‘ I didn’t sign up to become a Pastor’s wife! How do you expect me to throw away my career and just follow him into one forest.’
‘Calm down Nike. Please.’
‘Don’t tell me to calm down. This is my life David is manipulating. Because I am a woman, I should just push my plans aside? This is ridiculous.’
Nike’s friends looked at each other and shook their head. Better to leave her to cool off and then put forth their proposition.
She marched to the refrigerator, grabbed a can of malt and popped it open. When she had gulped that down, she reached for another and did same. Gloria pulled her away just as she reached for the third. She was led back to the soft leopard skinned sofa in the living room that had been shipped from the U.S some weeks ago.
Nike was not done. She stood up and began pacing the living room. ‘It’s always the woman that suffers. Always. But you know what? I’m not going to allow anybody push me out of the decision I have made. I am staying right here in Lagos. David can go to the ends of the world for all I care.’
Yemisi, a small woman with round face shaped by a low Afro, moved close to Nike whose eyes were already glistening with tears.
‘Nike.’ she started but hesitated trying to get the right words to say. ‘ It’s usually difficult the first few years. When my husband was sent to one of the villages in Ondo, I thought I would never be able to cope. But I did.’
Nike faced her friend. ‘Yemisi, yours is an entirely different matter. Back on campus, you loved missions. Remember when we would all be excited about going home for the semester break but you stayed back to attend the missions outreach. That’s why it was easy for you to blend in. I do not have the calling to be a Pastor’s wife! I am a lawyer.’
‘But you can practice your profession there in Ipetumodu.’ The moment those words came out of Gloria’s mouth, she gave her a look that said, ‘if you don’t have anything sensible to say, please keep quiet.’
The silence that followed was unsettling and finally when Nike’s friends left, she stood by the window in her room for a long time, confused. How was she suppose to leave her job and follow her husband to Ipetumodu? Where on earth was that even located? Just last week, her boss had called her to his office and praised her for her diligence, promising she would be properly rewarded.
Now that a promotion was kicking at the corner, was David expecting her to walk up to her boss and tell him she was resigning? Who gets a job like hers in a prominent law firm that offers a fat salary? How many thousands of lawyers would gladly accept her position for half the pay.
The day David broke the news, she had stood in the center of her posh office, recounting all the benefits she would miss- the admiration on the faces of the young ladies as she drove her car into the church compound, the respect men accorded her every time she walked past them, the allowances from trips to big cities, the annual training programs overseas.
I’m not leaving my job, she muttered loudly. We can work this out. I’ll plan my weekends and annual leave to see him. There are ways around this.
‘I’m sorry I put you through this.’
Nike turned to find her husband leaning on the door, a sad countenance on his face. She moved away from the window and sat down on the edge of the bed, crossing her legs.
‘David, you had a good job and a wonderful position in the church. You follow the Pastor for ministrations every month. For years, you did wonderfully as the Youth Pastor in the zone. How else do you want to prove to God that you are serving him? How could you not tell me about this before you resigned from your job?
‘Because I know you will talk me out of it.’
Nike shook her head. ‘Well, I’m not going to Ipetumodu. I have a career to pursue.’
‘But it is your responsibility to support me.’
‘At the expense of my dreams?’
David exhaled and left the room angrily. But he returned to the room. ‘My first ministration is this Sunday. I’m leaving on Friday. I hope you come to your senses before then. We are leaving together.’
Nike followed him out as he left the room.
‘What do you think I am? A woman you can push here and there like a robot? You knew who I was before we got married. If you had told me you wanted to pursue a pastoral calling, I would never have married you. I am not throwing my career away because of you. Never! I’m staying right here.’
He spun around and stared at her for a long time. He opened his mouth to say something but stopped himself.
True to her words, on Friday morning as he packed his belongings into a luggage, she got ready for work.
‘So you are really not coming with me. How do you expect me to attend the Welcome ceremony at the church alone. What do I say when they ask for my wife? Nike, this is cruel.’
The perfume Nike was holding fell from her hand to the floor and broke, its sweet fragrance wafting through the room. Her heart cut. and her throat felt dry.
She cast a curtly glance at him. ‘Have a safe trip.’
She walked out of the room, leaving her husband staring at the door long after she had slammed it.
Episode 2 will be posted on Friday.