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Drifted [Chapter 5]

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Annah woke up to screams. She was sure she heard her name but then, there was no one else in the house with her. She immediately turned on the bed lamp and reached for her phone.

“It’s still mid night. Who could be calling my name at this time of the night?” She soliloquized.

“Annah! Can you hear me? What is this mess you have turned my house into?” the voice was drawing closer to her room.

“Oh crap! Mum is back” she crawled out of bed, rushed on her flip flops and made for the stairs.

“What have you turned my house into? I was gone for less than one day, less than twenty four hours for crying out loud!” her mum raked the moment she saw her.

“And what was it with the loud music? I had to turn it off myself. Are you trying to bring this house down?” she added before Annah got the chance to say anything.

Annah stood speechless for a while. She wasn’t sure where to start. Her mum was already angry. Explaining herself will only be pouring petrol into fire.

“I’m so sorry mum, I didn’t think you will be back before noon. I will clean up immediately.” She finally said and scurried off before her mum could start up another phase of scolding.

She knew it was against the law to beat a child. Even though she could tell that was the only reason her parents never beat her, she sometimes felt it would be better if they did. The rate at which they scolded her was  rising higher every single day and their choice of words sometimes hurt more a lash of the cane.

The breaking Dawn the next day didn’t meet her well. She had spent almost the entire night washing up in the kitchen and putting the house in order that she barely caught enough sleep before her mum’s voice again, woke her up. As expected, it was time for their usual long morning devotion.

She rubbed her eyes as she made her way downstairs. Church service was my 7:30am, just 30 minutes after their devotion. She was certain she wasn’t getting another round of sleep till afternoon.

Sunday ought to be her best day of the week, at least it used to be until she became overwhelmed with the excessive activities. She sighed as she remembered they would still go for fellowship in the evening.

She was beginning to wish her parents, especially her mum, would embark on another trip. The loneliness couldn’t be overemphasized but she was certain she would prefer it to the tension she experienced whenever her parents were home.

“Is this how toxic a Christian home should be? Is this how they all treat their children?” Lots of thoughts ran through her mind as their devotion went on.

As Annah sat in church that day, she couldn’t help but look around the church. The congregation wasn’t different. Same faces, same personalities, in different dresses. But something was different, Annah saw them differently. 

For the first time since she started attending the church, nothing the pastor said caught her attention. She critically scrutinized the members, her focus on the parents.

She was looking for answers, she wanted answers. Were other Christian homes as lovely, peaceful and accommodating as the pastor preaches every Sunday or were they also as hostile as hers?

Did the rest of the children have the same questions as herself, did they feel the way she felt, do they have peace in their homes?

Questions upon questions went through her mind.

Her mum was always quick to suggest the parsonage whenever she needed someone to babysit her. A situation she always managed to wriggle her way out of.

“Was the parsonage habitable? Was the pastor nice? Was his wife accommodating?” 

Lots of questions she needed answers to. 

The sound from the congregation as they stood to their feet distracted Annah, jerking her to the present.

The service had come to an end. She looked at her mum and found her smiling. Majority of the congregation, especially the women had a smile on their faces.

“It must have been a wonderful service” Annah muttered to herself as they headed for the door.

Her mum, as usual, went to greet the pastor and some other key members of the church, keeping Annah and her dad waiting in the car for another ten minutes.

Annah felt her anger rise but there was nothing she could do. Home wasn’t a place she longed for but it was better than staying at the church.

The church, to her was a place filled with pretenders, people accustomed to hiding their wickedness under the carpet of religion.

If she had her way, she wouldn’t want to have anything to do with these people. She had no business going to church in the first place.

She felt drained, angry and exhausted by the time they got home. She ignored her mother’s call for breakfast and went straight to her room, locking the door right behind her.

The little pancake from Saturday morning was her saving grace. She was surprised it hadn’t spoilt. She rushed over it and went straight to bed.

She woke right in time to witness the usual Sunday evening chattery. The view from her window was splendid. It was spring break and everyone went about their various activities, enjoying the marvelous feel of the sun on their skin.

She watched as parents passed with their kids and couples walked to and fro. Some held hands while others made out right in front of her.

“How nice it will be to enjoy the cool evening breeze on a walk like this” she smiled at her window.

She grabbed her camera and took some shots. Within minutes she was out of the house. The view was just too beautiful that she didn’t want to miss any. Her pictures were beginning to tell a story and she didn’t want to miss any part of it.

She knew it was time for fellowship, the very reason she hadn’t been opportuned to grace this beautiful view. She was ready to miss today’s own for something that actually made her happy.

Her mum would be screaming on top of her voice by now but she didn’t care. She had never learned anything useful in her three years of attending “His seeds fellowship” anyways.

She strolled from street to street, taking shots of both people and structures. Everything seemed more beautiful now that people were out on walks. The view of one particular parent with her kid got her drooling.

She couldn’t remember ever having an alone time with her parents not to mention hanging out together. 

For some reason, everyone at home assumed that everyone else was alright. No one ever asks anyone how they were doing nor how they felt, except the usual courtesy in the mornings and when one is sick, respectively.

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5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. SelmaMartin

    September 25, 2021 at 2:21 pm

    Glad you’re back.

    Um… Annah— poor girl. She seems trapped. Help her please. How old is she? Write her a fantasy and get her out of that sad rot.
    Thanks.

    • Dera

      September 25, 2021 at 4:06 pm

      Smiles. Thanks dear. Don’t worry, the story hasn’t ended yet. And, thanks for reading through, I really appreciate you 🥰

      • SelmaMartin

        September 26, 2021 at 2:06 am

        Phew. ☺️ I’ll wait. 😂

  2. Okeoma Ezeaku

    October 19, 2021 at 12:46 pm

    nice one dear, we’re waiting!

    • Dera

      October 20, 2021 at 11:15 pm

      😆
      Don’t worry, the next chapter will be here in no time. Stay tuned!

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This Future ahead[Chapter five]

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photo of woman with stethoscope hanging on the back of her neck

Written by Uche Peace

If you do that, you will be choked. Ha! You don’t even need to wait until you get that job appointment letter before you start walking worthy of your dream profession. You start early. You begin to organize things in your head early enough. You get down to work early enough, that’s the right way to life”


“Hmmm… these words are true” I nodded.


“Now Doctor, balance in the things you do is paramount to life. It doesn’t really makes sense that you are being applauded in your office for your outstanding commitment but your family is deprived of joy because of your lack of commitment, and your relationship with God is at the mercy of your work. Now , I need you to return to your drawing board again and look through your life once more. Write down your responsibilities and arrange them in order of priority. God first, family second, job and then any other thing that you ought to be committed to.

Allocate your time effectively and appropriately to these priorities. Problems comes when you try to rob Peter to pay Paul. You spend time communing with your creator not because you don’t have any other thing to do, but because it is very important for your continuity as a strong Christian and because you love him. You spend time with your family not because there are no more patients to attend to in the hospital, but because you love your family too. I tell you if these are all in check- your relationship with God is flourishing and your family is happy, you will even do more in your place of work; you will be more effective as a Medical Doctor when those other two are intact. I am speaking from experience. God will help you my dear as you look into these things we’ve discussed today and prayerfully work on them”
“Thank you very much Mummy. God bless you richly for me.”


“You’re welcome dear. My regards to your husband. Sammy is really a true son of his father” Mummy laughed.


“Thanks mummy”


“Yeah, on a very serious note, your husband is mature. From the way he handled this issue, I can tell you that. Not all men will handle this matter the way your husband did. Matters like this has brought about infidelity and distrust in families. I am a marriage counselor, you can take my word for it. I have seen things in the past. So my dear, you should thank God for giving you such a God-fearing, reasonable, coordinated and understanding bro as a soul mate’


“Yes ma, I keep God thanking for him” I smiled


“And I will commend you too for setting your heart to make things right again. Not all women will do as you have done. Some ladies will rather ignore their husbands plea. They wouldn’t care whether their home is leaking or not. It’s usually when things have gone beyond clean repair that they come crying for help… But I bless God for you both… so can we pray now? Or do have any other question to ask?”


“No ma, I don’t”


“Ok, let us pray,” we held our hands together, “Dear heavenly father I thank you for the family of my sister. I thank you because you are restoring peace, love and joy in this family. Oh father I ask that you give your daughter the grace and wisdom to set her priorities aright and put her life in order. Give her the strength she needs to handle these responsibilities before her. We thank you father for hearing us. We’ve prayed in Jesus’ name”


“Amen”


I left mummy’s office refreshed and revitalized. Mummy’s words were true and on point. I took my corrections. I re-strategized; I strived for a balanced life. Setting my priorities right, allocating my time aptly to things has been one of my biggest secrets. And now, KNOWING GOD MORE HAS BEEN MY GREATEST DESIRE; A LIFE OF INTIMACY WITH GOD IS THE LIFE WORTHY OF LIVING. Now praying and studying the word does not depend on my feeling; I do them because they are life to me. I have also been doing well at work, you know… much more better than I used to. As for my relationship with my family, it’s been flowers upon flowers.


I am Doctor Angie!

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This Future ahead[Chapter four]

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photo of woman with stethoscope hanging on the back of her neck

Written by Uche Peace

“You are right Sammy, you are very correct.”
“Ehen! So I suggest you speak with her” Sammy suggested
“And that’s exactly what I will do. I’ll find time this week and pay her a visit”
That night, the weight of my negligence pressed down heavily on me. I have been shying away from my responsibilities and there the truth was, staring bitterly at me.


It didn’t take any stress at all to schedule a meeting with Mummy Adaeze. Mummy is a very caring woman. She gave me a warm welcome, and soon enough, we got talking..


“My dear, this issue is not peculiar to you. As a matter of fact, many working class ladies have similar issues- the issue of balance. Now let me shock you, I had similar challenge” Mummy Adaeze admitted.


“You did?”
“Yes I did. When I got married newly I struggled with balancing a lot of things. A lot of things were pressing on me. So many things were demanding my attention at the same time. And you know as a Pastor’s wife, I even have more responsibilities than you know”
“Hmm…”


“Well, it didn’t take me much time to find my feet. I adjusted to my new life with its responsibilities soon enough… Do you know why?”


“No ma” I replied…


“That’s because that challenge did not take me by surprise. This kind of challenge shouldn’t take you by surprise. You should expect them to come and prepare ahead of them. As a single sister and a medical student, I knew a lot would lie on my shoulders in future, so I began my preparations soon enough. That is why I always tell sisters and even brothers to prepare for the future. Prepare for marriage. Marriage is not a small thing ooo, it is not a joking matter..

It’s beyond the butterflies in your belly as a single sister or brother in love. It’s beyond that, my dear. You and I that are married can testify to this. But you see, many of the single brothers and sisters don’t know these things. That is why I sound it like a bell in their ears each time I have the opportunity to do so. And there are those that are aware of this, but have not all really given attention to it. Wisdom is not limited to knowing a thing, it is in applying the facts that you know. You agree with me?”


“Yes ma, I do”


“I tell young people; ‘Envision your future. You want to be a Doctor or a banker and you will also be a wife or a husband, how do you intend combining these? You will also be a parent, you will be someone’s in-law, how do you intend to manage these and other responsilities that will be saddled on your neck in no distant time, and still burn for God?


Sisters, you will be pregnant someday. Have you thought of the weaknesses that come with pregnancy, most especially the challenges of childbirth? I have heard of sisters who allowed their relationship with God to dwindle because they were pregnant or were newly delivered of a baby with the excuse that their baby won’t allow them focus when praying. Different excuses!’


You see, That is why I keep encouraging our youths to build stability in this place of prayer and consistent fellowship with God. One of the benefits is that in the days of adversities, you will have a well within to draw from. It will give you an edge over the devil. But when you’ve not built stability, ordinary pregnancy or a transfer from place of work will knock you off your feet spiritually… My dear, I tell them…. And I will not hesitate to do that every other time. Sometimes I ask them ‘what future do you see? Begin now to organize your life towards that future. PLAN FOR THIS FUTURE AHEAD! You don’t need to wait until the engagement ring is on your finger before you start preparing for motherhood. You don’t need to wait till the day you say “I do” before you begin preparing for fatherhood.

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This Future ahead[Chapter three]

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photo of woman with stethoscope hanging on the back of her neck

Written by Uche Peace

Then Sammy cleared his throat, finally.


“I am not against your work, sweetheart,’ he began. ‘As a matter of fact, I admire the way you’re passionate about your job. But my problem with you is that, you are misplacing your priorities. You have not yet learnt to balance your life as a working class lady that you are. All the time, it’s about your work. Like your family don’t matter much to you or we are second to your job in your list of priorities…”


“don’t talk like that Sammy,” I interrupted


“You are not paying much attention to me and your kid. I play the role of a father and even the role of a mother to our son. And it’s taking a toll on me. You are not always around. Even in the little times you are, you are always busy reading or researching. You are always too busy for my liking. You never even create time for me when I desire your company – not even when I want to share my day’s experiences with you nor when I request that you help Junior with his Assignments. Many times Junior and I have been forced to take indomie or bread or cornflakes, not because we wanted to, but because you were too busy to cook for your family… how fair is that? No, you tell me, how fair is that?’


‘”Oh pleeeaasseee Sammy!”
“I am married but I’m being starved of my wife’s company. Maybe you don’t value the moments we share together…’”


“But you know that’s not true honey” I protested.


“When was the last time we held hands and prayed together? When was the last time we trashed issues together in the place of prayer? These days, we don’t even get to share issues together let alone trashing them in prayer, all because my wife is too busy…”
“Sammy, this is getting to me” I cried.


“I don’t think it’s getting to you as much as it does to me… Maybe you’ve never sat down to ponder on this. I’ve noticed these days that you don’t spend quality time with God again personally. In the days when you try to, you are always in a hurry to go. I’m sure God himself is also complaining. Angie, you are too busy for your husband, too busy for your son and even too busy for God! Is this what you want? No, you answer me, are you okay with this?”


“No I’m not!”, I cried out, ” I don’t know how I got into this mess… I don’t know how things deteriorated to this extent. I never planned for this.. This wasn’t intentional”


“You are right! You never planned for this. You never gave it a priority to learn balance before you got married, bearing in mind that your choice profession is a demanding one. You did not prepare for your future as a Christian, a wife, a mother, a Doctor and even a daughter to your parents. Sweetheart , it’s obvious you did not prepare for this future that has befallen you. Even if you did, it’s clear that your preparation was not thorough..”


“I can’t deny that”


“As much as your work is a very sensitive one, you must learn to manage your life so that no aspect suffers. You must find balance. Your beauty as a woman lies in your ability to put things in order, to keep every area of your life in check. That’s how you command respect. And I know you my love, you can balance these if you truly want to. It’s just that you’ve not actually put these into consideration as you should”


“So what do you suggest I do now?”


“Mentorship” Sammy replied.


“Mentorship?”


“Yes submit yourself to mentorship. You are not above that, you know. Maybe you should speak with someone like Mummy Adaeze, the State Overseer’s wife. She is also a medical Doctor like you but you and I can attest to the fact that she’s doing well in managing other areas of her life- her relationship with God, the Church, her family, her relationship with people. Everything is on check!”

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