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Monday, July 31, 2017

Two Brides And A Ring (4)

A typical traditional marriage ceremony in Nigeria

As the days drew closer for the traditional marriage ceremony,  Comfort, her mother and the entire family became deeply engrossed with the preparations.

As for the happy bride, her main concern was her 'look' for the day. "I want to look so gorgeous, Ebuka will faint when he sees me!" she said, laughing one day. She and her mother were discussing her outfits for the ceremony especially the colours and fabrics.

A neighbour who lived on the same street with the family was a major dealer in fabrics, with a big shop at the Mile 1 market and other outlets in the city.

On Comfort mother's invitation, she arrived the house one morning with numerous bundles of fine lace fabrics and other materials. 

Together with Ama who was around, she inspected the fabrics, noting the textures, designs and colours. She wanted to ensure she made the right choice as it was for herself and her husband - to- be; for according to tradition, they were expected to dress in similar outfits on the big day.

She reached for a blue lace with a floral motif and said:

 "I like this design. The colour too is cool. What do you think, Ama?"

 Her friend looked at the fabric, shook her head and picked up a wine coloured one.

"I prefer this. This matches my skin tone best," Ama said, holding up the material to her arm.

Comfort laughed.

"It looks good on you. But have you forgotten I'm the one going to wear the clothes so it's what suits me that counts?" She turned to the fabric dealer who had brought the bundles of materials to her house for inspection.

"Madam, how much is this blue one?"

 Just then, Ama's phone rang and seeing the caller ID, excused herself and went outside to take the call.

 "Hey baby."

 "Ama, where are you? Been trying to reach you all morning," Ebuka said.

"I'm at Comfort's house."

 "What are you doing? "

 "We're selecting materials for the engagement ceremony."

"Oh," he said. "Can you come over to the hotel?"

"Like now?"

 "Yes. I've missed you."

"But we were together two days ago," she said.

 "That's too long to be apart from you. So, when are you coming?"

Ama told him she would not be able to make it because she was going shopping later that day with Comfort for some items for the ceremony. 

"We can see tomorrow,  I'm free then," she said.

"Can't wait till then. You have to come over now or I'll come get you!"

"What? You can't do that! Comfort's here and..."

"That's the idea! So, if you don't want a scene, start coming over!"

***

He was waiting in his hotel room when she arrived sometime later.

"What took you so long?" he grumbled as soon as she stepped in through the door.

"It was Comfort who caused it. She insisted I helped her pick the materials for the ceremony."

She made to sit on the chair but he grabbed her and held her close, his face buried in her neck.

"I've missed you baby. And I love you,  you know that, don't you?" he said, lifting his head to gaze down at her.

Normally, she was always happy to be with him and spending time with him. But not that day; she felt  moody, depressed. Watching her friend Comfort excitedly choosing fabrics and making elaborate plans for her upcoming nuptials to Ebuka, the man she loved, made her realise she could lose him soon.

"You keep saying that yet you're planning to marry my friend, " she said, her voice tinged with some bitterness. She extricated herself from his embrace and went to sit on the bed.

"Ama, you know that's not really what I want. It's you that's my heart's desire. If I had my way, things will be different." He came to sit by her on the bed and held her by the shoulders.

"You are a man. You should know what you want and go for it," she said petulantly.

"It's you, baby I want. But my Mum would never forgive me if I pulled out of the engagement now."

"So, what happens to me then?" she frowned.

"No matter what happens, we'll always be together. I'll never abandon you. I promise.you. Now smile a little. You know I hate seeing you frown." He pinched her cheek playfully and tickled her.

"Stop it, Ebuka!" she said, laughing.

He laughed as well, then kissed her and drew her fully on the bed...

Happy bride

Everyone in the neighbourhood that Saturday knew that something big was going down at the residence of the Dikes. Sleek cars bearing party guests cruised down the street half of which was closed, with canopies and chairs arranged right on the street.

Sounds from two bands playing at both ends of the large compound reverberated within and outside the compound, mixing with the chatter of the numerous guests that had come for the ceremony.

And when the bride came out of the house dancing and looking lovely in her outfit, and accompanied by her friends, a great cheer went up.

As she sat down in a chair by her groom, her face split into a radiant smile that made her look even more beautiful.

To Comfort, that day was the happiest day of her life. As she looked at her new husband with all the love she felt for him in her eyes, she looked forward to a great future with him, a life together filled with much love and happiness...

 To be contimued




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