© The Klever Magg
Prince had been nothing but sweet to Maya for the two months they were reunited.
He made time to court her and made her feel on top of the world.
He took her places she never knew existed.
Maya gradually warmed her way into little Maya’s heart. She now saw her as the mother she never had. Little Maya prefers to spend her free time with Maya and her older brother than wile away the time in a waiting room of the hospital her Dad worked.
Junior was having the time of his life seeing his Dad at pick up, at his games and going on long walks together every other day. The two had caught on so quickly one would think they had known each other for ages.
Prince hoped they would be married by now but Maya was stalling.
She was like that because he had expressed his desire for her Uncle to be a part of their marriage. He told her he understood she was very hurt by her Uncle’s actions but he believed tradition was something they could not just shelve. He said it would please him very much if Maya’s only known relative gave his blessings.
Maya gave one excuse after another whenever he had suggested they go back to Sekondi to visit.
Prince contacted the Church Office in the Northern Region and had learnt Maya’s Uncle had been transferred back to Sekondi.
This particular night as they lay in the grass of Prince’s residence watching the stars as usual, Prince decided to bring up the subject again.
“Have you decided on when we can go and see your Uncle?”
“Do we really have to do that? Can’t we just find people to stand in as my family? I don’t want to go back. I’m dead to them, remember?”
“I understand your pain and frustrations, sweetheart. But that is all a thing of the past. You need to let go of the past or you will never enjoy life. If you hold on to it, it will define and rob you of happiness. To err, they say, is human but to forgive is divine. Forgiving shows you are strong.”
“I’m not holding anything. I just don’t want him near me. He didn’t care what happened to me or the baby I was carrying then. Do you have any idea what I have been through because of his decision? Let’s do this without them, please, I really don’t want to see them.”
“Listen to yourself, keeping all that bitterness inside will not help anyone. What about your inheritance? Have you given that a thought? I know you may say you don’t really need that because you have managed to build an empire with your bare hands. But think of your parents and the love with which they put it together for you. Do you think you are honouring them by refusing to even find out what it was that they left for you?”
“Look, I don’t want to argue with you. I will find out about the inheritance when I’m ready. As for our marriage, you should accept my wishes and let’s do it without them.”
“You know I can’t do that. It would have been different if you did not know any of your family members, even that we have to do whatever it takes to locate your family. I want to do the right thing because I love you. I want you to have what’s best not just settle for anything because you can’t forgive one man for his mistakes. We all make mistakes. I made a mistake when I made love to you at Aburi when we were not married. That mistake resulted in the reason your Uncle forced you out. I’m not saying he did the right thing but if you want someone to blame, you have to blame me. I caused your pain. I caused all the suffering you went through because I was irresponsible that night. If you can open up your heart to me again, if you can forgive me for that mistake that robbed you of your childhood why can’t you forgive your Uncle for panicking about his job.”
“Stop blaming yourself for what happened to me. It was not like you raped me or anything like that. I also know for a fact that you would never have turned your back on me if you knew I was having your baby. My Uncle was supposed to be role model. He was to set a good example at forgiveness. He chose not to forgive me for my mistake so why should I forgive him. He doesn’t deserve my forgiveness. He is a hypocrite. He preaches one thing and acts differently. When his wife’s brother raped their maid, the matter was hushed and offered the girl’s family a lot of money to keep it quiet. Why couldn’t he help me find a solution to my problem? He said I was a disgrace to him. He never loved me, that’s the bottom line. He never cared and you are hurting me by not understanding how I feel about this. There were a thousand and one things he could have done to help me but he didn’t. I don’t want to talk about the past. It always gets me worked up. We have been given a second chance, let’s not waste it on the past. Let’s move on. Auntie Araba and her husband can stand in as my family.”
Prince was not surprised by Maya’s stance. It had always been like that. Anytime the subject came up she got all emotional. But he still believed the right thing had to be done. Marriage is supposed to be between two real families. This is the third time the subject had come up. Maya still maintained she would marry without her Uncle.
“Sometimes we can only move on when we let go of the past. Why can’t you see things from my perspective? We need your family’s consent to get married. It’s the right thing to do. Maybe we can go back for him to lead us to your family. If you give me your permission, I will go alone. You are the woman I desire most in my life and I don’t want anything standing between our happiness. We can get married now without their consent but they can decide to annul our marriage anytime they feel like it just because we did not seek their consent. The court will grant that. Auntie Araba and her husband can’t save us from that humiliation that’s why I want us to do the right thing from the very beginning. That way we won’t be looking over our shoulders all the time. Please give it a thought and let’s get married soon. Living apart is breaking me into pieces. I want you by my side when I wake and I want you with me when I lay my soul to sleep. I want you to be my wife.”
Maya had tears in her eyes.
She closed her eyes and hoped the pain would go away. It still got to her when she remembered the past. She was trampled on because of her Uncle’s decision. She was scorned and belittled. She was scared and it seem to her she could never forget that. It was not like she did not share Prince’s sentiments. She just wished it was that easy for her to let go of the past. She was aware her Uncle’s decision resulted in her resolve to build something for herself and her child. It taught her to carry on and be the best she can be. God blessed her efforts and now she lacked nothing. She wanted so much to let go but how. Where does she start from? What should she do?
She turned to Prince who was obviously affected by her stance and gave a weak smile.
Prince did not smile back.
He knew Maya was never going to give in and he was never going to marry her without her family’s consent. He had, for all his life, strove to do the right thing at all times. He loved Maya with all his heart but he would not do the wrong thing just to please her. All he was asking was for them to seek her Uncle’s consent, if he refused to see them, then he would know twas tried.
“Well, if that’s what you want, let’s do it. But I’m not promising you anything. We will just go and get it over with. Then I can use the opportunity to check on the inheritance. “
Prince was suddenly quiet.
It just occured to him that Maya was stalling because she didn’t love him enough to marry him. He also felt he was pushing her too hard. Maybe he should give her more time.
He wondered if Maya loved him the way he does. He knew that he would have dropped everything for her just to make her happy. He suddenly felt like he was the only one in love. He shuddered when the thought crossed his mind. Maybe Maya was not ready to commit to him just yet. It occurred to him that Maya did not even answer his proposal.
“Aren’t you going to say anything?”
“You know what, I think you should take all the time you need. I don’t want it to seem like I pressured you into marrying me. I hope you remember we are seeing my folks tomorrow.”
“Why are you acting up with me? I said I would go, so where is all that bitterness coming from?”
“I don’t think we should discuss this any further. It looks like I’m the only one who wants to get married. If you don’t feel the same way, please let me know. Much as I want you, I want you to want to be with me too.” He said and got to his feet.
Maya was confused.
She could not comprehend why Prince was behaving like that.
Maya got to her feet and dusted her jeans with her palms.
She walked to Prince who was standing behind the binoculars he had installed on his compound to watch the stars.
Maya wound her arms around him as he tried to look through the binoculars.
“Why are you like this, my love. Don’t tell me you are bored already when I’m with you.”
Prince did not respond.
“I can understand your wanting to do the right thing. In fact, I love that. It’s kind of sexy. It’s just not easy to let go of this pain in my heart that I’ve carried for half my life.”
“That’s exactly the point Maya. If you love me, there will be no space for anything else. My love is supposed to fill your heart. If you are keeping the past in there it means I only have a part of you. I don’t want that. I want all of you. Because I’ve given you my all.”
“I guess you are right. It’s time I let go. You fill my heart. You make me whole. You make me happy and I love you very much. I don’t want you to ever doubt that.
As for your parents, I’m good to go. I’m just hoping they would like me. Now, come here and let me show you just how much I love you.”
Maya turned Prince to face her and gave him a big hug.
She told him she loved him and if a hug told how much one loved the other, she would hold him in her arms forever.