Please note that this series contains some sexually explicit content, violence and offensive language. It is not appropriate for children nor an immature and sensitive audience.
A SMALL WORLD - SEASON THREE
Copyright © Ufuomaee
So many thoughts were running through Temi’s mind as she returned to join her group for the journey home. She saw Oyinda’s smile and felt his warm touch on her arm as he assisted her into the back seat, but she couldn’t return his kindness. She averted her eyes when he tried to hold her gaze, and made a point of looking out of the window the whole way home.
Oyinda could tell that something was off with Temi. It wasn’t hard for him to know what it was. He knew it had been a risky thing for him to do, but he was still her husband and had the right and the duty to protect her from anything and anyone – even from herself. He swallowed and tried not to think too much about it. They’d discuss it when they get home.
Bolu was pensive on the ride back. The retreat had really helped to clear the air between him and Lola. However, his dilemma remained. He recalled his dream and wondered as to the meaning again. Was there a purpose he was to fulfil in Amaka’s life, besides being her lover? He’d never even given her the chance to state her case. What if he’d acted in fear and not in wisdom? Didn’t the Bible teach that perfect love casts out all fear? He swallowed.
Lola smiled as she read her novel on the journey home. The story was coming to a beautiful resolution, and reading about how God was working things out for the couple was making her think about her life and strengthening her belief that He was also at work in it, making everything beautiful in His own good time.
Tolu fiddled with the stereo for a while, looking for a station that played relaxing soulful music. However, when she wasn’t satisfied with the songs playing, she decided to slip in a gospel CD, which was gladly received by her friends on board. The music also assisted her meditation on God’s word and His love. She closed her eyes and let the words penetrate her soul.
Danny found the music relaxing and inspiring. He exchanged loving looks with his wife and occasionally glanced back at his friends as he drove them home. Again, he expressed his heartfelt thanks to God for the success of the retreat.
“Everything okay?” Oyinda asked, tentatively, when they got inside their home.
Temi wanted to ignore him. She took in a deep breath and made to climb the stairs. Oyinda held her hand, preventing her.
“Please, not now…”
“Temi, what is it? I thought we were working things out…”
“You had no right!” Temi said, through ground teeth. Oyinda swallowed. “You had no right!”
“I’m sorry, but…”
“But nothing, Oyinda! But nothing!!!” she shouted, tears in her eyes. She turned fully to him and poked him on his chest. “How dare you?! How dare you, Oyinda?!”
“You are my wife!”
“I will not apologise for getting rid of that man, Temi! I’m only sorry I did it behind your back. But if we are going to work…”
Temi chuckled sadly. “That is my choice to make, Oyinda… And so far, it’s not looking good for you.”
“Look, I know you’re angry, but please… Don’t make this an issue. Think of how I felt… Temi, you can’t even understand what I went through that night…”
She gave a sad smile. “No, how could I? It’s not as if my husband was ever unfaithful to me…”
Oyinda swallowed. He knew she had a point there. “Temi, what do you want me to say? Do you not want us to work?”
Temi swallowed. “It’s okay, Oyinda. Keep doing you… In fact, I’m glad you did this, so that I can know who I’m dealing with… But just know that what you did didn’t serve you at all. Not one bit!”
Oyinda let out a breath. He watched as Temi turned around and continued up the stairs. It began to dawn on him that his efforts to save his marriage were probably too little too late. Something about Temi had changed and he had his work cut out for him.
Temi got in her bedroom and brought her phone out. She wanted to talk to Michael. It hurt that she couldn’t call him nor send him a message. It hurt wondering what he must be thinking, not being able to contact her either.
She decided she’d google him. His LinkedIn page was among the top ten results when she’d typed his full name in the browser. She let out a sigh of relief. She’d reach out to him via LinkedIn.
The gentle prodding of the Holy Spirit withstood her. Temi shut her eyes and hardened her heart against God’s counsel. She clicked his page, and it loaded. She swallowed when she saw Michael’s picture in the bigger view. It was a really good picture, and he had on his most dashing smile. She missed him so much.
It came again. Temi trembled. Why was God hindering her now? I just want to talk to him.
I miss him… And Oyinda can’t control me!
Do it for Me.
Oh, God! Temi cried. She’d already clicked to send him a message. She didn’t want to heed God’s voice. She wrote her message:
This is me, Temi. I’m sorry you’ve been unable to reach me. Oyinda deleted you from my phone. What’s your number, so I can add you back?”
She read it over, ready to click send. She paused, waiting for the resistance, but only her heart burned, the way it did when she was doing something she felt uneasy about. She put down the phone, remembering her own words to Oyinda: “Ultimately, it is God I failed. Whatever you do, I have my own duty of righteousness.”
Even though she didn’t like what Oyinda did, she still had to do what was right. If not for him, for God. For herself. Yes, it felt like he’d taken the decision out of her hands, but it was still what she had to do, for God. For her marriage. But she wasn’t ready. She still wanted to be angry.
However, wisdom prevailed. Temi exited the page without sending the message. She had to pray. She really needed to think about her salvation and relationship with God.
And Michael’s too.
It was then it dawned on her how utterly selfish she was being. It wasn’t just about her and Oyinda. Michael was another soul that God loved and, her actions, having an affair with him, was hindering him from drawing near to God unto salvation. She had to leave him for his own sake too! Just as God was jealous over her soul, He was jealous for Michael too. And Temi cried at that realisation.
While in VGC, Danny had taken a detour to Mary’s house to pick up Tinuke. At 9 pm, Lola and Bolu finally made it home with their baby.
“Thanks, Danny! We had such a great time,” Lola said, when she was getting out of the car.
“You’re welcome,” he smiled back.
“Have a good night, guys. Thanks for everything,” Bolu said, shutting the door, after taking out their bags.
Bolu and Lola waved at Danny and Tolu as they drove off to their home at Oniru. Lola was engrossed with Tinuke even as they made it into their apartment. She’d really missed her child.
Bolu kissed his wife and child ‘goodnight’ and excused himself to go to his bedroom. He needed an early night. Lola barely noticed, being wrapped up in Tinuke. She mumbled “Goodnight”, her eyes fixated on her little girl who was giggling, happy to be home with her parents.
The road was free, so Danny and Tolu got in about ten minutes after dropping Bolu and Lola. Danny immediately went to the television to check on his recorded programmes. He was happy to see that his inverter had ensured that, even with frequent power failure in the country, all his shows were recorded.
Tolu unpacked their things, putting clothes in the laundry basket, before going back downstairs to check on her husband. She made beverages for both of them and went to sit beside him, as he watched a game he had recorded.
An hour and a half later, Temi had fallen asleep on Danny. He gently woke her up and assisted her to their bedroom, where they both slept in each other’s arms.
Oyinda slumped on the sofa in the lounge after Temi retired upstairs. He stared blankly into space, as he sought to gather his thoughts. He’d made a very important decision today…to trust God. A decision to give God control of his affairs and no longer do things his own way.
He reflected on his decision and discussion with his friends that afternoon. He’d been happy, when he’d experienced their acceptance and Temi’s forgiveness. He’d felt hopeful all day, until they got their phones back and he remembered what he’d done.
He knew she’d be angry, but he didn’t expect her to stay mad. Hadn’t she forgiven him? Didn’t she love him and want to work on their marriage? Was she really in love with that guy?! What was he supposed to do about it?
Oyinda was reminded that he now had the avenue of prayer to make his requests known to God and to learn His will. He swallowed, not knowing how to go about it. He’d heard Temi and other people praying before and heard pastors pray in church. He had some idea about how it was done, so he got down on his knees, closed his eyes and put his hands together against the sofa.
What to say? He didn’t know. “God, I need help,” he started. He remembered that he was supposed to express gratitude too. “Thank You for today. And for this weekend. Thank You for saving me. But I don’t know what to do about my marriage.”
He stopped. It felt weird, but it also felt like he had to go on and keep pouring his heart out. There was so much in there.
“I feel desperate. I know I’ve made a mess of everything. I need Your help to make things right with Temi. Please help me!”
Another pause. “I’m sorry for what I’ve done. I know You can help me. I believe You can because I can see what You’ve done in Danny’s life. I didn’t want to surrender before, because I just wanted to have my own way. I didn’t want to change. I thought I was in control. But now, I know I can’t go on this way. I need You.”
Oyinda was quiet for a while. What else could he say? He remembered how Bolu and Danny said that God speaks, so we waited to hear from Him. All he heard was the usual noise of the house. He was sensitive to every sound and slightly afraid that he would actually hear God. When some time passed and he hadn’t been able to hear anything, he swallowed and continued in prayer.
“God, they say You speak. I know I am not worthy, but I pray that You will speak to me too. Please show me that You can hear me and that You are really there… Please help Temi to forgive me and give us another chance.” Oyinda remembered the pastor’s message and added, “Please come and help us to build our marriage. Please help us!”
Oyinda heard a door shut upstairs, and he was stirred back to his situation. He rose up and sat on the sofa again. He’d prayed. It had felt relieving, in that he had been able to talk about what was bothering him, share his burden and ask for help. He had an inkling of doubt that he had been heard by God, but he decided that he would exercise faith regardless.
So, what now? He hadn’t heard from God. He still didn’t know what else to do. Should he read the Bible? He decided that he would.
He went to the small shelf where Temi kept her books and a couple of Bibles, and he picked up the one that didn’t look too daunting. It was a small, dark blue Gideon’s Bible, containing both the Old and New Testaments. He remembered Danny’s counsel to start with the New Testament, so he sought out the beginning of the books of the New Testament. It began with Matthew, which began with a genealogical record.
It was a bit off-putting, but he decided to push through and read a couple of chapters. He stopped after Chapter Two and reflected on what he’d read. He found it interesting how God had spoken with Joseph and the wise men through their dreams. He wondered if God would likewise minister to him and give him direction on what to do.
Having faith that God could and would speak to him, Oyinda rose up and went to his bedroom to sleep. His wife was already asleep and had her back turned to his side. He laid in bed and said another short prayer. “Lord, please show me Your will. In Jesus’ name, amen.”
To be continued...
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