Four married, small-town women with very religious husbands bond over their mutual shared sexual frustration and meet under the guise of prayer meetings to discuss ways to derive sexual satisfaction from their conservative husbands.
Chapter 1 (Part 1) – Wine, Sisterhood & Shared Frustration
The group started purely by accident. Sister Mary, who usually stayed behind at church every Sunday after service to wait for her husband Pastor Fiifi – affectionately called Pastor Fii – to finish his meetings, was sitting in her usual spot a few seats away from the meeting room when Sister Nana Adjoa walked in. She stopped when she saw her friend Mary.
“Good afternoon, Mary. Are they still at it?”
Mary sighed and muttered “Unfortunately,” before she could stop herself. She knew that her husband’s work at church was very important, but she was tired of waiting every day for four to six hours while he and his colleagues had meetings discussing the same issues and praying for hours– and right after church service too! Outwardly, she tried to show contentment and joy as she fulfilled her role as a wife supportive of her husband’s ministry, but sometimes, it could be tedious, and her frustration leaked out– like it just did.
She regretted it immediately, but it was too late. Nana Adjoa’s eyes widened in surprise for a moment before she chuckled. Mary was the epitome of the perfect Pastor’s wife. In fact, her husband Pastor Paul had more than once used Mary as a comparison and urged Nana Adjoa to be more like her friend. “See your friend, Sister Mary,” he would say, “She is very supportive of Pastor Fiifi. She never complains when he has to do God’s work no matter the time, and she is always with him. Why can’t you be like her?”
Nana Adjoa would have resented Mary for all the times she had been compared to her, except that she felt sorry for Mary. Her whole life revolved around her husband and his ministry, and she had no life outside of that. At least Nana Adjoa still operated her Chop Bar. Mary was a housewife and her husband’s handbag. Still, she had believed Mary to be somewhat content with her lot, so to hear her allude that she may be less than happy with her situation got Nana Adjoa’s attention.
Perhaps she was just having a bad day, she thought. To test the waters, Nana Adjoa said mildly, “You do so well for Pastor Fii, but I know that it can be a bit tiring, right?”
Mary was torn between keeping up appearances and jumping at the opportunity to talk to someone who could commiserate with her on her situation. She loved God, and she understood the importance of her husband’s work at the church, but she was tired. She was tired of the constant prayer and fasting, the lack of romance in her marriage, and the constant spending of time at church. She was bored with her life and her marriage, and most of all, she was sexually frustrated. She couldn’t even take care of herself because she felt too guilty to masturbate. The last time her husband had caught her two years ago, he had launched into a long sermon about the sins of the flesh. The part that annoyed her the most was that he had chanced upon her right as she had been on the edge of her climax. When she confronted him with the fact that she wouldn’t have to take care of herself if he would take their sex life as seriously as he took his morning devotion, Pastor Fii launched into another sermon about the perils of blasphemy.
“Ah, Nana Adjoa. I’m tired, oo,” she finally responded as she remembered that incident.
Although she hadn’t said much, Mary felt some relief after voicing her feelings, which made her finally understand the power of sharing your problems.
Nana Adjoa had suspected that Mary may be discontent, but hearing her admit it surprised her. However, she was glad to have another woman who could relate to her dilemma. She opened her mouth to admit her own challenges as a Pastor’s wife when the church door slammed open into the adjoining wall. They both turned to watch as the newcomer flounced in with what could only be described as an angry and determined expression on her face as she marched forward. She was wearing a long, stylish flowery blue dress with slits at both sides up to her knee, and a bone-straight wig trailed at her back almost to her waist. As usual, her makeup was immaculately done, and her heels clicked against the tiles as she walked in. She paused, losing her angry momentum momentarily when she spotted the two women.
“Hello, Sister Rosie,” Mary greeted when she was near.
“Ei, Sister Mary, and Sister Nana Adjoa. Are you still here?” Rosie asked, surprised to find them there still in the church clothes they had been wearing earlier at church.
“I always wait for my husband, dear,” Mary told the younger woman, who looked bemused. “Really? Why? The church closed almost five hours ago. Or did you have some meetings yourself?”
Rosie was new to the church, having married Deacon Kofi just four months earlier. At twenty-five, she was younger than the other two women by almost ten years. She seemed likeable enough even though she didn’t particularly fit into the image of a deacon’s wife at the Divine Intervention Church. The other two didn’t know what to make of her.
“Well,” Mary responded, “It’s part of my duty as a Pastor’s wife to support him in every way that can make his service to God easier. Pastor Fii likes to have me around during his meetings at church.”
“Does he?” Rosie asked, genuinely perplexed. “Isn’t it boring to sit here just waiting? Don’t you have other things to do? It’s not as if you’re going to be in the actual meeting. How exactly does he benefit from you sitting here for hours just waiting for him to finish whatever it is that he, my husband and Sister Nana Adjoa’s husband discuss for more than four hours with Reverend Akrong and the rest?”
“Well…my presence…” Mary stammered, unable to find a logical answer to the frankly asked question.
“Her presence motivates and encourages her husband,” Nana Adjoa answered to rescue her friend, even though she didn’t believe what she said and felt slightly stupid saying it.
Rosie huffed in disbelief. “If you say so. Do you also wait for Pastor Paul every Sunday?”
“Not always,” Nana Adjoa said, flushing. “I had a welfare meeting today, but I went home afterwards to bring him a notebook he left behind when we were coming to church this morning. I was just waiting for him to come out and fetch it.” She waved a small notebook.
“Well. I hope Kofi is not expecting me to wait here for him every Sunday after he becomes a Pastor because I can’t do it,” Rosie stated bluntly. Then, not wanting the others to take offence, she added, “No offence to you though. More grease to your elbows and all that.”
Mary could hardly blame Rosie for her position, considering what she and Nana Adjoa had just been discussing.
“None taken. What brought you here?” she asked Rosie.
Rosie’s expression returned mutinous as she remembered her purpose at the church. “It has been four hours! Kofi promised me that he would close early today so that we could attend my friend’s wedding lunch. I waited and waited and he ignored all my calls! We missed the wedding itself yesterday because of church activities. We’re going to miss the wedding lunch too because of church activities! And he wouldn’t let me go by myself.”
“Oh, I’m so sorry. That is the life of a Pastor’s wife, I fear.” Mary tried to sympathise, but that only agitated Rosie further.
“Well, this isn’t what I signed up for, and I’m going to let him know now.”
“Sister Rosie! You can’t just interrupt them there!” Nana Adjoa rushed after her when Rosie marched toward the meeting room where the Pastors were.
“Well, he should have picked up my calls then, shouldn’t he?” she threw back before knocking on the heavy wood door.
“You can’t interrupt them. They may be praying,” Mary admonished, having come after the other women.
“Honestly, right this moment, I don’t care,” Rosie assured them. “This is the fourth time in four months this kind of thing is happening, and I’m tired.” She knocked again and kept knocking rudely until the door opened.