Mike and his family spent the next two weeks feeding a bit better than they did before as Mike used the money he’d gotten from Damien to buy some food stuff in the
house. On Saturday afternoon, the money had run out as the only amount he had
left was five hundred naira.

Micah was climbing the sofas of the house screaming and laughing
with Isabella while Mercy was trying to read a novel. His wife Jennifer was
studying with Emmanuel and everyone seemed engrossed in their different worlds.
Micah and Isabella were jumping about and playing when Micah
pushed Isabella towards the television stand and everything came crashing to
the ground.
Everyone turned to look at them in alarm, Jennifer rushed towards
her children while Mike hurried to them in anger and dragged Micah to beat him.
“I didn’t do anything daddy…I didn’t.” Micah cried.
“Daddy, Micah broke the television.” Isabella screamed out loud as
though everyone thought it was her.
“The two of you are in serious trouble for this! Are you children
cursed? Must things keep going from bad to worse? Now you’ve broken the television
and that’s an extra expense…” Mike shouted, slapping each child.
Micah and Isabella began to cry, each rubbing their cheek sadly.
“I’m sorry daddy…” Isabella said in tears.
“Is your sorry going to repair the television?” Mike screamed.
“Honey please take it easy with them.” His wife pleaded.
“Take what easy? God knows that the little money I have, I’ve
spent on these children. They have drained me emotionally, physically and
mentally and I’m tired.” Mike shouted.
“What did you say? Are you blaming our children for the calamities
that have befallen this family?” His wife asked in anger.
“Yes I am…they are the ones who have helped destroy my life.”
Mike gritted out.
Jennifer stared at her husband in shock, she couldn’t believe what
he was saying.
“Mike, take that back!” She said in anger.
Mike looked at her and saw how angry she was, so he said to his
children.
“Go to your room.”
Micah, Isabella and Emmanuel scampered off, Mercy sat where she
was.
“Mercy, go to your room now!” He said.
“I didn’t do anything wrong, I’ve been reading my novel.” His
thirteen year old daughter said.
“You were here when your younger ones were destroying the house
and scattering the whole place and you couldn’t take initiative as the first
child of this family to do anything about it.” He said.
“How’s that my fault?” Mercy asked.
“Are you talking back at me?” He turned to face her.
Mercy stood up from her chair and grumbled as she stormed out of
the sitting room.
“I hate this house…” She kept repeating.
As soon as she was out of sight, Mike faced his wife.
“I’m sorry…” He said.
“Sometimes, you say things that make me feel like regretting our
marriage. How can you blame your children for our misfortunes?” Jennifer asked.
“I’m sorry darling…it’s just that a lot has been on my mind…I
have no money and all that’s left of the fifty thousand naira that Damien gave
to me is five hundred naira. I don’t know how we’re going to survive the coming
week.”
“God will provide.” His wife said.
“We’ve been waiting on God for the past eight months and we’ve
seen nothing.” Mike said quietly.
“Sister Cecilia in church promised me that she’ll provide some
form of help for us after church service…”
“I’m tired of begging the church for alms.” Mike said.
“You’re being so proud…” She said.
“I’m not being proud, I’m just tired of hand me downs.”
“Sister Charity sent me a text message this morning asking if you
could help her out as a shop keeper at her supermarket. The money is not huge
but it’s something. I believe that gradually, we will get back on our feet.”
“Stop that rubbish talk! You told me about this some hours ago and
I told you that I wasn’t interested, I wonder why you’re bringing this up
again. I’m not ready to answer ‘ma’ to sister Charity.”
His wife looked at him and shrugged.
“What will you do then? I have sent out my CVs to many companies
and I’m still waiting for a reply.” She said.
He nodded and walking up to the sofa, he sat down and tapped his
side for his wife to join him.
“The last time…I spoke to Damien, he told…me something…” He
said to her.
“What did he tell you?”
“He mentioned that he’d help me out to become as big as he
is…but I am yet to know what he’s proposing.” He said.
His wife looked at him.
“I don’t know Damien and even though I’m happy that he helped us
with the sum of fifty thousand naira, my mind doesn’t fully accept him.” She
said.
Damien looked at her in surprise.
“He’s a good man and I’m considering taking him up on his offer.”
“Have you prayed about it?” She asked.
“I will pray about it.” Mike said.
“What’s his offer?” She asked.
“He hasn’t let me in on it yet.” He said.
“If you want we could do a family prayer and I could errm…have
some of the women in my faith group to help us pray about it.”
“Never mind darling…I’ll pray about it myself.” He said looking
at her and taking her hand in his. “I just want to apologise for mouthing bad
words in front of the kids, I just got very angry and frustrated.”
His wife nodded, patted him at the back and walked out of the
sitting room. As soon as she left, Mike brought out his phone and dialled
Damien’s number, he watched it ring and as soon as Damien picked, he ended the
call because he had little call credit on his phone.
His phone began to ring instantly and Mike answered.
“Hello Damien, good afternoon…”
“Mike…how are you?” Damien’s voice boomed.
“I’m sorry I flashed your phone, I don’t have call credit.” Mike
said.
“That’s not a problem. How are you doing? How’s your family?”
“We are fine, we’re just hungry…” Mike said with a rueful smile.
Damien didn’t speak.
“I’m sorry I’m burdening you with my problems but I was
errm…wondering if you are still willing to help me as we spoke the last time
we met.”
“Yes sure…I gave you time to think it through. Have you thought
about it?” He asked.
“Yes…yes…I have…” Mike started.
Jennifer stepped out into the sitting room and saw her husband on
the phone.
“Honey…we’re going to church for the evening programme.”
She said to him, then seeing that he was on the phone, she quickly apologised. “I’m
sorry, I didn’t know you’re on a call…”
Mike quickly got up from the sofa and walked out of the sitting
room and into the guest toilet.
“I’m sorry, my wife came in…” He said into the phone. “I don’t intend to tell her details of the business I’m about to do with you yet.”
“I heard her voice…” Damien said. “I hope you know that this is
a big secret and I need you to guard it with your life. I don’t want your wife
to know anything about it or anyone at all.”
“Yes…I promise not to say a word.” He said.
***************
Jennifer and her children were at the church for service and the
praise and worship session was going on. Mercy closed her eyes and tried to
concentrate on the songs but her mind kept straying to the problems at
hand. She couldn’t pay for her junior WAEC fees and all of her classmates have
paid up. Micah was praying for a miracle to fix the television, Isabella was  afraid that her mother would tell the pastor about her bad
behaviour and Emmanuel was seated on the plastic chair staring at the pastor
with his head cradled in his palms.
As the praise and worship session was going on, the visiting
pastor walked up to Jennifer and her children and said to them.
“Are these your children?” The visiting pastor asked Jennifer.
Jennifer opened her eyes and stared at the pastor.
“Good evening pastor…yes they are.” She said with a smile.
The pastor looked at Emmanuel for a while and sighed.
“How’s your husband?” He asked.
“He’s fine…thank you for asking pastor.”
“I want to pray with you for your children, please make sure you
see me as soon as the service is over.” The pastor said.
Jennifer stared at the pastor in confusion.
“Is there anything wrong pastor?” She asked.
“Make sure you see me after service or you might regret it.” The
pastor said and walked away.

 

To be continued on Thursday…

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