Seedy and Haddy are newlyweds who were living in bliss until a sudden adversity rocked their world. Seedy would be forced to make a bargain that would drive a wedge between them and worst, could lead to the destructions of not only their marriage but their lives as well.
“What did you just say, Seedy?” she breathed, her heart in her throat. She couldn’t have heard him right.
Seedy ran his hands along his face, sighing heavily. “I lied to you, Haddy,” he said after a while, avoiding her gaze. “My boss didn’t give me a loan. He wanted a deal. I had to agree to marry his daughter before he would give me the money I needed.”
“Oh my God, no!” Haddy backed away and fell on the sofa. She buried her face in her hands, trembling from head to toe. “How could you, Seedy?” she yelled, her eyes shooting daggers at him. “How could you agree to something so… so disgusting… and then lied to me about it? We’ve been married for less than a year and you’ve already destroyed our relationship!”
His eyes filled with panic. He knelt in front of her. “No,” he said hoarsely, “don’t say that, Haddy. Our marriage is still the most important thing to me. You know how much Ma means to me. I just couldn’t let her die.”
“So you sold yourself to save her?” she dished out acidly, her eyes flashing with righteous anger. She got up from the sofa and pushed him out of her way. “She would be so proud, Seedy!”
Those words made him flinch. He sat down on the floor. The defeated look in his eyes made her heart ache. She was such a fool. How could she be thinking about his feelings right now when he’d just broken her heart and trust in the worst way imaginable? The pain his betrayal caused was enough to drive one insane. It consumed her and she found it impossible to see it past.
“I am not asking for forgiveness,” he said. “I know I don’t deserve it, not any time soon anyway. But I made a deal and Momodou has held up his part of the bargain. It’s my turn to do the same.”
Her throat welled up with tears she refused to shed. “What do you want from me then?”
“I need to know that you won’t end our marriage if I do this,” he pleaded. “I need you to tell me that we can get past this. Haddy, I just need to know that I won’t lose you because I can’t. I can’t even imagine it.”
She hugged herself and gazed down at the floor. “I don’t know if I can promise that, Seedy,” she said, her voice full of the agony that was gnawing at her insides. “Right now, I can’t even think straight. I need to get away from here.” She headed for the door adding, “I’m going to my parents’.”
“I’ll be here when you get back.” She heard him reply before she closed the door.
When she reached her parents’ house, she found her father in the sitting room entertaining some guests. She greeted them warmly. It took all of her will power to keep her fake smile in place.
“How is your husband doing?” asked Baa Kebba, one of her father’s friends.
“He’s doing well, Uncle.”
“Is something the matter, my dear?” her father asked, looking at her closely.
She shook her head. “Everything is fine, dad. Where is Mum?”
“She went out with your sister.”
“I’ll be in my room.”
Musa smiled at her daughter. “It’s Ajie Fatou’s room now, Haddy. You don’t live here anymore.”
Haddy practically ran out of the living room when she excused herself. No sooner had she entered her former bedroom than the tears started to fall in earnest. She buried her head in the pillow to stifle the sounds of her sobbing. She cried until there were no tears left in her. Then she lay motionless on the bed, her mind flying back to the scene in the hospital. From the moment she saw the way Mariatou looked at Seedy, alarm bells had begun to ring in her head. But it had never crossed her mind that the beautiful heiress would resort to such a drastic measure just to get him.
Even though she had never grown immune to the attention her husband got from women, she understood it. Married or not, Seedy was the kind of man women would always be attracted to but she strove not to let that bother her. After all, he’d chosen her out of the lot.
“You should know that marriage to a man as irresistibly handsome as Seedy would only work if you grow a thick skin,” her younger sister had said teasingly on the night before her wedding. Haddy had been so excited that she couldn’t sleep so they both stayed up late chatting. “He is like a freaking magnet,” Ajie Fatou had added on a dreamy sigh, rolling her eyes dramatically.
“Hey, that’s my husband to be you’re talking about,” Haddy had admonished with a laugh.
“I have to remind myself that every time I set eyes on him,” her impertinent reply had been. “I swear if you hadn’t been my sister, I would have found a way to steal him from you.”
“You shameless girl! Steal him, will you?” She had proceeded to smack her until the incorrigible chit took back her words.
Haddy stared at the ceiling, the memory of how happy she had been that night augmenting her misery. She hadn’t envisioned this. Dear God, what was she going to do now? Her mind knew that Seedy did this because he felt he didn’t have a choice but her heart was finding it difficult to accept.
In the evening, when her mother came back with her sister, Haddy narrated the entire story to them. They digested it in silence, at least her parents did. Ajie Fatou, on the other hand, launched into a tirade. “That Mariatou Gumaneh is a witch! Has she no self-respect? No dignity? Forcing a man to marry you has to be the lowest of the low! Her father is even worse. Using a dying woman as leverage… the horror! What is the world coming to?”
“Have you forgotten about Seedy’s lies?” Haddy pointed out.
But Ajie Fatou, as always, leapt to his defense. “He’s scared of losing you, Haddy. That’s why he delayed telling you until now.”
“That’s not a good enough reason. He broke my trust.”
“Seedy made a mistake,” Musa spoke up. “However, it is your duty as his wife to stay by his side no matter what. Marriage isn’t a bed of roses, Haddy. It has its ups and downs. Consider this the first of many challenges the two of you are going to encounter down the road.”
“Your father is right,” Mariama said to her daughter, taking her hands in both of hers. “Go back to your husband. I am confident that you will be able to figure this out.”
Haddy nodded. “I’ll do as you say.”
It was around 10 p.m. when Haddy returned home. Seedy was sound asleep on the carpet. The noise of the door being shutting woke him. He struggled to his feet, his eyes were blood red and he didn’t even bother to try and hide the fear that swirled in their depths. She just stood there, staring back at him, the realisation that she loved him too much to ever let him go freezing her blood. For better or for worse, she was his and nothing would ever change that.
She took a deep breath and prayed for courage to be able to see this through. “I understand why you did what you did. I know I would have done everything within my power to save my mother had I been in your position. What hurt the most was the fact that you lied to my face without batting an eyelash. I’m not going to end our marriage, Seedy. I will not give Mariatou that satisfaction but if you ever lie to me about something this monumental again, that will be it. I will leave and no amount of begging will change my mind. Are we clear on that?”
“Crystal,” he replied without hesitation, obviously filled with relief that she was staying.
When he made for her, she held up her hand to halt him. “I can’t. Not now,” she said and hurried to their bedroom. For the first time in her life, Haddy found herself wanting to be anywhere but in the arms of her husband.
To be continued
by Adam Nyang