Jide drove in his Blue Sedan car into the family house of the Olukoya’s situated in Victoria Island, Tuface’s ‘For instance’ track reverberated in his car. He was feeling really high. Jide horned loudly when he finally settled his car in the garage. As he came out, the music wafted out disturbing the tranquility of the compound.
Jide didn’t seem to care, he threw some steps as he sang along the music. In this bright Saturday morning, what could possibly go wrong? He thought.
After some minutes of musical ‘performance’, he went back into the car, switched off the music and started for the house.
Jide: ‘Let get this over and done with’ he said to himself.
Jide’s Dad: ‘Iwo omode yi, what is wrong with you?’ his father ‘greeted’ angrily as he set foot into the parlour. The noise of Jide’s entrance had distracted him, and now the newspaper he had been reading lay carelessly on the table.
Jide: ‘Morning dad’ Jide simply replied and went to sit on one of the settee.
Jide’s Dad: ‘O ni da mi lo hun ni!’ (wont you answer me) his father pressed.
Jide: ‘Really dad, the time is 10 in the morning and i don’t wanna bicker with you, simply tell me why you asked to see me, then i take my annoying butt, outta this house. Simple as that!’ he replied.
Jide’s Dad: ‘Its early as you say, yet you disturbed the peace of this house with ur music and all…’
Jide: ‘If that’s the contention here, please accept my apologises and lets move on, i haven’t got all day you know’ Jide cut in.
Jide’s Dad: ‘Exactly the issue, you haven’t got all day and yet we wont see you at the company…’
Jide: ‘my apologises again! But i’ve been in touch with my department, Joyce tells me if anything comes up that requires my attention, and since
Jide: Tuesday she didn’t call me, so i supposed…’
Jide’s Dad: ‘Hear yourself Jide! Just hear yourself, you relegated your responsibility while you frolic around Lagos doing God knows what’ his father shouted.
Jide: ‘oh well, i knew we can never come to an understanding, since i didn’t come here to be shouted at, i’ll just kindly leave’ Jide said resignedly, stood up and made for the exit.
Jide’s Dad: ‘Jide come back here, mo ni ko pada wa! His father shouted again.
Jide stopped in his track, stood for some seconds and retreated back to his seat. This overbearing attitude of his father was definitely gonna make him give the old man a piece of his mind, he thought angrily.
Jide’s Dad: ‘We are not done here…’
Jide: ‘oh, gush! Jide exclaimed angrily ‘why don’t you get on with it then!’
Jide’s Dad: ‘Ma kigbe fun mi, sho gbo (Don’t you dare shout at me, you hear!)’ his father shouted back. Jide sat quietly. He wasn’t in the mood for his father, shouting back wouldn’t solve any matter, the time was fast moving, today was Saturday, there was so much fun to catch, why is this man trying so hard to get on his nerve! He seethed. Silence. As no one spoke to the other.
Jide’s Dad: ‘well, your irresponsible behaviour these days is a cause of concern for your grandmother and I, and we cannot seat back and watch you destroy your life, so…’ Jide wasn’t listening, his irresponsible Behaviour? Grandma! He just couldn’t wait to be out of here, just because he personally decided to skip work since Tuesday and relax his aching bones, Groove the town with Grace and his hommies for a while longer than the two days he got weekly, didn’t mean he was going bad or anything. The next time he stood to leave, he would walk out for good! He thought shaking his head.
Jide’s Dad: ‘Did you hear what i just said’ his father asked. He had expected a fierce reaction, not this calm distant look on Jide’s face.
Jide: ‘I heard and i agree. I’d love to be on my way now’ Jide lied and stood up. His father was confused, he doubted Jide had heard him. There was no way, this son of his would calmly receive the news he had just dished.
Jide: ‘Dad don’t sweat it, i heard you, so see you later’ Jide added and started walking away. Mr Olukoya was really confused.
Jide’s Dad: ‘So you would marry her then?’ he asked, just to be sure. Jide stopped, glanced back at his father, he wasn’t sure he heard well.
Jide: ‘Marry…i don’t understand’
Jide’s Dad: ‘Daisy, that mama’s nurse in Boston’
Jide: ‘yeah, what happened to her?’ he asked.
Jide’s Dad: ‘Have you been listening to me? Your grandma and I have decided she is the right bride for you’
Jide: ‘i still don’t understand, i never knew they was a marriage somewhere…’
Jide’s Dad: ‘oh, Jide, you weren’t listening then. It’s your marriage, Daisy is the choice. Try listen to discussions’. His father said with finality and made to pick his newspaper. Jide laughter halted him. He knew now that it had hit home and he braced up for the aftermath.
Jide: ‘Like dad, could you recap or something?’ Jide asked.
His father said nothing. He Just concentrated on the newspaper.
Jide: ‘Like Dad, don’t f.ucking keep quiet, am talking to you! He screamed.
Jide’s Dad: ‘Yes, and i spoke English. Your granny and I decided to get you settled, tame your wildness and we have the perfect bride for you’ his father replied without a glance his way.
Jide smiled bitterly, this father of his was damn joking, maybe a little crazy. It wasn’t even April fools day, so if it wasn’t a prank, maybe a…whatever, he was definitely leaving here for good.
Jide: ‘ya all must be kidding me’ Jide simply said and thundered out of the house, got to his car and zoomed off. His father hadn’t tried to stop him. Jide might not have taken the matter seriously initially, he most definitely did when Mama landed into the country the next Saturday with a mission to conquer and subdue. Jide ears was troubled with ‘you must Marry Daisy!’ everywhere he went,
it had been as if the whole world was against him. Threats of ‘i will disown you!’ ‘i will Bankrupt you!’ ‘i will kill you myself!’ were shooting from various directions, before he could say ‘jack Robinson’,
Daisy flew in and preparations started earnestly, Yemi represented him at the introductions in Daisy’s father house, even though that side had met obstacle, nobody had paid attention. Jide couldn’t understand why Mama whom he loved and trusted for she had been a mother to him and his siblings when their mum passed away while they were still young, would be the leader of the pack, she even came up with threats of ‘Killing herself!’ if he didn’t oblige.
Then, Like a flash of lightning he had found himself, Jide, 32 years of age, Matured and sane enough! walking down the aisle with a girl he barely knew, or had ever spoken to. Worst of all was the fact that the silly girl hadn’t relented or objected even in the face of opposition from her father.
Jide: ‘crazy s.h.it that was’ Jide said after what seemed like hours. He had stood, relaxing his weight on the reading desk and ruminating over the marriage craziness. Just a careless impulsive action of his had gone this overboard. If he had known, he would just have remained straight up and not skip work that eventful week.
Months after, he wasn’t sure how he felt, funny enough, he wasn’t that angry anymore, it would be a waste of emotion to stay angry, he thought. He just had to stick through the marriage and wait patiently for the time when Daisy would be fed up, pack her bags and quietly leave. He was going to make certain that happened.
His mind set, he staggered slightly to his bed and let the sweet embrace of sleep soothe his angry nerves.
Daisy gently opened the door to Jide’s study, she simply couldn’t take it anymore. All her insides were on fire and she desperately needed liberation. She felt like one in need of water after 3 months of thirst in the Sahara desert! The only rational thought in her head right now, was to take another desperate chance with Jide.
At the state she was in, she could go at any length to quench this flame that threatened to consume her, even if it meant her crawling on her knees. Three painful months had passed, where Daisy had indeed lived in a fiercer desert than Sahara. If she had ever imagined that she would be strong enough to remain celibate till Jide came around, she was highly mistaken. For now, Daisy’s desire was finally ruling her senses, while her once proud and irresolute feet were leading her to another dare game, she was going to try her luck with Jide, even if it meant a ‘one night stand’.
The door gave in easily as if it urging her on. Jide raised his head where it had bowed under his hands and stared at the intruder with disbelief and anger. Not you now! he thought angrily.
He had been arguing with Mama on the phone over a discrepancy in the last shipment, formally it wouldn’t have called for raised voices. But for the fact that the two were still nursing hurt & anger over the wedding incidence, temper had risen and smokes had puffed out of the heated argument they had had.
So much so that Jide hadn’t heard Daisy soft knocks. Daisy stood transfixed, that angry look of his always had a way of turning her paralytic everytime. She felt ashamed immediately, more by the skimpy nightwear she adorned than with the knowledge of what she had come for.
It was the ‘wrongest’ time for Daisy to hatch her week long plan.
Jide: ‘Daisy what do you want?’ Jide almost barked at the inappropriately clad woman who was so not unconnected with the heated argument of minutes ago.
Daisy: ‘I…I…I…came for you…you. .to .know…’Daisy had relapsed to her nervous stutterring. She felt like crying.
Jide: ‘really now, am not in the mood to hear you stammer like some craz.y person, say what you want and be out of my goddam face!’ Jide cut in. He was at boiling point.
Daisy: ‘Am sorry’ Daisy simply said in a teary tone. Where was his anger coming from again? she’d thought it was fast fading away after 3 months. Even though they weren’t normal couples that conversed in conjugal companionship, they weren’t exactly enemies too. So what had happened?
Jide: ‘Sorry! is that what you came here dressed like some cheap girl to tell me!’ Jide shouted angrily.
The voice had frightened Daisy and in panic she screamed ‘no!’
Jide: ‘For jeez sake tell me what it is then!’ Jide screamed again, his temper totally lost.
Daisy: ‘I came to ask if you could spend the night with me’ Daisy replied shaken, her heads bowed.
Jide’s wicked laugh stunned Daisy who looked up at him, hot Tears burned at her eyes.
Jide: ‘Not only are you pathetic, you are also damn shameless!’ jide replied with all the venom he could muster. So this was how God had chosen to comfort him for the way the wicked plotters had snatched his life away from him! Their very docile puppet was standing right there, craving a night with him! He would definitely make the most of it. Now was the time to bite off a sizable chunk of flesh, an opportunity to hit back at Mama and his father. He wouldnt fail to drain dry the cup of opportunity.
Daisy: ‘please’ the highly shamed and hurt daisy cooed softly.
Jide snorted, so now she’d resorted to begging? Grim luck it was.
Jide: ‘kindly take your pitiable and cheap self outta my sight while you still have an iota of dignity left’ he retorted, the venom very well still in his voice.
Daisy: ‘Please jide’Daisy cried softly.
Jide gave a wicked smile.
Jide: ‘obviously, my manipulative and overbearing grandmother forgot to tell you about this part, did she? Neither did your narrow and shallow mind imagined it would come to this. This here is reality sting Daisy! I cannot bear to lay my hands on an irrational forced filth like you. This is not some African magic sh.i.t, you know, so get it into your f.oolish and over the cloud brain that you weren’t my choice for a wife, not then, not now, not ever! Okay! He finally shouted.
Daisy: ‘please’ Daisy cried again. This time however, She wasn’t pleading to be laid again, she was pleading for help, for comfort, for love from anyone out there.
Jide: ‘you obviously enjoy it the hard way then, don’t you?’ Jide replied without a trace of pity, stood up, held Daisy by the arm and pushed her out of his study.
Jide: ‘go please yourself out there!’ he shouted and banged the door, making sure she held the sound of his door, lock. He was feeling really satisfied for She definitely shared in the plot and scheming and this was her own dose.
Anyone who cared, could call it transfered aggression or nemesis, it just didn’t matter. What mattered was the fact that he hadn’t felt any better than he did tonight.
Jide: ‘you most def. reap what you sow’ he said happily to himself and strolled back to his seat. Out in the hallway, Daisy dragged her pitiable self slowly to her room. She couldn’t control her tears. None had ever treated her this way in all her miserable existence, not even her parents who had abandoned her when she needed them the most.
Daisy: ‘oh, my poor miserable life!’ she cried.
On her bed later on, the foolishnes.s of her very earlier decision hit her like a tornado. Marriage wasnt like what you see in the movies, nor read in harlequin romance series, it was deeper than that, love and friendship should be topmost, the exact items that were so lacking in theirs. This realization left her torn and heartbroken.
If jide had felt remorse after how he treated Daisy, he didn’t show it neither did Daisy see it. Infact it became a catalyst to a side of him, Daisy had never seen. He started keeping late nights, he hardly ate the food Daisy kept for him and reduced the amount of money he dropped for house upkeep on Saturdays.
Daisy, already a shadow of her cheerful self, didn’t seem to notice the reduction in money, while the late nights were a blessing to her. They meant she could be free from his tortuous presence for a little while. She would gladly return the untouched meal to the kitchen and replace with another on the morrow, So far he kept his distance. She had withdrawn into an impenetrable shell, frightened stiff of Jide, his anger and temper. She would prepare his breakfast earlier than usual and resign into her room, coming out only when she was sure he had left for work.
And at night, she would retire to her room after she had placed his food on the dining, resurfacing again when she was sure he had retired to his room. Anything she could, just to blot out the pain and trauma of that faithful night. She couldn’t face him anymore, she would always cringe in pain and shame whenever their paths accidentally met. Jide, on his part would make sure she saw him gloating. So she made it a business to avoid him at all cost.
The saying that ‘hell hath no fury like a woman scorned’ didn’t pertain to her, what Daisy craved was a haven where she could nurse her scorn, not vent her fury .
Every scales that had previously clouded her eyes, were falling down now in painful places. She lived only to eat, watch whatever programme the cable stations dished, make her weekly trips to Aguda market, for she loved to hear the market women call her ‘iyawo America’ because of her slight American accent, she would light up a smile or two then.
Daisy had no friend in the neighbourhood, she carefully avoided making friends with the women who called out to her or tried to start a conversation whenever she decided to take a stroll round the estate, she just didn’t want their pity or companionship. Their lives were rosy as it was, they didn’t need to rub it in.
Sometimes, she found herself wishing Brenda was in the country, even Peter her ex too. For they were pretty close nevertheless their failed relationship. The distant correspondence through calls didn’t satiate her longing to once more be in the company of those who loved and cherished her. She missed Mama too, but sometimes, she felt anger towards her. She reasoned that mama had also contributed to her present plight.
At times, Jumoke, Jide’s sister would come calling, Daisy appreciated her visits but it didn’t change much, the two women seemed worlds apart, one was 22, the other 26. Daisy had once considered working at any hospital to atleast change environment, but she didn’t know how to go about the job search, so it eventually remained at the thought and wish level.
These traced the mundane existence of Daisy after that night’s event, it was like an eye opener that demoralized her for quite a while.
Okon had also noticed how withdrawn Daisy seemed these days, but reserved his comment. Even though he liked his cheerful and hospitable Madam, he couldn’t help but wonder where she appeared from. The only girlfriend of Jide he knew and had met occasionally was Grace. Then when did the love affair of Daisy and Jide bloom to the extent they ended up married? he wondered.
He guessed it was an arranged marriage or something reasonably close. Judging by the fact that the couples lived apart, there was no other reason he could fathom.
The little he had learnt about her from the few conversations they had revealed that she had lived in America and was a nurse before she came down to get married.
He pitted her, she was too pretty and nice (for he always got a meal after every clean up) to have accepted a marriage that was only making her sad. But since pity and worrying wasn’t part of his job description, he let it slide.
Question: Based on the story, what do you think of marrying someone you don’t love?
Names have been changed to protect the identity of the narrator and other individuals in the story.
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