I was pregnant for Deji, my senior pastor! Affliction has risen the second time. He impregnated my best friend five times, here am I again, pregnant for him. A pregnancy I cannot be proud of. A pregnancy of shame and reproach. Would I start the journey of abortion too like Stella? How did I get myself into this mess? Who will I confide in? My friend whom I could talk with had wandered into a land of the unknown. This was the worst time of my life.
What will happen to my pride? Who will I tell that my pastor who could not impregnate his wife for over ten years was responsible for my pregnancy? Who will believe me? He has sent away Stella to only God knows where. Now it is me. I was afraid to tell Deji I was pregnant because of fear of abortion. I know he will surely ask me to abort it. What will I do now? I won’t run away like Stella, I will face the consequences of my foolishness. For months I kept the pregnancy away from him. I didn’t let him know about it. I will inform the church elders when I am five months gone. The evidence of the pregnancy would have been obvious then. But Deji was smarter, he discovered my pregnancy and began to interrogate me. When it was clear I could no longer hide the pregnancy from him, I told him. I was expecting him to ask me what we will do next but I was disappointed. He began to rejoice, he danced around the house for close to thirty minutes.
What is the meaning of this? Why is he happy about a shameful pregnancy? Is he going to ask me to keep it? How will he tell the church council? What will he tell his wife? What will happen to his pastoral work? All these thoughts ran through my mind.
Deji had it all planned out. He wants me to keep the pregnancy. This time he doesn’t want an abortion, he wants the baby. He has been childless for more than ten years so I can relate. Does it mean you will marry me as your second wife or you will make me your baby mama and dump me? I asked him. Mercy, my people says “obirin toba bimo fun ni ni aya eni”….. “A woman who gives you a baby is your wife”. He took his phone and dialed his sister’s line who lives in Kabba town in Kogi state and they talked for almost an hour. Deji is from Odokoro Gbedde, a small village close to Kabba town.
Two days later, I got an alert of N100, 000 on my phone. It was from Deji. I called him immediately to know what the money was meant for? Has he changed his mind, does he now want an abortion? I was curious. “I will be with you today in the evening to explain”, he said. That evening, I waited till 10pm, I didn’t see him and that increased my agitation. He sent me a text at about 10:40, “sorry I won’t be able to come again tonight, I will see you tomorrow morning. Good night my love”
Who is his love? This is his first time of addressing me as “my love”.
Very early in the morning the following day, Deji drove in and looking excited. “Arrange your things, you are living for Kabba tomorrow”, he said. Initially I thought it was a joke, but he was damn serious. He started putting my things together without delay. I have spoken to my sister in Kabba and they’re anxious to receive you. My mum will join her in Kabba to take care of you and the baby when you put to bed. The money I sent to your account is for the baby things. It will be better if you can buy them here in Lagos before leaving and that’s why I am this early. I stood there starring at him like a robot. How will you make all these plans without carrying me along? You are too selfish Deji. “What do I tell them in my working place when you know I need to give them three months notice before leaving…” he broke in “…or you forfeit a month salary right?”. I will send N75,000 into your account by month end to make up for the salary for this month.
I left for Kabba the next day, it was a long and stressful journey, considering my condition. I left without informing anybody in church, not even my choir members. What will I even tell them? But soon they will start calling me to know my whereabout, so I decided to change my line. I removed my sim card from my phone and destroyed it. I got a new sim immediately and called Deji to let him know the new number. When I arrived Kabba, the reception was wow. I wouldn’t have ask for a better treatment. His sister was so happy seeing me. She speaks a little of Yoruba mixed with their dialect. Having stayed in Lagos for more than twenty years, I speak Yoruba like Oni of Ife but I had some problem understanding everything she says. She could understand everything I say but I have to use discretion to decode some of the words in Kabba language.
The treatment I got in Kabba began to wipe away my sorrows and pains. I don’t do anything than to eat, sleep, watch films and browse. Something kept telling me this treatment will be cut short when I put to bed but I disregarded the thought.
A Story By Ayodele Adeoye