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I was discharged from the hospital and after two days, I mustered courage to send a text that I had put to bed. I didn’t tell him I had twins. Shortly after I sent the message, I received alert from him and a message followed after. “Congratulations on the delivery. Please use the token I sent to take care of yourself and the baby. I don’t want to be an irresponsible father. My regards to mum and dad.”

I hissed and dropped the phone on the bed. After God, my babies were my priority followed by my parents. I made up my mind to forget everything about Kola. At least I was the one that created the mess, now I have to clean it up myself. We named the babies Shalom and Simon, courtesy of my parents who wanted to continue our S trend. Kola sent a message apologizing that he wasn’t present at the naming ceremony. My spiritual Iife was renewed and waxed stronger and I was reinstated back to the workforce alongside my dad and my mum. They both had to step down from their positions in the church.

Five years later, I received a call from a private number and as soon as I picked it, I knew it was Kola. No matter how deep I am in sleep, if Kola speaks I will know he is the one. My initial instinct was to hang up, but I had a prompting to hear him out. He asked that we fixed a date to see and I obliged him.

When I saw Kola, he was not the person I used to know. His face was dull and his smile was not there, but I noticed that immediately he saw me, a smile broke out from the corners of his lips.

“Sharon, I know you have every right to be mad at me with the way I behaved, but I know you don’t know why I behaved like that.”

My heart smote me. I only judged Kola for what he did without giving it a thought to know the reason. I immediately asked for forgiveness for all the bitterness I held against him.

“What are your reasons?” I asked.

“Since we slept together, I couldn’t hold myself. I knew that if I was in a close range with you it would be something we would keep falling into if I did not give you space. I knew I sinned greatly against God and I had to trace my step and put precautionary measures in place. Thankfully, after the confession, I was transferred to a branch of my workplace in Ibadan. I knew it was nothing but divine intervention. I knew I was going to be leaving you to face the pregnancy period by yourself, I had to plead with your best friend, Titi to make sure she did all in her power to ensure that you were not all by yourself. I daily prayed for you and our baby that you would be safe and when I heard about your complications, I wanted to call you but I had a restriction in my spirit by the Holy Spirit, but I never ceased praying for you. Though you did not tell me the sex of the baby, I knew that they were Twins; a boy and a girl, and I know their names. Sharon, I’m sorry I put you through all this. Please forgive me.”

I was shocked by these revelations and I was glad at the same time. I had always thought Kola disappeared but he was in the background picture all the while. I should have suspected. Titi was not financially stable at that time, but she was always taking me out on a treat or she would buy stuff for me those period I was stuck in bed. So, Kola was the financier all the while. A part of me thanked God for his life, but I settled it in my mind that I’ll have nothing to do with him. I don’t want it that because I have children for him I’ll get married to him, even if it meant being a single mother all my life.

“Kola, you’re forgiven. I did not know all these. Life goes on.” I said, trying to put an end to the discussion.

“One more thing, Sharon.” I could sense what was coming as I saw him fiddling with the keys in his hands. “I’ve not been able to move on and when I sought God’s face, I was redirected to you. I love you, Sharon. I would choose you over and over again. Please let’s put what is past behind us and look forward to build a brighter and beautiful together. Let’s continue from where we stopped before we messed things up. Will you marry me?”

His words broke down the walls I had built. I had known some few weeks back that I was still going to get married to him but I felt it was because we have children between us that’s why I was thinking that way. I knew there was no other place to run to as this was the confirmation I asked for.

“I’ll marry you.” I mouthed. I looked into his eyes and I could see the pure love in it. “But, what will we tell our children if they ask for our stories someday?”

“Sharon, we may not have a perfect and pure story but we will tell them our story all the same. They can learn from our mistakes and avoid same. Our past may not be perfect, but in Christ, our future is pure and beautiful.” Kola said.

“I love you, Kola. I’m grateful God restored us to Himself and to ourselves. Shalom and Simon will be glad to meet with you. I promised them that one day, they’ll meet their dad, and they’ve always been asking me when that day will come. By the way, Shalom looks like you. It’s like you spat her out.

“Aww. I’m also eager to meet them. I promise to make up for the time amd stress I put you through.”

Six months later, Kola and I got married. Shalom was our flower girl while Simon was our ring bearer. The wedding was a beautiful on and all those that jeered at me in the past came begging for their wrong doings. All I could say is that God shows mercy on whom He chooses to show mercy. Kola and I are recipients of His mercy.

It’s been five years after our wedding, and my marriage is waxing strong. To our greatest surprise, we’ve received several invitations to share our story to encourage people who might have fallen into that kind of situation not to leave God and most importantly, the roles of parents when such things happen.

I should have written this story a long time ago, but our latest addition to our family has not given me breathing space. I had to steal time now that he his sleeping. By the way, it’s night already and my husband is calling me.

I love you all, Sharon Matthew.

The End.

Second Chance