Benjamin stopped focusing on the cows. “Asha, why are you talking like that?”
“I don’t know. Sometimes, I just don’t know how to help you. I just pray, you know?”
“Yeah…thank you for praying. I’ve been pretty nasty lately.”
“Depressed…it’s not you though. And I just get angry at you because I’m like ‘why is this man acting like this.’ But I think that’s why it’s good you can talk to Jere. I only understand some of it. But you and Jere can have your guy heart-to-hearts.”
Benjamin snorted. “Not heart-to-hearts. We talk about stuff. We do pray for each other. It’s good.”
“Good. You know Ephesians 6:12, right?”
“Okay with the random questions.”
“Ben..listen,man! What’s Ephesians 6:12?”
Benjamin huffed. “Uh…it’s for our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world, and some other stuff.”
“Ben..not just some other stuff. It’s umm..and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. It’s a good verse, you know? All of this stuff…the unemployment…our fights…it’s more. It’s the enemy trying to stop the good stuff.”
“Yeah,” Benjamin pondered the verse and tugged at his ears. He felt like he had been such a “bad” Christian in the last year and a half. The layoff contributed to his sad and angry moods. He constantly bickered with Asha. Sometimes, he ignored the children. He attended church services with his family, but he half heard the sermons.
“Um…Daddy should be home in a little while! Okay, baby?” Benjamin heard Asha tell one of the children.
“Who’s that Asha?” Benjamin asked.
“Your baby girl. Aima.”
Aima, with her two afro puffs, tottered around the house and usually destroyed the Leggo buildings or crafts that Gabriel and Julian created. She was a miniature version of Asha, as she was spunky and gregarious.
“Asha, I’m just so tired of this. I feel like I’m carrying all of this mess all over the place. It’s exhausting,” Benjamin grumbled.
“Yes…yes..Daddy’s coming home soon,” Asha spoke to Aima again. “I’m sorry, Benjamin. Aima wants to talk real quick.”
“Hi Dad-dy!” Aima greeted in her squeaky voice.
“Hi baby! What are you doing?’ Benjamin asked.
“Playing. I made you a hat.”
“Oh really?! How did you make me a hat?”
“With my Playdo, Dad-dy!.”
“ Aww..thank you. I can’t wait to see it. Can I speak to Mommy?”
“Say bye to Daddy!” Asha told Aima.
“Bye Dad-dy!” Aima exclaimed.
“Bye baby! I love you.”
“I love you too!’ Aima giggled and returned the phone to her mother.
When Asha was pregnant with Aima, Jeremiah told Benjamin, “That baby girl is gonna have you whipped around your finger. You know how girls are with their fathers.” Even though Jeremiah did not have any children of his own, he had shared some wisdom with Benjamin.Jeremiah was a few years older than Benjamin and had been serving God longer, so Benjamin appreciated their brotherhood.
“I’m sorry about that, Ben. Aima really wanted to talk, “Asha stated.
“It’s okay. Had to talk to my little lady anyways. Um..I was just saying before that I’m pretty exhausted and tired of carrying this mess. I feel like I’m carrying all of this stuff,” Benjamin replied.
“Yes, I know baby. We are all tired and going through this together. But we can pray to God to help us. He can carry this stuff, you know?”
“Um..I have trouble believing that sometimes. My faith is low,” Benjamin coughed.
“Yeah. it’s hard. I know you get worried about how long we can last with just my income. I get worried too. But I think we can both be honest with God and tell Him that we are having trouble with our level of faith. Let Him know how hard this marriage thing is. Just tell Him everything, you know? We can even look into counseling or something. For you and for us.”
“Yeah. That’s fine.”
“I’m gonna text Jere and ask him to come get you Hmm…maybe he should bring your other buddy Malakai with him. I think you can ride with one of them while the other drives your car back. It’s just getting so late.”
“Okay Asha. Thanks”
“I’ll try to stay on the phone with you a little while longer. Might be multitasking with the kids, you know? Just think you should have some company.”
Benjamin patted his stomach. He opened the glove compartment and rifled through a clump of receipts and a cookie wrapper. Under his car’s registration, there were smashed vanilla sugar wafers in a Ziplock bag. As he scarfed down the wafer bits, he heard Asha repeatedly tell one of the children,”Thank you.”
Benjamin grabbed the bottle of Ibuprofen and tossed it into the compartment.
(*Note: That’s the end, y’all! What do y’all think about Benjamin’s situation? Have you ever experienced times where you felt very discouraged and were uplifted by God? Let me know in the comments below. Thanks so much for reading my story! 🙂 Blessings, afrotasticlady)