14th August, 2010
Noma looked up at her mother as she talked. She had calmly explained what happened to her that night when her mother started complaining that she had been in the house for a week after travelling down to Benin with all her belongings.
“Iyemwen, I’m not going back to Abuja.”
“Osarenoma, laho. I’m sorry. Thank God nothing happened. I didn’t know your friends were so wicked o.”
“I didn’t know too” Noma shrugged.
“If you had a husband now, he would have…”
“Iyemwen please!” Noma shouted. “Please, it was this incessant talk of a husband that got me into this situation. Please, I don’t want to hear it now. Iye laho.”
“Ah ah! Osarenoma! Is it that you don’t want to marry?” Her mother asked.
Unbidden, Dave’s face flashed across her mind. Noma shook her head to dispel the thoughts. “I didn’t say that Iye but I’m done pressurizing God. I’m going to focus on serving God and living in His Will. I’m certain He will bring my husband at the appointed time.”
“Hah… Osanobua mwen!” Her mother exclaimed. “So, you really will not return to Abuja?”
“No iye. I’ll go out and search for work in Benin. God wants me here for now.”
“You need help o. You need someone to talk sense into your head,” her mother began.
Noma sat still. She was used to her mother’s behaviour. “She would calm down when she notices that I’m ignoring her”, she decided as she stood up and made her way to her room. In there, she knelt and prayed. The same prayer she had been praying since she returned. “Lord, show me the way forward.”
15th August, 2010
Noma followed her mother to church. The next day – Sunday. It had been a long time since she fellowshipped with people in her home church. She looked forward to seeing familiar faces and enjoying the service. Enjoy it, she did. She danced with careless abandon during the praise session and listened with rapt attention during the sermon. It seemed the sermon was tailored for her. It told of God’s message to the Israelites that they had dwelt in that mountain for too long. It was time for them to move forward. Noma prayed and felt a blanket of peace cover her. It would be alright.
After the service, she was very surprised as her mother pulled her along to say hello to the pastor and his wife. The pastor she knew before had been transferred. A new pastor had been placed in the branch. Noma was set to stop any marital advice or prayers her mother had scheduled. She was quite amazed when she greeted them and interacted for a few minutes that they mentioned nothing of the kind. They were so warm and welcoming.
Noma was already walking away with her mother when she heard the voice.
“She is the way forward.”
“Who?” Noma asked inwardly.
“The pastor’s wife. She is to be your mentor as you navigate the way forward.”
Noma quickly tapped her mother. “Iye, wait. I’ll be right back please.” She ran back to the pastor’s wife and requested for her mobile contact. The lady obliged. Noma saved it on her mobile phone and promised to call.
“What was that?” Her mother asked.
“Nothing really”, Noma replied. I just felt I’ll need her help soon.”
Her mother shrugged and continued her walk.
Noma called the pastor’s wife that evening.
“Hello”, her voice came on the line.
“Good evening ma’am”, Noma greeted.
“Good evening” “Is this Sis. Noma?”
“Yes ma’am”, Noma replied, surprised. “How did you know?”
“The Holy Spirit told me you would call”, she replied.
“Wow! He told me something too.” Noma exclaimed.
“That I’d be your mentor?”
“Yes!” Noma shouted.
The pastor’s wife laughed. “I’m so glad you already have a wonderful relationship with the Holy Spirit. Now, call me Gladys okay? Drop all this ma’am stuff.”
“Okay ma. Sorry. Okay Gladys”, Noma replied, excited.
“Where shall we begin? You know what? Why don’t you come to my office tomorrow at about 12pm? We’ll talk more then?”
“Okay. I’ll do that”, Noma assented.
“Good. I’ll send you the address”, Gladys promised.
“Thank you so much.”
“You are welcome.”
16th August, 2021
Noma got dressed and left her house at about 11 am so she could get to Gladys’ office on time. When she got there, she met Gladys but she was a bit busy. So, she served her a bottle of malt and some biscuits and promised to be with her shortly.
Noma quietly sipped the malt and munched the biscuits as she focused on the news. It was entertainment news. Noma knew little about the Nigerian entertainment industry so she quickly became uninterested. Just as she decided to pull her eyes away from the TV, an image caught her attention.
She focused on what the presenter was saying.
“. . . for now, it is not exactly apparent what must have happened. But, we have it for a fact that Dave Daniels, popular club owner was arrested over a week ago on charges of murder and drug trafficking. The police have refused to give any further info…”
The biscuit packet in Noma’s hands dropped to the floor as she recognized the picture – Dave! Dave the one whom God used to save her! He had been arrested!
“So Noma, I…“ Mrs. Gladys Okey walked in while talking. She stopped as she saw Noma’s ashen face. “Noma, what’s wrong? What’s the problem?”
Noma looked at her and pointed to the TV. “Dave. Dave Daniels”.
16th August, 2010
Divine was bored. She had just finished the assignment she wàs given at the holiday school she attended. It was just four hours daily throughout the month of August. She had gone by 8 am that morning. They closed by 12 pm and she was back home. Her parents were in the room relaxing. They had just concluded a three-day crusade the previous night.
Divine decided to call Lade, her friend. They had been together since Sunday school in children church. They were both in the church teen editorial unit now. Lade’s mum picked. She told Divine to call back later as Lade was having her siesta. As Divine cut the call, electricity was restored.
“Ah!” Divine smiled. “I can watch TV”.
Divine quickly left her room and hurried to the sitting room. She put on the TV and snagged the remote from the TV stand before settling on the couch. Before she could change the channel, she saw her brother’s face on the screen.
“Again?” She frowned slightly.
Divine sat up as she heard the news.
“…we have it for a fact that Dave Daniels, popular club owner has been arrested…”
Divine screamed. “Mummy! Daddy!”
Mrs. Achane wanted to relax for a few hours. The just concluded crusade had taken its toll on them – herself and her husband. They just needed a few hours rest to regain their strength. She was certain Divine could take care of herself. She always did. So, it was alarming to hear her piercing scream.
Her husband jumped out of bed. She sat up, alarmed. They looked at each other and then, dashed for the door.
Pastor Daniel Achane had been on the threshold between dreamland and consciousness. All feelings of drowsiness vanished instantly when he heard his daughter scream. He jumped out of bed.
What had happened?
He ran to the sitting room where her scream had come from. His wife was at his heels.
They met a pale Divine pointing at the screen.
“Wh…what?” He asked, confused.
“Honey”, his wife called softly. He turned to face her. “Look at the screen”, she pointed. Her voice had reduced to a mere whisper.
Pastor Daniel turned and looked at the television.
“David, my son”, he sank into the chair as the newscaster continued.
When the newscaster moved on to other entertainment news, his mind was made up.
Only one thought dominated. He turned to his wife who was crying silently. She looked at him. He held out his hand to her as determination shone in his eyes. “Let’s go get our son”.
Just then, his wife’s phone rang.
“It’s in the room”, she explained. “I’ll get it”.
She walked to the room and picked the call. She started talking as she made her way back to the sitting room.
“It’s Danny”, she mouthed to him.
“Yes mummy. I saw it online a few minutes ago”, Daniella spoke into the phone.
“We just watched it on TV”, her mother replied.
“I’ve told Henry. I’m taking the next flight to Abuja. It’s scheduled for 8 pm tonight”.
“Are you sure you want to do this?” Her mother asked.
“He’s my brother mummy. You know how we were always like twins. I can’t sit still while he languishes in the police cell. We have to do everything possible to get him out of there”, she replied.
“Okay dear. Be careful”.
“I will mummy. See you soon”.
Daniella dropped the phone on the table and faced her husband. He had been seating on the couch staring at her and he had overheard her conversation with her mother.
“Come here”, he patted the couch where he sat. She went to him and he pulled her closer till she was resting on his chest.
“Everything will be okay babe”, he spoke as he rubbed her hair.
“Uhmm mmm”, she nodded weakly. He knew how much her family meant to her. Especially her brother.
“Be careful, okay? The children and I will be waiting and praying for you”, he added.
“I love you”, she spoke into his chest.
“I love you babe”. He pressed a kiss to her forehead. “I’ll help you pack”, he said as he released her and stood up.
Thanks for reading. To be continued next week🥰