The pastor’s wife
Outside the sky was gloomy. Heavy clouds were ready to drop down rainfall. I heard a roll of thunder, a storm was coming, it came with heavy rainfall.
In the midst of this was beautiful set of well dressed choristers ministering on the podium. The singing was louder, and then suddenly I couldn’t really hear them anymore, because of the heavy downpour. Ushers rushed to close the doors and louvres.
And while the ministration was still going on, a young lady dressed in same uniform as the ushers whispered to my ears.
“Good evening ma, please your name is on the list of women who will speak today.”
But I didn’t respond, I only nodded.
After series of prayer points and Singing, A few women of God whom I had association with in the past spoke before my turn.
“Ladies, please a round of applause for an award winning speaker, a woman of God, and a motivational speaker, Mrs Ekom David.”
My heart trembled, my legs shook. The thunderous hand clap from the crowd weakened me. I was Ashamed; Ashamed to talk, ashamed to walk down that aisle. The spirit of motivational speaking left me, the spirit of boldness left me. My mind wasn’t at peace.
I stood up gently and walked out of the auditorium, not minding if there was heavy downpour. I walked into the rain, I was soaked but it didn’t matter.
“Excuse me madam” a lady’s voice screamed behind me. But I didn’t turn. I drove off that evening, in my wet body.
The next morning, I woke up in pains. I felt my panties wet.
I knew something was wrong, I dipped my hands into my panties and saw blood.
It was menses, I cleaned up and prepared the kids for school.
As I alighted from the car to drop them in their classes, a woman dressed in a corporate attire approached me.
“You are so weak, why did you allow a common maid to take away your husband?” she asked boldly.
But I didn’t reply. I dodged her and took the kids to their classes.
As I drove home, my phone rang. It was Salma the choir mistress of hills ministries. I picked the call reluctantly.
“Good morning maama.”
“Maama, the church hasn’t been the same since you left. we’ve lost lots of members. we really miss you. the youths miss you. the church….”
“Well, God has reasons for everything.” I cut in.
“Pastor just informed us that Ifeoma has put to birth to a baby boy.” she said in a lighter tone. My heart fell, as I took a deep breath.
“Thanks be to God.” I said.
That day, I wept all through.
I had series of dreams; I saw myself breast feeding Ifeoma’s baby. Then I woke up and saw deeper blood stains on the bed. I changed the bedsheets and kept crying even more.
I didn’t know what to tell God anymore. But I was positive that he was going to do something.
Lizzy whipped off her lab coat and threw it on the floor. I must have made a face because she looked at me and laughed.
“I am so tired Ekom.” She said, while getting water from a dispenser.”
“Obviously.” I said meanly.
She gulp down the water and then took a deep breathe.
“you know I haven’t seen you since you returned, it’s been 5months now. what has been happening? you look really different.”
“nothing much. David is seeking for a divorce.”
“grant him. After all he has a son now from his maid. the baby falls sick almost every single day. I am tired of treating him.” She reeled off, while trying to put on another lab coat.”
“Did she put to birth here in your clinic?”.
“No. I heard she put to birth in London. I wasn’t even around at that time. I was on a 3month course in Australia.”
“oh okay. Lizzy I think the kids and I will be relocating to America by next year.”
“Better. start up a new life over there. I hope you have not given up on God?”
“The question should be if God hasn’t given up on me Lizzy. I am such a problematic human being.” I said sadly. Lizzy looked at me directly in the eyes and wrinkled her nose with a loud sigh.
“You should always be positive my friend.” She paused and continued.
“I never knew David was AS. Ifeoma is AS too which resulted to an SS genotype for their baby.
I took another surprise look at her, she fetched water for the second time from the dispenser, waiting for it to get filled.
“Did you say David is AS? he is AA. I am AS. He can’t be AS.”
She stood there for a moment, her hands folded, she stood stiff like a status looking at my face like she was finding something.
“wait a minute. how come the baby has sickle cell anaemia?” Lizzy asked amazingly.
“I don’t know. but I am very sure that David is AA. that’s his genotype.”
There was a pause. I mean a long silence.
There was a question in that silence. A question that we possibly had answers to.
“Does David know that the baby is SS?” I broke the silence.
” No. They haven’t gotten their result yet. My laboratory scientist isn’t done with their test result. I hope this isn’t true. because from that baby’s eyes, I knew he was SS.
“It may be what you think. David has been wanting a child for 12 years now, I hope his baby isn’t SS.”
“Let’s see the result first. before I forget, we have to run a test on you. you look really pale.” She said politely as she dials a number with her telephone.
“The lab?” Lizzy questioned as one of her perfectly arched eye browse lifted.
I had been desperate to leave Lizzy’s office since the laboratory scientist took my blood.
While I watched Lizzy surf with her laptop, my mind had gone far as to the kind of diseases or sickness the lab test might result.
“I was thinking that I should go pick the kids and come back for the result.” I said.
“No hold on a bit, the lab guy will be done soon.”
moments later, there was a knock on the door.
“Come right in.” Lizzy said shrilly.
The lab guy appeared like a ghost, leaving my heart to tremble, I watched him handing a white envelope to Lizzy.
“Done?” Lizzy asked politely.
Lizzy opened the envelop hastily and I tugged on my ear thoughtfully.
“What’s the result?” I asked, still tugging my hands in my ears.
Lizzy shook her head and stared at me for a while.
“Hmmm… Ekom it’s malaria and typhoid jare.” She handed the envelop to me.
Opening one of the envelops, I grinned, hiding my face behind it. Not a word came out of my lips.
And a pinch more silence with a bit of reticence and stillness drown in.
“I haven’t seen malaria here o. where is the typhoid?”
“Look well, or do you need my glasses?”
Lizzy and the lab guy watched me like I was about to perform magic.
Suddenly my heart lifted. My hands Shook, stream of tears ran down my eyes. I became instantly emotional as I gaze at Lizzy. She smiled and nodded her head with joy.
“You never gave up on God Ekom.” She said as tears ran out from her eyes.
She continued “I am in shock myself.”
“I am in doubt Lizzy. How can I be pregnant and still menstruating? I asked in amazement.
“Well I see such cases almost every single day. In fact, my sister Joyce was pregnant and still bleeding for months, she never knew. you are pregnant my friend.” Lizzy said warmly.
“Jesus Christ Lizzy! I am pregnant?”
My jaw clenched, I wanted to explode joyously like a balloon. Lizzy laced her hands in mine, as the lab guy walked out.
I was calm on the outside. I was amazingly calm. But I knew that there was something inside of me, a foetus was growing inside of me. I felt pregnant instantly as I kept smiling and crying at the same time.
The heat in the room became intense, I looked at the envelop again and again, and then looked at my tummy.
“You are pregnant Ekom. Now you make me want God the more.” Lizzy said, as she wiped her tears with a white handkerchief, removed one other clean handkerchief and handed to me.
“you will be back here tomorrow, so that I can give you injection to stop you from bleeding. You need a lot of vegetables and fruits now.”
And then I cried again, It was the sweetest and happiest cry of my life.
Abigail’s face had softened, her eyes misted over and for a moment, she was calm.
“I am going to be a real aunty for the first time in my life Ekom.” she said tearily and smiled brightly at the same time.
“You are an aunty already mbok, don’t let the kids hear that.”
Lizzy called at that moment.
“Ekom, I am very close to your house, I had a long day already at work, so I decided to just come give you the injection at home and then tell you about something I discovered at the hospital.”
“I hope all is well Lizzy?”
“very well, don’t be scared.” I ended the call.
few minutes later, I heard the horn of Lizzy’s Car.
“She is here.” Abigail said and immediately stood up to fix the throw pillows in place.
Not Long Lizzy walked in, smelling of vanilla body spray. she was wearing jeans, a boot and huge cream colored sweater that came halfway down her thighs.
She frantically looked around.
“Good evening ma.” Abigail greeted.
“Evening darling, you look so much like Ekom.”
“She is my elder sister.”
“oh nice meeting you.” Lizzy said as she nodded at her without quite smiling, a little sheepish.
“You look tired.” I said.
“My day was hectic. David came to the clinic to get his son’s test result. He came with Ifeoma and the little baby, you should have seen the look on his face when he discovered the boy is SS and he is AA.”
“What?” Abigail screamed.
I stared at Lizzy in disbelief.
“When he asked Ifeoma who the real father of the baby was, she started speaking gibberish. smh, give me ice water jare before my throat will burst.”
Abigail rushes to the kitchen and runs out in a second with a bottle of water and a glass cup. Lizzy pours the water in the glass hastily and gulps it in her stomach.
“I hope you didn’t tell him that I expecting a baby?”
“God forbid! am I mad? that idiotic human being called David doesn’t deserve you.” she said and sipped the water lightly this time.
“nawa o, this God is the biggest game player. Ekom you always said this.” Abigail said looking at me amazingly.
“when God said I will make a table before you, in the presence of thy enemies. you thought he was talking to the devil? he was talking to us! You and I.” I said, and became totally unfazed.
“Who did she say is the real father of the baby?” Abigail asked desperately.
Lizzy breathed an audible sigh of relief before she replied.
“She mention one Usman. She said he was pastor’s former driver who used to live at the boys quarters.”
“What?” Abigail and I screamed unbelievably in unison.
Abigail laughed out loud, she laughed and fell on the floor. The sound of her laughter stayed in my head ever since then, it giggles me.
I stared at my reflection in the mirror, my stomach was beginning to protrude, I rubbed my hands on it, and felt a tiny kick, there was deep joy in my heart, the one I had never felt before.
The news about David’s separation from Ifeoma spread like a wildfire.
The night was still young, and I had just returned with a new Sim card. I wanted to change my life, change my world and rebrand it for the holy spirit to come dwell with us forever.
By this time, I had made up my mind to sign the divorce papers and move to America with the kids.
My stomach was protruding, and I didn’t want anyone to see me, especially the church members of Hills ministries.
“I thought you said divorce is a sin?” Lizzy asked shrilly, looking aghast.
“I have gotten what I wanted.”
“Don’t say these things Ekom, You prayed for this moment, you fasted, wept to God. And now it is finally here, why do you want to just let it go all of a sudden?”
“let me be. Let’s not talk about this please. ” I said . Lizzy felt panic at the terse tone and clipped answers.
“Have you started processing visa for the kids for your trip?”
“Not a trip, I am relocating Lizzy. I am selling off this house.”
“What? Ekom how can you do a thing like that?”
“I had made up my mind Before I brought this conversation up, I had made up my mind on selling the house, and relocating. nothing can change that.”
Lizzy breathe an audible sigh of relieve and stood to leave as I heard the door bell ring.
“Are you expecting someone?” Lizzy asked.
“No, my sister went back to Ibadan yesterday.”
Teye ran from inside to the door.
“mummy someone is at the door.” my heart went down as I watched her place the stool by the door and climbed on it to reach the bolt.
“Aunty ifeoma!” she screamed. She walked in, looking pale and weak.
I stared at her in complete and utter disbelief.
“What are you doing in my house?”
She blanches her face, losing all it colors, and then snaps her gaze to Lizzy, and then Teye, who was already staring at her in amazement.
Tears poured down her face in an uncontrollable manner
“What is this? leave my house this minute, I don’t like this drama.” A scream erupts my throat.
She knelt down immediately and tried to hold my feet, but I stepped backward.
Lizzy and Teye were staring at me, looks of pure shock and amazement were plastered on their faces.
When I looked at her eyes, I saw pain and regret. I saw the life of a girl who was tired of living.
It took me few minutes to compose myself and face her.
“What do you want from me Ifeoma? What else do you want?” I asked her meanly, while she looked at me with stoned expressionless face.
“I came here to clear my mind to you, to confess and seek for your forgiveness madam.”
my heart was beating at a faster rate than ever.
“ghen, ghen! what more do you have to say? we all know you slept with pastor David.” Lizzy said and shook her head sympathetically.
“There is more.”
“don’t tell us you used juju or charms on pastor.” Lizzy asked with her eyes wide open.
“tufiakwa, I am a christian, I can’t do that.”
“if I hear! you? hmmm. what you did to your madam is what a witch can do, it’s same as using juju of course? talk please time is going.”
Ifeoma looked at me, and then Lizzy.
“I was in love with Usman when I first came here. He loved me too. He even said he was going to marry me.” She said stammering and trying to control the catarrh from running out of her nose.
“Who is Usman? this is the second time I am hearing that name.” Lizzy asked with a worried face.
“David’s Driver. David converted him from being a Muslim to a Christian, he was with us for 7years.” I replied with a serious face.
“The night we made love, I was ovulating. I was sure. I was scared, but when I realized I was doing it for the man I loved, I took off my mind.”
“wait a minute, you mean you and Usman made love in this compound?” I asked, looking amazed.
She became silent for a while, and then spoke again.
“The first day Mama Georgina saw me, she advice me to seduce pastor, so that I can be pregnant for him, that you were barren. She was going to pay me a huge sum of money and then change pastor’s mind towards you. I was desperately in need of money. My mother was dying of breast cancer. My salary was not enough.”
I felt my eyebrows pull together in a frown as she stared at me tearily and desperately.
“Why didn’t you tell me? Why didn’t you tell me all what you were going through? I sent money to your family every month. even when I was in America, I never forgot. I would have created a sponsorship group to raise funds for your mother.”
Everywhere became calm.
“I am so sorry aunty. My baby died just this morning. I am happy he has gone to rest, he was usually very sick. I came here to clear my mind, so that I can live with a clear conscience. ”
She said in tears, her frantic voice sounded far away. My eyelids flutter for a few moments before I forced them open, my eyes were filled with tears.
To be continued..