There were loud whispers in church. The congregants had different versions of the story. If they were a gambling community, they would have placed wagers on who had the story right. The Pastor was preaching when she walked through the door. The church door sounded so loud, seeing as everyone else was seated and listening to the word. The First Lady turned pale, and the Pastor stammered. The woman started making her way to the front of the church.
As though on instruction, the security guards pounced on her and dragged her outside. She wasn’t going to leave silently. The presence of the guards had only served to agitate her.
“First Lady I will tell everyone. You will regret humiliating me to everyone!” Screamed the woman.
“Sometimes the devil sends strong agents,” said the Pastor as he tried to calm the congregation down.
The congregants were talking now. The brave ones were outside trying to get the story from the woman who had just been dragged out. The First Lady looked at her husband, the Pastor, as though asking him to do something about the situation.
“Church, can I have your attention? I know there have been rumours going around the past couple of weeks. I want to assure you that there is no truth to it. While we want to accommodate everyone in our community, some people want more, resulting in cheap tactics like blackmail to move ahead in life. We shall not bow to that. What is that they say in the movies? We shall not negotiate with terrorists,” Pastor joked. Part of the congregation laughed, and they proceeded with the day’s activities.
The Pastor and the First Lady couldn’t wait to be alone.
“I think they bought that explanation,” said the First Lady.
“They are not fools. I felt stupid giving that flimsy explanation,” the Pastor responded angrily.
“We need to pay off that woman to keep her silent,” responded the First Lady.
“You should have thought about that before getting involved with one of your congregants,” he said.
“Michael, do not even throw the blame on me. You know I did it for us, for our family,” the First Lady whispered loudly as though she feared someone was eavesdropping. She was correct; a group of church leaders was outside the door waiting to talk to them.
There was a junior pastor, the leader of worship and the person in charge of the church’s finances. The looks on their face announced their bad news.
“You need to see this. A popular blogger has put it up,” said the worship leader. She passed the phone to the Pastor and the First Lady.
The heading read, “Celebrated First Lady of city’s megachurch in a long-term affair with a congregant.” The First Lady nearly passed out when she saw photos of her and the male congregant. The pictures were a bit blurry, but anyone who knew her could make her out. The story also details how the First Lady had gotten children with the said congregant behind her husband’s back. She had further blackmailed the fiancé to the male congregant when she discovered everything with excommunication from the church and physical harm.
The Pastor left the room once he saw the details on the internet. His actions made those present believe that the First Lady was the only one to blame for the horrible deeds. No words were spoken, but you could tell that everyone in that room except the First Lady viewed the Pastor as a victim of a philandering woman. Disgust was written on their faces. They looked at the First Lady like she was shedding crocodile tears.
“Pastor, Pastor how can we help?” Asked the worship leader.
“Thank you, Chebet but I need a moment to myself,” he responded.
The church leaders left the First Lady alone in the room. She sat there crying. It looked like she was crying because she had been caught; little did they know she had a more significant decision to make. She wondered whether to tell her side of the story. It would justify why she had cheated, and some of the women would sympathize with her, but it would embarrass her husband, the Pastor. Some would also feel like she had a duty to protect her husband and resent her for dragging him down with her. She looked up as though waiting for a divine sign.
The Pastor walked in and closed the door. He looked at her and walked around.
“Your pacing is making me dizzy,” said the First Lady.
“Have you told anyone anything?” the Pastor asked her.
“If you’re asking if I have responded to the press, I haven’t,” she responded.
“No, you know what I am talking about,” the Pastor said, looking at her.
Until that moment, the First Lady hadn’t thought she could feel any worse, but her husband’s words felt like a stab to the heart by a man she had given everything for—including her dignity.
“What are you saying Michael?” She asked the Pastor.
“You know what I am talking about,” he responded.
“You knew all along but you watched me torture myself thinking I was the problem?” She asked him as tears choked her.
“I am the head of a mega-church and a man, I didn’t know how to tell you,” he responded.
“I am your wife. You watched as your family and friends blamed me for our childlessness for years and said nothing?” She asked him.
There was a moment of silence between them. The First Lady felt betrayed. The Pastor looked like a person caught with his hand in the cookie jar but struggled to justify it.
“When did you learn about Joel?” The First Lady asked the Pastor.
“I didn’t know him by name but I knew you had cheated when you told me that you were pregnant.”
“Why didn’t you say something?” she asked him.
“I saw the guilt on your face. The child also solved so many of our problems. The fatherhood status gained me more respect. I didn’t think you would keep seeing Joel after the first child. I expected you would be careful not get caught, which was clearly an oversight on my end,” the Pastor said.
“You want to blame me for getting caught? I have guarded your secret for years. I assume you want me to take the blame for this too, right?”
“Please, don’t tell the world that I can’t sire. There is no need to tell that part of the story. We can salvage the little reputation we have left if we leave things as they are,” the Pastor begged her.
“It is always about you Michael. What about the kids? Are they just props in your show?” The First Lady asked before she slammed the door and left him.
The church leaders were outside whispering. The First Lady didn’t know how much they had overheard. After realizing that the Pastor had known all along, something changed. She had to decide what was best for her. She knew the Pastor would recover from the scandal because men always do. What was clear was that she would never return to being the First Lady.
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