Through the Eye of Faith (17)
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She stood outside the tall, black gate and every muscle in her body screamed revolt at what she wanted to do next. There were heavily-armed soldiers inside the compound and the thought that her husband was inside one of the stone buildings made her cringe in fear. Was he okay? She thought with great concern. It had been weeks since they had seen eye to eye… weeks when she had lived with guilt and fear of rejection. What kind of woman would send her husband to prison?
“Hey you! Keep walking. You are not allowed to stand there. Didn’t you see the sign?” A rough voice barked at her.
Mama raised her head to see a very huge man stand in front of her with his gun raised in a threatening manner. She saw the sign post he pointed at and stammered. “I…I want to see my husband.”
The man scorned. “A soldier or a criminal?”
“My husband.” She responded defiantly.
“A criminal then.” He nodded towards the left side of the gate. “Take the smaller gate and make sure you get a pass or you will also be taken as trying to escape. You look like one of them.”
Mama neglected the jibe and walked straight to the little gate. Minutes later, she was led into a small meeting room and she began to ask herself why she came.
“Canine! You have a visitor.”
‘Canine’` looked up from the chessboard and straight at the warden standing outside his prison gate. He looked very rough and had not shaven for days. “And who can that be?”
He stilled suddenly and closed his eyes. How possible could that be? He thought she had written him off completely. After all, she was the main reason he was here and he had vowed to have his revenge, once he had the opportunity, but not now. Not when they were being watched.
“Go back and tell her I do not want to see her.”
“I am not your messenger. You do what I tell you to do.”
“And if I don’t?”
The floor was silent as the other prisoners itched to see what would happen next.
“Then you would spend some days at the dungeon.”
‘Canine’ stood up reluctantly. No one would dare spend a second in the ‘dungeon’… the most dreadful place a prisoner would want to be.
He nodded at his roommate. “I’ll be back shortly.”
He followed the warden to the meeting room and when he saw the woman who was the cause of his problem, he paused at the door. She looked better than when he left her. There was also a glow about her he could not comprehend and that made him feel… jealous. Why should she deserve a better life while he rotted in prison? Without him, she should be nothing. NOTHING.
When Mama saw her husband, she stood up in amazement. He had changed and looked very thin and unkempt. She tried to hold back her tears but was unsuccessful.
“Why the crocodile tears now?” He laughed sarcastically. “Are you feeling some guilt?”
“I only did what I thought was right.” Mama explained amidst tears. “I never would have wanted to do this to you or anyone.”
“Well, you did this to me and does that make you happy now? You finally got what you have always wanted… to have me out of your life, after all I had done for you, taking care of you after you were dumped on me by your father!”
Mama swallowed hard. Anytime he said that, it hurt a lot. She spoke calmly. “That you are here today is because you are paying for your crime. You robbed a bank and got caught.”
“I did not get caught. You made them get me. I had everything under control. My life was perfect until you walked in with your bastard pregnancy. I regret taking you in. See where you have ended me.”
“What made you what are today is your bad character and non-acknowledgement of God, not me. All through the years with you, I suffered pain and anguish. No woman should go through what I went through with you and you know what? I stayed by your side like a devoted wife, but you never appreciated that. I took your beatings and then next minute, cooked your food. You never even said ‘thank you’ or asked where I got the money to pay the house rents, while you gambled away my weekly savings. I lost our baby because you were drunk and you hit me so much that it was by God’s mercies that I survived myself. All I am saying is you know down in your heart that your being here has nothing to do with me and everything to do with you.”
Every word she spoke stung hard like a bee and inside of him, he knew she spoke the truth, but he would not let her see she got to him. “So, you came here to tell me what a bad egg I am.”
Mama shook her head. “No, I came here to let you know I love you, but that someone loves you even more.”
“Oh, great. You came here to preach.” He raised a finger at her. “I don’t need to hear your silly Jesus-talk right now.”
“Please, just listen to me.”
“I SAID NO. If your Jesus loved me so much and yet watched me taken into prison and He did nothing, then tell him I do not ever want to see him.” He banged on the door. “I’m done with her.”
Immediately, the door opened and the warden took him out. As he went through, he warned sternly. “When I am out of here, I will be coming for you and then, even your Jesus will not be able to save you from me and don’t come back here.”
Mama stood dumbfounded and still for several minutes. Her phone rang. She picked with shaky hands.
It was Pastor Mark and he spoke excitedly. “She is awake! Sister Patience is awake! Glory be to God…”
“Thank God.” Mama responded with mixed feelings. “I will be with you shortly.”
As she walked out of the prison, her heart was heavier than when she came. Her husband was more adamant and revengeful than ever. He had warned her never to come looking for him. Lord, is this the last I will see of my husband?