By Amah’s Heart.
As the night approach, Dembe decided to take his leave.
The baby was fed and the tent maker’s wife gave her a warm soft bath.
Dembe knew that she was loved and will be well taken care of.
“I had my worries that you will forget all the teaching and all that you have learnt while you are with us. You were married to the priestess family who gave you freedom, you owe them royalty and submission and the plan of becoming the next priest of Kebra had everyone of us worried but we never stopped praying for you. You just cleared our doubt and fear with this single act of yours. You are a great vessel unto God. God will use you to do wonders. I rejoice with the host of angels over your undeniable faith…
Jon, the tent maker spoke with Dembe as he was about to take his leave.
They all held hands in cycle and prayed together.
They prayed for Dembe. He was right in the middle of war with the priestess household and without God’s intervention he may not make it to the end.
Psalms was read, hymns were sang and faiths was renewed. Their voices went up, chorusing together in unison.
Dembe has miss the fellowship of believers, he was happy to be in their means again.
Jon’s wife was filled with thanks. She couldn’t hide her Joy.
Lydia walked with Dembe as he was leaving.
There was silent at first as they matched down together.
Lydia broke the silent.
“Nothing gives me Joy than to see that you are alright and still holding on to your faith. I know you weren’t given a choice to choose who to marry and many other things but God has plans for our lives. Things may not go as we desires it and expectations maybe cut short but whatever is put in God’s custody remains safe. for his ways are higher than ours so also is his plans. I never stopped praying for you Dembe. I hope your wife, Lady Aprin comes to know the true God of heaven and earth and with hope many will be saved through you…
As they were about to enter different route that will lead them home.
Dembe took Lydia’s hand into his.
He was thankful for the darkness that shed them from passeby.
“Thank you Lydia. I deeply appreciate your friendship. We had dreams, wishes… which we looked forward to but life played a different trick on us. I had regrets and I still wish for many things but with no doubts I have become a married man now. lady Aprin and the entire priestess household needs me. I’m glad you understand this but we will always be friends and I will also be praying for you. When you finally have your freedom, I pray that any man you settles with will be pleasing unto God and unto you. Even if we don’t meet again I will be at peace knowing well that you are alright wherever you are. I will have to run ahead now… God will always be with you.
“And also with you Dembe.
Lydia replied, releasing Dembe’s hand.
They both departed.
When Dembe got to the house, he washed off himself in the outside bath.
Everwhere was dark and quiet except for few male servant on guard and the oil lamps stationed in every corner.
He went to the chamber, Aprin was lying quietly on the bed.
Dembe knew that she was not sleeping but decided not to disturb her.
He didn’t even move close to her, he rested on the couch till the day break.
The following morning, even after the morning sun was up Aprin was still in bed.
She began to sob quietly. Dembe stood and went to comfort her.
She angrily got up and slapped him.
“Don’t you dare touch me with those filthy hands of yours. I don’t want to be reminded of such an abominable child. All the while I thought I was carrying a seed for the gods unknown to me that she was a curse. You knew about it…
“My lady, I tried talking to you but you shut me off. You won’t have to see her again because is all settled.
“, You should have tried harder to convince me. Dembe you should have tried until I start seeing the truth in your words. If I knew earlier that she was a spoilt seed I could have aborted her. I would have flush her out of my womb. She wouldn’t have lived to see the sun set. I hate myself and everyone for all this predicament that has befallen me. I’m glad the gods struck her dead and despite she has being buried and will rot away in the cold ground I still can’t forgive myself for bringing fort such a detestable child, a forbidden soul to the gods.
Dembe felt a pang of anger crowding his heart.
How can a mother say such ill things over the child she carried in her womb and bore?
The love of fetishism has blinded them so much. Anything that is not pleasing to their gods becomes an abomination.
All he could say to avoid further hurtful speech from Aprin was
“, I’m sorry my lady… sorry for everything.
Aprin was not done ranting out her anger.
“Sheila came begging but I hate her and I don’t want to set my eyes on her. I can’t believe she will do such to me just because of the hatred she has for you or whatever her reasons may be. Mother asked her and her useless husband to leave. I guess they are both gone. I can’t believe Sheila will do such thing to me. It was unthinkable…oh by the gods. Is unforgivable…
Dembe remained quiet as Aprin kept talking angrily.
She went on with her anger for a week and then follow up by another week.
Her mother tries to comfort her but she wasn’t comforted.
Sheila returned to plead but Aprin refused to see her.
Three months moved past with speed yet Aprin remained bitter and every little thing pissed her off.
The priestess spoke with Dembe one day.
“You are not trying hard enough concerning your wife. Aprin needs your comfort and love. She is still resentful and sad. The gods were angry over the cursed sacrifice that was presented to them. That was why they quickly struck that child dead and they could have destroy more lives if not that I pleaded on my children’s behalf. You are the reason Sheila and Bash did such evil thing. They tried to spite you and end up hurting Aprin and almost invoke the wrath of the gods upon this household. There is no justification for such an evil act…I sent them packing. She remain my daughter but I will never close my eyes to anything that stand on the way of the gods. Your coronation is yet to be done, the real sacrifice is yet to be made. Alot of things are still pending. Is a dangerous delay and we need to do everything we can to appease the gods with the rightful sacrifice. Dembe, you needs to take your role as a priest serious. Don’t joke with the things of the gods… remember you owe Aprin whole lot for choosing you and thereby taking you from slavery to free man. For the rest of your life you are dedicated to this household and to the temple of the gods and goddesses of Kebra. Do you understand…?
Dembe nodded obediently before he was dismissed.
He needed to be shrewd as a serpents and innocent as a dove.
Dembe knew within him that he will never submit his body to be marked with blade for whatever purpose.
He did not stop praying alone at night by the fountain.
It makes him feel at peace and he imagined worshiping with other believers.
He feels God’s presence as he observe his quiet time by the fountain.
One night, Dembe was comforting Aprin, while they cuddled up in each others arms, Aprin poured out her pain, while Dembe listened silently.
Dembe’s feeling for Aprin began to grow.
He later got Aprin in with a child.
Aprin became pregnant for Dembe.
When she announced it to him, his joy was mixed with fear.
Is exactly what the priestess has been waiting for, using another child to remedy the first but to him that will never happen again.
Nobody will use his seed or any infant as a sacrifice. He will rather present himself rather than allow such a barbaric act to take place.
Aprin felt that the gods has comforted them with the rightful seed.
She began to smile again because she knew that it was Dembe’s seed that she carried this time.
Aprin finally forgive Sheila, who stylishly started trying to get close again.
Sheila still resent Dembe and Aprin but she tried not to make it obvious.
She was planning of finding her way back to the house with Bash.
She has not been able to get pregnant for Bash and was very bitter and jealous when Aprin announced that she was carrying another child.
She rejoiced with her but despised her in her heart.
Her Joy again was that the child that Aprin carried will not live. The baby will be used to replaced the evil one that the gods struck dead.
That night while Dembe sat by the fountain to think of the pending danger ahead, he thought of the tent maker and their child who must be fairing so well.
He prayed for God’s divine intervention again that neither him or his child’s blood will be spilled on the altar of the idols.
As he was there, Sheila who had decided to spend the weekend before returning to her husband’s place walked passed him.
She made a long sigh immediately she saw Dembe by the fountain.
Sheila threw spit on the ground, close to where Dembe sat before cat walking away.
Dembe paid no attention to Sheila’s ill attitude.
He got up and went inside to be with his wife.