Immediately Kunle arrived at his mom’s, she ushered him to an already set dining table. He dutifully sat and ate; no sense in him declining on account of him wanting a lighter meal, he knew his mother; she would insist on making him whatever he wanted.
So he ate the meal without fuss, all the while curious as to the reason his mom summoned him that evening. She made small talk while he ate, bringing him up to speed on recent family happenings, their cousin who had gotten married to recently and was having marital issues.
When he had finished eating, they moved to the living room.
“You see my son, when it comes to marriage, there’s no perfect person, however; they are some people you should just avoid. There are some people that are not eligible, rara.” She continued, when they had settled in the living room, both of them seating on the two-seater couch.
Her words settled at the bottom of Kunle’s stomach like lead bombs. Like really, where was this talk leading to?
“Your generation is lucky; there are many means of finding out about a supposed spouse and their family. With the internet and other means of communication and information dissemination, it is very easy to do the background check-ups.”
Kunle cleared his throat uncomfortably.
“Are you ok, would you like some water?” She asked concerned.
“I’m fine ma.” He replied.
‘Are you sure?”
“Yes ma. I should get going.” He made to stand up.
“Ok dear. I need to ask you, how serious is it between you and Deola?”
And she finally got to the crux of the matter! Kunle thought to himself, when she began with all the talk about marriage, he had suspected this was where they were headed. He had a niggling suspicion there was a lot more to that question, than mere curiosity. Ever since he had brought Deola to lunch at her place, she had concluded they were a done deal, so for her to be asking this question? He couldn’t even allow himself to guess.
“It’s pretty serious ma, I love Deola, and I want to marry her.” He decided there was no point beating around the bush.
“How well do you know Deola?” She asked after a few seconds of silence greeted his admission.
“I know Deola very well. I know all there is to know about her. Ma is there something going on here, is there something you want to say?”
“My dear, that day I met Deola, I liked her, very much.” She took his hands in hers. “She seemed like a nice girl. However, I found out come things about her that negate all that. Which was why I asked you how well you knew her, because if you knew her well, you’ll know you cannot marry her.”
Kunle closed his eyes in pain. The moment he had dreaded had arrived; his mom had found out about Deola’s past and was obviously unimpressed at it. ‘What do you know and how did you find out?” He asked, struggling for calm.
“You see, thanks to the internet, getting information is now very easy.”
Kunle rolled his eyes; his mom was lecturing him on the workings of the internet? His mom who wasn’t internet savvy? Wait a moment, which meant she probably hadn’t gotten the information herself. Simi!!!
“What did Simi tell you?” Kunle was always a direct speaking kind of guy, and didn’t believe in wasting a moment circumnavigating an issue.
“Simi said she found out the girl has an un-savory past.”
“Yea, I know. I was there through it all. And I love her in spite of all that.”
“How can you love a woman like that? I hope you’re in your right senses? The wife of your youth shouldn’t be a discarded mistress who runs after…”
“Mother!!!!!” Kunle warned, rising to his feet.
“Yes my son. You have to understand that these things have far reaching consequences, how can you trust such a woman? How can you trust that your children are yours? A woman who would sleep with a married man for money is not a good……”
“Mother! Really? I expected better from you. Deola made a mistake, which she has since regretted. I expect you as a Christian to be more forgiving.”
“Wo, my dear, even religion is with me on this one. Our faith frowns greatly on adultery.”
“And it also teaches us that no sin is unforgiveable, there’s no one who can’t repent, and no sin is unforgiveable.”
‘In a world of many women, women of virtue, women without scandal and stigma attached to their name, must it be her?”
‘Yes mom, it has to be her. I love Deola very much, and I will marry her, with or without your support. Although I would prefer to do it with your support.”
“I am your mother; I know what’s best for you.”
‘I am your son mom, an adult. I can’t claim to be as wise as you are, I can’t claim to know it all, but I do know I love Deola, and she’s the only woman I want to and will marry scandal and all.”
“Yes mom. I know the whole story, I know that story beyond whatever you and Simi know. I’m not crazy; I’m also not under the influence of anything. I love her mom; she made a mistake which she totally regrets. Deola is a very good person, you loved her the first time you met her, and you were very supportive before you heard about the scandal.” He crouched beside her. “That Deola you met that day, that is the real person, she wasn’t pretending. Forget everything you’ve heard about her, accept Deola as the woman I love, the woman I will marry. Give her a chance mom, please I beg you.”
Tinu Philips looked away and refused to meet her son’s imploring gaze. Everything he had said appealed to her to reconsider, but the odds against Deola were great also. She didn’t want a home wrecker for a daughter in-law. Karma was another thing, when Karma came calling, she didn’t want her son to be caught in the cross-fire.
What was she thinking, she was a Christian, and it wasn’t her duty to judge. It wasn’t her duty to prescribe who gets punished and what would be the measure of the person’s punishment. Kunle seemed very convinced that Deola was a changed person, and the Bible teaches that if we confess and forsake our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive us.
Everything human and maternal in her was screaming that she forbid Kunle from marrying Deola, but the Christ in her urged her to give the issue more thought, to pray about it. She sighed deeply and pulled Kunle up to seat beside her.
“Why her?” She asked after a long while of silence.
“I have no idea mom, I tried to fight it, I really did. Deola also lives in fear of this reaction from you. She wanted to spare me this; she was very reluctant to even consider this relationship. I might not know why her, but I know she is a good person who has never tried to hurt anybody. I know that sounds so clichéd, but please mom, give her a chance, get to know her.”
Tinu wiped the tears running down her face. “We should pray about this, ask God for direction.”
“Thank you mom, thank you.” He hugged her.
“That’s not a go ahead.” She warned mildly.
‘I know.” He smiled. “Thank you.”
“I need a glass of water.” She called her maid. “Would you like some?” She asked him.
“No, I should get going.” He glanced at his wrist watch, it was pretty late. “I have an early morning meeting.” He said, getting up.
“Ok dear.” She got up to walk him to his car, outside. “Don’t forget to pray about it. “And pray with an unbiased mind.” She reminded him, as he was driving off.
“Yes mom.” He replied, his heart lighter than it was when he arrived.
Ade and Simi were returning home from Ade’s colleague’s wedding, Ade was driving. It had been a beautiful wedding, and as women are known to, Simi was analyzing the wedding piece-by-piece.
“I don’t know why people fuss over the wedding ceremony. If the couple knew the work ahead of them, they would save their energy for the marriage, and not expend it on a wedding ceremony.
Simi laughed. “Spoken like a man.” She said.
“Yeah, us men aren’t concerned about our wedding being the talk of the town, or being feautured in, what’s that website again?”
“Yeah, and all those other things you ladies care about. It’s the marriage that matters, not the ceremony.”
“True, but the wedding ceremony is the foundation.”
He shrugged. “Speaking of weddings, how far with Kunle and Deola? When is theirs coming up?”
“I don’t know, I don’t know if there’s going to be a wedding. When I told mommy…..”
“You did what?’ Ade angrily cut her off. “You told your mom when I clearly told you to stay out of it?”