Bode scanned the choir seats for Mosope. She wasn’t there. Her dad was in church, he had greeted him earlier. The last time he saw her in church was during her mum’s burial.
The burial was a month ago.
He brought out his phone and sent her a message:
Why are you not in church?
She replied almost immediately: I didn’t feel like. I’m busy.
He didn’t reply but put his phone back in his pocket. He tried to concentrate as the worship leader sang but his mind kept wandering. He understood when Mosope didn’t come to church before the burial because she was grieving and wasn’t up from sympathetic stares from church members. What he didn’t understand was why she wasn’t back in church. The Mosope he knew never missed church services. Not even when she was ill.
After service, he drove to her house and stopped to buy sharwama on his way. Her dad was still in church attending a ministers’ meeting. He parked his car in the driveway and strode towards the door. He was about to dial her number to tell her he was outside when she opened the door.
“Hi Bode, I saw your car through the window.”
“Hi Mo.” He replied and hugged her.
Mosope returned the hug and they both went into the house. She noticed the bags in his hand.
“Yaaaaay you bought sharwama. Thanks! I haven’t eaten all day you know.”
“You are welcome.” He said and handed one of the bags to her. He wasn’t surprised she hadn’t eaten. Mosope didn’t care much about food which explained why she didn’t like cooking. It was her mum who always made sure she ate.
Mosope went into the kitchen to get glasses of water for both of them and they settled to eat their sharwama. She averted her gaze from Bode as she ate her sharwama; concentrating intently on her food. She was waiting for his accusations for not going to church.
“I missed you in church today Mo.”
Mosope picked out onions from her sharwama. Why did Bode forget to tell the sharwama man not to include onions in hers? He knew she hated raw onions.
“I said I missed you Mo.” He repeated. “Ngozi and Fola asked of you.” He continued.
“Bode I’m not ready to go to church yet.”
She drank some water.
“Cos I’m not just ready.”
“Okay…I bought you a CD from church; Fred Hammond’s new album.” He stood up. ” I’ll go get it for my car.”
“Thanks.” She mumbled.
He came back into the house and gave her two CDs. The second one was the sermon preached in church today. “Since you are not ready to come to church, I can bring church to you.” he said with a smile.
“You are welcome. Remember we are starting pre-wedding counseling next Friday.”
She had totally forgotten, pre-marital counseling at their church was twice a month for a period of six months.
“You forgot didn’t you?” Bode asked when he saw the look on her face.
“Yeah…sorry Bode I’ve been pre-occupied lately.”
“It’s okay.” He replied and covered her hand with his.
Gbenga was dancing to music from his iPod in the kitchen as he cooked. He cooked whenever he was available which was during weekends. He was a decent cook thanks to the culinary lessons his mum gave him while growing up.
“Sweetie is lunch ready?” Onyinye asked as she walked into the kitchen.
“Almost babe; I just need to add 2 tablespoons of affection.” He replied and blew her a kiss. Over the past two months, he felt like a newlywed.
“Okay I sure can’t wait. Need any help?”
“Nah, I can manage, you just go and put your feet up.”
“Gbenga you are spoiling me oh.” she said and left the kitchen. Gbenga tasted the curry sauce he was making and added a pinch of salt. He was treating his wife to basmati rice and curry chicken sauce.
A lot had changed since his mother died; her death had been a wakeup call. He reconciled with God and became a better husband. He even made sure he visited his father every other weekend.
He dished out the steamy hot rice, added carrot slices and shredded spring onions, dished out the sauce and carried it to the dining table.
Bode smiled at his wife who was seated at the table eagerly waiting for him. She seemed to be glowing lately. He couldn’t have asked God for a better wife; she was his support when he was grieving, listened to him when he needed to talk, comforted him when he cried and prayed for him when he felt overwhelmed.
“Yummmm this looks good.”
“I hope it taste as good as it looks though!”
“I’m sure it does.” She reached for his hand, “thanks my husband.”
“You are welcome sweets.” He replied and pecked the top of her nose. He dished out the food and made sure Onyinye had a generous quantity because she was eating for two.
“Gbenga you want to fatten me up abi?”
“Nah babe, I just want you to be strong for our daughter.”
“Are you sure we shouldn’t find out the sex of the baby before it is born Gbenga?”
“Yeah, let it be a surprise.”
“Okay. I have a feeling he is a boy.”
Gbenga shook his head as he poured out a glass of orange juice for his wife.
Gbenga said grace and husband and wife both enjoyed their meal.
Mosope was lying on her bed in her room and the Fred Hammond CD Bode gave her was playing in the background.
After Bode left, she made lunch for her dad, served him and went to her room. Her dad tried to talk to her but she made up an excuse and went to her room. If only he had been more sensitive and taken her mum to the hospital when she started complaining of headache. Maybe she wouldn’t have died.
Nobody understood why she didn’t want to go church. She had loved God all her life, served him, been a good Christian even when she was at university and faced serious temptations, she didn’t compromise.
Yet, God let her mother die.
What happened to his promise in Psalm 91 –“With long life will I satisfy you and show you my salvation.” He also promised his children that they would fulfill the number of their days. Well, He didn’t seem to have kept his word.
There were so many wicked people in the world- pedophiles, murderers, terrorists, rapist and so on still alive, yet her mother’s life was cut short.
Nobody saw her cry every night before she went to bed. Nobody saw how much her father had become a shadow of his former self, how he now kept to himself and spent most of his time in his room. Nobody understood the ache she felt in her heart since her mother died, the hole that had been created.
She buried he face in her pillow and cried.