Chapter 4: The Journey to the Wedding Ceremony

By Triphonia Julius

The lovebirds enjoyed themselves at the lake until sunset. They discussed issues pertaining to their wedding. Mr. Grey told Nina that anyone getting married has to inform their parents about their marriage. Nina felt a little bit down because of her mother. She thought about how her mother would react if she told her the good news.

“Let’s discuss how our wedding ceremony will look,” he said. The waves of water splashed on them while he poured wine into a glass.

“Am not sure how? In our village, life is very simple. What happens is that after both parties have agreed and paid the dowry, they prepare for the date and bless the couple in a church or at a government office. Then followed by a reception at a playground, that’s all,” she said.

“Playground? I have never seen this before,” he said.

“Then, tell me what you want our wedding to be like.”

Nina was overwhelmed by what Mr. Grey did to her that day. She had experienced many new things, like wearing swimming attire for the first time, and now Mr. Grey asked how their wedding would happen. Mr. Grey did all that for her as he forced himself on her. She worried that something was fishy.

“I know little things about the wedding in the village; you know, I have grown up in town,” he said. “Let’s first inform our parents; as for me, I already told them about my wedding, and they are okay with it because they told me that if I am happy with you, they are also happy with my choice despite our differences,” he said. Taking a sip of wine.

“Okay,” she said.

“Another thing, I want our wedding to be memorable. I know I will spend a lot, but money is not a problem,” he said.

“On that, you know my family is poor, and we cannot afford the fancy and expensive resources for our wedding,” she said.

“My love, don’t worry about that; my family will cover everything, and there is no problem with that. Let’s start with how the reception of our wedding will be,” he said.

“Let’s have our wedding here at Kambiri Lodge; I like the place,” she said.

“Yeah, it will be massive; this is a good choice, Nina. I was thinking about the wedding taking place at one of the nice hotels in Lilongwe city, but the beach is also a good venue,” he said.

“Okay!” she said.

In her entire life, Nina had never imagined that she could be one of the brides at a fancy wedding reception. She once attended a fancy wedding for one of the successful business people in her community. The bride wore a very beautiful wedding dress with glitter on the chest. The venue was decorated with lots of beautiful flowers; the wedding cake, HD cameras; it was superb.

I am now the one to be married off to a rich man, Mr. Grey.

“For the rest, like wedding cake, decoration, music equipment, catering, and everything else, I will find a wedding planner to do all that. We will just buy a white dress and a veil, my suit, our shoes, and rings,” he said.

Nina was somehow uncomfortable with all this because her family could not afford the expensive things that Mr. Grey mentioned.

He is to buy everything for the wedding; I think I have to convince my father to sell all the goats and contribute a little to the budget.

“Let’s get going; it is getting late. I didn’t tell my parents that I would sleep over,” she said.

“It’s okay, let’s get going; just go and change your clothes,” he said.

“Yah, you know, I forgot that I was in this attire,” she said, laughing.

Nina went into the room and changed her clothes. Mr. Grey followed her and waited for her at the door. After she opened the door, Mr. Grey grabbed Nina and kissed her while putting his hands on her breasts. Nina’s shyness was gone now. She let his hands stay there.

“I love you, Nina; I was not expecting that we would reach this far; you are my only queen.”

“I love you too,” Nina smiled.

The experience of love for rich people is very different; they care for each other.

They departed.

In the car, they continued their conversation.

“How was it? Did you like the beach?” He asked.

“I liked the place a lot! blue waters, engine boats, fishermen. God chose you for me because I am learning new good things each and every day. I can’t wait to visit this place again.”

“We did not finish our conversation yet. Next week we will go to another place to continue the planning of our wedding, not so?” he said.

“Yes!” she responded.

Mr. Grey dropped Nina off at home, where everyone was asleep except her father.

“You are still awake, father; what’s wrong?” she said, sitting on the chair

“I was waiting for you, my dear; the birthday party ended very late, up to this time?” he said.

“You know, father, rich people enjoy a lot! Here in the village, we don’t know how to enjoy it, but out there? Eh! It is something else,” she said.

“Oh? I am always worried that you should not disappoint me. I want you to get married officially, not just eloping like what other girls are doing here in the village,” he said.

“Father! You are talking of the devil; let me tell you, is my mother asleep?” she asked. Whispering.

“She has already slept,” he said. He went in the bedroom to check on her, and he found her asleep.

“OK, I am getting married with Mr. Grey! The wedding will take place at the beach in Salima. Imagine! He has told me that our wedding will be massive, like the weddings that people do in town.”

Upon hearing the news, her father started to parade left and right in the same place, the way he must have done when he worked as a young pioneer of the Malawi Congress Party in the late 1980s. He gave a salute to his daughter Nina, as he was very excited about the news.

“But father, he will spend a lot of money, and he has told me that I should not worry about money. I thought of you contributing even a small amount; it can carry the weight that we tried according to our side. I was thinking that you sell all the goats; what do you think?” She said.

“Okay, this is the good news, my daughter, and I knew that this young man would marry you because he loves you a lot. Look at you now! You are a changed person, a town girl! I will definitely sell all the goats and chickens! Of course, he has told you that we should not worry about it, but we have to buy rice and meat to feed the people in the village, and I will talk to my relatives so that they can assist me with all this. Don’t worry about your mother; I will talk to her in the morning. Go into your bedroom, my dear, and rest. See you tomorrow morning.”

“Thank you, father,” she said, going towards her bedroom.

She felt like she was dreaming. She had thought her father would not accept her, considering the wealth gap between the two families.

When she was about to go to sleep, Mr. Grey called her.

“Guess what! My parents have agreed for the second time that I should get married to you! I am excited! But they want you to visit them so that they see you,” he said.

“Wow! This is good news!” she said. Nina was nervous about how she would present herself at Mr. Grey’s mansion. Especially the type of clothes she would wear and how she would answer their questions.

“What do you think is the type of clothing that I should wear? And also if I should be careful enough when responding to some questions that they may ask me?” she said, checking her collection of clothes over the string that she tied in her room opposite her mat that she used to sleep on.

“Don’t worry about that; for the clothes, wear the clothing that will suit you,” he said.

The next morning, Nina and her father sat on the veranda when Nina’s mother prepared breakfast.

“I am getting married,” Nina said. Washing her face with water. Nina was a little bit tense, waiting for her mother’s response.

“Eeeh! This is good news,” her mother said. She dropped a cup of water that she wanted to add to the pot of rice porridge for their breakfast. “But don’t be comfortable with him; I don’t trust this man. His parents have agreed to this marriage?” she asked while coming out of the kitchen coughing as her face was filled with smoke.

“Everything is fine, mother; Mr. Grey’s parents have already agreed. He called me soon after our discussion and said his parents have requested that I visit them, but I am worried,” she said.

“Worried with what? During my time, my mother-in-law gave me a bag of maize for me to pound. During that time, there were no maize mills, so we had to pound using the mortar. Nowadays, I don’t know what happens. But don’t worry, my daughter; everything will be fine. Just go there and be yourself,” she said. She wiped her eyes as they were still filled with smoke from the kitchen.

“Thank you, mother; I am happy that you are now supporting me,” she said.

“I thought he would just use you, but I have seen that he is now serious. I will shine to my friends,” she said while dancing.

Everyone laughed.

The next weekend, Mr. Grey came and picked up Nina to take her to her in-laws. Nina, as usual, dressed to kill. She wore traditional attire, a local cloth (chitenje) designed with an eagle bird image. The tailor made the half-sleeve blouse and the long skirt like a fishtail that fitted her well in her hips. The tailor also made earrings out of the same cloth. Her mother bought the chitenje cloth from a friend who was staying in town.

Upon her arrival at Mr. Grey’s place, Nina started sweating from nervousness; she often took a deep breath as she remembered how her teacher taught her at secondary school how to control herself when she wanted to deliver a speech at a graduation. Mr. Grey’s mother welcomed Nina.

“Welcome, my daughter!” she said. Mr. Grey’s mother was gorgeous, in her late 40’s, short, fat, and light in complexion. She hugged Nina and escorted her into their mansion.

I have landed in the good hands of a lovely family.

“Thank you, mother,” she said, smiling.

The house was very big, with a tiled floor, large windows, a tall ceiling, a chandelier with gold bulbs in the middle of the living room, and steps on the other side to the upper floor. Nina had never seen a luxurious house like that in her entire life. She looked up and down, admiring the nice decoration of flowers, portraits of different artists, and a big picture frame of the whole family.

She sat on a chair more comfortable than any chair she had ever tried. Nina’s heart was pumping quickly. Within a minute, a housekeeper brought her fresh guava juice. Mr. Grey’s family was all friendly, and they greeted her.

“Where are you from? My son told me about you, but I just want to hear from you. Don’t be nervous; we are all your family,” Mr. Grey’s mother said.

“My name is Nina Banda from Mchepa village, Traditional Authority Mkukula, Dowa district. I am the firstborn daughter in the family of five children,” she said.

“What do you do? Sorry to ask you, just curious to know,” Mr. Grey’s father asked.

“Currently, I am just staying. I was doing charcoal business, but Mr. Grey, I mean your son, stopped me,” she smiled. “Before that, I was selected to go to the University of Nursing, but my father failed to pay for my school fees because it is very expensive,” she said.

“I see! You are very smart. I will talk to my son; when you get married to him, we will send you to the university. You should pursue your studies. It is very important,” she said.

Mr. Grey resembled his father in everything: the skin colour, the dark complexion; he was tall, had a big voice, and he was friendly.

After a half-hour of chatting, one of the housekeepers brought lunch. The whole family ate together at the big table. The chef served the family rice with chambo, Nina’s favourite meal. Mr. Grey instructed the chef to prepare this dish for Nina. Nina was grateful that Mr. Grey had already taught her how to eat with a knife and a fork.

Mr. Grey’s parents were happy with her, and they gave their blessings to their wedding proposal. Mr. Grey excused himself from his parents to escort Nina home. When stepping out of the mansion, Nina thought of her family and how they live a simple life. She never imagined landing in a very rich family, as the rich people in her area are regarded as selfish people.

Stepping out of the mansion, Nina felt outside of herself. When she was a little girl, her dream was to become a nurse, but now this marriage was happening so fast. She had doubts about how quickly Mr.Grey’s parents promised to pay her school fees for her nursing studies. Would Mr. Grey allow her to pursue her studies while married? She had never seen a woman pursue a degree after marriage. But maybe it was up to her to make her dreams come true.


24 August, 2023