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Wednesday, January 06, 2016

My Virgin Bride (4)

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I was to spend most of my vacation in Port-Harcourt, contrary to my earlier plans to stay just a week. As you must have seen from my story, my mother is not the easiest person to relate with, much less live with. Since I left home aged 23 when I got my first job after graduation from the Uni, two weeks max is usually the most I can stay with the family without going crazy.

 So, why did I stay so long this time around? 

 Eka.

 She's the reason for my prolonged stay, the reason my fiancĂ© back in Lagos is threatening to fly down to Port Harcourt, 'since I've refused to return.'
"I don't know what's so interesting in Port Harcourt that you've abandoned me in Lagos. I don't understand you anymore, Tam," she had grumbled the last time we spoke.

She's not the only one for I, Tamunoemi, I don't understand what's happening to me. This girl, that my mother, in her dictatorial and interfering manner chose for me, who I was determined to reject with all my being, has taken over my life.

She's the last thing I think about before going to sleep and her face haunts my restless sleep. If I did not know any better, I would have thought my mother must have visited a witch doctor to do a charm to make me fall for Eka. My mother has a lot of faults but consulting Babalawos* to cast spells on people is not one of them!

To make matters worse, Eka was moved into our home. One morning, her mother, a close friend of Mum, brought her to our house, on my mother's request.

"Since they are getting married, it's best they interact more so they can understand themselves better," Mum had explained.

So, now, I was not just seeing Eka in my dreams at night, she was in my face all day as well! Secretly, I was happy as I thought it will enable us have more intimate time together. But of course, my Mum was not having that.

She had laid down some rules- the first, second and last being: "No messing around! I know you Tamuno and your womanizing ways! No sneaking into Eka's room, day or night! And Eka, if you must go to his room for anything, ensure one of the maids is with you. You must go to his house 'intact'."

 "Ah, Mum. This is too much now! These are modern times, not Buguma* in the 17th century! Couples get to know each other intimately before marriage these days," I protested. 
 "Well, I've spoken. Take it or..." she said, before marching off.
 I took it as I had no choice. Besides, what was I really thinking? Was I considering visiting Eka at night to play adult games with her? Truth was I did. At this stage, I wanted Eka as a thirsty man in the Sahara desert would desire an ice cold drink. And seeing her day and night without being able to do anything about it was really frustrating. 

 Suffice it to say, I had a lot of cold showers at night to douse the 'tension' in me!
 With time, I stopped fighting my mother's plans and wishes for Eka and I. So, what my mother could not do, convincing me to accept an arranged marriage, her choice Eka did with her charm and personality.
 I was won over and even Mum and Dad noticed.
 "What do you say about fixing the date for the marriage rites? Say in June?" my mother suggested one evening.

 I shrugged.
 "Sounds fine with me," I stated coolly.
 She gave me a quizzical look, before saying:
 "Let's make it 21st then."
 "What about your job? Can you get away?" my Dad, who had been watching a programme on TV joined the conversation.
 "I can always take casual leave," I replied.

  I noticed both of them exchange looks with my Dad shaking his head, smiling a little.

 I can just imagine what they were thinking, that I, the most stubborn of their five children, the only one besides my elder brother Greg, who can stand up to our tough mother, had become so cool and less combative.
What were they expecting when they chose, or rather my Mum picked a girl like Eka? It's like dangling a fat, juicy bone before a hungry dog and expecting Bingo not to bite. Now, I'm not calling myself a dog but according to one of my ex girlfriends, who had caught me having sex with another girl in my bed, and had screamed angrily at me: "A randy dog! That's what you are. Just like most of your sex!", I was a close cousin to the canine species!

 Back with Efe
 The leave ended faster than I had wanted and since duty called, it was back to Lagos and work for me. And Efe.
 Expectedly, she was not amused by my long stay in PH.
 "This was not what we planned, Tam! We were supposed to travel to Obudu Resort for a break during your vacation. Now, it's over! What were you doing in Port-Harcourt, anyway that was more important than me?" she queried, eyeing me suspiciously.

 I shrugged.
 "Family meetings here and there. You know how it is," I said vaguely. It was Eka that kept me in the city. Of course, I could not tell Efe unless I was ready for a mini war. I had to cross that bridge one day, but not yet...
 So, I kept all the arrangements for my marriage to Eka from her. Only few of my friends like Bunor knew what was going on.

 They were all surprised that I had accepted to marry a girl my mother had chosen for me.
 "The Tamuno I know would rather die than agree to her plans for you. What has come over you?" Amba, another friend, wondered.
 "You talk as if you don't know my mother," I told him, the same words I had told Bunor.

"Yes, I know she's tough and all that. But, you've always had ways of getting round her, of tackling her. What happened this time?"

I knew what happened. But I was not about to tell them. They found out for themselves when a group of them together with some colleagues from my office and other well wishers accompanied me to Eka's family home in their village for the traditional marriage ceremony. By this time, I had broken up with Efe. It was a painful break-up, which left me with some guilt. We had been together for three years, had plans and dreams which all evaporated as soon as I set eyes on Eka.

You might call me names for dumping a girl as loyal and loving as Efe. But they will not be as bad as the ones she threw at me when I finally had the courage to tell her about Eka. My ears are still ringing many months later from all the curse words and the screaming on the occasion...

Anyway, at the marriage ceremony, which was colorful and noisy as most African marriage ceremonies are, I nearly laughed when I saw the look on my friends faces when my bride, decked in the traditional attire of our people and looking like something from a fairytale book, was brought out from the house to the open yard.

"Jesus, Tamuno! Where did you find her? She looks like a brown mammy water*! Does she have a sister?" Bunor queried.

 Smiling smugly, and nodding at Eka's mother, who was sitting some tables away, I said:
 "I think she will be in a better position to answer your question!"

So, what is it like to have a virgin as a wife in today's fast paced world? What was our first night together like as a couple? Well I'm not telling, that is personal info, not meant for the public. 

All I can say is, it's a bittersweet situation. Sweet in the sense that, I have a really desirable wife who makes me rush home every night after closing from work, rather than diverting to the nearest bar to drink myself to a stupor and flirt with girls...
Bitter because I had to undo the years of indoctrination caused by her overly religious upbringing where she had been brought up to believe that, not just premarital sex but all sex was bad and 'dirty'. It not only made Eka remain a virgin till the ripe 'old' age of 20, (in modern terms where some 13, 14 year olds were already sex savvy), it nearly made her a prude, making her regard love making as a task, something to be endured in marriage, not a pleasure. 

Of course, you cannot be with me (I've been called a dog, remember?) and be stuck with that type of mindset for long. Especially for someone like her with a body made for love. So, I got down to work on it and before long, she became as hot for me, desiring me as I do her...

As for my mother, its the first time since my teenage years, she had done something I can really say gets my stamp of approval. Finding Eka that is...

Her reason for doing it was to bring a good girl my way so I don't end up like my brother Greg. He got divorced after just three years of marriage due to his wife's cheating ways, sleeping around with different men including his boss at work.

"What do you expect? Look where he picked her from. A hotel!" my mother had said with disgust at the time of the divorce. Then, turning to me, she had said: "This should be a lesson to you. When you are ready for marriage, if you like go to a night club and pick a wife. You are on your own!"

In Eka, she had picked a precious pearl, that I hope to keep for a long, long time!

The End!



Notes:  Babalawo is a Yoruba word for native or witch doctor
             
  •              Buguma, a town in Rivers State, Nigeria, is part of the Kalabari Kingdom
  •              Mammy water is local lingo for mermaid

Names have been changed to protect the identity of the narrator and other individuals in the story.


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