(STEPPING INTO MAGGIE’S SHOE)
© Opeyemi Ojerinde Akintunde
It took me about 2 hours 30 minutes to get to my parents’ house. I was grateful that it was already dark as that was able to keep my identity hidden from people. The alone time gave me space to think about my life and the next step to take.
Apostle wanted a divorce already, but was that good for me? Was I not going to be seen as the one with the problem?
That will be 2 husbands in less than 2 years. No one would believe I was just the victim in both cases.
My guess about what people would say was actually proved right when I got to my mum’s place as she didn’t believe a thing I said.
“Happiness, you better say the truth as to why your husband sent you out of the house! With the way you are dressed, are you sure you were not prostituting yourself with some boy and the Apostle caught you?” My mother said .
“Prostituting myself? Mummy!, even when I was single, did you see boys around me? I just told you the simple truth, Apostle is sleeping with a church member, who I tried chasing away with a cutlass today. That got Apostle angry and he locked me out of the house” I said to my mother who was obviously not convinced as she continuously raised her nose to indicate she was not buying my lie.
“So you are telling me, your husband who is a man of God is sleeping around? Happy have you been using your pills of recent, are you sure you are not hallucinating? When last did you see your therapist?” Mum was saying…
That was it for me, there was nothing I was going to say that would convince my mother, so there was no point trying anymore. I left her and was heading towards my room…
“Where to?” My mum asked.
“To my room, I need to rest, I trekked here” I said.
“Unfortunately, you have no room here again, I don’t have a space here, you need to go back to your husband’s house now.”
“Mummy, what is this? Mummy please I am not ready for any drama, I just told you my husband locked me out!”
I noticed my mother picked her phone and was dialing a number. It rang at first, but after about 3 times. The call was dropped. Mother kept calling but the person was not picking up.
“The only condition I can let you stay in this house is if I hear from the Apostle himself” my mother said.
“Well, he is not picking…” my father who had been a silent observer said.
“Then I will get to her house tonight… let’s go” my mother said as she eyed my father.
My mother picked up her car key and was on her way out. It was obvious I had to go with her, her word was final.
“OK Mum, but please let me have a change of dress, I feel really dirty and sweaty.”
“Make it fast” she said as she went out towards her car.
I rushed into the room I lived as a single hoping to have a change of outfit since I still had some old clothes there. I freshened up in a haste and searched through my locker for a dress.
As I was rummaging through my clothes, my old diary fell. It was a diary where I wrote my dreams, wishes and fantasies. I sat down and skipped through till I got to a page that tore my heart… I wrote it on one of those days I was taken over by my greed…
“I just wish Pastor Maggie would just die, so I could be Apostle Ray’s Wife. I wish I was Apostle’s wife, where people would refer to me as Mama, I would be able to travel around the world, waving at people, I would have a private jet, people will give me gifts of cars, money, e.t.c. I hope to have three kids with him and travel round the world.
God please, Pastor Maggie is not wearing her shoe well, I just wish I was the one in her shoe…”
I dropped the diary like it was a plague, just then Mum came in…
“The car is not starting, We will have to take public transport.”
“Public transport at past 9, Mum it is late, we can go tomorrow, maybe your car not starting is a sign that God doesn’t want us to go.”
“ Indeed.Get dressed and let’s be on our way” Mum said with her bossy tone.
We had stayed at our bus stop for about 10 minutes before we got a bus. I was really angry at my Mum, so I made sure I didn’t sit close to her, and I didn’t utter a word to her. A woman with three babies (she had placed one at her back and she had carried two in her hands, one on each hand) entered the bus, taking the seat beside me. Out of compassion for her, I offered to help her carry one of the babies who she gladly placed in my hand.
A female evangelist was preaching over the radio about God’s love…
“It’s not everyone that God loves, God has his favorite” the mother of the babies said as we all were paying attention to the broadcast.
“Aunty, don’t say that, a father loves all his children, and since God is our father, he loves us all” I said to counter what she said.
“Then why calamity? Take for instance look at me. My husband died 2 months ago on the day of delivering these children. He was so excited when he heard I had given birth to a set of triplets,that he went drinking. It was when he was coming to the hospital he drove into the carnal.”
“Ha!” Everyone in the bus exclaimed.
“So stop saying God loves us” the woman said.
“But what you just said shows that God is not to be blamed in this matter, your husband died because of his own sin, he died out of his error and foolishness. He drove when he was drunk…” a man said from behind.
“But God could have protected him” She argued.
“My sister, it is well, God will watch over your children, at least part of God being merciful to you, when your husband destroyed himself, God has given you 3 babies” the man said with no sympathy in his voice.
“I like being truthful… a lot of people blame God for their foolishness” the man said.
“When we act foolishly and get the consequences of such action, we should brace up, accept the consequences and find a way to live with it” the man said.
Suddenly, the woman shouted…
“Please I need to ease myself, driver stop please…”
The driver hissed and stopped, telling her to make it snappy. The woman dumped her remaining two kids with me, making it three babies on my laps. As they were a handful, I passed the first baby to my Mum who was seated at my back.
The woman rushed into a dark place to avoid being seen while trying to ease
“Madam… madam, make it snappy, do you have a tanker load of water in your system?” the driver shouted.
This was about 5 minutes after she left, but no one responded. Someone got down from the bus to call her…
“Madam, Mama Baby, do quick….” the man shouted but he got no response.
The driver got down also and checked for her with this torch, the woman was nowhere to be found.
At this point, everyone alighted from the vehicle.
We started searching for her in the dark….
“Where was this woman who had dumped 3 babies in my hand” I thought in apprehension.
To be continued