He watched as she sat on the edge of the bed, sitting so straight and stiff, she reminded him of a movie he had recently seen, where people were frozen in time. Letting out an exasperated sigh he got into bed, laid on his back and fixed his gaze on the light fitting above him. “This was supposed to be his wedding night, a night of bliss” he thought to himself. He had waited for this day for so long he had actually thought it would never come. Wondering were he had gone wrong, he reached out to again try and get her attention , but midway retrieved his hands. A part of him was scared of upsetting her further because it was obvious she had been upset even throughout the ceremony.
With her eyes roaming distractedly through the crowd almost every second, he had wondered what was on her mind. Even when it was her turn to say “I Do” he had seen right through the pseudo smile she had on her face as she said the words. Her eyes alone had chilled his bones, making him feel like he had just been read his death sentence. At that moment, he had wanted to scream at the Pastor to stop the wedding procession… but he really did love her.
She could feel his eyes burning through her skin, as she felt him watching her before he got into bed. Afraid to move for fear of touching him, she scooted further to the edge of the bed, keeping her back even straighter. She had never imagined her wedding night would turn out to be this way, not amidst the fairy tales and fantasies she had built right from the time she owned her first doll. “The ceremony had been quick”, she thought, or then maybe it hadn’t ; she really couldn’t remember. her mind had been far off the entire time.
If her husband (she shuddered, wondering were that term had come from) had not gently sqeezed her hand when the Pastor was addressing her, she would not have known it was her turn to say the world famous “I Do”. Thank God for those emergency smiles she always had for backup, not even Kola (refusing the husband term) could have seen through them, …she was so certain.
He fidgeted in his seat as he watched her say “I Do”. A gentle smile creased his lips as he saw the familiar way her brows always came together every time she was unhappy. He could tell every gesture and action of hers…but what did he expect, they had been inseparable. They had shared a kind of love that most people spend their entire lives searching and wishing for.”You may now kiss your bride”… he came out of his reverie with a start as he heard the Pastor’s voice, “he couldn’t take this any more”, “what was he doing here?” he asked himself. His heart cringed with pain, it hurt so bad. It should have been both of them, he should be the one standing next to her and holding her hand. They had talked, dreamt and planned for this day all along, he still couldn’t believe his dreams had been taken away from him…. but it was his fault. He had come to accept his fate, if only he had not been so careless back in the university, then he wouldn’t have had temi (his five-year old boy). Temi… how he loved that boy, so he couldn’t bring himself to choose between Temi and Lolade. He couldn’t, shaking his head again as if to further convince himself…but that was what her family wanted. He made to leave, telling himself he had had enough. raising his head to look at her one last time, time stopped as he caught her staring straight at him…
For a moment she thought she was going to pass out, and then again she thought it was just her mind playing tricks on her. She blinked repeatedly trying to affirm that her sight was intact. “Tunbosun, at my wedding?”, as she asked herself this question she already knew the answer because it was like he heard his name, as he looked at her and their eyes were left locked. As much as she tried, she couldn’t help but think “your place is right here beside me”, “we should be taking this vow together, not me and …”. she looked away to look at the man who was now standing as her newly pronounced husband, her lips quivered, and her eyes glistened with tears. “Count to ten”, she told herself as she tried taking deep breaths to calm herself. Turning her face back to the crowd to find the face of the man she truly loved…
For that brief moment she turned her face, he silently found his way out of the church. “It was better that way” he tried convincing himself. “He should have left earlier”, “she wasn’t supposed to see him”, “he had just come to say goodbye”, he kept muttering to himself till he got into his car, shut the door, and broke down completely. He had seen through her eyes to the devastation in her heart, he knew she was unhappy, but he couldn’t tell her… couldn’t tell her that her famly told him they did not want a son-in-law who had a child already, that her mum had come pleading and crying, totally embarrasing him in church on a particular sunday, that her father had threatened (even attempted) to harm his boy, just so he could leave his daughter alone. He had tried to keep all these away from her, to protect her and the relatonship she had with her family, but now he felt like a loser. He started his engine and with eyes still blurry with tears backed out of the church’s gate. He should have heard the horn blaring, he should have looked more closely because… sreeeeeeeeeecccccccch “Crash”..the driver behind the wheels of the trailer had tried his best, but the brakes just didnt hold enough.
Her eyes darted frantically through the crowd, wondering how just a couple of seconds had been all he needed to disappear. Sadder though was the unshakeable feeling in her gut that that was the last she was ever going to see of him. if only he would just talk to her, tell her why they couldn’t be together. She knew her family were not too happy about his son, but it couldnt have been reason enough… or could it?. They were getting through it together…. or were they not? Those were the thoughts that occupied her mind through the rest of the church service, the reception and the trip back home, even up until now.
“Hmm”, he heard the deep sigh come from her, “hmm mm” he took a deep sigh of his own. They had been at this for more than an hour now, and her demeanour was making him feel very uncomfortable he could not sleep. “Buzz, Buzz, Buzz”, as he expected she didn’t flinch, probably didn’t even hear her phone vibrate. he reached out to pick up the phone which was beside her, the caller id showed Tinu… he knew Tinu was her best friend and she had even been her chief bridesmaid earlier. Now glancing at the bedside clock he wondered what could be so urgent for her to be calling this late. he tapped her (ever so gently), and she startled like she had been woken from a bad dream. “Your phone” he said and handed it over to her. “Hello…” he smiled on hearing her usual gentle tone, which was one of the numerous things he had fallen for. She put down the phone ad he was thinking how brief that call was when “Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah” her piercing scream filled the entire room, probably the entire neighbourhood. he would never forget that scream, because that was the last sound she ever made.