I Saw Your Baby
Kunle had been forced to bed after the usual emotional maltreatment from his uncle. Parents should plan better to birth and raise their off-springs themselves. That way, the number of emotionally unstable adults we have in the world would flatten. The lad already exhibits destructive behavioral traits. He has mood swings, often for no apparent reason, suffers from low self-esteem, he is addicted to pilfering and he is somewhat delusional. The last time, he was telling Temilade about how he hears voices in his head. When she mentioned it to Pastor Tade, he concluded the lad was beginning to connect with the Spirit and encouraged the boy to say, ‘Speak, Lord!’ the next time he heard the voice.
‘Thank you very much, my love!’ Pastor Tade moaned as he cuddled himself in around Temilade that Sunday morning. ‘You are so sweet. I wouldn’t trade you for any other,’ he ended running his hands through her long human hair. Temilade was quiet; so quiet that Pastor Tade knew something was bothering her but he was thankful. ‘Alright, Temi, what is the matter?’ he asked raising her head, so he could launch into her eyes.
‘Nothing at all, my love,’ she answered quickly and gave a smile to prove that all was well. She was not going to waste her time anymore. She knew what that time was; the time when he would hunger for love and someone to take care of him. Seven years of living with the Bishop was enough time for her to know this. She had learned to look beyond this state; the state one would think that the abuser on the inside of him was never going to return, but only to get a shock when the shadow comes back like it never left. She had no business falling in love again with the abuser. Abusers never change; if they do, the chances are next to zero.
‘One, two, one, two… testing the microphone… amen, halleluyah’.
Sunday services always begin like this. Gbenga, the drummer, is always the first to be in church. Well, he comes just after the Bishop, sometimes. They have a round of instrument testing and like every other Sunday, this isn’t different; one of the speakers is not giving the sound they expect. Kunle is left to stand by the speaker, Gbenga continues to connect and disconnect cables in a bid to resolve the problem while Pastor Tade sits on the drummer’s stool, speaking into the microphone at intervals to see if the sound has improved. They do this for about thirty to forty five minutes before they agree the sound is okay. Temilade is left to ensure that the whole environment is set for the service and call workers and departmental leaders who are not yet in church. Often times, she calls new invites who she’d promised to pick up for service in the mornings.
There was something about today. Yes, it was Mama Rhoda’s birthday and Temilade was excited but there was more. She chose to wear an off white lace ‘slit and caba’ to church. It was a gift from her mother-in law after her wedding to Pastor Tade, seven years ago. She always wore it on special occasions and so she felt deep down that something special was about to take place. She remembered the new dog the Bishop said he bought for her after the death of Tutu and so she went to take a good look at her. She loved dogs. Maybe not. She just loved the feeling of having something or someone loyal; dogs give you that. As she took a good look at the dog, she really didn’t feel the connection that she felt when she first saw Tutu but the dog looked really good. She was a Doberman – German Shepherd or so.
‘I shall call you, Coco,’ she said with a smile on her face. Sister Suzzy noticed the smile as she walked out of the pastorage with a mini ice-chest of chilled water and juice for the pastors and ministers. As she walked past Temilade, she couldn’t help but notice the joy in her eyes as she greeted her.
‘Good morning, Mama,’ she called and continued to the cathedral, smiling as she moved carefully through the rocky path that led to the church.
The service was packed full. The newest couple, Mr. And Mrs. Thompson Thomas were having their wedding thanksgiving and they had the whole world to celebrate with them. Pastor Kels and Mama Rhoda also had their family and friends join the service to celebrate Mama Rhoda’s 30th birthday. It was a service to remember. Bishop Tade preached heaven down and The Word Worshipers, the church’s choir, sang melodiously too. Rev Kels sang a duet with Rita, one of the twins, while Ruth, the other twin, rendered a ballet performance and all was dedicated to Mama Rhoda. Temilade recited a poem for Mama Rhoda that got both women in tears.
After the service, a group of well meaning friends and relatives headed off for pictures with Mr and Mrs. Thompson Thomas, Mama Rhoda and the twins. There was a lot to eat and drink and many old faces and friends of the church to catch up with. Very many church folks thronged the Bishop for prayers and counselling. Some others wanted to ask him for jobs, ‘chop money’ and selfie pictures. Temilade was in the heart of it all; she needed to greet everyone that made it to church that day. It was a ritual and she had to do it. Today was very busy and Mama Rhoda wanted to catch some time with her friend before three o’clock. The twins had music classes, 3:30pm every Sunday and Pastor Kels ensured that they never missed it. While Temilade was in something that looked like a serious conversation with an elderly woman who was visiting the church for the first time, Mama Rhoda drew closer to her as if to remind her to keep the conversation simple and short. As the conversation was becoming less serious, Mama Rhoda found a level ground and joined in the conversation.
The trio laughed and chatted as Mrs. Kaden made her way to see the Bishop. Temilade had asked her to walk pass the long queue, straight to the Bishop without worrying about the queue and she was wiling to do just that. That was when sister Regina ran into Temilade. She gave her a hug and tried pulling her away from Mama Rhoda but Temilade would not move because she had noticed Rev. Kels by the entrance of the cathedral. She knew he wanted his to call his wife but the gentleman in him would allow her some time with the Lady Rev. It was almost 3pm and they needed to head home so Temilade started the conversation out loud; giving sister Regina no choice. She had to say what was getting her very excited to the hearing of everyone.
‘Mama, I saw your baby!’ she said excitedly, tilting her head to the entrance of the cathedral. The Bishop had his seat not too far from the entrance and Kunle was at the entrance with sister Suzzy, carrying packs of drinks. They were offloading the items given out during the thanksgiving by the newlyweds and the Kelvins who were grateful to God for the life of their mother and wife. Mama Rhoda could see the look on Temilade’s face. The topic alone she knew would spark some concern. She did not want to deprive Temilade of the conversation sister Regina just started. She drew very close to Temilade to give her a hug and whispered in her ear something that sparked her eyes.
‘We would talk better later in the evening, Mama,’ she called as she made her way to the exit door. ‘Bishop said you would come to us today, see you later!’ she screamed in a bid to get the Bishop’s attention and she did. Mama Rhoda always does. The Bishop waved at her even while he was holding a conversation with a couple.
‘Congratulations, Mama!’ Sister Regina called, trying to get back Temilade’s attention.
‘Thank you, my dear…’ Temilade responded trying hard not to notice that the conversation the Bishop was having seemed to be getting heated. ‘What exactly did you see? The baby was a male child, right?’ she asked Sister Regina with a smile only to be told by Sister Regina that the baby she was talking about was the new dog the Bishop bought.
…to be continued
I Saw Your Baby
Who does that?
Why do people, especially women, say some very silly things without thinking?
I hear some people speak and I feel so sad. Why do you say that?
How can you see a woman who has been married for seven years without a child and you joke with a sensitive issue as that of childbearing?
‘I saw your baby,’ yet all you wanted to say was that you saw the new dog her husband bought! Very silly, I must say.
Pardon my choice of words, my friends. Matters like this really upset me.
You hear questions like, ‘why are you not married, sister?’
What about, ‘when would you get a job?’ and ‘when would you get pregnant?’
A close associate of mine told me some time ago how some woman asked her when she was going to get pregnant after she celebrated her second wedding anniversary. I thought her response was rather harsh but just maybe the lady deserved to hear something harsh to help her think straight.
I would like to end with what I read sometime ago.
Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and to remove all doubt. The bible has a similar idea in Proverbs 17:28. (I know by now you are aware of my love for the Message Bible translation): Even dunces who keep quiet are thought to be wise; as long as they keep their mouths shut, they’re smart.
Always think before you speak.