Remi came in the company of his mother and grandmother to visit his father at the psychiatric hospital. The Dayo they met looked much better. They sat with him and spoke. His speech was becoming more fluent and audible. Dayo asked Remi questions which he answered excitedly. He asked his father questions and he answered him too. The time they spent together that day was priceless to both of them. When it was time to leave, Dayo and Remi held each other and cried a bit. Dayo would be discharged in a few days. They made arrangement to hang out together and get to know each other better.
Iya Labake smiled at the drama. “The rejected stone has become the chief cornerstone.” Well, she was glad that it was going very well between father and son without external influence. It made her very happy.
Labake didn’t know how she felt. Seeing her son with his father and their bonding actually placed her at a crossroad. But seeing the joy and excitement in her son gave her so much pleasure that she wanted him to be permanently like this. If Dayo could bring such joy, she was ready to accept.
THREE YEARS LATER….
Dayo had just come home from work. He took a shower and ate the food his cook had prepared for him. He walked into the bedroom afterwards and focused on his work. At 10:00pm, his father called him. They said their prayers together and then he knew that it was time to sleep. This had been his routine since he was discharged from the hospital three years before. He had no time for any other thing except what was morally right for him to undertake. He realized he was making more money now than he ever did. He was a contractor handling businesses for multinationals and some government agencies and parastatals. All those he offended and he could come across; he apologized to them with a contrite heart. They were the ones who gave him more jobs because they could feel his sincerity. He attributed this to God’s mercy and grace.
Fila had filed for a divorce. He gladly granted her so she could find happiness. He took care of his daughter. She spends her summer holiday each year with him and her brother. She spent more time with her brother. They travel back and forth to see each other which made him very glad. He was a father of two adorable children; what more could he ask for?
He also had a cordial relationship with Labake and her mother. His father suggested he considers spending the rest of his life with her so he could atone for his sins. He declined. He was of the opinion that she deserved more in life than an impotent man. He had accepted his punishment and was making amends for all his wrongs. She was not interested in marriage and had told him they could not be more than acquaintances; she didn’t even want friendship. He was not attracted to her in any way too. It was wrong to subject another human to sorrow just to make amends. He had a secret with he believed she didn’t deserve.
On the anniversary of the encounter Baba Dayo had with God, Baba Dayo visits the church in Abuja. He planned to go with Dayo this year and share their testimony for others to learn from.
He remembered when he told Iya Dayo about his encounter and the deliverance of Dayo; she disbelieved him. She insisted that he went to Iya Labake and she did something to her son. He gave up on her. She went there to fight the woman and it offended him so much that he stopped communication with her. He refused her food and ended their conjugal relationship. They lived like co-tenants in the house. She screamed blue murder. She accused him of having a relationship with Iya Labake. He appealed to Iya Labake to forgive her and not allow her into her home. He ignored her. Immediately Dayo was fully recovered, he cut ties with his mother. He gave her an ultimatum of two weeks to leave his house. She knew there was fire on the mountain. She involved elders to resolve the issue.
Her family members were shocked to discover she was a regular visitor to Ifa priests and babalawos. “What are you looking for?” they asked her. “Hasn’t God blessed you enough? It is greed that almost took your son’s life. I hope you have repented from your evil ways.” They appealed to him to forgive her and live in peace with her. He gave his conditions.
a) She must attend his church with him.
b) She must stop interfering in the children’s lives.
c) She should stop picking quarrels with people especially iya Labake.
d) She must not visit any ifa priest or babalawo again. Once he discovers; he will throw her out of his house.
e) She should talk to him with respect. He had atoned for his sins so she should either forgive and let them move on together or continue quarrelling and they go their separate ways.
She agreed to all the terms and conditions. They went back to living in peace, but it was short-lived.
Their daughter Ronke was sent packing from her husband’s house. She had her mother’s temperament. She was causing trouble in her husband’s family. When she came back, Baba Dayo talked to her about her attitude and asked her to seek God’s face and true repentance then go and ask her husband for forgiveness. She preferred to listen to her mother who was out to deal with her son in-law. She believed he owed them as Dayo got him the job he was currently doing. She felt he had no right to send the daughter away. She took her to a babalawo. While doing whatever it was she was doing; she was struck by lightning and died on the spot. Iya Dayo could not explain what happened. It affected her psychologically. Her daughter died right before her eyes. It was her turn to spend time in the psychiatric hospital. She didn’t recover. Baba Dayo washed his hands off her. Dayo and his other siblings disassociated themselves from her.
They blamed her for the death of their only sister. Her family members relocated her to the village. Baba Dayo was alone. He sunk himself into the work of God. He played the role of both father and mother to his children. He was happy and at peace.
Dayo was at the airport about to board a flight to the United States of America. He had a meeting with a company who wanted him to handle the construction of their head office in Nigeria and other African countries they were expanding to. He was blessed to have gotten this brief. He got it from a member of the church in Abuja where he shared his testimony. A man collected his card and gave him this connection.
He just knew it was divine intervention from God. He loved the way he was living his life. His friends couldn’t believe he was the same person. “Na camouflage jo. How Dayo go stay he no go pursue woman?” they said within themselves. Dayo wished they knew all he went through; they will give their lives three times over. Their lifestyles eventually separated them.
A beautiful scent caught his attention. It smelt very familiar. He tried to remember who wore this perfume. As he was trying to remember, the fragrance became stronger until he heard a familiar voice ask, “Is this seat taken?” He looked up and saw the first politician’s wife he ever had a relationship with. She looked amazing. He jumped on his feet and greeted her.
“Angela. It is nice meeting you again.”
“Dayo, is this you?”
“Yes, it is.” He cleared his things off the seat beside him for her to sit down. “Have a seat.”
“Thank you. You are now a gentleman.”
“Yeah, with age comes sense.”
They conversed for a while. She was travelling to the London but they were on the same flight.
“What are you going to London for?” He asked her.
“I am going to meet my husband.”
“Yes. I did. After my late husband’s family took everything from me and his friends used me and tossed me around, I got fed up. I sold off what I had left and relocated to the London. I met this nice guy and we have a daughter together.”
“That is great. Is he a Nigerian? What tribe is he?”
“After what I went through in the hands of Nigerian men, you expect me to marry one? He is an American but he is working in London. He is comfortable with a steady job while I work from home. He is responsible and treats me right. He never cared about my past; he cared only about my future. We have been married three years now and I must confess, they are very awesome years.”
“I love that. I am glad you found happiness.”
“Yeah. I regret a lot of things I got myself involved in. I feel ashamed when I think about them sometimes.”
“God gives us second chances. He has given you this chance. I wish you could come closer to him to experience eternal bliss.”
“Dayo, are you the one talking? Seriously, you are the one preaching? What happened? You have given your life to Christ?”
‘I had an experience that forced me to do that. Since I did my life hasn’t remained the same. I am still a baby Christian because I haven’t learnt how to win souls. I feel shy most times I talk about God and his kingdom. But today, I feel unashamed to talk to you. I feel blessed to share your joys.”
“I am happy for you Dayo. I like this new you. That pompous animal has given way to this sweet soul. God has really been gracious to you.”
“Thank you, Angela. I also would want to ask for your forgiveness. I remember how I took advantage of you to my benefit and dumped you when you needed my help and support. I must confess that I feel shame as I own up to the part I played to your being tossed around. Please find it in your heart to forgive me. That Dayo is no more; this is a new improved Dayo. I was practically reborn. I almost died but the Lord rescued me. My atrocities almost took me to the grave but, mercy said no. Please Angela, forgive me.”
He was shocked seeing tears in her eyes. She looked at him and said in a shaking voice “Please pray for me.” He prayed with her quietly. He thanked God for giving them the opportunity to meet after many years. He asked God to forgive them all their sins and free them from every bondage of sin in their lives. He asked God to come into Angela’s life and give her the peace and happiness she so desires. It was a simple prayer but it touched the depth of their souls.
He saw she was flying with an economy ticket. He excused himself and upgraded her to business class. He wanted them to fly together and talk some more. On the flight, he showed her the path he had to follow to be where he was now. He shared Bible passages with her saying, “I discovered God through his word. I refused to rely on what anyone some told me about him. I hungered to know more when my father shared his encounter that brought forth my deliverance. I found answers myself in God’s word and it has been my guide ever since.”
“I have enjoyed learning from you. My husband is very religious but I felt Christianity failed my family and led me to the life I currently live. I came back for my father’s burial but I didn’t want to come with my husband and child. My family members are not even aware I am married with a child. I don’t want them to do evil against me. I have used their powers to my advantage; I know the potency. I used them when I went on a revenge mission. I also used them to acquire wealth. I was used to living in plenty before my husband died. I was tired of being a toy in the hands of his friends and family. I became very rich. Men came in droves to favour me. I was living the life. When they came for their reward, it was something I couldn’t give. They took everything from me. I gave it back gladly; I wasn’t even happy having them. I have seen firsthand what they are capable of. They do evil against you that will begin to manifest ten years after they have done it and you will never suspect them. I had to quickly separate myself from them. I never come back home. But, I was compelled to return. I returned making them believe all was not well with me.
He has been buried and I am free for now. I don’t talk to anyone for fear they might inform them and then my husband will turn to my enemy and my daughter taken away from me. I could never bear that. I live in fear daily.”
“Ok, this is scary.”
“My people are not good people. They do not practice Christianity. They present themselves as Christians but they are far from it. You will not know worse idol worshippers. I am grateful they do not know where I am. I went back there looking like I was suffering to distract them. Now I can be myself and go back to my lovely family in one piece.”
“You can’t hide forever. You might be the deliverance they need.”
“I am not interested. Once I find Christ, I am content.”
Dayo was glad. Her last comment made him smile. That means he work was done. He allowed her catch a nap before they landed. As they disembarked, they walked together to the immigration. Angela was still as beautiful as ever and other passengers stared at her but Dayo didn’t notice. He saw as a sister being led to Christ. He had to wait for his connecting flight to United States. As she was about to cross immigration, she turned to Dayo and said to him, “I can’t believe I am standing here with you Dayo. I feel no anger and resentment towards you. You abandoned me when I needed you the most.
You used me to gain favours and I got nothing in return. I did something against you; I am shocked you are still alive. But today, you have shown me love and kindness. You have opened my eyes to a whole new world which I am ready to explore. Because of this, from the bottom of my heart, I forgive. The battle is over!” She turned and walked away without looking back.
Dayo knew he had hurt her very badly. He had hurt so many people; they all sound like her. He was happy she had forgiven him. He had won his first soul. He was so excited that he sent his father a message sharing the good news. He caught his connecting flight to the United States a happy and fulfilled man.
The next day after his arrival, he woke up and said his prayers. As he went to ease himself, he noticed something. He had a “stiffy”. He hadn’t had that in years. He overlooked it and had his bath. When he was dressing up, he still had the stiffy. He was scared, what was this? He called his father up and told him.
“You said what my son?” his father asked with excitement in his voice.
“Father, I have an erection that won’t come down.”
“Say it again my son”
“Dad, I am serious. I have……. Oh my God!” it was then it dawned on him. He had an erection. He has been forgiven. He has a new lease on life. He held the phone to his ears and cried like a baby.
“My son, may it never go down” his father prayed.
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