It wasn’t so long ago that you were mired in that old stagnant life of sin. You let the world, which doesn’t know the first thing about living, tell you how to live. You filled your lungs with polluted unbelief, and then exhaled disobedience. We all did it, all of us doing what we felt like doing, when we felt like doing it, all of us in the same boat. It’s a wonder God didn’t lose his temper and do away with the whole lot of us. Instead, immense in mercy and with an incredible love, he embraced us. He took our sin-dead lives and made us alive in Christ. He did all this on his own, with no help from us! Then he picked us up and set us down in highest heaven in company with Jesus, our Messiah. Ephesians 2:1-6
“You’re lawless! You’re unredeemable! Nobody can ever love you; I for one can never love you. You stink! Slimy, disgusting piece of thrash, that’s exactly what you’re. I can’t believe….”
“Enough! Enough, Udo, I say enough! Let her be.”
Udo hissed, “Honestly, Uzor, I don’t know how you put up with this shameless whore. God knows that if she was my bride, I would have killed her.”
“She isn’t your bride, Udo, so let her be,” Uzor moved away from the window where he had been brooding to stand in between Udo and Uli. If Udo was left alone, he was ready to verbally destroy Uli. Uzor couldn’t have that. “Please, Udo, kindly leave us alone to talk.”
Udo snorted, “Just like you. Want do you want to do, have her explain her infidelity in details? We, as well as, the people of Umuazor, caught her in the act, we both saw her with Udi. No! No, Uzor I won’t excuse you, I won’t let you forgive this…this worthless item’s betrayal.”
Uzor tried to exhale. “Udo, please leave. I just want to talk to Uli. I know you’re concerned, but I want to talk to Uli alone. Please, Udo, do this for me.”
“Just for you. Hurry up with it too, because in less than an hour from now, she would be damned.”
“Please don’t remind me.” Uzor winced.
(Udo leaves to stand outside the door).
“Ulinma! My first love, my heartbeat, my pride. Why, why did you do it? Wasn’t I good enough?” Uzor tried to touch Uli, but she flinched and turned away to face the window.
“Don’t touch me, Uzor, I’m dirty; I will stain you. Like Udo, just go. Go and join the rest of Umuazor as they wait for the Umunnas to pass their judgment. We both know what it would be. I would rather not have you here right now, it’s too much for me to bear.” Uli struggled to maintain her composure, but she was slipping. Uzor’s eyes, the pain and compassion in them, was shattering her balance.
“Uli, it didn’t have to be like this. I gave you everything, I loved you unconditionally. I was willing to protect you, I wanted to make a human out of you, wanted to show the world that you were beautiful on the inside as you’re on the outside…”
“Stop, Uzor, just stop!” Uli cried out. “This is too much for me to bear. I could take Udo’s condemnation, I could take Umuazor’s judgment, but I can’t take this. I can’t take pity, I can’t take compassion from you. I cheated on you, I slept with another man! Not just any man, I slept with your best friend! I slept with Udi.” Uli began to cry.
Uzor also began to cry. “I wanted to be your all. I wanted to be sufficient for you. I gave you opportunities to change. I loved you that much. I didn’t mind my name been sullied. I’m still willing to forgive. Uli, I’m still willing to forgive you. I love you so much, I can’t….”
Uli laughed. The sound so harsh, so mocking that Uzor grieved louder. Uli was unrepentant. She wasn’t sober. It wasn’t like the other times, when she would beg and plead and promise to never be unfaithful. This time her heart was seared, she wasn’t willing to repent.
“Uli! Ulinma, we can work this out. I can plead on your behalf to the Umunnas. Just say you love me, just say you want to make this work. Uli…”
“Uzor, are you a fool? I said I cheated on you. You caught me in bed with another man. I spread my legs wide, wide open for another man,” Uli shouted as she began to pace round the small confined prison. “Why do you always take me back, Uzor? Why do you always want to clean me up and make me into a decent woman, an innocent bride? I’m a prostitute, Uzor, I am a prostitute.” She stabbed at her chest as she spoke. Her voice was strained and filled with pain, Uli wished she could just die and fade away than converse with Uzor, the man was too much!
“Uli, it doesn’t have to be this way…”
“I am a condemned woman already. Umuazor wants me dead. I have destroyed many marriages and caused lots of havoc with my unfading beauty and silk skin. You’ve caught me five times before this and you never went to report to the Umunnas. I’ve always wondered why, always wondered why you were so good to me even when I was filthy and unworthy for you. Even after soiling your name everywhere in Umuazor, you always took me back. Why, Uzor, I ask why?”
“Because I love you. For better, for worse, I swore my loyalty to you…”
“Well, I also swore my loyalty to you, but I didn’t keep it,” Uli said drily. Cleaning her eyes and squaring her chin, she turned to face Uzor. “Look, Uzor, come and get going. It’s almost time for the Umunnas to pass their judgment. Thank you for loving me even with my unpardonable mistakes. Thank you for always covering my dirt so I would not be the laughing stock of Umuazor. Umuazor finally found out on their own, but they never heard it from you, I’m grateful for that. I wish I was clean for you. I wish I was the lawful and unblemished bride you’ve always dreamed of having; a bride without spot or wrinkles. But I have lots of that, in fact I am spotted all over and folded to an unredeemable form. Uzor, please move on for I don’t deserve you and life would be easier for you when I’m no longer here. You won’t be heart broken anymore.”
Uzor rushed over to Uli’s side and grabbed her hands. He shook her violently and then dragged her in a fierce hug. Uli cried as she hugged Uzor back, she held on tightly. Uzor cried as he held Uli. Life wouldn’t be the same without her, he knew it. “Uli it doesn’t have to be like this. Let me talk to the Umunnas, I’m sure they would concede.” Uzor whispered brokenly.
Uli sniffed, “No, Uzor, don’t talk to them. Let me bear my cross as I deserve, let me be paid according to my own coin. I don’t deserve you Uzor, I don’t.” she began to cry again.
(A sharp knock and the door opens. Udo steps in accompanied by one of the palace guard).
“It’s time,” Udo announced loudly. “Take her!”
The guard walked over briskly, steadily and yanked Uli away from Uzor. Struggling to hold on to her, Uzor watched the guard drag her out.
“Uzor!” Uli screamed. “Uzor, help me please!”
Uzor broke down and wept, “Uli…” he whispered.
“Worthless piece of thrash!” Udo finished and went over to pick up his junior brother and fellow Umunna.