The ensuing days had been eventful. Chioma hadn’t been able to tell her mother about the new developments with Bade. Every time she wanted to, Florence had been either too tired or too busy in her room with office files.
Every new day brought new experiences with Bade. It had been six days since the day she kissed him. It seemed they were progressing but at the slow pace. She had done her best to stay away from home as often as possible, seeking reasons to be away from him. The last time they had been alone, the previous day, he had asked her for more than kissing. She had assented. She couldn’t believe she was doing all that but could not think of a way out. She dreaded the day he would ask her to go all the way. Taking a tour of her body was debasing enough; she couldn’t imagine allowing him go any further.
Chioma knew all of it was wrong but felt Bade’s happiness was her responsibility. He always baited her with words like, ‘you would allow me if you love me’, ‘you would let me do it if you trust me’, ‘I’ll never become a Christian if you don’t let me. It will prove you don’t love me and God doesn’t love me too.’
And all in the bid to speak for God, to defend herself and her mum, and to show him love, she would give in to his demands. But deep within, she began to feel dirty and guilty. Her commitment to the Y4C choir waned. She wasn’t a happy and confident girl like she had always being. She couldn’t even look Femi in the eye again whenever they met. She couldn’t have her quiet time again; she felt unworthy to come before God. She didn’t know how to quench the fire she had kindled.
Chioma felt helpless but she had no idea that her worst fear was just around the corner. She walked into the living room when she heard the phone ring. Still standing, she picked up the receiver. It was Femi. She felt unworthy of his friendship. She was glad however that she still had him as a friend.
“Have you read my book?” he asked
“No. I haven’t. I’m sorry.”
“That’s okay. I was praying for you a few minutes back and God asked me to tell you to read it”
“You prayed for me?” Chioma couldn’t believe her ears as tears filled her eyes.
“I always do. Now was just different. There was urgency in God’s instruction that I had to call you immediately. Are you okay?”
“Yes, I am”, she lied.
“Are you crying?”
“Why?” she said, trying to sound as composed as possible.
“Oh that! I have a cold” she lied again, hoping he wouldn’t press further.
“Please be good and read the book as soon as you can, okay?”
“I will. Thanks.”
“Hey! I nearly forgot to ask. I hope I gave you an autographed copy.”
“Yes you did; Femi, the celebrity.” She heard him laugh over the phone when she said that – the sound was pleasant to her ears and she responded with a smile.
“Bye” Chioma said and dropped the receiver, glad to still see light amidst all the seeming darkness around her. She turned only to see Bade staring at her with arms crossed.
“Who was that?” he snarled.
“A friend”, she said, irritated at his possessiveness.
“You think I’m so dumb not to know it was Femi. Why were you talking with him?”
“I thought we agreed I could still have him as a friend.”
“Okay then, I’m changing the rules. You don’t talk to Femi again”
“That is impossible.” She was visibly shaking. “Get that into your head, Bade. I won’t stop talking with Femi. Leave me alone; I’m sick and tired of your childish pouting.”
Spontaneously, Bade hit her across the face so hard she fell against the phone stand and ended up on the rug. She was too shocked to speak; tears spilled out of her eyes. Bade was surprised at himself and dropped to his knees, apologizing. He touched her face. “I’m sorry, sweetheart”
She didn’t stop crying and didn’t jerk her face away from his touch either. “You hit me”
“I’m sorry. I’m so scared of losing you. I get very angry whenever I feel you drifting away from me”, he said, tears filing his own eyes.
“What else do you want me to do to prove to you that you have me?” she said amidst sobs.
He wiped her face with his hand and touched her face tenderly, in a futile bid to ease the throbbing caused by his slap. There’s one more thing that you would do that would leave me with no doubts that about your commitment to me. I’ll never doubt you again if you do this, I promise. As he said that he remembered D-one’s words ‘when you have sex with a girl, she’ll become yours and won’t ever leave you.’
Chioma feared that the moment she had dreaded the most had come. “And what might that be?” she asked.
“You know what I want Chioma, I don’t have to spell it all out. It would assure me that you will never leave me. We would become inseparable; amalgamated.”
Bade had said it at last. She couldn’t believe they had gotten to this point. She couldn’t contain her anger and frustration. “You must be out of your mind”, she said and ran to her room, locking the door behind her.
She needed to think things through. Except a miracle occurred, she knew she would still give in to him. She didn’t want to accept the fact, but the truth remained that her giving her body to Bade so far had made her more vulnerable to him. They hadn’t had sex yet but the desires had been kindled. She knew they were sinful desires. He had prematurely awoken a human passion in her. She knew she would eventually cave in.
As usual, she knew that in no more than an hour, he would come knocking on her door, and this time to have what she had hoped will be for her husband. She desperately hoped Femi was praying for her. Mum, where are you when I need you the most? Please come home. It was 7pm and it would still be at least two hours before her mother was home while she was at most, one hour from losing her virginity.
After the conversation with Chioma, Femi still felt a burden for her. He wanted to call her back and probe further; asking if there was anyway he could help her. But as he picked the phone to dial her number, the Holy Spirit spoke to his heart and asked him not to call her. ‘This battle is not yours, but mine to fight for her. Pray for her.’ That was the simple instruction he received.
Right there and then, he got on his knees and began praying for Chioma. When he had exhausted what he could ask for her in understanding, he started praying in the spirit, interceding fervently for this girl he cared dearly for.
Still in despair, Chioma picked her pillow, intending to hug it. As she picked it, a bright covered book caught her attention. Femi’s book! She had forgotten her conversation with him already. He had asked her to read the book. She picked it and flipped through the pages. She got to a page and was drawn to the subtitle. ‘What true love is and what it isn’t.’ She started reading.
True love isn’t what many take it to be. It is not just about making someone else happy at your own expense. It is not about sex or physical intimacy. It’s not about buying or receiving expensive gifts from your ‘lover’. There is so much to true love that the world is missing out on.
True love is first and foremost found in God. 1 John 4:8 says that God is love. There’s no love outside of God. No God, no love. This reveals that we can only show true love if we know God and love Him. God gave up His son for us even while we were sinners; that’s true, unconditional love.
True love is discovered in obeying God and living like him. If we claim to love God or others, and we flout His rules, we’re deceiving ourselves. That’s why it is wrong to claim to love someone and to have sex with him/her to prove it.
Chioma couldn’t read any further. Her heart soared with both regret and hope. ‘…it is wrong to claim to love someone and to have sex with him/her to prove it.’ Her heart was beating faster now.
I would discuss this a little more. Many teenage girls have been victims of this lie. ‘If you love me, you’ll sleep with me’ has been the bane of many. Hey! You don’t owe anyone a proof of your love. If he cannot wait for you, let him take a very long hike. Don’t get worried, God would provide a better guy for you.
Only God can make a human feel truly loved. Guess what? Even after sleeping with you, he’ll not trust you and would probably jilt you, still feeling unloved. It is not your responsibility to make him feel loved, only God, through His spirit can do that for any man.
Why didn’t I read this earlier? Further down, it was affirmed that it was wrong to try to prove God’s love to a person by compromising your stand.
It’s only the Holy Spirit that can convict a man of sin and bring him to God. Never think you can do it by your human strength. You have a part to play in living a godly life that the world admires and is attracted to. You should also pray for their conversion and talk to them when possible, but that’s where your work ends.
You can never love anyone more than God does. Leave Him to do what you cannot. Remember, it is God who will judge our love walk. Please don’t compromise in a bid to show love. True love trusts God to do His thing at His own time. True love isn’t impatient or compromising.
Chioma closed the book and fell to the floor, tears of relief, pain, and hope flowing out. ‘Father, I’m so sorry for messing up so far, trying to substitute for you in Bade’s life. Please forgive me, wash me clean and restore my joy. Thank you for sending help to me when I needed it most. Thank you for people like Femi, who pray for others. Thank you too for proving to me that even when my mother is not there, you are always there for me. You kept me from losing it all tonight; thank you so much Father. I receive strength to do what I need to do now. It’s in Jesus name I’ve prayed, Amen.’
She rose to her feet and was setting the book back when she heard a knock on the door. Her heart flipped but she remembered God’s word that He would be with her and would never leave her. She was sure of His support. She also remembered the bible verse that says she should never fear because fear is not of God. How come I haven’t remembered God’s words through this last week and now, they are all coming back? I guess that’s what sin does to a man – blocks you from communing with God.
She walked to the door and opened it, expecting to see Bade, only to see her mother. She fell into Florence’s arms and started crying again. “I’m home honey. I’m sorry for not being around for you this past week.” Florence Akpuru said, stroking her daughter’s back.
“How come you’re home so early?”
“I felt a nudging to come home and I decided the extra work could wait till tomorrow. So, I left immediately my boss closed.”
“God is so kind”, Chioma said, beginning to sob.
“What’s wrong dear?” she said lifting her daughter’s face.
“It’s a long story mum. But God found me and you are back!” Relief flooded Chioma’s heart and she clung to her mother, not wanting to let go.
“Why don’t we start from the beginning dear?” Miss Akpuru said as she led Chioma back to her bed. “I have all the time in the world to hear you out”.
-Bade was reprimanded and enrolled in a Christian boarding school, to create a gap between him and Chioma, where he eventually received Christ as savior.
-Chioma found her footing back with help from her mother, Femi and the Y4C group.
-Femi and Chioma became very good friends and started dating in their third year in the university.
-The Makun family adopted one more kid, giving Femi a baby sister.
-The Den was shut down by the community police when they heard about the yahoozites’ activities.
Written by Timilehin Adigun
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