A LEOPARD WITH ONE SPOT? (SHORT STORY)

Jane hissed as her phone began to ring again. She knew who the caller was and she had no intention of answering. It was perhaps his twentieth call that day and it was not even noon yet. She didn’t want to give him the satisfaction of knowing how angry she was by switching off the phone. She rather changed the profile to silent to save her battery.

But she knew he would not give up. So she was not surprised when about 30 minutes later, she heard the kids in her compound shouting, “Uncle Chike, Uncle Chike!” She peeped through the window of her room in the off campus lodge and saw him disembarking from his car. Her heart skipped a bit and she ran to check herself in the mirror. Then she stopped before she could brush her hair and retouch her lips with some gloss.

“For what kwanu?”* she asked herself. And hissed. She was turning into a snake with all the hissing, she told herself.

“That is what happens when you let the wrong person into your life,” she told her reflection in the mirror. “Instead of becoming a better person, you ….”

She was interrupted by a knock on the door. She summoned her fiercest look and with hands on hips, turned to face the unwanted visitor.

“My love,” Chike began.

He felt the torture of Jane’s frosty stare but braced up.

“I’ve called like a thousand times. I know you are angry and you have every reason to be. But we have something special and I don’t want us to throw it away because I made a mistake.”

Jane remained implacable and he continued.

“Crystal caught me at a bad time. She’s been coming on to me for ages and I didn’t tell you because it was so crazy seeing that she is your best friend. My mum’s stroke threw me off balance and you were away.”

“Excuses, excuses! So it’s Crystal’s fault. Tomorrow, it will be Angela or Chioma or Grace. I have no problem with Crystal. The way she’s carrying on, she’ll definitely get what’s coming to her. But you … You went too far. You shared with her something we are reserving for our future together.”

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“And I’ll forever blame myself for that. But Nne,* please forgive,” he begged, kneeling down. “To err is human …”

“To forgive is denied,” Jane completed. “I can’t spend my life playing detective because I know that a leopard cannot change its spots.”

“But a leopard with one spot can. The blood of Jesus can erase that spot.”

“Then go to Him and leave me alone!”

Chike got up slowly. He inhaled deeply and seemed to gain confidence with that.

“As a matter of fact, I have, and since you refuse to heed my plea, I will now send Him to you.”

And he left.

Try as she might, Jane could not get him out of her mind along with what he had called himself, “A leopard with one spot.” The phrase kept ringing in her head. She couldn’t do a thing – eat, read, sleep – not that she had been doing too well before he came. “A leopard with one spot!”

“A leopard with one spot!” She didn’t want to analyze it because she knew where it was all headed.

“A leopard with one spot! Does a spot make a leopard?” a voice asked her. “You’re judging one mistake a habit.”

On and on she fought, but the voice did not speak again. At the same time, she sensed that He would not leave till she said something different, till she opened her heart to forgive. Finally, exhausted from what this same voice once called “kicking against the goads”, she fell down by her bed and whispered, “i forgive, Lord. Help me to forgive.”
-The end-
Ⓒ Edith Ugochi Ohaja 2016
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*kwanu is an Igbo term used for emphasis
*Nne literally means mother in Igbo but it can be used to address any woman, i.e. used in place of her name.
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I am a university lecturer. I teach Mass Communication, mostly writing courses like Feature and Interpretative Writing, Magazine Article Writing and News Writing, and let’s just say I’ve been doing this for a long time. As you have probably guessed, I am a born-again Christian.
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103 thoughts on “A LEOPARD WITH ONE SPOT? (SHORT STORY)

  1. Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us, jane forgot this phrase by not forgiving Chike, but thank God she later forgave. Mistakes are inevitable. Only God is flawless.

    • Thank God, indeed! Forgiving someone who hurt us may be hard but by God’s grace, it can be done. Bless you, Falawlex!

    • Thank God, indeed! Forgiving someone who hurt us may be hard but by God’s grace, it can be done. Bless you, Falawlex!

  2. Wow! This is a story!! Forgiving may not be easy, but surely, it’s the healthy way.

    Someone once said, unforgiveness is like drinking poison and expecting the offender to die.

    This piece is amazing. Thanks for sharing.

    Enjoy!?

  3. Thank you aunty for sharing. I love the title and the twist. It’s an inspiring one in the light of forgiveness and believing the best for those who hurt us. I love you…

  4. Jane’s seemingly hardened heart describes how bad she felt owing to Chike’s mistake. But, she ought to have called Chike on phone to announce her forgiving him so that he will be relieved. This is a wonderful piece and medicine for people of unforgiving spirits. Thank you so much,Aunty, for that and other upcoming stories. They are really making our holiday eventful and fun.

    • To forgive is denied ” that’st one funny phrase?. But I learnt something from Jane’s character, although we might want to harden our hearts towards people, that tiny voice within is still there to keep us in check.

  5. I believe forgiveness should reign supreme in our lives. very inspirational story and reminding on the importance of forgiveness. thumbs up

  6. It is always hard to forgive especially wen we get hurt by our loved ones and those dearest to our heart. It takes only the grace of God nd m happy Jane found dat grace… Beautiful piece ma’am

  7. It is good to forgive, because our heavenly father is the forgiver of all things as we use to pray in our Lord’s Prayer “forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those that trespass against us”. Thank God that Ngozi forgive Chike that’s a moral lesson to all of us.

  8. Despite the fact that to forgive after being hurt can be hard, one still has to form the habit of forgiveness and u will find out that when u forgive, u feel light like a huge burden has rolled off your back.

    • We should learn to forgive and forget one another because God forgives us no matter how mighty our sins are. So we forgive always you will have peace of mind with yourself and others. If we forgive one another the love continues and when they love, there is peace, happiness and most importantly we gain our Heavenly Father’s love and forgiveness.

  9. This is inspiring. Well done Aunty for this piece. It has made me realize more that we should forgive not only for the sake of those that wronged us, but for our sake too; 2 b free.

  10. Wonderful and really awesome. A forgiving heart is a blessed heart indeed. I hope he doesn’t cheat again though.

  11. I like the fact that she’s willing to forgive him. But another thing there is, if truly he’s a leopard with one spot and not many spots. I can only hope he doesn’t hurt her again

  12. We should always ask for forgiveness when we wrong people just like chike did. The story is very interesting.

  13. The story is really inspiring and awesome. Chike realising his mistake apologised and thank God Jane forgave him. It is really interesting, ma.

  14. It’s not easy to forgive especially when someone you love hurt you. Thank God decided to listen to that voice and opened up her heart to forgive Chike

  15. Can a leopard with one spot change? this story is enlightening. God help us to forgive especially those like chike because honestly I don’t think I can

  16. Forgiveness is not easy though but we should always forgive those who offend us in order to attain God’s mercy and favour. nice one ma.

  17. Forgiving a person is not really the problem. The problem is forgetting what the person did. Even after forgiving someone, we keep remembering what the person has done which makes it so difficult for us to let go entirely

  18. Although its not easy to forgive when someone hurt you badly but we should learn to. Remember we are all sinners and our heavenly father is always there to forgive us.

  19. our heavenly father forgave us, who are we not to do the same? but i hope she exercises caution though. Once bitten, twice shy.

  20. Forgiveness is not at all easy, buh then we have to forgive, mayb not because we want to but because it is a Divine command

  21. there is nohing as sweet as to forgive someone and be free. because if you don’t forgive you won’t be at rest neither will the person. i pray that God should give me the spirit to forgive and also to forget. TO ERR IS HUMAN TO FORGIVE IS DIVINE.

  22. The story is a short and interesting story . It is entertaining as well as educative. The story makes use of repetition for emphasis making it creative. Chike did what was wronged and he acknowledged is wrong action without being proud to ask for forgiveness ; that is a good step but people should learn to say no to temptation at the first sight. The best is to avoid, distance from it and not being bold that you can overcome temptation while you are still in the midst of such temptation. Jane had to act like every lady would do but thank God she was able to forgive.

  23. Wow, what a story. Sometime in life we make mistakes. Our mistakes do not define us but rather make us better. Learning from our mistakes is one of the toughest yet best way to do better in life. Honestly, Jane would not be able to fully forgive without God. True forgiveness come from him because it takes alot to forgive! Nice one ma.

  24. A forgiving heart, is often free from unnecessary Bordens. It is wise to forgive all the time it paves way for essay access other than pilling up enmity for the coming generation.

  25. If you don’t forgive some one, how do you think your creator will forgive you?Holy spirit works hand in hand with forgiveness and for you to have him as your companion, you must he pure in heart.

  26. although Jane caught Chike, it does not mean that he had been in to it for a long. sometimes, someone being at the wrong place at the wrong time could send some impressions but we are meant to be patient and listen to the other person side of the story before jumping to conclusion. Jane could loose the right guy because of misunderstanding and not forgiving on her part.

  27. No matter the wrong done to us by people, we should always learn to forgive. That was the reason why Jesus came to us, to grant us salvation. Thank you aunty for sharing this inspirational story. It’s a thing of joy Jane forgave Chike at the end even how difficult it was. That’s the thing about forgiveness, even in very difficult situations, we should always forgive.

  28. Nawa oo! If the guy shared what he is meant to keep for his lady with other lady, then I don’t think he should expect her to forgive him that quickly, she needs time to think and understand him first joor!

  29. “A spot does not a leopard make”. How true this is. As human beings it is inevitable to make mistakes. Therefore,a minor ‘spot’ gotten in the midst of overwhelming emotions such as lust, anger etc shouldn’t be used as a yard stick for measuring character. Jane’s reaction is typical of all females who experience betrayal in relationships. However, her eventually forgiveness of Chike should be lauded because, to err is human but forgiveness is divine.

  30. Forgiveness is not for the other person, it is for us. When we hold onto what somebody has done against us, we indirectly give that person the power to hurt us, but when we let go, we free ourselves. This is a beautiful story, we all need to learn from this.

  31. Nice story, truly to forgive is divine, it’s is good to forgive people’s wrongs because it also frees us from hatred

  32. Forgiveness is divine …God forgives our numerous sins ..Who are we not to forgive ….Forgiveness brings peace and rest of mind.. God give me the power to always forgive without grudges. Amen

  33. to err is human, but to forgive is divine. but how can you you forgive someone who has cheated on you with your best friend. it only God that can give one the grace to forgive such sin

  34. Simple but emphatic. You couldn’t have told the story better aunty. I love how active Jane’s conscience was, it was probably God talking to her. If people should apologise for their wrong doing, it’s only right to forgive them. In fact, the world would probably be a much better place if we always forgave.

  35. A leopard with one spot can change. We all make mistakes and for the fact that Chike came back to apologise and ask for forgiveness is a sure sign that he has changed. She shouldn’t have turned him away. Why is it so hard for people to forgive someone who has wronged them but you expect God to forgive you seventyfold. Its not fair.

  36. Finally she did.. That’s the most important. She forgave before it was too late… And to say the least, through his emphasis, Chike seemed a changed person. Our ability to forgive, the height of offense notwithstanding can draw people to Christ cos it shows the nature of Him, who we are surrendered to.

  37. I love the suspense in the story and I really want to know what the issue is. Forgiveness is a necessary ingredient in any relationship. The willingness to own up to ones mistakes and ability to forgive sustains every human relationship.

  38. To forgive may not be easy but can be easy only when we let go. Regardless the depth of pain caused us, forgiveness should be on surface. When we bear grudges against others, its to our detriment but when we forgive, joy naturally comes.

  39. Forgiveness is not easy but it is worth it because when we forgive we tend to loosen up our heart a bit and become free.

  40. We should always forgive those that offend us so that our father in heaven will forgive us whenever we offend him. thank god that jane later forgive chike because nobody is above mistake and i believe that chike will change and jane we finally have peace of mind now.

  41. It is better to always forgive, though difficult but there is a peace of mind that comes with it

  42. Jane would have forgive chike and giving him another chance, because to forgive is divine, though what chike did was not good.

  43. God is the only one who makes no mistake, for us to forgive someone who hurt us is hard, but God always give us grace to do it, good Jane found that grace and forgave chike.

  44. Nobody is above mistake, forgiveness is very necessary in every humans ‘ s life. We shouldn’t crucify people for their past mistakes, though it is not easy to forgive but with God’s grace,we can.

  45. This showed the human nature of man. Man is a sinful being but God forgives him. Jane fine it difficult to forgive Chike because of his unfaithful act though it is not easy to forgive, forgiveness is not as easy as the way we pronounce it, it takes the grace of God to forgive. God helped her to forgive him and cautioned her not to judge people mistake as a way of life. Jane judged chike’s mistake as his way of life unknown to her, it was just a mistake. No one is above mistake.

  46. Nice post ma
    Forgiving should be part of our everyday activity, if the CREATOR does so why can’t the created do same

  47. Ma i really like the part when Chike said “to err is human” and she answered ” to forgive is denied” hahaha sounds funny. But then I believe that for him to use depression as an excuse for going to her friend crystal, that means in the future when his depressed and Jane is not around he will go to another woman again. For me, i will forgive him but I can’t accept him back, because like Jane said “a leopard can never change its spots”.

  48. The hardest people to forgive are the ones we love, we too often feel that the they cut us the deepest. but should we refuse to forgive especially after the offender has apologized and we refuse we are the ones hurting ourselves. we all need to learn to “FORGIVE AND FORGET” from the depth of our hearts although its very hard.

  49. To forgive is divine,because it frees us from grudges. Regardless of what it caused us but we should live a Christ like life.

  50. Colossians 3:3 says “bear with one another and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you”. Just like this Bible verse is trying to explain, we should learn to forgive and forget the wrongs people have done to us. Forgiving is divine and as we forgive , God will always forgive us too.

  51. Wow! This story is interesting, I know is hard to forgive someone dear to you who have wrong you but Jane has to forgive chike for their relationship to be strong again .she shouldn’t forget to err is human to forgive and I know she still have some feelings for him .

  52. Amazing!!people’s unintentional mistakes shouldn’t be used against them especially when they’re not known to exhibit such characters and after the mistakes still comes back to apologise having realised their errors. No man is perfect and forgiveness should be the gateway to reconcile them back to us in exemption of pride which will make us have regrets afterwards.

  53. Forgiveness is indeed one of the hardest things to do. When someone hurts us, our first thought is to revenge. But the Lord calls us to forgive and forgiveness is really a divine thing. People often make mistakes. No one, not even ourself, is perfect. Let us learn the act of forgiveness as it not only helps our spiritual life but also our mental health.

  54. When we forgive a heavy burden is lifted from us, although sometimes it seems hard to forgive but the Lord will see us through.

  55. This is a really captivating piece, your style of writing is worthy praise and emulation. Forgiveness is indeed a virtue everyone should try to inculcate.

  56. It’s hard to heal or overcome some hurt but overcoming them is for our own good as the peace of mind that accompanies forgiveness is overwhelming. I’m happy she forgave him at last.

  57. We go on our kneel each day to ask the good lord for mercy.we are humans and it’s not easy to forgive cheating but when u u forgive,u life burden from ur heart.we should try to forgive more often,the good lord will bless us.tnk God she was able to forgive him. Ma’am ur writing makes my heart rejoice.tnk u for being u.

  58. To forgive isn’t all that easy thing to do. Let us always remember that nobody is perfect and therefore we should learn how to accept people and their weaknesses at the same time. As Hebert puts it “the weak seek for revenge, the strong forgives but the intelligent ignore”. let us not use because of rats and burn the whole buildings we spent years constructing.

  59. ” to forgive is denied” ??. I really like this story. Forgiveness is quite difficult especially when someone makes too many mistakes and keeps on apologizing. It starts to seem as though that person is taking you for granted. Nice one ma. Keep it up

  60. “To err is human,to forgive is denied”, hahaha,that line from jane caught me. Anyway, we all make mistakes in life, and we should learn to forgive. I know forgiving is not an easy thing to do,but we should ask God to help us forgive others or give us the spirit of forgiveness, just as Jane did. I love this story!

  61. Even we as humans sin against God and yet He is still ready to forgive. When we forgive, we don’t only free those people who have erred us, we free ourselves and let the peace of the Lord into our lives.
    This is a really good one MA. More of God’s strength.

    • “To forgive is denied ” hahaha.. Very funny.. I know sometimes we may find it very difficult to forgive. But we should know that as humans we are bound to make mistake. Therefore, we should try as much as possible to forgive one another. Above all we need the grace of God to guide us in that. Nice write up ma.

  62. forgiveness is not by choice, it is a must. the bible urges us to forgive 70 by 7 times a day! so forgiveness is very very vital not just on our quest to live a Christ-like life, but also to free our minds from the heavy burden of unforgiveness.

  63. We should forgive others even as God forgives us. In regards to this story, I do not think forgiveness is about coming back together with Chile. She must not necessarily come back together with him before she forgives him.

  64. Indeed to forgive is divine. But that was a nasty mistake on Chile’s part and I don’t blame Jane for finding it very difficult to forgive him, it was only by God’s grace that she was able to.

  65. To err is human but to forgive is divine actually, but can a leopard truly have one spot? Lol. Well forgiving Choke does not necessarily mean they’ll get back together. Cheating in a relationship is a no no for me biko. As she said, I can’t come and be playing detective.
    Thanks Ma’am for sharing

  66. We all make mistake,no one is above mistake.
    To err is human to forgive is divine.she doesn’t even feel at ease after making him walk out,this is what happens when we don’t forgive

  67. To err is human and to forgive is divine. We MUST forgive. Even the Bible made it clear to us.

  68. Not everyone finds it easy to forgive that is why we need to always talk to God to give us the heart of forgiveness
    When you remember that you sin every single day and the Lord still forgives us that’s a very good reason to forgive those that offends us too

  69. To forgive is denied? ???….
    Chike really messed up. It’s quite disgusting and heart wrenching to find out that your is cheating on you. It really breaks the heart.

    One thing I like about Chike is that he apologized sincerely and was remorseful about his shortcoming.
    _
    Of a truth, forgiveness is one of the hardest thing to do. In the words of Jack Canfield, “It can be hard to forgive and let go but it’s important to remember that harboring the resentment and holding a grudge can hurt you even more. The word ‘forgive’ really means to give something up for yourself not for them”.

    Jane should forgive Chike and give him another chance. I hope he doesn’t misbehave again. I just hope…

  70. A big one indeed. I don’t think I can forgive such a thing that easily though. Well,its all good. If I were her,even after forgiving, I would look before I leap.Nice one.

  71. “To forgive is denied,”😂😂. That line was funny.
    Forgiving is very hard but it is best because grudges hurt most.

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