The hug between Kehinde and Jumoke lasted for some minutes as she clung tightly to him with her eyes closed, but Kehinde quickly came back to his consciousness and loosened the grip.
Just when he had loosened himself from the hug, Toyin and another little girl who were doing chase game came running from the room and collided with Jumoke, Toyin almost feel but Jumoke was fast enough and caught her before she could reach the ground.
“Are you alright sweetheart?” Jumoke asked still holding Toyin and caressing her hair gently, and she nodded her head in the positive, then turned around and saw Kehinde standing behind Jumoke with smiles on his lips. Kehinde who had not seen the face of the little girl Jumoke was holding was busy admiring Jumoke’s kind nature from behind.
He was amazed that she had not changed one bit from the same kindhearted, easy going and respectful Jumoke he dated back then and those were the attributes that endeared her to him those days.
“Bother Kehinde!” Toyin’s voice bolted him back from his thoughts.
“Toyin baby!” Kehinde said excitedly as Tonyin wriggled out of Jumoke’s hands and ran into his wide spread arms for a hug.
Jumoke stood back smiling and watching the both of them as Kehinde lifted Toyin up and held her tightly to himself. She quickly ran her eyes through his fingers to see if he has a wedding ring on but found no ring on him, so she breathed down a sigh of relief and continued with her smiles.
“Bother Kehinde I came with Iya mi o!” Toyin spoke up and he dropped her to hear her speak.
“Really? Where is she?” He asked almost forgetting that Jumoke was standing there.
“She is in church mummy’s room, I peeped through the door and saw her crying in big mummy’s room…” Toyin began to narrate but Kehinde quickly interrupted her from speaking further in the presence of Jumoke when he sensed that the church mummy was probably having a serious talk with Sade, especially as regards her relationship with the old man in the village.
” It’s okay Toyin.
Go and wait for me inside, am coming so you can gist me more about that you hear?” He said and bent down,looking into her eyes and saw that the little girl has more gist for him as he saw her eagerness to talk. She nodded her head and began to walk back into the house.
“Don’t go anywhere o, sit down on a chair and wait for me, you hear?” Kehinde spoke up from a distance and the little girl nodded her head again before she finally entered the house.
“So sorry Jumo, I was carried away by the presence of my little princess, I didn’t even know she was the one you were holding until she called me..” Kehinde was explaining when he finally turned to face her. He felt happy knowing that the church mummy was having a serious talk with Sade, which could even make her cry.
The last time he visited, Sade had no tears anymore in her eyes as he noticed her heart had become very hardened and made up to continue with Olori.
“She such a smart girl. Your niece?” Jumoke asked.
“Nope…a friend’s daughter” he replied, beaming with a smile. He heart suddenly got flooded with a kind of joy he couldn’t explain from the moment he saw Toyin and heard say that Sade was crying.
“That’s okay.” Jumoke said with a calm voice.
“So, what are you doing here?” He asked her.
“I should be asking you that Kenny. Mummy Bisola is my God mother, she was the one that led me to Christ few months after you broke my heart and am here for her son’s birthday celebration.” She replied laughing hard, then twisted her head to a side in a funny way before spitting out her thoughts.
“Kenny, so you are not yet married. What have you been waiting for?” She spoke up with the most softest tone… “The Benin woman I hired as my mother disappeared into thin air immediately she was told that I died in the theatre.” The church mummy continued with her life story as Sade cried her eyes out.
“The nurses and health assistants searched for her to make arrangements to deposit my body into the mortuary or possibly clear off the remaining the hospital bill, carry my new born child and take my corpse away but couldn’t find her.
After about eight hours of waiting for the woman in vain, a doctor suggested that my body should be deposited in the mortuary while they wait for my relations to come and claim my body. It was when they were wheeling my body to the ambulance which would convey me to the morgue that my spirit came back into my body and I sneezed and cried out from the land of the dead.
The health assistants fled for their lives when I removed the clothes covering my face and sat up on the wheel bed.
The doctors and nurses soon came out and found me sitting on the wheel bed staring at nothing, with tears dropping from my weak eyes. The main doctor handling my case, rushed to my side, held my hands and gave me a punch to know if I can feel any sensation and I gave a painful scream, so they rushed me back to the ward and fixed a drip on me, after checking my heart beat, blood pressure and temperature.
“Where is my baby?” Was the first words that came out of my mouth and a nurse was asked to go and fetch him from the office of a chief nurse who also run a motherless baby home.
I confessed to the doctors and nurses that the woman I presented to them was not my real mother and then told them my story and death experience and how God graciously showed me mercy and gave me a second chance. The silence that fell upon the ward as I told my story was so deep that if the tiniest pin dropped on the floor, one would hear the sound of it; without beating anybody, I saw men and women crying.
“After the horrible situations my family suffered in time past, I stopped believing that God exists and accepted the philosophies of atheists which pointed to the fact that there’s no God. I stopped going to church and praying long time ago and even dared God to prove himself if truly he exists, but hearing you share your death experience here before me, I am fully convinced that there’s surely another life after this life and that there’s a God who rules over the affairs of men and controls the entire universe.” The doctor in charge of my case confessed in tears, then continued.
“Can you please pray for me that God should forgive and accept me back?” The doctor cried and then from the back, I heard people murmuring,
“Me too, me too…”
I wanted to tell them that I was not in the right position to pray for them since I too was a sinner who just received mercy, but I heard a voice say in my ears.
“Whoever the son of man shall set free, he is free indeed. Old things are passed away, behold all things are new.
Bisola, you are a new creatures because your sins are forgiven. Now that you have been restored, strengthen your brethren..” The voice urged me and without thinking of what to pray or say, a song broke out of my mouth and I heard my voice ringing high as the hospital ward turned into a mini revival gathering.
“Pray for me, pray for me!” a woman nurse cried out in tears.
“I don’t want to go to h e l l, I’m a wicked person. I have exchanged not less than fifty babies in favour of the rich people who gave birth in this hospital. When they needed a male child, or lose their own children, I swapped their dead or female babies with the male and living children of the poor women who had no one looking after them closely.
Sometimes, when a male child is born, I sent the junior nurses away on errands and excused myself with the baby in the name of going to bath or dress the baby…” She confessed and broke down in tears as everyone shouted in response.
“I’m sorry!” She said with her head bowed in shame. I can’t tell the number of people who gave their lives to Christ that day, but I would say that there was a mass harvest of souls that day in the hospital as I led those who wanted to repent to say the salvation prayer.
I later returned back to my parents and asked for their forgiveness, they did forgave me but my father developed a heart attack. His ministry which he valued so much was at stake because of me as members started reducing and while others mocked him…”
Kehinde smiled gently, revealing his cute dimples as he saw in her eyes the motive behind her question. He quickly searched for the right available word to put her off whatever she was trying to make up.
“Uhm.. Yes, am not yet married. But, am also not searching anymore. I’ve got someone already.. You know what? Jumo, let’s go inside and talk better” he said quickly in order to divert their conversation and then started walking into the house immediately.
She followed him and they entered the parlor which was filled with lots of people.
“Kenny why don’t we stay outside, this place is very stuffy.” Jumoke suggested but he wasn’t interested as he searched for Toyin in the parlor with his eyes.
He brought out his phone and quickly sent the church mummy a text message, informing her that he was around in the house.
“Bother Kehinde, I’m here o” Toyin shouted from the passage that leads to the bookshelf and he rushed over to her and sat close to her.
” I forgot to buy your ice cream, but don’t worry, I will get it for you before you leave okay?” Kehinde told her and she nodded her head.
“Oya o, gist me…” Kehinde was trying to get Toyin to talk when he noticed that she was looking at someone else. He lifted up his head and followed direction of her eyes only to Jumoke standing right before them…
To be continued.