My phone ringing woke me up in the morning of the wedding. I picked it up and saw it was Dubie. I answered the call.
“You had so much fun yesterday that I wasn’t important anymore”
“This is so unlike you Dubie. You are a very understanding person”
“Not when your ex is in the same building with you. My Yoruba friends used to say, once debe always debe”
I laughed and asked, “what does that mean?”
“Once he has gotten there, he can get there again”
“You have nothing to worry about. Nobody is debeing anywhere”
“How was your night? Were you comfortable? Did you sleep well?”
“That’s the Dubie I know. Yeah, I slept well. What about you?”
“No, I was worried you were paying me back for the ladies. I promise, you since the time we spoke about it, I haven’t been with anyone. Maybe that’s why I am cranky, seeing and imagining things I shouldn’t. You coming around all s£xy and all worsened it. Don’t blame me for feeling like this”
“You don’t know me that’s why you would imagine that. I haven’t had s£x in over a year but I can live without it. I stayed without s£x for three years when Emeka was in the Middle East and couldn’t come back”
“Is it that you don’t enjoy it?”
“No, it is that I remain faithful to the one I give my heart to”
“You do? You won’t be with another person once you are with the one? You won’t stray. You won’t be tempted? Not even a billionaire can steal you?”
“You are funny. Like I said, you don’t know me. I am not interested in material wealth. I just want to be happy. My parents didn’t have much but you see, they are happy and content. That’s what I desire, to be happy and content with the one. Unfortunate, it will be difficult to get a man like my father”
“He was my mother’s first and she was his too”
“Your mother has only ‘tasted’ your father who had no experience? Are you serious?”
“Yes, I am. They have been faithful to each other ever since”
“That’s mad. Unfortunately, both of us have tasted outside. Even if you get a virgin, you are not one anymore”
“There is a bond from being the first for each other. My eldest brother has that bond with his girlfriend. They are both virgins. Ikenna too I suspect he is. I’m the only one not a virgin”
“Times have changed. Virginity means nothing to most guys now. We even prefer if you have some experience without being promiscuous. It is not nice if all your guys have done your woman if you know what I mean. You have only had one man which says you are still within the virgin range”
“Dubie! This is an interesting conversation but I have to run now. Have you booked the hotel I will stay in when I leave here? I will leave my luggage at the reception of the hotel”
“Everything has been sorted out. I will pick up your luggage before coming to the wedding”
I took my bath in preparation for the wedding. Uju had been awake. She was having her makeup and hair done. Some of the other girls were being made up. Uju asked me to make myself up with her supervision. We were all stunned. I started just as she taught me. She chose the items I would use. She asked them to draw a different brow for me and asked me to watch how it is done. I made myself up so beautifully. She said, “for you less is more. You look more beautiful with less makeup. Apply glitters and that’s it”
When I looked at myself in the mirror, I was blown away. I looked very beautiful. My eyeshadow was mild. My lip wasn’t too loud. My face was naturally smooth so didn’t need too much foundation to cover imperfections. I felt good. The hair stylist was to attend to me after Uju. The suite bell rang and I was the only one free to get it. I went to get. I put on my house coat. They brought the flowers and the veil. I wondered why the veil was so long. It was beautiful though.
I set Uju’s accessories on the bed. She had breakfast, drinking her smoothie through a straw. She said she had to lose 15kg to fit into her dream dress. I was shocked. She didn’t look bad before. To be honest, I preferred her chubby look to this almost skeletal look I was seeing this morning. She stood to wear her wedding gown. It was an off the shoulder sweetheart necked white mermaid gown. It clung so tightly to her body and all her hard work showed. The exception was that she wore a body shaper too. I helped her wear her shoes and get ready for her day. I got dressed. It was also an off the shoulder cream coloured designed satin mermaid dress. I brought out the three pairs of shoes and asked which I should wear.
“Why do you have three pairs?” Uju asked and I explained to her.
I didn’t say which was from whom but the general consensus was Dubie’s pair. It was quite dramatic. I didn’t need to explain to Emeka my choice and he didn’t
know who bought it for me. I wore my jewellery and my hair piece was placed on my hair. Uju’s personal assistant had been attending to her calls and other personal issues. We were ready.
Uju had to do her photo shoot. She came down the stairs and the photographer went to work. Her family members were waiting for her downstairs at the lobby. The photographer and his crew took beautiful pictures and I was a part of it. Her family members didn’t know who was with her. No one recognized me for now. It was when we were ready to leave Emeka came to meet me. He had been busy all morning making sure everything was going well. He stood by me and placed his hand on my waist. I turned immediately and told him to stop it.
“You look so beautiful. Who won’t be tempted?”
“Stop! Your family is here and you are embarrassing me. Don’t give a wrong impression”
Uju added quickly, “You want Jacinta and Ugonna to finish her finally? Please, do this in private. Let’s go”
The church service was cool. Uju married a man who adored her. The way he beamed when she walked down the aisle was so infectious that everyone smiled. He told her how beautiful she looked at every opportunity he could. I watched then be so loving together and I remembered Emeka and I; we were the envy of his cousins. I didn’t have a white wedding and it hurt me. I loved the feeling. Uju’s father shed a tear after she was given away. I imagined my father doing same.
We took pictures at the church then we left for the reception at a luxury tent. I helped Uju remove the tail that was attached to her dress. The hair stylist removed the veil and attached a hair piece to her hair. I asked her if she was hungry and she told me she wasn’t having anything until after the reception. I hadn’t eaten all day, I was used to it.
When she was called in, I went with her. We danced in with some people I didn’t see at the church. They all were in purple and gold. Their dresses stung my eyes. Breasts and asses were on display. They were beautiful girls but their dressing was too wild for a village girl like me. They ushered the latest couple in. There were
guys too dressed in the same attire but different styles. Both s£xes danced around the couple which raised a loud ovation and cheer from the crowd. The wedding reception decoration was exquisite. The cake was four gigantic layers. I stood aside and admired the setting before me.
That was when I saw Dubie. He stood tall in his immaculate white with tiny black stripes senator attire. He looked distinguished. He gave me that disarming smile and I melted. I knew I had to go see him but I also had a duty. As they were still dancing, I left to meet him.
“You look like the bride” he said to me and I smiled sheepishly.
“I reserved a seat for you in front so I will be sure you are attended to ” Uju had added his name to her VIP list and boy did he look the part.
He sat where I had reserved for him and focused on the reception while I went back to my duties. I watched how the ladies in purple and gold whose table was just beside his were displaying their assets for him to see. The other guys on the table were fashionably late and so the girls had more audience. I waited for Dubie to either make a pass or even talk to any of them, he did not. We kept eye contact throughout the event. He was dashing. He ate with finesse. He exhibited class I had never seen before. I was drawn.
Immediately after the reception, Emeka cornered me. I didn’t realise I had caused a stir amongst his people. I saw his parents and greeted them. They were impressed and were genuinely happy to see me. I was also happy to see them. Adanne, Jacinta and Ugonna gave me attitude when I greeted them and the gentleman with them. Chibuike and his wife couldn’t hide their excitement. Every other family member called me their wife and I just smiled.
“Which wife? You are deceiving yourself”
“Baby, why are you doing this? I’ve missed you. Ok, I promise not to do anything funny but let me take you out”
“I came for this wedding with a date. I have someone now Emeka”
“Who is that?”
I heard someone clear his throat behind me. I guessed it was Dubie. I turned around and there he was, I can still picture the look of confusion on Emeka’s face. I smiled at Dubie and he returned the smile. I introduced them.
“Emeka meet my friend Dubie, Dubie meet my ex-husband, Emeka”
Dubie stretched out his hand to Emeka but Emeka didn’t take it immediately. It was when Dubie wanted to withdraw it he took.
“Shall we go?” Dubie asked me.
“Yes, let me inform Uju and officially introduce you to her. Emeka, we will see later”
I introduced Dubie to Uju and her husband. She was also won over by his smile. She said she noticed him immediately he entered the venue. I left them alone to say goodbye to Emeka’s parents. By the time I came back, Dubie was surrounded by the girls in purple and gold. One of them was offering to drop her number and Dubie told her, “I am here with my woman. I can’t disrespect like this”. As they saw me, they began to leave while Uju and her husband laughed.
“Girls are desperate these days” Uju said.
“More like daring” her husband added.
I said my goodbyes. I handed over duty to her personal assistant while I left with Dubie.