There were concrete steps outside leading to the upper part of the one-story building on Chemist Street, Magodo GRA, Lagos. The concrete steps led to a beautifully designed door on the landing upstairs with a bold inscription on a rectangular wooden plank attached to the middle part of the door. The well-written and decorated inscription showed clearly what the room, this beautiful door led to is used for. As Steve and Serena approached this door, this message of ‘Hey, don’t kill it yet until you’ve talked to us ‘ went a long way to show them what they should expect from their visit to this office.
Steve pressed his hand on the doorknob, turned it, opened the door and stepped back to usher his wife into the reception of Conjugal Peace Home, owned by Mrs. Mary Hamilton, a well-known marriage counselor in the country. A professional to the core and the one who has used the platform of her company to save lots of marriages from collapse.
‘‘You’re welcome, Sir and Ma.” the beautiful and smiling receptionist said in her seated position.
”Thank you.” Steve replied smiling.
‘‘We’re Mr. and Mrs. Steve Davies.”
“You can have your seat,” the receptionist said pointing to the two vacant seats in front of her
“Can I have your printed appointment slip?”
“Oh yes,” Steve said dipping his fingers into the pocket on his shirt.
“Ok, you have an appointment at 1 pm.”
“Yes, we decided to arrive early so that we would not miss the appointment time.”
“Oh, that’s thoughtful of you. You have to stay behind in the guest room until the appointment time.” The receptionist rose from her seated position and led the couple to the waiting room, got them seated and handed over, one to each, two beautiful marriage magazines to them.
“Thank you for your warm hospitality,” Steve said.
“It’s my pleasure sir,” the receptionist replied.” It’s my duty and obligation.”
The two couples opened the magazines in their hands while waiting in the air-conditioned room which had only chairs and tables whose tops were filled with different magazines. Probably this was a deliberate attempt for visiting couples or guests to fix their attention only in the magazines while they wait for their sessions with the counselor.
It worked perfectly on Steve and Serena as they both glued their eyes to the magazines as if the solution to their marital problems were on the pages of those magazines. I, Steve thought. Wonder what’s going through Serena’s mind. She has refused to say a word to me since we left home. He continued to feed his eyes with the letters on the pages of the magazine in his hand. I, he thought. Hope she’s happy with this visit, after all, I did to convince her the other day about the necessity of this. Well, she should be happy about this, after all, she’s the one that needs it most. She has to be fully rehabilitated. Her costly errors are getting me worked up by the day. After all, I gave her the opportunity of a home and a future, she should be grateful to me. He said in his mind still looking keenly inside the pages of the magazine. Or, he thought. Maybe, I should be grateful to her for offering me the opportunity to experience a unique marriage and relationship. Wow! It has been an interesting 8 months of marriage to a prostitute. Oh! I’m sorry, to my wife. I think I’m enjoying it now though I’m also feeling the pains sometimes. I only hope this visit will spark off new experiences in her life and in our marriage. He said in his mind as if he was trying to find a force that will assure him it will. I hope so, he concluded in his mind.
Suddenly, the door of the waiting room opened and the receptionist entered and announced that it was time for them to see the Counselor. She led them to the office of the Counselor.
“How’re you, Sir and Ma?” Mrs. Hamilton said, welcoming the couple to her office with a cheerful smile.
“Good afternoon Madam,” both of them said simultaneously and took their seats in front of the Counselor.
Both of them watched with keen interest as the counselor read through the simple form they filled online when they scheduled their appointment.
“You’re,” Mrs. Hamilton broke the long silence in the room. “Mr. and Mrs. Davies, you’re welcome again to my office.”
“Thank you so much madam,” both couples chorused again.
“Let me inform you that counseling is always helpful. Your life and marriage would always gain lots of benefits from sitting down together for a few sessions with a wise third party. A professional who can make sense of a relationship and encourage two furiously hurt people to listen to each other the way they have not done before. Don’t you think so? ”
Both couples looked at each other after the last statement and then looked at the counselor and shook their heads in agreement.
“Hmmn,” Mrs. Hamilton continued. “I’m sorry for the last statement I made. We always say that to welcome couples into our office and to let them know they may not have to kill their marriages after all. To let them know there are hope and a solution to whatever problem they may have.”
“We understand madam,” Steve and Serena said simultaneously again.
Mrs. Hamilton shook her head and smiled. “Do you know that the two of you have done one unique thing since you came into this office some minutes ago?”
“What’s it ma? The couple asked simultaneously.
“You just did it again,” Mrs. Hamilton said excitedly, stood up from her seat, walked down to a table on one corner of her office and picked up a small dummy figure of a couple in the same uniform. “You’ve given the same response to my greetings and questions since you entered my office some minutes ago. I also observe that you always look at each other’s faces before responding to me.”
“Ooh,” Steve and Serena said and smiled looking at each other’s face. “We didn’t observe that.”
“But I noticed that because I’m a professional and because I believe the two of you are a perfect match for each other.”
Mrs. Hamilton went back to her seat and raised the dummy figure she picked up and pointed her finger to it. “Can you see that this dummy couple is in a uniform? You are just like them. Though you’re not in the same uniform cloth today but your answers and reactions to my greetings and questions have shown that. The loving voice inside you is the same and it should give you the hope and the strength to have a blissful marriage despite the problem. I also observed you always look at each other’s faces before you gave a response or reaction to some of my questions and statements.”
That last statement from the Counselor did much to calm the nerves of Steve and Serena and this was clearly visible to Mrs. Hamilton. The counseling session continued with Mrs. Hamilton having separate 30 minutes sessions with the couple.
“Mr. Davies,” Mrs. Hamilton said after Steve and his wife came into her office for the joint session.” I’ve analyzed the results of the separate sessions I had with both of you, I observed you failed to mention an important event that may be triggering conflict in your marriage.”
Steve was surprised and he adjusted his seat and fixed his eyes on the counselor’s eyes.
“And what is that madam?’
“Don’t,” Mrs. Hamilton said immediately after she observed Steve’s uncomfortable reaction to her last statement. “Get yourself bothered about this, it’s not a problem. She gave me permission to talk about it even though she felt you may not like it.”
It’s,” Steve said trying to regain his composure. “Ok madam, I’ m all hears.”
“Your,” Mrs. Hamilton said smiling. “Wife told me she was a prostitute before you married her and she believes it’s wrong for you to expect her to be the change girl you desired overnight.”
The last statement of Mrs. Hamilton got Steve furious. He never expected Serena to tell Mrs. Hamilton that much. He felt that was a secret his wife would do anything to protect.
Mrs. Hamilton stood up from her seat and picked up a white handkerchief, dipped it into black ink and walked back to her seat.
But, Steve looked at his wife and said in his mind, Serena, I never expected you to bring that up here.
“Oh, that’s okay Mr. Davies.” Mrs. Hamilton said after she noticed how Steve looked at his wife.
“I,” Steve said turning his head to face the Counselor. “Understand that you’re carrying out your professional duties Mrs. Hamilton, but there are some things that are supposed to be kept eternally secret between couples.”
‘And what about if that’s the issue that’s triggering the dispute and instability in the home? ”
“Huuh, ” Steve groaned and stayed speechless.”
“I understand your concern, Mr. Steve. All issues can be discussed with a professional so far it can help the situation at home and bring peace and calmness to the marriage. Talking to a trained third party about this secret issue can go a long way to unlock the rigid and inflexible mindset that each partner may have about the other or the marriage. It facilitates discussions and reminds partners of the positive reasons they first came together.”
Mrs. Hamilton, “Steve said stretching out his right hand to hold her wife’s left hand. “I love my wife for who she is. I took a decision to marry her for who she is. Right from the first day, I saw her, I did not see any sign of prostitution in her though she was deep into it. I knew circumstances and societal pressures turned her into one.I was sure my love and my home will completely pull her out of prostitution. I was sure of that before I chose her as my wife.”
“Are you still sure of that?” Mrs. Hamilton said smiling at Steve.
“I am, madam. I am.”
“That’s nice and thoughtful of you.”
Mrs. Hamilton turned to Serena. “What do you think Mrs. Davies?”
“I,” Serena said with her face turning gloomy. “Believe him. He has shown so much love to me since we got married, the type I’ve never witnessed all my life. Steve is a husband to Cherish; it’s just that I believe his demands are becoming too difficult for me to meet.”
“That’s the word,” Mrs. Hamilton said suddenly after Serena’s last statement. “What do you think about that Mr. Davies?”
Steve released the hand of his wife and drew her to himself from her seating position beside him wrapping his right arm around her neck. “Maybe madam,” he said. “Maybe I expected her to change quickly. Maybe I’m putting too much pressure on her. Maybe my demands on her are weighing her down and making her commit more mistakes. Maybe…”
“That’s ok Mr. Davies.” Mrs. Hamilton said cutting short Steve’s emotional statement.
“But, “Steve continued. “I want her for myself. I want the whole of her heart and the whole of her being. I want to be the only rose in her garden of flowers. I’m jealous for her. I ‘m…”
“But you’ve got the whole of her Mister.” Mrs. Hamilton said cutting Steve Short again.
“Not yet Mrs. Hamilton. Not yet.”
“She’s married to you. With more patience, you will surely get all you want of her.”
“I believe you,” Steve said now looking in the direction of his wife.
Mrs. Hamilton took the stained white cloth from where she dropped it on her table and held it up so that the couple could see it. “Mr. Davies, you saw me when I picked up this handkerchief. It was white initially but got stained by the ink I put on it.”
“Yea,” Steve said nodding his head and still holding his wife firmly by her right shoulder.
“You know that the ink stain must be removed before the wife handkerchief can retain its whiteness.
“Yea.” Both of them nodded their heads at the same time.
“It’ll take an extra force, extra patience, and extra diligence, an extra carefulness, an extra love to remove this ink stain permanently because it’s a grievous stain.”
Both couples nodded their heads in agreement again.
“Mr. Davies,” Mrs. Hamilton said smiling. “You can remove the stain from your wife but you need all the extras I’ve mentioned and more.”
“Yea,” Steve nodded his head in agreement.
“Until you put in the extras, the stains remained and you’ll be unable to help your wife or have the whole of her for yourself.”
Mrs. Hamilton dropped the stained handkerchief and turned her face to look at both couples at the same time.
“Both,” she continued. “Of you must give extra commitment to this marriage or else it will fade out and die. You must learn each other’s vulnerabilities and learn how to take responsibilities.”
The Counselor ended the session for that day and gave an assignment to the couple to be submitted on the next appointment day.
Another Christian Novel: Thorns of Rose
A true-life story of a Christian man and husband who endured and fought off violent and horrible spiritual battles with a wife who was a principal agent from the pit of hell. This story, told in a fictional form, is actually a true-life story and it reveals how principal agents of the devil are finding their ways into the bedrooms, home, and marriages of unsuspecting Christian men. It is a must-read.
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