Marvin arrived later and joined in our conversation after he had his bath.
“I have something important I have to discuss with you,” Sean said and sat upright.
“Okay bro. Is there a problem?” I replied.
“Brenda and I have decided to get married,” said Sean as he took Brenda’s hand. Brenda nodded and smiled shyly. I looked at Marvin and then at Sean, one of the babies started crying and I went up to attend to him.
When I got into the nursery, I shut the door and started to pet Ayomikun back to sleep. My mind was in turmoil. Sean was getting married to Brenda. I loved and respected Brenda, she was a dedicated person but could I allow my brother to marry her after all that had happened? Sean must be out of his mind to have considered such a hideous thing. He had his whole life ahead of him and he just wanted to throw it away with a dying girl.
Marvin came into the room and met me lying down on the big bed.
“I know you would do this. I saw the look on your face when Sean said what he said,” Marvin said as he sat beside me on the bed. I turned my back on him. I knew Marvin would try and talk me into accepting what Sean said but it would not happen. He was the only brother I had.
“Sweetheart, what do you think people will say when they hear that you are against your brother getting married to his heart desire because of the virus? You are Chief Mrs. Atolagbe for goodness sake. The HIV activist,” Marvin said.
“She has death hanging around her neck and she wants to take my brother through the misery,” I said and stood up. “I’ll tell him it’s not possible. She is a wonderful person but this will not happen.”
“Of course you won’t. You’ll break the boy’s heart and you are like a role model to Brenda. “You have to reconsider,” Marvin pleaded.
“It will not happen. I don’t care what people will say. He is my only brother,” I said and went out of the room.
Marvin turned to look at the little boys lying on their beds. Ayomide opened his eyes and called, “Daddy.”
Marvin smiled and lifted him up, he shrieked and they both made their way to the sitting room. He expected to hear angry voices but everything was quiet except for the television.
He got to the sitting room and found Sean staring at the television; he looked around and asked where the others were. Sean told him they went outside to talk.
“My sister took the news very badly, I guess?” Sean asked as he turned the television off. Marvin looked at him and nodded.
“I wonder what she is saying to Brenda right now,” Sean said and turned to look towards the entrance door. “Oh, poor Brenda.”
“I’m sure everything will be sorted out. I’ll talk some sense into her,” Marvin replied.
The women came in hand in hand, Brenda’s eyes were swollen and it was obvious she had been crying. The two of them went straight to the kitchen. Sean looked at Marvin and he shrugged like it didn’t really matter. Marvin knew he was struggling inside. He loved his sister too much and Brenda was his heartbeat.
True to Marvin’s observation that I was full of surprises, I discussed the issue with Brenda and she told me how much she loved Sean and losing him would mean half of her life being cut off. I agreed to their marriage and gave my consent for the two of them to get married but secretly I condemned it and decided to see how possible it would be to break them up. I didn’t tell anyone of my plan.
Not even Sandra or Marvin. Sandra wanted to know during one of many visits if I was in my right mind to allow them to marry; I smiled and said it was not a problem. I would just let fate handle its business and if they are meant to be together, then so be it.
“They love each other and that is all that matters, right?” I asked Marvin.
Sandra wanted to challenge this but thought otherwise when she saw the determination in my eyes; but turned to Marvin instead.
“It’s their life, Sandra. You guys worry too much,” Marvin said.
“What about children? Won’t they start a family?” countered Sandra.
“Well, they can have artificial insemination,” I said as I played with Ezinne. Sandra looked confused.
I explained to Sandra that artificial insemination meant injecting a man’s sperm into a woman’s womb through artificial means.
“It still doesn’t mean the baby won’t have the virus. It still has to live in the woman’s womb,” she countered.
“Sandra, the doctors know what to do to prevent the baby from being infected,” I said.
“Okay, you are telling me that it’s possible for them to have a healthy child through that,” Sandra asked still doubtful. I nodded and Sandra dropped the issue.
I was not able to actualize my plan to break them up and make them see reason when the two love birds decided to choose a date for their wedding. I tried to dissuade them but Aunt Betty didn’t allow it. Sean and Brenda got married months after that wedding date conversation.
They had a society wedding with people from South Africa and all over Nigeria in attendance. It was a carnival of sort because many dignitaries were there to witness the occasion. They went to France for their honey moon. I was happy to share their joy and wished them well.
He was my brother after all and I love him very much and his happiness matters a great deal to me so if Brenda is going to give it to him, I am all for it from that moment on.