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This is not another forgery sponsored by motivation, it is as true as who I am.

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In 2009, we met at a firm that handles stationeries. We worked as a team, serving in the same department, sitting on the same table and doing almost everything together. 

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Before we became really close, we had a fight. We fought for a chair, she wanted to use the most comfortable chair and I wanted the same thing too. We fought with words, we dragged the chair but I over powered her. She felt really terrible and ashamed and I was touched so much. I gave her the chair, she refused to accept it. We never talked to each other even at the point the office closed. As an emotional person, I wasn’t myself…. Not because she meant anything to me but because the expressions on her face showed she was very sad and seeing people in that mood gets me down. I couldn’t sleep at night, I didn’t have her phone number, I would have called to say that I was very sorry.

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The next day, I came very early to the office; swept everywhere clean, took the best chair to her corner and arranged her own part of the table. It was around 7:55am that she walked in, she didn’t greet me but I spelt out her name with the sweetest style I have never used again to this date

“Mercy” I called out, she stood for some seconds and turned back to look at me. She didn’t say anything; she just went on looking into my eyes with mixed feelings. It was easy to notice she was just forcing herself to be hard on me, inside of her she was smiling. I continued “I am sorry about yesterday. I never really meant to make you feel bad. I just didn’t want to be the coward. Other colleagues were watching us.”

“Well” she smiled “don’t mind me… It really did not get at me that much. I was only pretending” She said coming closer and taking hold of my right hand. I felt something and I liked the feeling.

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That was the beginning of our friendship. We became very friendly that we started discussing so many things. She told me lots of stories about her past relationships; she told me how her heart was broken and how she was able to find healing. Before I knew it, I started dialing her at nights and early in the morning just before we would meet again at office. I became so obsessed with her that I started sending innocent but very romantic messages. 

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Our closeness was no longer a secret, the boss became aware, the entire staff including her crush became aware too and I started having problems with virtually everyone. One fine Sunday evening, the director of the company where we worked called me on phone. He said things that almost blew my ears off! He told me how much interest he had in Mercy, he said he tried to get her sleep with him but he suspects I am the reason she is saying “no” to him. He asked me to stop talking to her until he is done with her but I paid no attention to him. As days passed by he tried so many strategies to separate us but it never worked and most times I would quarrel with him in the public. People wondered why I suddenly loosed respect for a fifty something year old man but they never knew what has been going on behind the scene. 

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My male colleagues also started having problems with me too! They said I monopolized Mercy and made her unavailable to them. Truth was that I did nothing to Mercy, I never asked her to stop talking to people and we never even talked about it. 

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Mercy was a very devout Roman Catholic while I was crazy with being an Anglican then. She belonged to so many societies in her church and she even made me visit the Roman Catholic Church for the first time in my life. I have always known the RC from books and videos but this time, I saw myself in their midst. By being committed to her church, one would expect a high level of morality from her.

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On fine Saturday afternoon, I was sealing some envelopes when she called for my attention

“George, can we discuss something very serious?”

“Of course” I smiled still concentrating on my work

“Hope you don’t get angry with what I am about to say” she said, I had to turn and look into her face so that I can be sure if she really meant what she said but she did

“Only God know what you want to say but I don’t see reasons why I should be angry” I told her

“Have you ever dated before?” she asked me 

“I haven’t… I have always wanted to but never had the courage to approach anyone” I disclosed

“I see… I am a lady and there is something about us I want you to know” she paused and continued “we don’t believe someone truly loves if he doesn’t prove it.”

“Really?” I asked amidst laughter “How do you mean?”

“I mean… sex… Not that we are sex-hungry but when you claim you love a girl, she expects you to make some advances. Even if she declines it, she smiles in her heart knowing she is the one you want. I am not asking you for sex, we aren’t dating anyway but am just trying to show you how you can prove that you love someone.” I couldn’t believe my ears but I tried controlling the shock. It was my first time having such kind of discussion with a lady… My body stood still, I was aroused and my mind started wandering from one place to another… Yes, it did. She was waiting for my reply but I didn’t know the words to use though I managed to act as though I was normal
“Erhmm, Mercy… I’ve heard you… I will think about it. Personally, I am reserving myself for that person I will spend the rest of my life with. I don’t see why I can engage in sexual act with someone I am not sure of holding onto in the future” I said.

“Sex is not a terrible thing. You need someone that satisfies that very part of you that seems not to be at rest. Even God understands that… As a woman, I understand it too… You just need one person and not two!” 

She knew something was happening inside of me, she knew my body was a bit abnormal at that point and perhaps that was what she wanted. Our colleagues were in the other room folding bank note wrappers and had no slightest idea of what was going on. She cat walked closer to me with a fixed look into my eyes… 

“It’s time… I will be going home” she said, I gave her a nod. I didn’t know what to say, or what to do but I only gave her a smile to show that everything was alright and she added “tomorrow is Sunday, my parents and siblings travelled and they are not coming back anytime soon… It is going to be a long and lonely day for me”

“Eeeyaa” I struggled to say and I added “it is well”

She picked her bag, waved at me and started leaving the office. I must admit I looked at her with lustfully, she got me seduced even if she didn’t mean to. At that time, I have never hugged, kissed or even held a woman’s hand before. What about now? You want me to tell you? Don’t bother about it and don’t even ask me questions about it.

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That night, I didn’t call her on phone because she had set a tempo I couldn’t hurriedly climb down from at that moment. I didn’t know what to tell her if I call and I wouldn’t want to feel the worse than I felt at the office, it was a terrible feeling and it wasn’t time for me to start feeling that way. I was looking for a way to ease myself off and I resorted to writing a story which helped me but that whole night, I was struggling to deal with something… A fire she had set in me! So many voices were in my head, one was saying “you helped her in some areas and if you have sex with her, it is a compensation for all you’ve done for her”, another voice was saying “this is just an opportunity knocking on your door… Don’t be a fool” but my heart was saying “No, this is not good…”

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It was Sunday morning and I never joked with attending Church services. No one forces me to go to Church at that time but I never missed any service at Amazing Grace Anglican Church. Normally, I would go to Church with my phone but this time I didn’t. I deliberately switched it off and left for Church. I stayed for the English service, Igbo service and still stayed back for YAC fellowship that usually start by 2pm. I was terribly hungry having stayed in Church from 6am to that point but I didn’t want to go home, I didn’t want to get anywhere near my phone because I wasn’t sure what would happen if I switch it on. The fellowship ended by 5pm and I decided to also stay behind for evensong. I went back home in the night to receive slaps from my dad for spending the entire day in Church… Finally, the day was over.

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The next morning, Mercy came in with an angry face to the office. I wasn’t sure what made her angry but with her cold response to me throughout the day I suspected I might have done something that got her into that mood. Our closeness began to open gradually and it wasn’t long she decided to quit her job. She was a satanic agent, right? Shut up! She wasn’t. I missed her presence in the office; the office became less fun to me especially when I was not in talking terms with the entire staff and even the boss. Since she left the firm, she stopped picking my calls and never replied any of my messages. The day she did, she said “George, you have to stop calling me now… Things aren’t the same anymore. I really like you, I will not forget you my entire life and you are just one kind of person any woman will want to be with but right now… I think it’s best to leave you alone. Please, stop calling me… I won’t be able to explain but just know that I really like you and never meant to hurt you.” That was the end, I felt terribly bad but I just believed it was all happening for good.
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Four years later, I had become the Chapter President of a youth ministry in my church and I was part of a camp meeting planning committee. I was appointed to lead a delegation to a certain Church where I’d be speaking to the congregation and encourage them to be part of the Camp meeting that would be coming shortly. When I came to the stage to speak, I had only talked for few minutes when I saw a young woman at the gallery; she was carrying a baby and was heavy with another pregnancy. It was Mercy! She was just staring at me, she just couldn’t believe I had actually come up to that level, it was written all over her face and I remember how she had always discouraged me from going to Church every time. I tried my best to avoid her stares and the past came flashing back… It seemed like I heard those things she told me reechoing in my head but this time I was grateful to God that I never gave in at that time… There was no room for the devil to make me feel guilty and at that time I had not known so much of what I know now concerning God’s grace and mercy that endures forever! 

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I discovered how useless premarital sex was and how the consequences would follow us into the future! What if we have had sex? How would I be standing right there? See… I am not saying people should dwell in their past mistakes but people should deliberately avoid things they will not be proud of in the future! How would I have felt looking at the same woman I had sex with to say “invite your young ones to come to our camp meeting”… Do you think she would trust me with her young siblings? Do you think she wouldn’t think I may likely exploit any sexual opportunity I get? This doesn’t mean people can’t change but anytime we fall into temptations, we are giving people more reason not to trust us! God will still love us so much but many may find it hard to trust us even if they were our partners in crime! 

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I didn’t do it because I didn’t want to… I didn’t do it because I knew it wasn’t the right time and I just shouldn’t have sex with any kind of person! I didn’t regret fleeing that temptation, I was glad I did and it had a way of even encouraging me to strife to live better. We are examples to so many people and every mistake we make is likely to lead so many people away! 

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The future is broad, any bad decision you make today can follow you into the future and any good decision you make today can also make ways for you tomorrow! We mustn’t do things just because we were provided with the opportunity… Before we engage in anything, we need to think and put our emotions under control! Believe me, there is joy in right living!

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God bless you!

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#GracefulGeorge

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