Gabriel got back to his room and sat on the bed, ‘I’ve done it, can I sleep now?’ He asked.
He got no response.
He lay down on the bed and thought about what he had just done. The Gabriel he knew will under no circumstance apologise to his wife especially when he knew she was wrong. The force that made him go downstairs to say ‘I’m sorry’ was just compelling and overwhelming, he couldn’t resist. He himself wasn’t sure what exactly it was. He knew close to nothing about the operations of the Holy Spirit and although he had heard it being preached about a number of times in church, he had never experienced it. He closed his eyes and slept.
He saw Sharon building a castle with toy bricks. ‘Sharon, do you need help?’ He asked her.
She turned around, ‘You have no idea. Please, can you assist me?’ She asked.
He walked up to her and joined her in building the castle. As he did, they built it faster and it was bigger than what she built when she was building alone. They laughed and enjoyed each other’s company as they built. Then, from nowhere, someone came and stood between them. The person separated them and scattered what they were building. They stood up and instead of facing the person, they became angry with each other.
‘What is wrong with you, Sharon?’ Gabriel flared up.
‘Why will you ask me what is wrong with me? I was on my own before you came and messed everything up.’ She replied angrily.
They divided the bricks and decided to build two separate castles. The process became tedious and strenuous. Gabriel, out of frustration angrily pulled down Sharon’s castle and Sharon in return looked at his castle and scattered it.
Gabriel woke up. It was a dream. He checked the time; it had been an hour since he slept. He stood up to ease himself. While he was in the toilet, he remembered the dream. ‘What kind of a dream was that? Toy bricks? It made no sense.’ He thought. He finished from the toilet and went back to bed.
The next morning, while at work, he got a call from his boss’ office. His boss, Ms Adetayo, a middle aged woman in her late forties asked him to see her in her office.
‘Good morning ma,’ he greeted her.
‘Gabriel, we’ve gone over this time and again. Drop the ‘ma’. I’m Funke.’ She told him.
‘Ok ma…em… sorry Funke’ he wasn’t used to referring to his colleagues at work on first name basis how much more his boss who was much older than him. The least he could call her was Ms Adetayo.
‘How are you?’ she asked him.
‘I’m very fine thank you ma;’ he had forgotten she just corrected him.
‘We’ll be having a meeting this evening by 5pm. We need to discuss some key issues pertaining to the management and leadership of this organisation. A lot of things have gone wrong and we need to look into them urgently,’ she explained.
Gabriel had no idea what she was talking about. ‘The organisation is doing just fine’, he thought. ‘If I may ask, issues like what ma?’ He needed clarification.
‘Too many to discuss now. We’ll meet at my place to discuss them by 5pm.’ She said.
‘Your place?’ He was taken aback. They had never met at his boss’ place for anything let alone an official meeting. He wasn’t comfortable with the whole idea.
‘Yes, my place. I thought l had sent you the address.’ She said.
‘It’s not that ma; it’s just that I don’t see why we are meeting at your place, of all the places we could possibly meet.’
‘Gabriel, if you have a problem with me being your boss or choosing meeting venues, then let me know. I’m willing to open the doors of my house to you for an official meeting yet you appear so ungrateful,’ she said, a bit upset.
‘No, that’s not what I meant, what I was trying to say is… never mind. You got me wrong.’ He didn’t want her to get upset and subsequently transfer aggression on him. ‘So I and who are having this meeting with you?’
‘Just you and me. It’s a very delicate issue; we shouldn’t involve too many people.’ She told him.
He knew she was up to something. She was not someone that could be trusted when it came to issues of intimacy. From the little he knew about her, she had been married twice and both marriages ended in a divorce. Rumours even had it that the reason why the MD was no longer with his wife was because she found out her husband was having an affair with the notorious Ms Adetayo.
‘Any other thing?’ She asked him.
‘Ma?’ She repeated after him in a questioning tone, with her eyebrows raised.
‘Funke,’ he was forced to say.
‘Alright, in the absence of nothing else, you may leave.’ She told him.
He went back to his desk thinking about what she had said. He wasn’t comfortable one bit. An idea dropped in this mind. He sent a text to his very good friend at work, Mr Collins. He got his reply shortly after and smiled ‘settled’ he said.
At exactly 5pm, he was at Ms Adetayo’s place. He honked and the gateman opened the gate. He drove into the large compound. There were four cars parked under a blue shelter. He parked his car next to a black SUV, one of the five cars he later got to know belonged to his boss.
The gateman led him into the house. It was a cream coloured gigantic mansion. He sat in the living room downstairs and waited for Ms Adetayo.
After sitting for about 10 minutes, Ms Adetayo peeped from the living room upstairs and said, ‘I’ll be down in a jiffy.’
Gabriel turned, looked up and saw her. He hadn’t even noticed there was another living room upstairs because he was backing it.
‘No problem ma,’ he said.
‘Will you ever stop calling me ma?’ He heard her ask but he couldn’t place where the voice was coming from. He waited awhile and saw her approach from behind. She wore a silky flowery robe and held in one hand two wine glasses and in the other hand which she used to hold her robe together, she had a bottle of wine. She looked exactly like the Proverbs 2 woman, described in verses 16 to 19 as the immoral woman and seductress who flatters with her words, who forsakes the companion of her youth and forgets the covenant of her God; her house leads to death and her paths to the dead. None who go to her return neither do they regain the paths of life.
He sat up in his chair.
‘Feel at home,’she said while she placed the cups and bottle of wine on the centre table. She stood directly opposite him, bent over to pour the wine into the glasses and intentionally allowed her cleavage and part of her breast to show.
He kept readjusting his position in his chair as if he was sitting on pins; he could feel his strength leaving him. He tried really hard not to look. He managed to pick his phone from his pocket and quickly sent a text.
‘Is someone calling you?’ She asked as she offered him a glass.
‘No I just wanted to turn off my phone to avoid any distractions,’ he lied and collected the drink, ‘thank you’.
She sat beside him and crossed her legs exposing her thighs. ‘How was your day?’ She asked as she took a sip of wine.
‘I don enter am’, Gabriel thought. ‘If God doesn’t help me today, I’m doomed’. He told himself. ‘My day was fine, it’s just that my mum is around and I was hoping we could start the meeting earlier so I could get home in time to attend to her.’ At this point, he had no idea what he was saying anymore. His mind was already miles away. Flashes of thoughts of him being in bed with his boss began filling his mind. He tried remembering when last he felt aroused or had satisfactory sex. His wife had made him no longer desire it but that moment, he could feel his body come alive again.
‘Isn’t your wife home to take care of your mum?’ She asked and gently rubbed his hair. ‘That’s why she is called a housewife,’ she said in a sassy tone.
‘Can I make use of the toilet?’ he muscled all the strength left in him to ask. He knew where things were heading and if he didn’t do anything about it, he wasn’t going to be happy with himself.
‘It’s to the left of the main door’ she said reluctantly and moved away for him to get up.
Gabriel stood up and went into the toilet. He brought out his phone to call but as soon as he dialled the number, his phone died. ‘No no no you can’t-do this to me’ he said. That was his only chance of escape.
‘Is something wrong?’ he heard Ms Adetayo ask.
‘I’m fine’ he replied. ‘Is she waiting outside the door for me? He wondered. Just as he was about stepping out of the toilet, he heard a horn at the gate. ‘God , please let that be Collins,’ he prayed.
‘I wasn’t expecting anybody.’ Ms Adetayo said.
The gateman knocked on the door and informed her that one Mr Collins was at the gate.
Gabriel had already come out and was standing by the door, besides Ms Adetayo who by now was surprised at the news the gateman brought.
‘Mr Collins?’ she asked in surprise. ‘I’m not expecting him. How did he get the address to my house?’
‘Is it the same Mr Collins from work?’ Gabriel asked as if he didn’t know.
‘It appears so,’ she said disappointed. ‘Let him in’ she told the gateman, turned around and headed upstairs to change her clothing.
Gabriel started dancing.
Ms Adetayo turned back to tell Gabriel something and saw him, ‘What’s going on?’ She asked a bit confused.
‘Mos…mosquitoes’ he stammered. ‘I could hear some hovering around my ears so I was trying to send them away.’ He lied.
‘Oh sorry about that, I thought I told that my useless housekeepers to spray insecticides into the house this morning when I was going to work.’ She said. ‘I’ll be back shortly,’ she told him and she left to go upstairs. She didn’t want Mr Collins to see her dressed that way.
Mr Collins came in and sat down, he greeted Gabriel. They both acted like nothing was planned.
Ms Adetayo came downstairs, she wore a T-shirt and an ankle-length skirt. ‘Mr Collins, I wasn’t expecting you,’ she told him.
‘Yes ma, some things came up at work and I thought it would be best I told you about it as soon as possible so we can act fast.’ Mr Collins explained.
‘Interesting, things like what?’ She asked as she took her seat opposite the two young men who were seated on the three-seater.
‘Hmmmm…ma, there was an incident of theft in the office today. It appears we need to tighten the security system we have. I’m afraid if things continue the way they are, by the end of the year, we will be at a huge loss,’ he paused and then continued ‘also the cleaners have been noticed not to be doing their job properly. Can you imagine that when the representative from Abby Motors came today, he kept complaining about how he could not use the toilet? That’s not all ma, the DSTV. In recent times, I have noticed that it was perpetually left on African Magic Yoruba. I think it’s not fair on those of us who are Igbos and don’t understand Yoruba.’
‘Are you trying to tell me you came all the way to tell me this nonsense?’ She flared up.
‘Ma, I thought it was important we discussed it urgently. I’m sorry if I inconvenienced you.’ Mr Collins said.
‘Why don’t we adjourn all meetings till tomorrow when we get to work. It’s actually getting late.’ Gabriel said and stood up.
Mr Collins got the cue and stood up too, then they walked towards the door.
Ms Adetayo was speechless. The men didn’t even give her a chance to say anything. They opened the door and helped themselves out.
When they got out, they parked their cars and came out to greet each other.
‘Oh boy, your head dey there,’ Gabriel shook Mr Collins and hugged him. ‘Thank you very much, you are a lifesaver.’
‘Anytime my guy. That woman no be woman at all.’
‘I tell you. I don’t know what I would have done if say you no show. I was almost gone mehn,’ Gabriel confessed to him.
‘Na to dey run away from that woman o.’
‘I tell you. Anyhow, we go see tomorrow’ Gabriel hugged him again. They entered their individual cars and drove off.
‘DSTV on African Magic Yoruba! Collins will not kill me.’ Gabriel burst into laughter as he remembered what happened in Ms Adetayo’s house.
When Gabriel got home, he met his mum watching TV.
‘Good evening mummy,’ he greeted her.
‘How are you, my son? How was today? I had this strong burden for you some hours ago, I’ve been praying for you since then.’ She told him.
‘Hmmm, nne (mother) thank you for your prayers o, you won’t believe what happened to me.’ He sat down beside his mother.
‘What happened?’ She asked curiously.
Gabriel went on to tell her everything. Sharon walked in as he was talking. She heard him narrate what happened.
‘Wow, praise God !’ His mother said. ‘You need to be very careful with that woman; don’t give room for the devil to come between you and your wife.’ She looked at both of them. ‘One way the devil tries to destroy homes is through sexual sins. That’s why the Bible says ‘flee’ and not ‘avoid it’ or ‘resist the devil’; you must run away. There is no need to play hide and seek with the devil. Body no be wood o,’ she told them.
Sharon was quiet; she knew she had failed in that regard. She, however, couldn’t care less.
Gabriel remembered the dream he had the day before. ‘It’s not as if God cares about this marriage anyway’, he told himself. He looked at Sharon and noticed something different about her but could not really place it. Something was missing.
‘May God keep your home.’ Mrs Okafor prayed.
‘Amen!’ They both responded, howbeit, very reluctantly.
Gabriel changed the topic of discussion. ‘Have you eaten?’ He asked his mum.
‘Yes, your wife has been really taking care of me. Your food is in the warmer,’ she informed him.
To avoid another lecture from his mum, he decided to remain silent on the fact that he had taken care of himself. ‘Ok ma,’ he said and went upstairs to change and freshen up.
In the room, as he dropped his bag on his side of the bed, he heard something bounced off and fall on the tiled floor. It sounded like a metal. He bent under the bed to check what it was and saw it was his wife’s ring. He picked it up and sat on the bed, ‘so she too has made up her mind, right? Fine. It only makes things easier for me, I don’t want any woman begging me not to leave her’ he thought.
He placed the ring on the dressing table and entered the bathroom to have his bath. When he came out, he met Sharon in the room; ‘I see your mind is made up too,’ he said.
‘Don’t think it’s only you that wants out of this mess,’ she replied harshly. ‘You think I don’t know what you were doing downstairs painting yourself as ‘holier than thou’. See, I really don’t care if you slept with her or if she raped you, that’s your cup of tea.’
‘How will you care when you couldn’t say no to that useless man in the name of one yeye job? How much was the pay you were offered that you had to give your body? Where is the job now sef? You should be ashamed of yourself,’ he told her.
‘You have no right to talk to me like that, Gabriel.’ She said angrily.
‘And if I do? Please, I need peace in my life; just let me be.’ He was tired of repeatedly arguing with her.
‘Who is holding your peace?’ She eyed him and walked out of the room.
Gabriel lay on the bed and forced himself to sleep.
Sharon went back downstairs. Mrs Okafor was still watching TV. ‘I’m already feeling sleeping. Where is Gabriel? Isn’t he going to eat?’ The innocent woman asked with so much concern.
‘I think he is too tired to eat.’ Sharon told her.
‘Eeyah , poor boy, working so hard,’ Mrs Okafor said. ‘Ive noticed we’ve not been having night devotion,’ she told Sharon.
‘Night devotion?’ Sharon could not remember when last they had such. ‘But Gabriel has slept o,’ she told Mrs Okafor.
‘In that case, both of us will do it.’
Sharon was not in the mood one bit. It had been long since she last prayed. She had gradually grown away from God. She was reluctant to partake in the devotion but had no choice.
Mrs Okafor began, ‘Blessed be the name of the Lord, He is worthy to be praised and adored…’
Sharon joined in, ‘…so we lift up holy hands in one accord singing blessed be the name, blessed be the name, blessed be the name of the Lord.’
After a few other songs, Mrs Okafor prayed and they said ‘the grace’.
‘Goodnight ma,’ Sharon said.
‘Make sure you rest well, my daughter.’ Mrs Okafor replied as she stood up and went into her room.
Sharon went into the kitchen to find something to snack on. She was feeling a bit peckish. She opened the fridge, took a cupcake she had bought earlier in the day and poured herself a glass of juice, then went back to the sitting room. She picked the remote to change the channel from where her mother-in-law had left it, but just as she was about to do so, something caught her attention.
She saw a middle-aged couple on TV. They were on a show, being interviewed by a female host. The host introduced them as Mr and Mrs Fadare.
‘Mr and Mrs Fadare have been married for eight years. They have a very interesting story of how they hit the rock bottom of their marriage and were on the verge of a divorce before God intervened and gave them a second chance,’ the host said.
Sharon slowly dropped the remote and paid rapt attention to the show which had already captivated her.
‘So Mr Fadare, we will like to hear from you. What exactly happened?’ The host asked him.
‘Well like you said, it was God and only God,’ Mr Fadare began. ‘My wife and I were worse than enemies. I couldn’t stand her sight. Everything she did or said annoyed me. The feeling was mutual. We fought over any and everything; our marriage was a living hell.’
The host interrupted him, ‘How many years into your marriage was this?’ She asked.
‘About six years. We had everything one would want in a marriage- money, cars, a good house, good jobs; we were blessed with three sons yet we were just not happy with each other. Despite the fact that we were both born again, I started dating other women and sleeping around.’
The host interrupted again, ‘Did your wife know about it?’
Mr Fadare smiled at his wife who smiled back and held his hand, ‘She was fully aware of all that was going on behind those closed doors.’
‘And what did she do?’ The host asked.
‘I think at this point I’ll let her speak,’ Mr Fadare said smiling at his wife.
Mrs Fadare smiled, ‘When I got to know, I was shattered. I told myself, “This is it; I’m done.” I couldn’t take any more of his mess. I spoke to my lawyer and we were already working on the divorce process, then I was involved in an accident. I was on my way home from work that day and our three boys were in the car with me; the oldest sat in the front seat while the other two were at the back. All of a sudden, the brakes stopped working. I tried everything I could to stop the car which was moving at top speed and was about hitting the bus in front. I prayed to God for help; I cried for mercy for my life and the lives of my sons. At that moment, everything I once considered important became of no value. I started to think of what will become my fate if I died. I was born again quite alright but had not been living right; I had just fought with my husband that morning. I didn’t want to die in that state. Then suddenly, “Grrrr, tires screeched. Then Gbammmm, there went a bang as my car finally hit the bus. The sound of metal grinding on metal pierced the hitherto solemn evening. Black smoke billowed into the atmosphere. Then, there was a flash of thick darkness. It seemed like I was dreaming but then I knew I wasn’t asleep; it was deeper than that. I was dead!”
‘Wow!’ The host exclaimed.
‘Serious wow, my sister,’ Mrs Fadare interjected and continued her story. ‘I had no control over what was happening anymore. I saw my body lifeless in the car. I couldn’t tell if my sons were okay or not. I tried calling them but got no response. No one could see or hear me. Then suddenly, I was lifted from the accident scene to a different realm. After a while, I got to this place like an endless passageway. I met a man; he must have been about 7 feet tall and had a huge frame. I couldn’t remember what his face looked like. He called me by my full name ‘Morolake Fadare’. I was scared. He told me he was not pleased with me. He explained to me that he created marriage to be a representative of heaven on earth yet we had turned it into a game of trial and error. I remember the disappointment in his voice when he told me that my home was meant to be a place people come to understand what true love meant but that we had allowed the devil trample it and mess it up.’ She paused and continued, ‘There was this fragrance of pure love emanating from him, as he spoke to me, and filling every crevice of my heart. I can’t forget the joy and gratitude I felt when he told me he was giving me a second chance to make things right and tell the world what he desires our home to be like. He touched me on my shoulder and the next thing I knew was I was back in my body and someone was tapping my shoulder. I cried and asked for my husband. I was still at the accident scene; I saw that my sons were alright. A crowd had gathered and shortly after, two ambulances arrived and took us to the hospital.
My husband rushed to the hospital immediately he heard. I wept when I saw him and I begged him to forgive me. He didn’t understand why until I narrated what had happened. He went on his knees and wept bitterly. We both asked God to forgive us and to give us a new start. We rededicated our lives and marriage to Him. It was a miracle that not only I but my three boys survived the accident. People that saw what happened testified that we all should have died.’
‘Wow, wow, wow, I’m speechless,’ the host said.
Mr Fadare continued, ‘Ever since God did what He did, we promised Him that every time we had the slightest opportunity, we would tell the world how much God is interested in our marriages and how His heart bleeds at failing marriages. The devil is aggressively fighting homes, especially Christian homes, because he knows how important they are in God’s agenda on earth. Children manifest in the society their family virtues. That’s why we need to be so careful and prayerful. God must be the foundation of our homes. Give no room for the devil to divide your home.’
‘Hmmm, very, very true,’ the host said. ‘Thank you very much for taking the bold step to publicly share your experience,’ she appreciated them.
‘We are grateful for the privilege,’ they responded.
Sharon was glued to the TV. The words of the couple pierced through her deeply. She was astonished. It was as if the couple was talking to her directly; the message was so apt. She turned off the TV and as she ruminated on what she had just heard, she could not control the tears that flowed freely down her face. She felt a love she had never experienced before, like the one Mrs Fadare described she felt when that man was speaking with her.
‘I care about this home’, the still small voice said.
Sharon cried the more. ‘Why then have you allowed us go through all this?’ She asked, not sure she was going to get a response.
‘For My glory’, the voice responded.
Sharon did not understand what glory could result from all that had happened to her. She felt a strong urge to ask God for forgiveness. The juice and cake were untouched, just as she had left them. She moved the stool she placed them on aside and went on her knees.
‘Lord, I’m so sorry,’ she wept. ‘I’m sorry for allowing the devil into our midst. I’m sorry for sleeping with Ben. I didn’t realize that by hurting Gabriel, I was also hurting myself but much more, I hurt You.’ She cried hard. ‘Please take the wheel of this marriage and my life. Be the head of all the affairs of my life.’ She remained on her knees a little longer and prayed some more, then she got up.
She sat back in her chair and thought about what had just happened and what she had just asked for. She felt joy and peace. For the first time since they got married, she knew God was in charge. That night, she went to bed a different person.
The next morning, Gabriel woke up and noticed Sharon’s ring which he had kept on the dressing table the previous day was no longer there. ‘Whatever,’ he said and went into the bathroom.
When he came out, he looked closely at Sharon who was still in bed. He noticed that the ring was back on her hand. He was surprised. He went closer to confirm it was the same ring and not another one. It was the same one. He wondered why she was wearing it. He pulled off his own and dropped it on the dressing table, ‘if she had changed her mind, I haven’t’ , he thought.
‘Good morning Gabriel. How was your night?’ He heard Sharon ask.
He turned back surprised. He couldn’t believe his ears.
To be Continued…
What do you think happens next?
Watch Out For Behind Closed Doors Part 5 next week Sunday. Don’t miss it.
Share this post with your friends. It’s gonna be lit!