By Dorcas Onuh for Access Bank The W Community #TheWInkChallenge
“We are in love. And he is very good to me since I came here”
This was it. He is the only man I have ever introduced to very traditional parents and I felt relieved to be letting it out in the open. I thought to myself as I engaged my mother in another of her lecture about men and getting married. I held the phone, carefully away from my ears as her voice became thinner.
“Kodi, what time is it in Canada right now” This was not the response I was expecting after I finally have found someone to tell her off on her lectures to go find a husband.
“8 pm, why?”
“You said the time difference is six hours, okwa ya?”
“Okay. Can you believe that I am sitting in my car parked in front of the house right now?”
I opened my eyes widely as the implication of what she may be trying to tell me hit home. But I dreaded my own question.
“Why haven’t you gone inside? Isn’t it like 2pm right now over there?”
“It is” And she started to sob and her words became muddled up. “Can you believe daddy locked me out of the house because he saw me chatting too long with my male customer earlier today. Kodi, you needed to have seen how he made a big deal of his false accusations at me”
“What is this now!” I hissed, very irritated. I was tired of another complaint about my father.
“Kodi, I am tired. I am very tired. I can’t imagine how I can continue life like this in this hell”. I thought it would end with the embarrassing fights at my shop. But here I am, locked out of my own house. O gwa Chekube to make sure I don’t get into the house.”
A tear appeared in my eyes, as I started to break into emotions. “I am so sorry mummy. I wish I was there.” I felt a pang of guilt again. Each time she cried to me about the common abuse my father inflicts on her, for so sensible reason, I wish painfully that I’d not left Nigeria.
“I am telling you Kodi. Don’t end up like me. Like this. Don’t marry the wrong man” She switched topics again inexpertly.
“But mummy, you just told me, like every other day that I am getting too old to be single and needed to settle down. In your words–to go and get married and leave book alone”
“I know what I said, Kodi. I na a nu ihe. Just listen to me! A lifetime with the wrong man is hell”
“But mummy, he really loves me. He said he would come beg for my hand in marriage with the 1% chance he’s got”.
“Forget that thing! Men will chase what they want with their last pound of fresh. As soon as they have you, that’s it. What kind of person is he? Look at the family he is from, they are too broken Kodi’m”
I became confused. Had she built up my sympathy so I would reconsider my interests in marrying Abdullah. I understand clearly that Abdullah and I are from very different backgrounds and him being from a broken polygamous raised a few concerns but what about the fact that we love each other. I have always imagined myself as someone with a fairly good judgement; but could it be that I am making decisions out of desperation. I am not getting any younger and Abdullah have been taking proper of my needs since I arrived into the country. I recall when I was initially planning my entry into the country, my friend had warmed me to hitch my man down in Nigeria or else, I was coming in here to hug my duvet for a very long spinster life. I was so relieved to have captured his attention, let alone had him give me the keys to his apartment. This was it. I could see my wedding bells ringing.
“Kodi, are you hearing me? Are you sleeping with him?”
“Yes mummy. Uh!? I don’t know what you are talking about. He is just very good to me. I feel like it was when I mentioned to you that he was from the North that you suddenly had a change of mind about him”
“North or South or Nothing. I don’t have a good feeling about this one. I have prayed very hard about your future husband. I am yet to get the revelation from God. Are you sleeping with him?”
I held myself from rolling my eyes. “Are you still outside?”
“Don’t change the subject young lady. I know you are, and this is why your judgement is clouded. Have you prayed about it?”
“I go to Sunday mass and pray about everything there is to pray for”
“That is not enough! You need to be pray about it, so that God will direct your path to your own husband”
“But mummy, he said he will come beg for my hand in marriage. He loves me.”
“Pray to God to give you your own husband very soon. You are not getting any younger, you have to take this very seriously. Tell Abdullah you want to face your book and you are not ready for that now” She started to sob again… I became confused but didn’t respond.
“Kodi, I promised myself that none of my children will suffer through this rubbish marriage that I am in with your father. Today, it’s one other woman affair, tomorrow it’s that I am cheating accusations. Another day it is that I should sell my shop, that I am becoming too arrogant because of it”
“…he wants you to sell your shop?” I SCREAMED.
“That’s not the point I am trying to make Kodi. I na a nu ihe!”
I didn’t know what to say.
“I know you are confused. Pray to God to direct you to your own husband” She hung up.
I stared at my phone screen, completely confused.