Its not like Tolu was the perfect Christian girl, Her parents Elder and Deaconess Akin Faluyi were well known in the neighborhood and respected in the church as God fearing people and the perfect role models to other families.
Tolu their 19 year old daughter, fair, tall, smart, very pretty to look upon, with the most beautiful voice in the choir, the admiration of everyone in the neighborhood and the church, almost every guy’s crush suddenly starts to behave strangely and shows signs her parents don’t seem to understand, But in no distant time they got the memo; Tolu is 5weeks pregnant! But for who?
“Shebi she’s a Christian, and a good girl at that, Ah! Elder’s daughter tî lôyûn! What will people say, neighbors, fellow elders like me and those amebo church members”‘ Elder Akin lamented in mixed vocabularies. Did I not guide her right?
Or maybe her mother didn’t teach her well! Mama Tolu wasn’t ready to take any blame
either and so the blame game started between themselves, but that’s not what Tolu needs right now.
One afternoon, Tolu wanted to go out to get some toiletries from oga Ike, the nearby provision vendor and when she stepped out, she couldn’t help but notice the way passers by kept staring at her, at first she didn’t care as she was used to getting attention from people especially young guys and girls of her age grade, but then this was unusual as the attention looked more like mockery to her and then in a short while everything became too much and uncomfortable for her to bear when murmurings started flying out as she reached Oga Ike’s shop
“She’s the one right?” A guy said behind her
“Yes she is oo!, after she’ll be forming stainless steel” another lady who stood beside him responded.
Tolu didn’t care what they said coz she felt they weren’t referring to her seeing as they didn’t mention her name,
“But I thought her Dad is a pastor? So Pastor’s children too sabi this kind thing?” A woman selling pure water sachets to her customers added in pidgin English…
That was when Tolu realized she was the topic for their discussion all along, she was so overwhelmed with shame that she felt the ground she stood on will just split open and swallow her. She immediately collected her package in a polyethylene bag and turned to leave in haste without looking back,
Oga Ike kept calling her name to come back to collect her change but Tolu was long gone, those who were gossiping about her burst into hysterics, Oga Ike wasn’t pleased with what they did, so he cautioned them sternly.
As soon as Tolu got home, she hurriedly shut the gate as if she was being chased by dogs and went straight to her room and broke down into tears, she cried for long hours till her eyes were swollen, she thought within herself,
“can I hold on..?”
“Can I stand this amount of humiliation..?”
“Will it ever get better..?”
“No I don’t think I can”, she said, and all she could think of was just how to end everything, she tripped on the almost empty bottle of Insecticide that Dad used in fumigating the house a few days ago and just when she closed her nostrils with her hands to avoid the horrible smell from the insecticide while bending her head to take down a few gulps, Tola, Tolu younger sister and last born of the family screamed at the top of her voice “MUMMMMMYYYYY!! Tolu wants to drink the Cockroach medicine o!”
Tola was 14 years old and still in Secondary school, quite smart, beautiful but had a sharper tongue than Tolu. She was known to be one who speaks without control, one time, while Tolu was still in secondary school, Tola saw her standing together with Chuks, their next door neighbor and the next thing she was screaming to her mum that Tolu now has a boyfriend and is allowing him touch her anyhow! Tolu explained herself to her Mum but of course after receiving quite a handful of bashing!
Mummy immediately rushed into the room and collected the bottle containing the insecticide from Tolu who was already in tears and shaken from the scream that just saved her life.
Tolu was scolded seriously for her actions and When Deacon Faluyi returned from work that day, He was welcomed with the news of what Tolu did by Tola, He was furious and decided that that day she was going to take them to the house of the boy who impregnated her, since for the fact that he kept quiet she still wanted to take foolish steps.
Tolu just gained admission into the Federal University and only returned home for the holidays after the session’s examination when her parents and her neighbors discovered she was pregnant. But how did the neighbors know?
Tola went to do her class assignment at her classmate’s house when she heard her classmate’s Mum was pregnant so decided to spill the news that her Sister was equally pregnant and that was how the news kept spreading!.
While in school She got entangled with a certain group of ladies who coerced her into becoming friends with them, seeing she was quite the beauty, it would be great having her amongst their clique.
The serious and God fearing Tolu soon started to be a regular face at night clubs and school parties, she learnt how to drink and even smoke Indian hemp, although all these activities were done covertly so no one could easily know.
It was at one of their night party escapades that she ran into Eric, a 400level student of the same institution a Young well built guy with attractive features and took a liking to him, they started dating and she began to have intimate relations with him, it was difficult for her at first because she was a virgin and had no experience in that but was encouraged by her friends that it’s the only way she could prove she loved him,
She obliged after much attempts and pressure from both Eric and her friends.
Things went on smoothly as Tolu’s affection for Eric grew but they unfortunately had a quarrel before they went home for holidays and she hoped they resolve it once they got back to school but it was during the holidays she discovered she was already pregnant for Eric.
“Today you’re going to take me to that useless boy’s house” Elder Akin dragged his daughter, Tolu by the hand to the car and forced her in, they got to Eric Father’s compound and alighted, Eric was called upon and asked if he knew Tolu and he said Yes!
“Tolu is he the one responsible?” Elder Akin started..
“Responsible for what please? I’m confused” Eric interrupted, looking bewildered (it’s obvious Tolu hadn’t informed him yet)
“Responsible for her pregnancy of course, look young man, I’m not here for jokes” Elder Akin replied already getting infuriated
“Please I only know her as a course mate and that’s all” Eric replied in a rush while stuttering
“Ah!! Eric!! Did you just say that? After all we’ve shared together?” Tolu cried out with streams of tears running down her cheeks!!
“Ehen! So you went to school to be sharing things abi?” Tolu’s Father cut in..
“Look, you and I are only course mates please nothing connects us beyond that” Eric insisted in his lies, this time after gaining more confidence.
Elder Akin couldn’t speak any further as he bowed his head in shame and held Tolu by the hand who was so broken and devastated and drove back home.
* * * * * * * * * * * *
As her stomach continuously protrudes with time passing, the shame grows overwhelmingly,
Tolu can’t go out because she suddenly is trending in her neighborhood for the wrong reasons, staying indoors is almost like hell for her also, where she receives constant blows of insults and unnecessary accusations like It’s a Malaria dosage, 3 in the morning, at noon and in the evening, this is her life now; she can’t even breathe well in her father’s house anymore, being alive is now the new suicide, choking and unbearable!
I know you hate to be Tolu right now, but Tolu has realized she’s messed up, but would they really crucify her coz of this mistake? All she really wants is LOVE, forgiveness and acceptance but that seems too expensive a gift to demand for now.
Tolu runs to the church members for support and help but Hell No! ‘She’s the new filth and is avoided like some sort of plague.
Now tagged “Tolu the pregnant girl”, seen as a disgusting and the most terrible sinner in the church, she’s rejected by family members because according to them, thanks to her actions they’ve lost face in the church and the society.
The church pastors now specialize in pointing out her flaws and making her the topic for the Sunday sermons and sometimes during Bible study all in the name of disciplinary action!
But this form of correction doesn’t fetch so much positive result, because instead of drawing her back and correcting her in LOVE, They all pushed her farther and deeper away into where they claimed they were saving her from all in the name of reprove.
They never bothered to ask the same Jesus they preach about, how would He see her, would He see her and treat her the same way they all did?, Would He have corrected her in a different way or would have taken their same approach?
Remember this same Jesus said “Let him who has no sin cast the first stone” And because they failed in this, she left!
She left to find LOVE and care, but from who? What price does she have to pay for this kind of LOVE?
Tolu left her Father’s house to look for a place to stay on her own and manage her life, seeing as they’ve made life unbearable for her at home, she was 8 months gone when she stumbled across Anita, one of the friends in her clique who gave her accommodation and catered for her till she put to birth, a bouncing Baby Boy, who has a striking resemblance with Eric, she promised herself not to tell him about it or try to contact him ever again.
Eric in turn had searched far and wide looking for Tolu to apologize and to see his child, life has been most unfair for him, he lost his job and was evicted from his house, and he knew deep down that all these were just a mere repercussion he would have face for the injustice he did to Tolu some few years back.
Tolu had dived more into the business of Prostitution as that was the only condition for her to still have a place to lay her head, As much as she hates to do it, she is now forced to make her one time Mistake her new Lifestyle, Not until she met Judith, her roommate while in school who always cautioned her of her growing lawlessness then, before she completely went bizarre and uncontrollable and soon as Tolu saw her she couldn’t hold back her tears because she saw how much good Dedication, and the Grace of God could change a life, she didn’t need to be convinced any further when Judith tried to relate Jesus to her
In a short while Tolu felt peace she had never felt before, she knew she ha d reconciled with her maker and saw greater reasons to live again!
Just at the junction where they both stood, Eric was in a taxi and sighted Tolu, he rushed out immediately, not minding the traffic at all rushed to her and went straight on his knees and couldn’t stop pleading for forgiveness,
“I know I have wronged you and put you in this situation you’re in now but please I beg you to find a place in your heart to forgive me” Eric cried out with tears running down his cheeks, he didn’t mind the crowd that his actions had attracted, people were already streaming live the whole action going on and it was going viral already on different social media platforms.
Elder Akin sat on the sofa in his house as he stumbled across the video of Tolu his long lost daughter with the same boy who denied impregnating her 5 years ago, his memory didn’t fail him at all, he remembered vividly, immediately he called the attention of his wife as they both watched the video play out.
Tolu was also in tears and couldn’t carry her feet anymore as she sat down on the bare ground and cried too and then after a few minutes she said to Eric who was also broken and in tears also
“If only you met me 10 minutes before now, I would have picked a knife to stab you”
And then the crowd reacted “Ahh..!”
“But you’re fortunate I met Jesus just before then and HE has forgiven me, and restored me to Himself so who am I to hold a grudge against you, I forgive you with all my heart, everything you’ve done to me, I forgive you Eric, I forgive you from my heart” Tolu spoke while crying as she tried to pick up Eric from his knees and hugged him.
The crowd were cheering, some were already in tears at the sight of the beautiful display of love, forgiveness, understanding and reconciliation.
Eric was truly grateful for everything and promised to do everything he could to make it up to Tolu, Judith likewise won Eric to Christ and then Eric asked about his Child and couldn’t wait to see Him, he was so excited and overwhelmed with Joy.
Eric pleaded with Tolu to move in with him together with their son which she refused at first but after much pleading agreed but Eric also had one condition and that was He would have to go back to her parents to apologize and take her as a wife in the right manner.
When they got there, Eric didn’t need to speak so much because the news of their reunion had spread the internet like wild fire and Elder Akin and his Wife already had their hearts melted, they also apologized to Tolu for neglecting her and their Grandson for so long, Elder Akin broke into tears and was about to kneel down to ask for forgiveness when Tolu immediately rushed to stop him from doing such, with tears in her own eyes as well, she said “If Jesus can Forgive me, then Who am I not to Forgive you”, they embraced each other in tears and gladness of heart, Elder Akin Faluyi prayed for them and after the necessary Marriage rites and celebrations took place, Tolu and Eric together with their Son, lived together, blessed and happy ever after.