Read Episode 5 here
Read Lagos Girl here
On his way back, Matthew’s mind was in turmoil. How do I tell Ife? He wondered. Olanna’s pretty face flashed across his windscreen and his breath caught. He remembered how thrilled she was the first time he took her out to the beach. She was young and so innocent. She foolishly believed that Matthew loved her, whereas he was using her to pass time.
“Olanna, I’m so sorry,” he whispered in a broken voice.
His phone rang. Ife was calling.
“Hey sugar pie! Are you still on planet earth?” She asked.
If there was something he loved so much about Ife, it was her sweet and easy-going nature. Her heart was tender, just like that of a child.
“I just left my station on Planet Mars, and I’m currently heading to Planet Jupiter for a rescue mission.”
“Ah. Okay o. I decided to call since you didn’t call for us to pray together at the usual time.”
Matthew glanced at his wristwatch. He didn’t realize it was already past 11am.
“Oh dear, I’m so sorry! I had a long conversation with Josiah before dropping him off at the bus park and I didn’t realize that time was far gone.”
“Alright. There’s never a perfect time to pray right? We can pray now.”
They had an intimate twenty minutes prayer session while he drove to his apartment. By the time they were done, both of them felt refreshed and re-energized.
“Thank you, babe. Don’t forget our movie date o. I booked tickets for 4pm.”
He had actually forgotten about it.
“Not a problem. I’ll pick you up at 3pm.”
“Perfect. One more thing,” she said, lowering her voice and he knew she was about to say something mischievous.
“Please don’t wear a shirt and a tie.”
He laughed out loud. On their first outing after their meeting at the business conference, he had dressed in a blue shirt, black trousers and black tie with raven black shoes to match. He was obviously out to impress her. She complimented his outfit, but said it was too formal for an outing at an eatery. “A simple t-shirt on jeans and sneakers would fit perfectly” she said. He laughed but took her correction. Since that time, whenever they had an outing together, she would tease him with those words.
“Yes your highness,” He replied in a mocking voice. “Do I wear a crown as well?”
“Emmm… Naa. You don’t need a crown because I am your crown already.”
They both laughed and said their goodbyes.
Matthew jerked from his sleep, sweating profusely. The dream had become a constant nightmare. This time around, he had seen Olanna, standing beside the baby and weeping. He tried to comfort her but as he stretched out his hand, a gulf suddenly appeared between them and separated them. The ground beneath him gave way as well and he found himself sinking into the abyss.
“Holy Spirit,” he muttered. “Help me. Deliver me from these nightmares.”
He threw off the duvet, walked to the bathroom and splashed water on his face. Looking at his reflection in the mirror, he realized that he had eyebags. It was clear that he hadn’t slept well in days. he walked back to the room and sat on his bed, head in his hands.
“Lord,” he started. “I know you want me to open up to Ife, but I don’t know how to. I am afraid. I don’t want to lose her. After you, she is the best thing that has happened to me. I don’t want to hurt her Lord.”
Behold I am with you now and tomorrow and even to the end of the age.
“Thank you for the reassurance Lord.”
The truth always sets free. Live in the truth and you’ll have peace of mind and grace to thrive in your pilgrim journey.
“Yes Lord.” A tear rolled down his cheek. “I am ready to do your bidding. Please give me the courage required.” Head bowed, he continued in silent meditation. By the time he was done, he felt light. He hurriedly prepared for work and rushed off in order to beat the early morning Lagos traffic.
Matthew’s mother called him on the phone during his lunch break.
“Good afternoon mum.”
“Good afternoon my boy. How is Lagos today?” This was her favorite way of greeting him. After she lost her husband to kidney failure, she had relocated to Akure with his youngest sister, stating that she was not cut out for the hustle of Lagos as a widow.
“Lagos is good mum.”
“Hope you’re feeding well?”
“Yes mum. Mummy, how are you?”
“I’m fine jare. It is just that my left leg has been giving me some problems. Nurse Titi said it is caused by old age so I have accepted my fate.”
“But mum you are not old na. You are ageless and beautiful,” he teased.
“Keep flattering me, you hear? Look, I’m actually calling because of you, Oreoluwa.” She was the only one who called him by his native name.
“Hope nothing ma?”
“I should be asking you that question. The last time you came to Akure, you informed Uncle Lekan and I that you will communicate the date for your introduction to us. We have been waiting since then but we didn’t hear anything from you.”
“I’m sorry about that mum. Ife and I actually agreed on the month of July but we are yet to fix a particular date.”
“July? Is that not too far away?” There was concern in her voice.
“Not at all mum. Ife’s dad will not be arriving Nigeria until late June, so July is just perfect.”
“Okay. Please settle on a date and get back to us as soon as possible so we can start making plans.”
“I miss you my child. When next are you coming to Akure?”
Matthew chuckled. “Soon mum, I can’t say for now.”
“Alright. Please come with Ife o. I want to see her again. She is such a well-mannered girl. Oreoluwa, she is an answer to my prayers.”
Matthew nodded in agreement. His mother had always believed in him, even at the climax of his wayward lifestyle. She never stopped praying for him and his sisters. She always believed that one day, he would find his way home. So, when he repented and accepted Jesus into his life, she was the first person he told. “Welcome home,” she had said over the phone. “I have waited so long for this day. Ekabo.”
“Mum, I have to go now. I’m at work.”
“That’s alright. Extend my greetings to Ife and her parents.”
“Yes Mummy. I’ll do that”
“God bless you my son.”
“Amen ma.” With that, she hung up.
Matthew reclined on his seat and folded his arms. He needed to open up to Ife before the introduction. He made a mental note to do that at their next date. Shutting his mind to thoughts of Ife, he concentrated on the work before him.
Thank you for reading. Episode 7 comes up next!