November 29, 2021

The devil on the altar episode 17 – 18

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THE DEVIL ON THE ALTAR 17
Written by: Grace Olayemi

Patricia didn’t know what to do and the baby was growing rapidly inside her. Everything in her was screaming ‘abort the pregnancy!’ but there was a quiet part of her that kept on reminding her of the various consequences of abortion. The war continued within her and she could not even tell the closest person to her. Paul maintained his stance and didn’t even check up on her or talk to her. He was determined to exonerate himself from any suspicion from people once she declared him as the father and he denied it. She sent him a lot of texts but he didn’t reply to any of them. Her studies were being affected greatly and she was getting scared that she won’t be able to cope in school with the pregnancy and would have to drop out.

Patricia finally decided to end the war within her and give in to common sense. She exonerated herself of every pang of guilt she was feeling and decided that that was what was best for her and the baby. She called Paul and he didn’t respond as usual, she wondered the kind of love he had for her for him to be able to quickly discard her at a time she needed him most. She was getting the true picture that the reason he wanted their relationship to be a secret was so that he could discard her easily. She sent him a text to inform him of her decision and he replied almost immediately. He asked for a week to raise the money for the abortion and she agreed.

After

a week, he took her to a hospital in the outskirts of the town, far away from the school’s vicinity where the abortion was done. The doctor asked her to stay back in the hospital for close monitoring after the process and she agreed. Patricia started bleeding that night and the doctor could not stop it.
Something must have gone wrong with the process but the doctor kept assuring Paul that everything was under control. Paul was agitated and tried to calm down while assuring himself that all will be well. He could not pray because he somehow knew that it would be a waste of time, judging by the situation and what he contributed to it. The doctor came around to have a word with Paul and he sighed heavily after the doctor explained the situation at hand to him.

“Is

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that the only way to save her?” He asked after a few seconds.
“Yes!”

“Ok, do it.”

“Come with me to sign the papers,” the doctor said and walked away and Paul followed him.

“I’m doing all this to save you. I hope you will understand when you get better,” he thought to himself as he tried to catch up with the doctor’s pace.

*****
Patricia was discharged after about two weeks and she felt a little better physically but there was no word that could describe the misery she felt spiritually and psychologically. She felt like a part of her had been ripped off. She prayed and fasted to ease herself of the guilt and condemnation in her spirit and she got a little better but could not get over the constant fear that came upon her.

Celestina was tired of asking Patricia what was wrong with her and had resulted in praying for her. Anytime she prayed for her, the word she received was proverbs 28:13 (He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.). She had asked Patricia about it the first time she received the word but the latter said she had nothing to confess. Celestina kept praying for her that her heart would be humble enough to confess her wrongdoings. Celestina continued to have a series of scary revelations about Patricia and didn’t cease in her prayers for her and didn’t stop to ask her to confess her secret deeds and put the devil to shame.

Patricia

continued to pretend as if all was well with her, but she knew more than anyone else that she was dying inside. She wanted to tell the whole world, if that would relieve her misery but she would be blamed for many things and won’t be justified as the victim any more. Paul also had not made the healing process easy for Patricia. He had been avoiding all contacts with her and they only saw each other in church where they couldn’t discuss what she really wanted to discuss. She wanted to ask him how he was and how he was coping with the situation. She wanted to tell him that she was not fine and wanted them to pray to God together so she could have peace but Paul was far away.

She was fed up with his hide and seek and decided to storm his house. She got ready very early on a Saturday morning and headed for his house. She knocked on the door and he opened up while standing in the doorway to prevent her from entering or seeing inside.

“Can I come in? We need to talk,” Patricia said impatiently.

“Why didn’t you call before coming?”

“Call? Really? When was the last time you answered my call?”

“Well, I’m busy now and would not…” Paul was saying but Patricia lost all her patience and pushed him away with all the energy she could muster and found her way into his room but what she saw broke the remaining shreds of her heart.

THE DEVIL ON THE ALTAR 18
Written by: Grace Olayemi

Patricia pushed her way into Paul’s room and saw Cordelia, the choir mistress, coming out of his kitchen. She stopped in her tracks and they both stared at each other for close to five minutes. A lot went through Patricia’s mind and she didn’t even know the right words to say.

Was Cordelia her rival and also sleeping with Paul? Has she ever aborted any pregnancy for Paul? Is she the reason for Paul’s recent behaviour? Was Paul cheating all along? Is she just a friend and no strings attached? Many more questions kept popping up in her head and she wanted to scream to get them out. She felt cold and her limbs were growing weak.

A quick glance at Cordelia and Patricia knew beyond any reasonable doubt that she spent the night in Paul’s room. She still had her night wear on, a net to cover her hair, her face didn’t look washed and she was barefooted. Patricia continued to do the math while standing and didn’t even know when Paul started talking.

“Sis Cordelia, can you please excuse us?” He said to the equally confused sister who didn’t know what to do as she was not expecting that anyone could visit Paul that early. She took her phone and walked out of the room but was determined to know what a sister would be doing in Paul’s room that early.

“Please don’t eavesdrop. She wants to discuss a private matter,” Paul said as though he could read her thoughts and Cordelia obeyed. She walked away from earshot and sat there.

“So?” Paul asked, looking at Patricia who was yet to recover from the shock of seeing another woman in his room.

“Who is she and what is she doing here?”

“She is Cordelia, the choir mistress. Don’t you know her?”

“Answer

the second part of the question?”

“Which is?”

“What the hell is she doing here?”

“Don’t you dare raise your voice at me!” Paul shouted and Patricia calmed down.

“You said you were busy and wouldn’t have allowed me in if I had not pushed you. What were you doing with her?”

“Did you leave your hostel this early in the morning to ask me ridiculous questions?”

“It is not ridiculous, Paul. You have been ignoring me since you made me kill our baby and I came here to find out your reason for that and I have seen it clearly. How long has this been going on?”

“What!”

“Your affair with Cordelia.”

“I am not having an affair with her.”

“What then is she doing here?”

“Why are we going back and forth? You have asked this earlier.”

“And you couldn’t produce an answer. You are quick to answer every other thing except that one. What have I done to deserve this from you, Paul?” She said and fell on the floor crying. Paul didn’t like the noise she was making and wanted to do everything to get her to keep it low or better still walk away.

“Stop giving yourself unnecessary headaches. We can discuss this when you are calmer,” Paul said persuasively.

“Nice try,” she said and clapped. You want me to leave so you can continue, right? You must be joking! I would remain here until you tell me what is going on.”

“Don’t be stupid, Patricia, you can’t do that.”

“I have been stupid all along and it is too late for you to give me that kind of counsel.”

“What do you want?” Paul asked after a brief silence and he could read that Patricia was determined to remain there until she had her way and he knew Cordelia might get tired of waiting and come to eavesdrop which would be bad for him.

“I want to know what is going on.”

“Nothing is going on.”

“Then, why have you been avoiding me and ignoring all my approach to reach out to you?”

“I’m sorry but I think we need a break from this relationship. I mean…” Paul could not finish when Patricia interrupted

“Why? Is it because of her?”

“No!”

“Then what is it?” Paul hesitated for a while before he finally spoke.

“I can’t marry a lady without a womb,” Paul said and left Patricia in total confusion as to what he meant.

To be continued…

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