DIARY OF A PASTOR’S WIFE
My mother inlaw 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 inlaw 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 everyone 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 bossy don 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 grand child 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 in 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 Calaber 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 were 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 to 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 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 over took 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 faced 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 pegged 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.
To be continued…..
Watch out for Episode 3….