Without uttering a word, Jennifer nodded and slipped into his loving arms.
Despite the overwhelming resistance from Michael’s mother, the wedding still took place four months later amidst cheers from friends and family members. Being married to Michael Obiora, the love of her life was Jennifer’s dream come true. He showered her with unconditional love and affection and was always there to shield her from his mother’s torments. As far as Michael was concerned, Jenny’s love tank would never run dry of genuine love and care. However, several months into the marriage, Jennifer’s world began to fall apart as she got to discover another aspect of Michael’s life that became her worst nightmare – his fierce temper. At the onset, she attributed it to work-related issues and hoped that he would change but not until he started hitting her at the slightest provocation, which eventually resulted in a miscarriage.
The loss of her first pregnancy took its toll on Jennifer. She became apprehensive and distant to her husband who outdid himself in trying to get her to forgive him. She equally withdrew herself from her family and friends, not even sparing Sarima and Melody, her closest friends, for fear of laying bare her husband’s archilles’ heel. She decided to mask her pain and fears from them, all because she knew that opening up to them would make them lose the respect they reposed in her husband. Michael on his part repented of his actions and fought hard to win back Jennifer’s love and trust. That was more than a year ago, the beginning of the battery.
“Michael, is this the love and protection you promised me?” she asked fighting back the tears that threatened to rain down.
“Baby I’m truly sorry. Please forgive me. Just give me another chance. I… I… I promise to be a better man,” he stuttered as he pleaded on his knees in a broken voice.
“Please spare me all that. Your apology now sounds like a broken record. What should I forgive you for? For pounding me whenever you couldn’t keep your anger in check or for beating out the precious seeds God blessed us with? Three miscarriages in two years Michael! Not one, not two but three babies have gone down the drain, all thanks to you. You know what? I think you deserve a medal for being an outstanding infant murderer,” she said and laughed him to scorn.
Michael was dumbstruck as Jennifer laughed as though entertained by a seasoned comedian. The laughter continued and gradually turned into a heart wrenching cry. He couldn’t take it anymore. He had seen her in pains before but not in this state. He took her in his arms and began to smooch her, wiping the tears that ran down her cheeks while trying hard to conceal his turmoil.
The office was spacious in every sense of the word and furnished with an exquisite taste befitting of the pastor of a large flock. The clergy’s office housed two compartments – the normal office section and the mini conference area. At the far right end of the wall stood the bookshelf that contained a good number of Christian literature and other philosophical books. A silver metal hanger fixed to the wall just before the bookshelf bore the pastor’s navy blue jacket. The light blue curtain, off white paint on the wall alongside the white tiles further accentuated the beauty of the office. Michael knew he wouldn’t be here if he had a choice but he was sure his marriage was on the verge of collapsing and he needed to salvage it. Jennifer had threatened to file for a divorce if he refuses to book an appointment with Pastor Damian for counseling.