Gbenga was eager to hear what she had to say.
Gbemi sighed and looked away. She had never opened up to anyone about her dark past. She kept it away from everyone, even herself. ‘I was five years old’ she paused as she felt tears well up in her eyes.
Gbenga drew nearer and held her hand ‘it’s Ok Gbemi, it’s ok’.
‘My mum worked two jobs in order to make ends meet. She poured out her life for my siblings and I’ she sobbed softly. ‘My older brother, Femi was seven and Bola my baby sister was two’.
‘What of your dad?’ Gbenga asked with kin interest.
‘My father’ she hated the sound of the word. ‘He was hardly ever there for us. He hung out with his friends at the beer parlour all day and came back wasted at night. If he stopped at being a useless man, it would have been okay. That useless man beat up my mother in front of us’ there was rage and anger in her voice. ‘There was nothing she did that he ever appreciated’. She dabbed her tears with the little tissue paper in her hand.
‘That’s really terrible Gbemi, you’ve been through so much’ Gbenga felt so much pity for her.
‘I wish that was all, Gbenga. I really wish that was all’ she said with so much regret. ‘I noticed that terrible man looked at me in a strange way. I couldn’t place it initially. He’ll come back drunk, shout at my siblings and I and then call me into his room. He’ll tell me to take off my dress that he just wanted to look at me and make sure nothing was wrong with me. It kept happening for weeks until one fateful day, he came back around 7pm. Mum wasn’t back from work. He sent my brother to buy something and locked my sister up in our room then he called me into his room’. She cried. He asked me to do the usual and innocently I did. He then started touching me, he carried me and threw me on the bed, his grip was so strong on me. I was scared. I screamed as loud as I could but he covered my mouth with his hand. The next thing I knew, he removed his trouser and her was on top of me. I screamed so loudly for help but there was no one to help me’ Gbemi’s voice became faint.
‘My God’ Gbenga couldn’t believe his ears ‘How could he do such a heartless thing?’
‘That evil man they call my father raped me! He did it without any sense of remorse. He didn’t just do it once but regularly till I was seven. He told me if I told anyone even my mother, the police will arrest me and take me to prison and I’ll die there’.
‘So what made him stop?’
‘My mum couldn’t cater for all of us, she begged her older brother to help her take care of me while she took my sister to our grandparents’
‘Hmmmm thank God, at least you were no longer living with that evil man’
‘My uncle didn’t really take care of me either, I practically served as the maid in the house while my cousins enjoyed themselves. I’d pack their plates after the finish eating and wash their clothes. It was a terrible life. At eleven, I wrote entrance exam into secondary school and thankfully I passed. I got admitted and left for boarding school. That was how that horrible phase of my life ended, no one deserves to suffer the way I did, no one’.
‘I’m so sorry, Gbemi. I wish all this never happened to you’
‘Me too. I grew to hate men with a passion. I didn’t see a need for a man in my life and so back to your question, that’s the reason I’m still single and frankly speaking, I have absolutely no regret because all men are the same; heartless, wicked and evil’. Gbemi was obviously still hurt and had not healed from the havoc done over twenty years ago.
Gbenga wasn’t sure how to come in. He didn’t know if at that point, being a man was a plus or a minus but because he was skillful in dealing with women, he yet again didn’t disappoint. He was silent for a while then said ‘Gbemi, you’ve been terribly hurt by men. I probably would have said worse if I were in your shoes. I can’t say I know what it felt like being molested like that. I don’t’ he said plainly. ‘I’m glad for one thing though’ he paused and waited to see if Gbemi was interested in knowing what that one thing was.
‘What?’ she asked wondering what good could have ever resulted from it.
‘I’m grateful that you met God. He alone knows what you felt through those terrible years’
Gbemi was silent, she wondered why God allowed it in the first place. ‘It’s all in the past now. I’ve moved on’ she was done talking about it. ‘How far with the shawarma?’ she tried to change the topic of discussion.
Gbenga noticed she didn’t want to say more and decided not to push it. He appreciated the fact that she opened up in the first place but he wasn’t surprised. There was just something about him that made women open up to him and even Gbemi wasn’t exempted.
Gbenga went to find out what was causing the delay ‘Isn’t the shawarma ready?’ he asked the Hausa guy.
‘Sorry no vex oga, customer plenty for ground. E don almost ready’.
‘Just hurry up’ he walked back to where Gbemi was. Few minutes later, the shawarma was ready. They ate it with soft drinks, took a stroll round the park and towards evening went back home.
The next day being Sunday, Gbemi went to church, came back and packed for her trip to the next day which was to last until Thursday. She kept telling herself, ‘Gbemi, you will be fine dear, everything will be alright, you have no need to fear, God has assured you everything will be alright’.
That evening, Gbenga came to check on her to know how she was and is she was set for the trip. He said a word of prayer and encouraged her that everything will be fine. Gbemi appreciated his kind gesture; she was already being won over by his gentlemanly and Christian nature. She didn’t believe men like him still existed. She knew she was going to miss him but had to be careful with her feelings. She had been hurt one too many times.
‘What time is your flight?’
‘Wow that’s early. You need to sleep early, so you can get enough rest’ he was so thoughtful.
‘Yeah, I’ll have my bath and sleep soon’ she knew they won’t see till she gets back so she wished he could stay some more.
‘Alright then, I better start going’ he knew she needed all the time she could get.
There was silence.
Gbemi had not really prayed about what she was beginning to feel for the young good looking man. She knew she had to be careful both because of her past and because she didn’t want to be hurt again. The few times she had tried talking to God about him, she felt this uneasiness but couldn’t place it. ‘Thanks for coming around’, she stood up to walk him to the door. Gbenga followed suit ‘I’ll see you when you get back dear’.
‘Bye’ she said and resisted every temptation to be emotional. She locked the door, went in and retired for the night.
She was up really early, by 6am she was ready to leave. She put a call through to an Uber driver and in another 5 minutes, his car was packed downstairs. She dragged her box downstairs and tried not to make noise with it. The ride to the airport was smooth and swift. She sat beside the driver and was quiet throughout as she thought about different things, Gbenga being the most frequently occurring thought that flooded her mind. She needed to place caution on her feelings. She also thought about her trip and wondered how she was going to cope with her boss. She reminded herself of God’s word of assurance.
She arrived at the airport in good time. She placed a call to Mr Kalejaye.
‘I’ll be there in 10 minutes’
It was 7:05am, a female voice through the public address system announced that it was boarding time. She went through the whole checking in process and finally entered the plane yet she had still not sighted her boss. After some 10minutes in the plane, she saw him enter the plane. He wore a grey suit and carried a portable traveling bag. He sighted her.
‘Good morning Miss Johnson’
‘Good morning sir, I was beginning to wonder if you’ll make the flight’ she said with a smile.
‘I was held up in traffic’ he explained ‘thankfully, I got here in good time. I’ll see you when we land. My seat number is 20-C, I believe that’s behind’
‘Yeah it should be, sir. Take care’ she was always polite.
As the plane took off, she said a prayer then brought out a book from her bag. The book, Following God’s Plan for your Life by Kenneth Hagin, was given to her by a Favour when she came visiting the other day. Gbemi was a fast reader. As she graciously chewed the content of the book, her heart was captivated by the introductory paragraph of the fourth chapter.
“Every child of God can learn how to be led by the Holy Spirit. God’s richest blessings await those who follow after His Spirit, instead of being directed by their senses and circumstances”
At that point, she began to wonder if she was guided by God or just her senses in whatever was going on between herself and Gbenga. She read on;
“Learning to be led by the Holy Spirit is of primary importance if you are going to obey God. If you can’t discern what the Lord is saying to your spirit, you will have a difficult time following His plan and purpose for your life. It’s that simple”
Gbemi closed the book and began to meditate on what she had just read. She bowed her head and began to pray in the Spirit asking God to sharpen her sensitivity to know what the Holy Spirit is saying to her per time. If there was any time she needed God’s direction in her life, it was now. ‘Lord shine Your light, I need to know what Gbenga’s role in my life is. If he is from you or not, if he is to be a friend or more?’
She had a caution in her spirit to be careful. But she wasn’t sure if it was meant for Gbenga or the trip.
They landed in SA shortly after. Mr Kalejaye and her took a cab to the hotel. While in the car, he ran through his itinerary with her making sure everything was in check. They got to the hotel and collected the keys to their room which was beside each other.
‘I’ll be having a meeting with Mr Abiodun, the CEO of Abby Motors over lunch by 3pm. Pending that time, you can go and rest. I’ll see you then’.
‘Alright sir’, Gbemi took her bags and went to her room.
As she opened the door to her room, her phone rang. she was sure it was Gbenga. She looked at the caller ID and saw it was an unsaved number.
She picked the call ‘Hello’
‘Hi Gbemi, this is John. Favour told me you would be traveling to South Africa for an official assignment’. John was the coordinator of her group in Bible study the previous week. Some months back, Gbemi got to know that they had a mutual friend, Favour.
‘Oh she did?’ Gbemi wondered why Favour and John discussed her. ‘Yes I did, I just arrived as matter of fact’
‘Oh nice, how was your trip?’
‘It was fine thank you’
‘That’s great, have a blessed stay. I called to find out how you are doing. Take good care or yourself’
‘Thank you very much, I really appreciate it. Bye’
She hung up. ‘Favour is not serious o, is that how she has been telling everybody about my plans. If I catch that girl ehn’ she saved his number on her phone.
The 3pm meeting held as planned as so did every other meeting. The first three days went by with little or no hitches till the last night, Wednesday night.
Mr Kalejaye called Gbemi around 10pm and asked her to bring a document to his room. She was already in her nighty and wondered what was so urgent about the document that couldn’t wait till the next day.
She changed her clothes, picked the document and knocked on Mr Kalejaye’s door.
‘Who is it?’
‘It’s me sir’
‘One minute please’ he said
Gbemi waited outside for some seconds then she heard her boss say ‘the door is open, come in’.
To be continued…
What do you think happens next? Drop a comment and let’s know. What do you think about the story so far, any lessons?
Thanks for reading
Watch Out For Gbemi Part 5 next week Sunday. Don’t miss it.