STORY SERIES: IBADAN CHANGED MY LIFE EPP 9

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He didn't say anything or maybe I didn't hear him say anything. I was too overshadowed to hear any other thing.



I woke up with a banging headache. The kind of headache that makes you feel like the entire world was tied on your little head. I held my head tightly and kept turning and making noise until I heard a door open.

          'She's awake!', a female voice said and ran out again.

Meanwhile, my eyes were tightly closed. I tried opening them but they seemed like they were never going to open. The headache soon aggravated to eye pain, ear pain, body pain. I felt like I was going to die. I broke into tears. Soon, the door opened again and I stretched my hand hoping to get help.

Someone held my hand.

          'It's okay. You will be fine. Just relax', the female voice said. It didn't sound like the first female voice. However, the voice was calming and soothing.

The person helped me lay back as I cried uncontrollably.

          'What's happening to me?', I asked with so much fear in my heart.

          'Nothing. You are going to be fine, okay?', the lady said.

I didn't know when I slept off. When I woke up, I still felt the banging headache but I felt a bit more better. This time, I could open my eyes. My sight seemed blurry. I was connected to a drip and there was an oxygen mask on my nose. I moved my eyes slowly from left to right. I tried to sit up but it seemed like hard work. I tried to raise my hand but it felt heavy. My legs felt like log of woods. I was so scared and my heart began racing. I wanted to scream but I was too weak to do that. At least, I could talk when I first woke up. Now, my situation had degenerated into something more worse or so it appeared. I started breathing loudly.

A few minutes passed and the door opened finally. Someone walked in. I couldn't turn my head to see who it was until the person was close to me. It was Mr Alabi, the manager at our headquarters in Lagos. My heart raced even faster and I tried to mumble some words.

          'It's okay, Miss Harriet', he said but I wasn't getting any of that. I felt like my world had crumbled. I was in deep mess!

I tried to turn my head but I was unable to. I wanted to beg him. I wanted to plead for his forgiveness. I really wanted to say something but I was totally held back. Tears ran down my cheeks. That was the only emotion I could show in my state.

          'Miss Harriet, you don't need any of this. It's okay. I'm not here to scold you. We got a call from the hotel's manager about you being dumped lifelessly in front of the hotel's gate and I had to rush down to Ibadan almost immediately for the fact that you are one of the most active and intelligent staff we have in this company. Whatever happened, you will explain later. But right now, you need to get very well for yourself and the company. So please calm down, okay?'

I swallowed hard even as more tears flowed from my eyes. After the HQ manager left, a nurse came in some minutes later with food in a tray. She helped me sit up and removed the oxygen mask from my nose. She uncovered the food. It was Jollof Rice, egg and meat.

          'Madam, you have to eat so that you can be well enough to use your drugs', she said as she dug the spoon into the food and brought it near my mouth.

The smell of the food nauseated me but I realized I really needed to get well soon for myself and the company indeed. I shut my eyes tightly as I swallowed the food. I wanted to puke but she quickly gave me water. After eating, she left while another nurse came to check my drip.

I stayed in the hospital for a few more days before I was fit enough to leave. I went through series of counselling by the doctor and nurses. I used more than two drips and took drugs like my life depended on it. I also went through a whole lot of test. When I resumed in the office, a meeting was called between me and the company's 'ogas at the top' and I was seriously scolded and almost relieved of my position but for Mr Alabi who intervened.

I spent most of my nights crying alone. I wanted to call Timi and curse his life and that of his entire family but the other part of me told me not to even bother because he is cursed already. The doctors had told me already it was a case of drug abuse, too much alcohol and a dastardly rape. Meanwhile, Bola had stopped calling and messaging me. I couldn't blame her. She was a godly kind while I was the total opposite and her behavior was the best and most expected.

On a day I felt really bored, I decided to pay her a visit and apologize and see if we could make anything out of our friendship. When I got to her house, some church people were just stepping out. I was about greeting them when Bola ran to hug me so tightly that I thought I would choke. Well, it was better to choke in the arms of Bola than the hands of the evil Timi. I wanted to stay strong but I didn't know when I burst into tears for no reason exactly or so I thought.

          'It's okay, dear. I'm here now. You don't have to cry', she assured me.

          'I'm so sorry. I'm sorry, Bola. I've been bad and evil. I've not been a good example. I'm so sorry' I'm...'

          'Shhhhhhh', she said and withdrew herself. 'Evil? You are not evil. Once in a while we make mistakes. And I will never condemn you, okay? I will never judge you. So, don't judge or condemn yourself either'

Those words were enough. She always had the right words. However, I still thought the reason why she didn't send me out was because she didn't know what really happened. On the other hand, I wanted to know why she abandoned me absolutely. No calls or text messages.

          'Harriet, I never abandoned you. I was so broken that night and I went to see my Pastor the next day. He instructed me to give you all the space you wanted and that I should soak you in my prayers. We just even concluded a 3 - days fasting and prayers just for you. You were tightly knitted to my heart. So many times I wanted to call and check on you. Whenever I was faced with that temptation, I would call my Pastor and he would tell me not to do so and I should utilize such time in praying for you. He specifically told me you would come to me yourself. I thought it was a joke but here you are before me', she said when I asked her.

All my life, I never really believed in people praying for others and they responding to such prayers but from all Bola said, I could make sense from it. I spent the entire day with her because it was a Saturday. When evening came, she escorted me back to the hotel. The next day, I woke up early to dress for Church.

As usual, the church service was very much awesome. The choir rendition was more than powerful and I thought it was a planned work because the lyrics spoke to me. I was so touched to the extent that tears ran down my eyes. I quickly removed a handkerchief from my purse and wiped them off. After service, Bola suggested we see her Pastor. We waited outside his office for a couple of minutes because he was busy attending to someone else.

The Pastor's office was quite big and was as chilled as my office. I liked that it was very neat with every book arranged neatly on the shelf. Immediately we entered, the Pastor stood up and when we were in front of his fine desk, he stretched out his hand for a shake. He wasn't the same Pastor I met the first day I came. He was a much younger Pastor.

          'Bless you, sisters', he said after shaking us. He maintained a smile.

          'Thank you, Pastor John. This is Harriet. She's the...'

         'Oh!', the pastor exclaimed and focused his gaze on me. I smiled briefly and looked away. 'Glory be to God! How are you, Sister Harriet?'

          'I'm fine, Pastor', I said whilst holding tightly to my bag.

          'I'm glad you are back. I hope you enjoyed the service today?'

          'Yes I did. It was triumphant!', I said, intentionally using Bola's words. Perhaps, that's the word church people loved to use.

Bola grinned.

          'You know, I would really like us to talk more and discuss more about your spirituality and the word of God. But I'm a bit busy now. What we will do is to fix another day. Next week Saturday, maybe if it will be comfortable for you', he said

          'Sure', I said even though I'm someone who hates any talk about spirituality. I was too hooked to my shallow belief. I accepted anyway.

           'Alright. Let's pray'

(TO BE CONTINUED)

[Read Episode 8 HERE]

(Image Source - Google)

EMETE

6 comments:

  1. Thank God for her life. We all need friends like Bola. I doubt if they even exist.

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    Replies
    1. @ayoola, hmmm, actually they do exist. The word should be that they are 'rare'

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  2. This touched me with its theme of love, compassion, forgiveness and non-condemnation. We all know these are not as common as we would hope. Harriet would have been relieved of her position, with plenty of gossip and backbiting to go with it, Bola may have shunned her out of spite for not answering her that day or as a forgotten cause.
    Well done Emete.

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    Replies
    1. @abisola, thanks for listing out the themes, bibi dear. Thanks.

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  3. interested reader9 May 2017 at 15:05

    This is so so sad..i didn't see that coming, please dont keep us waiting for too long before releasing the next episode

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    Replies
    1. @interested reader, lol. I won't. Anything for you!

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