It was when i got to Moses' house that i discovered he was married. I never see him with a woman in church and that made me assume he must still be single. Well, it's not the kind of person you'd likely find a lot of people with. He keeps to himself most times in church and it was kind of a shock the first day he spoke to me.
I entered into his 2 room apartment and met a lady watching the TV. At first i thought it was his sister and then he introduced her to me.
"Uhmm Gina...." he started "Meet Ifeoma, my wife"
-Moses is married?-
I couldn't believe it but i kept my cool. I tried to smile to her and offered her a handshake, but instead of the usual thing that follows such encounter, she stood up, sized me up with her big beautiful eyes and hissed, then she turned to her husband
"I'd be waiting for you in the room" was the next thing she said before walking out on me and Moses.
It was then i realised I've entered into another dilemma.
"Gina! I'm so sorry for the way my wife welcomed you. Please try and understand"
-Welcomed?- i thought, -She gave me the direct opposite-
I managed to smile back.
"Please come with me while i show you to your room"
I walked briskly after him, checking the house out.
It was quite a comfortable space, well furnished to taste.
"Please manage here for tonight" he said after showing me into another room.
"Thank you so much" i replied.
"Thank God. By the way, have you eaten?"
"No, but I'm fine thank you"
"Are you sure? My wife made some semo with okra soup, i can dish out some for you"
"Okay, i'd give you some money for the journey and other things"
"Thanks so much. I really appreciate it"
"You are welcome. In the meantime, you can come have breakfast"
Then he got up.
"Alright, i will. Thank you"
"Glory be to God. I really wish i could do more but......" he paused and folded his arms.
"I understand" i could see he wasn't comfortable talking about it.
And i really did understand. The woman owns the house and nobody is welcome there until she says so. Brother Moses would have done more, just like he said but his wife wouldn't let him and i understood, especially with the fact that i didn't plan staying put at his house immediately i realised he was married.
He gave me N20000 for the journey and few hours later, i set off for the journey to Ife. I really didn't know what i was going to meet, definitely not to be a student.
I determined to do whatever it takes to re-enrol for school. My Aunty and her husband wasted my time but i made up my mind not to let that affect my future. Yes! I had hope!
I got to Ife late in the evening and went straight to my hostel. Some students who knew me were surprised to see me since i haven't been in school for over a year. Some greeted me while some passed by without saying a word despite having the 'so you are still alive' look.
I knocked on my room door and i went in when i heard someone's voice from inside.
Tinu got up from her bed immediately she set her eyes on me. She moved close to me and hugged me tight. I could see the tears welling up in her eyes. I expected a different reaction from her judging from the way my aunty treated her the last time we met.
"So you are not angry at me?" i asked immediately she released her grip on me.
"Why would i be? Oh my God! Look at you Gina. You look so pale, even worse than the last time i saw you. What happened Gina?"
I sighed and smiled. I was so happy to see her. She was my only hope. She took my hand and led me to her bed.
"Let me get you some water to drink first. You look so drained" she said and hurried off to get me a cup of water from the water dispenser.
"Thank you" i said as i collected the cup from her. I emptied it in no time and she gave me more.
"I think you should rest first before telling me all that happened"
"No, I'm actually fine. Let me just tell you everything"
Tinu allowed me to continuing staying in her room even though it's against the school rules and regulations.
I started doing menial jobs in the hostel, like washing of students' clothes, making their hair and it's vices just to support myself and also to save for my schooling. I also started attending extra classes that will prepare me for the university's entrance exam the following year.
I enrolled for JAMB the following and i passed well. Tinu was so happy with me when the results came out.
"Gina, I'm just so proud of you. Other girls would have given up on life but you didn't. Even with all that happened, you didn't allow them to weigh you down. I'm so happy for you baby girl"
I smiled and hugged her.