The Link Finale (Moving On)- A Short Story
Mabel smiled again as she lifted her hands in the air and said,
‘Okay, okay. I know I’m not helping matters here. That must-‘
‘No, you aren’t.’ I cut in.
After another sigh and a pause, she replied,
‘A.Y, I’m trying hard to forget about that incident and all it has caused. But you’ve been with me through this journey and you deserve to know what happened. That’s the only reason I’m reliving this.’
READ ALSO: The Link 1 (The Precedent)
My ears perked up and I somehow felt calm because Mabs was calm. If what I was about to hear was very bad, she couldn’t possibly be so calm, right? On a second look though, she looked more tired than calm.
‘It was a stupid prank!’ She croaked out as her voice shook. I could see tears pooling in her eyes and I wished I hadn’t poked the wound.
I was going to tell her not to bother, that it didn’t matter anyway, but curiosity burned within me and I really needed to hear the rest of it. If not, I’d never see Bro Lanre in the same light again.
‘One of his teenagers was playing a Truth or Dare game with a friend. And the other dared him to send a porn site link to him through his Pastor’s phone.’
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‘Jesus! What kind of stupid game is that?!’ I shrieked as I shifted my chair backward and bolted up!
Mabs scoffed and looked up at me,
‘You never played Truth or Dare as a kid?’
‘Babes, that game was sick! It was either too revealing or too daring for my sanity. I always wondered what the appeal was! So, basically, this kid sent the dare-message to the wrong person and didn’t know? How did he even get access to Lanre’s phone?’
Mabs shoulders slumped as she leaned back on her chair,
‘A.Y, your questions are increasing with every answer I give. This narrative is sapping me of strength as it is. Can you just chill and let me explain?’
I sat gently feeling chastised. She was right, this was apparently hard for her and I was only making it harder.
READ ALSO: The Link 2 (Coming Clean)
‘Lanre is very free with the kids and obviously, the freedom extends to the use of his phone. According to him, the kid wanted to send a text. Mr Prankster sent the link to me mistakenly, but by the time he noticed his mistake, I had read it.’ Mabs swallowed with obvious difficulty no doubt recalling the scenario.
‘He rushed to delete it, but it was futile. By the time I mentioned it to Lanre, all Lanre could see was a deleted message he never sent. He began his fact-finding and viola! He found the boy.’
‘That’s… That’s…’ I was speechless.
‘The boy simply apologized to Lanre for encroaching on his WhatsApp privacy. Do you know what that means?’ Mabs asked.
‘No?’ I answered unable to preempt what she would say.
‘It means the boy didn’t tell Lanre about the content of the message. Not that I was expecting him to. He probably thought I didn’t open the link, since of course I didn’t say anything either.’
‘So, Lanre doesn’t know any of what has happened over the last one month?’ I asked not believing my ears.
‘No.’ Mabel replied with what I recognised from years of being friends with her was a note of finality. But she was definitely joking, there was no way I was going to let this slide.
‘Mabs, may I ask why you never said a word to Lanre about all that has happened?’
‘Because it’s none of his business.’ She hissed.
‘Baloney!’ I scoffed. She barely spared me a glance and just continued eating.
‘Mabs?’ I called.
‘A.Y, put yourself in my shoes. Would you? Would you tell your youth pastor-fiance if this happened to you?’
I released a deep sigh and realised just where she was coming from.
‘Mabs-‘ I began, but she interrupted.
‘No, answer me! It’s easy for you to put me on the hot seat, now imagine yourself on that seat. What would you do?’
‘It would be hard of course.’ I replied. ‘But you once told me both of you decided on complete transparency and full disclosure to each other. What has happened is a big deal for you, and I really think he deserves to know, except you’re genuinely convinced he doesn’t. I just think you should look inwards. In view of the kind of relationship you both have and the pact you made, what’s the Spirit’s nudge on the matter?’
‘Plans change, people change and I changed.’ She scoffed and continued,
‘Anyway, none of it would matter when I call it off. We’ve been drifting after all.’
READ ALSO: The Link 3 (Upon Mount Zion)
‘You’ve been drifting or you’ve been ghosting him?’ I asked as I gave her the eye.
‘A.Y, what is it now?! Did they send you to me?!’ Mabs slapped her palm against the table as she exclaimed.
I paused for a minute to let her calm down and replied,
‘Mabs, yes, I was sent to you. The Holy Spirit sent me to you. You’re being extreme joor! Haba, calm down! What are you doing with your relationship? The devil lost one way, why are you giving him a chance the other way? God ordained this engagement, why are you tampering with it?’
‘A.Y, yes, God ordained this relationship before I went ahead and made a mess of everything.’
‘So, you want to sort it out by creating some more mess?’
‘A.Y, why for Pete’s sake are you putting words in my mouth?’ Mabs whined.
‘No, I’m trying to make sense of your words!’
‘What does it matter to you? Ehn?’
‘I’m on a mission and regardless of how stubborn my charge is, I intend to carry out my assignment’ I replied firmly.
‘See, A.Y, Lanre neither signed up for nor does he deserve this new baggage in my life. He deserves better!’ Mabel replied as she rubbed a palm down her weary face.
‘What about you isn’t better? Are you disdaining what God has redeemed?’
Mabs opened her mouth and closed it and then repeated the motion again, before she finally leaned back.
I whooped in victory in my mind.
‘Babes, what exactly is your problem? Why are you making decisions for this guy? What would you do if he was the one who made the mistake? Would you think less of him? So, why do I get a feeling you think he would think less of you when you tell him about it? Is he that shallow?’
Mabs eyes flashed at that and she retorted hotly,
‘A.Y, you won’t talk about him in that manner! Lanre is an amazing guy and everyday I wonder how God can be so faithful to give me exactly what I prayed for and more. Have you seen him with the youths? So caring, understanding and loving. He-‘ Babe was para-ing, but I already heard and saw what I needed to.
‘Wow! So you weren’t drifting after all. Babe, the fire is still very much alive! And apparently, bro is nothing near shallow.
READ ALSO: The Bed Undefiled
‘So, certainly, it’s either one or both of two things. One, you are ashamed and you don’t want this guy to see you as anything but the near-perfect Christian he knows you to be. You don’t want him to be aware of your failings or your shortcomings. You want to marry this guy, but you don’t want to show him your vulnerable side. You want him to think he’s marrying an angel, abi?
Or, you really, really do think your worth as a Christian has gone down because of what happened. Mabs, which is it?’
‘A.Y, let me finish my food, it’s gett-‘ Mabs said trying to make me stop.
‘That was a cheap diversion girl, that food is cold already. You might as well wait till the end of this discussion to microwave it. So, I’m guessing it is both, since you denied neither.’ Mabs didn’t reply, but I knew if eyes could make someone disappear, I wouldn’t be anywhere near the vicinity of our house.
‘Mabel, I know you know what I’m about to say, but I think you need to visit the Throne of Grace to make it real in your heart. Babes, you made a mistake alright, but you didn’t stay down, you stretched out your hand for help and now you’re back on your feet. You’ve been forgiven and renewed.
‘So, just because you fell into a certain kind of sin that Christians pay particular attention to, or think is more grievous or defiling than others, does not make you any less forgiven, than you were when you first came to Christ.
‘The same forgiveness you had at your first encounter with the Cross is what you have now. And the same way God viewed you when He first purged you is the same way He sees you now! You’ve been forgiven and purified, and as good as new, period. Please, do not insult the blood of Jesus.’
Mabs eyes were averted now as she picked at the hem of her sleeve and I knew she was feeling chastised.
‘And as for the other one,’ I continued,
‘See, you’re still human. I think you overestimated yourself because of how right you’ve lived and how much God has used you.
‘Madam, you’re still as vulnerable as the girl next door, the grace of God is what makes the difference. And any man who would have you deserves to know all the sides there are to you. ALL! You’re not an angel oo.
‘Also, as for Lanre not deserving bla bla bla. Babe, remember you’re forgiven, you’re purged and you’re back in God’s vineyard. You don’t have any baggage, just a brief past. Stop saying that rubbish biko.
‘Number two, let the guy decide for himself. Marriage is not all about good and shiny things, there are bad times too when the storms rage and life as you know it seem like it would end, but only those who have decided to make it work get through it by God’s grace. Let him know what happened if you feel the Spirit’s nudge to do so. I’m sure God who has foreknowledge of all things already saw this and put in him what both of you need to get through it.
‘Mabs, I know this is easier said than done, and that’s why your eyes are trying to shoot laser beams at me right now, but you need to pray away all these doubts and pride and truly hand over yourself and your relationship to God. Humble yourself and let Him take the wheels.’
There was a long pause after I finished talking. Then, Mabel stood with her food in hand and asked me as she walked towards the kitchen if I was interested in microwaving mine too.
Seriously? After all of that? But then, what was I expecting? So, I let it slide and trusted God to take care of the rest.
‘Madam, this one that you’re grinning from ear to ear at your phone again these days, biko gist me, have you spoken to Bro Lanre?’ I teased as I settled in a chair opposite my friend in the living room sometime over a week later.
Mabs moved her tongue around her cheeks apparently trying to arrest her smiles, but it wasn’t working. I saw right through it!
‘Oshe! I see someone has stopped ‘drifting’. I teased using my fingers to make inverted commas in the air. Mabs tried to hit me playfully with a fist but missed.
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‘Oya, gist me naaaa.’ I whined over and over as I poked her here and there.
After about a minute of enduring my torture and keeping me in suspense, she turned to me, set her phone aside and said,
‘Okay! So, I did as you advised last week and I took time out to pray and fast for some days about all you said. I prayed till I felt some modicum of courage to open up to Lanre and let’s just say, I couldn’t believe how well it went!’
My heart lit up with joy and I jumped up to do a little jig dance.
‘So, how did it go?’ I asked.
‘Uhmmm… According to him, we all have our pasts and what truly matters is that it is the past. We’re both redeemed and our pasts do not define us anymore. Rather, we are defined by the nature of Christ that now dwells in us and the sonship we’ve been given by God.’ A big smile danced on my lips and my respect and admiration for Bro Lanre quadrupled. Mabel continued,
‘A.Y, I just want to say thank you! I know, the journey ahead is still far, very much so, but these past few weeks, I’ve realised more than ever how much of a Godsend you are in my life. You yielded yourself completely to God to help me through all the loops the devil set, and even when I was being impossible, you stuck with me. God bless you A.Y, and cause His face to shine upon you. When you need help, it will never be far in Jesus name.’
Tears sprung to my eyes and I replied with a firm ‘Amen’ as I pulled my best friend into a hug.
‘And guess what?’ She added with a small smile.
‘What?’ I asked, loving how I felt at the moment.
‘I’ve been feeling a nudge by the Spirit of God towards an assignment. Of course, I’d been resisting. I didn’t think I was ready, but with each passing day, the nudge became more urgent and just yesterday, Lanre also mentioned it and I think it’s time.’
‘Okaaaaayyy.’ I drawled getting excited. ‘You still haven’t said what exactly it is.’
‘The prankster.’ She said simply.
I cocked my head to a side, trying to make sense of her words and viola! The prankster! The boy that sent the link. After all, what were the odds that he wasn’t into porn if he could share a link to one.
Why didn’t I think of it before now?! Well, that was probably because the Holy Spirit had reserved this particular assignment for Mabel.
Mabs smiled again as she watched realization dawn on my face. I pulled her into another hug and just stayed that way as my heart sang praises to God.
He is merciful and He has done all things well!
Thanks for coming along on this journey through this beautiful series. I hope you have been blessed.
Please, do well to share your thoughts and comments about the story in the comment box below. It would mean the world for me to know what you’ve gained.
And if you’ve been blessed, bless others by sharing the link to this series with all your contacts on all platforms.
The grace of God abide with you. Amen.
The Girl with the Winning Smile,