The door to the Toyota Rav4 2001 swung open and seated in it was Ijeoma, her make up set in place. Her make-up artist, Ronke had done a perfect job for the supposed perfect day. Unfortunately the pain that was tearing viciously at her her heart was far from making this day a perfect one.
Her sorrow was not because her father was not alive to witness the day his first daughter would walk down the aisle as a beautiful bride but her pain was standing right there on the alter waiting for her.
The entire congregation was waiting, her legs felt like rubber underneath her. Mr Oladunni, whom her aunt had hire to chauffeur her to the church urged her to come down from the car.
She rose her head slowly to meet up with his gaze, in her heart she knew that the man didn’t and could never understand the struggle within her.
He stretched his hand to help her out of the car with smiles and encouraging words on his lips but those words did little to even bring a smile to her lips. She couldnt find strength to place if only a facade to encourage the man for his efforts in trying to cheer her up.
He helped her until she got to the door of the church and being that he hadnt included the role of a father to her as part of his terms of contract, he let her alone. She stood at the church entrance and saw the entire congregation rise to their feet as the pianist played the traditional ‘here comes the bride’. Straight ahead of her stood Kasimobi, looking smart in his black suit, blue shirt and dark grey tie that matched his equally dark grey shoes. The best cover for the most deceptive of men.
Ijeoma asked herself for the umpteenth time if she was doing the right thing. It was a question every lady who genuinely wanted to settle down happily asked herself but this was no routine check question. Only yesterday had she gotten the shock of her life about the man she was about to say ‘i do’ to.
She could see her aunt and mother beckoning on her to come into the church, but their silent yet persistent call was not strong enough to pull her through. A part of her longed to make her mother proud, most of her friends had married off their first daughters or sons in the usual elaborate lagos fashion and her mother made sure her own daughter’s wedding did not fall below expectation. The preparations in the past 4 months had been an excitement for her, as her mother spoilt her. Today, the past 1 year seemed to fly past in her face and she regreted the day she met this man.
In a moment of hesitation she took a step into the church, then as if a force pulled her back the next thing she knew she was running. She turned her back to the church and took to her heels like it had been the devil chasing after her, behind her she could her the voices of people screaming and shoutings but that was not enough to stop her. She dragged her flowing gown up to prevent it from causing her to fall, one heel of her shoe broke yet she kept running.