“You what?” Karen screamed so loud that the hairs on my skin stood in fright. I bit my lower lip so hard that I thought I tasted blood on my tongue. Oh gosh, I’m never going to hear the end of this.
“What was I supposed to do? He gave me that cute puppy-eye look and I couldn’t say no. It felt like denying a toddler of a candy bar.”
“So what? You had to let him open the whole cookie jar?”
“What is the big deal, Karen? I told you because I didn’t want you finding out from someone else. Besides, it is my cookie jar or whatever you want to call it so I decide when to open it again. As far as I’m concerned, nothing happened.”
“What kind of destructive self-denial is that? Once it is opened, there is no going back. We signed an abstinence card in high school for crying out loud!”
“Well, I can always refresh the page. Secondary virginity.” Karen scoffed.
“Then you must as well sign up for the postgraduate one as well because you have a lot of refresher courses to do.”
“Come on Karen; I came to you so you wouldn’t make me feel any worse than I was already feeling.”
“Oh like a well done, card? I can’t believe you let him take advantage of you like that. Were you drunk?”
“No; a little high above the clouds but I knew I was doing. I’m partly to blame for this.”
“If he had you cornered and you wanted an out, why didn’t you send me an SOS?”
“Because part of me really wanted to do it. It was Tony, Karen! On his knees, with his amazing cute eyes, wanting me to make his birthday the most memorable ever. Sooner or later, I would give it to someone, why not let it be Tony?”
“Have you stopped to think of how many other innocent ladies have fallen for this douche since he found out the magical effect his amazing eyes have on girls?”
“Okay; there’s no way we can go back into time and correct this so let’s just end this, okay?” I turned around to take off my earrings and I was grateful for the unexpected silence but that short-lived peace was replaced by her shrewd voice inquiring, “At least tell me he used a condom.”
I froze. I couldn’t even blink. Karen walked over and faced me when I said nothing.
“Em? Please tell me he did.”
When I finally found my voice, it was choked with tears.
“For goodness’ sake, Emily!”
“I’m new at this, Karen. Of course I’d miss out on the protocol. The time seemed right and it was perfect and he didn’t say anything…” Tears ran down my face.
“I am so going to strangle that guy when I set my eyes on him!”
I sat down when I felt my knees giving me away. I sighed.
“What have I done?” I muttered to myself.
“Opened your cookie jar, that’s what.”
“Could you stop saying cookie jar?” She kept on ranting but I couldn’t hear her because her voice was tuned out by the panicky voice in my own head. I couldn’t sleep that night. Every time I closed my eyes, my brain showed me how my life was going to turn out if I became pregnant. And each time, the scenario became more unbearable and fearful. So I left them open throughout the night and that did not help either.
The days that followed were even worse. I think I was getting depressed. Who gets depressed after an amazing night with Mr. Cute Eyes? Only when you have a friend who ruins the whole aftermath with tales of horrifying consequences. And the panic rose to its max when I realized I was late. Tony noticed my worried look and asked me if something was wrong. Should I tell him? Maybe it’s just my mood delaying it. I decided against it but when he looked at me with those eyes spelling deep concern, my tongue rolled out the words “I’m afraid I’m late,” before I could stop myself.
“Late for what?”
“Remember what happened on your birthday?”
His concerned countenance changed immediately.
“What? How could you be so careless? Aren’t you on the pill?”
“Huh? Excuse me dude, until you came around, I knew no man.”
“Oh lucky me, I hooked up with Virgin Mary and now she’s pregnant,” Tony said cynically, running his fingers through his hair.
“I don’t like the tone you’re using with me, Tony. Since obviously, you’re the pro, you should have thought of wearing something, right?”
“Come on Em; it was my birthday and I was a little out of it. You can’t blame me for forgetting one little detail.”
“But you expect me to magically know that I have to be on the pill?”
“Whatever so what’s next? You know you can’t have the baby, right?” My eyes widened.
He chuckled at my shock. “In case you have forgotten, your life has just begun. You’re a fresher. You can’t afford to have a baby now. I mean, us.”
“I’m not planning on committing murder, Tony.”
“And I’m not planning on becoming a father…at least not yet.” Our eyes got locked in a serious stare-down and for the first time, I saw something cold and mean in those eyes I once thought as the most beautiful ever.
I now understand why people say “Had I known” is the philosophy of fools.
We are all headed somewhere. This world is not our home; we are just passing through.
We may all have the visa to travel to a specific destination on the same flight but we pay for different seats. Economy, business, first class: you pay for what you can afford or better to say, your seat depends on how much money you are willing to part with. The level of comfort varies drastically among these three although the destination is still the same.
Heaven is the desired destination of every Christian. And for anyone to qualify to be on the flight, one has to accept the free salvation offered by Christ. But since Christianity is more of a relationship than a religion, everyone’s rapport with God is different and thus the knowledge of Him. The more of Him you desire in your life, the more willing you are to sacrifice temporary pleasures to ensure His will is done. As God rewards those who diligently seek after Him, He makes peace and prosperity abound in the dwelling places of His faithful followers.
In the same way, people don’t mind paying for the first class seat no matter the cost because they know the benefit is worth the cost. Some others for one reason or the other, will go for the other seats. In the end, although everyone on the flight would arrive at the desired destination, the experience is vastly different.
All wealth belongs to God and He is earnestly looking for someone to shower His riches on. But for you to get access, all He’s saying is put Him first. Give Him His due, don’t hold back what He even gave you in the first place. Heaven, the home He has prepared for us should be the ultimate destination but it doesn’t mean you should deprive yourself of the bonus packages that come with serving God. The more you hold back from God, the lesser portion of His promised blessings you would enjoy. The price for the best seat on the flight may be costly but the benefits are priceless.
What is the point of professing to be a child of the God who owns the earth and everything in it and yet have lack to be a constant bulletin on your life’s résumé? Go for the best seat and enjoy the very best of divine pleasures before you arrive at your ultimate destination.
Every child has a dream. And as innocent as they are, all they know are who his/her parents are in society. Ask children what they want to become in future and you will hear answers like “I want to be a doctor, a lawyer, a banker” and all the other careers that command respect in society.
No child no matter which neighborhood he or she is born into, aspires to be a drug addict, a sex worker, an armed robber or even a terrorist. But what do we see? They abound everywhere.
The cute, sweet toddlers in our homes and suburbs grow up and turn out to be the ‘abominables’ in our society. They did not intend to turn out that way, something happened to them.
So it is our responsibility as parents, siblings, friends and neighbors to bring them back from where they have strayed. Everyone who has lost his way has a particular point in life where they slipped. We don’t do anyone good by condemning them and forcing them into isolation which in the end, backfires against us.
Let’s protect each other’s dreams. Let’s be each other’s keeper. It is not too late for us to reach out to the ones we once knew as people with great potential; but in one way or the other have found themselves on the wrong path.
No one’s fate is sealed forever. No case is utterly hopeless. With a heart of compassion and love, we can win them back. Most people rebel because they think no one cares enough of them. All they need is to know is that we haven’t given up on them yet. Let’s help each other become who they were born to be.
At the hospital, waiting in line to see the doctor. You look around and find other people with other unfortunate conditions. And the queue seems to be crawling so you end up chatting with another patient in queue. You begin discussing your problem and she tells you what she thinks is wrong with you and paints such a bleak picture that you gets discouraged and walk out the door just before it gets to your turn to see the doctor…
Does this scenario seem familiar to you? Just created the scenario to make a point. Now imagine the church as a hospital and the members as patients. Everyone has a problem in one way or the other. And we all go before God day in day out to seek answers to our questions and solutions to our problems. And of course Christ is the Great Physician. And sometimes as life would have it, we find ourselves waiting longer than we hope to and in frustration, we start to talk.
In waiting, it is wiser to be quiet than to choose the complaining option. Because in doing that, you open the door for people who should have no say in your matters to have an opinion. And most of the time, they don’t even offer any comfort. The best they can offer you is their sympathy. They tell you it’s an almost hopeless case and that you should have known better (that is if you have made a mistake along the way). Sadly, Christians have this bad reputation of being judgmental and driving people away with their self-righteous and hypocritical attitudes. God have mercy on us all.
Whenever you go to church with a burden, remember whom you have an appointment with. Similarly, you don’t seek medical counsel from a fellow patient. It is only the doctor who is qualified enough to write you a prescription. All what others will do to you is discourage you from waiting on Him and you might end up walking out just when God is about to open the door for you…
People may give advice but in the end, only God’s counsel should be the final word.
Let me begin by introducing myself. My name is Emily; a happy-go-lucky girl who believes one should not deprive herself of the joys of being alive. And I believe in love or should I say, used to. I used to believe there was this special someone for me somewhere and when we met, there would be fireworks in the sky and little hearts in my eyes (of course I’m exaggerating), but I knew it would be special. And it was (or I thought it was at the time, silly me) when I met Tony. He was everything my fairy tale- naïve mind had pictured and fantasized for months. What wasn’t to love about him? He was perfect! Karen used to say that although I was mad about how things ended between us, she was sure if he came back with his cute puppy eyes and his sweet tongue (and of course bearing gifts), I would jump into his arms before he actually said the now over-used and almost meaningless words, “I’m sorry.” Maybe I would have.
But who could blame me? He caught my attention when I was a fresher in college and judging from my high school experience which amounted to nothing, I would never have known better. This is not to paint him black. He was…in short, a lady’s man.
All my friends drooled over him; except of course Karen. She was okay with him at first but she began acting cold and distant. At first I thought it was sheer jealousy that I was spending more 6time with him than her but she said she did not trust him because he was too smooth.
I blinked hard, thinking my ears were playing tricks on me.
“What?” I asked after that ridiculous remark had sunk in. Karen merely shrugged as she arranged her clothes in the wardrobe.
“Since when did being smooth call for a red flag? You can be so weird sometimes, Karen. I’m still wondering how you got yourself a boyfriend before I did.”
“I’m being practical here. You’re the kind that believes in fairy tales and those honey, do not happen.”
“We create our own fairy tales and Tony happens to be my prince charming.”
“I think there’s a thin line between smooth and slippery. You might find yourself down a slippery road with him.”
“Enough with the metaphor. What are you saying?”
“I’m just saying be careful. You might want to use your head once in a while when you’re with him because it seems you switch it off and go auto-pilot on your heart and that my friend, is not wise.”
“I don’t even know why I insist. It seems you’re allergic to giving straight answers.”
I should have read in between the lines back then. But chatting with Karen could be as hectic as trying to understand Shakespearean write-ups. Karen has always been like my guardian angel but I’ve always had a stubborn ear to reason. I remember that fateful day….Tony’s birthday.
Karen watched me with an arched brow and folded arms as I hummed to myself whiles dressing up.
“So what’s the plan for tonight?” She asked.
“Just have fun. It’s a party, Karen. You should come.”
“Puleeze…” she scoffed.
“You could use that as an opportunity to look out for me. I know how much you like to do that. You love me too much, don’t you?” I laughed when she made that hissing sound and lay on her bed.
“So what happens after the party? Will there be an after-party?”
I glanced at her when I sensed the undertone to the question.
“Your point being?”
“I’m just asking; are you coming back after the party or you two will have your own exclusive one?”
“I’m not even going to answer that,” I said, picking up my phone and handbag.
I left the room without another word and slammed the door behind me. I wonder what I did wrong for the universe to reward me such a wet blanket to be my best friend. Sometimes I just want to strangle her…
Anyway, the party was a blast and I felt like a queen as the birthday boy made sure everyone there knew who I was to him and I felt on top of the world. Now looking back, I think it was all part of an elaborate plan to get what he really wanted from me and I fell for it…face down. I was the only girl who had his full attention that evening. I guess Karen was right after all; about the thin line between smooth and slippery.
When the party was done, I was a bit tipsy with all the little sips he had offered me. He was an actor; a very good one at that. When we were finally alone, I gave him my present.
“I appreciate it but your presence makes it the best party ever.” I smiled.
“All I need to make this perfect complete is you.”
“You already have me,” I said, not quite clear on what he meant. He knelt before me and placed his hands on my thighs. The look in his eyes said it all. I bit my lower lip.
Everyone’s childhood story has a little taint to it; no matter how comfortable it was. There is always this moment where we loathed being our parents’ wards: perhaps they prevented us from attending that party that everyone else went to and talked about for weeks. I don’t know if it comes with the territory but it seems every parent this unique talent of depriving the child of something the child really craved for at one point in time. If we were given the chance to go back in time and have the childhood we really wanted, how different would you want it to be?
Maybe you would have wanted to go to bed later than your parents made you; or you would have gotten every little craving (from the sweetest candy to the newest backpack or stationery kit) whenever you made the request. Perhaps you would have preferred that you were not scolded or grounded for every little thing you did wrong and that they should have gone easier on you. Growing up is not easy especially under the roof of principled and disciplinarian guardians.
But you didn’t and look at you now; you turned out fine. This may not apply to all of us because some childhood scars may still be haunting some people and causing them to relive their pain each and every day. But for most of us, the little struggles we faced growing up have made us stronger and well prepped up to fit in the world as adults. Our childhood stories may not be perfect and we could make an effort to build on that when we bring our own into this world. Nonetheless be grateful to your parents/guardians for their efforts. It is not easy being responsible for oneself much more someone else’s. How we grew up as kids may have been out of our control but now, how we choose to feel about our lives is totally up to us.
Maybe the best gift you can give your child is the best childhood experience you wished you could have had…
Many of us had imaginary friends as young children. If your imaginary friend grew up beside you, what would his/her/its life be like today? (Didn’t have one? Write about a non-imaginary friend you haven’t seen since childhood).
Imaginary friend… I am sure most of us had one growing up. But thanks to my Christian background, the ‘imaginary’ friend I had (and still have) seemed more real. My Sunday school lessons taught me that the best friend one can ever find is Jesus Christ and unlike human friends, He is always with me. I believed those words and held onto them strongly. Although I did not see Jesus physically, that did not make me doubt His presence around me every time. I was too young to understand my faith in Him but I guess my innocence in it all worked for me.
Because I learnt and accepted that Jesus understands our feelings as humans because He came to earth and lived among men, I knew I could always count on Him to take me through any challenge before me. Be it a tough exam paper coming up, bullies at school or even the occasional misunderstandings with parents and friends, I knew He’s got my back. All I had to do was tell Him. Instead of talking to a doll or a teddy bear, I just looked up and spoke freely. Then I left the rest to Him. And looking back, I think it has been an amazing journey so far.
Growing up with Him by my side has been an interesting tale. Through the years, I have come to know Him better and appreciate how He has led my path since childhood since now. Most children growing up have this imaginary friend with whom they play and sometimes use that as an excuse for some of the mischief they caused. But my ‘imaginary’ friend made me feel at peace even during the loneliest and saddest moments of my life and filled my little heart with so much joy over the little things which I now recognize as the greatest blessings.
Friends have come and gone but the constant one in my life since I understood what the word meant is still with me. Others may see Him as imaginary because they don’t see Him. But one thing I know is that I don’t need to see Him to feel him near me. He’s always…there for me.