Sunday, September 7, 2008

BASTARD OR NO

They had to have a proper wedding, with a willing church and with representatives of both families in attendance. They needed a wedding dress adjusted in the middle, bridesmaids who weren't so willowy they'd out the bride, a big bright bouquet, and their game faces.

Of course, for the bride, there would be no spitting, no long naps, no indulging her intermittent cravings for strange-yet-edible things, and no bilious palavers with the groom on the day about whose fault what was. The groom would even wear the lacy white gloves without a protest murmured or otherwise.

The prayers-for those in the know-that the couple stay together would be earnest. The prayers that they be blessed with the fruit of the womb would be redundant in a way, and deserving of mortal strikes of thunder in another.

The ceremony would be somewhat dull, almost anemic. A lot of their friends and acquaintances, mostly those from their church, would not attend, either because they weren't invited, or because they had declined the invite with tactless tact and eyes-to-the-ground politeness.

The feelings of the couple which cannot be described in words, would be glimpsed for years after in the wedding photos; behind the grim smiles, in the stiffness and care of the body language, in the abscence of the bride's father, and in a lot of little things present and amiss.

The couple would go off on a honeymoon, to a friend's house not far from the groom's. There would be no coupling on that very night. The honeymoon would segue into the gravest months of the wife's ante-natal torment and after the birth, the new mother would return to her parents' house.

The husband would visit often, accompanied by his people to try and sort out the balance of the bride price which seemed to have swollen in inverse proportion to the wife's belly.

The husband would complain at some point that his wife, and his child were being held hostage. He would even go as far as mentioning the words ransome and militants in reference to the requested sum, and his new in-laws respectively. The wife's people would fail to find humour in this, not in those times, not in Port Harcourt.

Their annoyance would eventually be financialized so that the husband (or potential in-law as the wife's younger brother was fond of saying) would have an even greater bill to offset.

After a final amount had been agreed upon and contributed by the groom, his family, and his drinking buddies who had organized themselves into a pro-active Committee of Friends, the new mother and her newborn would move into the groom's 2-bedroom apartment in his father's BQ.

Their lives together would begin and continue with a lot of bitterness and regret. The husband would spend a few years applying for jobs he would never get. He would also become a vicious wife beater, sending his wife to the hospital on too many occassions. He would, at the age of 38, became a prolific marijuana inhaler, and a philosopher of the slurred, incoherent kind. He would eventually land a cosy political appointment courtesy one of the members of his Committee of Friends. He would compensate for his long abscences with even more frequent beatings, and with even harsher words during their routine verbal jousts.

The wife would forget her ambition to become a doctor. She would bury it along with other things planned and desired in the past. She would forever associate her singing voice with the turbulent, never-ending scene that her life had become. She would hardly ever sing. She would hear stories of how other girls in the choir had been seduced by her NowHusband in his role as the ThenChoirmaster. She would come to the conclusion that she was the one stupid enough to get pregnant for him, and stay that way. She would also believe sometimes, in the middle of their troubles, that God was punishing her for the sin they had committed practically in His temple.
They would have another child, a girl. The wife would think of running away with the children, and starting afresh in a new town. The husband would dote on their daughter. This attention would make his wife and son very jealous. He would call his daughter his dearest princess. For his son, he had only one name, one word.

He would matter-of-factly call his son Bastard.

26 comments:

Porter deHarqourt said...

I'm first, as I should be.
I just want to say that I've been having a really crazy time between my last post and now. Nothing bad really, but me and internet dey hardly see eye to eye.
So, there I've said it and I'm first...lol

Porter deHarqourt said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jaja said...

Bastard.

geisha.song. said...

hey didnt i jus drop a comment on here??? where'd it go????!! and WHAT is jaja doing on my spot?

Nine said...

Very nice,man.Very nice.

wordsmith said...

this is really really good...

badderchic said...

HALLLLELLLUUUUYAAAAAAAHHHHHH!

HE UPDATES!

idiot, you for no update na, since all these days? psheeeew

I MISSED YOU!

Jaycee said...

Bastard...

The son was never his in the first place...

ibiluv said...

bastard.............harsh!!!!!!!!

correctphbabe said...

Chei.... Bastard.

Afrobabe said...

Wow, that is harsh man…wettin motivate this one now?


May it not be our worst enemies portion oh...

Iwalewa McDaniels said...

the truth... harsh

getting married just bcos the woman is pregnant is never a good idea. I hate when pple say pregnancy shld automatically result in marriage. Marriage is for life and a child will not make lovers out of two pple who do not love each other in the first place.

I'm wondering, what was the motivation behind this writing?

archiwiz said...

Hmmm...very interesting piece. They shouldn't have gotten married in the first place.

theicequeen said...

awww! you're back! you're back! yayyy!

really nice post mahn! uber good!

bastard? kai! the pikin don suffer for wetin he no do o!..buh it's really sad how this story is very true...how everything can end up far away from how we planned it to be...

welcome back o! abeg no miss like that..hiring militants to threaten you is not cheap o! all this kidnappin they've been doin has given them longthroat..speakin of militants..LOL at that paragraph!!!

SOLOMONSYDELLE said...

kai, bastard, ke?

I remember this one girl called a guy bastard when I was in primary school and the slap she received eh?

Anyway, I'm so happy you updated.


NIGERIAN CURIOSITY
IT WAS SO MUCH EASIER WHEN I ONLY HAD ONE...

Afolabi said...

You know even the bible is not that nice to 'bastard' children..can't quote, but there's a part that claims children born out of marriage are cursed. Anyway I don't think this applies to me or you/or the character in the post, as we were conceived outside marriage, not born outside it... Btw, this post isn't fiction, is it?

bArOquE said...

...sometimes i wonder...you might not be a very well child...thus the kind of posts u drop here...now how do we reckon the supposed bastard, his frustrated mother & the political thug with electra complex

PS: considering they were married b4 the birth makes him legitimate

rethots said...

Unfortunately, 'tis not the presumed 'bastardness' of the child that matters.......ooops, i digress.
"...he had only one name, one word." Evidence of unguarded passion.

Porter deHarqourt said...

@porter...
...you are shameless, truly shameless.

@jaja...
...Bastard.

@geisha...
...ask me well well.

@nine...
...thanks man.

@wordsmith...
...thanks.

@badderchic...
...i'm still waiting 4 u to show up with the twins o!

@jaycee...
...how?

@ibiluv...
...that's life o!

@correctphbabe...
...you again. When i catch you ehn...

@afrobabe...
...lust.

@Iwalewa McD...
...unfortunately, marriage isn't necessarily for life these days.
As for the motivation, re:@afrobabe.

@archiwiz...
...i agree.

@icequeen...
...so you miss me when i'm gone eh? And when i'm around you act so cold. Lol.
I'm glad you liked this one sha, take softly dey drive that new moto o, make those creek boys no put eye for where you dey.

@solomonsydelle...
...lol...i got into one big fight one time in secondary school. Some guy called me a bastard, and i decided he was insulting my parents. Na belt dem use separate fight that day.


@afolabi...
...it's quite unfair that children have to be labelled like farm produce for whatever reason.
Of course it's fiction, haba.

@baroque...
...lol, u sound like my friends, but i'm very well, thank you.
As for the other thing, is there even such a thing as an illegitimate child? And is that artificial label so damning that we must try to 'elevate' the child from it on a technicality?


@rethots...
...sounds like you know a bit about passion unbridled.

AlooFar said...

Man, Big Ups!

bArOquE said...

...you really are truly shameless, or is it some kind of schizophrenia?

AnyaPosh said...

WOW...so unfortunate for Bastard although in this situation, I would probably be Princess. The child after the Storm. But I don't want to push my luck. I don't really believe in reincarnation.

And if I was the wife (nee bride), I would find me a single aristo in London & run away with the children just to regain my sanity.

This was nice to read.

bighead said...

Moral Lesson: Don't join the choir

FineBoy Agbero said...

Nice!
BUt dis:

the balance of the bride price which seemed to have swollen in inverse proportion to the wife's belly."
Inverse proportion means d money should reduce abi?

femme said...

harsh..
i actually cringed.

law school never finish?

Ayoka said...

I like.