AND THEN I SAW HER

She was beautiful.

There’s really no other way to describe it. She was so beautiful it hurt to stare. Her smile seemed to light up the entire room and it was so readily available. She smiled at everything.

“Brothers and sisters,” our cell leader announced, interrupting my reverie just in time for me to clamp my jaws shut and disappoint the fly that was stealthily making its way in the direction of my mouth.

 “We have a new member in the house. Please welcome sister T.”

After fellowship everyone rallied around to greet her. I pretended to be engrossed with something in my manual but all the while watching from the corners of my eyes for when the crowd would thin out. When I deemed the coast to be clear I made my way towards her.

She saw me approach and rewarded me with another 100 megawatt smile.

“Hi.” I said and swallowed loudly before I could stop myself. “I’m Brother J.”

“Good evening  J,” she answered.  “It’s great to meet you.” She extended her right hand and as I took it I thought I saw her eyes flicker to my left hand. For the first time, I cursed the piece of jewellery that branded it’s fourth finger.

********************************

For five full years, I waited.

Five years might not seem like a long time now, but at the time it ranked right up there with eternity.

At twenty seven, I had a master’s degree and a really good job with a multinational company. Nice house, nice car, and the next natural thing was to add a nice wife to the mix. Everyone in the world thought so too.

I never missed the sound of anticipation in my mother’s voice whenever I rang her and she answered the phone.

“Jboy, how now. Any good news?”

My mother was never one for beating about the bush.

“Na wa o, mummy. I cannot call to just greet you again?”

The call never lasted beyond a couple of minutes after that and I always heard it even though she never verbalised it:

What are you calling for when you have no good news for somebody. What will I do with your greeting?

It is not as if there were no women. There were loads of them traipsing in and out of my life, my office, my home. More than I cared for, actually. There were the church girls, the career women, the club girls even.But I knew what I wanted and none of them was it.

I wanted a girl who loved the Lord as much as I did. One for whom God was not an option but the very essence of life. I wanted an ambitious woman too. To the rest of the world I had arrived but in my heart I knew I’d only just started. I had such big dreams and I wanted someone who would help me birth them.

Too many girls thought that marrying a man of means meant they could sit down and cross their legs and become oriaku but I wanted none of that.

I wanted a woman who could hold her own, intellectually, financially, the whole works. And this might make me sound vain but I wanted her beautiful as well. Smoking hot! I wanted to be the envy of every man in the room whenever I walked in with her.

I did not think I was asking too much. Everything I wanted, I believed I also was so it did not seem like a tall order. At first.

But one year became two and three and then four. Pressure was mounting both from within and without: family and friends had abandoned subtlety and had begun asking pointed questions and quite frankly, I was tired of holding body. There was just too much temptation prancing around.

In my fifth year of waiting, praying and believing, I met my wife. I had just bought a house and moved out of my old neighbourhood and consequently I switched to a branch of my church that was closer my new home.

My first Sunday I asked to join the department I had served with at my old church and I was told to wait to see the HOD. As it turned out he had not been in church that day so his assistant came to have a chat with me.

She was very pleasant, soft spoken and a bit shy. We talked for a bit and she gave me a form to fill. I did not really think about her again after I left, until we ran into each other at midweek service.

I was not particularly attracted to her initially until I began to notice she was interested in me. She was alright except that she just didn’t fit with my idea of what my wife would be like. For one she hardly ever spoke unless she needed to and chatting with her used to be quite arduous.

But as days turned into weeks and weeks turned into months, our friendship grew and I began to see her in a new light. I prayed about her and did not hear anything from God to discourage me so I decided to take her along to visit my mother one day: 

I was dropping her off one evening after our departmental meeting and on our way, I acted like I needed to drop off something at my mother’s and asked if she would mind my doing so before taking her home. She didn’t.

…….to be continued…..

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