Read

The Outsider

January 21, 2024

42 Views

Her father was originally not even meant to be in the relationship or marriage business He was training to become a priest in the Roman Catholic Church

His father died while he was still very young and one of the Reverend Fathers of their church in Abeokuta decided to sponsor the education of the only boy the deceased left behind, that son was her father

According to the story he told her, he was in the third year of seminary when some ladies came to visit them at their hostel and he found himself falling in love with one of them

He took the lady out a couple of times and decided all by himself not to become a priest again

He had found and was unwilling to let it go even for his ministerial calling

He went home to his mother to break the news to her, his mother was heartbroken by the news

She had wanted her son to become a reverend Father and climb that rung of ministry to its very peak

She asked her son who the lady was, the one he fell in love with

He told her who the lady was and where she was from

His mother immediately showed her disapproval, there are girls from Abeokuta and beautiful damsels from Nigeria, so why pick the daughter of a stranger?

Why pick a girl from another country? Togo of all countries! He tried to explain to his mother that the lady in question grew up in Nigeria with both her parents and could speak all the major Nigerian languages

His mother said she wanted to meet the lady

A week later, he brought the lady home, and his mother and older sister set about the task of discouraging the lady from marrying their son

They piled her with work- fetching water, washing clothes, being mean to her for sport, and all sorts of dehumanizing behaviours

They felt she would see them as bad in-laws and leave him after the first week or at most a month, she didn’t

It was as if she was immune to all their shenanigans

His mother called a family meeting and explained to the family that her son had decided to quit the seminary because a girl had bewitched him

She asked them to please help bring her son back to his senses

Those who were present at the meeting heard the news and processed it in different ways

Some were originally against the idea of an only son becoming a priest and they were happy with the development

They felt all they had to do was find a proper Abeokuta lady and marry the lady for their son instead of the lady from Togo

That was how these elders of the family approached her mother

Her mother was a pretty girl living in Abeokuta with her parents. She was still in secondary school at the time

According to her mother, three men came to meet her parents on a Saturday morning to discuss her marriage

The men told her parents that they had a son in the seminary who was looking to get married and they had decided to choose their daughter as the one

Negotiations ensued and one week later she dressed up and went to visit her in-laws and meet her husband

When she got there, the men were waiting with her husband-to-be

They asked her to cook for them as they settled down to talking and drinking palm wine After they had eaten and drank all day, they asked their son to go and talk to his bride He took her by the hand and they went into a room, they barely said a few words to each other before he mounted his wife and did what was expected of him

It was the agenda his uncles had been pushing and it was executed flawlessly

The idea was for him to leave the lady from Togo and marry a local girl whose people were well-known to the family

When her father got back to his Togolese girlfriend, he told her everything

He told her his family didn’t want her and had decided to marry another lady for him

He told her everything they made him do

The Togolese girlfriend didn’t take offence

She hugged him and told him she was pregnant

He went home to tell his mother

When he got there, he met the other lady in his mother’s house

His mother called the other lady “his wife” she was also pregnant

He protested, but his mother insisted, and it led to a big fight A family meeting was held His uncles sided with the local babe, the reverend father who adopted him was at the meeting and he insisted he had been manipulated and should be allowed to marry the woman he loved

That was how he ended up with the Togolese lady

They got married and she delivered her baby, a boy, just two months before her mother delivered her

This was how she became the Outsider- the daughter of the rejected woman

Her mother took the rejection badly

She was named in the family house by her father’s uncles

Her father didn’t even bother to attend the ceremony

She grew up always wondering what it meant to have a father

She would peep into his father’s world from afar

She saw him often, saw his cute little children and his wife

They met at family events, and her mother was always informed and invited but she was treated like a nuisance

Her father would sneak to a public park to see her once in a while or show up at her school like Nicodemus

She was the hidden child, the one he dared not associate with in public

She spent a few minutes with him twice or thrice every year

When he could he would send her some money but most of the time he didn’t even bother

Her mother got married when she was six years old

It didn’t last

The marriage produced another child, a son

After this, her mother accepted her lot as a single parent

She became the concubine of many men who were either unhappy in their marriages or just wanted to have a roll in the hay

Her mother was a tough and bitter woman

She couldn’t tell if her mother had always been like that or if the incident with her father and the way she was manipulated by his family made her that way

It was difficult for men to settle down with their mother

After the initial attention and doting stage had worn off and she revealed her true nature, all the men took to their heels

Her mother had five husbands and each marriage produced a child

Her mother never really settled down into monogamous bliss

Her mother was religious, and zealous for the things of God and the church, she sought the approval of those she believed to be in positions of authority, she seemed tough on the outside but her tough stance was mostly a cover for a lack of wisdom

She came to that conclusion about her mother when she was thirteen years old and she saw that her mother’s bad decisions were mostly made for her by those around her, she didn’t learn from the mistake she made by becoming a pawn in the game plan that led to her birth

In her opinion, any wise person would have taken charge of her life from that time and never repeated the mistake of trusting people again

Her mother left the thinking to others to do for her and she bore the brunt of all the bad decisions that were made regarding her life

As she grew into a young lady, she was determined to do better

She wanted to marry right, have her own home, and keep her home

She was determined not to follow in the footsteps of her mother but life is tricky and sometimes despite being determined to fight an ill, one falls right into it

Her first boyfriend was a military man, a Captain

She met him at a friend’s party and she was told he was not married and had recently suffered a heartbreak

He was a dashing and handsome fellow, he treated her with respect and seemed to have a lot of confidence in himself

She admired these qualities in him

They started dating and everything was fine for six months until his ex-girlfriend decided to return

He had dated the lady for five years and she was well-liked by members of his family, she was the new girl, the void filler or placeholder

Everybody expected her to fold and walk away

She decided to advance her course by getting pregnant

This was the counsel her mother gave her “Get pregnant for him, beat her to it”

It was foolish of her to fall for it but she did

When she told him she was pregnant he began to laugh

He said the other babe was pregnant too

It was history being rewritten right before her eyes

She knew she should have called it quit instead of advancing a defeated cause

She opted to have an abortion and get out of his life

After the incident she found herself battling with depression and suicidal thoughts for almost a year

She couldn’t believe she found herself in the cycle her mother wrestled with for many years

She didn’t want to be the outside woman or the one having children out of wedlock

It was not her desire and she had worked hard all her life to ensure this was not the kind of life she would live

She had always somehow attracted only married men, even from her secondary school days

At the time, she put it down to her mother and the kind of people in her mother’s life While she was in Kano for her NYSC, she had three marriage proposals from married men

She was far away from home at this time and she didn’t tell anybody her story

She started working as a sales rep for a designer brand when she met the soldier boy and she still slid into that slimy pit

She faced her work and healed for two years

An old schoolmate came in from America and asked to take her out on a date

She discovered he was married and was just looking for a good time while on vacation in Nigeria

She was not getting any younger and yet none of her suitors was single or unattached She was determined not to struggle with anyone for a partner

She was determined not to be a second wife or a side chick

She was determined not to be anybody’s second fiddle

She clocked thirty-five with her determination

Her mother started encouraging her to embrace who she was “You are of the Oba tribe, the Obakan tribe, we are traditionally second wives and concubines in our lineage

We came from a strong line of slaves, even while among our own people, we do not decide on such things as marriage and having a family by ourselves- it is always done for us- the way a master decides the destiny of a slave

If you desire to have children in this life, embrace who you are, if you decide to do it as other people do it, it won’t work out for you

I have done consultations and sought spiritual help, the advice is the same, “Embrace who you are, do it as it has always been done”

She remembered her father’s funeral- the fight that ensued when they didn’t even want to put her name on the obituary

When they didn’t want to acknowledge her officially as his child- the pain she felt in her heart

She had promised herself she would never do that to her own children but her resolution began to wane

She began to consider single parenthood and other options, she didn’t want to go through life alone; she wanted a family but if she couldn’t have one, she would settle for being a single mother and breaking the cycle of that pattern that had so firmly become the norm in her family

She reached out to the brother in Jeans and T-shirt

She told her story and wondered if things could ever be as she once dreamt they would He called her and they had a lengthy discussion over the phone

She got filled with the Holy Spirit and started meditating on the Scripture, not marriage scripture and prayer points as she had been doing for years but all of the scriptures in a bid to get to know God more and discover herself in Him

One year later, the designer brand she was working with organized a fashion fair in Paris She was nominated to attend

It was her first international trip and it opened the door to many more

By the time she was thirty-nine, she had relocated to the USA as a brand ambassador for the same fashion line

She was representing their product in West Africa and South Africa

She had immersed herself in work and found fulfilment in her fellowship with the Holy Spirit

She went into one of the outlets of the brand in Chicago one afternoon on an unscheduled visit to see their stock and talk to their salespeople as a customer

She was attended to by a handsome man in his early forties He took to her immediately and gave her a royal treatment all the way

They got talking and she discovered he was a father of three and had been divorced for four years

He had dedicated his life to raising his children, his job, and his relationship with God She had never had such a stimulating conversation with anyone before him

It made her heart sing a new song

He called her later that day to find out if she got home safely

She invited him to an exhibition, she had tickets for but hadn’t made up her mind about who to go with

He accepted her invitation and they had a wonderful evening out together

Two weeks later, he took her out on a proper date and proposed, she was shocked

They had barely known each other for two months

She told him she did not want to be with anyone who had previous attachments that could come back and haunt her

She would rather remain single than start fighting for relevance in the life of a man

He told her his ex-wife had remarried and he had not been with any woman since his divorce

She knew he was telling the truth

She said “Yes”

They got married two months later in a quiet ceremony attended by only a handful of people

She had it the way she had always wanted it.

PS: Sister Mopelola and Brother James Carver delivered their first set of children overnight

They had a set of twins

The children, Annette and Anthony, were named immediately by their father who even though he had three children with his first marriage (The three children were 19, 17, and 15) had always wanted to have a set of twins

Sister Mopelola called to share the good news and ask for blessings to be spoken over her newborn babies

She testified that everything changed after she came to know the Holy Spirit

She stopped fretting and found herself at rest in such a manner that she could not describe

A peace that defied understanding

She said God came through at the least expected time and place and he gave her the desire of her heart.

Glory be to God.

 

-GSW-

Get our free , straight to your inbox.

Subscribe
GSWMI

FREE
VIEW