NWALA (THE BITTERSWEET STORY) Part 1 – Opeyemi Akintunde

NWALA (THE BITTERSWEET STORY) Part 1 - Opeyemi Akintunde

©️ Opeyemi Akintunde

“You have to stop seeing Daniel!”. My mother had said as a matter of fact. Every part of her being meant it. This conversation was happening over dinner.

My father sat there saying nothing as usual. He was not the type to meddle in matters that wasn’t a matter of life and death. He believed everyone had the common sense to make the right decisions, but my mother was the Queen Mother of making life decisions for her children.

She had successfully married off my two elder sisters to men who were her choices for them, but as for me Nwala, as always, she was not going to succeed in doing that. Not that she had done a bad job with my sisters, I just was not ready to follow my sisters’ pattern.

I wanted a different love story. I wanted something out of the pages of a romance novel.

I wanted the typical love story of ‘How a rich girl fell in love with a poor boy from the ghetto, and married him without regarding family status’.

Truth be told, I would say my story was coming up nicely like a romantic novel.

My name is Nwala Nelson, third child of Nelson Okorocha of Okorocha Motors.

My father is not enormously rich, but rich enough to be called ‘very rich’, so you would understand the love dynamics when I tell you about Daniel; my love.

Daniel is the child of one of my father’s long serving mechanics. As a car dealer who imported fairly used cars from abroad, my father has an assemble of mechanics of whom Daniel’s father was one of them. He wasn’t one of the best mechanics my father had, but what made him stand out was his humility.

Daniel was therefore a frequent visitor in our house from as early as I was eight and he was ten. I have two younger brothers who loved Daniel’s company hence we became friends as well.

However, we started becoming aware of each other emotionally, when I was in Senior Secondary 3 and he was awaiting admission. Daniel was the best maths student in the public school he attended and I, Nwala could not stand the sights of crosses, and minuses and multiplications. It just infuriated me.

“You better tell Daniel to help you with Maths before you fail it in your final exams” my younger brother John had advised.

I took to his advice, asked for my mother’s permission. At the time she saw nothing wrong because it was a known fact that Daniel was a maths guru. Daniel started coming everyday after school to prepare me for my final exams and that was when the little light was lit.

I passed gloriously in my final exam, not only did I get an A1 in maths, I got A’s in 5 subjects and 3 B’s, all thanks to Daniel who made it a duty to cover all my subjects.

It wasn’t a hassle getting into the university immediately with that kind of result and as a way of my parents showing their gratitude to Daniel, they ensured he also got admitted into a Federal University promising to pay his fee all throughout his five-year study. He wanted to be a Mechanical Engineer, while I just went for something very easy on the brain, no offence. English language was just a course I felt was easy cheesy ‘FOR ME’. I didn’t want some big course.

As soon as we were in the university, though separate institutions, we became highly inseparable, Daniel would come to my school every weekend. No guy thought it wise to make a move, because it was obvious Daniel and I were going to get married.

My mother found out during one of the holidays; she wasn’t shocked and she wasn’t excited, neither did she look offended. All she said to me once was “The bed undefiled”.

We were presently in our third year and our court-ship had been sailing smoothly except for a few lover’s riff that cropped up anytime Daniel realizes a rich guy was asking me out.

Daniel had a terrible insecurity problem especially when rich guys made a move or asked me out. He felt I would leave him for some rich guy if I had the opportunity.

I therefore was ready to fight mum for Daniel and I.

“Mum, why do I need to break it up with Daniel? Did he offend you?” I said laughing so as to make the issue a no issue.

“Because He is not good for you?”

“Says who? or by whose or what standards?” I looked bemused & amazed.

“God says He is a broken man, and Nwala you cannot marry a broken man” My mother said like the Alpha and Omega of my life.

“God said that to you about Daniel? About one of his creations? Wow!” I asked

“Yes! Nwala, God didn’t create him broken, He got broken someway, somehow, maybe by himself and if a broken man is not fixed before marrying a woman, he will break the woman too.”

“If he is broken, why can’t God fix him?” I asked

“God can only fix the broken pieces brought to him. When was the last time Daniel went to church?” My mum asked.

“Mum, Daniel has his reasons for not going to church, but He is a good person”

“You don’t need a good person, you need a God person, Nwala” My mother said with the tone of motherly concern in her voice.

“Mom, why do I have a feeling this is not just about church, this is also about money, mummy you want me to marry a rich husband like my sisters”

“Nwala, this has nothing to do with money, I have never had problems with you and Daniel until I prayed enquiry prayers about you both”

I kept quiet, and all I could hear was my father’s fork clashing with his plate as he scraped the last grains of rice from his plate.

“Mum, Daniel is the only guy I have known and loved all my life, if I leave him, you have a better option for me?”


Even my father’s fork took a pause.

” Reuben?” I asked

” Reuben Acme!” My mother said seriously

I couldn’t help the eruption of laughter that flowed out of my belly. My mother was definitely a joker!

Reuben, the son of the rich General Overseer of our family church… I laughed till my belly hurt and I started choking on my food. Suddenly, all the anger I felt towards my mother for trying to separate Daniel and I suddenly fizzled away…

“Oh my mother! My dear mother, and you said this has nothing to do with money? Mummy, Mummy, out of all the Godly men you could suggest, somehow the son of Bishop Acme is God’s perfect will. Mummy, I doff my hat for you. Queen Mother!”

I stood up clearing my plate and my father’s plate. I laughed to the kitchen, left the dishes for the maid and laughed all the way to the room…

Rueben Acme indeed!

God forbid bad thing! I laughed so hard; I was tearing up. I couldn’t wait to share the joke with Daniel.


To be continued…

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