“They are here!” Alice screamed in excitement. Her joy knew no bounds. She was also expecting her Kolawole’s elder brother and sister. She called them about three hours ago and informed them that their younger brother was bringing a girl home. They were very happy and promised to join them for dinner that evening.
Gbenga joined his wife by the window. He was equally thrilled. He saw his youngest son getting out of his car with a very fair young lady.
“Wow!” He was impressed.
“She is so pretty. I am so proud of Kolawole,” she glanced at her husband.
Gbenga nodded in approval, then narrowed his eyes. There was something about the girl that brought back memories. Memories filled with illicit pleasure. His eyes widened and he gasped in astonishment as recognition hit him. He was right. He knew her. He could swear on his father’s grave that she was the one he had crossed path with a number of times some years ago.
“Honey what is it?” she observed the expression on her husband’s face. He looked troubled and in shock.
“Everything is just the way they should be,” he feigned a smile and patted her on the back, “Wait here. Do not come out,” he hurried away.
Her brows came together in a frown. “Honey?” she watched him leave. “What is going on?” She turned back to the opened window.
Gbenga met Kolawole and the girl on the porch. He closed the door behind him and smiled at her.
“Dad, meet Edua Imasogie,” Kolawole beamed with pride. He knew how much his father fancied beautiful women. He had caught the man staring lustfully at other women in the past, especially when his mother was unaware.
“Good evening sir,” she smiled back at the man. She noticed that the father and his son had a striking resemblance.
“How are you doing Beauty?” he placed his hands on his hips and stared at her, eyeball to eyeball. The girl had changed a bit, decently dressed in a cap-sleeve, knee length, A-shaped pink gown, with less make-up than usual on her face, she looked slimmer, but, she was still as pretty as he remembered and her mind blowing physique was intact.
She froze and gaped back at the man. Anyone that referred to her by that name was definitely from her past life. Her smile thinned away, replaced by trepidation.
“Dad, her name is Edua, not Beauty,” he eyed his father. Was the man trying to be funny or what? He didn’t like it one bit.
He ignored his son, his undaunted gaze remained on her pale face. “How is your mother? What’s her name again? Adesua, right? Adesua Ayenkegbe.”
Edua swallowed hard. She tried to think, pondering on where she had met the man. Was he one of her mother’s clients or someone she had had an affair with? Why was her past following her everywhere she turned? Will she ever be ridden of her chaotic past life?
“Is this your fiancée?” he turned to his son.
He nodded, “Her name is Edua,” he emphasized.
“She is nothing but a first class prostitute,” he glared at her, “And no son of mine will marry a common over-glorified whore,” the disdain in his voice was evident.
Kolawole began to shake his head, unable to accept what his father was saying. He looked at Edua quickly. Was it possible that the woman who had consumed his dreams wasn’t who he thought she was? The sadness in her eyes frightened him. He glanced back at his father. “Dad, are you sure?” He hoped the man had mistaken her for someone else.
“Of course I am. My friends and I still reminisce over our unforgettable experiences with her,”
Gbenga started to laugh, “She is very good and skillful too. Just a taste of her will take you to cloud nine instantly,” the man continued to laugh.
He dropped her hand and staggered backwards. The thought that his father and his friends had slept with the woman he had fallen in love with crippled him. His head felt like it was going to explode that very moment.
“She is her mother’s best asset. Her most prized cash cow,” Gbenga looked her up and down. He would give anything to be lost deep inside her. Memories of the time he spent with her poured over his mind in torrents.
Edua turned to her fiancé. He looked devastated, like someone who carried the world’s problems on his shoulders. She glanced back at his father and saw the lust and mockery in his eyes. She raised her head and gazed at the darkening sky, she felt as if her world was coming to an end.
“Is it true?” he glared at her. The fact that she didn’t say a word to defend herself when his father accused her, proved how guilty she was and it made him angry.
She dropped her head and turned to look at the man she had fallen in love with. His dark eyes glowed with hatred. It pained her that he had already judged her without listening to her side of the story.
“That was my past. I am now a born again Christian.”
Gbenga burst out laughing. “Born against! Can a leopard ever change its spots?” his mockery hurt her.
Kolawole had no desire to stand there and listen to her lies. He felt betrayed. He turned around and marched back to his car.
“Kola!” she called out to him, but, he didn’t respond. She wished he would stop and at least, hear her out. “Kola!” she ran after him.
He unlocked the car and climbed in. He wanted to be as far away from her as possible.
“Please wait. I can explain.”
“Go to hell!” he yelled at her and started the engine of the car.
She stood by the side of the vehicle and began to shake with sobs. “Please, let me explain…” she begged him.
“I cannot believe that I almost got married to… to…” he spat at her and turned the wheel of the vehicle, attempting to reverse.
Edua backed away, shocked by his behaviour.
“You are really a good actress. Every time I tried to get physically intimate with you, you shy away, as if… as if it was the hardest thing in the world. But, alas! You were a professional. It is your job to get laid by men for money.”
The way he regarded her made her feel like rag. The tears kept coming, running down her smooth fair face.
“I can’t believe I have been so, so stupid. I fell for your act, thinking that I had found the woman of my dreams. The purest jewel any man can find.”
“Shut your trap!” he snarled, “Don’t you ever call my name. Look here, it is over between us. You hear me…”
She began to shake her head, “Kola please, please listen to me…”
“And don’t bother to come to the office. You are fired! We don’t need the likes of you in our establishment,” he swerved the car and drove fast towards the gate.
“Kola!” She placed her hands on her braided hair and began to weep out loud. Why was her life filled with so much pain and misery?
“My son might not be available, but I am. So are my friends.”
She turned around and saw Gbenga walking towards her. His leering gaze were fixed on her buttocks.
“Where have you been? Every time we asked your mother about you, she changes the subject,” he brushed a hand over her wet face.
She stared back at him, trying to comprehend the situation at hand.
“I am going to call Simpson. You remember him? My friend with the loud mouth? The one that carries money around, especially foreign currency. He has missed you too. We need to organize a reunion. How does a weekend at Whispery Palms sound?” his excited countenance irritated her to the extent that she wanted to puke.
She concluded that the man had lost his mind. He was so far gone in his shameful habits that it would only take a miracle to restore him. She stepped away from him and headed for the gate.
She kept on walking till she was out of the man’s compound. Tears blurred her vision. It was hard to believe that she lost her fiancé and her new job in one night. It was as if the more she tried to live for God, the devil seemed to be waiting for her around the corner. Nevertheless, nothing was going to make her to go back to her old life. She had given her life to Jesus and was sold out to God already. There was no going back for her, no matter what the devil threw at her. She made up her mind not to give up. She believed that her days of mourning would surely turn to dancing in due time and season.
The shrill sound of the ringing phone woke her up. She turned on her side, opened her eyes slightly and reached out for the iPhone which was on the other side of the bed.
“Hello…” her voice sounded hoarse.
“Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday, happy birthday, happy birthday, to you. How old are you now? How old are you now, how old are you now today? How old are you now?”
She smiled when she recognized Pastor Victory’s voice as he sang. He sounded awkward.
“I am twenty-five years old Pastor.”
“Nice, so you are a big girl.”
She chuckled and lay on her tummy.
“How does it feel to be twenty-five?”
The events of the past few days took over her mind. The initial happiness she felt a moment ago faded away instantly.
“I don’t feel good Pastor,” she began to sob.
“Edua what is it?” he sounded worried.
“I just got dumped a few days ago when my boyfriend’s father turned out to be one of my mother’s clients,” she lamented.
“Oh my God!”
“To add salt to injury, the man wanted me to spend a weekend with him and his friends.”
“He did what?!” he sounded shocked.
“I lost my job too. My boyfriend’s elder brother owns the firm I worked for. He fired me without giving me a chance to explain. Who does that?” She heard the Pastor sigh heavily. “Will I ever get married? Will I ever meet someone that will accept me, regardless of my old life? I don’t have a job anymore. How am I supposed to survive? What kind of life is this? I am just tired,” she broke down crying.
“Edua listen to me.”
“Pastor, why is all this happening to me?”
“I have completely given my life to God. Why am I suffering? I am supposed to be basking in enjoyment, but the reverse is the case.”
“Edua, Jesus didn’t promise you a life free of sorrow and pain. But, he promised that he will always be with you through it all. And no matter the kind of challenges that you face in life, he will always make everything to work out for your good. Weeping may endure for a night, or many nights at that, but your joy will always come in the morning, even if it tarries, it will surely come.” She stopped crying, consoled by his words.
“I don’t want you to sit at home and mope around your apartment.”
“Where will I go?”
“It’s your birthday girl. Go out and have fun.”
“I don’t feel like celebrating.”
“Exactly. That is why you need to take yourself out. Go to the galleria, window shop and watch a movie or two. Take a stroll on the beach and get fresh air into your system. You will feel better afterwards.”
She sat up and thought about his ideas.
“Take yourself out, I will foot the bill. That’s your birthday present from me.”
“Pastor!” she exclaimed in astonishment.
“Happy birthday girl.”
‘Thank you sir. I am grateful.”
“You are welcome. Promise me you will try and at least enjoy yourself.”
“I will try sir.”
“Good. I will call you later.”
“Thank you sir,” his unexpected gesture made her smile, making her very, very happy.