Staring through the glass window, she watched how droplets of water slides down the glass, deep down her heart she wished to have never existed. tears ran down her cheeks, her ears were almost deafened by her mother’s scream and insensible mumblings. it’s been thirty years since her mother ran mad. Ellen’s father died when she was tender so she was raised by her Paternal uncle. for she had no one from her mother’s lineage who behaved sane, her mother had three sisters, all of which had ran mad after each of their children turned a year older. Sitting broken on the cushion she imagined what sort of family she found herself, this curse was transferred from her ancestors down to her mother. Ellen’s mum became mad after two years , the delay made everyone think a miracle of healing had occurred, but it was a false hope. I’m turning 33 years of age in three months time, i have the money, beauty but no man wants to marry me each time i narrate my ordeal to them, and now i have Ben, how will i disclose this to him and….her thought was interrupted by a phone call, It’s Ben, what should i do ? How will i tell him i’m no longer interested on this our wedding ? She summoned courage and picked up the ringing phone. Hi gal, how are you ? Ben said from the other end, i’m fine good morning she replied, hey your voice looks cold, still sleeping ? He questioned again, look Ben i don’t feel like talking, she said as she hung the call. Ben was shocked as stared at his phone shouting hello repeatedly, what could be wrong he imagined as he called her ceaselessly without any response. As he dropped the phone, flashes of her personality and their forthcoming wedding ran through his mind, he knows her as a strong and independent woman, a woman of dignity and virtue, money is like a garment on her but like a child she remains humble, a woman who captured his attention with her beauty and intelligence back then in a Global conference where she gave a wonderful lecture on Artificial Intelligence. She has never behaved in this manner, something must be wrong he thought as he quickly reached for his car keys heading for her house.
At her house he began knocking till his fingers turned red, a woman who seemed to be the cleaner came out the door, with her face designed with tribal marks, she said with a frown “Do you want to pull down my door? Madam said you should meet her at Cassy restaurant” He could sense her Yoruba accent from her speech. Gbam! She shot the door behind him. How did Ellen know I’ll come looking for her, he wondered, ignoring the rudeness of the cleaner he entered into his car. As he entered into the restaurant, In anticipation he began searching for her with his eyes, he sighted her from afar, and notice her dejected look. Surprisingly he hugged her from behind and whispered in to her ear, can we discuss in my car ? Gently he led her into his car, he felt her pain. As they both sat in the car, they both were silent, Ben broke the silence with his eyes fixed on her he said Ellen, i have known you for two years now, a year as a causal friend and another year as my wife to be, i can feel your pain, please what’s the matter ? Ben please i will advise you get another lady to marry, it’s over she said as she tried fighting back her tears. Hey what’s wrong, did i do anything wrong? he asked surprisingly. Ben please i have to go, she said as she tried opening the door but was held back by Ben’s strong arms, you’re walking out on me ? please tell me the problem he said with tears. It’s an heritage of madness ! she exclaimed. i don’t get, please talk to me Ben replied shocked, it runs in our veins, like air it surrounds my lineage, after the first Child a woman delivers in my lineage turns a year or two year older, she runs mad, the only remedy is for both couples to remain childless for fifteen years, she concluded as she sobbed more intensely. It’s okay Ben said as he consoled her. i know you can’t do it she said looking into his eyes, you’re the only child of your parents Ben please… shhhhhh he said silencing her, i can and if i could do it in my next life for you i will he said with a smile. Ellen was surprised as she replied “don’t start our jokes please” Ellen when are we going to see my parents he said again. In shock she hugged him, Ben i have been in my single hood for 32 years all because of this problem , many have come and gone, you’re the only….. she wept as Ben tried to console her again. Ben drove her home, he tried as much as possible to cheer her up with jokes and music, but deep down he worried how his parents will react hearing this.
Mum, dad i’m getting married he disclosed to his parents as they sat in the living room. Ah my son his mother screamed aloud as she showcased her Igbo dancing skill, shaking her waist, Now you’re talking my son. His father moved closer to embrace him, now you You have a job, a big mansion, you even built this mansion for me and your mother, my son you have taken the right decision, now I can be planning for my grand children. That’s the problem father, what !they both exclaimed as their smile changed into a frown. Ben explained everything to his parents about Ellen and her lineage. Hey hold it there he mother shouted, you want to marry a woman and wait till 15 years before giving me a grandchild ? You couldn’t get a… I swear it can never happen, not while am alive. Ben’s father stood up, looking at his son from head to toe, he said “you are a fool Ben, a big one, 15years! ” he said as he left them both in the living room. Ben insisted on marrying Ellen as he convinced his angry parents, that if not Ellen no other woman. And they both got married, the wedding was clam, as his father refused attending but gave his blessings, just few friends graced the occasion.
On the 7th year of their marriage Ellen’s friend who is a believer came over to her house. They both sat on the cushion discussing some family issues, Suddenly Heritta paused as she asked Ellen my friend please I have a question, don’t be angry at me. Why ? Please go on dear Ellen replied. My question is why haven’t you given your husband a child since all this years? Ellen laughed, I knew you would ask one day my friend, anyway it’s a long story, but we like it this way. What do you mean? You like childlessness Heritta asked further. Ellen kept mute as tears ran down Her cheeks, my friend please don’t cry I didn’t mean to hurt you, Heritta said as she consoled her. Ellen explained her ordeal, expecting a pitiful advise from her friend, but instead Heritta smiled saying “I know a healer, a very powerful one, one who can do anything, he is my father” Oh please Heritta I don’t need any black magic now, they are even the cause of my problem Ellen said as she wiped her face. No Herita replied, as she went further to introduce Jesus to her friend. After sometime Ellen and Ben became strong believers. After a month Ellen conceived, she feared for her life, but Ben was always there to strengthen her faith. In nine months she delivered a set of twins, they were name Believe and courage, a boy and a girl. After 2 years everyone expected Ellen to run mad but instead she became more healthier and her mother recovered gradually. One morning after their family devotion Ben stared at his wife, honey why are you staring ? She questioned, you’ve forgotten so soon, it’s our children’s birthday, they are four years today. Ellen was shocked as she knelt down beside her bed appreciating God. Ellen never ran mad but instead gave birth to more children. Ben’s parents became believers and trusted more in the power of God. On the morning of their 14th year wedding anniversary, Ellen woke up very early as she made the room more romantic with flowers, lights and the rest. She played a cool music and tried as much as possible to prevent Ben from waking. She slid a slip Under Ben’s arm and pretended to be asleep. Ben woke and wondered way the room transformed suddenly. He looked at what stuck to his arm. It was a poetry titled An Heritage of madness, he simply read through:
Like a broken vessel
My life was shattered
Like a dying man
I waited for my death
Like an expectant mother
I waited for the delivery
The delivery of my heritage
The heritage of madness
But you came in like light
Into the world of my darkness
And gave me the seal of courage and strength
I felt the warmth of love
Like a blanket around my soul
And peace became my companion
Through my journey
Into the heritage of madness
Like a child taken from his mother’s breast
I am drawn away from that cursed heritage
The heritage of madness
Due to your love
Wrapped in the unfailing love of Christ
Which bounds us together forever
Breaking away our cords of pain
Giving us joy
Ben was so touched by the words, and believed more upon God that with Him nothing is impossible. Believe God today, move by faith and not by sight. Don’t look at your problems but look into his hands, as he is willing and able to guide you through. Jesus is the way.
By AISAGBONBU SUCCESS