Precisely, on 31st March, 2013 I asked my now ex to marry me. Not in some fancy restaurant, shopping mall or some heaven on earth theatrical setting. It was via a phone call. Surprisingly, we had never met in person! What madness!! Did she accept??
Love they say is like a butterfly, it perches wherever it wants. It's like a lion, it devours whoever that comes his way. How we fall in love at times is mysterious. We seldom have control in matters of the heart. This is how I felt the day I saw her picture carrying a child. Her little nephew. I love kids to a fault. In that split moment I told her how I wished it was our son she was carrying. That remark set aglow our hearts.
Initially, she doubted my sincerity. She had been hurt not once, twice but severally. Worse still she has a medical condition. A condition she erroneously thought will forever rob her of love. Hence her skepticism. Furthermore, my reputation with 'the ladies' on some social network we had met some years earlier was daunting. I had to prove my sincerity. I had to win her love.
As am typing this, my alarm just beeped! Its October 24th- the day I had slated for our introduction. Alas! It was never to be. Our love could not survive the divide. The 'hypocrisy' of the church has prevailed. I cannot believe am still hurting this bad. Maybe I was in a hurry to have ended it all. This is my story. Our story.
After the initial 'gragra' women exhibit we settled into a beautiful but distant relationship. She was based in Lagos, I in Port Harcourt. Days became weeks, and weeks months before our first physical encounter. I did first visit as a gent. We had wild fun!! Then came the moment of truth; a visit to her kit and kin to intimate them of my intention. Her brother-in law gave me his word. The only snag which was to destroy all we labored to build -the church! she is catholic, am protestant. She is Igbo am Ijaw.
True to his word, her brother-in law accompanied me to see her parents in her hometown- some community in Imo State. I was well received. Such a loving home. I made my intentions known with all seriousness. It's no child's play explaining while you consider a man's daughter worth more than other women to him. Thankfully, the son in-law gave me all the necessary support. However, convincing a retired teacher, a respected and unrepentant staunch catholic requires more than fancy words. I left that home with mixed feelings. Her father had plainly told me what mixed marriage entails. My wife and children will become 'properties of the catholic church'. It was non-negotiable.
I sought the advice of family members, and my pastor. All were of the opinion that her father's stance undermines my role as the head of our future family. Personally, I saw it as an 'indirect rule'. I enlisted one or two of her siblings, her mum inclusive to get her father to shift grounds. The old man wouldn't bulge. At my fiancee's suggestion I paid her uncle a scheduled visit. A Priest in some parish at Owerri. His stance was same as his elder brother's; convert to Catholicism or accept the terms of mixed marriage.
I was devastated. More so by my fiancee's shifting positions. Today she's all by my side, tomorrow she wants me to please her father. I saw it more as a character weakness than a woman drawn between love and the hands that fed her. Perhaps, it was a miscalculation on my part. She had her flaws. Mine was so glaring. But i found in her the woman of my dreams.
In the midst of this storm I had boldly gone ahead to fix today, October 24th my introduction day. I had called my Pastor to inform him, and a couple of family members. This decision was informed after my now ex had told me her siblings and other family members had prevailed on her father to soft pedal on his stance. He unbelievably agreed. So i thought. Until I made one more call!
The old man true to his principled nature remained unchanged. It was a blow too devastating to bear. I saw a relationship of over two years with countless sacrifices on both sides evaporate on the grounds of dogma. It hurts so bad to have met that special one only to realize you can not be with them for eternity. Should I have converted for love? That would have betrayed love itself. Love is without condition(s). Should I have settled for mixed marriage? Its unbearable! It's my responsible to provide both spiritual and physical nourishment for my future family.
So, it was only appropriate I let love go. If she finds her way back to me. I had be most fortunate not lucky. Fortune befriends the bold. A life of service to all humanity now beckons . It's a call I must answer. Who knows love maybe around the corner. Love knows no religious boundaries. Let's spread the glad tidings of ecumenism.