The Elder’s Daughter
“I will miss you guys” David said as he saw Brian and Angela off. He helped them load their luggage in Brian’s family car. It had been a week since the results were out and most students had already left the Campus. Brian and Angela were leaving the same day after clearing all the paperwork. Brian had proposed to drop Angela home on his way to his hometown. David, on the other hand, was still going to be around. Thanks to his small business, he had managed to raise enough money to rent a room and take care of his sister. Brian gave him a hug “I’ll miss you too bro. But hey, I am waiting for your visit as promised. I will show you around our town. You’ll love it. It’s very quiet and cool” he said. “Definitely! I’ll visit you soon once I get some free time. I am praying to God to get a job soon while I continue with my business” David said. He turned to Angela and gave her a warm hug “As for you Madam, your house is not far from here. Please visit me whenever you are free. Thank you for being such a good friend.” He said. Angela shed some tears. “It has been a pleasure knowing you Dave. May God give you a good job. I’ll definitely stay in touch” she said. They both entered the car and left. David went to the printing shops at the Campus and printed out his CV in several copies and went back to his room and cleared his stuff. He carried his two suitcases and left the room. He boarded a taxi that took him to his rented room. It was only 1pm, so he decided to go to some offices in town to look for a job. He went from office to office leaving his CV. Some promised to get in touch with him while others simply didn’t give any response. He then went to his shop and stayed there until around 8pm.
That evening after returning from his shop, he lay down on his bed thinking about his life. He thought of how to expand his business. “Now that most schools are on holidays, I don’t think I will get many customers for my goods. I need to think of something else that I can sell. I will go to my Chinese supplier and see if I can get other goods apart from stationery” he thought to himself. He scrolled through his phone. He glanced through the pictures in his phone. He came across Esther’s pictures. He smiled as he looked at her. He remembered that he had taken a video of her and Angela when they went to Magic land. He played the video. Esther was shouting at Angela for pushing her onto one of the moving Mary go rounds. She almost cried as it was her first time. Angela was busy laughing at her. Esther also joined in the laughter. As David watched the video, he laughed. “Oh God! I love this girl. Why didn’t things work out between us?” he said.
THREE MONTHS LATER
Esther was trying to adapt and accept her situation as she strived hard to make it. She had been accepted at the hospital where she was now working. She was excited to start her new job. She went early in the morning and returned in the evening. She stayed in touch with Brian and Angela and purposely decided to forget about David. “If he truly loved me, he would at least give me a call to know how my father is doing” she said to herself. She was now in good terms with Elder Barnabas. With the help of Esther’s salary and the sale of his crops, Elder was able to pay off a part of his debt in monthly instalments. Jacob had been putting pressure on them to pay him back calling them all manner of names whenever he collected his money at the end of the month. Esther was working hard to earn a living. Her pregnancy was almost 5 months. People in the community and even at their local church thought she would be ashamed of her situation. However, Esther and her family kept their dignity and continued going to church, despising the mockery. Rumors were circulating that Jacob and Clara were planning for their wedding. That did not bother Esther at all. She had moved on with her life.
Elder was back home and had recovered quite quickly from his stroke. He had become unusually quiet. One day, as he sat outside the house, feeding his chickens, Esther walked in from her work. She had left the hospital quite early that afternoon. She came to him and greeted him. “Sir, I brought some milk for you. One of our colleagues came from Moti and brought a lot of milk straight from the farm. I am sure you’ll enjoy yourself because you love milk” she said. Elder Barnabas laughed “Thank you my daughter. May God bless you. Please boil some of the milk for me and come here. I want to discuss something with you. Call your mother and Daniel also” he said. Esther went inside and boiled some milk for him. She informed her mother and Daniel and they all went to meet Elder Barnabas.
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Elder Barnabas: My dear wife and children I have called you here today to speak to you from the depth of my heart. I know that I have been very strict and rigid towards all of you. I thought I was bringing you up in the ways of the Lord, but I realized that I was trying to make you to be who I wanted you to be when in the actual fact it is God we should strive to resemble. I know in so doing I have hurt all of you but today I realize my shortcomings and I want to apologize to you all. To you my wife, I apologize for being so tough. Deep within me, I love you so much and I appreciate how you stood by me all these years, especially before we even got married. When everyone was against me, including your family, you believed in me and showed me true love. You have also given me wonderful children. To you Daniel, I know you are like my best friend in this house. Hahaha. You are never involved in any disputes but I have also been too harsh on you. I am sorry. And to you Esther, I wish I had the right words to use for you. I remember the day you were born was one of the happiest days of my life. I held you in my arms and promised to be your defender. You have grown into a beautiful lady. However, I used to think I was the best Christian on earth. But you proved me wrong. You showed me what true Christianity is. After everything I made you to go through by forcing you into the arms of a man you did not love, you still found it in your heart to forgive me. You have such a pure heart that I wonder why someone would even think of hurting you. Thank you for showing me what true Christianity is. I sincerely apologize for every pain that I have made you to go through.
Esther was already crying. Her mother cried too and held her hand. “No sir, you have not wronged me. I strongly believe that all these things happened for a reason. The Bible says all things work together for the good of those that love the Lord. I also made a lot of mistakes from which I have learnt great lessons. You are my father and I respect you totally” she said.
Elder Barnabas: Thank you my daughter. I praise God for giving me a second chance to start a new life with my family. I don’t care what other people say about us now, but what is more important to me is that we are a united family. Satan hates to see unity in families that is why he is always fighting against it, but I thank God that he has not been able to prevail. And now my daughter, what are your plans for this child that you are carrying? Is the father aware? What has been his reaction? If he has refused to take responsibility of the child, you will not have to worry about it. Your mother and I are here to give this child the love that it deserves even with our little means of survival
Esther: Er-er-er. Actually I have not informed him about the baby
Elder Barnabas: But why? He deserves to know. Is it because you are afraid of his reaction?
Esther: Not really. Certain things happened that have made me to just forget about him
Esther’s mother: Which things? Please explain to us
Esther: It’s a complicated story mom. He was already seeing someone else when I discovered that I am pregnant
Elder Barnabas: What is the name of the young man?
Esther: David……Why do you seem worried? Do you know him?…..Ah ok I remember Jacob told me that he had reported him to you once
Elder Barnabas: Yes Jacob told me about him. So he was actually right wasn’t he? You loved that young man more than him?
Esther: He was the only person who accepted me for who I am. He was a good friend.
Esther ran into the house crying. She went into her bedroom and cried as she thought about David. She remembered his smile, jokes and how warm hearted he was “I don’t know why things could not work out between us David, but I truly loved you. I wanted to spend the rest of my life with you. But now, you do not even know that you will soon be having a child. I am sure you are busy having fun with Betty. All the best David, all the best!” she cried. Her mother entered her room and locked the door. She put her hand around Esther’s shoulders and shook her gently “It’s going to be alright. Everything will be alright my princess. Wipe your tears” she said. Esther looked at her mother and cried “But mom, will I ever find any man that I will love the way I loved David? He made me feel so good about myself when everyone around me thought I was bizarre. He helped me to have confidence in myself.”
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Her mother looked at her and asked “Then what separated both of you if you truly loved each other?”
Esther: Mom, as soon as David found out that I was engaged to Jacob, he changed completely. He stopped talking to me and eventually started seeing another lady.
Esther’s mother: But do you think he was wrong to do that? You were engaged and any normal man would stay away from you. And I actually think he is a decent man otherwise he would have just used you and dumped you knowing very well that you were engaged to another man
Esther: I guess you are right, but anyway there is nothing more I can do
Esther’s mother: Well maybe you should have been a little patient with him. When you love someone, you will fight to get the person. I don’t mean physically fighting people, but being patient and believing in the person.
Esther’s mother: hmm. You know there is a day you asked me if I got married to your father by force. I purposely refused to answer you because I was afraid of what the response would do to you. I was thinking that you would end up falling in love with Jacob as he seemed to be a good person. But now that we have a whole new story, I would like to tell you how I got married to your father. I am actually feeling that history has repeated itself. I met your father when I was 15 years old. We were very good friends because your father’s father worked with my father on the same plantation. However, we were from different tribes and in those days it was a taboo to marry from a different tribe. Your father and I used to play together innocently until when I was about 18 years old. We both fell in love with each other. When I was 19, your father decided that we would get married, but he faced shameful resistance from my family. They threatened to even throw him in the river and leave him to drown. But your father was determined to marry me. I remember how we used to sneak out in the late evenings to go and hide in the bush. We’d spend the whole evening there. One day, my father’s brother found us there and he reported it to my father. I was given the beating of my life. My aunts came to the house, locked me up inside a hut and pinched my whole body. I came out with wounds. They thought they had succeeded in putting a barrier between Elder and I, but my love for him grew even stronger. When he found a job at the local government offices as a guard here in Gemba, we made a plan to run away together. That night as I was about to sneak out of the house with a plastic bag full of my clothes, my mother came out of their hut and looked at me. I thought my end had come but with tears in her heart, she looked at me and went back to sleep. I couldn’t understand what had just happened but I took the bold step of leaving the house. To cut the long story short, your father and I stayed here in Gemba for at least three months before he finally decided to go back to the village to apologize for what we had done. We had gotten married at the main town hall before of the mayor. When we arrived at my house, I was already two months pregnant with you. Surprisingly, my parents accepted your father and we did our traditional wedding preceded by a purification ceremony because I was told that an evil spirit could enter inside of me because of what we had done. We then left to come and settle in Gemba finally. We embraced Christianity when you were about two years old.
Esther was in total dismay. She couldn’t imagine that as strict as her father could be, he could decide to run away with a woman.
Esther: Wow! I am amazed at you story. I am glad that your story ended on a positive note. I wish I could have a happy ending to mine too but I guess that’s not God’s plan for my life
Esther’s mother smiled “God’s will shall prevail. It is well. Just make sure you cherish the child in your womb no matter what happened between you and its father and I advise you as a mother to please inform him regardless of his reaction. You cannot hide a child from its father. It’s not godly and it’s not just right” she said. Esther nodded her head “Ok. I will think about it. Maybe when the baby is born, I will inform him then” she said. Her mother did not say a word. She rubbed her hand on her back and left the room. Esther thought about the story that her mother had just narrated to her. She looked at her big tummy and said “I love you baby and I know your father loves you too. You will get to know him one day, maybe by that time he will be with his own wife. It is well with you” After a while, her mother came back into her rom and, looking perplexed, asked “My princess I forgot to ask you something: why did you agree to sleep with Jacob if you don’t love him?”
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Esther ran out of words. She didn’t know what to say to her. If she told her the truth, her mother would blow up a scandal and she was really tired of scandals. But if she didn’t tell her the truth, her mother would think she is too weak and it would also be a sin to lie to her own mother. “Esther, you have not answered my question. Why did you sleep with Jacob?” her mother asked. Esther broke down and cried. She was trembling as she remembered the horrible scene. “He raped me mom, he raped me. I tried to stop him, but he ruthlessly raped me like an animal” she cried. Her mother stood up and shouted “What did you just say? He did what?” Esther was still crying. Her mother tried to calm down and gave her a hug asking her to explain everything that had happened. Esther gave an account of the whole story. Esther’s mother was shedding tears in anger. She ran out of the room and went to meet Elder Barnabas. Esther could hear elder shouting as he entered the house “I will kill him. I will kill him!” Esther sighed “Oh God not again! I don’t want trouble again. I need rest” she said. Elder pushed the door of her room open and shouted “What did that boy do to you?” Esther trembled “he raped me” she answered. “Why didn’t you report him to the police? Why didn’t you inform us?” he shouted. “He told me that no one would believe me. He said you were blinded by his money so you wouldn’t believe me” Esther answered. Elder went to his bedroom and put on his boots. He went to the pantry and got out his cutlass. “I will kill him today!” he shouted as he left the house. Esther and her mother decided to follow him. They ran behind him. Esther held on to her big tummy as she ran hoping for the best “Sir, don’t do anything you will regret” she said. People starred at them while others followed them to see what was going on.
Jacob’s house was quite far, but Elder dared not take a bus. He ran like a mad man, his wife, daughter, son and other community members running after him. They walked for about 45 minutes before they arrived. Esther put her hands on her knees and stopped for a while to catch her breathe. She put her hand on her stomach and continued. When they arrived inside the compound, they found a police car parked right inside. Two policemen stood near the car. As Elder and the rest tried to go to the main door, the policemen stopped them “Hey where are you going?” he said. Before they could explain, they saw Jacob coming out of the house with handcuffs on his hands, two policemen holding his arms. His mother, father and Clara were also coming out. His mother cried “Please don’t take my son.” Everyone watched in amazement. Jacob and his family were shocked to see Elder and his family. He looked down as the policemen put him inside the car. Elder went to the policemen and spoke to them “Please I want to know what this young man has done because I have come to report him for a crime he committed against my daughter” he said. Jacob’s father shouted “Don’t tell this old fool anything! He is just here out of gossip. My son has not done anything to the prostitute called his daughter”
Elder held his peace and one of the policemen said “Sir. What has this guy done again?” Elder answered “He raped my daughter and went scot free!” Everyone looked astonished including the police officers. “This is the biggest criminal I have ever seen in this town. Firstly, he is being charged for embezzling funds from his bank worth at least 150,000 Dollars. Then he is accused of poisoning a young lady in town because she fell pregnant for him. The lady ended up losing her life and that of her child and now this! What kind of a human being are you?” the police officer said. Esther cried “So Jacob, you are the one who killed Naomi? You are an animal. I pray that you rot in hell” Jacob looked so afraid. The Police officers asked Elder and his family to enter their car so that they could file a complaint against him at the police station.
They entered the car and it drove off leaving Jacob’s family and the neighbors in total shock. Clara sneered and left the house in fury.
Next episode comes out soon