By Tomi Adesina
“You don’t have to face your problems alone. It is like paying a debt you do not owe. Let God worry!” Pastor Ben shouted into the Microphone. “Let go…Let God! Choir Please…” he concluded as he left the Pulpit.
The Choir led us into a praise session and for that moment; I was lost in God’s presence. It has been ages since I felt like that.
“You age slowly Pastor Ben.” I said, catching up with Pastor Ben at the close of the service.
He laughed. “It’s all about God’s grace on my life.”
Pastor Ben started out as my Sunday school teacher when I was still a toddler. When I moved on to Junior Class, he was made my Sunday school teacher. Therefore, I had been very familiar with him.
“You should come to church more often child. There’s a lot going on around here.” He said.
I sighed. “I’ll try harder.” I replied.
“God grant you the grace, Amen.” He said.
I joined Dad for a ride home.
“When is your sister’s coming-out party?” he asked, that was immediately the driver started the car.
‘Dad couldn’t even wait for us to get home. Did he think that I was not interested in Dora’s party?’ I thought. “I haven’t figured it out yet, Office work has me occupied.”
“You have to find a way to arrange that event or get someone to do it, but by weekend, there must be a coming-out event for Dora. I have to acknowledge her.” He instructed.
I nodded my head in agreement.
“I will give you a credit card to cover all the expenses.”
I smiled. “I’ll like to cover 50% of the expenses, Dad.” I said.
“Really? Well, that’s good. That means you will be using your savings, and maybe your…”
I immediately cut in. “Let me worry about my funds.” I replied.
“Okay. Will do.”
Dad dropped me at the gate and he left with the driver for the Country Club. Dora had gone to church with KP and they weren’t home yet, so I was the first to return home. The Maids had fixed lunch, so all I had to do was eat and leave for my room.
I logged on to the internet to check my mailbox and to my greatest surprise, Paul had sent me his wedding pictures and he typed boldly;
“I’LL BE HAPPY, I SWEAR I’LL. TRY FALLING IN LOVE!”
I buried my head in my hand and replied his mails. “Congrats! ATB!”
“Ms Darlene, Mr Jake is here to see you.” The Maid said as she tapped the door lightly.
I closed my laptop. “I’ll be there soon.” I hurried downstairs to meet Jake.
“Happy Sunday.” He said, handing me a tulip flower.
I smiled and collected the tulip. “You too.”
“Why did you leave yesterday? You didn’t even notify me.”
I gestured to a Chair. “I had to leave.”
“How is your driving lessoning going?” he asked, taking his seat.
I took a deep breath. “Slow and steady. I should be driving by month end.”
“Is that what your teacher told you?”
I shook my head in disagreement. “I am optimistic about it. The hassles of Lagos City traffic is enough to deal with coupled with the long queues for mass transit vehicles. Its better I start riding myself.”
“You’ll be fine. You are a very strong woman, once you start driving full time, you’ll do well.”
I smiled. “Pending that time, I need your help with Dora’s coming-out event, Jake.”
“That word is so 1900.” He replied, with a grin. ‘That’s my Jake!’ I thought. He was lively again.
I grimaced. “What do you reckon I call it, Mr Classic?” I asked.
“Um…will come up with the name later, till then, how’s it gonna be?”
I smiled. “We intend to use the garden. The party is this weekend.”
“Party to plan. Okay, I will get a couple to guys to handle the arrangements and decoration, and since I know Sir Williams has great taste for Wines, I will be ordering French. You can see to the food and just let me have a list of the invited socialites and press, and then you are all set.” He said briskly, as though he had the event all planned in his head.
“Thanks Jacob, I knew I could always count on you.” I replied.
Dad nudged me in the waist. “You know I will always be there for you.”
“There’s something I would like to show you. Let’s go to my room.” I said and led Jake upstairs.
Jake bounced on my bed immediately we got in. “Easy on that Jacob.” I said, turning on my laptop. “Paul sent me his wedding pictures, with that Marie Branson.”
“Let’s see them.” He replied, smiling.
In all honesty, Paul and Marie looked happy. The kisses and smiles were enough to convince anyone and at that moment, I could almost say that Paul had known Marie Branson forever.
“I think he’s happy.” Jake said.
I then stared at Jake. “How did he meet this woman?” I asked.
“Are you interested in knowing the whole story? I must warn you, it’s not the perfect or epic love story, but I think it’s real between them.”
I rolled my eyes. “Let me be the judge. I am all ears.”
“Marie was also on the Body and Soul personal retreat that we attended.” He started.
I immediately cut in. “I knew it, this is a situation of two blind men. Now who’s gonna lead who?”
Jake smiled. “You sound jealous.”
“Jealous? Oh, come on Jacob. I do not see how realistic this event between them is. I cannot call it marriage. I see it as a long term ensnaring bondage. On the other hand, short term, people get divorced in 2-3 weeks. Kim is a perfect example.”
Jake laughed. “You can’t compare Kim Kardashians’s fancy wedding to Paul’s. Paul really wanted to move on with his life, and so did Marie. She is a divorcee, she was very interested in Paul, and they became close along the line.” He paused to catch his breath.
“Let me understand this joke, two people coming out of bad relationships decide to get married after knowing each other for only 2 weeks, is that normal?” I asked. “They don’t even know each other.”
Jake shrugged. “They must have felt that they can’t be worse than the people they know.”
I swallowed. That was deep. Jake had just branded me ‘Bad’ indirectly. I frowned slightly. “Anyways, I know they won’t be happy.”
“I think they will be. Marie is very understanding, and a kind lady.”
I scoffed. “Oh really, yet she got divorced from her previous husband.”
Jake smiled. “Who said a thing about her being married to a man?”
“YUCK!” I could almost puke at a second thought. “You have to be joking, right?”
Jake grinned. “Of course I was kidding.” He replied, laughing.
“Don’t ever pull that one on me again, even as a joke.” I said and closed my laptop.
Jake jumped down from the bed. “Don’t wanna be in your bed for too long.”
“Why is that?” I asked, checking my bed.
He laughed. “You don’t ever grab a thing, do you?” He punched the bed hard. “This is so feminine and will make me sleep in 5 minutes.”
“You look like you can use some sleep.” I replied. “Did you go to church?”
He covered his face. “You know how I feel about ‘God’s society’ I just don’t belong there.”
“Why do think so?”
He yawned. “I Club, I drink…and all the vices, why is he gonna open his house to me. I can’t go there.”
“You need to see Pastor Ben. I think I’ll soon be a regular church-goer.”
He laughed hard. “There you said it, Church goer. I do not want to be a churchgoer. I want to be a better person. Till then, let’s forget the topic.”
“Do you mind joining me for a walk?”
Jake yawned hard again. “I am so tired. Why do you want to take a walk?” he asked, slipping into his Supra.
“It’s good for the body. The sun is a bit down now.” I replied, checking through my window. “It will be a perfect time to enjoy the breeze.”
“I am ready.” He replied, heading for the door.
Jake and I walked down the estate to a lonely and quiet road.
“Darlene.” I heard my name so aggressively.
I turned round to see Daniel. I clutched to Jake. Daniel stood before me with fiery eyes, and a dagger hung carelessly from his waist.
Jake’s eyes blinked. I held on to him firmly. “Stay close, D.” he whispered.
“I have no business with you dude. Let her come to me.”
Jake laughed. “Where do you think you are? This is no Spartacus. This is real life! ”
“Seems like you wanna get arrogant with me,” He pulled the dagger from his belt. “I’d have wished to hurt Dare with this, not you, but since she has a lot of guys who don’t mind taking bullets for her, be my guest.” He replied, holding the dagger firmly.
Jake watched his eyes and hand carefully. It was a lonely street, and if I attempted to run, there might be an ambush.
“You are going to jail, Daniel. This isn’t 100metre.” I shouted from behind Jake, I didn’t have the nerves to look at Daniel’s fierce eyes. It’s true when they say ‘talk is cheap.’
Daniel laughed. “So you think I’ll spare your life to watch me go to jail? Even if I do, I won’t give you the pleasure of seeing that.”
“You are demented! What was my Dad thinking anyways?”
Daniel stepped forward and Jake and I stepped backwards. “Why are you running? You have such a loud mouth; you should be able to take what’s coming to you.” He replied, admiring the dagger.
“Enough of this, twat! It is obvious you are a stalker, and I am not going to let you threaten Darlene’s life, so you have a choice. Drop that Dagger and run from me now.” Jake said.
Daniel stared at him hard. “Never.”
“We will have it your way then.” Jake said stepping forward.
I was scared. I knew my big bear could take on him; my fear was Jake killing him. Jake has actually killed for me before. Well, that’s a story for another day. At this moment, I had a threat. Jake approached Daniel fearlessly. Daniel stuck the dagger out.
“This is no toy, Mr.” Daniel stuttered, stepping back.
Jake was in no mood to discuss. He ducked the dagger and sent Daniel crashing to the graveled floor. He hit Daniel with so much aggression that I feared he might kill him. I rushed to Jake.
“Pleas Jake, let him be.” I shouted, holding Jake’s shirt.
Daniel was in a pool of blood. His face was all red and beaten. He sprawled out in pain, letting out a cry.
“He doesn’t look good.” I said, scared.
Jake sighed. “He was warned.” Jake wiped some blood off his forehead. “Guys like this take away the tranquility of one’s mind.” Jake hissed. “Where do you think you are, Daniel? Miami Vice?”
“I can’t feel my waist.” Daniel cried.
Jake laughed. “It’s right there man.”
“Should we get the medics?” I asked, clenching my fists in fear.
Jake smiled and kicked Daniel in the belly hard. “That’s for scaring my friend.”
“He gets it.” I shouted, holding Jacob back. “He’s in a bad shape Jake, let’s get him to the medics.” I was wearing a worrying look.
Jake laughed. “You worry too much munchkin. Anyways, we don’t have to. Security is approaching us.”
“What is this?” The Security officer asked touching Daniel’s neck.
I sighed. “A case of a chronic stalker that broke the rules and got what he deserved.” I replied, sounding a little confident.
“Are you alright, Ms. Williams?” he asked.
I nodded. “I am fine.”
“I’ll need you both to accompany me to the security post so as to officially document this.” He said.
An ambulance arrived shortly and conveyed Daniel to the clinic, while Jake and I left for the security post.
“Did you have to beat him so bad, Jake?” The C.S.O asked.
Jake smiled. “Considering the fact that he had a dagger and could have killed Darlene, I think I did justice to his pour soul.”
The C.S.O read through a file. “I understand that the court placed a restriction on his movement around Ms. Williams,” he started.
“And he broke it Sir.” I immediately cut in.
The C.S.O closed the file. “I will have a copy of your report filed to the court and maybe we can have Daniel checked into an institution, probably, a solitary prison.” He stood up and gestured at the door. “Sorry for the inconvenience, I’ll have one of my boys drop you off at home if you don’t mind.”
“That won’t be necessary. We’ll walk.” I replied.
Dora was standing akimbo at the gate as we approached. “What war are you fighting?” I asked, with a cynical smile.
“Dad is going to have your head for lunch. He is at the clinic visiting Daniel.” She replied.
I smiled. “Have I officially introduced you to Jake?”
“I don’t think so.” She replied, smiling.
I nodded and turned to Jake. “Meet Dora, my sister.”
“Hi senorita.” He said, taking her hand coolly.
They exchanged greetings with smiles. There was so much warmth around them. “Hearts meets hearts.” I said, breaking off the handshake. “You have been holding her hand for a while, Jake.”
“I didn’t notice. My hand is quite insensitive to touch from the other species.” She interrupted.
I grimaced. “HeHe…that’s funny.” By the tone of my voice, Dora could bet that her joke fell flat, but being the Dora that I know, she would try another joke.
“I’d say you’re jealous. Jake is already warming up to me, I am fun and you are not.” She replied with her teeth all out.
Jake smiled. “I can’t help feeling like Brad Pitt at the moment, two beautiful ladies falling over me. Can a man be more blessed?” he asked, looking at the sky.
“Wow Jake, that’s the biggest joke I have heard in years. Are you really feeling like Brad? I always thought you could do better.” I replied.
Jake widened his eyes. “What are you saying, Williams? Brad Pitt is like the biggest household name. He is an enigma.”
“Yeah yeah…” I replied with a smile. If I didn’t put an end to Jake’s throttle, he could go on and on about all of Brad Pitt’s achievements. Jake, to me is Brad’s biggest fan. Jake knew almost everything about him, well, as much as news and the paparazzi could provide.
Dad pulled up aggressively behind us. “Are you satisfied, Darlene?” he shouted. “Daniel is going to have a surgery.”
“And after that, he is going to Jail.” I added.
Dad hissed. “Never! He said he only came to talk to you about relieving his restriction, and then John Cena here, pounced on him.” He said, eyeballing Jake coldly.
“It turns out Daniel is a liar. He has to be worst after Satan.” I replied, angrily. “I have already filed his report Dad, and there is an evidence of a dagger which he used in threatening me which has his finger prints on it.”
“What hold has this junkie on you, Sir Williams?” Jake asked, smiling.
Dad leaned against his car and inhaled deeply. “I am responsible for Daniel. All I ever wanted was for Darlene and Dora to see him as their brother.”
“Dad, there was no proper introduction. Daniel showed up in my life as a threat.” I replied.
He rubbed his forehead. “Daniel is in a bad shape.” He started. He stared at Jake hard. “You should never have returned to Nigeria, WWE awaits your kind.” He added and tapped him lightly on the back. “I’ll get Daniel out of our lives forever.”
“I know a great rehab facility in the Bahamas, it helps to get the body and soul together.” Jake suggested.
I hissed. “Pay him no mind, Dad. Daniel might return gay.” I interrupted. “That ‘facility’ of Jake’s sent Paul to the altar on Saturday.” I said.
“Paul is married? I thought you were Paul’s girlfriend.” Dad said, surprised.
I shrugged. “We broke up.”
“Darlene, I am sure that you smashed that man’s heart to bits. I have to speak with his father.”
I groaned. “Come on, Dad! Paul is an adult, and so is Daniel. You have to stop worrying about what isn’t really your business.” I said, stressing the statement.
Dad shook his head pitifully. “You know, in my generation we were in awe of our parents. It was like fear and admiration, but now, it’s just the admiration, you ain’t got any respect.”
“Woooaaahh!!! Daddy is speaking like a real nigga.” Jake teased
We all laughed and returned into the house. I felt relaxed, because, Dad had cooled down on his ‘obsession’ for Daniel, well, it seems like it at the moment.
“I have news for you guys.” Dad said, as he opened a bottle of champagne.
I stretched out my wine glass to him and he poured it gently.
“What’s it, Dad?” I asked, sipping my wine.
He smiled. “I want to get married.”
Ever had your wine taste like Vinegar? Mine just did!
…to be continued