A Novel Written By: Kolade Segun-Okeowo (KSO)
The circumstances that surrounded the visit still haunted Morakinyo. He felt, he needed to apologize to her. Moreover, ever since he returned from Onigba-Iwofa on Sunday, he had not set his eyes on her. He wondered why Gbayike did not come to church. When he knocked, it was Sister Wonuola who came to open the door. Wonula was not only shocked to see Morakinyo, she least expected him at such an odd hour.
“Good evening Sister Wonuola”
“Ahh, Brother Morakinyo, welcome. Quite an age”
“Thank you Sister Wonuola. I am sorry I came at such an odd hour. I came back from the mission base yesterday and it has been from one issue to the other. Is Sister Gbayike at home?”
Gbayike heard his voice from inside her room and was completely off balance. She was completely taken aback and confused. She was not sure whether to attend to him or not.
“What does he want from me” Gbayike asked Wonuola who came to her room to announce Morakinyo’s arrival.
“I don’t know also. He is already seated in the parlour waiting for you” Wonuola explained.
“I … I don’t think I want… to see him…” Gbayike was already sobbing; tears had swelled up in her eyes.
After dinner, Oyero explained to Pastor Kalejaye everything that Oyinkan his niece had told him and how he had agreed to give his life to Christ. He requested that Pastor Kalejaye assist him to grow spiritually as he has never attended church in his entire life. He also told him about his wife and pleaded that Kalejaye would help him to handle the case spiritually.
Pastor Kalejaye agreed and promised to keep in touch and pay a personal visit to him in Lagos. He assured him that God will set his wife free and also counseled him not to use physical force to handle the case as it will fail woefully. Around 10pm, Pastor Kalejaye escorted Oyero to one of the chalets in the Church Guest House within the compound of the church. As they moved towards the chalet they continued discussion about Mayflower especially the good old times at the School.
“Religion aside, Dr Tai Solarin is one of the greatest leaders on the surface of the earth. Remember how he used to make us go through all forms of rigorous works in those days. We used to think he was punishing us. Today, we know better” Pastor Kalejaye said as they moved on towards the Guest House.
“You can say that again…how about the nights of loneliness in the forest during the Education for Self Reliance programme. Very instructive and result oriented”
You remember this song that he composed for the Nigerian national anthem which was rejected in 1960 while we prepared for the celebrations of Independence from Britain…..em, em…” Oyero tried to remember the song.
“Hail Nigeria Glorious Land” Pastor Kalejaye reminded him.
“Eh! That is it… Hail Nigeria Glorious Land…” Oyero remembered.
They sang the song again happily like school boys marching towards the class from the assembly ground.
“Hail Nigeria Glorious Land
Ever Blessed by God’s Command
Land of Heroes and our Pride
May the Justice be Thy Guide
And Thy Sons and Daughters be
Ever Happy Ever Free
May the Niger ever Flow
And the Green Fields ever Grow
In our Fatherland and Home
While the Waves on Beaches foam
As Nigerian Ensign Flies
An our Happy Anthem Rise”
Soon they got to the Guest House. Pastor Kalejaye ushered him to his room and bade him goodnight. He was happy as he stepped out of the Guest House that night. The presence of Oyero had brought him great and pleasant memories. As he returned to the parsonage, he recalled one of the unforgettable counsels of Dr. Tai Solarin through a song; There is no Indispensable man. He sang to himself joyfully as he walked back to the parsonage in the darkness.
“Sometimes when you are feeling important
Sometimes when your ego is in bloom
Sometimes when you take it for granted
You’re the best qualified man in the room
Sometimes when you feel that your ‘going’
Will leave an un-fill-able hole
Just follow this simple instruction
And see how it humbles your soul
Take a bucket and fill it with water
Put your hands in it up to your wrists
Pull them out and the whole that remains
Is the measure of you’ll be missed
You may splash all you please when you enter
You may splash at the water gallon
But stop and you’ll find in a minute
That it looks… just the same …. as before
The moral of this ‘s quite simple
Do just the best as you can
Be proud of yourself…but remember
There is no indispensable man!
It took almost ten minutes for Wonuola to appeal to Gbayike to agree to step out of her room to meet Morakinyo. When she did accept to step out to see him, she first went to the toilet to wash her tear soaked- face.
“Good evening Brother Morakinyo…” She greeted him from the door of the room when she stepped out.
“Oh, Sister Gbayike, I am sorry for coming at such an odd hour… I feel it is not good that I have not seen you since we arrived yesterday from the mission base” Morakinyo apologized profusely.
“Thank you” Gbayike said nonchalantly.
“You were not in church yesterday? I hope all is well?” Morakinyo chose the words carefully. He was carefully not to upset Gbayike.
“I was in the Church…I left after your Sister gave her testimony”
“Oh, I see…” A period of silence reined between them as none was sure of what to say next. Gbayike sat on one of the sofas far away from Morakinyo.
“How is your wife?” Gbayike broke silence.
The question pained Morakinyo deeply. He knew Gbayike was going to ask the question, although he wished she will not get to that extent.
“I am not married, I am a bachelor” Morakinyo stuttered. He saw the shock on Gbayike’s face as she looked up at Morakinyo for the first time. “I took some wrong steps while at the mission field…I came home to correct my errors”
“I see…” Gbayike said and remained silent. Another long silence ensued between them. After about five minutes, Morakinyo stood and announced his readiness to leave.
“Thank you for coming” Gbayike stood and escorted him to the door.
“Nonsense, he made some errors and wants to come back home to make corrections…So I am the correcting rod he wants to use to amend his ways…Nonsense…he is married, let him stay that way. The Lord will give me my own husband!” She leaned on the door as she spoke to herself.
“What is wrong with you Sister Gbayike…Are you in your right senses… God is answering your prayers and you are proving stubborn” Wonuola almost shouted at her as she entered the parlour from her own room.
“Sister Wonu, what does he want from me? To become his second wife or what? Should I pray that he divorces his wife so I can marry a divorcee…? Someone else’s leftover…Nooo!!! I want my own husband not a left over!!!”
Wonuola moved close to her and embraced her…Then he spoke to her.
“Sister Gbayike, take it easy. Brother Morakinyo is the perfect will of God for your life. You were the one who allowed another woman to have a taste of him before you. That woman is not Brother Morakinyo’s wife. I overheard some people discussing in the church yesterday after service that even his sister was not aware of the marriage just like the Senior Pastor and the entire church was not…I also overheard him now saying he is not married but a bachelor…If brother Morakinyo has seen his error and is making moves to right his wrongs… Please let’s encourage him…Please I beg you”
Gbayike burst into tears again as Wonuola held her tightly to herself and pet her even the more.
When Morakinyo told Mrs. Durotoye his sister about everything that transpired, she flared up.
“You went searching for her relatives without my consent again. Morakinyo, it appears you have another Sister somewhere! You’re looking for her relatives? You want to go and meet them to formalize your marriage to that witch…Over my dead body”
“Anty, that was in the past. She is now a child of God, genuinely washed by the blood of the Lamb”
“Ohhh…You can say that again…If she had killed Lanre my son on the campus at Ile-Ife, you won’t be here saying she is now born again. Assuming she succeeded in poisoning Akinlolu my son, who are you to talk of someone being born again!!!”
“Anty, but we all have our past. She has a past just like you and every one of us!!”
“Morakinyo, I will disgrace you if you try any nonsense…This won’t be like the one you did at the village and you thought you got away with it….Not anymore. The Senior Pastor told me that marriage is null and void. Period!!! If you will marry anybody, it must be Gbayike!!! If you try to formalize the marriage to that witch… forget that you have a Sister in me…I will disown you” Mrs. Durotoye was fuming!!!
“But Sister, nobody is talking of formalisng any marriage with her. Barrister Olaoye was the one who suggested I get in touch with her relatives so that we can hand her over to them once she is discharged at UCH. The Senior Pastor also accepted that I look for her relations. We went in the church bus… me and Pastor Joju. We simplify needed her relatives so we can hand her over to them simple…We did not talk about any marriage” Morakinyo explained.
Mrs. Durotoye sighed deeply and sat on the sofa. Her voce became calm. “I see…I only warned you not to plan anything funny…You know what I can do…Emi Motoye omo Olagunsoye aya Durotoye!!! What my Bible says is what I will believe….’Suffer not a witch to live’”
“Haa Sister… That was in the Old Testament. Now, Jesus has died for everyone including the worst of witches”
Mrs. Durotoye stood suddenly and moved close to Morakinyo menacingly…. “Just don’t try any nonsense….Capish?”
A delegation from The Son of The Owner visited Oyinkan at the Hospital that night. The delegation was led by Mercyone, Favourone and Graceone. Oyinkan was sleeping when they arrived. She slept late, reading the Bible and singing worship songs in low tunes as she lied on her bed.
Earlier in the day, she had complained of severe headache. The doctor on duty was invited to check her. On closer examination, the doctor had discovered a lump on her head behind the ear lobe and requested for a skull X-ray to be carried out on her. Results of the scan confirmed that she had subdural hemorrhage.
As she slept, she prayed and asked that God will heal her rapidly so that she can start a new life. She also prayed that God will have his way in her life and do whatever He wants with her. She sang a few hymns she had learnt from Morakinyo and slept.
She rose and saw the team of Mercyone, Favourone and Graceone in their shining, bright and blinding white apparel. None of the nurses on night duty saw them as they approached her bed. Oyinkan sat up on the bed and smiled as she saw them, although she did not understand their mission.
Mercyone picked her right hand and held it lovingly.
“He has shown you mercy, so He sent me to you. Your entire sins are forgiven completely. Judgement over you is cancelled, pardon is given by the blood of His Son” Mercyone said, dropped the hand gently and stepped back.
“Oh, thank you my Lord…I am honoured“ Oyinkan blushed and smiled.
Graceone picked her right hand and held it dearly.
“He sent His grace to you through me. He asked that I give you what you do not deserve. He sends his free offer of salvation that you may be with Him very soon” Graceone said, dropped the hand gently and stepped back.
“His grace found me at last…Thank you Jesus” Oyinkan lifted her hands and worshipped.
Favourone moved closer to her, picked the right hand and held it with compassion.
“His favour has found you and He has sent me to favour you. You will get what does not belong to you,. He asked that we give you preferential treatment” Favourone said, dropped the hand gently and also stepped back.
Oyinkan beamed with smiles all throughout
“He loves you and wishes that you continue your service here on earth… However, you have been badly wounded and your garment stinks. He has chosen to have you presented to Himself as a bride without spot or wrinkles” Mercyone announced again.
The countenance of Oyinkan changed at that moment. She stared at the Heavenly Team and stammered “No, Messengers of His Imperial Majesty, I have a race to run. I have visions I want to accomplish…I want to run my race” Oyinkan said pitiably.
“Your race is short but very eventful and completed. You have run your race, you have finished your course…A crown of victory is laid ahead of you. Get ready to meet the One who loves you more than the whole world” Graceone announced.
Oyinkan stared at the Team, bewildered and said “I have gone through so much pain serving the wrong master; I still have more pains ahead of me. I am ready for the pains, but I don’t want to suffer in vain. I look forward to leaving here and doing several assignments for my Lord and my God” Oyinkan managed to defend again, with streams of tears running down her face.
“You don’t deserve pains anymore. You have a more glorious assignment waiting for you with Your Lord, God and Master; JESUS CHRIST!!! He is waiting for you to join other Saints in singing Hallelujah to him” Favourone said smiling invitingly at Oyinkan.
Suddenly, Oyinkan heard what sounded like solemn voices of several choristers singing the Hallelujah Chorus accompanied with sonorous musical instruments. She looked at the happy faces of Mercyone, Favourone and Graceone. Her countenance changed as she smiled back at them. She quickly wiped her tears and laughed!
The team of Mercyone, Favourone and Graceone smiled back at her and also turned to laughter. Suddenly, the clothes on Oyinkan changed into shinning and blinding white apparel like that of Mercyone, Favourone and Graceone.
Graceone stretched a hand to her. She took the hand as Graceone helped her to stand from the bed. Favourone received her other hand and walked along with her as they moved away from the bed towards the corridor of the ward with Mercyone leading. Oyinkan was happy as she walked on with the Heavenly Team, her legs floating as they moved on. Suddenly, they disappeared from the ward.
The nurses on duty continued their work, completely unaware of the events going on around them. One of the nurses walked towards Oyinkan’s bed. She noticed her cover cloth had slipped from her body. She helped her to adjust the cloth and patted the sleeping Oyinkan!
To be continued in episode 40