Ties that Bind

It was a day out of hell for Sylvia when she met Gbadebo. Nothing had gone right that day except their meeting.
Rewind to the actual moment they met: She was coming from running an errand with her arms filled with shopping bags when she collided with him as she was about to cross the road to where her car was packed. Suffice to say all the stuff she was carrying dropped and she scrambled to pick them up.
Here she was in the middle of the road with cars honking left and right and drivers screaming at her to get off the road. She was frazzled. Then out of the corner of her eye she saw a young man bent beside her helping her to pick up her scattered belongings.
“I’m so sorry.” he said repeatedly as he picked up an eye – shadow pallet from the hot asphalt. “I didn’t watch where I was going because I was in such a hurry.”
Sylvia ignored him until she had picked the last item from the ground. He held the eye – shadow pallet to her and she examined it critically for any damage. Thank God it was still intact.
It was then and only then she raised her eyes to look at him or even acknowledge his presence. The impact of that first eye contact threw her for a loop.
The funny part was he was not a classically handsome man but then, his face had such character and history that was very hard to ignore or even look away from. After Sylvia stared at him speechlessly for a while without saying anything he asked if she was alright.
“I’m okay. I’m fine, thanks.” She answered, embarrassed by her stare.
“I’m truly sorry for all that.” he repeated.
“It’s alright, don’t worry about it. No harm done.”
He smiled. It was a good smile. “That’s very generous of you. I’ll like to make it up to you though. Can we go somewhere for a drink?”
Sylvia was surprised. She’s used to strangers asking her out but not in such a manner and with such confidence.
“I thought you were in a hurry to get somewhere?”
“I am but I’m rather late so i’ll call to reschedule.” he smiled. “Please let me make it up to you. Just a quick drink; I promise I won’t hold you for long.”
Why not? I’ll take a chance. Sylvia thought. She reasoned they’ll be in a public place so he can’t harm her and she sure deserves a drink for the ordeal he put her through.
“Okay.” she finally agreed. “I can do a quick drink.”
That was the beginning of their relationship. Before long, they go everywhere and do everything together. One couldn’t be seen without the other nearby. They were happy. They were in love.
After a few months together, they both decided to take their relationship one step further and get engaged. Meanwhile, all along they had not been intimate and unknown to Sylvia, Gbadebo was impotent. Now that their relationship was becoming serious, he decided to tell her the truth so she could make a decision before they got further involved.
Surprisingly for Gbadebo, Sylvia was blasé about the whole situation. She told him as long as God is alive; there is nothing impossible for him to do. She let him know that God had revealed to her that she will have children round about her table and her quiver full of them. So, as a result of this promises, she’s expectant of a miracle.
Six months later, Sylvia and Gbadebo got married. It was a society wedding; dignitaries near and far attended the reception and they was lots of food to eat and drinks flowed in abundant. Their wedding night, they were not able to make love. Sylvia was still optimistic and waiting for a miracle….
After about six years of no show, things started to unravel. As is typical in an African setting, Gbadebo’s parents started asking the inevitable questions: What is the problem? When are you going to give us grandchildren, is your wife barren? Has she aborted numerous times and destroyed her capacity to carry a child? It didn’t even occur to them that the problem might be their son’s and not his wife’s.
Things were not going as Sylvia planned either and before long, her faith started to wane. In situations like this, it is difficult to hold on to God’s promises without faltering. She faltered. She started asking questions and doubting the conviction she had years ago before she got married to Gbadebo. Could it be love that blinded me and made me think it was God speaking? Am I sure I’m in the right marriage? Is this supposed to be my fate and life? These were the questions she asked herself.
Before long, her behavior towards Gbadebo started changing. Six years in a marriage without sex and no inkling of there being any change in the near future can wreck havoc on any relationship regardless of the partners’ faith or personal convictions; regardless of the love that they share.
Gbadebo knowing that he could not lose his relationship sought help outside. He approached a notable Christian counselor and divulged every secret to him. The counselor following the leading of the Lord, asked the wife to come along for a session. After talking with them extensively, he advised them to seek a new venture they can embark upon together as a couple and focus their energy and attention on this. He reasoned this will shift their attention from their problems and bring them together in ways that can be more fulfilling in the long run.
Sylvia and Gbadebo, on close deliberation and after seeking the face of God decided to help orphaned children find homes. The adoption culture in Africa and particularly Nigeria is practically non-existent consequently, many families go through or are going through similar situation and they need help while there are many children out there with no place to call home and no families of their own. They started in their own home; they adopted a baby girl and found fulfillment taking care of her even though she was not theirs biologically.
Fifteen years later, Sylvia and Gbadebo testified to the glory of God in their lives. They dedicated their biological children, a set of twins, in their local church. According to them, God smiled on them after numerous years of helping children find homes including three which they adopted themselves. In their testimony, they encouraged people to focus less on their problems and more on how they can be elements and wheels of change in their sphere of influence.

Morale of the story: while helping others, you never know the problems in your life that can be solved along the way. Always endeavor to be agents of change and progress.

10 thoughts on “Ties that Bind” by Maggie Smart (@MaggieSmart)

  1. Awwwwwnnnnn….that best describes my emotion right now. Better late than never i suppose.

    1. In your own words: Awwwwwwn. It’s always better late than never. Thanks for the comment

  2. I love this story, it’s deceptive in a good way. Why? One moment you think you know what’s going to happen but then the story takes control.
    It’s a good one.

    1. Thanks @inesokojie and welcome to naija stories.

  3. Nice story, really nice message…
    I just got confused at some point… Why didn’t they have sex for six years after their marriage??? How exactly was the miracle supposed to happen???

    1. Oh sorry about the confusion. They couldn’t have sex because the husband was impotent. I guess I wasn’t explicit enough. Thanks for the comment.

      1. Rhoiy (@Roy-journals)

        Forgive me, I believe it’s my fault. I had a different understanding of the word… I often hear about impotency relating to things like the sperm count and all… Thanks for the correction though…

        1. You are welcome

  4. I assume you want not just insincere commendation but honest man mention of the flaws in the story. Well, the religious point of view of the narrator was too heavily pronounced in the story. It sounded more like a sermon. It conflicted with the characters themselves and painted them as flat and linear. There were errors with the tenses too. And lastly inserting the lesson at the end wasn’t necessary. The readers should infer it. Telling them makes it look forced.

    1. Noted. Thanks for the comment.

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