[STORY] Familiar Enemy (episode 1-19)

[STORY] Familiar Enemy (episode 1-19)

Familiar Enemy
EPISODE 1

“Face down! Everybody!”

“Raise your head and I blow it off!!!” He cocked the gun as if to emphasize his point, whimpering sounds of everyone followed, mine inclusive. I had never heard a gun cock at such close range. These robbers meant business. The mere thought of that made my heart pound in fear. I buried my head into my already trembling palms, as we all lay on our tummies. The cold tiled floor of the spacious living room offered no comfort as my body pressed against it.

“Hey stand up!” One of them barked, his deep, raspy voice echoed loudly.

“Pls don’t kill me pls!!!!!!” Mayowa screamed repeatedly in between tears,

“Quiet!” came the loud command that sent a chill down my spine.

I trembled violently on the floor as Mayowa whimpered loudly.

“We only came here to take what we need. We don’t intend to leave here without it! Hey boy, you are coming with us!”

“No pls no!!, Not him!!”
I screamed impulsively. I realized that I didn’t just scream in my head like I thought, but I had screamed out loud and in fact raised my head and was facing one of the masked robbers. There was silence for a split second, my sudden outburst must have shocked the robbers, I was equally shocked at such boldness. It was short lived as I felt fear creeping in again.

“Pls sir, don’t do this to me, my only son, I beg you. Take me and spare him pls” Aunty BB screamed, in tears

In a swift motion the masked robber holding Mayowa pointed the gun on Mayowa’s head. The dark metal glistened,
My heart stopped and then started pounding so hard.

Silence.

“One more word from anyone again, and I would waste this boy here right now! Understand?!!!” He barked

I nodded, my eyes on Mayowa, his own eyes tightly shut, as he whimpered loudly and visibly shaking. A sight that broke my heart.

“Hey boy, you want to die?”
Mayowa shook his head vigorously

“Then shut up!”

The gun was still pointed to the side of his head, and I watched helplessly as they led him out, I couldn’t seem to take my eyes off him

“Jesus pls, Father, do something, don’t let them take him away!!, He is a young boy that loves you, don’t let them!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

I screamed in my head, as I watched them go

I caught glimpses of the deadly weapons the men carried. The possibilities of what he would go through in the custody of such heartless men, filled my heart with intense fear and anxiety, so much it was paralyzing.
Drowning in the overwhelming emotions, I slipped into unconsciousness.

[nextpage title=”episode 2″]
EPISODE 2

I splashed some cold water on my face several times, my head bent into the wash hand basin in the bathroom. I raised my head, looking at my reflection in the mirror positioned right above the wash hand basin. My puffy eyes stared back at me. I couldn’t even remember getting one night of good sleep for days.

Today makes exactly one week one day since Mayowa had been kidnapped. That night, their gate man had been able to clearly see the kind of car the robbers drove; he was able to describe it to the police. I had thought it would be easy for the police to find Mayowa with that information, it appears I was very wrong.

Every chance I got I prayed tirelessly. Initially, my faith was so strong, I was certain good news would be our portion. Each time the police visited, it would be same news, no sign of Mayowa, the robbers or their car. I lazily walked back into the room.

It was still quite early in the morning. The very time I would usually go to Mayowa’s room, to wake him up and get him ready for school. The adjoining door that connected my room to his, made that easy for me.

“Is it morning already Aunty EKiki?” He would usually ask drowsily, his handsome little face breaking into a cute smile.
He referred to me as Ekiki instead of Eki, because he said Eki was too short to be the name of a person.

“Yes, big man, what do we do first thing in the morning?” I would ask as usual
“Lay my bed and talk to Jesus” he would reply with a yawn.

“Are you excited to talk to Jesus this morning?”

“Yup”

“What did I teach you about saying yup”

“Oh, bad English, sorry, yes Aunty EKiki”

“Good boy, you are becoming a man” I would say with a smile and then tickle him, and amidst his uncontrollable laughter, he would get up. And the morning would begin. My heart clenched as I remembered

I have been an orphan for as long as I can remember. I never knew my parents; I don’t even know if they ever lived as a couple. If I was the result of a fling or a blooming relationship. The only thing I knew was that I lived with my grandmother in the village, before I even began to walk, maybe she’s not my grandmother, I don’t know.

One day, a certain lady came from the city to the village. She told my grandmother that she wanted to take me to the city and make my life better.

I was about 6 years old then. My grandmother agreed without even a second thought, she never really liked me. My grandmother was already well advanced in age, and I was a handful. Even as a child, I knew at that moment that I was being discarded.

The lady left the village with about a score of us. She took us to the city as promised, but not to make our lives better.

Sleeping in a room, sandwiched alongside other girls, some of them much older than I was. Several of them, just a year or two older than me. An older woman called Mama Swagger, she had a quick and very hot temper, we were staying in her house. Each time the familiar lady came visiting, that meant someone amongst us was going with her.

One after the other, the girls were taken away, to where I didn’t know, but they never came back. Until I was the last one left. Seeing the lady again that evening visiting Mama Swagger’s place, I just believed it was finally my turn.

[nextpage title=”episode 3″]
EPISODE 3

“Of what use is this one now?” Mama Swagger said to the lady

“What else? the same thing the others are used for”

“She’s a child!!!, what were you ~thinking picking someone this young?! Don’t tell me you didn’t have plans when you picked and kept her here all along eating my free food!” Mama Swagger said her a~ nger rising

“I…don’t…know, I jus…t…tho…ught she’d be useful, somehow. It doesn’t matter that she’s a child na, how about those who prefer children?” The lady said clearly uncomfortable with Mama Swagger’s rising temper.

I just stood there, watching as they discussed me like I was invisible, good thing I was too young to understand

“Prefer children? Yes, I know, but the kind of trouble we would get into, I’m not ready for that kind of trouble!!!” Mama Swagger said, casting occasional angry glances at me. I became afraid, I had always tried not to get on her bad side

“What do we do? We need to dispose of this one quick, I’m losing my patience!” Mama Swagger said again, as she lighted her cigarette.

Mama Swagger smokes when she’s angry, irritated. Once she starts, she just wouldn’t stop for a long time. I never liked the choking feeling of being near her when she does it, another reason I tried incredibly hard not to get on her bad side. I searched my young mind for an excuse to leave the room

“Think! think of something fast!!!, This thing is not staying another night here, I hate the sight of a profitless creature eating free food!!” Mama Swagger said in a loud voice

After a minute of drumming her fingers on the center table in the sitting room, the lady finally spoke

“I have an idea, there’s this rich family, they need a house help urgently. That should work”

“Whatever, just get her out of here!”
The choking feeling was beginning to overwhelm me

“I wan piss” I said quickly, suppressing my cough. The last time I coughed when she was smoking, I got a hot slap from her.

“Don’t you know your way to the toilet, or what’s the useless information for?”

“This is not a daycare!!!!, the next time you dare bring any young thing here again I’d not take it lightly!” I heard Mama Swagger say as I rushed out

I ended up in a rich household as a maid, and then my journey as a house help began. As the years passed, I moved from house to house as a house maid. Of course, I had lost all connection with the lady. At age 12, I ended up in a home of an elderly man, as his maid, and my life took a drastic turn.

Pa Benjamin had lost his wife long ago and his children were all grown up. He led me to Christ, my eyes were opened to a new kind of life completely different from the one I had known. Life slowly began to make sense.

Pa Benjamin being a retired teacher, took responsibility for my education, and home schooled me. My relationship with Jesus changed everything incredibly. I found hope, joy, love and a reason to live.

Three years later, Pa Benjamin passed away. I cried. The only person and place I could call home, gone.

[nextpage title=”episode 4″]
EPISODE 4

Pa Benjamin had about seven children, four of which were scattered across the globe, whilst three are based in Nigeria. During all the times I stayed with Pa Benjamin, only his last child visited and called often. Most people assumed Pa Benjamin had only this one child, Mabel. When the funeral rites were over, Madam Mabel called to see me.

“Eki, my Father loved you like his own. You did a great job of taking care of him. You served him faithfully. I want so badly to take you along to live with me and my family. Unfortunately, I can’t, our home is crowded as it now. My husband’s younger twin sisters live with us, there is nowhere else vacant in that house, it just a small space we are managing” coolval stories She sighed in frustration, she was quiet and lost in thought, sighing at intervals.

I felt anxious. I had nowhere to go, knew nowhere else. Yes, I had trusted my life into God’s hands, but I couldn’t help but wonder in fear if I would end up homeless and back on the streets.

“Dad made me promise him something as he was dying. He made me promise that you would be well taken care of. I don’t even have the financial capability to achieve that, but then I already gave him my word on his death bed. Whatever it takes I have to fulfil that promise”. she said softly, more to herself than to me, rubbing her temple softly, with her eyes closed. She went quiet, the silence stretched. I almost thought she had fallen asleep, then she spoke again, eyes still closed

“Go to bed, I’ll let you know my decision.”

“Okay ma, thank you ma” I said
with a slight bow and went into my room, where I knelt and prayed for an intervention like my life depended on it.

The next morning, she had clearly decided, because we were on our way out of the state. I had no idea what her decision was, or where she was taking me. We arrived at our destination in the evening

“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not on your own understanding, in all thy ways acknowledge Him and He would direct thy path” I repeatedly said this scripture under my breath, it was the word I received from God as I poured out my heart to the Lord in prayer last night. Repeating it over was my habit of letting the word sink into my being.

We entered an amazingly impressive looking house with posh interior decoration. The woman I assumed to be the Madam of the house, sat in the living room, a pedicurist was attending to her, completely focused on her job. It was home service obviously. The moment I stepped into the living room, I felt strange,

“WELCOME TO YOUR PLACE OF ASSIGNMENT” came the soft voice, I looked behind me quickly, wondering who had spoken to me. I was shocked to see that no one had said anything, and it occurred to me that the voice must have been what Pa Benjamin usually called the inner voice. The Holy spirit

“Place of assignment? God wants me to do something here? Me?” I asked in my head, my curiosity heightened and, in my mind, questions arose like several sea ~waves, loud and drowning the voices and conversations around me. Madam Mabel tapped me; the physical touch seemed to drag~ me back to reality.

“Ma?” I looked at her in confusion, she must have spoken to me, and I had obviously not been paying attention

“I asked about your age”
“I’m fifteen years old ma” I said quickly, in the composed manner that Pa Benjamin had taught me

The woman glanced at me briefly
“She speaks good English” she said in a tone suggested that she was impressed. Madam Mabel had a satisfied smile

“Mabel, there’s already the maid who cleans and takes care of the house, another maid who washes clothes, we have a chef too. What exactly would I be needing another for?” She said with a shrug
Madam Mabel adjusted on her seat uncomfortably

“I don’t need another…but then…” she seemed deep in thought for some seconds, Madam Mabel almost looked as if she was holding her breath. I waited eagerly as well

…to be CONTINUED

[nextpage title=”episode 5″]
EPISODE 5

“Last month I had a girl whose job was to attend to me personally, here in this home. She agreed to the job because she was awaiting admission. I let her go the moment she got admission into the University. I haven’t thought about a replacement since then.” For the first time since I stepped in, she took a good look at me.

There was something about the way she regarded me, the silent way she was studying me.

“I’ll take her” she said, those simple words did so much to ease the tension in the atmosphere

They finally reached a conclusion about how much I’ll be paid monthly. It doubled what Pa Benjamin paid. I was stunned, even though my features were too schooled to give any emotion away.

“You will not regret your decision, I promise you” Madam Mabel said as she stood up

“I’ll take your word for it, my regards to your family. I would love to see you off, but I can’t because of this” she said, gesturing towards her feet under the ministrations of the pedicurist, who was totally concentrated on her business

“No problem, I totally understand”

Madam Mabel, signaled and I followed her outside.

“BB and I were mates in the University, I can’t say I know her so well. What I do know is that she treats her staff well, in that regard, you are in good hands.” Madam Mabel said to me once we got outside

She dipped her hand into her bag and she fished out a thousand naira note, she pressed it into my palms
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“Manage this in case of any emergency before you get paid”
Surprised, I felt greatly touched,

“Ah, thank you so much ma”
I knelt in appreciation

“You are welcome. I’ve told you to stop kneeling for me” she said pulling me up

“I have a long way to go, I have to be on my way. Remain the good girl that you are Eki. Now, go inside, don’t keep her waiting for too long.” she added,

“Ok ma, thank you so much ma.” I spoke. She adjusted her bag properly and turned to leave.

Although Madam Mabel and I were never so close, as she was leaving, I knew I would miss her. The moment she walked out the gate, I went back inside

“You look tired; I guess you had quite a long journey. You will rest today, come downstairs for dinner by 7, not earlier not later. You understand?”

“Yes Madam”

“Which Madam?” she asked sneering

“You address me as Aunty BB. Ok?”

“Yes ma… Aunty BB”

“Good, Peter! Peter!!”

“Yes Aunty!” came a voice from somewhere within the house.

A man joined us in the living room,

“This is Peter, the housekeeper” she said gesturing towards him

“Peter, starting from today, Eki works for me. Take her to one of the rooms upstairs.”

“Up…stairs ma?”

“Yes! Do you have a problem with that?!” she said sharply

“No ma, sorry ma”

I clutched my bag, and followed Peter upstairs. A new chapter of my life opened

[nextpage title=”episode 6″]
EPISODE 6

Aunty BB is a business woman to the core, she is a major distributor of foreign designer clothes, shoes and jewelries. Her husband, he is usually addressed as Uncle Ade by the housekeepers.

Aunty BB put me in charge of attending to anything that concerns her welfare in the house. I had no business with Uncle Ade, all I had to do was attend to Aunty BB.

I didn’t think I would be doing much. I couldn’t be more wrong. The workload was more tasking than I imagined. Every weekend, I was expected to select all her clothes for the week.

Take the clothes to the dry cleaners ahead of time. I was to arrange the clothes in her closets according to each day of the week. The same for her under garments and lingerie. Aunty BB was the life of party, I was expected to be abreast of social events she would be attending, finding out the appropriate clothes for each occasion, making sure they were ready before hand.

I had to keep record to ensure that she never repeats an attire for any social event, ever, she made it emphatically clear that it would be a grave mistake on my part if it ever happened.

The jewelries, shoes, wigs, bags, I oversaw selecting and arranging them ahead of the next day. It would have been easier to handle these tasks if Aunty BB wasn’t so difficult to please.

Sometimes after I had returned from the dry cleaners with the clothes, then she would insist that all she would have on her for each day of the week must be from a particular brand.

I must ensure that her jewelries, shoes, bag, accessories even perfume were from a particular brand, meaning I had to choose new sets of clothes all over again.

The work was not only tasking but it also exposed me to areas of herself and Uncle Ade’s life that I wished I didn’t know. Aunty BB was a heavy drinker, lived an extravagant lifestyle.

Uncle Ade was a chronic womanizer. Sometimes he travelled so much I would hardly see him for months, at other times, he would be around, quite engrossed in his work.

After one full year of working with them, the first child Omomayowa was born. Coolval stories had made up my mind to stop working for Aunty BB, until that day she called me into her room

“You haven’t even taken a second look at him. You haven’t carried him in your arms, have you?” Aunty BB asked with baby Mayowa in her arms, there was that accusing undertone in her voice, she handed him over to me.

Reluctantly I took him into my arms, and looked down at his innocent and happy face. I was mesmerized as I took a good look at him. I had deliberately avoided having anything to do with the new baby.

The circumstances that surrounded Mayowa’s birth and the part I played in it still haunted me, I had even made up my mind to get away from it all, until I carried him in my arms.

“Your job description just changed. Nanny, I think that’s what it’s called, that’s your job now. Full time, you would have whatever you need, just make sure you dedicate every waking hour to nurturing this golden boy. Do we have a deal?” She asked emphatically.

“Is this some sort of compensation?” I thought

[nextpage title=”episode 7″]
EPISODE 7

It was at the tip of my tongue to refuse the offer, and go on with my plan to stop working for this family, but Mayowa cooed and my attention returned to him. I smiled at him and he returned it with a full smile, his gum on display. My heart melted, and I knew I couldn’t resist her offer, not in a million years.

“Well?”

“Yes ma, we have a deal” I said without taking my eyes off his adorable face

A shrill noise from downstairs forced my mind back to the present.
Panic seized me as I raced out of the room. Rushing down the stairs. I heard voices in the living room, I rushed there. Aunty BB was the one who obviously made that sound, because she made it again sending chills down my spine. She was on the ground, crying profusely, slapping the tiles loudly with her palms.

Uncle Ade had his head bent.

“Madam pls take it easy” the officer said. I did not notice his presence until then

“Officer I’m finished, you don’t understand, I am totally finished” she said, screaming loudly

“What exactly is going on pls!” I said at last, Uncle Ade chose that moment to stand abruptly. He snatched the keys from where they were hung and walked out. I turned my attention to the officer.

“Miss Eki, I have some bad news. We were finally able to locate the car that was described by the gateman to be the car of the robbers. Unfortunately, the car is a write off, it appears there had been a ghastly accident that night. Nobody could have survived the accident, the bodies found were dismembered beyond recognition”

I opened my mouth to speak, but instead my jaw hung open, with my lips quivering. I felt a sharp pain in my chest

“Is he dead?” I asked dumbly, unable to think clearly

“I’m afraid so”

“You are a liar! Mayowa is alive, he is not dead!” I screamed suddenly, startling the officer

“Miss Eki, I understand that…”

“No, stop lying to me!! how dare you say Mayowa is dead. How dare you? Never ever tell me that nonsense!” I said, I was breathing heavily. I walked away from him and swiftly ascended the stairs.

I swung my door open, the adjoining door that connected my room to Mayowa’s, caught my eye.

I stood transfixed to the spot. Slowly I made my way towards the door. Opened it. Memories flooded my mind

His framed picture on the wall caught my attention, his ever-smiling handsome face.

“Look at you, looking alive and well. Don’t mind that confused officer, he said you are dead. What nonsense. You can’t be dead, right?” I asked still looking into the picture. My mind was in a blur.

I walked back to my room, his framed picture in my hands. I sat on the floor in my room; I left the adjoining door open so I could look straight into his room

“Don’t mind them, I’ll wait till you return home”

I was convincing myself that this whole thing was a lie, but I couldn’t deny the tremor that I felt each time I looked at the picture. I hugged the picture and lay on the rug.
A weakness like liquid snaked it’s way through my body all the way down to my toes. I tried to shake off the overwhelming weakness that was lulling me to sleep. I want to stay awake when Mayowa comes home. I finally gave into the urge and drifted off.

[nextpage title=”episode 8″]
EPISODE 8

I watched in wonder as the day broke slowly. I stepped out of Jumoke’s guest room.

Back then when I just started working with Aunty BB, I found a church, an amazing place of worship, that’s where I met Jumoke. Realizing we shared similar desires and hunger for Jesus. In the space of about a year and some months, we bonded quickly. As the years flew by, we grew into prayer partners and best friends turned sisters.

I couldn’t handle the grief.
The gloominess and hopelessness that hung in the atmosphere at home was dragging me into depression.

I had to get out before I reached the point of no return.

I had carried Jumoke along regarding the situation at hand. She knew my bond with Mayowa, the kidnap. All the while Jumoke had travelled on an official assignment. The moment she called that she was back in the state. I rushed to her place; I was certain I was losing it. I couldn’t keep together anymore; I was falling apart.

I remember frantically knocking on her door that day

“Oh my God, Eki! You don’t look good at all!” she said when she opened the door and led me inside her apartment

“Ma…yowa…is…dead” I said quietly, my voice shaking

It was the first time in three days that I was admitting this

“No! no! I’m so sorry dear”

Her voice filled with so much sadness, made it feel even more real. The tears slipped down my cheeks, she came to where I sat and hugged me

“I’m losing my mind; I’ve been telling myself that it’s not true. Mayowa is alive, I want to keep believing that” the tears spilled even more,

“Don’t be in denial, it’s dangerous. You need to first accept it.” Jumoke looked into my red and puffy eyes

Jumoke pulled me into a comforting embrace. We grieved together, our sobs filling the silence.
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I had grieved so much, more than I did for Pa Benjamin, the ache in my heart just wouldn’t go away. Jumoke assured me that we would only talk when I feel ready.

I stepped out of the room, I perceived the aroma of freshly brewed coffee, I joined her in the kitchen

“Morning”

“Good morning”

I sat on the high kitchen stool.

“Coffee?”

“Yes, please, no milk or…”

“Yes baby, black for you, no milk or sugar. I’m aware o madam” she said with a teasing smile. I couldn’t help but smile back

She joined me; I took a sip of the black liquid.

“I’m ready to talk” I said after a moment of staring into the mug

“You’ll never see Mayowa again, how do you truly feel about that?” she asked.

I felt my chest tighten in pain, almost suffocating me. I was trying to look for the words. I sighed

“I feel God doesn’t answer prayers. I prayed night and day for God to save Mayowa; my faith was strong. God didn’t hear me and didn’t answer me. I feel alone, hurt, disappointed. I feel like there’s no meaning to life. God is not on my side; He doesn’t care about me anymore. I miss Mayowa so desperately, and I didn’t get the chance to say goodbye”
“God is supposed to honor His word even above His name, but He didn’t. Sometime ago, Mayowa was very sick, we were all scared, and thought he would die. I prayed fervently and God assured me with the scripture Psalm 41:2” the tears filled my eyes again, and my heart ached

“The Lord will protect him and keep him alive, and he shall be called blessed upon the earth; and do not give him over to the desire of his enemies. That’s what it says” Jumoke is like a walking Bible, I inculcated her habit of memorizing and meditating on the word of God.

“Yes. I believed that word of God with all my heart. I prayed with it, alongside other scriptures. Mayowa was healed instantly. Ever since then, that has been my confidence. Why couldn’t God honor His word? Is this Gods way of punishing me for what I did?!” I exclaimed

The words had slipped out before I could stop them. This was the one thing I had hidden from Jumoke. I saw the surprise register on her face.

“Is there something you want to tell me?” she asked cautiously

I was silent for a while; it was a burden that had weighed me down heavily.

“I… emm…, I was involved in some kind of mess regarding Mayowa’s birth…” my voice trailed off
Jumoke looked at me intently

“Spill, except, you…don’t want to” she said quietly

The silence suddenly became uncomfortable

“Aunty BB is not Mayowa’s mother” I said at last
Jumoke had not expected that, her mouth hung open

“I…, you remember the time that Aunty BB had to travel for several months, and I went with her. She told her staff that she wanted to open a new branch at another state, you remember right?”

“You told me that it was all a cover, the real issue was that Aunty BB was pregnant and they wanted to keep it very coded, till she had the baby” Jumoke said softly

“When she was three months pregnant, according to her, she pleaded and convinced Uncle Ade to help her keep the pregnancy a secret till she had the baby. He agreed and she travelled. I don’t know how she manipulated the pregnancy report, truth is, Aunty BB wasn’t the one that was pregnant” I looked at Jumoke then, she listening intently. Her eyes focused on mine.
“Who was pregnant then?” she asked

I swallowed hard

[nextpage title=”episode 9″]
EPISODE 9

I replayed the memory with all its messy details

We had arrived at our destination late that night, despite travelling by flight. We were still quite tired.

A lady joined us in the house, I did not know her and I had not seen her before.

Aunty BB said the lady would be staying with us

After dinner that day, Aunty BB called me into her room and dropped the bombshell, I had never been so shocked in my entire life

“Aunty, you are saying you lied about your pregnancy, you are not pregnant?! The lady who is staying with us is the one pregnant with the baby?! How is that possible?!” I exclaimed

“Anything is possible now adays”

“But why? Why would you do such a thing Aunty?” I asked angrily not knowing where I got the boldness to question her actions, thankfully she didn’t take offence.

“Because it’s the smartest thing to do! The doctors say there’s nothing wrong with me, and nothing wrong with my husband medically. Yet, we are unable to have children of our own. Ademi, is a chronic womanizer, even you are aware of that!”

“So far, according to my findings, none of his concubines has a child for him. Yet. I can’t take any more chances. I paid Juliet to have an affair with him and get pregnant. It had to be his child in case of any DNA later in the future.”

My eyes widened in surprise.

“Don’t think I’m fighting for any husband here, all I’m after is the benefits that come with having his first child” she added defensively

It must have been written all over my face that her last statement confused me

“Let me explain” She said

[nextpage title=”episode 10″]
EPISODE 10

Her eyes intense, she leaned closer and her voice dropped a notch.

“Ade is from a wealthy family. As the first child, I realized his birth-right as an heir is out of this world. In that their family, the birth-right of the first child is mind blowing, regardless of the gender. I’m not even talking about inheritance. The birth-right is given a few years after the child is born. Ade is the first child from his father’s mistress, but he got the birth-right as the first born over the first child of his father’s wife, regardless. Ade became entitled to the birth-right few years after his birth, so his mother, the mistress could benefit massively from her son’s birth-right, till he became old enough to manage it on his own. That’s is what I’m trying to avoid, a mistress taking what should be mine. I know Ade and I may have children of our own someday, but someday might be too late. I need to have a card, a backup card. My life would change drastically forever if my child gets that birth-right”

“But Uncle Ade might find out” I said in a whisper, the mere possibility was scary

“He would never find out” She said with such authority and finality that seemed to silence any other questions I might have

Aunty BB perfectly planned the whole issue such that Uncle Ade didn’t even suspect a thing. The expected date of delivery of Juliet was fast approaching, I noticed Aunty BB and Juliet were having minor disagreements.

Aunty BB never disclosed the details of their disagreements. One night, Aunty BB was drunk to stupor which was not unusual, only this time she kept talking as I struggled to get her out of her clothes and into her nightie.

Instead of the usual off-keys songs, and incoherent words she would utter, she was speaking sensibly to a certain extent, I paid attention

“Juliet, you are a stupid girl, stupid girl. Greedy girl” She said facing me,

“You idiot you said I’m cheating you; you are telling me you didn’t know my husband was that rich. Imagine you saying that I can do better” she hissed loudly, she tried to hit me, but I dodged it. I was confused until I figured out that she was mistaking me for Juliet

“The money I agreed to pay you, where will you ever get such in…in your…entire lifetime! Nonsense! Even the deposit sef, all your life savings can never come close to that amount, never and now you want more! You are stylishly threatening me because you know I’m desperate. What nonsense!!! What nonsense!!” she began hitting me

“You haven’t even had the baby, and see what you are doing, what will you do when you have the child, blackmail me?!, I will deal with you before you grow wings!” she said angrily, I tried to calm her down.

After throwing up severally, she finally calmed down enough to sleep, leaving me to clean the mess as usual

[nextpage title=”episode 11″]
EPISODE 11

Some days later, Juliet called for me

“Eki, I don’t know, I just feel restless.” She said,
Juliet was very free spirited and related with me very cordially.

“We can take a stroll; will that make you feel better?” I asked, I didn’t know how I came about such suggestion, it just jumped out of my mouth.

“Excellent! I didn’t think of that! I’m ready when you are!” she sounded enthusiastic about it

The breeze was cool, and calming, she seemed more relaxed as walked through the estate

“The date of delivery is approaching, I’m nervous and excited at the same time” she said giggling like a little child

“Who would have thought that I would keep a pregnancy in my life, I have aborted severally o. Maybe if I had known this is how pregnancy would feel like, I would have kept at least one child for myself” she said so casually, but I could hear a tinge of regret in her tone

“I have lived a messed-up life, I hope this child is nothing like me”

“Jesus can make you brand new, all you have to do is accept Him into your life” I chipped in

“Brand new? That’s impossible, not for the likes of me”

“But Jesus loves you, He wants to give you a new life”

“Don’t bother yourself about me. I have done many terrible things, I dare not hope for a new life, but this innocent one” she rubbed her protruding belly softly

“Maybe this innocent soul would know Jesus and be a better person. That would be my greatest wish, I wish Jesus can do that for me”

My eyes caught the gate at the end of the street, it was wide open, a statement Aunty BB made about Juliet when she was drunk that night, suddenly flashed through my mind
“I will deal with you before you grow wings!”

At the sight of the estate entrance and exit gate, a heard a voice in my spirit

“HER LIFE IS IN DANGER; SHE MUST LEAVE NOW. DON’T LET HER RETURN TO THAT HOUSE”

I tried to make sense out of the words, but I couldn’t, I had never heard anything so ridiculous

I concluded it was just my mind playing tricks, and thus I dismissed it.

Reaching the estate gate, Juliet looked ahead, past the gate, for a split second and then we changed direction to return to the house. I felt another strong nudging, I suppressed it and we slowly strolled back home

The next afternoon, Juliet delivered a bouncing baby boy. Aunty BB was elated. The second day after her successful delivery, Aunty BB asked me to leave the hospital and go home and prepare something delicious, herself and Juliet were to arrive from the hospital later in the day.

Late that night, Aunty BB returned just when I was getting worried.

“Where is Juliet?” I asked when I saw no sign of her, only Aunty BB and the Babyboy peacefully sleeping

“Something terrible has happened Eki” Aunty BB said

“What is it?”

“Juliet developed some complications. She suddenly started bleeding seriously, the doctors tried to save her, but all to no avail. We lost her”

“Oh Lord!” I exclaimed, both hands on my head

“It’s so sudden, I don’t understand it” something about her tone, forced me to look at her. I couldn’t explain it, but deep down in my spirit, I felt Aunty BB had something to do with it.

I didn’t want to believe it but it was written all over her in a way I couldn’t define.

[nextpage title=”episode 12″]
EPISODE 12

The following day, I cleaned and arranged the house, as we got ready to leave the state and return home. I emptied the trash container in Aunty BB’s room and something in it caught my attention. A medicine container, it still had some tablets in it. I don’t know why, but I took it.

We finally got back home. Uncle Ade was elated when he returned from his trip days later. The extended families came and celebrated the new addition to the family.

The medicine container I found kept coming to mind. Out of a curiosity I couldn’t explain, I discreetly took the medicine to the pharmacy and inquired about it.

The pharmacist explained what it could be used for, and then he said something that made me speechless

“Pls this kind of medicine should be taken with precaution, strictly according to the prescription. Wrong dosage can be detrimental, leading to excessive bleeding and loss of life”

It kept ringing in my head that Aunty BB mentioned that Juliet had bled to death

“She killed her?!” Jumoke asked in shock, her hands covering her mouth, her eyes wide open

“Yes, she had every reason to. I have never recovered from the fact that the voice I had heard in my spirit, was the Holy Spirit, and I didn’t heed it. If I had I obeyed, Juliet would have had a chance to escape. Aunty BB’s plan to deceive her husband would have been exposed. Mayowa might never have had to be in this family, he’ll still be alive. Juliet would have been alive as well. I lost the chance to save Juliet, the realization that I had the chance to save Juliet and I didn’t, continues to haunt me. I don’t know, but each time I think about it. I played a huge part in her death. The Holy spirit warned me, but I just waved it off!”

“You have nothing to be guilty about. You didn’t kill her. Let me ask you, have you repented before God for disobeying Him?”

“Yes, every…chance…I…get” I said between sobs

“Then God has long forgiven you…”

“But God is punishing me, I keep paying the price for my disobedience, first Juliet’s death, now Mayowa” I said in tears, letting out a heart-breaking cry

“Stop beating yourself up about it. God is not punishing you. Accept His forgiveness. God loves you deeply. All things work together for good to them that love God and are called according to His purpose.”

“What good can be in the death of an innocent boy?!”

“I don’t know, I don’t have any answers. What I know and will choose to believe is that God is good. The word of God says Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; His love endures forever. You must believe that God is good, not because you feel so, or even think so, but because He word says so. His word would not lie”

For a while my sobs filled the silence, she reached for my hand across the table

“Eki, in this moment of grief, all the enemy wants to do is to make sure that you doubt the faithfulness of God. He wants to see you lose confidence in that same word of God that has been your guide. Can’t you see that this is what the enemy is doing?. No, not on my watch, God helping me, that would never happen. Search Coolval stories to read more intriguing stories. I want you to say after me, I thank you Jesus for You are good, because Your word says ‘Oh give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, and His love endures forever’. Pls don’t say it if you don’t believe it”

I knew the scripture by heart, Psalm 107;1. Yet, I couldn’t repeat the words, the pain in my heart wouldn’t let me. I kept my head bent, the tears flowing, she waited patiently. I fought the doubt choking me, the pain and the grief engulfing me.
“Holy Spirit help me” I screamed inwardly

I shut my eyes tightly. The events of my life played itself before me.

I saw it vividly, God has been there with me, watching out for me, even when I didn’t deserve it.

Back to the present, with my head bent I cried harder. God had been good to me, even before I knew and accepted him. How could I have forgotten how His love had kept me?

I lifted my head and looked at Jumoke. Regardless of the ache in my heart, and the pain still fresh, God is good, I believe it. I found strength to voice my thoughts.

“I thank you Jesus, because Your word says ‘Oh give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, and His love endures forever. I believe it, in my grief, God is good, He has been good, He is good, and He would always be good, regardless of what I feel, because His word says so” I said with confidence amidst tears. Jumoke tightened her grip on my hands.

“Thank you, Jesus,” she whispered,

“Let this be your confession and thus your reality. Don’t lose your joy honey” she added, I nodded.

“Mayowa is in a better place” I said softly, the ache deepened in my heart, but I still repeated the words

“Let’s worship Jesus together in songs” Jumoke suggested

“Great idea” I said nodding my head in agreement

Together we raised our voices to heaven in one accord, slowly, ever so slowly, my attention shifted from the weight of my burden to the awesomeness of Jesus. I poured out my heart more in songs of worship as tears ran down my cheeks. I felt a refreshing.

[nextpage title=”episode 13″]
EPISODE 13

I rounded up, and closed my Bible. It was my midnight prayer altar. I felt alive again, no wonder the Psalmist said he was glad when they said unto him let us go into the house of the Lord. Yes, the pain of Mayowa’s death was still like a big wound that needed care, attention and Jesus to heal, and it had just been two weeks since the entire incident. Time with the Holy spirit was the very balm that soothed it. There are still nights when I cry myself to sleep out of grief, and days when I didn’t want to get out of bed because of the sorrow that overwhelmed me.

“Lord, why are you impressing this kind of scripture in my Spirit?” I said softly to the Holy spirit as I leaned back in the reclining chair.

Usually, one of the ways God leads me to the scripture He wants me to meditate is by impressing it upon my spirit. I expected it to be a scripture of encouragement or comfort but it wasn’t either of the two. I had slowly begun to memorize it.

“Therefore, judge nothing before the appointed time; wait until the Lord comes. He will bring to light…” my voice trailed off, I had not perfected memorizing it. I flipped through the chapter of the Bible. I found it and read it out

“1 Corinthians 4:5, Therefore, judge nothing before the appointed time; wait until the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men’s hearts. At that time each will receive his praise from God.”

“There’s something You are definitely saying Holy spirit, help me hear and understand You” I said

“What is in the darkness that needs to come to light?” I questioned myself

“Is it something I have done?”

Silence.

My mind unexpectedly flashed to the night of the robbery. My mind flashed to the night of the robbery again, this time, I replayed it slowly

“Face down! Everybody!”
“Raise your head and I blow it off!!!” He cocked the gun as if to emphasize his point, whimpering sounds of everyone followed, mine inclusive. I had never heard a gun cock at such close range. These robbers meant business. The mere thought of that made my heart pound in fear. I buried my head into my already trembling palms, as we all lay on our tummies. The cold tiled floor of the spacious living room offered no comfort as my body pressed against it.

“Hey stand up!” One of them barked, his deep, raspy voice echoed loudly.

“Pls don’t kill me pls!!!!!!” Mayowa screamed repeatedly in between tears,

“Quiet!” came the loud command that sent a chill down my spine.

I trembled violently on the floor as Mayowa whimpered loudly.

“We only came here to take what we need. We don’t intend to leave here without it! Hey boy, you are coming with us!”

Something came to mind, as the memory fizzled out

“Yes, they didn’t take any money, they came for just one mission. That means someone must have assigned them to the job” I said suddenly, stunned by the realization. I sat up immediately.

“Who would want Mayowa dead? why??”

Now the “hidden in the darkness” part of the scripture made sense

Suddenly restless, I paced. The story wasn’t over like I thought. The fact that God is interested in bringing to light whoever is behind this, was intriguing.

I felt thirsty, I picked my water bottle, it was empty. I decided to get some water. I went to the kitchen downstairs. I was familiar enough with the house to navigate my way in the semi darkness. I reached the kitchen turned on the lights, took a bottle of water from the pack. I emptied one bottle and then took a second bottle and emptied it in my water bottle till it was filled up.
From the kitchen window, I had a very good view of the boys’ quarter. The Holy Spirit prompted me to go there and look, the lights were switched off. I remember going there a few times. I stepped out of the house, the cold air brushed against my skin, goose pimples rose on my skin. I rubbed my palms against my skin vigorously, warming myself.

I made my way to the boys’ quarters. I pushed open the front door, the creaking sound of the door hinges, from lack of use, echoed into the empty house. The interior was very dark, I couldn’t see a thing, and I wasn’t familiar enough with the place to locate the light switch. I felt stupid, annoyed that I had walked all the way for nothing. My hand on the door knob, I turned to leave,

“Eki” a familiar voice said behind me.

I almost jumped out of my skin in fear. My water bottle fell out of my hands. I turned around and saw the silhouette of a man.

[nextpage title=”episode 14″]
EPISODE 14

I heard movement, and the light flickered on, I adjusted my eyes

“Uncle Ade!” I screamed in shock

“I didn’t mean to startle you Eki” he said.

Following the nudging in my spirit, pushing away the disagreeing voice of common sense, I joined him to sit on the dusty floor,

It felt very awkward, especially considering the time of the night

“If I had known my lifestyle would cost me this much, I would have started living a better life a long time ago. The kidnap, my son’s death, I caused everything…”

I shifted in my seat uncomfortably, many questions running through my mind

“I saw nothing wrong with being a womanizer, especially since I made sure all my affairs were quite discreet. I had been a womanizer way before I met Bimbola. It stopped for a while after we got married. It obviously didn’t last. I couldn’t help it. Out of guilt, I always gave a warning to all the concubines, that I’m married with a son and I don’t want a baby mama or a second wife, so they shouldn’t try to get pregnant for me. I love Bimbola and I didn’t want to hurt her by having a child outside our marriage. We already had a son, that was enough for me. I just wanted to have fun and satisfy my greed”

I listened with rapt attention, hanging on to his every word

“Daisy, she was one of the many others, only that she was very innocent and very much in love with me, she didn’t even care about my riches. Over time, Daisy became very attached, and would always bring up discussions about wanting marriage. I didn’t want any of that. Despite my several warnings, Daisy decided to play smart, she deliberately got pregnant, wanting to be a second wife or even settle for a baby mama. I got so angry at her foolishness, and I decided to end the relationship. She became frantic, pleading and begging. She promised to abort just so we could get back together”

“I didn’t know she was very naïve, I just assumed she had done it several times like the other ladies. Daisy went to a quack doctor, in the process she…lost her life…”

I felt a heaviness in my spirit

“If only I had known. Yes, I didn’t want the baby, but I didn’t want her to die. Some weeks after her death. Her brother came to my office”

“I knew you were a good for nothing the day I saw you with my sister. I warned her but she wouldn’t listen. They all think she got sick and died. But I know, I know she had an abortion, for you! You evil bastard. I don’t even have evidence to accuse someone like you, of murder, but know this, you killed Daisy, a precious person to me. I would not sleep until something precious is taken from you too. Trust me, I would make sure you feel the pain I’m feeling right now. And even all your riches won’t help you. You won’t forget this day!!”

“I would never forget the expression of pain and anger on his face as he spoke those words to me that day. I thought it was an empty and unnecessary threat, until Mayowa was kidnapped. He was right, I suddenly remembered his words, and yes, at that moment I understood what it meant for something so precious to be taken from me, something so precious. I did some findings about Daisy’s brother, Alfred, and realized he had been a hoodlum back in the days. So, I gave his number and name to the officer, they found out he and his family had relocated, and they tried in vain to locate them.”

[nextpage title=”episode 15″]
EPISODE 15

“My promiscuous life cost me so much, I didn’t know my son would have to pay for my sins. I haven’t been myself since the day my son got kidnapped and later died. I’m losing my mind. I can’t forgive myself. I have not been able to sleep peacefully, I keep having nightmares of Daisy death, and Mayowa screaming in that horrible ghastly accident, all because of me…” his voice broke, he bent his head and I could tell he was crying.
I was fighting tears myself, that a young innocent lady had lost her life in pains, and an innocent child had to pay for what he knew nothing about.

“I don’t deserve to live, my son died because of me, a son I love more than my own life. I don’t know how to stop the pain and guilt from eating me alive!!”

“Invite Jesus into your life Uncle Ade”

He looked at me for a while, and then spoke
“I womanized shamelessly, failed my son as a father, I killed him. What can Jesus do for someone like me?”

“Come now, let us settle the matter, says the Lord. Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool”

“Is that in the Bible?”

“Isaiah 1:18”

“Why does it feel like He’s speaking to me in particular?”

“Actually, He is, making an irresistible offer”

“Sounds too good to be true”

“I thought so too in the beginning, until I learned of the never-ending love of God”

“The lights were switched off; how did you know I was in here?”

The change of topic saddened me,

“The Holy spirit prompted me. He led me here”

Pause,

“He led you to me” He said in wonder

“How can I give my life to Jesus Eki?
That’s the least I could do for this kind of love He has shown me”

I felt the joy overflow in my spirit, and a smile worked its way to my lips.

“Uncle Ade pls say after me” I said holding his hands

“My Lord Jesus”
“My Lord Jesus”

“I come to you today”
“I come to you today”

“I confess that I’m a sinner”
“I confess that I’m a sinner”

“Forgive me and wash me in your precious blood”
“Forgive me and wash me in your precious blood”

“Today I accept you as my savior”
“Today I accept you as my savior”

“Take over my life henceforth”
“Take over my life henceforth”

“Write my name in the book of life”
“Write my name in the book of life”

“Lord Jesus, I thank you for the life of Uncle Ade, thank you for saving his soul, thank you for cleansing him in Your blood. Help him to love You and serve You. keep him in You. In Jesus name I’ve prayed. Amen”

“Amen”
Uncle Ade opened his eyes, it was obvious something had changed within him

“I feel light, something huge seems to have been lifted off me. This is amazing, I have never felt this amazing in my entire life”
“Eki, thank you so much”

“Thank Jesus”

“I have some questions”

I spent the next hour answering several questions by the help of the Holy spirit about his new found faith. The joy was written all over him.

[nextpage title=”episode 16″]
EPISODE 16

I stepped into the balcony, to get a perfect view of the sunset. I watched in wonder, the sun like a red glowing ball fast sinking into the cloud, the magnificent beauty signifying the end of the day. I stayed a little longer, accompanied by my thoughts.

“Therefore, judge nothing before the appointed time; wait until the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men’s hearts. At that time each will receive his praise from God.” I said off-hand.

After the Holy Spirit laid this scripture in my heart, I memorized it. I consistently meditated upon it, and I turned it into a prayer

“Father, concerning the evil that was done to Mayowa. Bring to light what is hidden in darkness, the motives of men’s hearts”

The Holy spirit instructed me to fast for two days, using this prayer point. On the second day, which was yesternight, as I prayed, I came across another scripture.

2 Chronicles 20;17
“You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you, Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the Lord will be with you”.

The things Uncle Ade shared with me that night, lingered in my mind. I understand that Daisy’s brother had absconded and the police were still trying to locate him. Even though I felt sympathy for him over the loss of his sister, I still feel he went overboard by shedding the blood of an innocent boy just to get revenge, he shouldn’t go scot free. He must be apprehended, and made to face the consequences of his wicked actions.

I know none of that would bring Mayowa back, but still, such a man shouldn’t be left roaming around, who knows what other evil plans he has up his sleeves? Maybe Mayowa was the tip of the iceberg. I strongly believed the word of the Lord; I had a strong feeling that God would bring darkness to light sooner than I expected. My faith remained strong. God had already done it. It is settled.

It was almost time for dinner, I went downstairs
I came just in time to assist Oge to set the table, Uncle Ade was receiving a call in the living room, I greeted him, he smiled back. It has not even been up to a week since he gave his life to Christ, yet even the housekeeper and chef were gossiping about the drastic change in him. I connected him with my Pastor, and they promised to pay a visit soon. I placed the cutleries on the dinning

“Eki”

“Sir” I joined him in the living room

“You wouldn’t believe it, I just spoke to the officer, Daisy’s brother has been apprehended. The officer said they had given up hope of finding him, and then boom, the officer specifically said that how they finally got their hands on him today, was nothing short of a miracle. They have him with them as we speak.”

“That’s good news sir, thank God” my heart leapt for joy, the Lord had spoken and had brought it to pass

“I’ll go to the station tomorrow”

“Ok sir” I said with so much excitement

“There’s only one problem” Uncle Ade said as his face fell

“Bimbola, I can’t bring myself to tell her that I’m to be blamed for the death of our son. I know she’s going to find out one way or the other, she will never forgive me”

[nextpage title=”episode 17″]
EPISODE 17

“Let’s keep praying about it, sir” I said with some encouragement.
He nodded

“Dinner is served sir” Oge announced

“Have you told Bimbola?”

“Yes sir”

“Alright”

Oge excused herself, and Uncle Ade and I went to the dining table.
Aunty BB descended the stairs, her black maxi dress, emphasized her depressed state. I became more worried about her every day.

I had a feeling that she might be coming down with some sort of illness, because she looked horrible when she returned from the hospital some days ago. At first, it appeared she was only grieving because she had lost Mayowa who was the heir and her ticket to wealth. My heart went out to her, since she got back from the hospital, she ate less, and looked so depressed it was painful to watch. Nothing seemed to comfort her. Uncle Ade was right, she would never forgive him if she found out that his promiscuous lifestyle had made her lose Mayowa, considering all the kind of things she had done to secure Mayowa.

We ate in silence. Aunty BB picked on her food, I felt sorry for her. She had this blank expression that scared me. Uncle Ade noticed it also, we exchanged glances, concerned.

“Waste! It was all a wasted effort!” Aunty BB suddenly shouted suddenly. I dropped my fork, startled.

“Babe, what’s wrong?” Uncle Ade asked concerned

“Waste! everything wasted!” She cried louder this time; she flung her cutleries angrily like a little child

“Bimbola…” Uncle Ade said standing to his feet

Then she started laughing, not the contagious laughter of a happy soul, but a malicious one that sounded very creepy.

My heart was beating in fear, by this time Oge, Peter and the others had joined us in the dinning, wondering what was going on.

Aunty BB pulled out the sharp pin that held her hair together, her hair extension tumbled down her neck, she pointed the sharp pin at us all including Uncle Ade

“Ademi, sit down! I have a story, sit down! Everybody!!” she commanded, we all obeyed, she started laughing hysterically again.

We all remained still, confused and afraid, the pointed edge of the long hair pin, was like a warning to us all. She faced Uncle Ade.

“Juliet, one of your numerous girlfriends, Ademi, remember her? I arranged her affair with you, because I wanted her to get pregnant” Aunty BB began to relay all the things she did in order to have a backup card, and be the one to bear the first child, and get the birth-right, and all because of the wealth and entitlement attached.

To my utter shock, she began speaking about Juliet, things that she had carefully kept secret all these years. She laughed hysterically and then she had that blank expression immediately

“That idiot Juliet got greedy, asking for more money! I dealt with her. When she had the baby, I gave her a wrong dosage of a dangerous medication. I wanted it to appear natural. She bled to death right there in the hospital, I silenced her”

I wasn’t shocked because of what she was saying, because I was aware of it all. What amazed me was that she was saying it openly like it was a noble thing to kill a human being. It was obvious she had lost it

“Bimbola!” Uncle Ade exclaimed

“Silence! I’m not done! Don’t interrupt my story!!!” she barked, pointing the pin at him aggressively, Uncle Ade sat back
down, she started laughing again

“So, so, so, soooooo, I had Mayowa all to myself, two months ago, I finally got pregnant. I was so happy. I didn’t tell Ademi about the pregnancy, I wanted to surprise him!”
“One night, Ademi told me that the moment his father returns from his overseas trip, Mayowa would be given his entitlement as first-born. It occurred to me, since Mayowa is truly the first born, then he would be the one to get all the first-born entitlement, and my own child would not get that chance. I was angry and worried, what if Mayowa grows up and finally finds out I’m not his mother? He might just become like his greedy mother, keeping all the entitlement to himself. No! My child must be the first child, no competition”

“Afterall, I’m pregnant, Mayowa the back-up card is useless to me. I still had some time before my father-in-law would return, I had to find a way to eliminate him fast, and make it to look natural, so I arranged with a gang to peacefully eliminate the boy. It’s a waste now, everything! I had a miscarriage! My baby is gone!! Everything is ruined now, the back-up card is gone, my baby is gone too!!!!!” in frenzy, she tore her dress, revealing her undergarments.

I stood there in shock, with the speed of light, she jabbed her inner thigh with the sharp pin and started tearing into her flesh, thick red liquid gushed out and splattered around. I didn’t move from where I stood, transfixed and too shocked to move an inch. Uncle Ade stood there, boggled.
Peter, rushed to stop her from causing herself further physical harm. She had the strength of five men, she was totally out of control.

Her noise was deafening as they tried to get her under control. As I watched, clearly convinced that she was mentally deranged, the Holy Spirit dropped the scripture in my spirit
Jeremiah 17:10 “But I, the LORD, search all hearts and examine secret motives. I give all people their due rewards, according to what their actions deserve.”

I joined Oge with the cleaning of the blood-stained tiles, absent mindedly working, distracted by my thoughts, that was filled with awe for God, whose power had brought the unexpected turn of events

[nextpage title=”episode 18″]
EPISODE 18

I stepped out of the compound; the gateman closed the gate behind me. The estate was quiet as usual, I wanted to buy recharge card from a super mart just down the street. I decided to stand by the gate for some time. The evening breeze was soothing.

“Holy Spirit, what plans do you have for me?” I said out loud, my duty these past years had been to care for Mayowa, but that is not even happening anymore. It somehow felt as coolval stories if my assignment in this house was over.

Yet, I couldn’t judge with just my feelings, even if I leave, to where? I wondered. I couldn’t dare bring it up with Uncle Ade, he has enough on his plate now. With the painful realization that his wife had been behind it all. He ordered the release of Daisy’s brother yesterday. Daisy’s brother then requested to meet with Uncle Ade at the house yesterday afternoon. Uncle Ade sent for me.

“Sir?” I said to Uncle Ade after greeting the visitor

“I would like you to join us” Uncle Ade said signaling for me to sit. I did.

“Eki, this is Mr. Alfred, Daisy’s brother, Mr. Alfred Eki is family, you can say anything with her here”
Mr. Alfred nodded

“Mr. Afolayan, our last meeting ended on a very bitter note. I must admit that I was bent on vengeance like I threatened. With my horrible past, it was not really a big thing to do. Shockingly, in the process, I encountered the Lord Jesus”

I hung my mouth open in surprise, I heard Uncle Ade’s sharp intake of breath.

“An encounter that changed the course of my life. It was as if I had been given a mirror to look at my very dirty life. To cut the long story short, I gave my life to Jesus, had to relocate with my family to open a new chapter in our lives. As I began to fellowship with Jesus, I forgave you whole heartedly. You were seriously on my mind recently. I prayed every day that God would make our paths cross, so I can tell you that I have forgiven you and preach to you about Jesus”

Uncle Ade glanced at me with a smile

“Thank you for forgiving me. I have also given my life to Jesus. Though I’m just a few days old in Christ” Uncle Ade said, a soft smile played on his lips

“Hallelujah!” Mr. Alfred said with enthusiasm

“I’m very sorry for having you arrested, I wrongly suspected you for having a hand in my son’s death. I hope you can forgive me?”

“I totally understand sir, I’m deeply sorry about your son. Even in my revenge plans back then, I didn’t plan to lay a finger on your son, I was not even aware you had any child. And Sir, those words I said back then, I regret them bitterly. I’m sorry you lost something precious too. I pray for grace to bear the loss” I looked into his eyes and I was touched by the compassion that shone there, he had truly met Jesus

“Amen, that means a lot to me, thank you Mr. Alfred”

The discussion ended with a prayer, and me shedding tears.

It occurred to me that if Mr Alfred had not relocated, then Uncle Ade would have arrested him easily and tortured him merciless, convinced he was the one behind it all.
Not knowing it was all the doing of someone so close. The psychiatric hospital where she had been rushed to, the doctors mentioned that she was becoming more violent by the day. She had been transferred about three times in two days

I strolled down the street, speaking softly to the Holy Spirit

“Holy Spirit, am I done with my assignment in this house?”

“No! this is our house!”

I froze, suddenly unable to take the next step. Not only because those words answered my question, but that familiar voice that just spoke several steps behind me. I was certain I was dreaming, my heart pounded heavily.

Slowly like a rehearsed action, I turned around. I caught my breath. Standing a little distance from where I stood, right before the gate of the house, I saw him

“Aunty Ekiki!!” he said spotting me, he ran towards me, had he not hugged me so fiercely, I would have sworn I was hallucinating.

“Mayowa? Mayowa. It’s you, it’s really you” I said breathing heavily, overwhelmed with emotion. I touched his face, ran my hands all over his body frantically to be sure.

“You are alive! you are alive, I thought I would never see you again. You are alive!!” I kept saying as I carried him and rushed inside

Expressions of shock, surprise, were followed by loud shouts of excitement at Mayowa’s return.

“I missed you Daddy, I thought I would never see you again” Mayowa said hugging Uncle Ade again, Uncle Ade sniffed, wiping off tears as he hugged his son tightly.
Mayowa came to me and hugged me,

“I missed you so much Aunty Ekiki. I’m very happy to see you again”

“I’m very happy to see you again, I missed you so much” I said, my face wet with tears

It was an emotional moment. Uncle Ade then asked Mayowa one of the countless questions that I had in my mind. Uncle Ade planted Mayowa firmly on his laps. Sitting comfortably on his father’s laps, Mayowa beamed with excitement, almost as if he had just returned from a fun trip and not the kidnappers’ den.

“It’s a long story, but I know Jesus would help me remember if I forget” He began, arresting the attention of everyone.

“The bad guys were driving and driving and driving, and then they took me to one old place, far, far away. Oh, I forgot, before that time, the bad guys that put me in the car, stopped and then met some other bad guys who were on the bike. The ones on the bike took me, and the bad guys with the car drove away. They put me on the motor bike, and covered my eyes with one cloth, and tied my hands and legs. They were driving very fast!!!!”

Mayowa must have been taken out of the car before the men were involved in that ghastly accident. I returned my attention to him, not wanting to miss a single part of this narration

[nextpage title=”episode 19″]
EPISODE 19

“They took me to a stinky house, I was afraid. Aunty Ekiki told me that Jesus is my superhero, and He is with me everywhere, and I know that Jesus loves me so I can tell Him anything. I was afraid and crying, I prayed to Jesus to save me, and I did not want to die. I heard them saying that they would shoot me. They untied me and removed the cloth from my eyes, I saw gun in their hands. The man pointed the gun at me, and he shot, poah!”

My heart beat heavily even after knowing this was a narration

“The bad man beside him screamed in pain, blood was all over the man. I did not understand, the man shot at me, but the bullet hit the second man. The second man died. The man became very angry and shot again. The bullet hit him on the forehead. He dropped in front of me and died. Jesus saved me! He made the bullet hit them. Jesus is a real superhero!” Mayowa said emphasizing each word with a loud clap of excitement. It felt so unbelievable, but I knew it happened.

“So, what happened next?” Uncle Ade asked

“I prayed to Jesus again to get me out of that stinky and scary place, the dead men were scaring me. Jesus spoke to me!!” He said again with more excitement

“Jesus said, Mayowa go the roadside, you will see a man, he will take you home” gesturing with his hands dramatically

“How did you know it was Jesus?” Oge asked Mayowa, anyone could hear the awe in her voice

“Jesus usually speaks to me, I know His voice, and, I heard Him clearly, only Him was there with me in that stinky place” He said so simply

“Go on son, what happened next?” Uncle Ade urged him
“I found my way to the roadside, and immediately I got there, a taxi stopped. He asked for my name. I told him my name is Mayowa. He said his name is Mr. Emmanuel, and he has come to take me home. I was so happy because I know Jesus would not lie to me! Mr. Emmanuel took me to a hotel, gave me plenty food. He changed my clothes, and then I slept well, but I wanted to go home. Mr Emmanuel said he would take me home at the right time. We remained in the hotel for some days. Finally, he said it was time, Mr. Emmanuel was driving and driving. We stopped at some places. Then we got to our street”

“So, you were able to describe our house to Mr. Emmanuel, you are so brilliant”

“I did not tell Mr. Emmanuel where our house is. Jesus said Mr. Emmanuel would take me to my house, that means that Mr. Emmanuel knows my house, or Jesus showed him. Jesus is a superhero remember?”

I stared in astonishment at the level of his faith in Jesus.

“Where did Mr. Emmanuel drop you?”

“Right in front of the gate, I wanted him to show him to you and everyone, but he was gone. I didn’t even get to say goodbye”

“He drove away?” Uncle Ade asked, just as puzzled as I was

“No, I just turned around and he was gone, him and the car”

Uncle Ade and I exchanged glances, shocked

“Jesus is my superhero, He saved me from those evil guys. I am going to tell everybody about Jesus”

Mayowa suddenly turned to face his dad

“Daddy, you need to have Jesus in your life, so He can be your superhero too” Mayowa said emphatically

“You are right son, Eki told me about Jesus, and His power. I am glad, because I accepted Him into my life some days ago” Uncle Ade said with such conviction as if he had been born again for years instead of days

“Really? Yes! Jesus is your superhero too!” Mayowa said with enthusiasm

Songs of gratitude were flowing out my heart, this miracle was beyond my own imagination, joy filled my heart

“Did Mummy accept Jesus too?” Mayowa asked

“Not yet” Uncle Ade said softly

“I have to tell her about Jesus” Mayowa said hopping down from his dad’s laps swiftly

“Where is she?” He asked

Uncle Ade tried to keep his smile in place, so Mayowa wouldn’t suspect a thing

“You see, Mummy is quite sick. She’s at the hospital for now”
Mayowa was quiet for a while, I silently prayed that He wouldn’t demand to see her

“Jesus my superhero can do anything, I’ll tell Him about Mummy. He would make her well, so that I’ll tell her about Jesus.” Mayowa said confidently

I sighed, Mayowa was busy planning to pray for his mother’s recovery, if only he knew she was receiving God’s judgement for trying to touch His anointed.

It was so disheartening that Aunty BB could be so cruel to a child who loved her. Truly Aunty BB never made Mayowa a priority, she visited his school only once since he enrolled. She would always blame it on her busy schedule, but even her husband who was extremely busy, tried his possible best to be there for their son. It disgusted me that she treated Mayowa as nothing more than a ticket to her wealth, yet never in my wildest imagination, had I thought her capable of plotting to kill Mayowa.

While we grieved over Mayowa’s supposed death, God knew the one behind it all. He exposed her at the perfect time. Goose bumps rose on my skin, fresh fear of God enveloped me. Once again, my heart filled with songs of worship, I couldn’t wait to be alone to express my heartfelt gratitude, and awe of His greatness. God is indeed merciful. I tried not to worry about the time Mayowa would be old be enough to handle the truth surrounding his birth, and the fact that his supposed mother was the master mind behind the plot of his death

The words she spoke as she confessed that night, still replays in my head. All the while, we all shared the roof with the same enemy we were fighting against. She was not only greedy, heartless, and evil, she was also a Master planner, nothing could give her away, except God fished her out Himself, and He did.

THE END

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