It’s was the day of my final paper. I was happy and sad at the same time but I had to be strong for my mother. I quickly got up to do my morning duties. I loved to sing while doing my chores- I had a lovely voice.
When I was done washing the dishes and sweeping the living room, I went outside tosweep. I was sweeping and singing before my mom joined me.
“Oh! Mother. You are here. Good morning.”
“Good morning my princess. How was your night?”
“My night was okay… how was yours?” I asked.
“My daughter the night was fine. My dear,you know today is your last paper. I don’t want you thinking of anything that would distract you. You go and make me proud, okay?”
Suddenly, my father came out.
“Yes, after you make her proud… you come back home and make me proud too. Yoursuitors are coming today for the traditional marriage.”
“My husband, what is this you think you are doing? She’s your daughter and you were once interested in her education. Why give her out to a man now. This is sad.” My mother said bitterly.
“Woman. Why have you chosen to disrespect your husband? Amanda is getting married whether she likes it or not. That is my stand.”
I was so heartbroken. I couldn’t feel my heart- it felt like I was going into shock. But who was I deceiving? I had known about this for four weeks and I had begged my father for those four weeks but it all fell on deaf ears. I had to face it. It had become my destiny.
I quickly ran to my room, and dashed into the bathroom. Then, I turned on the shower and started wiping as the water dropped on my body. I have no idea what is waiting for me out there, I said to myself. I fell on the floor I couldn’t stop the tears from coming.
Few minutes later, I came out from the shower, dressed up and left for my final examination.
After my examination, my friends gathered round and were talking about the various universities they had applied to. When I was asked about my plan, I couldn’t control myself.
“My life has no direction right now, my friends.” I said with no expression on my face.
“Amanda! What does that even mean? You are the brightest student at this school and I am sure you are getting a scholarship to any university of your choice,” said Amaka, one of my friends.
She quickly dragged me out of the group.
“Amanda, Amanda! You know you are my best friend? Please tell me what is wrong…. You don’t talk like this,” Amaka said.
“Amanda come over here now!” a voice called.
I quickly turned to the direction I heard my name. It was my father. Why did he have to come?
“I have to go Amaka. My father is here.”
“I will come with you.” Amaka quickly replied.
“No Amaka…. I can’t talk right now. We would see later. I would call your mother’s phone and I would tell you everything. I promise,” I said.
“Okay. Please be fine.”
We got home and the living room was filled with strangers. I couldn’t look up. I ran to my room. My mother followed me.
I fell to the floor. “Why me, God?” I criedaloud. That’s the one question I had been avoiding to ask. Can’t he see I need his help?
My mother held me so tight and I knew she wanted me to be strong. My father barged into the room. “Young girl, you better stop the tears. It is happening so dress up because your husband is waiting for you. And woman… dress your daughter up now.”
I got up with all my strength and I put on the dress I saw in my closet.
I went outside to the living room, greeted the visitors and sat beside my mother. My father was so happy. He had a big smile on his face, a father who once loved and cherished me now doesn’t even care about my feelings.
“Papa Amanda, it’s time,” my father’s brothersaid.
“Nnamdi.. give the kolanut to our in-laws, ” my father told him.
“Our wife, get more plates from your kitchen,” my uncle said to my mother.
“Okay, my husband,” Mother replied with dismay.
“Amanda, step forward.” my fathercommanded.
I got up from the stool. I didn’t look at anyone’s face. I just moved towards my fatherand knelt down before him. He gave me a glass of wine to show them who my husband to be was, but something I wasn’t expecting happened.
To be continued.
Paula Nanya.Tags: #earlymarriage, femaleeducation