Sisterhood episode 66




Nkem’s family got back to Demian’s family three days later. Her uncle came with Chidindu to Demian’s family house to give them the list. They also used the opportunity to know where she was marrying into. They had done their investigation and were satisfied with their findings.

Demian’s eldest uncle wanted a date for the payment of the dowry. Finally, they agreed on Friday of that week. Nkem’s uncle wanted a lavish traditional wedding but Chidindu refused. He stated to them that his sister wants a quiet sitting room event. There would be enough to eat and drink but the rites wouldn’t take more than an hour to conclude.

“Nkem is not someone that they will marry like that. She is the pride of the family. The most intelligent child in our family and responsible too. Why should we give her out like we are ashamed of her? Her modesty alone is enough for her to be celebrated. How would other girls learn that being virtuous comes with good rewards if we hide to give her away?” his uncle responded. Chidindu was quiet. What the uncle said made sense but the cost to organise this at such short notice was the problem.

Demian’s uncle said, “My son, let me know the cost of organising the traditional wedding; it is our responsibility to foot the bill. The two people getting married are very simple so I understand why they want a quiet ceremony but they cannot tell us what to do in this instance. This is our playpen.”

Mama Nkem asked Nkem to come back two days before the ceremony. She had also requested they make outfits for the ceremony. Nkem wasn’t interested but her mother insisted. She contacted her sister who is a fashion designer. She made two outfits for Nkem within days.

Demian wanted to shoulder the responsibility of the marriage rite list given by Nkem’s family but his father and his uncles asked him to focus on looking good for the event. His mother made him a new outfit. He wondered what the fuss was about. They wanted something small and simple but this was getting overboard.

The women organised most of the items they were to present. Chidindu had called secretly to tell them the items not to bother with but the men said they would go about it the right way. Everything on the list was bought. Most of the family members didn’t travel back; they waited for the ceremony. Demian was excited.

The ceremony took place. The main focus was checking the items on the list and all were presented according to the list. Then the other rites were done and the dowry was paid. Chidindu whispered something to his uncle. His uncle returned the dowry to them and said, “We are not selling our daughter but giving her to you so she can be an addition to your family and add value to you. If at any time you feel you are not satisfied with her, kindly return her to us. We do not tolerate physical assault on a woman. We will rather have her back in her home as a divorcee than in a body bag. If she offends you, chastise her with love. We have also spoken to her. She is a well brought-up child and we believe she will not disgrace us. Please take care of our child.”

Nkem left with her in-laws after the ceremony in the company of Uloma. She warned Uloma not to bring disgrace to her while she is with her in-laws. Uloma felt bad. She asked Nkem if she would ever forgive her for her mistake. Nkem said she had forgiven her but she hasn’t forgotten and has to keep reminding her so she doesn’t stray.

That night, Nkem gave Uloma a room in her flat but Agnes wouldn’t hear of it. She took Uloma to stay with her in the main house. The cousins were hanging out in the compound and she wanted Uloma to be with them so Demian and Nkem could have their privacy.

Demian was happy he had married Nkem. Nkem had mixed feelings. She believed everything went too fast. She hadn’t been engaged for long and she was now married. It was so surreal. If she didn’t know better, she would have believed she was charmed. She loved Demian but everything was moving too fast. She felt she wasn’t the one having these experiences; they were too much for one holiday. She shared this with Demian. He laughed and told her not to worry the reality will dawn on her soon.

Uloma had a taste of a different level of affluence and she was amazed. She was slightly envious of Nkem as she had everything going for her. Uloma’s self-esteem had dropped since she had Elsie. She did well academically but she felt inadequate in other areas including her social life. The problem was that she had no one to talk to. Seeing Nkem wait for the man she loves and he patiently waiting for her to be ready it made her decide to tow her line. She was willing to be patient until she meets a man that will love her like Demian loved Nkem. And he had to be rich too.

Nkem had big dreams for her. She had said Uloma would work with Nexim bank. She wanted Uloma to serve with the bank in Abuja and then get retained. Now that she was travelling for her Master’s degree, Uloma was ok with serving in Abuja. She didn’t want to live with Nkem who constantly reminded her of her failure. Since she was travelling, it would be different. She will live alone and away from her criticism.

Early the following morning, Uloma woke up as she always did when she was at home. She had a bath and dressed up. She came out to help with household chores but the maids were working already. She went to help clean up the obi while she waited for Nkem and Demian to wake up. Mama Ukwu and her husband were the first to come out. They saw Uloma in the obi sweeping. Mama Ukwu said, “Nkem and her sister were properly brought up by a woman who was widowed early. See her here working while our children sleep. I am sure Demian didn’t allow Nkem to come out yet which is why she isn’t here. Demian’s mother doesn’t know the gem she has as a daughter-in-law. She dislikes the girl and I wonder why.”

Her husband was amazed, “She dislikes the girl? But why? She is exceptional. Even when Gab went to make enquiries about her and her family, he was told she is the best in her compound followed by her sister. Her widowed mother gave them a good upbringing and they didn’t bring shame to her but rather respect. Suitors have been coming for Nkem but her mother wanted her to make something out of her life first before marriage. Didn’t you see her brother? He sounds so mature and responsible. I will talk to my brother about this. Demian has to learn to stand up to his mother. You can’t compare Nkem to most of those girls she was bringing for Demian to marry. She should be happy Nkem is marrying him knowing his shortcomings and still loves him.”

Uloma made friends with Demian’s other cousins. Some of them were younger. They exchanged numbers and arranged to hang out in Lagos. She was about rounding up her education and she wanted to mix with the right crowd to improve herself. She lost her Igbo accent when she noticed Nkem no longer had hers. She had always looked up to Nkem. Interacting with auntie Funke and uncle Ebuka helped her speak better. She was so glad she could interact with them and not feel inferior in the way she spoke. By the time she went back to her village, she had arranged two outings for Lagos and she was added to a group.

### read – Dream chapter 40 – 41

A few days after the wedding, Nkem and Demian left for Abuja. Demian told his family he had to return to work if he would be granted leave to return for the white wedding. He wanted Nkem to come to America as his wife. Nkem wanted to come as a student so she could work. She didn’t want to be a fugitive and she felt the marriage route will take too long because they were not legally married. They went back and forth. She had a visit visa still existing. She applied for a student visa before Demian left.

Demian didn’t want to leave his wife in Nigeria. He begged Nkem to take time off and travel with him. Nkem explained to him she had to resume work. Her boss had entrusted some sensitive jobs to her that she couldn’t delegate. She assured him they would be together soon.

“I wonder how I will survive there without you. These few weeks have been the best time of my life.”

“Me too” Nkem replied.

“I wish I could stay for some more days.”

“We will still need to say goodbye and miss each other. By September, we will be together for a long time.”

“September? You are coming in July. What will you be doing in Nigeria until September?”

“Demian, I have a job. I want to spend time with my mother and siblings before I travel. I will be with you for a year after that.”

“Only a year? We are married; you will stay longer.”

“Until that then. I am surprised your family members didn’t recognise me as the girl your cousin wanted to marry. And I didn’t see Kel.”

“Kel is my father’s cousin’s son. He didn’t come home for Christmas because of his job. He married his girlfriend we met at his house. I tackled him on that issue, he claimed he wanted to know if you were genuine or just putting up an act. I don’t know if he was truthful but I let it go. For Henry, too many ladies have been introduced to him that they must have lost count and faces.”

“Your mothers tend to want to find a wife for their sons.”

“Not all the mothers, just two of them. I will give you my parents’ phone numbers both in Nigeria and the US. They want you to keep in touch. You will meet my brother when you come around. You will love him; he is a cool dude. He doesn’t let my mum into his life. She begs him to talk to her. I am the weakling that gives in to her tantrums.”

“She loves you and also your condition bothers her. That’s why she is more involved in your life.”

“You understand. I am happy you do.”

“I do, I would have done the same.”

“Whatever she does, please forgive her for my sake, she can be very overbearing but know you have won my father and he will defend you.”


Nkem missed her period in January. She thought she was late because of all the excitement. A week after and it didn’t come, she went to the clinic to check what was wrong. She carried out a test and confirmed pregnant. She was supposed to be happy and excited but she wasn’t. What was she to do now? The pregnancy was a major distraction she didn’t need. For two weeks she couldn’t tell anyone about it. She was worried and it was obvious.

Her boss had a birthday party. She attended with her colleagues in the office. She looked different and sophisticated. Her colleagues didn’t recognise her. She wore one of the dresses Demian brought for her. Even though she received compliments, she was still troubled. Her eyes held the key to that mystery. Her colleagues were hustling for food but she sat calmly trying to distract herself with the activities around her.

While her boss danced, some people came out to spray him money. She came prepared. She went out to spray and congratulate him on his birthday. As she left for her seat, she almost collided with someone. It was uncle Tobi. When he saw her, he smiled at her and then stepped out of the way for her to leave. She was surprised to see him there. She hadn’t seen him since she introduced him to Demian.

After the party, there was an after-party. Her single colleagues wanted to stay for it but she wasn’t staying. She left the party, stood by the gate of the venue and asked the security man to hail her a taxi. As she waited there, she heard a familiar voice.

“Leaving so soon?” he asked.

“Yes sir, I am not interested in the after-party.”

“Happy New Year and congratulations. You didn’t deem it fit to tell me your guy proposed.”

Nkem didn’t know what to say. She didn’t want to look at him, it brought back memories she had buried. “I am sorry” was all she could mutter while she looked out for the taxi.

“Where are you going?” he asked her.

“I am going home.”

“I will drop you off.”

“No sir, they are getting me a taxi.”

“I will drop you off.” He called the security man and gave him some money for his effort then walked towards his car. The driver had moved closer. Nkem wanted to sit with the driver in front but he stopped her and asked her to sit with him at the back. She wanted to argue but knew it would be a waste of time. She entered with him.