By Amah’s Heart.
Aprin took Dembe’s hand and placed on her stomach.
“The baby moves again, can you feel it?
Aprin asked with a bold smile on her face.
Dembe smiled with a nod.
Aprin said excitedly
“I’m very expectant, i can’t wait to hold him or maybe her. Which ever one the gods decided to bless us with. Is all theirs not ours. This time there is no mistake… We are previledged to be counted worthy parents and bear seed for the gods.
Dembe’s smile changed into a frown. He tried to get up from the bed but Aprin stopped him.
“I Just want to go to the fountain, I will be right back my lady.
Dembe made another attempt to get up but Aprin stopped him again.
She looked up at him and said.
“Why do you choose to be all by yourself most time? I have observed it for a very longtime, you enjoy your own company more than me. I’m your wife and I should be your companion Dembe. Do you mind telling me the kind of god you worship? So many times your mouth move without a sound. You bow your head in deep meditation and I know your time at the fountain is to perform supplication to whatever god you secretly worship… I’m your wife and there should be no secret between us. What god do you worship secretly?
Dembe readjusted his shoulder from the bed.
He knew a day like this will come but he has not been able to come up with what to say or do.
he wasn’t prepared.
He can neither deny or admit to the fact that he worship the invisible God.
Aprin may flare up in anger and it will mean a whole trouble for him if the priestess hears of it.
“My lady, i do every duty that is requested of me both to you and to the entire household even to the priestess. What do you want me to say?
Dembe was looking for a way of escape from Aprin’s questions because he was afraid to open up his true God to her.
Just then, a scripture dropped in his heart. he heard before from Jon.
“Do not fear or be in dread for i have redeemed you. It is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you…”
The word dropped in Dembe’s heart. So bold and clear.
He found his voice again to speak.
“Back in Gwali before I was captured and sold off as slave, my people worship a handmade gods. We worship the earth.. and anything that makes sense to us almost the same as the people of Kebra…
“So, Dembe you still worship the god of your ancestors? You know when you become a slave, you either worship your masters or the god they serve. Whatever god you worship back then is no more relevant. This is the household of the priest and priestess of Kebra, bringing in any other god will defy the temple and even make the gods of Kebra angry…. do you understand?
Aprin said, trying to remind Dembe of his stand and royalty to Kebra.
“I thought getting married to you means a certificate of freedom? If yes then I’m not a slave anymore. I may still be bonded to this household but not as a slave. I don’t worship the gods of Gwali or Kebra, I serve the invisible and everly present God. I will do everything required of me right here but my royalty lies with one true God in heaven. He doesn’t feed on innocent babies blood or demand what you can’t offer like The gods of Kebra does. The earth is his footstool, the heavens is his abode. The only sacrifice God demands is upright living and Thanksgiving. He does things that no man can do not even all the gods of Kebra put together…
Aprin saw the full boldness in Dembe unlike before.
He was not scared or worried of what becomes him.
It seems she can’t talk him out of his strange belief because it was obvious that his mind was made up.
Aprin knew that when their baby is offered as a sacrifice and Dembe finally becomes a priest of Kebra he will amend his ways and will become dedicated to both the temple, the gods and goddess of Kebra and also the people.
Sheila spoke to her mother about moving back but her request remain pending.
She was very angry with her mother for not agreeing to her request.
She was obviously in good terms with Aprin and her sister has forgiven her but yet she can’t still move back which really angered her but she has become a good actress and told her mother that she will be patient.
Aprin time to deliver of her baby draw near. She was happy and kept burning incense and thanking the gods for the pregnancy journey.
She looked forward to the day that she will present her baby to the gods.
Two weeks before her delivery time, she fell ill and couldn’t move.
The midwife and physicians were around to administer different medicine.
Her mother prayed constantly in the temple for her daughter.
But she kept getting worst, Dembe did not understand what was going on but he never stopped praying for his wife.
three weeks after, Aprin’s time to give birth passed by.
She was in pain and couldn’t stand or move on her own.
The priestess performed different animal ritual, burnt more incense, visited the river side to speak to the river goddess.
She was besieging different gods and goddess for Aprin sake yet to no avail.
The physician kept Dembe out of the dark room that Aprin was kept.
They refused him entering because they were also consulting their own gods for Aprin sake just as the priestess demanded
they kept her in a dark room with smell of incense filling the whole room with smoke.
Aprin asked them to bring in Dembe but the physician said no man is allowed to enter the room because of the gods presence.
They kept up with their spiritual act which came with no results.
Dembe who couldn’t bear all that was going on decided to go against every law.
He broke into the room that Aprin was kept, opened the windows, threw off all the incense that was causing smoke and unhealthy breathing.
She also threw off the handmade gods in the room.
The physician were shouting that he will incure the wrath of the gods but Dembe did not pay any attention to their words.
Aprin was in her tenth month of pregnancy still no sign of any child coming
She was still very weak, she slimed down and couldn’t speak much word.
Her eyes were pupping out, her skin looks so dry, she was coughing but with no spasm.
Dembe asked the physicians to leave, they try to argue and he began to throw all their tools outside.
They angrily Left to report to the priestess that if Lady Aprin happens to die then is all because of her stubborn husband, he should be held responsible for her death and that of the child.
After they left, Dembe locked up the door.
He asked Phatsy to bring hot water and a warm thick clothes. she quickly did.
He took the warm water and clean his wife body that was almost reduced to bone.
Dembe locked up the door and remained in the room with only Aprin.
There was a heavy bang, he knew is probably the priestess but he did not open
After sometime Aprin was able to say few words.
“Please pray to your invisible God, he may hear you and have mercy on me. I’m dying Dembe…. I’m dying…
Dembe who has never stopped praying, took his wife hands and assured her that she won’t die.
He prayed fervently until Aprin started having serious contraction.
After wincing severally in pain she tried pushing again with the little strength left in her and the head of the baby could be seen.
Dembe was acting as both a physician and midwife all at the same time.
Aprin tried pushing again and the baby slipped into Dembe’s awaiting hands.
His cry filled the whole room.
Dembe held onto him with a soft wooden cloth.
His hands were filled with blood but his happiness was holding his child.
There were shouts of joy and also doubt within the compound.
Those who heard the cry of the baby went around announcing but some did not believe it.
Dembe who doesn’t know what to do or how to handle the present situation asked Aprin to guide him on what exactly to do but Aprin was weak and couldn’t speak.
Dembe called phatsy to fetch the midwife or the physician.
As phatsy was rushing, she saw the midwife who was still around.
She was also rushing down after hearing the cry of a baby.
She attended to both the baby and the mother.
It was a baby boy.
While the baby was cared for by the midwife.
Dembe stayed beside Aprin.
She couldn’t speak until the following day even as her baby was placed beside her to nurse.
The second day, she felt strengthened.
While trying to nurse her baby she whispered slowly to Dembe.
“Please, tell me more about your God? I want to know the kind of god he truly is…
Dembe knew that it was going to be a new begining for his family.
He was glad and willing to tell his wife all that she needs to know.
“Our son belongs to him, Kebra gods failed me when I needed them but your God came through for me…I want your God to be my God Dembe. Please tell me what to do…I may not live for long but the little time I have left, please tell me what he requires of me and I will do It. I’m not worried about our son because he is safe. Our son belongs to the invisible God not to the gods of Kebra…
Dembe wiped a tear from his eyes.
It was too good to be true that Aprin the next priestess of Kebra is very much interested in knowing the one true God.
How will the people of Kebra and her mother, the priestess take such news if they get to know?
Dembe was ready for whatever danger may come.
He will protect his family with all he got.
He also knows that whatever is entrusted to God’s hands remains safe.