In the months that proceeded, Tobi traveled to his home town to see his mother. I went to church for the first time in months due to the pestering of a neighbor, Chioma. She was a lively girl and full of passion for the faith she professed.
The service was awesome; the music presentations, sermon and prayer sessions. One particular thing the preacher spoke about was the assurance of salvation by the believer as long as he was born again. This was regardless of how he lived his life or the moral choices he makes. “Just believe” he said, “… the blood always speaks for us…” It sounded loudest above everything else the preacher said. As against the puritanical background I grew up in, here was a breath of fresh air, a sweet release. I am free to act as I want. All I had to do was believe. The blood spoke for me.
I was ecstatic with this newfound doctrine and went to church services often with Chioma. I thought back on my parents’ divorce. It was one of those occasions whereby married couples decide to separate when they get tired of seeing each other. The poverty we suffered still tugs at my heart. My father was in Europe with his new family, probably having the time of his life while my mother struggled to get by every day.
Despite the poverty, I felt the new-found knowledge gave me power over my life and what happens. It resolved the guilt of writing that exam for my friend.
Tobi came back soon afterward and with bad news. His longtime girlfriend was with his child. She has insisted on having an abortion after he had begged her to keep it. He promised he would take care of them. She insisted that her body was hers and she could do whatever she wanted. Tobi explained to me that he didn’t care if she wanted to marry him or not, but since the child was his first, he wants to keep it.
I am confused again! Both of them could do as they wanted since my new-found doctrine preached that we are free to choose, but it seems to be threatening the foundation of a relationship that has stood for 7 years. I think back to my parents: after 20 years of marriage and five children, they still divorced.
Is this the way things are meant to be?