“Em…Pastor, if there is anything we should pray about, it is for Timi, and not against,” he raised his eyes brows to look at me. “He was someone I felt in love with some ten years ago when I was in College. But we were unable to push our relationship further before events wrenched us apart
“So you were very close to him?”
“Not 'were very close to him'; I am very passionate about him.”
“You are not thinking if he may now be married with a family? Ten years is a pretty long time.”
I shifted a little on the seat, but my eyes were still holding to his stare. “Sir, if that would be the will of God, I will accept it and look elsewhere, but for now; I have suspended my life these many years, waiting and hoping that that he would come around someday: I will still keep that hope and be praying about Timi.”
“Sister Loundah, I will admit that you have infected me with your faith. I will join you in your prayers for the will of God to be made manifest in your life. In the book of Psalm, chapter 40, in verse 1, King David gave us an inspiration.”
He reached for the bible on the table, flipped through the pages till he got to where he was looking for, and read it out aloud. “I was patient while I waited for the Lord. He turned to me and heard me when I prayed for help.”
He closed the book held his hands together in front of him on top of the table, looked across at me. “The Lord that answered David when He cried to him for help, will answer your prayers, Sister Loundah.”
He prayed with me shortly and I left his office to go to my house. It was not much of a distance between the church, which was in Woji road, GRA phase 2 in Port Harcourt, and my house. I have an apartment in Igbuku Street, ‘D’ line.
As I sat behind the wheel, I could feel the early morning dew enveloping the atmosphere all around the car. I felt cocooned inside the car. I immediately saw the image of Timi being enveloped by the mist as in my evening dream.
I switched on the head lights, but they could not help me much, as they were not able to penetrate more than just a couple of meter through the mist. All around me, I could see other members of the congregation pulling out their cars from the parking lot. Mechanically, I eased my car out from the parking lot to the road and drove off to my house.
My mind was searching through the counseling session I had with the pastor, to take hold of any substance of his talk that bears a reality in my situation. What was that thing he said about waiting patiently for God? Sure, there was that part that really mattered to me. I Loundah have patiently waited for the Lord about Timi; as David also waited upon the Lord. Yes, I have waited for the Lord about Timi. Surely, He must have taken notice on me and heard my midnight cries.
Yes, is it not true that I have been waiting upon God, about Timi, and the Lord took notice of me? Oh, my head was spinning around with the turns on the road as I drove to my house with the light traffic on the ever busy Port Harcourt streets.
That was what I believed you have done. You have taken notice of my pains and sacrifices, my desires and my yearnings, and above all, my cries. Thus, you took notice of me. Don’t you, my Lord? Just the way the bible said you took notice of Hannah when she was groaning and weeping bitterly in her spirit on account of her bareness.
I turned the key of the door and kicked it open with my right foot, and burst into my sitting and flung myself on the couch. The house was silent, save for the sound of the cars on the street.
Still lying down, I stretched out my hands and started worshipping and thanking God. I could feel His Spirit lifting me out of my depression. I felt His power washing me from the pain and gloom of my thoughts. I felt the room brightening up as if someone has put on a very powerful flood light.
When I opened my eyes, I saw the sun slipping in through the window into the room. I looked at my wristwatch; it was 7.30am. Oh, what am I still doing, lying down here? My cousin, Betty had invited me to go with her to attend a friend wedding ceremony at Borokiri, downtown, and she would be here any moment from now.
I stood up unsteadily and using the wall for support, and walked to the bedroom, pulling off my clothes along the way. I have to take a bath and have breakfast before going out with Betty.
I will just have a cup of tea with bread this morning. NEPA has been very merciful this night to have given us an un-interrupted power supply till now; I do not have to worry about warming my soup in the refrigerator. I do not tell you; NEPA is the acronym the National Power Supply is known here in Nigeria. That is by the way.
I had hardly sat down at the dining table when there was a gentle knock at the door; Betty. I opened the door and there she was.
“Ol’ girl, you look all radiant up, like a diamond, Betty. Are you the mother of the bride?” I was looking at her standing at the door dazzling in her traditional attire. She was tieing a red holland judge double wrappers on a white lace blouse; a diamond pendant slightly showing just above the top of the blouse dazzling like a midnight star.
She cat walked into the room, almost shoving me out of the door, looking closely at me as she turned to face me.
“We’re like Siamese twin in our dressing, Loundah,” she said laughing. “I decided to put on a red gele - hair tie- as against your green. And your shoes are as high as mine. I like this contrast between us so that somebody doesn’t end up picking you instead of me.”
"And who could that be? I thought we’re going to a wedding ceremony.” I said, sitting down to finish my cup of tea.
“Sure we are, but one cannot tell which predators are swimming in that ocean, and we aren’t getting any younger girl,” she poured herself a cup of tea from the jug, still standing, looking at my face.
“Betty, you’re making me feel antiquated already with your jibes. I’m just 27.”
“Ah, girl, who’s talking about you being twenty–seven, and I aren’t talking about you. I am talking about myself. After all, the girl we’re going to attend her wedding is just 25, a year younger than myself,” she carefully chipped off a slice of bread not to rub it on her lipstick.
“Can we then start going now, before all the sharks there have got too much feed and lose their interest on my sweet cousin?” I picked up my handbag from the couch. Mine was green like my shoes and hair tie. Betty’s red, otherwise, we have just duplicated ourselves.
As I turned to her, I saw that she was peering closely at my face.
“What? Why are you looking at me that way?” instinctively, I touched my face.
“Loundah, have you met someone recently that you want to talk to me about?”
“What is that? What did you see, or hear about me?”
She sat down, leaned her two elbows on the table, holding her jaw with both hands, she whispered, “You have a spark in your eyes. And don’t tell me you don’t know what that meant to a lady. Have you met somebody since the last time we met?”
“Ah, Betty, you’re serious, aren’t you? You are not laughing.”
“No, Loundah, I’m not laughing. You look happy and your voice rings when you speak. I am so happy for you for whatever it was that has restored joy into your life.”
I know who did, but I cannot tell her that it was Jesus that has given me an assurance that God has heard my cry and had relieved me of my pain.
"Come on, let’s start going so that we will not be entering the church late and become the cynosure of all eyes – but probably that’s what you're craving for.”
“You want to bet your life? I’m going to crack the tiles in that church with my heels, that everyone will take me for the bride,” She stood up laughing at her threat.