Bought with a price.

“How did you know Amaka?” I asked. I was so uneasy. The woman looked into my eyes and answered , “my name is Mrs Chikamso. I was the one that led Amaka to Christ”. I laughed a little, “the one with the really sad life?”, she laughed with me ” well, if you want to put it like that, yh” we laughed a little more and we both fell silent, uncomfortably too. “I…” “I…” “You can go first”, she said I laughed again, nervously this time, “you go first, I really don’t have anything to say, I just wanted to break the silence”. She sighed “Okay, your sister is really into sex trafficking. Every week, she buys condoms from me in bulk, I think it’s primarily to spite me and rub it into my face that I can’t do anything” “but, can’t you?” “well, I tried calling the police on her at some point but apparently, some of them were her loyal customers and she had them on her side. Also, she pays her girls handsomely and treat them very well so, some of them are there on their own accord. In fact, according to my research, she only collects a certain percentage and they are allowed to have their own private runs outside the house. So, the only time the police paid heed to me and finally decided to investigate, her and her girls denied and I just felt like a fool”

“Why do you still sell to her though?” I asked ” I mean, you know she patronizes you to spite you, you also know what she stands for, why do you still sell to her”. She shifted her feet and moved her weight to her right leg, she was beginning to get tired, I could sense it ” because, if I don’t. someone else will but, if I do, I get to try to dissuade the new girls” “any success so far?” “no, but I am trusting God to give you to me” “me?” I scoffed “Amaka might have been a saint but I am not” “and why would you say so?” “I have a terrible past”. She smiled slightly “don’t we all?” “no, you don’t get, you don’t understand” I lowered my gaze. I wanted to explain but I could not, it was too shameful, too…disgraceful. The last time I heard of Hassel, he was a drug addict and had gone to jail for 6 months. How could I… I was too ashamed. She pulled at my right arm gently, till I unfolded it. I didn’t even know when I folded my arms. “Ngozi,” she said, “I understand all I need to understand about you. It doesn’t matter what you did, what any of us have done, we’ve been redeemed by the blood of Jesus. We’ve been bought at a price far above gold and diamond. We are in Christ now, old things have passed away and all things are new”

“That was what Amaka said and I believed her, I swear to you, I believe with all my hear but when my sister brought up my past when I confronted her, all of my doubts began to creep in, the guilt, everything” my eyes became moist. Mr X phone began to ring, I knew it was my sister and the tears that gathered in my eyes began to pour. She knew it was time to go too and her eyes were so sad. I could hear faintly what Mr. X said as he picked his call and I could see him approach us from the corner of my left eye. She quickly pulled me in a hug and said “God is not angry with you I promise, this guilt is not from him, Guilt can never be from him”

“God is not angry with you I promise… Guilt can never be from him”

Soon, Mr.X caught up with us “Madam don dey talk” he complained. She apologized to him, pulled me in another hug and said goodbye. When she got into her car, she waved again and entered it although, she did not start it. I stared hard for a while and had just started to walk back to the house with my aide when she horned and came running towards me with a card. “This is my number, call, message me anytime and I would be in touch”. I turned the car over in my palm, and at the back of the card, was an hastily inscribed message. “Remember, no guilt in Christ. Read Roman 8 for proof” I tucked the card safely in my pocket and met her eyes, she smiled again and walked back to her car this time, she started it and drove off.

When we got back to the house, my sister was not in sight neither were her friends. I made way quietly to my room and locked the door. I brought out the card from where I kept it and began to look at it. She was into Events planning too, I smiled such a pleasant woman, no wonder Amaka loved her. I turned the card over gently and her inscribed message smiled back at me. I went to my bag, searched for my bible and opened it. The first verse of Romans 8 threw me off balance ” For there is henceforth, now no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus” it was as if God was directly talking to me. It didn’t say, “there is no condemnation in Christ Jesus except, you are a fornicator sha…” it said, “no condemnation in Christ Jesus” and there was a full stop there as in end of discussion. I didn’t know when I started crying and praying, it had been so long since I prayed with my heart because, after Amaka died, it felt like God was no longer listening but, as I did now, I felt so relieved. I didn’t know when I fell asleep too, I just remember waking up to someone knocking at my door.

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