With the past behind them, though some happenings still remind them of a past that wouldn’t erase totally from peoples’ minds, the Aboderins moved on with life. The peace and harmony that was earlier lost came back into being.
One day, one time, Martha sat close to her Mum in the living room. They were having a mother- daughter conversation. Prof. Aboderin sat at a few meters away. He was keen on a football match replay.
Martha cleared her throat and said, “Dad, Mum, I have something to tell you.”
“Hun-Hun,” Prof. murmured. He was deeply engrossed in what he was watching.
“Okay,” his wife responded.
“God is leading me towards starting a ministry for young ladies, especially rape victims, pregnant teenagers, single mothers and women that are generally neglected, ostracized and seen as the worst sinners.”
“Beautiful,” Mrs. Aboderin replied enthusiastically. “That’s a good one.
“Ministry?” Prof. said absentmindedly. He wasn’t still concentrating.
Mrs. Aboderin stood up, picked the TV remote and pressed a button. Phew! The TV went off. Prof. stood up and shook his head saying, “I’m at the mercy of the two of you now. Let my boys come back. We will deal with you.”
“We are also ready for you,” his wife replied jokingly and drew Martha close. “I think we should listen to Martha. She’s making a good point.”
Martha repeated herself and spoke passionately. She said she was fully convinced that God wanted her to work with the downtrodden and ostracized women in the society. “With what I experienced and see in the Church and the society at large,” she said. “We have a long way to go in relating and reaching out to people who found themselves in one fault or the other, especially when it has to do with sexual sins. It’s not a crime to preach against sexual sins. It’s not a crime to discipline people who fall at one time or the other. But, it is a great crime to throw sinners away without offering any support.”
“That’s what we do,” Mrs. Aboderin cut in. “We throw them to a world that doesn’t care a hoot for them. I know better now.”
“We often forget that, Christ came not for the healthy, but for sinners. He also mandated us to love everyone equally. I want to create a platform where we will show genuine love and help the lost and confused to find their feet again.”
“That’s a good initiative, “Prof. said. “As your parents, we will partner with you and give needed support, for you to fulfil God’s purpose for your life.”
“Yes!” Mrs. Aboderin added, “I will also give added support on my knees.”
Prof. suddenly went silent then whispered, ‘Martha.”
“Yes Dad,” she responded and focused on him.
“There’s something I have always wanted to ask. I don’t know how you will take it.”
“Fire on Dad.”
“About Jide. Even after many years, I’m yet to come to terms that you could do all…were you really raped or…?”
Martha took a long time in answering. When she was ready, two big tears dropped from her eyeballs. She wiped them with the back of her right palm, while her Mum drew her into a warm embrace saying, “We’ve always wanted to know. If you are not ready to…” she shrugged.
“I am ready,” Martha replied and sat up straight, “Yes! Jide raped me. After the encounter I had at the revival, I decided to cut off the unholy relationship between us.”
“Yes. We were dating in secret. We were doing diverse filthy acts unworthy of Christians, apart from vaginal sex. The reason why we were not having vaginal sex was because, I wanted to preserve my virginity at all cost. We were fornicating but technically, I was a virgin.”
“Hun!” the Prof. sighed deeply.
“Jide had me where he wanted. I shouldn’t have gone to his house in the first place. I should just have left it at quitting the relationship. I think one part of me still harbored the hope that Jide would change, promise that he would wait for me and then, marry me in the future. Many young people still fall into the same kind of trap. They feel they have the future in their hands and can structure it in any way they want. Many have lost out because they lack intimacy with the owner of the future. Parents, the Church and the society have a lot to do because, things are already out of hand. I fell for Jide’s lies and manipulations, just as many gullible and vulnerable girls are falling. I have found my feet because Grace found me. It’s unfortunate that, it might not be so for others. They might not get the help they need on time.”
“Jide is a devil incarnate,” Mrs. Aboderin stood and screamed. “See the way he concocted the lies to the extent that, even we couldn’t believe our daughter.”
“He has to pay for his crime,” Prof vowed. “I will definitely resurrect the matter.”
“No Dad please,” Martha begged on her knees. “I also thought that way until the Holy Spirit ministered to me that I should leave it. He said every secret thing will be made open at the due time.”
“At the due time?”
“Yes Dad. At the due time.”
At the mention of the word ‘time’, a knock sounded at the door and Prof. asked if Martha was expecting a visitor.
“Oh! She exclaimed and placed a palm on her chest. “I invited a friend to meet you today.”
The friend was Pastor Kayode. He came in with his usual tension-relieving smile. Greeting the parents, he whispered to Martha. “Hope am not late.”
Martha shook her head and blushed.
Both parents were surprised and felt the wave passing between the two. It was physically glaring that there was something going on. They listened attentively to what Martha had to say.
“Dad! Mum!” she began. “I invited Pastor K. here. About a month ago, he proposed marriage to me. I told him to give me time to pray. After getting the confirmation that he’s God’s choice for me, I accepted his proposal last week and invited him to the house today, knowing that you both will be around.”
After Martha was done speaking, Pastor Kayode stood up and prostrated flat in front of the Prof. who quickly stood and raised him up. “Don’t do that Pastor,” he begged.
“It is necessary Sir,” Pastor Kayode said. “The Bible says we should give honor to whom it is due. More so, Martha is worth more, and I will give more than this, if only to be allowed to court my beloved.” He looked at Martha affectionately and said, “I love her Sir. I am 100% sure she’s God’s choice for me. I seek for your permission to court her. I am ready to wed her in the most nearest future.”
“I thought Pastors were trained to hide their emotions,” Mrs. Aboderin joked.
“Some emotions cannot be hidden ma,” Pastor Kayode replied. “Moreover, Pastors are also human, with the ability to love and to hate. Because we are children of God, his love is shed abroad in our hearts. So, we have a large capacity to love. God helping us to become man and wife, I will ensure that I love, cherish and care for her with the totality of my being. Not even our children will get the kind of love I’d show to her.”
“Oh Martha! You got the best,” Mrs. Aboderin cried and wiped tears from her face.
“Yes daughter,” Prof also said. “Your man has thrown a challenge to me. I think your Mama deserves more love than I give to her.” He embraced Pastor Kayode, moved back and placed his hands on his shoulders. He also looked at him eyeball to eyeball. “That girl,” pointing to Martha, “is very precious. She had gone through a lot and deserves to be happy. I want you to promise that you will make her happy.”
“I promise Dad. I will.”
“You are welcome to the family Son,” he said, beating Pastor Kayode lightly on the shoulder.
Afterwards, the two men sat and discussed on politics. The women moved to the kitchen to prepare something for the house. Martha glowed with a new shine to her face, and Mrs. Aboderin walked with added springs to her steps. God is not man.
To Be Continued… . . .
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[STORY] THE PASTOR’S DAUGHTER (Final Episode 13)
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