Thursday, March 23, 2023
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Hold On [A Story]

I can hear it though it sounds so far away;  its’ melody reaches out to me. I tilt my head in the hopes of getting a clearer sound as it approaches. There is a surge of joy within me, as my lips dance into a smile. Aah! My wait has not been in vain. I look around eager to share my excitement, but the blank faces give me pause momentarily; don’t they hear it? I ask myself…surely they did not buy the tale that He would not come through, oh no! They could not have believed the talebearer that His “lateness” is denial.

Even as I find myself swaying to the the strands of the song that is surely approaching … I stretch out my hand to my comrades. We had come too far, too too far for them to give up without a fight…I hummed the chords… as I recalled, it was the same one that had filled my heart years back while I had wondered what it meant…could it be? I turned towards the door as I dared to believe that it could be.

Then I glanced at the blank, vacant stares of my comrades… I saw, but they did not see… we were a stronger group, refined from the tick of the hands of the years that had gone by. Our hands, our palms had aged gracefully, not calloused, no… warmly soft. Yes, it was not the way we had envisaged it would be, but we definitely had grown stronger in ways beyond our thoughts.
‘Look!’ I said as I held up my hands for inspection turning it as one conducting an orchestra.

‘Hard…’ Nathan said, “hard but He had promised soft…”

“No!” I sobbed  “look….can’t you see?” It is soft yet mature… years of being clasped in communion, of wiping torrents of tears through the storms, after the passage of battles we thought would never end… they surely had matured.

I replied as I approached Onajite. We had encouraged each other, with each new gown, bridal showers, through the baby showers, if I could reach anyone now it was her; she knows me, and sometimes I feared more than I knew myself. For a season in our lives it seemed we had trusted His words in vain… it had looked like everyone else but us got the manifestation of all He spoke when it came to the issue of marriage.The snicker, snide talks, whispers had been the shadows that stuck to us as our personal bodyguards… yet we made it through together.

Searching her face as a roll of my heart dropped…the realization hit my tummy hard… she had let go!

“Shiere we were wrong,” she said through clenched teeth…

“No ‘Jits, no!” I shouted as I shook her roughly, we are supposed to have held on all the way.

“Jits please look.”  A flash of pity ran through the blank stare as she turned her face away. In the dark corner the talebearers lips curved cruelly.
“Listen Moyin… you have always had an ear that picked up strains of dim sounds; you couldn’t have blocked your ears. Stumbling over Onajite’s bags of  cry years; I all but fell into Moyins’ lap as he rocked stiffly on the chair of dinghy dodged knowing. His hands lay limply on his lap, too weak to steady my gait.

“Shie we lost,” he all but whispered, “This was my last battle, and I lost…”

I looked down at his feet, the rugged boots that had walked through deaths shadow, overcome the grips of sicko sickness, and still had the mud of perseverance stuck on it, was I wrong? I questioned myself, had we lost this battle? As I let my hands fall softly on the hard knee of prayers… the sound reached out to me yet again stronger than ever… the faint lull had gained strength with each word…

“No, no this was not how we planned this, how could you have bought what the talebearer sold? It’s counterfeit. Moyin we won… yes we won… look at you, where is sicko? The True blood purified you; look at the reminders in the scars from Dr. Dibs theatre.” A flicker, a look! as I lifted up his feet in the boots, “The mud of perseverance told of the passage through the valley of unemployment for 3 years… remember…the oil didn’t run dry. Even when it seemed like you had reached your limit, He came through, right on time.”

The flickering candle steadily grew stronger as he began to recall: “Deaths shadow fled when Life Abundant took my hands, sicko sickness left though Dr. Dibs had said otherwise…”

“Yes” I said,

“Indeed the broken Body had reigned supreme, through the valley of unemployment for 3 years, Jireh Provision was holding me close…” he said, his voice stronger with each sentence, his hands were strengthened as he lifted them and shouted… “We won! Yes for if all that had been, He had re written them, surely there is nothing He could not do—this was no exception…” The notes reached Moyin’s ears just in time, so he began to rock in rhythm with it. The flickering candle now illuminated his being so that it shone with the realisation that He had come through.

Rising with renewed vigour, Shiere moved swiftly to Kachidi who lay sprawled on the couch, staring listlessly at the ceiling boards, “O daughter of the Author of the Rains, stir up yourself, throw away talebearers of false goods—tale. We are almost there…”

A sad smile framed Kachidi’s lips, “That was what I thought 2 years ago just as I bid Lewis good night, but then again I was wrong,” she said as a drop of unanswered questions rolled down the corner of her eyes dark with hurt… “Why did my Father not come through for me?” She whispered and looked towards me.

I shook my dirty black soft crown, “I do not know Kach, and am not equipped to be His defence attorney. There were quite of number of things He had done and not done which left me with questions, but with each year I’d slowly come to find peace in the understanding that He knows best, even when it sure does not seem so to me.” Pausing pensively I wondered, why I was yet to carry my own baby, from my womb…a product of love. Nothing is wrong, every test and doctor had screamed at us. Why did things not change… no! I choose to not let doubting bombs take seed.

“Listen…” tilting my head, “If you’d only but listen, use your spirit…you’d hear and know, you cannot just throw in all the years of holding Words.

Shifting her small frame as a chicken shook its bum to get the right spot in the ground, Kachidi spoke, “I stopped listening when Lewis left. It was more than I could bear,” looking accusingly at me she went on: “You still have O’tega! You’ve still got something…” she queried as her voice dropped. “The memories are not enough, please let me be. All of them gone, my precious babies; one after the other… then Lewis. I used to believe I was His special baby but alas I was wrong.”

I jerked upright in shock, where is mine? My Boaz bones as I spurn around searching frantically. For sure he was dancing I thought, unsettled… then I saw him; O’tega leaned lazily against the well, his look was unmistakably vacant…

to be continued next weekend…

Oghale Otokunefor
Oghale Otokunefor
She is a Legal Practitioner by profession and She loves to write poetry, articles and short stories. She is a Nigerian. As a pastime she enjoys reading a lot, scribbling stuff, dancing, and listening to music. In addition, she enjoys learning about different cultures and languages.

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