As I surveyed the crowd and the calibre of people present at the occasion, my babies kicked in me.
I was excited as my very sensitive husband close to me realized, smiled at me while flashing his teeth and rubbed my tummy in the public!
I was shy and overly shy when I heard the MC say ‘Hmmm… This one is a gaju!’ playfully.
She was obviously was a Nigerian somehow because she spoke Yoruba language fluently.
Everyone had smiled and clapped happily
We were married for 7 years now and the twins in me would make the number of the kids I had bare to number up to 5! I already had three!
And I love them so much.
We had received a letter from the United States of America requesting that we should be the guest speaker and model at an International summit of successful singles.
It was designed for Christian singles male and female who had become successful but are unmarried because of one reason or the other.
Before that time, my husband and I had become a cable television marriage counsellor.
We had really blessed lives to the extent that since our 7 years of marriage, we had been invited to 1000 shows and we had honoured 800. We had been on uncountable television programmes and radio programmes too on different stations in and out of Africa.
‘Please, in this world and in America at large, virginity has become a thing of the past. It is no longer appreciated. To you, what do you see virginity as? Is it still as relevant as it was in the past?” the beautiful, blonde interviewer asked and I adjusted on my seat and smiled. I looked at my husband who clapped for me and signalled for me to answer.
‘Thank you for the question Molly. Virginity is still as special as it was in the olden days and even if the civilisation and all has made it the thing of the past, it is still special. Even God loves it and that was why he said ‘let marriage be honourable in all. The bed undefiled…’’ I felt a particular turning in my tummy and it was like a contraction.
‘Thank you ma. To a sensitive question ma, were you a virgin when your husband met you?’ she asked and I laughed. My husband placed his hand on my laps, leaned towards my side. He looked into my eyes and looked alarmed.
‘Are you okay?’ he asked, deeply concerned.
My husband was never shy to show me love and care anywhere! In the public, in front of the staring camera or a congregation or even in the secret place of our room. And I loved him!
I loved him so much that the thought alone made me tingle.
Then after the interview segment cane the programme proper.
‘Now, we welcome our guest speaker to the podium. She is no other than Dear Princess Gregory the wife of Pastor…’ the MC said and pointed the mic to the congregation so they would respond and they did, happily.
‘Pastor Niel Gregory!’ they screamed and clapped together happily and I stood from the beautiful and comfortable seat in which I was sitting while Niel followed me from behind, carrying my water bottle and a shawl.
The talk went on well as there were interactions with the singles around and while Niel occasionally gave me water to drink and covered me with my shawl, patting me whenever I got tired or stuck; it was a huge success though my contractions had increased and I was perspiring under the cool weather.
‘Princess, in your book ‘The Quirk of Fate’, the 10th episode ended where you said you eventually left for Germany. Please, as big fans of yours in here, could you give us the pleasure of knowing what happened eventually before the grand-finale is released?’ a young black lady asked and I smiled.
‘That’s called cheating’ I said and they all laughed, some blowing the whistles
Americans can so laugh!
‘See, in the plane, a man came to me, still named Niel!’ I said and waited for their reactions. They murmured and gave different expressions as they commented on what I just said. I looked at Niel who gave me a ‘thumbs up’. I smiled again and continued
‘He sat me down and asked me so straightforwardly that why couldn’t I marry Niel since he was already born again’ I held my tummy because it felt as if the babies wanted to drop.
Jesus! Help me finish this programme!
‘I didn’t even know he was born again already. How could he be born again in just a space of a week and the man looked into my face and said, ‘how many days did it take you to be born again? How many days did it take Paul to become born again? How God’s heart aches!’ he stopped and tears ran down his face. I was perturbed.’ I paused and surveyed the congregation of over 5000 people.
‘Ride on Princess!’ a guy screamed from the congregation and I smiled
‘I asked him what happened and he said God had cleansed the guy and that I should forgive. He said was it because of my virginity and the act in which it was broken and I answered yes’ I could still remember the day so clearly.
I had looked into the Elder Niel’s face and his curly grey hair and I listened perfectly.
‘You wanted to give your virginity to your husband as a gift, well wrapped but he doesn’t like surprises at all, so he took the gift, tore the beautiful wrapper and enjoyed the gift. Does that disqualify him from being your husband?’ he asked and I nodded in realisation.
I never saw it that way before.
‘But sir, what if he still does it again? Like, I get married to him and he goes around raping girls’ I asked and he smiled.
‘Niel is not a serial rapist!’ he said and I looked at him, very disconcerted.
How did he know?
‘The Holy Spirit is the ‘revealer’ of all secret things. He intentionally placed you on this plane with me. He loves you really!’ he said and I bowed my head because I was so speechless as to why he chose to look upon me favourably.
‘See, he was a virgin too until that night. He was under the influence of the drugs he took under desperation. God wanted to stop you from embarking on a dangerous course and that was why he allowed that to happen” he paused and looked into my face as his words sunk inside me.
A virgin guy!
‘Who says is impossible? See my dear, I was a virgin, keeping myself holy unto the Lord when God led me to ex p–n actress!’ he said and I gasped in amazement.
‘Jesus Christ!’ I exclaimed, holding my neck firmly.
‘I married her and till today, I still believe that I deflowered her. She is the best wife for me although I had resisted severally before I eventually agreed. But for you two, he lost it to you, you lost it to him, in order to find healing, God and love. Find a place in your heart to forgive and Holy Spirit will heal you.’ He said to me and plugged his ear phones as if he wasn’t the one that just spoke to me.
I looked at the congregation again and smiled, trying had to conceal my labour pains.
‘As soon as I got to Germany, I came back to Nigeria but Niel was nowhere to be found’ I continued and there was silence in the hall.
‘I prayed, fasted and asked God for forgiveness if it was because of my hardness of heart that he had sent him away. I did not hear from God or from Niel.’ I said and looked back at Niel who smiled his arms behind him.
‘Hmmm’ the congregation said almost together
‘After two years, I was at a retreat in Lagos when a guest pastor from Germany went up stage to preach. He really preached and touched my heart. I was blessed so really and I waited behind to see him after the service. I was flabbergasted, shocked, bowled over, stunned, shocked, amazed, taken aback, use any adjective my people that it was Nathaniel that was about to counsel me. He was equalled taken aback and could only smile.’ I narrated and the congregation clapped heartily.
‘We prayed together and became friends although he went back to Germany and I had to stay back before I had started a business had started booming then. We still talked and were always happy together until God revealed it to him too. The proposal day was a great day when during a programme in church, he just popped up the question…’ I paused again. I was not finding it easy anymore. The pain had become intense. From the interval of 15 minutes, the contraction had become every 3 minutes.
‘Will you marry me’ everyone chorused to complete my sentence and I smiled, raising the mic.
My husband came near me, collected the mic and held me by my waist. I placed my head on his shoulder, for comfort but the pain was much.
‘And she said…’ Niel said into the mic and pointed it at the congregation for their response
‘Yes’ they shouted so ecstatically.
‘Thank you very much everyone. I really love and appreciate my wife, my born again father in law, prayerful father in-law and amazing Emerald and Ruby, my sisters-in-law. Of a truth, it’s been God! Princess is a gem and I love her so so much. God bless her for me. God bless you for listening. May we obey and do God’s will in all areas’ he prayed and they all stood up, clapping
‘Amen and amen!’ they responded.
‘As you can see, my wife is pregnant heavily but she only honoured your invite since this is one great story she loves to tell the world. She is due and in laboured already’ he said and I pinched him. He laughed into the mic.
‘Awwww’ the people exclaimed.
‘Infact, she just pinched me for telling you. We gat to gerrarahere!’ he said, dropped the mic and we walked to my seat amidst a round of stand ovation and screams.
‘Thank you Princess. Before we go, could you tell us what name you are giving to your new baby?’ the MC asked and I looked at her faintly.
This woman doesn’t understand my condition
… but I loved her question.
‘I have a set of twins in me now. A boy and a girl’ I said, my hand shaking already, sweat in front of my nose.
The wows and the ohs lasted a while and I smiled, happily as my husband bent before the whole congregation and pecked my tummy.
I smacked him and said ‘This programme is live’ and he stood up, hugged me and said
‘That makes it better. Telling the whole world I love you and I love you!’ he said poetically and I laughed, defying my pain.
I loved it really!
‘And I am naming them…’ I paused because I hadn’t even told Niel yet and he looked at me anxiously.
‘Niel and Niella. Those are the names’ I said and there was a loud shout from the congregation.
‘Why do you want to name that those?’ the inquisitive MC asked and I laughed.
‘Because its our 7th year anniversary and it’s been a perfection. A real perfection and these perfect kids are symbolising that and my husband has been the perfect husband ever’ I said and before I knew it, Niel raised me off my feet, obviously forgetting the fact that I was in labor.
I let out a deafening scream as I felt the tingling between my legs and I was quickly rushed out by some medical personnel.
As I looked at his concerned face as I was being wheeled into the labor room by the white nurses, I couldn’t but bless God for the twist- the quirk of fate that brought us together- GOD!