LOVE & BARRIERS!!
11TH JANUARY, 2016
Everything is a barrier; religion, color, social status, ethnic group, country of origin, tribe and money. Barriers are everywhere, even age can be a barrier. When it comes to love there isn’t meant to be a barrier, the world is meant to be ruled by love, instead these barriers govern us.
I look in the mirror for the 10th time, I’m meeting my fiancé’s parents today. I’m quite nervous because from time to time I’ve heard them make negative side comments about me. First was about my religion, ‘how do you let a muslim marry a christian?’, ‘how does it work out?’ It’s no one’s business except the two involved but tell that to some africans, everything matters to them; where you come from, what your parents do, how you look, how you talk, what you do, how you compose yourself, everything matters, even your facial expressions might count, how you wear your hair counts.
Today I’m walking into the lion’s den. What happens if they don’t like me? Usually this is the other way round, you have to worry about the bride’s parents. I don’t know what is going to happen if this doesn’t go well. Kwasi isn’t the type of man to elope with me,he holds his family in high esteem. I could elope, I’m a rebel, my life is not dictated by anyone except God and myself.
I can’t shake the thoughts of what happens if they say no. Would I have to pick up shatters of my heart or will we wait till they come around? If they finally come around, I won’t forget they resented me so there is always going to be that friction. I’m about to see my heart pulled out from my chest and thrown into a grinder and there is nothing I can do about it.
‘Funke Funke, shake off those bad thoughts, they are civilized and everything will be fine’, I said trying to slap myself out of bad thoughts as I reconsidered if a yellow ankara ,knee length bodycon dress with puff shoulders was the best option. The deep v neckline revealed an insignificant part of my cleavage, I can’t help but wonder if I was exposing too much.
I don’t care, this is me, this is what I would wear on an above-average day, so I guess I’m good to go. I’m coming to peace with the fact that I like what I see and if anyone has a problem with that, it’s their problem not my business.
My phone rang, distracting me from a potential tachycardia. Kwasi was here to pick me up. I picked up my purse and headed out.
He was dressed in a long-line white shirt with a black denim and a black giuseppe zanotti loafer. He’s quite the gentleman; kissing my hand, then my cheek and telling me how beautiful I was before opening the car’s door.
We drove in slowly into the compound after his gateman had done all the chantings he could ‘oga bros welcome sir, you’ve finally brought madam home.’ I grew up in a middle middle class family, so I know a mansion belonging to a upper class family and this was definitely one.
Step by step, each step closer to the fate of my poor heart. Now, it’s in God’s hands. Walking into the living room with reflections of gold spinning all over the room. Instead of meeting two people, there were almost 15 people in the room.
All eyes on me, accessing me and trying to calculate my worth with the materials on my body, one lady in particular giving me the ‘So this is how my brother has been spending his money look’, I could not help but reply her in my head saying ‘No b, this lady is financially independent!’
Kwasi introduced me to his parents and I greeted them as respectfully as I could, with both knees on the floor. They smiled but I couldn’t tell if it was genuine or not. The rest of the family got introduced one after the other, with names I could hardly pronounce but one person stood out ‘Ohemaa’, She was Kwasi’s cousin,I could see the genuity in her wide cherry pie like eyes, she likes me and that filled my heart with nothing but joy.
We sat down and the question flew in only from Kwasi’s parents, no other person made a sound. I was asked about my work, my parents, what my parent do. Then came the indirect question of the night ‘So you are a muslim.’
‘Yes sir I am but I have nothing against other religion.’ I replied as he noded and looked at his wife. He continued to tell stories about how his grandfather was a pioneer to the country and how important their family are in the country, everyone laughed in synchrony at jokes that weren’t even funny.
Few minutes later, a lady who I presume is the house maid came into the living room, and we were invited to eat in the dinning hall.
Everyone dished their food and Kwasi kept giving me that comfort smile. I believed for a moment that everything was going to be fine.
Family jokes were thrown from one corner to another and some people asked me one or two questions. After a while, dinner was over and one by one, they retired to their rooms, leaving Kwasi, Kwasi’s parents and I in the dining hall.
‘Do you really want to marry my son?’ Kwasi’s mum asked as she glared at me like whatever I said next was life- determining
‘Yes , of course ma.’ I replied
‘But you are both of the same age, how would you be able to respect your husband?’ She asked
‘Ma, respect has nothing to do with age and it certainly would not affect the high level of respect we have for each other.’ I replied as I looked at Kwasi with my side eye
‘How many children do your parents have?’ She inquired
‘I am the only child ma.’ I replied as I started to feel like I was on a hot seat
‘Your parents prefer a small family?’ She asked as she looked at Kwasi
‘No ma, but it’s only I who survived.’ I said
‘Oh oh’ she said as she looked at me like she could dive into my ancestral background through my pronounced forehead as she was trying to determine If there was a possibility of me being barren.
Now I’m going to be judged by the amount of kids my mother has!
‘So if you were to get married, in what religion will your children be brought up?” Kwasi’s dad asked
‘Sir, I will train them in the principles of both islam and christianity and when they are old enough they can choose whichever they want or continue with both. The main religion to be taught is love but this world ,being what it is has neglected that.’ The moment that came out of my mouth, I knew I had said something he didn’t want to hear, but that was the truth.
‘Young lady, you seem like a very respectful woman but I’m sorry you are not the perfect fit for my son’ Kwasi’s father said.
My head spun as the chandeliers looked like a burning frozen castle, the word ‘FIT’ echoed in my head as I could feel the earth beneath my feet engulfing me and right in front of me was my shattered heart, served as desert for kwasi’s family.
‘Dad, please don’t do this.’ Kwasi begged his father
‘If you do not want me to disown you, you will do as I say!’ Kwasi’s father said without even looking at his son.
How do you fit two people together, it’s the 21st century and this man just looked me in the eye and told me I wasn’t a perfect fit for his son, he stared at me as if his eyes would vaporize my love for Kwasi instantly.
I got up and said ‘Thank you ma, thank you sir.’
Kwasi was still in shock as he looked at his parents angrily. I wanted to walk away but my heels held me down like my guts had to spill itself all over their white rug, so I won’t regret not leaving them with words they could never wash from this floors.
‘Sir, if you are looking for a good ‘fit’ for your son, I’m confident you’ll never find it, because it doesn’t exist. It’s not your place to pick who your son marries, he has a right to choose who he wants to spend the rest of his life with but if you are so determined to be the one to choose, then you’ve damned you own flesh and blood to an eternity of misery. If this is what you do that let’s you sleep at night, you need to consider if you are humane in any way.’ I said as I looked him straight in the eye.
He looked at me like I said something wrong, but I had to say my truth but this truth didn’t set me free.
‘It’s over my dead body that you’ll marry my son.’ Kwasi’s father shouted as Kwasi ushered me out of the dining hall.
He drove me back to my hotel, all he said was ‘I’m sorry.’
I said nothing, he wanted to talk but I couldn’t. I gave him back the engagement ring, I was too sad to cry, too hurt to talk. This type of heart dysfunction is yet to be accurately diagnosed in medicine.
17TH SEPTEMBER, 2016
I have been picking up the shatters of my heart, it still hurts but I’m doing this one day at a time. Kwasi thinks his dad will come around soon but I doubt it. We don’t talk as often as we used to. In january, I asked him to let us elope but as I already predicted he declined. He told me to try to move on, even though he swore his heart would never love anyone but me. So how do I love another when my heart belongs to Kwasi?
Ohemaa and I became good friends, she told me about the fights that Kwasi has been having with his parents and also the possibility that Kwasi’s mother might be coming around, but that wasn’t enough to ignite any flame of hope in me.
10TH FERBUARY, 2017
I was in Lagos for a business seminar after which I went out with a couple of friends for the evening. At 10:30pm, I decided to head back to my hotel because I had an early flight to Ibadan the next morning.
My uber driver wouldn’t stop making jokes about lagosians especially the so called “big boys”. I assumed that was his way of compensating for taking the long route to the hotel.
We reached the hotel, I alighted and went through the revolving door. Almost immediately, I realized I had crashed into someone else’s romantic moment. Red and gold petals were all around the floor with love shaped balloons hanging from the chandeliers as Lana Del Rey’s-young and beautiful played on the background. It was beautiful, I wanted to apologize but I saw no one, not even at the reception.
I heard the elevator open and someone came out, it was “Ohemaa”.
‘Ohemaa, oh my gosh, what are you doing here?, I mean its good to see you!” I said as we hugged
‘Look behind you.’ Ohemma said .
It was Kwasi,on one knee. I wasn’t sure if I should freak out or run away. I just stood there in shock. I noticed as the room filled up with so many familiar faces.
‘Funke,they say love is the greatest thing of all and I love you, you make me happy and that is not something I would trade for anything or anyone in this world. Please, will you do me the honor of being my wife?
4TH MARCH, 2019
‘Funke you need to eat, have you forgotten you are feeding more than one person’ Kwasi said as he resolved to feeding me
Morning sickness sucks, it’s been two years since Kwasi and I have been married, we’ve had our ups and down but we are indeed happily married. All of Kwasi’s family except his father have been very supportive.
In the end, love always wins.
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THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR READING.
SPECIAL THANKS TO : AKERELE OLUWATOYOSI
PHOTO CREDIT: PININTEREST(Peachy.yedi)