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.
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.
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.
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.
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.