“Come, let’s go and celebrate.” My friend, Amaka, linked her arm with mine.
“2 weeks after the results? We have even started lectures.”
We had concluded our 3rd professional exams two weeks ago, but I had gone home immediately, thus disrupting my friends’ plans to go for a hangout. They decided we’d go when everyone had returned to school.
“Is it not your fault?” Amaka shot back. “Always running home to see Mummy.”
I chuckled. “So, where are we going?”
“Ballpark to ride swings!” Her eyes shone with a teasing excitement.
I’d always loved swings and she’d never ceased to tease me about it. My other friends joined us and off we went.
I sent William a quick text message telling him where I’d gone to. It was a Tuesday evening and I’d just returned to school the previous Sunday. I was yet to meet him after such a long time. He replied that he’d come pick me once I was ready.
After riding swings for a while in Ballpark, my friends suggested we go for a karaoke in the bar nearby. We giggled about singing worship songs in the middle of a bar and we did! Everyone listened more out of surprise than anything else. We sang out our hearts. It was already 10:15pm, when William called to ask if I was back at school.
I was shocked when I looked at the time. I asked him to come pick us and informed my friends that it was time to go. To my surprise, they said they’d sleep over in the hotel nearby and return to school in the morning. I had no intention of doing such. I bade them goodbye and stepped out to wait for William.
He arrived few minutes later. “Nne, why are you still out here by this time of the night?” he asked, looking worried.
“My dear, I got carried away,” I said, entering the car.
“And your friends?”
“They said they’re sleeping over, somewhere.”
“Please, don’t stay out this late again. Biko. It’s not safe.”
“I lost track of time.”
We chattered away while he drove me back to the hostel. We had a lot to catch up on. I thought of how best to bring up my discussion with Chika.
“It’s interesting that we’ve never discussed genotype issues,” I began tentatively.
“I’m a hot cake,” he said, chuckling. “So, I don’t think it’s necessary. Unless of course, there’s a concern you have about yours.”
“As in, you’re what? AA?”
“Yeah,” he said, flashing a beautiful dentition. “I was reserving that discussion for when we’d start making plans about our ministry and all, because my genotype is linked to my ministry.”
He grew serious. “It’s a very long story actually. Would you believe that I was born SS?”
My heart beat stopped, then started again in a hurry. Chika was right!
“Wow!” I managed.
He parked in front of the school gate. “Yes.”
“So what happened?”
“I had crises so often that I was almost always miserable. I was on regular hospital admission. In fact, my haematologist was saying it would be a miracle if I lived for 2 more years.” He grinned.
“Are you serious?”
“Yes. As a matter of fact, I was already in final year at school when I was given that prognosis. I’d never been so scared in my life.”
“I was desperate for a miracle. That was when I began to earnestly seek the God of the bible. The God who did all these things I’ve read about. Where is He? You know, bible talks about a lot of things that Jesus did, but we don’t believe it. We have so much doubt and very little faith.”
He glanced at my face, frowned a little and burst into laughter. “You should see your face right now.”
I chuckled, shaking my head. “Honestly, I don’t know what to say or think.”
“Right? That year, I entered an aggressive prayer spree. I was on my usual hospital admission when I started. Every moment of the day, I was either praying or praying. My Bible was my pillow. My guardians became worried. They were asking if I wanted to kill myself.”
He reached out and removed something from my hair.
“I was determined to hear God on that matter or nothing else. I prayed so much that I was a creature of prayer.” He chuckled. “I had no life outside seeking the Lord’s face. The prognosis was really poor.” He paused, to recollect himself.
He let out a sigh. “So, my baby. You’re beautiful. I’ve missed you,” he said, admiring my face.
I flushed to the roots of my hair. “Thank you.” Suddenly shy, I looked away. “You were saying something.”
A smug smile lit up his face.
“Yeah. For over 6 months, I prayed non-stop. If I was going to die, I wanted to die praying. That was when my encounters began. The first time I saw an angel, I was lying on the hospital bed that night. I wasn’t praying. I was meditating on a scripture, while I prepared myself for an all night prayer marathon. The angel came, didn’t even talk to me and just pinned me to the bed for over an hour.”
I shook my head, baffled.
“I couldn’t move or scream. After that, he left. I was dazed for the rest of the night. I couldn’t believe myself. I mean, I was praying for a miracle, but I didn’t expect it to come in such a dramatic manner.”
My mouth was ajar.
“It took a while before the haematologist noticed palpable changes and improvements. I was discharged eventually and advised to show up for my appointments. I’d gone to see the haematologist like 5 times before he became very suspicious.”
He glanced at his watch. “Don’t they lock your school gate by 11pm?”
“I can enter my hostel through the hospital,” I said. I was so blown away that I needed to hear the entire story this very night.
“Okay. He couldn’t understand what was happening. So, after asking me a few questions, he sent me for another genotype test. And guess what?”
“No way! Hallelujah!!!” I screamed. “Woooohhhh.”
He threw back his head and laughed. “William’s genotype was AA. No cap.”
“There was no style of genotype testing they didn’t do. They even referred me to another facility. And it was still AA. The haematologist gave his life to Christ through that experience. The nurses who took care of me, gave their lives to Christ. It was a crazy, life-changing experience.”
“My goodness!” I couldn’t believe my ears. What?
“Since that day, I began to have more encounters and I began to understand what God has called me to do. He turned around that condition and used it to introduce me to the ministry of travailing. If we’re paying attention, usually, our ministry is linked to our affliction. You conquer it and go out to bring others into the reality you’ve experienced.”
I simply stared at him, a living, breathing miracle. I would bring up Chika another day, but right now, I simply wanted to celebrate Jesus over his life. The night was dark and cold. He stepped out to walk me to the hospital gate.
“Congratulations once again, nne. I told you not to worry about that exam. Can you see God?”
“My dear. God is faithful. To both of us. Your testimony is almost unbelievable.”
We held hands as we strolled to the hospital gate. It was a beautiful night. I don’t remember being happier. I turned to him.
“Thank you for everything, Will. For standing by me, praying for me and encouraging me every step of the way. I’m grateful. Thank you for coming into my life. I’m so blessed to have you.”
I hugged him. “Thank God for the man He has made out of you.”
My arms curved around his neck, pulling him close.
William went still for a while. I don’t think he’d ever hugged me before. I held on tighter, pressing my body into his. For goodness sake, it was just a hug.
His palm rested lightly against the small of my back, then his arms enveloped me and tightened around my waist. His heart was beating so fast. I could feel it.
Why was he breathing like he ran a marathon though? I buried my face in his neck. He smelled nice. I had this susceptibility to touch. My ears and eyes didn’t get to me as much as my skin did.
You only had to touch me and I’d melt like butter. William didn’t know this yet and quite frankly, I didn’t care right now. I’d tell him later. I wanted to be held by the man I loved. Just for few minutes.
I was on fire with hormones the moment his arms came around me. A soft moan escaped my lips. Suddenly, as if jolted by electricity, he withdrew from me. I lost balance and almost fell. He didn’t look back. He jogged to his car, ignited the engine and drove away in a hurry.
I stood staring after him for a while after he was gone. No goodbye. Nothing. What was that all about? I turned and matched to my hostel, befuddled. Too tired to reach out, I fell into a deep sleep.
For 3 days, William’s contact couldn’t be reached. What did I do wrong? Was it because I stayed out late? I thought I’d apologised.
I wanted to hug him again. I wanted to feel his arms around me. That euphoric feeling it came with, was intoxicating. In my mind, I painted possible scenarios of how that night could have ended. What if he’d kissed me? What if…
I caught myself at this point. What the hell was I thinking bikonu? I was literally fantasizing about sleeping with William? For real?
“Jesus,” I muttered. It suddenly felt as if cobwebs were being cleared from my eyes. “Jesus. Jesus. Jesus,” I said with greater urgency. No wonder Will had run away. We almost defiled ourselves. “Jesus. Jesus. Jesus,” I continued saying, suddenly scared. “Jesus. Jesus. Jesus.”
The creature that had appeared to me flashed in my mind. I didn’t know why William had run away, but I was sure it was linked to that. You’d never intentionally introduce lust into a relationship. It just stood somewhere waiting for an opportunity to hop in. I knew William was definitely praying and probably berating himself for letting his guards down.
I decided I’d pray along, specifically to understand what went on in the spirit realm that night. A lot of times, we’d dismiss things as a coincidence. Nothing ever was. There were spirits hanging around, manipulating the course of events. If you weren’t spiritually alert and attuned to the Spirit of God, you’d fall into their traps. That’s why it’s important to always be led by the Spirit of God at every point.
I took my bible and opened to Romans 8 verse 14. “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.”
I began to pray that I’d be open to the voice and leadership of the Holy Spirit every minute of my life. That was the way to live a victorious life. That was the only way I could face the battles I knew were coming.
This was only the enemy’s test to see what would happen and I wasn’t happy that he had even a little satisfaction. I was livid. My prayers intensified by the minute until the streams in my belly overflowed into tongues.
To be continued…