The doctor had left her seat and had positioned herself beside me. She held my hands and I simply allowed her.
“I once thought God didn’t exist. When I was a teenager, I stayed with my aunt for a while because my parents were in the hospital. They had both fallen ill and had been hospitalised at the same time. I was an only child and one evening I had gone to see them. While leaving the hospital for my aunt’s house, I was molested by two thugs.” She paused and looked at me.
I refrained myself from speaking, a part of me wanted to believe she was making this up while another part wanted to hear the rest of the story. I fixed my gaze on her eyes, perhaps if she winked too much then I would conclude she was lying.
“I was molested along the railway tracks, I could not tell anyone. I cried every night. My pain got worse when my mother died some weeks after. My father was discharged but he had had a stroke and was only a shadow of himself.”
My eyes were beginning to lose the courage it had to keep staring at the doctor’s eyes. The death of her mother got me to think of my mother for a brief moment.
“What then happened?” I managed to ask.
“Some months after, neighbours and people in my area discovered I was pregnant. I didn’t even know. Or rather, I had prayed it would not be the case.” The doctor closed her eyes and it seemed like she was stifling a smile.
She opened her eyes and continued, “you see, I went to church. I had promised God I would be a virgin till I got married. I was a smart girl and I was already rounding off my secondary school education at the age of fourteen. So getting pregnant was not the plan I pictured for myself.”
I shifted my hands in her grasp, I wanted to help squeeze her hands and tell her she became fine. She was a doctor and she seemed like she was well established, she had a pretty daughter. She had fought through it all.
However, I could not bring myself to say those words. A voice in my conscience asked me why I had not thought I could scale through my own plight. I kicked the voice out the window of my mind, people were different. The doctor got lucky.
“Are you listening?” The doctor asked, breaking into my thoughts.
“My recovering father was disappointed, he was struggling to feed us both. The matter became worse when I could not tell my uncles and aunts who had gotten me pregnant. They never believed my story of being molested.” She adjusted in her chair.
“I stopped going to church because even church members were gossiping about me. It was not my fault, I felt God was punishing me for something I did not deserve. I wrote my final exams when I was about six months pregnant. It was shameful going to school that way but my father insisted that I had to dance the dance of shame I had brought upon myself.”
“You see,” I found my voice, “now you can see that God doesn’t exactly pay attention to people’s lives. We are on our own. I still believe God exists sha because of everything that has been created and all but I think we humans are actually on our own.” I tried to explain to the doctor.
She had to agree with me that we humans were basically on our own exploring this world.
“Well. I didn’t answer your question yet. God has been true to me.” She let go of my hand and smiled. “He has always been.”
I did not understand what she meant, how could she say that? She had just narrated her story. She had a daughter and she had no idea who the father of her child was. How could she use the term always been?
“I don’t understand,” I said and that was the simple truth.
“You see, I was angry at God initially. But I lacked understanding of some things. I failed to realise that God loved me irrespective.”
“But you didn’t do anything bad,” I countered.
“He loves me irrespective,” she replied again, “irrespective of what I’ve done, what I’m going through. Every other factor may change but God’s love doesn’t.”
“You’re just believing blindly. It doesn’t make sense.” I objected strongly this time.
She smiled, “faith dear, it’s called faith. It wasn’t easy for me honestly but God’s love and strength was my support system. You think I had not done anything bad but you’re wrong.”
I wondered what she could have done wrong, what part of her story had she withheld?
“What did you do wrong?” I asked.
“Every human has done wrong whether we believe it or not. I was a good girl quite alright but I had not actually given my life to Christ. That was wrong.”
I laughed, how could that be wrong? Was life not about choices?
“You don’t agree?” she asked.
“Of course I don’t.”
“The truth is Jesus died for our sins, not believing and accepting his act of kindness is wrong. Of course, it’s your choice to do that. But when God sends his son to come suffer and die for you and you choose to ignore the blood he shed for you, you’re actually on the losing end.”
“I still don’t get it.” I replied and shook my head.
My mind drifted and I could not help but wonder what my parents would be up to outside the office.
“It’s almost like you wanting to kill yourself without thinking about your family. Your mother went through the pain of carrying you for nine months, your family members have come to live and grow with you. They want you to live, now if you kill yourself despite the love they have for you, would that be cool?” she asked.
I was quiet.
I needed to process this particular question before giving her a response.
To be continued.
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