Posted in christian

In His Love: Chapter 8

Elias Maurer on Unsplash

Amara smiled as she put the plates in the dishwasher; the perks she got from living with Gerald astounded her. They moved into the penthouse of a high-rise apartment building in the Central. Now Amara understood the life Gerald lived.

Gerald took her shopping and changed their wardrobes, explaining that since they were no longer in Wilderness, they could upgrade a bit, Amara agreed. Her head was almost coming off with the force of her nods. He also provided money for her family, which she accepted with gratitude and trepidation. 

The apartment on the twentieth floor, painted in pale cream and lilac, had a feminine effect, Amara thought a bit much, but Gerald loved the colours. A spacious three-bedroom flat, with all rooms en-suite, including a large living room. They turned an enclave before the kitchen into the dining area. Amara loved the kitchen, it came with all the required accessories; Gerald loved the coffee maker most. 

The furniture shop delivered their beds the day before, and Amara felt like she could float. They painted her bed purple, with a lilac cushioned headboard and added extra drawer spaces by the sides. By the time she went shopping with Gerald for the living room seater-set, Amara acknowledged his wife would be one lucky girl.

She left the kitchen, worried over how dependent on him she had become. They started their book discussions again in the evenings after Gerald returned from work. He accepted a job catering for church events. The church president connected him to the Church’s care group, and the orders were pouring in, regardless of the case against him in Wilderness.

They took morning walks early, as Amara kept complaining about her weight. Gerald always prayed, so they walked in silence. They never discussed the infection in Wilderness because she refused to believe his God healed her, but after the different tests confirmed her free of the infection after his prayer that morning, she could not deny the truth. Amara still did not want to acknowledge God’s goodness to her; however, on the first morning they walked, she thanked his God.

Amara still noticed the looks from Gerald when he thought she looked elsewhere. When she wore her new clothes and got ready for shopping, his eyes mirrored his thoughts. She did not understand the power with which he held himself in check but recognised his God meant too much to him.

His all-encompassing love for his God worried her. Would such love allow him to care for a woman as well? With a lip pout turned left and narrowed eyes, she pondered the question as she went to her room and got ready for the day. Amara planned something big. She told her parents she would pick up Alex and informed Gerald of a surprise. She hoped he would love her daughter. 

Amara started thinking about introducing Alex to him after they moved out of the Church quarters. She felt a sense of peace about presenting her daughter to her best friend, a title she gave him in her heart. 

She opened her wardrobe, and a laugh escaped her lips at the fabric colours hanging there. Her smile waned a bit when she remembered her daughter possessed nothing new. She shrugged the downer off, promising herself that once she moved into her own house with Alex, she would splurge on the girl.


Amara picked Alex up with extra clothing for the next day, then they set off for the Central. Gerald was in the house when they arrived. The food on the dining table, coconut rice, and chicken sauce looked sumptuous, and the aroma made Amara’s mouth water. She smiled when she heard soft music playing from the speakers set up around the house, while she made Alex comfortable in the living room. Amara strolled to Gerald’s door and called out to him. 

A few seconds later, he opened the door to his bedroom in his vest and jeans. “Hey, Amara. What’s the surprise?”

“Come with me.” She said, with a half-smile on her lips. Her heart raced as she led him to the living room, unsure of his reaction. The way she kept looking at him made him sober up, and he followed her lead.

Once there, Amara pointed at Alex. “Gerald, this is my five-year-old daughter, Alexandria.” Turning to her daughter, she smiled. “Alex, say good evening to Mr. Gerald.”

“Good evening,” Alex said, offering him an imperceptible bow.

Gerald’s mouth opened, but nothing came out. He sat down in the chair opposite Alex’s and beckoned to her. The little girl hesitated, not sure about him, and leaned towards her mother. Amara led her to him and took a seat next to them, watching.

Gerald looked at Alex and back at Amara, smiling, “She is beautiful, like you.”

Amara smiled back.

“Alex, you can call me Gerald.” He said to the little girl, who nodded. “Are you hungry?” Alex nodded again, smiling. “Good, there is enough food to feed an army. Have you ever seen an army?” He asked the little girl again as he led her to the dining table.

Alex nodded. “On T.V.” 

He smiled and looked at Amara, winking, before he turned to Alex. “Good, excellent. Tell me all about them.” 

As they got to the dining table, Alex looked back at Amara to confirm she was coming with them. Alex took the seat Gerald offered, confident in the smile her mother flashed her.


Amara walked into the cafe and spotted Acapella and Romeo at once. They stood out with rough clothes, though their best, and loud conversation, although they were trying to be quiet, as they leaned close to talk. 

Amara smiled as she strolled to their table, noting the discomfort on the faces of the people sitting near the boys. The boys smiled at her, standing as she neared their table. The smiles, a rare occurrence, meant a lot to her. She greeted them, and they all sat.

Amara ordered coffee and water for the boys; the cafe did not serve alcohol. The boys preferred bland to sweet, without alcohol.

She turned to them, still smiling. “You boys surprised me with your call. What’s the news?”

Acapella coughed. “Snake, we are not sleeping on the fire matter. We have been working underground to find out who wants you dead. Nma is the game master.” 

Romeo nodded.

“Be careful. The woman has evil plans for you. The fire was child’s play. She wants you dead. The boys and I are watching her and her boys. Leaving Wilderness was a good play. Stay where you are.” Acapella said, and leaned back as the server delivered their orders.

The news shocked Amara, but not as much as the boys expected. In the business of prostitution, the strong took the weak out, clean. If not Nma, someone else would attempt the same thing, seeing as Amara’s relationship with Madam Meg deteriorated with time. It was Nma’s need to kill her that confused her more than anything else. There were so many ways to take her out, death should have been the last option.

Looking at her boys, she smiled again. “My people, well done. I wonder what I did to the girl to incur her hate?” She looked around, frowning, then focused on them. “Boys, I will send you small cash. Call our man to run a search. I want reports telling me everything about her. Find out her village, family, friends, enemies, everything that connects, and call me with the information.” 

The guys nodded. Standing, they hailed her and left the cafe. 

Amara tried to understand Nma’s motivation and shook her head, smiling at the girl’s good fortune. If they had met years ago, Nma would not have had enough teeth to tell the tale. Amara sneered at the thought of fighting with Nma now. What a waste of time and energy. Madam Meg must back her, but Amara suspected the Madam was not aware of Nma’s murderous schemes.

She looked up at the ceiling. “Did you save me from her that night?” She asked, shook her head and looked at her coffee. “If you did, you have my attention. You may not want me to kill Nma, but I need to teach her a lesson about messing with the wrong people. So, I am inviting you into my planning sessions from now on, since I understand you need to be with me at all costs.” She stood smiling and left the cafe. A plan forming in her mind.


Two days later, as Amara listened to Acapella’s report on Nma, her irritation grew. Nothing he said gave any clues to the reason for Nma’s hatred. She waited for him to finish. “She is an Otuma girl. They sold her to Mr. A, so? Acapella, pick one of her girls from the house and torture her. Find out why Nma is after me. I will send you money now. Do you understand?”

She hung up and sat back in the living room, annoyed. She spent almost all the housekeeping money Gerald gave her on this matter. He called the money, house funds, but he bought groceries and cooked most of their food. 

Amara looked up to the ceiling. “Your boy is trying. I want to pay him back, but he will not agree to my mode of payment. He is so afraid of you he cannot see the packaging in front of him. More like he can, but won’t dare touch.” 

She preferred to wait for Gerald at lunchtime. He made food time an event. She rolled her eyes at her thoughts, but did not berate herself too much. She stopped punishing herself long ago. Amara realised earlier on that she cared about Gerald. She would ask Gerald for the cash without discussing what it was for. Telling him was pointless. 

Now, to deal with Nma. Amara picked up her phone and called an old acquaintance. Someone useful to her in her younger days in the brothel. He picked up on the second ring.

“Hah, long time.”

“Hello Lawrence,” she said, infusing enough warmth into her voice and lowering it for effect. He never hid the fact that he wanted her, but she never mixed the hustle with play. “I hope well?”

“I am fine, my sister. Quite surprised at your call. Anything for your boy?”

“Lawrence, boy?” She asked and laughed. “I need you to help me handle someone. Can you?”

“Hmm, is this person in Wilderness?”

“Yes, she is. She wants me dead, and I want to teach her I can’t die unless I say so.” 

Lawrence laughed. “I can do anything for you, but anything for your boy?”

“Haba, Lawrence, of course. How much are we talking?”

Lawrence laughed again. “Not how much, but when? When can we be together?”

Amara’s eyes searched the room, as her brain searched for a response. “Lawrence, but I don’t do such things. You and I go way back.”

“Yes, but this guy wants you. I never forgot about you. Even when you moved up to the big leagues and forgot about small us. I kept asking around. I think I fell for you. Come and ease my suffering, and the girl is dead meat.”

Amara weighed different options to dodge the request, which surprised her. She would have given his request a second thought before, but not now. She shook her head at how much Gerald was messing with her system. “Lawrence, you mean you are not aware I contacted the AIDS virus?”  

His sharp intake of breath was not quiet. She heard him swear.

“AIDS, when, how?” he asked. “You, Amara? You are lying.” He laughed, his unease obvious. “You are pulling my legs.”

“Ask around in Wilderness, Lawrence. The news is all over the place.” 

“Oh, my God, you are serious. I am so sorry, my dear. How are you doing?”

“Coping. That is why I am surprised this little goat still wants me dead. Haven’t I suffered enough?”

“I would have visited, but you cannot still be in the brothel. Madam Meg would not agree with you living there with the information out in the public. Where are you now?” He asked.

“I’m in a small room at the back of Wilderness, near the rubbish heap. Don’t worry about me, you cannot come here. Just tell me how much I need to pay for you to deal with the girl. There is some money I saved up.”

“The money you will use to treat yourself? Don’t worry, I will do this one for you. Any plans on how you want her dealt with?” he asked.

Amara smiled and relayed her plan.


Gerald asked her out to the beach that Sunday. Amara went out and bought clothes to make Gerald’s beach experience a living hell. She wanted him to put off the good boy mask for once.

Early Sunday morning, Gerald prepared the refreshments for the beach. He fried fish, beef, chicken, some calamari and big prawns. He also prepared peppered gizzards and snails. Amara thanked the lord for the man. She walked out to the kitchen ready, with a wrap-round kimono dress and sandals. Her hat sat well on her hair, and she tucked her sunshades into the collar of the dress.

Gerald looked up at her and smiled. “Ready?”

She nodded, smiling back. She would shock him out of his celibate state. He wore a t-shirt and shorts. The shirt clung to him, showing off the muscles he gained in the gym. He believed a full-time chef should advertise wellness and healthy living to his customers. He looked so edible from behind. Everything looked strong.

He turned back to her, and she almost jumped out of her skin. 

Gerald noted her reaction. “Are you alright? Why are you so startled?”

Amara smiled at him. “I’m fine, you caught me day-dreaming.”

“Do you want to talk? The beach can wait.”

“No, let’s go.”

He nodded and turned to leave, with Amara right behind him. She inhaled the scent of his perfume and groaned. She did not know who was dealing with whom at that point in the campaign. 


The car sped off, and she took a side-long look at him, smiling. She loved the way he made her problems a priority. He always dropped everything to listen. Nobody else treated her like he did. She continued to worry about their time of separation. Would she be as unscratched as she thought?

They got to the beach, and Gerald found the right spot with chairs, a table, and an umbrella. The empty beach met Amara’s needs. She wanted Gerald all to herself, with as little an audience as possible. 

They laid their stuff on the table, and when he sat, Amara started the show. Still standing, she took off her hat and removed the sunshades from the nook of her shirt, putting them on. She removed her kimono and draped it on the arm of her chair, and turned back to the water without looking at Gerald, taking some steps forward for effect.

Gerald coughed a loud one. “Amara, the shorts are not decent.” 

She turned to him and smiled. “That’s why we call them bum shorts.” 

She turned back to the water and knelt on the sand, trying to build something, anything. When she moved forward, the shorts hiked up with the movement. Something fell off their table, and she turned back to look. Gerald uncrossed his legs and bent to pick the can of ginger ale on the sandy floor. The unease on his face evident, and she smiled. He looked up and caught her at it.

“You’re doing this on purpose.” He said, his voice low with understanding. It sounded like a come-on.

Amara moved close to him. The one-piece bikini she wore with the shorts, showing off her breasts to quite an advantage. “I want you, Gerald, and I am unashamed to say it.” She said, turned and walked off towards the water. 

Gerald said little at the beach. He did not look unhappy, but his mood changed. He answered her questions with smiles and made small comments. She hoped she had changed his mind.


Later that night, after a movie, he told her to stay back for a while. Amara sat down, expectant; his face gave nothing away, nor did he look at her.

“Amara, I’m moving out.” He turned to look her in the eyes, still not displaying any emotion.

Amara did not understand. “What did you say?”

“I’m moving out of the house soon.”

A long pause. “Why?” She asked.

He hesitated, looking at the empty screen of the T.V, scratching his head, and then he folded his arms. “I can’t do what you want me to do. I want to, but God comes first.” He said as he laughed, nervous. He turned back to Amara. “God is omnipresent. Working and staying out of the house should have helped, but today… I realized that I only kept my attraction at bay.” He touched his lips with his fingers as if trying to control what escaped from them. “I was kidding myself, and I am afraid I might give in to you soon. God help me. I won’t be far away; I’ll try to get accommodation in a building nearby–”

“Someone wants me dead.” She said. She had to say something to shut him up before she screamed.

“What? What did you say?” He asked, moving close to her.

“Someone wants me dead. You should be here with me. I promise not to pull that stunt ever again. I promise not to aggravate you anymore, but please stay. This is your house; I should be the one to leave.”

He moved closer and held her hand. “Do you know who?”

“I believe a girl from the brothel in Wilderness. The reason escapes me, but she hates me.”

“Nma.” He said, looking at her and nodding as Amara’s eyes widened. “She set me up in the quarters as well. She started the gossip about me. God showed me you are her actual target. I’m just a side goal, but He also told me to leave everything to Him.” He said, taking her hands in his. “I will stay, not because I can protect you, but because I want to. Marry me, Amara, please.”

Amara’s heart fluttered. He knew how to keep the good stuff coming. “Why? Because we want each other?”

“It helps,” he said, smiling. “Marry me because God wishes us to live and grow old together.”

She took her hands from his. “God abandoned me when I needed him the most. If He can do such a thing, what is a mere man? Men promise heaven and all, but nothing ever comes of it. Gerald, you mean well, but I just want to enjoy your body, and when we are done, we are done. Why is it so hard? I am sorry, but I don’t believe in promises. Good night and thank you for staying.” She said and stood to leave.

“Remember Amara, leave Nma to God. He will protect you himself.” Gerald said as he watched her leave.

She didn’t turn back and didn’t respond. 

Posted in christian

In His Love: Chapter 7

Jamez Picard on Unsplash

Three weeks later:

Gerald stepped out of his room, as Amara was coming out of the bathroom. They both stopped and stared at each other. Amara smiled, and Gerald felt warmth flood his body, from his head to his toes.

“Good morning,” He smiled back at her and continued walking to the living room. Unsure of her mood.

Amara stepped into his path, blocking him. “Good morning Gerald, off to work? Here, let me help you with your shirt.” She reached out to touch his shirt. Gerald caught both her hands with his own and put them down.Amara smiled. “I understand. You don’t want me touching or kissing you?” 

Gerald did not return the smile. “Amara. I hope you slept well. Breakfast is in the microwave. I will talk to you at noon.” He continued on his way.

“Is my weight the problem?” She asked from behind him. He turned back to her, his brows furrowing. “I checked the weighing scale in the bathroom, and I added about 4kg. Is that why you don’t want me?”

Gerald shook his head, turned, and walked away; this time hoping to leave the house as fast as possible.

“Answer me, Gerald.” She said, following him. 

He stopped at the door, not bothering to turn around. “I am not a body you can assuage your needs with. I cannot explain the depths of my feelings. You wouldn’t understand. I want to be with you, but you don’t want to trust or believe anything I say. I want to help with your struggles, Amara. Let me.”

Amara turned and walked back to her room. Gerald stood looking at the door until he heard her bedroom door close. He left the house wanting to scream or kick something. 

She had taken to teasing him, sometimes in anger and sometimes out of boredom. She was his first item of discussion in God’s presence. He kept asking the Father what he could do to help her. She confused him further by not talking. Tired of seeing her wallow in whatever was eating her up, Gerald stayed out of her way. They would start leaving the house, he decided.


When Gerald got back at noon, an empty house greeted him. Amara didn’t tell him she was going out. He called her phone, and when she didn’t answer, he sent a message. He waited a while for her response, but nothing came. As he got up to leave the house, he hesitated at the impatient raps on his door. His eyes widened when he opened the door to the last person he expected to see.

“Oh, hello. Nma, correct?” He asked, putting forward his hand with a smile. 

Nma, dressed to murder, rushed forward in her too-tight dress to grasp, and shake his hand. “Yes, Pastor, it’s Nma.”

“I’m sorry, but Amara is not here at the moment.” Gerald said as he tried to extricate his hand from the grip.

“No, sir. I came to talk to you.” She said, holding on.

Gerald grinned as he used his other hand to remove hers. “Nma, I am not a Pastor. Please call me Gerald. Since you came for me, let us go to the church office.”

“Gerald, Pastor Josh is using the church office, and I want to talk to you about Amara, alone. Can we talk in your house?” 

Gerald wondered if she dressed up for an outing, or for him. The first option seemed scary. “Sure, come in.”He said as he moved aside for her to walk in and closed the door behind them. 

By the time he turned back to her, she had made herself comfortable, so he took the seat beside her.

“Gerald, did Amara tell you anything about her health issues?” She asked.

Gerald was quiet for a minute. “You mean, about the AIDS?”

Nma’s mouth opened a bit. She composed herself, seeing her news did not trouble Gerald. “Well, she lost all her customers, and she is a no-go for every Madam in the city. She can never work here again. Since she’s staying with you, I took it upon myself to tell you about it.” She smiled, leaning forward to show-off more of her exposed breasts. “A man like you, who is kind enough to allow a harlot into his house, should not earn such wickedness for it.”

Gerald looked down, praying for wisdom. “Nma, I presume Amara is not your friend?”

She looked away from him. “Oh, we are close. I thought you could not be aware of the situation because you are still living with her. Women are good at hiding such things. I wanted you to be informed.” She turned back to him, smiling.

Gerald nodded.

“Gerald, why are you still living with her if you know she is an AIDS carrier?”

Gerald smiled. “Nma, Amara doesn’t have AIDS.”

“Oh, is that right?” Nma asked after a long while, looking at Gerald, a pitiful look. “Did she say so?”

“Yes. Since you are close to Amara, you can help tell all her friends the good news.” Gerald said and stood. “I need to head back to the office. Thank you for coming and for looking out for me.”

Nma stood and walked close to him. “Gerald, I can do so much more for you,” she whispered. She kept her bag on the seat she had vacated and snapped the clasp of her dress from the shoulder. It fell away from her body, leaving her naked except for the matching bra and panties she wore. “I liked you from the start, and I hoped you would like me too.” 

Gerald picked up her dress from the ground. He took her by the hand and dragged her to his room. He opened the door, shoved the dress at her, and pushed her in. “I’m giving you fifteen seconds before I call the women in the church. I’m waiting for you here.” He said and closed the door behind him.

Twenty seconds later, Nma walked past him and into the living room. Gerald picked her bag and handed the minute case to her. “I may not be a pastor, but I am still a man of God. Please ensure this never repeats itself. Leave.” He gestured to the door with his hand. She looked him over, smiled, and turned to go. Before she got to the door, he called her name.”Don’t come to this house again to visit your close friend or me.” 

At midnight, Gerald stopped pretending to read and turned off the side lamp near his bed. He had waited long enough; he would try to sleep. 

Amara came in at 2 am, and Gerald listened to the noise she made as she walked into her room. He gave her five minutes before he went to her door and knocked. 


“Amara, I’m coming in. I hope you’re decent.” He waited for ten seconds and turned the door handle. The room was dark, and she giggled as he turned on the light. Her blanket moved, and he wondered why she would hide from him. He heard her whisper to herself to be quiet.

He moved to the bed, and grasping the blanket from her hand, pulled the cloth away from her face. She kept struggling, though. “Amara, can we talk? I’ll wait for you in the living room. Please dress up.” He let the blanket go and walked out. 

Gerald waited for fifteen minutes in the living room before returning to her. The door was still open, and she was snoring.


A week later, severe sores appeared on Amara’s face. They started from her mouth, but after a day or two, moved to her chin and her jaw. She complained of weakness and fever. 

Gerald took her to the hospital when the medication she got from the pharmacy some days earlier did not seem to work. A day later, they picked up the results, and oral herpes happened. 

Stunned, Gerald moped at the doctor as he confirmed the report and asked her questions about her lifestyle. Back in the quarters, Amara was on the way to her room when Gerald decided he was done with her attitude. 

“Stop, Amara.” 

She stopped but didn’t turn around to face him. 

Gerald prayed for wisdom and patience. “From your reaction to the sores, is this your first experience with such a thing?” 

She nodded. 

“Do you think this happened because of your night out last week?”

Amara was quiet.

Gerald stepped closer to her. “Where did you go that night? What happened?”

Amara lifted her hands up and took steps away from him. “Oh, for god’s sake. I’m an adult and can do as I please, even if I am living in your house. Can’t I have some privacy? I went to get my itch scratched, since you wouldn’t oblige me.” She turned and moved close to him. “I am what I am, and I needed a man. A real man for one night, to make me whole again. I hope I have said all you wanted to hear?”

Gerald looked at her for a while, walked past her, and left the room. She followed him to his room and bristled as he locked the door.

“Come out here. What did you expect? I am a prostitute!” She hit his door. “Open this door now and listen. This is my way and my life. You played the God’s boy role perfectly, but I wanted you to touch me, hold me. I must survive. Do you understand? I have people depending on me, waiting for money to feed and go to school? So, don’t enter your room and judge me, you judge. Come out! This is the Amara you wanted to marry; this is the girl God sent you to love. Are you tired already? This conversation hasn’t started yet? Come out, now!” she shouted, kicking the door.

Gerald opened the door, advanced towards her fast and held her shoulders, forcing her away from his door. Amara stepped back in fear, but remained still, waiting. She looked like she had resigned herself to whatever he meted out to her. 

Gerald dropped his hands and shook his head. “I would never hurt you, Amara, never. All the words you shouted at me must ring true to you, but none made sense to me. This is not the first time we are dealing with the threat of disease together. I sat with you in the hospital for the HIV screen tests. I waited with you for the results, believing you couldn’t be positive.

“If you wanted a man, you should have agreed to be mine and we would have started the marriage process, but no. If there are people depending on you, come to me. I can sort you out, again and again. You are your own worst enemy and until you are clear on that, I will always be the guy by the wayside to you.” He turned and walked back into his room, locked his door again.


The next morning, Gerald knew what he had to do. On his way to work, he went to Amara’s room and opened the door. She was sound asleep on her bed, still wearing the clothes from the day before. He went to her and laid a hand on her head. A fever lit her skin like fire, the sores taking up more space on her body. 

He knelt beside her and prayed for healing, finishing with thanksgiving. He left her room and closed the door behind him.


When Gerald returned at noon, Amara lay sprawled on the center carpet, sound asleep. She must have been watching the television because the news was on. She littered her medicine packs all over the table. Gerald decided not to disturb her and went to the kitchen. He noted she finished the food he left, or he hoped so.

He prepared lunch and went back to the living room to sit and pray, not eating. He finished and noticed that Amara was looking at him.

“Good afternoon. What’s the time?” She asked.

He smiled, surprised she was speaking to him. He checked his wristwatch. “1 pm. Are you still hurting from the sore?”

“Yes, thank you. Do you believe your prayers work?”

Gerald nodded. “Yes, Amara, I believe prayers work. If not for prayers, I wouldn’t be here today. God makes his power available to those who believe and trust him.”

She sighed and lay down again. “I’m happy for you.”

They remained in silence, and Gerald enjoyed the experience. He continued to speak to God in his heart about the situation at hand.

“Would you help me? With cash, I mean?” She asked, not looking at him.

He nodded. “Yeah, how much do you need?”

Amara sat up. “About two hundred thousand haras. Can you spare such an amount of money? I’ll pay you back.”

Gerald’s eyes flashed. “How would you pay me back, Amara?”

She looked down at her hands and did not respond. Gerald didn’t think she would. He moved to the carpet and sat next to her, holding her hands.

“Marry me, Amara, please. I’ll care for you and all your dependents. You won’t do such jobs anymore.” 

Amara removed her hand from his. “Gerald, your offer is tempting, but I know first-hand what women mean to men-nothing. I swore never to shackle myself to any man a long time ago. I have no safety net to fall on if your feelings change or your God asks you to move on. How will I survive?” She took his hand again. “Can’t we be friends? Good friends?”

Gerald sighed and nodded. He stood and helped her up. “I need to return to the Church. Let’s be friends for now. I’ll always be here for you, as long as God gives me breath.” He said as he turned and walked to the door. “I will transfer the money as soon as possible.” 


At first, Gerald was oblivious. He kept doing his daily work until it was clear the staff no longer helped him out like before. First, the rude stares, the whispers behind his back came next. From church staff, women in the church, to some men he knew. They were all making efforts to ignore him. 

After a day of careful thinking, he went to Pastor Josh. 

The pastor made him sit. “Gerald, Nma brought a sexual harassment allegation against you to our attention. The Parish Council has said nothing yet, but Nma informed certain members of the parish that you tried to sleep with her in your quarters.” 

Gerald sat up and moved closer. “What do you mean, I tried to sleep with her? How? And if I may ask, how am I the last person in the Parish to hear about this?”

Pastor Josh raised an eyebrow. “Well, I was going to call you in this evening to brief you, but as you have found out yourself, it is well. Amara living with you does not help this matter. This accusation laid against you affects the whole parish. People will think I condone such things, and to be frank, this situation is not good for both of us. I must insist Amara leave your quarters and you must go home for a while until we investigate this allegation. I will talk to the Church president about this and give you feedback.”

Gerald’s eyes widened. “Pastor, are you asking me to leave? Do you believe the allegations against me?”

“Gerald, Nma is a child of God who attends this church. Prostitute or no, we must defend their rights and investigate, or people will think we are partial to our own. The situation is beyond me. I’m asking you to leave because the members of the Parish Council asked me to send you away. I will investigate the matter myself, prove you are innocent, and afterward, you can come back.”

Gerald got up, thanked the Pastor, and left the office. He went straight to his quarters, entered his room, and locked the door. On his knees, Gerald sought the Father’s face. 

His head seemed full, and his mind was unclear. Amara, Nma, Pastor Josh, and the church. He felt darkness trying to overtake him like a powerful wave. 

“Jesus!” He uttered as he laid his head on the carpet. The world was fighting against him. He asked God for help, and not knowing how to continue, he fell asleep on the floor in exhaustion and despair. 

Gerald was walking hand in hand with Amara on a lonely street. Happy and chatting as they walked, he heard a voice. “Turn around and save your beloved.”

He turned, and Nma was running towards them with a knife. She looked like she was aiming for Amara, but Gerald stood in her way. 

Nma stopped and glared at him. “Out of my way, Pastor boy. She must die.” 

Gerald shook his head. “No, she will not die. She will live to praise the Lord.”

Nma laughed. “Which God? If you don’t step away from her, I will make your life a living hell as well. Now, move.”

As Nma made to strike, a hand appeared from nowhere and slapped her hard. She hit the ground face down, and her knife fell away from her.

The voice sounded loud in Gerald’s heart.

‘Therefore, thus says the Lord: “If you return, Then I will bring you back; You shall stand before Me; If you take out the precious from the vile, You shall be as My mouth. Let them return to you, but you must not return to them. And I will make you to these people a fortified bronze wall; And they will fight against you, but they shall not prevail against you; For I am with you to save you and deliver you,” says the Lord. “I will deliver you from the hand of the wicked, and I will redeem you from the grip of the terrible.” 


The next day, Gerald packed his bags and asked Amara to do the same, with no explanations for her. Packing done, a waiting taxi drove them away from the parish.

Posted in christian

In His Love: Chapter 6

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Nma beamed as the other girls fawned over her. Madam Meg made her the head girl of the house with Amara gone. She would be the one assigning customers to the girls,’ and best of all, Amara’s room belonged to her. Once announced, most of the girls’ gathered at the bar cheered, and Nma declared drinks all round. The barman put on some music, and everybody danced as they wished her well. 

The ladies, who would not speak to her before, came to her table to talk. Everybody congratulated Nma, trying to scale into her good books. Nma smiled at the scene playing out in front of her with understanding. Her time had come, and she would dry it out. 

Soon, most of the girls left the bar for their rooms. Nma and her trusted companions, Enna and Rowie, remained.

“Nkoli shimmied away, right after madam Meg. She didn’t pretend to hide her shame, follower of rubbish.” Enna said, taking a seat by the bar window.

Nma smiled, sitting as well as she took a swig from the beer bottle. “Don’t mind the losers. Nkoli is a small fish; no harm can come from her. I will teach her a small lesson later to show her who the real boss is. As for her mentor, I am not done with her yet. By leaving the brothel, she started the journey on the path I planned for her.”

Rowie looked at Nma wide-eyed, dropping her beer bottle on the table. “Babe, you mean you orchestrated her exit?”

Nma smiled at her and winked. “By the time I am through with the worthless prostitute, that old cargo, she will wish for death.”

Enna smiled at Nma. “I trust you, my friend. You can put people in their place. What about another beer? We are still celebrating, aren’t we?”

Nma whistled. “Stanza,” she called to the barman, “more beer bottles here.”

The girls whooped, hailing her.

“Listen, this is a new regime. The days of the old are over. I don’t understand how you girls could stand taking the customers Amara assigned to you, pretending that the good ones all requested for her? When I told madam, she asked her to stop attending to new customers. I made that happen.” Nma said, smiling at the looks on their faces.

Rowie raised her hands. “Powerful babe. Nobody told us. The changes in Amara’s relationship with madam Meg gladdened us, and we gave glory to God. So, the glory goes to you, Nma.” They laughed.

Nma sobered up and looked out the window. “I’m not done. No, not at all. I will make sure Amara never works again. If she does, it won’t be in Haraya. She is not aware of what is coming for her.”

“Nma, what did she do to you? It must be horrible for you to hate her this much?” Enna asked.

Nma remained silent. From her first week in the brothel, she hated Amara. The customers she wanted all chose Amara, and they assigned her the cast-offs. She waited her turn, endured the old and the drunk as they treated her like a penny-penny harlot.

She worked hard until the money she made the brothel opened Madam Meg’s doors to her. Once she gained access to Madam Meg, she filled the old lady’s ears with all sorts and few near-truths.

Amara thought she was better than others because she could read enormous books and speak well. Nma would show her everybody had their own time.


Mr. A hated to wait, and worst of all, he hated to wait for Nma. She did not value his time. If not for the fact he sponsored her in Haraya, he would have abandoned the hag a while ago. Packing up to leave, someone shouted his name, and he groaned. Why would she be calling out his name like that in a hotel lobby, for god’s sake? He closed his eyes and sat down again, ignoring her call. Her heels clicked on the floor, loud enough to drown out a drum. Mr. A held the armrest of his seat tight, waiting. When she appeared before him, he closed his eyes again, wishing for the ground to open. Nma dressed like the local masquerade.

Nma sat down facing him, smiling, then she called out to the bartender. Mr. A couldn’t speak. He swore never to meet her during the day or anywhere people knew him again.

“All these years, and nobody taught you how to dress? You beefed Amara and couldn’t learn a thing or two from her?” He asked, hissing as he shook his head.

Nma leaned back in the cushioned chair, looking confused. Her eyes furrowed. She checked her wristwatch. “I’m a few minutes late, Uncle. Why are you comparing me with Amara?”

Abiodun held on to the chair tighter and put his head back, eyes closed. He could make money at any meeting he attended. Nma provided money sometimes from the various deals they made together; it was the sole reason he agreed to meet her. He tried to focus on that fact. He leaned forward. “I’m not your uncle. Didn’t we discuss this?” Shifting back into the seat, he looked at her. “Why did you ask for this meeting?” 

Nma looked at him with her mouth turned down. She opened her handbag, took out a beefy envelope, and dropped it on the table. “Check it.”

He picked up the envelope, looked inside, and held it up. “What’s this about?”

“What is Amara up to?”

Mr. A put the money in the pocket of his jacket and smiled. “Well, she’s about to hit it big. Madam Love is setting her up for life, here in the Central. She left you guys in the minor leagues and upgraded herself. I suggest you do the same.” He said and stood to leave.

“I’m not done yet. I gave you a lot of money for the seedling of information you dolled out, don’t you think?” She looked him in the eye.

“You asked, and I told you what you wanted to know. What else do you want from me?”

Nma smiled. “What if I tell you how both of us can make more money off Amara?” 

Mr. A looked at her for a while and sat down. “I’m listening.”

“Amara pays you for every customer you assign to her, right?” 

Mr. A nodded.

“What if I give you a cut from my customers every day of the week?”

Mr. A laughed. “I don’t understand. Why?”

“I want us to figure out a way to ensure the deal between Love and Amara falls through.”

Mr. A sat forward, a frown marring his handsome face. “Listen, you are taking this jealousy thing too far. Your plans are late. Madam Love furnished an apartment for Amara, and she will move in tomorrow.”

“I will double your cut if you can help me stop Amara from working with Love. You must also do it before tomorrow.”

The fire in Nma’s eyes caught Mr. A’s attention, and he leaned back, getting comfortable. Now, this he could use. “The money you make in your seedy brothel in a month cannot pay for the shoes I’m wearing. You can’t scratch out enough for this one.” 

“I’ll do anything. Make sure Amara fails.”

Mr. A frowned. “Well, my foreign customers are looking for a certain type of girl.”

“What type? I can do anything. Tell me.” Nma said, leaning forward.

“They want a girl who can sleep with their dog.” He said, looking away.

Nma hesitated for a minute. “Is that the only way?”

Mr. A nodded. “You cannot pay me from the peanuts you make. This is the only way I can ensure the risk I’m about to take is worth my while.”

“How much would we be making?”

Mr. A smiled and looked at her. “Enough to make us rich.”


Madam Love did not respond to Amara’s greeting. She stood facing the windows, looking out at the city. “You dare come here after all you’ve done?” She turned to Amara. “After all the money I spent on you?” Madam’s hands clenched and unclenched.

She advanced towards Amara, eyes growing wide and showing the whites “Chief Ekwerre used to be my biggest customer, the one I reserved for only my best girls? What did you do to enrage him so? Imagine, he asked me never to call him again? Your first customer, for god’s sake, and you messed it up. You’ve messed me up.” Her voice rose in pitch with every statement.

Amara stepped back. “Madam, I…”

Madam Love rushed forward, hand in the air, and stood in Amara’s space. “Shut your mouth, harlot! How dare you try to speak when I’m talking? Who are you? You low down, dirty piece of trash. I wanted to wash you off the streets. In one evening, you set me back by years. Now tell me, how can I maintain you? Our biggest client is gone. How?” 

Amara stepped back again. “Madam, please let me explain.”

“What do you want to say now? There is no deal between us henceforth. I never want to see you again. Leave my house with your bad luck.” She said and walked out of the room.

Amara could not believe or understand what happened. What did the lady mean? Who was Chief Ekwerre? She pulled out her phone and called Mr. A. Maybe he would have answers.

Mr. A answered on the seventh ring. “Hello, Amara.” 

“Mr. A, do you know of a Chief Ekwerre?”

“Amara, oh Amara, why did you do this? After everything she planned for you. I am sorry, but I am so disappointed. I need to look out for the customers I assign to you from now.”

“What are you saying? I did nothing. I don’t know this Chief Ekwerre. Please, Mr. A, this is a big misunderstanding. It is a set-up. Help me beg Madam Love. She canceled our agreement.”

He sighed. “I don’t understand you. Madam said the Chief kept calling your name as he vented at her. He canceled their agreement, and it cost Madam. He pays the rent for her apartment, meaning she needs to move. Amara, this is not very good for you or your reputation. What happened?”

Armand came to stand by her. “Miss, please leave, or I’ll call the police.” Amara cut off the phone line and nodded, exhausted.


She went back to Gerald’s; she had no choice. 

Amara did not leave her room for the rest of the week, and the tears stopped then as well, but she cursed Madam Love and the mysterious Chief. She refused to speak to Gerald, and he respected her need for privacy. He kept trays of food and snacks outside the door of her room for breakfast and dinner. 

On Saturday, she transferred money to her parents for their upkeep, still unwilling to visit Alex. The devastation she felt left her hopeless. Her plans seemed like a pile of baby bricks, which someone built up and destroyed in an instant. Now, she did not have a job or a place to transact business. 

Amara called up her old customers to meet them at hotels close to their workplaces. Hope rose again like waves in high tide. Minute by minute, as she planned, the future looked liveable, possible; she could start again.

The next Monday, Amara wrote out the list of the customers she called. She finished the list a minute before she received a text message alert. She checked the sender, a customer on her list. Amara could not believe the insults the man sent her. She tried to call him back when she received another text message. A second customer threatened to beat her up whenever they met again, and the texts kept coming. By the twelfth message, Amara sat on the floor, dazed, unaware of the tears dripping down her face. They all accused her of being an AIDS carrier and would deal with her for not disclosing her status.

Gerald returned late and found her in the dark living room, still lost. He put on the lights and went to stand by her side. On the center table, pieces of paper torn to bits took up space like flower petals scattered by the wind. He watched as she stood and walked away, leaving him in the room without a word.

“I can help Amara, please.”

She stopped. “No one can help me.”

Gerald went to her and turned her round to face him. “Talk to me.”

She looked at him, and his eyes implored her. Wanting to be held by him, she closed hers. Amara knew that if she gave in to his demands once, that would be it. She opened her eyes. “I’m fine, Gerald. I need time to compose myself. Can I stay here for a while? I hope it won’t be too much trouble?”

Gerald shook his head. “No trouble. Take as much time as you need.”

When she left, he glanced at her phone. A text-message showed on the screen. He picked it up and read.

Posted in christian

In His Love: Chapter 5

Christopher Belock on Unsplash

“Amara, go to Madam Love. I understand your hesitation, but state your terms. I don’t believe she will take advantage.” Mr. A said all this without looking at Amara once. He fiddled with the lapels of his jacket, pen, and kept checking his phone.

Amara kept looking at him and smiled. What did she expect from a no-good pimp? “Mr. A, I thought we had passed this stage as friends. I asked to stay with you for a day. You are aware of why I cannot go to Love; she is too intelligent to miss such an opportunity. Terms? You want me to go to her begging for a place to stay, and you talk of terms?” Amara picked her bag, stood and left the restaurant.

Mr. A caught up with her outside the high-brow establishment in the Central; he liked to go big.

She turned and smiled at him as he held her hand. “Don’t worry; I will sort myself out. Thank you for your advice.” 

Amara turned to leave, trying to wrench her hand from his, but Mr. A held her even tighter.

“Babe, this is not personal. My flat might not be the best place to stay, even for an hour. I am experiencing serious problems with my landlord and some moneylenders I did business with in the past. I don’t want you getting into trouble because of me.” 

She laughed. Did Mr. A think she was clueless? Whenever he had money problems, he went underground, people knew not to go to his house. Even she, as friendly as she had felt to him, understood that. In such situations, he transacted business on the internet and by text message. 

She removed her hand from his and walked away, promising herself never to forget to leave the trade and its associates in their place.


Later that evening in the brothel, she sent a message to Madam Love stating she was ready to do business and requesting for some time to put her affairs in order. Love responded with a text, congratulating her.

Amara picked up her box from Nkoli’s room and left Madam Meg’s establishment. She abandoned all the furniture she built herself, not wanting any disputes with the owner. 

Outside the brothel, she met with her boys. Amara handed Alpha full rein to her space in Wilderness until she got a space. She needed their services, and they were like family. She smiled at how one can find family and loyalty in the least expected places.


Amara set off for the only place she knew she could hide for a while. Nobody would think about looking for her there. As she got into the taxi and gave the driver the address, she relaxed into the seats and closed her eyes.

Her need to go underground could not be over-emphasised. Amara would have the time to think about who her mysterious enemy could be. She discussed the situation with her boys, and they promised to put their ears to the ground. 

At the Transformation Place parish, Amara stood for some time outside the church gates, smiling. She imagined the reaction of her unsuspecting host and tried her best to quiet the laughter threatening to bubble out of her.

She picked up her stuff and strode into the compound. A lady directed her to the pastor’s quarters, informing her Gerald was in his. Amara walked toward Gerald’s quarters, nervousness slowing her down. She got to his door at last, and knocked.

“Hold on a minute, please,” Gerald called out from within the house.

Relieved, she waited, looking around, and hoping no one would spot her. Once Gerald opened the door, Amara strode past him and into the house, going straight to sit on a chair in the room.

“Welcome,” Gerald said to the waft of air that blew in with her and closed the door.

Amara turned to him, waiting for him to sit before she made her request. “Thank you, Gerald. I’m sorry for barging into your house uninvited, but I am in a bit of a crisis, and I need your help.” She paused, waiting for Gerald to say something. He didn’t. “I need a place to stay for a while. My room got burnt, and Madam kicked me out of the brothel. I promise not to be a nuisance to you.” She finished talking as fast as she could.

She looked at Gerald and laughed. His mouth was wide open. A slow smile built on his face as he waited for her laughter to stop. 

“Are you done laughing?” He asked, amused.

“I’m sorry. I imagined you would react in so many ways; the actual response was funny. Please forgive me.”

Gerald nodded. “I understand your predicament, but as you must know, I am not the presiding pastor here. He will decide if you can stay. I’m sorry about the situation at the brothel. I hope you didn’t get hurt?”

His response hit Amara hard; she did not like Pastor Josh and had not figured him into her plan. Gerald was the first Christian to treat her differently, like an everyday woman. Josh looked down at them like the others. She felt Josh’s condescending air as he delivered the gifts during his visits, so she stayed away from him and his bribes.

“Amara, are you alright?” Gerald asked, his brows raised in worry.

Amara looked at him and nodded. “Yes, yes, I’m fine. So, what do we do now?”

“Let me change and take you to Pastor Josh. He’s in the parish.”


Amara sat in the Pastor’s office, opposite his chair, looking at him. She stared him down and he looked away, blinking. The pastor didn’t like her, and she wanted to enjoy him squirm while tackling her case.

“Well, Gerald, ah, this is sudden. Can’t the young lady take up a room in a hotel or a friend’s place? She has several friends.” Pastor josh asked, focusing on Gerald.

“Sir, I believe all her options are exhausted, or she wouldn’t come here. A hotel may look like the best option, but you must agree with me, the safest place for a young woman is in the church.” 

Pastor Josh nodded. “I understand, but the visiting pastors have occupied the rooms in my quarters.”

“There is a guest room in mine.” Gerald was smiling.

Pastor Josh laughed. “No, Gerald. No matter how responsible you appear, housing a young woman of her profession would attract attention. Let’s not discuss it. She cannot stay here. Come up with better options?”

“Pastor, all alternatives are exhausted. Leaving a woman of her profession in a hotel would cause more danger to her soul? Please, reconsider.”

Amara glared at Josh. She was angry and did not hide it, but a word from her would end the negotiation, and not in her favour. Josh seemed to struggle; a frown darkened his handsome face. His eyebrows furrowed together.

He sighed and looked at Gerald. “The option you chose is not advisable, but based on your stellar behaviour, I will allow it. Please let her stay within your quarters until she leaves; I do not want the parishioners getting the wrong idea.”

Gerald smiled and nodded. “Thank you, pastor; I will do as you have instructed.” He looked at Amara and gestured to her to thank the Pastor.

She looked at Josh, not understanding why he agreed. “Thank you, pastor; I will stay indoors until I leave.” She lowered her tone and looked down, calling a truce for now.

Nodding, Pastor Josh turned away. A sour look on his face.

Gerald assumed Josh had given in to him because of his family’s status in society, and not as guided by God, and it worried him. He didn’t want to be the rich kid who pulled his weight around the parish. He hoped the events of the day would not cast a shadow on his relationship with the man.


Back in his quarters, he put Amara’s suitcase down in the living room and sat down, gesturing for Amara to do the same. He prayed for wisdom in his heart and turned to her.

“Welcome again to my quarters. You are free to do and use anything you need in this place. Now that we are done with the Pastor, let me tell you the reason I am allowing you to stay here. I am not only doing it out of Christian charity but also because of my reason for seeking you out.” 

He moved close to her and took her hand. “You will be my wife, by God’s grace.” 

Amara let his words settle, removed her hand from his and moved back into the seat. There was no expression on her face. 

Gerald sighed. “God wants us married. He set a plan for our lives, which is bigger than us. I want you to believe me, Amara; think about it, why would I lie?”

“I’m out of here.” Amara said, as she moved to her suitcase and pushed it to the door. She hesitated for a while and turned to him.

“For an intelligent person, I expected more originality from you. God, wife, plans?” She scoffed and started unlocking the door.

Realising she was serious, Gerald rushed to block her path. He covered the doorway and withstood the punches she aimed at him. When she realised she was not getting anywhere with her actions, Amara stopped and walked back to her seat.

Relieved, Gerald left the doorway, grimacing with pain, and sat next to her.

“Listen Amara, I understand you are upset at my words, but before you came here, you deemed me trustworthy. I didn’t want to bring any of this up; it was my secret until we achieved a level of friendship and trust but look what happened today. You cannot come to my house and not be aware of my intentions. I don’t intend to seduce or sleep with you, if that’s what you are worried about.” Gerald stopped, hoping for a word or gesture, any reaction at all to show she understood.


“I’m sorry to be laying this on thick, but for you to stay here, we must agree to certain conditions. Please turn and listen to me, Amara.”

It took a while, but she turned and looked at him. Her face was still blank.

“As long as you are here, I will provide for you, but you must stop work. It is my condition.” He said and waited for a response.

“Where do I sleep?” She asked, standing up.


A week passed, and they fell into a schedule of sorts. After the first morning Gerald made breakfast, they agreed to draft a plan for food preparation. She thought about not cooking though because nothing she made was as good as his. 

The husband-and-wife topic did not arise again, but they continued their book discussions in the evenings. Amara worked with Gerald’s schedule and was happy with it. He left early for his walks in the morning and returned to the parish about 8 am. At 9 am, he went to the church office to help Pastor Josh until noon, when he took a break. They would watch a movie or read together until two in the afternoon before Gerald would head out again to help Pastor Josh. He was back by six or seven in the evening, and after takeout or a meal prepared by either of them, they discussed their current book.

Amara smiled as she thought about their routine. They lived like an old couple, content with their life together. Amara asked herself once or twice what she wanted in a man? She came up blank. Gerald was handsome, kind, and treated her like an equal. He was someone she would do well with, but sweet words flow like calm waters when all is going well. 

She accepted her life long ago; resigned to where she would end up in the afterlife. She didn’t need the complications of a judge who would look at her based on his standards. Gerald might talk marriage and all, but did he understand what wanting a prostitute for a wife entailed? Did he think she would just leave her business to tend to a man and his whims? 

Amara shook her head and checked the clock. Almost noon, and Gerald would soon be back to the quarters. She received a message from madam Love the day before, asking her to provide a date to move into the apartment prepared for her. Amara had sent no reply, and she worried about her reluctance. She couldn’t get attached to the pretty man of God; it wouldn’t do. Something else had been simmering on the burner of her mind, and she smiled at the thought. It would be her last gift to Gerald. She would give it to him before she left, and she hoped he would accept it. She noticed the looks he gave her when she seemed to look elsewhere. The way he froze when she touched him by accident or looked into his eyes. He wanted her; she was sure of it.


They lived together for two weeks, and Amara stayed indoors as agreed. It surprised and pleased Gerald. He got to know sides of her she allowed. Amara could be a closed book. He asked God to soften her heart for His word to find a place. Gerald also asked God to strengthen him as they adjusted to living together. He desired her, not only as a friend.

To deepen the relationship would be hard if she didn’t talk to him about her life, making the hope of marriage difficult. He knew Amara was independent and a loner; she didn’t need him. 

When he got to his quarters after his morning walk, Amara was sweeping the living room in a short flowing dress, which outlined her body as she moved. Gerald stood still at the door for a while, then shook himself, forcing his legs to move. 

Amara wore her headset, listening to music, and didn’t hear him come in. He closed the door behind him, walked up to her, and tapped her on the shoulder.

Amara yelped, turning to him in alarm. The sudden movement showed off her legs and other parts of her body Gerald didn’t want to think about.

“I’m sorry I scared you. Good morning Amara.”

“Good morning, Gerald. I was so engrossed in the song and in what I was doing. How was your walk?” She asked, smiling. That caught him off guard. Her smiles were rare, unless they read and discussed books. The smile threw him, and he kept staring at her.

“Gerald, is something on my face?” She asked, dusting off her face with her palm.

“No, Amara, nothing. I’m sorry I was staring. Your smiles are infrequent, and I was a bit dazed by it: Smile more. Did you receive good news, though? You seem ecstatic about something.”

Amara dropped the broom on the ground by the wall and, taking his hand, led him to a seat. She smiled as she spoke. “Thank you, Gerald, for allowing me to stay here for this long. The time has come for me to move on to my place. I got an apartment in the Central, and I’ll be moving tomorrow. I can’t express how grateful I am.”

“Tomorrow?” Gerald asked, a frown on his face. He was aware she would leave soon, but the urgency baffled him. “What’s the rush? You can stay here until the end of the month. Did I do anything to make you uncomfortable?”

Amara smiled, still holding his hand. “Gerald, you are a good man, the best of hosts and a wonderful chef. If only for your food, I would live with you forever. However, people depend on me. I need to return to work.”

Gerald removed his hand with care. He dug his toes into his sneakers to keep from speaking his mind. How could she look at him with a straight face and say she was going back to prostitution? He looked at her and tried to control himself.

“Listen, Amara; I want you as my wife. I want to take care of your dependents as well. Why would you return to prostitution?”

Amara shook her head. “Gerald, do you think that at your word, I would drop my way of life and depend on you? What right-thinking person would do such a thing? Do you understand the ramifications of your words? How many women have you dated in the past, and how long did the relationships last? Your ‘I love you’ today may turn to ‘I regret knowing you’ tomorrow. Please, Gerald, be realistic. I don’t believe in Cinderella stories or miracles.” She caught her breath. “Listen, I call you my friend because you are. Let us not fight on my last day here. Be happy for me, please.” She said, smiling at him.

Gerald got up and walked to the window. He stood for a while, and after a couple of minutes, turned back to her. “The reality, Amara, is that you are to be my wife. I understand I cannot stop you from your chosen path, though I am not happy about it. The plan for us to marry was not mine, but God’s. He loves and…” he stopped at Amara’s raised hand.

“Spare me the details of a loving God,” she said, standing up. “While you are at it, ask him where he was when I needed him most. Your breakfast is ready; I’m off to pack.”

She picked the broom and left the room.


Gerald awakened to kisses, which were moving up from his leg, and groaned in pleasure. The groan woke him up. He tried to get up but could not. Amara covered his body with hers, naked, not allowing him to move. 

Gerald was sleeping in his boxers, and Amara’s effect on his body was undeniable. He laid back again and closed his eyes.

“Gerald,” Amara whispered.” I want to give you my body as my parting gift. To thank you for everything, and because I want to.” 

Her statement registered in his mind. He closed his eyes tight and moved her away from him, laying her on his side.

He stood and covered her body with his blanket. He did not want to put on the light because seeing her would distract him. Gerald was quiet, asking God for his next steps.

Amara crawled on the bed towards him. “Gerald, what’s wrong? Don’t you want me?” She said, kneeling on the bed beside where he stood. She placed a hand on his thigh, making him jump.

“Amara, sit.” He said and flipped the light switch.. 

She looked at his body and obeyed, smiling.

“I want you, but taking what you offer is like rape to me.”

“No, take it as my parting gift. I want to give it to you from my heart.”

“It’s a gift for your husband, me, but I’m not your husband in your heart.” He turned away from her, wanting to control himself. “I want to provide you with love and a home. It would be best if you give your body to me as your husband. I hoped that there would-be time for us to learn about each other. We cannot build the relationship God expects on sex, but on faith, companionship, trust, love. Those are the foundations I want to grow with you. I want to teach you to trust, to love, and to lead you back to God. I want all of you, not just the parts you will give.” 

He walked to the head of the bed, took a pillow, and left the room. His heart and desires in it.