Episode 10
©Miriam Edem

Before I knew it, my father compound was packed full for my traditional marriage. Dear God I was so anxious, and the people that graced the occasion ehnnnnn, their cars alone carried volume.

"See small Beatrice o, some women will say while congratulating me. 
"Yes o small girl with a mighty God, this is the Lord doing, my mother will proudly say. 
My wedding was the best in the village and that evening my husband offered to take I and my family to the city for the white. It happened on a Thursday though and my white was fixed for the next day, reason is that Godswill insisted he didn't want it in the church but he wants a simple beach wedding with few guest to grace it. 

I earlier told him I didn't like the idea and why a beach when it's called a church wedding. But his reply was he's doing a white wedding and not a church even though there will be a pastor to join us, and in order to shut me up he showed me pictures of how it is done and the one he did with his late wife. 
I didn't know what to say and my mother warned me not to argue with him rather I should respect his decision because he knows better. I took my bags at once because I won't be going back to the village. God helping us we arrived late and I was so tired and Godswill had a hotel set for us already. 
"Why a hotel and not your house? I asked when he woke me up and I saw we were in a hotel. 
"My place is still far from here, and why I booked this hotel is because the location for the wedding is close by, he replied. 
"Okay my in law, so you'll stay with her and I'll share a room with Luke, my mother said and he smiled. 
'No mama you should stay with your daughter, you know by tomorrow she'll be mine and you'll miss her. Have every time you can with her now, Godswill said. 

"Ahhhh this my in law you are just too kind, thank you very much, my mother said. 
"Its okay, Luke will have his room, come with me, Godswill said and I just followed even though I wanted to talk but my mother has warned me to put a cellotape in my big mouth and shut it. 
That night I had every marriage seminar with my mother even though my eyes were sleepy. Is it how to be submissive, obedient, and not reject my husband sexual advances..... I heard it all. At a point she came out raw in the area of the bedroom and my mouth was just opened, I never knew my mother was this mad o because what she vomited slapped the sleep around the corners of my eyes. 

"Chai mama! I shouted when she jumped on the bed demonstrating for me to see. 
"What is chai mama? I am giving you bedroom tricks so that no lady will take your husband from you. You better take away spirituality and do it right there if not you'll be sorry, she sternly said. 
"Hiannn but am scared o with that kind of position you're keeping do you want to kill me? I asked.

"Oh God! Sometimes you act like my daughter and sometimes you'll change to ode, so ordinary to keep your waist like this you cannot eh virgin mary? She asked. 
"Thank God you know, you don't expect me to know all this things na today, I said with a frown and she heaved and came down from the bed touching my back.
"Small small My dear you'll adjust, but please don't reject him ooo be always ready any time and any day I know what am saying so that I can carry my grandchildren soon, she said and I rolled my eyes. 
'Mama I've heard you, I want to sleep now please we have a long day tomorrow, I said. 
"If you like, but you can't escape this one sha, I wonder where you'll run to when he......... "Mama biko na, thank you, I said cutting her short and she laughed hitting me...........
I was sleeping so soundly when my mother shook me,
"Wake up wake up! She said hitting my leg and I slowly sat up as if it was not morning. 
"Is this how you will sleep in your husband house? God abeg o you better sit up to take responsibilities, my mother said but I just yawned and my eyes met my wedding gown beautifully hanged. 
I jumped up at once and ran to it,

"Wow this is beautiful, I said laughing happily. 
'The lady has gone to bring other things for you, start preparing because its around 9am. Looks like it will be too sunny today sef, my mother said checking the window to see outside. 
"But mommy this kind of thing sef, i thought weddings used to be on saturdays, I said with a frown. 
'Look at your mouth, have you not seen weddings on Sundays? Or what if its on Friday? Didn't he explain that whites wed that way too? Bush girl, my mother said and I just folded my hands looking at her.
"You don sabi things pass me now o, so I'm a bush girl o? I asked.
"Go and take your bath my friend! My mother said pushing me inside while I laughed. 

When I came out from the bathroom I saw about 3 ladies arranging my accessories. One quickly came to me and made me to sit down,
"Wait I have not dried my body, I said to her.
"Don't worry we'll do it for you, she replied and I was like chineke! 
When the ladies were done with me I could not recognize myself in the mirror. Though my gown was not the ball type, but it was just the definition of perfect on my slim body. 
"The car is ready ma'am, one of the ladies said giving me a bouquet as I was still glued where i stood staring at the mirror admiring myself. 
I was too fine na, in my head I was asking myself "so all this while you been fine like this?
I finally left the room and had series of photograph before I got into the car. Yes I had nothing like bridal train whatsoever and I was cool with it as long as my mother and Luke is with me which he will be standing in as my father.
We arrived at the spot and it was beautifully designed with few chairs on the shore, and within minutes we were already declared husband and wife. That was the fastest wedding I've ever seen o unlike the one in the village that the couple will dance part one, part two and part three, and before we will realize ourselves everyone is tired and hungry waiting for the reception at 3pm or so. 
Indeed the rich are no protocols people, and we just passed there to a simple hall where we had the reception. I felt very lonely ehhnnnn when I could not recognize anybody there apart from my family, but at a point he began introducing them to me and I shook hands with them while they congratulated us again, and just like that, the reception Was over. 
It was just few minutes past 1pm and I was back to the hotel to change up, That was when reality hit on me that I will be alone now with my husband. My mother was pretending to be strong when she was giving me her usual sermon,

"Take care of yourself o, shut up this your mouth o and stop arguing, no man wants to be with a disrespectful woman and make sure this marriage works at all cost. Don't be like the rest in the village o Betty if not they will So laugh at you eh, she said and I just nodded. 
"I've heard you mama. Take care of yourself too, I said and she looked at me.
"Oh my daughter, she said and hugged me and I began to cry. Luke joined in the hug and encouraged my mother when Godswill returned from arranging the car that will take them back to the village. He already loaded the boot with enough goodies and he smiled and crossed his hands on my shoulders when he saw the atmosphere,
"You should not worry mama, I'll take good care of your daughter, he said. 
"Thank you, at least I will breathe well knowing my daughter is in safe hands, my mother said and sniffed. 
'Please do, the car is ready, Godswill said and we left the room together to see them off. I hugged my family one more time before the car drove off and I tearfully placed my head on Godswill shoulders. They never told me getting married will make me miss my family so much, because the cry I cried that day it was as if I will never see them again. 
"Let's go, my husband said and we got in. 
"Are we going home now? I asked him. 
"Exactly, are your things packed? He asked and I nodded. 
"let's go, he said and left the room without helping me to carry the bag sef. That was not romantic of him na abi? We got into the car and took off, soon he horned on a silver gate and drove in.... Another edifice of wonder just like his mother own with lots of bodyguards that made me confused. 
"Who are they? I asked him.
"Human beings, he replied and came down which I also did. They bowed to him with dark shades on and I spilled the blood of Jesus in me as I struggled carrying my bag scared that with just one hand they can smash me like pepper.
"Who are those guys and what are they doing here? I asked when we got in but he didn't reply. He just went somewhere and brought out a wine, popped it open and poured it into a glass. 
"Why are you not answering me? I asked going to him. 
"Excuse me, am I to answer to you now? Who is to answer to who Betty? He asked.

"But I asked a question and is it not you who told me I am free to ask anything? I asked. 
"Yes Betty but that was then and not now. You should have asked all your questions when we were not married, the time is past, he replied and I blinked my eyes. 
"What do you mean? I asked and he came very close to me. 
"Oh my Beatrice, your little days of enjoyment is over so stop over hyping yourself and know where you belong. Don't even have a sense of belonging because this is not your class, he sternly said and went upstairs and my heart began to beat fast. I closed my eyes severally and opened it to be sure I was not dreaming and if its the loving Godswill, my husband that is talking to me. But that was not the man I got married to few hours ago, everything was not just clear. 
The house was so big that I didn't know where to find him, I just sat down and called Luke to know if they were alright and he replied they were fine,
"Okay, let me know when you're home please, I said to him. 
"Sure, he said and I dropped the call and heaved.
I didn't know when I slept off until I heard my phone ringing and it was Luke calling,
"Are you home? I asked. 

'Yes my daughter, we honorably got home safely, my mother replied instead very happy. 
"Thank God, I said. 
"Is my in law there? She asked.
"Uhmmm in the bathroom, I lied. 
"Ohhh greet him there for me and tell him thank you, the car is too loaded and don't forget my teachings o Ada, my mother said and I heaved. 
"Okay mommy I'll tell him you've arrived, take Care, I said and dropped the call and the door got opened immediately and Godswill mother walked in
"Hello Betty, she said as I stood up to welcome her. 
"Welcome mommy, I said and Godswill slowly came down from the stairs.
"Hope you're enjoying yourself? She asked but I only smiled. 
"you'll be going home now? Godswill asked. 

"Yes dear, enjoy your new home, she replied giving him a peck and he followed her out while I just sat down back on the sofa.
"What exactly is going on? I asked myself very scared of what I've gotten myself into.......
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