PASTOR’S WIFE DIARY… PART 2

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. 

“Yes Doctor” 

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. 

Silence. 

More silence. 

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. 
Lizzy shrugs. 

“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.

Red glowing eyes stared back at me, and I tried to see clearly who it was. Metal claws closed over my forearm tightly, and I whimpered. Then I noticed he looked like David, the man with the red eye had his height and shape of his head. Then the strange being suddenly turned into my mother inlaw. The fear finally began to set in as my heart pumped. 

“Ekomobong!” Her deep voice rumbled and echoed at the same time. 

I woke up immediately sitting upright in shock, it was a dream. The bed was soft under me, but the covers were thickly hot. I was sweating through my pyjamas shirt. I looked at the other bed, Teye was sleeping peacefully wrapped in her pink mickey mouse duvet. My heart eased a bit, I kept repeating in my head that it was only a nightmare. 

“Mummy are you okay?” Mfon asked, her voice was soft and tender, I held her into my arms. 

“”yes, I am fine my love.”  I said as I pulled her under the sheet and covered her up. 

The feeling that overcame me was wondrous and terrifying.  
I wanted to stay underneath the sheet, I wanted to sleep through the entire time, but when I checked the time, it was almost 6AM. I woke up hastily to pray, then made breakfast of fried plantain and eggs for the kids. when I heard the door bell ring my heart skipped, I wasn’t expecting anyone. 

I didn’t hear the sound of any car horn or anyone knock at the gate. How did this person pass through the gate? 

I tiptoed towards the window to see who it was, I slid the curtain a bit and my heart trembled at the mere sight of people I saw. Should I say they were in thirty, forty or fifty? 

I thought they were arm robbers sent by Georgina to come attack me and the kids. I wanted to dial the police, but my instincts wasn’t sure. 

Then I saw pastor Jerry, Pastor Ephraim, Akintola and the rest of them whom David mentored. 

“What do y’all want?” I asked in a loud Tone, but boldly. 

“Good morning maama.” they all greeted in Unison. There was a murmur. Pastor Jerry stood out from the crowd. 

“Mamaa please pastor sent us to you.” Jerry said softly. 

“I am ready for the divorce now, he doesn’t need to send the whole church to come beg me for a divorce.” 
They began to murmur. 

“No ma, he is asking for your forgiveness.” They all knelt in unison. But my heart became hardened. I gently closed the curtains and walked back slowly to the kitchen. 

“Forgive?” I repeated in a panic whisper, a tear falling down my cheek.

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.

The kids looked out of the window as we drove into our new compound. 

“Our new house is fine mommy.” Teye whispered faintly. 

“yes it is.” 

I loved that the house was far from the main road. I loved that it was far from all the bright lights and noise, far from anyone who knew David. The estate securities were excitedly sociable. 

“Wehcome madam oh….yor shilren are too bitifu.” they said excitedly in different tones as they opened the main 

“thank you.” I said calmly. 

As we alighted from the car, the sight of our new house was peaceful and fascinating to look at. 
The walls were made of brisks. And they were coconut trees flanking on the front yard. 

The kids and I began to pack out our boxes and food stuffs from the car. 

“mommy, this place is far from school.” Mfon broke the silence. 

“You won’t be schooling there anymore. I will register you and your sister at a new school here on the mainland.” I said with a serious face. I didn’t look at their faces. 
I knew that they were not happy to leave their former school, but it didn’t matter to me anymore. All I wanted was a private new life. 

****

The next morning, I woke up with a headache, and a light fever. 
The air conditioner was on but I felt warm and sticky, I was sweating terribly. 
Switching on the bedside lamp I looked at the other bed, the kids were sleeping. 

I was about to go back to sleep when my phone buzz under the pillow. 

I tried to ignore the call and get some more  sleep. A sleepy sigh floating up to the ceiling of the bedroom, but the phone rang again, and when I reluctantly check who the caller was, it turned out to be Lizzy. 

“Hello?” I said in low tone. 

“Ekom, where have you been?” 

” I left the Island last evening.” 

” oh God. my nurses said you’ve not been coming to the hospital for your antenatal.” 

“Well, I was never comfortable coming to your clinic for antenatal, I never want David or anyone who knows me to see me with my baby bump.” I said girlishly. 
Lizzy laughed out so loud over the phone. 

“Talking of David. He walked into my office with some bunch of holy bishops yesterday and demanded to see you. I told him that I am not your keeper. but he didn’t believe me. He said that he went to the house, and discovered that everywhere was empty and locked up. I never knew you were planning to leave, are you leaving for America soon? 

“not so soon. I will be planning for my visa tomorrow. I should be leaving before my third trimester.”

“I will see you before weekend then.” 

” okay dear. But please don’t come here with anyone.” 
Lizzy laughed and hung up the call. 

I couldn’t go back to sleep anymore. I thought of reporting David to the police for publicly harassing me, I wanted him to stay off my life forever.

I began to slightly calm down and nodding my head. I took a deep breath before answering all the questions the police men asked, my heart was beating like I was facing my worse fears. 

“Madam you say na this pastor dey disturb you?” the awkward looking police officer asked, he was holding David’s photograph in his hands. 

“yes, he harasses me everywhere I go. last week, he stalked me at my daughters school.”

“na tiv him be.” another police officer said. 

“no. na kidnappers dey follow people like that, when they know that you get fine motor, they follow you everywhere. ”

“madam, do you know the man or where he lives.” another officer asked. 

“he is my ex husband.” I said, my voice faltered as I brought my head down a bit. 

The police officers looked at me with their mouth wide open. 

“You mean am madam?” 

“yes. My ex husband ”

“so Una wan carry Una family affairs come station abi?” 

“oga please, that shouldn’t be your business. All I want is for you people to stop this man from bothering me and my children.” I said furiously. 

“is okay madam. you go give us moni for fuel wey we go drive go him church go warn am well, well. money for pure water, money wey we go use buy gala hold belle and pocket money for the boys.” he reeled off, as he smiled with his brown tooth wide open.  

I dipped my hands into my handbag and brought out clean notes, counted it roughly and gave to one of them. 

He smiled widely and got the money excitedly. 
“madam go, your problem is over. This man will never ever bother you again. Go and sleep with your two eyes close.” 

“thank you oga.” I said. I felt a sudden urge to smile, but didn’t. I walked out hastily. 
I melted into my car seat like a bulb of ice cream. 
While I drove home that afternoon to pick the kids from their new school, I felt something so powerful.
Love. Broken love. like a dying sun about to explode. 

******

“Tell me about your new teacher. Have you two made new friends yet?” I asked the kids excitedly, as I drove them home from school. 

“the school is boring mommy.”

“They don’t have a play tree. ” Teye retorted with a frown. 

“You will get use to it soon.” I said calmly. 

I was almost approaching the house when my phone rang. Mfon picked the call and pressed the Speaker button. 

“Ekom there is problem.” Lizzy said, she sounded terrified and worried. 

“What is it?” I asked, my voice trembling. 

“I just got a call from pastor Akintola that some police men badged into David’s office and almost Tortured him to dead.” 

The kids began to shiver as Lizzy continued. 

“he was rescued by some pastors. According to what I heard, he was warned never to go after you again. Why are you involved in this Ekom?” She asked sadly.

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