When one believes in God, they pray that he will guide them in all their future endeavours.
For Nelly, that future included a husband. She believed that praying for a suitable spouse would go a long way in influencing the type of person she would have for a husband. So, she included this as a part of her prayers every day.
Prayer was not all she did, Nelly went on to find ways to be a good woman that pleased the Lord. The story of the Proverbs 31 woman became her moral compass, a guide on how she led her life. Indeed, God would not leave her behind after doing her best.
Then one day, while carrying out her ushering activities in the church, she welcomed an unfamiliar face. One that she had never seen before, not even in that locality. It was not just a new face but a conspicuously appealing one. Let us say handsome. She gave him a seat in the middle of the church but wondered who he was.
Sunday after Sunday, this became the trend. Shem was his name. He used to come a bit late. Reasonably late, before the choir started singing. Nelly was present at the church’s door and ready to direct him to a seat. The same way she did to every other church member. When Shem came to church in the morning, it became a norm that the face he saw at the door was hers.
After some time, they became familiar faces to each other. After three months of constantly seeing each other in the same spot every day, the next thing that followed was a glance. Other times, they looked at each other in the process of her ushering him in, something that made both of them smile.
“But that is what normal humans do,” thought Nelly. That doesn’t necessarily mean that there was something more to this. “When you are single and searching, it is normal to want to read more into a situation that may insinuate a possibility of a relationship,” she consoled herself. However, the smiles continued.
The trend had continued to the extent that Nelly knew the exact time that Shem would come. When a few people had arrived at the church and the choir had started singing, it would not take long, and Shem would be in.
On this day, though, Shem did not show up at the expected time. She thought that maybe he was late. “People always try to do their best when it comes to punctuality, but sometimes they may just be late,” she thought. She decided that she would stand outside a little longer.
As she continued standing, a thought came to her mind. She wondered why she felt the way she was feeling because of Shem’s lateness. He was not the only one who had arrived late in the last month, but why was she compelled to stand, wait and hope that he would come? An hour later, Shem had not come, and by now, it was evident that he was not coming.
On this day, Nelly knew she had strong feelings for Shem. He was not just another member of the congregation. At this point, she started thinking about the moments of ushering him into the church, his soft hands, and even the smiles they had exchanged.
Then the thought that she could be building castles in the skies made her sober up, which is how she stopped thinking about him and decided to focus on the sermon. The service ended, and the guy had not shown up. She went home thinking about everything that had happened for the previous four months and concluded that maybe it was a good thing to stop ushering at the door and serve in another way.
Sunday came. She had cleaned the seats and arranged everything in place for the service with other sisters in ushering. Then, she went and sat down. She had resolved to stop watering the seed of desire germinating in her heart. For the whole service, her focus remained on everything that happened at the pulpit.
Then, Shem came. Unlike every other Sunday, he was ushered by another usher and he could not help but wonder what had happened. He had expected to see Nelly at the door as usual and was shocked to see a new face. For that reason, the Sunday service was very long. He kept on peeking to see if there was any sight of Nelly. The service was longer than usual, with his mind wandering.
After the service, Nelly went to the youth meeting but used one of the front doors. At that time, Shem walked outside and stood to see if he could see her. He stood aimlessly with his eyes wandering around. One would quickly know he was looking for someone by seeing how his head was busy moving from side to side.
He had gotten her number from one of the other ushers a couple of weeks back.
“Hello, could you have the phone number of Nelly, the usher?”
“Yes,” the lady replied and gave him the contacts.
He had had this number for three weeks now. He had been waiting for the opportune moment to make the call. Then, the thought of actually asking for Nelly’s contacts. He had to say hi today, even if that was all.
The youth meeting took 20 minutes, and they were out. As Nelly walked toward the gate, a familiar face she had decided to forget showed up. With a broad smile, Shem walked toward her and said, “Hi.”
Nelly replied, “Hi too.”
“I did not see you today.”
“Ushering at the door.”
“Ooooh! I ushered in a different place today.”
“I see. I am Shem, and you are?”
This conversation opened a floodgate of events that led to a solid friendship. After a few months of friendship, they started dating. Their dating took a year and everything was rosy. They knew there was a bright future together in their minds.
Everyone knew about the love brewing between the two. Men encouraged Shem along the lines of appropriate dating as a man, while women did the same for Nelly. Prayers and guidance happened frequently, and their love came through so naturally. At least, that was what Nelly thought.
Evening walks were typical for these love birds. These walks would involve grabbing street food, which they enjoyed eating while walking. They told stories about their day and made plans for their future.
On this day, though, Shem looked and sounded different. It was after work, and rather than being in casual outfits; he was still wearing his suit. Shem sounded so anxious, and instead of passing through their usual route, Shem suggested they go to the nearby café. He said that he felt tired and maybe coffee and sitting down while talking would do for that day. While having coffee, Shem went down on one knee and proposed. Nelly, in tears, said yes.
Friends had been in the café waiting for the moment to take pictures and the video. Nelly and Shem went ahead to post the videos on their social media accounts. Two days after the proposal, Nelly sat down to go through the post and comments. One particular reply on Shem’s post got her attention, “We can see baby mama number six,” She wondered what that meant. She then decided to keep it in mind to ask Shem later.
In the evening, when she opened the post to show Shem the weird reply, it was not there. Shem shrugged his shoulders and said, “Maybe you did not see it right.” She let it slide.
They continued with their wedding plans. When the wedding day came, everything was set. They said their vows, and off they went for their honeymoon.
Again, Shem posted the wedding photos on his socials. The majority of the replies were positive, congratulating him on this step. Then like the other time, Nelly came across a weird reply, “Had I known the location of this wedding, havoc could have reigned! Count yourself lucky.”
This time, Nelly did not wait for a later time to ask. She showed him the post and asked what it meant. “That is an angry and bitter ex-babe.”
“Are you sure?”
Shem insisted that his ex was still bitter and that he knew that she would try breaking them up. Nelly had decided to stop pressing on the issue, but it did not sit well with her.
“Why would anyone be bitter after two years of the break-up, to the extent of threatening to destroy the wedding?” she asked. She also remembered that she had seen the other reply about being the sixth baby mama, but Shem deleted it shortly before she could ask about it.
Though Nelly maintained a perfect front of a newly wedded woman, deep down, she knew there was something fishy.
After three weeks of honeymoon, it was time to return home and start their lives as husband and wife. They got home safely and when they entered the gate to their house, Nelly saw her mother-in-law and wondered if they were expecting her. To avoid any awkwardness, she did not ask anything. Nelly acted happy and greeted her well. They entered the house, and she made coffee for them. As they were having coffee and talking about the honeymoon, her mother-in-law’s phone rang.
She picked up the call and said, “They have arrived; bring them.”
Nelly and Shem looked at each other. Then Shem asked, “Who are these to be brought?”
“Wait, and you will see.”
Shortly, they heard a knock on the door. Her mother-in-law did not wait for Nelly to open the door; she sprung to the door and opened it. One by one, children started getting in. By now, Nelly was confused. She smiled, but she did not understand what was going on. She looked at Shem, whose face was full of fear. Shem looked at his mum and asked, “Why mum? Why?
“Shem, these are your children. Their mothers brought them immediately after the wedding. I don’t think I can do this, especially with my advanced age.”
Now everything made sense to Nelly.
Nelly walked out of the door. She ignored Shem’s pleas and calls to go back so that they could talk things out. The marriage ended before it even started because Nelly never came back to the house. She filed for a divorce and refused to have a conversation about their marriage with Shem. It was a really big scandal in church with people divided on whether she should have left or worked things out.
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