Story: Pastor's Second Wife

*A Story By Ayodele Adeoye*

    *Part One*

    The last abortion I did was the fourth time I'm doing abortion for you. You want to destroy all the children in my womb? When I finally get married, what will I give to my husband? I will not abort this pregnancy, I will keep it and face the shame. Stella lamented to her secret boyfriend after he asked her to go for abortion as usual. You know I am a pastor and my integrity is at stake if you keep this pregnancy. What will I tell my wife? What do you want me to tell my G.O? How will I stand my congregation? Those who wanted my downfall all this while will now have the opportunity to ground me. You can't keep the pregnancy Stella. These and more were the words of Pastor Olumodeji, when Stella insisted she will keep the pregnancy this time.

    How did it go? I asked my friend. Stella has been my childhood friend for over two decades now. Every time she was pregnant for pastor Olumodeji, I was the only one she confided in. We were both members of the central choir until pastor Olumodeji transferred me to our new branch in the mainland and made me the head of the choir. He made it look like he was promoting me but I knew he was no longer comfortable seeing me in the same church he pastors, knowing how much of his secrets I have known. Before my transfer, whenever he preaches about righteousness and our eyes jammed, you could notice the uneasiness on him. I didn't know how my friend entered into this prison. All our attempts to stop their illicit relationship failed severally. They had used me most often to clean up their mess. Why I connived with them to continually help them cover up still remains a mystery to me.

    Stella, you're keeping this pregnancy this time. How long will you continue to protect an integrity that does not exist? A man of integrity does not sleep with his church members. It is high time you let the church know what pastor Olumodeji has been doing in the secret. If we continue to cover this evil for him, God  will not spare us in his judgement. He should just accept responsibility for his action, I told Stella. I have made up my mind to keep the pregnancy and there's no going back on that but I won't implicate pastor Olumodeji. I can't stand the shame and humiliation. I can't watch and see the church I helped built from the scratch crumble right in my face because of my illicit affair with the pastor. I will not be the one who will be the tool of destruction for the church of God. Pastor Olumodeji may be stained but there are still righteous people in the church. Hearing this will puncture the faith of the young believers who trust him so much. I will run away with my pregnancy to an unknown destination. This is what I will do and I don't want you to advice me against it. Stella said.

    Very early in the morning before I woke up from the bed, my phone rang. when I checked my caller, it was our area pastor, my friend's secret boyfriend, pastor Olumodeji. Without doubt, I knew why he was calling me. It must be in connection with Stella's pregnancy. This time I wasn't going to be the good girl I used to be, I will be blunt and straight to pastor. I was still thinking of dirty and derogatory words to use against pastor when I picked his call, then the call ended. I was expecting him to call me back because I knew he must have had a sleepless night over the issue. While I was waiting for his call, Stella's call came in. I picked and couldn't hear her as the call kept breaking due to network problem. I can't hear you Stella, let me call you with my mtn line, I suggested. As I tried to dial her number, pastor's call interrupted. I refused to pick his call so I can speak with my friend first. The more I tried to reach Stella, the more his calls kept interrupting. At this time, I realized he was really desperate and agitated. I was literally confused but not answering his calls may send a wrong signal. I decided to pick his call. "Hello sister Mercy" he said. " Hello pastor" I replied.

    I need to see you urgently sister Mercy. We have to talk now, I don't  mind meeting you in your house or somewhere else. He said in a worried voice. Can you imagine my area pastor humble himself to this extent because he had defecated in the wrong place? No wonder the Bible says "there is no peace for the wicked". The thought of using this case to milk him started running through my mind while I was still on the phone with him. But on a second thought, is it not our church resources he will use to service the ransoms? I reasoned within me.

    *Part Two*

    I am sure you are aware your friend is pregnant again. That was his first statement when we met in his office. I chose his office for the venue of the meeting to avoid suspicion. "Which of my friend sir?" I asked him sarcastically. The way he looked at me, I could read surprise on his face. "You mean you are not aware?" He asked. I didn’t say anything until he gave the answer to my question. "Stella of course", he replied shamefully. Of course, that was what I wanted. Who is responsible for her pregnancy sir? I queried my pastor again. He looked at me with disbelieve. But this time I was ready for pastor, it wasn’t going to be business as usual. I refused to look at his face so I won't feel bad. Sister Mercy I need you to do this last favour for me and I will never come to ask for more, he said. What favour sir? Are you the one responsible for the pregnancy this time again?

    I thought you are a man of God? This is the fifth time you are impregnating your own member and you are not ashamed of this evil act sir. Your wife has been looking unto God for the fruit of the womb for almost ten years and you can’t give her a baby. Instead of killing all these babies why don’t you keep this one? Maybe that is the last baby you will ever have in your lifetime. I have made a covenant with my God that I will never be part of this again. I don’t want to further stain my hands with innocent blood. Please count me out sir. Immediately, I picked my bag to walk out on him. He quickly stood up from his seat and grabbed me. ''Please Sister Mercy you can’t go, he almost went on his knees begging me. While I was struggling to force my way out, his right hand touched my breast and I felt a sensation that turned me on immediately. He did not remove his hand from my breast, and on a deep look into his eyes; you could read on my face saying; "what is happening?" My legs were glued to the floor, my voice became faint. I tried to explain to my mind what was happening but I couldn’t.

    This must be a spell, but I wanted more of the touch from his soft hand so I didn’t resist him. Our eyes communicated without a word from both of us. Rather than leaving my breast he held it firmer and tried to squeeze it, then my voice opened up, what do you think you are doing pastor? I quarreled. "I am sorry, this is the hand work of Satan",  he said and disengaged from me. When I left his office, I began to wonder what transpired between me and pastor Olumodeji. Did he use charm on me or what? Was that the same thing he did to Stella that he was able to impregnate her for five times? I called Stella immediately. Where are you Stella? "I have been trying to call you since but unable to", she said. "Did he call you?" She asked. Yes he did and that is why I am calling you now. We need to talk.

    How will I tell my friend what just happened between me and pastor; a man she’s pregnant for? I went to see him to solve a problem but another problem had arisen. At this time, I stopped blaming my friend for getting pregnant for him five times. It is not her fault. There's something different with pastor Olumodeji’s touch that an average woman cannot resist. I tried to lift that thought of the touch out of my mind but it kept flashing back lustfully. I told Stella I will be with her shortly but here I am thinking about the touch from the pastor after two hours. Mercy, what is wrong with you? I asked myself frankly. I have never felt this way in my life. How can I explain to my conscience that I am beginning to fall in love with my pastor because of one touch? "This is strange." I told myself. I need to go and see Stella now, but what will I tell her?

    *Part Three*

    Can you see what I have been through all these years? I have made up my mind more than twenty times never to have anything to do with this pastor again but I have repeatedly found myself going back to my vomit again. You have seen it yourself, Stella lamented. This is obviously why many people cannot resist sexual advances from pastors. I began to confess my sins for all the evil I have said concerning the ladies who were found to have illicit affairs with pastors. My dear sisters reading this story, hear my advice; stay away from the anointed, you may not be able to resist the temptation.

    Now back to the main issue about Stella’s pregnancy. I began to tell myself I won't involve myself in this evil act again. Whatsoever that will happen should happen, I am out this time. I needed to also be careful not to hurt Stella. I must present it to her in a manner it won't hurt her. Even though I am yet to overcome the lust I suddenly developed for Stella's man after he accidentally touched my breast, did I say Stella's man? I mean our pastor. Maybe I should discuss my feelings with my resident pastor. But my resident pastor is junior to pastor Olumodeji. I waved that idea away, a junior pastor cannot handle a case  involving a senior pastor.

    Three weeks later, Stella had finished arrangements on her plan to disappear and move to a new location where no one knows her. But where exactly are you going to? Who are you going to meet over there? I asked Stella. I will like to keep this away from you. I know when my people  start looking for me you will surely bring them to where I am. Trust me, I will be fine, I can take care of myself and my baby. Just let this be a secret between us. My action will save the church a whole lot of trouble, She said. I couldn't hold back my tears for fear of what will befall my friend. How will she survive with three months pregnancy in a strange land? What will I tell people when they start looking for her? How will I ever explain that I don't know the whereabout of my best friend? I hope this will not land me into trouble. Fear began to find its way into my heart.

    Managing fear, lust and loneliness was the most difficult thing to do at the same time. Fear for my friend, lust for pastor and loneliness created by the absence of my friend. I became extremely overwhelmed and sick. Since Stella left, pastor Olumodeji had not given me rest with calls and text messages. I have been avoiding his calls and messages just to stay away from him. I had planned to go for 3 days mountain prayers to deal with all these issues confronting me.

    On the Friday I was to go for my mountain prayers, before 7 am, pastor Olumodeji stormed my house unannounced. I was so  shocked to see him. When he knocked at the door, I just ordered him to come in without even asking who it was. Sir, what are you doing in my house this early? I managed to ask him without salutation. "Where is Stella?", he asked too without courtesy. Sir, I should be the one asking you where Stella is. She's carrying your baby and you should know her whereabout. Sir, nothing must happen to my friend. You better find her wherever you have taken her to. My senior pastor knelt down and began to beg me. "Please tell me where Stella is." Please sir, you are embarrassing me by kneeling before me. I will not leave here until you take me to where Stella is, he insisted. What's this o God, what would I tell this man? He obviously knows I knew about Stella's disappearance but he will never believe me if I tell him I don't know her whereabout. I moved closer to him to lift him up from his knees but couldn't due to his weight. Halfway he slipped out of my hands and landed on my bed. Trying to regain my balance I staggered and fell on top of him. He tried to lift me up but I fell again and this time none of us was ready to make any attempt to disengage again. We began to look at each other, eye balls to eye balls.

    I guess you are anxious to know what happened next. It was an ugly experience.

    *Part Four*

    Pastor Olumodeji just took advantage of me. I would have called it rape but I never resisted him. Was he here to discuss Stella's case or he came here to have his way with me? How did this happen? It was too sudden to believe. How can my senior pastor have carnal knowledge of me right on my bed?
    Mercy what happened to you? I couldn't explain what just happened to me. I felt empty and guilty. I was lost in deep thought when he sneaked out of my apartment. When I realized he was not in the room I wept bitterly. I had wanted to commit suicide but suicide was not as easy as many think. I hated myself and pastor Olumodeji. Right there I made up my mind I won't attend our church again. I will resign my role as the choir leader and quit every relationship with members of the church. This is an abomination of the highest order. I had condemned many ladies who fell for pastors, and here am I in the same net of illicit affair with my own pastor.

    I couldn't go for my planned retreat again because of what just happened between me and pastor Olumodeji. I saw myself as a lamb at the altar of pastor Olumodeji. For a whole week, I didn't eat anything nor did I go out. My colleagues in the office called me until my phone battery ran down. No one knew my house in my office, so none of them checked on me. My choir members were trooping into my house thinking I was sick. I became tired of the visitation so I left my house and went and hid myself in Faith's house. Faith lives with her parents but she has a room to herself and her parents know me too well. I  had passed the night twice in their house before.

    The day I returned back to my house, I noticed my house had been so dusty for the period I was away. I pulled off my clothes and put on a bum short and sleeveless top to enable me tidy up my room. As I stretched my hand to the back of my door to pick my broom, I heard a knock on my door. Who is that? I queried. Before I could go for the door, he had entered my room.. Guess who? Pastor Olumodeji again.

    What are you doing here again Deji? I wasn't afraid to call him by his name because he has traded his respect with a round of sex. Deji is 15 years older than me and we call him daddy but God forbid that I should call a man who sexually abused me daddy. I am sorry for what happened that day, it was the work of the devil, he began to beg. I have forgiven you. Please you have to leave now, I don't want a repeat of what happened that day again. Leave before you use your charm on me again. I tried pushing him away showing him the door, but he was reluctant. I told myself it won't happen today like it happened the other day so I pushed him harder towards the door. I am still your pastor sister Mercy, he reminded me in a gentle way. Immediately he said that I remembered the sermon our G.O preached during the workers' conference two years ago titled; "Touch Not My Anointed". So I stopped pushing him. Sir you have to go, I don't want you here anymore. Please go! Please go!! Please go!!! I will go if only you can tell me where Stella is, he gave me this condition and leaned on my door blocking the door.

    I don't know her whereabout and you must believe me. If I knew her whereabout I would have revealed it to you so you can let me be. As he stood there, tears rolled down his cheeks.
    How can my pastor be crying in front of me? I felt very bad and I joined him in shedding tears. I wish I knew where Stella was, I would have told him. As he was trying to wipe away his tears, I felt pity for him. He tried to hide his tears but they dropped uncontrollably. I picked my handkerchief from my bag and stretched it towards him. He took the handkerchief from me and held my hand, I am sorry for what happened that day, he begged. I stopped being rude to him after I remembered the sermon of our G.O. He held me and stylishly moved his hands towards my shoulder and to my armpit and before I could struggle to detach myself from his grip, he had turned my back to the bed again. Please sir don't do it to me again, I begged him but all my plea fell on deaf ears.
    He did it again!

    *Part Five*

    I became a shadow of myself after the second encounter with Deji. Since then Deji practically turned me to his sex slave. He has since forgotten everything about Stella and her pregnancy. The will to say no to him died because I saw no need stopping him again. He has seen everything in me. At a time I began to enjoy it too. It grew from casual sex to an affair.

    Deji relocated me from my house to a better accommodation around Ikeja. He got the house without discussing it with me. He called me one afternoon, Mercy where are you? At the office of course. He asked me to take a 30 minutes excuse to join him around Ojudu side, that he has a surprise for me. What could that be? I thought within me. I left office to meet him at the junction he promised to wait for me ."Enter the car", he ordered me. I obeyed and he drove me straight into a compound and pointed at a two bedroom flat, "This is your new house". He handed over the keys to me and asked me to enter the car again. He drove me back to the same junction and gave me N2,000 to take a cab back to the office. I watched the whole thing like drama. I was so surprised that I couldn't utter a word to him.

    For three days, I was still pondering on what happened. I didn't step into the house until a week later. When I got to the house to do some clean up, I was shocked! Deji had furnished the house to a desirable taste. He bought everything I will ever need in the house including a set of foreign couch. He kept the spare keys with him so he could come anytime he chose. Deji was readily available like a man who is not married. Sometimes, I wondered what he tells his wife because he was always with me. My house became his second home. He pays my bills and even opened a savings account for me where he transfers N10,000 into every Monday. This was neither my pocket money nor my upkeep. He has never failed to make the transfer every Monday.

    After sometimes, he moved me back to the headquarter church as the choir leader. I became so powerful in the church that I was the brain behind almost all the decisions of the church including local transfers. Deji knows how to play his game so well that nobody suspected anything between us. At the church, he's very formal and official. He's hardworking and you hardly see lapses in his work.

    On the 13th of January, I began to feel feverish. I called Deji, I need to go to the hospital, I told him on phone. I have been feeling feverish and tired for some days. I have taken panadol but no relief at all. "I will come and take you there shortly", he promised. "No, there won't be need for that. I will be fine", I assured him.

    You are already guessing the reason for my sickness, wait till you read what happened in part six.

    *Part Six*

        I was pregnant for Deji, my senior pastor! Affliction has risen the second time. He impregnated my best friend five times, here am I again, pregnant for him. A pregnancy I cannot be proud of. A pregnancy of shame and reproach. Would I start the journey of abortion too like Stella? How did I get myself into this mess? Who will I confide in? My friend whom I could talk with had wandered into a land of the unknown. This was the worst time of my life.

       What will happen to my pride? Who will I tell that my pastor who could not impregnate his wife for over ten years was responsible for my pregnancy? Who will believe me? He has sent away Stella to only God knows where. Now it is me. I was afraid to tell Deji I was pregnant because of fear of abortion. I know he will surely ask me to abort it. What will I do now? I won't run away like Stella, I will face the consequences of my foolishness. For months I kept the pregnancy away from him. I didn't let him know about it. I will inform the church elders when I am five months gone. The evidence of the pregnancy would have been obvious then. But Deji was smarter, he discovered my pregnancy and began to interrogate me. When it was clear I could no longer hide the pregnancy from him, I told him. I was expecting him to ask me what we will do next but I was disappointed. He began to rejoice, he danced around the house for close to thirty minutes.

       What is the meaning of this? Why is he happy about a shameful pregnancy? Is he going to ask me to keep it? How will he tell the church council? What will he tell his wife? What will happen to his pastoral work? All these thoughts ran through my mind.

       Deji had it all planned out. He wants me to keep the pregnancy. This time he doesn't want an abortion, he wants the baby. He has been childless for more than ten years so I can relate. Does it mean you will marry me as your second wife or you will make me your baby mama and dump me? I asked him. Mercy, my people says "obirin toba bimo fun ni ni aya eni"..... "A woman who gives you a baby is your wife". He took his phone and dialed his sister's line who lives in Kabba town in Kogi state and they talked for almost an hour. Deji is from  Odokoro Gbedde, a small village close to Kabba town.

       Two days later, I got an alert of N100, 000 on my phone. It was from Deji. I called him immediately to know what the money was meant for? Has he changed his mind, does he now want an abortion? I was curious. "I will be with you today in the evening to explain", he said. That evening, I waited till 10pm, I didn't see him and that increased my agitation.  He sent me a text at about 10:40, "sorry I won't5 be able to come again tonight, I will see you tomorrow morning. Good night my love"

    Who is his love? This is his first time of addressing me as "my love".

       Very early in the morning the following day, Deji drove in and looking excited. "Arrange your things, you are living for Kabba tomorrow", he said. Initially I  thought it was a joke, but he was damn serious. He started putting my things together without delay. I have spoken to my sister in Kabba and they're anxious to receive you. My mum will join her in Kabba to take care of you and the baby when you put to bed. The money I sent to your account is for the baby things. It will be better if you can buy them here in Lagos before leaving and that's why I am this early. I stood there starring at him like a robot. How will you make all these plans without carrying me along? You are too selfish Deji. "What do I tell them in my working place when you know I need to give them three months notice before leaving..." he broke in "...or you forfeit a month salary right?". I will send N75,000 into your account by month end to make up for the salary for this month.

       I left for Kabba the next day, it was a long and stressful journey, considering my condition. I left without informing anybody in church, not even my choir members. What will I even tell them? But soon they will start calling me to know my whereabout, so I decided to change my line. I removed my sim card from my phone and destroyed it. I got a new sim immediately and called Deji to let him know the new number. When I arrived Kabba, the reception was wow. I wouldn't have ask for a better treatment. His sister was so happy seeing me. She speaks a little of Yoruba mixed with their dialect. Having stayed in Lagos for more than twenty years, I speak Yoruba like Oni of Ife but I had some problem understanding everything she says. She could understand everything I say but I have to use discretion to decode some of the words in Kabba language.

       The treatment I got in Kabba began to wipe away my sorrows and pains. I don't do anything than to eat, sleep, watch films and browse. Something kept telling me this treatment will be cut short when I put to bed but I disregarded the thought.

    *Part Seven*

       At a time I became worried that nobody knew my whereabout. From Lagos to Kabba, a strange land for that matter. What if something bad happens to me? Nobody knows my new phone number except Deji and yet I have destroyed the old one. This is a big risk I am taking for a man who is callous, evil and promiscuous. A man who claimed to be a pastor but live an adulterous life. How am I sure he's not doing same with other ladies? What would my parent be thinking now? Why must I put them under this stress for my action? My mother can understand but not my father.

       If I tell my mother, someone else must hear it. My mother will never be at peace if she hears my predicament. I must go through this until I put to bed or else everything will blow up. The consequences will be enormous if people get to hear this. It will get to the church authority, Deji will surely loose his job. Who will take care of me and my baby? "No! No! No! I won't tell anyone now, not even my mother. When I give birth, I will start a small business with the savings in my account". I began to think of which business I could do in Kabba that will give me a reasonable return.

    I gave birth to a bouncing baby boy on the 18th October. It was a moment of joy for Deji's family as they all trooped in from Odokoro Gbedde to rejoice with my mother-in-law, sorry I mean Deji's mother. I was not comfortable with the old women who came around to greet and carry the baby. Language barrier became another challenge as I hear each of them say some things in Kabba dialect that I didn't understand. As they say those words that sound like incantations I also counter them in my mind pleading the blood of Jesus on my baby. The sound of joy from Deji's voice when he called me on phone was indescribable. He was so happy and promised to come before the naming. I didn't lack anything because he kept sending me money even without request. My joy was mixed with sadness because of the way the baby came. He's a child out of wedlock, a bastard. A child I am not proud to tell people about. Instead of being happy, sadness crept in and stole away my happiness.

       As the naming drew closer, I began to think of many things. What happens after weaning my baby? Where would I start from again? Deji will surely not divorce his wife because of me, neither will he marry me as his second wife. What will be my fate in two years time? Will I remain in Kabba or will I go back to Lagos? At this time I needed to talk to someone but nobody to talk with. I made up my mind that my mother must attend my son's naming. I called her two days to the naming narrating all my ordeals to her. For 10 minutes my mother could not say a word as she sobbed loudly on the phone. I wept as she wept too. My heart was heavy, I have disappointed my mother who loves me dearly.

       My mother has never been to Kogi state before but she left Gboko the following day for Kabba. Her journey was rough and characterized by many unplanned delays. They had flat tyre three times between Makurdi and Lafia and several other mechanical problems. At about 9pm, my mother was yet to arrive, the journey she started from 6am. I became extremely worried because her line went off and I could not reach her again. I was restless when I didn't hear anything from my mother after 10pm.

    The unthinkable is about to happen.

    *Part Eight*

       I didn't sleep through out the night. How would I sleep when my mother is hanging between Gboko and Kabba. At about 8:12am my phone rang and I rushed to pick it. Hello, my name is inspector Tajudeen Adeyeye. I am calling from police divisional headquarters Gwagwalada, Abuja.... On hearing this I went blank and I couldn't explain what happened thereafter.

       When I regained consciousness at the hospital, I saw a lot of people gathered around me with long faces. Where is my mother? I asked angrily. A nurse came close and held me firmly, madam you must take it easy, she whispered. Take what easy? Where is my mother? I removed all the drips on me and went for Deji's neck, Deji where is my mother? Everyone in the ward bursted into tears. My mother died in a ghastly accident that claimed four lives.

       Another chapter of sorrow was opened for me. Everything I have been hiding must come to the open. My father is going to kill me for all I have done secretly and making my mother die for it.  Who is going to break the news to my father? This time was really difficult for me. The naming was postponed due to my mother's death. The family head in Deji's clan called an emergency family meeting to address the issue. It was so complicated because my father is not aware I was in Kabba, neither is he aware of my secret affair with Deji. Worst of all, my mother did not tell my father the true reason for her journey.  In fact she lied she was going to see me in Lagos and not in Kabba. How will my father take these sad news at the same time?

       I haven't breastfed my baby for three days because of my grieve. Deji's mother seemed less concerned about the tragedy of my mother's death and more concerned about her grandson. Her attitude began to make me hate my own son. She wanted me to give the boy full attention without mourning my mother. This was so irritating and annoying. Those who came around took more time to celebrate the baby than mourning my mother. They will spend so much time playing with the baby but greet me casually on my mother's death. These people are wicked and heartless. I began to develop hatred for them.

       After the family meeting, it was resolved that two elderly men will travel to Gboko to inform my father of all the tragedy. I insisted I will go with them but they refused. When they arrived Gboko, I was following up everything with calls. Series of meetings were held with my elders on what to do. On the third day, the two elders from Deji's clan came back with loads of news. Come with me to part nine for the family resolutions.

    *Part Nine*

       At first, they didn't want to tell me the resolutions of the elders of the two families. I noticed they were talking in their dialect secretly but I was hearing part of their discussions. My father sent me a heartbreaking text message. "Thank you for killing my wife". When I read the text I wept bitterly. My father was right, I killed my mother with my foolishness. All this while, I couldn't talk to my father because of the tragedy.

       Eventually, I had to force Deji to tell me what the elders discussed.

    1. They must bring my mother's corpse home at their expense.

    2. They will be responsible for her burial rites and expenses.

    3. Deji must pay my full bride price and marry me.

    4. Deji must come home to swear an oath never to leave or allow me suffer.

    The first two conditions are not grievous but the last two are impossible. Deji is a pastor and he's married. He can't marry two wives neither will his faith ever allow him to go and swear an oath before an idol. I knew this was going to be a serious battle. All the four conditions must be met at the same time.

    My mother was to spend one month in the morgue to enable Deji's family prepare for a befitting burial for my mother. My fears grew everyday as the burial of my mother drew nearer. Deji went back to Lagos, I guess to avoid suspension and to raise money for the burial and the marriage rites.

       A week later, Deji was back to Kabba. We've really not be talking with Deji because I detest his presence. We only talk when there are pressing issues to discuss. My baby became sick for lack of attention and malnutrition. I hadn't slept for three days because of accumulated stress. My head ached like migraine, my body became fragile for not eating. I forced myself to take a short nap at about midnight when I had a knock on my door. Who is that? I asked. It's me, Deji responded behind the door. There was no need trying to shut him out because the doors of the rooms in their compound are all bad. Anyone could open it from outside. He pushed the door open and found his way into my room.

       "How are you Mercy?", he greeted. I didn't utter a word, nor behaved as if any one was around. He sat by the bed and played with my baby for about ten minutes and tapped me by my shoulder. The hands that once turned me on became like a thorn on my body. His sexy voice became like the sound of a monster. He tried to make me talk but all to no avail. I hated him like I hate Lucifer. You can't believe Deji was trying to make love to me a month after I put to bed not considering I was still mourning my mother. What a heartless man! It was an unpleasant drama that night with Deji.

    *Part Ten*


       I gave him a dirty slap that will affect his ancestors in their graves. The slap was so bad that he landed on the floor with his back. When he stood up he wore a face that connote vexation, his eyes were red and full of rage. I was not sorry or remorseful about it. I would have wanted it hotter if I had the opportunity. Thank God there was no dangerous object in the room, I would have hurt him. He stood up, came close and began to struggle to have his way into me. He tore my dress in the process but he couldn't pull the jeans knicker I wore underneath. I gathered all my strength to fight him that night.

       When he was tired and it was clear he couldn't have his way, he gave up. Mercy, I am now your husband and I will be paying your bride price in a couple of days from now. Denying me sex is uncalled for. Haven't you read in 1 Corinthians 7:5 which says: "Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency".

       When he left my room I began to nurse the thought of exposing him. This is a man who is seen as a super pastor in the city. Our G.O believed so much in him without knowing who he was. Why it took so long for God to expose him, is what I don't know. How can a man who calls himself a pastor be this heartless and cruel? Are those testimonies about how God used him to bless members of the church false? I will never forget  Mrs Bode's testimony that turned the church right up. Deji was said to have prayed for her son who had been insane for seven years and he was healed instantly. She was in church to testify and I was a witness to her testimony. What of the numerous healings, deliverances and other outstanding miracles wrought by Deji? I don't understand this God anymore.

       He stopped talking to me because of what happened that night. I didn't mind him because seeing him irritated me a lot. I have enough money in my account, so I don't need him. My mother's burial was getting closer and I noticed all arrangements from Deji's family, even though they didn't involve me nor consult me for anything. I wasn't bothered because it was their sole responsibility to bury my mother. What was giving me concern was the fact that my traditional wedding was coming up the same day with my mother's burial. A secret and forceful marriage to a man I don't love. A double faced man, cruel and wicked. A man who impregnated my best friend five times and sent her to exile is about to become my husband. What would I tell Stella if we eventually meet again? If I expose him, he is sure to loose his job as a pastor. The church will scatter and many souls will be lost to the kingdom of darkness.

       We left Kabba on Thursday morning for Gboko. My mother's wake keep was to hold on the eve of her burial and my traditional wedding. Through out the journey I didn't talk to anybody because my heart was heavy. I wished this cup could pass over me. Why don't we just have accident and let me die. How would I face my father and my siblings? Who will be on my side? As we got closer to Gboko, my thoughts choked me the more. I was restless and bitter but I must give this last respect to my mother who died for me. We arrived Gboko at about 7pm and all arrangements were set for the burial and traditional wedding.

    *Part Eleven*

       On Friday, the wake keep was characterized with tears and grief. My mother's people came with three eighteen seaters buses for the burial. Nobody could say anything to me but the look on their faces said it all. Some mourners will come and greet my father and my siblings but will ignore me. The message was clear in the action; you killed your mother. I wept like never before.

       I was so devastated that my son had to stop breast milk. Throughout the wake keep, I was moody. "Tomorrow" is the burial proper and my traditional wedding ceremony. The burial will hold by 10am while the traditional wedding will come up by 3pm.

       To further humiliate me, I was not allowed to pour sand on my mother at the graveside like my other siblings did. We moved from the graveside to the family compound for a short reception. When it was some few minutes pass 2pm, my uncle came and informed me of the proceedings of the traditional wedding. I was to dress in black clothes as a sign of respect to my late mother.

       Few minutes to the commencement of my traditional wedding, mummy pastor showed up with three men in a police van. A lot of people were wondering what was happening and why police came to the venue of the traditional wedding. Myself and Deji looked at each other's eyes. Of course, we knew what was cooking up. The men stood with mummy pastor for about 5 minutes to discuss and thereafter moved closer to me. Mummy pastor pointed at me and said to the police men "that is her".  Madam, I am officer Peter and these are my colleagues. Please are you Mercy Kwashi? Yes I am, I replied. You're under arrest and you have to follow us to our station now. Everyone stood afar off watching the drama. One of my brothers stepped in. Officer what is her offence? He asked. You will know when we get to our office, the police team leader answered. Madam, move, he ordered me. So I moved and they drove me away.

    My brother followed us with his bike to the station. As soon as he ascertained the police station, he went back. Few minutes later my brother, Deji and some of our elders came to the station while I was writing a statement. I couldn't look at mummy pastor to her face for shame. I have betrayed a woman who genuinely loved me. I took her husband away from her but she was on a mission to takeover her husband back.

       Our elders and mummy pastor held a short meeting and proceeded to the DPO's office. My bail was discussed and I was released immediately because of my baby.

       While we were going back to my family house, mummy pastor was raining insults and curses on me. I was really ashamed. I felt I should just disappear to thin air so as to escape further embarrassment. When we got to the family house, she was screaming at the top of her voice, "this wedding will not hold while I am alive". She will insult me and turn to Deji, "you liars and traitors", husband snatcher, prostitute, fake pastor, etc. She ranted angrily.

    *Part Twelve*

       She insisted the marriage rite will not hold. All her troubles and gymnastics did not stop the elders from taking the bride price. There wasn't any formal ceremony but the marriage was conducted traditionally. I became the second wife of my pastor in an ironic way.

       After the marriage rite, the elders held a meeting with mummy pastor for about three hours. I was later informed that she was pacified by the elders. She initially threatened that she will walk out of the marriage if Deji marries me but she was advised not to leave since she will be the one to loose especially now that she has no child for Deji. All her years of suffering and sacrifice will be wasted if she leaves. She was advised to accept me as her sister and my baby as her baby. And the presence of baby in the home may cause hers to come. She was left with no option than to accept her fate. Sincerely, I felt for her too but I was the source of her disappointment and bitterness.

       She embraced me with tears in her eyes. She collected my baby and said "you shall be called Olushina", Olushina means God has opened the way. We adopted the name and began to call him Olushina. After the marriage rite, Deji was to go before Akombo to swear an oath to forever be committed to me and my baby. I was really afraid for Deji because my late grandfather used to tell us how terrible Akombo can be. But the question still remains if Deji will accept to swear the oath.

       Everything for the swearing of the oath was ready at the shrine and the chief priest had sent his servant to come and fetch Deji. I thought he was going to resist the call, rather he was speaking in tongues as he followed the chief priest's servant. Two elders, one from my family and one from his accompanied him to the shrine. He took the oath without considering his faith. After all had been done, my fears shifted to what will happen to me as Deji's wife. Will he leave me in Kabba or take me back to Lagos? I began to weigh the options. If he leaves me in Kabba which is the most likely, I will have to stay with his family members in the family compound house. All my dreams and aspirations will be suspended because they can't be realized in such a locality. If he takes me to the city, how will I face the shame? What will I tell Stella if she eventually comes back? Would I still be able to return to the church?

       Deji was not talking to me so I was left in the dark on my next move. On Sunday morning, mummy pastor came to inform me that we will be going to Lagos together on Monday. But my things are still in Kabba ma. Don't worry about those things, Daddy will arrange how they  will be sent to Lagos. She collected Shina and backed him. On Monday morning, we set out for Lagos while others who came from Kabba went with the bus that brought us.

    *Part Thirteen*

       We got to Lagos and another phase of trouble started. Mummy pastor and Deji had days of fight over my case. While she insisted we will live together in their three bedroom flat, Deji wanted me to live separately. I guess he had not relinquish my apartment in Ikeja. Deji wanted to start his secret game with me again but mummy pastor wasn't going to allow that. She seemed to have made up her mind to let the church know everything Deji had done.

       In one of the fights, the argument was hot that I had to come in. I was shocked to my marrow when Deji began to beat Mummy pastor. The way the whole fight happened , it was obvious Deji has been a serial wife beater. That wasn't his first time beating that woman. Is this how he will be beating me too? Well, I noticed that tendency of a violent man in him during the several encounters we had had. But why has mummy pastor not exposed him all this while? Why did she cover up for him all the time he had been abusing her?

       Since I came back from Kabba, I haven't stepped out, not even to the balcony. Life became so boring to me. Deji wasn't talking to me, mummy pastor only talks to me when food is ready or when it was time to bath Shina, etc. I was practically shut out of the world. My life became meaningless and worthless. I couldn't go out for fear of being seen by people I know. More so, I had grown so lean due to all I have been through lately. Church members who come to see Deji never crossed my path because my room was hiding, and I hardly came out for anything. I was able to hide for three weeks before the cat was let out of the bag.

       I started coming to the sitting room to watch TV once a while. When I notice someone was at the door, I will carry my baby and run inside. I knew this hiding game would not last forever. On that fateful day, I never heard a voice or a knock at the door. I rushed into the sitting room backing Shina when I stumbled at the women leader of our church. She screamed  my name, "Sister Mercy" and she went mum. Mummy pastor joined us as we both looked at each other in total surprise. Women leader broke the silence, Mummy pastor what is happening here? She asked. Daddy is in the best position to explain ma, she replied as I shamefully walked back to my small prison.

       When Deji came back, I guess mummy pastor told him all that happened when the women leader visited. He rushed into my room, "you foolish woman, you want to destroy the work I have been doing for fifteen years. You are a bad luck and a witch" he ranted. He removed his belt and flogged me like his child. Mummy pastor rushed in to rescue me but he descended on her too. She left after taking her own share of the beating. I was very angry and this time around I made up my mind to expose him. Enough of this evil, I told myself.

       The next day, church members started trooping into the house, obviously to see and confirm what the women leader told them. I heard their voices but I made sure they didn't see me. Three days later, Mummy pastor brought a letter for me. On opening it, it was a summon for a meeting with the G.O. At this time, I knew it was over for Deji and his many years of lies.

    *Part Fourteen*

       When I arrived at the meeting, my legs were heavy like rock. I couldn't move them again when I saw the people seated and waiting for me. Our G.O, the church executive council members, mummy G.O, Deji, women leader and mummy pastor were all present in the meeting.

       As soon as I entered, I was directed to sit on the only vacant seat. I took my seat with my head bent down. The secretary to the church executive council was the first to speak. After he acknowledged the presence of the G.O and other council members in attendance, he turned to me. "Sis Mercy, you left church some months ago, leaving your responsibility as the choir leader without a word. Now you are back with a baby, can you tell this gathering what happened?", he requested.

       I stood up and brought Shina down from my back, showed his face to all the council members and went back to my seat without saying anything. Shina is a duplicate of Deji, even a blind  man could almost notice the resemblance. I guessed they understood my message as all of them said "hmmmmm" in chorus. After my drama, there was a short silence. The type that happens when they say "let's observe one minute silence for the dead". The silence was cut short when the G.O requested Deji to say what he knew about Shina and my sudden disappearance in church. He stood up and could not say anything. The vibrant and outspoken pastor became like a moron and like a sheep taken to the slaughter. Deji has never been this quiet since I knew him. The saying, " You become the slave of your slave if he finds the stolen chicken in your hand" became true.

       After about ten minutes, Deji still didn't utter a word, the secretary to the church executive council stood up and said, "Silence at the face of accusation is a sign of guilt". Pastor Olumodeji, you're the father of sis Mercy's baby. If you are not, deny now or face the disciplinary committee of the church. Yet Deji didn't say anything. The meeting was adjourned for three weeks when the head of disciplinary committee would have been briefed.

       The church secretary gave mummy G.O a letter for me. This time the church wants to conduct an independent DNA test to ascertain the paternity of my son. The letter contains the date, the time and the medical centre where the DNA will be conducted. I have no issue with the DNA test since it is going to be at the expense of the church.

       It didn't seem as if Deji was remorseful with all that happened. He came to my room anytime he needed sex. He does it without talking to me. I didn't bother myself denying him anymore because I am now his wife. Moreover if I didn't allow him, he would rape me. And to be honest, I wasn't ready for all that even though I suffered severe pain and bled anytime he slept with me.

    *Part Fifteen*

       The DNA test was conducted and the result was sent to the church directly. I wasn't bothered about the result because I already knew what the outcome will be.

       When the three weeks of adjournment elapsed, another meeting was called. This time around, the church disciplinary committee chairman and the church medical doctor were in attendance. The faces of the attendees were unfriendly this time. "Without wasting much time, can we invite Dr Hassan Yakubu for the interpretation of the DNA test result?",  the secretary to the church executive council requested, pointing at the direction of the doctor. The silence in the room was like that of the graveyard as everyone gazed at the doctor's mouth.

       He was handed over the big brown envelope. He was slow in getting the result out of the envelope. He began to read the result from the name of the medical centre, date of the test, personnel who conducted the test, the medical jargons in the result, etc. Why must he read all those contents? All we needed to hear is if Deji is Shina's father or not. After taking about fifteen minutes reading the DNA test result in medical terminologies, no one seemed to understand everything he said. The gazing and agitation was on the increase as all expected him to interpret the result in a layman's language.

       "Pastor Olumodeji is not the biological father of the boy according to the test result", the doctor said. This must be a joke, I thought. Who else is Shina's father if not Deji? I haven't slept with any man for five years. Sis Mercy, can you tell us who is the father of your baby, why you left the church without a word and why you are taking refuge in pastor Olumodeji's house? I was dumbfounded for a moment. There must be a mix up somewhere. The paternity of my son is certain. I know the father of my son, and he's no other person than Deji.

        Someone should explain to me what's happening here, mummy pastor screamed. So my husband is not the father of your bastard son? I knew it, I know you're a traitor who wants to reap where you didn't sow. Whatsoever you've done to my husband, God will expose you and your evil plans. You wicked betrayer and husband snatcher. Mummy pastor took over the meeting while everyone watched her. I couldn't comprehend what was going on. I wanted to talk but I didn't know what to say when the DNA test result says Deji is not the father of my son. With this development, mummy pastor will surely not receive me back to the house again. Where next am I going to?

    *Part Sixteen*

       After the meeting, I went straight to Deji. "Who is the father of my son?", I asked him rudely. "The DNA result has said it all", he replied. What DNA result are you talking about? You better own up to the leadership of the church or else I will tell the whole world about your years of atrocities. I will tell them about Stella and everything you've been hiding.

       Deji didn't take me serious, he was so confident that he wasn't the father of my son. Why then did he accept to pay my bride price? Why was he mute all this time? What is actually going on? I threatened him, "If you don't tell the church the truth in three days, I will expose you. You know I have enough evidence to nail you. With all these threats, he was indifferent. I have been given seven days by the church to reveal the identity of the father of my son or face disciplinary actions.

       I was not allowed to return to Deji's house again. Everyone deserted me as they all saw me as a fornicator, betrayer, liar and schemer. Where will I go from here with a two months old baby? Who will believe my story? Who will I confide in? That night, I rushed to the nearest ATM and made some withdrawals. I got the cheapest hotel around to pass the night and think of the next action plan. While I was in the hotel room, an idea dropped on my mind, go and do another DNA test. Yes!!! That is it! I am going for another DNA test. The challenge will be how to get Deji to consent to my new idea. Okay, another idea dropped, I will meet elder Omojola to tell him everything that happened between me and Deji. I will also ask him to take us to another health center where we can run another DNA test.

       Immediately it was dawn, I headed to elder Omojola's house. "Good morning sir, you must be surprised to see me I guess." "Yes sister Mercy, why are you here this early? I hope all is well?" he asked me. All is not well sir, I want to have a word with you in private sir. He knew I was desperate and worried. We moved away to his backyard where he offered me a seat. Yes, sister Mercy, can I hear you? I took a deep breath. "Sir, pastor Olumodeji is the father of my baby. I am ready to conduct another DNA test from another medical centre different from the former one." "Sister Mercy, are you sure of what you are saying?", he asked. Sir, I am not just sure, I have other revelations that will shock the church but I must first prove that pastor Olumodeji is the father of my baby.

       Elder Omojola was curious and willing to follow the matter to a conclusive end. After my meeting with him, he stretched N1000 note to me. "Use this for your transport", he said. "Transport to where sir?", I asked him and held back my hand. I have no where to go sir. I was ejected out of Pastor's house after yesterday's meeting. "So where did you sleep with your baby last night?", he asked me. "In a hotel sir", I replied. "Oh, I am sorry about that, I will ask Blessing to tidy the guest room for you now. You will stay there until we are done with this investigation."  When he told his wife I will be staying in their guest room, the look on her face was not welcoming. I understand her thought anyway but I have to endure whatsoever they think about me until I am vindicated.
    Elder Omojola obviously had made up his mind to help considering how swift he was to bringing up suggestions on how to get the whole truth . After Wednesday’s midweek service, He had sought the permission of the church leadership to conduct another DNA test to confirm the first test result.
    To the dismay of the disciplinary Committee members and resident Pastor’ who Deji is working with, Elder Omojola made a U-turn. Saying something entirely different from what they agreed on especially now that they thought they already knew that Deji wasn’t the biological father to my son.
    Elder Omojola told them that We shall be having another DNA test tomorrow to ascertain the true paternity of my child. Bro Malachi and Sister Rebecca were obviously not comfortable with that idea. ” what else are we going to be needing another DNA test for?,”they both queried.
    Does it mean that we can no longer trust the legitimacy of our own church’s official medical Centre.,” they asked further this time joined by some factions from the committee
    Elder Omojola being a man of immense wisdom refused to get embroiled with any feud with them but rather convinced them to give him the benefit of doubt. It was as if God has decided to listen to my cries.
    It was as if God himself was using Elder Omojola to vindicate me.
    He returned home and narrated to me all that ensued at the church and how he was able to convince them for the test. He told me that they had fixed the appointment with our own choice hospital on Saturday.
    That date looked like a decade to me. Saturday seemed so far to me but i couldn’t complain but thank him lavishly.
    He is indeed a nice man whom was already taking me as her own daughter irrespective of the presumed abomination i committed.
    I wish I could turn the hand of the clock faster. This is surely the end of the road for Deji the dribbler. God would openly prove my innocence and put a shame to that criminal that speaks in tongues… “Everyone will soon know who he is, “i muttered.
    For the first time in several months i really heaved a sigh of relief.
    Read Also : Pastor’s Second Wife – Episode 11
    Very early in the morning, around 6:30 am, i noticed an unknown number flash me twice. I couldn’t call back because it was a hidden identity.
    The phone rang again.
    This time, it rang for long so i picked.
    “Helloo, who is this?,” i asked with jittery voice.
    “Hello… It’s me…. Can you hear me?….
    It was a female’s voice and sounded so familiar.
    ” Who is this? I asked again but with a raised tone in a raucous manner.
    “This is me Stella,” she explained obviously sounding excited.
    “Which of the Stellar? I queried her.
    Helloo.. Mercy, it’s me stella your friend na….!!!
    It was at this moment i realised it was stella my friend that called me…
    Jesus!!!!! I screamed so loud not minding
    That my baby was actually sleeping. In a bid not to wake him up, i quickly ran to the toilet.
    “Sister Stella, how are you?… Oh my God!! Where on earth have you been?,” i asked a million questions to her almost in a split seconds.
    “I’m fine and healthy,” she said with so much enthusiasm.
    It was then that i remembered to ask how she managed to get my number as the former number of mine she had was destroyed when i went to kabba with Deji.
    I knew she didn’t have my new number… How come?,” i wondered.
    “Wow, my sweet friend, how did you get my number?,” i feigned excitement.but down within me, i wished she never called.
    “Have you forgotten i could get anything i wish to get?, ” she teased me.
    It was still the old funny Stella who always knew how to make joke out of everything. She hasn’t changed much i guessed.
    The stella that called me wasn’t sounding as depressed as i thought she would. She was feeling so vivacious as though nothing happened .
    ” Anyway, i tried calling you severally to no avail as the number kept saying switched off so i decided to contact your kid sister, Gloria via her Facebook profile,”she narrated.
    It was my kid sister Gloria that gave her my new number… . Now i see!!!
    She told me she later delivered a set of twins after she absconded.
    ” Twins?, “i shouted in utter disbelief.
    ” Yes, “she exclaimed!
    That news hit me so hard with mixed feelings. I didn’t know whether to be happy or sad.
    To add more salt to my already gruesome injury, she told me she would be coming to lagos by weekend to meet with Pastor Deji, the estranged father to her twins.
    Stella spent much time over the phone apologising to me for remaining incommunicado for such a long while.
    She asked if i had been seeing pastor Deji and wanted to know what he said about her sudden disappearance.
    As she was still talking to me, my son woke up and started crying .
    I didn’t want her to ask me further questions so i cut the call abruptly and switched the phone off.
    If you actually search for me in the land of the dead, you’ d probably find me seated at the right hand of the devil scratching his back……
    This unprecedented news hit me so hard….
    How do i face my good friend Stella?
    How do i explain to her that the father to her twins is same father to my son?
    How would the church look at both of us after finding out that stella was also pregnant for same pastor Deji?
    This is going to be a big blow to me entirely . …

    *Part Seventeen*

    I received a call from Deji very early in the morning. He was sobbing over the phone as he kept apologising to me. He asked i met up with him at Isaac John’s street at exactly 10am.
    First, i was shocked to have received such call from Deji. Why would Deji be begging me? Why would he be forming so repentant? What could possibly be going on?
    All these questions flashed through my mind in split seconds as he was talking with me over the phone. He had long stopped seeing me as his wife and kicked me out of his house.
    I only mustered some courage to tell him i wouldn’t be able to see him. He kept pleading, saying he wouldn’t take much time. Since he asked we met in an open space,i later agreed to meet with him. Within me, i knew all wasn’t cool and couldn’t help but sense some cynicism from his actions.
    I found myself in a black and rickety wagon driven by Deji.
    The music was so loud as he kept raising his voice trying to communicate with me. I wouldn’t know where he was taking me to. It was a very lonely road, much like a part way to the stream.
    “Where are you taking me to?,” Deji !. I was beginning to feel terrified. I didn’t inform anyone about my sudden meeting with Deji.
    We soon got to a point where strange men all dressed in white stopped us. Deji came down and was discussing with them while pointing at me. At that juncture, i knew i was in a serious danger. I already saw the signs…..
    Not even a single human being did we see while we were coming…
    I quickly opened the door and started running as far as my leg could Carry me. Those men in white started chasing me so vigorously.
    As i was running, I woke up.
    It was a dream afterall. I looked at the gray wall clock hanging on the wall in my room, it was 3am. Jesus!, that was a terrible nightmare.
    My whole body was drenched in my own cold sweat.
    I couldn’t sleep again as i kept praying and asking God to avert whatsoever danger that lied lurking.
    Very early in the morning, i started feeling very feverish. I started running temperature and Shina couldn’t help the situation either. He kept crying and persistently disturbing.
    I dropped Shina with Angela, Elder Omojola’s help to quickly rush to the clinic to get some pills or probably run a laboratory test.
    Read Also : Pastor’s Second Wife – Episode 12
    An elderly matron who attended to me insisted i ran a test. She examined me manually and demanded i ran a test.
    “don’t worry, i’d run a quick test for you and within few minutes the result would be out,” she persuaded me.
    She had to say this after she checked my pulse, opened my mouth repeatedly and my eyes.
    “congratulations my daughter,” i think you’re 4 weeks pregnant, “she said to me with a very big grin on her face after the result she ran came out positive.
    Oh My God!
    ” What did she just say now?,” i rhetorically asked myself.
    ” Is everything ok?, “she asked as she saw that her supposed good news didn’t go down well with me.
    “I’m ok ma, i falsely reassured her and walked out of the clinic moping aimlessly.
    My son Shina is barley a year and few months and i am Pregnant for same criminal we call our pastor? No man had ever touched me since i started seeing this beast of Deji. He had got me pregnant again.
    I’m finished. I wasn’t angry or afraid of what the church people would say, afterall, he is now my husband.
    I was worried about how i would cope with raising two kids without much support, especially now that Deji and his wife had kicked me out of their house pending on the verdict of the church after the second DNA result is out.
    This life is such a wicked and confusing place to reside i painfully said to myself as i flagged down a taxi to drop me home.
    Inside the taxi, my phone rang and it was Sister Stella. I already saved her number after the last time she called. I felt like throwing the phone away. She was the last person i needed to talk to at that moment.
    I immediately remembered my mum, she was the only person I could have spoken to or ran to for help and advice. Now, she was no more, no thanks to Pastor Deji.
    Hot tears kept gushing down copiously down my cheek…
    “Hello, Mercy, how’re you? where are you?,” she asked me faintly over the phone as if i was expecting her.
    “i’m in lagos now,” Gbagada” to be precise,” she explained further whilst my mouth was still wide open in utter surprise.
    “Oh, sister Stella,” i am fine.
    Again, I lied….
    I could be anything but nothing close to being fine. My whole tumultuous life had reached its flash point.
    “eeeehm eeeehm…. I’m staying at Ogba,” i told her with my voice sounding so jittery.
    “Ok dear, “I would be coming to see you tomorrow..
    She told me as she asked for my address.
    I didn’t know what to say to her. I couldn’t possibly tell her no neither was i sure i would like to invite her over to Elder Omojola’s house.
    She was expecting me to sound enthusiastic. Definitely, she thought i missed her as much as she supposedly missed me.
    “What would she say when she finally finds out i had a child for Deji and even pregnant for him again,”i quickly thought.
    However, i mustered the courage to face this guilt once and for all. I gave her the address to come and visit me without even telling her whom I was squatting with.
    She would definitely come with her twins to meet my son and also hear of my pregnancy with Same father of her kids……
    It’s either now or never…..
    Hang on for the Final Episode..

    *Part Eighteen* (Final)

    I got home feeling even more weak and pallid. I hadn’t had anything to eat since morning nor even have time for Shina.
    Devil definitely must have rented a 3 bedroom apartment in my head to manipulate and torment me…. I felt so depressed and disillusioned…
    “Sister Mercy,” where have you been?
    Elder Omojola asked me immediately i got home… He looked tensed.
    Shina had been crying since morning….
    I didn’t know whether to divulge the outcome of my laboratory test to him or keep it..
    Keeping it for what?, “i thought.
    I told Elder Omojola that i was pregnant again for Deji and that was the reason for my sickness .
    I was sure he was wondering how it happened and probably didn’t know how to ask me how I knew it was Deji.
    The proposed DNA test to ascertain Shina’s real father was slated for Saturday and even before then, here i was claiming to be pregnant for same man.
    He looked puzzled. I felt the rage in him as if he wanted to pounce on me. He nodded repeatedly as he tapped my shoulders.
    “My daughter,” it’s well, he said as he stood up to leave.
    I asked him to sit back that i had another important confession to make.
    Elder Omojola’s apprehensive mood was vicious. He was already getting tired of all this dirty melo drama.
    “What’s is it again , Mercy?, he asked angrily .
    ” Daddy, it’s about sister Stella.
    “Who’s Sister Stella, he asked.
    Obviously, he had forgotten who sister stella is…
    I took my time to remind him of whom stella is and carefully narrated to him everything that happened between her and Deji that made her elope.
    He couldn’t contain his shock as his jaw dropped in utter disappointment in Deji.
    Very early in the morning, Stella arrived with her twins.
    She was shocked to have seen me with a kid and in Elder Omojola’s house.
    Elder Omojola had known everything about her unholy affair with Deji and mine as well so he wasn’t so surprised seeing her.
    I didn’t know what or how to face Stella as i buried my face in shame.
    She looked perplexed as well…..
    Elder Omojola sat us down and explained everything to Stella.
    God would bless that man for me… He is indeed an Elder and a father who doesn’t judge or crucify one for her sins.
    Stella cried so much after she learnt that her best friend is now married to the estranged father to her kids.
    Obviously, she felt so bad and depressed…
    It was really a festival of tears and consolation that morning.
    As we were crying and still finding a way to pacify the situation someone knocked at the door.
    guess who!
    The devil himself…. It was Deji…
    He was in elder Omojola’s house.
    Deji rushed in but was shocked to see me and even more surprised to have seen Stella . He came to confess everything to elder Omojola, how he compromised the DNA test result just to evade the church executive council punishment.
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    “Sir, I couldn’t stand the humiliation. I am the father of sister Mercy’s baby,” he finally confessed.
    Please help me explain to the G.O and the church executive council that it was satan who pushed me”, he begged elder Omojola.
    “G.O is your father and you will have to explain to him yourself, I believe he loves you,” he bluntly told him.
    To Deji’s greatest surprise, Elder Omojola informed him that the twin sister Stella was carrying were his kids.
    Of course, he knew he got her pregnant . That was the Genesis of this whole evil love triangle .
    Deji fell on the floor crying and begging both of us… .he didn’t even know whom to face.
    Infront of him were three cute children all from different women but his wife.
    Elder Omojola wadded in and pleaded to us to forgive him and urged us to let go.
    Right there, he picked his phone and put a call through to the G.O.
    “Daddy, I have to see you this morning sir. After his call, he carried us and drove to Deji’s house, asked his wife to join us in the car and we drove straight to G.O’s house.
    All of us arrived at G.O’s house…. It was a crowd of visitors. ..While we were all seated, elder Omojola went on his knees before the G.O, signaled Deji to join him to knee down too.
    Sir, pastor Olumodeji is your son and your son had offended you. He’s here to tell you his offences and to ask for your forgiveness.
    He pleaded on behalf of Deji.
    “I am listening, the G.O said as he put on his glasses. Elder Omojola beckoned on Deji to speak up.
    He started with a long sob.
    “Sir, I am sorry for all my lies, I am the father of sister Mercy’s baby,” and eeeehm !!!eeeeh!!!!, “Sister Stella’s twins,”he startled.
    ..Everywhere went cold, tears began to drop from everyone’s eyes.
    Everyone was surprised to have seen Sister Stella reappear with kids and even more surprised to hear that same Pastor Deji was responsible .
    Tears were uncontrollably gushing down.
    Why? Why? Why? G.O began to ask Deji in disappointment. I trusted you so much, why? Why did you allow satan to take advantage of you to do this? For almost an hour, it was all about “why” from G.O.
    Deji was forced to resign as a pastor. He was also discovered to have embezzled church fund to the tune of N10.7 million. His gratuity and entitlements were shared between me, Stella and mummy pastor.
    I took my own share of the gratuity, rented a small apartment and also started a business.
    I couldn’t continue in that church again because of the damage caused by my action. When Deji resigned, almost half of the members of the church left.
    Today, the church is a shadow of itself. A church that previously holds two services every Sunday, now struggles with 100 members.
    Right now, Deji is very sick and has partial stroke. Mummy pastor later conceived and gave birth to a baby girl. Don’t pity me because I have settled with God and He has forgiven me.
    My advise to women reading my story are;
    1.Don’t collaborate to cover sin.
    2. Don’t ever think any pastor is immuned to temptation.
    3. Don’t keep quiet for too long when things are going wrong.
    Someone asserted: “I agree with 1 Timothy5:20. (Rebuke all those who commit sin so others would refrain) This is the mistake the church has been making our reputation keeps getting tarnished.
    The devil use that to blind the the Church and uses unbelievers to point out the wrongs in the Church, that is why unbelievers call us hypocrites.
    Expose them as soon as possible, and those who are thinking of doing the same will run. People will respect the Church more and fear God.
    ...The End…

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