“I am sorry Kemi, it was the devil that took over me that day. I know I’ve got a hot temper but I love you and that’s what matters now. Give me a chance to make it up to your family for the wrong I did to your late father and your family. I just need a chance to prove my love to you…”
“Sorry for the death of your brother, of course, if I knew the boy was in critical condition that day, I may not have reacted the way I did. I am truly sorry.”
He was truly remorseful in his words and actions but mama won’t accept that for the soul of her only son.
“This anger in me was inherited from my late grandfather. From history, he was said to be cruel whenever he was angry. He could do anything to anyone if he is angry. I remember my dad too was hot-tempered but he could control himself many times because he was a respected elder in the church. I have seen him breaking glasses and gadgets whenever he was angry. His anger will only subside after he must have destroyed something or seen blood.”
“My grandmother told us many stories about our late grandfather when he was alive. He had a slave girl he bought from slave trade who became pregnant under his roof. We learnt he was so angry that he used a hot knife to puncture the girl’s stomach in an attempt to abort the pregnancy. Her intestine gushed out and she bled until she died.”
“In another occasion, he caught a man sleeping with his daughter on his farm. He arrested the man and tired him on a mango tree for 5 days without food and water. On the fifth day, his anger was not pacified so he set the man ablaze while he was hanging on the mango tree. He died screaming and wallowing in pain.”
“The third incident happened between him and his last wife. She was pregnant with twins when they had a misunderstanding with grandpa, the misunderstanding led to a serious fight between them, he beat her until she went into a coma for three days. By the time she regained consciousness, she had lost her twins of seven months and two weeks.”
“The incidence really pained her so much she became isolated and depressed. She never recovered again from this pain. On the day she was to die, she placed curses on my grandfather and his descendants.”
“If you leave me because of my temper, we will go our separate ways and both get married to people we don’t love. No man is totally perfect, not you nor me. We are all work in progress in the hand of our maker. Posterity will not forgive you if you don’t give me a chance to make it up to your family and correct my wrong.”
Dayo’s words were touching but they failed to heal my wound. The wound of knowing who contributed to sending my only brother to his early grave.
The battle between love and hatred within me became more tensed. Dayo is now a Christian and a new creature in Christ.
Even if he killed my brother directly, he still deserved to be forgiven considering how much God had forgiven us all.
But how am I going to convince mama that Dayo is a changed person? What will Dayo do to erase the pain of her late son in her heart? Will this relationship ever lead to marriage?
Should I just walk away or stick to the man I love and damn the consequences? If I die, I die. I will marry Dayo, I made up my mind. I know I will surely get this really hard with mama but I had made up my mind and I will marry Dayo.
I remember how mama used to tell us how poor my dad was when they met and how many of her friends discouraged her from marrying such a wretched man like my dad.
But she believed in him, married him and things changed for the better after some years. I will remind mama of this story if she insists I should not marry Dayo.
“Mama, Dayo did not deny all you said about him. But he’s now a changed man. He is born again and filled with the Holy Ghost. He is no more the man who broke your windscreen. We have sinned and done more terrible things against God but he forgave us even when we never deserved forgiveness.” I preached to mama. “The only thing that will make me happy is to marry Dayo. I love him and I will marry him.”
Mama sighed deeply after my speech. “Kemi, oun ton be leyin efa oju meje lo”, she spoke a proverb in Yoruba meaning “What is after six is more than seven”. Since you have made up your mind to marry him, I will not object because I want you to be happy. But I will advise you to take the time to think about your decision. I may be here today with you but I will surely not be with you forever. Love is a strong force but sometimes to draw a clear line between love and infatuation is a bit difficult.”
She gave her permissive consent. Her countenance was not good even when she seemed to have given me the go ahead.
“Can Dayo come and see you by the weekend?” I asked mama.
“He is welcome.”
I was very happy with the development. I called Dayo to break the news to him.
” Mama is happy with you and will be expecting you by the weekend.”
He was glad to hear that. “What did you do that changed your mother’s mind towards me?” Dayo asked me.” You are superwoman. I can’t wait for the weekend. I wish tomorrow is the weekend.” He said in excitement.
We got wedded on the 17th of May 20xx and the first month of our marriage was heaven on earth.
Marriage wouldn’t have been better than what we experienced as a new couple. We travelled to Dubai for a week of honeymoon characterized by dining, wining, sex, shopping, playing games, watching movies and sleeping.
This was the first time in my life that I will wake in the morning and not think of house chores. It was a really nice experience with Dayo.
He gave me everything I wanted and those things I never asked for. I was proud to update mama daily about how Dayo has been treating me. She was grateful to God for my testimonies about my marriage.
We returned back to Nigeria on the 24th of May and we arrived Lagos, His brother came to pick us from the airport with a brand new car. We got home and met some of his friends and family members.
“Hello everyone, I am delighted to present my first special gift to my dear wife.” He collected the car key from his brother and handed it over to me right in the presence of his friends and family members.
They all clapped cheering him celebrating my car with champagne. I felt good and on top of the world. Dayo was the best choice I ever made in life, I muttered that within me.
I took the key and went on my knees as a typical Yoruba lady to thank my husband. He put his hands on my shoulders and lifted me up. Even though I am a shy woman I didn’t know when my lips grabbed his and I kissed him passionately right in front of our guests.
It was a happy moment.
Mama had been battling with diabetes and high blood pressure. Every day I called mama, I will always end my calls with, “Have you taken your drugs”. Dayo became inquisitive, “what is wrong with mama?” He asked after I finished talking with mama.
“Mama is diabetic and also hypertensive,” I told him.
“Okay, we will see her tomorrow after church,” Dayo promised.
After service on Sunday, he took me to go and see their senior pastor, pastor Jerry. He prayed for us and advised us to be tolerant of each other.
He made a statement in his counsel that I wished he never made. “Marriage is always rosy at the beginning but challenges will show up later. Be prepared for rough times”.
In my mind, I prayed and rejected that part of the counsel. My marriage will be different, I assured myself.
After seeing pastor Jerry, we drove to mama’s place. She already knew we were coming so she made us pounded yam with egusi soup.
We ate and played with mama throughout the day. As we were preparing to leave Dayo whispered to me, “Let’s fly mama outside the country for medical attention.”
“That will be nice dear,” I whispered back.
“Are you people planning a coup against me, mama asked jokingly.”
“Yes mama, we had planned a coup against you,” Dayo replied mama. “We will be taking you to India for medical attention next month. I will arrange for your international passport and visa next week.”
Mama was happy and began to pray for Dayo.
To crown my joy, I missed my period the following month. I took in a month after my wedding. What more can I ask for? I became the happiest woman on earth.
It was hard when Dayo resumed work after his one month leave expired. I was lonely staying in our big mansion all alone from 7:30pm to 6pm every day but Sundays.
I had enjoyed Dayo’s company so much that hours of separation seems like years of separation.
To be continued…
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