Part 5
Opeyemi Akintunde

I got back to my house in Lagos very drained.

I was physically and emotionally drained.

My mother in law insisted on following me back to Lagos. It was Obvious She felt bad I had to go through all that I went through. Truth be told, I didn’t want her to follow me. I wanted to run far away from anyone or anything that had something to do with Chike’s family, but my mother in law would not have it..

” I am going with her, she is still the mother of our grandchildren. I need to nurse her back to health so that she can take care of her children…our grandchildren” She had argued her way before my Father in law gave her permission.

When I got home, I walked into the waiting arms of my mother…

” Pele Omo mi ( Sorry my Child). You will never experience this again.” My mother had said.

I felt that prayer was useless. I was never going to lose another husband because I was not planning to remarry. I wanted to pick up myself so as to give my children a good life.

My mother in law stayed with me for three weeks before she had to suddenly return to her hometown. She nursed me back to health, but there was nothing she could do about my frequent emotional meltdown in the hour of the night whenever I thought about the humiliating gang rape I was subjected to in the name of culture and protection from the dead.

Chike was the only man who ever slept with me. He was the first man in my life, and I had thought that it would remain so, but his death made me a s€x object for four men.

My nights had been plagued with haunting dreams of seeing my in-laws wanting to have s€xual int€rcourse with me over and over again. I would wake up shaking all over. I initially did not give my mother the full details of the rites, but when the midnight screams was becoming more disturbing, she had spoken to me about it…

“Mayowa, why are you still screaming from your sleep? Do you see Chike in your sleep?”

” No…”

” Then, what do you see that is so scary that makes you wake up very scared?”

” all slept with me…and I see them in my sleep trying to ….” I was saying but my mother didn’t let me finish my statement…

” You said what?” My mother was enraged. She was so mad she wasn’t thinking. She
ran to the room my mother in law was sleeping…

” Mama Chike, you allowed your people rape Mayowa?” My mother said disbelievingly

” Mama Mayowa, I am sorry, it’s tradition”

” Tradition? What Tradition subjects a bereaved woman to more pain than the one she has…A woman who just lost her husband is going through emotional pain, and instead of easing her pain, you inflict more emotional pain and physical pain on her… Chike’s Mum, My daughter did not deserve this from your family. My daughter served your son…and this is what you pay her back with… I didn’t know you Igbos are this barbaric…”

” My in -Law, this is not the case with all Igbos, my own hometown does not believe in this inhumane treatment, it is my husband’s village that still practices such. I am sorry Mayowa had to go through this. I pray she heals on time. That’s why I came home with her. I am still nursing my own wounds of losing a child, but My love for Mayowa made me abandon my pain to follow her here.”

My mother wept sore…

” Apart from the emotional and physical toil this will have on Mayowa, what about the Spiritual implication? Four different men having s€xual int€rcourse with one woman, do you know the evil spirit that may have been transferred into her life, no wonder she is having the nightmares
and seeing the men in her sleep. A covenant has been formed…” My mother wailed…

The relationship between my mother and my mother-in- law became strained over the next few days. Chike’s mum had no choice than to leave after three weeks.

The moment my mother in-law left, my mother whisked me off to a church asking that a deliverance service be conducted on me. My mother explained all that happened.

However, Instead of an instant deliverance session my mother was hoping for, I was asked to pray some prayers for 21 days. I was told that the deliverance in their church was “Self Deliverance” There was an enlightenment session where I was made to understand that I had to break the covenant between my dead husband and I. The pastor reminded me of the vow ‘Till death do us part’.

I was made to understand that once a partner dies, one had to be spiritual disconnected from them. I was also told to pray against any soul-tie I must have formed with my in-laws through s€x.

I went through this 21 days rigourous prayer program and truth be told, I felt free and no longer was I seeing my in-laws in my dreams…

Like a character from my Crime novels, I decided to disappear, plus my Spiritual life had been revived through the 21 days and I wanted a fresh life. A life where I could start again with my kids was what I wanted…

I moved to Rivers state with my children; where I knew no one… I knew only one person there…GOD!

Part 6
Opeyemi Akintunde

Rivers state became a river for me and the children. A river of joy, a river of peace, a river of new friends. I joined a growing ministry when I settled in. It was a small church. The Pastor was a handsome single man who was loaded with the Word and the Spirit.

I believe he being unmarried gave him time to tarry more in God’s presence, hence there was so much fire in him to breathe into us .

I grew spiritually. I got to know God intimately. I felt loved by God. The Small Church gave me st@bility. My children found friends and you could say all was going on well, till Joan ; Chike’s friend started calling me frequently.

We were already in Rivers for a year when I received her call. I purposely kept using my old phone so that I could be accessible by old friends. My place of residence was kept secret. The only one who knew the state I was living was my mother.

Joan kept calling almost everyday after her first call.

Though she was far away, she found her way into our heart. My Children got to speak to her almost everyday. We exchanged video calls frequently.

However, after about six months of reconnecting, Joan started becoming interested in me finding love again. It sounded weird to me. I was not even thinking about it. I was thinking of growing my canteen business I had started.

I started a Yoruba and Igbo theme canteen, thanks to my background. I was beginning to have good sales, as Yorubas in Rivers state would sometimes drive hours to buy my Amala and Ewedu with Gbegiri. Igbos were also in love with my Igbo dishes. My marriage to Chike made me a master in Igbo dishes.

Therefore, Joan’s talk about re-marriage was falling on deaf ears.

However, One day, she called me with so much pressure in her voice…

” Hello Mayowa! Is your Pastor Married?”

” No, why are you asking?” I replied

” Oh! He is not married! Hmm…This God sha!”

” What happened?” I asked

” I just woke up from a dream of seeing you getting married to your Pastor!” Joan said

I laughed so hard I almost fell…

” Aunty, go back to sleep, you will have another dream!” I replied laughing.

The thought had never crossed my mind.

” How on earth could a widowed me get married to my handsome pastor when there are over 20 beautiful single sisters in church, in fact some of them were v!rgins.” I remember thinking that..

” Mayowa, I know what you are thinking, You are thinking that how can God make a Single man marry a widow with two kids? What about Ruth and Boaz”

” Eh! See Rhema from Sister Joan!” I replied laughing…

” But you are missing something in that Rhema ma, Ruth did not have two luggages ooo, she was not bringing two children to the marriage.” I replied still making fun of Joan’s dream…

“Ruth’s story is just an example..With God all things are still possible. A widow can still find love!” Joan said and I remember she went on and on about how God was a good God.

I can say she definitely planted a seed in my heart. From that moment, I developed a softness for my Pastor. I was no longer just listening to the Rhema from his mouth, but I was beginning to admire the structure of the lips.

To make matters worse, my children became close to him. They loved him and would most times say he was their Daddy. He also reciprocated the Love by showing them so much affection.

Without envisaging it, I started catching feelings for my Pastor…


1. The Story was Inspired by the Living Word

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