Kelly and Bliss were best of friends.

Their two families hailed from the same village and lived close to each other in the City.

Kelly and Bliss attended the same church in the city and because their church was close to their homes, they trekked to church together most times.

Their friendship and intimacy grew and continued even after Kelly was ordained a pastor of a church.
Kelly’s parents noticed the growing intimacy between the two teenagers and began to get uncomfortable with it.

Kelly was their only child and as a result, he needed to marry early.

Bliss was the only female friend he seemed to have and she did not look as if she would be amenable to early marriage.

Besides, Kelly could not marry Bliss even if she decided to marry him for some secret reasons known only to their parents.

Though they were still too young to marry, their parents still felt their intimacy should be stopped before it became too late because of the above reasons.

So Kelly’s Mother, Chinwe began to lose sleep over it, unknown to the two innocent Children.

Though Kelly’s Father, Henry noticed it, he was too busy to allow it to disturb or distract him.
One night while Henry was asleep, Chinwe kept awake thinking about Kelly and Bliss prolonged and ever- growing friendship.

After thinking over it for a while, she decided to wake her husband up so that they could both discuss the issue. Henry was too deeply asleep to wake up.

“Honey, get up let us remove the monkey’s hand from the soup before it turns into a human hand,” she told her husband.

” Please let it wait till tomorrow. I had a hectic day and really need this sleep”, Henry replied sleepily.

Chinwe pushed and pushed for him to wake up but he was too tired to get up.

Chinwe persisted until he shouted at her to leave him alone unleashing some verbal tantrums that made Chinwe cringe.

What is the meaning of all these?
Why can’t you let me sleep after a very busy day in office?

Whoever says that I cannot have peace in this house should better have her head examined”, he shouted at a thoroughly chastened Chinwe and promptly went back to his sleep.

The unanticipated outburst from Henry made Chinwe feel as if she had just stepped on the tail of a viper.

She jumped out of the bed and sought comfort of the sitting room where she lay on the couch sulking

She was very angry and disappointed. She wanted them to put heads together and find a way to stop the relationship between Kelly and Bliss before it got too far.

But instead, she got unduly harassed by her own husband, the father of their only child.

She reflected on the matter far into the night but later slept off around 1am.

Early in the morning, Mr. Henry woke up and tried to wake Chinwe so they could discuss the matter but Chinwe refused to get up.

Henry apologized for what happened last night but Chinwe was now too sleepy to even understand what he was saying.

So he let her be until much later in the morning when she was fully awake.

Honey, I am sorry about what happened last night. I really wished to listen to you but I just couldn’t help it.

I was really tired and needed that sleep more than anything.
Please, pardon me,” Henry apologized again.

It’s okay dear. I think I stretched you too far I understand. It is just that I am really bothered about Kelly’s relationship with Bliss.

We have to do something about it now before it is too late,” Chinwe warned.

Henry sat up and listened attentively to what Chinwe had to say.

He was really interested in the topic and did not interrupt her as she took time laying down her complaints and fears.

“These are my fears and the earlier we make a move the better for us.
A stitch in time, they say, saves nine,” she concluded.

“My dear, I have been thinking about it too. As our only son and child, Kelly needs to get married early and from the look of things, he may not think of anyone else but Bliss.

Their friendship is getting too close for comforts, “Henry said.

“I don’t know how we will make him understand why they can’t get married.

He is still young to understand it.
Besides, young people of these days are stubborn and hardly listen to the kind of reason we have to give for resisting the marriage,” he pointed out.

I am even surprised Bliss parents are not doing anything about it knowing the implication of this prolonged relationship.
They cannot claim ignorance of the situation yet they don’t seem to care,” Chinwe added.

How do you know that they too are not worried about the whole setup and may be as confused as we are? I think it is still too early to trade blames. The issue is: what do we do? he asked.
They discussed and discarded many ideas that flooded into their heads until they finally agreed that they had to be very subtle and tactical in how they would broach the issue or they may get the wrong result at the end of it all.

Henry asked Chinwe to prepare Kelly’s best food that night so as to put him in a happy mood when they would discuss it during the dinner.

But what if he asks us why the two of them cannot get married,” Chinwe asked, You know children of these days are more intelligent than was previously the case ,” she stated.

We will tell him that he will know at the right time,” Henry replied.

Chinwe was not satisfied with the answer but she had to give it up and wait for Kelly’s reaction later in the night.

Kelly could sense that his parents were up to something but he could not figure out what exactly they were up to . So he played along and enjoyed the special dish that Chinwe had prepared.

It was during the dinner that Chinwe opened up. She told him how they felt about his relationship with Bliss.

They told him plainly that it was about time he began to keep his distance from Bliss.

Kelly was confused and perplexed as to why they would suddenly tell him to stay away from his childhood friend.

He just moped at them like an imbecile thinking whether his parents had gone out of their minds.

They talked for minutes, yet Kelly did not utter a word. They then stopped and watched him to know what was going on in his young mind.
But he still did not talk.

Chinwe exchanged glances with Henry who signaled her to continue talking but Chinwe did not know how to continue and decidedly kept quiet.

There was a deafening silence for some uncomfortable minutes before Kelly fired a question at them.

Can someone tell me what brought about this and what Bliss has done to warrant your asking me to stay away from her?” Kelly asked looking from the mother to the father.

Henry and Chinwe were not completely taken aback by this question but found it difficult to answer. Henry tried to answer the question but he suddenly found himself stammering.

” My son, Bliss has not really done anything but you. Life is beyond what..what .’ he continued stammering….
“Beyond what daddy? Kelly cut in. Anyway, there is no cause for alarm because we are just friends.
Nothing more, nothing less! There is nothing serious between us,” he said and they promptly left him.
Henry and Chinwe went inside their room and very hot argument ensued between the two of them.
Chinwe blamed Henry for a bad presentation of their intention but Henry claimed there was no better way to tell Kelly about it.
” Did you expect me to tell him plainly why he should start avoiding the girl”? Henry asked.
“Yes of course.

You can’t just tell him to stop seeing the girl without telling him the reason because it is the reason that will convince him to stop seeing her,” Chinwe replied convincingly.

“But you did not say this when we were planning to confront him,” Henry stated in defense.

But the problem was that Kelly might not believe the story behind why his family could not marry someone from Bliss family. Besides, he never told them that he wanted to marry Bliss.

After all, he was still in his early 30’s.
Unknown to them, while they argued, Kelly was eavesdropping on them. He heard all they said. He wondered what their argument was really all about.

” Is there any serious thing behind this that I should know?” he asked himself before retiring to his room.

The thought of it filled his mind and made him to lose sleep that night.

He promised himself that he must get to the root of the matter but on the interim he must adopt’ a wait- and- see- stance.
@Bliss Ugochukwu Scribe

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