Ronke and Pastor Adetutu arrived at the massive building which obviously belongs to Chief Rammon. All through the extensive drive from Abuja to Lagos, Ronke hadn’t been able to stop her racing heart. She was exceedingly grateful to have the pastor with her. She had explained everything to her pastor who had encouraged her to meet the man to confess and give him the remaining money. It had been so simple earlier: arrive at the house, kneel down and cry till she is forgiven and walk out with a light heart and a peaceful smile. Now, staring at the gate, she doubted it would be that simple.
They were let in by the house help and seated at the reception while the girl went in to call the chief, they were lucky to meet him at home. Chief Rammon took one look at Ronke and yelled. He was in front of her in a flash, lifting her with his arms and shaking her like a ragged doll. “You this thief. You have the guts to show your filthy face here. We are going to the police station now” he yelled.
Pastor Adetutu tried to break his hold and finally succeeded after almost two minutes.
His wife appeared before they knew what was happening. “What is going on here?” she asked. Obviously, the chief hadn’t told his wife the truth about what happened. The money Ronke stole had caused serious financial crisis and they had to sell three of their properties and withdraw almost everything in the family account to pay off the debt. He ranted the lie he had told his wife months ago; that Ronke was the one he had given a lift in his car who stole his briefcase. Ronke yelled, stating the fact that everything he said was a lie. She narrated everything that had happened even though the chief tried to cut her shut every now and then. The wrath of his wife turned to him immediately, and for a while, she and the pastor could as well be invisible because they just sat there looking. The pastor settled the raging war between them in order to face the reason why they came.
Ronke knelt down and pleaded. She presented the remaining money. After explaining all the events in her life right from the time she was born; how that she never knew her parents and that she was picked up from the dustbin by a good woman who later died when she was ten, everyone became soft-hearted. She explained that she had since then learnt to survive on her own, depending on men for her food, hereby becoming a harlot since she had no certificate to tender anywhere apart from her school cert. The pastor intervened and explained how she had become born again and had since then stopped spending the stolen money. God used the wife who stated that if her husband gets the girl arrested, she would also file for a divorce. Ronke left the house, not only forgiven and light-hearted but also with some money to start a small business.
The silence that greeted the gun shot was deadly. I was not seeing well, my face was blurry and everyone seemed to have frozen in their various positions. Slowly, like in all those action movies I usually watch at times, I watched as the gun slipped from Oyinade’s hand and landed on the floor with a thud. The fact that no one was talking made the sound louder than usual. Just then, Richard, who had covered me, left my arms to look at what was happening. Suddenly, I was seeing clearly and what I started seeing became confusing.
Oyinade slipped to the floor in pain as she grimaced. She hadn’t even pulled the trigger when she felt a searing pain go through her. Someone emerged from the croud, gun in hand. I looked at the man as I remembered when I had seen the man. It was weeks after I found out that Mr Jegas was my real father. Mr. Badmus, my step-father had introduced him to me as Inspector Sule. He was the one who investigated Tunji’s murder case and detained Mr Badmus as a suspect. They had become friends after the incident and luckily for everyone, Mr. Badmus had invited him for the naming ceremony. How Oyinade had passed the security men we had around to guard the place was still a mystery.
Inspector Sule apparently goes everywhere with a gun and I thanked God and am still thanking God for that attribute. I ran towards my mother-in-law and took my baby with tears in my eyes. Richard came and held me tenderly, whispering comforting words. After some minutes, he went to hold his mum who was trying to be brave but was still physically shaken. Everyone started murmuring at the same time and we watched as Inspector Sule and some of the police officers dragged a hurt Oyinade out of the premises.
“Damn you all, damn you” she yelled with very little strength as she was being dragged out.
Everyone started thanking God, all at once and I decided I had had enough for one day. That such a wonderful day hadn’t been turned to a day of mourning is something I would forever be grateful to God for. I swallowed as Richard kissed my head, kissed little Roland affectionately and led us inside. Family members came inside some minutes later to help us drive away the thought of what just happened. Trust Prisca in such a situation, she made a joke that had everyone laughing. Before we knew it, the incident was almost forgotten. Roland woke up and demanded his food and I excused myself and made for the bedroom. After breast-feeding him, I placed him on the bed, staring at him for sometime. His smile and everything he did fascinated me. I swallowed as I remembered the incident that just occurred, and then something told me that God allowed it. God must have allowed Oyinade to come in order to get her out of the streets and into the net of the police. I felt happy that she would not be bothering us anymore.
“Sweetheart” Richard called as he entered the room. I looked up with a smile as I tried to zip the gown I had changed into. “Let me help you with that” he whispered, coming over to my back to pull the zip.
“I was scared, so scared” I whispered. He turned me around and I faced him. “I was much more scared. Come here” he held me against him affectionately in a tight hug like he was trying to glue us together. “It is all over now”
‘On our wedding day, I never thought we would experience any itch in our marriage. It was so perfect that I felt it would always be like that. But every marriage has its own tests, ours is the issue of children, others can be financial problems or even trust. The most important thing is sticking with God through it all. The devil would always try to scatter a union and he would not come personally but would use agents. Just like I love my Richard, love your husband dearly, even more. It is not enough to love, tell them regularly, show it in your actions. Let the love in your house grow instead of diminish. Whenever something goes wrong, discuss it and trash it out immediately. Don’t keep ANYTHING from your spouse. To all the singles who are in love with someone but their love is not reciprocated, it happens. Don’t try to force your love on them. Love cannot be forced. It comes on its own. If one person does not love you, another person will and would love you more than you can ever imagine but until you see that person, respect yourself. Don’t jump from one man’s bed to the other because you think that abstinence is old-fashioned. Many things happened and would still happen in our family. Even Prisca has gone through so many things in her marriage, no one has a perfect marriage without troubles. Through it all, the most important things are: God, trust and love. With all these, you can overcome all things’. I closed my diary and carried my plate of snacks.
Richard woke up from his nap and came over to join me in the sitting room where I was eating prawn crackers and drinking juice. He grabbed the plate from my arms and stuffed his mouth with prawn crackers.
I scoffed. “That was unfair” I tried to collect the plate from him but he would not give it up.
“Are you the only one that loves enjoyment?” He asked with a cynical smile. I finally gave up and resigned to lie on the chair, with my head on his lap. He fed me crackers and fed himself also.
“Roland is still asleep?” I asked and he nodded. I shook my head and sighed. “That is good. He hasn’t given me a minute of rest. I am sure he took his crying habit from you” I said.
Richard scoffed. “Definitely not. I was as gentle as a dove” he said defensively.
“Dove? I barely had two hours of sleep when I was nursing you” we heard Richard’s mum say, approaching us. She had been in our house for about a week now, since the naming. My mum is still around and has been around before I delivered, to monitor me, being my first child. I was very grateful to have both women around. My mother-in-law has proved to be the best woman to have as your mother-in-law and I am very happy everything is settled between her and Richard.
I smiled at Richard. “Told you” I murmured victoriously.
Richard’s eyes rotated from his mum to me. “I feel a conspiracy here. The ladies in this house are conspiring against the men.”
I laughed. “Just accept the fact that you were a big mouthed crying baby”
He frowned. “Definitely not”. I laughed heartily.
“Well, let me leave you two to your argument. I am hungry” she marched into the kitchen.
I looked at Richard with a smile on my face. He threw his hands up in surrender. “Well, poor you. You would have to deal with many big mouthed crying babies. What are we going to do about that?” he looked sympathetic.
I sighed. “Nothing, fortunately”. We laughed at our little drama.
“Honey, what do you think about having a business of your own? I mean, being in BRP would not be very convenient for you now that there is a baby but if you have a private business like Prisca does, you would enjoy yourself and also have enough time to yourself and Roland; also the other big mouthed crying children on the way.”
I shook my head as I stared at him. “You know the problem with having two sisters marry two best friends, they all think the same way”.
He shook his head, “This has nothing to do with them baby”. I smiled. I had thought of it, only I did not mention it. My assistant in BRP Hospital is doing a good job.
“Is your account full enough to accommodate what I have in mind? It would be very capital intensive” I said, sitting up with a grin on my face. He squared his shoulders, adjusted his body hugging top to present the posture of a rich man.
“Try me”. I laughed and hugged him.
“Thank you darling” I whispered kissing him all over his face. He looked at me and I knew where this was going.
“I was thinking of something else to deliver your appreciation” he whispered.
I raised my brow. “Hmmm… I guess we could really do something before your son wakes up” I breathed. Roland’s piercing cry rang out just then and I smiled faintly. “I guess not” and ran to the room, leaving Richard to brood over his loss.
Written by Nissi Adeola
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