The conversation continues between Don and Magnus.
“One day, I met this lady who came for a job interview. In the process of talking, we got personal. She told me she was divorced and all that. We soon began an affair”
Magnus was leaning forward, listening intently.
“She was everything I felt I wanted in a wife. Her sweet demeanour, listening skills, and patience were so endearing. I moved into her flat. One day, I was married, born again, spirit-filled: the next, I was a live-in lover, unable to pray, and guilt-ridden”, he went on.
“Wow”, Magnus breathed.
“Then my business started crashing. It seemed the competition was always one step ahead of me. After two years of struggling, we went bankrupt. The lady who I had lavished my money on, turned into a tiger. She mocked me at every turn. When I returned to my house, I met my broken wife, who had been praying daily for me to come to my senses. I mean, people felt I had been charmed”
“Charmed?”, Magnus asked.
“Yes, like juju, or something was used on me. I, who was prayer co-ordinator in the university, who was even thinking of becoming a pastor after school, who was on fire for God?”
“How did it all slip out of control?”, Magnus asked.
“I abandoned my first love, Jesus. When the money rolled in, I began to trust in my intellect, my networking, my assets. I was too busy to pray, my bible gathered dust; scratch that, moss. Church was a place to meet potential clients and daydream while the pastor “rambled on”. I was confident that my residual memory of God’s word would be enough”, Don explained.
“Our spirit man is the candle of the lord, says the good book. To keep a flame burning, you have to fuel it. I have never heard of a candle that kept burning without any fuel. So also, as Christians, we must know our priorities. What doth it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his own soul?”, Don held his gaze.
Magnus did not look away. To be honest, he was relieved to have been forced to confront himself. A time comes when you are so ready to change, all you need is a messenger in season.
“I began the process of wooing my wife, and apologizing to my four children. She had tried to prevent them from resenting me by telling them I was out of the country. My wife, got a job and shouldered the family responsibilities in my absence. I still depended on her, when I returned, as I was broke. One year later, I discovered, my mistress was a mole planted by my competitors. She was passing off trade secrets. They had sent her to get the position of my personal secretary but she went over and above the call of duty. Being in my bed, gave her access to information she never would have had”
“What!”, Magnus exclaimed.
“The truth is, no woman can love you like your wife. If she can’t respect your vows, something is fundamentally wrong and it’s only a matter of time before it shows”
“But I know so many wealthy men who keep strings of girlfriends and their businesses keep blooming”
“In God’s kingdom, the rules are different. Never compare the children of the philistines to the Israeli. Satan has nothing to lose by their success. In fact, their money funds his evil work. An example is those who sponsor terrorism. Why would anything bad happen to them, when they are serving the devil’s purpose?”
“I never thought of that”
“True Christians use their wealth to fund evangelism, schools in poor districts, orphanages, and so on. Who would you attack if you were the devil?”, Don inclined his head.
“The true believer”, Magnus replied.
“Exactly! Why we try to behave like the unbeliever and get away with it, beats me”, Don shrugged.
“I’ve missed it, man. Really, I’ve messed up”, Magnus lowered his head into his hands.
Don placed a hand on his head. “That’s the first step: admitting we have failed”
Magnus was holding back tears. “I will show you how to get rid of that girl and win back your wife. Okay?”
“Besides, the bible says, when we treat our wives badly, our prayers are hindered. I don’t see you getting back on your feet without her. My business picked up just four years ago. I know what it took me, and I wouldn’t want you to go through that”, Don advised.
Aunty Nwando and Ekene were on the way to Miriam’s office to pick her up. They were going to shop for bridal dresses. Regina could not come along, as she was out of town.
“So, I was telling you about the Pastor that asked Mimi out. She refused to even give it a thought”, Ekene was saying.
“Poor guy. To be laughed at like that”, Aunt Nwando giggled.
“I mean, we have known him for some time. We never saw him as a prospect”
“O joro njo? (Is he ugly?)”
“Well, he is not drop-dead gorgeous”, Ekene evaded.
“Eze ya O gbaliri elu? (Does he have protruding teeth?)”
“Aunty!”, Ekene laughed.
“What?”, she kept a straight face.
“You are not helping”
“Miriam will say you are marrying ‘Fred’, so you can talk. I mean, I don’t need to pat my back but, my nephew is hot”, Aunt Nwando batted her eyelashes merrily.
“Aunty!”, Ekene blushed.
“Let me be”
Just then, her driver pulled into the bank premises. Miriam joined them moments later. She and Adio were the topic of discussion from then.
“Nne, what don’t you like about him?”, Aunt Nwando asked.
“Aunty, he is a pastor!”, she replied.
“What’s wrong with that?”
“I can’t imagine myself as a pastor’s wife. Secondly, we are age mates. I know this because the church marked his birthday this year. Thirdly, he is dull. He often seems slow to speak. Okay, check out his wooing, now. Who summons a girl to the church office? I mean, what is that?”, she listed.
“He may just be introverted, not dull. Also, as a pastor, he would deem it rude to ask you to meet him at an eatery without making his intentions known. Your being age mates is no biggie. I even think it’s cute”, Aunt Nwando surmised.
“Me, I like the guy. He has been scandal-free, despite the number of years he has been single. I think you should give it a chance. What could possibly go wrong?”, Ekene added.
“Let me be blunt. I hope he is not after my money?”, Miriam pulled her ear comically.
“I heard from Mrs. Shedrack that he owns a software developing company. He keeps a low profile because he is the most junior of the pastors. No need to ruffle feathers”, Ekene supplied.
“Really? “, Miriam’s ears perked.
“Ha! I see the spark of interest”, Aunt Nwando’s eyes twinkled.
“Aunty, hapu mu O! (leave me)”, she laughed.
The car had pulled into the bridal store.
“Let’s get the party started”, Aunt Nwando yelled.
Ekene and Miriam exchanged glances.
“How old did you say she was again?”, Miriam whispered comically.
The three ladies laughed.
TO BE CONTINUED.
I apologize for all the delay and my failure to reply comments. Soon, my internet will be more stable. Thanks for all the enquiries. God bless