“Who was it?” I asked her.

“My own father!”

“Huh? My God. Janelle…. So sorry about all this!”

“I did recognize him… and he did too. He was shocked…But I was rather enraged. All the hurt and anger in me got revived. He was the last person I wished to see… I quickly left because I was afraid that I’d just end up strangling him to death. For I really wanted to do that.”

“Hmm. So was it your father who came knocking on your door the day I first came to your room?”

“Yes! That was him… he was coming to ask for forgiveness.  “I’ve gone through hell… Most people see me to be wayward, and loose and characterless… I’ve dated many guys on campus, and even married men… I’ve had some men’s wives come to my hostel to warn me… This life wasn’t the kind of life I ever wanted. But there was no one to help. People saw me as a murderer…Even believers, and so they wouldn’t help me … I was angry with God… I really needed him then, but I just couldn’t find him… But tonight, I think I’ve found God, T.A Fred. For many years I’ve felt unloved and lonely and valueless and dirty and hopeless… But I think he’s visited me today… and I feel his love all over me… for the first time in a long time, I feel at rest and satisfied.”

It was sad getting to know that such a young lady would go through all that. I couldn’t imagine how broken and bitter she might have felt for all these number of years. I praised the Lord so much for saving her. With the help of another female Christian friend, Janelle started getting discipled and going to church. I loved the zeal with which her love for Jesus was building.
Some days later, Janelle came to meet me at the department to tell me about some decision she had taken.

“T.A Fred… I’ve been thinking… Honestly in these past few days of experiencing Jesus, I have decided that I wouldn’t want to go back to my old ways anymore. Soon school would be vacating… and I know what that means to me… when I leave for the Mistress’ house, she would expect me to go stripping with the other girls, as usual. And I really don’t want to go back to that…I went to meet her today… I told her that I had met Jesus, and that I wouldn’t want to live that kind of life anymore… I quit…”

“Janelle… honestly it’s a good decision… it probably might have been a tough one to make… but it still is a good decision… But… How did she react with the news?”

“Hmm… She became furious… She was like, I met Jesus, and so what? And that I should choose between Jesus and the help that she gives me… I asked her to understand me… She asked me to pack my things and leave the house with my ‘Jesus’, and that I can’t expect her to be providing for me shelter and any other thing else if I won’t go stripping…”

I was really sad for Janelle. “Janelle… Don’t worry, okay? Everything will be well… I’ll speak with some people to see how best we can help you. But definitely you aren’t going back to that life… And God will definitely take care of you. Trust that he will…”

“Yes… I believe. I just want to totally surrender to Him… Life has never felt fulfilled without Him…”

When she mentioned total surrender, I gathered the courage to ask her about something she would hardly want to speak about.

“Janelle… it is a good decision to want to surrender totally to God… But, I just want to ask you. Have you thought of letting go any grudges and resentments you hold against your father?” She suddenly looked embittered when I mentioned her father.

“No! Some people don’t deserve forgiveness or pardon! That man does not deserve to be forgiven… I’m going through all this hell because of him!”

“Janelle… And neither do I want you to go through hell in the life after this, because unforgiveness and bitterness has taken a lot of Christians to hell. Janelle just surrender all the hurts and resentments and allow Jesus to heal you wholly. You ne…”

“T.A Fred please!” she sharply interjected. “I’m sorry… but I think I want to leave for the hostel now. I’m sorry!” with that she left. It was obvious she didn’t want to talk about that.

Later on in the day, I left my phone on charge at the general office while I continued to record the examination marks for Dr. Obour at the department. After a while a colleague came to me with my phone saying,

“Charlie Fred! Somebody dey call saaa. I think say your girlfriend dey try reach you o. Your phone bell saaa”

What he said was humorous to me since I actually didn’t have a girlfriend. 13 missed calls? I wondered who it was.

“Janelle? Why what’s up? 13 missed calls from Janelle?” I thought.

However, I actually got scared the more when I checked my inbox to read a text message she had sent.

“HELP! Hel…” it read.

“Jesus! What might be happening to her?” As though with the speed of lighting, I rushed quickly to her hostel.

“Janelle!” I screamed out as I forcibly opened her door.  “Janelle! Janelle! Open your eyes! Who did this to you?!”

I found Janelle unconscious lying in a pool of blood.


Dorothy Budu-Arthur


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