You are making a huge mistake.
I try to shake off the voice for the thousandth time today and just like before, it isn’t exactly working.
Maybe because a part of me agreed with the voice? Maybe because I just might be making a mistake I wouldn’t be able to go back from? Maybe because I’m very nervous at the moment?
Dolapo, you will be more hurt than you were when he left! Why do you want to do that to yourself?
And again, I try to silence the voice by refusing to listen. They were the words my best friend Dammy said to me on the phone last night about the trip I’m taking and just as I didn’t listen yester-night, I’m not listening now.
I drag my attention back to the busy road, I’m in Abeokuta for a wedding…my ex’s wedding. My ex that I was engaged to for a few months and my ex who is about to marry someone else.
And no, I am not insane. I am only acting like a good Christian.
I smile as I run into her outstretched arms; she holds me in a warm embrace and kisses my forehead so many times I begin to giggle.
“I’m so glad you came,” she says to me when we disengage from the embrace and I know that she means it. Not just because she says it with so much sincerity but because her eyes actually echo her words.
“It is the right thing to do ma” I respond and the voice in my head scoffs. Right thing to do? It asks and like I have made up my mind to do, I ignore it.
She nods in response to my answer and then squeezes my hands “are you sure you are okay with…”
“Ahn ahn come on mummy. I’m fine I promise” I answer, reassuring her and more importantly, reassuring myself. I can cope, I hope.
I travelled down from Lagos for this, I can cope, I really can. I decide that my new mantra to chant for the next three days will be “I can cope”…or maybe “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me?”
My ex’s mother nods again and gives her heart-warming smile. “Oya come inside, let’s go and deal with this wahala together.” She says to me and I follow her with my small travelling bag.
As I enter the house, memories come rushing back and most of them are unwelcome. I don’t want to remember the times I spent with him in this house and our good times together. No. It is not healthy; it isn’t right, it isn’t…
“Dolapo this is Angie, the bride to be…” My ex’s mother gauges my reaction as she says the words. Bless this woman’s soul, she just doesn’t want me to get hurt. But she needs to know I can’t. I’m happy for her son and that is all that matters at the moment.
To make her understand that, I drag Angie into a warm embrace and as aware as I am of her surprise, I don’t act it.
“Congrats Angie” I say and she manages a smile. She is still shocked at how nice I seem and I’m not sure if she knows I’m her groom’s ex but she can’t seem to understand the whole nice attitude.
“Thanks” she says and then adds “thanks”. There is an awkward moment of silence after which she faces her would be mother in law.
“They say my maid of honour is still sick. I’m really worried, its my big day in two days and I don’t know if she’d be able to make it” Angie says.
“Don’t fret Angela. Everything would be fine” my ex’s mother tells her and I nod
Then I say without thinking “yes. Just tell me if you need anything, I’d be glad to help”.
Angie and my ex’s mom look at me as if I’ve just being delivered at the doorstep with a bow. I know I’m being silly but I’m nervous! Freaking nervous! I need to get out here.
I smile like an idiot and say to nobody in particular, “I’d be in the guest room” after which I disappear in a flash.
“I told you it was a stupid idea. Now you are being silly simply because you are nervous and you won’t shut up! Dolapo take the next cab and get out of that town” Dammy yells from the other end of the line. I called him immediately I entered the guest room and told him what I just did.
“Come on Dammy, I’m already here. I can’t leave” I reply. Or can I?
“Sure you can. You can get a freaking cab and leave. Why are you staying in their house anyway? Whatever happened to a hotel if you have to be there?” He inquires and I can’t help but agree. What am I doing here? Oh I remember why and I tell him again…
“His mum asked for me to stay here and…”
“And you could have said no. Jeez, whatever got into you?”
“I will be fine Dammy. You need to trust me.”
“You better be. And you better not keep me in the dark. I don’t trust you to take care of yourself anymore. I don’t know what you are thinking going to attend the wedding of a man who broke your heart…”
And that stings. He didn’t have to remind me “Dammy… I have forgiven him. You need to know that this is part of what forgiveness does…”
“Go to your ex’s wedding? That’s stupidity. And two days earlier?”
Maybe he is right. Maybe I should pick my bags and leave. I decide to seriously consider that when I hear a knock on the door and my ex’s mother comes in.
“I’m going to run an errand. Do you want to come?” She asks and I nod quickly, glad to be distracted from Dammy and his stinging words.
“Let me get back to you Dammy, I have to attend to something” I say quickly and hang up while I hear him say something like “you are being silly…”
I grin at my ex’s mother. “Let’s go ma”.
The drive had saved me from Dammy’s hurtful words but it had delivered me into the hands of my ex’s mother’s kind words that I could do without.
She keeps telling me about how happy she is that I could get over the hurt and act like a grown up but I honestly would rather everyone stops talking about my arrival.
Maybe I should check into a hotel and stay away from Dammy’s calls and messages?
That is seriously under consideration.
“Have you seen him?”
The “him” in question is my ex and I haven’t seen him. We haven’t spoken in over a week and he doesn’t know I would be here because I didn’t give him an answer when he last pleaded with me to come.
“No..” I answer. I haven’t seen him in over a year as well. Not since he returned to the states.
There’s silence in the car and when her phone suddenly rings, I’m happy I don’t have to endure another awkward silence. How many of those do I need to endure till the weekend is over though? I wonder.
The wedding is on Saturday and its only Wednesday evening.
My heart skips a beat at the mention of his name. That’s him. Am I prepared to meet him? I haven’t thought about that in a long time but now I’m not sure. But then I still have a little time to prepare…
“Okay, Dolapo and I are headed in that direction. We would see you soon.”
What direction? Wait, are we seeing him now? Damn, I am so not ready!
We arrive at where he is and when he gets out of the car he is in, I stare at him like an idiot and even when his mother gets down to go meet him, I keep staring at him.
He in turn moves closer to the car, opens it and drags me out of it. Then without warning, he pulls me close and hugs me tight, very tight, tighter than I expected.
“How are you?” He whispers and I nod, there isn’t much space to speak as he hasn’t released me from the tight hug. “I didn’t know you were coming…” He says after he finally releases me. “We have a lot to catch up on.” He then directs his gaze to his mother “let me drop you off mummy and get the mechanic to come fix this car.”
His mother nods and he then says to me again “I’ve missed you”.
“You look well…scratch that, you look beautiful” he says to me once the three of us head towards where his mom needs to run an errand and I’m speechless. I don’t know what to say.
Stop being an idiot, thank you is a good way to start!
I follow the voice in my head and decide to give an answer but this comes out instead, “I know”
He laughs, heartily. I remember the laughter, it used to be contagious, it still is because I chuckle.
“We really need to catch up on everything…” He says to me and looks in my direction. His hand finds its way to my face and he cups my chin with his finger. My heart begins to race and I wonder if I’m sane when his phone saves me from thinking like a mad woman.
“Angela” he says as he picks it. “What? I’m heading home now”
“They say she’s really ill! Her parents say she can’t make it down here before the wedding on Saturday! What the heck am I to do baby?”
Angie sobs like a little child and I try to look away from the sight of Dipo holding her and calming her down as he whispers sweet words to her.
I should be okay with this, I should expect this. I mean I knew there would be a you-may-kiss-your-bride kiss and every other kiss brides and grooms share. So why am I not comfortable with Dipo holding his bride to be?
“She is a size 6 baby. None of the girls here are that size. Not one single one of the bridesmaids. This is a big deal! How do I work down the aisle without a maid of honour?! That’s like ruining the entire wedding!” She continues to say as she sobs in the hands of my man turned her man.
I honestly can’t stay here anymore. I should have dropped off with Dipo’s mom, instead of returning here with him and watching this episode.
“The wedding is ruined…” Angie continues to say and I’m tempted to shut her up. The wedding can’t be ruined cos there is no maid of honour, all she needs do is find someone else and…
“She can be can she?” I hear her say. And when I turn to look at her, I realise she’s staring at me.
“What?” I ask, wondering what is going on.
“You are a size 6. The dress would fit perfectly. Please be my maid of honour. Let me get the dress.” She says and disappears into the room.
I gape at her as she exits.