. He had to find a way to get this bottle back. ‘Suicide? Who says that’s the only thing snipers are used for. Have you not heard that it is as an effective insecticide used to control pests in the soil?’

Mary felt embarrassed and gave the bottle back to him. ‘I’m so sorry I overreacted. Every time I see this bottle, I remember coming into my brother’s room and finding him dead with the bottle in his hands. I’m really sorry.’

Jerry didn’t say anything for a long time. ‘Your brother must be free from the troubles of the world. I envy him.’

Mary’s eyes widened. A week after her brother returned from NYSC, he had said similar words to her.

Big sister, I swear dead men are in a far more comfortable place than we are right now. I envy them.

Mary reached for the bottle but Jerry quickly held it away from her.

‘If you don’t give it to me now. I’m going to shout.’

‘No you can’t.’

‘Watch me.’ She stood up and opened her mouth. Jerry quickly pulled her down and gave her the bottle.

Frustrated, Jerry clenched his fist. ‘Please don’t stop me. You don’t know what I’m going through.’

Mary looked at the bottle, her heart pounding fast.

Jesus, give me the right words, she prayed silently.

She faced him. ‘My father left us when I was 12. My mother is mentally ill. Without her drugs, she is something else. My brother committed suicide. My elder sister had an abortion that killed her. My marriage lasted two years. When I had a miscarriage, my husband left because someone said, my family lineage brought bad luck. And now the only sister I have left is in the emergency ward.’

She smiled as tears glistened her eyes. ‘We all go through things but we are fighters, if only we know this. In Christ, we win.’

Jerry sat beside her and bowed his head. ‘I’m so scared of life. I’m afraid.’

She touched his shoulder. ‘Tell it to Jesus. He is a master in stilling storms. Since I came into a relationship with him, I have watched him do incredible things. I’ve seen so much improvement in my mother’s health. I have seen him provide for our needs when we had nothing and I am confident that I will not lose my sister.’

‘I wish I had your kind of faith. But I don’t! Please let me end this.’

Mary clasped her hand and closed her eyes. ‘Oh Jesus, come through for us.’

Jerry watched her, his own emotions crumbling. She opened her mouth and began to sing, tears running down her cheeks. A broad smile planted on her face.

Jesus, the Son of God, I believe in you, I believe in you.

Jesus, the Son of God, I believe in you, I believe in you.

Mary’s mother had returned and was now holding her daughter’s hand as she joined in singing. Jerry couldn’t control the emotions exploding through his body. Something was breaking inside of him. He went outside the hospital and walked down the lonely street.

Is there really hope for me?

Kike’s words came back to him, strong and convincing.

Honey, in Jesus there is hope. If you will believe Jesus with your heart and confess him as your Lord, you’ll be saved.

Mary’s song hit his heart again and he began to sing it unconsciously.

Jesus, the Son of God, I believe in you, I believe in you.

Jesus, the Son of God, I believe in you, I believe in you.

A flood of light shone on his heart. He stopped when he got to the end of the street and walk slowly back to the hospital.

‘Jesus, I believe that you died and was raised for me. I accept you into my life. Forgive me for everything I’ve done. Help me. I know I might go to jail but maybe there is still this flicker of hope. Help me Jesus.’

Few hours later, Adesuwa regained consciousness. The doctor confirmed there was no internal brain damage and she’d be out in a couple of days.

‘I told you,’ Mary said, her eyes bright. ‘Jesus is still in the business of doing good.’

‘What about the bills. I don’t have any money. I-‘

‘It’s okay. That’s sorted for. My uncle runs this hospital. Since my dad deserted us, he’s been really helpful.’

Jerry nodded. ‘That’s so much a relief. But my debts-’ Mary touched his hand.  ‘We just trust God. He’ll never leave or forsake you.’

Kike had prepared Semovita and vegetable soup by the time Jerry returned. One glance at her face and he knew she had not seen the letters. When he got into the room, he took the notes from under the pillow and shred them to pieces.

Later that night, after putting the kids to bed, Jerry sat with Kike in the living room and laid bare his sins. Tears ran down her eyes as he told her how he’d almost committed suicide and his encounter with Mary.

‘Jerry, how was I supposed to live without you.’ She paced the living room. ‘Oh Jesus, thank you.’

‘I’m so sorry. I was just frustrated.’

‘Mercy said No.’ Kike muttered silently and sat on her husband’s laps. ‘We are going to get through this.’

But it didn’t seem so when a few weeks later, Wale arrived at the house with two police officers.

Kike first heard the knock but was too tired to stand up from the bed. They’d been up all night arranging to move their belongings to a one room apartment.

Kike turned to her husband who was fast asleep beside her. She wanted to wake him up but decided against it and returned to sleep. She heard the knock again, louder this time.

By the time Kike got to the living room, whoever was at the door was ready to break it down.

She drew back the curtains and froze when she saw Wale and the police officers. Jerry was awake and was buttoning his shirt as he came out of the room.

Kike turned to her husband. ‘It’s Wale.’

When he reached for the keys, Kike stopped him, her eyes full of fear.

‘Don’t open the door please.’

Jerry gently pushed her hand away and unlocked the door.

‘Do you have my money now?’ Wale said, his eyes flashing with anger.

Jerry hesitated. ‘No, I don’t.’

Wale pointed to the officers. ‘Take him!’

When the officers reached to grab him, he raised his hand and followed them out.

Kike fought back tears as she moved closer to Wale. ‘Don’t let them take him please. Just give us some time and I promise, you’ll get your money.’

Wale touched her chin. ‘For three years Kike, I wooed you. I loved you with all my heart and I expressed it in every way possible. I was ready to give you the best life had to offer. But you settled for that junk. See where it has gotten you.’

Kike held her hands in front of him. ‘Wale, Please.’

He looked at her lustfully, drawing lines over her cheeks. ‘You look even more beautiful than the first day I met you.’

***

Next Episode on Friday.

Read: Fighting Temptations

The encouragements God sends to us

Does God have a plan for my life?

7 thoughts on “THE VALLEY OF DEBT- EPISODE 2”

  1. “We are fighters, in Christ we win…” Oh Sis Grace! Those words got me teary, it’s just so true.
    Thanks dear for this. God bless you.

  2. Hmmmm🤔🤔’ we all go through things but we are fighters, if only we know that IN CHRIST, WE WIN🙏🙏

    There’s really hope and peace in christ, he comes through when we least expect.

    God bless and inspire you more abundantly!

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