Posted in christian

In His Love: Chapter 5

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“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.

Silence.

“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.

2 thoughts on “In His Love: Chapter 5

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