– Part 4“I need you to tell me the truth James, forget about work, forget about being my boss, please just for this moment, I need you to be my friend. A friend who has always encouraged me to work hard. I started taking some law courses, because you encourage me to. I want to become somebody more important in society, am striving hard because you lead me in the way. You are my inspiration James, now, I want to know the truth cause I swear my head is going crazy right now, I don’t know what to do.. Please, please tell me why Alisha is marrying Chanda, why did she just dump me?” I asked as we sat at the bar.
The loud Music could not deter me from achieving my goal with James. I had to find him and find out what was truly going on. I had no intentions to move him out of the bar, so I bought some beers and joined him. He raised his head up and rubbed his beard before speaking
“Well, she obviously didn’t love you as much as you thought” he shrugged
“Don’t give me that bullshit, you saw us together. We have been going out for more than a year, your sister loves me and you know that” I argued shaking my head
“Why not ask her, am sure she can talk to you and tell you what is going on” he shrugged again totally trying to doge the question but I was not letting him escape.
“No, she cannot talk to me, she moved from her flat and I have no idea where she is, she blocked me I cannot call her. So yeah, I wished she could say something reasonable to me before dumping me man. I deserve that much, you know me James, am your guy, am not perfect and all but you know me, am into your sister and I can do anything for her, so save me this pain in the fresh and tell me what the hell is going on with your family,. Why are you making my girl marry that clown of a man” I spoke angrily and throbbing the bottle of beer on the counter table the sound of it made James sit up and sigh.
“Okay, you think you can take it huh? You got the balls to take the shit about all this?” he asked and his language told me he was getting drunk, which was a good thing for me cause I knew he was not going to hold back.
“Okay so my sister is the only salvation for my family man. She got to marry that guy, no matter what, my mother needs medication, expensive medication and unlike the picture that they have been painting, my parents are broke man, they have been living on debts for years now. Well, I tried to warn them but” he shrugged taking a break and drinking some of his beer
“Yeah, so they have been broke man, my sister
s school fees, my mothers escalating meds and practically everything they had to run was on debt man. Chanda
s family being the main sponsors on friendship basis. I guess there is nothing free in this world huh. You got pay for every shit man, every bit of shit someone favors you with.” He paused again staring at me his drunk eyes shining through the lights in bar. “So you are telling me she is marrying him because your parents have to somehow pay the debt to that guy’s family?” I asked wanting him to continue “I know you are not so dull Joe, you got that right. My mother has some sort of cancer, she needs meds man, and my father says we cannot afford it, I tried to help but I can’t get it all done, you know our pay check is not much. Then one day Tembo, my father’s childhood friend, the father to Chanda came home and offered to take my mother out of the country for the treatment she needs. Everyone was happy of course, before we could hear the condition attached to this offer. Tembo smiled and said, “My son, is the one willing to pay for all the medical expenses on a condition that Alisha marries him” “What?” I chirped in gulping my own bottle and striking the empty one down the counter the bar attendant had to give me a warning look. “Yeah, that bastard had it all planned out since high school, he was into my sister but she never had an eye for him. Later on she fail in love with you and she could never see eye to eye with him. so he knew the cards to play, he knew my father and mother will not turn down such a deal, after all, it’s an added advantage that Alisha marries into a rich family.” He shrugged “That’s bullshit! And you know it. You also agreed to such foolishness?” I asked angry at him too “Mind what you say to me man, am your boss, and I don’t pull the strings for my family Joe, as much as you have no say in yours , your father calls the shots so does mine. What he says goes and right now, he wants to save his wifes life, so yeah, the only thing is to sacrifice the beautiful daughter for all of it” James ended with a sheepish smile shaking his head.
“I don’t care man, Alisha is my girl and am not sitting here and let that bastard take my woman man, never “
“You will back off Joe, you hear me, you back off! The family had made its decision and no one is changing any shit! Take it and live with it, find another chick or something stay the hell away from my sister” James stood up and yelled in my face above the music
“Look man, it’s nothing personal, but Alisha agreed to the arrangement, my mother has been flown out for treatment and in a month my sister is marrying that Chanda guy and we cannot do anything about it okay? So I will tell you one last time man, I like you, I like you, you are one of the best guys on my team, your ranks are escalating and soon you will make it to my rank even higher, but I beg you, stay the hell away! This is final!” James spoke closer to my ear I could smell the beer from his mouth making me want to push him and kick him for not standing up for his sister. He was being a coward but at the same time, I realized, he was hurting about the whole arrangement too. He didn’t like it but like he said, it was not his decision to make. It was all his parents and later on Alisha whom from the look of things went with it all, she was marrying that other guy and I was left in the cold.
“I bet that`s it then man, thanks for telling me this” I nodded my head looking at him.
“Yeah, great” he sighed
“Do me a favor, tell Alisha to be happy okay, I love her and I will try live without her, its hard but a man got to do what he got to do right?” I felt tears in my eyes.
“Yeah, that’s my man, now let’s drink to bachelorhood!” he yelled raising his bottle and I raised mine too as he burst out laughing and started dancing to the music. I on the other hand sank back in my chair broken and torn apart, no matter how many bottles of beer I drunk that night I didn’t seem to get drunk so I walked out and drove off. I headed home, I felt maybe a word with my mother will comfort me.
The entire yard was silent as I got to my parent
s house. Memories of my childhood hit me hard I looked about without moving any step further “You see, your young brother has managed to tie his shoe laces, but here you are still struggling like a girl! You are pathetic! You will not amount to anything Joe! You are so lazy! “My father yelled at me in his drunken voice, he pushed me back so hard I fall off and hit my head on a stone nearby. I felt dizzy and blacked out. When I woke up my shirt was wet and I was laying my head on my mothers laps. She looked worried as I shook and tried to sit up.
“Joe, are you okay?” my mother
s mouth was trembling, her eyes spilling over. “My head” I whispered looking about. My younger brother was standing there looking down at me. My father was sitting on his chair smoking his cigarette like nothing just happened “Iwe, he is okay, that lazy boy must learn to man up, if you keep raising him this way, he will become a no body, he will be so weak. Let him learn being a man is tough!” My father screamed “He is only 5 years old Atake Mary (father to Mary), he is still a child, you cannot be this cruel to your own son” my mother cried lifting me up. I could feel the impact on the spot where I hit the stone and my head was still throbbing. I could feel tears in my eyes as I stood there watching my fathers house. I sighed deeply and wiped the tear that threatened to spill and took steps forward. If I was not hurting so much, I could have not bothered to go home, it was less pleasurable but I felt I needed to see my mother.
She walked out with a bucket as I was about to knock
“Joe! My son, long time” she smiled placing the bucket down and opening her arms to hug me. My mother always so tender and loving, making feel like I was the most special child in the entire world.
“Mom, how have you been?’ I asked stepping back.
“Am okay, are you? “ she looked closely at my face.
“Um, yeah, am okay, I just missed you, how is Paul?” I inquired of my younger brother who unfortunately for my father, had turned out to be drunk and never left home. He was very intelligent and clever growing up and the only one spoiled by my father. He started drinking when he was in grade 9 and he has been drinking ever since. He went in and out of college for 4 years, always drinking up money for tuitions. Frustrated, my father stopped paying for him and now he was there biggest headache, always stealing things at home selling them off for drugs or beer.
“He is out there God knows where, your brother will kill me one day Joe, he.. he just.. I don’t know, I have tried everything but..” my mother was becoming sad and I shook my head holding her hands
“It’s not your fault mother, Paul is no longer a kid and whatever he does is on him, don’t beat yourself over him, he will come around” I tried to comfort her but she went on another 20 minutes complaining of Paul and what he had done.
I don’t know what I could have done Joe, you have got your brother out of jail so many times this time he could have been serving years in prison” she cried.
“Mother, if you continue crying over Paul, I swear am leaving and am not coming to see you any time soon” I threatened her and she wiped her tears faking a smile
“Am sorry, my child, you are welcome, come inside, your father is in there” she held my hand but I pulled back
“No mom, am not here for him. I needed to talk to you, things are just messed up right now in my life and I thought of seeing you and just.. I don’t know” I shrugged taking a stool from the corner veranda and sitting on it, my mother followed suit.
“Are you in trouble? What have you done?” she asked concerned
“Mom no, I have not done anything come on” I faked a smile too.
“Well what then? What is it” she insisted without giving me a chance.
“Its about Alisha mom, she.. Um, she left me for another man” I summed up everything and my mother shook her head
“Oh, why? Did you cheat on her? Did you beat her?” my mother asked one question after the other. Am sure in her world that was the only thing that could make a woman leave a man.
“No, I don’t want to talk about it” I shook my head
“Joe, are you okay? I mean, you can talk to me, tell me what happened, I really liked that girl I found at your house and am sorry about her. Tell me what happened” she pleaded but I could not get myself to do it. I was not going to start narrating the torture I had to go through with Alisha
s story. So I changed the subject and started talking about something else. In a minute my mother had turned in and we were laughing over her stories. She was so warm and comforting she just gave me what needed, a break from all the pain in my heart. The clearing of the throat by my father made us both stop laughing we looked up. “Atake Mary” my mother moved in her seat. “Hi dad!” I greeted him casually “So this is what I get for raising you, you are here and have been talking with your mother without coming to see me, you want to greet me casually like am your friend along the street huh, Joe, will you ever change, will you ever grow?” he scoffed angrily “Well I was going to come greet you, but you are here already, so” I shrugged “Oh, I see, is this what you plan to do, abandon me in my old age, I gave you an education, I took you for training by force and now you are an officer and you have grown wings. I your father is useless? is it?” he went on complaining in his anger “Atake Mary, this is why you push away your children, you are always talking and rebuking them, Mary was her the other day and you said the same, please can you stop and let my children be free to come home, I miss them you know.. Please stop” she begged. “You always support their nonsense. That is what I …” “Excuse me, am going to take my leave mom. I will wait for those vegetables with groundnuts this weekend, bye for now” I kissed my mothers forehead and stood up looking at my father staring at me with an emotionless face. I could not stay any longer, knowing my father, he would end up saying a lot of hurting words that would make my situation worse.
“Dad, good night “ I waved a hand at him and he didn’t respond. He just looked at me as though I was a stranger.
“You see, this is what I say, they don’t respect me, they don’t consider me, am their father and look at the way he walks out on me.. “ I could hear my father rant as I made my way to the car. He just disturbed my comfort moment with my mother and I hated him the more for it.
“Well, Joe, he is your father and I can feel it, you hate him” Father Tom spoke when I took my break from my long talk
“I do father and I feel I will never forgive him for what he did to me growing up “ I responded
“Well, you will have to one day, but we are not talking about your father yet. Tell me what led to you killing that man you said you killed” Father Tom touched my hand. We were still in the adoration room and now Father Tom was also spreading his legs down like I was. Listening attentively to every detail I was telling him
“Well, I killed Alisha
s father” I spoke and I could feel my heart race and my mouth tremble with a mixture of feelings. “What? Your girlfriends father?” Father Tom`s eyes were wide open
“Yes father, I mean, i.. It was not supposed to me like that but.. He got in the way and I .. I killed him” I stammered my hands sweating at the memory of it all. I saw Father Tom sit back and taking a deep sigh. He looked at my miserable face and shook his head.
“Well?” he asked obviously wanting me to continue.
– Part 5
I tried to forget her, I swear I tried, I took my work to a different level, worked so hard I got a raise in my ranks. I completed my law courses and attended graduation. I was being seconded for a good position at the prosecution office, I was proud of my achievements of course but my heart still longed for her. I could hear her voice calling for me every time I shut my eyes, but I kept my distance. I owed it to my friend and colleague James and for her as well. I was not going to jeopardize things for their family, they made their decision and I had no right to force Alisha to admit to loving me.
“So you finally let go, that was good growing up Joe, I would give you that. If things don’t work out for you, you move on and find another purpose in your life, Am sure God had not prepared this woman for you, he had other plans for you” Father Tom sighed with certainty in his eyes.
“Hmm you are man of God, a priest, you save God and am sure you will do anything to defend him, but no offense, I feel like I have been all alone my entire life. Either he hates me or he has completely forgotten about me like I did him. so yeah, that talk about purpose doesn’t really get to me” I responded without hesitation and the man eyes popped open in shock, am sure he was wondering if a person like me who had no regard for God really existed.
“I found you praying earlier. What was that? You suddenly remembered God?” he challenged me.
“Well, I .. Sort of..” I shrugged caught in my own web.
“Yeah, admit it son, you know God is better than you, you might have thrown him out of your heart for whatever reason but this issue you have at hand, has brought that buried truth to light, he is God and you need him” He stated seriously this time and I could almost get where the conversation was going. I started feeling the shame and guilty again and I didn’t like the feeling. So I stood up angry
“Am leaving” I stated and started walking out without warning. Father Tom trailed me from the adoration room trying so hard to keep with my pace. I could not stop even as I heard him call my name. Well they say truth hurts and I felt it. I was the bad one, I neglected God and here I was in a place were he was worshiped and adored and I was just.. Me.. Useless and a murderer.
“What is wrong with you?” Father Tom caught up with me just as I was about to open the door to my room
“We are just talking and you just snap? What did I do now? What? Huh? “ he asked getting pissed by my silence obviously, I felt for him. It was not his fault I was a lost cause, he was a good man that I could tell and I felt I was being so rude to him but I kept quiet. I watched him standing and asking me what I was thinking and why I was silent. Like someone had juts pressed the mute button on me
“Joe, this is my house, if you think am not father enough for you. If you feel you have grown so much that you can speak to me like this, then get out!” My father
s memory came to mind as Father Tom went on talking to me. “Dad, I was only there, I swear I didn’t drink any beers, am innocent” I stood up from my seat and my father pulled out his belt and started whipping me so hard across my body. I tried to hold the belt back cause I could not stand the pain and the yelling and I pushed my father back, he staggered and hit his head on the wall falling down with a thud. I walked out of the room and ran off without looking back. I was angry. My father had just accused me of drinking some beer with a group of kids from my school. I had gone to a friends party and I had no idea they planned on drinking. I kept my distance and just played other games. I have no idea how my father found out I was at that party. He come to the place with his fellow officers and had us all arrested. I for one was made to stay in the cells for 3 days. He said I had to be set as an example for others. My mother cried and pleaded for me to get released. All my friends were out in a day but I spend 3 days there. The horrible experience of staying in the Police cells, toping up I was a child to a police officer who probably had some of the guys in there locked up. Well, let’s just say I had the worst 3 days of my life.
And here I was trying to defend myself to my father, tell him I never took any beer but he started whipping me instead. I wondered for some time that day, as I ran if he was truly my father. Why he hated me so much, why he never made me feel like his son. I had nowhere else to go so I kept walking about like a lost dog. I was hungry and tired from the prison cells so I had to go back home.
“Are you alright?’ My mother who had me hidden in the pantry room asked me as I ate the food she sneaked in for me to eat.
“No, mom where is my father?” I asked my mom and she looked at me with shock on her face
“What does that mean? “She asked coldness in her voice, she was not happy
“Mom, am 15 and my father hates me, he whips me, he does not listen to me, well, my whole life he has been too harsh on me.. so yeah, I am doubting if he is my father and I want to know where my father is” I said placing down the empty plate
“You are so mistaken if you think I had you with another man, how insulting Joseph, I am your mother for crying out loud, you cannot disrespect me like that” she raised her voice at me forgetting we were trying to hide from my father.
“Am sorry, I didn’t mean that, I just don’t understand him. I swear I never drunk any beers.. Not even a bit.. but..” I cried failing to finish my words and my mother hugged me close.
“My son, I love you, so does your father, well, in his own way, but never say that nonsense again, he is your father and no matter what, you will respect him” she warned me and gave me some clean clothes before walking out and locking the door. Just in case my father tried to open the door.
She told me I had to wait till my father`s temper was down and she will let me out. Well, I had no idea then that it would take a week. According to my mother, dad didn’t want anything to do with me, I disgraced him and fought him, I hurt his head and I was an unruly child. So I stayed indoors hidden for the entire week. I could sneak out to bath and get some fresh air when he was at work and crawl back in the spare room where mom kept her bags of maize and other farm produce she had harvested. To say I hated my father was mostly an understated, I resented him even more when he found me and had me whipped again by some police officer before I was allowed back to stay at the house.
“Are you even listening to me?” Father Tom waved his hand at my face and I started looking at him
“No, honestly no, Father Tom, am a lost cause if you can call me, have this anger bottled in me, I get angry, I get irritated so easily and yeah, you are right, I always feel bad being surrounded by all of you” I looked at his face.
“but you know who made all that get away? Who made me feel great, special and belonging?” I stood up looking at father Tom as he held his hands in his pockets.
“Alisha, oh yes, she was my girl, she loved me, she trusted me and she never not even once raised her voice at me, not even when she lied she hated me. She is the calmest person I know next to my mother, she knew what to tell me every time and I knew I did right by her. I stopped feeling the anger and rage I had towards my father. I started walking head high cause I knew someone out there cared for me. She made me a better man for over a year and for me that was long enough to last my entire life” I wiped tears from my face, taking a deep sigh and shaking my head walking about in front of father Tom
“But they took that away from me too, they just got it all away and I lost it. I tried to be a better man outside and all but I was back to being so raged, so infuriated I could scream at a little irritation at work. I killed in the end and you wanna know what happened huh? “ I chuckled wiping my face and sitting down angrily and shaking.
Well, I thought I moved on until I received a call from Alisha a year later. She was crying, I could feel her anguish. My Alisha was in pain and that for me was unacceptable, I could never make her feel that way. Well, at least not intentionally. She was my world and even if it hurt me, I wanted her to be happy.
“Babe what happened? You have not called me in one year. Tell me what is going on?” I asked walking out of my office when I recognized her voice.
“Joe am sorry, um..” she stopped and started sobbing
“Alisha? Alisha? What is it, am here.. You know am here for you right? Did that scumbag hurt you?” I asked irritated at the thought he hurt her.
‘I can’t do this anymore Joe, am sorry to bother you but I had no one else to call, James and everyone else can’t understand me. I cannot do this Joe I just can’t” she cried and then I heard background sounds and before she could say more, her line went shut.
I panicked, I wanted to know what was going on with her. So I rushed to my car and drove off in a rush. I was not thinking of anything at the moment but to be with her and comfort her. I forgot about my work, my boss James who was waiting for me for an important assignment I just rushed and drove at a great speed.
As I drove to her address which I had known for the year she was married to him since I tracked her down and watched her the first few week’s just to make sure she was okay and happy. I was glad she looked okay and I moved on. Well, now I had to visit the place again.
“Impulsive” Father Tom giggled and I smiled at that..
“Yeah, very impulsive Father, that’s me. I act and then think sometimes” I nodded my head sadly
“And where did that get you?” he smiled at me too
“In a monastery with a bunch of praying and singing Monks” I let a laugh and he did too.
“What did you find?” he asked me snapping me from my break.
s house was so silent when I got there. I walked to the front door and without thinking twice knocked on it. I tried the third time before the door swung open. A shocked Alisha stood by the door way looking at me. ‘What are you doing here?” she asked her voice cracking I could tell she was crying. “Who is at the door?” Chandas voice come loud as he walked to the door I had to step back a little bit.
“Oh my… look who is here? Have we committed any crimes officer?” Chanda teased me I could see panic on Alisha
s face. “Hi Chanda, how have you been?” I tried to be as casual as possible. “Hmm, what do you want?” he asked and I had lost my words, I had no idea what I was doing standing at the house of my ex-girlfriend who was married to him. I felt stuck for the first time in my life. I had to say something or the idiot could take the moment into one to humiliate me. “I was looking for James” I said the first line of defense that came to my mind. “James?” Chanda asked but I could see that Alisha knew I was lying. “Yeah, am sorry, we came with him the other day. You didn’t see me of course cause I had to stay in the car. “I shrugged trying to buy myself time. “James said he is coming here and I had to come look for him, there is an emergency at work” I lied feeling like a fool. “Well, officer, he is not here as you can see, in fact you have just disturbed a very romantic moment I had with my wife.. Please hop on” Chanda was wearing a very sarcastic smile on his face. I looked at Alisha one more time and I noticed her black eye. She tried to move her hand to hold it and I saw scratches on her elbow. “Are you okay?’ I asked her ignoring the husband who kept giving me a threatening stare. “Yeah she is okay.. Get going man! You have no business here and please never come back, we don’t like past connections if you know what I mean” Chanda stood in my way slightly covering Alisha from my direct sight. “Am fine Joe, thank you for asking, say hi to your mother for me” she responded quickly I knew it was not a good time. “Yea, my mother will be thrilled you still remember her. Have a good day people” I faked a smile and walked out. My heart was not at peace. I kept thinking about her and what she could possibly be going through. “I will get to the bottom of this I swear” I vowed to myself as I drove back to work. “Where are you?” James was on the phone. “Heading back to the station boss, I had to run out a bit” I responded increasing pressure on the gas “does that running out include going to my sisters house?” James asked and I was caught. I could not lie anymore and I knew it was Chanda who called, I prayed James covered up for me. Not that I was afraid of him but of what he would do to Alisha, I could not stop thinking he had something to do with the mark on her eye and the bruise on her hand.
“What the hell man?” James was standing in my office the moment I got back
“Am sorry, I said it on phone am sorry man, I just…” I paused
“You just what? Missed her after a year? Come on Joe, I thought we are past this, now you are stalking my sister?” James accused
“No I mean, its not like that, are you sure Alisha is okay? I mean, have you asked her how she is in this her marriage?” I changed the subject and James shook his head
“Are you serious right now? Am just from covering for you from my brother in law and you ask me that?”
“Yeah, am serious man, please tell me what is going on, is Alisha okay, is that fool treating her well?” I persisted
“What do you mean treating her well, she is good man, we had dinner at my parent`s yesterday and she was fine. Happy. “James raised his face
‘Hmm then how do you explain the bruises on her hand and a dark eye?” I asked this time going to sit on my desk
“What? Is that…” James started and stopped amid his sentence.
“Yeah man, she called me, she was crying and she said it was too much, she said she cannot do this anymore and the line got cut before she could tell me anything, I had to rush to see her and I saw her, she was… um… “ I paused feeling angry I bit my lip.
“She was sad man, she had this face calling for help, your sister is not well James, either that bastard has been beating her up or something else serious is going on, so if you love her, find out what the shit is going on there!” I shook my head and moved to my chair leaving James staring at me without words.
“No wonder she…” James muttered silently.
“No wonder she did what? Tell me what you know James” I stood to him
“I have to go.” James turned to leave but I was not letting him, I followed him to the car
“James, tell me what is going on, what did Alisha do? What did she say?” I asked
“Nothing, that is it, my sister tells me things but of late she does not say anything, she just went mute on me, she never calls, not even mom, Mom had to force her to come for dinner at the house. She is just… I don’t know … distant.” James spoke as his hands opened the door to the car, I held it out before he could get it
“You have to find out what that bastard is doing to Alisha James, or swear to God I will find out and when I do… you know it won’t end well” I warned James and walked out.
I could hear the engine starting and he drove out. Getting to my office I grabbed a bottle of water and drunk in an instant sighing angrily and throwing the bottle in the trash can in the corner.
“Better be nice Chanda, better be nice to my girl.. or else…” I muttered to myself
“Let me guess? You never let go?” Father Tom spoke in a whisper
“Not even one bit.. I bet you are knowing me now Father” I smiled at him and walked to the window. The sun was overheard meaning we had been talking for over 5 hours.
“Am hungry Father Tom..” I looked at him and he let a laugh
“So am I.. lets go and grab some food then, it must be ready” he stood up too
“Are you sure, I can go with you to your dining room?” I asked shocked he was letting me out.
“Yeah, you already showed yourself to everyone Joseph remember?” he laughed and I we both walked out heading to the dinning…
“So? We continue?” he sighed after we grabbed our lunch and took out sits at the end of the hall away from everyone.
“Yeah, are you sure they will not hear us? “ I asked looking around
“The food is too nice for them to notice” He giggled and I shook my head smiling
“You are enjoying this aren’t you?
“what? The food?” he laughing knowingly
“ my story?” I asked him chewing on my piece of beef
“Hmm mostly likely” he shrugged
“It’s not every day I get to hear stories of people. Especially love stories” he smiled and I laughed along with him…….
– Part 6
Father Tom washed his hands and started walking towards the exit.
“Excuse me father, where is he?” One of the priests walked to father Tom
“Who?” he asked knowingly. He didn’t want to start explaining things to anyone. He felt his mission had been fulfilled, he helped a man turn to God and that was enough of an achievement for the year. His heart felt glad and he continued praying that wherever he was, he would be fine, he could learn to live with his past and start a journey that will bring him closer to God, be it in jail or free, his hope was he was happier than he was when he first walked in the monastery.
“I am not sure of his name Father but am sure you know whom am referring to” the other priests insisted
“Oh, am sure you are asking about Joseph, well he left father” he smiled walking on.
“But… I heard he killed someone father” he asked with a down face
“So? You wanted to jail him? Or maybe convert him to become a priest?” Father Tom stopped looking at the other priest.
“No.. I mean.. but.” he stammered not knowing what to say, Father Tom was one of the senior priest and he obviously knew what he was doing, the other priests sighed and gave up.
“Am glad he made peace with himself.” He smiled widely..
“And with God father, he is under his care and my job with him is done. Take heart son that boy will be better off to face the rest of his life alone, of course with Gods guidance, God will give him new purpose and he will live to praise and worship him in truth and am sure his family will serve the living God. That is enough to make you and I both happy” he smiled and parted the shoulders of the other priest and walked on as the other watched in silence.
Joe was standing on the road across from James` house. He stood there without making movement for over 15 minutes, there was no activity he could see from the windows but the lights on made me think there was surely someone inside. James was in there and he was contemplating what his first action upon seeing him would be.
“Joe you could have stayed on, running away was not the best of your solutions” his mind replayed the conversation he had with Alisha an hour past.
“I had to, I killed your father. That day was something Alisha, when James told me Chanda was beating you, abusing you physically and emotionally, punishing you for not loving him, for loving me instead, for not forgetting me in your life even when you agreed to live with him. I could not let anyone hurt you Alisha, no wonder when I heard that my first reaction was to make sure I saw you were okay. For days I walked about your house juts to make sure you were okay. Then I saw you being pulled to that fool
s car, being dragged like a rag or sack of nothing and I could not hold it. I felt anger Alisha, I tried to stay back but I could not. I had to defend you” he argued. “It was not in your place to protect me Joe, I was going to learn to defend myself, I just needed to gain courage and face my fears” Alisha faked a smile “Well, I was there and I saw it all. I didn’t know your Father was coming to address the same issue that day Alisha, I swear I didnt know. And you know what happened then” Joe paused as they both recalled the day.
Joe walked to Chanda
s car and angrily pulled back Chanda from the car and hit him on his face “How dare you!” he screamed in anger “What are you doing here you idiot! This is my house!” Chanda yelled “Is this what you call marriage? Huh? Hitting a woman and dragging her out like this? You must be out of your damned mind you fool!” Joe let go of another blow landing it on Chandas face, he fall down. Alisha was watching hopelessly her face swollen from the beating Chanda had given him.
“She is mine and I can do as I please, I paid so much to have her and what does she pay me with? Loving you and hating me? You think I can live with a woman who despises me, who pretends she loves me when she sleeps she calls your damn name? She had it coming, she gets me pissed and I hit her. Yes I do because I want her to feel the pain I feel when she calls your name in her sleep. I want her to know that am a man and I want to be loved by her, she didn’t marry me to cook for me and make my house clean, she married me to love me and she has failed! She is just as useless as her broke family” Chanda went on speaking out his anger as Joe watched in in anger.
“So you are going to kill her because she does not love you? You knew that before you forced her to marry her, buying her off like a piece of material, you idiot! No one ever taught you love can never be bought?” Joe angrily went for him his fist well-made and ready to pounce but his hand was held up by another and when he turned to see who it was. Alisha
s father was behind him staring at him with anger in his face too “Stay away from him!” he raised his voice and Joe sighed stepping back. “Am sorry, but he was… he was beating her, look at her face, look what this idiot has done to her” Joe tried to explain to Alishas father
“This is a family matter, I have heard about you young man and I am not pleased to meet you, you have been the cause of my daughter
s troubles and I would like you to leave now!” the old man spoke with command. “No, am not leaving him sir, am sorry but I will not let this half man treat a woman like this” he shook his head “No, you will leave, this half man as you call him is married to Alisha and that is not changing anytime soon” Alishas father replied.
“Dad am leaving him, I cannot do this anymore, please I can’t” Alisha cried still lying in the back seat of the car Joe could see she was in pain and walking or standing up was probably a problem.
“You will not leave anyone Alisha, let’s get inside and talk” the father looked at her.
“Please sir, please, he will kill her” Joe begged his eyes teary, at that point he could almost see his own father who ill-treated him when he was growing up. He wondered why Alisha
s father would want his daughter in such a marriage. She was begging him to take her away and he was insisting she stays on. “No” Joe walked to the car and blocked Alishas father
“If you don’t want to take your daughter and save her life, then I will. Am sorry I know it’s not in my place as you put it but I love this girl and am taking her away from here” Joe held his ground and Alisha
s father looked at him with a shocked face. “No you are not… Alisha is my wife Joe and she will stay here” Joe heard a voice walking towards him from his side. He had not realized Chanda was up from the ground and when he turned to look at him. Chanda had a gun pointed at Joe. “Oh, so what, you will shoot me?” Joe chuckled not sacred one bit. His own was to save the woman he loved and he was not going to be intimidated, less still by a gun, one of his toys. He ignored Chanda and started bending to lift Alisha when Chanda let go of the gun and fired one in the air. Joe startled so did Alisha and her father. “You move any close to my wife and I will shoot you. In fact I will shoot you both.” Chanda gnarled angrily. Joe slowly withdraw and walked towards Chanda who kept pointing the gun at him You spoiled brat, you think everything is solved by violence. A woman fails to love you and you beat her up? You insult her and you think that beating her up will change her mind?” Joe asked taking slow steps to him “Yes, I paid for her. You know money can buy anything man, I bought her, with my hard earned cash. She belongs to me and if her heart cannot work properly to love me, I will teach her to do it” Chanda giggled proudly “Is this what you want?” Joe looked back at Alishas father who looked on without saying a word.
“You should leave” Chanda
s voice was firm “Or what?” Joe challenged angrily and before Chanda could realize it, Joe snapped the gun from his hand and turned to point it at him instead. “You will never, never treat Alisha like slave, this ends today” Joe shouted angrily. Chanda lifted his hands. Aisha struggling, started moving from the car and held on to the door standing up. “Please Joe, you can leave now. My father is here and everything will be okay.” Alisha knowing things will not end well with all men angry. “Young man, put the gun down and leave us, please” Alishas father chirped in too and Joe looked at him shaking his head
“You will let her die at the hands of this fool?” he asked lowing the gun and moving forward to look at the man.
“We are going to solve it Joe.. Its Joe is it?” the man paused
“Yes” Joe shrugged
“Well, you are a good man for looking out for my daughter but understand she is no longer yours to care for. I understand your anger when you saw her beaten up and I promise we will talk about this with my son in-law and find a solution to this problem. Just bear in mind that if you keep pursuing my daughter, you will make things worse for her”
“But I have not been.” Joe wanted to defend himself and then stopped realizing maybe his coming to Alisha
s house made things worse for her and so he thought letting go completely would be the best for both of them. He sighed giving up and when he was about to turn to face Chanda and probably hand the gun to him. Chand lashed at him and instantly Joe moved his hand to sway it away from Chanda and in a flash, he heard a gunshot, his face froze. At first Joe thought he had killed Chanda or worse still Alisha who was standing nearby but when he looked at them both and they were okay. He felt a sense of relief. “Dad!” Alisha screamed running to her father laying down blood coming off his shoulders he was on the ground. Joes eyes pooped open in shock, his heart felt like it stopped for a while
“You have killed him!” Chand took the moment to accuse Joe
“You have killed him you bastard! It’s all your fault, you could have stayed away. Am calling James and the police” Chanda went on talking and Joe stood there in shock. All the anger he was feeling before left him and all he had was shock. He had never in his life killed anyone. Not even the thugs he used to chase about, the worst he went was shooting a thug in his leg when pursing him on duty and now he could see the man on the ground gulping his last breath.
“Am sorry Alisha” Joe whispered
‘You should have stayed away Joe, now you have killed my father” Alisha sobbed holding his father
s hands and shaking him to wake him up. The mans eyes were shut close and Joe looked about in confusion. He started withdrawing as his legs trembled. Chanda was on phone telling someone Joe had killed Alisha`s father and Joe started heading out without looking back.
He walked in circles as confusion filled his head. He didn’t know what to do, but one thing he was sure of, James will put him behind bars. He will have him either killed in a man hunt of locked up for life.
‘No, please no” Joe kept Whispering to himself as he walked about aimlessly. The shouting of some men behind him made him realize the cops were on him and he started running without hesitation. Joe came to a dry pool and when he was trying to run past it. He slip and fall in his clothes staining with the mud in there. He struggled to get out as the men came his direction until finally he made it out. He ran across the yard the sprinklers spraying water on him taking off some of the mad on his body and it all went down his t-shirt. Joe ran across the houses and kept on running till he got to the busy town area.
Alisha shook her head looking at Joe
“Am sorry Alisha, I ran, I was afraid, and when I realized it was too late, I could not turn back. I am back now, ready to face my punishment. I know your brother would want to kill me for what I did but am here regardless. I came because I want to say sorry, I met a priest who in days taught me I had to learn to face my fears and trust God in everything. He cancelled me and brought me closer to God like never before in my life, I repented of my sins and gave my heart to God Alisha. Am here to make things right and I didn’t know where to find you but my friend told me you were at your parent
s house. Am glad you agreed to come have this talk with me when I sent my friend.” Joe said. “Hmm so what now?” Alisha looked up at his face “You buried your father already? Am so sorry… I put you and your family through that. I hope one day you will forgive me” “Forgive you? For what?” Alisha asked. Joe noticed she didn’t look like someone who had lost her father. She looked free, he could almost tell her life was better than before she met Chanda. “Yeah, my father didn’t die Joe, he is alive, and he was discharged from the hospital 2 days ago. He is fine, we were told the bullet didn’t hit anything important and it was removed, he stayed in the hospital for a while but he is out now. I left him home” “Wow, so.. You are telling me I have been running from something that is not even there? Your brother put up an advert in the media and placed a reward offer for anyone who would catch me, for what? A man still alive?” Joe shook his head. “Yeah, James was pretty mad at you when you ran off, the reward was placed the moment he got back to the office after dad was admitted in the hospital. We were all not sure he will live or die. He was quiet critical and honestly I was scared too. Chanda blamed it all on you and was the one who even told James the reward issue for your capture. “ “Am not surprised, that bastard hates me” Joe muttered “He does, I spent all my days in that marriage paying for that Joe. You have no idea what Chanda did out of his insecurities. But I am now free, I have to start reliving my life and hopefully I live a better one from now on” “Does that mean you left Chanda? “ Joe asked “Not really but James made sure he never had access to me after he found me beaten up. I sued Chanda for battery and abuse and he was fined. Have sued him for divorce” “Oh great, finally” Joes smiled “Joe am not..” “I know, am not asking you to be with me Alisha, I have gone far of the path, I almost killed your father and your brother will obviously lock me up at first sight. So yeah, I loved you but we cannot be together. Father Tom was right, I have to choose a path that is Godly, not to be obsessed with my freshly desires” “Oh now am freshly desire to you now?” Alisha asked “Alisha, I didn’t mean it like that Alisha, am just trying to figure out my life right now. My childhood and growing up under my fathers harshness led me to develop so much hate and anger. I believe God has given me a second chance and I want to do right by it. You belong to another man, you are married to him and I cannot put myself in your way, Father Tom said, Marriage is sacred, blessed by God and no man must put it asunder. No matter how we met and what happened between us, I was made to understand that I have to let you go, you belong to another now. I have to.. Like I said before find another path of life. A better one, one without need to be violent.” Joe sighed sadly holding Alisha
s hands. “I feel like am talking to a different Joe, something happened to you in that monastery, it sounds like a good thing but am not sure I like it coming from you. Where is the Joe that would fight for me? That promised to love me till forever?” Alisha asked tears in her eyes. “He is right here Alisha, I will always love you but not like this. Now I have to go and face your brother” he smiled standing up “Will we meet again?” she stood to him sadly.. “I hope so, I don’t know what will come out of my meeting with your brother, am handing myself in and I pray all goes well. I want you to be happy Alisha, its all I have wanted for you since the first day I met you” “I love you, and I don’t want to go “ she cried “ have to.. am sorry again, for every pain I caused you and your family..” Joe hugged her and walked away before he could stop himself. He knew he had to do the right thing no matter the outcome as he recalled father Toms words.
Part 7 – Finale
SThe soft wind blew in his face and affected his eyes as they were open, his face facing the direction of the window. He didn’t bother to wipe the water away. He let it fall on his cheek and down his chin. Joe, could almost hear Father
s voice in his head. “You are stronger than you think, you survived your fathers harsh treatment when growing up. He got you filed with hate and anger but that should not define who you are Joseph, you can chose to become a better person. What you are now will be what you chose to be. Forgive yourself for all you have done and stand upright to face what is to come. You might go to Jail for murder but I can assure you, you will have peace. That is better living than spending your life on the run with guilty and shame of your mistakes”
‘Well father, here we are, at least I will not be jailed for murder” He wiped his face and started walking towards James’s house. At first knock, the door opened wide and James stood there looking at him with an expressionless face. It was like he was not expecting Joe to show up or he knew he would eventually show up, but Joe could not tell which the feeling from James
face was. “Hey” Joe started giving him his best smile “You must have a death wish coming to my house after what you did” James spoke his cold voice so deep and threatening “Yeah sort of” Joe shrugged casually. “Am sorry I ran, I acted on impulse, I was scared and had lots of emotions going on, it was an accident I swear, I was about to hand the gun to Chanda and he tried to grab it, I had no intention of firing the gun. Am sorry man. I really am. I was wrong to run but here I am, I came here first because I want to show you how sorry I am, before am taken to jail” Joe went on and James kept looking at him without a word. “Are you going to say anything? “ Joe asked seeing James was not going to respond to him “I only have one question for you… where the hell where you hiding? I looked everywhere for you” Joe smiled at this, he was not expecting it. “In a monastery, with the monks” He chuckled “Yeah, you are good, I couldn’t have guessed that” James smiled for the first time. “yeah, imagine with men who are mostly praying and singing to God and I was among them for over a week” Joes face soften with easy seeing James was not as mad as he was expecting him to be.
“Come in” James gave way to Joe and he hesitated looking at his face just to be sure he heard him right.
“Are you sure?” Joe asked
“Yeah, or what? I must lock you up before hearing your stories from the Monks” Jams giggled. Joe walked behind him heading to the living room.
“Well, I came to know Chanda was a jerk, he treated my sister like a slave for the months he was married to her. That fool thought the money he gave my family was a ticket to mistreat my sister. The day you came to her house, he was taking her back to my parent
s house that they should take her back for traditional teachings of marriage. According to him, my sister was not well taught and she was being unfaithful. He accused her of having an affair with you” “What? “ Joe cut in surprised. ‘Yeah” James continued “I get he felt inferior because my sister according to him did not love him as much as she should have. He resented you cause he believed you were the one that was loved instead on him. So yeah, I know you were wrong man but am not locking you up. My sister is safe now, finalizing divorce process and my parents have come to a decision to support her. It’s wrong that you shot my father but even he knows it was an accident. He is still alive that is what matters” When James was done saying those words, Joes face was still shocked. He could not believe it.
“All things work for good, to those who love God” Father
s Toms quote from the bible echoed in his head again.
“God has plans for us, the plans are not to harm us but to give us a future and hope. Be at easy my son, go and face you fears and God will take care of the rest.” Joes smiled at the memory of the words from Father Tom.
“He really loves me” he smiled as he thought loudly
“Who?” The confused James looked at him
“God’ Joe chuckled
“Yeah I guess so.” James Shrugged
‘He really does man and I didn’t expect him to show it to me just yet, well am so grateful for this man. I know I don’t deserve it for being a jerk and hot tempered guy who ruined your sister
s marriage but I appreciate am being given a second chance” “Yeah, about your job, let’s see what we can do, what about working on that transfer to the prosecution house” “Wow, and the charges on me? All dropped out? What about your family? Your father?” Joe asked one question after the other. “I will take care of my family, I bet you have to take care of yours too. Your mother has been coming to ask about you. Go home Joe, go and make your mother happy by showing your face again. I have nothing against you. I dont think my sister has too. ”
As John walked out of James
s house, he could not express the pleasure he felt in his heart. It was like God was just unfolding everything in his favor. Here he was walking as a free man, he felt tears in his eyes but this time, they were cause of the joy he was feeling in his heart. Getting on a bus, he looked outside the widow as it moved and had a reflection of his past. He could tell that whatever had happened with his father growing up, had a great impact on is life. As Father Tom advised, he knew it was time to make amends with his father, forget the past and forge ahead. Joes mother was hanging clothes on the line humming to a Christian song as she did. She went on doing her washing without looking at her back where Joe was standing watching her in silence.
Joe smiled to himself, he knew that song, a song he heard his mother sing a hundredth times. A song of hope in God, trusting in his greatness no matter what. Joe mimicked the words in his heart as he watched his mother.
“Come on Joe, you have grown, why you are not getting married already. Give me grand kids like your sister” He recalled his mother
s words. “No mom, I don’t think I will ever have children. I have found a woman I love but I don’t know about having children with her” He responded shaking his head. “What? You are a black man, a Zambian who knows that marriage is not for just staying with your wife but growing your family, what are you talking about ?’ His mother argued “I am afraid I will turn out like father, hate my children and let them grow like I did. What if I fail them mother, they just become useless like my brother Paul? I cannot risk that, so yeah, am not having children” Joe shrugged and went on ironing his uniform as he mother sat down on his bed. “You will not say such things Joe. Your father made a lot of mistakes and even if he does not agree to your face. One day he will regret his ill treatments on you. So yeah, you have learnt your lesson from your father and you will raise your children better” Joes mother spoke with passion. She knew she had to do a lot of damage control on her son.
t know mother, I don’t think it will be anytime soon for me to decide to have kids.” “Have you told her?” she asked him ‘No, Alisha loves kids and I can’t tell her that yet. But I will trust me” he responded. At a time Joe was sure he was never going to have kids of his own. Even for loving Alisha, it came as a surprise to him. He had dated several women before her and he never intended to settle down with them, he was shocked at the passionate love and need to be with her for a long time. No wonder he could not contain his anger towards Chanda. He could not let go of that fact that Chanda had what he wanted so much and yet treated her so badly. In a moment such thoughts run into Joes mind, he stood in one position and didn’t realize his father was watching him from the house few meters away from the yard where the mother was. Joe
s father wondered why he showed up at the house knowing the police were after him “Finally! You show up here?” his fathers voice pulled him off his memories.
“Joe! “The Mother whose attention was attracted shouted and dropped the clothes she was washing running to embrace her son.
“You are alive? You are okay? “She asked checking Joe from head to toe.
“Am fine mom, I missed you too” he smiled at her
“Are you sure? Have the Police followed you here? “She asked worried and looking about
“If they haven’t they will soon, he is a criminal, a murderer” his father
s voice so cold spoke and Joe took a deep breath taking heart. He knew his father always found a way to irritate him but this time he decided to take the positive side and ignore the negative “Hey father” he let go of his mother hand and walked towards him “I missed you too.” He smiled extending his hand to greet him. The shocked old man looked at his face and then his hand. It had been years since Joe responded so well to him and later on extend his hand to greet him. They had not seen eye to eye for years. “How are you?” he greeted him seeing his father was not responding. “Am sorry father, I know I have done things that you are not proud of in the past but I swear I want to become a better man. In any way, since I was born that I let you done and made you feel hate towards me, I came to apologies. Give me a chance to be a son that you always wanted me to be father. I have grown up hating myself, I hurt people around me with my anger and hatred. I act impulsively, someone told me its because my life was always about defending myself to get your approval. I need to start over father and I cannot because I was holding on to the past. I had not forgiven you in years and I blamed you for everything bad in my life. Here I am today father, to ask for your blessings that I may walk in the good paths on this earth. Please forgive me.” Joe cried before his father.
His mother was sobbing silently where she was standing her face wet with tears. She could feel the pain in her son
s voice. She could feel his desire to forgive his father and she cried to God in her heart to open the heart of her husband and let him forgive his son. “Forgive your son my husband, please” she joined in “NO” the man responded. “He is not my son” He spoke making Joe look at his face with shock “What are you saying father?” Joe asked in wonder “Ask your mother, you are not my son and you will never be, the fact that I raised you and used my money on you must be enough, anything else forget it” The man spoke and walked away hurriedly “Mom? What is he talking about? What does he mean he is not my father” Joe stood up looking at his mother “Am sorry Joe, I never meant for things to turn out this way. Am really sorry you had to be the one to bear the pain for me. Your father.. is.. your father is.. “The woman trembled as she cried failing to say the words. “Your late Uncle, the elder brother to your father ... he is your father “she cried out loudly as she spoke “What? How?” Joe was now completely lost. He mother who was now shaking and crying sat down on the veranda Joe still standing waiting to hear what she had to say. “He raped me Joe.. your Uncle raped me and I got pregnant. He came home drunk one day and entered my bedroom when your father was working on duty in the night. I didn’t have the strength to fight him off and he took advantage of me. I cried, I called God to forgive me for everything. I begged that he cleansed me so that your father could forgive me. That morning when your father came home and I told him what happened, he beat up his elder brother to the point of death. People had to rescue him and hide him away. For months your father never talked to me. He hated the fact that I was weak and could not fight off his brother. For him it was all my fault. Unfortunately enough I discovered I was pregnant and your father hated me the more. He wanted me to rid of the baby, I just couldn’t, I loved you despite how I conceived you and your father was not pleased with me. He threw me out of the house for months till I gave birth to you at my fathers house. Later on he came to beg I returned home and asked that we forget what happened and I believe him. Well, you know the rest, He took out all the anger on you my son and am so sorry, I could not defend you. I loved you and I never wanted this to come out. I wanted your father to see you as his own but all my efforts failed” Joe
s mother was sobbing making Joe cry too. For years, he suffered the harsh treatments of his father, he had no idea what he was paying for. Now it was clear. He understood it so well he could not stop shaking his head “Well, I.. I don’t know what to say mom. I cannot believe dad made me pay for that man, my biological fathers mistakes” Joe sobbed
“Am sorry, it was my fault” His mother held his hands.
“No mom, It’s not your fault, it never was, you were a victim and my father for all these years has punished you for the sins of his brother.” Joe shook his head sadly
“If it was then I could have walked away and never returned to speak to that man, but mom, I now understand that God has plans for me no matter what. I know it’s hard for me now but I hope one day, I will truly forgive my father. I don’t know about that biological father of mine but… I hope he found his peace before dying” Joe spoke sitting down as he felt so weak in his legs.
For hours he spoke with his mother and told her what was going on with the case. Joe tried to reach out to the man he knew was his father but the man shut him off. He felt he had to give up and let God himself help the old man see that Joe no matter how he came to the world was raised by him and was his son. As he walked away, his heart felt at peace, the feeling some heavy load was lifted from his life.
2 years later….
Joe was walking fast towards the court room. It was a bright morning and he had a case in the court. As he approached the entrance, a familiar face caught his attention. He turned his eyes to see the person standing there waving at him with a wide smile.
“Hey!” Alisha waved at him
“Alisha?” Joe responded caught by surprise.
“Joe” Alisha walked towards him and they hugged each other in greeting
“Wow, you look smart” She smiled stepping away from him
“Yeah, guess it’s the lawyer thing wearing suits and neckties” Joe let a laugh
“Yeah, weird, but nice” Alisha teased
“James told me I could find you here” She started
“Um, yeah, but can we talk later, I have 10 minutes to be in the court room” he stopped her
“Oh yeah, sure. I can wait if you don’t mind” she shrugged
“Please do wait. It’s been a while… wow! I cannot believe am seeing you right now” He smiled widely
“Go and you will find me when you are done” she gave him a push and he walked away looking back at her and smiling
Oh When he was done, Joe folded his papers and rushed out to meet her. She was standing outside in her black dress that went down her feet and hair extension nicely tied in a ponytail she was wearing her usual smile.
“Wow!” he sighed reaching her
“What? “ she smiled back
“I cannot believe you still take away my breath, you look so beautiful and happy” he added standing in front of her.
“I missed you” She started when they finally found a place to sit.
“Oh really? That’s good to hear. James told me about Chanda, am really sorry.” Joe shook his head sadly
“You really have changed Joe, you are sure you feel bad that Chanda died in a road accident? You hated him” Alisha made a face
“Not any more, I was taught to love my enemies. Trust me, I have nothing against that man and even when I told you I was walking away 2 years ago, I meant every word of it. Am glad to hear you completed your studies and are working. A good turn for you” He smiled
“Yeah, sort of.” Alisha shrugged
“Sort of?” he asked
‘Yeah, I miss you. I know I have no right after what happened between us Joe but I cannot just forget you. I have tried to move on but no one is as crazy as you were. I miss us” she spoke her face on the table.
“Am sorry, I shouldn’t have dumped this on you I know it’s not fair.. I mean, you probably have someone in your life and am here trying to tell you about how I feel. I feel stupid” She shook her head seeing Joe was looking at her without any response.
“Well there is someone isn’t it? “ She asked him. Joe smiled holding her hands.
“Yes Alisha, there is someone. There has always been that woman that I cannot stop loving, she is just here no matter what I do” Joe pointed at his heart hitting his chest slightly
“I can’t let her go Alisha, she is a part of me forever” he paused looking at her and Alisha`s eyes were filled with tears. She thought at the moment she had lost him.
“Well, am sorry. I shouldn’t have come here, I just thought maybe… I don’t know, am sorry Joe. And I hope she makes you happy” she paused sniffing in her tears
“The woman is right here with me Alisha, you.” Joe cut in
“What?” she asked sitting up in shock
“Yeah why are you surprised? You have enslaved my heart Alisha, father Tom always tells me I should never love a woman this much. But I cannot help it. You have always been the one for me and I have never looked at another women since what happened between us. I love you and I will always “he shook his head with smile.
She stood up and hugged him closely, tears falling freely in her face
“Joe, why didn’t you come back? I waited for 2 years to hear this” she sobbed in his chest
“I knew if you were mine God will bring you back somehow. I had a feeling God will make things work for my good.” He smiled
“I love you and please don’t ever make me wait again” she looked at his face and he was holding hers in his palms smiling
“No, but this time am going to do it right. We are getting married at the beginning of next month, you are going to be my wife Alisha and we will have lots of babies’ together” he smiled making her laugh
“Are you asking to marry me Joseph?” she asked with a laugh
“Is that a yes?” he asked rubbing her chin passionately
“Yes’ she wiped her tears with joy
“Well, next month is in 3 weeks, let’s get started” Joe laughed and planted a slight kiss on her lips. I love you. “he whispered pulling her close and squeezing her small body into his.
“I love you too” Alisha whispered back holding on to him and promising herself she will never let him go. Her family will have no option but to accept the man he heart had chosen, she thought as she looked at his happy face. “Thank you Jesus for showing me the way” Joe looked up the heavens and closed his eyes in prayer as he held on to the woman he loved.
“You cornered me into believing and I do believe. Thank you” He smiled squeezing his hands around the woman he loved and smiling in her face as she did the same. He knew his life was not going to always be easy but he had a high power guiding his steps and he trusted things would always be better from that time onwards….