That morning, my husband David came to pick me at the airport. He was dry faced and tensed, very unusual. Other times, David would be so excited to come pick me, he would kiss me and hug me passionately, but now, everything became different.
“You kept me waiting for hours in there,” I said, gazing angrily at him. “Don’t tell me it’s traffic honey, today is Saturday.”
“I am sorry, I had to pick the kids from summer lessons, and then rush to church to counsel a few couples.”He said soothingly. “You now prepare the kids for school, What happened to Ifeoma? She is the kid’s nanny.”
“And you are the kids mom!” He screamed suddenly. “You’ve been away from your family for 5months Ekom, the kids don’t even talk about you anymore.” David deliberately slowed his breathing in a bid to calm himself down.
I was silent for a while. My lips quivered, but David ignored that he saw tears glistening in my eyes.
Catching his eyes as he tried to look at me, I sensed a shiver of unease goes through him. He was right, I was away from my family for four months or more, I had women’s conference and hundreds of women to mentor in Houston. It was a moment I didn’t want to miss. Then I broke the silence; “What of Ifeoma?”
David looked uncertain. “she fell ill, so I asked her to go see Doctor Dennis.”
We were both quiet until we got home.
I sat on my bed now, I slipped off my slippers and sank my feet into the rug and decided to keep them sunk in so that my toes would feel cushioned. So that a part of me would feel safe.
“Mummy!” my daughter screamed, breathing deeply.
She smuggled into my arms and I grabbed her tight to myself.
“where is your sister?” I whispered into her ears.
“She is sleeping.”
Not long I heard tiny foot running along the corridor that led to my room. “mummy, mummy…” She jumped on me and kissed me on my cheeks, leaving me in the sweet comfort of motherhood.
They looked so healthy and chubby.
“what has Aunty Ifeoma and Daddy been feeding you with?”
“Golden mourn and banana porridge!” they chorused shrilly.
“Mummy, Church people said that you are no longer daddy’s wife.” My first daughter Teye said, her eyes became sad. Deep and sad.
“Aunty Ifeoma now sleeps in daddy’s room.” Mfon the youngest said.
My heart jumped, I knew at that moment, that there were stories In their eyes that I was yet to know.
I was still devastated with the thoughts of Ifeoma and my husband David. After I watched the kids sleep, I strolled into the kitchen to make myself a cup of tea.
Just after I poured the milk in a mug, I felt someone was in the kitchen too. I looked back, quickly surprised.
“Welcome Madam,” she said, almost stuttering.
I slowly poured the hot water from the flask into the mug, stirred it a bit and sipped.
Then I noticed a protruded stomach, she had tried to cover it with her handbag.
“Are you pregnant Ifeoma? you look it.” I asked in a soft tone.
Her expression was in earnest. “Yes madam, didn’t pastor tell you? I am pregnant for him, we are expecting a child.”
Her voice had a tremor in it, even though her face was bold and firm.
Her words were like the score of a sharpened blade across my heart. I sensed the wound gape open even before she’d finished speaking.
“You were sleeping with my husband while I was away?”
“I am sorry madam, I think pastor is in the best place to answer that question. it was an agreement.”
She said calmly and walked out of the kitchen, making a flappy sound with her shoes.
I stood there for moments like a mannequin, the tea cup in my hands, and then my eyes right at the door.
The sound of my ringing tone brought me back from the shock I had.
“Yes, Lizzy,” I responded with a sigh of relieve.
“Thank God I have been able to reach you, I have been dialing your American lines but not going through.” she sounded a bit terrified.
“well, I am back in Nigeria now. I came in this morning. Is everything fine?”
“Not at all, pastor brought your girl for maternity scan at my clinic last weekend. What’s that her name again?”
“Iyaaa, Ifeoma. I was shocked to see her all over him like they were lovers. What is happening?”
Tears rolled down my eyes as Lizzy went on talking about things that went on while I was away. Something flared deep in my eyes, but my lips remained sealed.
I was stricken silent, but the thud of my heartbeat sounded like cannon fire in my ears.
I wanted to talk to David. When I knew he was home I decided to go to our bedroom.
“May I come in?” My expression inscrutable, I walked into the room when I noticed that someone was having a bath, without waiting for a reply.
Then I saw David on the bed, he was almost half naked, partly covered with the duvet.
He stared at me, slightly muzzy headed after being woken abruptly.
“We have to talk,” I said, almost whispering.
“I know.” he said.
“Who is in the bathroom?”
“oh, it’s Ifeoma.”
“Ifeoma now uses our bathroom?” I looked at David and suddenly wished the look in his eyes meant guilt and shame.
“Yes. She is having my baby.”
“I am aware David. But why have you taken yourself so down?”
“I am a human being Ekom!” He said huskily, raising his voice.
“So I am what? Am I not a human being too? I went to America with the church’s name, with the family name. I went there to make a name for us! To get Hills of grace ministries a branch in Houston takes so many churches years, but I used my charisma, and did that in few months…..”
“What I mean is…..” He faltered. But my heart was going wild.
“let me finish!” I screamed!
Just after a pause, Ifeoma came out of the bathroom, she had my towel tied around her.
“Who gave you my towel?” I asked meanly.
“I did.” David replied.
“Ifeoma, why were you sleeping with my husband while I was away? You were paid to take care of the kids, and clean the house.” The look I gave and my voice tone practically froze the blood in her veins.
I walked steps by steps towards her, dragged the towel off her body, leaving her naked.
“Aunty please….” she whimpered.
“Did you remember all the good things I did for you and your family while you were having sex with my husband! did you?” I held her neck forcefully while David ran and held me backward.
They both sensed the tension in the room and ran out.
Slowly I let out the breath I was holding.
leaning back on the luxurious upholstery, I let a smile steal my lips like the sun peeping from behind the cloud. God was watching, and I needed to talk to him.
My mother-in-law visited.
I didn’t know why she came home that evening, but I had a feeling David might have told her that I was back from America.
After my father-in-law died some years ago, she took over the twelve branches of Hills of Grace Ministries. She accused every pastor in each branch for killing her husband and arrested every one of them.
Hills of Grace ministry used to be Church of Jesus Ministries, but she and her only son David (my husband) had the church changed with new pastors and members.
Georgina being a boss lady wanted everything to be done in her own way at all times.
The church members referred to her as the queen mother. She was bossy, overruling, and very authoritative.
“I heard you were back Ekom.” Her voice sounded slightly rough as though some unexpected emotions had partially locked her throat.
“Yes mom.” I replied softly.
“I came here for a lot of reasons. Number one; the congregation of Hills Ministries is tired of you. I am tired of you, my son is tired of you!” She said meanly in British accent.
“My husband never said that.”
“Does he need to say it? I am telling my son’s mind. He has been married to you for 12 years without a child of your own! We do not need adopted strange kids to come inherit my late husband’s sweat! He needs children, I need grandchildren. My son is not Abraham in the Bible! He is David Okoye, he is my son. not the son of Terah!”
Her stern visage hardly invited my confidence, but I was used to that.
“Those kids are my adopted kids, those girls you see? My husband and I agreed to adopt them together. They are our children. ”
“Go born yours! it’s either you gave birth to them or you didn’t! you are barren!
leave Ifeoma to have my grandchild in this house, in peace! After that, I will join them together in holy matrimony after she has put to birth.”
My heartbeat slowed inside my chest. As I turned to David who was momentarily stuck dumb.
“I am still married to my husband. We married i a church. He is a man of God.”
“David in the bible was a man of God, Solomon was a man of God. All these men were married to countless women. A man is entitled to as many wives as he wants. If you don’t agree, you can sign this.” She handed a paper to me, I knew what it was. But I didn’t touch it, I didn’t get it from her.
“I won’t sign for a divorce!” I said angrily as tears moistened my eyes.
“When you’re tired Ekom, you will sign and leave my son’s life!”
“It’s okay mom,” David said soothingly.
“She is my wife. She has the right to counter this. I know what I want. the church shouldn’t hear about this yet .” he said and stood to walk away.
Georgina flew from her seat and started to shout, her voice was unsteady.
“You know nothing! I warned you against marrying a Calabar woman, but you didn’t listen. you must do as I say! marry Ifeoma and let go of this demon!”
“Don’t talk to Ekom that way mom, she is still my wife!” David screamed!
The kids ran and hugged me so tight, they were so scared.
It was after Georgina left that I felt chilled by fear. It was the worse moment of my life.
That night I prayed that God should change things around for my good. That night, David came to my bed, while the kids were asleep.
He sneaked into the children’s bedroom while I was about to pray. The imagery of how he sneaked into Ifeoma’s room was now clear, but it didn’t hurt me anymore.
“Baby…..Please, can I see you?” He said as his voice trailed off.
I stood up gently and followed him to the sitting room. I found myself holding my breath, I folded my hands in my lap and waited.
“I have missed you, despite all of these. I am sorry for the way mom talked to you, she is only acting of concern for me. I am her only child.”
“So you are going to marry Ifeoma after she puts to birth?” I asked in a low tone. There was sadness in my eyes.
He pulled me close and began to kiss me softly.
“I feel like we are doing this for the very first time,” I admitted softly. My voice a broken whisper as I gave him my whole body. Now my limbs entwined with his, it was a joy unparalleled to have the freedom to slide my hands down that strong, lean back with its taut, well-developed muscles and silky skin, to feel the amazing well-defined mouth of his lip taste. It looked as if I was the husband snatcher, sneaking to make love to my madam’s husband in her comfort zone.
Kissing my tears away, David drove hard into my body and finally fell against me, his breathing harsh and his forehead lightly sheened with sweat. As the erotic scents from our skin mingled, it was time to go back to reality.
I was reminded again that my home was in a mess.
“Goodnight,” David whispered and left me in the warmness of the sitting room.
The next morning which was Sunday, the morning winds were swift. It began to drizzle. David and Ifeoma had left quite early. I drove the kids quietly to the church that morning.
“Mummy, is Aunty Ifeoma going to be our new mummy?” my youngest daughter Mfon asked girlishly.
“No darling. Jesus won’t let it happen. Whatever you don’t want in your life, ask Jesus to take it away .”
“Mummy, will Jesus take Aunty Ifeoma away from our house?” Teye asked.
“Yes Baby, Jesus will.” We were all basked in the feeling of calmness that overtook us.
After I dropped the kids at the children’s church, I stepped into the church auditorium. Everything changed, including my seat which was right beside my husband’s seat on the podium. My heart trembled, as I saw Ifeoma rightly seated on my space.
My legs began to shake in between with the choir’s ministration.
I shook my head like a crazy woman, my bottom lip quivering, I was trying not to cry anymore.
It was obvious that I was about to push off Ifeoma from my seat, and give her the beatings of her life. But the ushers held me.
“maama calm down.” they whispered in chorus.
My distress was genuine and heartfelt.
The cool air felt heavy against my bare arms, as if they were holding onto raindrops that were reluctant to fall. It was a cold Sunday evening, I sat comfortably under the comfort of my children’s duvet, while I watched them sleep. Then I heard familiar voices in the sitting room. David and Ifeoma were back from church.
“Don’t worry, she won’t do anything to you. Take off your jacket, let’s go inside.”
David instructed, serious-facedd as they entered the sitting room. Ifeoma sat quietly on the couch. Her heart skipped a bit when she saw me appear in the sitting room, immediately she sensed my watchful eyes, she became bold and confident.
“You should let me be please madam Ekom. it is not my fault that pastor wants me.” she said in a shaky tone.
“Get prepared for where God will be taking you to Ifeoma. Very soon, you will be so ashamed of yourself, God has revealed to me how such a day will be.”
“And I hope he also revealed to you that I have finally agreed to divorce you Ekom. You and your adopted kids should start packing.” David said, he didn’t look directly at my face.
I flew on the center table firmly and slapped him twice on the face.
” You and your adulterous lover will leave this house of my sweat for me and my children. I toiled with you! prayed that we grow together. I carried the sands of this house on my head, which led to my first and last miscarriage!
Go to hell with your divorce paper, I am God’s own woman, I detest divorce. I will be patient. Go to hell with your church! with your lover! shame on you two! ” I snapped at them, I was throwing curses at them. Tears rolled down my cheeks, I made choking sounds as I walked angrily into the room. A film of sweat coated my entire body like a second skin.
The silence was broken only by the whir of the ceiling fan as it sliced through the still air.
David sat down and slowly lowered his head into his hands.
“Ekom, unbelievable. You mean David said these words to you?”
Pastor Felix asked. He has been David’s childhood friend since the days of theological school. He founded a big church and had a large congregation too. Pastor Felix was a mature looking man, who had grey hairs and wore round spectacles at all times. He was a learned man of God who was highly respected. He was also the president of Pastors Forum.
“How can a church as big as Hills ministries condone such sinful act from their pastor? I am so disappointed to hear this. What did Lady Georgina say about this?” He asked in a baritone voice.
My eyes were heavy, and I was trying so hard to control tears from running out again.
“It’s okay Ekom. I am really sorry. I need you to pray seriously now. You are a strong woman.” he said as he patted my back softly.
“I am holding a pastor’s meeting for this reason by tomorrow.” He said authoritatively.
My nerves bit with frustration and tension. I was so ashamed that my marriage was going to be discussed the next day at pastor’s forum.
Abigail stared at me right in the face, as I narrated all that has been happening to me.
She is my immediate younger sister, who is a stunt feminist and very independent.
“Sis, why did you tell him that you will be patient? you should have granted the divorce and become free.” Abigail clucked and sighed loudly.
“I am people’s mentor and role model. A lot of young women in the church look up to me. I have to live a life worth emulating. What will people say if I get divorce and still stand on the church podium to preach marriage and love?” I asked looking at her like I demanded a pity.
“This is what you women always say. Last week in Ibadan, a lady called Modupe was brutally beaten by her husband, she died.” Her voice got a bit emotional as she continued.
“She didn’t tell anyone of what she was going through. She thought things were going to change. She thought that one day Jesus was gonna come down and rescue her, or stop her husband from beating her. ”
“David has never beaten me.” I cut in.
“What difference does it make? It’s same story. Instead of filing for a divorce you think he is going to leave that girl and come back to you, while he is still under the manipulations of that witch called his mother! give me one reason why you think things will change positively?”
“because I have a God who is bigger than all my problems. He will sort this out. I don’t know how he is gonna do it, but he will.”
“For how long? Don’t forget that you are my only sister. Since mama and papa died, I haven’t recovered. please walk away sis. I don’t want to lose you.”
For just a moment, I saw such an unfettered emotions in my sister’s eyes, she was almost at the verge of tears and then immediately gets back to herself when she heard the kids scream her name.
“Aunty Abigail!” The both of them jumped on her like puppies as she pecked them on their foreheads excitedly.
“Aunty Abigail, mommy and daddy are fighting,” Mfon said shrilly.
“Daddy has a new mummy and Grandma said we are adopted children.” Teye said innocently.
Perhaps it was then that I began to feel submerged in hazy nostalgia. A feeling that never left me.
“Aunty Abigail, what is adoption?”
“Adoption means to be given birth to my darling. ” Abigail replied in a shaky tone. Her countenance changed as she cuddled the kids gradually.
Moments later, David stormed the house with few of the choir boys and young pastors in church, none of them greeted my sister nor I.
We watched them remove boxes and shoes from the bedroom, while David held Ifeoma’s luggage in his arms like a baby.
My chest grew tight with trepidation.
I remembered our vows,
I remembered the way he held my hands and said to me that ours will be for better for worse.
I remembered the way he preached, the way he talked about God, the way I stood and nodded in support of my husband.
I remembered the last time we made love.
I remembered his cold dark eyes, how he glanced at me and kissed me so passionately.
For twelve years, I loved him wholeheartedly, prayed with him, and prayed for him.
I remembered my sweat, the evangelism, how I convinced people to join the church so we could make a large congregation.
These thoughts made a shiver run down my spine. I became sick instantly, as Abigail, the kids and I watched him break our wedding frame. He ordered the boys to burn them into ashes.
“David you are a bastard! man of God my foot! years back, you almost died when my sister refused to marry you. Now look, the devil has knocked your head again!” Abigail screamed.
But David acted like none of us existed. His eyes were hardened. The cool breeze that kissed my soft skin brought me back to reality.
“My lawyer is going to bring part of the money in our family account to you. I am no more interested in this marriage.” David said huskily as he tried to wipe the sweat on his forehead, he said these words so lightly like it meant nothing.
“You will regret this! you will suffer! my God will punish you!” Abigail’s comment instigated a train of thought that instantly perturbed him.
“I am a man of God.” he retorted.
“You are a man of doom! Your greedy mother made you a pastor so that her husband’s ministry won’t be controlled by strangers. You should have been a Monkey!” Abigail’s voice raised, as the kids laughed in unison.
He stared sternly at me and the kids for another ten seconds, sighed and walked away.
“Mummy, where is Daddy going?”
“To hell! he won’t ever come back. ” Abigail replied with a frowned face.
“Where is hell Aunty Abigail?” Teye asked.
But Abigail didn’t respond. She walked gently and sat right beside me. Cuddling me like a baby.
“all will be well adiaha eka.” she said, almost whispering.
Five months passed, and all I did was fast and pray that God turns things around for my good.
Bitter resentment crawled inside of me, making my anger boil as it seemed as if God wasn’t listening.
The next day was a program in church organized by International pastors wives the themed was tagged “when women pray.”
“You should go mummy. I will take care of Teye” my first daughter said as if she was a grown woman already.
I tickled her armpit in a funny way and she laughed, a hearty girlish laugh that showed her gap tooth.
“Mummy do me too,” Teye said, lifting her two small hands up.
I stared at the two of them excitedly in amazement.
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 a 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 louvers.
And while the ministration was still going on, a young lady dressed in the 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 gulps 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 brows 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 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 an 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.
a 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 mentioned 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.
I remember the pain in her eyes more than anything else.
Then I remembered the pains I went through when my husband left me for her.
I imagined her in bed with David, I imagined him kissing her and making love to her.
I thought to myself, what if the baby was his, what if the baby wasn’t SS genotype? What if?
Then she wouldn’t have been here kneeling right in front of me. She wouldn’t have been preparing for the wedding, happily preparing to marry David. Bitter resentment crawled inside of me, making my anger boil.
Part of me wanted to just beat her up, scream obscenities at her, and send her out of the house.
Then the other part wanted to forgive her and let her go.
Then my heart reminded me that God rewrote my story, it was up to me to make it beautiful.
When I finally tried to recollect myself, breaking away from the hurtful thoughts that I had been in. I took a good look at Ifeoma, my fist literarily clenched.
“You can go now, I have forgiven you.” A strangles sob escaped my mouth.
There was this new countenance that suddenly appeared on her face. She rose immediately and hugged me.
Lizzy stared at us like she was about to cry. While Teye had slept off on the couch long ago.
“you are a good woman” Lizzy whispered, almost in tears.
It began to rumble softly.
“I have to go now, madam. Usman is waiting for me.” She said in a light tone.”
“You saw him?” I asked, looking amazed.
” yes, I found him.” She said, almost whispering.
We both left each other’s arms as she walked into the rain. The moment I opened the door, a gust of cold wind heralds in and nips at my cheeks. Rain splattered into the house, so I quickly shut the door.
“It is well. I suspected Georgina was right behind all of this.”
“I suspected too. But I don’t still blame her. David was never man enough to have his own choice and say no to his mother. he always did what she wanted.”
I said, sitting carefully on the couch.
“mummyyyyy.” Teye cried out, her tiny voice rumbled. Lizzy cuddled her a bit and carried her in her arms, waiting for the rain to stop so that she can go back home.
“I need food!” I cried out, sitting upright. My heart pounded endlessly as if I just finished a race, and the breathing was hard.
I shivered at the external coldness, but I was warm inside. Lizzy rushed to the kitchen to make dinner, I then realized that I was really pregnant.
Click this link for the concluding parts of the soul-lifting story written by Vicky Bon Uzuazor >>> http://bit.ly/2s7MjoV