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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 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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Lizzy lost her dad at age 6. Her mum was devastated. The family’s support system crashed. No one to help. The burden of upkeep became too heavy.
Her dad’s family weren’t too friendly anymore. As there were insinuations that her mum’s ill-luck caused her dad’s untimely death.

One uncle suggested marrying Lizzy’s mum since she was still young and youthful. On second thoughts he decided not to.
Moreover, he was influenced by the family not to, as the ill luck that was associated with Lizzy’s mum could also affect him and cause his untimely death. As if the widow would really think it a great idea to marry the uncle of her late husband.

In the end, Lizzy and her mum were thrown out of the house. After all, Lizzy wasn’t even a male child who could carry on the family name.

Faced with a hard life and uncertainty, Lizzy’s mum had to settle for a remarriage. She needed to survive. Her daughter at least needed a roof over her head. She had been out of job since she gave birth to Lizzy. Hence, getting a job immediately was a mountain too high to climb.

Her option of settling for a remarriage to escape the hardship as a result of her husband’s sudden demise turned out sour for Lizzy.
Lizzy was immediately exposed to a life she never envisaged as a little girl. First, she had to contend for her mum’s affection. Then started the physical and sexual abuse she had to endure from her step-father which really distressed her.

With no form of rescue in view, Lizzy had to quickly settle for her condition and internalized all her experiences, as horrible as they were. She could not tell her mum of the abuse she continually suffered at the hands of her step-father. There was no one to reach out to, no one to talk to, let alone defend her.
She soon became bitter, anti-social, developed low self-esteem and performed poorly in school. She became uncoordinated and was lost in a world of uncertainty with no hope of anyone ever finding her.

She managed to escape from her step-father and mother at age 15. For the First time in many years she felt free. However, the emotional trauma and pains inflicted upon her since childhood continued to haunt her.
The feeling of freedom gradually disappeared and she became confused not knowing what to do or where to turn. She quickly resolved to do whatever had to be done, to pay for whatever she needed in order to survive.
Her emotional state didn't help either. The love she so earnestly yearned for made her easy prey for prowling wolves and the unscrupulous. She lost every restraint and thought nothing of using her body to her advantage. After all that was the only means of survival available to her.

Her physical needs were being met. But her emotions got shattered the more at the turn of each day. She tried getting a job as a sales girl. She did that for a while, only for her to be fired suddenly for some shortage due to her being absent minded. Poor Lizzy. Life wasn't fair on her and what was already bad seemed only to be getting worse.

Lizzy became emotionally distraught. She felt, unloved, used, abused, depressed, distorted, and embittered. She started to hate people. Lizzy really needed help.
At a point she felt she couldn't go on again. What was the point to life after all? She thought to herself. She certainly was a waste of conception, a waste of time and a total waste of space. “Why not end my miserable life”, she thought to herself.

Committing suicide? Is that really the solution?

To be continued in the next post. Stay tuned.

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