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City of Banjul
Monday, October 2, 2023

The marriage that never was

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 By Cherno Abdourahman Bah
(Tha Auspicious) Paaaa!!!! Just like you, I was surprised as to where that sound was coming from. I just realized that it was the landing of a nasty slap on my tiny and corroded chick.
‘You’re nothing to me but a ne’er-do-well and a vagabond,’ my wife thundered.
My wife and I used to have daily quarrels, and that day’s episode was just beginning to be as interesting. The slap actually tuned my brain’s frequency to full throttle.

Due to the severity and badness of the act, I uncontrollably rained more swear words on her to the point that she was literally swimming in her pool of sweat. As far as I remembered, the only part she didn’t receive from me that fateful day was the bashing part. What a marriage!!!

For the past years, my wife and I haven’t found any happiness in our marriage. We had completely different upbringings. We had different likes and dislikes. We had different views on whatever that we discussed. She was literally an alien to me. Well, as the man, I had tried over and over to adjust to her taste, after I had continuously failed in adjusting her even an inch.
Frankly speaking, my hopes for a fruitful marriage were shattered as days passed.

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During my earlier days, I remembered how I was so much looking forward to an amazing and happy marriage. I’ve told my friends how I was going to treat my wife and how much attention and love she was going to receive from me. I planned to dedicate my whole life for my family. All those wishes turned out unrealized when I came home one evening just to be beckoned by my dad who got me informed of his intentions of getting me married to his long time friend’s daughter. To make it worst, he stated that his decision on the matter is not subject to any debate and that it was irrevocable and irreversible. Instantly, my face turned gloomy due to the gravity of the situation. Whatever rapport my dad had with his friend, has hindered my chances of marrying the ‘Chosen One’, someone I’d become so accustomed to over the years, and with whom the confluence of our hearts had resulted in a much pure and admired love.

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‘Musa has been a very good and close friend to us, he has been so nice and kind to us, so I’ve decided to bind the relationship closer by getting you married to his well mannered daughter, whom without doubts you will so very much love,’ my father murmured in a voice I disliked to hear.
‘But Dad I’ve. ..’, he cut me off with a statement I don’t even want to recall, while he fumbled for his BLU mobile from his side pocket and scrolled through his pictures. He then showed me a picture that probably underwent several picture editing apps, including the most famous, Photoshop.

‘My son, please look at this girl and tell me you wouldn’t like her. She is currently on her studies, but ardently waiting for your proposal, then get married instead. This marriage I’m not the least ready to delay even for a second. I had promised to get you married to her since you guys were kids,’ he uttered with an unfriendly voice.


At that point, I knew my dad wasn’t the type that entertained dialogue. I had one more option button to press in order to make him hear what I had to say regarding this matter, and to pierce through the brutal truth to him. I went straight to my mum’s house and found her making a telephone conversation. I couldn’t be sure who was on the line with her, but through the tone of her voice, words she uttered and the grin smile she emitted, I could tell straight away that it was that one person who made my life brighter, that one person I considered part of me, she whose character and conduct are unmatched, and worthy of knowing about.


I cleared my throat while dropping on her sofa that was right where I stood. From the corner of my eye, I observed that my mom was liking the conversation she was drowning in – whatever conversation that it was. Perhaps she was so inspired by this young, beautiful, respectful, intelligent damsel. She was studying at the university, where we met while pursuing our BSCs. Both of us were by then in our final year and looking forward to building a family together. We inspired and gave utmost respect to each other.



‘Yes, my son, how may I help you,’ she brought me back into the real world after I was completely consumed in awesome thoughts, ‘I’m sure, this way that you entered in my room, you definitely need something. By the way, I wasn’t talking to whom you’re thinking I was. Please, don’t ask for money, because you couldn’t have spent the whole amount I gave you last week.’
‘No, Mum, this is more serious than that. I don’t think money can solve this problem I have,’ I said with a serious face.

‘Mum, I’m sure you know that I’ve come across a girl I want to marry, and you know very well that I know her attitude, character and conduct. You too know that she can and will be a good wife. Mum, can you imagine Dad said he is tying the nuts between me and Musa’s daughter, whose name I don’t even know yet”, I managed to put the situation into words.



‘My son, you know very well that your dad and I love you so much. There is nothing we would both want for you besides goodness. For that reason, we-both our families- have discussed this issue many years ago, and we have agreed that this will happen. You know that Musa is not just your dad’s friend but also your uncle. You are a smart guy, I’m sure you can develop both your love for her and her love for you,” my mother uttered in the most strange of voices.



‘Mum, you must agree with me that most marriages today, probably 37% do end up in divorce. This has contributed in no small measures to the increased number of single parenting, illegal sexual relationships, frustrations, and even suicides. After divorce, not only do many people like to stay single for longer periods, but many among them turn out to be homosexuals and lesbians in our societies. I think the best you could have done for me was to seek for my consent in order to be sure if I loved her or not. It’s high time we graduated from that primitive traditional belief. I am of the view that a lot of the marriages that end today are as a result of getting married to the wrong ones. Marriage is never built on a stage of force and unwillingness, rather it should be built on the stage of mutual love and readiness, because the consequences of forcing one into a marriage he or she isn’t ready for are far worst.


It could promote adultery, which both of us isn’t oblivious of its consequences. Mum, doesn’t Dad know that that decision isn’t his, neither yours? The decision of whom to marry is solely in the hands of the person to marry or to be married. Then allow me to choose Mum, as you claim to love me beyond boundaries. I’m sure you wouldn’t want me to end up in any of these conditions I mentioned to you.. Therefore, tell my dad that I wouldn’t want to get into a marriage that ends up in divorce immediately the nut is tied. The only way we can ensure that is by him getting me married to the one I love to marry,’ I articulated in tone that represented my seriousness of the matter.



My mum got up in anger and headed down to the gate. Her gait could already conclude that. She too wasn’t making it any better for me, because they already had that strong belief, and it indeed is difficult to erode it from their brains. I became more worried and sick as days passed, and as they literally were becoming more committed to the course, and finally succeeded in getting me married to the girl they want, rather than the girl I want.

Now, few years down the line, I am getting more and more frustrated and aging faster than I probably would have had it been I was married to the person I knew, and wanted to marry.

“The respect we had for each other is in deficit, the fighting and the abuse is heightening, and the little love and care is sying away faster than we both expected, the happiness and comfort was greatly lacking, the poverty was deepening, the hopelessness is escalating, my value in society is diminishing, and as such I worth nothing,” I sang while I headed to the forest with a rope hanged on my neck.

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