“WILL YOU MARRY ME?” (2) SHORT STORY
Our story ended where a male youth corps member who had just proposed to a female colleague went back to his room to pray and find out why he suddenly asked for her hand without an existing close relationship between them. Let’s see what follows. Looking forward to reading your comment and kindly share on social media. You are splendidly blessed in Jesus’ name.
“WILL YOU MARRY ME?” (2)
Hearing from God is not as easy or straightforward as I’d like it to be. If it was, I wouldn’t be second-guessing myself as I’m doing right now.
After I left Tonye, I did try to pray but I was so happy that I just sang some praises and fell asleep. I was actually grateful for the nap as I thought my heart will burst with the joy I felt.
When I woke up, I began to clean my room, something I’ve hardly done. Besides sweeping the tiled floor once or twice a week, I’ve never bothered to mop it or wash stuff promptly. I brought out two Ghana Must Go bags. Into one, I dumped all the clutter I needed to get rid of: cartons and styrofoam packaging from some electronics I’d bought; plastic disposable plates, cups and spoons I’d been collecting from takeouts I bought or events I attended to save me the expense of buying my own stuff; some battered clothes, shoes and boxers. Into the other, I dumped dirty clothes, which were almost my entire wardrobe.This story indirectly poses the question: Does impulsive behaviour have a place in a life of faith? Click To Tweet
Tonye had never been to my room and I wanted to ensure she didn’t bolt if she did. I dumped the bag of trash in the backyard to be burnt later. I then dusted my two white plastic chairs, cleared the papers on the table, mopped the floor, cleaned the windows and replaced my worn out bedsheet with a new one featuring Mickey Mouse, which my elder sister, Ihuoma, gave me during Christmas. I also sprayed my favourite musk cologne on the bed and around the room in lieu of an air freshener.
By this time, it was past noon but I still needed to wash those dirty clothes. As I was doing so, I heard a knock on the door. I knew it was Tonye but I wished it wasn’t. I hadn’t had my bath! What will she think of me? I was sweating from all my exertions. I couldn’t let her in. I decided to call her instead. She came to invite me to eat, she said, but I explained that I was in the bathroom (which technically wasn’t a lie although I wanted to give her the impression I was bathing). I added that I would see her later. I rushed through the washing, packed the clothes in some buckets, bathed and wore a new pair of shorts and T-shirt I also got courtesy of Ihuoma. (God bless our sisters!)
As I went to hang the clothes outside, some of my neighbours were just waking up. They had attended a party the previous night. Normally, they will come to my place to eat whatever I’ve cooked but I hadn’t cooked, thank God! I didn’t want them messing up the room I had so carefully scrubbed. I didn’t even want them to know I had tidied up the place because they would know a woman inspired the effort. They would probably assume the worst and tease me mercilessly.
I can just hear their taunts: “Pastor, leave women for us oh, souls are perishing!” Or “This is a different anointing you are carrying oh!” (They call me Pastor because I’m born again and living the faith, not because I’m ordained.)
It may look suspicious to them but my heart is pure. Seduction is far from my mind. I just did something I should have been doing far more often (the cleaning, I mean). But I cannot pretend that Tonye hasn’t become terribly important to me, so pleasing her will be a priority.
When I later went to see Tonye, the guys who were looking for food had beaten me to it. They were on the floor, eating semovita with egusi soup. My stomach growled at the sight and they laughed. Tonye offered me a soft drink from her mini cabinet fridge, which I gladly accepted.
“Sorry, all the cooked food is gone,” she said.
“Yes, Pastor, it’s gone except you can do a miracle with this,” Don said, offering me a piece of fish, which he quickly withdrew and threw into his mouth. They all burst into laughter.
Another guy, Trevor, grabbed the can of soft drink out of my hands and took a swig from it. “This is January,” he observed. “Aren’t you supposed to be praying and fasting?” He was alluding to the practice of declaring a corporate fast for different lengths of time by many churches in January. Isn’t it ironic that the unsaved take such great delight in keeping the saved accountable?
“My church fasted for the first three weeks of the month,” I replied, but he held on to the drink.
Soon, they were passing it around and drank the whole stuff. I was perching on the edge of the bed feeling sheepish, as Tonye had sat on one of her plastic chairs while the other had a heap of books on it. She brought out two more cans of soft drink, tossed one to the three guys on the floor and gave me the other. Then she did something unexpected. She picked up an empty plate and knocked on the back to get everyone’s attention.
(Related: A Love To Count On)
“We have some news, Obinna and I.” She pulled me up and put her arms around me. “We are engaged, as in, we are getting married as soon as we can.” She looked around at them with a challenging stare. I knew what she was doing. I was always the butt of jokes in the compound. She was trying to put an end to that. I pecked her cheek but lingered and moved my lips down to her jaw and her neck. I don’t know who was more surprised by my action – Tonye, the guys or even myself. Where did the boldness come from and how did I know what to do? It seemed so appropriate and I felt Tonye shiver with pleasure.You often do not know what you can do until the relevant situations present themselves. Click To Tweet
“Uwa mmebi!” Don exclaimed, snapping his fingers on both hands. “Pastor don join!”
“Nna men, idikwa too much!” Chima jibed. “All this Bible and Jesus talk is just a show, okwa ya? Guys, pastor don hit una below the belt.” He was referring to the efforts several guys in the lodge had made to befriend Tonye but she had declined, claiming she had a boyfriend in Port Harcourt. Trevor was speechless but tried to compose himself.
“Una never tell us oh!” Chima continued. “There should be, at least, a small party and everyone in the lodge and some other friends should be invited.”
“We don’t want noise. We just want you to be informed,” Tonye clarified.
“Congratulations!” Don declared, lifting up the can of soft drink.
Everyone echoed the congratulations and the guys sprang up and left, thanking Tonye for the food, without even washing their hands.
Tonye and I decided to go out for lunch. We not only needed to eat but we wanted to celebrate our engagement as our colleagues suggested, but we wanted to do it alone. I planned to change but Tonye told me not to bother. She was staring at my upper body like she was seeing me for the first time and I could understand why. T-shirts show off my toned body better than formal clothing. But I wear the former often. I guess she just hasn’t been paying attention. I told her to give me a minute to slip on a pair of sandals and grab my wallet. We were flowing well together and seemed to know what we were doing. We had no idea that a bulldozer was headed our way.
-To be continued-
Ⓒ Edith Ugochi Ohaja 2018
Hi! This is my favourite part, where we talk about the story.
Have you ever done something you didn’t think you could, you know, something good, something bad? (Like stand up to a bully, pay back good for evil …)
Have you ever been the subject of constant teasing on any subject? How did you handle it?
What do you think is happening to Tonye and Obinna?
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