JUDGE ME NOT - Episode 3

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Nigeria's leading fictional story blog - father, walk away with your money, only a prostitute, die, love, Let me die, Lagos, a flight to New Delhi.

“I…I feel like I have allowed the wants of this world to drive me away from God and in return, He has passed me by.” “I am only a prostitute, I guess, but maybe, God is still speaking to you.” “I know He just spoke to me through you. I can’t believe you are putting yourself through this for the sake of your family, while I am preoccupied with just pleasing my flesh.” “There is always time to start anew. I guess I could say the same for myself, because I so want to get out of this, but…but I don’t know where to go from here or what to do.”

They slept in separate rooms that night. The young man whose name was Okenna dropped Oluchi off in the morning and took her phone number. “What is going on?” Nneka asked her when she returned. “I saw the same car that picked you up last night drop you off this morning. You don’t get emotionally attached to anyone in this game oh!” Nneka stressed. “You dare not do that!” Bimbo, one of the girls in their room stressed. “Some men will try to fool you into believing that love exists and that they are the love of your life so they can sleep with you for free. No way! Men are dogs. Take their money, open your legs and walk away with your money afterwards, period!” Nneka urged her. She thanked them for their advice.

“Are you not working tonight?” Nneka asked her the next night as they trouped to the streets. “No, I don’t feel like it,” Oluchi answered. “I hope you are not thinking about that stupid man that dropped you off!” “No,” Oluchi answered. Oluchi received a call later that night that her father was in a critical condition. By morning, she was on a Young Shall Grow bus back to the East. She met her siblings in the hospital. They were circled around their father who looked even more emaciated than the last time she saw him. “I am glad you are back, Olu. I wanted to see you before I join your mother,” her father said. Oluchi said nothing. She just cried, holding her father’s frail hands.

“Children, I want you all to leave. I want to talk to Oluchi alone,” their father requested. “Where have you been?” he asked her. “Lagos, papa.” “What were you doing there?” She hesitated for a moment. “All sorts of odd jobs. I have to do anything I can to help.” He raised his face and peered into her eyes. “I saw you in bed with multiple men in my sleep last night, Olu. Don’t go back to Lagos. You should rather die…all of us should die than sell your body for money. That sort of money is not worth anything.” She cried even harder, her face hanging shamefully. She could not look her father in the eye. “It is okay my child. You did what you thought was best. Do not do it again, my child. Let me die, okay?” “But how papa? How am I supposed to raise my siblings? I am only nineteen.” “If God takes me, then He will make a way. Do not try to take God’s place, my child.” Oluchi leaned over and hugged him. They both cried quietly in each other’s arms.

Somehow, their father returned back from hospital still hanging to life by a thread. Oluchi began to plot how to open up a small kiosk with the little savings she had racked up in Lagos. A few days after her return to the East, Okenna called her. “I have been trying to reach you,” he said. “I am sorry. I saw your missed calls. A lot was going on here. I returned to the East after receiving a call that my father might be dying.” “How is he doing?” “Not so well. He may die any time.” “Are you coming back to Lagos?” “No. I have decided to take a different route in life. We always have a choice, although some of them are more difficult than others, they tend to pay better down the road. I am going to stay here and see what happens.”

“You are a brave woman. I was wondering if I could see you again.” “Well, I am no coming back to Lagos.” “So, what if I came to see you.” “Hmm! Are you sure you want to do that?” “Leave that choice to me. You just said, we always have a choice.” “If you say so. I am from Ogidi. I am afraid there is no address here, but if you get to Onitsha, I can meet you there.” “Sounds like a plan.” Three days later, Okenna was in Onitsha. Oluchi met him at a restaurant in town. He took a flight to Enugu and then rented a car from Enugu to Onitsha. “So, where are you staying for the night?” “I have a reservation at a hotel in town. I would like to see your father though.” “No, he…he is in a bad state. I am not sure you want to see him.” “Please, I want to.”

They drove into Oluchi’s father’s small compound. The house was an L-shaped three room house of which one of the rooms was used as the living room. The kitchen, toilet and bathroom were detached out-houses made from corrugated iron sheets latching onto a wooden skeleton. After seeing Oluchi’s father’s state, Okenna had tears in his eyes. “So, what are the doctors saying?” he asked her. “They claim they can remove the tumor by surgery, but we can’t afford it and time is ticking away.”

Okenna went outside and made a few calls. “If it is okay by you, I will fly your father to India for treatment. I can take care of his visa in a week and then get him on the plane immediately afterwards. I can fly with him and yourself,” he explained when he returned. “Are you sure?” Oluchi asked in disbelief. “Yes.”

In less than two weeks, they were on a flight to New Delhi. The tumor was removed and almost miraculously, after the initial recovery stage from the surgery, Oluchi’s father began to bounce back. He was able to stand on his feet for the first time in about a year. He would stand on his feet and sing praises to God. He would hug Okenna and thank him and then hug Oluchi and they would both cry and thank God together.

A few weeks later, they returned to Nigeria. Okenna helped Oluchi’s father start up a small business in Onitsha. Her siblings went back to school and she returned to studying as she prepared to write university matriculation examination (JAMB), with a view to achieving her dream of becoming a graduate. She and Okenna began to date officially. Okenna visited the East ever so often while Oluchi travelled to Lagos as much as she could. One year afterwards, she was admitted to the University of Lagos to study Pharmacy. “I passed…I passed!” she shouted to Okenna. She was in Lagos at the time.

She had gone to his office to break the news to him. Some of Okenna’s friends were in the office with his staff too. “You passed?” “Yes, I did!” she announced happily. “I am very thrilled for you, darling. I could not be happier for you,” Okenna said, dropping to his knees. He produced a ring which glimmered scintillatingly. “Oluchi, will you marry me? You saved my soul…You dug me out of a dark and dirty pit I had dug myself into. You brought light into my life at a time when my life was in such a dark place. You showed me the way, through your pains and resilience. You and I know each other at a level that most people will never understand. Nothing would make me happier than to spend the rest of my life with the person that God used to call me back to Himself. Please, will you marry me, my love?”

“Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes, I will marry you, Okenna. I don’t know what to say…I am very excited. I certainly would not be here without you. You mean more than the world to me, my love,” she dropped to her knees too and began to kiss him. “I love him so much. He…He saved my father’s life!!!” “No, God did,” Okenna pointed out. “You allowed Him to use you, my love!” “You allowed God to use you to save my soul. Now, it is all yours, darling!” He lifted her up and swung her around in the air, while she laughed aloud, happily!


Written by:
Victor Chinoo

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Moofyme.com: An African Literary Blog: JUDGE ME NOT - Episode 3
JUDGE ME NOT - Episode 3
Nigeria's leading fictional story blog - father, walk away with your money, only a prostitute, die, love, Let me die, Lagos, a flight to New Delhi.
Moofyme.com: An African Literary Blog
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