A TOUGH CHOICE (SHORT STORY)

Zerendu tried to match the excitement of her cousins as they clamoured to dress her up. She let them argue over what she should wear: she had a walk-in closet and the choices were so many. She had caftans, bubus and other maxis in brocade, a variety of laces and African wax prints, generally called Ankara. She also had assorted traditional styles of long skirts with matching blouses and scarves in different george and Ankara materials.

She finally settled for a simple buba and iro in lemon green Ankara and tangerine high-heeled sandals with a matching bag. On her hair, she wore a braided wig with curls that fell to the middle of her back.

She allowed her friend, Nonny, to mildly sculpt her looks with makeup because she would not forgive her if she insisted on going out to the crowd outside in her usual makeup-free face. A hint of dark orange on her lips, a string of multi-coloured pearls on her wrists and neck plus a drop of a ball-shaped tangerine earring on each ear completed her ensemble.

She looked super gorgeous as always, her fair skin glowing under the colours she wore. What was lacking was a smile. She tried to form one as she gazed at her reflection in a full-length mirror in her bedroom.

Zerendu’s heart was thumping fast but she was pretty much set on the course she had chosen and there was no backing out now. The guests were seated, music was blaring and she was expected to make a grand entrance at the event in her father’s opulent compound soon.

The journey to this day started barely six months earlier. Her elder brother, Gozie, called from Hamburg, Germany, and informed her that his friend and colleague at work wanted to speak to her.

The fellow, also a Nigerian, just exchanged pleasantries with her and handed the phone back to Gozie. He did ask if he could call her again though.

From that point, everything proceeded rapidly until the young man came to ask for her hand in marriage during a surprise visit five months later.

Zerendu, or Zizi as her friends call her, was thrown into confusion by the proposal. Although she had just turned 20, she was still in her third year in the university and was not contemplating marriage in the next five years.

Besides, she had a boyfriend in her Microbiology class, Zuby, and they deeply loved each other. But he was very young like her and would not be ready for marriage until five to ten years.

Being a fan of romance novels, Zerendu believed that she would marry someone she was crazily in love with. She wasn’t even very particular about marriage – she was all about independence, self actualisation and being in touch with one’s feelings. So her first inclination was to tell her suitor, Chimaobi, that she didn’t love him and she wasn’t ready for marriage. He wasn’t her first suitor and that was how she had dismissed the first few that preceded him.

But something held her back and she told him to give her time. In fact, what she said was, “Let me pray about it.”

That was a strange response from Zizi who always claimed she wasn’t the religious type. In fact, she mocked people who claimed they were born again and prayed to God for direction on issues in their lives. Her argument had always been that one should be able to make their own decisions without external help.

However, she did not follow her avowed philosophy on the matter of Chimaobi’s proposal. It was clear to her that she was not in love with or overly excited about him. But she had got to know him fairly well through their extended communication via phone calls and saw that he was a responsible young man – an aeronautical engineer with a good job. He also took good care of his parents and two siblings. She counted these as pluses.

On the down side, he was short and unremarkable in his looks whereas she was attracted to tall and handsome guys, like Zuby. Was she to sacrifice her own yearnings and emotions to marry a guy because he seemed steady and reliable? And why the hurry to marry when she hadn’t even got her first degree?

She ran to a girl in her hostel who recently got married for advice. The girl, Kachi, told her that she too gave up her campus boyfriend to settle down. She asked if she thought it would be wise to wait for Zuby or to keep rejecting suitors until she turned 25.

“What is special about the age 25? And how do you know a suitable man will come then?” Kachi asked her.

Next, Zizi went to her late mum’s younger sister, Nneka. Her advice tallied with that of Kachi.

Not satisfied, she sent an anonymous question to several social media groups she came across. Most of the responses said she should marry Chimaobi ASAP.

Some of the more saucy ones from Facebook went as follows:

“Time to grow up, girl! Get your head out of the clouds and marry this real man that wants you.”

“My advice is that you say, ‘No’ and send me his contact. #Mtcheeew”

“For village, your mates never get five pikin? Abeg, no dey disturb us. GO AND MARRY!”

“Na love you go chop! There is fire on the mountain and you get opportunity to japa, you still dey talk love. Dey play!”

Finally, Zerendu decided to do what she told Chimaobi she would do – pray. She remembered what she learnt about prayer during a visit to a fellowship she was invited to by one of her classmates. The speaker used the acronym, ACTS, to explain that the way to pray was to adore God, confess our sins, thank Him for the things He has done for us, before making our supplications.

Zizi felt that an unseen hand was guiding her in the process of deciding how to respond to Chimaobi’s proposal. So she prayed as she learnt at that meeting and poured out her heart to God.

Subsequently, she ended up accepting Chimaobi’s proposal. She had prayed and cried and the same hand that she sensed was guiding her pushed her forward. And to confirm it, whenever she fantasised about a future with her boyfriend, Zuby, she developed a terrible headache but when she envisaged a future with Chimaobi, she felt like cool waters were released on her; peace just enveloped her.

Telling Zuby was very hard but he got over it in about two days. She, on the other hand, found it harder to let go of him in her heart.

But she moved on to give Chimaobi the greenlight and have him visit her family with his. That was how it came about that she was getting ready to meet her fiancé’s family who came for her marriage introduction without much excitement. This was not how she had dreamt about getting married. It had been a very tough choice. But she had made a commitment and would see it through.

She felt that she was finally growing up, as the Facebook user rudely told her to. And she hoped that the future would validate and reinforce her choice.

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82 comments

  • This story is really captivating. I really hope we young people stop thinking marriage should be something anyone should get into hoping for the best. One of the benefits of being a believer is that you have an assurance that God has prepared the bone of your bone. All you need do is for the both of you to yield to His leading and plan ahead. If I were to be Zizi’s friend I’ll really hope her marriage does not end up as trial and error.

  • 4PF

    That was marvelous!

  • Pearl

    So relatable. I hope I can make the right decision at the right time. Sometimes even after praying I’m not so convinced of my choices. I still trust God anyway. Thank you for this piece ☺️

  • Igwe Nmesomachi

    Wow
    This was thrilling. Although Zizi went with a realistic choice, does this mean love isn’t really important when choosing a life partner or can one actually ‘grow’ to love another after marriage?
    Going to God was also brilliant. But did God sponsor her decision or was that people around?

    • Love is not irrelevant but it is often given misplaced emphasis. Notice how fast Zuby got over her decision to marry Chimaobi.

      On your last question, she did pray. It’s just a coincidence that people’s advice aligned with God’s direction. Sometimes, it goes in the opposite direction. The important thing is to pray and follow God’s leading.

  • Nwabuisi chinonso peace

    This is an amazing story. I love the decision that Zerendu made. I’m happy that she prayed and did not follow the philosophy she believes in. ❤❤

  • Favour Mamah

    I bet this story will be so relatable to so many girls out there.

    “…for He will send His Angels to guide you in all your ways…”

    Prayer

  • Wow an interesting and educative story
    God is really everything

  • Obadike praise

    I only feel pity for her that she might have to be spending the rest of her life in regret…Zuby might have actually been the supposed one for her.

  • Adeeyo Stephen

    Wow! Is marriage a thing we need to rush ourselves for? What if she decides to say no and finish her school before thinking of marriage?boys no dey finish oo.

  • Obioma Grace

    This story is captivating. Marriage should be an utmost decision made by every woman to avoid future complications. If Zizi had chosen to wait for her campus boyfriend, it might be an error waiting for the wrong person till her time passes. I hope young girls contemplating on marriage learn from this story.

  • Mildred uchenna

    I like the part of the story where she prayed for God’s help. In our present day, we don’t ask God for direction in taking decisions, and I pray that anyone who reads this story will always remember to put God first in all they do. Thank you, ma, for this very interesting story.

  • Chinaza

    Answered prayer may be difficult and confusing to see or even know, but God always comes through for us. Thank you, ma’am.

  • Mba Immaculata sopuru

    I used to have a very different perspective about marriage but this has given me another perspective entirely. All in all, prayer is key. Thank you, Aunty!

  • Nwaneri chinenye Priscilla

    This is a very interesting story. Zerendu would have made a huge mistake if she hadn’t sought for God’s intervention.

    • God is available to direct us if we seek His guidance. And it’s very important we do because one misstep can take us many miles away from God’s purpose for our lives and lasting fulfillment.

  • Obinna Chiamaka

    This is a very interesting story ma. Indeed prayer is very important in the life of any individual. prayer helps in giving one direction and in leading one.
    Who knows if she (Zizi) had waited for her college boyfriend, he might not have ended up marrying her thereby leading to regret. Therefore in anything we do, we should always endeavor to seek the leadings of the Holy Spirit.
    Thanks for this lesson, ma.🙏

  • FAVOUR OMEJE

    Prayer enlightens our heart to know more about things which we are ignorant of.

  • Dunamis Archibong

    I really enjoyed reading this and it looked like I’m in a Cinema 😍
    The content of the story indeed corresponds with the title and I love that.
    This story reminds me of Philippines 4: 6 ” have no anxiety about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with Thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”

    We just need to tell God our problems and confusions and he’ll definitely come through for us.

    Thanks for this message ma, it’s more than a story

    • Decent Michael

      The issue of marriage is critical and that is why young single adult should reason carefully before saying”yes I do” because it is forever for once.It is Okey that zizi engaged in prayer and that she went further to seek for advice from social media. The thing is did Zizi accept chimaobi proposal willingly or out of confusion,all the same I really hope they live happily ever after.I must also say,the writer of the work did a nice work.

  • Tom Teme

    It felt like this was directed to me.
    Thanks ma’am

  • UMEH MMESOMA JULIET

    This is relatable to many young ladies.
    Marriage is covenant we should contemplate on before going into it. When our minds are clouded with uncertainty, we shouldn’t fail to seek for God’s wisdom and guidance to avoid making wrong decision. It is a good thing that Zerendu prayed before making this tough decision as prayers provide clarity.

    • Favour Ozioko

      Wow!
      I really enjoyed this story,I always do think that marrying at 25 or above is a right decision but relating to Zerendu’s story and how she handled it;I have learnt to put God first in all I do.
      Thank you Aunty for this piece.

  • Anyanwu Geraldine Ngozi

    Wow! this is quite an interesting story. I love the way culture was well portrayed.
    She really made a tough choice. I, at some point while reading the story, got caught in the web of what decision was suitable for her. And I also learnt that no event is a waste because if she didn’t attend the fellowship,she might not have learnt the concept, “Acts”, which aided her in arriving at a conclusion of what was best for her.
    Also the importance of prayer can not be overemphasised.

  • Nnadi Chinyere

    I really enjoyed reading this. So many lessons to be learnt. The most important is to seek God’s face before taking any step in life

  • Odo Patience

    This really shows that, at times what we plan for ourself is different from what God has planned for us. And it is only through prayer that we can find out what God has for us.

  • Esogwa Jubilate A.

    Indeed, it was a tough choice. But thank God she realised on time that all good and perfect gifts come from God, which made her seek God’s counsel on her choice of a life partner.

  • Amadife Winifred Uchechukwu

    No matter how much we try to run from it, God’s will will always prevail. This is a really edifying story, I reallyyyy enjoyed reading it!❤️

  • Chidimma omeke

    What an interesting story ,with lots of lessons .As Regards making choices in marriage ,one should inquire in prayer first.

  • Nwachukwu Merit Akunne

    The story is amazing.
    Zizi in this story ended up getting married to chimaobi and not her boyfriend, does this mean that dating a guy of my age as a young lady is a waste of my time? And at what age bracket do you please advice us young ladies to be married?

    • First of all, dating should be done in a godly manner – not for it’s own sake – with a view to getting married. Zizi and Zuby were not doing that.

      There’s no specific age for dating or getting married but it should be when those involved are psychologically mature and have received God’s go-ahead.

      These are my views as a Christian with long years of experience. You can check the guest post on godly dating on this blog for more on this.

  • Chidiebele Ojuanu O.

    Wow! This is short, simple yet captivating. I really love the way the complementing parts were displayed. Young singles tend to build castles around fantasies they read in novels or see in movies. Meanwhile God is pointing them towards something else. It wouldn’t have been a tough choice if she sought God first before the confusion set in.

  • Kalu Victory

    When one is faced with a significant life choice, intricate decisions and dilemmas can emerge. Hence it is important to have the Holy Spirit in us to guide us while making these pivotal decisions. Thank you, ma.

  • Ogechukwu Joy Omeje

    Sometimes in life, we are faced with difficult situations but having to talk to God is always the best.

  • Onyishi Henry Kelechi

    A very interesting story that teaches and exposes a lot about the recent happenings as regards love and decision making. This is no difference from what happens in the life of a young girl who’s due for marriage, decision making is crucial!!

  • Alung Glory

    This is really interesting
    The part she prayed for Gods guidance is good and teaches us to always remember God and run to him for help.
    But will zerendu be comfortable and happy in this marriage?

  • Awoke peace

    It’s an interesting and inspiring story. This will really teach the ladies a lot. For instance, letting them know that, things written in romance novels are just fictional and they shouldn’t think the same in reality. Secondly, In all we do, we need God for direction.

  • Eleke Somadina

    I enjoyed every bit of this story!
    Prayer is a necessity for making decisions.

    I feel she should have waited a lil longer to complete her degree. Marriage no dey run😅.

  • Decent Michael

    The issue of marriage is critical,it is a thing of happiness and sadness. This while ever young single adult should reason enough before saying”yes i do”. Zizi actually did well by going to God in prayer and reaching out to the public for advice.I just hope she and Chimaobi live happily ever after.I must also say the writer did a nice work.

  • David ezinne queen

    Who would have thought that Zubi would move on as quickly as he did? In fact, marrying Chimaobi remains the best choice.

  • Onwuachu Chidiebube M.

    Honestly, this piece is very relatable.
    I do hear that love is not enough, is love not really enough ma?
    And for Zubby to have been able to get over her after 2days, does it mean he never really loved her that much?

    I love the fact that she prayed even after seeking for advice from people.

    Nice piece I must say.
    Thank you ma.

  • Ukpaka chimereogo Emmanuella

    The story is really engaging young people should stop viewing marriage as something you rush into, I really hope young people understand that marriage is a serious commitment that requires careful planning, I hope they realize the value of having faith and putting their faith in God’s plan for their life. As a friend I would do everything to support her in finding the right person to marry and having a successful and fulfilling marriage. We should always ask God for direction in anything we want to do surely he would lead us to the right path.

  • Ukpaka chimereogo Emmanuella

    This story is really engaging, marriage is a lifetime commitment we need to seek God when finding our life partners because God cannot mislead us , marriage they say is not a bed of roses so we should think properly when choosing our life partner and also seek God for the right advise. I feel zerendu made a right choice by marrying chimaobi since she feels safe when ever she thinks of her future with him and she asked for direction too

  • Anayo chinonyelum Cynthia

    Wow! interesting story ,before we make a great decision we should seek advice and consult God before anything especially when it comes a life lasting decision like marriage ,thanks for the wonderful peice ma

  • Ezeala Ngozi Deborah

    As young believers,we should cultivate the habit of involving God in everything we do and the decisions we make. If Zerendu had not decided to pray about the proposal, maybe she would have made a wrong choice. Just like the Bible says in Jeremiah 29:11, his plans for us are of good and not of evil to bring us to an expected end. Thank you ma for this amazing story. I can actually relate to this story.

    • Udeh uchechi joann

      An amazing story , I like the fact that zizi had to seek advice from her elders and people that are more experienced than her and also involving God in that situation.

  • Ejiofor Valerian Obiageli

    PRAYER or PRAYER!! Thank God she prayed over it.
    I wonder how her relationship with Zuby that got over her in just 2 days would have been in the nearest future.

  • Anyway she made the right decision but the fact her fiance family came to her marriage introduction without much excitement, hope she is safe/accepted by Chimaobi’s family members?

  • Igweonu Honour Ifenna

    That sure didn’t end the way I expected it to. We youths tend to tilt our thoughts to ‘disney’s happy ever after’ storyline to accept it as a romance story but i don’t want to receive a rude awakening from my ‘facebook comments’😉😅.
    One thing I’m glad about though is the fact that she turned to God for guidance. This was a captivating piece ma

  • Chijioke Victoria

    Interesting story,as a believer before we take action we should always pray about it, putting God first in all we do.
    We should also stop the habits of thinking we can do things on our own,as she always mocked people in the story who were believers.
    Thanks for the wonderful peice ma

  • Bassey Faith

    Well I just hope and pray that the marriage goes well. Thank you ma🥰

  • Tricia Ogbuehi

    She really struggled with making a choice but after weighing her options and seeking counsel
    from God and opinions from people, she made a choice. Hopefully Zerendu chose the right man.

  • Wow! The story is captivating. Marriage indeed is a long time affair, so one shouldn’t be eager to rush in without seeking the face of God first through prayer.

  • Adinde chidera Daniel

    The protagonist, Zerendu, is caught between her desire for independence and her suitor’s proposal for marriage, seeking advice from friends and family to make a decision.

  • Onyishi Henry Kelechi

    A tough choice:
    A very interesting story that teaches and exposes a lot about the recent happenings as regards love and decision making. This is no difference from what happens in the life of a young girl who’s due for marriage, decision making is crucial!!

  • Benson Chinonso Calistar

    Everyone’s direction in life are so different,One might be praying and dreaming of something else meanwhile God is working on something different for us ….Who knows if she had waited for zuby if eventually he will marry her ….Well, let’s not forget that in all we do in life we need God invention…🙏🙏🙏

  • Lawi Precious Rimamchaten .

    I can boldly say that this story really touched my heart .that is why it is advisable for young ladies especially to always seek the face of God before going into marriage .The story is indeed a great lesson to everyone .I really appreciate you ma for this great story and lesson and I must confess that the story is really captivating . thank you so much 🙏 ma .

  • Lawi Precious Rimamchaten .

    Wow the story was really touching and captivating .It is always good to seek the face of the Lord before going into marriage . thank you so much 🙏 ma .

  • Miller Toluwanimi Abundance

    She did not forget the God factor
    This teaches us to involve God in whatever decision we want to make
    He always have a way of guiding us

  • Ozioma Nwachukwu

    I believe in prayers. Before someone marries, he or she should pray and also gather advice from older ones. I’m really overwhelmed about Zizi’s courage and wise decision to listen to the advice of her aunt and friend notwithstanding ,the silly comments the social media people made.

  • Chinweotuto Ekumankama

    This story is amazing!she did the right thing by praying to God for guidance…and also thought about the comments she received from Facebook.

  • Enete Precious Chikamso

    I’m not totally against Zerendu following her own philosophy about getting married to a man you love, but what if she had waited for Zuby and at the end of everything, something happens and the marriage plan failes, what would have been her faith?

    I’m happy she made enquires and prayed too because as a lady, time doesn’t wait for us when it comes to matters concerning marriage

  • Uwannah Marvellous

    A very captivating story but struck me or what I took home is
    The confirmation of every prayer answered is peace in my spirit, that’s how I confirm that God has agreed with me on a case.

    Many a times,good things comes in unpleasant packages.

  • Okpalla Rita Chiemerie

    Marriage, a divine institution, should include God in our decision-making process. Ziz’s courage and reliance on God are commendable.
    Lessons:

  • Obetta precious Ogechi

    Praying and asking God for the right direction helps a lot.Zerendu might have wasted her time waiting for her boyfriend who might have ended up not marrying her

  • Ossai Chidimma Linda

    Hmmmm! Even after getting your first degree marriage is still a scaring choice that only God can lead us through.

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