A Righteous Mistake

By Marymartin Okoabu 2 months ago

Chapter one

    Being born into a family of strict disciplinarians can be sometimes crazy, then having parents who are religious fanatics can be so..so..so interesting - eeew! I knew you expected me to say something like boring or some other repulsive words, but believe me when I say interesting because it is, there are a lot of dramas. But what I didn't know was that a drama was going to happen soon and it will be all about me. 

      My name is Efe, the first child of this wonderful family. I have two junior brothers in secondary school. I am eighteen years old, just had my birthday two months ago, and guess where I celebrated it? In the church. Don't be too surprised, having parents as elders of the church is a great privilege. Despite all the dramas, I love my family, I really do and I am proud to come from a good Christian home. 

       I  am the youth leader of my church and so a role model alongside my parents. I have about fifty registered youths looking up to me and so my parents are proud of me, everyone is proud of me and I am proud of myself. I graduated from secondary school three years ago and since then it has been a struggle gaining admission to Unilag. It is not that I am not brilliant enough, but it was the corrupt educational system we have in our country that was making it impossible for the incorruptible citizens to gain admission easily. And so as my parents and I happen to be one of the incorruptible people I remained at home. But we have been praying believing there was nothing prayer could not do.

     I met Deolu, my boyfriend, last year. He is the son of the newly transferred pastor in our parish. When they came, all the girls wanted to have Deolu as a friend, he was very handsome. Even I myself was secretly admiring him. We hit it off immediately, probably because I was the youth leader and he the assistant pastor's son. We started dating not long after. Our parents knew about our relationship and were in support of it. My parents trusted me, and obviously, his parents did. We visited each other only when our parents were around. Our parents visited one another too. Deolu studies at Unilag my dream school. Oh, what a lucky girl I am!

 

Chapter two

     It was Sunday, and after I returned home from church with my parents and junior brothers, I went to the kitchen as usual to prepare lunch while my parents retired to their rooms to take a nap and my brothers watched TV. While I waited for my rice to get done, I joined my brothers in the parlour. Just then a knock sounded on the door. One of my brothers went to open the door and the faces of my two best friends in secondary school popped in.

'Oh my!' I shouted 'who am I seeing?' I ran to hug them. 'Esther, Ruth,' I said looking them over. 'long time'

'Really long time,' they replied hugging me.

'How have you been?' Ruth asked coming to sit beside me, while Esther sat opposite us.

'I'm good, what about you guys?' 

'We are fine,' they both replied. 

Give me a sec' I said standing up. I went to the kitchen and checked my food. 

'Reuben, go call Mum and dad' I called one of my brothers. Few minutes later, my parents came out to the parlour.

'Good afternoon ma, good afternoon Sir,' I heard my friends greet them.

'How are you girls,' my mother responded.

Esther and Ruth joined us for lunch, after which we retired to my room.

'So girls how is school?' I started.

'Well, do you want to hear what's trending?' Esther asked.

Esther and Ruth had both gained admission to the University of Benin immediately after our graduation, they visit during the holiday but this was the first time in a year. I listened patiently as they narrated their experience in school. 

'Hmmm, university is not a safe place. That's why you need to have God so as to survive,' I replied once they finished.

'So babe, what of your own na? What's the latest??' Esther asked me.

I sighed. 'I am still waiting on God, I believe he won't disappoint me this year,' Ruth and Esther looked at each other and I didn't miss the look they shared.

'Babe this was what you said last year, last two years and three years ago,' Ruth spoke up.

'Yea I know'

'So for how long? Is it till we are both married with children? Come on Efe, tell your parents you are tired of staying at home'

'So what do you want me to do?'

'Efe don't pretend that you don't know people are paying money to gain admission and your parents have the money,' Esther answered.

'Girls thanks for your concern, but it's okay, I trust in the Lord and I know he will not put me to shame.'

'Okay, keep on trusting until you get old,' Ruth replied causing Esther to laugh. 

'So babe, do you have movies on your phone?' She continued.

'Yes, one or two' I replied giving her my phone. She scrolled through my phone before playing one. We watched for a few minutes before Esther said. 

'Wait, this is a Christian movie?'

'Yes,' I replied. She hissed and rolled her eyes.

'I am not interested' 

'Do you have a better movie?' I asked.

'Yes. She took her phone and played a movie and we started watching. A few minutes later, I flung the phone from her hands and hissed.

'This is porn!'

'So?' They both chorused. Shocked, I looked at both of them.

'What has come over you girls? This is wrong, it is a sin!'

'See girl,' Esther said. 'If you are not ready to watch, close your eyes,' she picked up her phone and was about to continue when I stopped her.

'You can't watch this in my house' 

'Are you sending us away?'

'Listen, this is a sin that leads you to many other sins. It can lead you to masturbation, fornication and many other sins against your body remember your body is the temple of the holy spirit'

'I thought you have a boyfriend?' Esther looked at me skeptically

'Yes I do'

'So you don't do it with him?

'Do what?' 

Esther and Ruth looked at each other.

'I thought your eyes are now open. Watching a movie is not a sin, sleeping with your boyfriend, making love is not a sin. So plea....se spare me, spare us all this your preaching. Your self-righteousness is really annoying like you don't commit sin,' Esther hissed.

'It is you two that are blind. Girls.......'

'See Ruth, I am out of here,' Esther stood up and started for the door.

'Yes me too,' see you some other time Efe'

'Won't you wait let me escort you two?'

'No dear, thanks anyway,' Esther replied with a bang on the door.

 

 

 

Chapter 3

   'Won't you let me escort you two?'

'No dear, thanks anyway,' Esther replied with a bang on the door.

Well, that was my lifestyle. I never wasted time in preaching, especially when it has to do with the sins of the flesh.

      Life continued for me, I did my duties in the church and in the house at the same time praying I gained admission into school.

      Early September came,  my parents and some of the leaders of the church including the pastors were to travel for an annual Convention in Ogun state. They left Monday morning of the first week and were to return Friday night. Before leaving, my parents advised me, telling me to take good care of the house and my brothers. That if I should go out with Deolu I make sure I return before eight in the night. I nodded in agreement to everything they said.

On Wednesday while cleaning the house Deolu called.

'Hello dear,' I said smiling.

'Hi my dearest,' he replied.

After our greeting, he told me that the merit admission list has been released, that I should check my name and call him back. I did immediately after ending the call and screamed for joy when I saw my name under Business and Finance Department.

'Oh my God! Oh my God!' I kept muttering while trying to dial Deolu's number. He picked on the first ring. 

'You won't believe it!' I shouted.

'Honey I believe it, God had done it, isn't it?

'Indeed he has, I can't wait to tell my parents, I can't wait to tell my friends,' I rattled uncontrollably.

'Calm down dear, calm down,' I could hear the smile in his voice. 'why not tell your friends, then wait till your parents return on Friday then you surprise them?' 

"Yes, that's a good idea'

'We are gonna celebrate this my Efe. When I get back from school I will come and pick you and then we go out'

'Oh yes dear, I can't wait to see you,' I squealed excitedly.

'Same here'. We ended our conversation and I called Ruth and also Esther who were so thrilled to hear my news. They each sounded genuinely happy despite the way we ended the last time they visited. And I couldn't be more happy about having a friend in them. They promised to visit on Sunday to celebrate with me. I couldn't wait for Deolu to come pick me and it was written all over my face. My brothers noticed my excitement and asked what was the cause. I found something to tell them not wanting them to break the news to my parents themselves. 

Deolu came around four in the evening and took me to a new restaurant in town where we ate, talked and laughed. Around six we started for home. On getting to his junction Deolu asked me to his house to keep him company since he is the only one at home. Innocently I followed without thinking. Although what was there to think about? we were both practicing Christians. We got home and he brought malt and chin-chin. This was the first time we would be spending time together alone. He played a movie and we lapsed into a comfortable silence concentrating on the movie. Suddenly a kissing scene showed on the screen but we continued watching. This was not the first time I was watching a kissing scene. Suddenly I felt Deolu's hand on my face. I dropped the chin-chin I was about to put in my mouth and looked at him. But before I could say anything,  his lips were on mine and he was...seriously doing what two lips do together. I was so shocked that I could do nothing for seconds. This was the first time he was really kissing me. He usually kissed me on the cheek and forehead. Finally getting myself, I turned away from his lips looking at him questionably. 

'Hey Efe! It's just a kiss,' he said in a soft voice I have never really heard from him. Looking at me straight in the eyes he said.'Trust me' 

He started kissing me again and this time around I kissed him back and I was really enjoying it. His kisses started to cuddling,  his hands started roaming my body. I squirmed a little trying to stop him but he held me firmly saying. 'Trust me' while kissing my neck. Even I myself didn't really have the power to stop him. How could I? This was my first time being kissed by a guy and I never knew such feelings existed. I got so lost in the moment trusting Deolu my boyfriend that I didn't know when he spilled his seeds on me.

 

                      Chapter 4

    I got so lost in the moment trusting Deolu my boyfriend that I didn't know when he spilled his seeds on me. 

I screamed in pain when it happened and sreamed in a more excruciating pain when I realised  what has just happened. With my mouth remaining open I looked at myself and saw my blood, my virgin blood. I looked at Deolu who was looking at me with an expression I could not read. Frantically I started dressing myself.

'Efe wait' Deolu tried to hold me but I pushed him away. Without caring to wash myself I started for the door. Deolu still tried holding me but I was suddenly stronger.

'Efe......I love you' that was the last statement I heard from Deolu before closing the door against him and probably my heart too. This was the first time he was saying these words to me since we started our relationship but it didn't register in me as I walked briskly to my house trying so hard not to cry. Immediately I got home I avoided my brothers telling them I was sleepy. I silently went to the bathroom, cleaned myself up and went to my room and cried my eyes out. I kept on crying for myself, then I cried to God begging him for forgiveness, then I cried to him begging him not to let me get pregnant. I didn't know when I fell asleep.

     The next day went for me in a blur. My brothers kept asking what was wrong but I kept giving different excuses. Deolu kept calling but I never picked up. Friday came and a certain dread filled my whole being, it settled in my stomach refusing to leave. I feared my mother will see through me or my father will dream or see in a vision what had happened. While my brothers were in school I locked myself in my room and willed myself to be comported. I then forced myself to cook dinner. Evening came, and my parents returned while I was in my room. I heard my brothers greet them and before they could ask where I was I came out of my room and forced a smile on my face.

'Hi dad, hi mum'

'Hi Efe' my parents greeted. I went to hug them.

'Guess what? I continued.

'What my dear?' They both asked.

'I have been granted admission in my  field.

'Wow! Congratulation my daughter' my mother said hugging me.

'Oh thank you Jesus, thank you Lord' my father kept saying as he hugged me. My brothers smiled and did the same. 

'Is that why you have been so sad lately? Daniel asked

'Sad?' My mother inquired.

'No mum, they saw me with tears of Joy'

'Okay. we must celebrate' my mother continued.

'Yea, Ruth and Esther will be coming on Sunday'

'Okay great! We will cook a special meal. Invite Deolu and his parents or we will invite his parents ourselves. Just invite Deolu'

I was lost for words looking at my mum. Why didn't I think of that? What will I do now?

'Efe, are you okay? 

'Yes....yes mum, let me serve your food. I quickly left for the kitchen taking a deep breadth.

      Sunday came and after service in church my family as usual started for the front of the church to greet the pastors. I had detested this moment but I knew it was inevitable. Suddenly something clicked in me. 'Why not say you want to use the toilet' oh Efe! Why didn't you think about this before? My parents started towards the parish pastor first so I followed, careful not to look where Deolu's family stood. After the greeting they started towards Deolu's family. I quickly said.

'Dad, I need to use the toilet'

'Okay dear' my dad replied without looking back. I quickly rushed to the toilet and stood there panting. I really need to pretend to use the toilet before someone will come in and find me just standing there. So I entered the toilet and adjusted my already adjusted clothes. My hand stopped on my stomach. I touched it trying to feel if there was a seed growing inside. But hell, I didn't pay much attention to biology so how was I to know. 'But Efe, is this the way pregnancy test is done? You should know better than that' I chastised myself. I took a deep breadth, I need to calm down and believe in the prayer I have made. Knowing I have spent more time than necessary, I quickly ran out of the toilet. I met my family by our jeep waiting for me. People still stopped to greet my parents. We entered the jeep after the Badmus left and my fathe drove out immediately. 

'Em Efe' my mother called

'Yes mum'

'I have told pastor and Mrs Ajayi the good news, they would be coming with Deolu by three'

'Ok mum' I managed to say when what I felt like doing was screaming in frustration. What was I thinking, that I could avoid Deolu? Every Sunday I couldn't keep saying I needed to use the toilet. My parents will become suspicious despite being ingenuous.

We reached home and after changing I went to the kitchen. My mother joined me this time around, she does that on few Sundays especially when we expect visitors. We prepared semo and black soup and by 3:pm the table was set.

Esther and Ruth were the first to arrive, they hugged and kept congratulating me. Soon the Ajayi's joined us and we started lunch. Our parents didn't notice that Deolu and I didn't say much of a greeting to each other or they noticed but decided to keep quiet. There was no much talking on the table, only my parents and Deolu's made small talk. I felt a pair of eyes on me but I dared not look up knowing it was Deolu. I was thanking God silently that no one had addressed me directly when suddenly Deolu's father called my name.

'So Efe'

I didn't dare say yes without looking up, so I looked up and found myself looking into Deolu's eyes instead of his father who was beside him.

'Make sure you always go to Deolu when you need help and not all those lousy boys who would come to you with the pretense of helping you...'

I quickly snapped my attention back to him.

'I am not asking you not to make friends, but be mindful particularly of those that would come to you saying they want to help freshers'

'Yes sir' I said meekly.

'And you Deolu make sure you always make out time for her'

'Yes dad' He replied.

After the meal, pastor Ajayi prayed for us. He prayed for a very long time. Never in my life have I ever wished for a prayer to be short, but at this point I couldn't wait for it to end so I could disappear. 'Disappear to where exactly?' I asked myself. I couldn't probably abandon my visitors and go to my room. After the nerve breaking long prayers, my parents went to the balcony with Deolu's parents while I and the girls remained in the parlor. Deolu I noticed was torn in between remaining with us and disappearing. Suddenly my brothers came and dragged him to their room. I didn't know when I released the breadth I didn't realise I was holding. I turned and found Esther and Ruth looking at me, questions clouding their eyes.

 

                   Chapter 5

   I turned and found Esther and Ruth looking at me questions clouding their eyes.

Suddenly they started talking together, people who had been silent like a grave yard.

'Come on, who is that guy?'

'Efe I could tell you were so tensed when he was here. Tell us something'

'And he is so cute, no handsome'

'I saw him staring at you throughout lunch'

'That was because you were staring at him' I heard Ruth say to Esther.

'Hey! Like you didn't.....'

Closing my ears I shouted. 'Girls please, let's go to my room' I immediately started for my room not caring if they followed. Immediately they entered they jumped at me.

'So Efe tell us something' Ruth whined

'That is Deolu'

'We already know that' they said together.

Should I tell them he is my boyfriend? I thought within myself. Am i even correct myself, there was no how I could call him my boyfriend after what happened.

'He is the pastor's son.....'

'Yea....'

I looked at Ruth who tried interrupting me stopping her with my eyes

'He goes to unilag as you have already known..... he is a friend' I reluctantly added.

'Are you sure?' Esther asked

'What do you mean? I asked

'Are you sure he is just a friend, or there is something you are not telling us?

'What do you mean? I asked again 

Ruth rolled her eyes and looked at Esther. 'She said he is a friend, Efe does not lie' she said sarcasm dripping from her voice. 

'She has a boyfriend remember' Esther and Ruth kept talking to each other while I felt guilt eating me away. 'Efe does not lie' Ruth's voice rang in my head. And that was true, but since Wednesday my life had changed. I have been practically lying by omission. I felt like crying remembering what few minutes had done to my life.

'Efe, Efe' I heard Ruth's voice somewhere in my head. Turning I saw them looking at me.

'What is it Efe? You have not been listening' 

'Oh! Don't mind me, what did you say?'

'Why were you tensed with Deolu? Its obvious you are avoiding him.' Ruth asked

'Is it Deolu you came here to talk about? Deolu is a friend, we had a little misunderstanding, that is it. We will definitely settle before the day comes to an end'

'Okay ma, yes ma. So let us tell you what to expect in school'.

We continued for sometime before they stood up to leave saying they had a party to attend. Standing to escort them they told me not to bother but go talk to Deolu. I rolled my eyes at them and walked them to the gate. I noticed Deolu's parents gone and thank God there was no confrontation, but I felt a little hurt that Deolu left without even trying to say anything. I returned to my room planning to sleep. But not longer after I heard a knock on my door. Assuming it was one of my brothers I said 'come in'

Deolu popped his head inside looking nervous.

'Wh...at are you doing....here? I stuttered.

'Can I speak with you Efe? He asked hesitantly

'I thought you've gone'

'No, just my parents' he said entering my room.

I quickly stood up from the bed and looked at him.

'Please can we talk? He asked again.

'There is nothing to talk about'

'Efe please'

'Let's go outside' I led the way to the backyard where no one would hear us. We stood silent for a while, Deolu looking at me while I looked everywhere but him.

'I am sorry for what happened Efe, I am so sorry' he started slowly. 'I don't know what came over me, please find it in your heart to forgive me' I was silent for a while not knowing what to say.

'Efe please say something' Deolu pleaded. Suddenly I felt anger pulsating through my vein.

'What do you want me to say? Will sorry change anything? Will it change the fact that I am no longer a virgin? Will it? Will it bring back my purity? I felt tears sting my eyes but I forced them back.

'Efe please' Deolu was suddenly on his knees. I know it would not change anything, you can't begin to know how sorry I am. Please let us go back to how we were. Give me another chance. Looking down at Deolu I was suddenly thinking. I couldn't put all the blame on him. If I had resisted him and ran away non of these would be happening.

'Get up Deolu' when he stood up, I continued.

'I can't put all the blame on you.I shouldn't have trusted you.....'

'No.... Its not like that Efe' Deolu said panicking. 'I never meant to hurt you, I never planned it'

'What if I get pregnant Deolu? What If I get pregnant? I asked almost crying. Deolu could not answer, he kept looking at me trying to say something.

'Nothing changed for you, but everything changed for me.....'

'No...Efe, I.....'

'Leave Deolu, leave'

'Please Efe please' 

But I was already walking away.

'Efe I love you, I really do, I want to stand by you' I heard everything Deolu said, but I didn't once look back.

 

                    Chapter 6

   It was now two days since the incident with Deolu and the day I was expecting my period but nothing happened. I almost started panicking but I controlled myself telling myself it will come in the night. When night came and no blood yet, I told myself periods can be late just to stop my self from going insane, I even failed to remind myself that my periods have never been late. That night I prayed like never before telling God I trusted him, that he should not put me to shame. I casted and bound, I decreed and declared that my period must start the next day. I finally slept and woke up with no stains of blood. Ooh yea! the day is just starting I told myself. One day passed, two days, three days and now a week and no blood yet. I finally went into panicking state. My parents were not always around to notice but my mother did notice and kept asking what was wrong. I kept giving flimsy execuses until the vomiting started.

   I was in the kitchen with my mum early Tuesday morning when suddenly I found myself rushing to the bathroom where I started vomiting.

'Efe, are you okay?' My mother asked rubbing my back.

'Yes mum'

'Is it your period?'

'No mum'

'Did you eat any other thing last night?

'No mum, my stomach.....' I vomitted again

'I think we need to take you to the hospital, you have been pale since'

'There is no need mum, I will be okay'

'Just go and rest, if it continues tomorrow you will go to the hospital'

'Yes mum' I left for my room. 'oh God! Why? My mother did not even suspect anything.

Luckily, no incident occurred for the rest of the day, in my mum's presence anyway. At dinner my mum asked how I was feeling, I said I was better. 

'No more vomiting? My mother added

' yes mum' I lied.

'She sure looks brighter" my father said making me believe he had noticed how pale I was before. Looking at me he continued.

'You are really okay dear?'

'Yes dad'  

'I can drive you to the hospital while going to work tomorrow'

'Daaaaad I am perfectly fine'

'Okay, we thank God'

    I went to my room that night and forced myself to sleep because I knew what I had to do. The next day after my parents left for work and my brother for school, I quickly tidied the house, ate breakfast and left for the hospital. I went to a hospital very far from where we lived, a Mater Dei hospital. After getting my card, I was sent to see the doctor, a young man probably in his late twenties. I went straight to the point

'Good morning doctor. I want to do a pregnancy test' if he was shocked the doctor did well to hide it.

'Do you think you are pregnant? He asked

'Yes'

Finally looking at me he said okay. He wrote something on my card and handing it to me he smiled. I couldn't help but smile back. What is wrong with you Efe?

'Take it to the laboratory' I heard the doctor say. I took it there and waited for my result after the woman asked for my urine and took my blood. Few minutes later she gave me my result looking me up and down. I also looked at her from head to toe daring her to say something. 'Look at her, without knowing my story she is already judging' I muttered within myself walking out of the room. I went back to see the doctor who smiled on seeing me.

Heck! What is it with the smiling? Not smiling back I gave him my result.

'Well Efe, you are four weeks pregnant' I fought back the tears that pooled at my eyes. Oh Efe! Where is the courageous woman just now? Noticing the change in countenance the doctor said.

'You can talk to me'

'No, thanks doctor' I said trying to stand up.

'Wait, what about your parents or....'

I smiled knowing what he wanted to say. 'I will go talk to them'

'Okay, and you need to come back so that we talk about your antenatal and other necessary things'

'Yes, thank you doctor'

I got home and the tears started falling. 'Oh God! Why?' I cried. 'It was just a mistake and here I am pregnant. Ruth and Esther have sex all the time but they are not pregnant, why me? Why didn't you warn me about Deolu? Why did you allow me go to his house? Why couldn't I resist him? Why didn't you answer my prayer? I cried hitting my pillow. This is unfair!' I rolled on my bed and kept on crying till the tears stopped flowing. Minutes later I got up from the bed to use the bathroom. After urinating, I washed my face thoroughly seeing how I looked a mess. I returned back to my room and sat down. Crying will not solve my problem, I need to do something, I need to tell my mum before she finds out herself. And what about Deolu? I had forced myself not to think about  him since the past few days. He had been calling but I never picked up. I have to tell him. What Will people think of me? What will Ruth and Esther say? How will I show myself in church? I started crying again. Wait a minute, what about my schooling? I suddenly remembered and this made me cry harder. I have struggled to gain admission and after gaining admission this is what happens, this is what my life turns into? Oh no! Efe, oh no!

     

                chapter 7

       Over the next few days, I tried finding ways to tell my mother but I couldn't summon up courage. The opportunity presented itself one day when I was preparing breakfast. All of a sudden I felt nauseous and ran to the bathroom. And after throwing up all of last night's dinner I  looked up to find my mum staring at me.

'Efe, you are vomiting again'

I didn't know if it was a question or a statement but I nodded my head anyway with a yes.

'Go and dress up, we are going to the hospital' my mum said walking away.

'No mum....'

'What's no!' She stopped on her track.

'Mum, I need to talk to you' my mum kept standing looking at me before finally saying.

'Go and dish your brother's food let them leave for school'

   After my brothers left, I followed my mum to her room where we sat down.

My mum was quiet throughout as I told her everything that happened that week she and my dad went for a convention. And she remained quiet even after I finished my story. I was thinking of what to do when she looked up at me with tears in her eyes.

'Oh Efe, why?' She asked quietly. That statement alone had the power to trigger my tear gland making it bring out tears. It also broke my heart a second time.

'How could you? How could you let that happen? You are better than this, I brought you up better than this! What were you thinking?' She suddenly screamed making me flinch. 'That you would be alone with a boy and not be tempted? You trusted him, you trusted yourself, but why did you trust the devil? Why? My mum was already on her feet 'Ah! What will people say? What kind of shame is this? How will your father and I face the church?'

I was crying harder no longer listening to what my mother was saying. When everything became suddenly quiet I looked up to see my mum still silently crying. As if noticing my staring she said without looking at me 

'You can leave'

I left quietly and continued with the tears.

    That night after dinner, my mum and dad came into my room after knocking. They settled on the couch adjacent my bed while I sat on the bed.

'Efe your mum said you have something to tell us' my dad said.

I took a deep breadth and looking at my fingers splayed on my laps I narrated the whole story to my dad. I knew it was rude not looking at them while I talked but I couldn't look my parents in the face and I was grateful my father didn't mention it. My father was silent for a longer time until looking at me he called my name.

'Efe' I looked at him

'Efe' he called again

'Yes dad'

'If I say I am not disappointed in you that would make me a liar. But I know you, I know that you are not a slut....'

Oh my dad was even more understanding than my mum..

'But you see what a single mistake can cost you, an innocent mistake. This will teach you not to ever give the devil a chance in your life, because he is out there looking for Christians to devour. Do you know what people will see you as now? They will not even care for your story, they will see you as a pretender Efe, you are a leader in the church Efe! Your parents are elders! But you are still my daughter' he added more calmly 'and I know you never planned this but you must bear the consequences of your actions'

Tears were streaming down my face already.

'I am so sorry dad, I am so sorry mum'

'I know, I know Efe. I forgive you' my dad replied

'So what do we do? My mother asked

'You will look for a hospital to take her to register for antenatal'

'What! My mother shouted 'is she going to keep the baby?

'What! I and my dad said at the same time looking at my mother with our mouths opened.

'Elder Mrs Johnson, did I hear you well? My dad asked

'Yes, you can't be suggesting she keeps the baby!'

'Are you out of your mind? My dad bellowed 'is it abortion you are suggesting?

'Ye...es. How can she carry a baby out of wedlock at her age? What will people say?

'Sarah' my dad called my mum calmly with her first name

'Honey please listen to me. Our daughter is too young to carry a baby. And how would it look like for the daughter of elders in the church to carry a baby out of wedlock? The shame will be too much honey. What of her schooling? She just gained admission after three years of struggles, we can't let that go like that.

'All these are consequences she has to bear for her mistake and we as her parents have no option but to share in the shame. There is nothing we can do'

'There is something......'

'Sarah please, don't you care that you're asking us to commit a grievous offense against God? You want us to commit murder!  what about the baby's life? Is it its fault? What about your daughters' life? You are asking us to risk her life just to save face! I can't believe this'

My mum had the conscience of bending her head in shame.

'Honey it is not....'

'Sarah, I do understand you, but you should know there us nothing we can do. Our daughter will carry this baby and write jamb next year. When she gains admission we will take care of the baby. That's why we are her parents. Efe' my dad turned to me, Deolu's life continues but yours changes because of what both of you did, this will teach you to be extremely careful. The admission you have suffered for has been taken away from you because of ten... not even up to ten minutes of pleasure. Every disappointment is still a blessing, we still thank God. Is Deolu aware?

'No dad'

'On Sunday we will go to their house and talk to his parents'

'Yes dad'

'Sarah let's go' my dad said standing up.

'Thank you dad' I said with tears still in my eyes. I wanted to go and hug my dad but my buttocks thought otherwise because it remained glued to the bed.

'Yes Efe, God bless you' my dad replied with a nod. He left and my mum followed behind not looking at me.

   

                    Chapter 8

The next day, my dad called my brothers and told them what happened. They were shocked and even Reuben said he was going to deal with Deolu for deceiving me. My father told him to forgive Deolu that I too was at fault. He told them not to look down on me but learn from my mistake. When my dad was done with us we started for our rooms. When I was sure my dad won't hear us, I turned to my brothers who looked at me with what looked like pity in their eyes.

'I am sorry for disappointing you guys'

'It's okay sis Efe' Reuben spoke up.

'We understand' Daniel added. I looked at him. 'At least you tried' Daniel continued

'What...?

'Yes I know of some girls in my class who lost their virginity at thirteen years of age'

'How did you know?

'I just know. We are just sad you can't go to school this year again' Daniel concluded.

'Its okay, thank you guys' I said walking away to my room. My mum was still giving me cold shoulders, so I tried as much as possible to avoid confrontation with her. Falling on the bed I fell asleep dreaming I lost the baby. 

    Sunday reached and we did the usual greetings after service. This time around I stuck to my family while we greeted Deolu's family, but I avoided looking directly at him, even Reuben and Daniel didn't acknowledge him. On the drive home my mum mentioned to my dad that he didn't tell Deolus parent we would be visiting.

'I will call pastor later' was my dad's reply.

     After lunch, I remained in my room waiting for my parents. Around 5pm, my dad knocked on my door and told me to get ready. I dressed up quickly and joined my parents in the parlour. We proceeded outside and started the drive to the house of the father of my child.

'Dad, what of pastor Williams? I asked the question that had been bothering me since.

'He was sent to oversee an affair at the parish in Ebutte-metta.

'Since over a month?

'Yes. I have a feeling pastor Ajayi will be made the parish pastor soon. I don't think pastor Williams will be returning'

'Hmmm, I don't know If I should be worried or relieved. Pastor Williams is the parish pastor and has been like a second father to me, although Deolu's father can be seen as that. But it was different, I and pastor Williams go a long way. I don't want pastor Williams to find out about my condition because I don't want to see the disappointment in his eyes, and at the same time I want him to find out because I know he will still understand and stand by me. Well, God's will be done' I was jerked from my thoughts by the sudden blaring of the car horn. I looked up and found out we were at Deolu's gate. The confidence I thought I had built after talking with my father suddenly waned and my  heart started beating faster. Well, it was good that his son is a culprit too. That thought at least built my confidence a little again. 

The gateman opened the gate and we drove in. Before we could even knock at the door the mother of Deolu was already at the door to welcome us.   

'The Johnson's, you are highly welcome' she greeted ushering us in. 'My elders how are you doing? My daughter' she turned to me 'how are you preparing for school?

'Fine ma' I mumbled not expecting the question. As we were settling down pastor Ajayi walked in. I knelt down to greet him.

'Ekasun sir'

'Ah, omo mi' he greeted in his usual way calling me his child. 'How are you my elders?

'We are fine pastor? My parents replied.

'So what will you have? Pastor Mrs. was asking 

'I don't think....' My father started..

'For what? She said leaving for the kitchen. She came back with a bottle of wine and four glass cups on a tray. How she managed that I didn't know. She served the wine to my parents and pastor before leaving and coming back with a can of malt she handed to me and then settling with her own glass of wine.

Like seriously? I muttered within myself. Am I not old enough to take wine? But again I was grateful she didn't give me wine in case there was alcohol in it, it wouldn't be good for the baby. When everyone had taken at least three sips from their cup my father began speaking. But he first asked Deolu's mother about her work. My parents also talked about theirs.

'How is Deolu? My father suddenly asked. My heart started beating faster again and I willed it to calm down.

'Oh, he is having his siesta and Efe you didn't even ask for Deolu, I was wondering If you two are okay' pastor Mrs asked

 

'Em....' I was looking for what to say when my father came to my rescue. 

'Actually pastor, we are here concerning our children' that brought Deolu's parents attention back to my parents. 

' when we went for that convention a month ago something happened. Efe has told us. To go straight to the point. Efe here is pregnant and ......'

'What! Deolu's parents exclaimed at the same time.

                      Chapter 9

  'What!' Deolu's parents exclaimed at the same time

'Yes, and as ministers of God and soon to be grandparents we came so that we will know what to do about it'

    'Wait, don't be too faster than your shadow elder. Are you insinuating that my son is responsible for your daughter's pregnancy? Pastor said more or less barked.

'I am not insinuating anything, your son is the father of my grandchild' my father replied calmly.

'Efe' pastor Ajayi turned his attention to me suddenly and I feared his vermin.

'Have you started sleeping with men and you don't know who is responsible for your pregnancy that you dear accuse my son?

'What! My parents voice was so loud that it swallowed my own 'what'

'Excuse me pastor....'my father started.

'No you excuse me' pastor Ajayi bellowed. I have never seen him like this before and I began to fear him and what he can do.

'If you can't control your slut of a daughter, then you don't bring your disgrace to my family'.

'This is nonsense!' My mother suddenly shouted standing up. 'Where is your son Deolu? Call him here...'

'Sarah' my dad tried to stop my mum.

'I should be blaming the devil of your son for deceiving my daughter and you sit there to spit that nonsense from your mouth!

'Sarah! My dad shouted.

'Woman, I will not have you come....'

'Pastor, pastor' my dad interrupted ' please call your son' 

Deolu's mother who had been silent throughout stood up and started towards the stairs only to stop short. Turning I saw Deolu already in the parlour. He looked straight at me before turning and walking to the centre of the parlour. Looking straight at his father he said

'Yes dad, I am responsible for her pregnancy' there was a shocked silence. I was surprised, I had underestimated Deolu. What he just did really touched my heart, the heart I thought was already broken.

'Deolu, did I hear you well? Pastor managed to speak after sometime.

'Yes dad, and I am surprised that you would use such words on Efe'

'Ah Deolu! What have you done? His mother began crying. 'What was wrong with mothers and their crying? I thought

'I am so surprised at you pastor' I heard my father say. ' come let's go Efe, we will come back pastor when you are in a better state of mind.

What! did my father just insult pastor? I almost burst out laughing.

'Wait Efe' I heard Deolu's voice beside me. How he had gotten to my side I didn't know but he was already holding my hand.

'Get your filthy hands off my daughter' my mother shouted.

' come Sarah, let's allow them talk' my dad dragged my mum outside.

I looked straight at Deolu and I couldn't control the emotions that swirled in me. Is it possible that I still have feelings for him?

'Efe I am sorry for everything, I am sorry about my father'

Suddenly I was angry at him. 'What can sorry do? Will it remove this baby and the shame it will bring me? Did I just say that? Oh my God! I saw the pain and hurt in Deolu's face and wished I had bitten my tongue instead. 

'Efe' he managed to say ' I wish you can know how I feel about this. I wish you would have my baby when we are married'

 What! did I hear well?

'Efe I want  to be with you every step of the way. Efe' he held by hands again looking straight into my eyes. 'We can get married'

'What!' This time I said it aloud wrenching my hands from his grasp. 'My parents are waiting for me' I said walking away without looking back.

     The drive back home was silent getting me lost in my thoughts. Why couldn't I forgive Deolu? I could really see that he loves me so why? Maybe because I have not really come to accept fully that I was much at fault as Deolu. Ah! I choked back a sob. It was because while he continued with his life mine has to stop short, I lost everything while his is still intact. 'But he said he wants to be with you all the way' A small voice reminded me. He wants to marry you' Yea, of course, while my mates continued schooling making it in life I stay at home nursing a baby, I stay at home a house wife, God forbid! But really, why am I pushing Deolu away? I don't have to marry him, we can be in this together. He wants to stand by Me, he wants to share in the shame. I calmed down feeling better. I will call Deolu. I told myself.

When we got home, my mum bursted out

'Pastor Ajayi is very stupid. How dare he?

'Honey....'

'Don't honey me, if he tries nonsense with my family I will put him in his place' 

'Sarah, let's allow it rest. We will go back and talk to him. At least Deolu is responsible'

'And his father very irresponsible'

'Sarah, he is a minister of God, remember'

'Yea, of course' my mum's reply was sarcastic.

            

                    Chapter 10

                  Deolu's  (POV)

I couldn't control how I was feeling. I didn't know why Efe has completely blocked me out. I don't know why she is not giving me a chance. I love her I really do. She said our baby will bring her shame. That really hurt me more than I could believe. Even though I never planned all this I couldn't hate my baby. See what just a single night has caused me, I have lost the woman I love. Ah! I felt like crying. My parents were not even helping matters. They have been telling me nonsense since. God! I scratched my head. What kind of disaster is this?'

       Back to Efe's (POV)

    The next day my mum told me she would be taking me to the hospital. That was the first direct statement she would be making to me since she found out about my pregnancy. I told her I wanted to go to the hospital where I did my test and she agreed. On the drive to the hospital an uncomfortable silence descended upon us and non of us bothered to deal with it. I met the same doctor who I had seen before who told me he would be my doctor. I was thrilled  and the doctor seemed happy too. I wondered why. After test and everything I was told the days to come for antenatal. I and the doctor exchanged numbers before I left. My mum was looking at  me weirdly but didn't say anything. On the drive home she broke the silence.

'Have you and Deolu sorted yourself out?'

'No mum. To be truthful, he has been asking for my forgiveness since and I have been pushing me away. I feel bad mum'

'Efe, you have to first accept your situation and then you will be able to forgive yourself and then forgive him. No matter what you do that baby stays and soon your tummy will start showing and you will have to carry it. I have accepted it and that's why I have forgiven you and can speak with you without anger and so you have to accept that you will soon be a mother. Forgive yourself and forgive Deolu.

'I  think I'm getting there mum, I wanted to call Deolu but I think its best when we see'

'Yes, that's okay'

'Mum would you believe Deolu suggested we get married?

'Really?'

'Yes mum, isn't that ridiculous?

'And why is that?

'Mum! me married at this age!

'There is nothing wrong with it dear, it will even make things look better'

'Mum, what of schooling?

'Efe, Deolu is still going to school. If you two get married you can continue schooling after nursing your  baby, make your career then later continue with having kids. This is even a good idea, I will speak to your dad'

'No mum, no please . let's just leave it like this' 

'It's okay'

     On Sunday after service, I was wondering what will happen when pastor Ajayi himself walked up to us. After a formal greeting he told my father he would like to see us in the evening. I used my eyes to search for Deolu but couldn't find him. 'well I will see him in the house'

We arrived Deolu's house in the evening and pastor himself was already in the parlour to welcome us . His wife came out not long after bringing drinks. She gave my parents a simple greeting and nodded her head to my greeting. Pastor cleared his throat and started.

'I must say I am sorry for the way I reacted last Sunday. I never expected this from Deolu and Efe'

'I must say' I mused within me ' what an arrogant son of ........God, actually it was bitch that came to my mind, that would have suited him more, but I wasn't one to curse. He just feels obligated to apologize, can you imagine? he is not sorry one bit.

'I and my family have talked about it and we thought it wise to send Deolu abroad to complete his studies. The scandal as it is will be too much......'

'Excuse me pastor' my father interrupted

'Send Deolu abroad, send Deolu abroad' kept ringing in my head. How could pastor think of this?

'Yes elder' pastor answered my dad

'Why would you want to send Deolu abroad?

'Like I was saying, to reduce the scandal'

'What scandal? My mum butt in

'Your daughter's pregnancy of course' 

'My daughter's pregnancy? then you decide to remove the cause of the scandal, so that is what you call wise decision!

'Elder Mrs. Johnson' pastor Ajayi was still calm. 'You have to mind the way you talk. Both Efe and Deolu are responsible for their actions...'

'With all due respect pastor. You are the one who ought to mind the way you think and talk. This.....'

'Sarah, my father stopped my mum with his hands on her leg' 

'Pastor you can't just send your son abroad like  that. It is true they are both responsible for their actions, but you can't just whisk Deolu away like that like he has no part to play in all this. Don't you care about their feelings? He is the father of this child for heaven's sake! My dad was trying to control his anger I could see.

'I can do whatever I want to do paul. If you no longer have control over your daughter I don't care, but I still have control over my family' pastor Ajayi retorted

'I am not disputing that pastor' my father raised his voice. 'I am just saying you have to put their feelings into consideration. Deolu is the reason my daughter is pregnant, so you have no right to send him away.

'What exactly will Deolu do?'

What do you mean by that pastor? 

' listen elder paul, when the baby comes, I will give my full support. So let's leave things like this, I don't want to hear of this in the church.'

'What do you mean pastor? Where is Deolu? He needs to be here, let them speak for themselves.'

'As I speak, Deolu is already settled in Canada.....'

'What!' I looked around and found out I was the one who had screamed.

'Can you imagine this? My mother was already on her feet. How dare you pastor?  You call yourself a minister of God and you dare pull this staunt! This is barbaric and unthoughtful of you, your son is responsible for my daughter's pregnancy and you send him away to save your family's name...'

'Elder paul' pastor Ajayi barked. 'Tell you wife to bridle her tongue, I will not have you in my house for you to insult me'

'Pastor I am very disappointed in you' my father said on his feet.' It's obvious you don't practice what you preach, It is very  unfortunate. I think we are done here and mind you pastor my family and I don't need your support'

My dad started for the door guiding my mother. Dazed I followed when pastor stopped us. 

'Elder paul, I really mean this, I do not what to hear this discussed in Church' 

My dads reply was a bang on the door.

On the drive home, my mum sat with me and comforted me. I tried so hard not to cry but it was getting harder to contain the tears. How could pastor do this to us? And how could Deolu leave without telling me? Buts its all my fault' I told myself. I never gave him a chance, now he might believe I hate him. Why didn't I call him? Why didn't I? Oh Deolu! I forgive you, just call me or chat me up. I begged.

'I can't believe pastor Ajayi will do this, will stoop so low to save his family's name' my father was saying.

'He is a conniving man, a wolf in sheep's clothing. It is now you know those who are true ministers of God, he is not.'

'Efe are you okay?' My dad called

'Yes dad' I managed to say

'Don't worry dear, you still have your parents.

    

              

                      Chapter 11

Over the next few weeks, things continued as normal in my family. I now attend antenatal every Thursday and my family really stood by me and I was grateful. I kept thinking of Deolu, I missed him badly. I just wished I had  done things differently, and now it seems he wants nothing to do with me as he never called or chatted me up. I could chat him up on Facebook but did not, he was the one  who left after all, if he still wanted something to do with me, he will chat me up. But I couldn't stop blaming myself, it seems I have pushed him away for good and  I have to learn to live with it, to bring up my baby without a Father. That  hurt more than I could think. And when did I start thinking that way? 'My baby' the thought set a flutter in my stomach, a warm feeling developed inside me that I could not deny. I have begun to develop feelings for my baby.

I was now three months pregnant and beginning to show. I now receive stares from passersby and church members that I tried as much as possible to ignore. But it was becoming worse by the day. One day some of my girlfriends in church stopped me and threw the bomb question.

'Efe...em, are you pregnant? One of them asked?

'Yes' I replied

'Really?' They looked at each other. 'How...I mean how....'

'I know you are surprised and you should be, but I don't want to talk about it' I quickly cut in

'Is it Deolu?

I looked at the one who had spoken right in the face.

'Em...I mean....'

"Girls, I need to go' I said walking away. Is it Deolu? Can you Imagine? She just implied that it could be someone else. Oh God! Save me. 

Another Sunday, I went to the toilet to urinate and heard some of my youth members gossip me their leader.

'It is hard to believe that Efe is pregnant '

'What is hard there? Is it not people like her that are the worst? She will be bold enough to preach against formication whilst she fornicates with her  boyfriend. Do you know what st. Paul says about these kind of people? babe go read your Bible'

I knew the voice of who had spoken, it was the girl that had directly asked me if it was Deolu that was responsible.

'Who knows if it is even Deolu that is responsible? Deolu looks and act like a Christian, I have always known Efe to be a pretender......'

I couldn't take it anymore, I quickly left before i burst out in tears. Suddenly I didn't feel  like going back to the church, so I left for home without letting anyone know. When I  got home I cried myself to sleep. I woke up to banging on the door. I quickly got up and ran to open the door and my mother started to scream at me immediately.

'What is the meaning of what you did? How can you scare us like that? You left while  service was still going on without telling us!

I suddenly burst out in tears remembering why I had left in the first place.

'Efe, what is wrong? My father asked calmly. I saw my brothers look at me not knowing what to do or say. My mother walked to me and putting her hands around me took me to the chair.

'Sorry for shouting at you, tell us what is wrong'

I narrated what happened and my parents consoled me.

'Don't let this bother you Efe' my father said. ' people will always talk, some speak out of jealousy. Pastor Ajayi said you should see him in his office on Wednesday'

'For what?

'I don't know, you will know when you get there'

            

                  Chapter 12

           On Wednesday I came back from seeing pastor Ajayi and my mother practically jumped on me asking me how it went during dinner.

'He asked me to resign from my post as the youth leader'

My father sighed and continued with his food. 'Well, I hope it doesn't really bother you? He asked

'No , I am not bothered' I was expecting it, its not out of place'

'Its not out of place eh! But his own son gets to get away with it, while my daughter suffers everything' my mother retorted.

'Honey its okay, let's leave judgement for God'

My mother kept quiet and we continued with our dinner.

         On Saturday, my parents returned from the usual council meeting they have in Church every last Saturday. Reuben and I were in the kitchen cooking when my mother walked in

'Guess what Efe? 

'What mum?

'Your father and I have been ripped off of our position as elders'

'Really mum?

'Yes my dear'

'That is bad and embarrassing' Reuben put in. 'Wait a minute!,  that means Pastor Ajayi and his wife suppose to cease being our pastor, maybe suspended or something'

'Yes Reuben, but he sent his son abroad and told us not to say anything'

'What mum! How can he do that?

Shaking my head I said. 'I can't believe pastor Ajayi, although it is the rule, but he is letting his family go scot free and us punished. Okay why can't he leave you people in your position? At least that would be fair'

'People are already talking Efe, he couldn't leave us and be able to defend himself. The whole elders agreed it today at the meeting'

' Did they ask who was responsible? I asked

'No'

'So nobody mentioned Deolu, they all knew we were in a relationship!

'My dear, who knows what pastor Ajayi has told them'

'God! I can't believe this' just then a knock sounded on the door.

'Sis Efe, Its Ruth and Esther' Daniel called from the parlour.

Mehn! I had been dreading this moment. I looked at my mum who was looking at me with something close to pity in her eyes.

'I can go tell them you are a little ill and resting'

'No mum, its okay, I cant hide forever' with that I went to the parlour to welcome my friends.

   Few minutes later, we were in my room looking at one another with no one saying anything . Getting tired of the silence I cleared my throat and looked at my friends pointedly. They both  looked at each other before Ruth started

'So Efe, are we such bad friends?

Not expecting that I looked at her questionably. 'What do you mean?

'You are pregnant and you couldn't tell us'

'Em, I was planning to....'

'But you didn't know how to' Esther interrupted. Trust Esther to always say her mind not caring if you are hurt in the process.

'Well yes' I replied playing with my fingers.

'So it was better we find out from people, people who are good in telling stories.

'Which people? And what stories?

Ester sighed shaking her head ' Efe, some of our old classmates are talking, some are saying pretenders do the worst, what happened to our virgin Mary? One even mentioned it was one sugar daddy that got you pregnant'

'Jesus!' I sighed.

'Efe tell us what really happened? Were you raped? Ruth asked with concern.

'Oh no! I said my face filled with horror

'So?'

I told them everything that transpired and Esther asked.

'Really Efe, tell us the truth, did you at least enjoy it?

'Esther! Ruth and I exclaimed

'What? She rolled her eyes. 'If she had enjoyed it at least all the embarrassment will not be in vain'

'Esther please' I said

'You see why being too holy is not good' Esther continued

'What do you mean? 

'If you were like us or somewhere in between you would have known to take a condom when ever you are going to a guys house especially your boyfriend then at least you would have prevented pregnancy. But Efe is too holy, I am not sure she even knows what a condom is'

'Hey come on' I hit Esther on the shoulder. 'I am not that naive' 

'Says who?

'So what about Deolu? Ruth asked

I didn't want to make Deolu look bad to them. But what will I tell them? Settling for the truth I said 'his parents sent him abroad'

'What!

'It's not  his fault' I quickly rushed to defend him.

'What do you mean? Esther demanded

I proceeded to tell them what had happened so far and Deolus attempt at a marriage proposal and what his father did.

'He really sounds like a nice guy and he does love you' Ruth said

'Yes, and I pushed him away'

'Don't blame yourself, it is his father that is a wicked man'  Esther said

'And he is a pastor, Nawa o' Ruth said.

'Na people like us wey people dey call sinner dey go heaven' Esther said. 'So Efe, you better join us and enjoy, before you suffer  here and still suffer in hell' she concluded causing all of us to laugh what I had not done in a long time.

                  

                       Chapter 13

      As the days went by, the embarrassment worsened especially in the church. People talked about us in the open, not minding whether we heard or not. My brothers were not even spared, some of their friends refused to associate with people who have a sister pregnant outside marriage. It was too bad that I wished I could take my family and disappear. Even though I could manage that, what of my brothers? they still had their schooling and my parents had their jobs. My parents no longer sit in front with the elders. Pastor Ajayi had even announced one Sunday that due to obvious reasons the Johnson's were no longer elders of the church and should not be addressed so. It was so embarrassing that Sunday as all eyes were on my family. I felt like picking a knife and stabbing pastor Ajayi, but since I could not do that my eyes looked  daggers at him. 'Ah! If only looks can kill'

        One Sunday, my mum did something that surprised all of us and caused quite a stir in the church. Towards the end of service when it was time for testimony she raised her hand indicating she had a testimony to share. I was wondering what testimony she had that that we didn't know about when she picked the microphone and started.

   'Praise the Lord! Praise the living Jesus!' She started a song... 'He has done so much for me, he has taken away my sorrow......'

'Children of God, my daughter got pregnant four months ago.....'

'Jeez! What is the  meaning of what my mum is doing? I cried to myself.

'It was surprising' I heard my mum continue. My dad was looking at my mum wondering what she was driving at.

'What's mum doing? My brother Daniel whispered to me

'I don't know let's listen'

'But at least every disappointment is a blessing' we heard our mum say. 'Brethren, I want you to join me thank God that  the father of my grandchild has been sent abroad, who knows? maybe to plan well for the baby's future. 'Brethren join me thank God' she continued ignoring the murmuring her last statement caused 'that the father of my daughter's baby is our dear pastor Ajayi's son Deolu'

There was a loud 'Ah!' in the church before a shocked silence. After my mum had given everyone time to take it in she continued 'As our pastor is such a good man' she made that sound sarcastic 'He sent his son abroad like I said earlier, and I am sure it's for  him to plan well. Praise the Lord' she concluded and started walking towards us with her head held high in pride and a triumphant smile on her face only my family could see.

      I suddenly burst ou laughing startling everyone  when I saw the look on pastor and his wife's face. My brothers joined me before my dad warned us to be quiet . suddenly someone at the back started clapping and before you know it the whole congregation was clapping.

      We got home that day and had a good laugh over what my mum did.

'I never believed you would do this mum' I said amidst laughter.

'That was funny and a nice one honey' my father said supporting my mum and that surprised us

'Daaad! I thought you would have said he is a minister of God'

'Minister of God bawo? My father replied causing us to laugh again.

You need to see the look on pastor and his wife's face. You would have laughed too daddy you would' Reuben said holding his stomach and rolling on the floor. 

'I saw, but I controlled myself. He is still our pastor and a minister of God, so we shouldn't laugh at him but pray for him' 

'But dad, you just laughed now in the house' Daniel pointed out.

'Well, not publicly. And actually he deserves everything he got. Let's see how he will travel'

      Aftet the laughter had died down. My mother spoke up. 'So honey should I tell her or do you want to?'

"Tell me what?' I asked

'Efe dear' my father spoke up 'we have decided its best we all go for a vacation'

'Vacation? Where' 

'Abuja. We are going to stay with your aunt until you give birth'

'What of their schooling, and your work?

'Well, your brothers are already in their Christmas break and have decided to complete their schooling there. Your mother have someone to take care of her shop and me as manager has an assistant, so no problem. It will be very good for you, we saw the embarrassment was getting too much' 

'But dad, what happened to me getting what I deserved?

'My dear, you have gotten too much already, for the sake of the baby and your sake too, we need to leave this place'

      I looked at my brothers and parents and saw the love shining in their eyes. Oh! I am such a lucky girl.

'Oh thank you so much' I said hugging them one after  the other, this will be great'

'So mum, after pulling this staunt in church you want to disappear?

'Of course, isn't it where the fun is? When we get back after you have your baby we will hear the gist. We will even hear over there, trust our church people'

 ' I laughed at that. 'So Reuben and Daniel won't be returning with us after I have my baby'

 'Yes, but you can stay back If you want to, your aunt is willing to accommodate you as long as you want' my  dad replied.

'So when are we leaving?

'We have our flight by 1:pm on Friday'

'Friday! How will I get to tell all  my friends good bye?

'You have now till Thursday. And besides how many friends do you even have? I mean true friends, is it not only Ruth and Esther? 

'Well, that's true. I think its high time I went to their house'

            On Friday, I sat in the plane with my parents and smiled genuinely. When I look back to what had happened so far since the past four months. The tears and heart breaks, the drama with pastor Ajayi and family and the most recent drama in church, courtesy of my mother, I couldn't help but broaden my smile . Even though I am pregnant at eighteen, the father of my child is no where to find, I have to write jamb again to get the admission I have lost, I am still grateful to God. 'A righteous mistake indeed can still have a blissful ends' 

            AUTHOR'S NOTE

 The story does not end here, there is a second part titled ' A righteous blessing' soon to be posted. Thanks for reading.


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