“I knew William from way back, when he was still a student. He was the President of the students fellowship back in school. He was 2 classes ahead of mine.”
Someone came around to greet us. We all exchanged pleasantries and the person continued on her way.
“He fell sick a lot. Was always in and out of the hospital. I got to know this by accident though, because he never looked it. He’d always show up bouncing.” Chika picked her ear with the tip of her key.
“Wow,” I mouthed.
“Yeah. I was the bible study coordinator. I’d visited him at his lodge to show him the bible study schedule for the next fellowship meeting. Then I saw his parents and some friends helping him out of a vehicle into his room.”
Interesting! How come William had never mentioned anything like that though?
“So, I greeted them and you know, I was curious and all. I was like asking if he was okay. He opened up and told me he was a sickler.”
“Jesus!” I exclaimed. And he didn’t mention it to me? Was Chika even saying the truth? Because nothing was making sense anymore.
Chika chuckled. “Yeah. Even me I was shocked. So, since that day, I carried his matter for my head. I would go see if he needed anything, shop for him sometimes, brought him food and all that.”
“At some point, he asked me to stop coming. I felt so bad. He said he appreciates my care and I’m a wonderful person, but he’d want me to stop doing all that.”
“Hmmm. So what did you do?”
Chika shrugged. “What do you want me to do? I had to stop na. Will you force someone to accept your help?”
“Nawa o. What later happened?” I folded my arms across my chest. My heart pounded against it. I could barely breathe properly.
“Nothing. However, God told me he’s my husband. And God gave me confirmations too. For instance, we both moved down to Enugu after school and coincidentally found ourselves in the same church. So, I’m convinced.”
I almost put my hands on my head. I struggled to comport myself. This was too much information at the same time. My eyes were round like saucers. I just sat rooted to the spot, like a mannequin.
“The sisters in this church do not know he’s a sickler. I’m sure all of them would disappear if they knew. Hypocrites. Even having the knowledge of that, I still love William. That’s proof that my love is genuine.”
My deadpan expression had disbelief written all over it. William didn’t even look like a sickler. He looked perfectly normal and healthy. And he would have definitely mentioned that if it were true. I decided I wouldn’t believe anything else Chika said until I heard from William himself. As a matter of fact, I wanted this conversation to end this very minute.
“Alright. I think we should get going,” I said, picking up my school bag.
“And even the ladies in the campus fellowship were all over him,” Chika continued as if she didn’t hear me. “I’d just respected his privacy by keeping this information to myself. I can use it as a weapon anytime.”
I couldn’t take it anymore. “And yet you claim to love him,” I interpolated.
She was taken aback by my protective tone. “I do! I just want to keep those ants away from him!”
“If you do love him, you won’t leak his secret and secondly, you’ll let him choose whomever he’d be happy with, without interfering. Love isn’t possession. Love is seeking the other person’s best interests.”
Annoyed, she glared at me. Then suddenly becoming tired of everything, her shoulders sagged. She buried her face in her hands.
“Mary, I don’t know what it is about William, but I feel like I will die if he marries another girl.”
I didn’t speak for a while. I prayed for the right words to say to this young woman. She needed to let go. But hadn’t she said she’d heard God? And I equally saw a vision or did I? I was sure of one thing though. God wasn’t confused.
“The anointing is attractive dear. That’s why people are usually drawn to church leaders and stuff. However, that doesn’t necessarily translate to love or even compatibility.”
“I’m not just attracted to his anointing, aunty. I love everything about him.”
“What do you love about him?”
She raised both eyebrows, as if she couldn’t believe I was asking such a question. “Have you met William? Never have I encountered anyone so kind, genuine and gentle. You may feel I’m just hyping him, but it’s true. I was so happy when God told me he’s my husband.”
“Chika, I understand you perfectly. I do. However, I want you to pray about this matter again. Begin by letting go of all this anger in your heart…”
“I’m not angry,” she cut in. “I’m simply trying to do what’s best for William and I.”
If I was William, I equally wouldn’t want to marry someone that was so close minded and unteachable. How should I communicate the obvious fact that she was bitter, angry and malicious? And that she needed to build a personal relationship with God to begin with and if she had one, there was no fire on her altar. It was obvious.
God was very careful who He gave His sons to. He only gave His sons to true daughters, not people who appeared to be like daughters but were not. Imagine that William left all the sisters in prayer band to find someone who was just minding her business.
I was a true intercessor and the Holy Spirit fished me out to help William in his ministry. It wasn’t about pretending and trying to make it look like there’s something going for you when you actually did need help. I wasn’t saying that the sisters in prayer band were not genuine o. Far from that. I was simply saying that God was the perfect matchmaker.
“That’s fine. Thanks a lot for confiding in me. I don’t take this for granted at all.”
Her lips pulled back into a smile. “If there’s anyone I can confide in, then it’d be you. You are a nice person and you don’t gossip.”
“Touché,” I said.
We laughed, heading out of the cafeteria. Chika was an accountant at the teaching hospital affiliated with my school. She’d stayed in our hostel for over 6 months now, while she made arrangements to get a permanent residence close to the hospital.
She’d initially stayed at an apartment far away from the hospital until there was a fire outbreak which necessitated their migration so that the land Lord would renovate the building. She returned to work, while I went back to class. I had an evening lecture.
I needed to sit down and have a serious talk with William. Our relationship was still starting anyway and it was understandable that some things weren’t yet discussed. However, it was unforgivable if he had such a serious health condition and never mentioned it. It was totally unforgivable.
To be continued…