Not the Christian Courtship Procedure - Enamudu Ikhofua

When Dan first realized it he was already married. He reflected and squirmed at the period the courtship lasted. It was dazedly brief. Is it the right approach for a Christian to do courtship? Did his Christian brethren and friends question him enough? The more he tried to put his mind off it, the more the refulgence of the ghost of the six months of courtship. It was not a friendly affair. It severely tormented his consciousness.

Tam had been a close friend of Dan, the Muslim-turned Christian. The circumstance that brought it about was one fraught with surprises. A bunch of friends had sat leisurely, relaxing and cooling off from the hurly-burly of the immediate past week. Some sipped from, and others gulped down cups of beer from assorted brewers.

"Good day to you sir," came the alerting voice of Tam.

"A very good afternoon to you," Dan responded in somewhat husky voice.

He had been sighted from afar. As the young men enjoyed their elegant but lively conversations the notice of the appearing man gave them no concern, it melted away, fast.

When later he appeared his presence didn't cause a scare. Dan, his chosen host, receptively shouted out to his wards to fetch a chair for the stranger. He was received with much Christian warmth.

Not many hours later, the hobnobbing came to a close. Dan's guests retired to their respective homes. The stranger stayed on as he had nowhere to go. So it seemed, so it was.

"Sir," Tam demanded attention, "I secured a teaching appointment and got posted to Osaka primary school.

"Yes," Dan nodded in admission of having some knowledge about the village.

" is a place I cannot live in - no water, no electricity," Tam reported.

"And you want to give it up?" Dan queried.

A bird in hand is worth two in the bush, goes the saying. Tam only wished he could find a place to stay in Eta, where he had met Dan. Osaka village is not a great distance from Eta. He would walk to and fro Osaka to perform his day's duties.

Dan provided accommodation for Tam, charge-free. Such was the birth of a relationship that would later burst into every facet of fame and frailties of human life.

Years rolled by as each person had gone their way. However, one bright afternoon Tam and Dan picked each other up again. Dan was on his usual marketing trips with his district when dramatically it coursed through his mind that it was Tam he was sighting. He pulled his and rushed a few hesitating steps, backwards. Lo and behold. He was right. It was a great re-union of some sort, royal in its execution.

Time usually is not always congenial. It flies irrespective of what situation it leaves anyone in. Tam was all the time at home to Dan. Tam was enjoying his employment at Temana; he was a banker. What a reversal of roles! Mondays through Fridays, Dan would be a guest to Tam. No grudges, no hassles, no hard feelings. It was a plain-sailing relationship.

Few things are worse than moments when one thinks to remember the way certain things got started. Dan's minded rapidly shifted between that early evening when Tam talked so glowingly about Ehena as one possessed of so good manners as would have her recommended for marriage to the royals. Yes, the marriage was contracted, signed, sealed and delivered. That was the object of the reviews railing to and fro within Dan's mind.

Someone said, "Little stories tell big stories" and the big story here is the sour and frigid relationship that explosive wedding left the couples with, ever after. This offers the Christians some compelling questions: Is the fault rightly to be placed on the fleeting courtship? Have it for a food of thought. Is it that Tam didn't truly understand Ehena? Ehena might just as well be walking the path of a master pretender each time she was caused to relate with Tam whom she could have thought might just be available one day. That never happened. Tam might have had too little to examine or his small mind poured too great encomiums for little things he hardly understood.

To be or not to be? Apologies to Shakespeare. Can Dan be totally be absolved of blame? He may have permitted the picture painted of Ehena by Tam to sink too deep too quickly. Another kettle of fish. He could be all-trusting, the Achilles hill of his Christian sincerity.

Wait a minute! Supposing he was over-powered; there could have been some spiritual connotation in the whole affair. Religious or otherwise, let this short story be instructive to you in ways that aren't common in the affairs of men.

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