“I’m sorry man, that’s what I was told to tell you.”
I looked at Mayowa and it took all the strength I had not to punch him. First, he loses the rings, now he tells me Sharon called off the wedding?
“Did she say why?” I asked, then added before he could answer. “Never mind, just get out of the car.”
“What? I’m the one driving.” Mayowa said.
“Park and get out.”
“Dude, I will punch you.”
He pulled over to the side of the road and got out of the driver’s seat. I climbed from the back into the driver’s seat and drove off. I looked at Mayowa in the mirror, he wasn’t my business, he would sort himself.
What on earth was Sharon thinking? Did it have something to do with why she called severally? Felix was hiding something, maybe it had something to do with that.
I got to a roundabout, turned so sharply the car skidded. Calm down, there can’t be a wedding if you’re dead. I negotiated the next turn with a little more sense and sped for her hotel. I arrived in two minutes and pressed the horn continuously until an annoyed gateman opened it for me.
I parked the car and jumped out. I saw Felix’s car parked in the compound, what was he doing here? I entered the hotel reception and saw him, sitting with Kike. They stood as I entered.
“What’s going on Kike?” I asked. “Why are you not with her?”
“She sent everybody out of the room, she wanted to be alone.” She said.
“Why? Why did she cancel the wedding?” My face was drawn so tight, it was starting to ache.
“I think you need to talk to her man.” Felix said.
I turned to him. “What are you doing here? If you had something to do with this…”
“He had nothing to do with it.” Kike said. “Just go and talk to her, okay?”
I nodded and headed for the elevator. I took a look at them, Felix was just meeting Kike, wasn’t he? The guy would never change.
I entered the elevator and counted every second till it stopped on her floor. I ran up to her door, put my hand up to knock but stopped; she was crying. It broke my heart. What on earth happened to her?
“Sharon dear, it’s Ben, please open the door.”
The crying stopped but there was no movement.
“Sharon?” I called. “Open the door, we need to talk.”
I heard a shuffling.
“I’m sorry Ben, just go away.”
“No way, you and I are supposed to get married today and we will. Just open the door, let’s talk about whatever is bothering you.”
“Talking will not solve any problem, what is done is done.” She said.
What’s done is done? What was she talking about?
“Sharon, I have no idea what you are talking about but can you at least open the door? Please, I just want to see that you’re okay.”
I sighed. I’d heard about people getting cold feet before their wedding but this wasn’t just cold feet, there was something seriously wrong. Was she pregnant for another person? Oh my God, was it Felix? But Felix had not been in town in a while. She went to Lagos though, she stayed for a few weeks. She was the one who told me Felix was not coming for the wedding but then Felix showed up, all cocky because he knew what he had done.
I shook my head, was I crazy? Sharon wouldn’t do that to me.
“Sharon, I really need to come inside. My mind is going haywire here.”
“Does this have anything to do with Felix?” I asked before I could stop myself. What on earth was wrong with me? “You don’t have to answer that. I’m sorry.”
She did not say anything. But she had begun to cry again. She was saying something but I couldn’t make out the words. It sounded like ‘I’m sorry’.
I slammed my fist against the door.
“Sharon, stop this nonsense.” I shouted and she stopped crying. “If you don’t want to get married, fine. If you want to end things with me, fine.”
“What?” She whispered.
I went on. “But you have to give me a reason. I need something to tell myself on nights when I can’t sleep or days when I feel like killing myself. There has to be something.”
“I can’t tell you.”
I let out a chuckle, not a happy one, a very angry one.
“You can’t tell me?”
I paced in front of the door for about a minute without saying a word. She can’t tell me?
“Ben?” I heard her call.
“You cancel our wedding, ruin the best day of my life and you can’t tell me why?” I was screaming, my face was hot, I could not believe I was actually this angry.
I grabbed the door handle. “If you say I’m sorry one more time…”
I pushed the handle and the door opened. What? The door was open all along?
I entered the room and saw her crumpled on the floor, her wedding gown a mess already. All my anger dissolved. I crouched in front of her and touched her face; it was a mess of tears and makeup. I pulled her up and she crashed into my shoulder. As her face touched me, I knew my suit was ruined too. Whatever happened today, we were not going to have a normal wedding.
I led her to the bed and sat her down. She wouldn’t look up at me, she kept her eyes glued to her trembling fingers.
“Sharon, talk to me. Why are we not getting married today?”
She started to sob but controlled herself and stopped. “I did something wrong, I lied to you.”
She lied to me? “About what Sharon?”
She looked up at me, and I got scared of what the answer to my question might be.
“Ben,” She said and I froze in anticipation. “I am not a virgin.”
Sharon ‘maybe never’ Dara
As soon as the words came out of my mouth, I knew I would regret this for the rest of my life. I should have thought about that before I spread my legs for a man who wasn’t my husband.
I looked at his face, for a few seconds, I saw confusion then it switched to nothing and it scared me. I wanted him to be disappointed, angry maybe even disgusted but now, I didn’t even know what he was thinking. I watched him for a few more seconds while he just stared at me.
I stood, I couldn’t take it anymore. What was he thinking about for so long? This thing was pretty simple.
“Ben?” I said.
He did not respond.
“What are you thinking?” I asked.
Still no response.
This was not fair to me. I had already canceled the wedding, he could ride off into the sunset with another woman, a perfect one. But he was not going to kill me with guilt with his stupid silence.
“Ben, please leave my room.”
He looked up at me. “What?”
My eyes teared up and I clenched my teeth. “Get out of my room.”
“I said, get out of my room.” I screamed.
He stood and walked towards the door. He stopped at the door and looked back at me and walked out. I ran to the door, slammed it behind him and crumbled to the ground against the door. Tears ran down my face in torrents. I’d just lost the love of my life, forever. There was no way he was coming back now, not with the huge disappointment I saw on his face when he left the room.
I needed someone to talk to, I was at my wit’s end. God please, send me someone to talk to.
A knock sounded on my door and I jumped. Was Ben back?
I opened the door; my Father stood in front of me.
“Hi sweetie.” He said.
I rushed towards him to hug him but he held me away.
“Don’t stain my white agbada with your painted face, I’m wearing that to my daughter’s wedding.” He said.
I turned around and walked back into the room.
“The wedding is not happening Daddy.” I said.
He laughed. “Why? Because you are not a virgin?”
I turned around. “What?”
“Yeah, I met Ben on my way up.”
Oh no, now my Dad knew how terrible I was too? Could this day get any worse?
“Sit down dear, I want to tell you something.” He said.
I sat on the bed and he sat beside me.
“What I’m about to tell you will make you feel better in the end, remember that.”
Now, he had my full attention. “What’s going on Dad?”
“Your mom was not a virgin when I married her.” He said.
I scoffed. “I know you weren’t too. You guys were not Christians, it’s different for Ben and me.”
“Just listen and let me finish.” He said. “You are right though, I wasn’t too. But that was not all, she had had several abortions before she met me.”
“Nobody was born a saint Sharon. She may be a model Christian now but she has a past.”
I could not believe it.
“She didn’t tell me though. Not before the wedding, not after.”
“Oh my, how did you find out?”
“Well, we were married and three years later, we didn’t have any children. So, naturally we went to the hospital for checks and…”
“…the doctor told you she couldn’t have children.”
“Yes dear. I was devastated, I was angry. She was lucky we had become Christians at that point but that didn’t mean I didn’t want to hurt her for hiding something like that.”
He smiled. “I left the house for about a week. For the first couple of days I was so sure I was going to get a divorce. I didn’t pray, I didn’t read the bible, I didn’t want God changing my mind. But by the fourth day, I started to miss her. By the sixth day I had convinced myself I could live with not having children, it was no big deal. The only thing I could not live without was Folake. Your mom was the world to me.”
I hugged him, buried my face in his neck and cried. He held me for a couple of minutes while I bawled like a baby.
“Okay, that’s enough.” He said and pulled me away from him. “You have ruined my agbada, thank you very much.”
“I love you Dad.” I said.
“I love you too dear but you know someone who love you more?”
He laughed. “Yeah, he loves you more alright but there’s someone else.”
“Mom?” I said, with a smile.
“No, your mom doesn’t love you more than I do.”
“Can you say that in front of her?”
He frowned. “Are you threatening your father?” We both laughed. “I’m talking about Ben.”
“Dad, that ship has sailed. I’m happy you forgave Mom, but not everyone is awesome like you.”
“Are you sure about that?”
He stood and headed for the door.
“Dad, don’t leave.” I called after him.
“I have to, I have wedding guests waiting for me.”
He got to the door, looked back and winked at me then walked away.
I turned back and looked around the room, everything was a mess.
I sighed. “Sharon, you’re such a mess.”
“Yes, you are.”
I spun around and Ben stood in front of the door.
“You are a mess but I love you all the same.”
I shook my head. “Ben, please just go.”
He closed the gap between the door and me.
“Look dear, was I disappointed you weren’t a virgin? Maybe. Was I disappointed you didn’t tell me about it? Of course but that doesn’t change anything.”
I looked up at him, he was smiling. Was he being real?
“What was that thing they kept hammering at us in pre-wedding counseling? I’m supposed to love you like Jesus loves me, right? Wasn’t I a sinner when he died for me? We were all bad but he did it anyway, that’s the kind of love I have for you dear.”
I drew me closer to him and I smiled. My eyes got watery again but this time, I didn’t mind.
“You’re the best man in the whole wide world.” I said.
“Hey, don’t let your dad hear that. The man barely likes me.”
“My dad loves you, you have no idea how much.”
“I know, he told me when I told him I was going to marry you whether you like it or not.”
I punched him in the chest. “Well, I like it.”
He leaned close to me, his mouth approaching mine. I placed a hand on his chest and pushed him back.
“Wait, didn’t you say you wanted the first kiss to be at the altar?”
“Well, let’s go get it done then. I can’t wait for that kiss.”
“So, we are getting married because of a kiss?”
“Yes my dear, isn’t that enough reason to?”
LordJosh’s Note: It is not over until the ‘I do’s. Next episode drops next week Monday. Thanks for reading and please share.