It took a while for her to calm down, and when she did, her eyes were swollen red, and her voice shaky. I gently led her to the couch, too scared to misfire verbally, and immediately set about making hot tea for her. I made the tea and sat down as she sipped.

” Thank you, Camille. I am sorry I had to do that in your full glare” she started. I quickly responded, “It’s okay, Ma’am. We all have emotions, and love is a touchy issue”

“Quit the ma’am, will you? I feel old already”. We both laughed. The tea had made her feel better. Setting the cup down, she continued,

“I was brought up an obedient lady and I had never disobeyed my parents. However this action my dad took made me feel violated, hurt and underrated. I found Bernard on Facebook a few months later without his knowledge, and oh, the joy! We caught up on old times and he sent me that picture you saw, with the caption ‘that smile would be brighter with you’. He had not forgotten! He looked more mature with a beard and was almost rounding up his internship, all the while serving in a local church in Honolulu. I printed out the picture and kept it in my purse. You know, there have been times I urged him to move on, but he had responded by saying he had tried to, but no one connected with him the way I did, and if it took him waiting till my father had a change of heart, he would do so. I have had many good men approach me, but, raah, they were not him in the sense that our thought patterns did not match. They were looking at me as trophy to marry and keep at home, and take to public functions. Bernard has been supportive of me, even as a friend since I entered the stock exchange. Truthfully, Camille, I feel like I have lost him and it’s only a matter of time. I feel torn between making my father proud and going after the love of my life. For the first time in my life, I find that one person I can share my all with without being judged, someone who does not feel intimidated by my success, and he’s so far from me”. She looked weak and exhausted.

Placing a hand on her shoulder, I suddenly felt emboldened. “Alberta, do you believe everything happens for a reason?”

She looked at me, and nodded. “But what’s the reason behind all this? I mean, if God brought us together, why is it so difficult for me to be with him? I keep trying to figure out why, but I always end up frustrated”

“Perhaps that’s the issue. We keep trying to figure it all out. In reality, we can’t. I have worked with you, and for you for almost a  year now, and I believe you were not so strong-willed when you started, were you?” She shook her head. I continued, ” I feel this time you guys have been apart was to prepare you both for life. You have made a name for yourself; you’ve mastered the pros and cons of shareholding. Not many people will have that chance in life. You’ve grown stronger, wiser, better, and even more beautiful. If you had gone to Hawaii the moment you finished, maybe Ryan and I might have never known Christ through you the way we did. Probably you and Bernard might have fallen into some temptation of sort. The secret to overcoming bad times comes in focusing on the good times in the bad ones. And you have been doing it all along, but you don’t need to bottle it up. You need to release it all to Him. Remember you taught me about faith, trust and confessing your heart desires before God? I think it’s about time we start doing that again”

-to be continued

Efunnuga Henrietta Adedayo.


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