Chains That Bind Us - Episode 16
Chidinma woke up feeling confused. She was not in her own bed. She woke up alarmed, looked around her, confused. 'Where am I? This is not my room'. All of a sudden she remembered the events of the previous day. She had packed out of her matrimonial home and checked into a hotel without informong anyone of her whereabouts.
She slowly stood up and walked into the ensuite bathroom to wash her face. She looked like a mess. Her eyes were puffy like she had gotten little sleep after she had cried herself to sleep and her hair looked like she had gone into a battle field with it. She looked at herself in the mirror, signed as she used her fingers to try to put her messy hair in order. She was still doing that when her phone rang so she abandonned the task to receive her call.
"Good morning Pastor," Chidinma greeted.
"Good mornong Sister Chidinma. Sorry to call you this early but I was wondering if you could come by the church this morning to see me before you head out to work," the Pastor said.
"Okay. I will be there shortly".
"Thank you. May God be with you".
Without replying, she ended the call. She threw the phone on the bed, looked at it for a while as she thought of how she would handle the meeting with the Pastor. It was obvious he wanted to talk about the divorce, maybe talk her out of it. She would see it but she would not let it interfere with her decisions. She knows what she wants and what is best for herself more than anyone else.
Almost as soon as she dropped the phone, her phone rang again. It was her mother calling. Her parents and siblings had been trying to contact her since the day before but she refused to pick up their call. She did not feel like explaining herself to any of them.
Debo stayed in his bedroom since Chidinma left the house. He did not talk to anyone and he did not eat or sleep. Adunni was worried about him. She kept begging him to eat something but he totally refused to. He did not even speak to her. At a point, he locked himself inside the room so she would no longer gain entry to pester him. Adunni stood outside the door, after knocking profusely and begging him to open up, she called the Pastor again and cried out to him about her son's condition. "Don't worry. All will be well," the Pastor simply said.
It was noon before Chidinma could see the Pastor. She had first gone to her store where she was waylaid by her mother and elder sister. They demanded answers. "Have you decided to marry that Nelson?" her mother asked.
"Yes," she replied. The two older women were shocked. They did not know what to say. They did not know if what was happening was a good thing or a bad thing.
The Pastor was in consultation with another church member when Chidinma arrived at the church. She sat rather patiently in front of the office, waiting. A few minutes later, the Pastor emerged with an elderly woman in tow. He said farewell to the woman and turned to her. "Ha Sister Chidinma. Good afternoon," he greeted pleasantly.
She stood up. "Good afternoon Pastor".
"Please come in". They entered the Pastor's office and as soon as they were seated, the Pastor spoke. "I heard you have made a decision".
"I know what you heard Pastor but as a man of God, I will not lie to you. I will tell you the whole truth". She paused and took a deep breathe. "Contrary to what you have heard, I am not getting a divorce from my husband. Not now, not ever. I love him and we vowed till death do us part. I intend to honour my vows".
"But..." the Pastor said confused but he was interrupted.
"I know what I said. It was all a charade. Nobody except me and now you knows about it so that it can seem very real." She took another deep breathe. "Pastor, you know we are in Nigeria. You know there are physical and supernatural ways for people to get whatever they desperately want." The Pastor nodded. "I was starting to sense desperation in Nelson's mother and Nelson himself. He might say that he has given up and accepted fate but I don't fully believe him. Noy after he has lost so much already. His mother was stalking me, he was stalking me and I was not giving in to their demands. What if they go spiritual in order for me to marry Nelson. Pastor, I don't want to wake up twenty years from now to see myself in the home of the wrong man because my will has been spiritually tied to follow him. You know what I am saying. You are a Pastor. You know there are juju which people use to make people do what they want."
"I know. But people of God always overcome such evil," the Pastor said.
"Yes they do. But not immediately. Time flies before they do. I don't want to libe my life waiting for God to avenge me as time flies by. I am doong this to protect myself, my husband, our marriage, our future together. Being with Nelson puts his mind at ease. He thinks he has won so he or his mother won't think of making a move against us that will harm us".
"Until when Sister Chidinma. You must actually have a plan to put an end to this once and for all".
"Of course I do. In two weeks, my friend Raymond will be getting married. After the wedding, he and his family will return to the States. They has invited I and my husband to stay with them while we try IVF methods of conceiving. That was how they also conceived their children. We have already bought our tickets. We leave two days after the wedding. The charade has to continue till then afterwards, I and my husband will be safe from their clutches".
The Pastor looked her thoughtfully. He thought the plan was brilliant although he does not fully support IVF but it was his belief that if God does not grant something, then it can never be happen. "You have really thought this through. I think your husband should be informed about this. The poor man is really suffering thinking his world has collapsed".
"Yes I know. I just had to do it because I don't fully trust my mother in law. I don't know on which side she belongs to".
"I believe she is on her son's side".
"That is the problem. Her love for her son might tilt her alliance to the other side," Chidinma said.
The Pastor nodded in agreement. "I will inform your husband without letting your mother in law in on the plan".
"Thank you Pastor". She stood up, said her farewell and left the office. She had a lunch date with Nelson at their usual spot. It was important to keep up the act until her and Debo were off the shores of the country. She trusted no one apart from the Pastor and her husband with her plan. Everyone around her also have something to gain from her leaving her husband or staying with him. They all have sides that they have picked. A child which is reportedly with Nelson or her happiness which is definitely with Debo.
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