CHAPTER FOUR

JOY’S POV
I remembered the day we said our vows, the joy and love that glittered on my face as I beheld my husband-to- be; so he KNEW, yet he married me without telling me anything.
He listened to my story of that night, yet he never said anything. I felt betrayed.
How could he do such to me?
Why?
 Why couldn’t he tell me after all this years?
I felt the need to be away from him, because I doubt if I had the strength to forgive a man who claims to love me.  Yet, hid so many things away from me.
Divorce
That word registered on my mind but I remembered God’s word
… he hates putting away”
Our vow was ” for better, for worse” but I felt deeply hurt within.
I had no one to go to, my parents died shortly after our marriage, I had no friend; my husband was my only confidant but right now I felt shattered. I couldn’t stop tears from flowing down my face; he felt guilty but I couldn’t bring myself to forgive him
“Am sorry” John kept pleading with tears. Definitely, a man cries


“Why didn’t you tell me? You had every opportunity to” I replied in a broken voice not fully understanding why he kept so much away from me. I told him all, why couldn’t he tell me that he knows what happened.
“I was scared of losing you, scared of you hating me forever; I was unsure of what to do” John replied fidgeting and confused. It was happening, his biggest nightmare.
I felt deceived and betrayed.
I needed strength to forgive
JOHN’S POV
Will Joy ever forgive my mistake? Do I deserve her again?
I looked at her, she was deeply hurt and sad, I caused that and I felt angry with myself for what I did some years back due to my careless.
I was a little bit young then or so I thought and I just lost my only family: my mother due to a business transaction I carelessly engaged myself in. I thought I was enjoying life. I was into cultism and the criteria for joining was to do anything the leader wished as a prove of loyalty.
It was an unacceptable wish, so I declined but as a result of my decision; my mother was killed.
That night I escaped from their grip less I would be killed like my mother.
Roaming on the street that faithful night, I drank to a stupor and I met her… Joy
She was beautiful and had a calming voice, she came to meet me where I was lying down outside the wall of an uncompleted building.
“Sir, are you alright?” she asked in concern, no one has ever asked about me like that other than my mother.
Seeing I wasn’t responding to her question, she rose up to leave but I grabbed her with so much strength almost injuring her and forcefully I….
I did something horrible to a Samaritan.
It was unforgiveable.
When I met her some years ago in church one fateful Sunday, I recognized her immediately though she couldn’t even when I greeted her.
How would she? It was dark in the night but I can remember her scream in pain and her painful tears.
We gradually became friends and planned to marry.
Few weeks to our wedding, she introduced Juliana to me, who was just five years old then.
My daughter. I loved the sweet girl immediately, she was my daughter and I knew it.
 I should have told her the truth back then but I was afraid of losing such a wonderful woman. Now, the truth has been exposed and I instantly blamed myself for not listening to the spirit of God and my Pastor who expressly told me times without number to confess to my wife before it was too late.
” God give me grace to forgive you even though it is not easy” Joy said snapping me out of my thought.
” No, Joy; I don’t deserve your forgiveness, I have deeply hurt you” I pleaded.
She smiled weakly and I feared that. It meant something
” For Juliana’s sake, who truly loved her father having told her that you really weren’t her father, yet she loved you…, well you turned out to be the father…” she paused and sniffed a tear.
‘…I lived with you believing so much, yet you hide so great thing from me; I can’t divorce you, the church will talk and I have no one to go to, am just pregnant for God’s sake…”she said silently but with a pain filled voice.
I just stood unsure of what to say.


 
She continued talking ” For Juliana’s sake, we must live in peace and happiness but I think I need some time to be able to deal with the story of my past.” she said wiping away tears from her eyes.
As she was just about standing up, I held her hand and was about saying something when Juliana entered the room with a beaming smile on her face.
Our child indeed.
Seeing us holding hands, she smiled and Joy turned her face to dry up her tears with her left hand.
” Oops, its couple’s time” she said laughing and I forced myself to smile staring at Joy who had wiped her face clean.
” Dad, aren’t you coming down to eat?  Your food is getting cold” she said joyfully
“Oh, that’s right darling, I forgot I cooked for your father- his favorite” his wife interrupted releasing her hand from my grip.
” Dear, come and have your meal” she called him and managed a little smile. Juliana, who was unaware of what was going on held me by the hand dragging me outside the room.
I was silent. It was happening, my wife only smiled when Juliana was around. Her smile was weak, she was struggling to give a genuine smile, her real and pure smile he so much loved.
Am I losing my wife? I thought and that scared me.
Lord, save my family. I know I was wrong but I really needed God’s intervention.
I cried silently within me as I managed to eat even my favorite meal.
It’s finally happening…
                                      **************************
 Two months Later,
JOY’S POV
We tried to live happily, but I wasn’t happy. Every day I set my eyes on my husband, I still felt the pain and hurt.
Juliana had returned back to school and I was returning from the hospital after some checkup.
My husband had to travel this morning for a meeting holding at Abuja and he was to return the next day; he never wanted to leave but I wanted him to, perhaps his absence will make me think straight.
Shortly after, coming downstairs from the bed room, I heard a knock.
I walked to the door, opening the door I saw Mark who was beaming with a smile. He looked happy, of course why won’t he? He just disrupted the joy of my home some months ago.
“Can I come in? he asked still smiling
I held onto the door unsure of what to do. But then I heard a voice


Victory

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