BETTY AND THE BEAST : EPISODE 1 – 10
STORY BY MIRIAM EDEM
My name is Beatrice, but people call me Betty. I was once that vibrant sister in church, one of the youth excos and among the evangelism team burning with fire for the Lord. My fear was marriage; I was so scared to fail in marriage and wished to have an eternal happy home so I won’t be mocked at in church. We believed that when a marriage fails it’s the woman fault because it’s our job to keep a home so says the bible.
When I turned 23 was when my mother began showing me that all my friends we do walk together are all married. It didn’t bother me at first but I began to feel lonely after the knocking of door of my best friend, it dawned on me that indeed am left behind.
I went to God in prayers immediately asking him to give me a partner and along the line Maxwell came and went straight into marriage talks with me in less than a week. I told him to give me time because I am still praying to God and he has not revealed anything yet to me.
Honestly speaking Maxwell was a nice guy in his late 20’s and one of the serious brothers in church. And as a gentleman that he is, he agreed I should seek God face while he will do same, so I decided to discuss that with my mother.
‘Which of the Maxwell is this? My mother asked.
‘Mommy Maxwell na, pastor pastor, I replied because he was nicknamed that way and my mother gave me that ki ller eye.
‘That guy with his eye like triangle? My mother asked.
‘ahhhh mommy that’s not fair na, you know he was born like that and you don’t have to mock him because his left eye is shaking, he didn’t create himself, I said very displeased with my mother comment.
‘Shut up there! Do you want to school me now? Why should you think of marrying a guy raised by a woman? My mother asked and I heaved.
‘so mommy what are you trying to say now because I don’t understand, I said.
‘how will you understand? Don’t you know he won’t be smart and a good man for you because he is raised by a woman? My mother asked and I smirked.
‘mommy I can’t believe you can say such a thing, remember you have a son who equally has no father like Maxwell, how will you feel if someone else says same about your son? I asked her.
‘you’re a very stupid girl Beatrice, even your church can’t cure your stupidity and it’s a shame. Beatrice how did I lose your father? Is it not de ath that took him away from us? Does Maxwell have a father? Is he not a product of a broken home where his mother slept with a married man and you have no right to compare my son to a son of a harlot! In fact why am I disturbing myself? You won’t marry him and that’s it, my mother blurred out and I breathed out.
‘mommy calm down o I was not talking about marriage here and I can’t remember telling you that I have accepted to marry him but then Maxwell is a good guy and should not be judged by who raised him. This is so harsh for him honestly speaking, I said.
‘yen yen yen….. she mocked.
‘so you would have accept to marry a poor ordinary bank security guy huh? My mother continued and I rolled my eyes knowing the real problem.
‘now you’re being honest here, I replied and she laughed and hit me.
‘see Betty I don’t want you to accept any kind of guy like your friends are doing. Just look at them getting married to mechanic, okada guys and the rest of these small small boys here, is that marriage? She asked me.
‘its not about the money mommy as long as they are happy, I replied and my mother stood up from where she sat as an indication that we are done with the discussion.
‘mommy is not about the money o I am very serious, it’s the same you that was pointing my friends to me now today you’re saying another thing, I continued with a frown and she hissed.
‘Beatrice go and bring a poor man for me o so I can breastfeed him when hunger strikes in your house, shey its not about the money? Ode, she cursed and went in and I shook my head.
BETTY AND THE BEAST : EPISODE 1 – 10
That evening I was making dinner when a neighbor ran into the compound and we got to know that my brother was involved in an accident. My senior brother makes shoes and on that fateful day he travelled to get stuffs for his production and we were expecting him to be home soon.
‘eh which son? My mother asked.
‘mommy how many do you have? Where is he? I asked the guy.
‘he was rushed to the hospital but I ran to tell you. The women at the junction where it happened will tell you more, the guy replied.
‘lets go lets go! Beatrice lock the door! My mother shouted as she hurriedly left with the guy while I hurried up with the cooking because I could not abandon it, and when I rushed down to the junction I got the information of where I could find them.
I met my mother crying and my heart skipped,
‘mommy what is it? I asked trying to control my blood pressure.
‘see bIood Beatrice, your brother is bIeeding o, she replied as I held her.
‘ till now? Has he not been attended to yet? I asked.
‘shey its your father hospital na? you better go back to the house and carry any money you see so we can give to the doctor. The stupid driver that hit him drove off immediately, ahhhhh GOD WILL JUDGE HIM! His carton car will jam trailer……. I just took off without wasting time knowing how good how mother is in such prayers.
I eventually met Maxwell on the way who heard about my brother accident,
‘is he okay? How is he? He asked.
‘honestly I don’t know, I have not even seen him and I don’t understand why this should happen to my family now, I replied him trying to hold my tears.
‘its okay don’t be scared for nothing will happen to him, he calmly said and I nodded.
‘I have to go back now, I came to take some cash, I said.
‘lets go together then, he said and he stopped a bike.
When we got to the hospital I showed my mother the money I saw at home including my brother’s money but it was not up to 15,000 naira in total.
‘Beatrice is this all abi you cut small? My mother asked counting the money for the fifth time.
‘mama what is this na? have you forgotten that brother took all the money to the market and did you have money yourself? I asked very angry with that statement and Maxwell slowly approached us. He actually stopped to take a call when we got in before I met my mother.
My mother just looked at me ignoring his greetings and threw on me a paper,
‘thank God you brought someone to pay the bills, make sure he buys the drugs for his in-law to be, my mother said as I looked at the paper and saw what we are to buy and I looked at Maxwell.
‘ma take things easy ,everything will be fine just trust him, Maxwell said in his usual calm manner.
‘ogini? Go and buy drugs and you’re speaking English, your in-law needs drugs so go and buy the drugs dear comforter, my mother angrily said.
‘ahhhh mommy in-law when? Mama I don’t like this o, is it a crime for him to be concerned? I asked.
‘its okay lets go, Maxwell said taking me away when my mother began to cry ignoring us completely as she held tight the money I gave to her without releasing a kobo for the drugs.
‘I’m so sorry for what my mother did, how is she expecting us to get all the prescription now? I asked him.
‘its okay, I brought cash with me, lets see what it can do, Maxwell replied and to my surprise he bought everything that was prescribed and that was when I finally saw my brother when we came back.
‘Brother how are you feeling? I asked him.
‘I have small money in my black bag, use it for drugs okay, he replied instead.
‘I already did, but what happened? I asked.
‘a drunk driver, I stopped to buy recharge card on the road when this car just came and swept me into the gutter. I don’t know what I did to such a person because it looks intentional to me and I could not see the driver face, but are my goods saved? They are expensive, my brother replied.
‘hmmmm your goods? Don’t even think about that one because everyone can’t explain how the bag you came back with disappeared into thin air, my mother replied and my brother attempted to sit down but Maxwell stopped him.
‘do you know how things are expensive? My brother asked and I heaved.
‘brother I think you should be grateful to God for life first, what if something very serious had happened to you all those goods won’t matter anymore, I said.
‘But who could have carried them? My brother worriedly asked and Maxwell phone began to ring and I knew it will be his mother calling because it was late.
‘uhhhmmm I have to go now but I’ll visit you in the morning, get well soon okay, Maxwell said to my brother.
‘thanks I appreciate, Maxwell coldly said and he bowed to my mother greeting her, but she just removed her eyes from him and I decided to see him off,
‘bia where are you going to? My mother asked as we were at the door.
‘let me see him off na, I replied.
‘will you come and clean your brother hand now, can’t you see that his in pain? My mother asked and I looked at Maxwell.
‘its alright, go take care of your brother okay, Maxwell said and left and I sluggishly approached them with a frown.
‘Luke have you seen your handsome in-law to be? My mother joked.
‘mommy obviously you don’t like him I can smell it, he replied and looked at me as i folded my arms looking at my mother.
‘someone need to teach your sister to have taste o because this is serious. He is not even tall, black like burnt back of pot with quarter past one eye, and to wrap it all he has no money but just a security boy in a bank. Chai Beatrice whoever that is responsible for such foolishness will have no peace! My mother shouted looking at me and I shook my head and sat down at a corner feeling so bad. I never had any feelings whatsoever for Maxwell, I only saw him as a brother, but at that moment I was beginning to feel love for him. That was the day I got so close to him and knew how loving he is, everything we have done together was in the name of the church, but his kind gesture for my family despite my mother attitude, I could not erase that from my head.
BETTY AND THE BEAST : EPISODE 1 – 10
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