On Friday, the wake keep was characterized with tears and grief. My mother’s people came with three eighteen seaters buses for the burial. Nobody could say anything to me but the look on their faces said it all. Some mourners will come and greet my father and my siblings but will ignore me. The message was clear in the action; you killed your mother. I wept like never before. I was so devastated that my son had to stop breast milk. Throughout the wake keep, I was moody. “Tomorrow” is the burial proper and my traditional wedding ceremony. The burial will hold by 10am while the traditional wedding will come up by 3pm. To further humiliate me, I was not allowed to pour sand on my mother at the graveside like my other siblings did. We moved from the graveside to the family compound for a short reception. When it was some few minutes pass 2pm, my uncle
came and informed me of the proceedings of the traditional wedding. I was to dress in black clothes as a sign of respect to my late mother.
Few minutes to the commencement of my traditional wedding, mummy pastor showed up with three men in a police van. A lot of people were wondering what was
happening and why police came to the venue of the traditional wedding. Myself and
Deji looked at each other’s eyes. Of course, we knew what was cooking up. The men
stood with mummy pastor ( Deji’s wife ) for about 5 minutes to discuss and thereafter moved
closer to me. Mummy pastor pointed at me and said to the police men “that is her”.
Madam, I am officer Peter and these are my colleagues. Please are you Mercy Kwashi? Yes I am, I replied. You’re under arrest and you have to follow us to our station now. Everyone stood afar off watching the drama. One of my brothers
stepped in. Officer what is her offence? He asked. You will know when we get to our office, the police team leader answered. Madam, move, he ordered me. So I moved and they drove me away.
My brother followed us with his bike to the station. As soon as he ascertained the police station, he went back. Few minutes later my brother, Deji and some of our elders came to the station while I was writing a statement. I couldn’t look at mummy pastor to her face for shame. I have betrayed a woman who genuinely loved me. I took her husband away from her but she was on a mission to takeover her husband back. Our elders and mummy pastor held a short meeting and proceeded to the DPO’s
office. My bail was discussed and I was released immediately because of my baby.
While we were going back to my family house, mummy pastor was raining insults
and curses on me. I was really ashamed. I felt I should just disappear to thin air so as to escape further embarrassment. When we got to the family house, she was screaming at the top of her voice, “this wedding will not hold while I am alive”. She will insult me and turn to Deji, “you liars and traitors”, husband snatcher, prostitute, fake pastor, etc. She ranted angrily.
A Story By Ayodele Adeoye