Life!

Hi guys! this is a short story written by my lovely sister and upcoming writer, Gbenga Oti. Enjoy! She would appreciate your kind thoughts too, there just might be a sequel.
……
I had waited so long for the day when I would walk down the aisle, with my arms locked into my fathers’ and my eyes set on the man I love. Everything was going as planned, the venue was booked and invitations were sent out.
He travelled for a business meeting. The meeting was successful, I was speaking to him as he was about to board a bus back to Germany, all of a sudden the line went dead and his mobile phone was switched off. I found this very strange as he never switches off his phone, maybe his battery died. An hour later, my mind went into overdrive, flooding itself with multiple scenarios of what could have happened, none of which were good.
The days that followed were tortuous; it is commonly said that “it’s better for someone to die than go missing”, then I understood, you grieve everyday hoping that they will return. I couldn’t sleep, eat or concentrate on my work. I contacted the Embassy and the police in Sweden; I got the standard reply “we are working on it”, this was really frustrating. I could not just sit around and do nothing, what if he had been kidnapped, but why wasn’t anyone calling for a ransom, was he dead? but NO that cannot be. A week later, my phone rang, it was HIM, he said he would be back and the line went dead. He was alive, that was good enough for me.
Then again, two weeks of silence, I could not contact him. I began to worry again; at this point the date of our wedding had passed by, my dream wedding was in shambles, my man nowhere to be found.
A month later, the embassy finally responded, he was arrested for paying for a bus ticket for some men he had just met over lunch. These men were illegal immigrants (unknown to him), his story was verified. I was so happy all this was over, and he would be back by weekend.
Or so I thought…

Black Roses

black

In a voice dripping with so much empathy it was disgusting, they doled out rehearsed lines, a million times retold. “We are truly sorry madam, we did our best to save her”. Those were not the words i was expecting to hear, this was not a possible scenario. I was supposed to become her mother today, now I’m not sure who I am. “Oko  yin nko“, the nurse was asking me where Ade was, like I was supposed to know. Knowing his whereabouts was not my problem. It was his mother’s. My mind, traitor that it is, remembers. it remembers exactly why this was not supposed to happen.

…………..
“Mum, I’m pregnant”. I blurted out the truth I had known for weeks, as her eyes travelled from her pot to my eyes, I knew she had already figured it out. “Whose is it?”, she asked, “is it that stupid boyfriend of yours?” her voice heavy with disappointment and dangerously veiled anger. She stirred the stew with so calmly that I thought she was going to pour it all over me. She proceeded to tell me what I already knew, she expected more, with eyes glistening with tears, she told me my options, the ones she was willing to give me. “Tokunbo, listen to me very carefully, you can either get an abortion(which is illegal in my country) or you can marry him. If you’re old enough to have a baby, you’re ready for marriage.” Then the real speech began, how she a single mother struggled to put me through school when my father(whom I had never met) left. Then the tears began while I watched, dry eyed.
Two weeks later, mummy Tokunbo dragged me to my future in-laws house to explain how their son and I were stupid enough to put a fetus in my body. His parents were pastors, they had a reputation to uphold. It was decided, we would get married. I was a fresh graduate, he had just finished his service year. He said he loved me, that was before this alien invaded my body, now he looks at me with contempt. I barely remember if the sex was good now, apparently condoms are no guarantee.
His parents would pay for the wedding. Mama Tokunbo had no husband, I was her mistake too. I wish I could tell you that it was perfect, that I wore a lovely white dress, that my father walked me down the aisle. I wish Ade looked at me like I was the only virgin in the room, but that would be a sweet delusion.
I had a dress, it was yellow and it was ugly. I walked down the aisle alone. Their stares were like daggers, they wondered how I could break my poor mother’s heart after all she did to support me Their thoughts ended with ‘like mother, like daughter’, I’m sure. Halfway down, it chose that epic moment to kick.
Ade could barely look at me, He blamed me for being the irresponsible womb that chose to carry his alien. At least, he showed up, albeit unshaven, dishelved, and hung over. What is left of what is right for us is this façade of a marriage built on guilt, and a never-ending blame game.
In my mind’s eye, I tried to imagine what our lives together would be like. Would he become an alcoholic? Would he give up on us? Would he love it? Would he be the father it needed? What would become of it? Could I love it? Would it repeat my mistakes?
I slowly walked down the aisle to my new life, a spineless bag of fears and doubts. The deep baritone voice of the pastor told me that I had reached the altar and it cut into my thoughts unapologetically as he asked, “do you take this man to be your lawful wedded husband?”, with such expectation. My mother’s eyes told me what I must say. I wondered if she would live with him and cook his meals. I allowed myself that playful thought before I heard myself say ‘yes’, when I wanted to scream ‘no’ from the rooftops.

………….
The tears would never be enough, I held her for all of five seconds before she turned blue and stopped breathing. I was supposed to be a mother, she was supposed to make him smile at me again. My heart is ice cold, barely beating beneath my chest, if I could go back…

END

Author’s note: This is based on a true story. There is nothing new under the sun, but a story though a thousand times retold should never lose its ability to stir our hearts.
Olamide

Broken…the sequel

Yahweh said He would command His angels to guard me carefully, they would lift me up in their hands lest I strike my foot against a stone. I feel like I’m no longer on the edge of an abyss but falling to the dangerous depths of what lies beyond the precipice, wondering if it’s too late for redemption and welcoming the dark cloak of depression to surround and insulate me from reality. I keep trying to understand why He would allow such evil befall me. I was the perfect daughter, always doing as I was told. I am no longer Dinah, daughter of Jacob but for centuries to come I will simply be called ‘the Canaanite woman.’


 

I remember feeling nauseous, the trepidation of facing the unknown almost too much to bear. I had dreamed of my wedding day since I was a little girl. I had imagined and sorted out every little detail in my head till I had my picture perfect wedding; of a 100 white roses, of my flowing white wedding dress which my mother Leah would make, of my white and gold theme, and of a 100 guests who would grace the occasion in the sloping valley of Tibeh which was graced with the most beautiful lilies ever. In my dreams, my groom was tall, fair and faceless, yet I was sure he would be handsome.

I would be pure and untouched till that night which most girls secretly wondered about and mothers spoke about in hushed tones. This was not to be, there would be no dream wedding, no roses, no guests and no lilies. Ours would just be me in a not-so-white gown, no ball, and no train, with a veil so thick I could barely see my own hand, so thick that I would have to walk assisted by my Father. Then, we would face the judge of Canaan, backs turned to one another and say our vows as was the custom for tainted women like me, afterwards, he would lift my veil and kiss me on the cheek. Shechem said his vows, I said mine, mostly for lack of any choice than anything else and then it was over soon after it begun and everything had worked out as we had rehearsed. Then he lifted my veil and bent to kiss me. Nothing prepared me for the nightmare that was my life as it unfolded before my eyes, I realised that I was staring into Simon’s eyes, my mother and father looking on as witnesses.

Someone was screaming, high pitched shrieking that was driving me crazy and my last thought was that the voice sounded like mine, even as I crumbled to the floor beneath me.

I had just married my brother, and my life just ended

He killed them, all of them, for me, he said, and convinced our father to let him marry me, this was incest I screamed, but too late, I was reminded, the vows had been said. Yahweh hated divorce, and it was my duty to obey Him. I hated my family and I would never forgive them, with Shechem, I stood a chance at least, a chance at love perhaps,now, I was married to Simon, son of Jacob in whose heart anger always ruled above reason.

After the debacle that was my wedding, I retired to my room alone. There would be no wedding night, I vowed that I would never let my own brother take me to bed, so we slept in separate rooms as we would for the rest of our lives. I was just glad I survived the day. I slept fitfully that night, events of that day plaguing my mind and depriving me of sleep as I plotted my escape.

He would take other wives, and I would be stuck in a loveless marriage for the rest of my life, unless I killed him first.