The feeling of insecurity set in. Suddenly, I belonged. In my claustrophobic mind, I felt trapped! It somehow felt way better knowing I did everything by choice…but to have the nail hit the coffin, oh so many times just banged even the miniature sense of responsibility right into me!
It was the day of the dowry payment event. Justin and I woke up early and rushed to town. We had a few more errands to run before the rest could get the grogginess off their faces. At 10am, we were done and I was starving a little too much already. We rushed home. I wasn’t rushing to my house, though…It was to my mother’s place. I had organised for my house help and Pesh to leave early too. ‘Good bye, hun’ he couldn’t believe I was already leaving. ‘I hope your parents make it easy for me’, he prayed aloud. I smiled in return. ‘I placed your boxers, vest and socks at your usual place. It will all be ok. Don’t worry.’ I promised, uncertain of what the future held for us.
I watched him walk away with sadness in his eyes. It wasn’t such a big deal for me at the moment…until I got to mom’s place and found bees every everywhere…not literary. Everyone was busy tackling their tasks and no one looked up even when they spoke. A few raised their heads when I walked in, threw a smile my way and went back to cooking. I spotted a goat’s head lying next to a pot of boiling water.
I left for the salon and walked back slowly knowing everyone had so much time to spare, having left everyone so busy. This was the first time in my life that mom let me off the kitchen hook, by the way. I wasn’t going to take it for granted! Clad in my tight black pencil jeans and a small size 10 top, I walked through the gates of my parent’s house. I wasn’t shocked by the sight before me. I was terrified!
Before me, seated in hired, plastic seats under the hoisted tent, were seventy one of my uncles. Ok, I kid. They were around ten, if not more and all were dressed in their best suits. They sat, most with arms crossed, waiting for the guests to arrive. From the way they all gazed at my tight jeans, it was clear, they were not impressed at all. I sprinted away and into the living room in the main house. It only got worse. There sat the better halves of my uncles, all clad and beautified in African Vitenges and the latest fashion. I did not wait for their judgement on my contrasting jeans, but rather rushed upstairs to my brother’s room. Now that I did not own a bedroom there anymore, I did everything in there, including showering, since the bathroom was down stairs!
My sister helped. She was rushing to do an exam and was kind enough to pass by before going to face the monsters. ‘Moraa dear, if you fail this one, I take full responsibility and cannot thank you enough!’ It then hit me, that it was such a big deal! Families from both sides were well represented and the event was beautiful.
My favourite part was when I was called to identify my guest, lest food was served to the wrong visitors. I was made to pick out my hubby and stand with him. The weight of everyone’s eyes, somehow made my knees weak…I thank the Lord for my long dress…those tight jeans would have made everyone jump into hiding!
So back home, I sat and stared straight at this man who just paid my dowry. I sort answers from his gaze, suspecting his every movement. Suddenly, I felt like he was officially mine, and I his. But it felt different. It felt as though we had been stuck on each other and the chase had been strangled. Will he get tired of making an impression on me? Will he start cheating, now that for me, its game over?
I watch him with a hawk’s eye waiting with baited breadth for him to give me a sign.
But he laughs in my face and begs me to stop being paranoid. He even went ahead to rush up for our officiating pastor to start giving us lessons and get rid of my post marriage depression…is there such a thing? So now he calls me every hour to remind me how much he loves me. He asks what is on my mind and I tell him the paranoia bug. It will go away of course, but in the meantime, ladies…I’m I the only one going though this? Please tell me I am normal, please! Hold on, hubby is calling again.