Golden rays of sunlight filter through the slits of the blinds, grazing her ebony cheekbone, where a stray tear drop lingers and glistens. Remorse and shame, like the cool winter breeze, blow over Ochuko where she lies. Tugging the covers, she passes a hand over her cheek and swallows. It has happened again…
Please forgive me, she mutters soundlessly, her back turned to the virile man breathing softly beside her. Just last week, she’d gone to the altar, for what was to be the last time, to surrender her life to Christ in the presence of a large congregation of Believers. This wasn’t supposed to happen again. Please help me, Lord.
A strong arm draws her close, as soft full lips wet her cheeks with heated kisses. He is insatiable. And oh, so desirable. Something lurches in her tummy, anticipation rising with the progression of his long fingers to cup her full bosom. No… No more… She intercepts their path despite her desire for his sensuous touch. She has to do the right thing.
“We have to go to church…” she mutters, swallowing.
A deep sigh. Not this again, he thinks. “Ochi… You know that’s not me.”
Ochuko turns in his arms. She takes a moment to capture his face in her memory. Something tells her their days are numbered. But while she can, she beholds him in admiration and lust.
Those big, dark, hooded eyes, framed with long lashes that look permed, like the low-cut hair crowning his melon-shaped head, hide secrets that she hopes one day to learn. His light brown skin shines like gold in the early morning sun. A rather large Nubian nose sits above an equally large pair of lips. He is not the most handsome man in the world, but God, he is sexy. His full pink lips hide a full set of white teeth that, when exposed in a smile, makes her knees weak every time.
Raising her hand, she touches her favourite part…his hard, clean-shaven jaw, with a slight impression of a cleft. The two dimples on either side of his face as he grins remind her that she’s staring. Heat rises to her cheeks, but she can hardly look away, though she withdraws her hand. Sometimes, she can’t believe he’s hers.
Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers…
Oh, God, it hurts… The thought of losing him cuts like a thousand shards of glass. Please, God, I can’t lose him… “For me, Dotun. For me? Please…”
She watches the rise of his broad shoulders as he heaves another sigh. Their eyes meet, and she wants to drown in the depths of his. Why does God demand so much? Why can’t she love and be loved by this man…? His lips turn in a smile, warming her heart. What she wouldn’t do to stay in this bed with him forever… But she can’t. She has to be true to herself. The least they can do is try.
“Okay. For you…” he mutters, placing a feather-light kiss on her forehead. “I love you…”
Her chest swells with longing and the deepest emotion… “Thank you. I love you too.”
“This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine…”
The choir sings the age-old song as the congregation sings and claps along. Some people are dancing their hearts out, but the lyrics seem to be judging Ochuko. Her light is under a bushel, and she knows it. How she longs to shine and be free like those who sing the song from the depths of their soul. Will she ever be so free?
When the music stops, she settles down beside Dotun, who has been patiently watching others, feeling no desire to sing along himself. He doesn’t hold her hand as he normally does, which Ochuko is both happy and sad about. She tries her best to pay attention as the pastor takes the podium, shouting, “Praise the Lord!”
It seems like the pastor wrote the sermon with her in mind today. Though she has never been to the church before, when he looks into the congregation and their eyes meet for just a moment, she feels like he knows her…that he is speaking directly to her. Convicted, Ochuko looks down before he breaks his gaze. God, what do You want me to do?
“Come out from among them, and be ye separate, says the Lord God of Hosts!” the preacher reads from the Bible. Tears stream down Ochuko’s cheeks. “Touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you. My brothers and sisters, let’s not be double-minded about these things and put our God to the test. Because, certainly, what you will not forsake in obedience to Him will be burnt by the fire…and you along with it.”
Ochuko swallows and looks up, but the pastor is no longer looking in her direction.
“Hey, baby. How was your trip?”
Even though they’d been apart for only two hours, allowing for the short train ride between Manchester and London, Ochuko can hardly believe how much she misses her boyfriend already…
“It was fine. I miss you,” she mutters.
He’d dropped her off at the train station immediately after church, and she won’t be seeing him for another week, when it will be his turn to visit her in London. They hadn’t spoken about the service or about God. She’s still trying to decide what to do about it, but there is no denying a growing gorge between them.
“Me too. So…what you doing now?”
“Just chilling. I might read…”
“Okay. I’ll holla at you later…”
“Okay, dear. Love you…”
“You too, babe.”
The silence lasts for just a moment before her phone rings again. An unknown number. Ochuko picks on the third dial tone.
“Hi, is this Ochuko?”
“Speaking… Who’s this, please?”
“Hi, I’m Amelia. From the Manchester Fellowship… I met you and your boyfriend today…”
“Oh, hi, Amelia.”
“Hi.” Her smile radiates through the connection causing Ochuko to smile too, though nervously. “Don’t worry, I won’t keep you. You probably want to rest from your journey…”
Ochuko nods. “Actually, yes.”
“I’ll be in London on Tuesday. Will you be free for lunch?”
Ochuko swallows. “Sure.”
“That’s great. I’ll probably come with my sister, is that okay?”
“Yes, it’s fine…” But she’s not quite sure what the meeting’s supposed to be about. She’d indicated when she’d filled in the first-timers card that she would be happy with a follow up, she’d just never experienced anything like this. But a calm falls over her, the way it did when she first met Amelia. In her heart, she felt she was the help in answer to her prayer. “No problem.”
“That’s great. I’ll text you when we get to Stratford. Talk soon!”
“Yeah, thanks. Bye.”
Ochuko inhales deeply. It feels like the first clean breath she has had in a very long time.
Continue reading at https://blog.ufuomaee.org/for-the-love-of-god