Reviews

Book Review: Remember 

Remember by Karen Kingsbury and Gary Smalley. 

This is the second installment in the Redemption series and wow wow wow! I’m still not over it. After finishing Book 1, Redemption, 2 weeks ago, I just had to get myself the second book and boy! was it worth it. If you haven’t read this book, I’m recommending it now! 

I just love the way the authors manage to make the title of the book, which is usually an abstract noun or a verb rhyme with the whole story till the end. 

Remember was basically about remembering, Kari got to remember her first love, her first husband and all, Ashley’s story was the bigger one with a deeper rooted meaning and bringing Alzheimer’s patients into the novel was just beautiful. 

The authors also wrote about the 9/11 attacks in the novel. I was barely a toddler when the attacks happened, but the ability of the writers to carefully, adequately and expertly explain the attacks, from the plane crashes, to the global shock, to even little details like the smell of sulphur and ash, the smell of death, the smell of hell; I was taken to another place and time and God knows, I cried. 

The narrative is exquisite and next to none really. The ability of the writers to write the novel from several view points, giving each character particular traits and a means of observation to make the narrative style unique is simply goals! 

The ability of a Christian writers to also delve into the field of humanism, explaining the concept; giving it weight, credence and even life was beyond me. For well-founded Christians to expertly explain and showcase the minds of those who are dead-set against God, wow! Just wow! Extreme kudos to the authors, I cannot wait to read book 3.

This novel is simply a winner! The message given to readers at the end is basic. Don’t get too caught up! Remember the most important things in your life; remember your faith; remember your first love. 

Don’t forget! 

Remember!!!

👑 Àyànfé

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EXP #1

EXP #1.27

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Its Tuesday evening.

I cringed as another crashing sound came from upstairs.

The Slave Master has been at it for close to 20 minutes now.

He stormed into the house and went upstairs without so much of a glance in my direction—not that it bothered me or anything—his personal aides had followed him in, dropped his stuff off in his study and made their exit immediately. Then it started, different crashing and breaking sounds came from his room intermittently, each one causing me to jump in fear.

What could be wrong with the Slave Master?

The sound of household furniture that had just met its demise met my ears once again.

I sighed as I stood up from where I was perched on the couch.

Shaking my head as I thought to myself ‘I can’t take this anymore’ I marched up the stairs.

I paused at the landing that led to his room and I remembered how the Slave Master had categorically warned me not to set foot into his room. I hesitated as I realised just how foolish a step I was about to take. The Slave Master was usually very ill-tempered on his good days, and today was apparently a bad day for him. Was it really in my place to get him to stop this temper tantrum of his?

The sound of something breaking not too far away from me pulled me out of my reverie and made up my mind for me. I marched forward to the Slave Master’s room.

The door was open and right in front of it lay the carcass of a dead Samsung phone.

I took a deep breath before pushing the door open, the sound of my entry made the Slave Master pause from where he stood and he turned to look at me, lowering his arm which held a bedside lamp that he was probably about to fling out of the window.

“What are you doing here?” he asked in his dead and emotionless voice.

I blinked.

I had not been expecting that question.

What exactly was I doing here?

I thought I already decided that it wasn’t in my place to get him to stop his temper tantrum?

How had my brain forgotten to process this information to the rest of my body?

Oh crap!

“Are you deaf?” he bellowed, causing me to shrink back from where I stood in terror.

I cleared my throat “Um…”

I cleared my throat again, it seemed as though all my words were stuck there and my brain wasn’t even making an effort to want to function at all.

I don’t know for how long I stood there, standing like a fool, probably with my mouth hanging open because the Slave Master suddenly burst out laughing.

I just kept staring, and he kept laughing. As in, actual laughter and not the usual humourless and dead laughter I was used to from him. He doubled over and wiped his eye and looked up at me and burst into another fit of hysteria.

That was when I shut my mouth.
He was probably laughing at me and how foolish I looked. Scratch the probably part. He was laughing at me and how foolish I looked.

“What’s so funny?” I finally found my voice when he was done.

“Oh God! You should have seen the look on your face”

I sighed and looked around the room. Everything was a mess. The beside table lay in a broken heap, clothes were strewn all over the place, the full length dressing mirror lay in broken shards on the floor, and that was just the little I could see from where I stood at the door.

“Why don’t we go outside for a bit” I said looking up at the Slave Master who had been staring at me as I carried out my inspection on his room.

He obliged and followed me downstairs.

“I take it you’re in a bad mood” said I.

“How did you manage to figure that out?” he asked sarcastically.

“You know what you need?” I asked, ignoring his stupid comment.

“What?” he asked.

“Puff puff, puff puff always makes everything better. Where are your car keys? I know a place nearby that has the best puff puff” I replied.

“Are you kidding me?” he asked with his most serious straight face.

“Nope, I’m dead serious”

The Slave Master sighed then shrugged and ushered me outside.

Yay! We’re going to get puff puff!!!
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EXP #1

EXP #1.26

EXP #1 has been made easier to read. In all installments, along with the authors note, there are navigation pointers attached to guide you to either the previous post (which has << inserted before the attached links) or the next post (which has >> before the attached link). To get other installments of EXP #1 search for the category EXP #1 in the search box and this will bring out all EXP #1 posts in the order of newest to oldest.

<<EXP #1.25

Or click here to start over from EXP #1

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Brino” Bruno said to me through the phone later that night.

“Stop disturbing me I want to sleep” I told him, hoping my tone was nasty enough to put him off. He’d been calling me non-stop since I hung up on him earlier today when he told me that he’d not been able to get anything tangible off the Slave Master’s computer, causing me to have an asthma attack in vain.

“Brino I’m sorry” he said.

“Is that all? Can I go to bed now?” I snapped.

“No” he said.

“What else?” I asked impatiently.

“Did you see Walter today?”

“What do you mean ‘Did I see Walter?’ How would I be able to see Walter, I’m locked up in this place all day” I was already annoyed.

“I saw him at the Slave Master’s house” Bruno said.

“What?” all my previous emotions were replaced by curiosity.

“Yeah, he came in as I was leaving, at first I wasn’t sure it was him, but one of the men greeted him and called his name, confirming my suspicion”

“What was Walter doing here?” I asked nonplussed.

“I don’t know. That’s why I called to ask if you saw him”

“No, I didn’t” I said to him as my head started spinning in different directions.

Walter was part of the den of thieves I used to move with before I met Bruno. He was Idris’ right-hand man; just like he’d found me and took me in, Idris had done same for Walter years before he met me and they were totally inseparable. You know how people say no smoke without fire? Well, Walter was the smoke to Idris’ fire.

I sat on my bed and sighed into the phone.

What business did Walter have with the Slave Master?

Did Idris know of Walter’s business with the Slave Master?

My head was a tangle of jumbled thoughts as I thought back to the last time I’d seen Walter, it was at a party nearly 2 months ago, a party Bruno had advised me not to go to. When I first saw him, I turned in the other direction hoping he hadn’t seen me, later events of the night had proven otherwise as Walter and a bunch of my other old friends had come up to me, we started talking and one thing led to another, he eventually dared me to steal a car; the car that landed me in my current situation if I might add.

“Brino, Brino, are you still there?” Bruno asked.

“Yeah” I replied slowly as I surfaced from the sea of my thoughts “Yeah, I’m here. I was just thinking of the last time I saw Walter”

“What happened?”

“He dared me to steal a car” I replied simply.

“Oh” Bruno said “… wait… you don’t mean…”

I could practically see the wheels spinning in his head so I kept quiet.

“You don’t mean that car. The Slave Master’s car? Right?”

I sighed into the phone giving him his answer.

“Coincidence much?” I finally said with a humourless laugh.

“Could it be a coincidence? Really?” Bruno voiced out my very thoughts.

The person who had dared me to a steal car, ended up in the house of the very person who owned the car I stole, while I was on house arrest there. What were the odds of that?

“It has to be a co-incidence” I said into the phone with doubt injected heavy into my words “it just has to be. Walter dared me to break into any car I wanted, it was a full parking lot and he wouldn’t have known the car I’d pick.”

My head was spinning wildly; I could feel my brain overheating already. I analysed everything from that night up to the present moment. Nothing was making sense.
I heard Bruno sigh into the phone moments later, as I recalled events that had taken place today and I was tempted to tell Bruno of the deal I made with the Slave Master just this evening, the only thing that stopped me was the statement the Slave Master made after I shook his hand.

“One more thing” he’d said through his devilish smile.

I blinked ‘what?’

“No one, no one at all must find out about this. Understood?”

I nodded yes.

“Alright, good night” at that he shifted his chair and left me alone in the dinning room.

“Bruno I’m tired” I said into the phone at last.

“Yeah, me too” he sighed “good night”

>>EXP #1.27

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EXP #1

EXP #1.25

“Hey” I said to the Slave Master as he stepped into the house in the evening.

He appraised me with a raised eyebrow as I lay sprawled on a single seat couch, remote in hand, channel surfing.

“Hey yourself” he answered much to my surprise “Are you alright?”

“I should be asking you same. Are you alright? Did you hit your head or something?” I replied amidst my shock.

He gave a low huff, which was probably meant to be a laugh “I’m asking about your health” he deadpanned “I was informed of your asthma attack earlier today”

“What don’t you know?” I wondered aloud.

“What triggered it?” he asked ignoring my question.

I shrugged and changed the station.

“Should I bring your dinner?” I asked changing the topic.

The Slave Master looked at me funny for a little bit before nodding his head and going on inside.

“Why don’t you eat with me?” the Slave Master suggested as I served him dinner.

“I already ate” I replied, not bothering to look up as I kept on with pouring water into his cup.

“Sit by me then” he insisted.
I looked up at him now, he stared back with an unwavering gaze, then with a sigh I propped myself on the dinning chair next to his.

“Wow” he said “I was kind of looking forward to you putting up a fight”

“I know” I muttered staring at my hands as I placed them before me on the table “I try not to be too predictable every time”

“Hmmn, thank God you’re always predictable every time I need you to be”

“What?” I asked out of sheer confusion and received no reply. Typical.

I drummed my fingers along the table out of boredom “Just how lonely are you?”

“Very” he replied with a sincere burst of emotion which caused me to look up at him.

His face was a million emotions in one, I had not expected that.

“Are you alright?” I asked softly, this wasn’t the Slave Master I was used to.
No reply, as usual.

“Well, if you’re lonely, I suggest that you surround yourself with people and make new friends”

The Slave Master gave a dead laugh “I don’t like being around too many people and making new friends is not exactly my thing”

“Well, that’s the only cure to your loneliness” I stated matter-of-factly.

“I’m fine like this, besides I’m not lonely, I have you to keep me company” he looked up at me with that said.

“Yeah” I admitted “But what happens when I pay up and clock out?”

He shrugged “I have a suggestion”

I looked at him eagerly urging him to go on.

“Instead of paying me up, why don’t you… you know… do me a favour?”

My eyebrows shot up thinking of only one kind of favour that a man could ask of a woman, the Slave Master reading my thoughts gave a nervous laugh and said incredulously “I’m not talking of that kind of favour” causing my heart rate to go back to its normal pace.

“I’m not really popular with your aunt, so you probably know that I’m not welcome at Judisque-Allan, I’ll need you to help me deliver something to Nosa Osaretin’s secretary on Thursday”

“And once I deliver this thing, I’m a free being?” I asked, it all seemed too good to be true.

“Of course not” said the Slave Master as he burst my bubble “we’ll have to wait for maybe a week and if everything goes according to plan, you can walk”

“If not?” I asked.

The Slave Master shrugged like that was enough of an answer.

If not, I’d still have to pay up.

But what could he have me deliver that would clear a debt that ran into millions?

It didn’t make sense.

Barely anything did with the Slave Master though.

I looked up at him, to find his gaze fixed on me.

“Are you gonna do it?” he asked.
I closed my eyes and wondered some more what I could possibly be delivering that would clear my debt in a week.

I sighed, as I weighed my options before looking up at him.

“Fine” I said.

The Slave Master stretched out his hand to me for a handshake saying “Do I have your word?”

“Sure, whatever” I said as I shook his hand.

He then gave a smile, a full-blown smile that had me feeling like I’d just sold my soul to the devil.

Oh God, what have I just agreed to?

___________

Yay! EXP #1

<< EXP #1.24

>> EXP #1.26

Just in case you’re lost click here start over.

Look out for navigation pointers at the end of the author’s notes to help you locate the next installment with ease.

👑 Àyànfé

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Mail

Dear Ugo,

I am beyond sorry for your loss. Words can’t express how deeply sorry I am. Receiving your letter was both shocking and exciting, but the message within really broke my heart. 
I know he was a really good guy from the way you described him and I know you loved him very much. I wish I was there to comfort you, but I know Holy Spirit is the greatest comforter and He’ll do that for me.

I can remember when you broke up with me, I felt like I’d never get over you, but I did. Time heals all wounds Ugo, give yourself time to heal. 

I know that God is in control even though it doesn’t seem so and this is the best time to go to him because he loves you and he cares about you. Go to God the same way you wrote your last letter to me, go to Him like a long lost friend and lover and tell him all about your grief. We can never know why Bolupe died. God’s ways are unsearchable, you know how he says in Isaiah 55 that his ways aren’t our ways and his thoughts aren’t like ours. All I know is that He can mend your broken heart and fix you back up, He’ll even make you better than you were before if you make Him the love of your life. Hold unto God’s promises for you in the Bible and I am certain that everything is going to work out for your good.

At least you have a consolation that Bolupe is with Jesus in Heaven, he’s probably rejoicing and singing with the angels serving God for ever and ever. I see no reason why you should let his death hold you back from serving God when that is what he now does 24/7. What do you think Bolupe will want you to do at this point? 

Love,
Aina

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Isaiah 55:8-9 KJV

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord . [9] For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Not everything in life will go in the way that we originally planned. There’s someone up there who controls everything that goes on down here and He has said that His ways are higher than ours. Stop trying to make things work when they don’t want to work, God sees everything and he’s in absolute control. Sit back, relax and let him take the wheel. His plans for you are always better than those you have for yourself. 

👑 Àyànfé. 

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EXP #1

EXP #1.24

Ding Dong!

I looked up from the table I was currently dusting at the clock. It was Monday morning and the Slave Master had left for work over an hour ago. Maybe he had left something behind and sent Henshaw back for it, I thought to myself as I made towards the door.

Ding dong!

The bell rang again.

“I’m coming, I’m coming” I yelled as I made past the dinning room into the mini parlour and threw open the door.

“What are you doing here?” I asked without thinking.

Bruno cleared his throat and used his eyes to signal me. I blinked and looked up to see one of the Slave Master’s many body guards behind him.

“What are you guys doing here? I thought no one comes in till the Sla–Damiloju is back?” I did a double-take, and directed my question to the bodyguard.

“Good morning, I’m from ON&T, I’m here to install the internet” Bruno said, acting as if we were strangers as he stretched out his hand.

“The Boss said that someone was coming from the Tech Company to install the Wi-Fi today” the Bodyguard affirmed.

I eyed his still outstretched hand warily before shaking it “Well, he never told me anything” I eyed Bruno again “I’ll call him and tell him, just go do what you have to do”

At that point, I opened the door to let them in “Where will the Wi-Fi be installed?”

“The Boss said to set it up in his office” the Bodyguard replied and ushered Bruno upstairs.

I was pretty confused. How did Bruno get here? Why was Bruno here? I was 100% sure it wasn’t just for the Wi-Fi installation, maybe that was why he called for the Slave Master’s name over the weekend.

I sighed having no answer to these questions as I was about to carry on with what I’d previously been doing, I heard my phone beep and went over to pick it up.

Text Message from Bruno:

Yo, help me get this guy away from here for like 5 mins please. It’s important.

I reread the message in bewilderment. What exactly was Bruno up to? The Slave Master was not one to be trifled with, but Bruno wanted time alone in a room that I’d been forbidden from entering from Day One, what exactly was the Slave Master so secretive about that was in that room?

I sighed and began thinking of a good excuse to get the Bodyguard out. If he was anything like Henshaw he wouldn’t be easily tricked.

After thinking for a while I came up with a plan. A took a deep breath and sighed right after what I let out a ear piercing scream. Then I sprawled myself on the ground and began gasping. The Bodyguard arrived in a matter of seconds and I continued my act, pretending to gasp for breath as I lay on the floor.

“What’s wrong? What’s happening?” he asked alarmed at my present condition.

“In-ha-ler” I forced the words out as I continued my fake asthma attack.

“In-ha-ler. My-room” I tried again and pointed up the stairs to where my room was located.

“Inhaler?” he asked his palms shaking as he held me in my pitiful state. I nodded.

“Are you asthmatic?” He asked.

I nodded frantically, pointing at the stairs again. I needed him to leave soon or else I’d actually trigger a real attack.

“Room-draw-er” I barely coughed out. This thing was getting real “Hurry” I squeaked as the Bodyguard raced up to my room, to search for my inhaler. I tried to stabilise my breathing at that point, but I was too far gone. I’d just triggered a real attack for myself.

When I was first diagnosed, the doctors had told me panic and anxiety were normal symptoms of asthma and if I was ever to experience an attack without my inhaler I should try my best to calm myself down. I tried one of the calming exercises I’d been taught, I was too nervous to execute it properly, my breathing was becoming more difficult by the second and my chest hurt terribly all of a sudden. Why did I have to fake an attack, I thought to myself as I held myself up on my knees, I was to weak to stand so I crawled up to the foot of the stairs wheezing louder as I dragged myself. I was going to kill myself, I just lay still and tried once again to calm myself.
Where was that Bodyguard?!

My vision began to blur and black dots spotted my line of sight, a sure sign my oxygen was very low and I was going to pass out in a–

I felt a firm hand press something between my lips.

One puff.

Two puffs.

By the third puff, my airways had cleared and I pushed the inhaler away as I the embraced fresh oxygen flowing into my lungs, I blinked my eyes open to see Bruno.

“What are you doing here?” I asked.

If he was here, that meant he had not been doing whatever he was meant to be doing while I had my attack. I had just tried to kill myself in vain!

“I found your inhaler” he said with a small smile.

I sat up and saw the Bodyguard on the step behind where I lay.

“Just go” I said to Bruno as I forced myself on my feet and wobbled back to the living room.

What a waste.

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Because Thursdays are for EXP #1

<<EXP #1.23

>>EXP #1.25

To start over click here for EXP #1.

👑 Àyànfé

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Words On Marble

XL

Once upon a time, in a place I cannot name and a time I can not reveal. There was a man, his name was XL. 

XL’s mother had died giving birth to him and his father had been his only guardian, he grew up a very lonely child, by the time he was 6 years old his father married again. Her name was Eleanor; Eleanor was unable to have any children due to a genetic diesease, XL was an answer to her prayers, he was the son she would never have been able to have. 

Slowly but surely, XL and his new mother formed a strong bond. His father was barely around always going around the world on business trips, it was just XL and his mom. Eleanor trained and taught her son, teaching him manners, taking him to church, counseling him and all.

Unfortunately, disaster struck soon and at age 15 XL lost his second mother. He had been very reserved, very stubborn and difficult in his childhood, but his mother’s death made him shut himself from the world. He only ever communicated with his childhood friends freely, others could barely get a word from his mouth.

XL’s father decided to send him to military school a year later when he started acting up, his step-grandmother who had accepted to be his guardian could barely keep him in check. From military school XL went on to enlist in the army in a bid to run away from his lonely and empty life back at home, he was also searching for something, he didn’t know what, he initially thought he was searching for death and the adrenaline that comes with action on the battle front, he soon came to realise that was not what he had been searching for. 3 years I to his military career he was advised to withdraw, although XL was a good soldier and an excellent marksman, he was driven to near insanity, insomnia and suffered heavily from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). 

He was in a military rehabilitation centre for 10 months before he was let out into the civilian world again and in those 10 months his step-grandmother, Mrs Helen had come to see him every week. At first, he was unaccomodating of the old woman, but he soon came to love her. Mrs Helen listened to him talk about his military career and immediately knew what exactly XL had been searching for when he entered military service. 

“XL, it’s not love or fulfillment or adrenaline or any of that, that you were searching for when you joined the military” Mrs Helen told her step-grandson, a couple of years later as she lay on her death bed “You were searching for what every human soul searches for in this life and it can only be found in one place. There is only one person who can give you the rest that your soul most desperately desires and his name is Jesus.”

XL shook his head in tears as he held the hand of this old lady that he had come to love over the past years “God? Nah, he gave up on me a long time ago”

“No XL, he never did, he’s been waiting for you for so long, he’s crazy in love with you, he’s desperate for you, he has your name engraved in the palm of his hand, his angels are ready to throw a huge coming home party just for you in heaven if you surrender yourself to him” Mrs Helen said. 

XL shook his head yet again “Even if all that is true, it’s too late for me”

Mrs Helen squeezed XL’s head “It’s never too late for anyone who’s willing to give God a chance, the only time it’ll ever be too late for you is when you die without him, it’s not too late XL”

“You don’t get me, Grandma” XL said “Do you know the things I’ve done? The people I’ve killed? All the things I’ve entangled myself in over the years? I can’t even begin to tell you the half of things I did even before I joined the military. It’s too late for me Grandma, I’m too far gone, don’t you get it? I’m in too deep. There’s no hope for a person like me”

“Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord” Mrs Helen began “though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.”

“What?” XL asked? 

“If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land” Mrs Helen continued.

“You think you are too far gone, but God has promised that no matter how filthy you are inside, no matter what awful things you may have done, if you are willing and obedient, he will cleanse you by himself. If your sins are as scarlet, they shall be made like snow, even though they are red as crimson, they shall be made like wool. XL, God’s hands are not shortened to save, don’t undermine his power; his ears are not heavy not to hear you when you call out to him. Sweetheart, give God a chance. Just give him a chance and obey him and he’ll change your life completely.

“Promise me”

“Huh?” XL looked up at his Grandma 

“Promise me you’ll give Jesus a chance. XL I need you to promise me that for the next 1 year at least, you will give Jesus a chance, talk to him, he listens to you; read the Bible start from the 4 Gospels hear what Jesus has to say and you’ll see that you aren’t too far gone. You’re right where he needs you to be”

_____________

Isaiah 59:1 KJV

Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear.

Talk to God, he’s listening. 

Lovely thoughts for lovely people. 

👑 Àyànfé (the King’s Beloved)

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