Diary Of A Fusspot 22

fusspot

There is a form of silent torture that everyone goes through at some point in life. I call it the torture of the unknown. It was a cold and cruel kind of torture that gripped you in the chest and messed with your insides. It was what we faced that morning as we stood outside the chambers waiting for the outcome of the meeting with the judge. Edison had said we didn’t need to come but we couldn’t help ourselves. We wanted to be there. Perhaps we should have spent the time thinking up trial strategy. Mrs. Madu was yet to hear back from her husband.
She had sent a response through post but it would likely be weeks before anyone heard back from him. We had looked for other means of contacting him but all seemed futile. He was no longer answering his emails and she had no phone number. How on earth were we to get to him in time?

As I held Ike’s hands in mine, I sent a silent plea. God, please don’t let them take him away now. Whatever battles we had to fight, we needed to fight it together.  We were both silent, hands clasped, lost in thought. Afraid to ask what if?

Edison came out with a small smile.

“We won,” he said. “You won’t be taken into custody.”

“However we didn’t win on the other case. I pushed my motion for the trial to be delayed again because of our star witness but the judge declined.”

I let out a whoosh of air as Ike hugged me in relief.

“We will take the victories as they come,” I assured Edison.

“Now what?” Ike asked looking up at his lawyer.

“Now we need to go to my office and come up with some very good ideas on how to win this thing,” Edison said with a glint in his eye.

I was pleasantly surprised. He had seemed so composed and unaffected before. Now he seemed to be warming up to the challenge.

“What are we waiting for then?” I asked. “Let’s go.”

 

Three hours later we still had nothing close to a plan. To my surprise, it was Ike who was the strong one. He told us to stop and then he prayed.

“Lord, we’re at our wits end here. The date for the trial has been set and fixed and we don’t know what to do. Lord, you reign in the affairs of men. Please give us your wisdom and show Yourself strong in this situation.”

On the way home, I forced myself to sound cheerful but I still couldn’t help worrying. There were so many things to think about. I missed Anna. Because of my crazy schedule and all the running around, I had taken her to my mother’s house to stay for a while. I was supposed to resume work the week following the trial. I was supposed to be shopping for new clothes and dusting my college material. But here I was, faced with the prospect of my husband going to jail and losing everything we had worked for. And I had been brave. I had tried to be. I had gone through all the emotions anger, denial, bargaining but as the days grew closer I felt it. The cold icy fear. I kept wondering what would happen to me and Anna if the worst happened.

Ike tried to pull me out of my reverie. “It’s ok hon,” he said placing a hand on my shoulder. “Have you heard from Titi?” he asked.

I suddenly remembered that Titi had gone to see her son. She said she wasn’t scared of her husband anymore and she was thinking of getting a house and a job. I dialed her number. At least some things were going in the right direction. But before I could get through to Titi, my call was interrupted. It was Mrs. Madu.

“Hello, please can you come over to my house? I just received some shocking news. I need to speak with you.”

I was flummoxed. What could the news be? I quickly told Ike and called Edison to join us there. Were our prayers already answered? Was Madu back?

 

 

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Diary Of a Fusspot 21

fusspot

I settled down in bed the next day with mixed feelings. The day had been very dramatic. I had gone to the company site and they said they would like to use my services part time as a company representative in my area as they were thinking of opening a new branch in that area. They felt I would be perfect for the job but I needed to receive some training in the headquarters but they would make my schedule light since they knew the commitments I had to my family. The company would open in six months and if I did well they would consider me for an executive position. I would also be paid while I was being trained. It was all I could do to hold back tears of gratitude. I could hardly believe what was happening. Was this how God answered prayers? I accepted immediately and as I picked up my phone to call my husband after leaving the premises, my phone started ringing. It was Ike.
“Darling, how are you? Been trying to reach you,” he said breathless.
“I’m sorry dear. I switched off my phone during the interview,” I said.
“How was it?” he asked quickly.
“It was great. I got the job. I’ll tell you details later.”
“Ok,” he said and paused for a second. “I just wanted to tell you that we’ve hada ruling. The judge decided not to extend the trial date.”
I let out a whoosh of air. That meant the trial would start in less than two weeks. And we were nowhere near ready.
“It’s going to work out,” I said in my cheeriest tone. God had brought us this far, hadn’t he?
“Right,” my husband said flatly. “Anyway I’m going to meet Edison so we can start discussing strategy. There’s no time to waste.”
“Ok. I’ll try to join you depending on how thick traffic is. But I need to get home first.”
As I pulled into my driveway, I was surprised to see Titi standing there, waiting for me.
She was shaking.
“I tried calling you but I couldn’t reach you. I called your husband and he told me you would soon be home,” she sputtered out as I came out of the car.
“What’s the matter dear? You look ill,” I asked her with concern as I ushered her into the house.
“I just had the scariest moment of my life Chi. I was kidnapped,” she said her voice still shaking.
My eyes widened as she haltingly told me her story.
“I really needed to get something from the supermarket today and as Christy was not around, I had to get it myself. It was like he was waiting for me. As soon as I stepped out of the supermarket, a hand grabbed mine tightly. It was my husband and he told me not to scream that if I did he would harm our son. So I followed him to the car. I was so scared…”
She narrated how he drove off on unfamiliar routes without talking to her and she discovered that they were soon on the expressway. When she tried to ask him where they were going, he refused to respond. He only said he was going to teach her a lesson. She began to beg him but he only laughed. Before she knew it, they were on the Lagos Ibadan expressway with no houses in sight. She knew he was about to do something sinister so she began to panic.
“But then I remembered how you had told me not to be afraid. So I began to pray under my breath. He shouted and told me to keep quiet but then I turned to him and boldly declared: “In the name of Jesus, I command you to let me out of this car.” He laughed at first and asked me to repeat what I said. I did and this time with more conviction.
He looked at me strangely and asked what had happened to me. I told him that I was standing on the authourity given to me by Jesus who said nothing shall by any means harm me and I commanded him to let me out of the car. To my surprise, he pulled over and told me to get out.
I walked towards the highway and luckily I was able to find a taxi that took me straight to your house.”
My mouth was wide open at the end of her story. All I could do was to start thanking God for his deliverance and we spent a thirty minute session doing that. I totally forgot about the fact that I was to meet Edison and my husband. By the time I remembered and checked my phone, I saw a message from Ike telling me he was coming home and that he had some important news to report.
Just before going to bed, he told me something that felt like ten steps backward. There was a rumor of a motion filed by the prosecution that since he was a criminal and should be remanded in custody as he might try to escape before the trial and that the judge was considering it. They would find out for sure by the next day. My heart was in my throat when he said that and I saw the despair on his face. We tried to pray but it was a half hearted effort. We felt so defeated. Eventually we went to bed, and it was while I was in bed I realized I had not told him the details of my new job. But all that paled in comparison to what we were currently facing. I had no idea what was going to happen next.

Diary Of A Fusspot 20

fusspot

The plan for now was that we would communicate with Mr. Madu and Edison would act as if he was her divorce lawyer. Hopefully, we would be able to get him to respond or even come down to Nigeria to have his estate settled. We had reported to the police that we had heard from Mr. Madu but as he was far beyond their reach, they told us that there was little they could do. Typical Nigerian police.

Edison had also filed a motion for postponement of the trial and cited the reason that an important witness was at large. We were awaiting the judge’s ruling on that. If it was granted, it would buy us more time to bring Madu home to justice.

I poured another cup of tea for myself and sat down beside Titi in my living room. She hadn’t been sleeping well and she looked dreadful. She had been having nightmares of her husband trying to suffocate her. She wasn’t able to go out or even go and see her child because she was afraid he would trace her and kidnap the child. It was a dire state of affairs and I feared for her physical and mental health.

“Titi, you cannot continue living in fear like this. It’s time you went on the offensive,” I said taking hold of one of her hands. It was very cold and she was trembling.

“Easy for you to say Chinelo. You’re not the one living with a gun pointed at your head.” She sputtered out.

“Hmm. I’m going through some tough times here too,” I said gently.

She looked contrite. “I’m sorry Chi. I know you are. Everything seems so hopeless and difficult. I don’t understand what it is you mean by being on the offensive. Do you want me to fight him or what?”

“Yes. Fight but don’t fight him. Fight the real enemy. Fight for his soul, do your fighting in the spirit. Satan is doing everything he can to discourage you and paralyze you so you cannot take a step forward. It’s high time you let Him know that God is in charge.”

“I hear you Chi, But I still don’t know how to do it. Will you show me?” she said giving me a pleading look with her eyes.

I picked up my Bible. “First, we need to understand what the Word of God says to us so we declare it to ourselves and rebuke the devil. It says here:  I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions…and nothing shall by any means harm you…”

 

 

That evening, I sat in front of my computer and meditated on the events of the day. I had developed a new practice of doing that and thanking God for the little victories of the day. I was glad Titi was beginning to see that she could trust God and lean on Him. We also discussed seemingly more practical things about the possibility of her needing to get a lawyer. I promised her that I would testify if it ever became necessary. After all that happened between her and her husband, the chances of reconciliation seemed slim. But there was nothing impossible for Him to do… As I was meditating I felt a nudge in my spirit to check my mail. I was shocked to see a letter of invitation for an interview. I was amazed when I saw the name of the company.

It was the same company I had been interviewed in last month.  The one that had decided I was overqualified. Lord, what are you trying to do here?