Uche returned home at around 10 am after his regular morning jogging and was surprised to see Chioma was still at home. Chioma had been working as a shop assistant at a supermarket since she was yet to proceed to the university after completing her high school education.
Her brother requested why she was still at home, and she replied that she had quit the job. Uche asked for the reason for such a decision, and she told him she had agreed to marry Agu. She said she was doing this for the good of the house. She believed that the financial conditions of the family would improve if they had someone like Agu.
Uche couldn't believe what he was hearing, and he felt like striking his sister across the face. “Who had brainwashed her like this, why the abrupt change of mind?” He asked himself.
Uche was now angry at his sister and was blowing hot when his mother barged into the room. She turned to him and started screaming. She angrily asked him to leave her daughter alone.
His mother's sudden outburst surprised him. It was in her presence that Chioma refused the marriage arrangement with Agu.
“ What happened, mom? This wasn't how we discussed this matter”. Uche spoke in disbelief.
“Yes, your sister Chioma had considered her judgment and had changed her mind about refusing to marry Agu. And just as you had stated before, you would have to respect her choice. And oh, she's not like you that always disrespects your father”
“ Agu is a good man. He's also rich, and he would have no difficulty at all in completing her bride price. He had even promised to pay triple the amount”. His mother added.
“ So, you will sell your daughter to the highest bidder. You want to auction your daughter as if she were a piece of the item?, I am ashamed of you mom”.
Uche began to raise his voice, and Chioma came to stand between the both of them and pleaded with her brother to calm down.
She assured him she had already thought about the matter carefully, and she was sure that getting married to Agu was a step in the right direction. She told uche that Agu had promised her that after they got married, he would teach her brother his business for just a couple of months instead of spending the usual five years that a lot of apprentices serve under a master.
But uche found this ridiculous and laughed out loud. His sarcastic laughter made his mom angrier, and she felt like slapping him. Before he left the house, he told his sister to do whatever she liked with her life. Chioma felt hurt and sobbed.
Uche felt terrible that his sister had allowed their parent to deceive her. He was very disappointed with his mom too. Of course, he knew that it was his father who forced her to stand in the same stance with him on this marriage issue. He also made her to convinces Chioma about accepting Agu's marriage proposal. Uche was sure that deep down in her heart, his mom was not in full support of the marriage.
Well, it was not as if uche didn't wish his sister to get married, he just doesn't like Agu enough. Agu was an arrogant fellow who invariably need everyone to bow to him because he had more money. He was a man who believed he could have anything he wanted with nobody stopping them, without caring whose horse they gore. Uche has also heard how he repeatedly oppresses smaller traders in the market, and he didn't wish such a man for his sister.
It wouldn't be improper if uche imagined that after marriage, Agu might constantly mock Chioma's poor background at any slight mistake. He might even maltreat her since she doesn't have a relative as rich as him in her family.
Uche didn't know why he continued to harbor such ill opinions about Agu, and he assumed he might be blinded by prejudice. In the end, he concluded that he had little choice but to accept Agu like that since his sister had agreed to marry him. He let out a deep sigh and strode back into the house. All these worries and quarrels about Agu drove him tired.
Someone was knocking at the door before he could fall asleep. Uche knew that was his sister, but he would rather not talk to her now, but chChiomapened the door and stepped in.
Uche informed her that there was nothing else he could say to her since she had already decided to marry Agu. Chioma saw her brother was still angry with her and pleaded with him not to speak that way. He was the only sibling she had, and she couldn't allow this issue to impose a strain on their relationship. So, she said him that she could still change and mind again and tell their father that she will not marry Agu.
Somehow, uche felt bad that his sister had brought him into such a dicey position by saying this. He remained silent for a long moment, then he asked her whether she was sure of what she was doing.
“ If I don't marry Agu, how would I know whether he would treat me well or not? And what if I married someone else, and it ends up in regret?” Chioma said.
Uche thought his sister was quite right, and he relaxed.
Thanks for reading….