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Wednesday, December 16, 2015

He's my fiancé and my Mum's lover too! (2)

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Dennis arrived my home that evening shortly before we were to have dinner. I was in my room still dressing up when Harry, one of my younger brothers called out to me that he had just driven into our compound. I quickly finished up and rushed out of the room.
I met him outside in the courtyard where he was standing talking with Harry.
He gave me a peck on the cheek and rubbing his hands together declared:

"I can't wait to taste those delicious dishes you've been preparing which you told me about on 
the phone."
Harry butted in.
"It's Mum that did most of the cooking o! All Sister Meg did was to taste them and..."
"Shut your mouth! Silly boy! What do you know about cooking?" I said sternly.
Dennis laughed.

"Then I will have to thank your Mum specially for all her effort."
"Don't mind him. Let's go jo!" and taking his hand, led him inside the house.
My parents were sitting in our large parlour, waiting for us.
As I did the introductions, I noticed a strange look appear on my Mum's face. It was as if she had seen a ghost or something worse. 

It happened fleetingly for the next moment, she was all smiles and conviviality. I thought my eyes were deceiving me so I didn't think much about it.
That first meeting with my family went extremely well. My dad especially was really taken with Dennis and he spoke glowingly about him.

"I like that young man. You've picked the right one this time. At least he's better than all those 'waz up' boys with their strange dress styles you used to hang around with when you were in school," he said sometime later. I had just seen Dennis off and had returned to meet both of them talking about him. At least, my dad was for my Mum was surprisingly quiet. 
"That was years ago, Dad. I was much younger then," I stated as I flopped down on the couch next to my Mum.
"I know. But I used to be worried that you might do something foolish. Like getting pregnant and ending up marrying one of those rascals. Imagine having a son-in-law who plaits his hair and wears earrings like a woman!" he said in a jocular tone. Harry, who was hovering around whooped with laughter. I picked up a cushion and threw it at him...

After that first day, Dennis became a regular visitor to my home. He got along well with all my family. Even my immediate younger brothers Joe and Paul who were often away from home, liked him when they eventually met him. Paul had just graduated from the Uni and was doing his National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) in Cross River State, while Joe, an engineer worked on an oil-rig offshore in the Niger Delta area. He only came home once in a while when he was off-duty.

One Saturday, I arrived home from a shopping trip with my best friend, Pat when I saw Dennis' car parked in the courtyard. Though I wasn't expecting him, I was glad he had come to visit.
There was nobody in the sitting room and when I peeped into the kitchen, my Mum was not there. I heard voices in the balcony at the back of the house so I climbed up. 
My Mum was with Dennis. They were talking earnestly together, a bit of their conversation drifting to me.
"It's only proper that we tell her."

"No, we can't. The shock will be too much for her. Why bring up the past?" my Mum was saying. I wondered what it was all about as I stepped up to join them.
"My dear, you are back," my mother stated, looking a bit startled.
I went up to Dennis and hugged him.

"Honey, when did you arrive? And what were you both talking about so seriously? Hope there's no problem?" I asked my Mum.
"None, dear. Why don't you get Dennis a drink while I start dinner," she said. 
"So, how was your day?" Dennis asked after my Mum had left and we were alone.
"Fine. Pat sends greetings. Guess who I saw today at the mall at Ikeja?" I said.
"Who?" he asked with some interest as we headed towards the stairs on our way downstairs.

About two months later, I announced to my family that Dennis and I had fixed a date for our wedding. 
"It's in six months time so we can have enough time to prepare," I stated.
My dad, who looked very pleased at the news, offered to contribute substantially to the ceremony.

"This is the first wedding in this family. I want it to be a grand event," he declared. 
"Thank you, Dad!" I said happily, going to hug him.
But my Mum's next words deflated my happy mood.
"Why so fast? Why don't you wait a bit more, so you can study the man more, know him better," she said.
I turned to her surprised.

"Mum! I'm surprised you could say this! Dennis and I have known each other for almost three years now. What more do I need to know about him?" I queried.
"You can say that because you are still young. What experience do you have of men? I want the best for you and I don't want you making any mistake by marrying the wrong person. Dennis might not be the one," she said firmly.
I shook my head.

"I love Dennis. I believe he's the right man for me. What I need now is your support to make our wedding a success," I pointed out.
I could not understand my Mum's attitude which only reinforced the feeling I had that she did not like Dennis that much. It was strange because she was the one that had been so keen on meeting him. I remembered the look on her face the first day I brought him home and her cool attitude towards him ever since. Now, from her comments, it was obvious she was not fully in support of my relationship with Dennis. What could be wrong? Did my fiancé do anything to offend her?
I had a date with Dennis the following day, a Sunday. I made up my mind to sit him down and ask him some searching questions...

 To be continued...   Log in for the rest of Meg's story tomorrow!
Names have been changed to protect the identity of the narrator and other individuals in the story.

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