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Tuesday, November 08, 2016

After The Wedding (1)


The room was dimly lit by a lamp at the bedside table which threw soft shadows on the lone figure on the large bed of the honeymoon suite.

Turning restlessly on the bed, Tare lay on her back, her gaze fixed on the ceiling, her mind a jumble of thoughts, most of which were dark, gloomy. She thought of the events of a few hours before when what began as one of the most exciting days of her life had ended in such a horrible manner.

 On the day of her marriage to the man she loved with all her being, whom she should have been spending the night with, the first of many in their future, she was all alone, sad and in the grip of such misery, she felt she would die.

A lone tear sneaked its way down her face and fell on the soft pillow. As if on cue, the door to the bedroom, which had been slightly ajar, opened to admit Tejiri, her best friend and her chief bridesmaid at the wedding.

 She had changed from her bridesmaid’s gown of baby blue satin and tulle into a large T shirt which left her plump thighs bare.

She walked quickly across the room stopping by the bed to gaze down at Tare. Tare stared blankly up at her, then turned on her side, her hand supporting her head on the pillow.

 “You’re crying again,” said Tejiri. She sat down on the bed. “You’ll fall ill if you continue this way.”

 Tare remained silent, staring blankly at the floor. Tejiri could not fathom what she was thinking as her eyes were shielded by the long, false eyelashes she had fixed for the wedding, part of the elaborate make up done by a popular professional make-up artist, remnants of which remained on her face.

 Tejiri was still speaking.

“Your Mum just called. I told her you were asleep. She said she’ll send the driver to pick you up tomorrow or anytime you’re ready to go home.” She paused. “Gloria and the other girls are hungry so I’ve ordered room service. Shall I bring some for you?”

 There was no answer so she repeated the question.

“I’m not hungry,” Tare said quietly.

“But you’ve hardly taken anything all day. You need food to gain some strength.”

 Tare sat up abruptly, stating in a peevish tone. “I said I’m not hungry! How can I eat in my situation?” She stopped, then in a piteous voice full of the anguish she was feeling , said:

 “I feel my life has ended! I just want to die! Let me die and leave this cruel world!”

“God forbid! You’ll live and not die! You’re still young, you can start afresh!” said Tejiri, hugging her friend close to her.

 Tare tried to wriggle out of her grasp, crying over and over: “Let me go! Let me leave this world! Let me die!”

 The others in the living room of the suite, hearing the cry of distress, came into the bedroom. The first to enter was Gloria, Tare’s cousin and one of her bridesmaids, then there were Mina and Doris, both of whom were also on the bridal train.

 They sat on the bed, consoling their friend, who just some hours before had looked so happy, radiant and beautiful as she had stood at the altar beside her groom, exchanging their vows.

The gloomy atmosphere in the room, akin to that of a funeral was in sharp contrast to the joyous mood  at the wedding reception earlier in the day or when the newly-weds first met months before…

 August  2014

 Tare stared at the deflated tyre , her mouth turned down in frustration. She was on her way to the domestic airport to pick her sister Genny who was coming from Port Harcourt.

“God, why now?” she grumbled, checking her wristwatch. She had less than an hour to get to the airport and was running late. She did not know how to change a tyre and was considering taking a cab ( her mechanic could fix and pick up the car later), when a cream Toyota Camry parked in front of her car.

 “Is there a problem with the car?” asked the young man who came down from the car.

 “It’s the tyre,” said Tare, looking up at his face, wondering if she had met him before…  

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