Elijah couldn’t have been happier when Pearl said yes to him. He felt like lifting her up and swinging her round but Pearl didn’t look as excited as he was. “What could be wrong?” he queried himself. His lips drew apart revealing his white teeth when Pearl amidst tears said there was more to tell him. He calmed her down and told her to be free to tell him whatever it was that was bothering her. Pearl told him how she had been sexually promiscuous before her salvation. She met Christ during her first year on campus but not until she had done herself a lot of damage. It all started when she was thirteen years old, she was raped by her Stepfather. She couldn’t trust her mother, so she confided in her elder sister. It was her sister who took her for medical treatment. Back in secondary school, she was weighed down with inferiority complex; a desire to be appreciated and loved by her peers. She wanted to be popular and was advised to have a boyfriend. She started double dating in her senior classes. She found herself trying to please them in anyway (including with her body) no matter what it would cost her. Her Stepfather was not left out, that was the only way she could pay him back for her school fees which he usually provide.
She found out she was pregnant the month she gained admission into the University. She was confused because she had always played her games safe. To make matter worse, she wasn’t sure of the particular man responsible for the pregnancy. Was it Tope? Was it Ade? Was it her Stepfather? She couldn’t tell. She decided to put the blame on her Stepfather, after all he started it. She summoned the courage to tell her mother about it. Of course, no mother would be able to bear the shame of herself and her daughter being rivals. Her mother took her for an abortion which nearly claimed her life, it was so critical that her womb had to be removed. Oh what a life she had lived!
Elijah was dumbfounded for a while, he couldn’t believe his ears. How on earth would he get married to a lady who had used her body as a dumping ground for every Tom, Dick and Harry? Besides, she has no womb, there is no hope of having kids. That won’t be possible, after all he had kept himself a virgin, why couldn’t she? “To hell with marriage, to hell with you, it can’t work anymore” Elijah retorted. Pearl stood there in the park watching Elijah go away as the tears flowed down her cheek. ‘After all he has the right to be angry’, she thought. On a second thought, she found herself running after him, it was indeed a drama for all at the park that evening. In a moment, Pearl found herself on the floor; Elijah had pushed her hard as she tried to get hold of his hand. The event of that evening came fresh on Pearl’s mind as she welcomed a new set of tears. What a day!
Pearl was looking so dejected when she got home. At first, her friends stood staring at her as if she was a ghost sent on a mission. That would be the first time her problems would be written clearly on her face for anyone to see. Caro and Rita needed no prophet to tell them there was something wrong. They have to help Pearl regain her self again. Pearl had suddenly caught fever. Her friends did the best they could to comfort and cheer her up after she told them what transpired between her and Elijah that evening.
Night finally came; the three ladies went to their different beds. The house was unusually quiet that evening, normally they would have talked for some time before going to bed. Each of them lay quietly assuming the others were asleep. Each of them had thoughts which kept them awake. Pearl was busy bathing her pillow with tears because of Elijah, she tried calling his line but he kept ending her calls. Rita was entertaining herself with worry over the possible outcome of the interview with Babcob Plc scheduled for the next day. Caro was fantasizing about her future home as she is already developing strong feelings for Dele.
Dele was Caro’s ex-boyfriend in her secondary school. She had stumbled on him one afternoon in the supermarket (that was before Rita’s arrival). One look at Dele and you could tell he is a changed person (or so it seem). He was no longer mummy’s spoilt brat neither was he the dreaded guy anymore. Caro was happy when he told her of his new found faith (he is now a born again Christian). They exchanged contact that day and had been communicating for a while now. It seems he is the prince charming she had been waiting and praying for all this while as he is dark, tall, handsome, gentle and kind. “Their love must have been made from the creation of the world; no wonder their love is being rekindled” She had thought. He showers her with gifts and goes an extra mile just to make her happy. Just then her phone beeped, it’s a message from Dele. It reads “My treasure, I want to say a big thanks for bringing smile to my face once again; I pray this relationship grows beyond mere friendship; Sleep tight my beloved”. She hugged her pillow so tight to herself with so much joy after reading the text message. What is happening to her? She couldn’t explain it. She surely has to tell her friends that she has found the man of her dream. .
Click on Episode 4 to read.
Story by Christiana Okafor (nee Afeme)
photo credit: Google