Grace was hurting inside at the abusive words Nana hurled at her.
She only managed to carry herself home.
When she got home, she went straight to the bed to suck the feelings out.
She sobbed bitterly, cursing herself on why she hadn’t gotten a man yet.
“Lord, is it now a bad idea to serve you? What gain is there in remaining pure waiting on you? Why are you so silent? I know one shouldn’t ask you questions, but from the way things are going, it looks to me as if I’m not even in the book of people who deserve your favour. Can’t you have mercy on me?” Grace rhetoric, sobbing.
Her mother who entered the room was stunned seeing her in tears.
She wondered what could be the reason behind her daughter’s tears.
“Grace my daughter, what is the problem, what is making you cry like this?” She asked, trying to lift her head up.
“Mama! You? I didn’t know when you entered”
“Grace, I just asked you a question, why are you crying?”
She then looked at her mother, as the velocity of her cries intensified.
“Grace, you need to stop crying and tell me what the problem is, nothing will be solved if you remain quiet” the mother, Patience inquired
“Mama. I am only crying at my hard luck. Mama, do you think I’m cursed?”
“God forbid! Grace, please clean that negative word off your mouth. I said do it now!” The mother ordered
And Grace heeded, continued sobbing faintly.
“Grace, none of my child is cursed, did you hear me? I wonder why you allowed such derogatory idea to crept into your head.
OK now tell me, why the tears?”
And Grace maintained quiet for some minutes and recounted what happened.
So the mother hummed and said: “Grace, I thought I have warned you to stay away from Chibugo and her children. Her children are just spiting characters of hers. Can’t you see how they behave? They don’t have any single respect for their elders. If I am to have my way, I will just go elsewhere and build a house, where we will live and sheer away from that woman and her troubles”
“But Mama, how did you expect me to turn a blind eye to such illicit behavior? And not that I don’t relate well with Nana, because among all her siblings, she is the only person who is more understanding and she has always appreciated our relationship. That was why I thought that giving her a piece of my advise as an elder can help reset her brain, but I was very wrong. Mother, if you had seen the way she insulted me, you will cry for me. Reason why I did not react was because of what people will say. They will now attribute it to jealousy, that I can’t be happy for my cousin sister who is about to get married”
“But still, you shouldn’t have meddled in her affairs, you should have continued with where you were going. What is your business in the type of lifestyle she is living? Everybody in this village have already known her wayward life, I only pity this her husband to be, because he is still in the dark about the woman he is coming to marry.” Patience said, shuddering in disgust.
“You are absolutely right, Mama. I should have passed and pretended not to see her. If I had gone my way, I wouldn’t have received such insult today.”
“Yes, so I don’t want you to take anything she said to heart. Just forget her, all I know is that, in this life, no single sin shall go unpunished”
“Alright Mama, I will take it as my fault and get over it”
And Patience nodded. “So cheer up, be happy and continue living your life in the ways of the Lord, trust me… He will visit you one day and bless you with all the happiness you truly deserve”
So the next morning, Chibugo approached Patience, asking her to join her to prepare food she will serve her in-laws when they arrive.
And Patience nodded, telling her that she will be coming later.
And when Chibugo was about to leave, she remembered that she had not seen Grace the entire morning.
“That reminds me, I haven’t seen Grace anywhere, is she not supposed to be with her cousin who will be receiving her in-laws today or is she still nurturing the disgrace she was starched with yesterday?” Chibugo asked, laughing mockingly
And Patience got stunned with surprise at the question. “Chibugo, don’t tell me you are aware that your daughter, who will be getting married is still sleeping recklessly with another man or didn’t she tell you what brought about their misunderstanding yesterday?”
“Patience, my daughter told me everything that transpired between her and Grace yesterday. About how Grace was trying to teach her some principles of life, especially how to keep men and all that.. But you know what, I’m happy that she gave it to her at the way that deemed fit. Who does she think she is to teach her about manners? If she is a professor of mannerism, then what is still keeping her at her father’s house at this her age?”
“Chibugo, are you the one saying this? Don’t tell me you support your daughter’s illicit behavior? What kind of a mother are you? This is unbelievable….. I am so ashamed, hearing this from a mother like you”
“Patience, do you know what…… This matter should be reserved for another day. As you can see, time is no longer on our side…. Please, as my co-wife, help me and prepare the food I will present to my in-laws except you are still burning in jealousy over my daughter’s marriage” Chibugo said, smiling and then left.
Patience was dumfounded, staring at Chibugo as she left “Who does she think she is….. She is so full of her life, behaving as if she is the owner of the world… But Chibugo, I won’t give in to your thoughts. I will join you in the kitchen and show you that I’m not the jealous type you think I am. I am equally happy for Nana, but fear for her survival after marriage. How will she be able to cope in marriage? I only pity the young man who is coming for her hand in marriage” Patience said to herself.
About 2:12pm, Nana’s in-laws arrived.
Everything was already set for their arrival. Nana was seen smiling as some of her friends teased her that she was about to get married.
When Nana’s mother and her co-wife, Patience entered the place the soon to be in-laws were sitting to greet them, Patience was shocked to see the man who came to marry Nana.
“Mama Grace! I can’t believe you are the one I’m seeing” Oluba who was amazed to see Patience said, standing up to greet her.
“Oluba my son, how are you? I never knew that I will still see your face again in this life.”
They were happily exchanging pleasantries, as Chibugo frowned at the happy mood existing between them.
“Oh no! I don’t want to believe that these two know each other. And from their reactions, it shows they have had a very close relationship in the past. Its better I prevent them from speaking further before this jealous woman opens her dirty mouth to soil his mind against my daughter”
So, Oluba was about to ask Patience about her children, when Chibugo interrupted them.
“Um… My in-law, I can see that you two know know each other from somewhere”
“Yes oo, Chib….”
“It’s OK now, Patience, you have to save the greetings to some other time. Let’s go to the kitchen and bring them the special delicacies we prepared for them to eat.” Chibugo said, interrupting Patience from narrating how she knew Oluba.
And Patience who already knew the kind of person Chibugo was, interpreted her mood immediately, she then stepped out of the place, quietly to avoid any trouble.
When they stepped outside, Chibugo angrily tapped her at the back, urging her to turn and face her.
“And what was that all about, Patience?”
“What are you talking about?” Patience asked back
“Listen to me…. It was a mistake asking you to come here. See, we don’t need your help again, you can return to your house now. I know you are jealous that my daughter will be getting married to a rich man, and you can’t resist any urge of stopping that from taking place, but let me warn you. Stay in your limit and I don’t want to see you anywhere near my future son Inlaw again”
Confused Patience who had been trying to figure out the area she was going asked: “Chibugo, can you please explain in plain sentence what you are ranting at? Seriously, I don’t understand anything”
“Patience, I know that nothing will give you more joy than to bad mouth my daughter in front of her husband to be, because I can see that you two know each other, but let me warn you, if that ever happens, I swear, this world will not contain both of us, do you hear me?” Chibugo threatened
And Patience clapped her hand, disgustingly looking at Chibugo who was releasing threatening words against her.
“Why are you scared, Chibugo? You have been mocking my daughters, so why are you scared that your future son In-law might decide to call off the marriage if I spill the beans of the indecent lifestyle your daughter is living? Anyway, let me give you a piece of advise, you should better be scared. Infact, dip your chaplet in deep water because if I share my story of how my family’s relationship with Oluba came to be, you will be shivering in fear. Oluba considered me a mother after his own mother died. Pray he doesn’t ask me anything about Nana, because I can’t afford to lie to him. Please Chibugo, I would love to return to my house now and wait for when he will come for me, because he can’t leave without chatting with me and my children.” Patience said, leaving, smiling cheerfully.
As Chibugo looked on, knowing quite well that there was a problem for her daughter.
Patience was troubled: “Oh Lord, why is it that good people suffer most in this life? See Oluba, he deserves someone better and not that harlot and now I pray he doesn’t ask me anything about Nana, because I won’t stop myself from telling him the truth”
The author of Dare the Truth is Ngozi Lovelyn O.
Strict Warning: No part of this work should be copied, use, redistribute, reproduce either electronically or manually without prior permission from the author.