Burning Altar (Prose) by Ajibade Taiwo Festus

Burning Altar (Prose) by Ajibade Taiwo Festus

"You must be very stupid and foolish" said Daddy Kayode. He was in a hot argument with Mummy Kayode as regards the payment of Kayode's school fees. He had argued that he had no money to pay for the school fees.

Mummy Kayode wouldn't hear any of it. She was determined to squeeze the money out of him today by fire by force.

"I am not stupid and foolish" fired back mummy Kayode. You are the one that is a shameless man. I am asking for your son's school fees and you cannot produce ordinary fifty thousand naira.

"Will you keep quiet!" thundered Mr Kayode. I am running late for work this morning. If you must excuse me I have a very busy day ahead of me. I sincerely don't have time for your rubbish this morning."

Daddy Kayode pushed Mummy Kayode to the floor and headed for the door. In no time, he was out of the house. Mummy Kayode sobbed as she could hear the gate closing, he had driven his car and zoomed off.

Daddy Kayode was on top speed as he had an important meeting this morning. He looked down at his wrinkled shirt. The laundry man had washed and ironed it earlier but due to the argument he had with his wife, she had squeezed his shirt as if that will bring out the money from him. 

He heaved a sigh of relief when he spotted his suit on the chair at the back seat. He will wear it to cover the embarrassment caused by his wrinkled shirt. He doesn't want anyone suspecting he had an argument with his wife again as usual. This was not the first time mummy Kayode will be fighting with daddy Kayode. No week passed without the neighbours hearing their voices.

At first, Mr Folorunsho will intervene to save mummy Kayode from punches and blows from Daddy Kayode. However, since when he has been receiving his own portion of kicks in a bid to resolve their conflicts, he had learnt to mind his own business. Mummy Kayode was always at the mercy of Daddy Kayode. She had lost two pregnancies due to the beating that led to miscarriages. Kayode was her first and only son.

Mummy Kayode stopped sobbing and reflected on her life. She has been a fervent Christian. Could she call all these trials? She was tired of her circumstance. She decided to go to her friend's house.

Boluwatife was Kayode's mother best friend. She was a Christian too. Unlike Imisioluwa, Kayode's mother, her own prayer altar was on fire and burning for God. She fasted every week and attended weekly services. She was even the leader of the women's fellowship in the Church. Imisioluwa and Boluwatife attended the same church. They had been childhood friends but drifted apart for some years. They were reconciled when Boluwatife met Imisioluwa at a supermarket. She gave her a business card and introduced her to Emblem of Grace International Ministry. Since then, their friendship had blossomed.

Boluwatife was surprised to see Imisioluwa at her house. She opened the door and welcomed her friend. She was observing her fasting and prayers that day and she just finished reading a Bible passage.

Imisioluwa started crying immediately she sat down in the parlour. She kept lamenting why?

Boluwatife consoled her and prayed for her. She knew instantly that Imisioluwa had engage in a hot argument with Bayo, Daddy Kayode as usual. That and only that will make her friend shed tears.

Boluwatife offered her Jollof rice and chicken which she could not resist. She had planned to eat that after prayers but she had no choice than to first please her friend. She decided she will cook spaghetti later on.

At Kayode's office, he was late for the meeting. He quickly apologized for keeping his clients waiting. A huge amount of money was at stake if his clients didn't agree to their proposal. This meeting was to finalise the contract between the company and the clients.

Although, the day had started bad for him but he hoped to see a silver lining as the day unfolds.

Kayode got back from school to meet an empty home. Everything was disorganized. He wondered where his mother could be as she was not going to school today. Imisioluwa was a teacher at Diadem College. She was on leave for three days. The school principal was aware that she just lost another pregnancy and thought it fit for her to rest. He could attribute stress as one of the causes of miscarriages. Although, it was not so in mummy Kayode's case. It was the punches and kicks of Daddy Kayode that caused her to start bleeding. Kayode rushed her to the hospital on that fateful Saturday but she had lost the babies. It was just too late. It was painful because she was expecting twins.

Kayode prepared noodles and ate. He started working on his assignments. He had brought a letter from the school stating that if he doesn't pay his school fees he should not come to school the following day.

Imisioluwa returned home to find Kayode asleep on the couch. The television was switched on. She walked into the Kitchen and discovered he had prepared noodles for lunch. She was relieved and switched off the television before going to the bedroom. 

By the time Bayo returned from work, Imisioluwa had prepared amala and ewedu for dinner. She was not ready to continue any fight. She wanted Bayo's good side tonight so she had made his favourite. After eating, she washed the plates as Kayode assisted her and gave her the full gist of what happened in school that day.

She retired into the bed and discovered Bayo was in the bathroom. She pulled off her clothes and decided to walk naked into the bathroom. Bayo was surprised to see his beautiful wife standing naked before him. He could see her scars caused by the operation she had, to give birth to Kayode. He knew she was going through a lot for this marriage. The prayer altar in their marriage was cold but who could rekindle it.

He could not resist the urge. He had missed Imisioluwa so much. Their constant fights had made him withdraw from her. He had enjoyed a good dinner so he was in the mood to explore her body tonight. He hugged her and apologized for everything. They had their bath together and went into the bedroom for sex. 

The next morning, Kayode was not dressed for school. Daddy Kayode had planned to pay the school fees since his contract had been approved yesterday. He was very happy. On sighting Kayode in his pyjamas, the rush of anger enveloped him. He had planned to drop off his wife and son at the school this morning. He really appreciated the pleasure Imisioluwa gave him yesterday. Now, Kayode was getting on his nerves. He managed to control his anger and walked into his car. Imisioluwa was surprised as well. 

Kayode gave her the letter. She read it and understood. She told him to get dressed. She handed over some money for him. He will take a bike to school.

Imisioluwa joined Kayode in the car. She gave him a peck. It made him calm down. He drove out of the house. He informed her of the contract he got and how he planned to pay Kayode's school fees. She was happy. She had been playing out the script Boluwatife gave her yesterday. After the prayers at Boluwatife's house, she was told that joy is coming and that she should keep the altar burning in their marriage. Bolu told imisi to prepare Bayo's favourite food and also encouraged her to ensure they bath together and had sex that night. 

Imisi did as she was told, this made Bayo to open up to her and inform her of his plans. On getting to Diadem College, Bayo paid Kayode's school fees. Imisioluwa prayed for him and appreciated him. As Bayo was about driving out of the school, Kayode got down from the bike. Bayo shaked his head. He would have taken him to school if he was ready this morning. 

He called out to Kayode. Kayode was not expecting to see his daddy in school. Bayo informed him that he had paid his school fees. Kayode started dancing even though he was late for school. He gave Kayode extra money for lunch. He was grateful. 

After school hours, Imisioluwa went to the supermarket to get provisions for the house. Bayo gave her some money in the morning. She was about to make payment when someone called her name. It was unbelievable, Chukwuka!

She embraced him. He paid for everything she had bought. He offered her a ride back to school. He narrated how he went overseas for his Masters degree. He only got back recently. His wife and children were overseas. He had to manage his father's business for a while, here in Nigeria. He was so happy to see Imisioluwa. He gave her his business card. She was about to get down from the car when he held her hands. Chukwuka had been her lover boy in the university. They had to part ways when he travelled abroad for his Masters degree. Chukwuka was from a wealthy home. She remembered how he lavished her with money and gifts while on Campus. She didn't want to rekindle old flames of love between them.

Chukwuka kissed her hand and was about to kiss her lips when she said no. She explained that they were both married. Chukwuka said he didn't love the American woman he married. He married her so as to get his citizenship in the country. Now they have two boys and a girl. He said he does not plan to go back to America any time soon. He wants to start a new life in Nigeria. His father is dead and left a lot of money and properties for him. He was the only son. He was entitled to all. 

Imisioluwa knew Chukwuka loved her so much. She knew the reason why Bayo is cool now is because he got the contract. When things go back to normal he will return to the animal that he was.

How could she resist this tempting offer? Chukwuka was all she wanted in a man. If only she had waited for him to return from America. Bayo had come and asked for her hand in marriage. Bayo looked okay and he had a car. She did not know he was a wolf in sheep's clothing.

She was getting weak in the presence of Chukwuka, he took advantage of her weakness and kissed her passionately on her lips. She couldn't resist him this time. She gave in to him. She had missed him so much. The kissing was getting intense and he was heading for her bra when she discovered he had unbuttoned her shirt. She stopped him and said she had to go. He suggested they could go to a nearby hotel if she wanted. She said maybe another time. She thanked him and left his car. She buttoned her shirt on her way to her class. A part of her wanted more. Chukwuka was far better than Bayo. He was her first love. The way he kissed her was special. She knew she was falling for him again.

Kayode was waiting for her. He collected the nylon bag. He quickly checked inside to discover milo, milk, noodles and the rest. He was glad.

On getting home, Imisioluwa prepared Jollof rice and chicken while Kayode worked on his assignments. Bayo arrived home earlier than usual. He joined them for dinner.

The following weeks went well. She kept in touch with Chukwuka. He constantly sends her messages. He was hoping to see her soon. She later agreed to see him. They ate in a restaurant. It was a Saturday. She lied that she was going to her friend's house. From the restaurant, Chukwuka drove her to the hotel. She knew this was not right but she followed him sheepishly. Her friend had warned her to keep her altar burning. 

Once they were in the hotel room, Chukwuka pulled off his clothes. 

Imisioluwa could not pull off her clothes. Her heart was beating fast. Chukwuka offered to help her with it. She was left with her bra and pant. Chukwuka kept kissing her repeatedly. He laid her on the bed. He was already having erection. He was so excited. He was about to penetrate her when there was a knock on the door. He ignored it but Imisi told him to check who was at the door. 

He walked to the door while Imisioluwa used the opportunity to use the toilet. Chukwuka was angry to discover it was the room service guy at the door informing them that lunch was ready and that he was at their service if they wanted anything. Chukwuka was so annoyed. The guy read his expression, apologized and left hurriedly.

Chukwuka looked back to the bed to continue from where he stopped only to discover that his prey was no longer on the bed. Enraged, he went to the bathroom. Imisioluwa was having a shower. She came out immediately she sighted him. She said she had to leave so as to cook dinner for the family.

Chukwuka would not hear any of it. He grabbed her and pushed her to the bed. She struggled with him. He let her go. She wore her clothes and left. She boarded a taxi.

She got home to meet the shock of her life. Her friend Boluwatife had come to visit her. It has been a while since they saw one another.

Kayode interrupted, "mummy, I thought you said you were going to aunty Bolu's house?"

Imisioluwa was speechless. Boluwatife was surprised, "Is that so Imisi, hope it was not that you met my absence at home because I am just coming from Church". ''I had a burden in my heart for you. I also wanted to ask why you have not been coming to Church for the past two weeks." 

Imisioluwa replied that she was busy and that everything was fine. She headed to the kitchen and started preparing dinner. Bolu joined her in the kitchen and narrated that today's Bible study was about the story of the woman caught in the act of adultery. Imisioluwa was surprised. Why was Bolu talking about adultery now that she was in this mess. What a coincidence!

Once the food was ready, Boluwatife insisted on leaving. Although, Imisi had persuaded her to eat before leaving. She refused. Bayo returned as she was leaving. They exchange pleasantries and Bolu asked for a favour from Bayo. She wanted him to drive Imisi and Kayode to Church on Sunday. He agreed to the surprise of Imisi. Bayo had never gone to church before so why the sudden change. She knew instantly that Bolu had her way with people. 

After dinner, Bayo went to the bedroom. He wanted sex tonight. After what Imisi had gone through in the hands of Chukwuka that day, she was too tired for anything. This made Bayo upset. She knew she was calling for the wolf in him but she didn't care.

The following morning, Imisi woke up sick. She was still tired and vomited. Bayo offered to take her to the hospital. Kayode went to school on his own. He informed the principal that his mother was not feeling well. She was a class teacher in Diadem College. She taught Senior Secondary class 3. She taught English Language.

The doctor ran some tests and it was discovered that Imisioluwa was three weeks pregnant. She was happy. Bayo was happy as well. She was grateful to God that she did not make a terrible mistake by sleeping with Chukwuka. Now she had her baby to focus on. She took her phone and blocked Chukwuka's number immediately. She did not want to have anything to do with him.

Weeks ran into months and the school was on holiday. The scan result explained that Imisioluwa was expecting a baby girl. She was excited. She had always longed for a girl. Bayo took them to Church every Sunday and joined the service. He became prayerful. The family held morning devotion together every day. The burning altar in the family was revived. On the day of delivery, Bayo rushed Imisi to the hospital. He kept praying for her. She had a safe delivery. The scan result was wrong. Imisioluwa had triplets. Two identical girls and a boy. It was a great miracle. The Lord restored her for all the miscarriages she had in the past. She named the babies Miracle, Marvellous and Mercy. Boluwatife was so happy for her and told her to keep the fire burning. All this could only have happened through the power of a burning altar.

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  1. Very interesting. Good one Taiwo Ajibade.

  2. This is a beautiful piece. Weldone!

  3. Great one
    Bro. Taiwo. What a twist of event.

  4. Nice one bro

  5. Great write up.
    A timely prose in this season

  6. Wow, what a great turnaround, nice write up

  7. Akinyemi oluwatomilayo20 March 2022 at 21:04

    Well done alagba ijo, God bless you for this piece.

  8. Thanks for blessing us with this. May God increase you

  9. Thanks for this great piece.

  10. It's a great piece

  11. Keep it up bro.

  12. More grace man of God.

  13. I am blessed by this piece.

  14. I love the story line added to the fact that the character is my namesake. God bless you bro.

  15. This is creativity at it's peak! More wisdom bro Taiwo Ajibade.

  16. May God help us keep our altars burning.

  17. What a timely message!

  18. Iyanda Felicia
    It's really a great work
    More wisdom

  19. Very instructive prose. Taiwo Ajibade you are a blessing to this generation.

  20. May the Lord greatly increase you sir.

  21. This is mind blowing. I pray you emerge the winner. From DollyP

  22. Wow am blessed


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