Just One More

“I understood once I held a baby in my arms, why some people… keep having them.” Spalding Gray

They already had three in their hands, the perfect number for him. He didn’t want any other and had told her to take care of things.

The fewer the better he had sworn.

But not so with her.

All she wanted was just one more.

Just one more for the sake of her little girl. She had watched her feeling aloof besides the two boys.

“Leave us alone! This is boys only. Go play with mummy.” she would hear the boys shout.

She had gone crazy and had dragged the duo to the naughty corner for an hour.

“Don’t ever push your blood away. She’s your blood, your only sister. Don’t ever push her away.” she had screamed at them while they recoiled fearfully.

Still, the boys knew better. They knew that boys play our boys play. Just like girls play are girls play. So nothing could be done to change the fact.

She did invite her friends daughters over to cheer her up but each day her little daughter kept asking for the same thing. “mummy, when are you going to get a girl from the hospital? ”

Where does she get that? She’s only four.

“Very soon sweetheart,” she promised without thinking.

“I want her to look exactly like me mummy,”

“Alright honey, ”

Promise?

“Yes, promise.” they both hooked their index fingers to seal it.

So she made up her mind to stop taking care of things as she hoped and prayed she didn’t get another boy.

Ten months later, they arrived.

The quadruplets!

Three boys and a girl!

The man heard the news while at work, refused to come home. The woman understood and begged him to come home. She knew it was too much for him to handle. When he returned after a week, he cried. He couldn’t believe it.

Her pig-headedness has brought us nothing but trouble. He always thought about what she had done whenever any problem arose.

All he wanted was good life for the few, but she had messed it all up.

How could they ever give the seven kids good life? They’re many mouths to feed, many bodies to clothe, seven kids to educate, train and guide.

It meant more trouble, more stress, more premature grey hair.

To her, it was certain it’s going to be very difficult with their little income but she knew those kids were. like many arrows in their hands – fruits they would grow to rip with joy.

Keeping Peace #5

After offering her seat in her well-furnished living room, Mrs Gelu used up twenty minutes of Stephenie’ s time talking about her dogs.

“I’ve not seen dogs like these two. They’re super watchdogs. I have no regrets. No burglar looks at my territory. If reincarnation happened, I would surely come back with these two” she said as she entered her kitchen leaving Stephanie under the watch of the two calm but fierce animals.

She returned and handed Stephanie a cup of coffee.”You know, I believe that when you take good care of your dogs, they perform their duties well.” Stephanie looked at her watch not knowing how else to change the topic to serve the purpose of her visit.

“I’m boring you, right?. You hate dogs, right?”

“Oh No! No! I love them. They’re my favourite.”

“Oh! I love dogs to heaven and back. Lucky is pregnant. It’s a cute breed. Both of them are. Well behaved and smart. I promise to give you a puppy when they arrive.”

“That’s very kind of you.” Stephanie knew she didn’t want to keep a dog. Neither in her first nor second life. “I’ll be only glad. ” she heard herself say.

“Consider it done.”

“Actually, I’m here to…..”

“Are you alright?” she interfered again looking closely at her face.

“Yes, I am.”

“You don’t look alright. I’m sure you’re finding it very hard, but you know, its always good to associate yourself with people with more experience than you. You need an experienced woman. She must have some tricks to share. The woman who started cooking before another has more cooking utensils. Be open to another. Don’t keep your situation to yourself. You don’t cover up a disgraceful sickness.”

“Of course,” Stephanie said not sure where Mrs Gelu was heading to.

“What and what have you done to conceive?”

Oh no! Not this topic. Not now!

“Children are gifts from God auntie. Please let’s leave that for another day.”

“I know how hard it is for you to dwell on that. Everything will be fine.”

Stephanie knew she dared not tell her she had been on contraceptive from the onset and that it had been Clement’s idea.

“Thanks for caring. Actually, I’m here to seek your motherly advice on an issue that is a threat to the peaceful co-existence between me and my husband.”

“What happened?”

Stephanie briefly told her story.

“Really? Part of it?”

“Whole of it!”

“For two years you said?”

“Yes. I stopped and he’s making a big deal out of it.

“Hypnosis is real.”

“I don’t understand.”

“He hypnotised you. He made you do it like a sheep.”

Stephanie laughed hard.

“There’s no such thing. I willingly gave it to him, to please and obey him for peace to reign.”

“Internal peace is necessary for the external peace.”

“You may be right there.”

“You’re a sheep right?”

“How? I’m not.”

“You must be a sheep. Human sheep are ‘yes’ ‘okay’ people – maximum obedience, zero resistance. You must be a sheep, my dear.” Stephanie laughed again.

“That’s the reason why you were able to give him a whole of your salary for two years. Two years! Anyway, let’s not waste any more of your time. I personally, hate it when a man tries to control it all under the roof.”

“What do you suggest I do auntie?”

“Well, the worst thing you can do now is pretend everything is okay when it’s not. Go home, apologise for your disobedience and many of them yet to come because sweetheart you’ll continue to say no him in that aspect.”

“Thank you so much for your honest answer.”

“One more thing. Open a joint account with him. Deposit twenty per cent of your salary in there every month and he should deposit thirty per cent of his. Help with the expenses whenever you can. Know that your salary is your right. Don’t give it to another and go empty-handed. The future can be difficult without some savings and investments.”

“Thanks so much. I’m glad I talked to you about it. I have to leave to work..

“Okay my dear. Let me know how you’re faring. Take care.”

“Thank you, auntie. I will.” Stephany liked honest people like Mrs Gelu, if were her mother, things should have been a lot different. She just wanted to make sure she was doing the right thing. Mrs Gelus advice was the best. She would discuss opening a joint account with him.

Odd Fate #6

While the search team looked for Captain Gregory’s daughter in the massive ocean, the Strange Man had since swum to the shore with her unconscious body, away from the tempest, to his exotic world.

Since the wind didn’t drop her and the sea desired her, she was likely to be the one they had been searching for. His last search result was a disaster. His mother had rejected the nineteenth girl because said she failed the wind, sea and chastity tests.

So, while the search team continued their search in the depth of the Atlantic ocean, risking their lives with the dangerous sea animals all through the night, the victims had since disappeared to a non-physical world.

When Mary’s parents called the search team, they were told they were trying their best to find her. But they ( parents) knew that if their daughter was still in the ocean, she must have drowned or eaten by some dangerous animal.

The only pain Captain Gregory’s felt at that moment was the pain of losing his only child daughter Mary and Mrs Gregory had never let go of her bible Bible and rosary. She had raised them a thousand time since hope was lost.

“My daughter will soon come home. She’s not lost.”

Tears of pity flooded everybody’s eyes including her mother. They all looked at her with deep sympathy because they were sure Mary didn’t make it. If she did, the search team might have brought her back alive and it had been more than twelve hours since she was lost in the water.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Mary opened her eyes and found herself in a strange room. It was rich and shipshape.

She saw the Strange Man talking in a hushed voice with a middle-aged queen, clad in a golden robe and a golden crown with glittering precious stones. She looked beautiful, indifferent and firm. The Strange Man looked well groomed and attractive in his casual gown.

Mary narrowed her eyes and looked around, pinched her arm and looked at herself in the side mirror at the foot end of the bed. Her dress had been changed to a spotless smooth cream nightgown with purple sleep net over her head.

“The final decision will be made in the morning. If she scales through the last test, your search will be over. If she fails she’ll be returned immediately.”

Yes, mother.

“If everything goes well, we’ll meet her parents.” She said and moved towards the golden door where the servants waited to open the door for her.

“Yes, mother.” replied the Strange Man and looked at her as if seeing her for the first time since she woke up.

“Where am I?” Mary asked and rolled her eyes from side to side. “hope I’m not dead.”

“You’re full of life. Everything is alright. You have been unconscious for three days though.”

“Three days? Where is my mother?

“Don’t worry, just rest we’ll talk about everything in the morning.”

“She doesn’t know I’m here?”

“I’m sure you’re hungry. Your food will be delivered. I’ll call the doctor immediately for a checkup. The servants will bring your food.”

“You’re not listening to me. I need to go home immediately or call my mum. Where is this place?” she calmed down a bit, she didn’t have to shout at him. He saved her life.

The Strange Man kept silent.

What’s your name?

“Bune.”

“Bune?”

“That’s right.”

“Ok. Bune, where am I?” Mary asked again, raised her head and frowned her face as she felt weak. Bune gently put her head back on the pillow.

“The doctors said you need to stay in bed for days,” he said.

He pressed a bell on the bed and two perfect servants entered the room.

“Zune1, call the doctor. Tell him, miss……”

“Mary,” she said with confusion written all over her face.

“Tell him Mary’s awake. Zune2, wait upon her in case if she needs anything.”

“I need to call my mum to let her know I’m alive. Please.”

“Someone will be sent to her. I’ll see you both in a minute,” he said as a female doctor arrived.

Alone Time

The greatest challenge of an average man is time alone.

Our world is filled with a lot of commitments. No doubt these commitments are important because without them we won’t be able to fulfil obligations of life.

Time after time we give some quality time to our work, friends, family, the media, and so on but little or no time to spend in absolute quietness.

Most of the time we hate to be alone. It’s natural to feel lonely, empty, depressed, dejected because man is a social being and finds alone time very unpleasant, dangerous time, a time we shouldn’t allow and a time to reach out to others and be happy.

But sitting alone in absolute quietness for few minutes to one hour a day, listening to the one who speaks nothing, is as important as going for physical health checks without waiting for sickness to strike. It’s a mind-healing process, a time to ease off and calm down.

Time alone is a time of recollection, a time to discover our self-worth. It’s the time to be creative, time for pure and focused thinking. Time to discover divine solutions.

Time alone is when we examine our conscience- evaluate our moral sense of right and wrong, Look into the core of our being to find out how we have failed in our dealings with people and things around us.

Examined conscience yields purity of thought and purity of thought brings to birth a better personality.

Quality time alone yields good result just like Japanese adage says, ‘good thinking, good product’.

This week’s Challenge

What to do

Stay calm and listen to your quietness.

When and where

Anywhere quiet and free from distractions.

I use the early hours of the morning or evening time in the Chapel.

Use the time and place most suited to you.

Duration

From five to fifteen minutes daily.

Have a great alone time daily this week!🙂

The Mendicant And The Philanthropist

A woman dresses in worn-out clothes and looks hungry. She clutches a polythene bag in her left hand. A rich man stops at the traffic and she bends over his car, arm stretched out to him.

Mendicant: Sir, please help me. My husband is dead. My children are hungry and out of school. I lost my job a few months ago and can’t fend for them. Please help me.

Philanthropist: So sorry for your loss.

Mendicant: Thanks. It has not been easy with three kids.

Philanthropist: Take this money, help yourself and your kids with it. Take care.

Mendicant: Oh! Thank you. God bless you. May favour follow you. May you see your children’s children.

Philanthropist: ( smiles) Amen. Bye.

Mendicant: Bye. Be blessed beyond measure.

One week later

Mendicant: (not recognising the philanthropist) Sir, please help me. My husband is dead. My children are hungry and out of school. I lost my job a few months ago and can’t fend for them. Please help me.

Philanthropist: (frowns) Begging is not good for you madam. Go find a job or find something reasonable and responsible to do to make money. Stop begging.

Mendicant: (sniffs) Sorry sir, I have no one to stand by me financially to start me off. Business needs capital. If I had money, I wouldn’t indulge in this shameful act. Personally, I don’t like it but it’s the only option I have to keep me and my children alive.

Philanthropist: I understand what you’re going through. ( takes his chequebook from his briefcase writes some amount and signs it) take this check. It’s two million naira.

Mendicant: (kneels on the roadside screaming) Oh my good God! Thank you. Thank you, sir. Oh my good God. Thank you, sir, Everything you seek you shall find. Thank you. Thank you. Oh my God. ( jumps and skips)

Philanthropist: (grins) Amen. It’s okay. When you cash it, start a good business. Help yourself with it and stop begging. Begging is not safe for you. You could fall into wrong hands.

Medicant: My God bless you, sir! Thanks for your kindness sir.

Philanthropist: If I see you beg again, I will arrest you.

Mendicant: Why should I beg after this? It’s over sir. My problems are over. You’re a godsend. ( jumps, skips and bows)

Two months later. Somewhere remote. Philanthropist’s friend drives. Philanthropist sits on the passenger’s side.

Mendicant: (not noticing the philanthropist) Sir, please help me. My husband is dead. My children are hungry and out of school. I lost my job a few months ago and can’t fend for them. Please help me.

Philanthropist’s friend: ( takes money from the wallet and gives)

Philanthropist: (steps out of the car, talks over the car) Madam what are you doing? You promised.

Mendicant: (frowns) Do I know you, sir? I don’t think I’ve seen you before sir.

Philanthropist: You’re such an opportunist. (Looks at his friend) Arrest her!

Mendicant: (thinks his friend is a policeman and runs away)

Philanthropist’s Friend: What is wrong with you? That’s a poor woman.

Philanthropist: Shes not poor. She’s a multi-millionaire.

Philanthropist’s Friend: How do you know that? She doesn’t look that rich. She looks hungry and poor. Leave her alone. It’s her life.

Philanthropist: Follow her. I want to find out where she stays and what is really wrong with her.

Philanthropist’s Friend: I don’t think it’s a good idea. Leave the poor woman alone.

Philanthropist: Tell me, why a rich person should beg.

Philanthropists friend: Just leave her alone. No one enjoys begging. There must be a reason for her actions.