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Wednesday, November 16, 2016

After The Wedding (3)

She told him about the wedding invitation.
He did not seem too enthusiastic saying: "I'm not normally into weddings but for you..."

"Thanks, Eddy. See you then!" 
After ending the call, she smiled happily to herself and immediately began planning her outfit for the day so she would look stunning...

 Six weeks later

Tare picked up her mobile phone and handbag, said 'Goodnight' to her colleague who was working late and stepped out of the office.

 It was Friday evening and she was meeting Eddy at a funspot at Ikeja.

 In the past,  she spent most of her weekend s, when there was no work with her girlfriends. But with Eddy's arrival on the scene, she saw less of them.

And they were not amused.

" What's so special about this Eddy guy that you've abandoned us for him?" whined Mina.

"I thought you said he had a fiancé. Are you planning to be a second wife?" Toyin chipped in.

"Poor Tare! The guy has used 'love charm' on her!" Doris,  who seemed to find fun in most situations, laughed derisively. 

 Tare ignored her friends and continued to see Eddy. What they did not realise was that he was the first guy she had felt drawn to since her last relationship ended nearly ten months before.

 She felt happy in his presence and always looked forwards to being with him.

She knew she was falling in love with him but she could not help herself. 

Even knowing he belonged to someone else, his girlfriend,  Ini  did not stop her from dreaming. 

 Of having him to herself. Making him her man.

The following weekend,  he would travel with her and the rest of her family to her hometown, Kombia in Rivers State for the coronation ceremony of her uncle. 

The late king had died without a male heir and a successor had been selected from among his brothers. 

 Prince Dumo, her father's older brother had been the chosen one.

 Eddy had been impressed when she told him about the forthcoming ceremony.

 " You didn't tell me you were from a royal family.  So, should I start calling you Princess Tare?" he had said teasingly. 

"No way! Who wants to bear such fancy titles in this 21st century! " she had rejoined,  laughing. 

He had agreed to make the journey to her hometown with her for the coronation. 

"I've never watched a coronation ceremony before. Sounds interesting."

 "Hope you're not scared of water. Kombia's an Island. It can only be reached by boat or ferry."

She looked forward to the trip. And was hopeful that being together for a whole weekend,  far away from Lagos, anything could happen...

 Kombia Island

The coronation ceremony went on throughout the day, watched by a large number of the townsfolk as well as visitors to the Island.

 Towards evening, Tare, feeling tired from the events of the long day, decided to take a break before the parties and other activities that would take place that night. She took Eddy's hand and they walked away from the palace, the sounds of the ceremony- the drumbeats, singing and general revelry - following them as they left the town centre.

 They walked down a winding, narrow path and soon emerged on a beach. Birds flitted among the tall coconut and pam trees that bordered the beach, their birdsong in tune with the roar of the ocean waves as they flowed onshore.

Tare bent down to remove her high heeled shoes, sighing as her tired feet sank into the soft sand. Eddy did likewise and they walked barefoot on the white sand.

 "This is the ocean side of the Island?" he asked, gazing over the vast expanse of water into the horizon.

 "Yeah." She pointed to their right. "You see that tall structure over there? That was the lighthouse used by ships from Europe and other parts of the world to the Island centuries ago. There's even an old trading post about a mile down the beach where my ancestors traded with the 'oyibos'* those days."

"Interesting. There's a whole lot of history here," said Eddy. "I like this beach. It reminds me of Lekki beach in Lagos without the crowds on public holidays."

 They were silent for a moment then turning to him, she said:

 "My mother likes you."

 He turned to gaze at her.

"She has been asking all kinds of questions about you- 'Where is he from? Who are his parents? What does he do? Is he the one you want to marry? - until I'm sick of the grilling! She only does that when she likes a guy."

"And what did you tell her?"

 "What else?" she said, shrugging. "That we are just friends."

 He turned to face her and holding her by the shoulder, his thick eyebrows raised, said: "Is that all there is between us? Just Friendship?"

"Is there anything else? she said, her heart suddenly beating fast at his closeness.

He drew even closer.

 " Yes. This," he said softly as his lips closed on hers...  

 To be continued

Note: 'Oylbo' is a local term for a white person

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