The wedding had just been over and Kambili stood at the reception, in search of her husband.

“Charles!” She called out. “Has anyone seen Charles?”

“I think he went to the toilet…” One of her bridesmaids informed.

“Okay…” She said as she picked up the skirts of her gold shimmering reception dress and walked to the toilet.

“Congrats darling…” People greeted her as she walked past them in search of her husband.

“Have you seen the groom? Have you seen my husband?” She’d asked with a smile on her face.

“No…” They replied.

The caterers packed up their plates, spoons and dishes while the decorators pulled the gold and cream decor off the walls. To them, the wedding was over and they couldn’t wait to decorate another wedding venue.

“Kambili!” Her mother called.

Kambili turned to stare at her mother.

“Where are you going to?” Her mother asked.

“I’m looking for Charles…” She said.

“You’re going to see him for the rest of your life darling…there’s really no need to look for him.” Her mother said with a smile. “Come and say hello to my friends, Lucy and Kate, they are my secondary school friends and they came all the way from Uyo for your wedding.”

“Please tell them that I’ll see them once I find out where my husband is.” She said and hurried off.

She went to the toilets and pushed open the door.

“Charles!”

There was no response. She heaved a sigh and made her way out of the hall and towards the back, she saw the bouncers seated before towering servings of food and pushing them into their mouths.

“Ma…congrats ma…” One of them said while throwing a morsel of food into his mouth.

“Did you…I mean, have you seen my husband?” She asked.

“He went to the dressing room…” The second bouncer said not looking up from his food.

“Thanks…” She said and made her way towards the dressing room where she’d changed into her reception dress.

The hall’s environs were abuzz with a lot of happenings. The caterer pushed all her utensils in a large barrow like truck headed towards the trunk of a large van. Empty bottles of champagne littered the whole place and some street kids looked for scraps. She walked towards the dressing room and placed her hand on the knob. She could hear grunts coming from within and thought it was from the television, so she pushed it open. Kambili stepped into the dressing room and her mouth stood open for a few seconds.

Her sister and husband danced to the rhythm of their heartbeats as they made do with the couch. They didn’t notice her standing there as they were too engrossed in their activity that no one seemed to exist but the two of them.

 

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