That afternoon as she walked out of their lives with the divorce paper in her hands, his heart sank and so did his ministry.
“We can’t keep lying to these people ken”
“How long am I supposed to keep up this lie that we are the most perfect couple ever, inspiring others and yet so toxic to each other” she screamed
“I want a divorce”
Ken was on his knees as she lashed out at him in tears
It was their fifth anniversary and as the custom for them both after the incident, they kept up their fights and blames
Their wedding was the talk of the town. For a full year, people kept calling from left, right and center to congratulate them, it would be safe to say they did not spend a dime as they had several persons who wanted to give their two cents
She was a Christian writer and YouTube personnel while he was a relationship doctor and a pastor at one of the cathedrals, they were a perfect match ditching out nuggets on stage and in their books
Purity always received pleas from sisters in fellowship asking her to pray for them to marry someone like brother ken.
Mummy p as she was fondly called was on everyone’s lips, admired and adored by all; she was just perfect and elegant. She graduated from one of the best schools in the country and had just finished her masters abroad when she met Pastor Ken and their supposed love life skyrocketed from there
They first met at a national conference both as anchors for a relationship talk show for youths “single and waiting”.
Ken couldn’t keep his eyes off her as she spoke,he smiled each time and his heart somersaulted several times ;
“I agree with you pastor ken,There is a need for singles to keep themselves busy while they wait for the one” her dimples deepened more as she spoke,it was hard to tell when she was sad as her dimples made her seem like she wore a permanent smile.
she was dressed in a turquoise gown that stopped right below her knees and a black heel sandal with silver drop earrings to match her eyes.
Immediately she was relived and he too freed, he muttered up courage to speak to her, love and affection for her pumped in his heart, a longing for her; he had never felt so drawn to any lady before
ken was known as a no nonsense,highly spiritual and principled man who wouldn’t casually smile at ladies most times though he always wore a welcoming smile which matched his handsome face
The ladies always prayed to be the one he walks up to,he was well built and rooted in God’s word including the fact that he was a relationship counselor,what more would a lady ask for?
‘How much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!’ he prayed
“well,what is the worst that could possibly happen”
“Hello dear” he smiled extending his hands for a shake
“Good day sir” she made to genuflect
Ken was blown away by her humility; indeed she was humble to the core as he had heard
“well dear,I just read the book of numbers this morning but just discovered I did not have your number”
“Are you hitting on me sir” she laughed loudly
“Yes dear and I must confess that you bathe in the stars, you were really glittering up there” he smiled back
“Thank you sir, I am humbled, Jesus takes the glory”
“it is nice to finally meet you”
“Sister P, you are needed at the ladies unit” a lady interrupted
“I have heard a lot about you, I would have loved to chat but…..”
“good things I hope” he shouted across
she waved at him,nodding her head
Ken smiled as she walked away, she was needed at the single sisters unit for another entrepreneurship talk show with them, and she was busy with her new book tour “the unveiled”
It was easy for him to get her number from the pastor’s wife
Their courtship was just smooth after ken proposed to her at the Asaba garden and tours centre, none of them perceived trouble as their love brewed until purity received that call two years into their marriage on their date night
‘Mammi, good evening.’
Ken looked up from the bible in his hands, he was preparing for an international conference over the weekend. Purity’s eyes glistened and suddenly became moist as she listened to the person on the other end.
“No, this cannot be true, my daughter cannot be dead”
Ken’s eyes widened the moment he heard daughter, they had an only son and he was sleeping safely in his room but he settled down when he also remembered purity was a mother to all
She grabbed a coat to cover her thin gown and dashed out of the house and towards the garage. She tried to open the door to her car but remembered she didn’t have the keys. She turned around and saw ken holding the keys. She snatched it from him and opened the car before jumping into the driver’s seat.
‘Honey, come down, I will drive’
She hesitated a little before handing the keys over to him. Her hands were trembling. Purity climbed down from the car and hurried to the other side.
“What hospital did they take her to?” he asked
“Hosanna hospital. Lord, my daughter. Jesus, save my daughter. My daughter.”
“Calm down honey, she would be fine”
Purity cried loudly hitting her chest. She just stared out the window muttering words of prayers.
“Lord, it is my entire fault, please save my daughter”
Ken stole few glances at her, he couldn’t reconcile the evening happenings but the state of his wife bothered him, he hated to see her shed a tear. The car had barely touched the hospital’s premises when purity jumped out and ran all the way to the hospital lobby. Her mother and friend shade was standing with her daughter by the receptionist’s desk when purity approached them, frenzied.
“Where is my daughter Maami?”
Her mother sat down pounding the floor. Purity walked up to her and shook her up violently
“Maami, where is my angel?”
“I wanted to call you the first day I saw blood clots in her underwear but I could not because of your marriage” she managed to say
“Where is doctor Uche?’ purity asked at the same time running towards the doctor’s office, ken hurried after her. He shivered, he needed answers as well. He slapped himself several times in a bid to wake up from his supposed dream; he wanted to ask her questions
What daughter are you talking about honey?
His feet ran towards his wife instead, he had never seen her so shaken up even when she had her first miscarriage before Excel came
‘Mammi kept pounding her chest while Aisha tried to console her
“Take heart mama.” was all she could say.
Doctor Uche had just rushed out from the theater and just about to enter his office when he saw purity and her husband hurrying towards him. Aisha caught up with them and the three stood before the doctor, eyes filled with fear.
He hesitated for some seconds before gesturing to them. ‘Come in.’
Aisha turned to her friend. ‘I’ll be at the reception.
Purity nodded and entered the office. She settled into a chair beside her husband who was now leaning forward, hands loosely clasped on the table.
“Angel had a badly done abortion.”
“Yeeee” purity shouted, collapsing to the floor, she tumbled as ken held her
“There were particles of the foetus left in her body and we need to do an operation as soon as possible. So far,we’ve been able to control the bleeding.”
“Doctor, please do everything possible. Please.”
“Can I see her?” Purity asked, her eyes moistened.
“Briefly. We have to begin the procedure immediately.”
Purity had tried to pull herself together now and sat back, trying to take in all that the doctor has said, it was then she remembered ken had been with her, a wave of guilt rushed through her
Abortion? What really happened to her angel, she was definitely not the type to have boyfriends. Purity had given her the best even though she was not always there for her except for the few times she paid them a visit during the holidays and the little girl had grown up calling her sister and saw Maami as her mother,
Purity always told her she was a late child mama had shortly before papa died
“Why didn’t she tell me?” She cried more
The door opened. “Doctor, the girl in Ward 3 is convulsing”
“Oh no!” The Doctor got out of his chair and hurried out.
Purity and ken followed. At the entrance of Ward 3, a nurse stopped them from going in and so they had to wait impatiently at the entrance, their eyes never leaving the door. Some minutes later, the doctor came out, a sad countenance on his face.
“She is gone. I’m very sorry.”
Purity had to be put under that night to get her under control
The letter found in angel’s backpack hunted her :
Mummy, yes I know you are my mum, I had always known but Maami said we had to protect your integrity or people would insult you for being a single mother. Am sorry I had to terminate the pregnancy”
Uncle Luke raped me and when I discovered I had taken in, I was too ashamed to face you
Please forgive me mummy
“Why didn’t you tell me” asked ken holding the letter in his hand,
“You made a fool out of me”
Ken slept outside their home for the first that night, he cried all night at the church
“God why me?”
Purity wouldn’t step out of the house. She had to be forced to eat. She stared at nothing in particular. She moved around the house crying, touching everything belonging to ken, she was a shadow of herself
Ken returned home after two weeks but they never remained the same
On their fourth wedding anniversary, a year after the incident, Purity stood by the window, reaching into her heart for the pain again, she had not told ken the whole story.
“Ken, I want a divorce” that was the first time she made the request, her guilt kept her up all night as ken turned to the other side of the bed and rushed out in the morning
“Am sorry but I can’t live like this anymore” she cried
“What happened, Purity” she had never heard him call her name before
Something moved in her, fear overwhelmed her; she had lost a good man
“I was 16 and naive. Each time my step brother Luke would always ask me out on the ground that we were not full siblings” she started
“I turned him down each time because it sounded disgusting to me; Luke was papa’s son before he married mama, a single mother. Opportunity came for him when Maami left for a business trip leaving us all alone, I had just stepped out of the bathroom unknown to me I had left the door open assuming I was all alone in the house when that beast pounced on me. He beat me up and raped me.” She sobbed quietly wiping her nose each time.
“By the time I could tell Maami, I was already heavy and maami had to take care of us, I made her swear never to tell anyone of my dirty past and now this same animal raped and killed my daughter his daughter as well”
“Were you ever a Christian” ken asked
“Of course, how can you even ask me that ken” fear seized her
“You hid all these from me, Purity”
“You remember I told you I was too dirty for you the day you proposed?” she slumped into the seat beside her
Ken kept quiet and that quietness invaded their home until their fifth anniversary when she brought the divorce papers home and walked away
Weeks rolled by until their senior pastor called home one afternoon
“Ken, you remember I asked you if you would continue with purity if she committed adultery on your matrimonial bed” he started
“Yes sir and I said yes” he cried
“Now is the time to prove that love, the only sin man has ever committed was thinking that God would never forgive their past, doubting the efficacy of the blood of Jesus is a sin on its own. In a bid to appear perfect, we lose sight of what really matters”
“Bring your wife home, ken” he said
Ken stared at her in the peach gown as she dazzled, he took her hands again and went on his knees
“Purity Emmanuel, will you marry me again?”
Their son, excel and two daughters Hephzibah and Adachukwu nodded while looking at their mother.
She cried and nodded as they both hugged at the altar where they renewed their vows after twenty five years
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