Please note that this series contains some sexually explicit content, violence and offensive language. It is not appropriate for children nor an immature and sensitive audience.
A SMALL WORLD - SEASON TWO
Copyright © Ufuomaee
Jason and Fiona had only planned to stay in the country for three months. They’d intended to meet each other’s families and receive their blessing to unite in marriage. They wanted to have the normal introduction and traditional marriage that most Nigerians did before they are wedded in a Church. For many Nigerians, this was the only wedding they ever did.
However, with Fiona’s parents’ obstinance, they had lost two months already, and Jason was wondering if they would be returning from this trip unmarried and without her parents’ blessing to do so. After praying more about it and studying the Scriptures for himself, he had gained a new understanding on the role and significance of water baptism in Christianity. He was particularly moved by the account Peter gave in Acts 11, about how God had led him to Cornelius’ home to preach to him and his family. While Peter was still preaching, they were baptised with the Holy Ghost. Then Peter had remembered what Jesus had said to His disciples:
“John indeed baptized you with water, but you will be baptized by the Holy Ghost…”
At that point, Jason remembered one of his favourite Scriptures, Ephesians 4:5, and received understanding from God. There was indeed only one Lord, one Faith and one Baptism, and that was Jesus’. Like his brother had said, his salvation and sonship could neither be validated nor invalidated by his submission or lack of to water baptism.
He, therefore, had no reason to be worried about being water baptised into Catholicism. He only desired to know what was involved in that, and also what doing so would mean for his practice of Christianity. He’d decided to meet with a Priest to get more answers.
After meeting with the Priest, he realised that it wasn’t going to be a simple case of attending baptismal classes before being baptized. There was a lot he had to assimilate and accept, before he would be accepted, first as a convert, and then be baptised Catholic. The truth was he wasn’t ready nor willing to convert.
There was still a lot he didn’t understand nor appreciate about the religion, and he now realised he couldn’t go through with a baptism after all. But what was more, he had learnt that it wasn’t required of him to do so in order to marry Fiona. It wasn’t the condition of the Church as Fiona’s parents had led him to believe.
So, now he was back at Fiona’s home, seeking another audience with her parents to get their blessing on his marriage to their daughter. As he waited in their guest reception area, he noted the statues of the Virgin Mary, and other paintings and artefacts depicting the virgin birth and Heaven. There was also a small statue of Jesus. Though he felt quite uncomfortable about the many statues, and wondered about their significance in Catholicism, Jason was more surprised that, despite being the focus of the Faith, Jesus’ representation was much less prominent in the home, compared to Mary’s.
He looked up and stood up when Fiona’s parents entered the reception area. He bowed in greeting. “Good afternoon, Sir. Good afternoon, Ma.”
“Good afternoon, Jason,” Mr Kingsley said, as they took their seats across from him. “Have you decided what you’re going to do?”
“Yes, I have, Sir,” Jason replied. “I went to see a Priest, to learn more about Catholicism and what is required for me to marry your daughter.”
“Ummm…” Mr Kingsley muttered.
“I was willing to be baptised, but it turns out it isn’t something I can do this year. In fact, he counselled that it wouldn’t be wise to make such a decision because of marriage, and that there is actually no requirement that I must be converted to be wedded to a Catholic…” Jason looked pointedly at both Mr and Mrs Kingsley. He didn’t want to mention that Fiona no longer practiced that religion, but he knew they understood his pause. They remained quiet.
“Sir and Madam, I cannot promise you that I will ever get baptised into Catholicism. Nor that I will raise my child as a Catholic. But I can promise you that if you will grant me your blessing to marry Fiona, I will love her with all of me.
“I will love her as Christ loves His Bride. And I will raise our children in the fear and knowledge of the One and Only God, and Jesus Christ, His Son. I will provide for them and protect them as a husband and father should, with God helping me. But, I don’t want to do this without your blessing too…”
It turned out all that was needed was his willingness to submit to their request. Jason’s gracious words and humility won Mr and Mrs Kingsley’s heart, and they gave their blessing. Jason and Fiona would enjoy a traditional marriage ceremony in Lagos, and would be married in the Catholic Church when they were ready to. Jason and Fiona had intended to marry in their Church upon their return from Lagos, but decided that they would settle for a Court Wedding and a small Reception Dinner with their friends and Church members afterwards. They were happy to make the compromise.
So, the plans to host a traditional marriage ceremony began for Jason and Fiona. It wasn’t a big fiasco, even though both families could have afforded an elaborate celebration. It was to be a humble ceremony, with choice guests and personalities to grace the occasion. However, the event hall they had rented in Victoria Island was filled to overflowing with their extended families, who would not miss the day for anything.
Jason loved the traditional wedding so much. The cultural dance, drama, food, colours and mostly how Fiona looked dressed in her Calabar fabrics and jewellery. He couldn’t wait to see the pictures of the day, but he knew he could never forget the way his wife looked in her red and gold African lace bridal dress, when she was presented to him as his wife by her father. After all the festivities of the ceremony, they had eaten, drank and danced to their hearts’ content with their friends and family.
Amaka had been surprised to receive an invitation to Jason’s wedding. Even though things hadn’t worked out between her and Jamie, she knew that they would always be family, especially now that he was the father of her nephew. She was happy that she could still be included in such occasions and that the past was now water under the bridge, since her recent reconciliation with Jamie.
However, she didn’t want to attend unaccompanied, so she had invited her new companion, David. They were still dating, and she couldn’t say he was her boyfriend, but she was enjoying getting to know him, and thought this occasion would aid in that process too. David was thrilled at her invitation, and took it to mean that she was ready to progress in their relationship.
At the wedding, she came across a few ungracious people, who knew of her failed marriage to Jamie, and saw her as the cause. They seemed slighted to see her with another man at Jamie’s family’s wedding, and a couple made a point of saying something to her about how she should be ashamed of herself. It was clear that some even thought David was the man she had left her husband for. Amaka swallowed her pride and didn’t try to correct their perspectives nor opinions, nor defend herself in anyway.
David couldn’t get over how beautiful Amaka looked in her African lace aso’ebi. He was very mindful of the men who ogled her, and held her protectively, as if to block her from their vision. He didn’t notice the scornful looks she received from many of the women, however.
Jimmy had spotted Amaka sitting at a distant table, and went to invite her up to his decorated table to sit with the family. She’d turned him down, saying she was more comfortable away from the spotlight, but he wouldn’t hear of it. So, she had gone up with David to sit with the family of the Groom.
Jamie was already seated there and was happy to see her. He didn’t seem impressed by her date, though. Amaka introduced David to the table. He received the most gracious welcome from Fatima, Jimmy’s wife. She immediately engaged him in discussion about his medical profession, being fascinated at the phenomenon of the predominance of male Gynaecologists in the medical field.
Amaka was surprised when Jason saw her and gave her a glowing smile. She hadn’t expected such acceptance from him. She mouthed “Congratulations!” with a big smile, and he responded by mouthing, “Thank you for coming!” She beamed.
Amaka took in a deep sigh, and looked about the wedding. It reminded her of her own traditional wedding ceremony, and she couldn’t help feeling sad. What had she been thinking? She had missed out on the beauty and symbolism of the occasion. It had just been another party thrown in her honour, and not the sacred ordinance of faith, love and commitment that it should have been.
David enjoyed the wedding a lot. It meant so much to him that Amaka had invited him. He enjoyed her company at the table, and meeting her friends too.
He wasn’t keen on Jamie, however. Though quiet, David saw that he was constantly looking at Amaka territorially, which irked him. Amaka didn’t show any signs that she noticed Jamie’s attention, though.
When everyone was going up to dance, David had taken advantage of the occasion to show that Amaka was his. He enjoyed dancing with her, and feeling her voluptuous body against his. The woman really knew how to wind her waist, he thought, thinking he would go crazy when she finally let herself go and danced wildly to the Nigerian wedding jams playing through the speakers.
He eventually had to take her off the dance floor. She was attracting way too much attention to herself, and other men had been looking to cut in on his dance with her. She giggled when they returned to their table, her breathing raspy.
“Oh wow! I haven’t danced like that in ages!” she laughed and beamed at him. She placed a gentle hand on his. “Thanks for coming with me, David. I’m really having a great time.”
David blushed and grinned. He squeezed her hand. “You’re welcome.”
David drove Amaka home, though he had had a little to drink. He didn’t think he was over the limit. He had only had a couple of glasses of champagne. Still, he was careful to drive slowly and graciously, so that they wouldn’t have any accident along the way.
When he got to her home, he hastened to go to the passenger side and assist Amaka out of the car, as was his gentlemanly custom. Amaka, who was wearing heels, and was feeling slightly tipsy herself, appreciated the gesture. After walking a few steps in her heels, she decided she would forego her pride for comfort, and took off her heels. When she did, she was at eye level with her date. She carried her shoes in her hands, as she climbed the stairs to her apartment, with David holding her close for his own pleasure and her safety.
“I really had a great time with you today, Amaka. Thanks for inviting me,” David said.
“Thanks for coming. It was fun!” Amaka replied, beaming at him.
David still held her hand at the door to her apartment. He wasn’t ready to say ‘goodbye’. “I’m thinking… That could be us one day…”
Amaka blinked, as she became sober. What was he doing?
“I am not in this relationship for fun, Amaka. I’m not going to waste your time. I want a wife, and I want you to know that that’s where we are going…if you are interested in taking this to the next level.”
Amaka swallowed. Was this a proposal? “Are you asking me to marry you?”
David giggled. “Not yet. Just stating my intentions. I want you to start thinking of and dreaming of us…”
Amaka giggled too, feeling a little relieved. He was kind of romantic, she thought, feeling butterflies in her tummy. She nodded and smiled.
“So, you will be my girlfriend?”
Amaka giggled nervously. “Yeah…”
She was not expecting to be drawn into his arms for a kiss. She was also not expecting that she would be wishing for it to end as soon as it began. Nor be wishing that she could take her word back in her mouth.
David was a sloppy kisser. He didn’t know how to use his lips and his tongue, nor control his saliva. Yet, he was quite controlling as he kissed her passionately, restricting her ability to move her lips and savour the kiss. When they separated, she had the urge to wipe her mouth, but held herself back, so she wouldn’t embarrass him.
She felt so disappointed that he wasn’t the amazing kisser she had dreamt he would be. But, that was just a small thing. They could work on that. Maybe he was teachable. She would have to find a way to let him know how to kiss, and especially, how she loved to be kissed.
“Good night, Gorgeous,” David said, when he had released Amaka from his hold.
Amaka couldn’t find the words, and simply nodded and waved at him, before she opened her door and entered her apartment.
To be continued…
Photo credit: www.pixabay.com
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