By Amah’s Heart.
Dembe woke up with a troubled mind that night.
He was breathing so hard, he just hard a terrible night mare that made sweat to broke out of his forehead.
He sat up wondering what sort of terrible dream it was.
Aprin began to cough. She developed a sudden cough and the physicians had administer drugs for her. She and Dembe had also prayed over it.
Dembe remembered that it was after his wife had dinner one evening with the priestess, where they sat, ate and drank together, Sheila was also present. It was after then his night mare started.
A day after the evening meal with mother and her sister Aprin developed a serious cough. Dembe had pointed it out to Aprin but she was certain that her mother cannot hurt her and her sister was deeply sorry for her past deed and cannot do any harm to her.
Aprin was not looking worried concerning the cough, she had worst illness in the past and still got better. Nothing bothers or scare her anymore.
Dembe sat up and said few prayer before going back to bed.
Lydia walked down the street, crossed over to the market side and run along the lone road.
She noticed that she was being followed by a stranger, just like the other day.
She slowed her pace and began walking slowly.
Today she was very excited and wanted to share her joy with the people that she has come to call family.
She had a gift wrapped under her arm, is for the birthday girl whom she has promised to get a gift for.
She turned back and saw the man, he was a young man with an average height. The day was still bright since is an early evening but she couldn’t see the face of the man, only his body size.
Lydia wondered why he was following her. This was the second time she was noticing a stranger stalking her.
As she slowed her pace, the stalker also slowed his.
She saw a handful crowd coming, it was a good distraction. She joined the crowd but kept looking back to know if the stranger was still coming.
When she did not see him she heaved a sigh of relief.
When she finally got to the place that she was going to she knocked. Vida, Jon’s wife was at the door wearing an apron which shows she was either cooking in the kitchen or doing some chores.
“Oh my dearest Lydia, Hannah kept looking out and asking when you will get here…
And just when she stepped into the house Hannah came rushing to meet her. They embraced each other like old friends.
Jon’s wife went back to the kitchen.
“Here, I got something for you…happy birthday Hannah. So how old are you now…?
Lydia asked with a full smile while handling her the gift she got for her.
“I’m six. Mama said I look too big for a six years old girl. Papa got me a new pair of shoe and a sunny hat. He is out to fix tents for people. Mama made my favourite porridge and sewed three beautiful dress for me. Thank you Miss Lydia for the gift. Can I open it now?
Lydia laughed out, and just then Vida the tent maker’s wife showed up carrying a bow of chicken corn soup and a scrapple pie.
She presented it to Lydia as they took their seats.
“Wow! This looks and smells so good. I have always enjoyed your scrapple pie my Lady…thank you.
Vida smiled with a nod before turning to Hannah.
“Have you said thank you to Miss Lydia for your gift?
“Yes mama. I did that already… thank you again miss Lydia. Can I go and open it now mama?
Vida asked her to go and she ran off excitedly.
“She is growing so fast… I wonder what I could have done without her in our lives. She brought so much light to our lives. I still thank God the day Dembe placed her tiny body in my arms. Hannah came when all hopes was lost for us and she was one of our biggest blessing from the Lord. I thank the Lord every day for adding another reason for us to laugh…
Vida, said with so much gratitude in her voice. Lydia smiled while Vida continued.
“….I kept praying for Dembe…is been a very long time we all saw him. And is more than three years now that we had that the Priestess daughter, his wife gave birth to a son for him. No one knows if he is alive or dead because I heard from the market that the baby was marked out for sacrifice which will pave way for Dembe and his wife to become the priest and priestess of Kebra. I doubt if Dembe will ever allow that to happen but he cannot fight alone he is only a man and his faith was not as strong as ours. I wonder if he is still in line with God or bow to pressure to worship the gods of Kebra. Lydia, I and Jon prays for him at all time because he is the man that God placed on the war front line…
Lydia took a spoon of the chicken corn soup and a bite from the scrapple pie as she listened to Vida. After sometime she pause from eating and said.
“Dembe is stronger than any of us think. With God’s help I know he will come out unhurt. The recent market gossip has it that Dembe’s wife, Lady Aprin is now serving the God of Dembe which is unknown to many and they also refused to offer their son as a sacrifice to the idol gods or even assume the seat of the priest and priestess of Kebra. When I heard it I was jubilating inwardly because I know God is taking over the territory of the priestess which will extend to all the Kebra, is just a matter of time. Dembe was a great friend and he will always be. God will do many wonders through him. Beside that…I have something exciting that I really want to share.
She took another bite from her scrapple pie, Vida was already feeling excited with whatever Lydia got to say.
“…My long awaited freedom came knocking. I found favour before my mistress and master and they decided not to extend my years anymore. My mistress has interest in knowing the true God of heaven and earth. She asked me biblical questions and I always feel so happy to talk about God with her and she also spoke to her husband. My master is reluctant but he will eventually come to know God fully. I’m getting my belt of freedom soon and I will be free. My mistress said I can live with them if I want. She will give me a place to stay and trade….I’m also free to marry and bear children. My Lady…I have looked forward to do this and I’m so happy is finally here….i couldn’t keep the good news to myself and that was why I decided to run down here to share it. I will also share it with everyone on our fellowship day…
Vida drew Lydia into a warm hug.
“Halleluiah! The Lord is good. This is indeed a great news. So are you taking the offer of staying back in Kebra and maybe getting busy with a trade?
Vida asked Lydia.
“No…no my Lady. I’m returning back to my place. I hunger to see my father and my only brother…I hope that they are still very much alive. I have hoped someday that I will see my father again and my brother too and now is the perfect time. they probably thought I’m dead and I don’t know if they are alive… once I get my freedom belt I will set out on my journey. I will really miss everyone when I’m gone. My dear Hannah, you and Lord Jon…I will miss the entire fellowship of believers because I may never come back to Kebra if my father and brother are still alive…
As they talked, Lydia wiped a tear from her eyes. She felt so happy that after many years as a slave she was finally free and will be returning home.
Vida hugged her and they all talked some more.
Lydia totally forgot about the stranger stalking her until she entered the street that late evening.
On her way home, she met Jon returning from mending tents for people. He was humming a worship song as he walk down.
Lydia greeted him and they stopped by the road to talk for some time before bidding each other goodnight.
As she got to the market side and proceed to cross over to the street that will link to her place, she noticed that somebody was following her.
She had wanted to speak to Vida about the stalker but totally got carried away with the joy of looking forward to journeying back to her father after getting her freedom belt.
It was dark but the rout is one of the road that people applied while going or returning from the market which makes it a busy one.
Lydia turned and saw the stranger, she hurried her step and started running without looking back. She thought of hiding to know who the stalker really was but she needed to rush home because is late evening.
She kept running until she got to her gate and quickly went inside.
Lydia thought of what to do next time with the stranger. She will fill in a spray bottle with some hot chilli pepper which she intend to use on the stalker if he dares attack her or she will start going out with a big stick.
She was about to be free and return home, she does not want any trouble from anybody.
As Lydia lay down to sleep that night she wondered who the strange young man was and why he was stalking her.
She prayed as usual for herself, her father and brother, her master and mistress who has showed interest in knowing God and many other believers.