“With the power vested in me, I now pronounce you, husband
and wife. You may kiss the bride.”
This was the part Ade hated in weddings and she was so angry
with herself for coming to Toyin’s wedding. Everyone around her was either
sniffing back the tears or smiling goofy at the newly wedded couple.
Right there at the altar was a life sized crucifix and Ade
looked at it in desperation.
“Lord! I thought my search was over! Last year I thought I
was going be the next of my colleagues to get married. Why Toyin? Of all people,
why her? I have prayed, cried and begged and I am tired of this! I don’t even
have a ring to show for it.” Ade muttered to herself.
“Were you talking to me?” Josephine asked, she was seated
right beside her on the pew of the church.
Last week she had almost told Toyin that she wouldn’t make
her wedding, it was so depressing to once again be a bridesmaid and to top it
all, she hated the colour Red which the bride had chosen for her
bridesmaids.
“No…I wasn’t..” Ade replied hastily.
“Can you take pictures of the couple on your iphone? Mine is
suffering from dead battery.” Josephine requested.
“I’m not ready to play photographer today…” Ade replied.
“Are you okay? Ade, c’mon let’s take pictures of the couple
for social media.” Josephine begged.
“When did I become their PR agent? Please leave me alone!”
Ade said, screaming out the last four letters that she had uttered.
At that moment, the loud organ which had been deafening all
through the occasion stopped with a thud. Everyone turned to stare at her, she
had managed to draw everyone’s attention to her person.
Meek like a lamb, Ade stared stonily ahead of her, vowing to
remain dumb throughout the rest of the celebration.
*******
Henrietta could hear them but she couldn’t speak to them.
She heard her parents cries, she had even listened to her mother’s prayers over
and over again. For the past three days, her family had been at her bedside,
each person offering prayers or  calling
people to pray for her. She heard the door open and heard the footsteps
approach, she instinctively knew it was the doctor’s.
“Doctor…we are so glad that you are here, please what are
the results of the test?” Her mother asked with tears in her eyes.
“Madam, I’ll suggest that you take a seat.” The doctor said
in a calm voice.
“I am sitting …I am sitting…” her mother whispered.
“No mom, you’re not seated.” Hank said aloud as he watched his mother who was still standing and facing the doctor.
He had also been at his sister’s side for the past three days, including their
father who had just stepped out briefly to get food.
“Okay…please tell me…” Henrietta’s mother said.
“Well…the test results came back and honestly, I’ve never
been more confused. Usually, patients who suffer shock recover at least almost
immediately but it’s four days already and she’s yet to move a muscle, let
alone speak. I have run all the tests that I can and I can’t place my finger on
anything.”
“Does it mean she’ll be like this for life?” Hank asked
quietly.
“I really don’t know…if this persists, we need to refer her
to a more specialized clinic…”
“What if that doesn’t work either?” Hank asked.
“Then, we look for more specialized care preferably abroad
but I hope it doesn’t come to that…”
“Wait…do you mean that my Henrietta is not going to stand up
on her feet and follow me home? Is that what you mean?” Henrietta’s mother
asked with tears in her eyes.
“A lot of people have different types of bodies and minds and the
truth is, we need to understand that the body has a mind of its own.
Henrietta’s body has so far defied whatever solution I know as regards this
case. Her immobility still baffles me. We have done everything we can and truth
be told, we never expected things to be this way.”
“Nooo…you can’t tell me this! I will not take this! I have a
living God and He will not let my daughter end up like this! Take your theories
away! Take your nonsense jargons with you! Henrietta will be well, she will
follow me home hale and hearty!” Henrietta’s mother cried.
As the doctor’s retreating footsteps left the hospital room,
Henrietta’s thoughts kept wandering. ‘What are they saying? Am I not
responding?’ she asked herself. ‘But I am fine, I am healthy! I can hear
everything my family is saying? What is this doctor talking about?’ She asked
herself again as she tried moving her body to prove the doctor wrong. The only thing
that moved were her eyes which she had been opening and closing for the past
three days. ‘Why? What’s happening to me? I can’t move! I can’t feel anything!’
She thought in alarm.
*****
Today was Tunde’s wedding day and aside from the fact that
his wife was Ade’s colleague at work, Emeka had known Tunde for as long as he
could remember. He glanced at his time again and hissed, ‘Where is this woman?’
he asked himself again. Nkechi had disappeared into the house for the umpteenth
time and this time, she had claimed to have forgotten her purse.
“Why can’t women be quick?” Emeka sighed and honked loudly.
Nkechi appeared from the house on cue. Her gorgeous silver
lace and royal blue gorge was paired impeccably with silver heeled shoes and a
blue clutch.
“Sorry darling! I am so sorry!” Nkechi said as she entered
the car. Her designer scent was ready to flood his nostrils till it burned.
“No problem…but next time, please note that I stick to time.”
Emeka said stiffly as he started the car.
“Wait ooo…so all the sorry did not enter your body abi…”
“What do you think? This is one of my good friends and I’m
about to arrive his wedding late…I am even one of his grooms men.”
“So? Doesn’t he know that you are a busy man? You have a lot
of things to take care of including a hot babe like me.” Nkechi taunted.
“I reserve my comment…” Emeka said.
“What’s that supposed to mean?” Nkechi chided.
Emeka stared stonily ahead, vowing to remain dumb throughout
the rest of the drive.
*****
“So are we going to be paired with these men?” Ade asked,
critically analyzing the men that were all dressed in black tuxedo suits
adorned with red pocket squares.
“Yup! And I am so excited!” Josephine said.
Ade turned to look at her colleague and almost groaned,
Josephine has been known to have the most men flinging themselves at her feet
yet she manages to always be without a boyfriend at each phase of her life.
“Oooohh…look, the programme has paired us up already.”
Josephine pointed at the programme in her hand which had all their names
written in bold letters. “I am paired up with Abubakar! Who is that?” She asked,
making a face.
Ade peeked to see who she had been paired with and almost
fainted, she had been paired with Emeka.
“Can we swap?” Ade asked matter-of-factly.
“Hmmm…well…that depends on if your man is hot!”
“Trust me, he is…” Ade said with a solemn expression.
“Touche…have you guys met before? You know, I don’t know
much about you. You keep your private life away from office gossip.” Josephine
asked.
Ade shrugged and didn’t say anything, her eyes had caught
Emeka’s car, he had just driven into the parking lot of the church and as soon
as the car stopped, she saw him alight looking dapper than ever. She stared on
and was hit squarely on the chest when she saw his companion. It was none other
than the home wrecker. She was wearing the asoebi for the wedding, and Ade felt
betrayed. How could Toyin have sold her asoebi to Emeka’s friend when she knew
of her involvement with him?
Toyin was the only one that knew about Ade and Emeka’s relationship
and although she had strongly expressed her displeasure at her colleague dating
an igbo man, she had been quite supportive as to keep Ade’s affairs away from
office gossip.
Ade looked away and almost beat herself for not refusing to
be one of Toyin’s bridesmaids. She hated the dress she was wearing and hated
that Emeka’s new found love had to come all dressed up in asoebi while walking
in hand with her man.
“That lady has one helluva banging shape!” Josephine said, referring
to Nkechi.
“I have to use the toilet…be right back.” Ade said and
scampered away.
******
Emeka had seen her just before she turned away. She was one
of the bridesmaids and in his opinion the most beautiful of them all. She was
dressed in the clingly floor length red strapless gown adorned with a small
gold link chain at the waist just like the other girls. And as she walked away,
Emeka could see that she had worn Loubotin shoes. He remembered visiting her
once at her father’s mansion and when he entered her bedroom, he had been confronted by intimidating
foot-wears, all designers. Ade was a shoe freak.
He heaved a deep sigh as she disappeared around the corner,
something nudged him and he realized that it was Nkechi’s hand. He took her
hand in his and they walked up to meet the couple who were just getting ready
to take pictures.
*****
They were about to dance in, inorder to usher in the couple
and Ade was so uncomfortable. She had felt that way since she stood not so far
from Emeka as they took pictures with the couple and the train. Now, as they
stood side by side, she stared ahead of her waiting for the song ‘Ada Ada’ by
Flavour to usher them in.
“You look gorgeous.” Emeka said silently.
Ade knew he was speaking to her, but she didn’t respond,
instead she kept staring ahead.
The music started and they all danced in, they were five
groomsmen and bridesmaids, so the first went in and then the second. Ade and
Emeka were the third couple to dance in and immediately, the DJ changed the
song to Shoki. 
Ade had one amazing gift and that was to dance, Emeka was above
average as a dancer and due to the beat is quite popular, Ade and Emeka danced
energetically to the beat.
Ade was the one that had everyone’s mouth open, she moved so
well that even Emeka had to gape at her in surprise.
By the time the bride and groom danced in, the hall was
already in uproar as everyone were dancing on their feet. As soon as they were
seated, (the tables had been set that the bridesmaids and groomsmen sat
together), some men walked up to their table, introducing themselves to Ade. She
blushed and smiled at each of them to the utter chagrin of Emeka who sat
beside her in anger. She gave her phone number to all the men that had walked
up to her and spent the rest of the wedding, eating and chatting with the
groomsman beside her.
*****
“Single ladies in the house! It’s time to claim what’s
yours!” Shouted the MC.
The DJ instantly hit the music button and ‘All the Single
Ladies’ boomed from the speakers. All the bridesmaids came out including single
ladies from the crowd. Toyin threw the bouquet and it landed in Ade’s
outstretched hand but she was pushed by a rough contestant and found herself
falling hard to the ground while the bouquet was picked up by the rough lady.
Lo and behold, it was none other than Nkechi.
Quickly, Ade was helped up to her feet but she yelped in
pain when she tried to stand, she had sprained her foot. The attention was
suddenly on her as everyone ran to her rescue.
“She caught the flowers! She caught it! That woman pushed
her and fell her to the ground, taking the bouquet in the
process.” One of the bridesmaid screamed while pointing at Nkechi.
“Na wah ooo for this life and desperation! So na common
flower cause person to break leg! Haba for ladies ooo!” One man said.
Ade was carried to a chair where ice was brought in a bucket
for her throbbing leg. She couldn’t believe the kind of pain that went through
her body and it was all because of that woman, Nkechi. Nkechi was busy dancing at the center of the wedding hall as the wedding had to go on and since she was proclaimed winner, she was bathing in the euphoria of the moment.
Emeka ran to Ade’s side and tried assisting with the ice but
her cold words stopped him.
“Don’t you dare place your filthy hands on my leg! You
caused all this! The moment you let that woman enter our lives, you ruined
everything. Now, she has not only succeeded in breaking our bond, she has
wounded me. Get out of my sight! I do not ever want to see you again!”

Emeka stared at Ade for a moment, while people looked at him
in questioningly and after a while he turned and walked away.

2 COMMENTS

    • Funny enough, some men are as clueless as Emeka. They are programmed to remember a lady only when they see them.
      I pray God helps Henrietta.
      Thanks for reading. God bless.

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