By Yusre Ismaila Kure
I have always been a complaisant child; so it wasn’t a surprise when I agreed to marry the person my mother wanted me to marry—It was typical of me, just typical. My father really cares about who I love but my mother, that’s a whole new story. Maybe that’s why they got divorced when I was three.
So anyways, this man isn’t bad, he’s not the tallest man, he might even be the shortest: he is dark and ugly. But why would my mother want me to marry a man like that if you ask me. The truth is he has money, lots of it. He’s young and successful sadly, not in the physique department but who am I to judge? I am tall and slender, and heaven knows I need a better job, I need to do more than teach primary one pupils in a government school. I enjoy doing it and couldn’t care less about the pay, but I need the pay. One always does. He’s a bit educated (couldn’t graduate secondary school). I have a bachelor’s degree in sociology and Masters Degree in women studies. I’m educated but I’m not defiant, I cannot say no, especially to my mother. She still does not know I work at the school. I told her I’m still job hunting, maybe that’s why she felt the need to get me a man like that.
‘Why? Do you want me to talk to her?’ My sister asked, starring at me like a child would at a sick dog. With pity and fear, I let out. ‘No, this will make her happy, remember she raised me after the divorce. It’s ok. I’m ok’, I ended, smiling. She needed a lot more conviction than a fake smile and a back story. So, I got up and did a little dance. I told her I was finally looking at the man like someone I loved, and that I loved his money more. Although she wasn’t convinced, she let me be.
After months of preparation, the day came. I was walked to the alter by my father. I looked around while he walked me; our family and friends were present, but I wasn’t starring at them. I was looking at how beautiful the Church was decorated, thinking how expensive my shoes were and how gorgeous my dress looked. My mother picked them out. My husband was starring at me, smirking, looking short as always. My sister was by his side, she looked weary, sad and I felt like I was looking into a mirror. Spontaneously, a myriad of questions ran through my mind, ‘Is that really the same expression on my face? Do I really want this? Is it worth it? Will I die if I stand up to my mother? Will she die? What about my father? He hasn’t been himself since this whole thing started, why though? I haven’t been myself. Should I do this?’
Finally, I got to the front of the pew. ‘We are gathered here…’, the Priest started. The vows came, my husband said his ‘I do’, he looked pleased. When it was time to say mine, I looked at everyone around me, my mother smiling, me sad , my dad ; same as my sister. Sad. I didn’t want any trouble but my life is not inclined to let any of us escape. ‘I don’t’ I said and ran out of the hall.