She found His grace

“I won’t be coming for lectures today, I’d gist you later”, Jessy tells Karen over the phone. “Okay, bye dearie”. She hung up the call and threw her phone on the bed. How would she tell Ken she’s pregnant again, why has the pills failed her this time? She thought…and the doctor had warned her to be careful. Few months ago, she had visited the small clinic in a town close to her school for the ‘usual thing’. That was her third time of killing a foetus – an innocent baby completely unaware of her escapades.

While the doctor was crushing it, she had felt a sharp pain somewhere below though no harm was eventually done (to her body, not her soul or the baby). The doctor had advised her to get some pregnancy control pills to help her ‘enjoy’ herself while she doesn’t need to worry over getting pregnant again as long as she keeps taking them as prescribed. She had begun using them a week later after the last abortion and they proved good until this time. As usual, she had done the simple test and confirmed she is now carrying another baby. Deep in her thoughts, she also remembered that the doctor told her she stands a high chance of have complicated issues with her womb if she aborts again…she sighs deeply, “hmmm…what do I do now?”

The Story

As soon as she graduated from Stacey Roberts Girls’ High School, sixteen years old Jessica Emuren gained admission to study Economics at University of Nigeria, Nsukka. Her attitude, her beauty and her brilliance made everyone admire her.

While in high school, she was reserved, level headed and always leading her class every session. To the teachers, she was humble and obedient, to her colleagues, a seemingly perfect diva. Her ever busy parents had little or no worry over her because she rarely gets into trouble. Her brilliance was always rewarded with gifts as soon as she gets home for holidays each term. No more. No less. They never really had enough time to spend with her and her siblings. So, she kept to herself and played with her siblings while at home on holidays and interact with few friends when she gets to school.

While waiting in line for her health insurance card at the University’s health centre, she had seen Ken who brought in a sick friend. Some minutes later, while Ken was going out, their eyes met. She quickly looked away feeling shy. Ken eventually walked out of the place.

Fifteen minutes later, she collected her card and immediately proceeded to the school’s administrative building to complete the freshers’ registration exercise. Just then, she saw someone’s shadow trying to catch up with her – it was Ken! He had waited a distance from the health centre to see her come out. “Hello Ma’am”, he had said, smiling. Her heart had skipped a bit. “Hi, good afternoon”, she had replied with a look of indifference on her face. It was her first time conversing with a stranger since she had begun registration on campus.

While at home, she practically stays indoors, seeing movies, sleeping or reading novels. At church, she waits with her siblings in the car for her parents to come take them home…no interest in extra talks or rehearsals after the service ends. She had truly grown to become an introvert…”Where are you heading to? I’d like to accompany you if you don’t mind”, he had questioned. “Okay, I’m going to the administrative building to complete my registration”, she had replied…and they began chatting.

The weather was hot. She had waited on a queue with other freshers. Ken’s friendly chat with her had annulled the boredom she could have been through. He was a third year student of Financial Accounting, tall, dark complexioned and good looking. He also had a good smile – the kind of smile that made Jessy’s heart skipped when they first talked. He had given her gist about her department – the lecturers and students she will soon meet. He had told her so many things a fresher should know – she had probably known much before the Matriculation Day.

After a long while, it was her turn to be registered. She completed the exercise and at Ken’s request, she went with him to a cafeteria to eat and drink. Ken walked her to the female hostel and they finally exchanged numbers.

Later that night, Jessy was caught up in her thoughts. It was the first time she had talked so much. It was the first time she spoke freely to a stranger. Ken had eased stress off her. Just as she was thinking about him, her phone had beeped. It was a message from Ken. “Humans are everywhere and angels are rarely seen. All my life, I have found just one…and that’s you. Goodnight Dearie!”. She had smiled from her heart and replied, “Thanks Ken, goodnight”. He knew how to get her talking. Maybe he is a good guy after all. Maybe not. She soon drifted into sleep.

“Dear, our daughter’s matriculation holds next week”, John told his wife, Lara, “and there are high chances I’d not be attending”, he completed his statement after a little pause. Feeling disappointed, Lara replied, “I think you have to make some time for her, we earlier agreed to go there together and come back early enough to catch up with our schedules. How do you expect Jessy to feel when she does not see you? We are going together”. John shrugged. “Okay, let’s see how the week turns out. I do not have to explain anything now”. John works as a Top Management Executive in a leading construction company in Enugu while Lara leads the relief team for a Non-Governmental Organization based in Enugu. Her job nature requires travelling to various rural communities across the country to distributive relief materials. Both earn good salaries but seldom have time for their children.

Things began happening so fast between Jessy and Ken. He was all over her and she enjoyed his company too. Asides lectures that separates them each day, they were always together. On the matriculation day, Lara came without her husband. He had sent an apology note to Jessy and sent her a gift, as usual. Lara spent some time with her daughter, ate with her, the sandwich she had brought for both of them and took some photographs. Then she asked to leave to catch up with her schedules for the rest of the day. Jessy gladly obliged. After all, that has always been the normal routine – a little time for her, some gifts and boring conversations…what’s more? She eagerly awaited Ken outside the school auditorium to come pick her up to wherever.

Now, it’s Ken or nothing. Maybe she chose to be na├»ve. Maybe not. All that matters now is Ken’s company. Suddenly, she saw him from afar. She had missed him greatly. As soon as he came, off they went. First, to the studios for some shots and next, they went to a classy restaurant in town and finally a relaxation park. They had spent a great deal of time together… and it was getting dark. Kenny had suggested it would be unsafe for her to go home that night for reasons untold. She had believed him. Ken stays in town. His unplanned plan had worked. They both went to his house…the rest, they say, is history…but a few more points of the story to share. She had a ‘new’ passion lit up in her veins when Ken landed her a first premarital kiss. Her passions had grown that minute. She wanted more. He willingly gave all he had…and Jessy lost her innocence, her pride, on a platter of zilch. After the act, she cried a little. Ken had held her up in his arms and made promises of empty hopes to her. The promises sounded good but weightless like a vacuum space. He had cuddled her more, she had responded and the fire of lust was rekindled.

In one night, Jessy’s choices began to take a new turn – a wrong turn. Karen, Jessy’s bunkmate and acquaintance, was worried about her whereabouts. She had called Jessy the previous night but she did not pick up. Then Jessy came in the next morning. She cooked up a story for Karen to explain why she was not around the previous night. It was the first time she had told a big lie. Only if she had known the hiding place of immorality was secrecy…Karen believed anyway. They weren’t really close friends anyway. While Karen cared, Jessy had shown little or no interest. To her, only Ken mattered…but does he still matters after last night acts? The following week, the closeness had reduced a little. The calls from Ken slightly dropped. His messages came in units, no longer in tens per day. Jessy wondered. But she cared less. She is his new bae. It was one of the manifestoes he made on that night of lust. He had also said nothing except death would separate them and she believed.

Week after week, the communication gap was gradually widening. Jessy wanted him much more. Ken wanted something else – maybe a new ‘fish’ as gullible as the first ‘fish’ he had enjoyed with ease in the new session. Then something happened. Jessy’s sanitary pad were not soaked as it used to be at regular intervals. She began to feel nauseated. Then, she called Ken to see him. They met at the school sport’s complex. No smiles. No heart skipping. No excitement. It showed on their faces. “I think I am pregnant”, she had said. Without struggling to find the words and remaining as calm as he could be, Ken had replied, “if you are actually pregnant, I think we need to find a solution to this. We both know we are not ready for this. Tomorrow, get prepared. I’d take you to a doctor who will proffer a solution to this”. “Okay”, she had replied. She saw no faults. Ken was her first love. Loving Ken and seeing no wrongs in anything he said or did – that was her mindset. The following day, they set out to the place.

In no time, an act was done. This time, a murderous act. It only took a few minutes to commit the first one – the lustful act. It look a little more to commit the second one – the murder.

Every wrong act actually takes a few moment of pleasure but leaves behind a terminal sore containing eternal stinks if left unattended to. She was fine again after a few days. Ken showed some care like she expected…but his desire to have her again grew. He became caring again and began closing up the gap. Jessy was not seeing what was coming. She was lost in lust but thought it was love. The following month, Ken had suggested she move part of her things to his apartment in town while they lived together as ‘one’. She had gladly agreed. She would be playing wifely roles. In less than three months, she had changed from being quiet to being gullible. Her relationship had affected her decisions. Less reading. More procrastination. Absence in classes. She cared less. She was in love. Ken was her world.

All these times, John and Lara had a good measure of confidence in their daughter. They assumed she has always been a morally disciplined girl and will always be. They both likened her to be a robot whose acts are always consistent. Every month, they credit her account with more-than-enough allowance and calls her thrice a week. They did not know they were making a mistake.

Someone else was showing her the love she rarely got and calling her the way they never did but destroying her life the way they least imagined. The first semester had ended with only two weeks break into the second semester. For Jessy, the exams were not the way it used to be in high school. She had been distracted. She knew but could not stop anything. She was already a ‘wife’ living in her ‘husband’s house’ without the knowledge of her parents.

Moreover, she had told her parents she will be staying back in school during the short break and use the opportunity to prepare ahead for the next semester. Her parents had easily agreed. They were busy with work, work and work. What’s more? Her siblings are also in boarding houses. They promptly give Jessy all she needs except one thing. They did not give her love…and Jessy thinks she is getting from Ken. Now, this is the sixth month and the second semester. Jessy’s looks has changed. She looks bigger than the way she was at the beginning of the session. She no longer looks like the diva she was last year. She applies more make ups than the usual talcum powder and lip gloss she previously used as the only make-up kits.

Previous examination results were released the second week of the new semester. Jessy had checked hers on the notice board and left the place grieved. She is on the Third Class Division list. Jessy had lost her confidence, esteem and pride. For five months now, she had been living with Ken and for Ken. Deep in her heart, she wanted to be free again but felt it was impossible. In six months, she had aborted three times and now, she is pregnant again. Ken walked into the room. “Hi, I am hungry. Any food to eat?” He asked Jessy who was sitting on the bed and was lost in thoughts. “Jessy”, he shouted. Just then, she was suddenly conscious of Ken’s presence. “What is the problem, Jessy? Tell me, what is it?” She looked at him for a moment and finally spoke. “I am pregnant again.

This time, the pills are not working and I don’t know what to do.” “Ah, that’s not a case. You will just visit the doc and he will settle the issue as usual” Ken said, waving his right hand as a sign of relief. “I can do that and won’t do that this time”, she snapped. “This is the fifth time and besides, doc had warned me of having terminal issues if I ever use that method again”. “Look, girl, you’ve got to remove that thing inside you. We both know we are not ready for this”, he retorted angrily. “I can’t and I won’t! Period! If you say we are not ready for this, why do we allow it in the first place?” she replied back. With that rhetoric question, Ken walked out of the room and slammed the door behind him. As soon as he was out of sight, she broke down and cried till she slept off. As days rolled by, they drifted apart though they live under the same roof. They began to do things differently. While Jessy prepared her meals, Ken ate out.

She began missing classes more often as her tummy gradually bulged. The semester was drawing to an end and a two months break would follow. What would she tell her parents? How would she describe to her siblings, friends, teen pastors what happened to her? Now, she is in a terrible mess.

Each time Ken’s path crossed hers in the school premises, she’d curse under her breathe. Karen, her acquaintance, now sees the reason why she had abandoned the hostel for a long time and felt sorry for her. With compassion in her heart, she called Jessy to meet her privately at the school’s chapel so they could talk.  With Karen’s show of care and love, Jessy felt she could trust her and decided it’s high time she poured out the burden in her heart. As she narrated her story, tears flowed down her cheeks and Karen cried with her. She was touched. Karen spent part of the time talking to her about what the next steps she’d have to take. That same day, Jessy surrendered her life to Christ and pleaded for forgiveness for all the sins she had committed. Then she felt light. A burden had been lifted off her. She felt some warmth and joy flood her heart. In awe, thinking of the signs of the salvation she has just encountered, she just went on her knees pouring out her heart, allowing fresh tears of joy roll down her cheek. She felt new again despite the old life she lived. Karen did not watch. She joined her in worship and thereafter prayed for her and with her.

Since there was no service holding that day at the chapel, they had all the time to themselves as there very few people coming in and going out of the building. They spent more and more time till night came. Jessy already decided she would keep the baby but would not go back to Ken’s house any longer. She also decided to go home over the weekend to tell her parents. Karen had strongly advised her to take all these steps and damn the consequences she’d face.

The next day, she informed Ken of her decision and told him she was coming to pack her things from his place in the afternoon. Ken felt disturbed by her decision to keep the baby and even petrified because she’d be informing her parents. He soon began preparing a plan. He got some powdery substance and other drugs that were capable of destroying the pregnancy when they are dissolved into a drink.

However, Jessy did not go alone. Karen accompanied her. Ken was surprised. After they greeted Ken, they began packing Jessy’s things while Ken watched. He could not do anything but watch. His plans were foiled.

Jessy went home that weekend, with Karen, as planned. After she told her story amidst tears, it then dawned on her parents the mistakes they had made. They fumed, got angry and were disappointed but realized their daughter suffered as a result of their negligence. Thereafter, they summoned Ken who out of fear, did not deny being responsible for the pregnancy.

Jessy did not go back to school again. Her parents decided she stayed indoors till she delivered her baby. Now, they made more time for her out of their busy schedules. Her mum became supportive and encouraged her. She employed the services of a female doctor to come and check her daughter at home so she does not need to attend antenatal at the hospital. Jessy was delivered of a baby girl few months later.

With her parents, her siblings, Karen, Ken and his mum present at the baby shower, she named her baby Precious. After she had weaned Precious, she took another matriculation examination into another university to study the same course. She passed and gained admission. She left Precious in care of her mum. This time, it’s obvious that she had learnt from her previous experience. She remained focused on her academics and graduated with excellent grades. Ken had graduated. He was already working with an auditing firm. In Jessy’s service year, they met again. He apologized for all he did to her and appealed to her that they start again.

Although Jessy still has a place in her heart for him, she knew she had to tread softly, watching the kind of man Ken had become. And true to his confessions, Ken had changed. He had become a Christian shortly after Jessy left school. Karen had convicted and urged him to repent which he did. And she said yes to him!

They got married and lived happily ever after.

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