When Love Finds You XXIX

I know I am too late so I outdid myself. You have above 3000 words just for you because this is the dinner we’ve all been waiting for. Plus I can finally sleep and argue with Miss Boham and Afua Pokuaa that I did deliver on Wednesday…;)😌😆😘

Senam Awoonor stood on the first floor taking in the view — her husband, Jonathan, Sule and Kwaku were chatting and laughing heartily. She stood and looked on a few more seconds. She’s always dreamt of when her house will be this full of life every day; she’s imagined severally when Dzidzor’s grandkids will fill her house. No. Their home wasn’t a dead one. Life rang from every wall and they have people over whenever they can but she would do with more chatter, not just the barks of their two bulldogs and the chirping of birds in the trees surrounding their large property. She cleaned under her eyes, on her eyelids, close to her balls so she won’t ruin her liner. She chuckled at the thought and cleared her throat. She did loud enough so the men would hear her.

“Now that I have your attention.” She started, staring them from face to face and smiling effortlessly as she did. “The men talk will have to pause till after you’ve eaten all my food and have no space in your tummies left.”

“A good deal.”

Jonathan winked at his wife, a few strands of gray hair standing out in his beard. Matey threw his hands up, whispering all yours. Sule laughed quietly, admiration shining from deep within him. He has never come close to love like he has witnessed in this family. Jonathan led the way for the stairs. He has never been a shaver. Senam has learnt to live with it and bully him only into trimming to keep a clean look. The men made their way up the stairs. Jonathan stopped by his wife. He kissed her cheeks, stroking them as he withdrew.

“Freda and Junior and His aunt?”

He asked of the last three guests who haven’t arrived for the dinner yet. Senam’s face lit with realization.

“I better call them. Junior was to pick his aunt and Freda from that women’s leaders meeting.”

“Let me call them. Go ahead and get everyone settled down.”

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We Live Together XV

“I didn’t expect you to be back in less than the hour you promised.”

“I didn’t expect to be back this early either.”

Derrick slammed unto the floor and smiled. Relief lining his brows. Judith looked at him, an eyebrow raised. His face seemed to be alive now.

“I got laid off.”

“From being a pastor?”

“Much like I was sacked by the board. I saw it coming anyway. I guess I was prepared for it.”

“Wow.”

Judith sat dumb for a full minute and then hastened out her words.

“The guy following us got them pictures just as you suspected then. An evidence of a sort to pin you down as having an affair with me.”

“A good summary of everything that happened. So yes.”

“Typical of me to bring hard luck to friends.”

Derrick shook his head and chuckled.

“The board didn’t need you and our friendship to get me out of the way. Since the first day Akoto looked me in the eye, I knew he didn’t like me. Today would have come anyway. I’m just glad it came soon.”

 “You don’t need to shield me from feeling guilty. I know I am the cause. I have always been a bad totem for close relations – my parent’s marriage, Janet and Lewis and now you.”

Derrick chuckled again.

“This issue is also a case of self-guilt too.” He stared Judith in the eye. “You can’t forgive either yourself or your dad.”

“And I lack the ability to because I’m not saved. We were on that before you left.”

Derrick laughed.

“We were.”

“I don’t know if I’m ready.”

Judith left Derrick’s side and leaned on the door, her hands at her back. Derrick kept eye contact.

“Who will I be after it – getting saved, letting my dad off the hook.”

Derrick smiled faint enough to tell Judith he was listening. She looked away.

“What will I be besides a tramp?”

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We Live Together XIV

Derrick stood behind the Akrobea’s smallest guest room, for a moment hesitant to knock on the door. Judith will be on the other end of it, drunk maybe and certainly angry. He didn’t want to imagine how she’d be looking but his mind already had. She’d perhaps look tired, her breath stinking from refusal to brush for days and she’d have her hair messed up, her jeans tight around her abdomen as she liked it.

Whatever she’s thinking Lord, help me get through.

He formed his right fingers into a knot, the middle one sticking out and knocked the hardest he could. The sound from it was echoing in his heart. He stood a while, felt movement towards the door. Judith pulled the door open.

“Here we go.”

Derrick mouthed to himself and took two giant steps into the room. He smiled. What else was there to do? The room was too dark for late morning- all curtains were drawn down, windows closed and there wasn’t a feel of air. It was a sharp contrast to the hall he had just walked out of three minutes ago.

“The door.”

Judith’s shrill voice commanded. Derrick pushed the door shut and stood. He had forgotten about the door the minute he entered the room. He had been taken aback. The scene was so similar to one from a movie he’d watched, a girl trapped in a dark room by a rapist who wanted to give her as much emotional torture as he could after the rape. Here, Judith looked like her own rapist.

“Can I get the switch. Or you’d get the curtains apart. We’ll need the light.”

Judith chuckled.

“The switch.”

Derrick strolled towards the switch on his far right, being careful not to kick anything.  he flipped it on and there was Janet. She squinted a full minute and opened her eyes, indifference strong on her face. She was bundled up on the floor, an open bible between her laps and no sign of an alcoholic bottle. Her face had no makeup but was clean, hair pulled into a tight ponytail. Her slim body was pressed gently against the bedpost.

Derrick smiled, then chuckled out of disbelief. Was this a sham? Judith was supposed to be in a bad state, a very bad state. That’s why Janet called. She mentioned drinking, she wouldn’t talk. And he had come determined to bring her back to a good place with her dad, get a commitment for Jesus. Whatever shock he felt was gone from his look the minute Judith made eye contact.

“Janet sent me a text to come over.”

Judith didn’t smile. Her countenance was still indifferent and cold.

“Will you marry a prostitute?”

Her question was sharp. As she spoke, she tossed the bible. Derrick caught view of it. It’s the bible he gave her, same purple ribbon was hanging from it and from the question she asked, she’s been reading Hosea, the book he had bookmarked for her after their second conversation.

“I could.”

“If God told you?”

“Yes. That’s one. And if she’s changed. Say she used to be a prostitute.”

Derrick wasn’t sure the direction of the conversation, neither the reason. He decided to let her lead it till he figured what was at stake here. He sat on the floor, by the other bedpost and hugged his knees. The room was taken by silence. Derrick looked straight ahead, looking at Judith only from the corners of his eyes. She seemed to be thinking – deciding what her next question should be.

“Marrying a prostitute will be same as marrying any other woman, supposed God asked you to or she’s christian. That’s what you mean?”

“In a sense yes. In another sense no. Marrying a prostitute, christian or as obeying a command from the Lord won’t be the same as any other lady in the eyes of society.”

“Once a prostitute, always a prostitute huh.”

Judith let a soft mocking smile out her throat.

“Always a struggle for humans to accept another human different from who they knew him or her to be.”

Derrick smiled, some words from Lecrae popping out into his head -telling tales- some saw saved folks as doing that. There isn’t much you can do to get people to accept what they don’t want to.

“Reading Hosea is a good place to start looking at God’s steadfast love.”

Derrick felt a strong sense of need for diversion. He hoped the God was leading.

“It sounds like a sour Telenovela plot.” Judith laughed. “The faithful priest marries the unfaithful prostitute.”

She didn’t seem done with the prostitute bit as yet.

“Quite a story. Always be ready for it to strike you with the depth of God’s love and forgiveness.”

Judith sat awhile, her eyes seemed to be lingering on nothing.

Am I getting through at all Lord?

Derrick felt his store of patience dissipating. A serious look settled on Judith’s face. Her jaws were steel set.

“Could you have forgiven my dad say you are me?”

“I think I could.”

Derrick was tempted to go into all the theology behind why but he didn’t. Wouldn’t she already know? She was a Pastor’s kid all her life.

“Do you think I should?”

Judith said, twisting her thumb, looking at Derrick. She hadn’t taken notice of his looks since he got in. He was in a T-shirt, a trouser and a flip flop, not close to a pastor who has been called for a counselling session. Was she that important? He must have thrown on whatever he found and rushed out, to her side. Perhaps she wasn’t just a soul to be won and added to his statistics after all. She had thought that after she texted him not to call again. She feared that’s all he wanted – a new person to add to the numbers busting off the pews.

“Should forgive your dad you mean? Yes. And also ask for his forgiveness but you may lack the power to do both fully Judith.”

“Because I’m not born again?”

The soul project Judith.

 She chuckled and looked away.

“Mmhm. Without Jesus, you don’t see the full reason of forgiving.”

“What full reason?”

Derrick’s phone buzzed. He took it out and looked hard. An emergency board meeting? He stood and took some few steps towards the windows.

“I need to place a quick call.”

He said almost in a whisper to Judith, phone on his ears. 

Judith kept her eyes on Derrick. His face was drowning, a scowl about forming. 

“I’d have to rush for a meeting and be back in an hour. You’ll wait?”

Derrick put his palm on the phone and asked Judith worried. Today could have been it – the moment of the clear conversation about her heart’s state, about who she’d trust it to – and Francis calls. 

Judith nodded and smiled faintly, her first in a while. He’d be back in an hour. Was she ready to know the full reason? She studied the purple ribbon on the bookmark. Since she read those pages in the book of Hosea, she knew she was Gomer. The reality was striking. And somehow she saw her dad as Gomer too, needing her unconditional forgiveness. And no matter how she tried to deny the fact, she knew she couldn’t be Hosea – love as hard and sacrificial as that.

We Live Together XIII

“Lord, let your love be poured
In our hearts by your Spirit
When we fall
Lord, let your heart be poured
In our hearts by your Spirit
When we call.
I ask this Lord and we call. Let your love indeed be poured in our hearts to drive away aches, fears and pain. Amen.”

“Amen.”

Boakye chimed almost silent and flicked his eyes open. It wasn’t the daylight shining through from the curtains behind the TV set that blinded him. His tears had gathered fast at the corner of his eyes. He smiled after fully opening his eyes. They were grateful smiles.

“Thank you.”

He looked at Derrick.

“You are welcome but you don’t have to. I am thankful to you.”

Derrick’s face shone with something more than the determined stubbornness he carried with him coming here. His own heart felt lighter. He knew he’d found something. That love has been shed. He could testify. His heart could. His chest could. For what he has been given it, he didn’t know. That’s what puzzled him.

“I know that poem.” Boakye said turning at the footsteps of Janet. “That’s an ancient one. I didn’t think a young man your age will know it.”

Boakye’s creases across his forehead came together as he chuckled. For a second, he’d forgotten Derrick is a trained pastor and a pastor schooled well will know these things.

“Pardon me. I forgot you’re a Pastor.”

“Most people forget.” Continue reading

We Live Together XII

Author’s note: Episode XII features Mrs. Benjamins and Asaabea Croffet. I missed them and I knew you have too so we gave them a feature. And currently there’s a story going on my Facebook page and so many new likes. I’m super glad and grateful for all those little blessings. I keep writing because friends like you keep reading and leaving such warm words of encouragement. Thank you so much. XoXo. Did you miss XI, read it.

“She said she’s going for counseling.”

Mrs. Benjamins sipped her steaming liquid made from herbs and roots boiled together. She was seated in the kitchen with Asaabea Croffet. She watched Asaabea prepare her Groundnut soup to accompany Kokonte that evening for her family’s supper. The afternoon was cooler than usual and the house smelt like freshly baked white clay from the rain that sprayed on the sandy ground some few minutes.

“And what made her say that.”

“I particularly didn’t hear that come from her mouth.”

“So this is an insinuation?”

“A likelihood.”

“She goes for counseling even when a needle pricks her.”

“I support that.”

“Counselling has its place in marriage. Spilling out whatever fear to a pastor is not right.”

“I support that too. Imagine I tell our pastor how stingy my husband can be with even electricity bills which isn’t his money in the first place.”

“Or that you tell him about how long it takes him to replace a bulb for the entire compound.”

“I’ve told that before.” Continue reading