Kajata remembered the day her father announced she was betrothed. He was angry as she had gone out with friends and came home late. She worried she would be in trouble if her father got home first, but her crush was there, so Kajata stayed and tried to shrug her worries aside. She hoped to get home first, but she did not.
Kajata spoke to her crush at the party and hoped that he might soon ask her out. He did not. She never got the chance to go on her first date.
Kajata blamed herself for causing her parents to worry, which inevitably prompted them to believe that she had been led astray and therefore get her married off quickly to avoid being shamed.
“Stop crying Kajata. It is done, ” her father replied when she pleaded.
The wedding day was a blur. Kajata was unsure whether it was because of her crying through the entire ceremony or because she tried to forget; except for the vague memory of cheerful voices, music, and kids playing, everything else was hazy. She vaguely recalled being wrapped in a white cloth and presented to the elders at some point, she glanced around as she sat down and saw her father’s gloomed face, her father-in law’s smiling one, and her husband’s indifferent one. Kajata hesitated when asked if she wished to take him, the stranger, to be her husband in the eyes of God till death do they part until her mother nudged her in the rib. At which point she nodded, refusing to lift her head. She sobbed even more after the ceremony and her mind wandered off for the rest of the day. She could not recall carrying the ceremonial calabash filled with money and a wrapper for her mother or the umbrella decorated with banknotes as the women gathered around her and sang songs in her praise. The only thing about that day that was still clear in her mind was the dryness she felt in her throat, which returned whenever she dwells upon the events of that day.
Kajata was getting used to married life, her routine consisted of waking up every at 6:30 am to serve her husband breakfast, help him get ready, and clean up when he was done. He would deposit the chop money on the dresser and tell her what to make for dinner before leaving for the day. Kajata stared at the money one morning and contemplated asking for more but was afraid to risk another argument or even worse. He struck her a few days ago when she tried to speak up about something else. Kajata decided against questioning it.
At the market, Kajata had to bargain for everything, even peppeh. They all knew her for haggling with traders over prices. In fact, some traders pitied her while others perceived her as too miserly.
As the days passed, she was forced to succumb to the idea that her husband ruled her, and her role was to be the obeying wife. Kajata knew better than this. But she also knew he was nothing but an egotistic fool, and her silence spared her from being hit.
Follow for the full story
Immoh - Get up
Baba – Father
Patch Grannat – Roasted peanuts
Chop Money- Money for groceries