Click here to read Episode 11
This is the diary of a Nigerian Christian Girl- Season 1 Episode 12
After work on Friday, I went straight to my mentor’s place to get ready for my saturday prayer and bible study marathon. To be candid, I was expecting the schedule to run like this;
4 hours prayers
5 hours study
3 hours of listening to sermons
4 hours prayers.
But early on Saturday morning, Papa called me into the living room and said I’d pray three hours and study for two hours and that would be it. I wondered if this was because I’d sought permission to see Adesuwa or if for subsequent lockdowns, the schedule would change. Anyway, that morning, Mama and I walked down the corridor that led to the guest room. She opened the door and we stepped into the room and then she stood in front of me and rubbed my arms gently.
‘Have a beautiful time with the Lord.’ Mama said and left the room.
I didn’t know how to start. I dropped my bible and notepad on the floor and sat with my knees raised to my chin. I couldn’t get a word out of my mouth. Images from my past clogged my mind and with it came such indescribable pain. Let me just say that I spent the lockdown crying.
I tried to stop the tears and concentrate on the prayer points I had scribbled down in my notepad but I couldn’t.
Oh, I felt so hurt and revengeful. I prayed Lizzy would unleash her demons to deal with Wale, that’s if she truly housed demons like she claimed. I wanted to see him suffer. I wished I could see him one last time and curse him. I wanted to scream at him and tell him he’d never prosper in life. I’d say to his face that he’d roam the streets like a vagabond.
Horrible thoughts, I know, but I just couldn’t stop them. I was filled with rage and the only thing I could think about was how I had given Wale my heart and he had smashed it against the wall.
Believe me Victoria, Yemisi and I had something together but there is nothing anymore. She just likes to cling to me. I wanted to be sure our tickets were ready before I tell all those sisters to back off.
Those words stung again. I was the biggest fool on earth. Wale squeezed the substance out of me like hurriedly chopped pineapple thrown into a juicer, blended and afterwards sieved to get the juice out. Wasn’t the pulp usually emptied into the refuse bin? Pulp. That was what I had ended up becoming. He drank the juice. All of it. What was left of my life?
‘God, I hate him!’
Forgive, as I have forgiven you.
How could I possibly do that? All my investments, my commitment to the relationship, my desire to stand by him and see him prosper- everything had gone down the drain. For goodness sake, I was willing to let go of my own needs just to see that he was fine. I was ready to stay with him through thick and thin. How could he repay this way?
Let him go.
I wept until I had no strength in me. I opened my bible but nothing made sense there. At a point, I just sat there in silence. I couldn’t open my mouth to pray, I couldn’t do anything. I was just weak. I lay on the floor and slept off.
Mama’s voice woke me up. She noticed my swollen eyes and filled with compassion for me. I followed her to the sitting room where Papa D and my friend Abigail were chatting and laughing.
I didn’t even wait to sit down before confessing the truth. ‘Papa, I didn’t pray. I didn’t read my bible either.’
Papa smiled sadly. ‘So you spent the lockdown crying.’
‘I couldn’t help it.’ I said and sat beside Abigail who patted my shoulder gently.
‘How do you feel now?’ Abigail asked. I yawned and reclined on the sofa. The truth was, I felt better. I’d pretended to be strong all through the week and had buried myself into work but spending time alone with God brought up all the emotions
‘Yemisi, keep the communion with your heavenly father intact.’ Mama said. ‘Do whatever the Holy Spirit instructs you to do. You’ll heal faster that way. Leave whatever happened in the past and let’s focus on the way forward.’
I nodded my head. ‘Thank you ma.’
My eyes went to the wall clock. 12.40p.m. It was time to see Adesuwa and have a talk with her parents concerning their pregnant daughter. Abigail had agreed to come with me and her mother had assured us that her house was open to the teenage girl in case things didn’t go well with her parents.
While I got dressed, Abigail paced the room praying. I prayed quietly too. We asked for wisdom to deal with the issue. We asked God to touch her parents and grant us favour. We continued to pray until the taxi we boarded dropped us off in front of her house.
The house was still the same since the last time I visited Adesuwa when she fell ill for a week and couldn’t come to school. Her brother opened the gate for us. He led us past a Toyota Camry and a small truck into a bungalow that had potted plants line the wide veranda. As we got close, I heard the loud angry voice of a man coming from inside the house.
‘I said l don’t want you in my house anymore!’ The man was shouting. ‘Right under my roof, you slept with a boy who has no future. Adesuwa! You did not see any responsible boy around, it is that stupid, good for nothing boy who is as useless on my farm as he is to his life that you chose to mess up with. Didn’t they teach you how to use condom? Adesuwa! You sabi book nah. Why you behave like mumu like this? See, you no be my pickin again, you hear me so?’
We entered the living room. Adesuwa was on her knees crying. Two of her sisters sat in the dining area, their faces sullen. Beside them was a black box and a travelling bag.
Adesuwa’s mother held her husband’s legs. ‘My husband, please. Have mercy on her. Remember all the good things she has done in the past. Where do you want her to go to?’
‘Woman! Let go of my leg!’ The man tried to pull her hands away but she held on firmly. He raised his head and saw us standing close to the boy who had brought us in. He frowned, obviously annoyed at our presence. ‘Who be this people?’
His wife released her grip on his leg and turned towards us. She recognized me immediately and jumped to her feet.
‘Miss Yemisi’ She said and ran towards me. ‘You came at the right time.’
Her hand trembled as she led me towards the center of the living room. ‘Help me beg my husband. I don’t know where he want my daughter to go.’
Abigail and I went down on our knees. The man looked closely at me. He put his hands on his waist without taking his gaze away from me.
‘No be Adesuwa former class teacher be this?’
I nodded quickly, my hands clasped in front of me. ‘Please sir. Adesuwa is a good girl. This is a mistake and I’m very sure she has learnt her lesson.’
He shook his head and I was a little annoyed that a man could be this stubborn where his own blood was concerned. Who throws a baby out with the bathwater? He seemed to enjoy the attention. We were all on our knees including Adesuwa’s sisters and two other young boys and yet he wouldn’t budge.
‘I don’t want to see her again. Period!’ He turned to his wife. ‘You know me. I don’t go back on my words. Get her out of my house!’
He walked out but stopped at the entrance and turned to Adesuwa.
‘I had so much plans for you. I have already started saving money to send you abroad for a graduate program. I just spoke to my friend two days ago about getting you into one of the Ivy League schools. You ruined everything. Adesuwa, you fall my hand big time.’
When he left, Abigail suggested we wait until he returned. She believed his heart would soften after a while but Adesuwa’s mother didn’t think her husband would change his mind.
‘I know my husband, he doesn’t go back on his words and he won’t at least for now. I wish there is a place I can keep her until he calms down.’
Abigail looked from me to the distressed woman. ‘She can come with me. My mother is willing to take care of her.’
Adesuwa’s mother wasn’t comfortable with the arrangement. She folded her hands and shook her head.
I went to her. ‘Abigail is my best friend and her mother has a beautiful heart. Your daughter will be safe with them. Please let Adesuwa come with us. It’ll just be for a short time until her father’s anger dissipates. Please.’
Adesuwa’s mother held her head and my heart broke for the pain her daughter was making her go through. She let out a deep sigh. ‘What about her studies? That means she won’t graduate with her mates.’
She glanced at her daughter. ‘Adesuwa, why? You had a bright future ahead of you. From JSS 1, you’ve been receiving awards and prizes. I have seen parents look at me with envy because many of them wish they had a child like you. Can you remember the year the principal called me out and introduced me as the mother to the most intelligent student in Cornerstone College? Couldn’t you even think of the reputation you have built before making that stupid decision? What is even in the sex sef? In three minutes you ruined everything! You ruined your life.’
Adesuwa burst into tears. ‘Mummy, I’m sorry. Please forgive me.’
Her mother ignored her and stood up. She glanced at Abigail. ‘Can I go with you to the place? I just need to see where she’ll be staying and also to thank your mother.’
‘Sure.’ Abigail said and ordered a taxi. When the car arrived, Abigail sat in front with the driver while the three of us got into the back seat.
Adesuwa wouldn’t stop crying. Her mother wrapped her hand around her shoulder. ‘Don’t go and be thinking about it o. I’m begging you Adesuwa. Remember that boy that killed himself in your class. It was because he was thinking too much. Please don’t listen to the devil, you hear? You can see how God provided these wonderful aunties to help you. God will take care of you. Are you listening to me?’
Adesuwa nodded. I passed her a clean handkerchief. She blew her nose into it and started crying again.
Her mother tapped her. ‘Wetin dey do you? Stop crying. I dey warn you. Don’t go and drink poison abeg. I have told you that God will take care of you and the baby. His plan for your life will come to pass.’ She clapped her hands. ‘All those your father people that say you will not succeed, God will destroy them. The way God will expose them ehn.’
Adesuwa’s head fell on my shoulder. I patted her gently. Adesuwa’s mother began to sing and her voice cracked with tears.
All my enemies, dem go perish o
All my enemies, dem go die o
The people wey wan put me to shame
Dem go die o
Halleluyah, with God I dey kampe
Abigail’s mother came out of the house as the taxi pulled into the compound. I introduced the visitors to her and I noticed that Adesuwa’s mother became relaxed when Abigail’s mother drew her into her arms. Abigail’s mother can be warm like that.
We carried Adesuwa’s belonging into the house as the women walked in front of us.
‘I hope your husband is cool with this. We don’t want to be a burden.’ Adesuwa’s mother said.
Abigail’s mother gave her a warm smile. She didn’t say anything until they got to the living room. ‘I’m not married.’
Adesuwa’s mother sat down.‘You lost your husband?’
‘No. I have never been married. I am a single mother.’
Her mouth flew opened. ‘I’m sorry I don’t mean to probe but did you rent this beautiful place by yourself? ’
‘I didn’t rent it. I own it.’
‘Osanobua! What do you do?’
We left the women in the living room and got Adesuwa settled into her new room. The bed was already dressed with a beautiful flowery pink bed sheet. There was a bible in front of a white furry teddy bear with a red bow tied around the neck.
Adesuwa sat on the bed and reached for the teddy bear. She placed it close to her chest. ‘I like this teddy bear.’
‘I am glad you like it. It’s yours.’ Abigail said.
Adesuwa smiled at us. ‘Thank you very much for allowing me to stay here. I promise to be of good behavior.’
Abigail turned on the fan. ‘If you need anything, my room is just down the corridor.’
Adesuwa smiled and turned to Abigail. ‘I heard your mum say she never got married. So you live here alone with her?’
‘Not always.’ Abigail said. ‘I have a sister but at the moment she is in the university. You’ll get to meet her when she comes home for Christmas.’
I knew Abigail didn’t like to tell people her sister was adopted. Ten years after Abigail was born, her mother had gone with a team on an evangelistic outreach and had returned with a baby abandoned in the bush. The child was so sick, she had to be rushed to the intensive care unit. The doctors had thought she wouldn’t live.
A frown appeared on Adesuwa’s face. ‘I feel terrible. This is all my fault. I don’t know what’s wrong with me. Once a guy shows interest in me, different images runs through my mind and at night, I’ll imagine him touching and doing things with me. Even if he doesn’t want to touch me, I’ll plead with him until he does.’ She stopped. ‘My parents do not know about this battle I’ve been facing. I’ve had boys and men fondle with my body since I was seven. I have cried and prayed to God but nothing has changed.’
I sat beside her. ‘There is a lot you’re going to learn here. I might not come often because my house is miles away from here but I’ll speak to you every day. You have an elder sister in Abigail. She can answer any question you might want to ask.’
Abigail sat at the other side and held her hand. ‘We are sure going to have a good time together.’
‘Adesuwa,’ I said. ‘Jesus died to set you free from the power of sin. Romans 6 verse 6 says, Knowing this that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.’
‘Who’s the old man?’ Adesuwa asked.
‘It is the nature of the devil we received through Adam’s fall.’
‘I remember the story of Adam’s fall.’ Adesuwa said. ‘The devil deceived his wife into eating of the tree of knowledge of good and evil and then she gave her husband to eat. That was the way sin came into the world right?’
‘Yes. Romans 4 verse 18 says based on Adam’s choice, we all came into condemnation. We became sinners and enemies of God. We carried the nature of the devil but because God loves man intensely, Jesus came to take that nature from us so we can be restored to a relationship with God.
‘Adesuwa, the life God gives is beautiful. You know why? It is eternal. It is a never-ending incorruptible life. But then that horrible nature in man must be completely destroyed if we must receive this eternal life. The only way that could happen was by death. So Jesus became sin for us and died and then was buried. When he resurrected, we were not just free from the power of sin, the nature of God became ours.’
Adesuwa sighed. ‘This nature, how can someone get it. Is there something I’m supposed to do?’
‘Believe.’ Abigail chipped in. ‘If you will confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe with your heart that God raised Christ from the dead, you will be saved. That’s what Romans 10 verse 9 says.’
‘Listen to this dear.’ I said. ‘For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life. The only condition is faith in what Christ has done. Once you do that, the nature of Christ becomes yours. The death, burial and resurrection has already happened long ago. Your part is to believe and then you’ll become a new creature and a beloved daughter in the family of God. Satan will have no hold over you anymore.’
Tears poured down Adesuwa’s face. ‘Lord I believe. I believe you died and was raised from the dead to impart your nature to me. I confess you as my Lord and savior. Oh Jesus, I believe. Thank you for forgiving me. Thank you for giving me this new nature. Thank you for delivering me from Satan.’
We held Adesuwa’s hands and prayed with her. My heart surged with joy that day. For the first time in a long time, I felt really fulfilled.
The door opened and the two women entered the room. They asked to speak to Adesuwa alone. We left the room and went to the kitchen to prepare dinner. While I prepared amala, Abigail made the ewedu soup.
‘There are many teenagers battling with lust.’ Abigail said as she added bicarbonate to the steaming ewedu on the gas cooker.
‘True.’ I responded. ‘For introverted teenagers like Adesuwa, it’s difficult to tell unless they are caught red handed. I remember one of my students who just couldn’t get his eyes off a girl with big buttocks. It was easy for me to deal with his case because he talks a lot and somehow what was in his heart came out.’
We took the food to the dining room. ‘Imagine Adesuwa telling me she’d been like this since she was seven. I could almost not believe it. You should see this girl in class. She reads her bible and many times lead the class fellowship. To think she wasn’t even saved. It’s very deceptive for a believer to assume someone is saved by their outward moral disposition.’
Abigail sighed. ‘While we were in the room, I saw an image of Adesuwa standing before a crowd and ministering God’s word. There is something about her. She has a mission to fulfil.’
I smiled and placed two folded napkins at the center of the table. ‘There is plenty of work to do. We start by praying intensely for her.’
About thirty minutes later, Adesuwa and the two women came out of the guest room. Adesuwa’s mother was in a hurry to leave.
‘We’d love for you to join us for dinner.’ Abigail said to Adesuwa’s mother.
Adesuwa’s mother shook her head. ‘I’m so sorry I won’t be able to stay any longer. It’s already 9p.m. I should go now.’
We tried to convince her to call her husband and explain that it was already late. Abigail promised to drop her off at home the following morning.
‘You don’t know my husband.’ she said. ‘Please allow me go. I’ll come another time.’ She turned to Abigail’s mother. ‘Thank you for everything. The Lord bless you.’
And then she was gone. Adesuwa sat at the dining table and stared at her meal. Her eyes were filled with tears and I knew she was already missing her mother. For a fifteen year old girl who had never been away from home, this was all strange to her. It’d take some time for her to adjust to the new environment.
Abigail’s mother touched her hand tenderly. Adesuwa closed her eyes and slowly tears trickled down her face. She sighed deeply and smiled at her new host and slowly she began to eat.
The week we got paid our salary, I walked into the office excited that finally I would settle the last of the debt I took for Wale.
That man dealt with me sha!
Guy was gone from my life while I was still settling gbese. What kind of mumu love be that sef. I wondered what had become of Pure Heaven Assembly. Was it still existing?
I bumped into Taiwo at the corridor.
‘Here you are.’ I said, excited to see him. ‘I’m sending the balance to you now. My days of gbese is over. Amen!’
Taiwo didn’t smile. I noticed he was restless. He grabbed my hand and pulled me into the boardroom. Even though the air-conditioner was turned on, Taiwo was sweating profusely.
I was worried now. ‘Taiwo, what’s going on?’
He placed his hands on his waist and looked at me. ‘Today, I will know if we are truly friends.’
I stared at him, puzzled. ‘What are you talking about?’
He stopped in front of me. ‘You remember that deal we had with Mr Olowolagba?’
I nodded. I remembered the deal very well. The man was blind and had recently been diagnosed with Alzheimer. We had to complete the deal through his personal assistant.
‘What we presented to the office here was ten million naira.’
I shook my head. ‘That’s not possible. We sealed that deal at thirteen million naira’
Taiwo looked at me impatiently. ‘Three million is off the record. Our share has been sent to my account. I’ll transfer it to you later. Myself, Stephen and you are entitled to seven hundred thousand naira each.’
I looked at him stunned. ‘What?’
‘Don’t worry, nobody will suspect anything. The old man can’t remember anything anymore. His son is running his father’s business now. What I don’t understand is why the M.D is pestering us about the deal. We told him already but he is not satisfied. Don’t be afraid, we have covered all our tracks. If he calls you, just tell him we closed the deal at ten million naira.’
I couldn’t believe what Taiwo was asking me to do.
How was I supposed to do that?
I was still trying to make a sense of the fraud when Stephen shot his head into the boardroom. He grinned at me.
‘It’s good you learn early how business is done here. If you want to make it in this life, you have to play smart. I hear the M.D is looking for you.’ He gave Taiwo a quick glance. ‘Leave her for a couple of minutes, let her put herself together. If she goes in like this, the M.D will know there is something fishy.’
Taiwo squeezed my shoulders and whispered into my ears. ‘I love you Yemisi. You know I’ve stood by you since you joined this company. Our job is on the line.’
I watched Taiwo leave the boardroom and for several minutes, I stood there, confused.
Jesus, what kind of fix am I in like this?
Click to read Episode 13.