I arrived work earlier than usual so I had ample time to clear my boss table. I meticulously arrange his table as he would want it to be, clearing away old document and sifting through new ones to see which was important or not.As I go about my business, I get attracted to the pink shiny looking rectangular shaped envelope on his document tray. Curiousity hits me like a flash and I eagerly open it.
“Wetin be that?” The office assistant who is cleaning the office ask when he sees my eyes roaming frantically over the content of the envelope.
“Wetin be your own?” I snap rolling my eyes. “Such effrontery! ” I murmur in disgust. I make sure I take the card with me until he has finished his cleaning before I return the pink shiny rectangular envelope which by the way is an invitation card back to my boss table.
“Congratulations dear” I whisper with a wink to Nimi who was just about to breeze pass my table.
“What is it? ” She gives a small laugher but her eyes is shining. I am sure she’s trying to control herself from showing how truly happy she is. If she had her way she’ll probably scream in happiness when I said congratulations to her.
“I don’t know oooo iyawo”. I say jokingly knowing she’ll get the message that I knew about her wedding coming up soon, that’s what the pink shiny rectangular invitation card had said anyway .
“Thanks dear” She replies.
“Let me take you out for lunch since I won’t be able to come for your destination wedding. I say
“I am all yours deary”. She replies affectionately, as she saunter away.
I am in over my head with work when Ngozi interrupts me “Deb, aren’t you coming for lunch with us?”
“I can’t go now . Work has sucked me in and left me dry and low. I won’t be able to eat well if I’m not done with this.Maybe later ”
“Let’s go jor.You can always come back “. She insists with a deep frown on her face.
“Ngozi I have a deadline why don’t you go for lunch with Hauwa or Nimi?Don’t tempt me with food, or do you want me to be rated poorly during appraisal. You know what? go first I’ll meet you in between”. I reply even though I had no intention of doing that. I just wanted her out of my hair.
The week runs out , the weekend comes in. I forget all about work . I hang out with friends , make my hair and relax. Unfortunately, Monday comes to quick and the craziness that a new week bring begins.
It’s a Thursday today so I am in good mood; I smell the weekend already. I really don’t have much to do so in between light work, I gist with colleagues, get into a few funny arguments and I go out for lunch with Ngozi.
“Hi Nimi I promised you lunch right?”.I say when I see her at the food court and about to place an order.
“Yes you did ” She sings.
“Why are you buying her lunch and why am I not included in the freebies?”. Ngozi interrogates.
“Don’t trouble me. Wait till you’re about to get married before asking for free lunch ” I say firmly.
Ngozi’s eyes flies open some more, she faces Nimi “Nimi you’re getting married? Congratulations girl! Wow this is a delightful news…”. She squeals and gushes over her for more than five minutes. I get tired of the drama
“Ngozi it’s enough naaa. Hahaha . Why are you so dramatic?”
“You better leave me , can’t I express happiness again? What’s your own sef”. She retorts and directs her attention back at Nimi . “Have you done engagement and introduction yet ?”
“Of course. He met my parent like 3 months ago”. Nimi replied.
“Nimi I remember there was one guy you were with last year December is he the same person you’re getting married to?” I ask. We had been served our meals already so I wait for her to swallow the semo that is now decorated with afang soup to completely slide down her throat before she responds.
“No oooo this is another guy ” she responds eventually.
“What happened to the other one?” Ngozi ask .
“Well, he wanted me to have sex with him before he introduced me to his family “.She replies boldly.
We laugh at what she had said . Especially because she had said it without showing any form of embarrassment and it sounded so lame.
“Didn’t he know that he was dealing with a Christian sister, a prayer warrior for that matter” . I tease
“He knew. Well…..I wouldn’t have minded having sex with him if we had done a family introduction”. She says in a low voice.
I pause in my mind. I don’t let my face show how I feel about what she had just said.I nod my head instead..”Hmmm”.
“Yes ooo” She continues with a raise of her shoulders .”See ehn, until a guy brings his family to meet my family in order to make his intention clear about our relationship I can’t have sex with him!”
“Correct girl. That’s very true ” Ngozi interject.
She continues after swallowing a morsel of semo. “Anyway I did not agree to have sex with that stupid guy since he was not ready to do a family introduction. You won’t believe that after a month of having this arguement on why I couldn’t sleep with him yet, I stumbled on an invitation of card of his wedding to another woman
“Guys are bastard ooo”
“Let me give you girls better gist jare”. She continues. Her food interrupting the conversation once in a while as she chews on chunks of meat and pomo scattered around in her bowl of afang soup.
“Where’s did I stop sef ? ” She gulps her drink and faces Ngozi and I again. “So this my friend did her introduction with this guy last year.After the whole thing, she was called aside by his parent and was told that the only way she could marry their son was to get pregnant for him..”.
“That’s nonsense! What kind of mumu criteria is that? ” I exclaim in annoyance.
“Relax..there is more” Nimi says.
“Eventually this my friend got pregnant” She continues her story, rolling her eyes and gesticulating when necessary .”On hearing the news of her pregnancy, the supposed fiance/he-goat said he isn’t in love with this my friend anymore neither he was hd interested in getting married to her.”
“Are you serious? ” I ask in incredulity
“That’s guy needs to be castrated😠” Ngozi adds forcefully.
“I am not joking oo. I am really serious. The funny thing is, she became pregnant with twins. Can you imagine?”
I am so pissed, especially since Nimi had said the story was a true one and the woman in the story is a close friend to hers.
“You see why the bible says sex is honorable on the marriage bed?. That could have been totally avoided. How can she be pregnant with twins and he still rejects her ? The heart of man is truly wicked”.
Ngozi and Nimi argues with me on that.”Deb this things happen, don’t be naive.It’s the norm in some families, it’s like a tradition . It’s just unfortunate that the girl met a stupid guy”.
“I still do not accept that it is right even if it’s the norm in some family “. I say vehemently
“Am I not a Christian?”Nimi ask defensively. “But I stick to my believe that once you have done a proper family introduction it’s okay to have sex. Maybe my friend didn’t do a proper introduction that’s why this happened to her”.
“It means you’ve started having sex with this guy that you’re about to marry”. I state the obvious
“Yes of course!” She replies. Since the time he took me to his parent and his parent came to see mine ,we are okay to have sex as we want to, it’s no longer fornication”.
“But you haven’t even done traditional wedding or even gone to Court, talk less of Church wedding …are you sure it’s not fornication ?”. I argue.
“Deb stop acting like a child “. Ngozi scolds me. “What Nimi said is not bad . At least the guy has told her family that he wants to marry her. What else is there again?”
“I wonder ooo”. They laugh
“Then you should have just slept with him right from the day you met him then”. I say to Nimi
“But I am a Christian I couldn’t have done that. This one I am doing is not fornication”. She replies.
“Deb take a chill pill, Ngozi no dey do fornication with im bobo. They don do introduction na. Ogini? “.
“But introduction is not the same as wedding” . I argue.”It does not give the liberty to begin to have sex especially since you both have been waiting for a while now.
We all argue some more .Even with their explanation I am still not convinced.Why are we then claiming to be Christians when our cultural/traditional values holds more weight than our christian values?
What values are we choosing exactly? Or do we substitute our traditional values and Christian values at will ? When it is convenient for us and acceptable to the society?
I choose this.
I choose to walk as a Christian not only in words but indeed. I choose to place my faith, morals, values and opinions on my Christian values rather than cultural opinions and society expectations.
I would rather fall once in a while because I am in this flesh and ask God for forgiveness than fall because I am trying to meet the demands of traditional expectations especially when I clearly see that it opposes what the bible says.
I choose this…
What do you think? What do you choose?