As I sipped the hot tea my benefactor had given me, I felt humbled by her kindness. She busied about, it was obvious she was a stickler for neatness because the house was as spick as span and she couldn’t stop keeping things in order.
“Thank you so much for everything…” I say to her.
“It’s okay…I’m sorry you had to go through whatever you had to go through…” She said to me.
I nodded and sipped the tea again and sniffed. I looked at the time, it was some minutes past three pm, I gawked in disbelief. How long had I been running? How long had I been lying on the road. I thought of my family, I didn’t even have a phone to call them, my phones were with my maid of honour.
“I kept the wedding dress beside the bathroom, I could help you take it for dry clean.” She said to me.
“No…throw it away…” I said to her.
“It’s a beautiful dress…even with the stains you can tell that it’s really beautiful and quite expensive.”
“Take it if you want it…besides, it’s torn so I don’t think you’d want it…” I said.
“The rip isn’t too bad…I could dry clean it and keep it, maybe rent it out…and remit the money to you ofcourse.” She said looking at me hopefully.
“My name is Laura.”
“I’m Lola…” I reply.
“I hope I’m not being a busy body but it’s not every day that one sees a bride running down the streets in her wedding gown. It’s either one of two things, she’s crazy or she hates her groom.”
“It’s neither.” I say, not wanting to speak further about it.
“Could I fill your cup? You’ve finished the tea already…”
“Are you hungry? I could make you something to eat…”
“No…I’m fine…” I say.
“How about your family? Don’t you think they’ll be worried about you?” She asked in a concerned voice.
“I’ll go back home today…I just need to rest…” I say.
“Okay…I’m not in a hurry for you to leave…if you’d like, you can stay the night.”
“And infringe on your hospitality? Who are you? Mother Theresa!” I ask.
She looked away, she’s obviously grown tired of my answers so, she stood up and headed towards the tiny kitchen in a corner.
“I am sorry I sound this way but I found something about my fiancé that I never knew prior to today…” I say.
“Oh okay…whatever it is that made you run away from the altar, I’m sure it must be startling.” She said to me.
As she disappeared into the tiny kitchen which looked more like a hole than a kitchen, I stand up and look around the house. It was a very small place, like a mini apartment. On the television stand was a plaque which read, ‘Promising Junior Journalist of the year 2012’ She walked in as I stared at it.
“I am a journalist…” She said to me while placing a small bowl of hot rice on the centre table. “I microwaved this…for you.” She said.
I stared at the food and nodded, still holding the plaque.
“Ohhh….” I said.
“Come to think of it, I could write a story about you! I could change the names of course but it would be an interesting read. That’s if you open up to me and tell me what really happened to make you run off from the altar…” She said.
I quickly dropped the plaque on the television stand as though it scalded me, there was no way I was going tell anyone what I had heard in secret and definitely not a journalist. This was huge! Even Tunde’s brothers had said that the truth would send their parents to an early grave. If I tell the truth, I could have their deaths on my hands .
I stared at her in sudden realization that I needed an explanation to friends and family as to the reason I left the altar.
To be continued tomorrow….