HE SAID NO
Written by Sodamade Olamide Tolulope.
Amifel was so thankful that her mum was away. Even though she didn’t know where she went to, she cared less as she just wanted to be left alone. She used her spare house keys to gain access into their house, Mrs. Robert was definitely close-by as the television set was on. Just as she made her way into her room, there was a power outage that plunged her room into stark darkness and that was just perfect for her. She crashed into bed, after removing her shoes, she had dumped everything else she came back with on the sofa.
She heaved a weary sigh as she had just come to realize that she had been running in circles and she felt so exhausted,
“Father, I am tired.” She sobbed, “I am so tired,” the room was as quiet as a graveyard, no sound could be heard outside either, she wept for a fairly long time. She felt like someone who had been running a marathon race and had become frustrated because the finishing line was not anywhere in sight,
“Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest,” she heard that familiar voice in her heart, it has been so long since she last heard it. Ever since he told her to let go of George and she had refused, she had judged herself as a disobedient child and felt too condemned to pray. It even seemed like she could no longer hear his voice,
“Yes, I need rest, my soul needs rest,” she cried, “I am sorry, father. Please don’t be angry with me, I have been such a coward and I have been living in disobedience. I was too ashamed to pray, ”
“But I am not angry with you daughter, I have been waiting patiently for you, ” she stifled a sob as she felt God’s love and forgiveness wash over her, then a passage of the scripture dropped on her heart and she stretched towards her drawer and picked up her bible while using one hand to wipe the tears off her face.
For some weeks, she only got to use it whenever she went to church, she just felt like it would be hypocritical of her to look for new instructions when she had not paid heed to God’s last order.
She opened to the book of Hebrews chapter 4 and she started reading it with teary eyes, she paused when she got to verses 15 and 16, it struck with the high intensity. She looked over the verses again and her eyes lit up with hope, then she read it aloud amidst sobs,
“For we have not a high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us, therefore, come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need,”
She had read that verse countless times before then and it had not as much as struck a chord in her. She was meditating on that verse when she heard her mum’s voice, she was back. Quickly she stood still, lying face down on her bed so that her mum would assume that she was sleeping.
Barely 5 minutes later, her mum came to check up on her, she must have smelt her perfume and seen her purse on the sofa. She left almost immediately she entered, seeing that she had ‘slept’.
Amifel stayed still in that position, she had stopped crying and was just meditating on what she had read.
“I love George, I think he loves me too, moreover I am getting older every day and if I forget, my mum is always there to remind me. This is one of the hardest situations I have found myself in. I’m hurt father, telling him would hurt too and I don’t want him to be, ” she prayed in a low tone,
“I know how you feel Amifel, and I totally understand. Trust me, I do. I also want you to understand that I care about you and I want the best for you. You have to realize that your emotions are not reliable, they are temporal and you should not let them take the lead.” The room was as silent as a graveyard but she could clearly hear his voice, ” Amifel, do it know why you are finding this difficult?” He asked,
“It is because you feel you can over-ride your emotions by your will power, and you have proven that by refusing to talk to me. Amifel, it is not bad to admit your weakness before me, in fact, that is the most courageous thing you can do, Allow me to help you, ” he said,
“Start by admitting that you need help, believe that my arm of help is always stretched towards you, and then finally receive my help, ”
“Okay Father, I am sorry for trying to figure it out on my own. I felt that it was not a big deal, I mean it does not sound hard to tell George that ‘we cannot get married’, but I have realized that it is much more than a big deal, and I have come now, father. I admit that I have put myself in a mess, I believe that you are always willing to help me out and I receive your well-timed help in this time of need, ” she prayed,
“That’s my dear daughter, I am always here to help you. My Grace is sufficient for you and my strength is made perfect in your weakness. I’ll have it sorted out,” he continued,
“Thank you, father, thank you,” she sobbed,
“Always remember that you can approach me freely in the name of Jesus, to receive well-timed help and mercy for your weakness, I will always be here for you Amifel, I love you, dear daughter,” he continued, she had heard that same phrase from quite a lot of people, Bolaji told her that he would always be there for her, but he left all the same. George had also told her that countless times but hearing it from her father sounded different every time, it sounded genuine.
“Thank you, Father, thank you for not giving up on me,” she kept muttering and chanting songs of Thanksgiving, power was restored and the rolling standing fan made her drift off into the night faster.
Amifel’s tattered and dirty clothing was soaked in sweat, as she sat down on her buttocks inside a dark cell, there was just enough light (probably powered by a candle), for her to see that she was in a rather hopeless condition. At first, she thought she was the only one in the cell until someone coughed beside her. She looked closely, it was George,
“When are we going to get out of here? We have been here for so long and I am tired, I need to be free!” She said to him, she must have been talking to the wind because George paid no heed not gave any response to her words.
Amifel gave up and sat there not too far from him, wondering if she was going to spend the rest of her life in the dark closet, it seemed not to be so,
“Amifel!” A young man in uniform called, clinging to the iron barricades of the cell. Amifel stood up quickly, wondering what the matter was,
“You have been granted bail, we picked the wrong person.” He said as he fiddled with the locks of the cell in a bid to open it.
As Amifel walked out of the cell, led by the uniformed man, she saw two other different uniformed men, dragging another lady into the cell, she had a long hair which covered her face but her stature and physique looked familiar.
She tried to squint her eyes to see who it was but the darkness wouldn’t grant her the permission, the young lady was taken, to the cell that she was just released from, and in a twinkle of an eye, she found herself outside, the rays of the sun shone graciously on her,
“I’m free! I’m free, ” she chanted, and then she woke up. It was a dream!
To be continued…
Written by Sodamade Olamide Tolulope.
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