The next day, Ndubuisi arrived village like he said and his mother, Okwuchi was extremely happy to see him, coupled with the fact that he came for marriage purpose.
She served him the hot Ora soup she prepared for him which was also his favourite.
And the way Ndu was enjoying it gave her an immense joy. She warmly appreciated it whenever he enjoyed her food like that.
“Mama, you are the best cook in the world. Others should come and learn from you. Even all these so called 5star restaurants, they should come and learn work from your hand, they don’t know what they are cooking. I just hope that the woman I will marry will also know how to cook like you” Ndubuisi praised his mother’s cooking skills
And Okwuchi smiled,and said: “My son, that was why I took out time to search out a nice girl for you. I met with the girl’s family today, they have accepted to give their consent. And I have already spoken with your uncle, Patrick. So he will inform the kinsmen about it”
“What? You did what Mama?” Ndubuisi asked, with a sheer anger crossing his forehead
“I don’t understand, my son?”
“Mama, this is marriage. Don’t you think that I should first see the girl before discussing anything with her family, what if I end up not liking her?”
“Ndubuisi, have you forgotten that your mother also have a high taste? You don’t have to worry about liking or not liking her because this girl is beautiful and young. You will like her, in fact, you will fall in love with her at first sight”
“But Mama, you shouldn’t have done all these without my consent. I don’t want anybody to say that I broke her heart in this village”
“No my son, you won’t reject this girl. In fact, on no account should you say no to this union and my decision is final. What are you telling me here? Have I done wrong by meeting the girl’s family on your behalf, are you no longer my son?” Okwuchi asked and walked inside, angrily.
And that was the only way she used to control her son. She knew that Ndubuisi doesn’t like seeing her angry.
“She will never change! Oh Lord, please help me in this situation. Let it be that this girl she found for me will be appealing to my eyes. It will even be a nice idea to marry a woman of her choice so that peace will continue reigning in this family. I better do what she wants” he said and then went to her and called in a calm voice: “Mother, why are you angry now, did I say something wrong?”
“Ndubuisi, you are telling me that I’m stupid by searching for what’s best for you?” she asked, still in angry tone
“No Mama, you are never stupid and will never be. You are my mother, and I’m sure you know my taste and the kind of girl I want.”
“Yes my son, the girl’s name is Ogechi, you will like her. Trust me, It will be love at first sight” Okwuchi said, looking cheered that her son was willing to listen to her
“OK Mama, which means she is educated. Because you know that I have always loved girls who are well educated?”
“Heeey.. This is going to be a problem. Why is he emphasising on education now? And Ogechi is not even half educated. Should I tell him the truth about her educational background? No, he won’t accept to marry her again. I better lie to him.” She quickly thought and then spoke up: “Off course my son, she is educated. But not the type you studied”
“I don’t understand, Mama” Ndu said, looking serious
“Should I say secondary school? No, let me say College of Education, that will sound more better” she thought and then replied: “She went to College of Education”
“OK good. That’s not bad at all. Which means my wife will be a teacher. It’s very OK. It will also give her time to take care of our children and the family”
“Yes yes my son. You are right. You see, your mother knows what’s best for you.”
“Yes mother, I trust you on that” Ndubuisi said, looking calm
“Oh my God! I just lied to my son now. What will happen if he finds out that I lied to him? No, he shouldn’t find out. I better talk to Ogechi and his mother, and incite them not to say anything about it. Oh no, I have already told Ogechi’s mother that my son has accepted to marry her daughter despite her poor educational background. What do I do now? Okwuchi think…think…” And finally, an idea popped in
She then went outside and called Ogechi’s mother.
“Hello, Mama Ogechi, my son and I will be coming soon, and I know that you want this Union as much as I want it”
“Off course… It will be my sincere pleasure, Mama Ndu”
“Good. You see, when my son comes, please let him be the only one to be doing the talking so that he doesn’t see your family as people who talk too much”
“I don’t understand?”
“This is clearly understandable. I have given you all the information you need to know about him. So it’s better you don’t ask him unnecessary questions so that it will not stir up his anger and make him call off the engagement. You know this marriage stuff has gone round the village, and the daint it will be on your daughter if Ndubuisi rejects her? He is marrying your daughter because of me, so I don’t want him to see any reason to call it off”
“Hmmm, you have a point. You don’t have to worry about anything, I know what to do” Mama Ogechi said
“Good” Okwuchi said and then ended the call. She then called Ogechi on the phone..
“Ogechi my daughter, you know soon you will be my daughter in-law and you will start living with me?”
And Ogechi laughed shyly…..
“So I want you to do something for me”
“And what is that, Mama?” She asked
“See, let this be between you and me. Don’t tell anybody about it. My son will be coming soon, if he raises the topic about your educational background, just avoid it, you just quickly change the topic, you hear me?”
“OK Mama, I will do exactly as you said” Ogechi immediately accepted, forgetting all the list of questions she made to ask Ndubuisi before marrying him.
“Good, that’s why I like you, you heed to instructions without questions” she said and then ended the call.
Ogechi then dropped her phone on the table and sat on the chair. She then remembered
she had series of questions to ask Ndubuisi, and the gap in their level of education was the main question.
“He is highly educated, unlike me, won’t our understanding of things be different? I wanted to ask him why he chose to marry an illiterate like me despite being highly educated. And now the mother said that I should avoid the topic, does it mean he is not aware or something? Anyway, she is his mother, she knows best, I should do what she says” Ogechi said
Finally, Ndubuisi, along with his mother and some of his kinsmen arrived Ogechi’s family. They were given a warm welcome.
Ndubuisi was so anxious to see his “would be wife”.
“Mama, when am I going to see her?” He asked
“Don’t be the impatient frog, you will see her soon”
After the introduction, Ogechi was called out to welcome her guests.
And on sighting her, Ndubuisi noticed that she was too young.
“Mama, how old is she? You didn’t tell me she is still a small girl” he spoke in a soft voice
“How can you call her a small girl, is it because she has a small body? Somebody who has graduated from a high institution can no longer be a small child” she replied
“Hmm, OK, you are right” Ndubuisi said
After Ogechi greeted them, Ndubuisi then requested for a permission to have a quick chat with her.
And Okwuchi nudged him, trying to stop him from having any discussion with Ogechi, but he ignored the mother because he saw it necessary to ask her some questions.
But Okwuchi insisted: “My son, I have told you all the things you need to know about her, so what more do you want to ask again? If you have any other thing you want to ask, you can ask her parents here, they will tell you everything you need to know”
Ndubuisi who knew the kind of person his mother was then decided to heed to her advice.
“But this is my only opportunity to talk to her before the wedding date gets fixed. Hmm, anyway, since my mother is so confident that this girl OK for me, then let her wish be done.”
A month later, Ndubuisi and Ogechi got married. Okwuchi was happy, likewise Ogechi, but Ndubuisi was hoping on God, praying for the grace to love Ogechi.
On the night of their wedding, Ndubuisi was quiet. He did not even know how to initiate a chat with his new wife. She was like a stranger to him.
Ogechi who was also getting uncomfortable at the way Ndubuisi was keeping mute then decided to start a conversation. She started by appreciating him for accepting her as his wife.
“No, it’s OK… You are beautiful, you are also educated, so why won’t I marry you?” Ndu said
“He said that I’m educated? Which means he accepted me knowing that I’m not half educated as him.” She thought and then said to him: “So you knew about my poor educational background and still went ahead to marry me?”
“Yes, my mother told me about it, but it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter the tertiary education one acquired.”
“Ndu, you are a nice man, my friends kept telling me that you will not accept to marry me because I stopped in elementary 4”
“Elementary what?” He asked
“Elementary 4. Did I say something wrong? I thought you said your mother has told you already?” She asked, noticing the facial expression.
“Oh no, I should have kept quiet. Mama warned me not to say anything o.. But what is he going to do now, is he going to throw me away?” Ogechi feared
Ndubuisi who couldn’t control the anger dashed out of the room, calling out his mother…..
“What happened my son, why are you reacting this way?” She asked wondering what just happened
“Mama, you lied to me. You lied to me Mama! Why did I end up marrying somebody who did not even attend secondary school. Mama why?”
“I don’t understand My Son”
“Mother, I strictly asked you about Ogechi, but you told me she went to College of Education, so why did you lied to me?”
“He found out? This is sure a problem for me. If he discovers that I lied to him, he won’t trust me ever again, he will loose his respect for me. So, I better tell him that Ogechi and her mother were the people who fed us lies just to get her married into my family” she said in her heart
“Mama, are you not the one I’m asking?” Ndubuisi asked in a deep angry tone
“No, I did not lie to you my son. Ogechi and her mother told me that she attended a College Of Education, the one that is situated at Nsugbe”
And this shocked Ogechi.
“But Mama, we never……….”
Before she could open her mouth to speak, Okwuchi cut her short
“Shut up your mouth there! What do you think you want to say? You and your mother told me that you attended the school, that you will be a teacher soon. Let me not hear any word from your mouth again, bunch of liars”
The way Okwuchi shunned Ogechi made her got scared. She doesn’t know how to defend herself, she then stood, praying in her heart, watching what will happen to her next.
To be continued
Mama Why? was written by Ngozi Lovelyn O…
Warning: No part of this work should be copied, use, reproduce, redistribute either electronically or manually without prior permission from the author..
You can reach Ngozi Lovelyn O @ Xperiawithngozilove@gmail.com