Why do men do this:
Olusegun patiently waited for her before he spoke. Even when Fatimah came to offer the guest a glass of water, he instructed her to take it back but not before the lady had politely rejected it. They were all seated in the large room as summoned by Olusegun. The children were anxious of the sudden call to family meeting. Junior was also made to sit with the rest of the children. When Nifemi walked into the room, all hell let loose in her head when she laid her eyes on Bunmi.
“What are you doing in my house?” she shouted. “Olusegun, what is she doing in my house? Didn’t you tell me it was only the child that will eventually come? When did it become alright for this woman to come into my house?” her rage heightened as she spoke.
“Please sit down”, Olusegun maintained his cool.
Nifemi was fuming. She wanted answers and she wanted them fast too but for the sake of the children, she sat herself down instead.
“Yes, I mentioned to you that Junior’s mother would never have to come to our house nor will I ever have anything to do with her again”, Olusegun started. “Accepted, there was an initial mistake; she shouldn’t have been a part of this family if I had known Christ, but now I do and it isn’t in His Word to abandon responsibilities. Besides, what was yesterday’s mistake might eventually turn out to be God’s orchestrated plan for our good. There is always a reason for everything. A child should not have to live separate from his mother; he didn’t ask for it. He shouldn’t have to choose . . .”
“What are you saying?” Nifemi cut in. “What rubbish are you telling me? Because you’re telling me now that a child shouldn’t be separate from his mother, did I ask you to separate them in the first place? If that is the case, I’ll get her son packed and they can leave right now. Good riddance anyway”, she eyed the boy.
Olusegun sighed. “They are not going anywhere. Bunmi is moving in with us”, he finally brought home his point.
“What?” Nifemi rose to her feet. She was ready to bring down the house. She chuckled angrily, very mischievously too. “You must be joking”, she said to him.
“We will all learn to live as one happy family”.
“And where is it written in your Bible that polygamy is allowed?”, she attacked him.
“It might be a polygamous setting”, he started, then paused. “. . . but we both know we were never married. What we had was a mere family introduction”, he looked away as he said the words.
Fareedah looked at him. She didn’t try to hide the shock and disappointment she felt at her father’s words. She had seen some old photos of them having some sort of nuptial engagement. When she asked her mother for photos of the wedding, she told her it had been a quiet ceremony. Hence they didn’t take pictures at the event. She told her the photos she saw were from their traditional and court registry. However, it didn’t actually dawn on Fareedah that the photo of a court registry might have had the city’s registry signpost as a background in any of the pictures as a sign of legalizing their nuptial. She believed her mother; there was no reason for her to lie, Fareedah thought. Of course, the thought of any parent giving their daughter away to a man without a formal union didn’t, at any time of Fareedah’s life, enter into her brain.
This shouldn’t have been a children’s affair, Fareedah was convinced. This time, her father had actually gone too far. Whether or not he was married to her mother, he owed her an explanation and even her permission before bringing another woman into her home. After all, it is part of his ‘dynasty rule’, the one which states that ‘every member of the family should only engage in things that will keep the family together in love at all times’. Fareedah might not be an adult but she knew her father’s action on this one did not come any close to what can be called a good example. Although it is true that he was trying to correct his past mistakes but he was going about it the wrong way.
Inasmuch as she had thought that her mother too paranoid and her ranting, only the scratch of an ant on the shell of the tortoise, Fareedah was with her on this. She suddenly began to fear for her. She knew she would end up doing something drastic, like packing up again and leaving for her parents’ house. That was the one thing she did each time something really unbearable happened. If she left, Fareedah feared the worst may happen seeing now that another woman is officially, unlawfully involved too.
Nifemi looked at him. It had turned from being a matter of anger. She was disappointed in him, and to think he claimed to be perfectly Christian, she didn’t expect such lowly behaviour from him. The man she married . . . no . . . the man she’d given her youth and lived with in the early years of their relationship, was better than this unpredictable Christian. Olusegun couldn’t look at her. Bunmi just sat there, she wanted nothing of it. Junior felt bad that he and his mother had to come into this family to make things tough. Taofeek heard and understood clearly what was happening. For the first time, he knew his father has terribly erred and immediately felt rage and vengeful for his mother’s sake. Though he didn’t quite understand the implication of his parents’ inability to get legally married, he thought if his father was also not legally married to this other woman, then there was still time to right the wrongs before it got worse. After all, none of the women were legally his wife.