Trials episode 4


Today is my sister marries traditionally. Of course I’m happy for her, but I worry for her too. What elder sister would want to see her younger sister hurt or end up with a devil, even when that devil looks like an angel of light. That is how I felt about Dami.

I keep insisting he represents an evil entity. Voicing my concerns about it to my sister made her hate me even worse; she never greeted me again, refused eating food cooked by me in the house, and completely avoided me.

It hurts so much to see my own sister behave that way, all because I told her about how I feel about Dami. Mama came to know about it and made the house difficult to live in. According to her, that’s the only way to torture me, the evil and ugly witch who wants to snatch her precious daughters’ fiancé away.

The day started early and, as usual, brought lots of relatives from both sides. Mama wasn’t left out. She made sure every single friend and their families were in attendance. Let them see my beloved daughter marry in style and class she boasted.

The cars of the groom and his people graced the compound and nearby field; yes, we had to use a field too. It was mama’s idea to hold the entourage of people from far and near just for this day.

Different delicacies of food and drinks flowed freely; people ate and drank to their satisfaction, and money flowed as well. Dami’s friends used that opportunity to show off their wealth and extravagance.

My sister was all smiles as she and her friends took up the dance floor. Mother made sure I did not go close to my sister the whole day; she delegated me to the kitchen, making sure I was always kept busy.

I took it in good faith; after all, she’s my sister, and I want her day to go well, but it only made it worse for me as relatives kept asking for my husband and why my sister is getting married before me.

The gyrating laughter from the older aunties made it worse; stories of not getting married before 30 and its consequences flew around. Each time my mother came around, she seized the opportunity to relate how I had rejected the wealthy young men she brought to me, with my aunts scrutinizing me in anger.

Charity, something is wrong with you for saying no to such men. One of mama’s friends replied. I wish my daughters had this kind of luck, she sighed deeply where the rich suitors would come for them. I would not hesitate in saying yes to such men, and yet, at this age, are you still selecting men or even still waiting on God?

Don’t mind, her mama replied. All she knows is church. Let’s see if that God she’s always running to will give her a husband. She laughed and left. Why would my own mother mock me on such a day? Why would she mock me before everyone in this kitchen? Why was Mama fond of embarrassing me? Does my pain give her pleasure and satisfaction?

These questions hit me hard, but I wasn’t bothered because I knew when it was God’s time for me, I would get married, so I took everything in good faith, praying and hoping for the best from the God I have always known has never disappointed his own. With smiles and a cheerful spirit, I went about my assigned kitchen duties.

The wedding came a week after the traditional marriage. Nothing was spared as usual. I took it upon myself to pray for my sister and her marital life. If my mother was so careless not to do that, as the second mother to her, I had to take up that responsibility.

You see, I love my sister despite what she and mama do to spite me at all times. She was still my sister, my flesh and blood and papa had asked me to take care of her before he died, so I owe her a duty to ensure she’s always happy and protected. I don’t make much from my little shop, so I couldn’t afford an expensive gift to compete with what she would get, but I had something greater than that, and it was prayer.
Getting to her room, I asked for a few minutes to pray for her, and I got slapped.

Yes, my little sister slapped and hauled insults at me. Who told you I needed your prayers? She yelled at me in anger.
I know you have always been jealous of me. I am the beautiful and social one people always liked, while you remain the ugly witch who can’t even get a boyfriend or a husband. Don’t even try to spoil my day, she screamed at me, pushing me out of her room and attracting people into the room, mother inclusive.

I felt the humiliation deep into my heart. It felt embarrassing that a sister I have loved and nurtured since infancy would say such things to me because she’s getting married before me. Avoiding the murmuring and eyes of people around me, I left the house with tears in my eyes and went to the only place I knew I could always find solace in, God’s alter.

Kneeling before God I wept bitterly. The pain I felt was raw and hot. Why me, Abba? Why? I asked God over and over again. Why is my path so rough and deep? Why can’t it ever be simple for me, like other people out there? I struggled to go through school; mama never cared; it is a waste of funds, she said, but can take out loans for my sister’s education and luxurious lifestyle.

If only papa still lived, I wept; if only he were still alive, it wouldn’t be this hard for me; home wouldn’t be hell for me. I stayed on the altar to unburden myself. I needed help from God, and I needed it fast. Living alone with mama now that my sister is married is going to be hell on earth because she will ensure life becomes miserable for me.

I couldn’t move out as there was no money to get another house no matter how small it was for myself. Business wasn’t bringing in much, so I needed help—the only help Heaven can give and with this thought in mind, I kept crying before God.

I knew I would find you here; it was mama’s younger sister. Aunt Joy was so different from mama and her other siblings. She was everything I wanted my mama to be, and best of all, she loved God, something my mother feels is a waste of time. I sometimes envy her children for being lucky to have such a loving and good mother.

I know how you feel. She gently wiped my tears and hugged me, something mama had never done for me. I know what pressure and expectations from family and society can do to a godly young woman, but you must be strong and bravely stand your ground.

I went through years of tears and pains for not having a child, but look at me today. I am a mother of five. God came through for me, and I know he will do the same for you. She kept hugging me and encouraging me. Her words gave strength and rest to my troubled heart. After praying for me, we left for home.

© Wofai Patrick🌹

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