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EPISODE 20 (CONCLUSION)
The doctor had discharged Dotun and certified him fit to go home. He had come out fine and strong, except that the cast on his arm wouldn’t be off till about a month and a few weeks. His leg had healed, but it was still bandaged, and needed to be checked from time to time.
Iya Dotun decided she would stay with him, at least till he was able to get back on his feet, and go back to work. As they got out of the car and entered his house, a wave of emptiness and the reality of Francisca and Dotun Junior’s deaths hit him hard. When they had broken the news to him at the hospital, he had broken down in tears, even if his father had told him it wasn’t right for him to cry as a man.
He walked into the living room, and the toys the child had been playing with that afternoon, before they had left for the party, still lay there the way he Had left them, littered on the floor. Francisca’s towel was still flung over the bedside table, as usual. Whenever she rushed out, she never remembered to clean the room or hang her towel, till she returned home.
Iya Dotun saw the pain in her son’s eyes, and started to fold the towel and clear the bed.
“What will you have for lunch, my dear?” She asked.
“I’m good.” He replied coldly.
She stayed a week, but then, she had to leave because his younger sister had just put to bed in Canada, and she needed to go help out in taking care of the new child. She suggested he moved in with Niran and Chichi but he declined. He did not want to impose his own problems on the new parents, by giving them added responsibility. Ladi was out of the country too, on work. She finally decided she would get a house maid to help take care of his meals and personal errands. The driver could also help with taking him around.
Toyin hissed as she saw the missed call on her phone. It was from Dotun. He had been calling her very often and she had been ignoring his calls. She knew he needed her help, but she was not ready to give it. Where was he when she needed him back then? He had sent her a text begging for her forgiveness. Had he forgiven her when she needed it the most? Had he come rushing to her side when she had almost killed herself? At the first sight of trouble he had backed out and run off on her. Sure she felt pity for him, but she knew she was past this. She wasn’t going to act out the Diary of a mad black woman and rush to his side, taking care of him in his distress.
Jide on the other hand, she loved him, but she wasn’t sure if she had the courage to deal with his past. She knew he was a changed man, and he had repented, but the image just kept playing on her mind. He had taught her to forgive herself and to believe that God had really forgiven her. maybe it was time she did the same for his own sin.
She had told him she needed some time to think about everything, and fast and pray on what decision to make.
Decision making was easy to say, but it was the hardest thing ever. She had prayed and fasted but nothing seemed to come forth. She listened earnestly and eagerly for the still small voice of God to speak to her and direct her but she couldn’t hear anything. She decided she would try the Gideon’s fleece test. One time, she had said whoever called her first on Monday morning, was God’s choice for her. Unfortunately, neither of them had called her. Another time, she had decided she would open a bible verse randomly but she kept landing in scriptures that had no correlation. Once, she had opened O give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, and His mercies endureth forever. Another time, it had been the story of pharaoh and Moses.
“God show me a sign!” She sighed.
Pastor Ilori signed his own resignation letter and sealed it in an envelope. He was going to hand it over to the Assistant Pastor and take some time off. As he penned his signature on the A4 paper, he closed his eyes, and tears of repentance flowed freely.
He remembered the first time the whole thing with Ibukun had started. It had been so innocent. She wanted personal prayers for finding a future partner. The prayers had continued, and he kept advising her and putting her on the right path. His wife had to go abroad for her one year masters’ programme and he had felt so lonely…intimately. He still remembered the red bodycon dress Ibukun had worn to his office that day. The dress highlighted all the curves and contours of her beautiful female structure…and he had felt a personal leading to lay hands on her.
Soon she had started bringing him food, and cleaning his house. She felt she owed the duty to his wife, and more especially to him. This was her seed, for finding her own husband. The devil’s day was when she had gone over to his office one late evening for emergency prayers , and the rain just wouldn’t stop. He had thought it was too late to go back, so they had stayed in his office, alone. Things began to get out of hand…and the rest was history. He knew he was committing adultery but he just couldn’t help himself anymore. the farther he tried to run, the more the urge to want to be with Ibukun came. God would forgive anyways…so he decided to continue.
After the day Toyin had seen them at the hotel, he knew it was time to stop. He stayed away from Ibukun, confessed to his wife, and decided he would leave the church for a while. he didn’t want to wait till God’s wrath fell on him.
Jide got out of bed suddenly, as he awoke by 2.30am. It was all a dream! He walked to the toilet and took a leak, then sat on his bed, thinking about everything. Just then, he received a text message from Toyin. She was coming to see him by 7.00am. Niran and Chichi had travelled abroad with the baby, so he was all alone in the house. He had four days left before he returned to the UK. Toyin had still not given him feedback. Perhaps she didn’t want him anymore.
Jide stood at the front of the church, and smiled as he saw Toyin walk down the aisle in her beautiful white crochet dress. She looked absolutely angelic. Spotless and perfect. She smiled back at him, holding her bouquet of roses. The photographers were capturing her from different angles of the church.
They exchanged their own vows, promising never to leave each other. Hers had touched him so much that he was almost moved tears.
The priest then announced to the congregation if anyone had any reason why they should not be joined in holy matrimony. Jide looked back, and Toyin did too. Dotun stood up, smiled at them both, and limped out of the church. They both heaved a sigh of relief, and turned to face the priest.
The priest had turned his back, and refused to join them.
“We are ready to be joined, Sir.” Jide said one more time, but he refused, and walked away. Another priest came almost immediately, and joined them.
They danced out of the church, ready to take pictures, after which they would get into their JUST WEDDED vehicle that would convey them to the reception. As they posed for pictures, Jide slumped, fell flat and hit his head on the steep of the marble staircase.
“Help me!” Toyin screamed, crying for help.
He was rushed into the JUST WEDDED vehicle, and the driver hit the accelerator to take him to the hospital asap!
He did not make it to the hospital.
And that was when Jide woke up at 2.30am, panting. What dream was this? He began to pray, and grabbed his bible from underneath his pillow.
Toyin couldn’t find much sleep. She woke up early, took a bath, and got dressed in a teal maxi dress. She brushed her hair, applied light makeup, and drove out of the house in high spirits.
Jide opened the door, and she rushed into him with a bear hug.
“Good morning love.” She said, walking into the living room.
“How was your night dear? Get any sleep at all?” He asked, kissing her forehead.
“Not much. I really need to talk to you.”
Jide nodded, walking into the kitchen to get her something to drink.
“So what is the court’s decision?” he teased.
“I want you! I want to be with you, Jide. I am so much in love with you and I know God brought you my way for a reason.”
Jide smiled, holding her hands.
“So what was the reason for this decision? God told you something special?” He said.
“He didn’t tell me anything. I guess that’s because the answer is right in my face. If you go back to the U.K without me telling you this, I might lose you. I love you, and God is the originator of love. What other confirmation do I need?”
Jide smiled, then hugged her.
“I’m going to wait for Dotun to feel a little better, then I will start processing this divorce.” She said eagerly.
“Toyin I love you so much, but, this…I think the fast and prayers were to open my own eyes.” He said.
“What…What do you mean?” She stammered.
“I had a dream. I love you too much to make you a widow on your wedding day.”
He narrated the dream to her.
“The priest might represent God. Maybe God is trying to tell us something. I woke up and prayed and God kept laying this in my heart…that divorce is permissible, but it is not expedient. I believe God’s silence doesn’t mean a go-ahead. You can forgive Dotun, just as God forgave you.”
Toyin stared at him like he was speaking Greek.
“What are you saying? Please don’t spoil this…” She cried. She leaned into him and started to kiss him but he held her back and looked away.
“I don’t wanna be the home wrecker…” he said softly.
“Dotun wrecked it himself!” She cried.
“Please pray about this. I’m sure God will confirm this to you. He’s not a God of confusion…”
She grabbed her purse and ran out of the house.
SIX YEARS LATER.
Jide had returned to the UK, and had decided it was high time he shared the testimony of his past with his church. He now pastored the church and they had a television ministry that aired internationally. He came out that Sunday, and told the story of how he had poisoned his father, and how he had lived with the guilt till he accepted God’s forgiveness.
“God’s forgiveness is out there. You just need to accept it, and learn to forgive yourself too.” He said.
As he made a call for people to repent, give their lives to Christ, and trust God to forgive them if they renounced and confessed their sins, multitudes of people walked out.
Somewhere in Lagos, Toyin smiled as she watched Jide preach on TV. Dotun pulled her close, and kissed her forehead.
“Thank you so much for forgiving me. The whole past opened my eyes to my reality. You know, I was wondering what Dotun Junior would have been like if he survived." He held her fingers and caressed them. "And then I remembered the story of David and Bathsheba’s child. God has his ways. It's sad how it played out. My boy was innocent, but i guess it's all in the Big picture.” He said.
“If I had married Jide, I wouldn’t be here with you, running that Orphanage we have.”
Toyin said and kissed him back.
They had established an orphanage two years ago, and decided they would do their best to take care of the little orphans with the best life possible, and bring them up in the way of the Lord.
He placed his hand gently on her belly and as it moved, he felt like a proud man, knowing they were expecting a set of twins very soon.