AYANFE (BELOVED)- EPISODE 9

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Ibidun woke up to her phone ringing. Annoyed, she shifted and pulled the pillow close to her chest.

Why did her chest hurt so badly?

She glanced at the man sleeping beside her. His face was turned towards the wall. If Silas was still in bed, then it was not day break yet. Or was it a Saturday?

Her phone rang again. Ibidun grumbled in frustration and climbed out of the bed. Her purse was lying on the floor with her phone tucked in it.

When she saw the caller ID, her eyes darted to the man on the bed.

Why was Silas calling her? Had he forgotten his phone-

She looked around the room. This was not Silas’ house. The walls were painted white not yellow. Her eyes stopped at the intercom on the bedside table.

What was she doing in a hotel room?

Confused, she took a closer look at the man.

She froze.

Ebube.

What was she doing in bed with Ebube?

Tears gathered in her eyes when she realized what had happened. The memories returned. Silas had abandoned her at the club. She’d taken a drink and ended up in this room with Ebube. He told her he loved her and she did not deserve a man like Silas.

‘Jesus, what have I done to myself?’ Ibidun cried silently.

She dressed quickly and raced out of the room. Outside, she hesitated, wondering where the staircase was.

Silas called again. This time Ibidun answered it.

‘Where are you?’ He said calmly.

What lie would she tell him. That she had been angry he left her for another woman and had booked a room for herself? That she had cried herself to sleep because he cheated on her?

‘I’m upstairs.’ Ibidun said, walking quickly and sighing with relief when she saw the staircase. ‘Where are you?’

‘I’m waiting for you at the car park.’

Silas’ jaw was set as she opened the door and slid in beside him.

What was he thinking?

Ibidun tossed her high heeled shoes to the back seat and waited for him to start the car. His hands remained on the wheels. He looked ready to punch her. When she glanced at him, panic swept through her body.

‘Silas, I-’

He charged at her. ‘Don’t even say a word, you whore! How dare you sleep with my friend.’

Silas drove out of the bar like a madman.

How did he know I have been with Ebube? Ibidun thought.

She loved that he was angry. He had to feel her pain every time he screwed around. Maybe it was good Ebube made that move. Silas would stop sleeping around and stay committed to her.

‘Baby, you left me alone and went after another woman. Who does that?’

Silas slammed the steering with his fist and turned sharply into a corner. Ibidun held her chest. Was Silas planning to kill her? She had never seen him this angry.

‘I see. This is payback time.’

‘No, but that’s how painful it is when you don’t stay committed to our relationship.’

Silas was furious. ‘What are you talking about? What you have done is unforgiveable! No matter how pressed I am, I can never sleep with your friend. What I do is with strangers, girls I don’t give a damn about! You went with Ebube. Are you out of your mind? My guys mocked me this morning. You made me a laughing stock before them. If you had gone with a man I didn’t know, I might not have cared but not Ebube!’

Ibidun’s lips trembled. What had she done? How would she remedy the situation. ‘Baby, I’m sorry. I was drunk and-’

‘Shut up! You knew what you were doing. You wanted a revenge. Have you gotten it now? Are you satisfied?’

When they got home, Silas pushed her box out of his room. He tossed her clothes and other belongings on the box. Ibidun went on her knees, pleading.

‘Move to the guest room.’ He said, and slammed the door.

Ibidun hit the door with her fists. ‘Silas, I’m sorry. I promise it will never happen again.’ She banged louder. ‘Silas, please.’

After half an hour of pleading with him, Ibidun lay on the floor and wept. When Silas finally opened the door, he stepped over her and locked the door. Then he stormed out of the house.

*******

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‘Jesus Christ!’ Philip exclaimed.

He couldn’t believe his eyes. Was it four hundred thousand naira he was seeing or forty thousand naira?

He stared at the figure again.

400,000

One performance had made him a rich man. Philip sat on the floor of his room and laughed out loud.

‘God punish poverty!’

Four hundred thousand naira!

Philip called his agent immediately. ‘I don’t want that two-bedroom flat again. Can I get the three bedroom beside it?’

Oga, it will cost you more.’ The agent responded. ‘Total package is three hundred and fifty thousand naira.’

‘I’ll take it. Let’s finalize the arrangement this weekend.’

Philip believed he made the right decision. A tour to Lagos was scheduled for next month. Captain, his band leader, knew the right connections. Monica’s father promised an extra fifty thousand for overtime at the end of the month. He’d never be poor in his life again.

When he ended the call, the excitement was replaced with a feeling of gloom. Philip let out a deep breath.

God had answered his prayers, why was he feeling restless and disturbed?

He tried to push the feeling of dissatisfaction away when his mother returned that evening, dancing for joy at the news of the relocation.

Philip’s heart dampened as he retired to bed that night.

What is wrong with me? I feel so helpless. Oh God…

********************************

Pastor Mayowa yawned and stretched out his legs. He needed to rest. He had been awake at night praying for his members. Towards mid-day, he’d struggled to get out of bed, wishing he could take the day off but he had to be at the office to tidy up some administrative work in preparation for Sunday service.

Anyone who said a Pastor’s work was an easy one was a novice. It was a lot tougher than many secular jobs. For two weeks, he had been on a daily fast when he sensed a spiritual attack on his church. Few days ago, he had been awakened in the middle of the night with the news of a member taken to a psychiatric hospital. Another had been rushed to the emergency ward. One of his leaders had put to bed after long hours of painful labour.

He was the shepherd and whatever it took, he’d stand in his place to protect the flock. He would man his gates till God’s will was established in the lives of his members.

Pastor Mayowa shut down the laptop and gathered his things. He had done enough. It was time to go home. His wife had called earlier to inform him about the vegetable soup and semovita she had prepared for him.

Lord, I am grateful for Lamide. I wouldn’t have asked for a better wife.

Her strength and patience. The way she prayed for him. The comfort she offered when life got real hard and ministry felt like tearing him apart. The nights he was discouraged by distress calls and she was right beside him holding his hands and sharing his burden.

Pastor Mayowa smiled. A pastor joined to a troublesome wife was the most frustrating experience on earth. How do you carry the burdens of the church, stand against demonic forces and still deal with a bickering woman? He reclined on the chair and folded his hands.

I want to love her as you loved the church. I want our marriage to be an example of your design for a godly home. No pretense in public. No hypocrisy. No double standard life. We will not hold hands in public when we can’t stand ourselves at home. Lord, deepen my love for her.

A knock interrupted his thoughts. Pastor Mayowa’s personal assistant came in.

‘Good evening sir. One of the leaders is here to see you.’

Pastor Mayowa yawned again. ‘Can’t the person come another time? Who is that?’

‘Bro Seun, head of the ushering department.’

‘Let him in.’

The P.A stepped aside for Seun who bowed slightly and sat in front of the Pastor.

‘Seun, how are you?’

Seun nodded. ‘I’m blessed sir. You look very tired. I’ll go straight to the reason I’m here.’ He hesitated. ‘Sir, we know there is a general prayer chain in the church but some of us have had specific burdens for some members. About seven of us started to ponder around the same time on interceding for some of our members. These are the people we have in mind. Sis Ibidun. Bro Philip. Sis Cecilia and two new converts.’

The Pastor nodded his head. Cecilia was a major reason he had stayed up all night. Her husband had been away from the country for some years and was asking for a divorce. Cecilia went insane and was in a psychiatric hospital.

Seun continued. ‘We want to meet in church every Saturday morning for an hour to pray for them. We seek your permission sir.’

‘Who are those in your team?’ The Pastor asked.

‘Myself, the head of follow-up department, Mr Babatunde and his wife, two brothers from the ushering unit and a sister from the choir.’

Pastor Mayowa gave his consent. Seun thanked him and left the office. The Pastor leaned back in his chair, thinking about the members of his church and before long, slept off.

*********

Saturday morning, Pastor Mayowa drove into the church.

The intercessory team were positioned at different parts of the church. Mr Babatunde and his wife knelt on the altar, groaning in prayers. A lady with a small stature paced the aisle while another lay on the floor weeping. Seun’s voice was the loudest. His face was turned to the wall. He was lost in the prayers.

Pastor Mayowa looked around and felt the strong presence of angels. He heard one of the ladies shout,

‘Angel, go right now!’

He sensed heavy movement and knew an angel had gone to carry out her instruction.

Pastor Mayowa smiled. He stood there for a while, his heart deeply encouraged.

By God’s grace, no one would be lost, he said to himself. His mind went back to the words God had given him when he started the church.

Mayowa, I’m sending you on an assignment. You will pastor a church with a mass record of the restoration and deliverance of men. You will raise men who can pray. Men who will insist on my will right on their knees. Their hearts will yearn after me and my work.

Pastor Mayowa sighed and returned to his office.

**********

Philip sauntered into the studio, proud of his student. Over the weekend, Monica had won a music competition and her father in appreciation had sent him thirty thousand naira.

Monica had called him on Sunday asking if he could teach her how to play the guitar. He’d been surprised. Monica hated playing instruments. She only wanted to sing. When he asked why the sudden interest in guitar, she’d confessed she wanted to impress a boy in her school’s music club.

Philip stopped when he saw her crying. He dropped his sheet music on the studio table. ‘Monica, what’s wrong?’

She went to him. ‘Can you hold me please?’

He hugged her, patting her back gently. He pulled away enough to see her face. ‘You just won a competition. We should be celebrating your accomplishment.’

Monica moved away, angry. ‘I don’t care about any stupid competition. I just want my father to be around. Is that too much to ask? I hate my mother. All she does is shout and scream at me. They have never been there for me. Last week, my father beat my brother when he found cigarette in his room. I wish they knew the terrible things he does.’

Philip looked at his student, speechless. What kind of ungrateful child was this? Did she know how much her father paid him monthly to coach her?

She put her hands around his waist. ‘I know you are my teacher but will you be my friend?’

He noticed the way she pressed her side against his and quickly pulled away. ‘Monica, I’m sorry you are feeling this way but I believe you can make good use of the opportunities you have.’

Monica went quiet. ‘Fine.’ She raised her hand. ‘Can we go right into our first lesson on the guitar? Wait. I don’t want to learn guitar today.’

Philip looked at her puzzled. ‘Why?’

She flipped through a notepad. ‘I composed a song last night. I want help with it.’

She gave Philip the opened notepad and went for the microphone. Philip’s eyes widened at the lyrics. As she sang, he felt his body aroused to the sensual images the words were creating in his head. He closed the book quickly and raised his head. Monica was undressing right before him.

Philip grabbed his sheet music and fled the house. Outside, he let out a deep breath. The images had followed him out. He felt a pull to get back into the house and get in bed with the teenage girl.

‘Jesus, what just happened in there?’ He said to himself, visibly shaking.

Call Seun.

He didn’t know where that voice came from but he didn’t care. He had to speak to Seun.

‘Am I crazy?’ He said to himself as he dialed Seun’s number.

‘You’ve been on my mind all day.’ Seun said as soon as he answered the call. ‘I just got out of the restroom where I went to pray for you. Are you okay?’

Philip sighed. ‘I’m not fine. I think I am under a spell.’ The image of his student taking off her tank top floated in his mind. ‘Can you pray for me please?’

Philip had not prayed in a long time. Listening to Seun pray brought back memories. The vigils he had with Seun. The prayer meetings at the church. The days when all he did was spend time with God in Seun’s living room.

He was calmer by the time Seun finished praying.

‘Take time to declare Corinthians 10 verse 5. I’ll give you a call later in the night.’ Seun said.

Philip had barely ended the call when a message entered his phone.

Hello Philip. How are you doing? It’s been a while. Just thought to check up on you. Praying for you. God bless you. Pastor Mayowa.

Philip tossed the phone aside and turned on the TV in his room. There was no way he was going back to that church. If this was Pastor Mayowa’s way of convincing him to return, his plan had failed. Since he left the church, he had gotten a job, moved into a three-bedroom apartment, and enjoyed good food.

He would find a good church and join the choir. No one would stop him from expression the gift God had given to him.

Monica sent him a message before he slept that night.

I’m sorry for my inappropriate behavior today. I don’t know what came over me. I promise it will not happen again. I’m very sorry.

Philip smiled. He was glad he had not resigned from the job. God had given him a way of escape from an action he would have regretted. God was pleased with him. Joseph was possibly looking at him from heaven, hailing him.

******

Ibidun sat at the dining table, tears pouring down her face. She was tired. Silas had given her a cold shoulder for months and it was driving her crazy. How long before she lost her mind?

She chewed the remaining peanuts and placed her head on the dining table. She was still hungry. It’d been two days since she ate a decent meal. Silas had stopped giving her money and there was no food in the house.

This is the worst birthday of her life, she thought. No gift. No hugs. No birthday song. Silas had ignored her that morning even when she sat in the living room, dressed in a lingerie, hoping to catch his attention.

‘Today is my birthday.’ She’d said to him. It was as good as talking to a goat. He didn’t give her as little as glance.

How can a man be this cruel?

She wanted to be a child again. Her birthday had always been special. Before her mother died, she’d wake up to the smiles of her parents and a birthday song. Her mother would buzz around, organizing food and drinks and you’d think she was preparing for her daughter’s wedding.

When Ibidun got to the boarding school, her parents visited with gifts of different kinds. Before they leave, they’d lay their hands on her head and pray for her.

What use was all of that prayers now?

She was stuck with a man who despised and wanted to get rid of her.

She had ended up on God’s bad side. He had mercy on those he chose to have mercy on and destroyed those he hated. He would soon destroy her. She imagined his plan to slowly torture her to death.

When Silas came in from work, Ibidun blocked his path and wrapped her hands around his neck. Tears choked her throat.

‘Today is my birthday Silas. You are killing me slowly. I’ve missed you.’

When he tried to push her away, she held him tight and kissed him. He turned his face away.  ‘I want you, Silas. Give me this as a birthday gift. I’m begging you, don’t ignore me.’

He gave her a long look and kissed her back. ‘Let’s go inside.’

Ibidun cried for joy. She didn’t care if Silas slept with all the women in the world, she’d stay faithful to him. He was her life. She imagined the torture she had gone through in the past months. She’d have preferred if Silas had beaten or screamed at her.

Thank God he had finally come around. She would do whatever he wanted.

Few minutes later, Silas rolled off the bed and glanced at her. ‘You’ve got your birthday gift. Leave my room.’

Next. Episode 10.

About the author

Ife Grace

I am a faith blogger with a passion to contribute my quota to the body of Christ. I am also the author of two books: The Reunion and Spring.

11 comments

  • It is well o. When we insist on our ways and ignore GOD’s way, it is never sweet.
    Thank GOD for His great love towards us and for the men He has put in our lives to help us, to intercede for us, GOD bless them. Glory to GOD, He has raised up men to pray and we’ll see the beautiful results.

  • THIS hymn keeps ringing

    When strong temptations surround me
    And the worlds tempest face me
    And Satan comes in like a friend
    Pushing strong for me to fall

    Saviour please fail not to call me
    As thou did Adam in eden……….
    That I may be saved from ruin

    When I’m bent to go my own way
    To do all I feel and will
    When my heart and mind keeps panting
    Neither hot yet not cold

  • It is well.
    God, help me not to run away from you whenever I mess up. Help me not to become blind and ignorant to the devil’s strategy. Help me to be able to properly discern when something is from you and when it isn’t. Help me to be able to stand in the gap for people you call my attention to.

  • Mercy finds you Ibidun. God is closer than you can imagine. Just a call away if you will.

    Philip, light floods your Spirit. You will not be lost.

    Lord, help me. May I not insist on my own way. I receive strength to stay with and wait on you. It doesn’t feel easy and it is exactly why I need you.

  • This is a life changing journey you are taking me on,
    A single act of disobedience could land you a whole bunch of troubles and unpalatable experiences.
    May God God help me to follow suit just as is designed by Him. May I not carry out my own wishes as His will.
    Lord help me for I am weak.

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