My heart dropped!
How was I going to tell her that this kind of a thing had happened?
I carried the little babe in the shawl and hugged him tightly as tears gathered in my eyes.
I looked at the pastor and our eyes met.
He gave me a questionable look and I nodded
His shoulders dropped as he leaned on the window panes
I shook my head in anguish
My pastor threw his right fist in the air and released air from his mouth forming a whistle out of despair too.
“Is the baby a boy or a girl?” her voice brought me back to life and i looked into her face.
She looked really blue.
The pains of labor and the 14-hour long travail had really sapped her strength.
“It was a boy” i said and she opened her half-slit eyes a bit
“Was?” she asked and I nodded wearily
She faced the pastor
“Was?” she asked him too, dramatically
“Yes” he answered silently
“He’s dead?” she asked and there was silence.
How were we supposed to tell her?
What would it say about our God?
Wont she believe that God had brought her this far to leave her daunted?
I was clueless and my heart raced
She sat up, not mindful of the intravenous line connecting the saline drip into her vein.
“But God could still do this to me?” she asked in a sure tone and I walked to the cot to place the dead baby there
I looked at my pastor who tried to hold her but she retreated.
“I promised that I was going to serve him didn’t I? I did promise! So why all these? why am I in a pool of bitterness again? why?” she cried, tears streaming down her face.
“Hmmm….It is well o” I exclaimed as was my usual habit.
She looked at me somewhat fiercely and shook her head.
In a twinkling of an eye, she caught my hands and squeezed it till life was no more felt in it.
“How do you feel? How does your hand feel?” she cried out.
I understood her frustration and tears could only flow down my face
“I paused blood flow in y our hand for a few seconds. See how white your hand is now. see how lifeless it were . See how dead you feel in here. That’s exactly how I feel now Miss Doctor!” she said somewhat rashly.
I nodded quietly as tears flowed down my face
Of course I understood her
Her youthful age hadn’t been rosy;
The death of one of her first twins had been worse on her
The insanity of her husband and the sudden realization that he had been fetish all along had been the worst of all.
Now, the pregnancy she nursed for months in pains, shame, regret, hunger and all had died again- immediately after birth!
“Dear Mrs. Olowo…” Pastor was saying when she raised her hand defiantly as she let go of my hand.
“Don’t call me that! Not now, not ever! I had rather remained Olosi- a totally poverty-stricken woman than to be called Olowo when the reverse is the case for me. Not anymore!” she said, almost screaming.
Her voice struggled to escape her vocal cords because she was really in pains beneath her
Her pelvic was tight at first as she labored, so that was the first challenge we faced
Eventually when the pelvic would give way a bit again, there was a big tear which we had to sow
Definitely, she was in pain!
“Stop that MA!” she exclaimed, stressing the MA to the extent that my heart jumped into my mouth.
I looked at the pastor who had sat down at the feet of the bed, his head buried in his hands.
“Madam, the baby would have died anyways” I said and she looked at me questionably.
I had to explain further
“He wouldn’t have survived for a long time. he would have died after a few days. his survival would have been hell for you. it would have been really brutally painful for him. no wonder God took him before the problems started unfolding” i quickly rushed my words before she could stop me.
She looked at me instantly, tears strolling down her face
“Ehn?” she muttered
I sat beside her and held her shoulders as I patted and rubbed them.
“The baby had a very poor bone formation and it is due to calcium and iron deficiency of the mother”
“Ehn?” she muttered again.
“He has a very big hole in his small heart and I tell you that it would have been costly to maintain it.”
Her eyes widened
“Hole in the heart?” she asked to be sure and I nodded.
She shrugged from my hold and stood up abruptly
The pastor looked up, his eyes red.
Glory removed the canullar and I stood up so shocked.
“Why…” I was saying when the pastor held my shoulders and i sat down.
We watched as she slipped her legs into her shoes and carried one cheap, tattered handbag that she had probably gotten as a gift from a ceremony long ago.
She walked close to the door before turning back.
I was perplexed but pastor’s reassuring smile kept me seated.
“I will be back” she said
“Where are you going…?” I was asking when she cut me short herself.
“To have a chat with God…or isn’t it right?” she asked and I smiled, nodding like an agama lizard.
“It’s right” I said and she opened the door.
“But…” I wanted to say again, seeing how weak she looked.
I didn’t want her to faint on the way.
“And…I don’t want to be followed please” she said with a kind of finality and the door was jammed.
I looked at the pastor and he smiled at me.
“It should be fine” he said but I wasn’t convinced.
If he had used ‘will’, I might have calmed down bit; but ‘should’….ah!
If nothing, I knew about the story of Naomi in the Bible very well
I remembered that story lucidly.
I was taught in our Sunday school class while I was in the orphanage home that Naomi went out full but came back empty!
Of course I remembered so well!Some people suffer so that they will be better equipped to comfort others in their suffering
And what is the difference between us now?
But the fact that she went out full and came back empty while I had been empty all my life!
I had been the real Mara!
But I couldn’t bear it anymore…I had been pushed to the wall!
God had been so unfair!
As I alighted from the bike that brought me to the church- the one my doctor attended- with great difficulty, I faced the motorcyclist and he looked into my face
“Bani kudi” he said, stretching his hand in readiness to collect money.
“Ba kudi dan Allah” I quickly pleaded.
It just dawned on me that i had no dime on me.
He frowned a bit
“Me ne ne?” he was almost getting angry
“Dan Allah, ya ku ri. ka ya kuri” I started apologizing as I turned to go
My feet could barely hold me again.
I was about collapsing
The labor pains had been severe and I had nothing to show for the hours of pains I went through.
The child died!
Tears rushed into my eyes
Why my life was full of shambles and pains and calamities like this, I would appreciate if God could explain to me.
I turned back to see the motorcyclist and he was still there.
He looked puzzled as he held his chest out of perplexity.
What was he looking at so intently?
I turned to look at the back of my blue wrapper and there it was…
Full of blood!
I gasped in shock but I went further
“Sanu” he waved
“Muje hospital” he said but I shook my head
Whatever had brought me here should kill me here.
If it was death, it should kill me there
I entered the church and fell t the ground.
I gasped for air for a few number of time before I started dragging myself to the altar side
It was a very big church and so it took me minutes to get to the front.
By the time I got there, I had perspired like a Christmas goat and was gasping for air seriously.
The pain was much for me but I endured even as I gaped in pain as I felt the hot, sticky substance streaming down between my laps
Was I dying?
When one loses blood, it is said that life is being lost.
Was I losing my life too?
I could hear the sound of a piano
I listened more as I tried to quiet down my moaning.
Someone on the podium was playing the piano
Could the person not see me?
Could the person not rise up to help?
>>>It Continues still, please stay tuned…<<<