This post is dedicated to Zino and Asheadzi.
I am sorry this post is shorter than the usual. I will post the second part tomorrow. Thanks to everyone that reached out to me. Blessings!
First time readers: Episode1
Previous episode: Episode 7
“I thought as much”. Carmen sneered as he opened the door wider for me to come in. He made no effort whatsoever to even help with the bags I had in my hands. Not that it was a lot but at least the gesture would have been appreciated.
I don’t fail to catch the small smile on his face. A smile that is there not because he is happy to see me but because in his mind, he thinks he has won. I am not tempted to hiss at him and scratch off his fine face or pray that he experiences double the pain that he has inflicted on my heart and body. “I am not tempted at all!”
“Ashley!” His firm voice jolts me out of my reverie.
“What is it?” I answer too quick, too loud and almost too rudely.
I feel my old self rise again but I suppress it. “I’m no longer slave to my flesh or mind, I am a child of God, a new creation, the spirit of God dwells in me and by his grace, I have the ability to discipline my body starting from my mind to my mouth”. I declare to myself as Kayla had taught me during one of our numerous conversation.
Me, I don’t want to be like those Christians who wear the jersey but they don’t play in the game. Neither do I want to be like those who shake their head vigorously and chant the name of Jesus repeatedly like a magic charm or like those who attend church religiously and not because they want to consolidate their relationship with God. I want to fight battles and get medals as evidence of victories won here on earth. If heaven is real and eternity is eternity then I had better begin to prepare for it and focus less on the ephemeral called earth.
It had seemed easy to say all of these when in the comfort of Kayla’s faith but harder when alone. I have learnt more about God from Kayla in the past one week than I have learnt in attending church my entire life. “Boring preachers, making God seem boring”.
“A church event should not be the pinnacle of your walk with God. Your relationship with him should”. Kayla had replied when I had grumbled about church and their numerous event, yet no show!
“Ashley I just called you and your mind is off again!” Carmen snaps. He gives a cynical laugh and looks at me. His eyes questioning my sanity. “Are you sure your head was treated well at that hospital? Why is your mind on and off?”
I look at my husband and for the first time and I feel so sorry for him; I feel for the peace and love that he may never have because he has decided to allow the devil and his cohorts build duplexes and take up permanent residence in his heart.
Carmen has inflicted me with physical pain; he has cheated on me, neglected me and made me feel worthless as a woman, mother and wife -inflicting emotional pain on me; He used up our savings to buy cars and expensive gift that I am not privileged to receive from him for various girl friends who don’t even know half of his shit!
“I am sorry Carmen what do you need me for?” I ask in a calm voice despite the harsh thoughts running through my mind. The calmness of my voice shocks me as well as Carmen. It must have shocked him even more because he staggers as if slapped by invincible hands.
He glares at me for a long time and crosses his leg, putting one foot in front of the other before folding his hands over his chest. “I wonder what you have up your sleeves Ashley. Whatever you bring on, be sure that I will be more than ready for you”.
I smile. “My husband”. I drawl to make him uncomfortable “I am now a Christian o”. I say with pride and smiles. “The only thing I have up my sleeves is the holy spirit. He is my extraordinary strategist “
He gives a deep loud throaty laugh, he holds his stomach and tears rolls down his eyes in quick succession. For a minute I am starting to think he would never stop laughing.
He points at me while still holding his tummy. He grips his stomach tight as if preventing a jar of laughing gas from pouring some more into his system.
After what seems like eternity, he stops laughing eventually. “God does not need murderers like you in his kingdom! You better be content staying at the corner of hell with me. At least I’ll be keeping your sorry self some company”. He smirked
I feel a rugged knife twist deep into my heart; slow, fierce and with excruciating pain. I gasp for air as the memory of the children that I had aborted replays in my mind. I am thrown without any caution or warning into memory land where I am laying on the hospital bed, legs wide opened to allow the doctor easy access to use his surgical tools to penetrate and disseminate and cut off the life of the child growing in my womb.
The memory overwhelms me and I begin to taste the bitterness of my wicked deed. Darkness swirl over me leaving me dizzy and lost. My eyes are dried but my heart is in torture. I am thrown in a phase where tears is not needed because it’s not enough to alleviate the pressure and pain trapped in my heart.
I am a murderer today because I allowed myself listen to Carmen when he persuaded me to kill my conscience and kill our children. And even worse when I did it, it was without remorse for I had assumed I was doing it out of love.
I begin to doubt the voice I heard earlier today. The voice that had asked me to leave the comfort of Omolade’s house to my house to meet a devil’s agent who happens to be my husband, Carmen.
“Ashley I am so glad you can hear him speak to you. Don’t worry if he said it, then he will help you. No matter how you feel always know that God will never leave you nor forsake you.” Kayla had said while we were preparing dinner and discussing my decision to go home or call Carmen’s bluff.
Right now as I stand before my husband, the cause of my pain and distress, I don’t feel the presence or even peace of God at all. “God did you push me here only to abandon me?”. I think. I laugh inwardly when my thoughts dawned on me. Before I would never look, think or acknowledge God’s presence now I am asking God a question.
I eye an unremorseful looking Carmen and I make a decision. For tonight o, I will rather fight the battle myself and pray for forgiveness later so I can experience peace again. With that decision in place, I face Carmen to say something sleek and nasty but instead a verse pops in my head.
“For there’s no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus”. I gauge his reaction for a response but Ï get a bored look. The urge to slap his head strong. I feel a strange presence around me, I feel I am speaking to something and not just Carmen. I continue with a boldness that is definitely not from me.
“I can’t be condemned Carmen, I am of Christ! You can have all of hell to yourself! You surely deserve it because you’ve earned it. If you stay at the corner of hell, you will be cheating yourself out of your full inheritance. You deserve every single piece of space that hell has to offer and the very full package that makes hell hell. Useless Man!”
Without waiting for his reaction, I dash into our daughter’s room and quickly lock the door behind me. Tears of regret accompanied with hiccups, catarrh and a massive headache hits me turn by turn without pity.
As if feeling my pain I see Kayla’s call come through. Immediately I hear her voice, I download all that had transpired between I and my hell bound husband. I want her to scold me so that I can feel bad for deciding to block my ear from listening to the gentle voice of the spirit that had asked me to keep quiet. “How can I keep quiet and look like a fool in front of Carmen”. I ask.
“Let us pray”. Kayla’s says instead. I can’t explain the instant peace that floods my heart. I look In my heart for the weight of guilt and condemnation but it’s gone.
“What do I do now? I am in Leah’s room”. I ask with apprehension.
“You will go to your husband, go on your knees if you have to and beg him. Then starting from tomorrow you will pray specific prayers for him”.
“Am I crazy? I can’t do that ooo. Didn’t you hear what I said he said to me?”. I almost scream in shock at Kayla’s suggestion. “He said I will go to hell ooooo…”
“I heard what you said he did, and I also heard what you said to him. Those in glass house do not throw stones Ashley. You can’t expect forgiveness and not give out forgiveness. You deserve to be condemned for what you did in your past but Christ has shown you his grace and mercy. When did you become little Miss perfect that thinks someone else deserves hell?. As you have received his love, you are expected to give back that same love even when it hurts, even when you think the person is undeserving of it. Remember what Christ did for you and where you were before he saved you”
I pause when I think of it. “Kayla it’s cause you’re not married. it’s not easy o”. I grumble.
“Ashley remember you once told me that you don’t want to be like those who wear the Christian jersey but don’t play the game. In the same way, you can’t tell Carmen you’re a Christian if your words and action says otherwise. Don’t you realise that you are in the game already?
“Ashley, you have to decide if you want to continue to play and fight for a medal or step out on the side-lines. Are you just going to wear the Jersey for wearing sake or …….”
I don’t let her finish “okay, okay”. I repeat “I will do as you say”
“You don’t understand. It’s not about me, it’s about …”. She stops all of a sudden .
“Just do what you have to do. I’ll be praying for you”.
“Thanks for the encouragement love. I am grateful. Thanks referee for the ego boosting” I say jokingly. I am back in the game!”
My confidence is boosted but eases out gradually as I think of the task ahead of me. I get the feeling of trepidation crawl over me. Taking deep breathe to calm myself, I painstakingly open the door so the sound doesn’t give my actions away before I gingerly walk to my supposed matrimonial room.
I sigh in great relieve when I see that Carmen is not in the room. I am about to take another deep breath of relief but it get stuck in my throat when I hear the sound of running water.
“Shit! He’s having a bath!”.
Unsure of what to do, I take in the room which is surprisingly very clean. Although Carmen is a neat freak he would never lift up a broom to sweep if I am around but instead would rather complain that I don’t clean the house up to his standard.
“Show me your standard by doing it yourself “. I would scream or say to him in anger. The level of my voice depending on my mood.
I look up to see Carmen staring at me and I gasp in shock taking my eyes off quickly. My heart picks up speed.
He stands at the door of the bathroom, a multitude of water droplets covering his chest. I look up in his eyes and I see a twinkle of mischief in them. Before I get distracted by the sexual hunger gradually creeping over my body, I quickly get on my knees as Kayla suggested.
“Carmen I am sorry for speaking to you in that way. I am sorry for being rude to you”. I stammer. His silence doesn’t help matters. “I promise never to be rude to you. I will honour you with my body and serve you as unto the lord”.
His eyes widen. A conflict of emotion running through them haphazardly.
Several beats passes before he moves slowly towards me. He drops his towel. It lays in a puddle at his feet.
“So you say you’re sorry for speaking to me like that huh?” He ask. I don’t fail to catch the sarcasm in his voice and I wonder what he has up his sleeves.
I bob my head “Yes I am”. I lick my lips in anticipation, it’s been a while….”.I look at the floor so my eyes does not betray my emotions and the yearning need of my body.
Stand up and leave .
I think I am starting to hear the devils voice cause’ I am sure God cannot be the one asking to me leave the presence of my husband’s hot body and the promise of ecstasy to come when our bodies meet.
I ignore the uneasy feeling and stay on my knees waiting for Carmen to decide the next course of action. I am disappointed when he walks away from me and leaves me on my knees just when I am starting to tremble with desire.
Ashley please leave the room, you will come back later.
I hear the desperate plea of my spirit. Because the decision doesn’t seem rational to me I ignore the voice and watch my husband turn off the light.
He walks towards me, pulls me up with both hands. “Lay down”. He says In a husky tone. As if in a trance I obey.
He hesitates over me for a while. I am about to ask what the problem is but he beats me to it. In a flash, my skirt is raised up to my stomach, he opens my legs forcefully, pulls down my panties and thrust into me without mercy or warning.
It takes a millisecond for me to wrap my mind around what is happening. I let out a primordial scream and try to pull him off my body but he is too big, too strong and I cannot contend with the strength of the muscles ripping from his arm.
I resort to pleading. “Carmen please this pain is a lot, let’s try to make this pleasurable” I cry out.
I say all of the right thing to stop Carmen, but he ignores me and continues to hound me. After what seems like eternity, he withdraws from me and stumbles to his side of the bed.
“I had no intention of pleasuring you or myself. Goodnight”. He throws in a husky tone lacking in emotion.
In my pain, I learn the result of disobedience there and then. I learn that when God gives me an instruction it’s because he is looking out for me. I should obey whether it makes sense to me or not.
Never ever will I disregard the voice of God but I will make sure Carmen have a taste of his medicine.
Love is forgiving. I hear my spirit say almost immediately.
Lord I will follow your instructions except on anything relating to Carmen and love.
But I am love
“God why does it have to be so hard”. I cry myself to sleep.
I wake up later at night to find myself wrapped in Carmen’s body. I try to move away when the shock of the pain between my legs remind me of what Carmen had done to me. His firm hand halts my movement.
“You promised to honour me with your body right?” He whispers against my ears
Thanks for reading. This is what happened at the all night I attended on Friday.