In the morning when she came to him in the bedroom he was already awake and sitting on the edge of the bed, the towel around the back of his neck on his shoulder. Serena had woken up earlier and had gone straight to the kitchen to prepare breakfast and some takeaway packs for her husband for his journey.
“You’re awake?” She asked and he nodded raising his head to look at his wife. He had not slept heavily throughout the night until the small hours of the morning when he fell into a short heavy sleep. His official work trip to Port Harcourt has introduced two big burdens in his heart.
“How’re you dear? He greeted spreading his arm and opening his legs to welcome his wife on his laps.
“I’m fine sweetheart, your breakfast is ready.”
“Oh, thank you.”
“You need to go to the bathroom immediately.”
“Yes, I know.”
“Your bag is also ready too.”
“Double thanks, my dear.” He grabbed her closer to himself, kissed her forehead and then moved his mouth slowly to her mouth.
“Common,“ Serena said disengaging her mouth from her husband’s mouth. “Loverboy, you have a journey and work on your hand today.”
“I know but first thing first.”
“And what’s the first thing?”
“What I’m doing now.”
“Thank you, silly girl.”
Serena stood up from between her husband’s laps and dragged him into the bathroom. “You need to freshen up now.” She said, smiling as her husband stepped into the bathroom to have his bath.
Steve hurriedly took his bath, picked up his brush and pressed the toothpaste on it. As he brushed his teeth, the thought of why he could not sleep throughout the night came back to him. How I wished that the second burden is not there in my mind. Yes, I can live with or tolerate the first burden because I’m leaving my wife for the first time on a trip since we got married but…
He tried to cut off his thought as if to escape the second burden. I, he resumed in his thought. Can’t cut this off because it is real. I’m scared if my wife will be able to stay truthful for the two weeks I’ll be away. He stopped brushing his teeth, dropped the toothbrush and rested on his two hands on the mirror table in front of him. Can Serena stay faithful during my two-week absence; I don’t know. he concluded in his mind.
All through breakfast and the preparation for the trip, Steve’s mind was constantly bombarded by the signals of that scary second burden. He tried to put it off as if it was not there. But the scary burden became more prominent every second he spent with his wife before he embarked on the journey. Can Serena remain faithful during my two weeks’ absence from home? He asked himself again. I believe only time will give a credible or adequate answer and solution to that scary burden.
He, however, tried to hide his fraught feelings from his wife all through the preparation for his journey. Since the ugly event during the first day of their honeymoon; he had tried all he could, not to put Serena under heavy scrutiny or undue punishment or investigations. He also observed how Serena had become livelier and friendlier as a result of his decision.
‘Baby,” said Steve as the taxicab driver ignited the car engine. “Take good care of yourself, I’ll surely miss you.”
“I’ll too,” Serena replied with tears gathering in her eyes.
“Oh stop the tears! I ‘ll be back in two weeks.”
Serena nodded her head and tried to use her hand to stop the tears from rolling down from her eyes.
“Ok sweetheart,” She said, waving her hands.
“Just promise me you will be a good girl.”
“Is that a promise?”
‘Thanks for the promise.” Steve said as if that was the answer and solution to that scary burden that has dominated his mind since the middle of the night. The taxicab driver drove off from the compound.
On the third day after Steve left home, he put a call through to his wife with the office line as he had done on the previous two days since he arrived at Port Harcourt. “Who am I speaking with please.” he asked after a strange female voice picked his call.
“Who do you want to speak with?”
“And who’re you sir.”
“Never mind,” Steve said. “I’m just calling to say hello.”
“I’m Serena‘s friend. She just went out for something. She left her phone behind.”
“Oh,” Steve said trying his best again to hide his identity. “Thank you. I still don’t know who I ‘m speaking with.”
“Ok, thank you.”
Steve hung the phone. The name, Tara sent some shocking waves throughout his body.
Tara was one of Serena’s colleagues in the night business. He met her on one of the days when he was trying to woo Serena. Tara was still actively involved in the business of prostitution and has vowed never to follow the foolish route Serena followed to get married to a man. She had said to Serena when she first informed her of the possibility of leaving the trade and getting married, “You were foolish to take such a decision. You see men are the same. They will do everything to boss you and will not even give you enough money to take care of yourself and enjoy the good things in life. I live and die with this business.“ Steve had not allowed Serena to bring Tara or any of her friends at Allen Avenue to their home. The negative reaction of friends like Tara was what encouraged Serena to keep her friends away from her wedding plans.
This disgusting recollection of Tara’s nasty statement as narrated to him by his wife further aggravated the aches that were now developing in Steve’s body and belly and he felt like using the toilet.
He rushed out of his office to find his way to the toilet. Oh, he said to himself. I hope it’s not what I’m thinking; Tara and Serena in my house. He stopped and turned back in front of the toilet. I don’t think I need the toilet now. I need to convince myself that the second burden that had been in my mind is not real after all. He thought as he sat down in his office. Come to think of it, I was hearing some discussions and noises in the background. That can’t be in my house. He tried to figure out an answer in his mind. And I hope it’s not at Allen Avenue too. That will be a graver sin. He finally said to himself as his body went limp and his mind went dumb.
“And what about if that was Allen Avenue? “ His mind asked him.
“It can’t be.“ he answered himself.
‘But supposing it was at Allen Avenue?”
“That can’t be.”
“But it’s possible.”
“Aaah,” he shuddered. “That would be a costly mistake.”
“Did you say costly mistake?”
“Are you surprised?”
“Yes.” he said to himself trying to shake off the uncomfortable discussion with his mind.
“Why?” his mind kept up the discussion.
“Should that surprise you?”
“A pig should not go back to her vomit.”
“Are you saying Serena is a pig?”
“No no no, I mean…”
“You,” his mind cuts his thought short. “Once said she’s not a pig.”
“Yes, I did.”
“You should know people like Serena will make costly mistakes.”
“I know but going on a visit to Allen Avenue is too costly.”
“Yes too costly. She needs to learn how to put away her harlotry from her sight.”
“Will that happen immediately?”
“I know it takes time but we’ve been married now for 8 months.”
“Don’t you think you need to give her more time?”
“More time… Aah… But she should just find a way to put away her adultery and prostitution from between her breast.”
“What do you intend to do?”
“I,” he answered himself and put his sweating head and face on his table. “Don’t know but she should just learn to stop going after her strange lovers who give her strange bread, water, oil, and drink.”
“Anyway you still need to find out what happened”
That last wise thought suddenly brought Steve back to some level of wisdom and decency. He raised his heavy-haired and wet head from his table, took out his white handkerchief from his pocket, wiped off and cleaned the heavy droplets of sweat that have gathered on his face. I’ve, he said to himself. Not even found out where the location was. Why am I behaving like a judge who passed a judgment without cross-examining the accused? He stood up from his seat and moved towards the empty chair where he dropped the office phone after his call to Serena. A judge who does that surely does not deserve applause, he concluded in his mind.
As Steve traveled back home in a taxi the following week, three days earlier from when he was to return home, he took time to think of what his reaction and action should be when he gets back home as a result of all that happened when he was away which he considered as dangerous trends for their young marriage. He was particularly furious that Serena, again, did not feel apologetic for her actions when he discussed the issue with her on the phone after he spoke on phone with Tara. He was surprised again that Serena never saw anything bad in visiting her friends at the Allen Avenue joint where she had previously lived her life desecrating her womanhood and shamelessly amassing stained money. He felt terribly disturbed.
“Steve, I fear that a pig will always go back to its vomit.” Bobby had said to him on one of their many discussions before his wedding to Serena.
“Well,“ he had replied. “That seems reasonable. But that is when you allow the vomit to still be in place for it to be found by the pig.”
“Ah, pigs will always look for vomit wherever they can find them.”
“Yes,” he had agreed then. “What about when the pig has become a figure who no longer see vomit as an attraction?”
“Steve, I can’t figure out where your confidence is coming from.”
“Oh, come on Bobby,” he had said impatiently.
“Don’t let us go over this issue again. I thought we had talked about this sometimes ago and you’ve even given me your support.”
‘Yes,” Bobby had said. “But you can’t always rule out a second thought.” A pig will always be a pig.”
No, he said to himself leaning backward and resting his back on the car seat as the taxicab entered the street leading to the street where his house was located. My wife is not a pig. There’s no vomit anywhere for her to return to. I refuse to believe any other thought and reality; he had said forcefully to recondition his mind. It’s just that I don’t know why her many mistakes are getting me worked up and distraught every time they happen.
The taxi driver pressed the car brake and stopped the engine just in front of Steve’s house. Steve put a call through to his wife to inform her that he was already at the gate. He paid off the driver, took out his load while his wife opened the gate.
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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