The sun had already set when Marianna returned home, she was so exhausted after having to drive through long hours in traffic. She entered the house and slumped on the sofa in the sitting room, mouthing the word, ‘water’ when her husband’s relative Cynthia asked her if she needed anything.

Her head pounded hard and she couldn’t begin to imagine what she’d just done. She had just paid some men to beat up her ex and she was terrified at herself. Who is this Marianna? She wondered.

Cynthia brought the water to her and she gulped down three glasses, she felt so drained.

“Auntie…are you okay?” Cynthia asked worriedly.

Marianna nodded and handed the glass back to her. Just then, Ifeanyi walked into the sitting room, he had a worried look on his face.

“Where have you been? I have searched everywhere for you…at the salon, at your fashion shop…everywhere.” He said to her.

“I had to…accompany Patricia somewhere…” She lied.

“Why didn’t you tell me? Your phone’s been switched off too.”

“Low battery…sorry.” She said, getting off the sofa.

“You need to be careful, this is our first pregnancy is four years and I don’t want anything to happen to the baby.”

Marianna nodded and strode towards the stairs.

“That reminds me honey, why did you withdraw a huge amount from the account today?” He asked.

Marianna turned to face him, she didn’t know what to say.

“I saw the bank alert and I was surprised that you need such amount of money. Why didn’t you discuss it with me first before withdrawing?”

“I wanted to…I mean…I had to loan the money to Patricia…she’s been in debt for a while now and I wanted to help her out. Withdrawing the money was a last minute decision because I just …woke up this morning and decided to help her.” She lied.

“Oh…okay, if that’s the reason, then no worries.”

“I’ll make sure she pays us back as soon as possible.”

“No, please…don’t bother her. Let her pay whenever she can.” He said.

“Thanks honey.” She smiled at him and turned around to go up the stairs but his voice stopped her.

“Babe…I’ve noticed that you don’t go out on Friday mornings anymore. Aren’t you still a member of your Women of Faith fellowship?” He asked.

“Of course I am…it’s just that with Anna’s death and all, we’ve decided to hold prayer meetings via WhatsApp group chats. It’s so painful to go to the meeting venue and not see Anna…”

Ifeanyi nods.

“I understand. I hope you guys get back to your prayer fellowship because I can’t explain it but things looked a bit more on the brighter side when you held prayers with the sisters.”

“Excuse me? How?” She asked.

“I mean…it’s hard to explain but whenever I was out on my trips, I felt protected, it always felt like God was watching over me through the prayers you said at the fellowship and whenever I come home, I loved it when I saw you take the time to pray…”

“Honey, are you sure you’re not exaggerating? God is everywhere ooo…even on WhatsApp.” She said.

“Well…I just hope you guys get back together at the fellowship again soon.”

Marianna nodded and made her way out of the sitting room.

 

*******

Patricia sat on the bench in the well-furnished sitting room of what looked like a three bedroomed house. She was scared. This was the first time in her life that she was trying this and she hoped with all her heart that it doesn’t bring down consequences on her head.

A young lady walked in, she gave her a smile and said.

“Welcome, we were expecting you.”

“Thank…thank you.” Patricia said.

“Mother of Love will join you soon. Would you like anything to eat or drink?” The lady asked.

“No…thanks.”

“Oh, please pardon my manners, my name is Agatha Love…”

“It’s nice to meet you Agatha Love, my name is Patricia.”

“You are welcome to our home of love, Patricia. Don’t worry, by the time we have established our friendship, you will add Love to your name.” The lady said with a smile.

Patricia nodded, she didn’t know what to say. At that moment, a woman in her late fifties walked in, she looked radiant in a red and black dress and she had a long red head tie on her head and red earrings. She looked quite scary but she had the most beautiful smile.

“Welcome my love child.” She greeted.

“Meet our mother of Love, here, we call her Love Mother.”

“Good evening Love Mother.” Patricia said.

The woman walked up to Patricia who was seated on a love shaped sofa. She smiled at her and stared at her deeply.

“Can I see your hands my child? Show me your palms.”

Patricia held out her palms and swallowed the bile rising in her throat.

“Hmmm…you have a great love destiny with someone special but he broke your heart. He is about to marry another woman. The wedding is on Saturday right?” Love Mother said.

Patricia nodded hastily, tears welled in her eyes.

“You have been so unlucky in love and have spent many years searching for it but you never found it because you limited yourself.” The woman added.

“Yes…yes ma…” Patricia said.

“Have you paid your registration fee?” The woman asked.

“It’s in my bag.” She said.

“Bring it out and hand it over to Agatha Love…”

Patricia did as Love Mother bid and sat in silence. The Love Mother takes a seat beside her on the love sofa and said.

“What do you want to do to get back your love?” She asked with so much care and concern in her eyes.

“I don’t know…all I know is, I don’t want that wedding to hold.” She sobbed.

Agatha walked up to her with a box of tissue. Patricia took it from her and dabbed her eyes with the tissue. Love Mother looked at Agatha Love and said.

“She is another victim of a broken heart. Please tell her the good news and testimonies of one of our clients.”

Agatha Love clears her throat and speaks.

“When Praise came to us, she was a broken record. She had been cheated upon and had lost her boyfriend because of her carelessness. Love Mother was here as usual and helped wipe the tears from her eyes. We sprinkled on her, the love dust and gave her the love cream and soap and today, she is a happily married woman to the man she loves with all her heart. It doesn’t stop there, her husband lavishes her with everything she wants and doesn’t say no to her requests. He treats her like a queen and literally bows at her feet. Our Praise is no more a woman filled with sadness but now, filled with love. Her new name is Praise Love.”

Patricia listens to Agatha Love’s story with rapt attention.

“We will help you. The wedding will never hold.” Love Mother said to her. “Repeat it after me…the wedding will not hold.”

“The wedding will not hold…” Patricia sniffed.

“Not when I have breath in my body…” Love Mother said.

Patricia repeated the words. The Love Mother stood up and bringing out a kind of sparkly dust which she poured on Patricia’s body while Patricia continued to proclaim the words. When she was done, she said to her.

“I will give you a Love soap, it is the best soap you’ve ever seen and it will help draw your man to you.”

Agatha Love brings out the soap from a box beside them. Love Mother takes the soap and hands it to Patricia.

“You must repeat the words that you repeated while I sprinkled you with the love dust while you have your bath with this soap and once you’re done with your bath, you must call his name thrice.”

Agatha hands over another item to the Love Mother.

“This is the new panties you must wear from today. It is to increase the feeling of love within you and transmit the love to him. Make sure that you are intimate with him so that the bond between the two of you grows stronger.” Love Mother said and hands over three red and black panties to her.

“But…Chuks has stopped picking my calls, he’s even stopped coming to pay me a visit. How can I get to use all these on him?”

“Don’t worry…the love signals have been sent. You will see him soon.” Love Mother said.

As Patricia left the house which was referred to as the Love home, she had a strange feeling of foreboding that her plans might fail.

******

Patricia had just stepped out of her car and was walking towards her flat when she heard someone call her name.

“Patricia.”

She turned to the sound of the voice. She was stunned. Standing right there in her compound was Chuks.

“Chuks!”

“Patricia…I’m sorry…I should never have left you…I am sorry.” He said, closing the short gap between them and pulling her into his arms.

“How could you? You left me…you…left me…”

“I am back in your arms now, Patty…and I promise never to leave you again.”

She looks up at him.

“Really? What of your wedding?”

“To hell with it, I will be here with you on the Saturday of the supposed wedding.” He said.

She smiled so hard and hugged him tight.

“I love you Chuks and I’ve always known you are the one for me…” She sighed.

“Now, why don’t we forget all about the past including the marriage and the heartbreaks? I suggest that you too should do the same so that we can start our lives afresh…anew…like new born babies.”

She hugs him tight again.

“Oh Chuks! This must be a dream…it’s so good to be true…”

 

To be continued…

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