The Elder’s Daughter – Episode 14
© Jennipher Duru
Esther and David were seated at their favorite spot under the eucalyptus tree and a small lizard crawled before them. Esther stood up and jumped on the rock in fear. “Oh Esther, you are something else! You make me laugh so much that I forget my worries” David said, laughing so hard. Esther was still standing on top of the rock “But what have I done that makes you laugh this way David? I hate lizards!” David was still laughing “How can you just run away from a small lizard like this? It can’t kill you. Ok come down now, it has gone” David said. Esther came down sat down again, this time around lifting up her legs.
David: Ok, I think we can now go to town to buy your books, because the dispensary just sent me a message telling me that it will be closed for the rest of the evening today
Esther: Oh great. Let me go and change my clothes then
Esther: I can’t go to town with these clothes. I think they look quite old fashioned
David: What! Come on Madam. You look beautiful in this dress. I love the color and design
Esther: You mean it doesn’t disturb you in anyway?
David: Disturb me? Of course not! Listen Esther, you are a very beautiful girl, whether you wear cheap or designers’ clothes. Your beauty is natural. I understand that right now you are just a mere student, but once you start having your own money, you can now buy whatever you like, but the bottom line is that you are beautiful just like this. Now let’s go to town before the bookstore closes.
Esther looked at David with astonishment. “David is so adorable. He is indeed a real friend” Esther said to herself. She was about to start off with David when she suddenly heard someone shouting “Esther, Esther, wake up, you need to get ready for church service”. Esther opened her eyes and realized that it was a dream. She frowned her face as she woke up, stretching herself “Yes mom. I am awake” she said. Her mother insisted until she opened the door. “Go and take your bath before we are late. Today is thanksgiving service and the place will be jam-packed” her mother said. Esther hurried off to take her bath and they left.
During the whole service, Esther was only thinking about her dream. “David appreciated the same dress I wore on my day out with Jacob. What does this mean? I miss David. I know that he is my true friend.” She thought to herself. She could see Jacob seated on the special seats reserved for some members who held certain titles in the church. They sat behind the Reverend. From time to time, Jacob looked at Esther, but she was lost in her thoughts.
In the evening of that day, Esther was about to go to bed when her phone rang. It was a WhatsApp message from Jacob
Jacob: hey baby, what’s up? Are you already in bed?
Esther: Yes, I was just about to sleep.
Jacob: Oh cool. Can you please send me your picture?
Esther: Which picture?
Jacob: Oh come on! Your current picture, I mean take a pic now as you are lying down on the bed and send it to me
Esther: I can’t do that. I will take one tomorrow when I am correctly dressed
Jacob: I don’t need that one. I want one when you are in bed and make sure it covers your bare chest
Esther was surprised and irritated by this message. She decided not to continue the conversation. Jacob still continued sending her messages, asking for the same thing. He called her line, but she refused to pick up. He sent one last message “Esther, you have to understand that you are now my fiancé and I have the right to ask you for anything. You belong to me now so you need to start respecting me. I bought that phone for you so that you can be communicating with me. That phone costs a lot of money my dear. Anyway good night, but know that you have really hurt my feeling tonight”. Esther read it with frustration. She threw the phone on her suitcase which was lying on the floor. “What kind of man is this that my father wants me to marry?” she said to herself. Another message came. She did not want to read it, but was curious to know what he had said this time around. But she saw that the message did not come from Jacob. She opened it and it read “Hi”. She imagined that it was Jacob trying to use another number. The display picture was the picture of a beautiful dog. She looked at the number closely and thought to herself “Hmm, I think I know this number, but I can’t remember from where”. It suddenly dawned to her that it could be Angela. She rushed to switch on the light, got her book where she kept Angela and David’s numbers and went through it. When she compared the two numbers, she realized that it was David’s. Esther’s heart beat so fast. She took her phone and responded “Hello David is that you?”
David: Yes. Esther?
Esther: yes, it’s me Esther. So glad to read from you. How are you doing?
David: I am doing fine my dear friend. I miss u. so you are now on MatsApp? Lol
Esther: Yes I am. Hahaha. I know it’s WhatsApp.
David: I am so happy right now. When I saw that you are online, I hesitated thinking it’s your father. That is why I removed my display pic and put something else so that I could send u a msg. Can I call u?
Esther: Hahaha. Yes please u can call me
Esther was smiling. David called and they spoke for a very long time. Esther spoke in a low voice so as to avoid being heard by her parents who were already sleeping. David narrated to her how he had managed to get a short term job. Esther could not tell him about Jacob as she did not want to spoil the joy.
And so it was that Esther was engaged to Jacob. Her family was thanking God for the wonderful news. Elder Barnabas was more than excited as Jacob proved to him that he really wanted to spend his life with Esther: he would usually pass by their house and buy a lot of food stuffs and other items. He even went to the extent of buying fertilizer and seeds for their farm. He also bought quite a lot of items for Esther including handbags and nice long dresses. “I am only buying you these long dresses because of your father. Once we are together, you will need to start dressing sexy” Jacob would say. Esther accepted the gifts out of respect for her parents because she did not want them to think of her as a disobedient child. However, deep within her, she was not pleased with the situation. Jacob seemed to be too proud and authoritative to her. He never allowed her to express herself or her desires. Only his way seemed to matter to him.
Holidays were finally over and it was now time for Esther to return to the university. She was excited within her but pretended not to be. “Don’t worry my daughter. You will soon come back again. I know you’ll miss your fiancé, but since he has given you a phone, both of you can stay in touch.” Elder Barnabas said as they put the last suitcase in the pick-up that Jacob had brought. He had requested to drive Esther all the way to the university: a request granted gladly by Elder Barnabas. As they were about to leave, Esther’s mother called Esther by the side and said “My daughter, please take care of yourself and concentrate on your studies. I know that you are now engaged, but that should not stop you from following your dreams. You have a bright future ahead of you so don’t allow anything to distract you, not even Jacob. Go in peace” she said. Esther found this advice rather strange. She got into the car and off they went.
Jacob seemed to be so excited. He had packed a lot of groceries for Esther. He kept bragging about how he could take any car that he wanted from the Bank “…..so I just told the Fleet Manager to give me this particular pick-up because I need it to drive my baby back to university and he did it without any resistance because I am the boss mehn!” he said, chewing his chewing gum lousily. Esther listened to him with remorse. “Baby, this is going to be a very long journey, so you really need to be in the mood to talk, otherwise it will be too boring. So bring up a topic that you want us to discuss’ he said. Esther kept starring in front of her and finally said “Well, let’s talk about your university life, how was it?”. Jacob sneered “Oh please! That topic is too boring my friend. Let’s talk about the latest cars. There is one particular car I saw on the internet and I definitely need to consider buying it. It looks like a Range rover sports, but it is hard metal. If I drive that car around our area, people will literally faint. I have a good taste for cars. The one I currently have came all the way from the States. The first day I drove it in town, some ladies were asking for a ride. Hahaha. I just looked at them and went my way. I don’t hang out with local girls. That is why I even chose you among all the girls in our community. At least you are learned. What you need is just some extra training on how to dress like a learned person” Jacob said.
Esther, who was getting upset, said firmly “Well, you have to understand that money is not everything in life. There are things that are more important than money”. Jacob laughed so hard “You are a funny lady. I understand why you are saying this. It’s because you have not had the opportunity to have money. The day you will do, you will agree with me baby. Money is the most important thing in this world my dear. Without money, you and I cannot survive. Is it not money that made your father to send you to school? Am sure he wanted you to start working and earn a big salary. But his sorrow is over because God has sent me as a savior to your family. I will make sure that none of you lacks food to eat. Don’t worry baby, you will see” he said. Esther shook her head in dismay. The journey was indeed going to be very long with all the bragging.
When they were half way through the journey, Jacob drove to a motel that was by the road side. This motel served as a refreshing spot for travelers. “Let’s get something to eat before we continue” Jacob said. They got off and Jacob went to discuss with the receptionist. He took out some money from his pocket and made a payment. Esther thought he was paying for the food, but he got a key from the receptionist and called Esther. “My dear, I want us to relax in the room for at least an hour before we continue our journey. I have not driven such a long distance for so long, so I need to rest a bit. We can also eat our food there. It’s better than staying with all these people in the cafeteria. They are so dirty because of the dust. I hate bad smells” he said. Esther was not enthusiastic about this at all. “Well then, let me allow you to take your rest in the room, then I can stay at the cafeteria. I don’t mind staying there. I can ask the receptionist to wake you up in one hour”. Jacob fixed his eyes on her “What! You are not serious. How can you even think of such a thing? We are engaged for heaven’s sake and we need to be together” he said. He took Esther by the hand and took her to the room.
Esther sat down on the bed feeling so shy. She had never been in a hotel room before. The motel staff brought some food for them to eat. Jacob ate it like a hungry lion, while Esther ate slowly. After they had finished eating, Jacob removed his shirt and lay down on the bed. “Come and rest a bit” he said to Esther, pulling her by the hand. Esther shook her head and said “No, I am ok thanks”. Jacob insisted and pulled her with so much strength. Before Esther could even realize it, he was already on top of her. Esther couldn’t believe what was happening. “Stop it Jacob, stop it” she shouted. Jacob did not mind. He tried to unbutton Esther’s shirt with force, but Esther resisted him. He then said gently “Come on Esther you are now my wife and you need to allow me do what I want with you”. Esther pushed herself up and stood near the bed crying “What is wrong with you? Didn’t you hear what the elders said? Didn’t they ask us not to engage ourselves in sexual activities until the marriage is established?” she shouted.
Jacob sighed “Oh please, don’t allow old people to control your life. Who tells you that they did not engage in sexual activities before they got married? Everyone is doing it my dear, let no one deceive you” he said. Esther shouted “Well I don’t care who is doing it. I am not just anyone. I live the life that pleases me”.
“I know, I know. Ok my dear I am sorry for forcing you. But let me ask you politely to do it please. I promise I will give you 500 Dollars just for your upkeep for this month. And I will also get you a laptop. Please”
Esther shook her head and left the room in fury. She sat down near the reception, her heart panting in anger.
To be continued