My wife, Bimbo, did not share my excitement when I showed her the mail I had received from Jabul Stores. I was confused at her reaction. We’ve prayed daily for a job, updated my resume together, sent applications to as many companies as had job openings. Bimbo said her heart was not at peace but then what was a man like me to do, living on my wife’s meager income for the past six months.

Everything will be fine, I said to her, assuring her that this was an answer to our prayers. The morning of my resumption, I stood before the mirror dressed in a new navy blue shirt and pair of trousers Bimbo bought for me, feeling like a man for the first time in a long time. I smiled as she knotted my tie.

“Where did you learn to knot ties?” I asked, impressed by how fast she worked. 

“My brother taught me.” She responded, taking a step back to look at tie. 

I pulled her close. “For the last six months, you’ve held the fort in this home and I just want to say thank you.”

She straightened the tie. “Honey, you’ve also done your best. You took delivery jobs and washed cars to support this home.” 

“But it was never much. You took a far larger share.” 

She pulled my laptop bag from the bed and pushed it gently towards me. “You don’t want to be late on your first day of work.” 

When I stepped out of the elevator on the 6th Floor and walked towards an office space with glass walls, written, ‘JABUL STORES’ I took a deep breath and said a quick prayer. 

The Managing Director introduced me to the rest of the staff as the new accountant. They gazed at me with disinterest. One of the ladies rolled her eyes at me before turning her face away. I noticed the smirks, the mumbled ‘welcome’ and the cold handshake. I spent the first half of the day wondering the reason for their cold responses and concluded the former accountant must have won their hearts over. I would stay focused, I decided. What mattered now was that there would be enough food provided by me, the leader of my home. 

Three months later, the MD, a woman with a round face in her mid fifties, called me into her office.

“I’m impressed by your work, Mr. Kayode. I know I added duties outside your job description and you delivered promptly and excellently. You also have a sharp mind.” 

“Thank you ma’am.” I said, trying really hard to hide my smile. 

“I’ll raise your salary from next month but first of all, I want us to look through some financial records. I believe your expertise will be useful. Tomorrow after lunch break.” 

“Alright ma’am.” 

Too excited to keep the news till after work, I went into the rest room and placed a call to my wife. She screamed over the phone and said she’d prepare my coconut rice to celebrate. I agreed to buy a bottle of wine on my way home from work. Standing over the toilet sink, my eyes welled up with tears of joy. With my upgraded salary, I’d finally be able to get a car. My wife would no longer jump buses with the kids every morning. I’ll also be able to stock Bimbo’s baby care shop as a gift on her birthday. 

Lord, I love that woman so much. I want her smile every day of her life. I want my kids to have a good life. 

Back in my office, two ladies crowded my table, apparently waiting for me. This was a surprise because neither responded to my greetings in the morning. Kemi, the customer care rep wore a low cut black blouse that I thought revealed more than was necessary. The way she bent over my table, I was sure she wanted to seduce me. Gloria was petite with a tiny voice that made me laugh sometimes. 

“Hello Ladies. What can I do for you?” I said, keeping my gaze on Gloria. Kemi straightened and leaned on the table beside mine. 

“Can’t we just stop by to say hi?” The lady with the tiny voice asked.

“I wonder.” Kemi responded. “I don’t know why you work alone. Socialize. Even Jesus socialized with sinners.”

I flashed them a quick smile. “Thank you. Lunch’s on me this afternoon.” 

They giggled for a while and then Gloria stood straight with clasped hands. “On behalf of the staff members, we want to say we are sorry for the way we treated you when you first arrived.”

Kemi nodded in agreement. “We are really sorry. It’s just that the person you replaced was loved here and we were really sad when she was told to leave.”

I reclined on my chair, curious. “What really happened? Why was she fired?”

“She was accused of stealing money but we know she didn’t do it.” 

“Since I started working here, more than five accountants have been sacked. Nobody knows how the money disappears.” Kemi said.

I stared at them, mouth agape. “Really?”

“Be careful around here even with the MD. Strange things have happened here. Trust me, if I see another offer, I’m out of here.” Gloria said.

For a long time, I thought about what they said. Money cannot disappear from my hands. I was not a thief and I was not careless with money either. 


“Ranti, how much cash did you bring to my office?” 

Ranti frowned as she stood up from her chair uncomfortably because of her protruding stomach. “400,000 naira. We counted it together. I also brought the receipts for the online transactions.” 

I hurried out of the sales office to my office. I upturned the drawers and poured out the stacks of receipts and files from each drawer. When I counted the money in the envelope, it was three hundred thousand naira.

This was impossible. I locked the drawers immediately Ranti handed the money to me. 

How could a hundred thousand naira disappear like that? Was someone in possession of the key?

The following week, It was two hundred thousand naira, my MD had requested we save for emergencies in the safe lock. To save my face, I used my salary and part of the money saved to purchase a car to offset the loss. 

“Please, don’t tell me the two hundred thousand naira is missing again.” Ranti said She hurried out of my office and returned with the other staff members. 

The staff checked all the drawers in my office but the money could not be found. Ranti fell back into a chair. “This must stop in this company! I am tired of this place. How did the money disappear? Ise yi ti su mi o.

“I don’t know why Madam will not listen. Let’s stop collecting cash from the customers. She’s just adamant.” Dayo, the verification officer said, checking through the scattered files on my table. 

“Have you forgotten how Funsho’s signature was forged? The man almost lost his mind when he saw he had authorized the withdrawal of five hundred thousand naira.”  

“Nobody leaves this company till we have searched every bag..” Ranti barked

The receptionist faced Ranti. “Are you suspecting us?”

Everywhere was silent. Most of the staff were now in my office perched at different corners, faces drawn.  

“Things were not like this in this office when I joined five years ago.” Ranti lamented “All of a sudden, things just changed. That same year, I got pregnant. I had a miscarriage and another the following year. Just when I thought my miracle had come, I had a stillborn. I’m afraid of this one I’m carrying. I’m tired.” 

“What about me?”Gloria added “I have been writing CIPD exam for three years straight. I will read and yet every night before my exam, I’ll have this migraine and when I wake up, I’ll not be able to understand anything again.” 

“I thought I was the only one facing problems o. It’s like my destiny is cursed. Every time a man seems interested in me, I see myself tied to a tree and an old woman pouring mud clay on my face and when I would agree to the date, the guy would change his mind. I’ve fasted and prayed. After this month, I will resign.”

How did I end up in a place like this? I looked at my colleagues and was comforted that they believed I didn’t steal the money. That evening, we held hands together and prayed, asking God to expose the culprit. 


 “How do you want me to believe that you didn’t steal the money?” The MD yelled as soon as I entered her office with the Sales rep.  “What is wrong with these accountants?You keep stealing the company’s money and denying it.”

“I didn’t steal it!”  Anger covered my face as my blood rose. No one had ever accused me of stealing money.

“So how did the money disappear? Listen, if both of you do not cough out that money by next week, I’ll involve the police.Get out of my office!”

That evening I lay on the bed, depressed. I had saved five hundred thousand naira from my monthly hundred thousand naira income but all of that was gone. Another two hundred thousand naira was hanging on my head.I thought about what would happen if the police showed up at the office the following week. I would be handcuffed and kept in the police cell until the MD’s wrath was satisfied. Would I be beaten? Would I be taken to court?   

Despair descended on me like a thick cloud. My wife returned from the bible study to find me on my floor of our living room.

“Sweetheart, what’s wrong?” I didn’t want her to see my swollen eyes so I faced the wall while I explained all that had happened. Since the first disappearance of the money, I had found ways to sort the monthly upkeep but there was no way out anymore. I had to come out clean. By next week, her husband would be locked behind bars. 

I expected her to be so angry for keeping the situation away from her but instead she was calm and that annoyed me more. How could she just stay unruffled when someone called her husband a thief. Did she believe I stole the money?

“There is only one thing we can do now. We pray and trust the Lord to reveal whoever is behind this.”

I hissed. Was that all she had to say? I wanted her out of my sight and so I raised my voice. “Just leave me alone!”

“You should eat something.”

I hissed again. “I said, leave me alone! Just go attend to the kids.”

My wife was awake all night praying for me. Ashamed of my lack of faith, I stood up and joined her in the living room. I was too weak to say a word, so I listened to her.   

“This is your battle Lord.” She prayed. “Open our eyes! Your word says, your eyes are over the righteous and your ears are opened to their prayers.” 

“ We wrestle not against flesh and blood but against principalities and powers in high places. In the name of Jesus, let every dark place be exposed. Vindicate your son oh Lord”

“Reveal whoever is behind this in the name of Jesus!”

“Strengthen my husband. May every despair be lifted at this moment in the name of Jesus.”

I watched Bimbo flip through scriptures with a torchlight hanging over a scarf tied to her head as she paced the living room. She would quote the scriptures and pray. She went back and forth until 3am. 

She went on the second day. By the third day, I felt a new surge of strength. Did the bible not say, two shall chase a thousand? 

Shortly after we finished praying, my phone rang. It was Ranti, the sales representative from my office. Why would she be calling me at this time of the night? 

“Hello Ranti.”

She was gasping for breath. The call was on loud speaker so my wife could hear her shortened breath. 

“Mr Kayode, please- pray. Something is pressing my stomach. I don’t want to lose this child.”

My wife held my hand as I prayed. “In the name of Jesus, I command you, take your hands off her stomach!” 

“Ranti, are you there? Ranti!

“I’m fine. I fell to the floor.” she was panting hard. “I feel better. Thank you.”

My wife and I sat quietly in the living room. She poked at my chest playfully. “We go again tomorrow until we weary the devil out. Greater is he that is in us than he that is in the world. Let’s go to bed.” 

She was soon fast asleep as we climbed the bed. I stared at her sleeping peacefully, grateful that I had stood my ground when my parents fought our union for two years. Dad’s cruel stepmother was from Ijebu in Abeokuta and he swore no child of his would marry anyone from that region. By divine providence, Dad accepted Bimbo and loved her like his child. 

“Lord, I’m grateful for this beautiful gift. It’s been six years and all I’ve had in this family is rest.” I prayed quietly. 

That night in a dream I was in my office with Bimbo. She was trying to fill a form while I helped her out. She stopped writing and pointed to an old woman walking towards the safe box. The woman tapped it thrice and the box opened. Then she began to count money.

I stood up, furious. “You’ve been the one stealing money in this company!” 

Naira notes fell from her hands as her weak eyes bore into mine. The wrinkles began to disappear from her face and was replaced with a fair glowing skin. 


I stared at her in disbelief. “There is no hiding place for you anymore. In the name of Jesus, I lose your hold over every staff in the company. Your operation ceases right now!”

She cried, turned back into the old woman and disappeared out of sight.

I woke up with a start, beads of sweat covering my face. Bimbo was still asleep. Quietly I slipped out of the bedroom, the dream playing several times in my head till daybreak. 

At work, Ranti bumped into me at the reception. “Thank you for last night. My husband and I are looking forward to paying you a visit soon.” 

I smiled. “We will attend the naming ceremony of this child. You’ll carry your bundle of joy in your hands.”  

“Amen.” She responded.

The secretary to the MD interrupted our conversation. She said the MD wanted to see me. Dayo tapped my shoulder from behind. 

“We have your back. We’ll defend you to the last.”

My heart pounded with every step I took. Some of the scriptures my wife had prayed with flooded my mind. 

But joyful are those who have the God of Israel as their helper, whose hope is in the Lord their God…

He calmed the storm to a whisper and stilled the waves…

Those who look to him for help will be radiant with joy; no shadow of shame will darken their faces. 

The Managing Director was flipping through a magazine as she sipped coffee. Without looking at me, she motioned for me to sit. She pushed the magazine in front of me. 

“What do you think about this product?” She said, pointing at a page with different designs for wallpapers. “My brother said, it’ll make good business in Nigeria.”

For a moment, I was lost for words. I regained my composure quickly and said I thought it was a great idea but it would be safer to conduct a market research first before placing orders. 

 She leaned back in her chair. “I’m sorry for the way I lashed out at you the other day. For some years now, I’ve barely made a profit from sales. It’s been frustrating especially with my son’s mental illness. Just yesterday, I was telling my husband that I wanted to shut down the company but he insisted we give it some more time.” 

“I didn’t steal that money. I promise you, it won’t happen again. ” I said, quietly. “Can I start the market survey on the wall papers?”  

The MD sighed. “There is something peaceful about you that’s quite different from the others I have employed here. I can’t quite figure it out. Yeah, you can start the survey.” 

Thank you Jesus, I didn’t lose my job! I almost screamed out with tears welling up my eyes.

I was heading towards the door when my boss called me back. “Forget about paying back the money. Just be careful next time.” 

This had to be God at work, I muttered quietly as I left her office. The ten staff members of the company waited in my office to hear the outcome of the meeting. They sighed in relief when I told them I still had my job. 

That was the beginning of a new kind of friendship with my colleagues. When I proposed prayers at the beginning of the week day, the MD approved immediately. Kemi disappeared into thin air. No one in the company had been able to reach her. 

It’s been five years and Jabul Stores has seen better days. The business has seen rapid growth and last year, I was promoted to a managerial position. Did I mention that, Ranti’s daughter is doing fine? 

Last week, in my car, (yes I finally got one), I dropped my kids off with Bimbo’s parents. Bimbo and I spent an amazing time at Nike Art Gallery. As we left the gallery, I remembered my early days at Jabul Stores. Every time I glance at the woman I married, I am convinced that you can’t mess with a righteous woman who knows her authority in Christ. You can’t mess with her home, with her husband and with her kids. I want to be the man who will lift her up, cover her and make our home uncomfortable for the devil’s exploits. 

“What are you thinking about?” My wife asked me as we pulled into the express and joined the traffic.

You. I almost blurted out. Instead I leaned and kissed her firmly on her cheeks. 

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