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Nwala by Opeyemi Akintunde. Nwala has always been hiding under the spiritual umbrella of her mother, whereas she doesn’t have one. Although, she saw her mother as being strict and too disciplined, but then she never knew it was for her own good.
While enjoying the grace that came from her mother’s salvation, she made a choice that changed her life forever and funny enough, she was unable to escape from the consequences of this same choice she made; and that made her life a bitter-sweet one. READ THE STORY AND BE BLESSED
NWALA; THE BITTERSWEET STORY
“You have to stop seeing Daniel!”. My mother had said as a matter of fact. Every part of her being meant it. This conversation was happening over dinner.
My father sat there saying nothing as usual. He was not the type to meddle in matters that wasn’t a matter of life and death. He believed everyone had the common sense to make the right decisions, but my mother was the Queen Mother of making life decisions for her children.
She had successfully married off my two elder sisters to men who were her choices for them, but as for me Nwala, as always, she was not going to succeed in doing that. Not that she had done a bad job with my sisters, I just was not ready to follow my sisters’ pattern.
I wanted a different love story. I wanted something out of the pages of a r0manc€ novel.
I wanted the typical love story of ‘How a rich girl fell in love with a poor boy from the ghetto, and married him without regarding family status’.
Truth be told, I would say my story was coming up nicely like a romantic novel.
My name is Nwala Nelson, third child of Nelson Okorocha of Okorocha Motors.
My father is not enormously rich, but rich enough to be called ‘very rich’, so you would understand the love dynamics when I tell you about Daniel; my love.
Daniel is the child of one of my father’s long serving mechanics. As a car dealer who imported fairly used cars from abroad, my father has an assemble of mechanics of whom Daniel’s father was one of them. He wasn’t one of the best mechanics my father had, but what made him stand out was his humility.
Daniel was therefore a frequent visitor in our house from as early as I was eight and he was ten. I have two younger brothers who loved Daniel’s company hence we became friends as well.
However, we started becoming aware of each other emotionally, when I was in Senior Secondary 3 and he was awaiting admission. Daniel was the best maths student in the public school he attended and I, Nwala could not stand the sights of crosses, and minuses and multiplications. It just infuriated me.
“You better tell Daniel to help you with Maths before you fail it in your final exams” my younger brother John had advised.
I took to his advice, asked for my mother’s permission. At the time she saw nothing wrong because it was a known fact that Daniel was a maths guru. Daniel started coming everyday after school to prepare me for my final exams and that was when the little light was lit.
I passed gloriously in my final exam, not only did I get an A1 in maths, I got A’s in 5 subjects and 3 B’s, all thanks to Daniel who made it a duty to cover all my subjects.
It wasn’t a hassle getting into the university immediately with that kind of result and as a way of my parents showing their gratitude to Daniel, they ensured he also got admitted into a Federal University promising to pay his fee all throughout his five-year study. He wanted to be a Mechanical Engineer, while I just went for something very easy on the brain, no offence. English language was just a course I felt was easy cheesy ‘FOR ME’. I didn’t want some big course.
As soon as we were in the university, though separate institutions, we became highly inseparable, Daniel would come to my school every weekend. No guy thought it wise to make a move, because it was obvious Daniel and I were going to get married.
My mother found out during one of the holidays; she wasn’t shocked and she wasn’t excited, neither did she look offended. All she said to me once was “The bed undefiled”.
We were presently in our third year and our court-ship had been sailing smoothly except for a few lover’s riff that cropped up anytime Daniel realizes a rich guy was asking me out.
Daniel had a terrible insecurity problem especially when rich guys made a move or asked me out. He felt I would leave him for some rich guy if I had the opportunity.
I therefore was ready to fight mum for Daniel and I.
“Mum, why do I need to break it up with Daniel? Did he offend you?” I said laughing so as to make the issue a no issue.
“Because He is not good for you?”
“Says who? or by whose or what standards?” I looked bemused & amazed.
“God says He is a broken man, and Nwala you cannot marry a broken man” My mother said like the Alpha and Omega of my life.
“God said that to you about Daniel? About one of his creations? Wow!” I asked
“Yes! Nwala, God didn’t create him broken, He got broken someway, somehow, maybe by himself and if a broken man is not fixed before marrying a woman, he will break the woman too.”
“If he is broken, why can’t God fix him?” I asked
“God can only fix the broken pieces brought to him. When was the last time Daniel went to church?” My mum asked.
“Mum, Daniel has his reasons for not going to church, but He is a good person”
“You don’t need a good person, you need a God person, Nwala” My mother said with the tone of motherly concern in her voice.
“Mom, why do I have a feeling this is not just about church, this is also about money, mummy you want me to marry a rich husband like my sisters”
“Nwala, this has nothing to do with money, I have never had problems with you and Daniel until I prayed enquiry prayers about you both”
I kept quiet, and all I could hear was my father’s fork clashing with his plate as he scraped the last grains of rice from his plate.
“Mum, Daniel is the only guy I have known and loved all my life, if I leave him, you have a better option for me?”
Even my father’s fork took a pause.
” Reuben?” I asked
” Reuben Acme!” My mother said seriously
I couldn’t help the eruption of laughter that flowed out of my belly. My mother was definitely a joker!
Reuben, the son of the rich General Overseer of our family church… I laughed till my belly hurt and I started choking on my food. Suddenly, all the anger I felt towards my mother for trying to separate Daniel and I suddenly fizzled away…
“Oh my mother! My dear mother, and you said this has nothing to do with money? Mummy, Mummy, out of all the Godly men you could suggest, somehow the son of Bishop Acme is God’s perfect will. Mummy, I doff my hat for you. Queen Mother!”
I stood up clearing my plate and my father’s plate. I laughed to the kitchen, left the dishes for the maid and laughed all the way to the room…
Rueben Acme indeed!
God forbid bad thing! I laughed so hard; I was tearing up. I couldn’t wait to share the joke with Daniel.
NWALA; THE BITTERSWEET STORY
I thought twice about telling Daniel, I fore-saw the drama that could follow, so I chose to share my funny story with my immediate elder sister.
Chinwe was far away in Texas.
After marrying her super rich husband as PRAYERFULLY worked by my mother, they relocated.
“Mama Bear now finally has your time!”. Chinwe said laughing “I always knew you and Daniel were child’s play” Chinwe said adding pepper to my injury.
“Chinwe, whose side are you on?
“The side of reality, Nwala, your coconut head will not work this time, you know no one wins mummy. We are talking about Madam Nwakaego here, she will tell you…” Chinwe was saying but I completed it for her.
“That just like her name, her children supersedes everything including the wealth she has”
“So you know she wants the best for her children, hence if she says Daniel is not good for you, then he is not good for you”
“What if she is wrong?” I asked
“Nwala, your coconut head will not win this one, the warrior in you will not win the war with mama Bear, the earlier you bowed to her, the better”
“She may have won you and Big Sis, but for me Nwala, the son of the soil, I will win this war”
‘This name father gave you has always been your problem, it brings out the man in you…”
“Not all women are meant to be subdued” I agreed with her previous statement.
“Nwala, Daniel is a good guy, but he may not be good for you. Stephen my white boyfriend was good, but mum told me he was not good for me, and today I am happy I followed mum’s choice”
I shook my head in pity, Queen mother had manipulated my sisters, I was not having it, after all, I am Nwala!
At this point, I am sure you are wondering what is special about my name!
From the eastern part where my parents hailed from, Imo State precisely, having a son was everything. It was an affirmation of a man’s manhood. After my mother had two girls consecutively, my father was beginning to feel the heat amongst his peers. They mocked him about not been the true son of the soil. They told him he was a woman in a man’s skin.
I was told my Father and Mother went to several native doctors to ensure I was a boy.
When my mother became pr€gnant of me, my father was in no doubt I was going to be a boy, so he had boastfully named me Nwala from the womb. He wanted them to know he was a legit child of the Land and so was his unborn son. By Birthing a Son, he was proving to them he was the child of the land.
Disappointedly, I arrived as a girl after several scan reports indicated I was a boy. My father refused changing my name and treated me like a boy. Shortly after giving birth to me, my mother became born again as the humiliation from her husband’s family drew her close to God.
God vindicated my mother and just after a year after my birth, she gave birth to my twin brothers, John and Joseph.
Despite them being boys, I was more manly than them when it came to decision making, so mother was definitely going to fail in dividing Daniel and I.
I ended the conversation with Chinwe since she was not giving me the energy I wanted.
Daniel called and he could tell from the sound of my “Hello” that something was off.
Instead of his usual reply of “Hey Babe!” he simply asked..
“Nwala, what’s wrong?”
“Nothing! Why do you think something is wrong?”
“Something is wrong? Are you sick?”
“No, I am fine, just mum and I”
“Ok… What’s up this time around?” Daniel laughed easing up a bit. He knew my mum and I were warriors.
“Don’t mind her, she said the food I cooked had too much salt and Daddy ate the entire food” I lied.
Daniel laughed so hard…
“My baby, forgive mummy, just two more years and she will be missing your delicious delicacies once we make it official” Daniel said and I could feel the joy laced in his voice.
I was his trophy. I was his mission impossible achieved. I felt guilty about lying to him. I knew I had to shut down that conversation before Daniel got out the truth from me…
“Babe, please let me sle€p, we will talk in the morning”. We said our usual lovely dovey talk before I ended the call.
My phone vibrated waking me up from the nap I had forced myself into at around 5am. I literally couldn’t sle€p after Daniel hung up. I thought of ways of winning my mother. I researched online on how to stop one’s parent from meddling with one’s marital choices and I got a lot of confusing answers.
Some writers applauded it stating that parents mostly see the flaws of our intending spouses and are able to pull the red flag on time, while the other school of thought discouraged parental influence in any way stating that only God was important in the equation.
I checked my phone to find out why it was vibrating. It was a text message from an unknown number.
The text read:
“Hi Nwala, my name is Reuben from church. Your mum told me she had informed you about my intentions. If it won’t be a bother, I would love us to have lunch together sometime this week before you return to school.
“Ha! Ha!. This thing is “serious-er” than I thought”. I exclaimed. ” What is this? Mummy is not playing ooo. Jesus Christ of Nazareth!”
“Mummy! I screamed from my room and I am sure that scream must have been loud enough to raise the dead!
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1. The Story was Inspired by the Living Word
2. TO SHARE YOUR TESTIMONY OR TO GET THE HARD/SOFT COPY OF THIS NOVEL, PLEASE CONTACT THE AUTHOR ‘MRS OPEYEMI AKINTUNDE’ via EMAIL: [email protected] or PHONE NO: 08151103646. God bless you.