Societal, Stories

Long Goodbye

“I love you.”

We are snuggled on the couch in my living room. My favourite love songs collection is playing on the stereo and he is whispering sweet nothings in my ear in between songs. These are my favorite moments: when we sit and just be.

I smile. “That’s kind.”

I feel his smile. I do love him. And he knows.

The way my face lights up whenever he comes into the room shows him. The fact that I’ve spoken to him everyday for the last 2years is proof enough. Every time I look into his eyes, he knows.

What he does not know is that by this time tomorrow, there will be no more ‘us’.

I know that the movies say I should fight. The novels say that I’m a coward to give up; that if I keep at it long enough then something/someone will give.

But this is no PG13 Romantic Comedy.

I have fought and I’m tired of fighting. The parents will not have any of it. An ‘ngbati ngbati’ will not do. Especially not one with a polygamous muslim background and without a fortune in wealth or name. It does not matter that he has long since converted to christianity and has probably said more ‘hail Mary’s’ than both my parents combined. “Polygamy is contagious…muslim…poverty…mba nu! That will not do for one such as yourself; a highly educated, extremely good looking Ada.

It is hard to fight them. They gave me life, showed me love. They did not scrimp, they spared nothing, and went without so that we’d have the best of everything.

Mummy sold all her shares to make sure I had pocket money. So when she pleads with me, tears in her eyes, that she just doesn’t want me to “go through what she went through”, the fight leaves me.
Daddy worked day and night, jumping buses to and fro because he could not afford to buy a car when the school fees had not been paid. Day and night. Night and day. So when he sits me down, look of heartbreak in his eyes, saying that he just “wants what’s best for me”, I cannot fight.

I remember their sacrifices and I cannot fight anymore.

And so tonight I savour. I savour and taste and feel. I hold longer, kiss deeper.

But I will do one thing in defiance before I leave. Before I get on that plane tomorrow to America; a healing trip if you will. Before I come back home in a month to get married to Chekube, Chief Okoroji’s offspring. Before the morning comes. I will give myself to him. He will wonder, he may reject at first. We decided to wait till marriage. But he will have me tonight. He must.

I press the ‘skip’ button on the remote control and India Arie’s Long Goodbye starts to play:

Tomorrow we’ll pick up the pieces
Try to mend our broken lives
Soft kiss, sweet lies
Let’s make it a long goodbye.

This is definitely no Nora Roberts bestseller. This is my reality.

Hey guys, ‘Dania here. What do you think? Was she wrong to give up? Should she have stuck to her guns, risking her relationship with her parents? Is polygamy really contagious i.e is a child from a polygamous background likely to take the same route?
Have you ever had a struggle between your heart and your head? Which one won?
Use the comment box, speak your mind.

48 thoughts on “Long Goodbye”

  1. Dayuum Ada. Is this what you look ahead to when you turn down those hot romantics? I have had to walk away from many people because of looking ahead to situations like this. Love it.

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  2. Nice one, sad :-( that she can’t be with her true love because she wants to please her parents. Is this the end? What happens after? Is it a true story? I feel she might get pregnant for the guy.

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  3. *sigh* …i come back… or maybe not.
    I used to think money wasnt everything…then i sat and thought what i woul ddo in my parents shoes.
    Would i not also be too afraid to willingly allow my child go into an uncertainty such as this?
    Even worse if its obvious the guy doesnt have money nko? I will cry for my daughter too o!
    As for her … eternal struggle. The vibe im getting from her is that she is ready to live with the fact that she wont b marrying her ‘true love’….if she has gotten to that point then he probably isnt so true for her….

    Oh well…what do i know

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  4. Ada Okoroji.. sigh… sad (no news there) but the sincerity, I love. This tale poses a question we all must ask ourselves at some point in time. They say marriage is a journey of compromises, question is, what do you compromise on?

    He’s brilliant, with prospects but right now, he can’t afford to feed both of you?
    She’s stunningly beautiful but her past is dodgy…
    He’s muslim, you’re catholic…
    She’s Edo, you’re Yoruba….

    What to do?

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  5. this is my story……….like serious, you just wrote about me and ive really been asking myself those questions over and over again…………….i dont know the answers Dania, infact, those are the exact questions im asking

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  6. Hmmm! Dania….. D fight betwwen ur heart and ur head its not a good one to experience!! I don’t tink Polygamy is alway contagious! Not in all cases… Nice write up, but I’ll luv to know how ‎​Ȋ̝̊̅†̥ ends!! Cheers

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  7. This is one of the greatest kinds of dilemma: love without a guarantee of material comfort vs material comfort with no guarantee of love. I don’t believe in regrets and it’s obvious that she will regret giving up. She seems to be thinking ahead, right? So here’s a question: what kind of family atmosphere will she create for the future children born of a loveless marriage?
    As for her parents, I can appreciate their struggle. However, their efforts are a complete waste if they won’t let her be her own person and find her happiness in her own way. I understand that they care and fear for her, but it shouldn’t blind them or drive them to manipulate her via emotional blackmail.
    My basic point is: It’s your life! Your choices are yours and you must live with the consequences. (Sorry for the length)

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  8. I don’t think Polygamy can be contagious. It has to be the persons choice.
    War between my heart and my head. Never experienced it. I guess I will follow my heart tho.

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  9. I’ve been in a similar situation before. (Un)Luckily for me, some other things came up and broke us up before the ‘tribe’ and money thing became a serious issue.

    Mine was with a girl so I wonder if it would matter as much, it did to me anyway.

    At the end of the day, I feel she makes the best choice she can. If it can’t work, why spend a lifetime struggling and fighting for ‘love’. The struggles could break that love anyway. Its the marrying some chiefs son that irks me. Even if she can’t have her 100% love. She should at least find a 60 – 70 %.

    Nothing that is not genetic can be transmitted so all the other issues are just sentimental BS.

    As usual, great work Ada.

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  10. Is polygamy contagious?
    I think there are two sides to the coin..

    They say blood is thicker than water and family ties are strong. There’s just something about one’s background that affects him/her for life. So it’s possible that he might have polygamous tendencies…
    On the flip side, because he knows what a polygamous home entails and because he prolly doesn’t want his kids to go through what he did, he’ll fight polygamy and work towards having a good monogamous home.
    So it’s back to the old ‘nature and nurture’ arguement… I guess it varies with different people.

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  11. my dad has always spoke to me about dating a polygamous guy
    he and my mum are both from polygamous families, and he says it affects the kids too.
    i always try to steer clear of people from polygamous homes
    but i know one thing
    if the guy i love, is from a polygamous home, a converted christian(because hats the one thing i wouldn’t bend on) and isn’t exactly rich right now, especially if i see a future.
    No amount of my mothers tears will get me to leave him.
    I have stayed with a guy even though we were both AS against our family’s wishes!!!! polygamy is a small thing

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    1. Hmmm… Having an SS child is no joke o… You’ll learn to love the hospital… In my opinion, no love is worth the suffering

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  12. The polygamy issue is BS.I knw a dude from a monogamus home dat has 2 wives.its all abt choice.

    I feel her pain doe.let’s face it, no parent wants their child to suffer. Its better to cry in a BMW dan in a molue *shrugs* bt they should let her find a husband na. Hian!

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  13. My dad says,” let the rich marry the rich, let te poor marry poor, let the educated mary the educated, let the muslim marry the muslim,etc…. because it eventually creates fewer problems”

    And I agree with him. In my opinion, our backgrounds influence our investment/savings habits, our belief in superstition, choice of school for our kids, holiday destination and even which aso ebi is too expensive to buy.

    If you grew up naver lacking money, try making a financial decision with a partner who grew up always needing money and you will understand my point.

    I am not saying you will not have problems if you are from similar backgrounds though, I think they’ just be of a different kind not neccesarily as fundamental.

    That said, Ada’s parents shouldn’t have emotionally blackmailed her.It was thier responsibility to clothe,feed and educate her. They weren’t doing her any favours.

    Cool to quit the relationship but not cool to marry a guy your parents have set up for you.

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  14. Had to break off a certain relationship my mum wasn’t comfortable with. I was young! He was 6years older.. *shrug* it didn’t hurt that much, to be honest. We wouldn’t have lasted anyway. I’m with someone else now. Nearly four years. The parents had better love him! What’s not to love? Haha

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  15. *Le heavy zai*

    I think the story makes sad look happy.

    As for whether she is right to give the dude sex, it is a matter of personal choice. However, if you are to ask me, she shouldn’t have.

    If she decided to keep it till her marriage (to him), then giving it to him with the full knowledge that they won’t get married just creates a bond that paves way for more problems for her in the future.

    As to whether polygamy is contagious, let me just say that my grandfather (Bendega himself *hails tribesmen*) married 12 wives. No joke.

    My father married one.

    There is no point there. It is a matter of personal conviction.

    It all boils down to what the heart wants. But take into consideration that love gets you married but doesn’t keep you married.

    *sits down and asks myself when I started writing long comments*

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    1. I like your outlook.ur really realistic and it comes across heavily in ur writing.that’s a good thing. And as for Dania………*sighs*ur awesome.

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  16. At the end of the day, I think it all comes down to what you’re willing to risk or not.
    Love without money definately has its problems. Can you stand to see your children unfed and unclothed?? If you’re used to eating the best food and traveling every summer, can you deal with not having all that?
    If you marry someone you don’t love, can you handle probable infedelity?? Long absences? A marriage more like a business arrangement??
    These things take their toll.
    As relationships go on, things change. Feelings change. You get older. You see the world differently.
    Nothing hurts like knowing you HAVE to leave the one you love because the other problems are too much.
    Love isn’t all it takes.
    Neither is money.

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  17. Well,both my parents are from very large polygamous homes…my dad is yoruba,my mum is from warri…my dad is a muslim,my mum is a catholic (story of my life) but we are a very happy small family…if u can’t compromise for the one you love,then u are not in love…you are rich,you can make him rich.most people from polygamous homes try to avoid getting into one.they know how bad it can be.your parents won’t sleep with chekube at night for the rest of your life…u will.

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  18. My parents want me to end a 4yr relationship just cos he’s yoruba.
    Money is not an issue, his family is monogamous, they are catholics as well but my parents say he is not good enuff just cos he’s not from my tribe.

    Twas really hard watching my mum cry and beg me not to marry a yoruba guy cos “people from our place don’t marry people from yoruba land” and cos ” yoruba men are promiscuous” *sigh*

    She even went as far as to blackmail me with her blood pressure issue. Claiming that tots of me marrying a yoruba guy increases her blood pressure. My dad ordered me point blank to end the relationship and eventually I told them that we had broken up . Just for the sake of peace. But we haven’t.

    My parents want the best for me. But I also want the best for myself.So I’m still dating the guy and by God’s Grace we both plan to get married soon.
    I’m of the opinion that parents should let their kids make decisions for themselves. Afterall, the parents won’t live wit them in their marital home.
    I choose to stick to my guns and judge him and his family for who they are and not based on tribal stereotypes

    Truthfully, I dunno if I wld still say these same tins if he were from a poor home or if his family were muslim and polygamous but I want to believe that if were in Ada’s shoes, I wld make my decision based on who my man is, the strenght of his character, his beliefs and most importantly his drive and will to succeed in life
    (This covers the money part). Most importantly, I’ll make a decision (prayerfully of course) based on what I want and what I feel is best for me. What I can or cannot handle.but I certainly will not base my decisions on wat my parents want. Cos its my life and I’m the one who’ll live with the consequences of my choices.
    Sorry for the long post.

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  19. It all depends. There is one woman I would happily forgo the whole world to be with right now (the feeling is mutual) and the odds are stacked very, very heavily against the possibility of an us. I wonder daily whether the colossal fight it would require for us to fight for the happiness we would undoubtedly have together would be worth it or not and whether that happiness will be sustainable when the fight undoubtedly continues even after the wedding. There are already issues with Long Distance, Age, Tribe, Career choice, Parents… Where does the fight then start from?

    We’ve explored other options and still come back to a point where we’re facing each other and wondering what is to be and what is not be…

    Real life is no Disney cartoon, we have the responsibility at the end of the day to weigh all there is to weigh and make our decisions and then stick with it. We must weigh love, compatibility, financial stability, in-laws, parental blessings etc against each other and make a healthy, sensible decision and hope for the best from there on. No looking back.

    Which brings me to the only grouse I have with Ada’s choice: that of having sex with him. Like Terdoh said, she would only create deeper, stronger bonds that would do neither of them any good when she is married to another man.

    My two kobo

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  20. Thank you all for reading and taking the time out to share your highly interesting thoughts and opinions.

    I think almost every angle has been talked about so I’ll try not to say too much here.

    Someone I hold in high regard once told me that polygamous homes (most of the time) are filled with internal rivalry and fighting that may even involve ‘jazz’ sometimes and so its possible that someone might’ve ‘sworn’ for the person you want to marry. Even though this is obviously not true in all cases, when a person with a polygamous background declares interest, I get a check in my subconscious.

    Yes we shouldn’t live for our parents but what about all that talk about “what an elder sees sitting down…”? I guess the trick would be knowing how to find a balance.

    Whatever the case, whatever choices we make, we should be ready and able to live with them at the end of the day. Life is too short to live in regret.

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  21. Just wondering when next ‘Kelvin’ will be the main character of a blog post. All these ‘ada’s’ sef… *holds nose and kapoof, rent-a-ghost style*

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  22. This post just vividly reminds me of the day my mum said…”Nugwa, I don’t care what tribe your wife will be from, as long as it’s obvious she loves God, you’ll have my blessing”. My grandparents forced my mum “out of love” to ditch her then boyfriend and marry my dad… so she is talking from experience when she says it was the worst decision she ever took. The europe and america summers and all the money did not change that. Knowing that, I can boldly say that even if my mum somehow disaproved of a girl for tribal or monetary reasons (which she won’t), I’ll just show her a mirror and that will be that… and oh btw, I also agree 100% with domina…

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  23. Lovely writing as usual! My mum has made it crystal clear that she doesn’t want a white man or a muslim as her in-law smh! Although she always says it jokingly, it’s not hard to see she means business!
    On the flip side, i feel like the days of marrying a specific kind of man have long gone! As much as my mum might want me to marry aChristian, Igbo man preferrably from Anambra, i dont see her throwing a tantrum or refusing to let me marry a guy that doesnt fit her perfect model as long as he treats me right and we are clearly in love.
    I feel it is unfair for parents to impose their own ideal partner on their kids. Unless they see a personal trait in the future hubby that is very shady or questionable, it’s unfair for parents to interfere with the marriage just because of silly tribal, racial or religious stereotypes.
    Always look forward to your posts :)

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  24. I had a huge fight with my dad last year and it repeated itself just 3wks ago. My dad insists that over his dead body will I marry someone who aint igbo and I keep telling him it may just be so. Anyone who knows me would agree that I’m liberal and there’s no love lost between igbo guys and I. I don’t understand why parents keep trying to box their kids in.
    I was on the flip side of Ada some months back and what made it hurt more was that the guy chickened out and offered certain flimsy excuses lies while at it. Maybe I’m too much of a fighter but, I’ve never believed that anyone has a right to dictate what my life should be about.
    Even God let’s you choose.

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    1. Mohnah your comment can be summarized in the last statement. If God, who knows everything, does not force us but allows us choose, then why do parents place themselves above God? Advise yes, and let decisions be made! Sighs. God help us. The Scriptures say CHILDREN obey your parents, not adults obey your parents. Thank you Mohnah.

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      1. Everything u wrote makes a lot of sense, HighLandBlue, apart from the last sentence. I hope it’s a joke!
        “The Scriptures say CHILDREN obey your parents, not adults obey your parents.” WHAT? You’re misinterpreting the scriptures! You’re a child to your parent as long as they are your parents and you were born of them- whether you’re an adolescent,teenager or an adult. Have you seen an obituary before? (“He/she is survived by …,children. And grand children” and so on) I don’t see adults there.
        Please don’t do this again!
        Obey your parents please. It’s very important. Don’t joke with the Length of your days.
        As per taking risks and going against their wishes. Do so in L♥√e! If they don’t understand now,they will understand later.
        (Or you will). Someone will understand at the end of the day!

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  25. Parents sure know how to blackmail us emotionally into doing things their way. You need to be very determined if you choose to marry someone from another tribe/religion.
    I’m disappointed that the girl in d story will end up with some dude she has no love for. A year into the marriage, they’ll be part of the statistics of newly-married unhappy couples.
    Better to stay single and find someone else you love OR damn all consequences, marry the guy …. And pray (MFM style skabashing) that the guy doesn’t start showing himself in future….. Nothing worse than parents saying “I told you so”

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  26. Where is Ada my friend? You are scared of people from polygamous homes? Well there are worse predisposing factors which we overlook. I will not list anything but a small think should bring them to mind.

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  27. Ha! My parents don’t even like people from specific villages in Igboland. Sadly for them, most of my elder siblings are currr-razy! Eldest sister married a Congolese guy. My other sister married a Cameroonian! Don’t you just love em? One of my brother’s married to a black american, another to a yoruba muslim.

    Me? Off to India to find wife abeg. Heard the ladies there pay dowry. What? I never hammer abeg…

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  28. Mehn! What about the people who marry the ones they love and somewhere down the line, the person flips and becomes the worst spouse in the world? I say, fuck it and stay single :-D

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  29. @ Highlandblue:
    Not scared. If I made a list of determining factors, it wouldn’t make the list. But at first mention, a tiny alarm goes of in my head.

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  30. I think I have read the bulk of the comments to this post.
    Has anyone noticed that it’s predominantly Ibo people who are fighting these “stereotype” issues with their parents?
    I have been in a similar situation myself, but admittedly, I began to also key into the traits my mother found shady about him. And THAT was the ONLY reason I quit the relationship.
    I would not have quit on any other shallow bases such as the mere fact that he’s from a certain tribe or religion or parental background.
    I come from a polygamous background- well, not exactly, cos it was a marriage, then a divorce, then a marriage, then a divorce, then a present marriage. But polygamy is not contagious. Everyone is shapped by their past experiences, and what u choose to take away from each experience is what makes u who u r.
    I have decided I would marry a man I am convinced (earthly & spiritually) about, and we would stick it in, as long as the right foundations are in place. It does make it easier when ur parents agree with ur choice, but where their disagreements are irrational and they refuse to bulge, remember that it’s ur life, not theirs.
    Like we said, even God let’s us choose. Ure d one who has to live with your choices, not anyone else. So think deep and make ur choices, not ur parents’ choices.
    Sorry this is a tad long.
    Great post Ada, x…

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  31. Two things: 1st, I am frm a polygamous/polyandrous family. U dnt wana draw my family tree. 2ndly, my fada has so much moni dat I hate rich pple. Moni aint every tin n family backgrounds dnt make pple. Its about hu u r. Lyk sum1 said, God himself let’s us choose.

    Our parents dnt want us to struggle. Lyf is bout struggles. If u dnt face certain “hardships” -be it financial, emotional, spiritual- u won’t becum a strong person. Even gold has to pass thru d furnance. Parents, we hav to struggle. Allow us choose d struggle dat is worth it.

    As for d Ada babe, she shudnt chicken out cuz her “parents said”. Its her lyf. Dey hav livd diers.

    And Dania, sumtytmz, even d elders c wrongly even if dey climb d mountain…

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  32. Yay! Your back! I’ve been seriously bored since I read all your other posts. Pls, pls write more often. I really enjoy your stories and you write very well.

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  33. Head always wins.
    Sometimes, the head that wins isn’t mine. But it doesn’t matter
    Forever lonely

    You know when you read something and you clutch your chest your chest because you’re wondering when you wrote something you were thinking. And then you realize nahh, you didn’t. This is it.

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  34. This is lovely. I’ve been in a situation similar to this and I let go. I don’t blame her at all. I think she did the right thing cos her parents suffered too much for her to end up with someone they don’t accept. There’s always a better person out there. Don’t settle for less. Nice piece Jibola.

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