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The Abominable Son-in-law

Hello Cynthia,

The past few months have been hell-on-earth for me, I just hope you are faring better than I am. I’m sad, really sad; I think I might be getting depressed, but I don’t want to dwell on that, as that might actually bring the dreaded demon to my doorstep.

I think I should start by apologising for everything that happened, and how our beautiful four-year relationship went up in flames. So, I’m so sorry for everything—for letting you down, for not being strong enough to stand my ground, for… letting you go. Most especially, I am sorry for breaking my promise to you. You do remember my promise, right? The one I made to you that night we had a picnic under the stars; it was on that glorious night that you finally said yes to me and became my girlfriend, my woman, my rock. It was also on that night that we made love for the first time; I remember vividly the way we clumsily kissed and undid our clothes, all the while gasping for breath as we drank ourselves in. Do you remember how I’d laboriously climbed atop you? and the subsequent plea in your eyes that I take it slowly? I’d let out a low chuckle, after which I reminded you that it was also my first time.

Gosh, reliving each moment spent with you is a world of torment best described by Dante. You were the pillar that held my life; despite the fact that everyone was against our union, including both our parents, you were proud to call me your own, as was I. Do you still remember that day your course mate had made a snide comment about our relationship, calling us ‘misfits’? Your reply to her will always resonate in my mind forever.

You had replied her, “We may be two ‘misfits’, but we are fit for each other.” The resounding applause that followed your reply had made the girl feel so embarrassed that I felt a little pity for her.

I must confess that your sudden travel was a shock to me, because you never told me about travelling to Denmark. A part of me still doesn’t believe that you would willingly forgo everything we’ve built together and run away. Despite the fact that your parents maintain that you left because you’d realised what a fool’s errand it was for us to get married. I know that I am the abominable son-in-law to your parents because of my predicament, but if it’s any consolation, you were the abominable daughter-in-law to mine too. You need to have seen their faces on the day I told them that I’d proposed to you.

“You mean that you want marry that crippled girl?” mother had said, her anger contorting her face, making her two times older than she was.

I’d tried reasoning with them, telling them of the love we shared, explaining to them that we were meant for each other, but they were adamant. Then father said:

“Amobi, I hope that the reason you want to marry that girl confined to a wheel chair isn’t because you are also on one?”

“That’s absurd, dad!” I’d shouted, but they shook their heads.

“My son,” mother began, “you might be on a wheelchair, but you are nothing compared to that… lost cause called Cynthia. You are a professor of Economics, no woman, in her right senses, would reject you. So, please forget about that girl and allow us to find a suitable girl for you.”

“The only suitable woman for me is Cynthia,” I stated, “and I’ll marry her.”

“You’ve always been a stubborn boy, and due to your condition, we’ve always condoned your excesses. Maybe that’s why you have decided to throw reason into the ocean and pursue this… this madness. You say you want to get married to her and no one else, right?”

I nodded.

He continued, “How will the both of you cope with the chores at home? Who will carry who? And if she gets pregnant, how will you take care of her?”

“We will hire a maid,” I simply answered. They let out a mocking cackle, and for a fleeting moment, I wondered if they were my real parents. It took two weeks of pleading and cajoling, plus the aid of my father’s younger brother and my mother’s elder sister for them to finally agree that I would get married to you.

The following week, we came to your house, and made the introductions, which apparently went well. Two days later, your father sent for me and my parents. When we arrived, your mother gave us a letter you wrote. I’d opened it in their presence and was shocked at what you wrote, what you weren’t bold enough to say to my face.

In the letter, you told me that you were sorry for breaking my heart, that you’d realised that being with me was the worst mistake you made. You then said that you had broken up with me, wishing me well in my future endeavours.

As I held the letter of my torment, I felt hot tears cascade down my cheeks, and my heart was shattered (no, it was blown into pieces. This is because a shattered heart can be picked up and mended, but a heart that exploded, there’s nothing you can do about it).

My mother was the person who pried the letter from my hands, she read the contents and passed it on to my father. He read it and his only utterance was, “Where is Cynthia?”

Your father had smirked. “She left for Denmark this morning.”

Then without another word, my parents wheeled me out of the house. Thankfully, they were sensitive enough not to remind me all they warned me about, which is why I greatly respect them.

I’d told Christian about the whole thing and he’d said one thing that struck me as odd. He’d mentioned that it was possible for Ada, your sister to forge the letter since she was an artist known for such things. That made sense, until I remembered the fact that you left for Denmark without as much as a goodbye. How do I explain that too?

I know this letter would never get to you, as I do not know how to contact you, but it is actually healing to write how I feel, it is comforting to pour out myself onto sheets of paper that won’t feel bothered or spread my secrets.

At forty-five, I know that marriage is totally out of the question for me as there is no woman who can be like you, so I hope that you find love wherever you are. Please make sure you do find love. As for me, I’ve realised that I wasn’t meant for love, but I will console myself with the thought that we had something beautiful, something magical. And it is the memory of our time together that I will carry to my grave, which will come immediately I drop this pen.

Don’t tell me suicide isn’t an option because living without you isn’t an option either. I don’t know what else to say, so goodbye my love.

I’ll always love you.

Yours forever, Amobi.

Read The Second Part.

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