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 non 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 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.”
“Morning Salma.”
“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….

Stay tuned for Episode 4….


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