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
“I’m done with the shower now,” Bolu said, his eyes shifting about looking for something else to fix. “Now it pours hot and cold.”
“Thanks, Mr Handyman,” Lola replied, cheekily.
Bolu smiled, feeling chuffed with himself. For the last two days, he’d found himself distracted by all the things that needed fixing in their apartment, which he hadn’t had time to attend to before. He wasn’t finding it easy working from home. He certainly needed to carve out his own space or get a special office area if he was going to be productive. In the meantime, he was happy to finally attend to these chores.
“What else needs fixing…?”
“I think that was the last thing. Thanks, babe,” Lola said, understanding her workaholic husband. She’d been similar when she’d decided to quit her job to work from home. She’d been obsessed with cleaning and she’d been a bit neurotic about hygiene after Tinuke was born. She smiled, remembering the mini fights she’d had with Bolu over it.
“Are you sure?”
“Yes, dear. Please sit down and rest. I’ll warm some food for you,” Lola said, going over to kiss her husband.
“Okay, thanks,” he replied.
His secretary had brought the rest of his files from his office on Monday, and he had a few cases to investigate, but his mind was so unsettled. It was easier for him to be useful by doing house chores. He would rest now and would hopefully be able to get started on his work in the afternoon. He let out a deep sigh.
Danny was pleased to get a feedback from his editor about the book he’d submitted over a week ago. The editor had made a few corrections and recommended some minor improvements on the book. He said he had really enjoyed reading it and that it had been a blessing to edit. Danny was thoroughly chuffed. He’d get to work on revising it asap.
While he was still working on the revised manuscript, a call came through on his mobile. It was Oyinda, and he was eager to speak with him. He was supposed to have called earlier to find out how things were going with him and his new-found relationship with God.
“Hey Oyinda… How are you?”
“I’m okay. How are you?”
“Good, thanks. What’s up?”
Danny could sense that there was in fact something Oyinda wanted to talk about. “How’s Temi?”
“She’s okay. Actually, we’re not talking.” Oyinda swallowed.
“Oh… But I thought you guys reconciled?”
“She’s angry with me for blocking her boyfriend…”
“Yes, she’s been seeing someone. It seems they were quite serious. Shit! Sorry… I just don’t know what to do…”
“Wow… Sorry man! How did you find out?”
“She told me. On Friday night.”
“Damn… And you didn’t say anything. Okay, so what’s she saying now? She wants a divorce?”
“She actually prepared the papers before the retreat. I thought the retreat would help her change her mind. And I think it helped, but… I don’t even know. She just got really mad when she found out that I’d deleted her chat with the guy and blocked him on her phone.”
“But why did you do that?! Anyway, it’s beside the point. Have you prayed?”
Oyinda nodded, and then remembered he was on the phone. “Yes…”
“Okay, that’s good. Did you hear from God?”
“I don’t know… I don’t think so. No, I haven’t. I don’t know.”
“I guess you’re still confused about that… But give it time.”
“Hm hmm. But till then, what am I supposed to do?”
“You need to try and talk to her… Try not to let her cold treatment cool you off. She’s really hurt, and even if she says she’s forgiven you, you have to realise that a lot of damage has been done, and it won’t just go away with your apology. She needs you to convince her that you’ve changed and you’re ready to fight for her… You’re basically going to have to find a way to make her fall in love with you again. So, if you’re sure you want to save your marriage, you just have to toughen up and improve your love game.”
Oyinda swallowed. “And if, after all that, she still wants to leave…?”
“You’ll cross that bridge when you get to it. But don’t think negatively. What if you catch her, and it’s better than it ever was? Let that motivate you, bro! God’s with you and love never fails.”
Mary and Ifeanyi were at home in their lounge, cuddled up and watching TV. Ifeanyi had wanted to ask Mary more about her relationship with Lanre, but with everything that had been going on, he just hadn’t been able to find a good time to bring it up. He also wasn’t sure if it was a flame he should fan. He knew his wife, and they were crazy about each other… Why should her knowing his old friend mean anything?
He knew he shouldn’t be jealous, but he was still bothered whenever he recalled how Lanre had looked at her on Saturday. He knew that Lanre was still crushing on Mary…and that had to be stopped. He really hoped that by setting him up with someone, Lanre would finally be able to move on.
“Have you thought about a single girl you’d like to introduce to Lanre?” he decided to ask Mary, as he stroked her arm.
Mary stirred and shook her head. She actually hadn’t given it much thought since Saturday. “Have you?”
“Hmmm… Still thinking. I guess I’m a bit nervous about linking him with one of the sisters at church. I can’t really vouch for him. It’s been so long.”
“Yeah, me too.”
“Hmmm… What about Rebecca? She’s still single right? Or Kemi?”
“Ummm… Yes, I think so. Should I ask them?” Mary sat up straight from her reclined position, leaning against Ifeanyi, to look into his face.
“Yeah… We can try and see how they connect,” Ifeanyi shrugged.
Mary nodded. She rose up to go to the bathroom. “But I haven’t seen Kemi at church for a while… When were you thinking we’d have them over?”
Ifeanyi watched after her. Was it him or did she suddenly look unhappy? “We said Friday night, right? What about 7 pm? That should work for everyone.”
Mary put some toothpaste on her toothbrush and said, “Sure,” before proceeding to brush her teeth.
“So, I’ll confirm with him when you’ve confirmed if either are free and interested. Okay?”
Mary spat out the lather from her toothpaste and looked at Ifeanyi as she replied, “Sure.”
The next morning, as Temi prepared for work, Oyinda watched her. She was dressed very nicely, and he noticed how much care she took with her make-up. Was she still seeing Michael, he wondered? How long did she plan on staying angry at him?
“I’ve been looking for counsellors… I’m thinking we should see someone this week…” Oyinda said, observing her reaction.
Temi looked at him and then away. She said nothing.
“I need to know when you’ll be free to attend sessions with me,” he continued. “Do Thursday afternoons work?”
“I’m busy tomorrow.”
“I don’t know… It’s usually busy at the bank.”
“Okay… Can you tell me when? We really need to give this priority…” Oyinda said, walking towards her.
“Look, Oyinda… I don’t know if I’m ready to be honest.”
“Do you want to stay mad forever? Baby, I said I’m sorry… I miss you,” Oyinda touched her arm, and she shrugged it away.
“Fix a day for next week… I’ll try to make it. Mondays and Tuesdays won’t work.”
Oyinda smiled a little. This was progress. “Okay, babe.”
She looked at him, and then away again. She grabbed her bag and walked out of the room without another word.
“Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy,” the pastor read the scripture from Matthew 5:7. “Have you ever wondered why Jesus gave a condition on forgiveness; that unless we forgive others, we won’t be forgiven ourselves? That, for me, shows just how important it is for us to be as merciful as God, even forgiving those who appear to be undeserving, who we think brought their pain upon themselves.
“When someone falls, whether or not they saw it coming, whether or not they brought about their own downfall, whether or not they were wicked and sought to hurt someone else, we should still pick them up, dust them off and love them back to health, because that’s exactly what God does to us. That’s what it means to be merciful.
“Jesus asked us to love our enemies, to forgive them and even pray for those who despitefully use us and hurt us, because it is no achievement nor grace to love those who are good and kind to us. But when we love those who are ‘undeserving’, despite everything they have done, we show ourselves to be merciful, children of God. So, I want you to ponder on this today. Ask yourself, “am I merciful?”
“When your brother or sister falls down, after being foolish, do you say “good for you!” or do you say “I’m sorry. Can I help?” When you hear of an unmarried sister who has suddenly fallen pregnant, do you shun her and say “she was not a true believer,” or do you extend a merciful hand and ask “are you okay, sister?” It is easy to judge when we think we would have passed the same test, but we all have our tests…and being merciful to others who are weak or fallen is a test we will continually sit.
“The Bible says that “the first will be last and the last will be first…” This should humble us all. We all need to realise that our race to Heaven is not with each other but with our own selves. If we fail to show mercy, we will certainly not receive it from God…and all our other righteous works will be counted as self-righteousness.”
Kemi swallowed as she listened to the pastor’s short mid-week sermon. She’d decided to attend the church again, as she sought to mend her broken relationship with God. She was encouraged by this message, which testified that God was merciful and no matter how undeserving she felt, she could expect to receive mercy at His feet. That evening, she was emboldened to walk to the front and recommit her life to Christ, pleading on His grace to keep her on the right track.
Mary saw Kemi go to the front to reconfirm her commitment to Christ, and it warmed her heart. Just yesterday, Ifeanyi had mentioned her as someone to invite to dinner to meet Lanre, and she hadn’t been too pleased with it. She still remembered that Kemi had a major crush on Ifeanyi and had once sought to come between them. Even though they had stayed friendly, especially after Kemi’s apology, they’d kept a safe distance.
She now wondered if seeing Kemi in church again and the pastor’s message about mercy was orchestrated by God for her to mend the bridges and invite Kemi to dinner. She trusted Ifeanyi. He’d done everything possible to earn her trust again. But he was still a man, and men were still prone to fail, despite their good intentions. However, she knew living in fear of his failure was not living in love. She sighed. It was time to extend grace to Kemi.
“Hey, Kemi!” Mary greeted her after the service.
Kemi was pleased to see Mary and gave a shy smile. “Hi, Mary.”
“I haven’t seen you in church in a while. Everything okay?”
Kemi nodded, though her eyes glistened with unshed tears. Mary took her in for a hug. “God loves you so much dear… Whatever happened, God’s not letting you go, okay?”
Kemi nodded vigorously, as the tears slid down her cheeks. She wiped them when they separated. “Thanks, Mary.”
“So… I actually was hoping to see you today. I wanted to invite you for dinner at my house on Friday.”
“Oh, really? That would be great,” Kemi smiled.
“Oh, cool! It’s actually like a set-up. I hope you don’t mind. An old friend of…”
Kemi shook her head. “Actually… I’m not ready for that, Mary.”
“Oh, okay. No problem, then. Maybe some other time…”
Kemi nodded. “Thanks for thinking of me though.”
Mary looked into Kemi’s face. “If you ever need to talk…about anything…call me, okay? Welcome back to fellowship.”
“Thanks,” Kemi said, and the women embraced again. “God bless you.”
To be continued...
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