Click here to read Episode 2
‘Mummy good afternoon’, I greeted.
‘Munachi (Mummy Okoro always called me by my native name), how are you?’
‘I’m fine ma’.
‘Good. Where are you now?’
I hesitated. Was she behind me right now?
‘I’m in school ma’, I responded.
‘Thank God’, she said. ‘I came into school to see Precious and I thought it would be nice to see you as well. Can you come to the cafeteria?’
No no no, not now, my head screamed. All day I had looked forward to seeing Gozie and I didn’t want anything or anyone to ruin it.
‘Mummy, I’m actually on my way to a group meeting’. My heart beat very fast as the lie escaped my mouth.
‘Group meeting?’ she asked.
‘Yes ma. We are working on a project and the deadline is next week so all hands have to be on deck’, I lied further. I was sure that even the devil will be clapping for me right now, impressed with the speed and accuracy of my lies.
‘How long will it last?’
‘Em… I can’t say for now. It depends on how fast we are able to finish our outlined task for the day’
‘Alright my dear. But please make sure you make out time to see me whenever you come home. I came with some provisions for you so I’ll just leave them with Precious. Remember that you are always in my prayers’.
Precious was Mummy Okoro’s third child. She was a first year law student.
‘Yes ma. Thank you very much. My regards to Daddy’, I said quietly.
‘Okay dear. Bye’, she said as she hung up.
I couldn’t believe it. I had just lied to my spiritual mentor, the woman God had placed in my life to watch over me. I felt so ashamed. ‘God forgive me’, I muttered.
At that moment, I saw Gozie from afar and the feeling of guilt disappeared very quickly. Gozie was really tall, and he had a beautiful gait that always attracted a second glance. I was so lucky to be the better half of this charming young man, I thought to myself.
‘Hey’, I said as I got to where he was standing.
A sweet smile lit his face and he gave me a tight hug.
‘My divine angel, you kept me waiting o. What happened?’
I smiled shyly. I’m sorry about that. It wasn’t intentional’.
‘Alright angel’, he said. ‘For you, I can wait a thousand years and not get tired’.
I giggled. ‘Okay o Mr. Waiter. Please let’s go’.
We walked into the garden hand in hand, happy and excited.
I was in my room later that night trying to fill my accounting workbook when Ezinma walked in tiredly.
I looked up. ‘Ezii, where have you been? I haven’t seen you since morning’
‘I’ve been in the library’, she replied. ‘We have a test on Friday’
‘Oh… Good luck to you’, I said.
‘Thanks Goody’, she said as she pulled off her cardigan.
‘Ehen!’ She exclaimed as she turned to face me. ‘Did you see Mummy Okoro in school today?’ she asked excitedly.
‘No I didn’t. Did she come?’ I asked as I avoided her eyes and concentrated on my workbook.
‘What do you mean by did she come?’ Ezinma asked, confused. ‘Didn’t she call you to tell you she was around?’
‘Well she did but I was busy’, I responded with a note of irritation.
‘Busy?’ Ezinma asked. ‘Were you in a lecture?’
‘Ezinma please I’m trying to fill my workbook. I don’t have time for your interrogation’
Ezinma walked up to my table and closed my workbook.
‘You still haven’t told her about Gozie, right?’
I sighed deeply as I leaned my back against the chair.
‘Don’t you get it Goody? If you don’t have the boldness or the courage to tell her about Gozie then something is wrong somewhere!’
‘Nothing is wrong anywhere Ezinma’, I said sharply. ‘I’m just worried that she may not understand me’, I replied in defense.
‘You’re not even sounding reasonable right now. Hasn’t she understood you since you’ve known her?’ Ezinma asked. ‘Why do you think it is at this point, this very important junction of your life, that she will be hard of understanding?’
I shot Ezinma a wary glance.
‘I will still tell her. I don’t know why you are making a mountain out of a molehill!’ I snapped.
‘When will you do that?’
I didn’t respond.
‘Goody when will you tell her?’ she asked again.
‘Tomorrow’, I said in a bid to get her off my back.
‘Your tomorrow that never comes, abi?’
I ignored her last statement.
‘Goodness I just want you to know that I care about you as my very good friend. I don’t want you to miss it in any area of your life’.
I still didn’t respond.
‘Okay. Can we fix a date and time to pray about this and seek God’s face together?’
I turned to look at her.
‘Well, if you want to pray for me, I really appreciate it. As for me, I have prayed and I have gotten my answers’.
Ezinma sighed exasperatedly.
I continued. ‘What is it you have against Gozie? Why don’t you like him? Anytime I bring his name up in our discussions, you always have a thousand questions to ask and ten thousand reservations to share. Do you have any underlying grudge against him?’
‘Grudge?’ Ezinma asked, surprised. ‘God knows I have nothing against Gozie. I’m just concerned at the way things are speeding up between you both, and the fact that you have not shared any of this your so called convictions with me or your spiritual mentor. I’m sorry if I said anything you did not like’.
My head had started to ache.
‘Thanks for your concern Ezinma’.
Ezinma didn’t respond. Rather, she opened the fridge and brought out a plate of left over rice to re-heat.
I couldn’t concentrate on my workbook anymore. Why exactly was I feeling reluctant to tell Mummy Okoro about Gozie? I searched my heart deeply. I loved Gozie, and I had gotten some revelations about him. I even shared two of such revelations with Mummy Okoro at the initial stage but all she said was ‘Give it time. Time proves everything’. I didn’t like her response, so I didn’t bother telling her about subsequent revelations.
I kept on examining my heart. What exactly was my fear? If indeed the hand of God was in this, then why didn’t I have the courage to tell my spiritual mentor? Why did I have this uneasy feeling that she would not approve of the relationship? I didn’t have an answer.
The love between Gozie and I grew, and so did our bond. We met physically almost every day, even though he was a final year student and he had a tighter schedule than mine. He was very loving and showered me with so much attention and I felt on top of the world.
Six weeks after my relationship with Gozie began, I ran into Bro Kennedy on my way home from Sunday fellowship. Prior to that, I had avoided him in every possible way. He had also tried calling me on the phone but I never picked up his calls. Today, there was no escaping.
‘Sister Goodness good evening’, he greeted.
‘Same to you’, I responded.
He smiled. ‘Why have you been avoiding me?’
‘Avoiding you? I haven’t done anything of such nature Sir. You’re mistaken’.
‘It’s alright, he said quickly. ‘So how have you been?’
‘I’ve been fine’, I replied, looking distracted.
‘Okay. I know your exams are around the corner so I don’t want to keep you for long. Sister Goodness, you have not given me a response.’
I shuffled my feet.
‘Sister Goodness?’ he called gently.
‘I’m engaged’, I replied curtly.
I watched as his eyes widened.
‘Engaged? Since when? But you never told me’, he said all in one breath.
‘I just did’, I said flatly. ‘I’m sorry Bro Kennedy but you are not God’s will for my life’.
He smiled ruefully. ‘But did you pray about my proposal at all? Please be sincere with me’.
I was in a dilemma. If I said yes, I would be lying. If I said no, it would hurt him so much.
‘Bro Kennedy, God will bring your perfect better half to you when it is time. Just keep praying. I have to go now, my exams are starting next week’
With that, I walked away hurriedly. After I had walked some distance, I looked back and saw that bro Kennedy was still standing at the same spot. I felt a pang of guilt and a wave of pity for him hit me. But what could I do? My heart already belonged to another.
On the day I wrote my last exam for the semester, Gozie took me out to celebrate it. I had just successfully completed my penultimate year and I was so eager to start my final year as an undergraduate. Gozie took me to Darrel Lounge, somewhere in the heart of the city. I didn’t feel too comfortable at first because of the atmosphere and the kind of people who were inside the lounge but Gozie encouraged me to relax.
‘They came for their business, you came for your business so just relax and pretend they are not here’, he said when he noticed how nervous I was.
We sat on a sofa at the extreme of the sit-out area as we discussed and laughed. Gozie had a good sense of humor so it was interesting being around him. As we discussed, I suddenly realised that today was Wednesday. Bible Study held every Wednesdays in our fellowship. I felt bad that I would miss Bible study today, but Gozie’s presence comforted me.
After a while, we both fell silent as he looked deep into my eyes. I saw so much love in his eyes and my heart started racing. Like a bolt from the blues, Gozie’s lips landed on mine and for the first few seconds, I was motionless.
Thanks for reading. Episode 4 comes up next!