Aprin was awake the following day. She felt weak and ti red from the long sleep.
The first person she saw sitting on a chair close to the bed still in his wedding attire was Dembe.
His eyes was shot but one can sense that he was not sleeping.
Aprin felt a sharp pain in between her legs, she released a silent cry as she tries to get up.
Dembe was up on his feet immediately he saw that Aprin was awake.
He went to her.
“How long have I been sleeping? What happened to me… did you…I mean did we get intimate last night? I can’t remember anything except that I was dancing and suddenly felt so tired and dizzy and you were beside me…tell me what happened after then.
Dembe felt sad that he couldn’t save Aprin who has become his wife. He wish he has saved her from Sheila and Bash.
He became more scared ever since he heard that their first child will be sacrificed to the gods and Aprin is also aware of it.
“My lady, I’m glad that you have awaken. You have been sleeping since yesterday night after the wedding. Your mother check on you earlier and I informed her that you are still asleep. Hold on let me tell Phatsy to set out a warm bath for you.
Dembe left and after sometime he came back and helped Aprin out of the bed.
Phatsy later came to inform her that her bath was ready before guiding her out.
Dembe was still sitting when Aprin was done bathing.
Phatsy was trying to set her hair and tire up her clothes when she dismissed her.
After Phatsy left, Aprin turned to Dembe
“You could have allowed me to wake up first before you hungrily take my virginity. I know is yours rightfully but there was no point taking it as a thief because I can’t even remember anything or how it happened which means you saw my vulnerability and did the unthinkable. I have looked forward to the day I will get intimate with my husband and gracefully give him what is his. I don’t even know how I feel right now that I can’t remember anything…
Dembe kept quiet. He wish to let Aprin know what her trusted sister did with Bash to her But instead he remained quiet.
Aprin misunderstood his sad and quiet nature. She thought Dembe was angry due to the way she was overacting. She moved to him shyly and sat on the arm of the couch that he was sitting on. She bent over and kissed him first before looking straight to his eyes.
“Is okay Dembe, you don’t need to be sad or worried. All that matters to me is that you are the man that deflowered me. I’m glad is you and it doesn’t matter how you did it or if I was drunk or asleep when it happened. My joy is that my husband, the man I love took what is rightfully his. The gods will bless our union and give us children who will be pleasing to him. Our deed will open more ways for the gods blessings. Your initiation into priesthood will start after a year of our marriage. I need you to get used to everything and to be fully ready for the big task ahead of you. We have enough time for ourselves… just me and you before our full dedication to the holy temple. mother will cut your skin with a blade, and your drop of blood will be used as an open door to your coronation. You will be cut with blade for just 5days and the other rituals will follow. Then you will present your first sacrifice to the gods and goddesses. Our first seed…that is our first child as a couple will be presented to the gods. the child will be sacrificed and that will open more ways for us and fortify us. It will make us a great priestess and priest. Permit me to call you my Lord…so can we go another round of intimacy in bed? Since I can’t fully remember the first time it happened but I will like to keep the rest updated in mind… Can we…my Lord?
She kissed Dembe again but he stood and took a step away from her.
“I’m sorry my lady… But I can’t. You never mentioned human sacrifice to me before now. I mean how can our first child be presented as a sacrifice. If I really have a say in all of this then I object to such barbaric act. I will never give up my own child to be slaughtered for the gods pleasure or present my body to be marked with blade. My lady I’m sorry to say but I will rather not touch you than get you in with a child whose fate has already been decided before he or she is born. How can you decide and conclude over everything with your mother and also your sister without me having an idea of what is at stake. I know I’m a servant in your household and do not really have a say until you decided to chose me as your husband. this whole marriage doesn’t make me a free man rather I become more bonded to you and your family wishes. None of all this is my desire or what I want. Yes, I’m grateful for everything you risked for me but do I have a choice? I appreciate you my lady… you have a good heart but please try and give me a listening ear. The gods you intend to do so much for are dead gods…
Aprin stood up and slapped Dembe hard across the face and she quickly regretted her harsh action immediately.
“I’m sorry Dembe but never you speak ill of the gods who gave you life and preserved you. All they required is your gratitude not ungratefulness. I will not sit and watch you bring course upon your head. I will rather strike you and make you come to your normal senses. Is better I do so than for the gods to deal mercilessly with you. Bridle your tongue because you are right under the nose and ears of the gods and goddess.
Dembe moved to a different chair and sat down. He began to speak more calmly than before.
“Pardon my unbridled tongue because I speak like a child forgetting who I am. But why can’t the gods reveal to you or reveal to the great mother the evil intentions of those close to you. My lady why can’t the gods show you how your virginity was taken? Are they all deaf that they can not hear or blind that they can’t see?
“Why will I need to know how you deflowered me? I told you earlier that is not necessary to know how you did it. all that matters is that it was you. Nobody has evil intentions around me… and I mean nobody…. if not the gods could have revealed it. Please we just got
married and should be enjoying each other… let’s drop this conversation. I’m sorry for slapping you earlier but never you try to speak ill of the gods. If you choose not to touch me because of the fear of giving our first child to the gods… then go ahead with it but I know you won’t be able to last long without getting intimate with me. You couldn’t even wait for me to wake up last night before pouncing on me and taking my virginity…I don’t know how you will stay without touching me….
Dembe shakes his head sadly.
He was speechless on how Aprin and her entire household put a trust in a deadbeat god.
That night he bowed his head in prayer.
Aprin saw him whispering something to himself with his head bow but said nothing.
“God I don’t know what or how you want me to cope under this circumstances. I also don’t know what you want me to do with the freedom they think I have… help me heavenly king…give me wisdom to carry on. Sometimes I feel so angry and sad over everything. Oh Lord, You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; You take no pleasure in burnt offerings. The sacrifices you required are a broken spirit; a broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise. You never demanded so much from me why should a pagan god required a human sacrifice…my first seed. Oh God may you prove yourself to all this people that there is no other God both in heaven and earth except you. I don’t know how I will be seen if I decide not to touch Aprin to avoid her conceiving a child…I need your help oh Lord. Remember Lydia… please protect her and the entire believers including the tent maker and his wife. Give me strength to carry on and wisdom to live among this people…
Dembe prayed wholeheartedly. He makes it a habit to always pray as days turned into weeks and then s month.
He avoid laying with Aprin but try to act like a loving husband to her.
After a month Aprin’s patient was ruining out. She confronted Dembe again on why he has refused not to go intimate with her even after a month
Dembe pleaded with her to give him time. Aprin agreed to give him another month but along the line she realized that she missed her flow.
She was not sure if it was pregnancy because she believed that Dembe touched her only once on her wedding night while she was asleep and ever since he has been scared to do it again after learning of the sacrifice.
Aprin called in a doctor to check her and the doctor confirmed that she was carrying a child.
She was baffled at same time happy that the gods has made Dembe’s seed to germinate in her and it will be perfect for the sacrifice.
The child will be given to the gods and in return the gods will bless their reign as priest and priestess. And their unions will be blessed.
Aprin was happy and released the news as Dembe stepped into the chamber that evening.
“I’m carrying your seed…. I’m pregnant.
Dembe looked at her shocked. Aprin repeated what she said with a smile all over her face.
Dembe almost asked her how she became pregnant without him touching her, he quickly remembered what Sheila and Bash did.
Dembe went cold and confuse. Aprin went about smiling from ear to ear.
Sheila was the first to come and congratulate her sister when the news spread. The mother also came. The mother was looking forward to the big sacrifice of Aprin’s and Dembe’s first baby.
Sheila saw Dembe sitting by the fountain in deep meditation one day. He had a troubled face.
“Look who is going to be a father soon. Well, I know why you are sad…is very unfortunate that your first child will be sacrificed to the gods. I see why you don’t look so happy slave boy. You will be the one to carry out the sacrifice and present it to the gods… poor servant boy. You don’t have a choice and there’s no escaping from it. You wish to be a priest then you will follow all that is required in it… your body won’t be left out because it will be marked deeply with blade. I wish mother will give me that previledged to mark your wretched body with sharp blade. Hahahaha… the pain that is ahead of you is really unbearable. I can’t wait to watch the sadness on your face as your first child will be sacrificed on the shrine altar just to appease the gods. Hahahaha…..
Dembe never said a word as Sheila laughed so hard at him before walking away.
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