Episode Thirty Six (Final)
Elder and the entire group arrived at the police station. Jacob, handcuffed was the first to be taken inside while the others got down from the car. Elder and Esther were asked to wait at the front office. Esther looked at Jacob as the police officer made a declaration to the Officer in charge, who took down some notes. Jacob could not look at her. He kept looking down, feeling very ashamed. The police officers asked him to remove his shirt, belt, shoes and other things he had on him. They put the things inside a locker and Jacob was asked to sit down. Esther was somehow filled with pity for him. “What a waste of life!” she said to herself. The Police Officer asked her to make a complaint of what had happened. Esther cried as she narrated the horrible scene. Her mother cried while Elder stood there, breathing heavily out of anger. After a few minutes, they heard some noise outside, noise of people quarreling. Esther and the rest, including one of the police officers stood up to see what was going on. Esther could not believe her eyes: It was Janet quarreling with Jacob’s mother
Jacob’s mother: You are a useless liar. You prostitute! You wanted to swindle my son’s money and because it did not work, you have now come all the way to this place to create fake stories
Janet: You are a mad woman. Your son is not only a thief but a murderer. He murdered my friend in cold blood because of his selfishness and now you think he can go scot free
Jacob’s mother: How dare you talk to me like that! I don’t blame you. I blame your parents for not teaching you the right ways
Janet: And did you teach your son the right way? I guess you are the one that taught him how to steal, use girls and eventually kill them hun! You should even be ashamed of yourself. Idiot!
Jacob’s mother gave Janet a slap. Janet wanted to fight back, but the police officers stopped them. She was taken inside while Jacob’s mother was warned not to create any scandal. “I will lock both of you up if you don’t calm down! Do you think this is your compound where you behave anyhow?” the officer shouted. Janet looked at Esther. She was surprised to see her. Esther did not talk. Without even being asked a question, Janet started narrating her own side of the story “Esther. This man is an idiot. He was going out with you and Naomi at the same time. When Naomi fell pregnant for him, he asked her to abort but she refused, threatening to inform his parents. When he saw that Naomi was determined to keep the child, he lied to her by saying that he would marry her. He also said you were the only obstacle and that is why Naomi tried to do all she could just to separate you from him. But she didn’t know that this evil man who was also sleeping with me had evil plans against her. He called her one day and said he had a surprise for her. When she went, he put a harmful substance in her drink and she ended up losing her life and her pregnancy. When I went to meet him the following day at the hotel to inform him of Naomi’s death, I found a bottle containing a certain substance and as he was taking his bath I took a picture of it and pretended as if I was happy that Naomi was gone. We had a drinking spree that night and in the middle of his drinking, he told me how he had only tried to terminate the pregnancy by adding the substance to the drink. I recorded everything. I have been using that recording to blackmail him by asking him to give me money and to marry me. He has been complying until last week when he informed me that he was about to get married to another b**tch. I warned him but he did not want to listen so I had no other option than to report him. And to my biggest surprise, he was also being investigated for embezzling money from the bank. He is such a useless animal. No one plays with me and wins. I am a savage!” she said.
Everyone, including the police officers were astonished to see how bold she could be to narrate such a story. From the look of things, she seemed to be high on drugs. “Esther say something!” she said. Esther went to stand before her and said “I wish I had the right words to use to tell you how disgusting you are. Not only are you disgusting but you are also very wicked. You, Naomi and Jacob are the most wicked beings I have ever come across in my life. Your selfishness makes you all to behave like heartless human beings. I thank God that I am no longer the same. Jesus’ love is spread abroad in my heart and so there is no room for unforgiveness in my heart. I pray for both of you that you will find time to repent, unlike Naomi who was sent to her early grave in her sins.” She turned to Jacob and said “I have forgiven you for all the wrong things you did to me. I forgive you for robbing me of my dignity because it has now been restored by Christ. I forgive you for making me feel like a useless being because now I know that I am fearfully and wonderfully made by my God. And I also thank you. Yes I thank you because in all this, you pushed me to learn great lessons. If I had not gone through all this, maybe I wouldn’t have been able to find the true meaning of my life. May God have mercy on you!”
Esther held her mom’s hand and suggested that they leave. They left as every other person present on the scene looked astonished. Elder held his daughter’s hand as they came out and said “I am really proud of you my daughter. You have made me proud.” Esther stopped a cab and they went home.
It had been almost two weeks since that incident. Esther and her family felt vindicated. Some people in the church, including the Chief Elder had come to apologize to elder Barnabas for what had happened. They asked him to reintegrate the elder’s board but elder rejected the offer. “I am not here to serve titles, but to serve my God. I would rather stay in the congregation with peace of mind than to seat in special seats with bitterness in my heart” he said to them. As for Jacob’s father, he was no longer seen at church, including his entire family. Jacob’s trial was still on as they tried to gather enough evidence against him. He was still locked up in the cells even though he tried to ask for bail several times.
One Tuesday evening as Esther sat in the living room watching TV, a certain program came up called “The Economist.” The presenter introduced the theme of the program and called out the names of the guest. Esther was about to change the channel when she suddenly heard David’s name. Her eyes opened wide to see if it was the same David she knew. “Dear viewers, today I have with me as a special guest, a very young and vibrant Economist by the name of David Malani. David is a Junior Economic Specialist working with the World Bank and today we shall be discussing with him on ways to eradicate poverty in rural communities. David is working under a program called “Using culture to bring sustainable development in rural areas” Mr. David Malani, you are welcome” the presenter said. Esther could not believe her eyes. It was the same David she knew. She screamed “David!” and looked at him in admiration. He was looking very handsome as usual except that he had become even more handsome. He was nicely dressed and looked so happy. When elder and Esther’s mother heard the shout, they came running to the living room. “What is it?” Elder said. Esther smiled warmly ‘It’s David the father of my child.” Elder looked at the screen carefully and remembered him. They both sat down and listened to him. He spoke with much eloquence and diplomacy that Elder kept nodding his head silently in agreement with what he was saying. “At the present, culture is one of the most impotent factors of development. The role of culture in development should be treated as multi-layered: on the one hand as an intrinsic value, on secondly as a real factor of regional development leading to increased attractiveness of regions for tourists, residents and investors, thirdly, as an active factor of social development based on knowledge, tolerance and creativity. For instance in Gemba, the communities have a strong culture of working in teams, especially when it comes to farming. They have huge hectares of land, but most of them only use a small portion because they don’t have the necessary machinery and equipment. We can use those teams to pass on knowledge on certain technologies used in farming and then grant them the machinery to grow huge amounts of crops not only for their families but for the entire region” David said. Elder and his wife were impressed. Suddenly, Esther knelt down with tears in her eyes and said “Oh Lord I thank you for making David to succeed. He really deserves it. He has worked so hard to achieve his goals. I am sure that his sister is now at peace. Lord I thank you and I ask that you keep him in your ways and make him to see even greater things in his life In Jesus’ name I have prayed.” Esther’s mother felt so sorry for her daughter. She could feel her pain of not having the possibility to be with the one she loved. Elder Barnabas also felt bad. He remembered how he had warned David to stay away from Esther.
The following Saturday morning, Esther was in her room sleeping. She was becoming quite tired because of her pregnancy and could sleep long hours. It was already 10am and Esther’s family had already had their breakfast. They sat in the living room watching TV. Esther was enjoying her sleep when suddenly her mother entered her room. “Esther! Esther! Wake up!” she said. Esther mumbled “Hmm mom, I’ll wake up later. I want some more sleep” she said. “Wake up. You have a visitor by the name Brian from your school.” Her mother said. Esther jumped up “Brian! Are you sure about what you are saying?” she said wiping the small sweat on her face with her hand. “Yes he said his name is Brian. He is in the living room. Now dress up and come to meet him” her mother said and left her room. Esther removed her pajamas and quickly put on her dress which was slowly becoming quite small because of the pregnancy. She hurried to the bathroom, washed her face and brushed her teeth then went to the living room. Esther almost fell down out of surprise when she saw that it was not just Brian who had come to visit her: she could see Angela and David. Esther entered the living room, trembling as she looked at David. David became uncomfortable when he saw Esther’s tummy. He couldn’t believe that Esther was pregnant. He breathed deeply and thought of what next to do. “Oh Lord. My plan has failed again. Esther is already pregnant for another man” he said to himself. Angela stood up and hugged Esther “Oh my God! I can’t believe that you came all the way to this place to see me” Esther said with tears in her eyes. She greeted Brian and David. She could see that David was somehow disturbed. After making some formal greetings, Brian turned to Elder Barnabas and said “Good morning sir. Thank you for welcoming us in your house. We really appreciate. As we explained to you before Esther came, we have come to have a serious discussion with you this morning concerning your daughter”
Before Brian could even continue, David interrupted him “Sorry sir. Actually, we just came to see how she is doing. We also wanted to know how you are doing after your illness because Esther left in a hurry” he said. Brian smiled “David, please I understand why you are doing this, but please allow me to finish what I am saying” he said. David felt uneasy, but Brian made a sign to him to keep calm. “So sir, as I was saying, we have specifically come to have a discussion with your daughter, but we thought it would be respectful for us to first of all see you. I am sure you are already aware of the fact that your daughter and my friend David here were very good friends……..David please allow me to talk……Ok let me now tell you the whole truth. Esther is carrying your child. She was pregnant with this child even before she left the campus. I had tried to convince her to inform you, but she thought you were already seeing another woman and she didn’t want to disturb you” Brian said.
David’s heart sank. She looked at Esther. Esther looked down. “Esther is it true? Are you carrying my child?” he asked. “Yes David. After our encounter, I learnt that I was two weeks pregnant when I came for the short break. I did not want to disturb your relationship with Betty, so I decided to keep it a secret from you. I was planning to only inform you once I deliver” Esther said. David put his hand on his mouth “My God! My God! But you know that you are the only person I have ever loved” he said. He turned to Angela and said “And both of you knew about it but you didn’t want to inform me?” Angela smiled “Esther asked us not to do it and since we respect her opinion, we complied” she said. Brian continued “So sir, we have come all the way from our various cities to ask for the hand of your daughter in marriage on behalf of my friend David. I know that Esther has gone through a lot of things and we wouldn’t want to add any more trouble to it. However, I would like you to know that my friend David is a responsible man and he has always loved your daughter.”
Elder cleared his throat. “My dear sons and daughter, I appreciate you all for the respect that you have shown towards me by approaching me first before doing any other thing. I am aware of the relationship between my daughter and David. However, I have no right whatsoever to take a decision on behalf of my daughter. She is old enough to know what she wants in life. Marriage is between two people and they are the ones to make the decision. I stand however, to say that I am ready to support any decision that my daughter will make” he said. Everyone was quiet. David then looked at Esther and went on his knees and said “Esther, will you marry me?” Esther was shaking like a leaf ‘Yes I will marry you David” she said with tears in her eyes. David stood up and held her hands. He couldn’t stop his tears either “Thank you” he said. Esther’s mother was excited. She stood up and made a sound of joy in their traditional way. Everyone laughed. They discussed at length the necessary things that had to be done for the preparation of the marriage ceremony. “I prefer to do it after the delivery of my child” Esther said. Everyone seemed to agree with her and David informed them that he would visit Gemba every weekend because of a project that had just been launched in Gemba by the World Bank of which he was the project Coordinator. Esther was excited. After a while, Elder and his wife left the living room to give the friends some space to discuss. They could hear them laughing hard as they talked about school.
David had lodged them in a nearby guest house. Esther’s mother asked them to stay for lunch which they did. At around 2pm, they decided to go to the guest house. Elder had gone to the church. Esther followed them. David kept starring at her as they entered Brian’s car. He sat at the back with her while Angela and Brian sat in front. David held Esther’s hand and smiled at her “I have missed you so bad!” he said. Esther smiled. They arrived at the guest house and Angela and Brian decided to go and get some rest as they had to leave the following morning. Esther and David stayed at the pool area. “Esther. I want to apologize for not being there for you when you needed me. I wish I could turn back the hands of time and make things right with. My love for you keeps growing day by day and when I couldn’t take it, I had to ask Brian and Angela to bring me here. Now I understand why I felt like something was drawing me to you. I felt as if you had a part of me that I couldn’t explain. I love you and I promise to do my best to make you the happiest woman on Earth. I also promise to be the best father to our child” David said. “I love you too David and I am also sorry for making you go round circles and for hiding such an important information from you. I have never stopped thinking about you. Even though I thought you had moved on, a part of my heart still longed to see you and spend the rest of my life with you” Esther said. They had a wonderful chat that evening and discussed their plans for the future. ‘I want a boy!” David said. Esther laughed “I want a girl!” she said. “Hmm, are you sure you have not done a scan already to know the sex of the child?” David said. “Hahaha. No, I want it to be a surprise” Esther answered.
And so it was from that day that Esther and David finally came back together. David came with one of his uncles the following week to pay the bride price. It was a wonderful ceremony. David visited her every weekend. Elder had finally managed to finish up the debt he owed. Jacob had been sentenced to 19 years imprisonment with hard labor for various crimes that he had committed including illegal abortion leading to death. Time went by and Esther’s pregnancy was almost reaching its full term. Two weeks before the due date, David had decided to take leave and stay in Gemba as he did not want to miss the D-day. Esther started feeling contractions one Sunday afternoon upon returning from church. “I don’t understand. I am still remaining with at least two weeks before my due day” she said as she groaned in pain. David and her mother helped her to get up while Elder stopped a taxi. “It will be alright! Shhhh, shhhh” David comforted her inside the cab. Esther was crying of pain. She was taken to the maternity ward immediately she arrived. David, Elder and his wife waited impatiently outside. David moved to and fro praying “Oh Lord, let everything go well. Help dear Lord! Help!” he said. After about an hour, the midwife came out. They all rushed to hear the news. The midwife smiled “Congratulations! Esther just gave birth to two bouncing babies: a boy and a girl” she said. David jumped up and down like a little kid. Esther’s mother danced while elder praised God. They were asked to wait for a few minutes before they could see her. When it was time to see her, David was the first to enter. Tears ran down his cheeks as he saw Esther holding the twins. Her parents praised God for the miracle. David kissed her on the forehead and, looking at the twins, said “God has given both of us the desires of our hearts. The son shall be called Samuel because I asked him of the Lord.” Esther answered “And the daughter shall be called Grace because God’s grace has seen me through the valley” It was a great day in the life of Esther and David and the entire family. They celebrated the arrival of the twins in grand style. Angela and Brian were both present during the naming ceremony, a week after the delivery.