Wine, Sisterhood & Shared Frustration
Pastor Fiifi looked at his wife and the other two women in surprise. “Mary! What is the meaning of this?”
“It is not their fault. For what it’s worth, they tried to stop me,” Rosie defended the others. “I’m sorry for the interruption, Pastor Fii, but I’m looking for my husband.”
“Can’t it wait? We’re in the middle of something important.”
“I’m afraid it can’t,” Rosie assured him with a tight smile.
Nana Adjoa inched forward. “We’re sorry for the disturbance. Can you give this to Pastor Paul, please? He asked me to bring it, but I was waiting for him to come out when he is able,” she apologised, giving the notebook to him.
“Please tell my husband that I’m waiting to see him before I leave,” Rosie requested with a tight smile.
Pastor Fiifi left without acknowledging his wife again, closing the door quietly behind him. A few seconds later, the door opened again and Deacon Kofi came out. “Rosie!” He stared at his wife in surprise.
“You promised me to be home by 1 pm so that we could attend Samira’s wedding lunch. It is almost 4 pm! And I tried calling you but you didn’t pick up any of my calls. Why didn’t you let me go by myself then if you’re going to be stuck in church activities as usual?” She complained, her voice bitter.
Mary and Nana Adjoa watched in awe, impressed by her gumption.
“I’m sorry, Rosie. We were waiting for Reverend Akrong. He came in just an hour ago.”
“You could have called me, then. I would have gone by myself. I am tired of you not having time for anything but church. When was the last time we spent any quality time together, Kofi?”
“Sister Rosie,” Reverend Akrong interrupted, coming out to see what the commotion was about. “The work of a man of God is very important. Everything else comes second. A lot of sacrifices must be made to bring God’s people to Him. You’re new to being the wife of a Man of God. You will understand with time.”
“Indeed, Reverend?” she responded in a tone that made it clear that she didn’t relish the idea at all.
“Perhaps you could learn from Sister Mary and Sister Nana Adjoa, and my wife as well when she has the time. They have been extremely supportive. Your husband tells me that you struggle with long prayers.”
Rosie smiled tightly at her husband, who had the grace to look guilty. “Did he now?”
“There is no shame in that, Sister Rosie. We all learn from each other in the house of God.”
Rosie smiled as an idea formed in her head. “You know what? You’re right. Sister Mary and Sister Nana Adjoa, would you kindly visit me at my house? I would love to hear about your experiences and learn from them. I’ve had this burning desire to get on my knees for some time now, but I’ve been having trouble making it happen. Perhaps you could teach me some divine prayer methods that will work for a Man of God’s wife.”
Reverend Akrong clapped his hands. “Wonderful. Ladies, do help your sister out, would you?”
As they chorused “Yes, Reverend”, Reverend Akrong motioned for Deacon Kofi, who didn’t seem convinced by his wife’s easy acquiescence, to return to the meeting. Throwing one last, concerned look at Rosie, who just watched him with a suspiciously sweet smile, he preceded Reverend Akrong back into the meeting room.
The three of them stared at each other after the room closed.
“I meant what I said, Sisters. This will surely be a better way to spend time,” Rosie told the other women, thinking about how to broach the subject she actually wanted to discuss with them. They seemed like very conservative women, and she didn’t want to shock them too much. However, she was desperate, and out of the other Pastor’s wives, these two had been the most friendly and welcoming. Rosie had always been a good judge of character, which was how she knew she could talk to these women.
Mary hesitated. “I’m…I’m not sure. My husband prefers that I wait…”
“That may be true, my dear Sister Mary, but this is a special occasion. We’re going to help Sister Rosie with her prayers. And Reverend Akrong suggested it. I don’t think Pastor Fii expects you to ignore the Reverend’s suggestions,” Nana Adjoa cajoled. She was fascinated by Rosie and eager to see her house. Deacon Kofi and Rosie lived in a beautiful three-bedroom house just three blocks away from the church. Nana Adjoa was brimming with excitement at the possibility of seeing inside the house she had wanted to see ever since Rosie and Deacon Kofi had moved in a month ago.
“Okay, fine. Let’s go,” Mary finally agrees, much to the delight of the other two.
They walked to the house in companionable silence, only speaking when someone hailed them. Rosie unlocked the black iron gate and let them into the compound. The house was painted white and grey, with dark reflective windows and a compound filled with flower pots housing flowers of different sizes and colours.
Rosie unlocked the front entrance and let them into a sumptuous hall that was possibly the most modern in the whole Keseba town.
“Welcome, Sisters. Apart from some Pastors from church, you’re the first visitors here since we moved in. I wanted to throw a housewarming party, but Kofi wouldn’t let me invite my friends so I just cancelled the whole thing. No way I’m throwing a party with only members from his church.”
The other women didn’t know how to respond.
“Thank you,” Mary said awkwardly.
“Please sit,” Rosie invited, pretending not to notice Nana Adjoa gawking at the elegant room with its white, cream, and gold-themed decor.
“Can I get you anything? Water? Soft drinks? There’s also wine.’
Rosie saw Mary’s eyes light with interest before she shook her head. “No alcohol, please. Water or juice is fine.”
“You have alcohol here?” Nana Adjoa asked, surprised.
“You sound surprised,” Rosie said as she went into the kitchen to fetch three glasses, a bottle of red wine, and a box of Ceres Grape Juice.
“I didn’t think any of the Pastors drank alcohol. Kofi is a deacon, but he will be a Pastor soon,” Nana Adjoa responded.
Rosie shrugged and poured two glasses of wine, handing one to a torn Nana Adjoa before passing the juice and the third glass to Mary. She had seen the spark of interest in the wine in Mary’s eyes, but Rosie didn’t want to push her just yet.
“Well, we’re not pastors, are we?” She demanded before taking a generous sip of her wine.
Nana Adjoa stared at the drink in her hand. It had been so long and she had been craving a drink for a long minute, but she was afraid of her husband’s reaction.
“If you don’t like wine, that’s okay. You don’t have to drink it,” Rosie assured her.
Nana Adjoa stared longingly at the drink. “No, I want to. It’s just that it has been so long. I stopped drinking because my husband didn’t like me drinking.”
Rosie regarded the older woman. “Do you get drunk and misbehave when you drink?
Nana Adjoa was scandalised. “Of course not!”
“Then what is the problem?”
“My husband thinks that–”
“Even Jesus turned water into wine. Is Pastor Paul saying that he knows better than Jesus?” Rosie interrupted before taking another sip of her wine to punctuate.
Nana Adjoa didn’t know how to respond to that.
“I’m surprised Deacon Kofi allows you to drink,” Mary marvelled, drinking her juice while longing for wine.
Rosie snorted. “He doesn’t allow anything. He knew I liked the occasional glass of wine before marrying me. I’m not about to stop just because he’s pursuing a Pastoral career. I’m not making my whole life about him and his calling. I warned him that I couldn’t be a Pastor’s wife, but he claimed I didn’t have to change. So here we are.” She sipped more of her wine.
Mary suddenly remembered the reason they were there and placed her half-full glass of juice on the side table. “Sister Rosie, about the prayers you need–”
“It’s just the three of us here. Can we please drop the ‘sister’s? It’s tedious.”
Mary and Nana Adjoa glanced at each other.
“Very well, Rosie. But it just occurred to me that perhaps drinking wine before prayer isn’t the best idea,” Mary mentioned with a pointed look at Nana Adjoa, who dropped her glass guiltily on the side table as well.
Rosie snorted. “I don’t need your help with prayer. Didn’t we pray enough at church today? Didn’t you pray when you woke up? Won’t you pray before you sleep? Don’t you pity God sometimes? All those prayers must get tiring.”
The older women were speechless.
” –you’ve been craving to get on your knees,” Nana Adjoa finished for Mary.
“Yes, I do crave to be on my knees, but not to pray to the Holy Spirit.”
Mary’s eyes widened. “Are you worshipping other gods?”
Rosie rolled her eyes. She had thought the women would have caught her drift by now, but since it was obvious that they hadn’t, she tried again. “I want to be on my knees worshipping at the altar of my husband’s divine sword.”
“What? Your husband has a sword?” Mary gasped.
“Is he forming his own church?” Nana Adjoa demanded.
Rosie groaned in frustration. “Oh for fuck’s sake, what I mean is that I want to suck my husband’s dick!”