Choices Chapter 13
Chapter 13 (Nurrain)
In that moment my world tilted on it’s axis. “What did he just say, that’s a joke right? You’re just pulling my leg right now aren’t you” when her uncle didn’t take back his statement and just stood there looking confused I turned to my Uncle ” well played, nice prank guys but you better end it now I’m sure Nurah isn’t finding it funny”
“Why are you all acting weird you came and asked me to help you marry the girl you love, I just helped you achieve that why aren’t you happy or did you take a sip from my bottles when I wasn’t looking” he ended with a chuckle as if all this is some big joke to him. I would have strangled him if not for Nurah cutting in “what the hell is he talking about Nurrain, I don’t understand anything! What does he mean by Maya is married to you huh!” His voice was rising with each syllabus, his fury quite evident but I couldn’t focus on his hurt feelings right now, not when my blood is boiling. “Some one better start explaining right now!” I tried to keep the fury out of my voice but it clearly wasn’t working all that well seeing as Uncle Habu nearly jumped out of his shirt in fright his face paled as it finally sank that something is wrong but it was Maya’s uncle that answered “you’ve got it twisted, you three should be the one’s explaining what the problem is, as far as I know you two wanted to get married and We delivered so why are you freaking out right now!”
“Because you messed up! Maya is supposed to marry Nurah not me!” I thundered.
“Wait what! But aren’t you two dating, where did Nurah come in from” he turned to his niece who sat slumped on the seat, eyes vacant and looking helpless “what is he saying Maya, explain yourself!” She didn’t answer Clearly lost in thought, Nurah placed a hand on her shoulder and shook her back to reality, I felt a spike of something foreign rushed to the surface even though I know it’s all a sham a little voice in my head was screaming get your hands off my wife. I’m sure it’s just a normal human reaction to feel possive when you’re told you just got married, it means nothing and it’ll pass
“Maya, didn’t you tell him everything, why didn’t you tell him it was me you’re in love with not Nurrain! Now look what happened, because of your silence! So speak up damn it! What the hell were you thinking huh!” She burst into tears, heartwrentching sobs that spoke of despair and agony, her Uncle probably thought it was from the pain of Nurah’s hands that were still digging into her shoulders as he slapped his hands away and stood between the two in a protective stand “who do you think you are, how dare you hurt her and in front of me no less”
“I wasn’t hurting her” Nurah defends himself but it fell on deaf ears, Uncle Muhammadu just kept coming at him “you think you’re a man huh, but you’re not even a shell of a man ,or should I say a sorry excuse of a Man!
Why are you blaming her for your mistake, if you were really in love with her why didn’t you tell us, you could have come to us and asked for her hand like a real man but no, you chose to hide behind the shadow of your best friend and now that they has been a mix up you’re choosing to blame her! You and I have been in contact for a week now, why didn’t you tell me it was you who wanted to marry my niece!”
“Because I thought you knew!” Nurah fires back matching the level of anger thrown at him “how was I to know you didn’t know anything and I did try to ask for her hand your brother just wouldn’t listen, he never gave us a chance to talk and clear up the misunderstanding so don’t blame me for your family’s misconceptions! Maya was the one who dragged Nurrain into this when she blamed him for stalking her out of spite so I have every right to blame her for this!”
“He’s right you know” I backed him up “Maya started all this drama and I went along with it just because I wanted to end it, but when you offered your help she should have told you everything and all this could have been avoided!”
“How convenient it is, my niece gets all the blame then what about your uncle, why didn’t you two tell him the truth. If he knew he would have cleared up my misunderstanding inside and we wouldn’t have gotten the wrong groom” I turned to Uncle Habu who looked about ready to doze off into a slumber “Uncle didn’t I explain everything to you before, I already told you it was Nurah that’s getting married not me so why didn’t you stop them huh!”
“I don’t know about any Nurah, I thought you wanted to marry the girl, isn’t that what you said when you came to Dutse? Besides you two look good together so I figured why not, and why will you let your girl marry some other dude!” He slurred and dozed off after that. Head lolling off the seat as he snores.
“What is wrong with him?” Uncle Muhammadu asked.
“He’s drunk!” I felt a throbbing pain hit me and I had to close my eyes for a minute.
“Yah Rabb, this is all on me, why did I ever think a drunkard can do anything right. Now here he is sleeping soundly like a baby while everyone else gets to deal with the consequences of his actions.
“I didn’t mean for this to happen, Nurah please believe me” Maya pleads “when Uncle told me he met you and you spoke, I thought you told him Everything and when he told me he did some digging about your Character and he’s convinced you’ll make a good husband, how was I to know he was referring to Bad-tempered Nurrain. You know I can’t stand the sight of him and I only tolerate his presence for your sake so how could you even think I’ll ever do this on purpose! Back then, I had just gotten out of the hospital and I was in pain, most days I was pumped up on pain meds and anti-depressants, I never even stopped to think there will be a miscommunication like this. Believe me, I didn’t know anything!” She hugged herself in comfort and kept on sobbing. The sound of her heartbreaking was like a thousand nails pricking my ears. If I could close my ears to avoid hearing it I will. Her uncle broke the silence that descended after Maya’s outburst
“We can sit here and debate whose fault it is until our voices are hoarse but it’s not going to change the fact, Nurrain and Maya are married and I for one can’t say I’m angry about it because no offense to you Nurah, I might not know much about you but I’ve seen you around the block and I know you don’t have anything to offer my niece”
“What are you saying Uncle!” Maya protest but he shoots her down.
“Shut up and let me finish! I know you two think you’re in love but be realistic here. You just ran away from home and got married, if you think your dad or anyone in the family is going to take you back after this you better think again, there is no going back from this your only option is forward and Nurah as bitter as it may sound is not in the position to offer you a future, he is a broke student squatting with his best friend’s family, he has no job or home to offer you so how can he take care of your responsibility.
With Nurrain I can be sure your future is secure his family is well off so his future is secure and not only is he a good man but he’ll always protect the people he loves no matter what, he has already proved that to us, if he can take a beating for his best friend then I’m sure he can do anything for his wife and that is the kind of husband I want for you. Trust me if I had known from the beginning that Nurah is the one you want I would still have made the same decision because Nurrain is the right choice for you even though you might not see it right now!”
“What in the world are you saying Uncle, I thought you’re on my side, that you understood me!” Maya said to him and he replied”I do understand you!”
“No you don’t! Because if you did you wouldn’t do the exact same thing as Dad! You wouldn’t take my choice away from me! I love Nurah don’t you get it! I don’t care if he has no home and we end up starving! I love him he is my choice!
And I won’t take the risk of pissing off all the people I love! Risk my father’s disappointment just for you to turn around and make choices for me! How could I have been so stupid to think you’re any different from him, the truth is you’re just like him!” She snaps at him, all traces of tears gone as she her anger soared.
“I am just looking out for you Maya!” He implored but she didn’t care “who asked you to! I can take care of myself I’m not a child all I wanted was for someone to be on my side, I wanted you to agree with my decisions about the man that I choose as a life partner because only I will be in this marriage not you! Not my father! And not anyone else! I will not marry Nurrain not stay married to him even if he is the last man on Earth, so he is going to end this charade this instant and we can all move on with our lives!”
“Maya, Ni kike Gaya wa haka, after everything I’ve done for you! I always thought Hajiya and everyone else judged you unfairly but now I can see they are right about you, you have no regard for anyone and you are self destructive and too stubborn for your own good!”
“I’m sorry if my words offended you, I appreciate the risk you took for me but you need to understand I can’t ever be happy with Nurrain, I don’t love him and I’m pretty sure he hates me as well so there’s no use keeping up this ruse because all 3 of us will end up miserable so please just end it” she said her eyes imploring with me to give in and set us all free.
“Gladly!” I agreed with her “this can all be solved in a minute, I will divorce her and Nurah can marry her as planned”
“I will not stand for a marriage I don’t agree with, I will be cheating my brother and my responsibilities to her as her uncle if I let her marry a man that is not ready to cater for her so if you two are really against this then go ahead and divorce her but I will not let her marry Nurah and that is final!”
“Look, I understand where you are coming from as her Uncle but you shouldn’t rule out Nurah without hearing him out, he is not some jobless man with no prospect like you thought. He has been offered a scholarship to study abroad and he has made arrangements to take Maya along as his wife. They are flying out tomorrow morning, they’ll be given a home there and his allowance will be enough to sustain them. That was the initial plan, he has the means to provide for her and he will never shy away from his responsibilities, so you don’t have to worry about her” I nudged Nurah at my side with an elbow “help me out here Man, why aren’t you saying anything”
Uncle Muhammadu turned to Maya “you knew about this? His plan to travel abroad?” When she nods yes he lost it “you were going to leave the country and you didn’t think to tell me about it! So what did you think, I was going to get you married and watch you leave the country with a guy I barely know and what then huh! How do I explain to your father that we went to the saloon and suddenly you’re abroad and I don’t know your location or when you’ll be back! What the hell is wrong with you girl!”
“I knew if I told you you’d refuse to help us!” She defended herself
“You’re damn right I would have refused! Why’d I make such a big mistake and decided to help you? did you really think I was stupid enough to let you leave the country without your father’s knowledge!”
“So what are you saying” she asked voice shaking, clearly scared of what his response will be.
“I’m saying, we are all going back to meet your dad and we are going to confess everything about the mess we made and he can make the final decision regarding all this”
She let out a sound of protest but Nurah’s statement is what made us all pause for a minute to think. “Nurrain, you can’t divorce Maya now. It’s better to let things be as they are for now”
“What, have you lost it?! Did the shock make you crazy!” I snapped at him.
“Calm down and listen to me for a minute please. There is no ticket or accommodation okay! I lied about everything, the scholarship won’t cover Maya because there are no provisions for married couples.
I tried to get them to see reason and let me take her along but they said i go alone or I forfeit the scholarship. I didn’t know how to tell you!”
“What! So you lied to me! You let me run away from home and you weren’t even going to take me along! So what was the plan huh! Were you going to marry me and jet off abroad, leaving me behind to deal with the fallout! You fucking coward!!!!” She came at him with her fist, pounding away at his chest in anger, he didn’t move away because he knows he deserves more than her hysterical beat down. How could he do this? Uncle Muhammadu just sat there and didn’t lift a single finger to stop her so I had to step in. I grabbed her by the waist and moved her to my side away from Nurah. She started yelling for me to let her go! that she was going to kill Nurah today. I tried to shush her but she just kept trying to slide out of the hold I had on her waist and claw out Nurah’s eyes. Her tantrum gained the attention of the security guard stationed at the gate of the Court House a few feet away from us. He came running at full speed shouting something I couldn’t make out. I am not in the mood to deal with this shit right now. I shake her hard enough to cause her teeth to clang together, she shoots me a harsh glare and turned her anger at me “stop touching me! What gives you the right to manhandle me like this huh!”
“Good,I have your attention.Stop shouting like a banshee and hitting people. Don’t you realize where we are? Trust me I’m mad at him too but right now you need to chill or else the security guard will arrest us all for contempt of court! Now settle down and let me handle this!” She nods in agreement and I let her go,she stumbled a bit but her Uncle was quick to offer her a hand before she hit the floor just as the security guard arrives asking us what’s going on.
I told him Maya has a bit of a spiritual problem and the jinns mostly present themselves when she is excited so seeing as she just got married, the jinns came out to play and that’s why I had to restrain her. “I’m sorry about all this trouble, we’ll get going now” he seems to buy the story after checking the marriage certificate I provided, he wished us health and happiness and offered to walk us to our cars so we could leave. We had no choice but to go, Uncle Muhammadu and Maya went to their car while Nurah helped me drag Uncle Habu’s heavy sleeping body to the car. We threw him in the back seat and started the car. Nurah tried to explain himself to me but I wasn’t ready to hear it so I told him “don’t, whatever your reason is, doesn’t make it any better so just leave it”
Uncle Muhammadu pulled up ahead of us and gestured for me to follow him so I did. “Nurrain please understand, if I had told you, you will have…….
“I would have what! Not helped you! I offered to rent you a house so you could stay here with her! What more do you want!” I yelled, my voice filling the car! I hardly ever yelled but I was too far gone
“I can’t stay! don’t you get it! This scholarship is my chance to be something! I do not want to be your broke hanger on friend forever! My mom needs surgery and it’s going to cost an arm and a leg! I’m not going abroad just to study but to earn enough so my family and I never have to worry about money ever again! If I had told you you’d tell me to forget about the scholarship and pick Maya instead and I couldn’t choose! I thought this way I could have both, I thought I could marry her and leave her in your care for awhile until I’ve made enough money to find a place for us over there, then I would come get her! That was my plan and believe it or not I would have told you both after the wedding was complete so her Uncle wouldn’t have found a reason to back out of the wedding! How was I to know fate is cruel enough and I had to witness my Best friend marrying the love of my life!”
I couldn’t help the dry laughter that escaped me “so you had it all figured out huh! Wow Man you really are a piece of shit sometimes! Did it ever occur to you when you were planning this how much trouble you’ll leave behind huh! So you Marry her and leave her with me and I what, hide her in the wardrobe! Where the hell was I supposed to keep her?”
He looked sheepish as if just now realizing the deep hole in his brilliant plan ” I figured you could rent her a place for a while, it wouldn’t have taken long, I did the maths and in at least 6months I should be able to earn just enough to come get her”
“And if Ammi and Baffa ever found out about all this I wouldn’t live to see your return in six months because they’ll literally kill me. But you didn’t stop to think about that did you? As long as you got your beloved Maya, Nurrain can go and screw himself right?” I taunt him
“No! Why would you say that! You know it’s not like that!” He sputtered, face beet red and pinched with worry.
“What’s it like then because from where I’m standing you created this mess by falling for that girl but I’m the only one paying for it! So listen to me now, this is how it’s all going to go down. I am going to divorce that girl the minute we reach her house and what happens after that is your problem. I’ve done the best I can do now it’s up to you!”
“No please Man, you can’t do this,you heard her Uncle they’ll never let me Marry her and after what he heard about the scholarship he’s going to convince her Dad not to trust me with his daughter. The minute you divorce her they’re going to force her to marry her cousin, I’ll loose her forever and all this would have been for nothing”
I hit the steering wheel hard in frustration, my hand tingles but I don’t mind it “how does me staying married to her solve your problem”
“I’m not asking you to stay married to her I’m asking you to hold off on divorcing her for 6months because that’s they only way to stop her Dad from marrying her off to someone else until I get back then you can happily divorce her and I’ll marry her as planned. Please Nurrain! Help me with this just one more time! Please!”
I tuned him out as he kept pleading. Nurah is my brother and I’ll do anything for family but staying married to that dreadful girl is something I can not do.
Not even for him!.