Everyone seemed to know what was going on except me. The worst part was that they were all smiling. Auwals father said ”my son found a beautiful flower in your house that he wants to pluck and treasure for the rest of his life if only youd allow him. ” They replied ”we had already told you before my in-law we give our full consent. Well let our daughter say what she feels. ”
They noticed I looked really lost so my dad went on to explain to me all that happened. He told me that they had been coming to our house for a while but that was usually during my school hours. Auwal had only come once and that made me realize why he missed school for the first time since he started schooling in our school. They said they were really nice people and they promised to take care of my family and give us all we desired if I accepted to marry him. They had been giving my parents little money and foodstuffs too. That explained why all my siblings started learning trade and we ate more than before, varieties at that. Anytime I asked theyd tell me not to worry, it was Gods hand. They had already agree to the marriage and finalized everything to my surprise.
Auwal then said he knew I would never accept it if I knew so he kept it from me and had to go behind to do everything because of my rejection. I was extremely hurt and disappointed. My whole world came crashing down as I felt betrayed by my family.
”Do you have anything to say dear? ” Auwals father asked me. All I said was ”with all die respect sir, Im not interested in getting married at this point in my life. I still want to go to the university and achieve my dreams. I don want to marry your son. ” To my greatest surprise, my mum stood up, walked towards me and slapped me really hard on my face and called me a disgrace to our family. She said I was ungrateful to the man who was the reason I could get a secondary school education.
”You must marry him whether you like it or not. We are not asking for your opinion. Everything has been arranged already
” my dad said. Everyone of my family agreed with him. I stood up and ran out the house with my uniform as everything that was happening didn even give me the time to take it off before. Auwal immediately ran after me. I wasn too far from the house when he caught up to me and held me. We both fell to the ground as we collided and his grip was so firm I couldn push him away.
”Let go of me!
” I yelled. He refused and held on as I struggled to let myself loose from him. My struggle and strength started to fade as I got tired. I was panting as the my attempt to get loosed from him wore me out and I became still. He saw the anger in my eyes and all he said was
”Im sorry I had to do this. I just can let you go. I love you.
” He said this with a calming voice that sort of touched my heart but I was furious to say the least bit.
”How could you do this to me. I thought I told you. You
e ruining my dreams and my life. Why did you put me in such a situation. Why me! Why?! ” I yelled as tears rolled from my eyes like an open tap. All he kept on saying as I shouted as him was ”Im sorry, Im sorry, Im sorry. ” I told him I never wanted to have anything to do with him for the rest of my life and I cursed the day we met. These words pierced through his heart and I saw his eyes become teary. I suddenly felt his grip loosen so I pushed him off, got up, dusted my clothes and walked back to my house.
I had the determination in my heart that I wasn going to budge no matter what. I went back into the house and told them my decision still stood. My parents started yelling at me but I didn mind them as I walked into my room. I shared a room with my older and younger sisters. I refused to come out to eat with everyone in the evening. All i wanted was to be alone.
As they finished eating, my sisters returned back into the room. Maimuna my little sister had just returned from the morning to evening lessons Auwals father sponsored her to. I had no idea about this till that day as when Id ask them where she went, theyd tell me she went to stay with a relative I had never met. When they got into the room they saw me crying. Maimuna ran to hug me as she had no idea what had happened and wondered why I was crying. Immediately she returned home, she met them eating so she joined them and she was just seeing me for the first time since she returned. Khadija my older sister on the other hand knew what had happened. I thought like everyone else shed scold me but she came to sit on the ground beside me and hugged me holding my head towards her chest. She wrapped her hand around my head and rested her head above mine. I hugged her with my right hand around her waist and my left hand resting on Maimunas head who hugged me around my waist. I cried so much till I was tired as they consoled me.
”Why am I being forced to do it. I don want to,
” I said to her. She said
” Miriam, I know you
e hurt but please do this for us. They
e our only hope please give them what they
e asking. Im sorry you have to go through this. From the way you told me about him all those times when youd return from school I know that deep down in your heart you love him. You just don want to get married. ”
She was right. I did love him. I just didn want to get married as I was afraid itll end my dreams. She said something that struck a chord in my heart. ”Its so glaring that he loves you and is willing to do anything for you. Use it to your advantage and get what you want. ” She kissed my on the cheek and told me she loved me and said I should go get some rest. Throughout that night I didn sleep. I was thinking about how Id use this to my advantage then something hit me.