Friday afternoon, Esther attended the youth conference that was being organized by their church. She entered the church hall quietly and sat down. The hall was filled with young men and women. They all listened to the sermon by their Youth Pastor who taught on “avoiding youthful lusts”. “Don’t give in to youthful lusts. They are a trap from Satan to rob you of the glorious destiny that our Good Lord has planned for you. Flee fornication, theft, drugs and all these things that have corrupted the world. Your destiny is very bright” he said during his teachings. Members laughed as he cracked some funny jokes during his message. Esther heard someone whispering her name “Esther, Esther”. She looked on her left and saw that it was Jacob. He waved at her. Her heart beat fast and she waved back, feeling rather shy because some ladies were looking at her. She realized that one the ladies was actually the one that usually hanged out with Jacob in church. Her name was Clara. She gave Esther a very strange look. Esther ignored her and focused on the teachings.
At the end of the first session, all participants rose up to go and take a break outside, while others still remained in the hall. Clara quickly walked to Jacob and said, putting her hands on her waist “Hello Mr. Nice guy. I haven’t seen you in a while. Did you receive my messages?”. Esther pretended as if she didn’t hear anything. She fixed her eyes on her Bible and pretended to be reading. Jacob felt rather ashamed. He coldly answered her “I am ok thanks. Please excuse me, I need to talk to someone”. He immediately left. Clara looked at him angrily as he went towards Esther.
“Hello my dear. How are you doing?” he said with a smile. Esther looked up and said sheepishly “I am fine thank you and you?”. Jacob sat down next to her
Jacob: So how was your night?
Esther: very well thank you.
Jacob: Great! I am very happy to see you. I have been looking around for you since morning, but you were nowhere to be seen
Esther: Oh ok. I couldn’t attend the morning session because I had to help my mom wash the clothes. Aren’t you supposed to be at work?
Jacob: That’s nice. No, I took a few days off until Monday. I wanted to participate in the youth conference because I am a member of the youth executive. So I need to stick around
Jacob: I hope you have not forgotten our appointment tomorrow. I will pick you up at exactly 2pm. Hmm, that food smells nice. Let’s go and grab something to eat at the entrance. Some church members are selling food during the event. I tasted some very nice fish pies this morning
Esther: Oh that’s kind of you, but I am not hungry, thank you.
Jacob: Oh come on! Let me just get you something light. You need to be free with me. As for me anything you need, I am ready to provide.
Esther: Well, if you say so then.
They both stood up and went to the place where food was being sold. Jacob got himself a chicken sandwich while Esther bought some local chips made from sweet potatoes. “I can’t allow you to just get such tiny food. Are you an ant?” he said jokingly. He went ahead and bought her a big sandwich, orange juice and two apples. He put them in a plastic bag and said “These are for you, whether you like it or not. I will make sure that you carry them home. I can’t watch you eat all these food stuffs for babies”. Esther smiled. Clara and her friends were all starring at them. Esther then talked to Jacob “I think that lady wants to talk to you. You are friends aren’t you?” she said, looking at Clara. Jacob felt uncomfortable and answered “Forget that useless girl. She is too cumbersome” he said, pulling her by the hand. Esther didn’t know how to react. This was the first time that she was being seen with a man in that particular community. She gently pulled her hand from Jacob’s and proceeded.
After the final session of the conference, Jacob insisted to drive Esther home despite her refusal. When they were in front of Esther’s house, Jacob looked at her as she unfastened her seatbelt and said “Have a good evening my dear. I will see you tomorrow. Dream about me”. Esther was lost in her mind. She shivered as she opened the car door with a hand full of the food he had bought for her. Jacob smiled and said “Well the least you can say is a simple good night”
“Good night” Esther said. She rushed to open the gate. Jacob smiled, shook his head and drove off. When Esther entered the house, she found her family watching TV. Elder Barnabas was the first to speak “Welcome back. How was the conference?” he said. “It was fine sir” Esther answered. Elder Barnabas looked closely at Esther’s hand and removed his glasses “What is it that you are holding in your hands Esther?” he asked. Esther trembled “Oh, it’s food that Jacob bought for me at church. I refused to take it but he insisted and said I should carry it home. I tried again to refu…” she did not finish her phrase before Elder Barnabas interrupted with a loud laugh “Hahaha. My daughter, you don’t have to explain much about it. I totally understand. Jacob is your fiancé and he has the right to buy anything for you. It’s also a good thing that you refused to take it in the first place, because he needs to know that you are not a hungry person. Your parents provide anything you need and you are not entering into this marriage because of money or anything but because it is the right thing to do. Now, share that food with your brother and have your dinner” he said.
Esther was shocked to see her father’s reaction. She couldn’t imagine that he had allowed her to collect something from a man. She sat down quietly and shared the food with Daniel. Elder Barnabas stood up and went outside with Daniel to bring in any house item that was left outside. Esther’s mother smiled “My Princess, you see that this young man likes you? You will also learn to like him soon. Your father told me that both of you have an appointment tomorrow. Make sure you ask him any question that comes to your mind. Let there be no secrets between you” she said. Esther nodded her head and said “Alright mom”
The following day, Saturday, Esther was getting more nervous. She tried in more than six of her clothes as she didn’t know what she could wear. Her mother entered her room and laughed “Ah, ladies! We never seem to be satisfied with what we have. My dear, just wear anything that makes you feel comfortable. Let this young man appreciate you for who you are, because that is what true love is all about” she said. Esther smiled “But mom, don’t you think my clothes are old fashioned?” she said. Her mother kept quiet for a while and gave her a strange look “Esther, did you just call your clothes old fashioned? This is how you have been dressing ever since you were young and you have never complained. Who put such a thing in your mind? Who?” she said. Esther became afraid when she saw the look on her mother’s face. “Well, when you look closely at Jacob, you will notice that he is a very modernized person. He wears the latest fashion and I am just afraid that he might think I am not his type” she said, looking at her mom to see her reaction.
Her mother shook her head. “Esther, I must say I am very shocked by your response. But I somehow understand you. You are just coming back from the capital city and I know you got exposed to a lot of things. But I want you to understand that real love accepts someone the way they are. Don’t try to pretend to be what you are not. Let Jacob fall in love with the real Esther. The beauty of a woman is not in her clothes, but what she has inside her. I am not saying you should wear rags. Just put on something nice that you enjoy and let love lead the way” she said. Esther hugged her “Mom, you are the best mom in the whole world!” she said. Her mother laughed “Get away from here! Dress up and get ready!” she said, slapping her gently on her back. Esther put on her favorite yellow long dress with a black pair of shoes. She tied her head with a black head scarf and took her small bag. She sat in the living room, waiting for Jacob. Elder Barnabas was getting ready to go to the farm. He smiled at her “Hee, look at the bride waiting for her groom! God is wonderful!” he said. Esther smiled back. She still couldn’t believe that her father could even joke about something like that.
Jacob honked his car horn outside the gate. Esther informed her mother that she was leaving and went to meet him. She entered his car and as usual, he was handsomely dressed. “Hello baby, how are you?” he said. Esther felt like a sharp knife went through her chest “He called me baby? This is the first time someone is ever addressing me with such a name” she thought to herself. “Good afternoon Jacob. I am doing well thank you” she replied. They drove off and arrived at a beautiful lodge. Esther starred at the place as they entered. The lodge had a beautiful and quiet restaurant surrounded by beautiful flowers. It looked like a garden. Esther had never been to such a place before. Jacob took her to a table that was at the far end and they both sat down. The waiter brought the menu card. “So my dear, what are you taking?” Jacob asked. Esther didn’t know what to answer. She looked at the menu card and looked confused as there was so much food to choose from. “I’ll just have some water” she said. Jacob burst into laughter. “Are you serious? You mean I can take you out on a date and all you ask for is water? Come on, don’t behave like a village girl!” he said. Esther did not find his words funny. She kept quiet and looked at the menu. “Ok then let me choose for you. We’ll both eat braised fish with mushroom soup and French fries. We can also have bottles of tonic water. As for desert, I’d prefer we get some mixed fruits. Very good for your health” Jacob said as he called the waiter to take the order.
Esther was quiet all along before Jacob spoke
Jacob: So my dear Esther, I am so glad you could make it. As you know we are now engaged and I want us to get to know each other well. Please tell me, how old are you by the way? Obviously I know that you are over 16.
Esther: I am 19, turning 20 very soon
Jacob: Wow! Nice age. Your bones have just started getting strong. As for me, I am 29 years old, born on 25th February.
Esther: 29? You mean you are 10 years older than me? Doesn’t that bother you at all?
Jacob: Bother me for what? 10 years difference is very good. I don’t intend to marry my age mate because she won’t have respect for me. I want someone fresh and able to treat me like one of her elders. Marriage is about respect
Esther: So why did you choose me?
Jacob: Hahaha. Good question. Well, because I have seen that you are a very good girl. You are well mannered and you seem to be very intelligent. You have been brought up very well and I believe you can manage a home very well.
Esther: When did you notice me?
Jacob: I have been noticing you for a very long time. However, the day I made up my mind was when I was told that you had gone to the university. I told myself that if I don’t go for it, I might lose you to all those jumpy town boys. I was also impressed when I heard that you are doing Medicine. What an intelligent girl!
Esther: What about Clara from church? I thought both of you were quite close
Jacob: I thought I told you to forget about that girl. She was only coming close to me because of my money. I just used to talk to her because I didn’t want her to feel bad, but she started exaggerating and I couldn’t keep up with such nonsense. I am a man of integrity and I can’t allow myself to be hanging out with people who have no manners.
Esther: Oh ok then.
Jacob: Listen Esther, I know that you have not yet experienced life and I like it that way. I want to be the first person to teach you about life. I can see that you have not really enjoyed the good things of life, but I promise to bring out the queen in you
Esther: What makes you say that?
Jacob: haha. Well, I see the way you dress, the way you talk. It shows that you are still living like some local people in this community.
Esther: You mean my dressing is not nice?
Jacob: Hmm, not really, I mean you might need some help to polish up your dressing. For instance this dress you are wearing now is quite old fashioned: pardon me for the word. And that head scarf is just something else my dear. But no worries, baby. I will buy latest clothes for you. I am a very smart guy and I want people to look at my wife and know that she is indeed Mrs. Jacob. I don’t want a situation where someone will look at you and think that you are my maid. Hahaha
Esther got irritated and hurt by Jacob’s words. She did not know what to say to him again. Suddenly, a couple walked in, holding each other’s hands. Jacob saw them and laughed “Hey my man, Christopher, what’s up?” he said. He stood up to greet both of them. He hugged the lady and said “Hello, Queen, how are you doing? You look gorgeous as usual”. Queen wore a tight mini dress which showed a part of her breasts and high heels. Her Brazilian weave rolled down her back as she greeted them. She was very beautiful and looked like a model. “Hello my dear Jacob. Nice to see you. What are you doing here and who is this young lady with you?”
Jacob somehow hesitated to answer and said “This is my church mate Esther. We are having a discussion about the church youth committee” he said. Esther looked surprised, but she held her peace. After their greetings, the couple left and went to sit inside the main restaurant. Esther looked at Jacob and asked “Why did you have to lie?”. Jacob smiled “Oh my dear, don’t worry about that. I just didn’t want him to start asking all manner of questions. I want our relationship to be done discreetly to avoid people’s nonsensical comments” he said. Esther kept quiet.
Jacob: So as I was saying my dear, I will make sure I buy you the latest clothes. Did you see how Queen was dressed? She looked so good. That is why her man is proud to take her anywhere he wants. You will dress more than that soon baby, just wait and see.
Esther: That kind of dressing is not decent at all. Do I need to show my breasts just to look good? Didn’t you hear what the youth Pastor preached the other day?
Jacob: My dear, forget that guy! Most of them preach against such dressing and yet leave their old fashioned wives to sleep with the so called indecent ones. I know what I am talking about. So instead of me going outside, I’d rather have my wife dress indecently for me. For example, your face is too oily. You need to apply some powder and lipstick on your lips. I will buy all that for you. I understand that your dad doesn’t have much money that is why you haven’t been able to wear expensive clothes. But it will all end soon. Do you know how much I bought this watch I am wearing? A whooping 250 Dollars! You see my shoes? I ordered them online all the way from Italy. I am an expensive guy my dear, let no one lie to you.
Esther sat there listening to Jacob as he bragged about how expensive he lived. When they were about to leave, Jacob brought out a smartphone and gave it to her “When I saw the phone you have, I almost died of laughter. It’s too old. That is why I decided to buy you this phone. It’s a smartphone. I have installed WhatsApp on it so that we can chat. I hope you know what it is…..Ok. Good. Take it. I want you to be sending me some nice photos of yourself especially when you are about to sleep. Here is also a scratch card for your credit” he said. Esther was surprised. She took the phone in total amazement and thanked him.
That night when she lay on her bed, she shook her head as she remembered everything he had said. “This guy is really proud” she said to herself. She remembered David and how down to earth he was. Would she spend the rest of her life with a man as proud as Jacob? Would she learn to love him and accept him with time as her mother said? All these thoughts ran through her mind.
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