Bisi was having the worst day of her life; a married woman’s nightmare.
“I’m going to get my son another wife. After six years of marriage, you have remained childless. You must be a witch, Bisi. What have you done to your womb?”
Bisi Ajiboye woke up in sweat, panting.
Kunle was still asleep. She crept out of the king-sized bed and sneaked to the living room.
Bisi switched on the light. It was four A.M. She closed her eyes and sobbed. For weeks, she had been having similar dreams. Nagging reminders of a painful past.
Back in the bedroom, her baby was sleeping, his tiny chest rising and falling as it ought. He looked angelic and
made her forget the price she had to pay. In a few hours, this house will be embroiled in activities. Activities to mark ten years of marriage and to celebrate their new born baby boy.
Ten years ago, her marriage had started like a beautiful dream, with an expensive wedding and a blissful honey-
moon abroad. Over the years, there were more of the thorns and less of the roses on their matrimonial bed. Their stormy years began because she had no child.
Bisi was a nurse working in a private hospital in the city, while Kunle was a businessman who was often away on
Kunle used to be her king and her heartbeat; used to treat her like a queen. As the months slipped by, he still
provided for all her needs, but joy was fading from their home.
At a point, he insisted she should stop working. He didn’t want her answering ‘Yes, sir’ to any man. She had pleaded with him that being a nurse was something she enjoyed doing. It was her calling, she loved taking care of the sick. It made her feel she was helping in her own little way to make the world a better place. He agreed and they had an understanding.
But seven years of childlessness turned Kunle into a bitter, sadistic husband. And love disappeared from our marriage.
“I hate nurses,” Her mother-in-law declared when she came to visit. “I wonder what she has done to her womb.
Kunle, you must get rid of her.”
Her marriage was falling apart, she had to do something.
“Darling, I think we have to see a doctor to find out exactly what the problem is,” she had suggested.
Kunle reluctantly agreed. After the appointment, he travelled to South Africa to conclude a business deal.
Bisi had to come for the follow-up alone. Doctor Charles, the gynaecologist, had told her, “Madam, you are perfectly okay but I can’t say the same for your husband.” Bisi sobbed.
For seven years, she had been accused of being a barren woman and had started believing it to be true. The doctor consoled her. She thanked him and drove back home.
At night and alone, she found herself in a dilemma. If she told her husband the truth, then what?
Three days later, Kunle returned. “Bisi, how did the tests go?” he asked her at dinner.
“Darling, the doctor said I am the cause of the problem and advised that we should hand it over to God.”
“I knew it. My mother is right!” Kunle banged the table with his fist.
Later that day, Bisi suggested they should see a man of God. “Darling, I believe in miracles. My friend in the hospital told me that Pastor Daniel is good. She has already told the pastor about us and he wants to see both of us.”
Kunle grunted, “I’ve heard you woman. Just go on your own. I will be busy throughout this week. Pray for us.”
That was how Bisi got to meet Pastor Daniel of Ever-green Church. He was a good looking and fair in complexion young man. Pastor Daniel was married with three children. He was gentle and kind.
For the next three years, he soaked her in prayers and their friendship blossomed.
“For miracles concerning fruits of the womb, your husband needs to join you in prayers,” Pastor Daniel insisted again and again.
At a point, Kunle chased her away from the house. Pastor Daniel and his wife took care of her that night. The next day, they brought her back and begged Kunle to accept her.
“God will work wonders in your family soon,” Pastor Daniel had assured Kunle. By then, they were sleeping in separate bedrooms.
Sometimes, during the weekends, whenever Kunle travelled out for business, Daniel would come over and spend time with her. The new friendship brought her peace of mind and made her forget the pain. Daniel was a compassionate man.
As Kunle drifted further from her, Pastor Daniel drew closer. Bisi believed that God will understand her plight.
The tenth anniversary of my marriage and a day of celebration for our new born baby. It’s time to move on and focus on the blessings of the day. She remembered how the arrival of the baby had changed everything.
“I can’t believe it, our God is truly a God of miracles. Honey, we must go for thanksgiving. This is wonderful,” said Kunle, after the delivery.
She was back to being his honey. He cancelled all his business commitments just to be with her and the baby boy. When her mother-in-law arrived, she sang and danced around the living room. She carried the baby in her arms and her face beamed with joy.
“I can finally join my ancestors now my wish has been fulfilled. We have been waiting for you, dear child. I so much love this baby. He’s not dark like both of you, but rather, he inherited my mother’s fair complexion.”
Smiling, Kunle glanced at Bisi, drew close to her and held her in his arms. Yes, the arrival of the baby brought back life into my marriage.
Bisi came back to the present, snuggled close to her husband, and slept some more.
The day moved fast. People streamed in and out of their three-storey mansion, delighted to celebrate the lovely
baby. Bisi danced with her husband as they swayed to the rhythm of the gospel music. The party was grand, awash with foods, drinks and gifts. The cake was huge and Kunle kissed his wife for the first time in nine years, to the applause of everyone.
“Today, we celebrate with my son and his family. This baby will surely bring blessings …” her mother-in-law was saying. But Bisi’s mind was on the latest entrant to the party; Pastor Daniel, light skinned and dapper as always. She stood up and hovered towards him.
“Bisi, I’m rushing to a prayer meeting. I just had to drop by! Regards to your husband.” Their eyes met briefly be-
fore he left and they exchanged unspoken memories they must hide forever. Her husband was busy greeting some of his important guests.
He’s as happy as he was at the beginning of our marriage. God, please forgive me for the price I had to pay to make this day come true.
• Stanley Umezulike is from Anambra State. He writes romance stories and thrillers set mostly in Africa. He is a graduate of Political Science from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He has published two novels: The Shock (paperback) and Love Diary (eBook). He is working on his next novel and members of this platform will be involved in editing and alpha/beta-reading. He lives in Enugu, Nigeria.
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