Being engaged to Matthew was the best decision she thought she had ever made. Not only did she know that it was the right thing to do, she was also excited and happy, like never before. He called her everyday, wanting to know what was going on with her. She had insisted she called once in a while, but he said if he was supposed to take responsibility for her in the future, how would he ever show it if he didn’t start from now? She loved Matthew, but once in a while, she would get moody when she remembered that she might not be able to produce children. She hadn’t told Matthew about the outcome of the abortion she had years earlier, but she had been praying for God to wash her and have mercy on her. However, she knew she was supposed to tell him as he deserved to know what he was getting himself into, even if it meant her heart break. She felt so agitated that she decided to tell him as soon as she was through with her training, which was just in some days’ time and she would be back in Nigeria.
Because they were engaged, Matthew had requested she saw his mum for parental blessing before leaving for Nigeria, but she dreaded it. She could still remember her first encounter with her: it was scary as the woman had asked all manners of questions even though they weren’t even engaged then. To now visit her as his fiancée alone? She didn’t know what to expect with no protection from him. She told him her fears, but he had insisted she went, and that his mum was sweet; and if she wanted his mum to attend their wedding she had better go, else he was sure the mum would say she was not invited; so much for a sweet mum. So with trepidation, she had gone to see his mum and the outcome had been disastrous. If she was unsure of how Matthew would respond to her infertility, she was very sure of his mum’s: she wanted many grandchildren …
As Titi took her sit in the passenger airline on her flight back to Nigeria, she remembered their conversation:
“Good afternoon ma, I brought this for you ma.”
Titi had gone to see his mum two days to her return home to cut short her visits and any possibility of a follow-up meeting.
Like any future daughter in law, she went with gifts of food items and cloths, but she noticed Matthew’s mum didn’t seem impressed.
“Thank you. Put it on the table over there.”
“OK ma.” On the table? Why hadn’t she even looked at what she brought?
“I am Titi ma your son’s fiancée.”
“I know who you are, but I want to know why you are just coming now.”
“Ma?” What did she mean?
“I meant why are you just coming today? He called last week to tell me of you and I have been expecting you since then.”
“Oh ma, it was the schedule at my training. This is the last stage so it’s more hectic.” And I’m pretty sacred of you… she could never say that anyway.
“Schedule? My son was saying something about you being scared, and that I should take it easy with you.”
“No ma.” Now why would Matthew tell his mum that? She would think he was setting him up against her. Lord Jesus help me here.
“Well, you shouldn’t. I don’t have a knife or am I a murderer?”
“OK so straight to it, when would you be coming again?”
Thank God she had expected this.
“Well ma the thing is, I won’t be able to come back soon because I have to travel back to Nigeria. My training is up.”
“So you alone come here when you find it convenient? And you people will expect me to travel all the way to Nigeria for a wedding and inconvenience myself?”
“Well ma, I didn’t mean to.”
“Save it for yourself. I have just a few questions before you decide it’s time to leave. Just give me straight ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answers OK?”
“Are you a virgin?”
“Ma’am?” What did she just hear?
“I asked if you have slept with any man before.”
“Well ma, it’s kind of complicated.”
“What is complicated? I guess you are not.”
“Have you gotten pregnant before, since you been having sex?”
“Now ma I didn’t come here to be harassed.”
“What harassed? Just answer me with simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’.”
“Yes.” Jesus help me, she prayed. I don’t want to lie.
“OK now that makes this matter complicated; I wasn’t expecting to hear a yes.”
“Am I supposed to lie?”
“No. Of course not. Just that I didn’t expect my son to bring a single mother home to me. He is supposed to be building a church. What would people say when they hear this? It is definitely not a responsible thing.”
“I am not a single mother.” Could this get any harder?
“What happened to the child?” She looked sympathetic. She was sure she would soon hate her when she told her she aborted it.
“She was aborted.”
“You did what?”
“You heard me I think I will take my leave now.”
“You will do no such thing, you killed a baby. You killed an innocent child. What manner of person are you and now you have seduced my son. What?”
“I am a person who was raped and left for dead by the men who raped me. I got pregnant while in school and I did what I thought was best for me. I didn’t know God and I definitely didn’t seduce your son.”
“I disapprove of you. I don’t give my blessings. You are not going to marry my son.”
“OK ma, but that will be your son’s decision ma. I will leave now.”
“Take your gift I don’t need them. I want children for my son and a respectable woman, not you. Definitely not you.”
What was she supposed to do with the gift? The cloths were not her size and the food, she was already leaving. Packing them, she hurried out of the house with tears in her eyes and even as she remembered now, tears were streaming down her cheeks. She hadn’t picked Matthew calls the next day or even today. She didn’t want him coming to pick her. She wanted to end the relationship. She wanted to forget everything, at least till she could figure out what was wrong…