You know, there's a huge difference between who we are, who we think we are, who they think we are and who we should be. People usually expect too much from us. They want us to become angels while we still wear flesh. Our mothers want us to take care of them and make them proud. That's great, but were we there to check on them too? Did they make us proud in their youths?
I think, what's important in everyone's life is living the right, not because, people think it's right. Men would always judge you with their eyes first. Our lives are beyond what we show. Sometimes, what we do are not what we planned; and what we plan are not what we do. Some of us are good from the start, but they ended up unfortunately with people of 'No good'. Life is a jurney: loads are carried, loads are dropped, friends are made, friends are lost, but what matters is who and what makes it to the end.
I know what most of you think of me now. I am not here to defend myself and say that, you're thinking wrongly. I'm a harlot, a gold digger, a pretender, and what else? A liar? Even as I stand here, camera at my face, friends at the fence and dirt on my white lace, I know that, I could be everything, but not a liar.
What's the lie?
The love I had for Frank or the fact that I was a virgin when I met him?
Where's the lie?
The part that I said that, I'm a Christian?
Wasn't I? Most of you know my beginning. You knew my parents. Why didn't you ask them? Why have you chosen to stand there and judge me without hearing me out?
Do you think, I enjoy this? Do you know what it feels like watching your life with your own eyes like a movie, shutting down and you can do nothing about it? I've had my own taste of pains too. I cried all through the night asking myself, who did I do wrong? Where did I go wrong? Truly, I'm too young for this.
How can you all do this to me? Here I am, standing and shrinking like a crayfish burnt in fire, wasted by my own making, and all you do is stand and judge. It's fine. I accept my fate. I accepted it before. This life indeed, moves in circles. I'd been here once, but then, it wasn't a condition, it was a choice. I had options; I could have said 'no', I had my voice.
Yesterdays, they say, won't be again, but where is tomorrow formed? Does it just emerge from nowhere? Nothing in this life just appears. Everything we see is a product of either a calculation or miscalculation. Before, it is a mistake; afterwards, it comes back as a consequence.
Growing up, filled with promises of better life, I was seen as that little girl life chose to favour. Indeed, I had everything: rich parents, a godly environment, a positive motive and God? Well, I wasn't sure if I had Him too. Maybe, I had Him, but I lost Him when and where I don't know.
I had always hoped for a shame-free life; a life filled with dignity and fulfillment. Though beautiful, I chose to keep myself untouched. I wanted my virginity to be a surprising gift for my husband...whoever. I was tempted too, but I fought it. Severally, I got invitations to offers that were rare. People offered me free jobs, money, helps and even more, just in exchange for my pride.
“What?” I would say to them...“My pride is worth than what you have. It is natural and can't be bought. I'm not giving it to any of you for anything.”
They won't just go. They'd stay back, look into my eyes and say: “Natural things can be bought. Trees and leaves, fruits and foods, water and rocks, are all natural, but we buy them. Money gets everything, everyone and everywhere.”
Truly, sometimes, I'd lose words. There is always truth in what they say. This is a modern world; a world where virginity makes no sense anymore. No one, not even your husband would value your virginity in this our world. Every natural thing can be bought. Even love can now be acquired by some filthy currencies. But, I don't give up. I choose to keep my head up and refuse what they offer.
Lost for words, I'd decide to say nothing. I'd just take off and run far away where they'd neither see me nor reach me. Running is not every time, cowardice. True strength is not seen when you fight; it is seen when you win. It doesn't matter how that winning comes.
As a girl, I was taught not to stand exchanging words with any guy, trying to defend my beliefs. They usually sound convincing and convicting, so does every tempter. I then, learnt a new method: to keep the conversation simple.
“Pretty girl, I'd love us to...”
“I'm not interested”, and then, I'm out.
At first, it made me look weird. I got many insults and a few names. Even my fellow girls saw me as a village girl, but it all paid out. Soon, guys became scared of me, and so started avoiding me. Just like the ladies, guys have a league. They meet there to discuss the nature of every lady and decide methods of getting to her. No method seemed to work on me, none ever did.
It was like a new life for me. A life with no worries and no lord. It was the kind of life that everyone would pray for, yet only a few would reach for. What was it a guy would want to offer me? Money? My parents were alive and they weren't poor. Happiness? Love? Pleasures? Company? These are the things they promise, but underneath, these are the things they deprive you.
I kept enjoying my loneliness until it grew worse. My parents died, both the same day. They were on Enugu-Onitsha Expressway, heading down to our residence here when they were involved in a mild clash that took their lives. The driver of the lorry so squeezed their Toyota Camry that all that was left of them was their bones.
Watching them die, I realized that no one is worthy to be entirely hoped on. I built my everything on them, and when they were left, those things started crashing. Feeding became difficult, living became almost impossible. Everyone then, started turning their backs on me. Everyone, except my four friends.
“We are here with you. You're not alone on this”, said Anny a week after my parents' burial.
“But, how will I survive? How will I eat? How will I live? Who will provide for me, everything they provided? Who?” My tears that evening knew no bounds.
“And, it is true. Girls, come to think of it. The death of her parents is really bad. Are you sure she can walk through this?” came Nelly. No one ever really enjoyed her company. Her pessimism had since birth, become alarming and she wasn't willing to fix it.
“What is wrong with you? Is that how you comfort a friend? If she can't walk through it, can you walk through it? Must you be stupid every time?” Anny fired. She was usually my defender.
“Sometimes, I wonder if she thinks through her ass”, Stella added. Everyone attacked Nelly that night. There was only one person who won't attack her and that's Kate. She wouldn't even ever attack anyone. She's always quiet, thinking, planning, scheming and many other things that she did inside.
Somehow, Nelly was right. Survival for me during that period was entirely hard and almost impossible. I started considering being in a relationship. At first, I wanted a godly one, that would not demand for sex, but where would you see it? Within a week of saying 'yes', they're already seeking for bed-pleasure. If you refuse to bend over, the relationship would be over.
I even met a Pastor. His name was Chris and he said, he loved me.
“I Love you too”, I replied and I meant it. I felt safe in his relationship. I had seen him preach and he was sound. He healed the sick, cast out demons and raised a few dead, yet, he had time for love. He promised to marry me and make me the mother of his children. I was happy and I felt blessed. So, the relationship started.
The first, second and third weeks of our walk was without pressure. We only talked about the scriptures whenever we met, and sometimes, he'd pray for me and make me speak in tongues.
However, the Tuesday of the fourth week took a different shape. After the Bible study in his church, I followed him to his apartment as I usually did to have a few friendly chats with him.
“Come in”, he invited and I stepped in without a second thought. Why would I think twice? Was he not a pastor? Was he not filled with the Holy Ghost? I never even told him about my 'No Premarital Sex' decision. I believed, we had the same dream.
“Sit”, he offered again, and he walked inside the kitchen to get something for me. I looked beautiful in my short red gown, but I tried my best to hide my laps that were already forcing their way out.
“So, tell me about yourself”, he requested while we ate. Somehow, I wasn't sure about what he wanted to hear, but I decided to start from the normal.
“Okay”, I smiled, dropping the spoon and swallowing the leftovers of the porridge in my mouth.
“My name is... Well, you already know. My parents are dead. They died just a year and some months ago. I was their only child and...”
“Are you a virgin?” he dropped. It came like a bombshell. Such topics were not supposed to be raised between opposite sexes behind closed doors, but since he was a pastor, I didn't see much threats.
“Yes, I am”, I simply put.
“Wow!”, he exclaimed rising to his feet. I started swimming in discomfort, especially when I saw him walking around me smiling. I checked my laps, they weren't showing. I had drawn the elastic gown down till it covered me down to my knees.
“Look!” he said, pointing at my chest.
Oh God! When did this happen? My breasts were outside. They had slipped, and it wasn't my fault.
“Sorry”, I muttered and pushed them back in.
“Don't be scared”, he assured, “you are my wife-to-be. There's really nothing to hide.”
There isn't? Soon, his hands were all over me. He raced them through me like a professional, scaling from place to place, but fortunately, I managed to escape with a torn dress.
I decided not to say it to someone else, but that was the end for us. He was an animal, most men are. No wonder most ladies would condemn Pastors. The profession is not the problem, but the 'professors'. If the body is dirty, the cloth won't be safe.
As a compensation perhaps, a genuine man came to me. Even before I knew him, I had loved him. He was very decent, handsome, rich and godly. He was that very man I waited for.
“I Love you”, I had said to him the second time we met. Which girl does that? I fell for him and he was happy, I did.
Frank was a shy type. He couldn't even express himself before me. All he knew how to do was to smile. His parents were rich and they loved me too.
“Would three cows be enough for the guests?” We were already discussing our wedding the first month of our meeting.
“It depends on their number. I think, I'd prefer if we'd have more than to less than.”
“I agree, but I hate waste. Meat is not everything”, he added.
I became very comfortable with him and he too, with me.
Who said, there was no perfect man?
I guess, such person is yet to tour the world. Perfection is not being without mistakes. It is the decision not to live in them. In relationships, a perfect man is that one you accept with everything within you. Even when he wrongs you, you'd find yourself battling with yourself in his defense. Frank was that man. Sometimes, I wish I had met him earlier. He made my life meaningful and made me see reasons to live. I think, people commit suicide because they lack love. If you start living to love, you'd start loving to live.
“If everywhere was painted in red, and you and I in the center, what a world that would be?”
“Oh, come on Frank, your fantasies are getting to me,” I laughed as though I wasn't fantasizing too.
I shared the same dreams with him. The other day, I saw the both of us wedding. He was in his white suit, I was in my white gown and we were standing before the entire congregation of the ACR Chapel.
The background was very solemn, the witnesses watched in expectation and even the priest stood in awe. I kept on staring at him as his face kept twinkling like the star. I felt somehow, the urge to lift my head towards his and plant a kiss on his lips, but that wasn't just time yet.
“In the name of God, I, take you, to be my husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, until we are parted by death. This is my solemn vow.” There were shouts everywhere.
He said his own in tears. I saw my parents stand in the congregation with pride in their eyes. Yes, I saw them. Mum was in her favorite pink Ankara gown with beads all over and dad appeared in his costly Ankara Senator wear.
“You can now kiss your...”
Before the priest was through with his sayings, I had already locked my lips in his. It was supposed to be for five seconds or less, but what? My day? With this happiness? At five minutes, we were still beginning to get deeper. Everyone wanted to take a picture. Only few had witnessed such bliss. Soon, he lifted my other leg and I was standing on one. The kiss got so intense that the priest grew both impatient and jealous.
“That's enough!” he cried.
“Hold on! It's her day!” dad cheered.
If only dreams were real. I woke up that day and it was 04:00am. Such dreams usually happen in silent nights and perhaps, holy ones too.
The winds of comfort was now what carried me. I had friends, interesting friends, a husband, a job and yes! A very big God.
I brought out a day to spend with my mates.
“I won't be on that bridal train.” That was Nelly. You might have met her before if you're listening.
“Why?” I asked.
“What type of insult is that? I should be on your bridal train? What happened to the high table?”
“You can be on both then.” We laughed. Everyone, apart from her.
“Wait a minute. Are you truly serious?” Anny asked. We all thought she was joking.
“Am I a joke to you? We've been friends with this girl and we've been standing with her through thick and thin. Now, she wants to get married and her head is puffed up. I guess, it's because, she's the first amongst us,” she said and walked away.
I tried getting to her but she ran so fast. I felt bad. It was hard to believe that one of my friends would be jealous of my little blessing. They all might have had boyfriends and might be enjoying themselves. I only chose not to date, and now, I have a husband. What's my offense?
“Leave her baby girl. If she wants to leave, she can. It's good you know your stand. Some are friends, but they habor hatred inside,” said Anny trying to comfort me.
“But, why would she start showing her jealousy now?” Stella wondered.
Again, one person was silent and that was Kate.
“You're not saying anything?” Anny asked her.
“What should I say? Girlie, I'm happy for you. If there's anything you'd love us to do, call me. Happy wedding,” she replied, and walked off too.
“Oh God, what's happening to all my friends?” I cried. That seemed to be the beginning of my end.
“Don't worry, we're still here for you. Always,” Anny said, and truly, they were. Stella at my left and Anny at my right, soon, I felt a new comfort. I decided not to call neither Kate nor that jealous one, Nelly.
Two weeks later, I woke up to seeing Kate's call.
“Don't pick it?” Anny advised, because, I slept in her house that day. She was my best friend and the only one I could rely on.
The phone rang thrice and stopped.
“Why would she be calling me now?” I asked, confused.
“What? Are you surprised?” Anny asked, getting off the bed.
“I don't think, 'Surprise' is the right word. I'm just confused.” For no reason, there I sat in my night wear, I was feeling something terrible, but I didn't know what.
“Don't be. Any blessing you can't run against, you run to. She wants to beg. I know her friend, Nelly would call soon. Don't mind them, they're hypocrites,” Anny replied and went to the bathroom to get herself light.
Kate didn't seem jealous to me. She looked perhaps, angry or misunderstood, I don't know. These girls had been my friend when I had no friends, but now...
Kate's father and mine were both friends. We knew ourselves through our fathers, and they loved seeing us together.
“Looking at your daughter and mine, I'm beginning to think that, my wife may have cheated on me with you.” Dad once joked.
“Why? Why would you say that?” Kate's father returned, pretending to be serious.
“Don't try to appear serious, I'm not scared of your face. Your daughter and mine look like a twin.”
“If they're a twin, how's that from me? When my wife usually calls you her husband, I thought she was only trying to be friendly. Now, you have given her a twin and she had returned one to me as a compensation.”
“My friend, watch your words or I'll punch you.” The conversation started heating up and the little us were both watching in confusion. Although we were friends, our dads were still in our hearts. If anything like fight had ensued, I'd have ensured that Mr. Tom's trouser would be in rags. They were now standing head-to-head and their fists were clinched. My heart then, was already beating fast and I trust that Kate's was too. Suddenly, they unfolded the fists and turned them into friendly handshakes.
Mum had once complained about how they often crack expensive and adult jokes. Saying that mum cheated was an insult, although, I can't really say who she is...was. They wouldn't even mind the presence of their innocent children. Innocent? Were we really innocent? Behind their backs, we cracked ours too.
“See how short your father is... Can he even father me?” I loved starting first.
“So, who can father you? That man with big tummy like a pregnant woman and a big head like a kwashiokor patient? Truly, he's not your father. Check yourself and check him. Are you as ugly as he is or do you talk so stupidly as he does?”
“Hmmmmm. Okay oooo. Let's play a game.” I also loved stopping first. Kate won't ever know how to joke. Fear any girl that always appears quiet. She piles up words, such that, when she's triggered, it'd be hard for her to be quenched.
We had our fights too. Sometimes, we dragged the television remote controls of our houses. In all, we were fun together: butter and bread.
“What has gone wrong now?” I asked aloud.
Was it Nelly? She seemed like, she never loved me, but how come we were friends?
“Hey!” that was Anny standing like a frustrated Agama lizard.
“What?!” I frowned.
“Do you know how long I've been here calling you?”
“Three hours.” Till today, I don't know if she meant that lie. How would I know? I hadn't checked the time since I woke. So, all we had to do was to laugh it out.
I was still there with my mouth wide open when her phone rang and she excused herself to go pick it up because, the music she turned on was so loud in the room.
“Uhhhhhmmm...Baby girl, something just happened right now.” she said when she came back, with her face rumpled like a parboiled blouse. Her face looked scary to me and I became worried.
“What happened?”, I stood up.
“Is mummy dead?”
“No.” Her face was still not showing any hope.
“Is daddy dead?”
She shook her head in the negative.
“Who's dead?!” I was now furious.
“Nobody is dead. It's actually a goodnews for us. Tonight is for party!” she announced and ran off without waiting for my reply.
Well, what would be my reply? A 'No'? I bet you know that a 'No' has never and would never be an option. What is friendship if not agreement? If she nods, who am I to refuse?
Once it was time, I jumped into my short red flowered gown and my snickers to match. As usual, she flew blue like she was attached to it with a glue.
It wasn't a party. Who parties in a club? What sort of party has no celebrant and no MC? What sort of parties turns male orators stammerers and makes them turn to the ladies with uncalled explanations saying “...Emmmm...see...”?
'Party tonight'? But I came, she was my only friend there. Who gives light to parties if not friends?
I was just sitting down like Johnny just coming to Lagos. The lights were brightly dim and the music was silently loud. Everyone was busy dancing with their partners, but I was somewhere thinking about my ex-partners. Anny, tempted by the party's fullness had left me and had gone to dance with one chubby bald man. I was bored and lonely, but I wasn't going to show it, so I brought out my phone and started checking the day's news on Phoenix.
“Who reads in a club?” I turned, it was a young man with beards almost down to his neck. I smiled carefully. I wasn't going to spread my mouth wide.
“Hi,” I greeted, reaching out my hand for a shake. Oh my God! I shouldn't have done that right? Courtesy doesn't permit it since I was younger and he was a guy. He smiled too, even more carefully seizing the opportunity to flaunt his oversized red lips.
“Let's dance”, he invited.
“I can't dance,” I declined non-challantly.
“Baby, I can see your waist. I know you can shake something”, he pressed.
“There is nothing to shake”, I still declined now looking behind as though there was someone I kept there.
“Drink up then and go home!” He ordered with a supposed anger.
What was I supposed to do? Beg him? Did I offend him? Where's it stated in the constitution that everybody in a club must dance? Truly, I can twerk but I was sparing the mystery of my waist for my husband to unravel. I sighed and started sipping the content of the cup. Suddenly, he started smiling.
“Baby girl, you can dance,” he returned again.
“I said, I can't dance”, I insisted, slightly raising my voice.
“I've seen your waist, e dey shake.”
“Nothing dey shake.”
“E dey shake.”
“I say...I say, e no dey shake.” I looked away again, although my eyes were becoming weak.
“Baby, stop this nah. Okay, why are you running?”
“I'm not running. It's just that...I am in severe pains.”
“I will heal you”, he offered.
“Trust me, I can.”
Somehow, this was our last conversation as stored in my memory. The next place I saw myself was in a room with rainbow-colored bulbs and a small plasma television that lay on the wall. I felt pains down my legs, so I looked down and saw blood. My underwears have been ripped and my legs were shaking.
“What happened?” I asked my shadow.
“How would I know?” She responded.
“You were there! You know everything and you saw everything. How come you stood there watching and I was hurt? I was raped!” I screamed.
“You were not the only one hurt”, she answered, “I was hurt too. You're bleeding and I am too. That guy didn't just lie on you; he lay on me too.”
I couldn't fathom what my feeling then was. I didn't really know who to blame. I felt betrayed and I decided to transfer it to my shadow.
“You were there and...”
“...And what?” she cut in. “How am I supposed to know that you weren't in control? You're not my slave, but you've made me yours. You only make me follow you wherever you go to and now, you made me witness this. Meanwhile, you were not raped. You weren't! You were given what you wanted!”
“Are you now putting the blames on me? We are meant to be together!”
“Together? Yes! But then, although I am dark, I love the light and that is why, when you walk in darkness, I go unseen.”
“You're wicked and...”
Anny then walked in with a bottle of wine and a plate of fried rice. She was looking happy and that confused me.
“Anny, I was raped!” I announced. She dropped the plate and the bottle simultaneously.
“You were what?” She walked closer and screamed at the sight of the red liquid that rolled down my legs.
“Jesus! That guy is a beast! I thought, you walked in here together to enjoy yourselves.”
Beast? Monster? Animal? Demon? Devil? The deed had been done and my virginity had been lost.
I thought about Frank. I wondered how he would feel. I told him I was a virgin and he said, he was too. He so much respected the fact that he was going to marry a virgin. How did this happen? I was very terrified. I didn't even know how to face him.
“Anny, what would I tell Frank?” My breath was already fading while I spoke.
“Nothing. Hide it from him. He won't have to know. He wasn't here. We both alone, know.” She advised and I decided to hide it from the man I loved dearly. It worked. Her advice always worked. The marriage preparations were still in progress and nothing was spoilt until...
I was sitting with Frank in his car on a Friday morning making marriage plans with him when suddenly, his phone rang.
“Excuse me”, he said and left to answer the call.
I sat wondering who that would be and why he wasn't willing to involve me in their conversation.
I should have questioned him right?
Whose blood would then wash my guilt? I wasn't supposed to be suspecting my spouse, after all. What am I saying? I was supposed to confront him. This is the man I was about swearing to live with forever. What am I even saying? My life is ruined and there's no fixing.
The talk was long and he was on it for up to an hour. Afterwards, he rejoined. What type of a husband would make a conversation without relaying it to his potential wife? I calmed down and we drove off.
I didn't cut his plans short and I didn't cancel the wedding plan. Everything was going normal until two days later when Anny came back from church angrily.
“What happened?” I asked disturbed.
“Baby girl, you don't deserve this.” she quietly said, handing me her phone.
“This is a joke right?” I asked, trying to conceal my rising rage.
“Does it look like a joke baby?” she asked angrily.
I broke down in tears. I had been keeping my virginity for this guy only to find out that, he wasn't keeping his for me as he made me believe. If he was, how would he do this to me. I couldn't bear the pain alone, so I rushed out to his house to impose the same on him.
“What are you talking about?”
“What am I talking about? I am saying that you are an animal!” I yelled, throwing the phone to him.
He simply looked at the phone and pushed it off him.
“Baby...” he called quietly standing from the sit he was sinking in.
“There are some things that are not worth playing with”, he said, reaching out for my hand.
I wanted to say something but my anger had risen up. So instead of speaking, I lifted my hand and slapped him heavily. That action was not planned. How would I slap a man? Even civilization won't achieve that but my anger did. The slap was so heavy that it moved him backwards, and he returned to his sit. At that moment, I became both confused and truly sorry. I didn't know whether to apologize to him or keep ranting. I was still standing in that confusion like a little girl doing a public recitation when he stood up and walked to the door, opened it and turned to me.
“Leave my house”, he quietly ordered. His face had changed and his eyes were red. I was certain that if I had persisted, something would have happened. Pretending to be angry and unconcerned, I quickly picked up the phone and walked away.
We stopped communicating. Two days later, he called, but I rejected it. Don't judge me yet. I'm a girl, I mustn't appear cheap. Won't it look like I was going to beg him too? He called the second time and I switched off my phone. I wanted him to press further. I wanted him to visit me in my house in tears and apologize. Is that not what we see in movies? I wanted a flower, a song and at least, a tear-drop from his eyes. Well, he didn't do any. He went AWOL and I went too, although, it hurt.
Three weeks later, some funny things started happening to my body. I woke up the other day nauseated and I also noticed the swelling, tenderness and tingling of my breasts. I shared my experience with Anny and she suggested that I see a doctor.
The result was straight: I was pregnant. That was the end for me. I had accepted the responsibility of having the baby of an unknown man inside my womb.
“What do I do now?” I asked Anny.
“Call Frank, reconcile with him, make him sleep with you and then, give him the responsibility of the pregnancy.”
That sounded like a great idea, so I bought it. Frank was very willing to forgive me. He even apologized for treating me wrongly. He promised to be a gentleman forever. I scheduled a day to visit him and made Anny chairman the plan. I dressed very sexily and made sure I smelt nice. For the first time in my life, I wore trousers and they were tight ones.
Unfortunately, despite my fortifications, he ran off like Joseph.
“What has come over you?” he cried helplessly as he stood at the door. Maybe, I didn't shake my waist well, I don't know. From the start, I'd never been a bad girl. He left the house for me and made me leave in disappointment.
“This is really bad,” Anny admitted, pacing the room trying to figure out something. My head was blank and I was only seeing the end.
Soon, she was up with an idea.
“Visit him again next tomorrow, apologize for your actions the last time, crediting it to the immense love you have for him. If he accepts you, confront him with the picture on my phone.”
As soon as it was 03:00pm, I took a ride down to his house. As I had expected, he forgave me again and offered me comfort.
“I Love you too”, he had smiled.
When we were done eating, I brought out the phone again.
“What is this again?” he asked.
“You tell me! Why are you holding a pregnant woman and what is she doing in your car? Was she not the one you were speaking with when I was in your car? Was she not the reason you left me? What level of infidelity is that?” I questioned, staring directly at him.
He calmed down and moved slowly to me.
“Actually...”, he started explaining, “...she was the one I spoke with that day. I only left because, I didn't want to involve someone foreign in my family's issue.”
“Oh! You have a family? I am now foreign?!” I only came to blackmail him but then, I felt a strong anger in my veins.
“Yes!” he screamed, “She's my sister!”
I fell off immediately.
“Your sister? She's pregnant? Why is she pregnant?” I broke down in tears. That was when I looked at the picture and indeed, she was his sister. I had seen her more than once each time we visited his family. How come I didn't look well before bringing up the accusation?
“Her husband was maltreating her. She called that Friday to tell me and I didn't want to involve you since we were not yet married and to me, it was meant to be private.” He explained placing his two hands on my shoulders calmly. He was saying the truth. Frank was a gentleman and I knew it.
I felt ashamed of myself, so I ran off without saying anything.
“What do I now?” I asked Anny. This was the first time her plan failed.
“I don't know oooo my dear. Well, push him so hard to ensure that your wedding happens soon”, she suggested.
The pushing wasn't hard for me. He said, he also wanted us to wed as soon as possible because, he had his own urges too.
In less than a month, the wedding was scheduled to hold in less than a week. I was seeing victory in suit standing next to me and whispering hope.
You all know the end. On the wedding day, he didn't show up. What a shame it was? Standing there in all-white before guests ready in all-wise, I saw such shame.
I was there with you all when he called:
“Frank, where are you?” I asked.
“Where am I? I am away somewhere cooling off.” he simply answered. It all looked like a movie to me.
“Cooling off? We are waiting for you!” I screamed.
“Wait for the father of your baby,” he simply answered and hung up, then turned his phone off.
It was like a heavy blow to me. His sharp words tore my delicate heart to pieces. But, how did he know I was pregnant? Who told him? Why didn't he tell me? Why didn't we have to talk it out?
For the first time in months, I saw Nelly and Kate. They were well dressed and among the guests. I knew that their hands were in this. They must have planned my downfall and had prepared to come and mock me. Anny wasn't there. She had ran off with some of my well-wishers to go find Ken and beg him. I was now there in that long bus alone and in tears.
It was 02:00pm and none of the people that went to find Frank came back with him. The wedding was canceled and my shame was doubled.
Kate and Nelly now came to console me.
“I am sorry for everything”, Kate said.
“Me too, and I know, you will forgive us”, Nelly followed.
I was willing to fight them both, but I didn't know who would be the first to receive the blow. I was very eager to know who amongst them betrayed me this much. They might have been in the party and had seen what happened and had relayed it to my husband-to-be.
I looked like a widow and mourned all day like one. Anny had gone off to find Frank and since then, had not returned. It was Kate and Nelly that stood by me to comfort me. Although their comfort wasn't truly welcomed, I had no choice but to lean on them.
Two days later, I tried Frank's number and it went through.
“I know I am evil, but have I hurt you so badly that your revenge had chosen to take this shape?” I said to him in rocky tears.
“I feel for you my dear, but I have no choice.”
“What do you mean?” I simply asked.
“Do you expect me to marry a hypocrite and a prostitute? You said, you were a virgin and maybe you are, but how come, you slept with a man in a hotel for free?” he said silently.
“Me? With a man in a hotel?” I truly tried to deny but...
“I have the video. I will send it to you on WhatsApp. I may not know the man, but I recognize that lady in a red short dress enjoying the pleasure of a man's strength. I watched him pounding you. The video was real and painfully slow. You took in, and then decided to find ways to hide your sin, but thank God, you failed.”
He had a proof. I saw the video and I lost words.
“But, where is Anny?” Nelly asked.
“I don't know”, I answered, and till now, I don't. Do you?
While I spoke with Frank on the phone, I kept hearing a lady's voice in the background giving him words. She maybe the new girl he wants to marry.
In all these, I only see myself a fool.
What else am I?
In fact, pastor, you're right. Suspend me, discipline me and slay me if you want. I deserve it. I gave my friends my back to lean on, but they've chosen to strike on it. I've made terrible mistakes that can't be forgiven. Let no one forgive me, I can live on, but...God?
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