“Do you, Luke Imade Ebhojie, take Donatella Adeola Adegboye, as your lawfully wedded wife, to cherish and love, in sickness and in health, till death do you part?” The minister’s voice rang out through the forest.
“I do.” Luke’s rich voice replied solemnly, but he was not looking at the minister, he was looking at me.
Wait, why was he looking at me like that? Why was I in a forest, standing beside Luke? I looked all around me, and I discovered I was in a forest. The trees were decorated with balloons, petals, flowers, and ribbons. Luke and I were standing upon a raised dais, in front of a minister wearing a clown outfit. Wait what?
The guests consisted of people from the resort, and that included the staff. To my side, Peter was dressed in a pink, frilly gown, with red flowers in his trimmed hair. To Luke’s side, Jerry was sitting, his tail wagging, and he was dressed in a black blazer that matched with Luke’s own. He was guarding a pillow with our wedding bands.
I looked down at myself, and I was wearing a white ball gown with ridiculously puffy shoulders, frills at the base, and black sneakers. Why was I wearing sneakers at my own wedding?
“And do you…” The minister’s voice brought me out of my confused state. “Donatella Adeola Adegboye, take Luke Imade Ebhojie, as your lawfully wedded husband, to cherish and love, in sickness and in health, till death do you part?”
Why was I getting married? I turned back to look at the guests again. Dad and Aunty Teju waved at me. Why was my Dad in suspenders? Tonia was smiling at me, and she even gave me a thumbs up. That was strange. Someone cleared their throat beside me, and I turned back to see Luke and the clown minister looking at me expectantly.
Oh yeah! The vow thingy. “I do.”
“Does anyone have a reason why these two should not be joined in holy matrimony? Speak now or forever hold your peace.” The minister was looking at the guests behind us.
At first, everywhere was silent. All I could hear was the special sound of the forest; rustling leaves, chattering rodents, nosy birds, and the distinct echo of a nearby brook. It was peaceful and calming to the soul, until…
“I object.” The best voice I knew came from the gathering.
Luke and I turned sharply to look at the offender. The guests were murmuring and staring at the man standing in the middle of the aisle, looking ridiculous in kembe and buba. Femi stared at Luke and I with sadness rimmed with contempt.
I walked down the dais, Luke at my heels, and approached the disruptor. “Femi, what are you doing?”
“What you want me to do.” He only cast me a brief glance before facing Luke squarely. “She’s not your wife, she’s mine.”
Luke did not look pleased. “Where’s the certificate to prove that?”
“She wants me, and you know it.”
“If that is so…” Luke looked quite bored, it was almost comical. “Why is she standing with me on the aisle?”
“Because this is a sham wedding. Look at your officiating minister.” Femi pointed at the minister, who was currently devouring a drumstick of chicken while standing there on the dais. “He’s a clown for God’s sake.”
The minister gasped, choked, and started coughing. I rushed back to the dais, and Peter handed me a bottle of water from nowhere. I grabbed it, uncapped it, gave it to the minister and urged him to drink. He took a swig, and felt better almost immediately.
His eyes were watering, as he pointed a finger back at Femi. “This unfortunate bastard wants to kill me. Na your papa be clown, no be me.”
I looked at Femi, without moving an inch from the dais again. “Femi please. Don’t do this.”
“Donnie. Choose. Is it me you want or pretty boy?” His gaze was hard and unforgiving. He looked pretty determined.
I shook my head silently. “Please don’t make me do that.”
Luke rushed to my side, a concerned expression on his handsome face. “Hey baby, don’t be sad. But he’s right. You have to choose, and I know you’ll do the right thing and choose me.”
“Go Donnie.” The Minister mumbled, a pound of chicken meat in his stuffed mouth.
“Stay out of this.” I glared at the clown, before facing Luke again. “But why are you both making me choose?”
“Because you don’t want to be a hypocrite Tella.” Tonia’s sultry voice suddenly responded beside me.
I yelped, placing a hand on the heart beating wildly in my ribcage. When did she appear beside me? She looked angelic in her pure white gown. She looked like the perfect bride, while I looked like someone that came out of a Yemi my lover movie.
“Because you can’t eat your cake and have it.” This came from Dolapo. If I wasn’t sad at that moment, I would have started laughing from how stupid he looked. He was wearing the exact same thing peter was wearing, with red flowers in his hair and beards.
Luke took my left hand gently. “Choose me Donnie.”
Femi appeared on the dais by my right. He took my right hand with something akin to reverence. “You know I came to your life first. Pick me.”
I started shaking my head. “Let me go.”
Their holds on me merely tightened, they were not easing their leashes. “I said let go of me.”
Different voices and faces started surrounding me, each one chanting the mantra with menacing voices and looks. I was slowly getting claustrophobic and scared. I bent down, shielding myself from them with my hands.
“Please stop.” I whispered but the chants only got louder.
“I said stop!”
I opened my eyes to see the white ceiling of my resort’s room. I turned my neck to check the time on the bedside table; it was just a few minutes past 9pm. I sat up on bed, to see a surprised Luke looking at me, from his position on the floor.
He was holding a joystick, and a football game was paused on the TV screen in front of him. I guess I fell asleep while the others were at dinner. After cooking, I merely rang the kitchen staff to tell them to prepare the table and serve the others, while I came to my room to shower and think.
Tonia’s words hit me harder than I thought, and my very stupid dream was a clear demonstration of that.
“Are you alright?” Luke asked me, dropping his joystick.
I nodded and scrambled off the bed to the floor beside him. He scooted to make room for me, and we sat down side by side.
“Want to talk about it?” He asked another question.
Not having the strength to talk, I simply shook my head. He sighed.
“Why didn’t you come for dinner? Did Tonia say something mean to you?”
I chuckled dryly. “Tonia is always something mean to me and about me.”
“Not always though.” His voice was quiet, but I heard him clearly.
I looked at him. “What do you mean by not always?”
“I spoke to her this afternoon in Amira’s room.”
“Yes, I noticed.” I sounded jealous, but that was far from the actual case. “How was the scintillating conversation? Did she tell you about my awkward puberty tales?”
He shook his head. “On the contrary, she had sweet stuff to say about you.”
“And what sweet stuff would that be? How I was a nice sister and I did all the chores alone?” I sounded bitter and judgmental and I did not like it. I wasn’t that kind of person, but Tonia managed to bring out the worst in me.
“She said you used to write awesome poems.”
I was robbed of speech momentarily. It was a long time ago, and I did not even know Tonia was aware or even the least bit interested. “But, how did she know or how did she know if they were any good?”
“She said she wanted to copy one of your assignments for school, but while going through your things, she found your rough book. She thought your poems were fantastic, and she was sad to learn from your dad that you stopped writing when you entered University.”
I was genuinely floored. Tonia never mentioned any of these things to me. Was she trying to play nice to my fiancé or did she mean it?
“Why did you stop writing?” His gentle voice asked.
I shook my head. ‘I don’t want to talk about that now.” He nodded in understanding. “Wasn’t she suspicious of the fact that you didn’t know I used to write poems?”
“Actually, she said she would have thought it was strange if I knew. She let me know it was a well-kept secret by you.” He passed me a joystick. “Come, let’s play a match, maybe you’ll feel better.”
I shot him a grateful smile and took the game-pad from him. “Thank You Luke.”
Okay, I think I enjoyed that wedding scene a little too much. Lol.
Have a great weekend people.