Do not question God, girl. That will lead you to sin. But believe me, Akua, God has heard your prayers!
Has He? I’ve only had a strange dream three nights in a row!
And what did you dream about? And you say it’s the same dream?
Yes, Pastor. In the dream it was raining, and I was lost in the rain. I could barely see where I was headed, and then out of the sleet of rain, a tall man appeared. He was wearing a dark suit with a white shirt and a black tie. I could not see his face well. In the first dream he seemed quite young, but in the second dream he looked like an old man with very grey hair. In the third dream, the one I had yesterday, he was young but had thick black facial hair. Anyway, he appeared and held my hand and guided me through the sleet of rain to the roadside where it wasn’t raining, and he showed me the entrance to the most beautiful garden I had ever seen!
Pastor Fiifi Addo is smiling broadly from ear to ear.
(beaming with happiness)
Thank you, Lord, oh thank you Father! There is none like You! Keep calm, Akua, God has answered your prayers. Your dream means that very, very soon, God is going to send a stranger into your life, and this stranger is going to show you the way back to God, and to a beautiful beginning filled with happiness! Now get up, it is time for us to pray, Akua!
Almost an hour later, Akua Dompreh drives through the gates of their beautiful house. The Security Man closes the front gates as Akua drives up the driveway and parks under the beautiful canopied parking space to the right of the house. Her husband’s car is already parked. It is quite late now, past midnight. She sits in the car for a long time, and then she sighs and gets out.
This is the day her husband’s cousin would be naming her daughter, and they will all go to the huge family house. Akua knows the kind of reception she is going to receive, and the kind of hard time she is going to have. She says a quick prayer to God for bringing her home safely, and then she gets out of the car, locks it with the remote, and then she enters the beautiful house.
A huge house! She and Kwabena had been filled with such great hopes of filling the house with screaming children and making it a beautiful home. But that dream hasn’t materialized! Akua is barren, evidently, and can never give birth! Although the doctors have assured her that there is nothing wrong with her, as far as they can see, she hasn’t been able to conceive. She has tried all methods available, used all styles but to no avail.
She has relied heavily on the love she has for God, and prayed incessantly and fasted steadily most of the ten years she has been married, but all to nought. It seems to her God has closed her womb, and He is not listening to her.
Akua barely notices the luxurious living-room as she climbs the stairs to their bedroom. Her husband is not in there. She puts down her bag and goes in search of him. She tries his study and the kitchen and the spare bedrooms. Sometimes, more frequently nowadays, he will leave her and go and sleep in one of the other bedrooms. He used to do that only after an argument with her, but nowadays he leaves her alone the moment he sees that she is in her menses. This hurt her very much, especially when he explains that seeing her in her menses cruelly reminds him that they can never have children. But he is not anywhere in the house.
She goes back to the bedroom and calls him. The first ring goes unanswered. She calls again, and he picks this time.
Where are you, my love? Your car is here but I’ve searched everywhere and can’t find you.
And you came in at this time?
I called you several times, love, but you didn’t pick up. I sent you messages on text and on WhatsApp, and even sent you an email. I went to see the pastor, my love. So where are you?
There is a long pause, and then he speaks.
In the Boys Quarters. Getting a few things set up for Baaba and my son before they come in on Sunday.
It is like an arrow right through Akua’s heart. She feels the searing pain, brutal and unbearable, and for a moment she feels so dizzy that her legs give, and she sprawls on the bed, fighting for breath. The phone drops from her nerveless fingers.
As she lies in bed, gasping, tears of anguish falling down her cheeks, she knows that she cannot continue like this. She will die if this torture is not stopped. She doesn’t know how long she was in that zone of pain, but finally her heart stops its mad painful spirals, and her breath steadies. She gets off the bed groggily and walks to her dressing table. She sits down and looks sightlessly at herself in the mirror. The image that stares back at her is the image of a dying woman.
With a trembling hand she rummages in her handbag and takes out a set of tiny keys. She inserts one into the lock of the top drawer on her left, and unlocks it. She pulls the drawer open. Nestling there on a clean nylon cloth is a gun.