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.”
“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.