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Ogunjuyigbe Temitope

Ogunjuyigbe Temitope

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Chapter 19

"BJ! What are you doing here?
I couldn't believe he travelled down for my dinner.
" You don't want me around?"
"No-not that. Just that I was wondering how you got the information.”
He laughed.
"Tola is till my little brother you know.”
“Oh that!”
"You look gorgeous in this dress.”
"Thank you" I said shyly.
He paused for a while, looking distracted.

"Well, I won't be able to attend your wedding. I could have a heart attack.
(He laughed a bit) so I decided to come and say my wishes.
"Thanks BJ. Don't worry, you will be fine..."
"But don't worry. My family will be represented. Toriola will come".
"BJ, you are punishing that woman."
"We are in this together. She dares not disobey me.”
Besides, she said she doesn't mind coming"
"OK. (I sighed) Your call".
I turned to leave.

Oh dear, Banji needed to let go.
"Doctor says we are having a baby girl”
" Wow! Congrats."
"I'm naming her Rachael"
"Banjjiiiiii" Now, I was getting emotional.
"If you ever wake up one day and feel like quitting this marriage, even if it’s after your 5th child, I will be waiting to take you back and..."
" Stop this talk"

"Racheal, I've been looking for you all over the place" That was Taiwo.

I think that was a very good time.
"Taiwo, guess who we have here?"
"Oh!The famous Bj?'
BJ managed a smile. They both shook hands and talked briefly. Men!
" Taiwo, please take care of Rachael for me"
"By God's grace. I will bro"
" I could Kill anyone who tries to hurt her you know"
''Luckily, there won't be a need to kill." Taiwo laughed.
''You guys have fun and a happy life ahead."

Taiwo stood by me till BJ left.
"Are you alright?"
"Yeah" I was shaky; Maybe because I felt nothing for him anymore.
I closed my eyes to say a little prayer.
"Lord, please send your peace to BJ. He has suffered too much."
"Let's go sweetheart. Some guests are waiting to see us" Taiwo said.

I got home that evening, tired and weak.
Mum was laughing so hard that I could hear from outside.
Tinu was around already. She came to meet me at the gate.
"Sister, be ready for the rudest shock of your life!"
"Please my wedding is in 3days.No energy for shocks. What is it?"

Dad came home.
Mummy agreed to move back with him.
Jesus Christ!
"Sorry Tinu, I wasn't shocked. I knew this before you" I laughed as I went to hug mummy.
We were celebrating all over .Mum couldn't contain her joy.

"Where is Tola? I noticed I didn't see him.
" Tola! Tola!" Everyone started looking for Tola.
I went outside. Saw him at the back of the building all alone.
"Tola, are you alright?"
For the first time in a very long time, Tola was crying.
"Tola, what's wrong?"
He held my hand.
"Sis, today is the happiest day of my life. Everything is overwhelming to me.
Dad is here...Really? God!!!"
"Hey, it’s okay, come in.”
"Will God accept me again? I've said so many wrong things..."
"Just come in..."

Wedding was fabulous. Everyone was happy. Those who ran things in the fashion and arts industry were in attendance.
A woman came to greet me while I was dancing with some guests.
Something tells me she must be Toriola.
" Hello Madam, congrats!"
"Thank you so much madam"
She paused.
"Errr, you mind if I whisper something?"
"Go ahead"
"Thank you for not ruining my home...I know BJ tried hard to win you back".
Oh dear, her eyes were reddish already.
" Hey, common, stop this talk.."
"Thank you so much Rachael...It’s been a real battle.
“So tough a life I swear.”
I held her hands.

" Toriola, BJ is a good man. Take over his heart in the place of prayer.
Don't allow the devil torture you with a loveless life and if you need any help, this is my card. Call me.
She wiped a tear.
"Thank you Rachael. You don't know how much this talk means to me".
"It’s okay ...come, dance with me. No crying at my wedding".

Ten months later...
Another colour of His Rainbow...
"Congrats Madam, It’s a baby boy!"
...And here am I today, saying my story.
The Colours of His promises, like a rainbow are Beautiful!

-The End-

The Arc is purely an imagination of the writer. All names, places and events are purely fictional.
We hereby apologize if a part or the whole of the story coincides with the true story of any person or group of persons.
Thank you for reading the Arc.
May His Promises, like a rainbow rise with many colours in our lives.

- Temitope Ogunjuyigbe

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Chapter 18

So, so, so,
That was how I became not an artist, not a fashion designer but an instructor!
Sometimes, I just don't understand how God decided to make my job fantastic in the eyes of the learned and intelligent.
My designs were overrated.
Every big name wanted to buy designs from Rachael Arts!
Of course, Family has to be carried along.
Mum's dresses made waves as I could afford to draw and supervise her designs.
Tola, he just kept signing modeling contracts.
The naughty boy capitalized on my sudden popularity to broker some deals for himself.

About a year into all this changed status, my personal assistant came to me one day.
"Aunty Rachael, there is something I want to discuss with you"
"Go ahead"
She sat down.
"Aunty, my brother likes you"
I almost tripped over with laughter.
"Ok. Tell your brother I like him too even if I don't know him. Don't kill me"

"Aunty, I'm serious. He asked me to give him your number and I will give him"
"Folake, what is this?
Did I tell you I believe in all these blind dates and matchmaking thing?
Oya, get back to work quickly!"
"His name is Taiwo, he will call you.
Aunty Racheal, go and marry"
"If I open my eyes and you are still here!"

Just how my team kept taunting me with the issue of marriage.

I dropped what I was drafting.
"God, if you really have sent your rainbow…its been over three years now.
Please send a good man.
A man that will love me more than Banji."
Then He spoke to me.
"God has spoken once, twice I have heard, all power belongs to God"

The following day as Folake said, her brother called.
I wasn't just the type to follow all these none-stereotypical rules.
I didn't know why Folake was trying to match make me with her brother.
Yet, I decided to just let him be.

If someone had told me I would be able to love a man more than BJ, if someone had told me a man would lavish so much love on me more than BJ...I would never have believed it!

"Make sure you take care of this my daughter oh".
That was dad.
I had taken Taiwo to see him.
Dad was comfortable with the dates we chose for the introduction and the wedding.
Then I noticed aunty Franca's shop was locked.

" What of mummy twins? I didn't even notice I didn't see her"
"She no longer lives here"
I was confused.
"Taiwo, please can I talk to Dad alone"
"Alright dear"
"Dad, what's the problem?"
"I don't want her in my life anymore. I told her to leave the boys and go. She comes to check on them once in a while.

He paused for a few seconds.
"Racheal, do you think your mum will take me back?
Even if that is the last thing I will do before I die do you really think my wife will take me back after all these years?

Someone needed to wake me from this dream.
"Dad, have you spoken with her?"
"Not yet. May-maybe after your wedding"
"Well, I think you should be positive about it"
I was trying hard to play hard to get on behalf of mummy (Lol).
"That woman suffered much You know...anyway, don't tell her anything yet.
Tell Tola to try see me next week. I must talk to him"

Taiwo couldn't understand why I was crying in the car.
Its been 9 years already!
It was too overwhelming.
I just hope I could seal my lips when I got home.

My wedding was three days away. Team Rachael Arts decided to host myself and Taiwo to a fabulous surprise dinner.
It was a real surprise dinner for Taiwo and I.
My phone rang while I was greeting the guests.
"Hello BJ"
"Racheal, You look beautiful..."
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Chapter 17

“What are you talking about?"
"Church' talk!" Mum said.
"Not interested. Bye!" He shut the door and left.
Mum and I laughed.
"I won't force him. He is definitely in my ark and your ark. No escape route!"
Then, I paused!

"Mum, do you think BJ was right? He said I should have stopped Him from that Marriage"
Mum held my hand.
"He wasn't right. He wasn’t.
He should have voiced his mother's concerns from inception. How could he be talking to you every day without voicing such?
He kept a secret till it consumed him.
How were you supposed to fight a battle you knew nothing about?

Mum was right.
" I don't think I can get over him"
"Have you talked to God about it?"
"Hahaha. About love?"
"Rachael, when your flood ceases, God sends an Arc!"
"What is that?"
"An Arc of many colors- A rainbow!.What you need now is a rainbow"

I was laughing really hard.
"But before you leave the Ark, you must send your 'dove' to the world.
Exactly what I needed.
That night I prayed and received so much peace!
I took my drawing book and drew a beautiful dress. I decided to post it online.
By morning, the picture of the dress had gone viral!
'God! What is this? It’s just a dress!'
Well, whatever.

I went about my job seeking business as usual.
About 2 weeks later, something happened.
One of my friends, Nikky called.
" Racheal, whatz up now? How did it go?"
"Hi Nikky, I’m fine oh. How did what go?"
"Hahan, you think we will not know Abi?"
"What are you talking about?"
"Wait? You mean you didn't go for the fashion show?"
"Which fashion show?"
"What? Why are you like this? Don't tell me you didn't know Genes has been looking for you?"
"Genes the designer?"
"He said anyone who knows you should tell you to meet him by 10:00am today at his Lagos Fashion show"

My phone rang again.
"Rachael, why didn't you show up?"
"Art awards"
"Rachael, just don't tell me you didn't come to Abuja because of me!"
"What are you talking about BJ?"
He sighed.
"You keep forgetting things. Why this?"

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Chapter 16

The whole world was quiet as he drove me home.
"Good night BJ. Safe Trip to Abuja tomorrow."

" Yeah?"
"If you ever change your mind, If you ever decide to take me back...I'd sort the divorce in less than two months.
Toriola knows this already.

I am a very emotional person.
I wanted to cry.
" Stop this Jargons BJ! Toriola is a good woman. Don't hurt her!"
"Let me worry about that.
She is not happy with me. So, what's the point?"
"Goodnight Banji"

I rushed to the verandah while he drove off speedily.
I couldn't deal with the frustration in his voice.
Mum was at the door.
"Are you okay? I wanted to call you but..."
"I'm fine ma"

I walked into the room. My emotions were at the peak.
I began to draw.
My eyes were soaked.
I drew a picture of what we would have looked like on our wedding day.
It was a very beautiful one.

'You didn't even see me come in"
"Sorry Ma" I quickly tried to hide the picture."
"Let me see what you're hiding"
"Haba. Mummy, no o"
She sat on the Bed.
"Don't you think you should stay away from BJ?"
"Of course I will."
She sighed deeply.

"You know, there is this story of Noah's ark in the Bible.
Sometimes, I think the life of a believer is like that Ark.
There is a stage in your life where it feels like you are the only one serving God.
Yet, you are the one God promises a flood.
Then, He gives you an Ark and keeps you in there---He shuts you in that ark and you can't even escape!

You know how Noah must have felt when He was following God's instruction, building an ark of salvation...yet the flood destroyed everything in his World?
It-it almost makes no sense!
Then even the ark must have been tossed by the flood, hitting rocks...Noah didn't know how long this 'Flood’ was going to last!
But then, guess what the Bible says?.
"God remembered Noah"

That was the first time I would be having a real conversation with my mum. It seemed so unreal!
"Mummy wait!", I picked my Bible from my reading table, opened it quickly to Genesis 7-8 to search for Noah's ark.
"Mummy, I have never seen this story from this perspective!"
She smiled.
"You know, the flood- the flood moved the Ark to the top of the Earth!"
"Good girl!
This same flood has taken you to the top where people will see you!"
"Mummy! Even when the flood was subsiding, the ark landed on a mountain top!!!"
"That's my girl!"

Then she was silent and thoughtful.
"Mum are you okay?"
"Rachael, if I could turn back the hands of time, there is just one thing I would have done.
I would never have allowed Franca take your father away from me.
All the people in Noah's ark were saved.

I was too emotional and angry at that time.
I should have fought for my marriage and not let that strange woman bewitch your father.
Your dad is a good man. He loves you all.
He was my husband when we had nothing. He was my husband when he was nobody.
I let the devil ruin my marriage.
Now see how Tola is growing. He doesn't even know how to be a man. He is just living his life trying to prove a point.
I'm not going to lose Tola. Never! My son is coming back to the Lord.
Your father is coming back home...

"What have you both been talking about since?"
Tola was at the door...

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Tagged in: Arc Flood Marriage Noah
Chapter 15

I was still at the balcony trying to figure out what exactly to ask for like I had only one chance when Banji's call came in.
"Hi BJ" I couldn't even contain my excitement!.
"Wow! You seem to be happy about something".
"Yes I am. Never mind”.
What's up?"
"I have been in IB for about three days now"
"Oh...well. So?"
"Would you be kind enough to see me for a few minutes? I need to talk to you"
"Okay.I'm actually indoor today so, you could drive down"
"I'd call you in an hour"

Mum came around.
"Were you talking to BJ?
For the first time, I didn't feel any hurt much.
" Mummy, trust me, I'd be fine."
Banji came right on time. He picked me from the front of our house and drove off to a quiet restaurant.

He didn't talk.
"Banji, what is the problem? Is Toriaola okay?"
I tried to break the silence.
He didn't respond.
"See, you are a married man, I don't want..."
"Rachael, Why didn't you stop me?"
I was confused.
"Stop you from doing what?"
"You didn't even try to stop me Rachael!"
"What is this about?"
"Just look at me. I'm a miserable man"
Now, I knew I had to keep quiet and listen.

"BJ, is your wife hurting you? You are just less than 2 years in your marriage"
"Rachael, it feels like 20years already! I can't go on like this!"
'Calm down BJ. What exactly is the issue?'
He put his hands on his face as if to pray.

"Toriola is a good woman…She is a good woman, hardworking, prayerful...
Whatever. But, Rachael, I can't connect with her.
I don't feel a thing for her.
I think of you everyday. This is crazy!

I kept quiet for a while. I could see the grief in his eyes.
" BJ, I can't help you". I said.
"Is there anything I can do? I haven't spoken with my mum for over a year now."
"I don't know sincerely" I replied.
I took my drink in a rush. I needed to leave.

"Rachael, wait! What if I divorce Toriola?
" BJ, God hates divorce".
"So, I'm going to live the rest of my life like this? Rachael, I can't!!!"
I stood to leave this last time.
"I don't think I could live above this error ever!
I'm punishing Tori. She cries almost every night.
She is tired of trying to please me.
My heart is somewhere else and she knows it!

That night, I felt pity for him...

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Tagged in: Divorce Hurt Love Marriage
Chapter 14

True to his words, Tola became hardened- almost like a blasphemer.
He kept late nights more often and almost became wayward when he returned to school.

Service year passed in silence. I rarely made friends and kept to myself most times.
I saw BJ's wedding pictures all over the internet.His wife Toriola was a beautiful sight.
The truth was, I couldn't get over BJ so easily.
I was like a widow in mourning.
Sadly, because of my 'spiritual' status,most people thought I was 'holier than they were'.
BJ used to say, never wait for people to encourage you.Do it yourself because people fail.

Now, I didn't know where to start.
So I started by drawing.
Art gave me some sense of relief. I took so much interest in drawing and painting.
By the end of service year, I had drawn over 300 perfect pictures.
How time flew easily.

Now I'm in a locked room.
Sixth interview, no luck.
"Knock knock" ‘Tinu needs to know I don't feel like eating today’, I thought.
She had come to greet mum with her baby.
"Tinu I don't feel like eating ooooooh" I had to scream from the room.
"Then open the door!"
"Tinu, when are you returning to your husband's house?"
I laughed. Tinu knew better than to worry me.
I needed to do something.I couldn't afford to be a burden to mum.
That day,I opened my Bible and began to pray.
"Lord, My name is Rachael. I need a miracle"

"What do you need?"
I felt I heard that question in my heart.
'Excuse me?"
"What do you need?"
"A miracle!"
"Well that is general answer"
Oh my God! I was having a conversation in my spirit!
"Lord, I need a miracle!"

I would never forget that day!
I jumped out of my bed, straight to the balcony.
I couldn't ask for anything. I was excited.
"Lord, a miracleeeeeeee!"
"You haven't asked for anything Rachael"

We hold our readers in high esteem . Hence we sincerely apologise for not posting this chapter about this time last week.
Thank you for staying with us.

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Chapter 13

I locked myself in the room for days.
I couldn't deal.
Banji kept calling my line and sending text messages.
I neither picked the calls nor read the messages.
I avoided everyone as much as possible. Most people thought I was sad because Tinu got married before me.
Well, I didn't owe no one any explanation.

It was a weekend, I went to church, sang in the choir as Banji taught me.
Every sound of music, every tall and dark man reminded me of him.

I was leaving the Church premises when I saw a man standing by a car.
Looked so much like Banji's new car.
I turned to respond.
It was Banji, I wasn't wrong.
I wanted to walk away.
"Rachael, Please for once, talk to me"
I was about walking away when Tola saw us from afar.
"Egbon! What are you doing in IB?"
"I came to see your sis of course"
They exchanged greetings. Tola adored him.
I couldn't talk.

I know Banji was trying to do some damage control.
"I'd see you both at home. I need to run. Church is over, boys have to hang out"
"Tola, make sure I meet you at home" I ordered.
"Sister, follow your husband. Me too need to hustle so I can marry a fine babe. Hahahaha"
I wasn't in that kind of mood.

As soon as he left, I was left alone with BJ.
"You know I can't stand here all day"
"Rachael, can we go somewhere...?"
"Ok. Can you at least sit in my car?
I got in. I was actually tired after the service.
"Banji, I don't need an apology. I just want to know where I wronged you. Tell me why you did..."

"You didn't do nothing"
He couldn't look at me.
"Mum, Mum says I can't marry someone from a broken home"

I don't think I had been so devastated in my life.
"So, I'm not good because my parents are separated. Really?"
"I'm sorry"
I laughed so I could hold back tears.
"One more thing BJ, why didn't you tell me all the while?"
"I didn't know how to put it to you--I wanted a convenient time"

The worst thing about my breakup was I couldn't even hate him.
BJ used to say, hating someone is like carrying a burden whereas the person who offended you is allowed to walk free.
I used to tell people, its not the length of a relationship that makes you broken.
Its the quality of life chunked out from you.
My life was like a shadow. I became lean very fast.

About a week later, mum called me.
"Rachael, what is wrong with you--and don't tell me ‘nothing’!"
For the first time in a long time, I burst into tears.
"Mummy, Banji is getting married"
"Jesus Christ!"
"He can't marry me because my parents are separated…
Mummy, is it my fault?"

Mum was a typical African woman. But that day, she allowed me to cry.
She didn't say a word. She just let me cry.
Tola was at the door all the while. I didn't know.
"Sister, where was God again today?"
"Tola!" Mum screamed.

"The two most important men in my life hurt my sister.
Mummy, why didn't God tell them to stop?
I don't feel like going to church again.
I don't think I will go again till I know why God makes the people who serve Him well suffer.

Tola shut the door and walked away...

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Chapter 12

As expected, Chima came to talk with me.
I guess I had to let her go.
Both of them knew I was the only one to convince our parents.
God was on our side.
Our parents gave their consent after a few hurdles.
So we began the wedding plans. Marriage was fixed for two months later.

Tinu's wedding was spectacular. Mum was the happiest woman on earth.
I always wished I got married before her but then, I was very happy for my girl.
Banji was there to give so much support -morally and financially.
All was beautiful. Well-except for Tola who bought so much alcohol for his friends!
That boy never listens.
"Sister, you can't impose this your SU thing on me jor.Its Tinu's wedding and my friends have to be spoilt!"

And of course Banji would say "Leave him, God has him covered."

Banji's sister, Ireti called me few days after the wedding.
"Racheal, I need to speak with you when you are free"
"Is Banji okay?"
"Yeah- Yeah.But, I must talk to you...

That day, I wasn't at peace.
That was very unlike Ireti.
I had spoken with Banji earlier in the day.He didn't seem to be in any sort of trouble.

The following day, I decided to call her.
"Rachael, how are you?"
"Iya oko Mi , I'm as fine as ever.Thanks for attending Tinu's wedding. I'm so grateful"
Then she paused.
"Racheal, you are a good person and I love you so much.But there is a truth I must tell you because you are a woman like me"
Now, my heart was beating fast. What could this be?
"Rachael, Banji is getting married"

"What? Which Banji?"
"I know you don't know.That is why I'm telling you.
The introduction was done three weeks ago and he is tieing the knots in four months from now"
“Apparently, this was some joke of the century” .I thought.
Ireti would not lie to me.
Banji was at Tinu's wedding two weeks ago. We spoke everyday.
Where was this coming from?
"Thank you sister Ireti.I don't know what to say. But, thank you".
"Just be cool girl.I-I really wished I could tell you this earlier but- but I didn't know how to do it."
"Ok ma."

I walked to the balcony feeling like a living dead.
I dialed Banji's number.
"Beejay,how are you?"
"Sweet heart, how far?"
"Banji, is it true you are getting married?"

Banji was quiet.
"Did Ireti call you?"
"Answer my question BJ"
Then he was quiet again.
"I will be coming to Ibadan this weekend. Let's talk in person"
"BJ, just say Yes or No. Don't torment me"

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Chapter 11

I have never been so shocked in my entire life.
How could Banji go that far?
"Just don't tell your mum anything till she is completely ok...and you Tolaaaaaa, don't you ever do this again. Ever!""
Yes bro".

Tola had so much respect for Banji.
" So, let's use some money to eat some good food today!"
We went from the police station to my place.
Tola rested for a while and Tinu made some food.

We were eating and joking when Banji paused.
"Guys, I've got a question to ask you all"
Everyone was quiet.
"Oya oooo"
"Rachael, if I asked you to marry me, what would you say?"

Tola spilled his drink and burst into laughter.
"Woooooow!" Tinu was screaming and jumping all over the room!
"Banji, what kind of thing is this now?"

I was so embarrassed.
"Rachael, please marry me"

My life was never happier!
I was so excited.
Mum was happy.
"I've always wished you marry Banji.
He is such a good young man. Do his parents like you?
" Yes oooooo. His mum is so adorable"

"My girl is happy. So, when are you getting married?"
"Ha! Mummy, he just got a job now. He has to settle down... Soon Sha"

Life went on good.
Banji assisted with my final year project and Tola's fees.
I couldn't go with my batch for service. Thanks to my missed exam.
Extra-semester was sorted.
We all had it 'coded' so mum didn't know. I applied to be a sales girl at a supermarket so I wouldn't ask her for fees.

For the first time in a long time, Tola was sorry.
"At least you know I'm having an extra-semester because of you"
"Sister, you don't have to remind me all the time". He would say.
Such grown kids. I love them both so much.

I returned from Shop one afternoon. Tinu was already in her third year.
"Sister, I want us to talk o"
"About what?"
I was dishing my food and tired as usual.
"I want to get married"
This one will not kill me with laughter. I thought.
"What is that about?"
"Chima has asked me to marry him and --and I said Yes"

"Ha! Tinu! How old are you? Why the hurry?"
"Sister, what am I waiting for? Am I not 20 already?"
"You know your father will break your head and your mother will Lynch you.
Count me out please. I did not hear this"

She came to me. I could feel her worry.
"Sister, please now. I don't see any reason why I shouldn't go ahead.
Besides, I've prayed about it oh"
Of course she knew that was the way to convince me.

So that night, I decided to pray.
Tinu and Tola are just grown kids like I always say.
I didn't want her getting into any husky marriage.

"Dear Lord, please send your peace to us on this matter"

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Chapter 10

That night, I couldn't sleep.
I felt like a living ghost. How was I to tell mum this?
Tinu was sobbing beside me. She couldn't sleep.
"Hey, its ok. Come here"
I held her in my arms.
I needed to be strong for them all. We all were just grown up kids!

Phone had been ringing.
-18missed calls from Banji.
“Oh dear, I'm going to hear a real sermon this night.” I thought.

"Hello Banji"
"You ehn! What is difficult in using a mobile phone?"
"I'm sorry Banji. I had a situation here"
"Shebi it is you. Anyway, what’s good? I have great news for you!!!"
"I got the HR job today!"

I was supposed to be happy. But I couldn't help my mood.
"Congrats Banji" I answered coldly.
"Rachael, are you OK?”

I guess I couldn't even pretend.
I burst into tears.
" Tola is in trouble..."

I narrated the whole incident to him.
"...500 what? Haba! Did he steal a car?!"
"Banji, I don't know what to do"
"Don't worry dear, God will make a way. Hun?"
Banji and his compelling comforting nature!

"By the way, how was your exam today?
I completely forgot I had an exam that day.
"Don't tell me you didn't..."
"I forgot!"
"How--how could you? How many times have I told you never to let circumstances push you off control?..."

I just realized, I had single handedly donated an extra semester to myself! Mum would collapse.
"Anyway, I would be coming to your school tomorrow. Let's see if we can talk to that man. There is no way we can raise 500k unless he wants to marry you off on credit."
I laughed for the first time in several hours.

The following day, Banji came as promised. We went to see the man, he insisted he would teach Tola a lesson and make him an example to ‘aspiring thieves’.
Very embarrassing!

As we went home, Banji suggested we took a walk. It was a very long walk.
"Rachael, hope you are going for rehearsals tomorrow?"
"Me? Rehearsals? Why?"
“Why can't you go?”
"I need to think"
He laughed.
"Apparently, your love towards God and His work is dependent on the good times. Right?
" Haba, Banji, don't make me feel bad"
"Go to your place of 'work'. Let the devil be put to shame. Though we walk through the valley..."
"You're right. I would think about it"
"Meanwhile, let's sing, I'm bored"

Music had always been a strong form of connection between us.
He picked a song, I did it in the alto part.
By the time I got home, I was ...lifted!.

The following day, I got to the rehearsals and met them doing a beautiful song.
"I know too much about God.
There is nothing to make me doubt him.
See, I've tried God for myself,
Don't have to ask anybody..."

It was just the song I needed.

As soon as I got home, My phone began to ring.
"Come to the station" Someone called from the police station had called.
I called Banji to please join me.
We got there.
"Baba wants to withdraw the case" The officer said.
That was an absolute miracle!
"But your brother must refund my seventy thousand Naira. It was meant for Deji's phone." Baba said.
"We will return it sir. First thing on Monday, we will"
I really didn't know why Banji was talking like a parrot.
My feelings were mixed. Where do we get N70,000?

On Monday morning, Banji called me to meet him at the station. Tinu and I got there in a rush.
Papers were signed. Banji handed over the Money to the boy. Tola was bailed.
Tinu's joy knew no bounds.
I was happy but then...

"Bj, please let's talk"
" Where did you get 70k in less than 24hours?"
"Am I not a man?".
I didn't want any repeat case.
" Please,tell me"
He paused then pulled me aside.
"I sold my other phone, my watch and donated a pint of blood"

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Chapter 9

Exams had gone on for two weeks.
Tola had finished his examinations. Tinu has 3 papers left while I still had about seven left.

That afternoon, I was reading for the next paper which would hold in two hours. Tinu was busy cooking.


This is why I like to read in the library- I thought.
"I'm sure someone has come for salt or maggi "
Tinu went to get the door.
Two policemen and a young man.

"Good evening sir"
"Hello ladies. We are here to see Tola"

I stood to my feet.
"Sir, what is the issue? Tola is my brother"
Tola stood to meet them. He looked away from me.
"Tola, what is going on here?" I asked in haste.
"That's him", The young man said.
" Tola, You are under arrest for..."
"I know!" Tola snapped.

Tinu began to cry."Tola, I told you"
Tola turned to me "Sister, I'm sorry"
The officers put a handcuff on his hands. Neighbors came out of their rooms trying to understand what was going on.

"Officer, please I beg you. Just let me know what he did"
"Kids! (He sighed) Tola broke into this young man's room and carted away with N70,000 two weeks ago.
He didn't know someone saw him."
Of course that had to be a joke!
"Can I talk to him sir?"
"At the police station"

I dashed into the room to take my purse.
"Tinu, did you know about this?"
She was crying and nodding.
"I warned him oh---sister, I warned him"
I didn't know what to do or say. Definitely, it had to be a dream!

I got to the station with Tinu. The officer brought him out.
Tola didn't shed a tear.
"Tola, Tola why did you do this?"
"My mum was dying!!!She was dying!!"
"That was not an excuse!"
"I'm not sorry!"
"Well, you shut up Tola! God would still have helped us"
He laughed so hard.
"What is wrong with you?" I was surprised.

"Sister, you talk too much about God.
Where was God when dad turned his back on us? Where was He when my mum was dying?
I was shocked!
" Tola, how dare you?
How dare you talk like this? Tola, God sits in heaven, You are on earth, let your silly words be few!"

"Ok! ok! I've always known you, God is always right to you.
But I couldn't stand it. Tinu wanted to sleep with a man for thirty thousand Naira only.
I couldn't let someone take my sister's pride so cheaply. All I wanted to do was save my mummy"

The police woman looked at us.
She must have overheard all our conversation.
"Time to go Tola" She took him in.
"I'm sorry sis. Please tell mummy I'm sorry"

The woman came back to meet me still at the counter.
"Hello Young woman"
“Do you believe God can help you through this?”
For once, I didn't know what to believe.
"The boy's father is a rich man. He is threatening to teach your brother a lesson.
He says we should not grant him bail for less than N500,000.If you know how to pray, pray."

...N500,000 ?

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Tagged in: Arrest Bail Exams God Police
Chapter 8

I rushed to the hospital hoping the inevitable hadn't happened.
"Mummy Tobi, where is my mummy?"
"The doctor says I should call you"

"Rachael", I couldn't sit as the doctor spoke.
"I'm afraid you can't be a donor. The blood groups don't match."

Meaning I needed another donor or needed to buy blood.
I was most confused.
My phone kept ringing.

"Tinu, I can't handle this all alone". I burst into quick tears.

The only person I knew to be a blood type O was Tola.
Tola could donate but there was no transport fare to bring him home.
I had a lengthy talk with Tinu. She insisted she would prevail on Tola to borrow money from wherever and come home.

I wanted them to stay back and write their exams.
Everything was overwhelming!

Banji called. I explained the whole situation to him.
"Rachael, Don't let anything move your faith away from Whom you've always believed. He will come through. Just be calm"
I didn't know how to be calm.
I bought Malt and Milk with the money I had left. Mummy Tobi was a petty trader who had spent her little savings on mum before calling me.

Somehow, I was going to think of a way, but I didn't know how.
I went home that day with hate towards my dad.
This wasn't the father I knew all my life. How could he be so uncaring?!

I searched the whole house for mum's jewelry. I was going to sell them off the following day.
The whole house looked empty.
Apparently mum had been selling her stuff to make us feel good at school.

Tola called me. I was miserable with tears but I had to be strong for them.
"Just read...You know that MTH104 is difficult"
Tola was a quiet person. You would never be able to read him.
"Sis, I will be there day after tomorrow. God will provide money."

Two days later, Tola came with me with Tinu.
"And where did you both get money to be travelling with?" I asked surprisingly.
"God provided".

Tola and Tinu were acting strangely.

"Sis, let's go see the doctor"

The doctor took his blood sample and confirmed he could donate.
"Doctor, this is the deposit"
I looked at Tinu with shock.
"Sis, you would keep the remaining money as we don't know just yet, the hospital bill balance..."
"Don't ask me where I raised the money. We would talk about that later"

The transfusion was done.
Bills were paid.
Mum was to be discharged later in the week.
My siblings returned to school.
I stayed with mum a few more days.

Something just did not feel right...

Continue reading
Not long after Dad was retrenched, I got a call from one of our neighbors.
"Come home,your mum needs you".

This kind of message wasn't good especially as exams were in two weeks. So I called Tinu to tell her I was traveling home.
" Should I come with you?"
"Why should you?Exams are here.You need to read! Just make sure you keep an eye on Tola.
Besides,I won't be away for long.I just hope she wants to talk to me.Maybe dad is acting up again."

Banji had rounded up his program but was yet to get a job.
I called him to inform him and asked him to pray with me.
I got home to see one of my aunts at home. "Mummy Tobi!"
"My dear" She didn't look bright.
“Where is my mummy?”
"The hospital"
"Ha ha! What is wrong with her?"
"Just come, let's go see her"

We got to the hospital,I was frightened.
"God,don't let this be what I'm thinking"
I got to the room where my mum was. She looked sickly and almost dying.

She held my hand.

"Rachael,how are you?"
"If-if anything happens to me...'
" Mummy! Just stop.Nothing is going to happen to you or anyone!"

I took her hands off my hand.
My aunt was crying.
I wasn't in the mood for any tears.Banji is going to yell at me if he hears I cried. He taught me to always be strong.

The doctor walked in.
"Sir,what is wrong with my mummy?"
She needs a blood transfusion.If we get donors,fine. You would need a deposit of N20,000.But if we don't get donors..."

"So,you are saying my mum is lying down here because of twenty thousand Naira?!
Doctor,please just help my mum.We would pay."
"I'm sorry dear,we need you to get either the blood or the..."

There was no way I could sit here and let mum die because of twenty thousand Naira.
How could mum have been this sick and be telling us all was well?States were owing salaries for over 4months yet mum just sent money for Tola's tuition fee.
How could she be so sick and send school fee?
I hopped on a bike and went straight to Dad's place.
Aunty Franca was watching a movie.
"Aunty Franca,Please I need to talk to my dad"

Dad came out from his room.
She looked at me and dropped the remote.
"If you have come for money,we don't have money"

This wasn't time to quarrel.I turned to Dad.
"Daddy,my mum is dying!"
Aunty Franca interrupted,
"Sweetheart,if you are planning on borrowing from me,I don't have money oh"

For the first time,I felt so disgusted at my dad.
I dropped to my knees.
"Aunty Franca,I am not asking you to give us.I'm just asking you to lend me.Please,don't let my mummy die..."
"My dear,if your father has money,fine.Me, I am running around trying to raise school fees for your brothers. Or should they drop out of school?

My phone rang,
It was my aunt.

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Tagged in: The Arc
Chapter 6

Days with Banji were memorable.
He taught me about purpose. Opened my eyes to be driven by a greater vision.
He encouraged me to meditate more about the Word. He helped me with music lessons.
He said I ought to be a real vocalist.
His love for me was deep and...enviable!

Tinu gained admission eventually and we went on with patching our lives.
All seemed within control. Banji was the big brother. Even mom knew.

One day, Mum called.
Dad had been retrenched. The company was 'rightsizing'.
It was a real sad news. Things have been going from bad to worse since aunty Franca came.
Dad was laid off now that aunty Franca just put to bed a baby girl.

"So, you and your younger ones need to manage"

I know that feeling. Mum was trying hard. Salary was just not enough. That night I was worried and extremely sad.

There was a concert coming up. I was to take the lead role in a song. A lot of ministers had been invited.
"Banji, I don't think I can do this song tonight"
He knew just what to do. He held my hands...
"Rachael, I will be sitting at the 2nd row so you can see me clearly.
Just sing the lead and Let Jesus take it from there"

"Faithful, faithful, Faithful is The Lord
I'm reaping the harvest God promised me..."

Concert ended. Testimonies kept coming.
"Sis Rachael, you are so blessed. But for that song of yours, I was so depressed yesterday..."

I was used to such.
-Sing brilliantly, bless lives,

Return home, cry about your own troubles...

Continue reading
Chapter 5

Life took a different toll. Everything changed.
Sometimes, I sat to ask God why my family was going through this. But I learnt to accept His peace.

Dad didn't stop paying our fees but privileges were reduced.
Income had to be shared between my mum and his unemployed Aunty Franca.
Aunty Franca's flamboyance and desire to keep up with vogue had a killing effect on dad's income.
Everywhere you saw her, she was the type who had to make a fashion statement.

Dad began to make excuses. Mum began to foot more bills.
How people changed suddenly!

Life became terrible.
I didn't worry much for myself- well at least.
I worried for my younger ones.
Mum had to withdraw Tola from the school he was attending and put him in a lesser tuition fee school.
Tinu had to defer her admission as mum could not foot the bills all alone.
Whatever Aunty Franca was doing to dad was working as Dad came to see us less often.

In all, I wanted to work hard.
Perhaps to prove to mum that her struggles were not wasted, or just to graduate early, get a job and assist with the upkeep of my younger ones.
All these events drove me closer to God.
I knew He is one person who stands when everything around us collapses.

I sat in Class one evening, trying to read out my eyes.
"Why not go home?"
I looked to my right.
It was some young man.
"I gotta read! Girl can't be failing this course"
He laughed " But you've been dozing off you know--Go get some sleep at least for a few minutes"

That was the first day I met him.
I was in part three, he was a postgraduate student who had come to write some exams.

The next day I came to read, He was the first to beckon on me.
The truth be told, Banji was...that type of guy!
He later introduced himself to me and so, we became friends.

Banji would later become the first love I ever knew. Banji was real, kind, neat and loving.
Aside being a bookworm, he was that type of man I've always dreamt of.
He was there when I needed a friend, a brother and a confidant.
He was not in the sciences but kept a tab on me to read.
Even as I speak, I would never forget the day I met Banji...

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Tagged in: Arc Dress First love Kill
Chapter 4

I sat on the couch with my Kid sister-Tinu.
Mum sat with Tola on another sit, her eyes were red. She must have been crying.
Somehow I felt uneasy.

"I know this might be a diff-difficult thing to say. But, I want you all to know we all make mistakes..."

"Mr Man, go straight to the point.
Stop beating about the bush"- Mum was sobbing and angry."
Racheal, Tinu, Tola, your dad now has a second wife!"

I stood in shock.
It had better been a joke of some sort. I looked from mum to dad and back. I felt my head spinning.

"Daddy!!! "
"Look, it’s not how your mum is presenting it..."

"Rachael, your dad has two sons in Calabar! Wicked man parading himself like a moralist!

Now the secret is leaked.
His mistress wants him to either marry her or lose ownership of the sons...Just look at your pious father!"

Dad has always been known for gentleness. If Dad wasn't at work, he was at home. How could this be happening?

"So--so, what is going to happen?"
. Confused Tinu asked.
"I, I can't let someone take- take my sons from me..."
"What?!! Daddy!!"

Mum stood to leave. I had never seen her so broken.
As she turned to leave, "I made a promise early in life. My children will never live in a polygamous home!
If your father goes ahead to bring Franca and the boys into this house, I am leaving with my children. Simple!"

Gradually, it dawned on me that my home was breaking apart.
Dad had till weekend to choose between us and the boys...

Family intervened. Everyone spoke to mum.
Dad begged everyone mummy had respect for.
Aunty Franca looked harmless. Her boys looked tender. I could not figure this all out.
But if mummy insisted on leaving the house for Dad and his new wife, Myself, Tinu and Tola were definitely going with mummy.

Two weeks after Aunty Franca moved in, Mum had us out.
We were officially declared as products of a broken home...

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Chapter 3

Secondary school was fun.
I made friends and met different people, the Home economics teacher was all I needed.
I grew to become so confident.
I worked hard, played hard, fellow-shipped hard.

By the time I was in J.S.S 3, I had my plans changed.
I think I should become a Lawyer, a doctor or an Engineer.
So, I prayed my prayer.

"God, if you want me to become a doctor, let my highest score be in health sciences. If you want Engineering, let it be in Introductory technology and of course, if you want me in Law, let my home highest score be in ...History or Literature"

So results came out and my highest score was in Health Sciences.
I went straight to sciences and as at SS3, I was the best student in sciences!
I think I really worked hard. Life in this part of the world isn't made of pastries.

I was told if I stayed as a good girl morally and prayed well, everything would fall in place for me. Aside the general economic challenges which affected everyone, I think things fell in good places for me until WAEC results were released.

"Rachael, I think there is going to be a problem"
My school principal's voice went cold.

"Mathematics results were withheld for our school"

That was about the beginning of shockers for me.
How could mathematics be withheld?

How was I to study Medicine if mathematics was withheld.
So I had to go back home with my classmates.
Nobody needed to tell us a year was being wasted as no one could tell when the so called mathematics would be released.
...and of course when it was released after several months, I was one of the unfortunate few.
I was blessed with a D!

I insisted I was going to College so I wrote WAEC two more times before I was able to get a complete result at one sitting.
Jamb came with its own hurdles of cancelled Examination Centers and unexplained results.

After four years of leaving Secondary School, I gained admission into one of the state universities.
I wasn't offered Medicine and Surgery. I was offered a course in Agricultural Extension. (Sigh!)
Sometimes, I wonder if I was the only one whose course in life was altered by virtue of this Country where I belong.

University? That is a story for another day.
Sometimes, I wonder if I made a good decision accepting to study this course in this school.
For the first two years, everything seemed to be working in my favour. I was made of a tough skin so I easily adapted at the turn of events.

Then one day, during one of the vacations, dad came home as usual. He called us to the living room. He said we needed to talk...

Written by Temitope Ogunjuyigbe undefined
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Chapter 2

"All things work together for they that Love God and are called according to His purpose".

I must have heard this a Million times. Same line Dad tells me when I come home to tell him I wasn't shortlisted for an interview or a job.
Today, I just want to lie on my bed and shut the doors.

"Aunty Rachael, Food is ready"
"I'm not eating"
My kid sister can as well leave me for now. I can't be eating at the moment. I just need to figure out my next move.
Life is making me sick. God you know I can't lose my mind.

Hanging at the wall is one of my favourite pictures-"Best graduating Student"
Sometimes, I feel like throwing this picture in the waste bin. My life is a story I don't seem to understand.

When I was in Primary school, I was a very dull student. With my poor grades, I was a real embarrassment to everyone.
Dad used to work with a shipping company and Mum was a public servant.
The bitter truth was, I couldn't spell, read nor solve mathematics and no one could explain why!

I was a quiet child who was always afraid of the crowd. I talked less as I didn't want to be bullied for anything.
Dad bought me books, Mum sat with me to make me read.My problem was everything.
In all this, I had a soft spot for sewing with the needle and drawing.
All I needed was to look at the object closely for a few minutes.

When I got to primary four, mum was already helpless. I could feel her pain but there was nothing I could do about my 'dull' brain.
Then, one day, in primary four,I met a new class teacher. Aunty Kaira.
I don't know why Aunty Kaira chose to believe in me. Sometimes, she held my hand and prayed with me.
"Just try Rachael, Just try.
You may not get it all at once.
I know it is not your fault that You aren't getting it. But just try"

It would be fair to say, Aunty Kaira was a saint sent from heaven.
Aunty Kaira is the reason I decided to be a teacher.
Somehow, miraculously, I began to "move faster than the horses"

I passed common entrance in Primary 5.

Jesus helped me.
Aunty Kaira showed me the Love of Jesus...

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