The Choice Of Yesterday. MS/2019/24

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Mrs Nnedi Agbaka came back to her aged parents at Umueke village from her husband’s house. It was an unusual visit. Everyone who saw the bag she dragged into the house with  sluggishness and desperation, knew there was problem. It was not a good visit for the choice of yesterday at which Nnedi consented to marry her husband.

What is the matter? His father asked at the first instance. Nnedi was too absorbed with her grief to offer any answer. The old man, however, seemed to have understood her daughter’s silence well enough. He just let her be with her feelings and adjusted himself on his cain chair with disinterest.

As soon as Nnedi entered her mother’s room, her mother who was already worried at her daughter’s return, followed her. It was in her mother’s room that Nnedi found energy to narrate her ordeal with tears.

Nnedi had quarrelled with her husband because of her allegation that he flirted with another woman. Her husband over-reacted to the false accusations of Nnedi by throwing her personal belongings out of the house.

Covered with shame, Nnedi found it very difficult to admit that she had accused her husband on mere hearsay. She had no evidence whatsoever.  Ugomma, her friend, who gave her the information would not want to stand as her evidence. She was replete with fear that her peaceful family had been ruined.

Then Nnedi remembered the old monk who had been a good guide to her family members in times of difficulty. “Only the old monk can help me to find my way out of this suffocating tunnel”, she soliloquized.

For one market week, Nnedi was never herself. She kept to herself and avoided even her friends. Eventually she mustered courage to visit the old monk for help. she was surprised by the depth of her sharing before the listening monk.

The old monk summarized the sharings of his client and reflected them back to her. He then gave her a parcel containing three neatly wrapped papers. She had to read through the three papers in a lonely place and then choose any one that would appeal to her .

When alone, Nnedi opened the three folded papers as she was directed. It dawned on her that she had a task to choose either tomorrow, today or yesterday. Looking at tomorrow, Nnedi saw the scene of reconciliation  with her husband. She foresaw her plead for forgiveness, her enormous  challenge to rebuild the eroded trust, etc. She dropped tomorrow because she was greatly scared of such humiliating scene.

Next she considered the option of today. This option brought her to the reality of the moment, her confusion, sadness and vulnerability. Nnedi was in tears as the paper in her hand reminded her that she was about to loose her marital stability by her own fault. She quickly threw the paper away to free herself from the feelings that it elicited.

Last of all she picked up the only remaining option. It was yesterday. Nnedi was somehow drawn to this option because there was no other. Moreso, yesterday called up to her the good times she had with the husband. So she left the other papers and went back to the monk having made the choice of yesterday.

When the monk saw her choice, he affirmed her spontaneity. “You have chosen where you are”, the monk counselled, “but you have also to be ready to accept and face the challenges of today and tomorrow. Only the choice of yesterday cannot solve your problem of today and tomorrow”.


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