18+ PLEASE! (This Series is not suitable for anyone below 18)
Esther had attempted following her mother-in-law to the hospital the old woman was desperately and angrily rushing her husband to, in her green Serena space bus. But the older woman had deliberately sped off and left Esther behind. Losing track of her and not feeling secured to stay alone in the hotel waiting, Esther decided instead to visit the Pastor who had been their marriage counselor.
Pastor Coker; dark, stout and very vibrant man had had thirty five full years of experience in marriage, and observing how peaceful his home had been all along, the church pastors couldn’t think of any better standing Marriage counselor for any of the aspiring young couples in Greater Life Church.
Listening to the sounds of church speakers in the area, as she drove along, and observing that most of them were still in the middle of the sermon, Esther knew that the old man might still be in church too that Sunday, but she didn’t care much about that, she was going to sit at his gate and wait for him and his wife to be back.
This same Pastor Coker, who Esther was coming to blame and to condemn angrily for her marital misfortune had been the same man she was thanking gratefully for helping her get a good catch like Dento who all the ripe ladies madly desired was theirs. As she drove towards Oluyole Estate where he lived, thoughts of the event ran inside her head.
This isn’t how I planned it all to be, she thought quietly when she made a bend rightwards towards Juniors International School, just beside Rhema Chapel, but Dento would not understand. She knew he would not, she didn’t need a seer to tell her that no man would ever bear it to hear her say she didn’t want to have sex in her marriage. She had tried it with two men before Dento, confessing her desires to them just before their decisions to finalize getting married but they had both sternly declined to permit such in their marriages and one of them had even threatened to report the issue to the church members.
“As soon-to-be-couples, you must be very sincere with yourselves. If there is anything you are hiding from each other, it is better to say it now than to say it during marriage” Pastor Coker had pleaded, striking Esther with a deep feeling of guilt, but the experience she had had earlier had taught her to be smarter than that. Especially with a man like Dento, who was among everything else very successful, Esther couldn’t afford to let this one go just like that. She needed him. . .she was growing old and she was realizing it.
Just as she had predicted, Esther met Pastor Coker’s gate locked from outside, which automatically meant that they were all not around. She alighted from her car and walked towards the gate, sitting on a pole that felt comfortable as the sun smiled its brightness upon her, making her dark skin even darker.
Esther waited for about an hour and half, she could have been dozing, if not that her burden was too heavy on her – the present state of her husband, the conclusion of his mother, the safety and security of her own life. . . and so, the almost two hours she spent under the sun felt just like two minutes. The loud reeve of Pastor Coker’s car brought her attention to the present scene. Inside the car was a happy family; Pastor Coker, his wife and three of their grandchildren. Most of the Clergy’s children were abroad and Esther felt a slight covetousness for such sweet bliss.
‘Aunty Esther!’ One of the grand children exclaimed with astonishment, as the whole family tuned their gazes in her direction immediately. If they had been expecting anybody, it couldn’t have been the same lady who just had a seemingly glorious wedding the previous day, now looking tortured with swollen face.
Pastor Joel stopped the car immediately when he sighted her. He and his wife alighted quickly and they raced with very concerned faces towards her direction. Leaving the three little girls at the back of the car staring excitedly.
‘Esther’ The man called calmly, as his wife wrapped Esther in a warm motherly embrace.
Esther felt, for the very first time, like a little bride whose husband had deserted forever, and she pitied herself, and so she couldn’t control the teardrops that ran down her cheeks as they spoke.
‘Esther, does this have anything to do with mama?’
‘Sister Esther, what is the issue?’ The Pastor’s wife was already rubbing her hands mildly all over Esther’s face.
‘Does this have anything to do with Mama?’ Pastor Coker asked again.
‘No. . .Yes – Yes!’ Esther cried out, ‘she has taken Dento from me’ she sobbed, as if she shared no part in the guilt.
Pastor Coker and his wife encouraged her lightly outside the compound, but observing the abrupt atmosphere, they decided to continue the discussion inside, and in a few minutes, the trio were seated around a table in the sitting room, keeping the children off eaves dropping distance.
‘Now tell us what really happened?’ Pastor Coker requested first.
‘Mama came to our hotel today, and she flared up and began to slap me.’
‘What?!’ The old couple exclaimed!
Isn’t it your fault, Esther wanted to shout at the man. Pastor Coker had been the man that had assured her of a blissful marriage, and on several occasion during her courtship, he had been the one pacifying her to be mother-in-law, whenever the latter was angrily starting a reason why the couple should not marry. Now, the same man was pitying her just a day after her marriage.
‘What did you do to Bro. Dento?’ The Pastor inquired.
There was a guilty silence, and from which Esther began to blame herself for coming in the first place.
‘Sister Esther. What did you do?’ The Pastor’s wife asked too.
‘Sir,’ Esther began to sob uncontrollably again, ‘I . . .I. . . Dento felt that I am not doing it well, like I’m not in the mood.’
‘You mean Sex?’
A reluctant ‘Y. . .Ye. . .Yes sir’
‘Did he feel like that, or even you know you didn’t do it well?’ It felt even weirder that it was Mrs. Coker that was now asking her that.
‘I tried my best, but sir and ma, the truth is that I am feeling so sad and angry that sex is compulsory in marriage, every time he touches me, I feel like a useless dog. I hate it sir, I hate it! I don’t like it at all!’ Esther found herself raising her voice far beyond what she had anticipated, and when she kept calm, the whole atmosphere seemed to keep calm with her, thereby creating a strange silence that helped savor her embarrassment even more.
A few seconds of silence followed before, Mrs. Coker said anything, when she spoke, she said very calmly as if not intended a question, ‘Esther, you have been raped before, haven’t you?’
Esther felt numb with shock, this was something she had vowed not to tell anybody in her entire life, and she had never seen it as the reason behind her hating sex in marriage. She wanted to scream NOOOOO! And bury her secret, but instead, Esther found herself pouring out tears helplessly. Sniffing and pouring out even more tears.
The couple got the message instantly and none of them talked.
Esther wished she wouldn’t go through the pain of explaining the event to them, it happened when she was in Secondary School. She was following the short cut to her house and she knew she shouldn’t have been walking there alone, but a project in school had delayed her that day, and she found herself alone in the bush. Two boys grew out of a branch in the thick left side of the pathway and clouded her, they did not allow her to say anything as they gagged her and pushed her into the bush to…
Esther wished Pastor Coker and his wife would just know and not tell her to say it, while they allowed her to cry it out, Esther reflected on the scene – The boys clouding her like demons, pulling her, making her books fly off in all directions, her inaudible scream, her legs writhing violently against their attempts, her skirt parting below her and the thrusting. . .which was the peak of her pain. Esther sobbed even more.
Pastor and Mrs. Coker allowed Esther to cry, none of them demanded any explanation, they only gave her time to cry it out very well.
When it appeared she had cried well enough, Mrs. Coker spoke softly, looking constantly towards the door, to be sure the kids were not peeking.
‘Sister. Rape is not the same as Couple’s fun.’ Her husband nodded agreeably. ‘The man or men that raped you surely didn’t derive any pleasure from you, and likewise, you didn’t derive any pleasure from them too.
Unfortunately, you are now allowing them to take away your pleasure. To take away what they did not give to you.’
Esther felt unusually light and strangely relieved at what she was now hearing, she blew her nose constantly in a napkin and listened on with rapt attention, ‘But Ma, ever since then I hate men. I hate sex.’ Her voice was cool now.
‘Hmmm’ The woman sighed, ‘You’ll like it Esther, only if you allowed yourself to forget the past. Tell your husband about it and kill it in your mind like it never happened.
You’ll like Esther, allow yourself to let go of the past things, remember 1Cor 5:17?’
Esther nodded. But she still kept a passive face on.
Mrs Coker went to sit on her husband’s laps. Esther eyes shifted from them.
‘See Esther. The thing is sweet. It must be sweet. Every body, both men and women likes it.’ Mrs Coker buried a kiss in between her husband lips. Esther winced as the short man took the woman’s lips in too. She stood abruptly to leave, and the couple stood with her, Mr. Coker hugging his wife tightly and holding her right breast with the tip of his hands.
Esther felt uncomfortable, the couple seemed to be achieving something by the scene they were putting up, and Esther seemed to be getting it, even though she wished she wouldn’t.
Taking a final look as the couple French kissed right in her presence, Esther turned around naively and took her leave.
The old couple smiled at each other, they knew they had stirred something in Esther and they prayed for God to do the rest.