CHAPTER NINETEEN (The final part)
Things went from bad to worse, before Kike got to know of her husband’s inner struggles.
That was when Jide stopped taking care of his personal hygiene, attending to his businesses, and eating his wife’s food.
He would spend hours sitting at a spot, and just murmuring.
Alarmed, Kike ran to his parents.
Jide was first taken to a general hospital, then to a psychiatric hospital; where he was diagnosed with schizophrenia.
Kike’s world came crashing down, the day it was confirmed that Jide had a mental disorder.
Blaming her mother for pushing her into a marriage she would never enjoy, Mrs. Johnson replied that Jide is a cross she need bear for the rest of her life. Kike said she never loved him after all, and her mother replied that she wasn’t the one that aborted for him.
A heated argument ensued, and Kike told her mother that she hated her.
But then, Jide’s condition continued to deteriorate.
One moment he would be fine, and the next he would go beserk. There were times he lost touch with reality, to the extent of defeacting on himself.
Kike could no longer tolerate him, and bundled him to his parents.
It became a hot news item; that Kike abandoned her husband, at the time he needed her most.
A clash between their parents was inevitable, and the church had to intervene.
Revd. Bamiro; who would be retiring in a month time, summoned the two families to a meeting.
They sat at opposite ends, facing each other like two warring parties.
Revds Bamiro and Alhassan sat in -between.
Mrs. Johnson’s unguided statement on why Jide shouldn’t be in the meeting, because he had lost touch with reality, was met with stiff opposition and renewed anger.
It was difficult settling a dispute between two sides that felt, they knew better than the other, and hot words flew between them.
Revd. Alhassan’s plea for calm was blatantly ignored.
At a point, every one wanted picking their belongings, and leaving the meeting in anger.
Then Jide shouted, and the atmosphere became calm.
He stood up, as if a load had just landed on him.
With his large eyes in his shrunken face, It would take much persuation, for people to believe that, he was the same Jide that was a toast of all and sundry years back. His good looks had been replaced with the look of an insane man.
As he made a move towards her, Kike shrank and hid behind her terrified mum.
Mrs. Williams gave the two, a killing side ward glance.
Turning to the Pastors, Jide sank to his knee and burst into tears, saying,
“ I heard the voice for the first time, the day we had our wedding thanksgiving.”
“ The voice- in my head,in my ears, in my thoughts. He torments me, and often bring other voices along.
Kike wanted to talk, but the Pastor made a sign with the hand for her not to.
“The voice came to subdue me, and I struggled to overcome him for years, with sheer will power. He told me that there is too much guilt in me, that a guilty conscience is a fertile ground for his operations.”
Jide shouted, “I am guilty. I can hear him. I can see the picture vividly.”
He suddenly stood still, looking like someone in a trance, with eyes glazed.
“The cry of my seeds that were not allowed to live, the cry of destinies that were ab©rted prematurely. They are many, too many.”
Jide wept like someone in uncontrollable pain.
“My seeds with Kike, Justina, Hauwa, Callista, Lovelyn, Adaobi, and Romoke. We got rid of them, my seeds. They were aborted, they were wasted.”
“But he said he had never been with a woman during their pre-marital counselling,” Revd. Alhassan said to no one in particular.
“And she! she begged me.”
“Who begged you?”Revd. Bamiro prompted.
Pointing forward, Jide burst into tears and shouted, “I want to see Martha.”
“What about Martha?”
“I have to see her.”
“You can’t see her now.”
“She came to me, with joy radiating from her pores. She narrated her salvation experience, and begged me to give my life to Christ. But I laughed at her, I mocked her.”
“Pastor please stop him, he’s deluded,” Mrs. Johnson cried.
“Enough of the deception madam, please let him talk,” Revd. Bamiro cautioned Mrs. Johnson.
‘I stopped her from leaving. I slapped and kicked, until she became weak,” Jide narrated. She fought with the whole of her strength, but I gagged her, carried and dropped her on the living room rug. I tore her pant in one sweep, and I raped her without mercy.”
The picture looked so vivid, that all could not help but react.
The Pastors shouted, Jesus!
The father’s were too shocked to speak.
Kike whimpered into an hanky.
The mothers hid their faces in shame.
“Her blood stained my soul, where is Martha? Jide asked again.
“You can’t see Martha now,” the Pastor answered, but Jesus can wash your stained soul and deliver you.”
“No! Jide screamed, ‘ I need to see Martha.”
He stood up with a super human strength, and dashed for the door.
All were too stunned to stop him in time.
As if million of demons were after him, Jide ran into the major road.
A truck driver on speed couldn’t apply his brake on time, and Jide was grinded to a pulp.
He died without giving his life to Christ. With years of church service behind him, one wonders if those services would count for him in eternity. God cannot be mocked.
Kike became an emotional wreck, but graciously, she met the Saviour. No longer under the influence of her mum, she surrendered her life to Christ. Kike lives as a widow, doing kingdom work.
Mrs. Williams suffered a heart attack, and died a year later, still mourning her first son.
The church members got to know about all that happened. Many were too eager to call Martha, and give her the full gist.
And Martha, and her Pastor husband and lovely kids? They are far away in Australia, serving God among the whites, and living peaceful and purpose driven lives.
Though Jide’s death was traumatic to the church, the event led to a much needed revival. Preaching his last sermon as the Senior Pastor, Revd. Bamiro challenged everyone to have a rethink about their relationship with God.
The church went into a solemn period of intensive fasts and prayers.
Sinners became saved, backsliders retraced their steps, and chains were broken.
It was the dawn of a new era.
Lest I forget, Mrs. Williams was relieved of all posts in the church. She totally lost relevance and cried of victimisation. She stopped attending the church, or any other church. She would rather sit at the front of the house on Sundays, talking to an imaginary friend, and criticizing passers- by.
© Bosede Fagbemi
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