Sweet Waters (Part 2)

Sweet Waters
Peter’s eyes never left mine as the tale began.
‘I hated you with a passion for the way you destroyed my happiness with Lovette. I loved that lady like my own flesh. She is your sister so you know what a loving person she was and probably still is. I could never forgive you for making me miss such a worthy treasure. And I vowed to make you suffer. I put aside my Christian principles and vowed to torment you the way you had tormented me. But………’
‘Yes, darling. Go on. I am listening.’ I said, hanging on his every word.
‘But God arrested me.’
‘I knew only God could have done that miracle.’
‘I asked for a transfer from Lagos, just to be away with you. The more I saw you, the more I hated you so I had to leave before I woke up one day and stabbed you. I actually hated you that much. I was sad to break all ties with my son whom I was convinced was mine. Even a blind man could see he was a little copy of me. But I did not want to have anything to do with you.’
‘So you found someone else.’
‘Actually, I did not. I guess I compared every lady I met to Lovette and they did not measure up to her in my eyes. I was scared of meeting another evil woman and decided to free myself from you before I thought of loving again. But I lost my peace the moment I sent the divorce papers. I saw your image everywhere I went. I could not understand it. I was supposed to hate you with a passion. Why was I feeling this deep longing for you? The last straw happened a week before I came to see you.’
‘What happened?’ I asked curiously.
‘I had gone to see my boss and while we were talking, I noticed she paused and started looking at me strangely. I wondered what was wrong with her. Till she asked me a question that made me wish the floor would open and swallow me.’
‘What did she say?’
‘She asked, ‘Who is Angela?’
‘Really? Why did she ask that?’
‘Precisely what I asked her.’
‘So what did she say?’
‘I asked, Angela? Where did you hear that name ma?’
‘You have been calling me Angela ever since you walked into this office.’ She almost screamed at me.
I was embarrassed beyond words and I prepared myself for a query because my boss is a no-nonsense woman. But the most surprising thing happened.’
‘Which is?’
‘My boss said to me: ‘Peter, I have noticed you have been so distracted for the past few weeks. I don’t know who Angela is and I don’t want to pry into your personal life. I want you to take two weeks off and sort out your personal affairs. Remember this: You cannot concentrate on other matters when your emotional life is in tatters.’
‘Thank you ma. I am so sorry ma.’ I apologised as I prepared to leave her office.
I could not believe what I had heard. Mrs Lawson, to give a staff two weeks leave outside the official annual vacation? That was more than a miracle.
‘Effects of tarrying in the war room.’ I said, letting him into my secret.
‘She fired the last shot as I was leaving the office.’
‘What did she say?’
‘Please invite me when you get married to Angela.’
‘Smart Lady!’ I yelled.
I left the office and went back home. I refused to think about the events in the office. The devil was playing tricks on my imagination. I told myself. There was no way I was going back to that evil woman who destroyed her sister’s happiness to satisfy her lustful appetite.
‘I called up Lorna, a lady I once had a couple of dates with and tried to use her to take my thoughts away from you. But the evening turned out to be a disaster as I called her Angela throughout the meeting. She poured a glass of water on me and stormed out of the restaurant where we met for dinner. I was so embarrassed as I walked shamefaced out of the place.’
‘And you still fought against reuniting with me.’  My voice was a mix of pain and nostalgia of past deeds.
‘Yes I did.’ Peter said, avoiding my eyes. ‘I wrestled against my feelings till I could wrestle no more. I heard the voice of God calling me to kneel again before the cross and renew my vows of eternal love. I broke down three nights after I left my office. I asked God to forgive me for straying away from his presence and abandoning my family.
I looked critically at the situation. All I ever did was to blame you for seducing me. But I am not a child. I am a man. A full grown adult. I could have said no. I could have resisted you like the Bible advised and thrown you out of my flat. But I willingly tasted the waters. I admitted my faults and asked God to forgive me for betraying Lovette, for giving in to my fleshly desires, for breaking his commandments and for refusing to take responsibility for my own lack of self control. Like a prodigal son, I came to find you. And here we are. Set to start a new life.’
‘What an amazing journey.’ I said as Peter’s words sank into me.
‘A truly amazing journey.’
A wistful look crept into my eyes. A look that did not escape Peter.
‘What is it dear?’
‘I was just thinking of Lovette.’
‘What about her?’
‘Do you still love her?’ I asked, giving him the full blast of my eyes as I voiced one of the fears that just could not leave me.
‘Lovette is a wonderful lady but she belongs to someone else now. I feel nothing for her now than a sisterly love.’
‘Tell me something Peter.’
‘What is it my love?’ He asked in a voice I could not recognise as his. The only time he used that voice on me was that night where we broke our mutual vows to Lovette as we wallowed in the mire of fleshly lusts.
‘Am I really your love, Peter? Did you come back to me because God asked you to or because you truly love me?’ I looked deep into his eyes, hoping to read traces of deception if any lurked there.
‘Angy, you are my world.’ He held my face in his palms and stared deep into my eyes, with naked affection. ‘I never believed I could feel this way about you but I really do. God has healed our marriage. He has given us a love that transcends the sin we committed. And from now on, we shall only see sweetness.
Sweetness. How aptly his words matched that of Pastor Matthew and Pastor Mildred, the human agents used to bring me to a place of restoration. They would hear the story of the happy ending after ten years of agony. When we returned from our romantic trip.
For now, I had a brand new husband to love.
I looked into a faraway place. Where many women like me struggled, chained to wrong choices they had made. And I prayed earnestly that they experience this sweetness too.
I smiled slowly as the sweet waters of a revived love washed over me.Ify Omeni, Lagos, 26th September 2016.

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