When she lowered her eyes, they filled up and soon, she began to shake with sobs. “I did not come here to hurt you, hmm... Febi, right?”
“Can we take a walk and talk about this?” Dayo asked.
“On one condition” she said.
“What would that be?” he asked confused.
“Give me a hanky so I can clean my face and look like a dignified lady”
Dayo smiled and gave her his hanky. “Who taught you how to still find humor in pain?” he asked amused.
“The one who is making me cry taught me. He taught me a lot but also stole so much from me.”
“My tutor did the same to me” Dayo said.
Walking now, Febi said, “I have learnt from Rashidat, a new friend that there are guys who’ll love you as a female without asking anything in return. I was a fool”
“So was I” Dayo said. “I learnt, rather late, that I don’t have to keep giving a girl gifts or money to keep her friendship or to get help from her.”
They walked in silence a while and Dayo continued. “I guess that’s what Pastor Francis was talking about when he said we should love each other as Christ loves us”
“Yes. He gave Himself to us without asking anything in return. I have hurt God”
“So have I”, said Dayo. What we need do now is repent and He’ll forgive us.”
They found a spot under a tree and knelt there. They confessed their sins to God, asked His forgiveness for misusing their body and money respectively and received His grace and the help of the Holy Spirit to live above sin. When they were through, they rose and started back towards the church.
Wiping her tears, Febi said, “It’s so good to be forgiven. I feel such peace and relief. Just like that!’
“The next thing now is to forgive Segun and Precious” Dayo said.
“That’s hard. But if God just forgave me, who am I not to forgive him. Segun, I forgive you from my heart”, she said, knowing the hurt will still take some time to heal.
“Precious, I forgive you.” Dayo said.
“There’s still something we need to do”, Febi said. “We need to report both of them to the pastorate. We’ll be doing it because we love them and want them to repent, but more importantly, so that other teenagers will not fall prey of their schemes. They have proven to be wolves in sheep clothing. I hope they repent and become sheep again, but if not, the earlier they left the fold, the better for the growing herd.
Dayo smiled at her. “I’m impressed. I couldn’t have suggested anything better.”
“Don’t you flatter me! I’m not in for another emotional thingy”, she said.
“You bet” Dayo said smiling at his own forwardness. “How do you hope to handle the emotional attachment you’ve developed with Segun?”
Febi took her time to digest the question as they approached the church. She stopped and Dayo took the cue and stopped too. She looked at him and said, “It will be hard I confess but with God, all things are possible.”
“I know that but what do you hope to do to break away?”
“I would severe myself from him. No calls, visits or the likes. The less I see him, the faster my feelings for him will die.”
“Sounds reasonable” Dayo affirmed.
“I should spend more time with God, fellow Christians and my family. We seem to be getting along well at home now; my father, my step and I. Moreover, I now have many friends, so I hope to have fun in groups and not with an individual, so that he doesn’t get wrong ideas into his head.” At that, Dayo frowned.
“Why the frown?”
“Does that mean I won’t be able to have a stroll like this with you again? And if you want to know, I really enjoyed it; it was fun talking with you.”
“Thank you Dayo. I enjoyed it too but I cannot afford to get close to anyone now.”
Dayo smiled. “I understand and wish you all the best. Bye”
Dayo turned and was about to go when she hollered. “Where are you going? We’re reporting them together.”
“Oh no! Count me out. You’re on your own” Dayo said and was turning back when Febi grabbed his arm, smiled and said, “You’re going nowhere mister.”
“Okay, do you promise me a stroll?”
“You’re just impossible”, Febi said “I will try”
“Not good enough”
“Hold on a minute” she said and turned slightly to face the church. “Pastor Francis! We want to talk with you!” she hollered. “Too late”, she said and made a face at Dayo.
She literarily dragged him to Pastor Francis and when they got to him, they narrated their different experiences. He promised to see to the issues raised. While they talked, he had sent someone to call Segun and Precious. He was told Precious had left for her house but that Segun would be there soon.
Pastor Francis apologized to Dayo and Febi and promised to punish both Segun and Precious as was fit. He also urged them to forgive their offenders. They said they had done that. He thanked them for being true Christians and asked them to keep praying for the purity of the entire church.
As they approached the door, Segun came through and looked from Febi to Dayo and back to Febi. She could see in his eyes that he had never loved her. What she saw in those eyes were lust, pride, anger and selfishness. Her eyes filled and she was about to break down in tears but Dayo noticed and squeezed her hand, and that alone reassured her of God’s comfort in her pain.
She looked up at the tall boy beside her and said through her glistering eyes, “Thank you, Dayo. I guess I owe you a stroll”. They both smiled and walked out of the church premises.
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