“Are you very sure that you are carrying a child?
Dembe who was still confused from Aprin’s pregnancy news asked her again that night.
“Yes…I missed my flow again this month, i noticed changes in my body. the physician also confirmed it. Your first touch got me in with a seed all thanks to the gods. Even when you are scared of laying with me ever since the first night, the gods still showed me mercy by blessing my womb so quicker than I imagined. I don’t even care anymore if you decide not to touch me again during this pregnancy. The Joy of carrying a precious gift for the gods in my womb will keep me occupied till I give birth…
Dembe concluded within him that he was going to tell Aprin that the pregnancy does not belong to him but to Bash who Sheila arranged to take her virginity because Sheila felt that a common slave does not deserve anything good and with the envy she felt for Aprin, it faned her evil desires.
“My lady…I have a very important thing to say to you. I have been worried and scared ever since the pregnancy announcement. The baby you carry in your womb is not mine…it belongs to…
Aprin interrupted Dembe from speaking further.
“Offcourse Dembe. The child isn’t yours…it belongs to the gods. I’m glad you are begining to come in terms with the truth and accept what the gods has predestined….
“My lady kindly listen to me first. On our
wedding night, after bringing you into your chamber, I was called that the great mother
would like to see me, you were asleep when I left to answer her. I waited for so long but the priestess never showed up. I was informed again that she changed her mind and wasn’t coming. I quickly returned back to the chamber. When I came in I saw Bash on top of you and Sheila was also here. Bash took your virginity my lady and not I. Sheila orchestrated the whole plan, she added something to the meat she gave you which made you passed out. I noticed the first drink she brought that day to you was suspecious which made me throw it out and you weren’t happy that I did that. But the meat you ate was not ordinary. The seed in your womb is not mine, it belongs to Bash….
Aprin got angrily and shouted at him to keep quiet.
“Enough of all this cock and bull story. Is too cheap and I’m not buying it. I know you don’t like Sheila because she is always hostile towards you. I understand your hatred but Dembe I won’t tolerate you lying against my own sister. Even though I don’t fancy Bash but I won’t listen to your lies against him either. How can you even cook up such lies? Does it even sound true to your own ears? If Sheila hears of this it will become another war between you and her. I won’t tell anyone such an abominable thing but you also needs to keep your mouth shut. Stop making up stories to make me hate my sister. Or to deny your seed in me. You took my virginity and I’m carrying our first child which belongs to the gods. I did not make those rules of giving up our baby to the gods, mother did and it will be honored. It will fortify us and strengthen our service to the gods. You can’t deny your own Dembe… that is wickedness neither will I tolerate such from you. Be my husband and priest waiting for coronation. Love my family and don’t try to poison my mind against anyone. I told you earlier even if you choose not to touch me until I give birth, I won’t trouble you because carrying a precious gift for the gods is enough to keep me satisfied. Stop all this your madness. You aren’t a slave anymore… you should be very grateful to the gods and to my entire family… for your freedom.
After then Dembe did not speak to Aprin about the child she carries.
He decided to see if he can speak to the priestess but she looked up at him like a man who has gone mad.
She asked Dembe to get out of her sight because his words was not making any sense to her.
Dembe apologize for interrupting her evening before walking away.
Most night Dembe sit out by the fountain listening to the fall of the water and speaking to the invisible God quietly.
He has seen Sheila and Bash caught up in a love web by the carpet field which has over grown flowers.
Dembe pretend not to notice them. He was more preoccupied with his own worries and do not bother about the two lovers.
It later came to the notice of all that Sheila will be getting married to Bash.
It was well expected since Sheila and Bash can no longer hide their affair.
She rejected the man that she was supposed to be bethrothed to and nobody could talk her out of her choice.
While arrangements for the upcoming wedding was taking place, Aprin has become so fond of her growing bump.
Aprin’s pregnancy has become obvious. She was always seen admiring her protruding stomach and smiling. She looked forward to welcoming her child. Nothing else interest her not even Sheila’s wedding to Bash.
Even though she was okay with whatever choice Sheila makes concerning a life partner, she supported her sister in every way possible.
Within the next two months Sheila got married to Bash.
It was a big occasion. Aprin did not host a big party during her wedding. Just a handful gathering.
But Sheila was determined to shame her sister’s small party by making sure her wedding to Bash becomes the talk of everyone in Kebra. She even spite her sister with the attitude of getting married to a wealthy free born, unlike Aprin who settled for a slave boy and hold a small party.
The big wedding lasted for 7days. Sheila and Bash became husband and wife.
Is only the next priestess of Kebra and also the priest which is Aprin and Dembe has the full right to live in the big house. They can’t move out because their home is with the temple situated within the big compound.
Sheila knew this yet she insisted right in front her mother that since she is also the daughter of the priestess of Kebra her home will also be close to the temple.
She said she doesn’t want to live at her husband’s house rather she will maintain her home.
Where her home is that is where her husband’s own will be.
Bash agreed to everything that Sheila was saying and did not object.
Sheila was not the next priestess of Kebra neither is Bash the priest but Sheila refused to leave with the hope that someday she will also become a popular, wealthy, powerful priestess like her mother.
Her mother agreed for her to stay but told her that her home is with her husband’s people and she should learn to spend time with them.
Sheila’s assistance is only needed in the temple if Aprin asked for it.
Sheila was not happy with her mother giving only Aprin the full title of a priestess even after she was also married and she can only assist when ever Aprin asked for it.
Her only happiness is not moving out of the house. She will keep a close watch on everything and everyone.
Aprin time to give birth drew near, everyone looks forwards welcoming the child except Dembe.
Dembe had tried to convince Aprin about the child but he was always shut out. he confronted Phatsy over what happened that first night.
Phatsy pleaded that she was only threatened by Sheila which was why she lied that the priestess asked to see him.
Dembe finally let go but his believe and trust in God increased daily.
Aprin went into labor, she labored for so long. She was exhausted and almost thought she was going to die.
Dembe was asked to come inside the room and comfort his wife.
Dembe held Aprin’s hand and began to whisper few prayers. Nobody heard what he was muttering to himself, but his mouth was moving repeatedly and within a short time Aprin finally gave birth to a baby girl.
They called her baby “daughter of the gods”.
It was already agreed that Dembe who happened to be the biological father and also the next priest of Kebra will be the rightful person to sacrifice the infant.
Dembe went cold with fear as they concluded on the day that he will present the sacrifice to the gods.
It was also agreed that after the sacrifice his initiation will commence where his body will be marked with blade and his blood will be drilled out for the gods.
Sheila taunt him, Bash laughed at him as they looked forward to the day he will be sacrificing his first child.
What they don’t know is that the baby does not belong to Dembe but to Bash who joined Sheila in making Dembe’s Life a living hell.
They kept reminding and laughing at him on how his first seed will be wasted and he can’t do anything about it.
Dembe has his own plans. He smiled at them mischievously because nobody can tell what he was nursing in his mind.
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