March 26, 2023

Written by Glorie Adepoju

THE CLAUSE
(A SHORT STORY)

II

“Found her” He said and he looked straight at her, the intensity of his gaze stole her breath.

Iniobong suddenly felt a tinge of jealousy, and she looked away.

“That’s good news, I am glad you finally found her.”

Iniobong felt her own heart beating fast at his words, because to her own shock, she was suddenly hoping she was that woman.

How can I be thinking of such a thing?

Michael is from a completely different world from mine. Moreso, he doesn’t look like the kind of man that can handle my ministerial destiny.

Plus God’s will shouldn’t have my heart fluttering like this right?

She stood to her feet abruptly.

“I think we should leave before it gets too dark, the mountains are not so safe at night.”

In no hurry, Michael threw her a lazy teasing smile before he stood up. Together, they descended from the mountain.

♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡

Iniobong’s melodious voice filled the atmosphere as she worshipped God wholeheartedly seated in her garden. Sometime back she got access to some very rare species of seeds of plants and flowers. She meticulously planted them and grew them into this very beautiful and rich garden.

However, her garden got a lot of unwanted attention, and some people started to tamper with the garden. Iniobong then devised a means of security, as was her habit, she made a covenant with God. She asked God to make the garden invisible to everyone except her, in return she would worship God in this garden daily for an hour. She fulfilled her part, and God fulfilled his own part of the deal, and everyone kept asking her why the garden suddenly disappeared, when it was right where it used to be, only they couldn’t see it.

She felt so content in her spirit when the worship session for the day ended. Her garden has become her worship altar, where she faithfully meets with God everyday asides from her devotion. The garden was not the first covenant she had made with God, each time she had something she must protect fiercely, she always entered into covenants with God over it. She knew the power of covenants, and she never took it lightly, she incessantly prayed and asked the Holyspirit for grace to be faithful to it. After discovering her calling into music ministry years ago, she desperately wanted to be a vessel in God’s hands, and thus she entered into covenant with God that if he would use her tremendously to his glory, she in turn will use her gift of singing for his Kingdom alone. The year she entered into that covenant, God announced her, she became sought after, she also received so many offers for secular projects, but she was faithful to her covenant.

The Lord visited her one day and showed her the future, she was stunned when she saw the glory that awaited her. God then revealed to her, and she saw herself planting a delicate seed, her ministry, since it was a rare seed, it was growing tremendously.

So, a lot of men came proposing to her, but along the line, either they didn’t understand it, or got tired of how large the plant was suddenly growing, they eventually either cut it off, or collapsed under the weight of it. Just when she was tired of waiting, there came one who seemed to have been spiritually equipped with special grace, and the capacity to manage the greatness of her ministerial accomplishment without collapsing under, if anything he thrived, shouldered the weight with her, and it grew even larger.

After the vision, she realized that her life partner had the power to greatly influence the height her ministry will get to. She became greatly concerned that she had no way of knowing how to make the right choice, for she desperately wanted to protect what God had committed into her hands. Secondly, there was no hint, no name, no face, she had no way to identify the potential person that was suitable to journey through life with her.

She prayed passionately about the vision. God said He will bring the very man that she needs, but she must be willing to wait for him. For this reason, they both entered into a covenant yet again, God’s part of the covenant was that He will bring her that very man that has been spiritually equipped with special grace, and the capacity to manage the greatness of her ministerial accomplishment without collapsing under. Her own part of the covenant was that she would only marry the man that God asked her to wait for, the One that the invisible garden would become visible to. She also added a clause to the covenant.

Inibong stepped out of the garden, and continued to reminisce. Just as God had spoken, the year after, suitors began to flock around her. Yet none of them met the criteria of the covenant, the garden was invisible to them all, talk less of the clause of the covenant. She gradually began to worry that she had made an unrealistic demand. Until one man met the criteria, Elliot, the first man that the invisible garden was visible to, this sparked her hope. Of course Elliot didn’t know what it implied,

CONGRATULATIONS TO YOU WHOM THE LORD HAS BLESSED,

THE WAIT IS OVER. YOUR SINGLE SEASON IS GRADUALLY CLOSING UP,

She heard the soft whisper that suddenly dropped in her spirit.

I HAVE FULFILLED MY PART, I HAVE BROUGHT HIM.

“Who?” she asked breathlessly

THE ONE THAT WAS PROMISED.
GET READY FOR HIS PROPOSAL
INI.

PRAY FOR GRACE TO TRUST THAT I CHOSE THE BEST FOR YOU.

She nodded softly,

Instead of worrying, she began to pray ceaselessly for grace.

♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡

Dusk was approaching when she stepped into her farm.

She walked towards her garden, Michael had called her that he had something to tell her, and so he suggested they meet at the garden. The invisible garden was visible to Michael too, he loved nature and this garden especially, yet he rarely came here, because she had mentioned severally that this garden was her worship altar. He asked her to meet him here, this means that he has something serious to discuss.

She entered the garden and spotted a bouquet of flowers.

“Immediately I saw it, I was reminded of you, I ordered it right away. It arrived yesterday.” a voice said behind her.
She didn’t have to turn around to know who it was, she instead picked the bouquet,
There was a note attached to it, she opened it.

“-Iniobong, to me, you are a woman whose price is far above rubies-Michael.”

“They are perfect, I love it. Thank you.”

He smiled in satisfaction, that charming smile seemed to melt her heart faster than the bouquet of flowers

Concentrate will you?! She chided herself.

They both settled in the garden,

“You said you had something to tell me.”

“Umm…yes.”

“Though I found it strange that you specifically wanted to say it here.” she said

“There is something I…want to ask you. I know how special this place is to you, and so I knew I had to ask you here.”

“Oh, now curiosity is killing me.”

A serious expression crossed his features.

“First keep in mind that I mustered all the courage I have for this.”

“Okay?”

What’s the fuss?
She wondered

“You see, the voice of God has been a guide to discerning His will for my life. The very first time we met, the moment you stepped into my house, I heard the soft whisper of the Holyspirit, whose voice I now recognize as distinctly as I recognize my late earthly father’s voice. He said here is my daughter, the one I prepared you for and vice versa. I immediately accepted it. Overtime, I was more convinced that God clearly reserved the best of them all for me. That best is you Iniobong, you fit perfectly into my life, like the perfect piece that completes the puzzle.”

Her jaw dropped and her heart hammered.

“How can I perfectly fit into your life Michael? I…I…don’t even fit into your social status, have you looked at the kind of women that throw themselves at your feet?”

“You are the best Iniobong, God’s best has nothing to do with status or position. He sees the future, and knows exactly what I need and what you need. You are a sweet soul. Since I lost my parents, I have never felt at home with anyone like I do with you, I can be myself with you. You are talented, spirit filled, open, hardworking, intelligent, and man, you are a beauty, I hope my heart never stops beating wildly at the sight of you.”

“Michael…” she said as her head swam.

“I promise, I didn’t intend to propose this way, I just wanted to bare my heart. But I could as well ask you what I have always wanted to ask you from the moment I met you. Iniobong, will you marry me?” 

Iniobong felt like a princess, Michael, as in the Michael was asking her to marry him, with pure love shinning from his eyes.

Her phone vibrated just then, an incoming call from Elliot, dragging her down from whatever planet she had been on, she excuses herself and took the call.

“Hey Nini, I’m at your farm, where are you?”

“The garden.”

“Okay, I’ll be there soon”

The call ended shortly after.

“Michael, I am so sorry, I totally forgot that I promised to meet Elliot here this evening.”

“Alright then, I should get going.”

He stood up,

“Please I would be glad if you pray before giving me an answer, Iniobong.” he said searching her face.

“I’ll do that.”
“Thank you.” her heart melted as his tone mirrored his words, and then he was gone.

“There you are” Elliot said as he joined her in the garden, his hands behind his back.

“What are you hiding?”

…to be continued.

pen&paper

Watch out for the last part of this short story.

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