Happily Ever After.
Why do we get married? I have heard a lot of reasons. Some people say, ‘We get married for companionship,’ others say, ‘we get married to give birth.’ They are all right and wrong at the same time. Firstly, companionship is a big word and secondly, reproduction is not reserved for married people alone. What about ‘Love’? It depends. If Love is mutual, yes. But I had seen a lot of one-sided genuine love; when one of the couples is madly in love and the other is hesitant to fall head over heel. In such a union, the burden of emotion would never be equally shared and the most important ingredient of marriage -happiness – would certainly be wanting.
‘Marriage’ is a quest for ‘Happiness’; a pursuit for emotional freedom. A union that should be enjoyed not endured; celebrated not mourned. If not, what’s the point?
My name is Kamsiyochukwu. I am in my mid-thirties. A graduate of the University of Enugu State University, Enugu – Nigeria. I have a great job in the Ministry of Education, Abuja. I am not earning a lot but I am comfortable. I also have a daughter yet I am happily single. Yes, there was a man, a pseudo-love, and a wedding ceremony . That was thirteen years ago. When I combed the city of Abuja in the quest for love. Little did I know that the town, which was a playground of the rich, guaranteed no easy amour. I love Abuja. It is a town that is too expensive to live in and too romantic for one to consider leaving. It took me a little time to fit into the city and when I became slightly comfortable, I had no other interest save to get married.
“You are a woman,” My mother advised, “Now you have found a job, you need to get married because if you become independent, you will not find a suitor; men will be afraid of you. Don’t you see your Aunty Nkiruka? She is now forty-eight years, beautiful, rich; yet unmarried. It was because she got a good job at your age and when she was warned not to buy a car, she did not listen,” she normally paused at this point before she would add “I always feel sorry for Aunty Nkiruka.”
I still wonder why she felt sorry for a person who had a better life than she.
Aunty Nkiruka was my father’s younger sister that lived in Port Harcourt. She had Kate Henshaw’s look; bold beautiful eyes, oval face and a light coffee brown complexion but inches taller than Kate. A goal oriented neck turner. Her lips were thicker than Kate’s, but still maintained the soft looking features; She was always on low cut hair and never failed to increase her height by mounting on very high heels.
“The heels always make me taller than most men,” she normally joked, “A good reason to make men look up when I talk to them. Men should not look down at you, abstractly and literally.” Then I would laugh. “Kamsi,” she one day added, “don’t ever forget I said that,”
Aunty Nkiruka was a drama queen. She lived her life like a bird, free to perch anywhere and sing anytime. Her life flowed like the waterfalls or rather like a compass that moves to the direction of the wind. She was truly a free woman with no limits. She climbed, I was told, to the level of an assistant director in Shell BP at the age of thirty-five but she was never married and never acted perturbed.
I remember the Christmas she bought a gown and a handbag for Mama and Mama held her tightly.
“My God will pay you back,” Mama blessed her, “You will definitely find a good husband.”
Aunty Nkiruka laughed.
“Mama Kamsi, not everybody must marry,” she said, “One would rather remain single than getting into an unhappy marriage.”
“You will be happy with the man you will find if he is from God,” Mama assured her but she never acted as if marriage was on her list.
“So why didn’t God give you a good man.”
“Nkiru, don’t say that. My husband beats me but God sent him because of Kamsi and Ikenna.” Ikenna is my younger brother.
“Nne, leave that matter a beg. Better single and happy than married in bondage.”
“Nkiruka, just say Amen,” Mama barked, “You need to believe.”
Ok, Aunty nonchalantly said, Amen o.
Thinking about Aunty ’s statements now, I noticed its depth and direction; but wise words are never appreciated until a mistake is made. Then, I took Aunty Nkiruka’s statement as a mechanism of defense; a consolation to placate an unsuitable condition. A trash I would not heed to. There was no how I wouldn’t have desired to become a complete woman, to become someone’s wife and a mother. No matter the temptation. Even if your partner is abusive. I thought I could handle it. I had seen it all. I saw how my Mama, a virtuous wife, endured with Papa’s abuses.