Mrs Cole woke up the next day feeling a lot better physically but not much emotionally. She got up and carried out her usual routine. First to the kitchen to boil water for the children to take their bath and next to Bayo’s room to wake him up.
The windows weren’t closed this time around although the room was still untidy with his clothes littered everywhere. His cover cloth had rolled off his body and unlike other times, his pyjamas was on.
His mother observed the changes and hoped it was a positive change that has come to stay. She sat on his bed and tapped him on his shoulder, ‘Bayo, wake up.’He tossed in bed as usual then finally opened his eyes.
‘Mummy, good morning’ He sat up. ‘How are you feeling?’
‘Much better, thank you. Hope you slept well?’ She asked.
‘Yes I did.’ He smiled.
‘The water will soon be hot. Make sure you don’t sleep back.’ She got up from his bed and left the room.
Bayo stood up from the bed because he knew if he remained there, he’d sleep off. He walked round and prayed as he did. He thanked God for the day and committed it into God’s hand. Afterwards, he went to the kitchen with an empty bucket to get hot water.
He met his mother preparing breakfast. He poured the water which had boiled from the electric kettle then filled it up with water from the tap and plugged it for the next person which was most likely Bimbo. As he was about to leave the kitchen, he remembered something; he had a dream. He stopped walking and dropped the bucket of hot water.
‘What is it?’ His mother asked. ‘Are you okay?’ She looked at him with concern filling every of her features, almost abandoning the oat she was preparing
‘I just remembered my dream.’ He turned around to face her.
‘Your dream? Was it good or bad?’ Mrs Cole didn’t really take dreams seriously. She believed them to be figments of people’s imagination or one’s mind’s way of continuing the activities of the day after the person had slept. She hardly saw them as a message or anything of that sort.
‘Good I guess,’ Bayo reminisced on the dream as it became more vivid. ‘I was in a dark cage. My hands and feet were chained. I look so skinny and starved.’
‘Ha! God forbid that is not your portion in Jesus name.’ Mrs Cole immediately rejected the dream. She ignored her “dreams are just what we think” mentality.
‘But something happened. A man walked into the cage, there was so much light surrounding him as he approached. I couldn’t look at his face.’ Bayo gesticulated with his hands.
‘What now happened?’ Mrs Cole completely abandoned the food she was preparing and eagerly waited to hear what happened next.
‘The people that were guarding the cage fell flat on their faces and began to beg for their lives. The man told them he came for me and had no business with them. Immediately, mummy,’ Bayo’s eyes were open wide, ‘the chains fell off. The man stretched his hand towards me and called my full name, “Adebayo”. He told me to get up that I was free.’ He smiled as he recounted his dream.
‘Ehen (really)?’ Mrs Cole felt a surge of emotions. ‘Wow!’
‘Mummy, I think I had that dream because of what happened yesterday.’ Bayo told her; his voice was full of with excitement.
‘What happened?’ Mrs Cole’s brows furrowed as she wondered which of the many things that happened the day before he was referring to.
‘You know, after you caught me, I felt terrible. I told God to help me stop and I promised to be a good boy.’ He told her with a broad smile on his face.
‘God? Where has God being all the while? Where was he when Gboyega almost destroyed my children’s lives?’ She knew there was a God, at least that was what she was brought up to believe. But in recent times she was beginning to believe He had signed off from anything that pertained to the Cole’s Family.
‘Go and have your bath before your water gets cold.’ She changed the subject of discussion. She was definitely not going to go down that path, talking about God.
Mrs Cole resumed what she was doing. She remembered she was to meet with Pastor Gorge by 3pm. She had to ensure she finished all she had to do at work early if she wanted to make it in time. Tuesdays were her busiest day at work because she usually had at least three meetings back to back.
The morning was like most other mornings. Seyi stayed back at home. Mr Cole remained in bed till 9am, then he started getting ready for work. Mrs Cole dropped Bayo and Bimbo in school and went to work.
It was a busy day as she had envisaged. She thought of Emeka times too many to number. She fought the urge she had to call him. She kept hoping he’d call her and every time her phone rang, she was quick to pick it and check the caller’s ID. The third and final meeting for the day ended by 2:20pm. She hurriedly brought her phone out of her bag to check for any missed call from Emeka because all phones always had to be on silence during every meeting. As she checked her phone, there it was- two missed calls from Emeka, 12 minutes ago. She hurried out of the board room where all the meetings were held and went back to her office. She dialed his number on the way to her office. He picked on the second ring.
‘Hi Emeka! ’ She had been dying to hear his voice.
‘Baby.’ Emeka had never called her that in years.
‘Baby? Did he just call me baby?’ She was speechless. She wasn’t expecting that. Things were progressing fast between them. She had gradually stopped being concerned about the fact that they were both married and had separate families. She liked the sound of being called “baby”. It took her many years into the past. The period when things were perfect.
‘How are you doing?’ His voice always had that charm.
‘I’m good. Just finished a meeting. Will soon be leaving the office for church.’ She supported the phone with her shoulder as she packed her laptop and some papers into her laptop bag.
‘Church? You are still a church girl.’ He made gest of her.
Mrs Cole knew what that meant. Back in school, her life revolved round three places; fellowship, lecture hall and her hostel. She however didn’t like the sound of being referred to as a church girl. Not from him. That area of her life had died a long time ago. ‘No, I have a meeting with someone.’ She told him. For some reason, she didn’t want him to know it was the pastor she was going to see. The less people that knew, the better.
‘Okay cool. I just wanted to check on you and be sure you are okay.’
‘I am, thank you. How are you too?’ She asked.
‘I’m missing you.’ He told her plainly. With her, he never beat around the bush.
A wave of heat passed through her body and pockets of sweat immediately appeared on her face. ‘What am I doing? Where are we headed?’ Mrs Cole immediately began to feel uneasy again, her heart began to beat faster. Deep down she knew all this wasn’t right. But her flesh was quickly gaining control and her spirit, on the other hand, grew weaker and weaker. The voice of her conscience was being repeatedly silenced by her. She was letting down her guard and she knew it.
‘Emeka I don’t know if you should say things like this?’ She managed to speak up in a tiny voice.
‘You don’t want me to tell you the truth about how I feel?’ There was an audible smile in his voice. ‘Don’t you miss me?’ He asked her. The smile was gone. He was serious this time.
She knew she did, with everything in her. She had craved to be with him. Even her dream the previous night was proof. He kept appearing in her dream. She didn’t know what to say. ‘Emeka, I have to go now. I’ll talk to you later.’ She ended the call before he could say another word.
She supported herself with the table and guided her steps with her hand till she got to her seat. She threw her body on the black ergonomic chair and held the armrest tight, panting as if she had just seen a ghost. As she reminisced on the call, her phone rang again.
She knew Emeka wouldn’t let the call end like that. She picked the call still panting.
‘Hello, Mrs Cole,’ The male voice at the other end said. ‘Are you okay?’ The person could hear her panting.
Mrs Cole checked the caller’s ID. It was Pastor George. ‘Oh yes, I’m fine, thank you.’ She tried to sound composed and make her breaths less audible.
‘OK, I called to remind you of our meeting by 3:00. I hope you haven’t forgotten?’ He asked.
Mrs Cole looked at her watch. It was 2:45pm. ‘No I haven’t forgotten. It’s just that I will be a bit late. I was held up at work.’ She explained to him.
‘Aright no problem. I’ll be expecting you then.’
‘Thank you sir.’ She ended the call. ‘What does he want to talk to me about? She wasn’t interested. She needed some space in her life. The only reason why she honored his invitation was because she respected him as her pastor and nothing else.
She left the office and arrived church at 3:15. She parked her car and headed for the pastor’s office. The Pastor’s secretary called the intercom of the office. ‘Sir, Mrs Cole is here to see you….okay sir.’ She dropped the receiver. ‘You can go in.’ She pointed at the door leading to the pastor’s office.
Mrs Cole walked to the door and knocked. She heard a distant voice telling her to come in.
She opened the door and entered. The office was air-conditioned and had an automated air freshener that puffed lavender flavoured scent every 30 minutes. His Bible and laptop were opened on his table.
‘Good afternoon sir.’ She said with a smile as she approached his desk.
Pastor George stood up and extended his hand for a handshake. ‘How are you this afternoon?’
‘I’m fine thank you. I’m sorry for coming late.’ She shook his hand.
‘It’s okay. Please have your seat.’ he pointed to one of the two guest chairs opposite his table.
‘Thank you sir,’ She took her seat.
‘Oh please, I thought we have agreed on this. It’s just Ben.’ He smiled.
Mrs Cole smiled but didn’t say anything.
‘Can I offer you anything? A drink or at least water?’ He turned to the fridge by his right.
‘Water is fine, thank you.’ Mrs Cole still wondered why he wanted to see her. She looked at her watch, she had to be at her children’s school by 4:30pm.
Pastor George saw her take a peek at her watch. ‘Are you in a hurry?’ He stood up and placed the bottle of water and a glass cup on the table in front of her.
‘Not exactly, I’m to pick my children by 4:30.’ She told him.
‘No problem, we should be done before then.’ He sat back in his seat. ‘I’m sure you must have been wondering the reason I asked to see you.’ He interlocked his fingers and rested his hands on the table.
Mrs Cole smiled. That was exactly what was on her mind.
To be continued. Read Part 23 Now Here
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