The first time I told our story, I took some artistic liberty as I was not expecting to stay writing this long after – I embellished.
The next time I told our story, caught in the web I had spun, I took artistic liberty again – I withheld.
Now I have to tell our story again and the words of Mama comes to mind. “To tell a lie may sometimes seem convenient, but stop to think of the consequences if you ever get caught out.” So now I have decided to come clean and live with the consequences.
So he married her last Saturday, they got married on Saturday the 17th of December 2011, my homeboy and my ex. No, I was not their best man, but I was in attendance; she ensured it by giving me one from the one hundred and twenty invitation cards they printed for this strictly-by-IV event. He even dared address it to Mr and Mrs Franque – knowing there is no missus.
Mentally, I went through all the ladies I could take with me but scratched every name on the list till I came to a particular one. She is a model, so she’s fine as hell, she is my birthday mate and she dated him briefly; she was the one. I asked her and she said yes, deal done.
Saturday morning came and I felt everything begin to go wrong. First, the wedding ceremony was for 08:30 and at 07:30 my brother had not returned home. I called him then travelled to his office to pick up the car. Then I learned I was to pick up my sister from the airport at 14:30 – since I had the car. Choi!
I got home, employed my younger brother to wash the car and go wait for my sister at the airport. He was to buzz me immediately he spotted her. I got dressed then realised I had not heard from my date since the night before. I sent her messages which went unanswered. Hian!
I made it to the reception venue just before noon and who was the first person I saw? Her brother(Bride’s brother). Now, dude and I are cool, but we were cooler before I broke his sister’s heart. He came over to where I was parked and we exchanged pleasantries and some small talk before I excused myself and went into the grounds.
Walking through the doors, I was already dialling a colleague I knew was in attendance when I saw her, and the rest of the crew who got invited, sitting at a table close to the entrance I had just come in through. I joined them and after good natured yabis, we all settled down and waited for the couple to arrive.
In the time before they came in, I surveyed the small and intimately laid out hall, spotting the major players and the onlookers. My eyes rested briefly on the three-tiered cake and a smile stole across my features, it was in her favourite colour – black. Coincidentally, I was dressed in all black: black two-piece suit, black shirt with white details around the button holes, black belt socks and shoes, even my wristwatch was black. The only thing not black in my entire ensemble was the purple silk pocket square I had folded neatly in a Bishop’s mitre and tucked into my suit. I was so dressed not because I thought of this ceremony as a funeral, but because I knew it was a funeral of sorts – the past was to be properly laid to rest.
I walked over to where the parents were sitting and paid my respects to her mother, then his mother before exchanging pleasantries with her brother again. There were no fathers at the table, that was one thing we always teased each other of having in common – no fathers with mine being gone the longest and hers the shortest.
I went over to say hello to her brother’s wife and endured the accusation of abandonment from her, what could I say? Then I went over to his siblings and exchanged greetings too – we were all like family. Then it was time for the couple to come in and I stood in place at my table and watched them dance in.
It brought back memories of days gone past. She danced, he danced funny and everyone cheered and applauded.
Then there were the competitions: ladies were to knot ties and guys to tie the headgear, the gele. My colleague won the tie knotting competition, and when it came to time for the gele, everyone at my table pointed to me – talk about a set up. I tried to get out of it but the MC was having none of that. I was emboldened when nobody else wanted to participate. I hoped I would be declared winner by default, but he had other plans. Eventually I tied the gele, with some guidance from my colleague who had won the tie knotting, and the finished work won 1st prize! I was so chuffed, I could have exploded.
Then came the cake cutting, and like many Masters of Ceremonies looking to earn their pay, Owen Gee decided to make a spectacle of it, and this could have easily become a debacle.
He asked the groom to toast his wife the way he did when they first met, using the lines which had gotten her to say yes in the first place. He actually even mentioned something about telling us how they met and an exchange of knowing looks and half smiles passed round our table, but his plenty talk made him forget that part and we all breathed easy. My friend stuttered and stumbled through this part and next thing we knew, it was dancing time.
After the traditional first dance, friends were invited to join in. I got a chance to dance with the bride, and it was anything but awkward. To be honest, it seemed natural, all of us out there on the dance floor exchanging partners and dancing in circles. It was then that it happened. Behind me was a light-skinned sister and we danced together for a bit. She asked if I worked with the groom. “Yes,” I said.
“I am based in Kano,” she told me.
“Really? Wow! What’s it like?” I asked.
“It’s ok. I work with Kabo Airlines.” She supplied. I nodded my head in acknowledgement, spun round as part of my dance routine and she leaned in and said, “I am her cousin.” This was said with a bob of the head in the bride’s direction. I smiled a wide smile, did a backward shuffle and changed dance partners. Talk about P-setting gone awry. Back at the table, a colleague was hailing me on my catch. I first let him know she was doing the fishing before I told him who she turned out to be. We had a hearty laugh.
Then my phone rang: my sister had landed. I made my apologies, grabbed my prize and raced off to the airport.
This is my version of how things went down last Saturday. This is the truth as I know it, as I remember it. I went ahead to have a fabulous weekend: HP Get It On party, One mic Naija and a dinner event. But these are stories for another day.