© The Klever Magg
Prince picked up Maya as planned and drove to his parents’ residence.
He saw how tensed Maya was and told stories to calm her a bit.
The gateman let them into the house and Prince parked his car behind his father’s. He missed racing his Dad in a game only the two understood how to play.
Prince led Maya to the main hall and she could tell they lived well.
They all retired to the dining area and ate dinner.
Prince’s Dad was just like his son. They looked alike and had a great sense of humour. He cracked their ribs with jokes and fun stories.
Maya felt at home with him.
She was, however, not so sure about Prince’s Mom. She was a bit reserved and did not laugh at the jokes her husband made. She only spoke when she needed some information about Maya.
She had grilled Maya on her educational background, what she did for a living, her family tree and the kind of friends she kept. Maya had been very honest and told her everything she knew.
She had asked a lot of questions about her parents, their marriage and how she claimed they died.
At one point or the other, her husband and Prince had jumped to her rescue and stopped her from answering the very personal questions.
But Prince’s Mom had continued unabated.
“So, tell me, how many guys have you slept with?”
“Mom? That’s going too far. That’s my business,“ Prince cut in.
“Why, are you scared to know the truth? A girl like her can never make it on her own. I’m sure she slept with a lot of men to get to where she is now. I don’t believe a girl with her background can single-handedly build the empire she claimed she had. I think it’s good you know what you are getting yourself into.”
“You may have all the good intentions but asking that is hitting below the belt. Maya is a decent person. It was unfortunate she ended up in the street because of me but I think she did a yeoman’s job by rising above the troubled waters. I respect her for not giving up but rather fighting her way up the ladder. Like the saying goes, it doesn’t matter how many times you fall but it is what you do after each fall that matters. She could have decided to remain in the streets but she worked hard to turn her story around. That is something we must all commend her for. She is not here to prove anything to you, I love her and I was hoping you would want to get to know her better for my sake. The way you are going, I don’t think we should be here,” Prince stated, fighting so hard to keep his cool.
“The truth hurts, doesn’t it? You want to behave like the ostrich. You want to bury your head in the sand as if nothing has happened. I am a realist. I believe the truth should be told so that when you decide to marry her, you will know exactly what you are getting.”
“Leah, I think you are being too harsh on the poor girl. She is not here to apply for a job. She is here as your son’s guest so you should put away your reservations and let’s enjoy our dinner. You are making her lose her appetite. I don’t think you would like it if our daughter was treated like that.’
“Men will always be men. They only see the surface of everything. Why is it so hard for her to answer the question unless there are things she would rather keep hidden? I’m sure her Uncle kicked her out for a good reason. Don’t think you can fool me, young lady. I know your kind. You are just a gold digger, plain and simple and you see my son as an opportunity.”
Maya’s tears fell unchecked.
She had not in her thirty-one years of existence met anyone so mean.
She did not mind giving answers to satisfy Prince’s Mom but it was her insinuations that was getting to her. Most people believed women were dumb and could not do anything without sleeping with men. When a guy came tops in his class, he was a genius: when a lady came tops it was either she was a witch or she sold her body for it. When would people stop putting women down? When would they accept that women could be the best in anything they set their hearts on. She had fought that treatment all her life and now her mother-in-law to be was sitting across her and rubbing in the same insults?
“Ma’am, I don’t have any problem answering the question. What I’d like you to understand is that not everyone was born with a silver spoon in her mouth. Some people struggle to get to where they are but that does not make them any less human. I’m not sitting here and telling you I’m a saint but I have principles. I may not have come from the best of homes you had hoped but that does not give you the right to insult me like that. Yes, I was young when I got pregnant. That was a mistake any girl could make. That was not what I wished for but it happened. We can all be careless at one point especially when you meet someone you truly love. I had no clue I could get pregnant that night I gave myself to your son. I don’t regret it because I gave it out of love but if you think you can use that to judge me, then you are wrong. You sit there and frown on my background. Those things really don’t matter. What makes a marriage is love and deep respect for each other. I believe I’ve found that with your son. Now, let me answer your question. I’ve known two guys intimately in my life. Your son was my first. The night I gave myself to your son, I had not been with anyone.”
“That’s where you are wrong, my dear. Backgrounds do play a big role. My son is a Doctor. A dignified one at that and you are telling me a common caterer can make him happy? Please tell those stories to those who can’t read. He needs a classy lady like Mabel by his side not some ……”
“That’s enough, Mom. I did not bring Maya here for you to insult her. You know my intentions as far as she is concerned. I don’t really care what she did in the past, all I know is I need her in my life. I brought her here for you to get to know and appreciate her but if that’s asking too much then I think our stay her is long lived. I’m really disappointed in you. I can’t believe you would be this mean to the one person who makes me happy.”
“Son, don’t take your mother’s words to heart. I’m sure she is just angry I dragged her all the way from London to meet your fiancée. She just wants someone to blame for missing her favourite past times.
And Maya, don’t take this personal. I’m sure she’ll come around.”
No one spoke afterwards. Prince wanted to leave with Maya but his Dad apologized and begged them to stay. They stayed till after dinner and although Prince’s father tried his best to make Maya laugh he failed miserably.
Maya was sad.
A lot of things were running through her mind.
If only her parents were alive, she was sure the story would have been different. Her Dad had been an accomplished engineer. He had worked in one of the prestigious oil companies before his untimely death. Her Mom had been the best caterer ever. Every one in Takoradi knew her. But now, she has nothing to boast of as a family. Now Prince’s Mom thought very low of her because she was convinced Maya was spewing lies.
Maya reasoned it was time to look for her family. She would search high and low until she found them.
That night as Prince drove home, she told Prince she was ready to face her Uncle. There were questions only he could answer.
It was time she found out about her ancestors.
Prince took her to the movies in a bid to lift her spirits but Maya was still sad.
She wondered if it was worth it. She’d been able to come this far by her own. Was it really necessary to get married? He loved Prince, that was the truth but was it really worth the insults and the humiliation she had just suffered?
Prince apologized a million times and reiterated that he did not care about whatever she did in the past as long as she loved him. He told her his love for her was an undying one and nothing or no one would break that.