Friday, March 22

Diary of a Port Harcourt Housewife

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Harrison and Odien’s romance was off and on. One minute they were wildly in love, the next minute Odien was swearing she would never talk to him again. 

We thought it was over for good when Harrison went for Youth Service at Sokoto State. He completely stopped communicating with her, besides there were no GSM phones back then. 

Odien graduated from UI went for her service year in Abuja. 

I remember how she told us they reunited again. She was at Port Harcourt airport waiting to catch a flight back to Abuja. Her flight had just been announced and as she walked up to join the queue to board the flight, she heard her name. 

It was Harrison, and that was the beginning of another phase of their romance. He took it as a sign again that they were meant to be together forever. He swore he would never hurt her, told her he had changed and no longer womanized.

He had everyone fooled, Odien believed him, we all believed him, everyone except Aunty Kuku and my oldest brother. 

In retrospect, I think we all had that nagging fear and doubt, that small voice that also told us it was a mistake but we allowed sentiments rule over logic and reason. 

I think Odien thought she could tame him and make him completely hers. Perhaps it was the desire to conquer his heart that drove her into marrying him. 

As though reading my thoughts she said, 

“I thought I could love him enough to make him change. Now I realise that no one can make a man change except he decides by himself to change. Do you know that even having HIV hasn’t stopped him from womanizing? I wonder how many other girls he would have infected by now.”

“Odi, what’s the way forward? I can only imagine your pain but we must focus on you staying healthy.”

“I am tired of taking the drugs, so I have been praying. A friend introduced me to one prophet and I have been carrying out the assignments and praying.”

“Wait a minute, you mean you abandoned your retroviral drugs completely?!”

“Is prayer not stronger than any medicine?” I will still die eventually so it’s better I spend more time praying.”

I looked at my cousin in utter disbelief, I realized she has a lot to contend with and one of the major thing was her mindset which translates to her attitude towards the illness.

She needed to win the battle over her mind if she had to survive this illness. She needed to decide that this isn’t the end of the road for her that there was hope for her to live and to be healthy.

I wasn’t comfortable with this talk about a prophet and assignments. Not like I don’t believe in prayers but to completely abandon her drugs wasn’t simply cutting it for me. 

“Odi please I want to beg you to do something for yourself. You need to resume taking your drugs, you can still continue with your prayers but please you need to start taking those drugs again.”

Belema, you don’t understand, the prophet told me this is a spiritual attack. He said Harrison is just being used as a tool by the enemy. Our prayers are not just against the sickness but to deliver my husband from evil entanglements.”

“It still shouldn’t prevent you from taking those drugs Odi! “

Now I remember that beneath Odien’s calm demeanor was a very stubborn person. It was hard to change her mind once she believed in something. Little wonder she married Harrison.

“The prophet has helped many people in similar situations and today they’re OK. I paid him some money to do cleansing, deliverance, fasting and prayers for 21 days. We’re half way through and my husband is changing little by little.”

Dear Diary, this is beyond me. I have decided that my cousin needs an intervention. I will have to get the whole family involved. Prophets and paying money for prayers was all shades of wrong…..

Ibiwari Perrin-Oglafa 2019®©


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