Written by Mofoluwake Omololu.
They had called ahead to make sure the pastor and his wife were free the next day and showed up as soon as the sun came up.
On seeing them the elderly pastor sensed the agitation in their spirit and resigned himself to be availed of whatever their needs may be.
He made them eat first though, even if they were reluctant, he insisted that they ate before any discussions ensued and because he was hungry and was inspired to believe their meeting would last a while. They ate and then the talk began. It was a long and tortuously painful one. In all his over three decades in ministry, he was not prepared for what hit him from this couple he had come to see as his children.
The pastor and his wife paid attention while Kola recounted to them their struggles as a married couple trying without result to conceive, about the options they had been given- adoption or surrogacy, and how they had viewed them. Then he told of their vacation in Rio and of the affair. From the agreement to wait with his wife, to his thoughts on the beach. The devices he had begun conjuring and the brew he had found in Shola’s house that had triggered and really put his plans in gear.
The hate and resentment he’d felt for himself from the moment the deed had been done and how he’d violated his role as a husband and abused his wife.
The pastor’s wife exclaimed at the point when he told them about Shola and Lara, “Abomination!!!! Lord have mercy.”
But her husband, flustered by what he just heard, managed to calm and shut up his wife. His own thoughts were running riot as the story progressed. His wife cried painfully, looking between Lara and Kola from time to time.
Lara was in tears all through and she had the look of subdued pain, she couldn’t imagine how Kola was going through the motions of telling the story when even hearing it turned her tummy. That was their story that was being told and it was disappointing, if not disgusting. She was thinking to herself and wondering what it was she had done that was so bad she had to go through all that, what had she done to have such a distasteful story for her life’s journey?
Kola was going on with the story, despite everybody else’s reaction and even as the pastor bowed and buried his head in palms. This was no time for sentiment, Kola thought as his voice began to quake.
Their secret was safe with them until it reared its head, tormenting an innocent daughter, his conscience wouldn’t let him feel any pain. He needed a way out of the situation they were in, and if baring all was the only way out, then so be it- better him than Anu.
He continued to tell how it had been when they returned from the trip and how Lara had figured out the wrong he had done her after they had been together. It had been painful for her but there already was an outcome so she had easily put aside her pain and followed through with a hope that its working out that way had a place in God’s agenda for them.
He told of Lara’s annoyance when the pastor’s wife had insinuated the Rio affair and how it had led them to study the story of David, Bathsheba and Prophet Nathan. They had thought the child would not survive and that had thrown them off and made them pray but they had been reminded of the fact that David too had prayed and yet his son had died.
So, they had stopped praying and hoped that God would show them mercy, that was the reason they named the child ‘AnuOluwapo’.
The child lived and things went back to normal, or so it seemed, with Lara leaving her job and starting a thriving interior design firm that had her travelling the world along with their child. And Kola acing at his job and getting steady promotions, things had been looking up. He set up his own firm 12 years ago, and we’re both stupendously wealthy beyond their dreams.
Then he told of how a time had come, about three years after Anu came. They joked about having a child and things turned for a bit.
Kola reiterated one of the stories that had been told on the beach in Rio, about the couple that had gotten an anonymous surrogate father who they later came in contact with and who the wife started to get intimately attached to.
Then he called on Lara to tell her own bit of the story, as the next part was hers anyway.
Lara told of how Anu had begun showing traits similar to those of Shola, her father, and how they were traits she, Lara, had admired in Shola when they had been friends in school. It hadn’t been deliberate and she hadn’t thought much about it but somewhere along the line she had developed feelings for Shola that she shouldn’t have.
What was worse was that she had reached out to him during one of her trips and they had gone out, it was supposed to be a friendly outing but somehow it had turned more intimate than friendly. Fortunately, Lara had responded to the nudge from her brain and made it out before it went out of hand. She wasn’t the same after though as her feelings for Shola grew intense and she didn’t know what to do about it.
Kola had sensed the change in her attitude towards him and demanded to know what had gone wrong, it took a long while before they realized it but their marriage had been suffering during the spell of her feelings for Shola.
When the pressure had built too long she eventually confided in Kola who didn’t take the information very well. That, with the already thin wane of their relationship, led to a series of disagreements that the pastor and his wife had been involved in settling, even though the root cause hadn’t been known by them or directly addressed.
The feelings had died but their relationship had suffered for a while. It got better but that was important to be told because, in their minds, Kola and Lara, they had won at life and all the battles it would throw at them, but little did they know they had been digging a pit for their daughter to fall into.