Read Episode 1 here

He protested mildly, but I stopped his protest when I began stroking his hair. I won’t say I didn’t know what I was doing but I couldn’t help myself. Kola responded to my touch. He was vulnerable and one thing led to another and we saw ourselves partially naked and the deed had been done. Regret and shame flooded our hearts when we realized what we had done. We broke the edge, we broke the vow and most importantly, we disappointed God.

I picked up my clothe and wore it in haste. I was so ashamed of myself, I could not look at Kola’s face. I was the one that set the whole thing in motion and pulled the innocent man into my snare. I hurried home and thankfully my parents had gone for leader’s meeting in the church. I didn’t know how I would have faced them. I knew they would be disappointed in me. I had also let my siblings down. I was their role model. They respected me a whole lot. I cried almost all night in my room asking for mercy and forgiveness from God.

I felt like getting iron sponge to wash off the guilt and shame on me, but I knew that could not help. I called in sick at work, and when my mum asked why I wasn’t going to work, I told her I wanted to have a personal time with God. She was impressed. She told my father and they both prayed for me before they set out for their business for the day. I had lied to them again. I didn’t have the boldness to tell them what happened. It will break them so badly.

In the afternoon, I received a message from Kola. “I’m sorry about what happened. I allowed my emotions and the feelings I had get in the way of my sanity and purity. I should have resisted you fiercely but I permitted my vulnerability to take charge. Please find a place in your heart to forgive me. I’ll want us to seek God’s face individually asking for mercy. Let’s separate for a while so we don’t repeat this. In due time, we will open up our sins to the church.”

The latter part of the message left me more devastated. He wanted us to stop seeing. Was he already planning on leaving me? I thought to myself. The tears stung harder and flowed freely. “I’m sorry, Kola. I was the one who led you on. When I had the nudge to flee from the compromising situation, I pushed it aside and dragged you into my sin. Please find a place in your heart to forgive me too.” I replied his message.

The more I tried facing my parents, the more the burden of guilt hung on my neck like a millstone. Three weeks after the incident, I was expecting my period and it was not forthcoming. I waited for the week to pass yet nothing. I settled it at the back of my mind that it was probably a delay.

By the following week, I started feeling nauseous and dizzy. All sorts of thoughts turned my mind to a play ground. I decided to do a test to put my heart at rest. Committing sin is one thing, but to bear the consequences is another. I performed the test and my fears were confirmed. I was 4 weeks pregnant. A thought came to my head. Abort it. I discarded the thought.

“I’ll rather face the shame of my folly than compound my problems.
I called Kola and he refused to pick my calls. Frustrated, I sent him a text.

“I’m pregnant.” I didn’t have to wait for a minute before he replied my message. “Sharon, we will have to open up. God may have forgiven us but we have to inform our parents and our leaders.”

The thought of opening up sent cold shivers down my spine, but I knew that was the best thing for me to do if I was going to come out of the guilt and find help.

My mum noticed my mood all the time and anytime she tried to pry, I changed the topic. She gave up trying and said she would be praying for me. She sensed something was wrong but she could not place what it was.

“Mum, I have something to tell you.” This was a week after I discovered I was pregnant. Each time I tried bringing up the discussion, shame and guilt would come as a flood and drown the words. This time around, I prayed for help before meeting her. “Please promise me that whatever I tell you now, you won’t tell daddy immediately.”

My mum dropped what she was reading. “Baby, I’m all ears but I can’t fulfill your promise. You know no secret passes between your father and me. Whatever gets to my ears automatically gets to his.” She said.

I prepared my mind to take whatever action that followed in good faith. Kneeling before her, “mum, please you and dad will have to forgive me for what I’m about to say. I know I’ve disappointed you, and I ask for your mercy.” My mum wore a confused look. The gibberish I was speaking was sounding strange in her ears. “Mum, I’m pregnant.” I eventually broke the news.

My mum’s face fell. She went silent as she stared at empty space. The information was too much for her to bear. I was about narrating how it happened when my father stepped in. He knew something was wrong because my mother did not bother to perform their welcome ritual of greeting each other with a long, warm and welcoming hug accompanied with a kiss.

“Onitemi, what happened?” My dad asked.

“Olami, Sharon is pregnant.” My mum replied. She did not bother beating around the bush. My dad sank into the chair immediately he heard the news. He could not imagine a thing like that could happen under his roof.

Before my dad could get a hold of himself, I began to narrate all that happened and how I was the engineer of the act. My parents drank in every detail I reeled out.

“What have you done about it, Sharon?” My dad asked, disappointment ringing in his voice.

I knew what he was talking about. “I’ve been asking God for mercy and pardon. I believe he has answered. I am also asking for your forgiveness.”

“And Kola?” My mother asked.

My heart sank. “Kola said we have to be apart for a while. He said he will seek God’s face personally while I should do same. He said when the baby is born he will be involved but we have to keep our distance. He said he will come and see dad as soon as he can to ask for forgiveness and open up.”

“Hmm.” My mum sighed. “We have to take the necessary actions. Just know that your courtship will be called off.”

“You’ll also have to step down from being a worker.” My dad chipped in.

None of what they said mattered to me. All I really wanted was to get the burden off my neck and I felt light immediately I confessed.

“Sharon, if I must be truthful with you, I’m disappointed in the act you committed. More was expected from you, but if you’ve truly repented and God has forgiven you, who am I to hold your sins against you?” My dad said.

I was surprised at their reaction. I thought they were going to tell me how I brought shame on them being leaders in the church, but the opposite was the case. My dad tried to encourage my mum, and both of them pulled me off my feet and hugged me before praying for me.

“You’re still our daughter, and we still love you.” My mum said. “We will find a way to tell your siblings.”

My mum and I were closer than usual. She personally drew up a Bible study plan for both of us and she also searched out promises in the Bible I could hold on to for my pregnancy. The first and last time I saw Kola after the incident was on the day we had to confess publicly before the church. After the confession, Kola disappeared into thin air while I was left alone to face the ridicule from some obnoxious members of the church. Once a while, Kola called to check up on the baby.

The pregnancy was a troublesome one, and when I could not bear it, I had to resign from my job. The doctor had advised that if I would not want complications at delivery I would have to be on bed rest for a while. It wasn’t easy for me, but my greatest support system was my family, my parents being the chief supporters. When my dad was free, he would follow me for my ante-natal sessions and while we are alone, he’ll pray for me and the baby. I felt loved on every side which sent my fear of rejection out of the window.

The months rolled by fast and the day of my delivery was due. After several hours of labour, I was wheeled to the operating theatre after the doctor announced that CS was the best option for me. He had said my birth canal was too tight to allow for easy passage of the head of the babies and if they forced it I would have serious tears.

The operation was successful and I was delivered of a set of twins; a boy and a girl. I was transferred to the ward with the babies after several hours. My parents came in to the ward and I could see the smile of admiration spread on their faces. They felt like new parents again.

“The boy has the striking image of his mother. Very beautiful.” My dad said, lifting him up from the crib.

“And the girl?” My mum asked.

“Kola.” I replied with pain in my heart. I couldn’t believe Kola could disappear just like that. All the love I claimed I had for him went sour.

My parents could see the pain in my eyes and they initiated other conversations to brighten the atmosphere. “Things will fall in place, baby.” My mum assured.

To be continued.

Relentless love

A Heart of Gold