“You’re stressed!” Anna’s husband said as he handed her a bottle of water.

Rosita nodded, her eyes were heavy. Prior to this day, she’d held a personal vigil at her house and had retired to bed at three am only to wake up on time for the Men and Women of Faith fellowship. She’d spent the morning visiting Marianna and Patricia and spent the afternoon at the police station with Marianna, now it was almost midnight and she was in a psychiatric hospital where a good Samaritan had been kind enough to leave Patricia.

They had filled out a form requesting to see her but the nurses had told them to wait, stating that visiting hours wasn’t till morning and that the psychiatrist on duty was checking up on her.

“Who wouldn’t be?” Rosita said softly.

He put a concerned hand on her shoulders and massaged gently. Rosita wanted to sigh in relief, she’d been so tense.

“Thank you…” She said.

“For what?”

“For being here…I can’t imagine what I’d have done without you.” She said.

“You were Anna’s friend, I know she’d have done the same if she were here.” He said.

“I miss her…don’t you miss her?”

“I do…but I try not to dwell on it. I know I’ll see her someday, that’s my consolation really.” He said.

“Do you think…that you’d ever get married again?” She asked.

He sighed and looked at her.

“I have three children…I have responsibilities to be a good father to them. I haven’t thought of remarrying though…”

“I’m glad…” She said with a smile.

He smiled at her.

“You don’t want me to remarry?” He asked.

“It’ll be hard to imagine you with someone else. I mean…you’re still young and quite a catch but I’ll always think of you as Anna’s husband.”

“Well…literally, I am still her husband although death has separated us.” He said.

“I admire you a lot…you are one of the very few men that I respect. I keep wondering if my husband had been in your shoes and I was the one who’d passed away, what would happen? I’m sure that would be his perfect excuse to marry whoever he wants.”

He smiled at her.

“Your husband made a mistake.” He said.

She shook her head.

“He knew what he was doing…he wasn’t forced and neither did she use magic on him.”

“Some men are different from others. A few know what they have and they try so hard not to lose it and some others would gamble the good thing they have away and when they figure out that they’ve taken the wrong path, they begin to regret. He is very lucky because, he came back and met you just the way he left you.”

“Huh?”

“Yes, I mean…you’re not in a relationship with anyone else and you’re even more prayerful than you used to be. The more reason he is lucky because this means you have a more forgiving spirit.”

“My mind tells me not to take him back.” She said.

“You don’t think you can forget what he’s done?” He asked.

“I feel so betrayed. This is a man whom I was ready to lay down my life for. I resigned from my job in order to take care of the home and give him the space to build his career and how did he repay me? He chose a Brazilian weave babe…instead of his family.”

“Do you have something against Brazilian weaves?” He asked with a smile.

She burst out laughing.

“You have a way of making light the situation at hand.” She said.

“Listen Rosita, no one deserves you, no one. The earlier you realize that, the better. Stop placing people at a pedestal you’ve built in your head. Anyone can disappoint you, even your own parents. What am I saying in essence? This is not the first time you’ve complained about having left your job in order to raise your children. From the beginning, the decision to leave your job should have come from your heart. You didn’t need anyone to pressure you to leave it if you didn’t want to. The fact that you decided to be a stay at home mom and raise your children should be a sacrifice you are willing to make as a mother who perhaps want to be there for her kids, it shouldn’t necessarily be because your husband made the decision for you. This is life and there are some decisions we make that need us to play the role of the sacrificial lamb. You can’t keep regretting the decisions you’ve made or they’ll rub off the wrong way. There’s nothing wrong with being a stay at home mom and there’s nothing wrong with being a career woman and raising a family at the same time. If you want to be a working mother, do it because you will get satisfaction from it and if you want to stay at home, do it because that’s what you really want. All you need is to keep praying to God to give you the strength to be good at what you do. And if you decide to go back to your husband, do it because you want to give him a second chance and if you decide not to, then, let it be your choice and not because of pity or pressure. Life’s too short for regrets.”

She looked at him with tears in her eyes and nodded. She was about to speak when the nurse walked to them.

“The doctor will see you now.” She said.

They both got off their seats and made their way to the doctor’s office.

*******

Marianna sat in the prison cell, mosquitoes of different sizes had a feast on her body as she tried to send them away to no avail. If only she’d remained steadfast, she thought. If only she’d not run away from God’s presence, she’d have been able to ask for His mercy. She didn’t know where to begin. She didn’t know how to speak to the God she’d abandoned. Rosita had told her earlier that God is merciful and she knew He was, besides that was what the bible told her but she didn’t know how merciful he’d be to her especially now that she’d ruined her life with the mistakes she had made.

Her husband was lying in the hospital and she had no idea of his state of health. Robert was suing her to court for attempted murder and from what she knew, if she was found guilty, she’d spend a long time in prison. Even if he dropped the charges which she doubts would ever happen, she wasn’t sure that Ifeanyi would forgive her for her wrong.

“Have mercy on me oh Lord, because of your constant love, because of your great mercy, blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. I recognize my faults, I am always conscious of my sins. I have sinned against you, only against you and done what you consider evil. So, you are right in judging me, you are justified in condemning me. I have been evil from the day I was born, from the time I was conceived, I have been sinful. Sincerity and truth are what you require; fill my mind with your wisdom. Remove my sin and I will be clean; wash me and I will be whiter than snow. Let me hear the sounds of joy and gladness and though you have crushed and broken me, I will be happy once again. Close your eyes to my sins and wipe out all my evil…” She whispered the prayers of Psalm 51, over and over again, intent to continue with it till dawn.

 

********

“Well, from all indications, she’s sane…at least for most part but she’s having problems understanding that there’s no Chuks standing beside her.” The psychiatrist said.

“Do you mean that Patricia is normal in all respects but the only problem is that she thinks that Chuks is here with her?” Rosita asked.

“My point exactly.”

“What can we do to solve this?” Anna’s husband asked.

“We’ll conduct some tests and after which, we’ll begin treatment.” The doctor said.

“This is a spiritual problem.” Rosita said to Anna’s husband.

The doctor gave her a disapproving look.

“This is a hospital and we don’t believe in those things. A lot of people have problems with their brains and their families dump them in prayer houses where things become worse.” The doctor pointed.

“Patricia’s case is spiritual.” Rosita said with deep conviction.

“Think what you want. Be my guest.” The doctor said. “If you want to take her out from here, you can do so but know that if she gets worse than this, don’t bring her back here.”

“That’s not what she’s trying to say, doc.” Anna’s husband said to the doctor.

“I understand that most times, the problems for mental patients is from the brain but in this case, Patricia is alright. She just needs to be prayed for.” Rosita insisted.

“Then I can’t help you. I’ll ask the nurse to bring a form for her discharge so that you can take her home.” The doctor said, clearly offended.

“Sure, I just have one favour to ask.” Rosita said.

“What is it?” The doctor asked.

“By the time we’re done with our prayers for her and she’s alright, can I bring her to you so that you can believe that God heals unconditionally?”

The doctor didn’t speak, he picked up his phone and called the nurse.

“What are you doing?” Anna’s husband whispered to her.

“Please send a text message to all the members of the Men and Women of Faith fellowship. It’s time to shake the kingdom of the underworld!” Rosita said.

 

To be continued…

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