(Continued from Prophetess Hannah II)
Richard stares out of the window of the departmental office. He is preparing for his next class, a math lesson in form 2B. He is a mathematics and physics teacher, but his mind right now is very far from the lesson he is preparing for. His mind is on Rhoda, his ex-wife. He misses her. Rhoda was like the compass of his life; she was the center upon which he was grounded. But he kicked her away brutally, and allowed Hannah and her crazy church members to insult her and mock her ruthlessly. He allowed his parents to be hostile to her, just because she could not conceive.
But his marriage to Hannah is not going as planned. It is true that he is now some kind of celebrity pastor, and people respect him more than they did before. Even his boss, the school principal, calls him ‘mchungaji’ and treats him with more respect than he did before. But that is because they don’t know the misery he has to endure at the hands of the ‘woman of God’ that he married.
The only thing he is happy about in his marriage to Hannah is the fact that he is now a father. Rumors had started spreading that it was in fact him, and not Rhoda, who was impotent. Those rumors had started to affect him. He drank harder to avoid the realities of life. He slept with more women hoping to impregnate some of them. But no woman alleged that she had fallen pregnant for him; not even falsely.
He was sinking into depression, until Hannah called him and promised to pray for him. She told him that God had revealed to her, after seven days of praying and fasting, that it was Rhoda who had cast a spell on him preventing him from getting an heir. Hannah told him that Rhoda wanted him to remain tied to her and her alone. That is why she was rushing to do things like building a house on his land. But God could deliver him if he surrendered his life to Him.
On Hannah’s suggestion, he visited her office at the church that evening and she prayed for him. She told him that if he wanted complete healing, he would have to stop taking alcohol and sleeping around with multiple women, and that he would give his life to Christ. She also told him to meet her every evening at her office for ‘deliverance prayers’.
He agreed. He stopped taking alcohol that same day. Leaving other women would have been difficult, except for one thing: he became obsessed with Hannah. He wanted to sleep with her and he longed for their meetings. Hannah is a beautiful woman, with a pretty face, a curvy body, a smooth skin and a soft, warm smile. Every evening when he went to her office for deliverance prayers, he wanted nothing other than a chance to hold her in his arms, to kiss her and to take off her clothes. The first time she called him was on a Thursday. Four days later, on a Sunday, he “gave his life to Christ.” But even as she was leading him in the “prayer of repentance”, he was thinking about her body.
In those four days, he was very hostile to Rhoda, partly because he had been convinced that she was “Lucifer’s concubine”, and partly because he wanted to marry Hannah. Marrying Hannah would hand him a beautiful sexual partner. And it would add prestige to his life. She is a beautiful and intelligent woman. In his view, she is way more beautiful and intelligent than Rhoda. She is also way classier: her clothes and shoes are stylish, her make up is top range and her nails are nicely manicured and pedicured. Her perfume always left him desiring more.
The Monday after he got born again, Hannah invited him and his parents to her office and she explained to them that if their son was to be completely free from the chains of Satan, they would have to kick out the agent of Satan and “cleanse” his house. Richard’s parents, who already hated Rhoda anyway, gladly accepted. That afternoon Hannah led a group of church members to kick out Rhoda from her matrimonial home.
The following day, on Tuesday, Richard went to Hannah’s office in the evening as usual. They read the Bible and spent an hour praying. After the session, Hannah told him that God had told her that she was meant to be his wife. She told him to pray and if God gave him the same clarity, then they would know the message was truly from God. For the first time since they started meeting, she hugged tightly and kissed him lightly on the lips.
Richard did not need to pray. He knew he wanted her. But he went home to “pray” anyway, because he understood that this was a different kind of woman from the ones he picked up in clubs. On Wednesday, after their Bible Study and prayers, he told her that God had indeed confirmed to him that she was meant to be his wife. He pulled her close to him and kissed her deeply on the lips.
“I love you Prophetess,” he whispered.
“I love you too,” she replied. “May God’s will be done.”
That evening they made love right there in the office, and she said it was okay because it was God’s will. They continued with their Bible studies and prayers, which were now combined with romance and love making until they officially announced that they were dating. The relationship was praised by almost everyone, except some radical Christians who argued that the Prophetess was preying on a “spiritual baby”. But everyone else agreed that they suited each other.
They got married in a very colorful wedding that was supported by the church and the Prophetess’s fans. People gave generously towards the wedding and its preparations. The church members even contributed the money that Richard used to pay Hannah’s dowry. When it came to contributions for the main wedding, Richard was shocked. Hannah apparently has influential friends who ensured that the wedding was colorful. Money was pouring in from all directions.
These people, Hannah explained, were people she had prayed for in the past and they received their miracles. Some had terminal illnesses that were healed, others had businesses that had been crumbling and were revived, others had failing marriages that got a new lease of life and so forth. In total, they got four million shillings for the wedding. Hannah said that half a million shillings would go to the church coffers as their tithe and thanksgiving offering. They spent two million shillings on the wedding and one and a half million shillings for their honeymoon in Egypt. At least that is what she told him. The money was deposited in her account and she was making all the payments, but she told him how much she had received and what she had spent for “accountability”.
When they returned from honeymoon, Hannah upgraded the house that Rhoda had built by changing the finishing. She got the house repainted, replaced the plastic ceiling with gypsum, changed the inner doors with more expensive ones and tiled the floor. She brought in her expensive furniture and electronics from her rented apartment as well as other items such as curtains, wall paintings etc. She allowed Richard to start driving her car. Hannah also built a new house for Richard’s parents, a simple but stylish two-bedroom stone house, which is a massive upgrade from their mudwalled hut.
All this caused her popularity to grow, and her church grew. Her social media also gathered thousands of new members, and she got a whole team to manage it. She hired a content creator to be updating stuff, a photographer and a videographer. Richard’s style was also upgraded. Although he continues to teach, he is the most well-dressed teacher in the school. He wears tailored suits, leather shoes and a massive gold watch. His shirts are always well pressed. And he got the title “Reverend”.
From the outside, they are a wonderfully blessed couple. They are deeply in love and have everything going their way. Richard is praised for his decision to live for Christ and to kick out the devourer in his life.
But Richard is not happy, and that is why he is missing Rhoda. His life with Rhoda was simple and uncomplicated. If there were any complications, he was the source. He is the one who caused her to hurt with his drinking and womanizing. But Rhoda was always submissive and treated him with respect. She liked working with her hands. She was a good wife.
Hannah is a different story altogether.
Even though she preaches submission in her sermons and even claims to practice it, she is anything but. She is the dominant partner in the marriage and controls every aspect of Richard’s life. Claiming that she is a better financial manager than he is, she took control of his salary account and makes all the decisions relating to money. He doesn’t know how much she makes from her church, but going by the things she has been doing in the last one and a half years, it is a lot of money. Yet she also decided to control the little he gets from TSC.
Richard feels trapped. He is not allowed to even have female friends, although Hannah has many close male friends. He doesn’t have control of the money he makes. He doesn’t even control his own social media accounts, which are controlled by Hannah’s social media team. He sees the posts and comments made in his name like every other fan. Today they have posted a photo of his family, and they have included a quote about a devourer that he knows is directed at Rhoda.
He married Hannah because he wanted to sleep with a classy woman like her, and because he thought it would give him prestige. He got the prestige, at least in the eyes of outsiders, but the sex he hardly gets. Ever since she became pregnant, she hardly ever allows him to touch her. Behind closed doors, Hannah is also verbally abusive and condescending. But in public she is the dutiful and submissive wife. She is a snake, a snake that he brought upon his own life.
He cannot even complain about her to his parents, as he used to do about Rhoda, because Hannah has them in her pocket. She made their son stop drinking and sleeping around. She made him go back to the ways of the Lord and even made him a pastor. She built them a beautiful house and does their household shopping as she does her own. She is a submissive woman, even though she is an influential pastor. She is kind and has a ready smile for everyone. What wrong can she do?
As he stares out of the window, Richard wonders what would happen if he ran away. He could just disappear and start life afresh. He cannot get a transfer from this school because he is certain that Hannah would use her influential friends to block it. If he ran away he would have to abandon his teaching career. But what good does this career do him anyway, when she pockets all the money?
Maybe he should go down to the coast and start life as a simple fisherman. Then he will get a Giriama, Taita or Pokomo girl to live a happy simple life with. Or maybe he can go looking for Rhoda and ask for a second chance. Either that or he commits suicide. One way or the other, he is tired of being controlled by the Prophetess.
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