“That was how I escaped death.” Bobby said regretfully and thankfully.
“That’s interesting.” Steve said sadly.
“It’s no problem again Steve,” Bobby quickly said, tapping his friend on the right shoulder. “It belongs to my past now. I’m now a changed soul.”
Steve smiled and dropped his spoon in his plate of rice in front of him. “I’m happy for you Bobby. I‘m happy your life was spared.”
Bobby, after the exchange of friendly greetings between him and his friend during the one-hour break time at the workshop, had narrated how he was nearly trapped into death by a night girl he took on a weekend journey some months back. Unknown to him, the lady had arranged for her gangs to kidnap him and use him for money rituals but his life was spared as he found favor with the leader of the gang who he had helped as an undergraduate in one of his many benevolent outreaches to universities in the country. This gang leader recognized him and asked his men to release him and let him go without hurting him.
“Steve, “Bobby said smiling at his friend. “That experience still lives with me till today. I would’ve been dead by now. After the event, I took a decision never to have anything to do with prostitutes again.”
“Huuh,” Steve sighed as he watched his friend excitedly put two spoonfuls of rice into his mouth. And, he said to himself. Is my own experience with a prostitute better than Bobby’s?
“Steve,” Bobby cuts short his thought. “I think you’re lucky to have Serena.”
That shocked Steve. “But she’s also a prostitute.” He protested.
“You mean she was also a prostitute.”
“Oh, I’m sorry about that. She was also a…”
“Steve,” Bobby said, smiling again at his friend and cutting him short again. “You’re lucky indeed. There must have been something mysteriously golden in her that made her agree to be your wife in the first place. Real prostitutes are wicked and mean, they won’t abandon their trade for a home and for a man.”
“Yes, my dear friend. Now I believe you when you said you saw the decency beneath the personality of Serena. You were right and you’re still absolutely correct, even though I never really believed you then.”
Steve couldn’t believe his eyes and hears. He has never seen his friend in such a preaching mood before and he has never heard such glorious talks from his friend before. Despite his many warnings to Bobby about his many dangerous adventures, he has always risen stoutly in defense of his actions, and most times, ugly argument scenes had always been created between them. Something, he thought while they allowed some moments of silence between them. Has changed about Bobby. Yes, something great has happened to him. This is not the Bobby I used to know. He filled his cup with cold water from the bottle in front of him on his table and quickly gulp all of it in one fell swoop. I never expected our meeting to go along this route. I never! He said to himself.
“So,” Steve broke the short silence. “How’s your plan for marriage?”
“It’s on ground, my friend.”
“Hope you’re not planning to get married to a prostitute just as I did.”
“I’ll, “Bobby said and smile.“ If only I can find one like your Serena.”
“Common,” Steve said, laughing.” You didn’t even ask about how my marriage is faring. You’ve avoided doing that on phone and now you’re doing the same.”
“Steve,” Bobby Said, pushing aside the plate of rice in front of him and looking straight into his friend’s eyes. “I know it’s likely Serena always returns to her vomit. I know that probably some of her actions get you irritated more often. I know my friend, I know. But one thing is sure; Serena is not one of those wicked prostitutes out there. There’s something special about her. You saw it in the beginning and you must continue to make yourself see it.”
That last statement from Bobby jerked up the strength within Steve and he pushed away the plate of rice in front of him just like his friend did some moments ago. “Bobby,” he said with balls of tears gathering in his eyes.” You’re correct. I love Serena deeply and I’m sure she’s different but …”
“I know,” Bobby said stopping his friend from completing his statement. “You don’t have to tell me all that is left in you. Serena will not be that gold you saw in her initially until she’s thoroughly refined. You know it takes the extra fire to do that. For now, you need to put up with her raw state and help with the refining fire to bring out the beauty you saw in her at the beginning.”
“Huh.” Steve grinned.
“How ‘s,” Bobby said, smiling.” How is your son?”
“He’s fine,” Steve said and tried to help his eyes to roll back the drops of tears that were about to fall from them.
“I hope to get married soon when I find the right lady.”
“Yes, I’m waiting to receive the I.V. soon.”
“We,” Bobby said looking at his wristwatch. “Need to go back to the workshop now. Our break time seems to be over.”
The two good friends stood up from their seats, paid for their food and drinks, and moved hurriedly back to Palmas hotel, venue of the workshop.