Caught in the middle 7: Life’s unpredictable twist
Uloma’s life took a beautiful turn when she met Father Obinna. He was a loving, soft-spoken and caring father of her parish in the village.
Father Obinna took it upon himself to be a blessing indeed in Uloma’s life. He felt for her. he heard her story was moved to be her succour.
Every morning after morning devotion, he would ask sis Gloria how Uloma was feeling. He was genuinely interested in her welfare because of the things she had been through in her young life.
“Uloma, I hope you know you have to go for ante natal today, Father Obinna asked her one morning after mass.”
“Yes Father, Uloma replied looking at her feet.”
“You don’t have to be afraid of me, he told her smiling. I am here as God’s servant bringing back home a lost sheep, he said.”
“Thank you Father. You are the only one I can count on now. You have been so kind to me, Uloma stated.”
“Thank God my daughter, Father Obinna replied doing the sign of the cross.”
Uloma later went to the church hospital with sister Gloria. She was apprehensive about the health of her baby. But she was assured by the doctor that everything was alright.
Looking at sister Gloria and smiling, Uloma told her “My daughter Nnenna strongly believes that I am having a boy.”
“You should believe her, children are like spirits, they see things we don’t see, replied Gloria.”
Uloma sighed. “I pray that God gives me a son to replace my precious Onochie.”
“God has done it already. You will laugh later. I know God will do it for you, sister Gloria replied.”
They left the hospital and went back to church. Uloma was happy that at least she had somewhere to lay her head at night in peace. She kept wondering why her uncle and his wife hated her so much.
Because she didn’t want to stay idle, Uloma started selling things by the side of the church to make small money to keep body and soul together. The way she got the capital for this business was also a miracle.
One day, she was in father Obinna’s office when he asked her if she wanted to do any business and she said yes. Uloma said she wanted to sell drinks, biscuits and sweets beside the children section of the church. She knew children loved these things.
“But the issue now is how to get money for this business idea that I have, Uloma complained.”
“I will see what I can do for you, father Obinna promised. You need to be busy so that you can take your mind off things.”
“I can assist you with the startup capital for that madam, said a man coming into the father’s office. He was tall, dark, handsome and very respectful.
He looked at Uloma’s protruding stomach and his eyes went to her beautiful but tired face. He smiled at her. Uloma looked away. She was uncomfortable with the way this stranger looked at her.
Uloma grew up hearing that men don’t smile at women they don’t want to have sex with. She knew instantly that this stranger was interested in her but she wasn’t going to let any man trick her again like Odogwu did.
“Thank you sis, but I wasn’t talking to you. Father will help me. He has been my benefactor, Uloma responded.”
But this stranger insisted that she should go and calculate how much she needed to start up her small business and he would give her the money.
But he cut her short.
“My name is Onyema Ibekwe, I am a businessman and I know how hard it can be to raise capital for a new business, he said.”
“I am Uloma, she said looking at Father Obinna with fearful eyes.”
“Don’t worry Uloma, he is a good man. He has been a member of this church for years. He is a philanthropist, Father Obinna told Uloma.”
“God bless you sir, Uloma said to Mr. Onyema.”
“Thank you madam, he replied and smiled at her again.”
Uloma begged to take her leave and promised Mr. Onyema that she would relay her findings to the priest so that she could start her business soon.
“I will be waiting for your message, Mr. Onyema replied.”
“Thank you sir and goodbye, Uloma said.”
“Goodbye. You are one beautiful pregnant woman nne, he said.”
Uloma dashed out of the office. Mr. Onyema was making her uncomfortable with his compliments. She wasn’t used to hearing sweet things from a man.
Odogwu always commanded her to do his bidding. The only time he treated her with kindness was after she gave birth to her late son, Onochie.
She started crying when she remembered her late son. She recalled how Odogwu looked at her with so much hatred in his eyes when their son died. Uloma silently asked God to wipe all her tears and unite her with her daughter, Nnenna.
Almost immediately, she reached for her phone and called Ifeyinwa. She wanted to speak to Nnenna but Ifeyinwa didn’t pick her calls. After she called her three more times, she became agitated and called Ijeoma.
“Ijeoma, how are you? Uloma asked.”
“Is Ifeyinwa and Nnenna at home? I want to talk to them. Ifeyinwa has not been picking my calls. I want to know if they are okay, Uloma said.”
Ijeoma was not thrilled to hear from her friend after a long time. She just coldly told her to give Ifeyinwa time that maybe she was busy.
“Please don’t call me again. I don’t want mu husband to think I am a friend to a woman who is not in her husband’s house, Ijeoma pleaded.”
“I don’t want to have any problem with your husband, Ijeoma insisted.”
Uloma was heartbroken. She kept calling Ifeyinwa until Nnenna picked the call and told her that her father warned Ifeyinwa not to allow Uloma talk to Nnenna anymore.
“Nne, how are you doing? How’s my brother in your stomach doing? Nnenna asked.”
“Nwa m, I am fine. I live in the church now and the father is a very good man. I have a new friend too. Her name is sister Gloria. They have been taking very good care of me, Uloma told her daughter.”
She pleaded with her mom to come and take her away from the house because Ifeyinwa was maltreating her. Uloma didn’t believe her ears. She promised her daughter that they will be re-united soon.
The following month, Uloma started her business at the children section of the church. Mr. Onyema kept to his words and saw to it that Uloma’s business dream became a reality.
Uloma was grateful to God and to him for making her smile again. She was a good businesswoman who loved children too. She was attentive to the children and her customers. People loved her and were willing to help her too.
Three months later, Uloma gave birth to a baby boy whom she named Chinedu. She remembered what her daughter told her about having a son and smiled to herself. She praised God for giving her a son.
Father Obinna was overjoyed with the arrival of Uloma’s baby. He was always ready to help her and members of the church were not left out too. They took care of Uloma and Chinedu and life was sweet once again for Uloma.
Aside making money from her business all thanks to sister Gloria, Uloma was happy because her life is taking shape. Mr. Onyema also became a regular visitor at Uloma’s room that tongues started wagging.