Regina looked into James’ eyes and he looked into hers. This was the happiest day of her life. Behind them were specially selected family and friends. He put his hand into hers. They turned around to face these people for the first time as man and wife. Dreams of fulfillment and happily ever after floated in her mind. In retrospect, there were so many warnings. She wished she could have told her past self to stop because she was making a huge mistake in marrying James. Her heart was caught up in the fulfillment of the childhood fairy tale. The perfect dress coupled with the perfect song to walk down the aisle. Yet her dress was falling apart like the title of Achebe’s novel, being a precursor of her life to come. The carefully selected wedding song, sadly only she would remember it, not family, friends and certainly not her James.
They could not even consummate the marriage that night. After being rejected by an exclusive hotel, his plans of surprising her with a room turned out to surprise them with no room. Regina’s hips were cursing the rest of her body and not because of James’ expected sexual prowess as the male role of the wedding night. Her hips hurt because she was wearing the pretty, too tight but perfect Cinderella glass shoes. These shoes were obviously still for Cinderella, for they were not the perfect fit. Regina, unlike the fairy tale princess, did not have the perfect fit in anything. The dress fell apart, the shoes were too tight and James was not the Prince Charming that little girls believe in when they are planning their fairy tale wedding.
Before they were married he talked about different sexual experiences that were against Regina’s beliefs, claiming it would spice up the marriage. His aim was to make her smile. She was the naïve girl, who was not used to playing games of survival. Regina believed that James would protect her. She believed that he would take care of her. She believed James would never hurt her. But James broke Regina’s heart many times, while they were married. She had had enough. She felt belittled and betrayed. He found Regina broken and made the emotional cracks deeper and put even more cracks in her broken state. James left Regina because she asked him. She asked him to leave out of love. She was enabling the negative behavior which was being experienced whenever they were together. By stopping this behavior, Regina was giving James the ultimate gift and act of love. They both needed to miss each other in order to appreciate one another. Time would be the great healer. Patience and humility were the virtues hoped to be acquired with time.