… my friends think I am joking about leaving the country. I am not. Think about it. There is nothing for me here. There isn’t exactly anything for me there too, but it won’t be said that I didn’t try with all that I had to find some happiness. It wouldn’t be said at all.
Work is great. I made myself this really horrible red velvet. Even a glass of Bailey on the rocks couldn’t save it. I will keep at it. Practice makes perfect. I find that I may soon be back to my life of drinking Baileys and watching African magic. My days at this cake shop are numbered.
Abigail and Enkay and Fifunmi are here to monitor me. They are not taking this news well. I guess it is okay to have friends who worry about you but I would prefer to be alone.
‘So, how could you not have told us? Nobody had an idea you were even applying for a visa.’
I sigh in exasperation. We have been through this. ‘I didn’t think it would work out. Plus, two of my siblings are there.’
Enkay shakes her head. ‘That’s not it. You can go visit. Which one is you are leaving the country? What will you do there? You couldn’t even hold a job here.’
I laugh dryly. ‘Maybe my destiny will be fulfilled if I leave Nigeria.’
Abigail moves to the corner and seats on the floor. She is gazing into space. ‘I have failed you, Mario. I have.’ She looks around the room. ‘We all have failed you. Youa re an amazing person, and God put you in our lives for a purpose. Do you know what you have done for each of us? Enkay? Fifunmi? Me especially. I prayed to God for a friend and I met you. But what have I done for you in return? Nothing. How did I help you with your quandary? I have failed you.’
Fifunmi nods in agreement. ‘The truth is when all is said and done, we really don’t know what is at the end of the road we have taken till we get there. But what if you had access to the person who made the roads? Listen Mario, if you don’t even take away anything from what we are trying to tell you. Take this. There is a God who loves you so much that He took the human form to die for you. He knew you from when you were formed about you. And He has a plan for your life. A plan that defies human understanding. But if you don’t draw close to Him, if you don’t believe in Him, if you don’t believe that He is and saves, then you bear the burden alone.’
I resist the urge to scoff. ‘Why are we having this conversation?’ I shake my head in disbelief. ‘Why? God is Alpha and Omega. That’s fine. But what has He got to do with me? Am I contesting His Supremacy?’
Fifunmi holds my shoulder. ‘I have been praying for you since I got saved. Look. You are a good person. You are selfless and nice. And you are so disciplined and hardworking. With all you have been through, you still kept your head around you. Good. But Jesus is reaching out to you. He desperately wants you to take his hand.
‘Why? He is God abi? What am I in the scheme of things? What does he need me for? Why did He die to save the world. He is God after all, He could have done something less complex. I don’t need this right now. Jesus loves me, and the whole world too. Look at the state of the world. I would rather not be loved. Thank you very much.’ I fold my arms and relax in my seat. My three friends exchange looks and I grab the glass of Bailey next to me. I am not ready for whatever they are planning.
…is Jesus/God really the answer? Once I believe that Jesus came to save me, is that all? I mean, I just get to have a glance at the plans God has for me. And that’s it? Am I really hopeless, my friends were preaching at me? I try to go to church now and then. Sundays are important. They are for God I agree. What if God thinks Sundays are not enough? What of he wants every day of the week? I don’t mind really, all I need is for my life to have some meaning. Why am I alive? Of what use am to my immediate community? This God, what had he made me for? Too many questions. Why now? After all these years… I need to sleep on this.