There have been signs earlier that day that the sky was pregnant but no one would have thought that it would rain cat and dog. The heavy rain had sent the little children to bed so early. Indeed, the weather was a suitable one for drinking a cup of hot tea and cuddling in bed. But it didn’t seem so for Rita, she was so lost in thought that a sound from the compound startled her. She quickly rushed outside only to discover that it was the bucket she placed on the bench outside that fell and broke. She hissed and went back inside. That didn’t seem to bother her. Going back to sit on her bed, she examined her room, from her bed to her little cupboard to her cooking gas to her wardrobe and back to her bed.
She had been living in that one room apartment for a while now. But that is not the problem, ever since she heard the news of Sim’s death early that morning her mind had been greatly troubled.
Earlier she gazed her eyes on the picture she took with Sim back in campus days. “What a lady with a promising future, life seems not to be fair. How possible is it that Simcould have gone just like that” she thought. Though she and Sim weren’t so close but she knew some things about her. She was a jovial, fun-loving and a kind person. She had no problem having people around her because of her friendly nature. She was also a dedicated child of God full of virtue and grace. “Oh God, why” she exclaimed. Tears ran down her cheek. Although, she was shocked of Sim’s sudden death but was more shocked about what she was told led to Sim’s death.
“How true could that be” Rita wondered. She was told Sim kicked the bucket about four hours after an abortion. She died on the way to the hospital because she was bleeding profusely. The story surrounding Sim’s death came pondering in Rita’s mind. She was practically deaf to the downpour of rain outside. ‘Wait a minute’, she seemed to have said as she turned to lie down on her bed. ‘Sim was a sister almost everyone respected and admired. She couldn’t have descended so low to have committed fornication talk more of an abortion. That can’t be true, Sim was a spiritual sister! Whenever she prays, the demons and evil spirits are always on flight. What went wrong? What was Sim thinking? It is not possible’ she thought. Rita concluded in her mind that there was a higher probability for her to have been in Sim’s shoe than Sim. As she shut her eyes tight trying to catch some sleep, she flashed back to those sermons and exhortations Sim had ministered to the sisters back in school. She said loudly “maybe she was raped and became pregnant as a result of that”. She hoped in her heart that the news was just a rumour.
“Well”, she sighed. “The dead is dead, Sim is gone for good and nothing can change that. I have my own headaches to bear”. Rita murmured some prayers and slept.
Ever since Rita finished her National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) Program, she had been looking for a good job to keep body and soul together. It’s been a year now, although she had fixed herself up with a private primary school in warri where she presently lives. The company she served didn’t retain her after her service, she had to go look for a job. Her present income is lower than her allowance as a corper. She had lost her father to an accident the month she graduated from the University of Port Harcourt. She had been supporting her handicapped mother and her two siblings financially after the incident. Obviously, her income can’t stand the pressures she is presently facing. But Rita hasn’t resigned to fate yet, she had always comforted herself that God will work things out in His own time.
The service that Sunday was awesome. Rita had to see the pastor that morning; she had something important to tell him. He had been like a father to her and also her pastor, she can’t just leave like that. She thought of the ushering group she belonged to, the loving and ever cheerful leader; her pupils, oh the kids have been so wonderful; Mrs. Joy (the pastor’s wife), she had been so close to her. How would Mrs Joy take the news? Though she wasn’t in a hurry to leave, but she had to tell them on time. That’s exactly what she is going to tell her head mistress tomorrow. Pearl had invited Rita over to Abuja because she was sure of better job opportunities for her friend (that was last week). Rita had given it a thought for some days now and had finally decided to relocate to Abuja, ‘maybe, I could be lucky’ she had thought.
Getting to the pastors office, there were other members with the intention to see the pastor already seated on the bench. Obviously, she was late. She sat down quietly after exchanging greetings. Her mind seems to be greatly troubled for the new life she’s about to face. Being the quiet, timid and gentle type, she doesn’t seem to appreciate changes. She was already getting worried of the future she was yet to see. She imagined her self on a suit sitting in an air conditioned office giving directions to a Lady who seems to be the secretary.
She prayed in her heart that her going to Abuja will be the beginning of her long awaited testimonies. She looked up and saw it was just three people before her now. She gave a sigh of relief because she won’t have to stay longer. She thought of her friends Pearl and Caro, it’s been two years now since she last saw them. That was after their graduation from the university of portharcout. The three friends were like love birds in school. Though they read different courses, but their hearts were knitted together.
Pearl was like a mother (always looking out to their care), Caro and Rita always refer to Pearl as “Mama”. Back then in school, they shared their personal experiences together, encouraged one another and prayed together. Oh how loving it will be to be with them again, she thought. Just then, she was called in.
TO BE CONTINUED…..
Author: Afeme Christiana Eniwoeva
I’m a graduate of Accounting from the University of benin