THE MARRIAGE

A woman loved a man
And a man loved a woman
They vowed the sacred vow:
Marriage.

Then the woman balked and
Suddenly decided to ask her brother
First… –
She asked him
And he promised to give her the answer
The next day
For he was baffled by the question.

Then he went to a wise man
And questioned him thus:
“Please, Sir, if your sister asks you whether
She ought to marry a man whom
She says she loves,
What would you tell her?”

The sage studied the man’s features thoughtfully
For a while, then with an introspective look
Said:
“I would tell her not to marry him.”

“What reason would you give her for this, Sir?”

“Truly, I would give her anything
But the true reason,
For that would render it meaningless.”

“And what, Sir, is the true reason?”

“Marriage is a sacred, mysterious bond which,
Once taken,
Is embedded forever in the eternal Silence!
It therefore concerns only three:
The man, the woman and the Creator!
Once one of these two humans
Requires the opinion of a third human
To take this step
Then he or she is not yet ready
For Marriage!”

And so, the next day
When the man’s sister came for an answer
He told her mysteriously
Wisely nodding his head:
“My sister, in your best interest
I advice you not to marry
Your fiancé.
But ask me not why. Just believe me.”

She became destabilized and confused, very…
For she loved her fiancé
Excruciatingly.

But she had her own restless, defiant sage
In her own heart too;
And she decided that her brother was wrong
She went ahead and married her loved one
Resolutely, calmly
Proudly.
Wondering how she could ever have doubted
Or asked a third person,
A stranger to their love.

Invited to her wedding soon after
Her surprised brother,
On arriving
And meeting her fiancé for the first time,
Suddenly became deeply confused…
And now he addressed his sister’s laughing husband again:
“You?… You!
Incredible!
But I thought you told me
To tell my sister not to marry you?”

But the sage laughed
And said
In a voice full of respect:
“It turns out that my wife
In the end
Believed her heart
More than she believed the words
Of the forbidden third human…
Because she loves me.”

And, so saying,
The young sage went home joyfully
With his wise new wife.

-Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

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