Proof Of Womanhood
It was barely three hours after Temilade survived her ordeal with Sister Regina only to get the announcement from Rev. Kels that Mama Rhoda was thirteen weeks pregnant. The announcement was done over dinner at the KFC lounge somewhere in Africa. Pastor Tade and Temilade had paid the Kelvins a visit as earlier agreed at their residence. Then, both families were driven in a Limo to KFC. The Reverend had organized a birthday party for Mama Rhoda there and with the Bishop’s support, the party was one that Mama Rhoda was going to remember for a very long time.
Mama Rhoda was asked to place the order for everyone. She looked very pretty in her red halter strap, velvety dress. Temilade could not take her eyes off her. Even before the announcement, Temilade had informed her of the glow in her skin and eyes. Now, it was confirmed; Mama Rhoda was pregnant again. Temilade was happy for Mama Rhoda; she really was. They had prayed for the fruit of the womb together before the twins were born and three years later, she was having another baby. God indeed was a faithful God.
Even though she was really happy for Mama Rhoda, Temilade was worried about her evening with Pastor Tade. She knew what an announcement of this sort would bring her at home and she was worried. It was not an easy thing she did to get herself on her feet again after her ordeal with Sister Regina; she had to call Rev Ebuka. Reverend Ebuka was the only one who could share in Temilade’s troubles and guide her right. He somehow knew the right words to calm her bleeding heart, always. Oscar Wilde was right when he said, ‘Ultimately the bond of all championship, whether in marriage or in friendship, is conversation.’ She spoke to him for almost an hour, weeping the first twenty minutes until he reminded her about the ways of God and the great plans that God had for her. The call was ended because the Bishop, Pastor Tade, sent Kunle to call Temilade for a meeting with a few workers.
Mama Rhoda and Rev Kels took different photographs together while Temilade ate carefully, sending smiles and affirmations when Mama Rhoda looked in her direction. Pastor Tade on the other hand, took a walk with the twins round the KFC lounge; Rita on his shoulder, humming the happy birthday song and Ruth, the little ballerina, running in front of them, on her tippy-toes with her hands as in demi-seconde. They loved to play with the Bishop; he was the only one who seemed to have the kind of time they wanted when he was around. Mama Rhoda was always hyper sensitive when the Bishop and Temilade were around and the twins have learned not to interfere. She gave Temilade all the attention and Rev. Kels did the same to the Bishop. After the birth of the twins, they wanted to maintain the relationship they had with their friends. They were not going to allow the children to cause a rift in their relationship.
‘Mama, make we talk to-man, abeg,’ Sister Adanne called out from the other end of the Bishop’s living room just as soon as Temilade stepped in. She was holding Chichi, her first daughter, who looked scared. ‘I no want make Bishop see me first, abeg,’ she continued. Temilade gave Kunle her shoes and quickly led Sister Adanne and Chichi out of the house through the back door. When they got out, Sister Adanne broke into tears. Temilade was in shock. She had never seen her that broken and she knew something was really wrong. She told her of how difficult it had been for her to raise five children, four girls and a boy, all by herself. She reminded her of how, in her words ‘almost useless’ her husband was and how much pain she had to go through to cater for them all. She was not educated but she was determined to give her children some education and Chichi was first.
‘Mama oooo! Chichi has killed me ooooo!’ she started to cry, with her hands on her head. She did not want the Bishop to hear but she couldn’t help it anymore. Temilade moved back and shut the door to the lawn. Chichi was crying too. She told her that Chichi was three months pregnant at 17. Temilade knew she couldn’t keep it from the Bishop. She was thinking of the best way to present the news to him when Kunle came and announced that the Bishop wanted to see them all.
When the Bishop was giving his final words, Temilade, Sister Adanne and Chichi were in tears. The Bishop was disappointed in Chichi and Sister Adanne. He said that Chichi was no longer allowed to minister in the teen choir again and walked out of the living room. Sister Adanne and Chichi left the Bishop’s house still in tears. This time, Temilade felt really empty. She had no words. Right in her presence was a teenager who did not want a child but was with one while she desperately needed one but had none. Life was indeed strange and unfair, sometimes. In tears, she walked upstairs to get settled for bed.
‘Did you hear what Chichi said?’ the Bishop asked as soon as she stepped into the bedroom. He was standing by the bed with his phone in hand. He looked just exactly how he looked when he left the living room; he still had his clothes and shoes on. Temilade felt sorry for him; Chichi broke his heart. He took pride in the teenager. No one saw this coming.
‘It is well, my love,’ Temilade retorted as she walked through the room to the wardrobe to drop her purse and take off her clothes. She took a warm bath, got dressed for bed, gave instructions to Kunle to attend to Coco, the new dog and secure the locks. Getting to the bedroom, Pastor Tade was still in the same position but this time, he was on the phone with his best friend, Bishop Father. Temilade was just about to lay on the bed when the Bishop asked to call Bishop Father back in a bit. He said he needed to attend to something urgently.
‘Are you going to bed?’ he asked Temilade who responded with a calm nod. ‘You really have no shame!’ he continued, drew the study chair closer and sat facing her. ‘Temilade, what is your proof of womanhood?’ he asked with a fierce look and continued. ‘A 17 year old girl has proven to the world that she was a woman, what about you?’
———To be continued———-
Proof of Womanhood
Life can be difficult sometimes. There are some great days and then there can be some very terrible days; when everything seems to come against you. Days when you feel so down, hopeless, bitter and hurt. Days you feel so afraid that you say like Job: ‘the thing I fear the most has come upon me…’ Days when like Leah, you find out that the people you call family can betray you and cause more harm than an enemy ever would. Little wonder the Bible says in Psalms 55:12, if an enemy were insulting me, I could endure it; if a foe were rising against me, I could hide. Allow me say that, the sting from a close companion CANNOT be endured. I’d advise you now, ensure that God’s word is the loudest in your head about you!
Don’t try to prove anything to anybody. Who you are, should be determined by the words on the pages of the Bible; for that’s your only sure proof.
This one hit me hard… Lord help every woman believing you for the gift of a child.