In case you missed Episode 1, you read it up .!
Happy Reading ****
Nduke sat there in silence for a long time. She could not believe her ears. Her boyfriend of four years was getting married to someone else, just like that? Questions without answers had tormented her all the while. Her stomach plummeted. She became uncomfortable in his presence. She didn’t want him to see her cry.
” So this was no rumor, it was true.” She muttered and then turned to him “And if you don’t marry her, what is gonna happen?” She finally asked the question that was in her mind.
“Everything will go wrong. But I am not gonna leave you. You will always be my love. what’s in my head is difficult. I can’t really say. I wish I can just vanish with just you.” Inibehe said tearily.
“You’re not a baby!” She yelled.
“You won’t understand what this will mean to my mother.” He retorted.
Nduke was frustrated, it was written all over her face. Inibehe noticed it and held her hands. But she pushed him away and stood to walk away.
“Don’t ever talk to me again.” She said with a painful tone and tried to walk away. But Inibehe held her tight. “I am never gonna leave you, I just want you to be with me till I can handle this.”
“Till when you’ve married her? A wedding date has been fixed for the both of you! lie to me again, deceive me! tell me you have not got your wedding suit ready! lie to me!” She said tearily and pushed him off and walked out of the room.
When she knew that Inibehe was following her behind, she began to strode and then run. He ran after her.
“I beg you in the name of God, just wait!” Inibehe said aloud. But she didn’t turn, she kept running. He ran after her as fast as he could and held her backwardly.
“You’re my life! you’re everything to me. I love you just like Christ loves the church!”
Inibehe said thoughtfully.
“Leave me alone!” she screamed tearily.
But he kept holding her even firmer to his body until he thought she’d given up. He turned her face to his and began to kiss her, she responded after few moments and then slapped his face. “Get off me!” She pushed him away and ran off.
He was weak and tired. He couldn’t run after her anymore. But he walked gently to her hostel. When she knew he was right in front of the house, she locked the door. He sat there begging till midnight. He became cold and walked back slowly to his apartment.
The morning of the graduation came, and Inibehe could not still believe he was leaving London for Nigeria. The news of his wedding to Uduak was announced that morning at the chapel, just after morning devotion. The entire school applauded thunderously and screamed excitedly as they heard of the wedding of their proprietor’s son.
Serena’s heart trembled. She turned to see Nduke and saw her walking out of the chapel.
She ran after her and said, “I am sorry this hurts.” She said shrilly.
“He loves you. I saw it in his eyes when the wedding was announced in there.”
“Go back to the chapel,” Nduke said calmly.
The graduation time was set. There were music, drama presentation, and farewell speeches. Just after Inibehe got his congratulatory letter from the reverend, his brother appeared with his sister, his wife, and Uduak. His heart trembled. His father didn’t tell him that Uduak was going to be in London too.
Uduak ran towards him and hugged him excitedly. Inibehe’s eyes caught Nduke stare at him with pains in her own eyes. He looked guilty as sin. Fury washed away Nduke as pastor Mfon gave a congratulatory message, representing his father the bishop.
The graduation was not exciting for Nduke, her foster mom, lady Irene had called to congratulate her, but didn’t have enough money to attend her graduation in London.
After the congratulatory message by Pastor Mfon, he announced again of his brother’s wedding to Uduak, and even went ahead to introduce Uduak as Inibehe’s fiancé.
Nduke became strong and bold. She managed a glare, hoping he couldn’t hear the way her heart was trying to pound its way free of her chest.
On the night of the graduation, Just after the ordination, a gospel party was thrown at the school auditorium for the graduates.
Uduak, Mfon, Inibehe, and Eno were seated on the same table. They had a sip of the heavens wine over again until it finished and they demanded for another one.
“This doesn’t taste like the Nigerian table wine,” Eno said to Mfon.
“Of course not. My daddy used to buy a lot of this when he visited ..” Uduak said.
Eno stared at her meanly and said, “I wasn’t talking to you. I am talking to my husband.”
Mfon was already tired of trying to stop the bicker between his wife and Uduak, he just gave a loud sigh and shook his head.
Inibehe was searching for Nduke with his eyes in the crowd.
When he finally caught a glimpse of her in the crowd trying to walk herself out of the door, he got up and followed her.
She went to have a sip of the dark rum she’d used in baking her birthday cake.
She gulped down the last sip of it and threw the bottle on the sandy floor. He was right behind her, but she wasn’t aware. A sudden cold wind gusted on her. She held herself together and strolled toward the school beach side. It was lonely and cold, but the dark rum kept her warm. She couldn’t think of anything else but Inibehe, the picture of him appeared in her head. She stared at the waters, the way it unfolds itself and scattered into the sands, running toward her. She was not aware that Inibehe was right behind him.
“Nduke….” He called out her name so gently she felt an inexplicable need to cry. She knew it was him, the sound of his voice skipped her heart. He looked like a man ready for a confrontation.
“I won’t let you go, I promise. Don’t be sad.”
His voice ran like a caress over nerves stretched too tight. She fought an urge to throw herself into his arms.
“There’s a storm coming in, you have to stand with me. You have to stand with me in this storm because there will be no umbrella.” He hugged her backwardly, her scented body lotion thrilled the moment.
Her hand lifted to stop him, but he held them tight and began to kiss her again.
Inibehe knew it might be the last time he was going to kiss her that way, so he kissed her even deeper and more passionately that she felt the impact when he released her lips and took it back like he was never going to let it go.
As they sank into the white sand by the beachside, she told herself that she was going to forsake her ego and be with the love of her life. His presence still managed to take a lot of hurts and sad feelings away at the moment.
He cried when she took his hands to her chest. “Make love to me for the last time.” She said. He flashed her grin and her heart stood still. How was it possible to feel so enervated, yet so completely aware all at that same time?
“I won’t make love to you. Let’s get married . and now.”
“How? No pastor to bless us.”
“We are pastors, we were ordained today. God is . already. Let’s make vows. look…” He brought out a necklace that had a picture of him inside a tiny frame. And showed her the one that had a picture of her inside a closed tiny frame too.
Ridiculous tears stung her eyes.
Inibehe hung the necklace that had his picture on it on her neck. It was a gold necklace with a diamond pendant of their faces in it. He took her hands and cut her fingers with a tiny blade.
“Ouch!” She exclaimed painfully. He licked the blood in her hands without seeking for her permission. He then cut his hands with the blade and she licked his blood too without hesitation.
“I will love you forever.” He said with so much passion.
“I will love you forever too.” He withdrew his hand slowly, trailing it over her skin. It began to rain softly, and then the wind driven rain began to beat them. He began to giggle, while she laughed. But there was still sadness in her eyes.
“I can’t believe I did this.” He said. “I just wanna prove to you that I can’t ever love someone else.” He said, staring at her as if he were trying to see past her words, to read her thoughts.
They didn’t make love. He couldn’t just do it. He felt he was taking advantage of her body simply because she would let him. They hugged themselves in the rain until the icy cold ran through their spines.
He’d dreamed about her, her remarkable eyes, but he’d only pictured them filled with sadness that nearly matched his own.
He woke up in the middle of the night and thought of Nduke. He knew she wasn’t sleeping too. In the instant, he took his mind to the beach side, where they’d been a few hours ago.
When he noticed that someone was sitting by the bed, he turned to see who it was. It was Uduak. She’d left the room she was given at the guest quarters to come stay with him. She was reading a bible. Inibehe was amazed when he saw her.
“What are you doing .?” He asked, and sat up slowly.
“You left us at the party and didn’t tell me where you were going, that was disrespectful. You walked in . drained in the rain. I saw you from the quarters.” Uduak said softly.
“You have no right to be in my room simply because you and I are getting married. Get out!” He yelled at her.
“I didn’t come . to inconvenience you, I came for us to pray together for our upcoming wedding.”
“I do not have what to tell the lord about the wedding. If you have what to say to him, do it. But not .. The school chapel isn’t far from ., go there.” He pointed to the door.
He watched her face change to a confused state.
Uduak reached for her umbrella and stood to walk out.
“May the Lord forgive you for disrespecting his princess. No man has ever done that,” she said girlishly.
“Get out of my room. Proud brat!”
“I am proud to be the Lord’s child.”
Uduak walked out of the room without looking back. She was proud, arrogant but gentle. The brothers in church called her ‘the holy bitch’. Being the only daughter of the most popular ash bishop Ebebe Ekpeyong gave her the power and authority to dare and command. She was privileged and could walk away with a lot of misconducts without being asked questions. The only man she was going to bow to was Inibehe, but he was not ready to accept her humility.
She was shaking as she walked in the rain back to the guest quarters.
Inibehe could not sleep anymore. He took his raincoat and took a stroll to Nduke’s hostel.
He knocked on the door just once, and it clicked open immediately. It was like she was expecting him. Her eyes were filled with tears.
Inibehe sensed there was more going on in her heart; The pains of separation.
She hugged him tight.
“My flight is 9 am in the morning.” Inibehe broke the silence.
Panic edged her voice up an octave. She was shaking and he had to grip her arm to prevent her from getting out of his arms.
Her eyes were wet and wide, dark orbs.
“You’re still getting married to her?” She broke out in tears. The smell of alcohol flew out from her mouth. She was obviously shaken.
Inibehe was mute. He couldn’t say anything to her anymore. A horrible thought skated through her mind. She pushed him off and walked to her bed.
“I should have known you were not meant for me before I made that odd with you. You’re getting married to someone else. ”
A loud rumble of thunder made her scared like she was going crazy.
She began to tear her clothes apart, then her brassiere, and then her panties. “Make love to me for the last time!” She said softly.
Lightning flared, making her freckles stand against her pale face.
“We can’t do this anymore.” He whispered.
“Do it now!” She yelled at him. He became embarrassed. He began to unbutton his shirts, while she rushed to his lips.
The rain showed no sign of slackening.
Frustration hammered at him, matching the rhythm of the rain.
They made love staring at each other’s eyes. He had noticed the sadness in her face again, and he wished he could kiss them away. The room was as silent as a tomb, only the sounds of their moans were heard for a long time.
As the sky lit again, he knew it was time to leave London.
Uduak and his sister rolled his luggage and to the car, while his elder brother pastor Mfon waited in the car for him. He walked reluctantly toward the car, while he stared at Nduke’s hostel from afar. His heart was broken and he couldn’t imagine how Nduke felt.
Arriving Nigeria was not a thing of joy for him.
The bishop and his entourage had waited patiently for them to arrive, and when they finally did, he’d welcome his children with a delightful heart.
“We have to pay a visit to Prophet Nathaniel Edem my mentor, he just returned from the U.S yesterday, and he would like to meet you and your fiancé,” Bishop said to Inibehe, holding his hands in excitement. But he said nothing to his father. They all walked behind him like his escorts, but he led the way to where the cars were parked.
Prophet Nathaniel’s edifice was as big as Bishop Cosmos’ edifice. They were both influential and wealthy men but one person submitted to the other.
Bishop Cosmos took Nathaniel as an earthly god. His prophecies were real because he believed he heard directly from God.
“My father…” The bishop greeted the prophet, almost prostrating, just as he walked into his large sitting room with Inibehe and Uduak. He was seated on a royal stool that looked like a throne. He had grey hairs and grey beards. Pastor Nathaniel was a fine old man in his mid-seventies with an umber toned skin.
“Bishop Cosmos, welcome to my home. Have a seat please.” He said softly.
It was only Uduak and Inibehe who followed him behind, the rest of them were seated in the car.
“What do I hold this visit, Bishop?”
Prophet Nathaniel asked.
“My second son Inibehe just graduated from Missionary school, he will be getting married in a month time.”
Prophet Nathaniel shook his head as he listened and watched the bishop introduce his son and Uduak.
The Prophet stared at Inibehe for a long time like someone was whispering words to his ears about Inibehe.
“But his soul is already tied to someone else. I am seeing a strong bond with another woman.” He said.
The bishop glared at Inibehe and took away his eyes immediately. He was upset, it wasn’t what he wanted to hear.
Uduak’s face turned red, she sagged suddenly with terror. She was embarrassed. She put her face down.
“What bond man of God?” The bishop asked in a confused state.
“He knows what I’m talking about. He is already married to someone else. I am seeing it in the spiritual realm.” The prophet said and then turned to the bishop.
“Why did you send him to the missionary school? He is not supposed to be there. I warned you when he was seventeen, but you still took him there.”
“My wife insisted.” Bishop retorted.
“I am not seeing a pastor in him Cosmos. There will be problem, serious problem at where he will serve. This woman right . is not his.”
“God forbid,” Uduak said clapping her hands away.
The prophet turned to her and said, “He is not yours. He is someone else’s soul mate.”