Damian entered Lagos with Ruth by his side, his bag clutched to his side tightly. He was scared for his wife. He had seen a lot in the past few days and he had come to realize that it would be best to tell her about his HIV status. If she knows, she can choose to either leave him or stay. It was better than giving her the impression that he was having an affair. He prayed to God that he met her in good spirits.
As they got to the taxi stand, his phone rang. He looked at the caller ID; it was Mummy Uyi.
Mummy Uyi: “where you dey? We no go hospital. She dey house. I dey prepare roots for her. Do make you come o.”
Damian: “I dey road. Which root? Abeg no give her any native medicine abeg. Why you no carry am go hospital na? abeg no give am anything. I dey come.
Mummy Uyi: “Okay o. dey come.” She replied and ended the call.
Damian turned to the taxi driver standing beside him and gave him his house address. He looked at Ruth but she seemed preoccupied. She entered the taxi without even looking at him or saying a word.
They soon got to Damian’s place and they alighted. As Damian paid the taxi driver, Ruth looked at the house closely. When the taxi drove off, Damian came to join Ruth where she stood.
Damian: “you have been acting strange since we got off the plane. What exactly is the problem?” he asked.
Ruth: “do you believe in God?” she asked
Damian: “yes I do. Why?” he asked
Ruth: “do you believe that Jesus the Christ is the son of God, and that he came to preach the good news, and that he died and rose again after three days?” she asked.
Damian: “of course I do. Why these questions?” he asked, curious.
Ruth: “you have to hold on to your faith. Let us pray.” She said.
She held Damian’s hands and they prayed. After that, Damian picked his bag and started walking to the gate. He stopped when he saw that Ruth was mot coming with him
Damian: “you are not coming?” he asked, turning back to stare at her.
Ruth: “I will be around. This is your battle. Remember prayer is the key. Remember the verse of the bible you read at the hotel. Whatever you see in there never let go of the fact that God’s power is greater and mightier.” She said emphatically.
Damian: “what am I going to see there? It is my wife and her elder sister. Please…” he replied, turning away.
Ruth: “a test of faith, Damian.” She muttered to herself.
Mummy Uyi stared through the curtain as Damian entered the premises. She turned to Osasu who still laid moaning on the bed. “it is time. Let us see what you have created?” she thought to herself as she walked downstairs to open the front door.
As soon as she opened it, Damian rushed through it asking for his wife. She told him that she was upstairs sleeping. He dropped his bag and ran upstairs without saying another word to her. Mummy Uyi looked at him with a smile on her face and walked slowly to the kitchen.
Damian entered the room in a rush. He rushed to the bed and held Osasu close. Osasu opened her eyes and looked at him then she shrugged from him, pushing him away from her
Osasu: “so you came when you heard that am ill, abi? Where is your slut?” she asked, her eyes glittering with malice.
Damian: “Oh…baby there was never any girl. I was scared to tell you the truth. I didn’t know how you will take it.” He replied, tears welling up in his eyes.
Osasu: “what do you mean that there’s no girl? So you mean i went to all this trouble for a lie?” she asked, disbelief spreading over her face.
Damian: “Baby I am sorry. You see…” he replied but was cut off by Osasu
Osasu: “you are sorry? You are sorry! Do you know what I have done? Where I have been to, just because thought I was losing my husband?” she screamed at him, spittle flying out of her lips, her eyes wild with anger.
Damian: “Baby I am HIV positive.” He said quietly.
Immediately, Osasu’s face went blank. She looked at him and she burst into laughter. She laughed hard, hitting the bed with her hands
Osasu: “you should have told me Damian. You should have. We swore to be by each other for better or worse.” She said quietly, laughter ceasing suddenly.
Damian: “I am sorry. I will make it up to you, I promise.” He replied, squeezing her cold hands in his.
Osasu: “I forgive you. Oya kiss me.” She replied, snuggling close to Damian.
Damian laughed, feeling a huge weight lift off his shoulder. He bent his head to kiss his wife and paused.
Preacher prayed with Osato and she surrendered her heart to Christ. Preacher told her to get ready so that she can be baptized with water at a church, where he worshipped. She agreed to go with him the next day. She went into the house and changed into a trouser and a t-shirt, so she could escort Preacher. She also picked some money from her purse for the man.
As she came out, she saw Jackson walking towards them slowly. What is wrong with these people? Can’t they leave me alone? The devil has sent you to test me abi?” she thought to herself as she placed the money in Preacher’s hand.
Preacher: “the only price demanded from you is preaching the word to those who have not heard, showing love to everyone and standing firm in the face of trials and temptation, never doubting God who is the author and finisher of your faith.” He said, rejecting the money.
Osato said nothing; her whole attention was focused on Jackson. As soon as Jackson got to where she stood with Preacher, he brought out a gun, pointed it at her and fired. Osato screamed “Jesus!” just as the bullet slammed into her and she fell to the ground.
Preacher looked at Osato then he turned his gaze on Jackson
Preacher: “you worker in the shadow, you demon from the pit of hell. You snake, I bind you in the mighty name of Jesus!” he prayed.
Jackson tried to raise the gun to shoot at Osato one more time but he could not. The bullet had grazed her shoulder and she was struggling up from the ground, her right arm bleeding. Preacher went on praying
Preacher: “at the mention of his name, every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess. We are mighty because we are God’s children. The devil is a liar. Demon, in the mighty name of Jesus lose your hold and let him go!” he shouted.
Jackson swayed, his eyes still focused on Osato, who leaned against the door, her face white with pain. Her father peeked through the door and saw Jackson walking towards them slowly as if wading in water. He stretched his hand and dragged his daughter inside and closed the door.
Osato stared at her hand as her father brought a first aid box and settled down to treat the wound.
Osato’s father: “you are lucky; it is just a flesh wound. You and I need to talk, young lady. There are some things you have not been telling me.” He said; his face stern.
Osato: “Papa we will talk but right now, there is a battle to be fought.” She jumped up from the stool, picked up her bible and ran outside, prayer spilling out of her lips.
As she stepped out, she joined hands with Preacher and they prayed. Jackson howled in pain, his eyes red. Dust rose around him as he struggled forward intent on completing his mission.
Osato: “father release your spirit upon this place. Let every evil plot of the enemy be torn asunder in the mighty name of Jesus!” she prayed, her hand stretched forward towards Jackson.
People had started coming out of their houses to witness the curious show. Jackson screamed in pain, holding his head. A terrible wind blew around him, tearing his clothes from his body.he struggled then his eyes went black and a smell of grave spread over the place.
Rebecca: “from the start, you have distracted and disturbed me but no more. This body is weak and useless.” She said through Jackson’s mouth.
Osato: “you have no power here demon. I cast you into the bottomless pit where your master has been chained in the mighty name of Jesus!” she said, a white light poured from her in terrible waves.
Her eyes, her hair and her clothes glowed bright and the demon inside Jackson screamed in a terrible voice. The wind howled and trees were uprooted from their roots. The onlookers ran back into the safety of their houses. Then suddenly, there was silence.
Jackson fell to the floor in a faint. Osato sagged beside Preacher, her face filled with sweat.
Preacher: “you need to see you when the power of God descended. Ha…indeed he was right. You are going to be a doer of mighty works in God’s name.”
Osato: “right now this mighty doer is tired and her hand is killing her. Is he dead?” she asked looking at Jackson.
At that moment, Rebecca appeared, her form was not clear. It wavered in the sunlight. She looked at Jackson then she looked at Osato
Rebecca: “you won the battle but we will meet again.” She said then she danced around in a full circle and shouted ‘open!” Jackson’s eyes opened and he screamed as skeletal hands with decaying flesh clinging from them, pushed out of the earth and grabbed him
Jackson: “Please! Help me! Abeg! God! Mama! Please! Jesus please!” he screamed as he was dragged into hell. The ground closed and everywhere became still.
Rebecca: “till we meet again.” She said, her eyes twinkling with merriment. Then she vanished.
Osato: “I have seen everything.” She said, her mouth wide open with shock.
Preacher: “there is more.” He said quietly, staring at the crowd of people walking towards them; some with fear, some with hope and some with joy. “Yes and they preached the word to the ends of the earth.” He whispered.
Question: Why did Damian pause as he was about to kiss Osasu? Osato has found Christ and the power of God radiates from her and she has indeed won her battle through him; who fights your battles for you?
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