I will never forget my decision on the 13th of April 20xx that led to the journey of bitterness in my life and marriage. I was a very simple and loving girl until I met Dayo. My mother warned me, but I never listened.
I thought I was in love, and love could overrule all shortcomings. I now agree with the adage that says, “what an elder will see while sitting down, a young person may not see even if he is standing on a tall tree”.
On the 13th of April, I brought Dayo to my mother to formally introduce him to her as my fiance. It was a Saturday morning and mother had been expectant since I told her I was bringing a special guest to see her. Her joy knew no bound when I told her of my plan to come home with Dayo. I had described the person of Dayo with mama.
How handsome and cute he was. Mama fell in love with Dayo even before she met him due to all I told mama about Dayo. The preparations for Dayo’s visit was like a woman expecting a king.
Which mother won’t be happy when her daughter is bringing a man of her choice to her; a Christian and a rich guy. Mama ensured she stocked the fridge and freezer with all manner of food and drinks just in preparation for Dayo’s visit.
At a time I was jealous because the preparation was just too much. I never had fear if mama will accept Dayo or not because every woman will like him even at first sight.
The long-awaited Dayo finally showed up. When I opened the door for him, I whispered to his ear, “mama will be happy to see you”. I was impressed with his outfit and I knew that will also impress mama because he was wearing white lace. White was mama’s favourite colour.
He bought many gifts for my mum, so we headed to his car to pick the items before joining mama in the sitting room.
“Mama, here is Dayo, my fiancé” I introduced my awaited man to mama. “Ekaro oko mi, “good morning my husband” my mother greeted Dayo.
“I have been waiting for you since my daughter told me you will be coming. I have prepared all manner of food and I want you to be free because this is your house. Please have your seat,” mama offered Dayo a seat.
“My son, what is your name? Mama asked Dayo. My name is Ekundayo Adeoye, Dayo replied.
Then mama looked at Dayo’s face, “Your name is Dayo? And you want to marry my daughter?”
“Yes mama,” Dayo replied with a smile. “I love her ma, and I will like to marry her” he added.
“That’s okay. Kemi offer him something to drink and join me in the kitchen now.” Mama said and headed to the kitchen. I was very happy that mama is flowing with Dayo.
I offered him orange juice and ran to join mama in the kitchen. When I met mama in the kitchen her countenance was not as good as it was when she left the sitting room. I was shocked seeing on my mum with a frowned face.
“Anything the matter mama?” I asked.
I was shocked with what mama told me in the kitchen.
“Kemi, you cannot marry that boy, not when I’m alive,” Mama said this in anger.
“But why mama?” I asked her.
“You obviously don’t know that boy you brought home to me” Mama sounded like she knew Dayo before now. Mama, do you know him? I asked mama.
“Whether I know him or not is irrelevant for now, I won’t open my eyes wide and allow my only daughter to marry that boy. Go and tell him to go away with his gifts, I don’t want them. He won’t see my face again before he leaves,” Mama left me in the kitchen for her room.
I followed her, “But mama you have not told me why I cannot marry Dayo.”
“At the right time, I will tell you. But he must go now before I lose my temper.” Mama’s voice began to go up.
So that Dayo won’t hear, I left to join him in the sitting room.
The most difficult thing to do was how to convey mama’s message to Dayo. In between mama’s room and the sitting room I wept bitterly. When I joined Dayo in the sitting room, he was agitated, knowing something was wrong. He looked at my face and held me tightly,
“What is the matter Kemi? Oh, I can guess, mama doesn’t like me right?”
It was a difficult question to answer. My tears became the answer to Dayo’s question. Dayo was bitter. He pleaded with me to let him go. I looked at my love being rejected by my mother as he walked away from me. I was grieved seeing him leave with his gifts.
I went back to mama, “Dayo is gone,” I said and my tears moved mama to tears too.
“Kemi, sit down here,” Mama ordered me to sit at her bedside. “I believe you know I love you and I will never allow you to enter into a marriage that will make you unhappy all your life. That boy is hot-tempered and he will kill you someday in anger,” Mama said.
“But you don’t even know him, how come you know he is hot-tempered?” I asked Mama.
“I know him, my daughter. Your father will not forgive me in heaven if I allow you to marry this boy. How long have you been together?” Mama asked.
“Two years,” I replied.
“And you don’t know he is hot-tempered?”
I kept mute because that was the only challenge I have with Dayo and I have been praying for him. I have seen him getting angry like thrice and his attitude was heartbreaking. But I could overlook it because I loved him and for the fact that no man is perfect.
“When your father was still alive, Samuel was sick and we were rushing him to the hospital in our car but because your father was under duress just to beat the traffic he mistakenly bashed the car in his front. The damage was minimal, just a scratch on his back bumper. He came out of his car and it was a young man.”
“Your dad came out and begged him, “please I am sorry my son, it was not intentional. I could call my mechanic to come to pick the car to his workshop for a repair.”
All your father’s plea fell on deaf ears as the young man began to rain terrible insults on your father. “You old fool, you think my car is like this your jalopy?”
“Sorry my son, I was rushing your younger brother to the hospital, hence I was in a hurry.”
“Who is my younger brother? To hell with him.”
At this time your dad was angry and asked the boy to do his worse. We were shocked when he went and grabbed an iron rod and broke our windscreen right in the presence of other commuters.
“One woman came out of her car and shouted at the boy, ” ‘how could you do this? Don’t you have elders in your family? ‘ “
“He became so angry and slapped that woman. When others saw what he did, they all came to take vengeance for us but your father begged them not to take laws into their hands.”
“He entered his car and zoomed off. By the time we got to the hospital, your brother gave up the ghost. If we had got to the hospital earlier, your brother would probably still be alive today. You see why you can’t marry this boy, that is the boy who killed your brother.”
The story broke my heart so deeply because I had come a long way with Dayo. Why must it be Dayo?
I wished this never happened. How will I quit a relationship that meant so much to me just like that? If I marry Dayo mama will never be happy with me all the days of her life.
I was really confused as love and hatred battled in the spirit. Who will win this battle, love or hatred? My man whom I love so much is the reason why my only brother could not make it to the hospital.
I had already gone deep with him whose anger sent my brother to his early grave. I am now in between two hard decisions to make – to leave Dayo and please mama or to marry him and displease my loving mother.
For a week, I didn’t pick Dayo’s calls nor return any. He sent me several text messages but I ignored them. I was boiling inside of me for the pain of losing a brother because my man was hot-tempered.
Dayo never gave up on me as he kept calling and sending SMS. A week later I decided to reply to his text message.
“Kemi, how are you today? Just checking on you”.
“I’m fine”, I replied. He was so excited seeing me replying his message after one week. Can I pick you up for a date tonight? He texted.
“6:30 pm,” I replied.
By 5:30 pm he was already waiting at our gate.
He called, “Kemi I am at your gate.”
I checked the time and it was 5:30pm.
“But we agreed for 6:30pm, why are you coming this early,” I queried.
“Don’t bother, take your time, I will be here waiting for you,” he said.
“Who was that?” Mama asked me.
“It’s Dayo, we are having a date.”
“No way, I had told you to leave that boy.”
“But mama that won’t be easy for me. I have not even discussed the story you shared with him yet. Let me go with him and relate the story you shared with me and see how he will react to it.”
Mama kept mute, not saying yes or no. I dressed up and joined Dayo in his car and we headed to a Chinese restaurant.
He placed the order, but I was not interested.
Food or drink was the last thing on my mind. I needed to confront him with mama’s story and hear him deny or accept. He noticed I wasn’t touching any of the things set on the table.
“Kemi, you’re not eating?”
“Dayo I’m not here to eat, I came here with a heavy heart and we need to talk.”
“Is it related to how your mother treated me the last time I came to your house? He asked.
“Yes, the reason why she doesn’t want us to be married.”
“I wouldn’t want this good moment to be affected, can’t we discuss that later?” He pleaded.
I took my bag to walk away when he took me by the hand, “please don’t go. We can discuss it, I am all ears.”
“Can you remember what happened on the 2nd of September, 19xx at about 4pm along Ahmadu Bello Way? A day a young man’s car was bashed by an elderly man and the young man got angry and smashed the old man’s windscreen? Can you remember a day a young man slapped a married woman who came in defence of an old man being harassed by a young man? Can you remember…”
“Stop!” he screamed at me. “Who told you all these?”
“That old man was my late dad, the woman with him was my mother and the boy they were taking to the hospital was my only brother who died just when they arrived at the hospital.”
He was dumbfounded for several seconds while he buried his head down.
To be continued…
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