HE SAID NO
Written by Sodamade Olamide Tolulope
It was weekend and Grace had been moody since she got back from her date with Mike. Amifel already got tired of asking her what was wrong. She refused to say a word.
At first, she thought Grace was sick but she later discovered that she wasn’t because even though her portion had decreased a little, she was still eating as frequently as she used to. She even went to work the next day, which happened to be Friday, only to resume her silent treatment the moment she got back. Amifel had not slept well since Thursday, she kept waking up at intervals all through the night to feel her body temperature. It was normal.
It was weekend again and Grace had just been sleeping like someone who took an overdose of sleeping pills. Amifel had cleaned up and had even finished preparing her Moi-Moi but her friend was still curled up in bed.
As Amifel went out to get them a loaf of bread, she ruminated on what could possibly be wrong with her friend. This was not Grace, she was the most lively and jovial person she knew. She decided she was going to talk to her and she was not going to leave her till she gives a satisfactory response.
“Grace! We need to talk.” She said with her hands Akimbo, her posture made her look like someone who was set to fight.
“I am not in the mood please, maybe later,” Grace answered under the duvet.
Amifel had had enough. She uncovered her swiftly and seized the duvet, leaving her half-naked.
“Not until you give me an explanation for why you have been acting cold.” Amifel continued.
There was no response from Grace’s end.
“Did I do anything wrong?” Amifel asked after a few seconds and Grace shook her head.
“Then what is the matter?”
Another brief moment of silence followed.
“I and Mike are no longer getting married.” She announced quietly.
Amifel widened her eyes and almost jumped out of her skin. She was shocked.
“What do you mean by you are no longer getting married?” Amifel yelled. “When did this happen? How?”
“2 days ago.”
“Ahh! Why didn’t you tell me? What did you do?”
“What makes you think I did something wrong?”
“Well, I’m sorry.” Amifel continued as she sat beside her. “But what happened? Or are you joking?”
“I am not.”
“Mike has been lying to me.”
“ Oh no! Don’t tell me he has been cheating on you.”
“It’s something worse, Ami.” She continued as she looked away. “He is an ex-convict.”
“Ex what?” Amifel yelled not believing her ears. “He told you that?”
“No, he told his friend.”
“So how did you know, if he told his friend.”
She narrated how she got to know and by the time she was done, Amifel could not help but release a sigh.
“Did you ask him what happened?”
“I didn’t, I sent him a break-up that same night.”
“Grace!” Amifel yelled. “It hasn’t gotten to that now, you should have at least allowed him to explain himself. I’m sure that it’s not what you think it is.”
“If he wanted to explain, he should have done so before now. What if I didn’t see that chat with his friend? I would have married an ex-convict without knowing. Only God knows how many more he is hiding.” Grace reeled out as her mouth tilted into a frown.
“Sister, be calming down now!” Amifel teased.
“This is not a joke, Ami. Mike hurt me!”
“I know Grace, I know. But it is not good to jump to conclusions. I am not saying you don’t have the right to call It quits, I am only saying that you deserve an explanation.”
“He admitted that he was an ex-convict, that is the only explanation I need. I am done, Ami.” She said as she broke into a sob.
“Indeed, I can see that you are done.”
“This is not fair, that was why I didn’t want to tell you, you are supporting him over me.”
“I am not, in fact, I am not supporting any of you, “ she shrugged, then looking at Grace’s disappointed face, she changed her mind. “ You know I have your back, anytime any day but I would really love you to give him a chance to explain and thereafter, whatever you decide to do, I promise that I will support you, 100%!”
“What if I don’t?”
“Nothing will happen but just know that I won’t be a party to it.”
“I have already made my decision, even if he explains anything, it still won’t change my mind.”
“Then I have a boss when it comes to stubbornness. “Amifel chuckled. “But what if his explanation is understandable.”
“It won’t change the fact that he hid it from me.”
“Hmmmm… Okay, let me ask you a question, and please answer me sincerely.” Amifel looked at her face intently as she continued. “If he had told you, would you have agreed to marry him?”
Grace kept mute, she seemed to be lost in thought.
“Answer me now, okay. Let me guess… You would have rejected his proposal. So, you see?”
“What’s your point?” she asked, amidst sobs.
“My point is, he knew that you might have rejected his proposal if he had told you.”
“Well, I might not.” She shrugged. “He should have left that decision to me. If I had said no, then it would still be my choice.
“It is true, you are right there,” Amifel admitted as she played with the tip of the green and black duvet, she was lost for words.
“I can’t believe that Mike is a criminal.”
“Uhn uhn… Was, Grace… Was.” Amifel corrected her.
“Doesn’t matter, once a criminal is always a criminal!”
“Ahn Ahn! Mummy G.O! I can’t believe this!” Amifel clapped. “What happened to 2 Corinthians 5 vs 17, the verse you so much love to quote? If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature, old things are passed away. Behold, all things have become new.”
Grace looked on, her face was as cold as ever with no remorse of any sort.
“Grace, I know that you are angry right now but no matter what you say, it still doesn’t change the fact that Mike is now a child of God. Everyone has a past but the moment we come into Christ, we have a new life altogether. I know you know all of this but I should remind you.” She paused to clear her throat.
“I remember last weekend when we went out on outreach, you were telling that prostitute that God had forgiven her and wants to give her a brand-new beginning. The moment she confessed the lordship of Jesus after you, you announced to her that she was a brand-new man and that her past has been completely wiped out.
The truth is that no matter how bitter you feel; this guy is a brand-new man and God does not reckon with his sins anymore.
I also admit that he was wrong for keeping such a thing away from you but God has also commanded us to forgive men just as he has forgiven us. After all, we have done worse and God forgave us. How much less, a horrible past.
Everybody can testify that Mike is a blessing, you said it yourself and I have personally been blessed by him over and over. More so, he is a child of God who loves God.
Plus, you told me you have prayed about this and you have God’s consent.” Amifel smirked and Grace looked away.
“I don’t know much about marriage but I heard marriage is all about forgiveness, you guys will get on each other’s nerves and offend yourselves a lot of time and you just have to forgive each other.”
“You are right, Amifel. I feel so caned right now.”
“Yeah, you deserve to be flogged.” Amifel nodded.
“I will unblock him and listen to what he has to say.” She said quietly.
“Wait… you even blocked him and join. Oh, God! This girl has gone far!” Amifel hit her playfully.
“Yeah, I guess I did too much.”
“But if you heed even small out of this your advice and forgive your parents, then it would nice.”
“Shut up jare, who told you that I haven’t forgiven them.” Amifel sulked as she threw the duvet over her face.
“Then talk to them!” Grace smirked, adjusting the duvet. She rolled it around her neck plus her countenance had lightened up.
“Okay, I will call my mum and you will talk to Mike. Deal?”
“Deal!” they said in unison as they held each other passionately.
“I love you,” Grace mumbled.
“You should be loving Mike,” Amifel whispered as Grace hit her playfully. “ I love you too babe!”
The hug lingered for a longer time than usual, Grace really needed this hug more than ever.
” But wait, what were you planning to tell your parents? Mummy that has even shared AsoEbi and invited all the Edo people!” Amifel laughed as she loosened her grip on her.
“You are talking about mummy? What of all my friends and office people that I have invited? They will so laugh at me!” They cackled loudly.
“The wedding that has already happened… Abeg, I cannot laugh.” Amifel continued while trying to catch her breath. “I prepared Moi-Moi and assorted everything, oya go and freshen up and have some.”
“I know, It’s delicious aroma woke me up.”
“So, your anger did not block your nose,” Amifel remarked and more laughter followed. ” Foodie! Go and bathe my friend!” She continued, slapping her buttocks hard.
“I have to pray first. I have not prayed well in a while.”
“You even vexed with God, join” Amifel laughed and Grace joined in as she removed the bread from the nylon it came with.
“I didn’t want to pray because I knew God would tell me to forgive him.” She laughed on.
They laughed at each other as Grace covered herself with the blanket while Amifel focused on her meal.
To be continued…
Written by Sodamade Olamide Tolulope
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