Jonathan had being a pillar of support throughout the period of her daughter’s funeral and even after that. He’d taken charge of all the arrangements and had made sure the ceremony went on without any hitches.
Jeremie had however not been too surprised at how he had been there for her and the way he had looked out for her and made sure she was alright. I mean this was Jonathan. It was his nature. She hadn’t known such love since God knows how long and she suddenly found herself longing for something she had closed her heart to in years past…
Once again she shuddered at the memories that crept stealthily into her mind like a thief at night. Of late, with the more constant presence of Jonathan, these memories had become more and more frequent and even as much as she willed them to stop, they had just become frequent over the days. She cast her mind back to when she had first encountered Jonathan and how their relationship had grown over the years.
Jeremie had only been a little over twenty when she’d moved to Lakeview to start a new life. Moving had become the only option as she had come to realize that staying in Haleyville, her hometown, would not offer her the conducive environment for her growth and redemption. It had become a growing need with time and even more so when all she’d received from people she’d believed to be family, was massive betrayal and condemnation. She had honestly believed she was going to be sympathized with, but the judgement that had presented itself from them, had been very overwhelming and unanticipated. Her own family had even been ashamed to call her their own.
As such when Jeremie had the call that she had been admitted into the University she had applied to, to further her education, she didn’t hesitate in making a decision to relocate and never look back.
She had told her parents about her decision to move and surprisingly, they had seemed so pleased that they were finally going to get rid of her. That was when it hit her that, that was the opportune moment to get away and start afresh somewhere else. The time to pick up the broken pieces of her life and build up her life again on a clean slate had presented itself and she wasn’t going to hold back any longer. She had been afraid of the unknown, of what the future held for her and if she’d be able to stand the pressures of the world out there but compared to what she had been going through, she’d decided to just take her chances and leave.
And that had been it. She packed herself, her daughter who was a little over one then, the little belongings they had and said farewell to home, family and everything that had caused her so much pain. They all meant nothing to her now.
She left everything behind and had never looked back.
Lakeview State University had offered her the right environment to start over. No one knew her and everyone minded their own business, which was exactly what she needed as she didn’t need any nosy individuals all up in her business.
Fortunately for her she’d been given a full scholarship, including accommodation and feeding. With the little money she had saved up, she got Annette enrolled in a private school and found herself a job so she could cater for them two and Annette’s tuition as well. It hadn’t been easy being a single mom and combining that with studies but she had pulled through.
Well that was where Jonathan had come in. He had taken some courses with her during her second year in school and they had had to work together on a number of occasions, in groups and on some assignments as well. Jonathan had been a nice person from the onset but then again after everything that had happened she had a hard time trusting anyone and Jonathan had been no exception.
She had liked Jonathan from the beginning. For one, he was a nice Christian gentleman. Emphasis on Christian. He was the very epitome of who you’d call a Christian. Yes, she knew there were other guys who preached Jesus and all, and were saved and sanctified, but there was just something about Jonathan that set him apart. He wasn’t the kind of person to force his beliefs down your throat. He didn’t give you a set of rules to follow. He never made you feel that his beliefs and convictions were better than yours. He just lived what he preached and people were naturally drawn to him.
He wasn’t the kind to judge because it was obvious he knew everyone was damaged and was coming from a place. A place they needed healing from and it was impossible not to like Jonathan, not because he tried too hard. Thing is he didn’t even try, he just did what he knew how to do best; be right with God. And he wasn’t perfect, he had his flaws but someway somehow everything seemed to work for him. Jeremie so much admired him but she wasn’t one to show her emotions.
Plus, she was certain God had turned His back on her when she needed him most. Yes, she knew she had messed up but He had abandoned her at her lowest and that, that alone had crushed her spirit. She was never going back to Him.
She loved what he had with God as she realized the peace he exuded wherever he found himself. It was just too palpable and you just couldn’t mistake it.
But Jeremie knew she wasn’t going to trust Jonathan’s God again. After all, it had been Jonathan’s kind that had got her where she was now. It was his kind that had messed her up. And so she comforted herself in that fact, even though genuine was written all over him. In that vein, Jeremie never hid her dislike for Him and for that matter was very intentional about it.
On Jonathan’s side, he had always wondered what it was about him that could put Jeremie off so much so that, even when they worked together, the only thing he received from her was a hello and even that was on good days. She only interacted with him when it was necessary and even with that, it was when it had to do with academics.
He wondered what at all could make a lady so cold. What could scar a lady so bad that she closed her heart to all and sundry? Not that he had any ulterior motives but he just had a gut feeling that there was more to her and if she could just let herself, she could go places.
If she just let go of whatever was holding her back, she would soar to heights unimaginable. And Jonathan was seldom wrong about his instincts.
He knew this because he felt so much peace about this gut feeling of his and that alone was reason enough. He was one who believed that everything that happened, was for a purpose and he believed Jeremie was no exception.
And so before he knew it Jonathan had begun to pray for Jeremie. He prayed for her like his life depended on it and each day he made it a point to be nice to her even though she always acted indifferent.
One principle he lived by was to owe no one nothing but love, and that was exactly what he was going to do no matter how frustrating it got. With time God himself had worked on her heart and Jonathan knew this because she slowly began to open up to him.
It began as a smile and my, what a wonderful smile she had. No, seriously, this was no exaggeration. That smile could heal a broken soul. Anyways, that was it for a while then with time, it developed to a hello accompanied by the smile.
Jonathan was glad how things were turning out and he intensified his prayers even more. He knew very soon God himself was going to work on her and he wanted to play his part just right.
With time they began to develop a rapport and became good friends and he knew this was God as well, especially when Jeremie introduced Annette to him, something she had never done with any of her course mates or those she knew.
Sooner than later, Annette had naturally grown to love him, and he became an integral part of their lives and helped Jamie out with Annette’s care-giving anyhow he could.
Very soon she became Jamie and he, Nathan. And stealthily their friendship grew.
With all these developments, another thing that struck Jonathan was all these sides Jeremie had to her that she kept hidden. She was a truly good person at heart and Jonathan reasoned that whatever scarred her must have been very abominable. He only wished she had begun to trust him enough to confide in him but then again he let God do things in his own time.
Jeremie remembered Jonathan revealing the process he had gone through in becoming her closest confidant, the night she had decided to share her past with him. She had asked him just one question as to why he showed her so much love even when she had obviously been undeserving of it.
And he had responded by telling her everyone was undeserving of the ultimate form of love there was, but God still loved us anyways. He told her he understood she was damaged, that she was scarred and hadn’t been healed, and because he understood that, he had never judged her. Point is, he had learnt not to judge because he had come to believe that every person acted the way they did based on an experience which would serve to shape their lives. And since he had had no idea about the magnitude of what anyone was dealing with, he had just learned to love unconditionally, just like his Father.
After explaining this to her, it dawned on Jonathan that whatever Jeremie had endured, had been an abysmal experience which had made her turn out the way she had. Though it was no excuse, it sort of justified her personality.
And at that very moment as well, Jeremie knew she had found a friend…someone whom she could trust…someone who would understand her…she was certain of that now…
And so that night Jeremie did something she had never thought she’d find strength to do.
She recounted her past to Jonathan.
(to be continued … See ya next week! ✌👌)
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