“To love and to hold.” The priest said.
“To love and to hold.” The bride repeated, smiling at her groom as if he was an angel sent from heaven and she had just seen him for the first time. The groom kept smiling back at her and they kept exchanging smiles as though they will never have the chance to do it again.
“For as long as we both shall leave.”
The priest said.
“For as long as we both shall live.”
The bride said after him, still smiling.
Kendra watched the new couple exchange vows and recalled how she had stood at this same altar and exchanged the same vows with her husband.
For as long as we both shall live… Those words were lovely but tricky. When you spend you married life with the person you said those words with and then realise afterwards that if you had seen it coming you wouldn’t have said those words.
Kendra felt like standing up from her seat, walking up to the bride who was her best friend and tell her to snap out of it! She had once been the kind if girl who
dreamed of a happily ever after kind of marriage with kids running around you and your husband telling you that you are the best thing that has ever happened to him, and when she met her husband three years ago at the age of eighteen, he was the most handsome man she had ever seen and he reeked of wealth. She had met Connor at a wedding like this and she had been the VIP guest. He had approach her to ask if the seat beside her was empty and she had said no. Kendra could still replay the whole scene in her head even in her grave. They had started talking from there and exchanged numbers. That was how she found out that he was the owner of a big pharmaceutical company in the city and he was still very young!
He got her heart immediately. And they got married in three months. She fell head over heels in love.
Till death do us part…She still thought of that world now and wished death would really take her away from the man she married. The beast she lived with. Her marriage was the kind every woman dreamed of. She had every thing at her beckon call…except one thing…Happiness.
Kendra smiled now and clapped along with the others as the groom moved to kiss the bride….Aliyah…her best friend who, unlike her had played cool until she had found the love of her life.
Kendra was still yet to find her life much less to find love because right now her life was in shambles. She turned to her husband, Connor. He looked like the most gentle man any woman can wish for as he clapped his hands and cheered the couple like he were a saint. Her smile seem like it had been painted…like a fake one.
They had all driven off to the reception and were entertaining themselves when someone came to her and asked if the seat beside her was empty. She looked at the one at her right, hoping that her husband had seen what just happened. But he was not there with her. He had probably gone to the toilet to ease himself or stepped out to answer a call or something. Then she turned to look up at the person who spoke. It wasn’t until then, she saw that it was a man. A really handsome man. Kendra frowned. What was the problem with big men and empty seats, she thought.
“No. its empty.”
She said to him and he said his thanks and sat beside her. His Cologne passed through her nose like a flowery scent and she sniffed. She had a large description of him immediately. He was so light in complexion and didn’t look more than twenty eight or thirty. She saw that from his well tailored suit,he was a master of money him self. And she looked down at the two big phones he carried as he was seriously busy with one, they were classy and the young man had swags. But she
wasn’t interested in handsome men anymore. The one who married her and treated her like trash was enough for her to hate men. She turned to her drink and sipped absent mindedly. Then he looked up at her and smiled.
He said. She looked at him and nodded without smiling, hoping to give him the wrong vibes but its either he didn’t see it or he doesn’t understand.
“Are you a friend to the bride or the groom?” “Are you the receptionist?”
She asked coldly. This man should not come and put me in trouble o, she thought.
Her husband was a gorilla himself. The young man laughed.
She hadn’t intended for it to be funny so she frowned.
“I’m Alexander Macaulay. Or Alex, whichever suits you best.” Her head snapped in different electric sparks and she faced him. “What do you want?”
He raised his eyebrows. “Hey, relax. I’m just trying to make a conversation. I’m a friend to the groom.”
“I’m a friend to the bride. She’s my best friend from the university.” “Oh really? Are you still a student?” “No.”
She said and turned to her drink immediately. He looked at her for a while then he turned to his phone. She kept sipping her drink as if it was what she came here for. She had been rude but she couldn’t help it. If he thinks he can talk his handsome fave into my brains,she thought. Her husband came up and sat beside her. She smiled at him but he didn’t smile back. Trouble. She wondered what had happened now for him to change so soon like this. Her heart started beating fast. Then the time came for the bride and the groom to dance. Alex turned to her again.
“So, if you’re a friend to the bride why didn’t I see you at the engagement party last week?” He said and smirked. Oh Lawd Have Mercy! She turned to her husband and he was smoking fire. She turned to Alex and forced a chuckle. “I didn’t attend. I wasn’t able to.”
Last week she had been in the hospital because her husband had beaten her to a pulp. So she couldn’t go to her friend’s party looking like an over ripe tomato. Her husband stood up and said it was time to leave, she stood up and walked with him without a side glance at the guy beside her who looked at her confused, or a goodbye to her friend who had expected her to stay till the end of the wedding. She got into her husband’s car and he drove home like a mad man and in silence. She
knew better than to utter a word. When he got home and they’d stepped in, the whole house was quiet and they maids had all gone to bed. He walked in to the middle of the room and turned to her. She looked startled at him. His face was hard and ugly. The handsome man was gone. The devil had surfaced.
Her words were sent back into her mouth with the back of his hand and the force of his back handed slap hit her down to the floor and she hit her cheek on the hard cushion of the chair on her way down….
Kendra stared shocked at the man who had just come out of the car. Was the beating she received from her husband still having effect on her or did she just hit the car of the same guy from the wedding. She couldn’t even remember his name but as if yesterday, before Connor slapped his name off her memory, she could still recall his name and last name.She looked around her for any sign of her husband or a car waiting somewhere with him inside, watching. When there was none, she looked from the broken headlight to the guy who stood before her. When your mother tells you to be nice to everyone, this is the reason why,she thought. She always avoided these kinds of problems with people but his she became this careless, she was still at a loss. She tried to find the right words to say to him and he was just staring at her, probably waiting for her to say something first and she knew that as the culprit you are meant to explain yourself.
“Oh my God.”
She started, hoping that was a good start, considering the fact that they didn’t meet on a very good note and she was the one who caused it.
“I’m really sorry. I didn’t know how I totally forgot to look behind me first. I was on call…I’m really sorry.”
She was still asking herself what kind of a lame excuse is that, when he looked up. He had been staring at his broken lights since she was blabbing all that rubbish even she knew it made no sense at all….
Alex looked up. What kind of a lame excuse is that?
He asked himself. When she had stepped out of that car, he had looked shocked at her as if he didn’t expect to see her. And he had braced himself for any more harsh words because he knew it was her fault. But the lady that had given him a time bomb yesterday was the same one putting on a puppy face and apologizing to him with excuses of picking call He laughed within him and turned his face down to
pretend as if he was studying the broken break light but he was actually laughing. This God is wonderful, he thought. Who would have thought that rude lady here could apologize. He was also answering a call in his car but he didn’t hit hers! He looked up at her. Those eyes were shielded with dark sunglasses. But he could still see her beauty.
He said. “I didn’t know you had it in you.” He said and she paused and looked at him. “Excuse me?”
“I mean the apology. I didn’t know you had it in you. You know I was also answering a call when you hit me.”
“I just said I’m sorry. What do you want me to do to make it up to you? I can pay for the damages.”
Very good, he thought. He knew she would say that as a lady who had it all. Rude. He said to himself. He stepped closer to her, he wanted to know if she’s married. “Why? From your husband’s money?”
He said to her. Pay back time. He saw her inhale in anger as if to digest the weight of his insult.
“I beg your pardon, mister.” Who the hell does this lady think she is?! He thought. “Alex.”
He corrected. She nodded.
“I don’t know why you have to be rude,Alex. I just apologized. I can take care of the damages.”
No he won’t let this one slide like this. He needed her name and number regardless if the fact that she was married.
She didn’t look married. She looked like a single lady of maybe twenty one if he was right.
“Why dont you drop your number and I’ll call you and tell you how much its worth after I must have thought about it.”
At first she stared at him. Then she laughed.
“Oh, please Alex. I know that trick and its not working.”
Another blow. But he smiled. “Okay, then. Well, you can put in a million into my acct and we are settled.”
“One million? For ordinary headlight?”
“Ordinary? If it were ordinary I won’t be standing here with you. I’ll just brush off the issue and ride on. I have an appointment so be quick about it. You seem like the kind of lady who can afford more.”
He said looking at her up and down. she inhaled and exhaled. He stepped in front of her almost at kissing level and stared her deep in the eyes. Her perfume was lovely and the smell on her hair too.
He saw her swallow hard. He didn’t even know why he was still trying to get this lady’s attention when he knew that she was married. He saw the difficult she had in making a move so he shrugged. He knew this was a childish play but somehow he enjoyed getting her angry if that was the only way he could get her attention. She didn’t strike him as the kind of lady who would have too many friends.
“Or better still give me your number.”
Kendra couldn’t believe the effect this guy had on her. When he stepped closer, she inhaled deeply as if she was trying to memorize the smell of his cologne. And he looked down at her lips, she looked down at his. When he asked of her number, she could believe him.
A million naira or her number. If she transfered that kind of amount to him, her husband might find out. And something in her….the devil’s voice said give him
the number. And she requested for his phone which he gave to her, and she typed her number and returned it to him. She didn’t even wait for his reply and she walked back to her car and with a backward glance she for in and drove off…