I went to visit my Aunty, Ekwutus on the Saturday before my wedding. She had invited me two days before for her private marriage counseling sessions. “Aunty, I have completed my marriage course in church last month,” I said jokingly over the phone on getting her invitation to her private meeting. She convinced me that there were some messages the church could never pass as she would.
I cannot believe that my wedding day is fast approaching. Uchenna and I met in London. I ran into him on the hallway and his books fell off his hands. He looked up at me and smiled. That was the beginning of our love story. He was my dream come true, my best friend and companion. He prayed with me, cried with me and celebrated with me. He asked me to marry him on my 29th birthday one year ago. I was overjoyed and said a resounding yes.
We moved back to Nigeria after he got a good job offer here. It has been bliss so far and I cannot wait to spend forever with him. However, planning a wedding in Nigeria is not just financially draining but physically exhausting. From running to the church to get a date to relatives reaching out to give you unsolicited advice. I honestly could not wait for all of these to be over.
“Ada, you see men…hmmm. They are like babies, they want to be pampered and cared for. Also, they want to respected and treated like Kings in their homes.” My Aunty emphasized. I simply nodded to everything she said because I had heard same words from relatives over and over again. Those words must be tired. I thought to myself.
I munched on my chin chin and Fanta as I listened. She offered me egusi soup and semolina initially but I turned it down politely as I was working on maintaining a snatched waist ahead of the wedding ceremony. That was the only way I could fit into my Mai Atafo custom made dress. She insisted that I ate something so I settled for chin chin and Fanta.
I was lost in thought as she went on about want men wanted then she dropped the bombshell. “All men cheat, don’t fight him over it. It is their nature.” I stopped her at that moment and asked if my uncle had cheated on her in their twenty years of marriage. She noticed the disdain on my face and immediately regretted saying what she said earlier. But words cannot be taken back.
She could neither answer nor look at me. I thanked her for time and left her house.
Two months later, I saw her and her husband at a family function. They wore matching outfits and could not keep their hands off each other. The couple looked so happy and in love like newlyweds. At this point, I searched for my husband with my eyes. I saw him laughing with Emeka, his cousin.
I thought to myself how easy it was for people to trigger memories you had tried hard to suppress. My Aunty did not remind of my husband’s unfaithfulness. She reminded me of mine. I cheated on my husband six months before we got married. As much as I want to say it was a mistake, I cannot because it was not.