NWALA ; The Bittersweet Story (Part 27&28) – Opeyemi Akintunde

Part 27
Opeyemi Akintunde

“Aunty” Timo was the one who opened the door.

I am sure you remember who Timo is; The boy I knocked down and Reuben adopted.

Reuben had handed him over to the Head of Education at the church. The church had, a nursery and primary school right in the church premises. Timo was living with the Head of Education, so as to brush him up in English language before enrolling him in the school system. He came occasionally to see Reuben.

“Timo… so good to see you” I said really excited to see him. He was looking good.

“I am also happy to see you ma” Timo said

“Oh wow! I like the sound of that” his English was sounding so well.

“Thank you ma”

“Good afternoon, Sir! Ma!” I said surprised to see Bishop and his wife in the living room.

“Nwala! How are you? Bishop said with an excited voice.

“Good afternoon” His wife managed to murmur…

The atmosphere was very awkward.

“Uncle is in room” Timo said trying to save me from the awkwardness.

“Ok… Can you please tell him I am around” I said trying to respect his parents.

“That would be a lot of stress for him bearing in mind his state” Reuben’s Mom said with an angry, judgmental and murdering voice, but trust Bishop to always come to my rescue.

“So it will be better you go to his room… That’s what mummy is trying to say” Bishop said…

“Ok sir, thanks ma, thanks sir” I said following Timo up the stairs.

“Since he is yet to have his own place where will he marry into?” I asked myself.

I was pleasantly surprised when I got to his room. His door was wide opened. Timo called his name in excitement.

“Uncle” but his back was to the door, and he had his earphone plugged in.

He was sweating, he was praying in tongues though in a low tone…

Timo ran to him and tapped his shoulder, Reuben opened his eyes and flashed Timo a very genuine smile…

“You want to join me?” He asked

Timo shook his head in the negative and pointed to the door…

Reuben turned and I could count the emotions that flashed at me… Surprise, Joy, unhappiness, sadness, longing.

“Hi Nwala” Reuben said. He quickly got back himself and flashed me a smile…

“I will be downstairs” Timo said rushing out of the room.

“And so to what do I owe this pleasant visit my heart has been longing for?’

Reuben just had a way with words.

“I am sorry about the last time” I said


“I shouldn’t have thought the way I did… the truth is I want to be with you, but fear got a hold on me”

“And now?”

“I am ready to go on the journey with you”

“Regardless if I never walk again?”

“Yes, but I have faith you will walk again”

“What if I really never walk again?” Reuben asked intentionally

“I am ready” I said

“What if after marriage, I am not able to perform well on bed?” He asked

“I have thought about it, and I have realized marriage is not just about s€x, but love, friendship and peace and I believe you will give me all that!”

Reuben wheeled his chair to meet me at the entrance.

“Is this you speaking or your Mum?” He asked with teary eyes.

“Me” I replied

“I will understand if you leave me, I won’t want you feeling like you had no choice”

“Reuben, you don’t want to marry me?’ I asked because I was afraid Amara would take him from me.

“Nwala, there is nothing else I want in this life than to be loved by you and raise a family with you”

“Then let’s do it” I said planting a k!ss on his lips. At first Reuben’s emotion got him flowing with me, but he pulled back…

“Can we save that for church?” he said laughing.

“Church?” I asked

“When the Pastor says you may k!ss the bride…” He said with a big excited and satisfying smile on his face…

Part 28
Opeyemi Akintunde

Without mincing words, the k!ss was a long intentional one. Guess what? He did it on his legs.

After we agreed to get married, Reuben put more effort into getting back on his feet; A lot of therapy sessions went into that.

He wasn’t completely on his feet, he was still using his wheelchair. However, occasionally, he made use of his crutches like he did on our wedding day. His wheelchair was on standby but he told me he was going to say “ I do” standing on his feet and he did. I could see it was a struggle, but he did it with the biggest smile ever…

After the k!ss, I insisted he sat on the wheelchair… I whispered in his left ear…

“I love you with or without the wheelchair” I said and I meant it…

In the last one year between when I agreed to marry him and our wedding, I grew to love him truly. I saw a caring, loving, God fearing man.

One of the things that sealed it for me, was when he took me to the house he bought for us.

Firstly, I was relieved we won’t be living with his parents, but much more than that was what he did with the house… He made it disability friendly…

“I am not marrying you to weary you, or to be my Nurse… I made sure the house is disability friendly so I can move around, cook, wash, take care of the kids on my own…”

I was touched to my bones and I fell to the ground close to the wheelchair…

“What did I ever do to deserve you?’ I asked

“I think you are asking the question the wrong way? What did Reuben do to deserve you?”

“Thank you… You just assuaged my fear” I said

“You are welcome” he said

“I see that we can have our wheel ride here” I said jumping on my feet and sitting on his laps.

The wheel ride was a fun thing we did at his parent’s house, I got a wheel chair and we raced in the compound.

I remember the first day I brought the wheel chair to his parent’s house. He thought it was a gift.

“No it’s not yours… it’s mine” I said

He had looked blankly at me.

“I am tired of looking down at you, I want us to be able to talk face to face, and play together…” I said smiling

He had been quiet…

“Wow… so thoughtful of you” he said

We had raced that day and it was 5:3 in his favour.

Looking back, I thing that was the day I won his mother’s heart.

As we stood there exchanging our vows, amidst the smiles I was getting from everyone including fake envious smiles, I was constantly looking over my shoulder in fear hoping Daniel would not show up.

After the reception, we were driven straight to the airport. Our honeymoon had been arranged.


I was filled with so much tension as we got into our hotel suite… My fear about Reuben’s ability to make love to me could literally be felt.

His doctor had spoken to me and assured me from his evaluation due to the progress he had made, having an erection would not be an issue. It had been an extensive lecture.



“Doctor, can someone in a wheelchair have s€xual int€rcours€?”

“When you mean someone, I believe you are referring to Reuben?”

“Yes sir, but it doesn’t change anything, I have decided to marry him regardless, but I just want to know if there is hope for it…”

“Yes… People who are wheelchair bound can have s€x. Neurologically speaking, men who are wheelchair bound sometimes can’t get erections, which was Reuben’s case initially. Not getting erections is not always the case, sometimes they do and other times they don’t”

“So when they don’t get, what can one do?” I asked

“There are medicines that come in handy to help them maintain an erection. Nwala, they ejaculate the same as a normal man would do”


“Nwala, you need to understand that people who are wheelchair bound due to spinal cord injury, are affected in sensations and or motor skills, which basically means that they have difficulty or cannot move a certain group of muscles or can’t feel. The level of injury determine which muscle group is affected. This has nothing to do with s€x”


“The only problem a male might have is with his erection a few times or moving while having s€x and that’s where you Nwala can help out”

“Thank you, Doctor,”


That conversation with the doctor had given me peace, but sitting on the bed, and reality was staring at me, I was shaking…

“I have something for you” Reuben said


Reuben wheeled himself to his hand luggage, and he brought out a white envelope. It looked bulky, and when he gave them to me, it was very bulky

“Open it”

I opened it and saw a lot of hand written letters.

“I call them “Letters to Nwala” I have been writing them for the past 4 years”

“4 years… We didn’t even speak back then”

“Yes… so I wrote letters to you instead”

I checked the first letter…

“Hi Nwala, I know you don’t know me, but I hope to be your friend someday”

“Wow!” I said and it took me another forty five minutes to go through his letters. The letters made me smile, laugh, cry. It gave me a bigger window into his soul.

However, one of his letters moved me the most. He obviously wrote it after I told him I couldn’t go on with the relationship if we wouldn’t try out s€x first…

“Nwala, for the first time, you really broke my heart. You have lost faith in me. As much as I want to make you happy by k!ssing your soft lips, and wrapping you in my embrace to assure you that this accident doesn’t stop me from being the man I hope to be for you, but I can’t be in God’s black book because of you…

I love you and God knows this,

I adore you

Your thoughts haunts me every second,

But for my love for God

I let you go…”

Tears dropped from my eyes and my heart exploded in love, my fears disappeared and I rushed at him and gave him a long k!ss full of love… At that point, I didn’t see his wheelchair anymore… I saw God’s goodness to me…

He pulled me closer and I sat on his laps and he wrapped me in his embrace.

Shockingly, when I sat on his lap, I felt it, there was life in what I thought was dead!

Somebody shout Halleluyah!


1. The Story was Inspired by the Living Word

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