But if they do not have [sufficient] self-control, they should marry; for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.
Read the first three parts here
‘Hmmmm’, I groan. The water invigorates the cells of my parched throat. I tip my head to the side to convey my thanks. My lips part in a contented sigh. Clothes rustle, I feel myself being carried. I don’t protest. I open my eyes and struggle to keep them open. I am dropped somewhere soft, my head on somebody’s knees, my knees are tucked in. Clammy fingers stroke my forehead. I think I am at the back of a car. I struggle to get up. Gently, I am pulled back into the soft laps. I widen my eyes to keep my eyelids from drooping.
‘What is it?’ The voice is familiar; I can’t just place it yet. I try to get up again. I am helped to sit up. I clear my throat and I am handed a bottle of water. I can’t get a firm grip on it.
I let out a weak, ‘Please, stop the car. Now. Please. Now.’ The owner of the voice lets out an exasperated sigh. Oh, I know who it is now. Yes, John’s daughter. She coaxes me back into her laps. I refuse to lie down. She looks at me questioningly. ‘The picture?’ I ask. She brings it out from behind me. I go back to her laps without hesitation. And for the first time in the past two weeks, I feel something other than sorrow. Shame. Yes, I should be in her position, looking out for her and her younger siblings. Instead, I have failed them, blinded by my grief.
I let out a piercing wail. Not grief. No. Shame. I take a look at the picture again. And I make a solemn promise to myself, to him, to God. I will be there for all of them. I will be. I feel another kind of wetness on my forehead. She is crying too. With the last of my strength, I pull myself up and wrap her with my arms. We will be alright. We have no other choice.
P.S This post is dedicated to a very amazing man of valour. Happy Birthday Adedolapo Adeniyi. If honey were to be a person, it would be you. Plenty Dollar, His Royal Sweetness, I love you but God loves you the most. To Him, you are the world. I pray with you that He will bless you indeed, and enlarge your territory. His hands will for ever be upon you and keep you from evil that you may cause no pain. The world awaits your revealing. God bless you, Dolapo Boo. Happy birthday to Fiwa too. Loool.