A SMALL WORLD – SEASON ONE
Copyright © Ufuomaee
DISCLAIMER: Please note that this series contains some sexually explicit content, violence and offensive language. It is not appropriate for children nor an immature and sensitive audience.
I can’t believe that I have been married to my amazing husband for six years now… Everyday, I have to pinch myself, because it is so hard to believe, considering our early beginnings, that we made it this far! I know all the glory belongs to God, but I can’t help but give my hubby some props.
He is a good man, if ever there was one. He’s got such a strength of character about him, that is almost regal. Despite all I put him through. And he is so smart and resourceful, and has been very successful in business. I feel so proud to say that he is my husband!
However, I am sad that I haven’t been able to give him a child. We are still believing in God for one, because I know that I have been forgiven of my past sins and healed from all I went through. But I can’t help but feel guilty that the reason we are not happier right now, is because of me. I wasted so much time, never realising how good I had it, and very nearly threw it all away. I just thank God each day for the man I married, because he never ever makes me feel unworthy of his love…and it has been so amazing being his wife.
Promise was shopping for Valentine cards. She wanted to find the perfect one to convey her love and appreciation to her husband, but they all fell short. A tear ran down her cheek. She had become so emotional since she gave in to Ope’s love. Every hard shell had been broken off, and now, she was just a soft teddy in his arms. She was so much in love with her husband, and still so much in awe of God, and how much He had blessed them.
Last June, Ope had been fortunate to buy a hotel from the notorious sale of Danny Premier Estates’ properties, which had made headlines following his conversion to Christianity. Since he had just acquired the property, and hadn’t done anything with it yet, Danny Akunne had sold it to Ope at the same price he had bought it. That small hotel was just the kind of investment Ope had been looking to make. It had promise, being located at the thriving Ikate area of Lekki, Lagos.
They’d used six months to fix it up and furnish it to their standards, and opened for business at the start of the New Year. Ope thought that it would be great for Promise to make the hotel her own, and run it for their family! She had been overwhelmed with emotion, especially at the faith he was putting in her not to run his investment to the ground. She had no managerial experience or even understanding of the hospitality industry. She had suggested that he get someone else to run it at this early stage, but he had insisted that she could do it, and he would be there to help her run it!
After only a month in business, things were already going well. Promise had nothing else doing, and had actually learned a lot about business, from observing and assisting her husband over the years, that her smarts kicked in, and she easily took charge. It was stressful and hard work, but she was loving it. It certainly helped take her mind off the fact that they were still childless.
They still hadn’t settled on a name, but Danny said he had intended to call it “Lily’s Dream Hotel and Suites”. They liked it too, and had asked if they could use it until they found their own. He seemed pleased by that.
Promise put down the card she had been looking at, and asked the attendant if they had any big blank cards, so she could write her own message inside. The lady said they had just one remaining, and they also offered a calligraphy service. Promise was pleased, and decided to write down her own heartfelt message of love and dedication to her husband. He deserved nothing less.
What will I get Promise for Valentine’s Day? The only thing she really wants is a child… I see it whenever she looks in my eyes. Lord, I know Your timing is just right, but how I wish Promise could be pregnant for Valentine’s Day! It would make us both so happy. But I’m just so happy, Lord, at what You have done and what You are doing in our lives.
Promise was worth waiting for. Thank You for helping me to wait, in those times when I thought it was impossible. We will continue to wait on You to bless our marriage with a child… But even without a child, we praise You, Lord, because we are already blessed and blissfully happy. Thank YOU!
But I still don’t know what to get her for Valentine’s Day… What should I get her, Lord? Do I even need to get her anything..? You know I have never believed in this commercialized holiday, but it means something to women, and I don’t want Promise to feel left out. Please guide my mind and heart to the perfect gift that will serve as a timely reminder of my love for her… Amen.
Ope opened his eyes, after his brief fellowship with God. Several times a day, he stopped to thank God for His blessings, and Promise was number on the list of things he was thankful for. He was also thankful for the brilliant mind that God had given him, that had allowed him to prosper in business.
At forty years old, he had done well for himself, acquiring five companies, and now his first hotel. He was in a position to give his wife whatever she wanted, and she lacked for nothing… Which was why it was hard to think of a gift for her. Maybe he would just take her on a trip? It was just that, now wasn’t a good time for him to travel, and also Promise was just getting acquainted with her responsibilities running their hotel.
She was doing quite well with it. He couldn’t say he was impressed, because he always knew she had it in her. She just hadn’t been given the opportunity to prove herself. And she was easy to teach and learned quickly. Running the hotel together was turning out to be its own gift in disguise, as they grew closer together, and their respect and understanding for each other grew. He loved watching Promise bud into a business woman. He wondered when she would be ready for the next challenge.
Then he wondered how she would feel if she did get pregnant right now, as he had wished. Would she still be able to give herself to running the hotel, or would she feel torn? He sighed. He was assured that when God blessed them with the choice, He would also bless them with the wisdom to make the right decision. As with all things, he settled it by leaving it with God, and thanked God for the privilege to be able to do so.
There was a knock on his door. Ope looked up and said “Come in”. He was surprised to see her. It had been almost four and a half years since he had seen her. Ope smiled and stood up to greet her.
Oh, the years have been good to him. He looks so handsome, even more so than when we met. I wish I could have stayed away, but I had to come to him. I know that he will help me. He is in the position to, and he is such a good man. I just hope his wife won’t mind… I wonder if he ever told her about me?
Cindy swallowed, as she stood looking into Ope’s face. He had some grey hair on the sides of his head that added beauty and wealth to his face. She realised that she was still in love with him. But she had to come. She didn’t have a choice.
Ope embraced her, and she hugged him back. “It has been so long! How are you, Cindy?” he asked, when they had separated.
Cindy gave a small smile. “Happy to see you… How are you, Ope?”
“So very happy to see you!” His words warmed her heart. Was there love behind them too? He retreated to his seat and gestured to the seat in front of his desk. “What brings you here…after all this time?”
“I need your help. Actually, I need a job…” she said, with a sigh, not afraid to dive right in.
Ope nodded. “You got it! Is that all?”
Cindy’s eyes widened. Her shock showed her that she had had a little doubt. She made a sound, which was a cross between a laugh and a sob. “Thank you,” she said, emotionally.
“Are you sure you’re okay?” Ope asked, concerned. Something was definitely wrong. Cindy couldn’t hold his gaze. “Where are you staying?”
“With a friend…”
Ope raised an eyebrow. “What sort of friend?”
“An old friend. She’s still in the business… But I haven’t been. It’s just getting harder and harder not to go back to my old ways. She says I am not contributing enough.”
“Why did you even go and stay with someone like that…in that environment?”
“I was robbed.” Ope looked alarmed. “It’s not what you think. One of my neigbours broke into my room and stole my money from my mattress, and I didn’t know until it was time to pay the rent, and I didn’t have enough. I went to Tricia, because I didn’t want to come back to you for help. I knew you needed me out of your life… I didn’t want to complicate things for you.” Ope nodded in understanding. “But the rent keeps going up, and well, my wage at the Bakery has been the same. I can’t keep it up. I’ve been looking for somewhere else for months…”
“It’s okay. I understand. And I’m sorry about your experience. I wish you had come to me sooner. I could have helped you set up a business or something…”
“No, that would be too much. I would be happy with a job. A catering position, if you have it. In fact, I was quite interested in working in your new hotel…”
“Oh, so you know about that…” Ope smiled.
Cindy nodded, and smiled shyly. Ope stroked his beard, as he thought. He wondered how Promise would feel about having Cindy working for them. He had told her about how they met, and their brief relationship, but hadn’t expressly told her why he had ended their relationship. Only that he had wanted to avoid temptation. Not that he had developed feelings for Cindy. Which he had.
He swallowed. He looked at her pleading eyes, and knew he couldn’t send her away. “We need a Head Cook… Does the position fit?”
Cindy gasped. “Oh, Ope, you’re the best!!! Thank you so much! How can I ever repay you?”
“By serving as unto the Lord. That’s all I require of you. I’m glad you came to me, and I’m glad I can help you!” Ope arose and hugged Cindy again.
As they walked towards the door, a thought occurred to him. “How’s your walk with God?”
Cindy swallowed. She knew he would ask. She smiled and nodded. “It’s been good. I’m still learning to trust…”
“I was really hoping you would have married by now. A woman like you needs a good man.”
“They are not as common as you might imagine. And after meeting you, I have high standards…” Cindy said, looking in his eyes, a look that betrayed her true emotions.
“Ummm…” Ope muttered. He was flattered, but knew that he had to act with wisdom. “Well, there’s no rush. The Lord’s timing is best. You just have to make room in your heart for His provision.”
Cindy nodded, understanding him completely. It wasn’t her desire to come between him and his wife. She respected the fact that he was a good man with Promise. If he became hers, he would no longer be the good man she desired. She hoped Promise now realised how good she had it.
As though reading her thoughts, Ope had a change of heart. “Why don’t I take you to the hotel now, and introduce you to Promise? I’m sure she will be happy to meet you and get you settled in. And you can stay in the Staff Quarters, so you don’t have to be coming and going… That way, you can save on rent too…”
Cindy’s mouth dropped in awe. It just kept getting better and better! Thank God for Ope!
To be continued…
Photo credit: http://www.beyondblackwhite.com
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