Category Archives: RSVP

25Sep/16

RSVP Episode Seven

Felix Umoh
We pulled into the hotel parking lot and Ben stepped out immediately.
“Don’t follow me inside.” He said.
I followed him anyway.
“Ben, don’t do this.” I said.
“Exactly, I’m not doing this. Why go into a marriage established on lies?”
“Ben, wait.” And he stopped. “She already called off the wedding once and you talked her into getting married again. This will only look like you set her up for a maximum disgrace. Don’t do this to her and her family.”
He sighed, then shook his head. “I’m sorry Felix, I wish there was another way to do this but there isn’t. I can’t get married to Sharon today. It’s not going to happen.”
I knew I wasn’t the one to blame for the break up but there was no way this story will be told without people raining curses on me. I wish I hadn’t come for the wedding.
Twenty minutes later, I arrived at the church. Several angry ushers rushed towards the car, ready to lambast Ben. I parked the car and stepped out.
The first usher got to me.
“Where is the groom? You are more than thirty minutes late.”
“Excuse me.” I said and stepped away from the shocked man.
I saw Sharon through the window of the car she was in and I pitied her. There was no good way to say this. There was no good time either. There was no good messenger when the message was this bad but I was the worse messenger possible.
As I approached the car, the door opened and Kike ran towards me. And for a few seconds, I forgot about Ben and Sharon. This was the girl for me, I had to let her know before everything went to hell.
“Felix, where is Ben?” She asked.
“I was in love once,” I started. “It was a long time ago and it didn’t end well. You already know with who but I got over her a long time ago. But it came at a cost, women became something to conquer for me.”
“Why are you telling me this Felix? Where is Ben? We are already late for the…”
“Just hear me out, okay?” I said. “I chased women until they fell for me then I let them go. It became easier with time and experience until there was no more fun in the chasing. Then I met you.”
I moved closer to her.
“Immediately I saw you, I knew this was one conquest I would give my life for. I didn’t even know I could still feel anything for a girl, but you woke my heart up again.”
“Felix…”
“Kike, I have little experience with this thing but something’s telling me I might be in love with you.” I said and swallowed. That wasn’t so easy to say.
“Felix, look, today has been intense. With the whole drama with Ben and Sharon, meeting you and everything. I can’t tell you I didn’t consider this but I’m sorry I don’t have the same feelings you do.”
“Oh God.” I mumbled.
“I know what you’re thinking Felix. The one time you put yourself out there you got shut down. I know that hurts but what if I’d felt the same way?”
“You don’t.” I said. “Oh God, I’m such a fool.”
“Look Felix, you can choose to go back to your shallow life of dating several women but that’s not who I see in you. Sure, you might get hurt sometimes but when you meet the right person, you will be so glad you took the risk.”
Maybe she was right, maybe she wasn’t.
“Felix?”
“Yeah, I’m okay. Thanks for the…”
“Where is Ben?”
“Ben is gone.” I said. “The wedding is over.”

Olumide Bello
The wedding would be over, I was so sure. I was driving like a maniac and I couldn’t help it. It was possible the wedding wasn’t over though and I was trying to find out. Why was nobody picking their calls? Maybe they were still in church.
I pushed harder on the accelerator. I couldn’t wait to tell the guys what had happened to me throughout the journey, it was the craziest story ever. They were laughing and enjoying a nice wedding while I went through the valley of the shadow of death.
My phone beeped and I slowed down to take a look at it.
“Meet me at Mardino Hotel. Don’t tell anybody I’m here. – Ben.”
I frowned, why was Ben sending me a message to meet him at a hotel? He wasn’t in church? Was he hiding? If this was Ben getting cold feet, I will kill him myself.
I drove as fast as I could, got some insults and curses from a few drivers but I was at the hotel in fifteen minutes. I called his number but it was switched off. What if this wasn’t Ben and it was a practical joke by somebody. I called the number that he’d used to send the message and it rang.
“Mide, where are you?”
“Ben? What’s going on? I’m downstairs.”
“Come up to Room 42.”
I entered the hotel, nodded at the receptionist and ran up the stairs to Room 42. I knocked and the door opened. I entered the room and looked around. Ben was dressed up except that he was barefooted but he was the only one in the room.
“Is Sharon in the bathroom?”
“She’s at the church.”
“Did they send you home because they decided to do this wedding without the groom?”
“There is no wedding Olumide.”
I chuckled, then laughed. “You are kidding, right?”
“Yeah, I’m kidding.” He said. “I’m in the hotel room because it is halftime, I will go back for the second half as soon as the Pastor blows the whistle.”
Ben sat on the bed and I sat next to him.
“There’s no wedding?”
“Look man, it’s a long story. I wanted you to bring the car here, I’m taking a trip.”
I could not believe what I was hearing. “Ben, there’s no wedding?”
“A lot has happened today man. One day I will tell you the story but just give me the keys to the car, I will drop you wherever you want then I’ll be on my way.”
“There’s no wedding?”
“No wedding.” Ben shouted. “I don’t know the woman I am marrying Olumide. Do you know how scary that is? I’ve been with Sharon all these years and today, this morning I just found out who she really is.”
“And who is that person?” I didn’t know what had happened but I was getting angry and it wasn’t at Sharon.
“Do you know Sharon lost her virginity a long time ago?”
“Oh, I’m surprised but so what?”
“She lost it to Felix’s father.”
“Who?”
“And she didn’t tell me about it. All these years, she didn’t tell me about it.”
“And how did you find out.”
“She told me today, right after she called off the wedding.” Ben said.
“She called off the wedding?”
“She did, then I convinced her to go ahead with it but now I’m calling it off.”
I dug my hand into my pocket and brought out the key to the car. I threw it on the bed.
“Ben,” I started. “You are my best friend in the world but I have to tell you this, you are the biggest fool in the world. You are going to lose a woman you love because she’s not a virgin?”
“That’s not what…”
“You are going to wake up tomorrow and you will regret this and you will feel like killing yourself but you won’t. So you are going to live with it for the rest of your life. You will find another girl who will have the misfortune of marrying you because all your life you will continue to wonder, what if I’d married Sharon.”
I walked towards the door.
“I’m still your friend, so call me whenever you get back from your stupid trip. But if you think Sharon will take you back when you return, you’re even a bigger fool than I thought you were.”
I walked out of the room and down the stairs. My body was vibrating from the several emotions I was feeling at that moment. I pitied Ben because he was making the biggest mistake of his life and he thought he was doing the right thing.
I wanted to see Kike.
I stepped into the reception and I saw Sharon stepping out of car, still in her wedding dress. She ran up to the door and I ran to meet her.
“Sharon?”
“Hey Olumide, where have you been?” She didn’t wait for a response. “What is Ben’s room number?”
“Forty two.” I said.
She ran past me and up the stairs. I looked at her as she went, what was she doing?
“Olumide?”
I looked back at the door and Kike stood there. I wanted to run to her but I just stood there. She walked towards me, slowly, almost as if she was trying to take as long as she could to get to me. If I still had the ring, this would have been a perfect time to propose to her. I didn’t know if it was seeing Ben lose the love of his life, but I just wanted to put a seal on what we had.
Maybe I didn’t need a ring. Maybe I should do this.
She stopped in front of me and smiled.
“Welcome back.” She said.
I had to do this now before I lost the courage.
I dropped on one knee and her smile disappeared and for the first time I got scared. It was too late to stop, people were already looking.
“Kike, I’ve had the craziest of days. I’ve been cheated by cops, I’ve endured lewd jokes from other cops, I’ve been accused of kidnap, I was almost raped in jail and my best friend just canceled his wedding. But even on the dark days like the one I’m currently having, I see you and there’s a sudden brightness.”
“Olumide…” Kike said.
“I know life is not always going to be fair, I know things won’t always go the way we plan but I want to wake up every morning knowing that like the Sun, you will always be there lighting up my life. Kikelomo Roseann Ibiyemi, will you marry me?”
She pulled me up to my feet, why was she doing that? She put her arms around my waist, looked up at me with a smile.
“Kiss me.” She said.
“Is that a yes?”
“Kiss me and find out.”
I closed my eyes and kissed her. Okay, I didn’t understand sign language at all but that was a definite yes. She pulled away from me and looked at me with a raised eyebrow.
“What?” I asked, grinning like a three year old in an ice-cream shop.
“The ring?” She asked.
“Oh, I’m sorry. It was stolen by a policeman’s daughter. The one I was accused of kidnapping.”
“That happened for real? I thought you were just quoting a movie.”
“But hey, here’s something.” I removed the bracelet I had on and put it around her wrist. “Call that a placeholder.”
“I love you Olumide and even though I want to stand here and enjoy this moment, my friend needs me.”
“Oh God, I totally forgot about Sharon.” I sighed and said a little prayer for the poor girl.

Ben Dara.

Olumide was wrong, I would totally forget about Sharon in less than a month. She hurt me, hurt me too much. There was no way I could get back with her. Olumide, the self-righteous idiot could call me a fool all he wants, he wasn’t the one feeling the pain I was feeling.
I picked up the car key and walked towards the door. I had no idea where I wanted to travel to but I just needed to leave town. And as soon as possible.
I got to the door but a knock sounded on the door before I could open. I smiled, why did he come back? Wasn’t I his foolish friend?
I opened the door and stepped back in shock. Sharon stood in front of me, still in her wedding gown. And worse still, she was smiling.
“Hi Ben.” She said.
I could not believe what I was seeing.
“Can I come in?” She asked and entered before I could respond. “Please sit.” She said.
“Sharon, I don’t think I want to talk.”
“That’s awesome, I don’t need you to talk, just listen.” She said.
“I’m not going to change my mind.” I said.
“Just sit down and shut up.” She said.
I sat on the bed, leaned against the wall and waited.
“Felix was my best friend, he was a little more than my best friend, we had feelings for each other. He never said anything and so nothing happened. I was a good girl, that’s what everyone thought but my mind wasn’t so good. I read a lot and I’d read a lot of novels, many of them too graphic and I knew way too much. The problem was, I was curious. I couldn’t talk about it but something inside me always wondered.”
She had my attention now even though I was afraid about where this was going.
“One day Felix invited me to his house. It wasn’t a big deal, I’d been there a lot of times. He served me some juice but he laced his own drink with alcohol, I didn’t know this. His Dad sent him on an errand and I mistakenly took his alcoholic drink. It didn’t take a lot to get me drunk. His Dad came in and I flirted with him. He flirted back and everything I had repressed in me came out. I honestly can’t recall who made the first move but we ended up on a bed.”
I swallowed, this was too much information but I couldn’t open my mouth to tell her to stop.
“By the time my back hit the bed, I wasn’t so sure about what I was doing but it was too late. He didn’t listen to my pleas for him to stop. Once my virginity was gone, I just lay there, there was no point resisting anymore. After everything, I left the room and found Felix in the living room, crying. He knew what had happened and that was the end of our friendship. I didn’t tell anybody about that day and Felix didn’t either. That is the story of how I lost my virginity.”
She looked at me, I don’t know what she wanted me to say. I could feel tears gathering in my eyes so I tried as much as possible not to blink, I didn’t want those tears falling.
She moved closer to me and I shrunk back.
“Ben, I know what I did back then and I know what I did to you. Every day for years I relived that day until I told myself it was enough. But every day since you asked me to marry you I have relived it again. That is what happens when you walk into a huge mistake with your eyes open. I don’t know what you’re feeling now but I know for sure you still love, I can tell. If you walk away today, you will relive this for a long time and it will hurt as much as it does now every single time. I love you Ben, I’m sorry for lying to you. I am so, so sorry. I woke up this morning wanting to get married to you and I still want to.”
She lifted my chin so I looked directly into her eyes.
“If you change your mind, I will be at the reception downstairs for the next one hour, waiting for you. It’s not too late to get married Ben. It’s not too late to have everything we dreamed about.”
She stood and walked away from the bed. She stopped at the door and looked back at me, she smiled then walked out.
Olumide was right, I was the biggest fool in the history of foolishness. Oh God, deliver me from foolishness. I jumped out of the bed and ran for the door.

Sharon almost Dara.

I looked at my watch, I was a big fool for thinking he would show up. It was two minutes before my one hour ultimatum was done. I was struggling to keep myself from crying. I was getting stares from everyone who came in or went out of the hotel. I couldn’t blame them, I would stare at me too. Kike and Olumide had been gone for about forty five minutes and I was left alone to my misery. Was there any point waiting for the two minutes? I stood, gathered my gown exposing my barefoot and walked towards the door.
The door slid open as I approached it, I left the building and walked towards the car.
“Oluwafunmilayo.” I paused, only my Dad called me that.
I looked and saw him and suddenly the floodgates opened. I ran to him and cried my eyes out on his shoulder. He held me without a word for about a minute then pulled me away.
“That is okay. Let’s get you a drink in the restaurant okay?”
I nodded.
He removed a towel from his pocket and dabbed at my face.
“Thank God for waterproof makeup eh?” He said and I laughed. “Wait, are you barefooted?”
“Yes Daddy.” I smiled and he shook his head.
We got to the door of the restaurant and he stopped and looked at me.
“Things may not go the way we planned but if we trust God and are patient, things turn out even more beautiful than we expect.”
I smiled. “Pastor Daddy.” I hugged him. “Thanks Dad.”
He kissed me on the forehead and held my hand.
“Okay, let’s go get that drink.” He said.
The door opened and I gasped.
“Oh my God Dad.”
“More beautiful than you expect, didn’t I tell you?”
Kike stood in front of us, she carried a basket of flowers and handing me a bouquet. The restaurant had been rearranged to allow a path down the middle. At the end of the path was Ben. His handsome face even more radiant than I ever imagined. Olumide and Felix stood behind him. My mom and my siblings, Ben’s parents and his sibling stood, all of their eyes on me.
‘Here comes the bride’ was playing on someone’s phone as my dad walked me to the front. This was more beautiful than anything I ever imagined.
“Alright dear, go become a missus.” Dad said and joined my Mom.
I looked at Ben and smiled. I could barely see through the tears clouding my eyes.
“Who did this?” I whispered to him.
“I did.” He said.
“Just now?”
“It’s incredible the things you’d do when you’re in love.” He said.
I rushed to him and hugged him very tight. I was never going to let him go.
A heard someone clear their throat in front of us and I released Ben. I looked up the person, I didn’t know him.
“Hi Sharon, I’m Pastor Michael, I will be joining you today.”
I smiled and looked at Ben. He shrugged.
“Ladies and gentlemen, we are gathered here today to witness and celebrate the love that Ben and Sharon have for each other.”
Oh yeah, that was what this wedding was about, wasn’t it. The love that I and Ben had for each other. I looked at him when he said his vows and I looked at him when I said my vows, he loved me. That was all that mattered, not future and certainly not the past.

Joshua Olanrewaju
The story of Ben and Sharon happened exactly one year ago. I’ve lived the story with them as they told it, you have lived the story too, I hope.
I cornered each of them to give me a few words today on the anniversary of an incredible day. Here’s what they said.

Felix Umoh
Rejection hurts I tell you but after Kike, I couldn’t go back to meaningless relationships. I stayed single for so long I wondered if I should just go and become a priest. But three months ago I met a girl. Let’s just say, my mom is about to become very happy with me.

Olumide Bello
Our wedding didn’t have as much drama as Ben and Sharon’s, thank God. But by the time I calculated how much we spent on the wedding, I wished I had a restaurant wedding too. Who am I kidding, wishes aren’t horses. Oh by the way, I never got that ring back from the girl. Traggic.
Sharon Dara
Would I do it the exact same way if I could do it all over? No. I wouldn’t give my virginity to a pedophile and I certainly wouldn’t hide anything from my fiancée. Except that I am currently hiding something from him. I am pregnant. I’ll tell him tonight at our anniversary dinner. Yay.
Ben Dara
Don’t mind my big tummy, I promise to start working out tomorrow. Put the blame on Sharon, she did this to me. Tonight’s our anniversary dinner and unlike one year ago, today has been calm, no surprises. But something tells me I should get ready, I won’t get through today without a surprise. God please, let it be a good one.

24Sep/16

RSVP Episode Six

Felix Umoh

“I had no idea today will turn out like this.” Kike said.
I couldn’t agree with her. I wasn’t sure this was exactly how it would go down but I already had my fears.
“I’ve known them a long time, they were always the best couple everywhere we were.”
“Well, don’t judge a book by its cover.”
“No Felix, it wasn’t just the cover. I opened the pages, this was a great book.” She said.
“Well, apparently there was a page you skipped.”
She sighed. “I’m sorry, am I talking about them too much?”
I smiled. “Yeah, a little.”
“It’s just that I never expected…” She looked at me and stopped. “I’m sorry, stopping now.”
“Alright, let’s talk about something else; you.”
“Me? What do want to know about me?”
“Everything, but first; do I have a shot with you?”
She chuckled, a little embarrassed.
Of course I had a shot with her. I’d been with many girls and I could always tell in the first five seconds if I had a chance. But it was good to hear her say it.
“So, answer. Do I stand a chance?”
“Do you think you stand a chance?”
“I believe I do.”
She looked at me for a few seconds then asked. “How do you know Ben and Sharon?”
“You changed the subject.”
“Are you going to answer my question or not?”
“We all went to the same secondary school.”
“Oh.” She said. “Were you close to any of them?”
“I was close to both of them actually.”
“Really?”
“Yeah. Ben was my boy from day one but I was closer to Sharon. We had this weird best friend thingy going.”
“Really?” She sat forward in her chair. “I met her right after secondary school, how come she never mentioned you?”
I shrugged
This was a conversation I really didn’t want to have. Not with a girl I was starting to like.
“Don’t give me a shrug, what happened?”
“Nothing really.” I said. “You know, a guy and a girl get too close, stuff happens.”
“Stuff?”
“Yeah and if one of the parties don’t want the stuff, it ends. And usually the separation is as wide as the closeness was close. That make sense?”
“Not really.” She said, then laughed. “It makes a little sense.”
“Can we go back to my earlier question now?”
“So which one of you didn’t want the stuff?”
That was a question I could not answer because it was based on a wrong premise. We both wanted the stuff. Wait, why on earth are we calling this the stuff?
“Penny for your thoughts?”
“My thoughts don’t come that cheap. Maybe a thousand dollars. How much is that in naira now by the way? It’s crazy how the exchange rate fluctuates these days.”
She nodded. “Yeah, yeah, the exchange rate is bonkers, answer my question.”
“Look Kike, it’s all complicated. Can we just leave the past in the past?”
She leaned back in her seat, disappointed.
I sighed, maybe I shouldn’t have come to this wedding.

Olumide Bello

“Officer please, I have a wedding to get to.”
They probably didn’t even hear me. This was one of the worst days of my life. My friend was probably married already, my girl was probably worried about me traveling alone and I was probably going to sleep in this cell for a crime I did not commit. I slapped my palm against the wall, stupid, stupid boy.
“What’s your problem? Will you just shut up and sit.”
I looked behind at the only other occupant of the cell. I’d not paid him much attention since I got in but looking at him now, I knew I should have been worried. He had nothing but a pair of shorts on and he was massive.
“I’m sorry for disturbing you.” I said and hoped to God he would ignore me.
A few seconds passed while I held my breath, hoping he would not say anything.
“Hey.” He said and I jumped.
“Sir?” My voice sounded weak even to me.
“What are you in for?” He asked.
“I didn’t do anything.” I replied.
He chuckled. “Yeah, I didn’t do anything too. The girl robbed and raped herself.”
Oh God, he was a rapist.
“So what did you not do?”
I didn’t want to have this conversation, not with him. He raped a woman but what was the guarantee that he didn’t rape men too.
He stood from his chair and walked towards me. I pressed my back against the irons bars, hoping that my some miracle this gorilla of a man will stop advancing. He didn’t stop. He got to me and put his palm behind my head and pulled me towards him.
“Are you going to answer me or what?”
“Hey King Kong, leave the boy.” A cop said behind me.
I’d never been happier to see a policeman in my life. King Kong released my head and went back to his seat.
The policeman opened the door and I got out as fast as I could. He walked me to the counter and handed me all my stuff.
“Am I free to go?” I asked. “What about Anita?”
He didn’t answer.
He pushed a release form to me and I filled it without even reading the content. I walked out of the station feeling gratitude, anger and frustration at the same time. It didn’t matter, I was getting home to Kike with my innocence still intact.
“Hey.” Anita called.
I looked at her and continued walking towards the car.
“Shouldn’t you say thank you?”
I stopped and turned to her. “What?”
“They released you because of me.”
“I was arrested because of you in the first place.” I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.
“I told them the truth.” She said.
“Oh, you did? I am so grateful to you.” I hissed and started back towards the car.
“Hey, guess what.”
I wasn’t in the mood for whatever she was pulling, I kept on walking.
“Hey.” She called again. “This looks great on my finger, doesn’t it?”
I turned back and looked; she had my proposal ring on her finger.
“Are you crazy?” I shouted
I ran back to her and reached to snatch the ring from her but she pulled back.
“What are you doing?”
“Give that back.” I said.
“Why? It’s beautiful. Expensive too, I imagine.”
“Just give it back.”
“Nope, I will not.” She said.
“Please, I’m proposing to my girlfriend today with that ring.”
“No, you’re not.”
She turned and started to walk back into the station.
“All I did was help you.” I could not believe what was happening.
“All the best with your proposal.”
If I followed her into the police station, there was no guarantee what would happen there. I couldn’t just give up the ring. And the proposal.
I watched her enter the station and a few seconds later an officer emerged.
“Are you harassing Anita?” He asked.
“No.” I said and went into my car.
This was not one of the worst days of my life, it was the worst day of my life.

Sharon almost Dara

“This has been one of the worst days of my life.” I said.
Kike smiled. “We are on our way to your wedding.”
“Yeah, but I faced my biggest fear today; losing Ben.”
“Well, thank God, you didn’t lose him.”
We stayed quiet for a while and enjoyed the soft music playing in the car. I was really getting married to Ben. There were times when I thought it would never happen. I always thought he was too good for me, poor Sharon with all her issues.
“Sharon.” Kike called. “Do you ever think Ben is too good for you?”
“What?”
“I’m just asking because…”
“That was exactly what I was thinking about. You think he is?”
“No. Ben is a great guy but so are you. He’s in love with you, doesn’t that answer the question?”
“So why did you ask then?”
She sighed. “I was thinking about Olumide, for the first time in hours.”
I smiled. “Felix, huh?”
“Yeah.” She said. “I don’t know if I like him that way but…”
“He made you consider your options?”
“And it wasn’t just Felix, it was happened with you guys. Ben heard something that could have changed his mind but he was so sure about you he didn’t.”
“I don’t understand.”
“Let’s say this happened to me and I discovered Olumide was hiding something from me, I don’t know that I would not immediately break off the relationship.”
“What are you talking about?”
“If your dad told you he didn’t like Ben, what would you do?”
“He did say that at a point, I told him I was sure he would change his mind because I wasn’t changing mine.”
“That’s exactly what I’m saying.”
I was confused. “What are you saying?”
“I wouldn’t have done that for Olumide.”
Oh no, she was going to break up with him?
“Kike, are you sure about this?”
“That’s the problem, I’m not sure about anything. And love is anything but unsure.”
“That’s just a stupid line from a movie Kike.”
The car parked, we were at the church already. Kike came closer to me and hugged me.
“I’m so happy for you dear.” She said.
“I love you Kike.”
“I love you too dear.”
She released me from the hug.
“Kike, can I just tell you something?”
“Yeah, sure.” She said.
“Don’t break up with Olumide because of Felix. He’s not worth it.”

Ben Dara
“No Ben, I’m not worthy of this.” Felix said.
“Shut up and stop behaving like I did when I was announced President of the fellowship.”
“What?” He asked with a chuckle.
“You’re saying ‘I’m not worthy of this’ while in your heart you’re summersaulting in celebration.”
Felix laughed.
“I don’t know where Mayowa is, even if I did, the stupid guy lost the rings. Thanks for finding them by the way.”
“Don’t mention it.”
“I could pick one of my groomsmen but I don’t think they’re any better.”
“You know what I just realised Ben, you don’t have many friends.”
I smiled, he was right. Olumide was my only solid friend.
“But who needs friends when you’re about to have a wife, huh?” He said.
“You’re right again.”
“And I have to say, the way you took Sharon back, you earned my respect man.”
“Don’t respect me too much, it wasn’t easy and it still hurts. But I can’t just cancel the wedding because of that.”
“And you love her?”
“Of course, that’s the main reason. I love Sharon with all my heart, nothing was going to get in the way of that.”
“I know that.” He paused for a few seconds then added. “But after everything she told you, I really wasn’t expecting you to want to see me, talk more of asking me to be your best man.”
What was he talking about?
“What?” I said.
“You know, who she lost her virginity to?”
I was starting to sweat. “Yeah?”
“She told you it was my father, didn’t she?”
Blood rushed into my head and for a few seconds I felt dizzy.
“Ben? Ben are you okay?”
“Park the car please.” I whispered.
“Ben, we are already late for the wedding.”
“Park the fuc…” I started then stopped. “Park the car Felix.”
He pulled the car over and looked back at me.
“Ben, what’s going on? Are you okay?”
I looked at him, my face burning with anger.
“Oh my God.” He said. “She didn’t tell you who she did it with?”
He got down from his driving seat and came around the car to my side. He opened the door and I came out.
“Ben…”
I threw a punch at his face before he could say anything else. He stepped back.
“Ben, calm down and listen to me.”
“You calm down and listen to me.” I shouted. “Why did you come to my wedding? You came to ruin it, right? Well congratulations, mission accomplished.”
“What are you talking about Ben? You can’t do this. You said you loved her and nothing was getting in the way of that.”
“Well, something did not get in the way.” I said. “Someone did.”
I threw another punch but he dodged it.
“Calm down Ben. I didn’t do anything. And the next punch you throw will be returned.”
I laughed, paused then threw a punch. He dodged it and just like he promised a punch connected with my nose and I fell to the floor.
I couldn’t believe this, Felix’s father? When did this even happen?
I looked up and saw Felix standing over me, his hand extended to me. I grabbed the hand and he pulled me up.
“Stop this madness Ben.” He said.
“Sure, that’s exactly what I’m going to do. Call Sharon and tell her this madness is over.”

23Sep/16

RSVP Episode Five

Ben Dara
“She what?”
“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.”
“Right here?”
“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?
I knocked.
“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.
“Sharon?”
“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’m 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.”
“No.”
“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’m sorry.”
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.”
“Sharon?”
“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.”
“Mom?”
“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.”
“Dad…”
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?”
“Jesus?”
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.

22Sep/16

RSVP Episode Four

Ben Dara

“Still no rings?” I asked.
Mayowa looked at me like I had asked a question completely alien to him.
“Where are the rings?” I asked, a little louder this time.
“I don’t know man.” He said. “Maybe we should buy another set.”
I looked at him and wished I could throw him at something. The elevator girl had put me in a good mood but these missing rings were working hard at undoing all the goodness.
“When was the last time you saw the rings?” Felix asked.
“When he gave them to me.” Mayowa answered.
“And that was when?”
“Sometime yesterday before the engagement.”
“What were you wearing?”
“I don’t know.” Mayowa blurted out. “Who are you man, stop asking me all these damn questions. I can’t find the rings, that’s it.”
Mayowa stormed out of the room and slammed the door behind him.
“Where did you find this idiot?” Felix asked.
“Olumide was supposed to be my best man but the car arrived late so he couldn’t return from Lagos on time.” I said.
“What car? And why is it so important?”
“I wanted to surprise Sharon with a Benz.”
“That’s cool.”
I smiled, it was cool. “I’d been saving money for the honeymoon but one of her uncles decided to sponsor our honeymoon, so I decided to get her a car with the money.”
Felix nodded and looked away. I studied his face, there was something he wasn’t telling me.
“Felix?” I called.
“Yeah?”
“Is there something disturbing you?”
“What? Me? Nothing.” He said.
I wasn’t convinced but I was willing to let it go.
“So what happens if you don’t find the rings?” Felix asked.
I smiled. “I hope we do.”
“But if you don’t?”
“Then I hope the Benz will be enough to make her forgive me.” I said.
“Forgiveness, huh? That’s really important you know.” He said.
I raised an eyebrow. “Yeah, I know. Why did you say that?”
“No, nothing. You were the one who talked about forgiveness.”
“Okay.” I said. There was something he wasn’t telling me and I was getting inconvenient now.
“How much do you think Sharon should forgive you? What’s the limit? Especially as you’re not married yet.”
I stood and faced him. “What are you talking about?”
He stood and headed for the door. “I’m sorry, I already talked too much.”
“Wait.” I shouted at him.
I needed to think, what was he talking about? I ran my mind through everything I could remember that Felix could be referring to. I was about giving up then I remembered.
“Felix, what happened that night you guys got me drunk?”
“What?” He smiled. “What are you talking about?”
“I’m not a fool Felix, something happened that night, right?”
“Ben…”
“Shade Ibitoye was at that party, I woke up naked, she never talked to me after that night, it all adds up now.”
Felix moved closer to me. “Stop it Ben, nothing happened that night. It was just boys fooling around with the class pastor.”
“And Shade?”
“I don’t know…”
He wasn’t fooling me. “I need to tell Sharon about this now, I can’t have this kind of thing hanging between us before we get married.”
“Wait Ben.” Felix said and I stopped. “Would you expect her to forgive you if something happened that night?”
“I can’t blame her if she doesn’t but she should, I didn’t even know this happened. If I knew, it’s another story.”
He looked at me in a strange way, something was going on.
“Felix, tell me what’s going on.”
“So, if something happened with Shade and you knew about it and didn’t tell her till today, you wouldn’t expect her to forgive you?”
“Of course not. That means our whole relationship has been a lie.” I said.
“Okay.” Felix said. “All the best with the rings. I think I need to be somewhere right now.”
What was going on with Felix? Something happened that night that he was hiding from me, I could tell.
“Okay Felix, see you at the wedding.”
I had a horrible feeling about whatever Felix was hiding, it could even determine if I had a wedding or not.

Olumide Bello

“I have nothing to hide, I’m just headed for a wedding.” I said.
The officer pointed a torchlight at my face even though the sun was as bright as it could be. Whatever he was trying to do was working because I was sweating. This was crazy, I wasn’t even a criminal.
“Who is that in your backseat?”
“What? Nobody.”
“Nobody?”
“Just my sister.” I said. It didn’t sound believable, not even to me.
Anita, Officer Horseman’s daughter was lying in the backseat because she was afraid one of the policemen may recognize her. This was supposed to be easy but my nerves were killing me.
“Is she okay?”
“Yes, she is.” I said.
“She’s not sick?”
“No, she’s not.”
“Okay.” He said. “You can go.”
“Thank you Officer.”
I sped out of the place as fast as I could. I don’t know what I’d been afraid of but I’d been very afraid, I was not doing that again.
“Anita, seat up please.”
She sat up.
“What were you scared of?” She laughed. “Your voice was shaking.”
Before I could answer I sighted another set of policemen standing in the middle of the road. This was a nightmare; we had been at a dozen checkpoints in one hour.
I slowed the car to a stop.
“How are you my brother?” The officer greeted.
I sighed, this was going to be easy. “I’m fine Officer and really tired.”
“I tell you.” He said. “The sun is hot out here. Anything for your boys?”
“Officer…”
“Anita?”
“What?”
The officer was looking at my backseat. “What are you doing here?”
“I’m going to Ibadan.” She said.
“We are going to Ogbomosho.” I said and it made sense since we were past Ibadan already.
“Your parents stay in Ibadan, why will she be going to Ogbomosho?” He said to me then turned to her. “Are you trying to run away again?”
“Sir, everything is fine.”
He brought out his phone. “I’m calling your father right now.”
“No sir, no need for that.” I said.
“What’s going on here?” The officer asked. “Did you steal this car?”
“No sir, this car belongs to my friend, Ben and he’s getting married today. I’m trying to get to the wedding on time so he can give the car to his wife.” I picked the ring. “I’m going to propose to Kike today. She’s the chief bridesmaid.”
I knew I was rambling but I couldn’t stop it. The officer was looking at me but I wasn’t sure he was paying attention.
Finally he looked at Anita. “I’m about to call your father Anita, what’s going on here?”
She looked at me and looked away, tears forming in her eyes.
“Help me, he kidnapped me.”
I opened my mouth in shock, I could not believe what I’d just heard.

Felix Umoh.

I could not believe what was about to happen but I knew I had to do something about it. I had one mission at Sharon’s hotel; make sure she doesn’t tell Ben her secret. He’d already implied that forgiving her would be difficult and I couldn’t imagine that he would go on with the wedding if she told him the truth.
I got to the lobby of the hotel and dialled Sharon’s number. Surprisingly, she answered.
“Hello Felix.”
“Hi Sharon, ready for your wedding?”
“Yes, I am. I’m sorry you couldn’t make it.”
“But I did.” I said. “I changed my mind and decided to come.”
She paused for a few seconds then asked. “Why are you here?”
“I need to talk to you.”
“Talk to me? I’m already on my way to the church. Is this about…?”
“Yes Sharon, it is.”
I heard a ‘clink’ and the elevator door open and the most beautiful woman I’d ever seen stepped out of it. She wore a very beautiful dress, I didn’t notice the colour, I was lost in her face. She had a confused look on her face, I loved it. What was I doing? Felix never got dazed by women this way, what was happening to me? That roadside girl really did something to me.
“Felix? Are you still there?” Sharon’s voice filtered from the phone’s speaker.
“Can I call you right back?” I said.
“I thought you said, you had something important you needed to tell me.”
“You’re still in the hotel, right? Just call me before you leave.”
I ended the call before she could respond. My eyes were yet to leave the girl for a second, she was looking for something. I walked up to her.
“What are you looking for?” I asked, giving her my best smile.
“Do you work here?” She asked.
“What gave me away? My expensive suit or my blue pocket square?”
“What?” Her confusion deepened, I loved it even more. “I need a box of pins please.”
“I’ll go get it now as long as you give me your number.” I said.
“What are you talking about?” She asked. “I am not joking, I need it urgently. My friend needs it for her wedding dress.”
Oh, this was getting more interesting.
“You are on Sharon’s train?” I asked.
She looked at me and for the first time paid me some real attention.
“How do you know?”
I stretched my hand to her. “Hi, my name is Felix.” I paused to see if she would recognise the name, she didn’t. “You are?”
“I’m Kike, Sharon’s maid of honour.”
“About the pins, I’ll get them for you.”
“Thank you.” She said and smiled for the first time.
I stood like some old fool in an Indian movie and watched her smile.
“Can you get the pins please?”
“Oh.” I’d been staring for too long. “I’ll get the pins then I’ll come get you.”
She smiled and I turned around to go get the pins, things might be about to go south for Ben and Sharon but I think I’d just fallen in love at first sight.

Sharon almost Dara

“Fallen in love? Felix?”
“That’s the way it looked to me.” Kike said.
I chuckled and for a few seconds I forgot my own troubles. Kike was enjoying what she thought was Felix falling for her. I knew better, Felix never fell in love, he used and dumped people.
“Don’t get your hopes up with Felix.” I said.
“Why not? Is something wrong with him?’
I paused and looked at Kike, I wanted to tell her things but there was no point.
But wait… “Kike, don’t you already have a boyfriend?”
“What?”
“Olumide, remember him?”
She looked down, disappointed. “Yeah, I know. I was just joking, it’s not like anything can happen with this guy.”
My sister entered the room. “The car is ready, let’s go.”
I stood and Kike helped gather the helm of my gown.
“Have you been able to reach Ben?” Kike whispered to me.
I sighed as all my fears came rushing back. I was yet to talk to him and the later it got, the worse it was becoming.
“Sharon?”
I looked in the direction of the voice and saw Felix standing by the door. I smiled and waved at him.
“Can I talk to you?” He said.
“We are late for church, no talking to anybody.” My sister barked at him.
“It’s about Ben.” He said.
I immediately went up to him. The look on his face was not good.
“What is it Felix?” I asked.
“What’s going on?” Kike asked from behind me.
Felix looked at her and I saw what Kike meant, I’d never seen Felix look at anyone like that. But this was not the time, we had more important things to talk about.
“Give me a few minutes please.” I said to Kike.
“Okay.” She said and walked away.
“Wow, I think I’m in love with your friend.” Felix said.
“Felix, what about Ben?”
His face got serious and grim again. “So I talked to Ben this morning and he thinks you’re a virgin.”
“Yes, I know. I need to tell him I’m not before we get to the church.”
“I don’t think you should.” Felix said.
That was a huge surprise. “Why? Isn’t it better to be honest? I’m not a guy, I can’t get away with that kind of lie.”
“Okay Sharon. Do you want to marry him?”
I nodded. “Of course.”
“Then you can’t tell him.”
I shook my head and my eyes began to water. “What are you talking about Felix? You know I have to.”
“Why didn’t you do it since then?”
That was the question everybody will ask me, the very one I was afraid of. Felix knew why but I was ashamed to admit it to even him.
“What are you going to do now?”
“I don’t know.” I cleaned my tears. “Maybe I’ll just tell him right now. Maybe he will forgive me.”
Felix shook his head, there was something he wasn’t telling me.
“What’s going on Felix? Church starts in a few minutes, please be honest with me.”
“Ben is not going to forgive you. I painted the scenario and got his reaction.”
“He’s not going to…?”
“No, Sharon.”
I stumbled backward and fell into a chair placed by the door. I placed a palm over my mouth to keep myself from bawling. Tears flowed down my face freely. One silly mistake I made a long time ago was going to ruin my life. What would my parents say? Ben’s parents? My siblings and all the people I’d been a spiritual leader to for years. I couldn’t do this.
“Sis, we have to go now.” My sister said.
I shook my head. “Call Daddy, I’m calling off the wedding.

21Sep/16

RSVP Episode Three

Sharon almost Dara

If the look on Kike’s face was anything to go by then there was no point showing up for the wedding. She looked shocked, disappointed, and maybe a little angry. She stood there without saying a word, I couldn’t blame her, what was she supposed to say?
“Sharon,” Finally she talked. “You can’t tell him.”
“What?” That was not what I expected.
“Do you know how shattered he will be?”
“Won’t it be worse if I don’t tell him until he finds out himself?”
“Maybe he won’t notice.”
“What?” What was she talking about? Of course he will notice. “Kike, that makes no sense, of course he will notice.”
“What if you tell him and he calls of the wedding?”
My chest tightened. “It is better than calling off the marriage after one night.”
“My advice is you don’t tell him.”
I stood and paced, the weight of the situation increasing with every step I took.
“So have we concluded, you won’t tell him?”
I stopped and looked at her. “No, I will tell him. I have to tell him.”
“Great.” Kike said. “Of course you have tell him but I wanted you to come to that conclusion yourself.”
“Oh, this is not going to be easy.” I said and the tears began to flow freely again.
She held me and rocked me till the tears stopped. She looked at me and I knew what was coming next, this was the part I wasn’t looking forward to.
“When did this happen?” She asked.
The questions that would follow my confession to Ben was exactly why I’d delayed to this point. When? How? Where? And most importantly, with who?
Oh God, help me.
“Sharon, when did this happen?” Kike asked again.
I heard footsteps running in our direction and saw my sister coming our direction.
“Do you realize how late you’re going to be if you continue whatever nonsense conversation you are having?”
“We are talking about something important.” Kike said.
“Really? Important enough for her to miss her wedding?”
“Maybe.” I said under my breath.
“We’ll be in in a few minutes.” Kike said.
“No, you have to go in now.” Bola said. “I won’t leave till you go inside and finish up. Dad already called for God’s sake.”
“Okay.” I said.
I returned to the room and had my makeup redone. What was the point anyway? We might not even be having a wedding.
“Can you ladies please leave the room?” Kike said.
“No, no way.” Bola said. “Whatever you want to say to her, you say it now or wait till after the wedding.”
Kike shook her head and moved closer to me.
“Your sister is tough.” She said. “So if you’re going to do this, you should probably do it before going to the church.”
I nodded. There was no point going to the church for nothing.
“Bola, I really need some privacy right now, I need to make a call.”
“Okay, I give you five minutes and then we are going to the church.”
“Alright Adolf Hitler, just leave the room.” Kike said.
“You too Kike, I need to do this alone.” I said.
“Okay.” She said. “I’ll be by the door if you need me.”
I watched them all leave, they might not even be needed anymore. I shook my head and dialled Ben’s number.
It was strange that a day that was supposed to be the best day of my life might turned out being the worst.

Ben Dara

“This is actually the best day in my life.”
“Because you’re getting married today?” The elevator girl asked.
“No, because I haven’t laughed this hard at myself ever.”
She smiled. “Really?”
“Yeah. And of course because I am getting married to the love of my life today.”
“Love of your life?” She said and scoffed.
“Yeah, you don’t think she is?”
“Why do you want to know what I think?”
“You just scoffed, of course I want to know what you think.”
She looked at her watch. “This may take a while.”
“So? It’s not like you have a wedding to get to.” But I did. I’ll get to the wedding but I needed to hear what she had to say.
“Okay, let’s seat over there.”
We walked over to a bench beside the security house and sat. Something in my head told me not seat but hey, the spirit of the prophet needs to be subject to the prophet.
“So, let’s hear it.” I said.
“How long have you known her for?”
I smiled, she started with the cheap question. “All my life, we sort of grew up together.”
“So, you’ve been together since secondary school?”
“Officially, University.”
“I see.” That didn’t sound like approval. “How is the sex?”
“The sex?” I cleared my throat and shifted in my seat. “It will be good, I’m sure.”
“It will be? You have not…?” She smiled. “It’s none of my business but why?”
“Okay, here’s something you didn’t know about me, We are both Christians and we are saving ourselves for the wedding night.”
“Okay, I have nothing against that.” She said, and I sighed, relieved. Why was I relieved?
“Anything else?”
“Was there someone before her? Ever been in any other relationship?”
“No. It’s kind of why I know she’s the one.”
“Really? Because after checking the one sample, you came to the conclusion that it was the best of all the samples?”
“What?”
“How do you even know she’s the right one, when she’s the only one?”
I chuckled. “You just answered your own question; she’s the only one.”
“Really? It didn’t look like that when you stepped into the elevator a few minutes ago.”
“What are you talking about?” Oh no, she noticed. “Don’t bother to answer that.”
“See?”
It didn’t matter, Sharon was till the one for me. I didn’t need to take multiples samples to know I had the right one. I know Sharon, I trust Sharon.
“I trust her, that’s important right?” I said.
“Trust? You trust your fiancé?”
“Yes, I do. Or do I need multiple samples for that too?”
“No but a man who has gone through multiple samples will know never to trust one.”
I know I can trust Sharon, she’s never lied to me. I know I can trust her. Why do I even care what this girl thinks? I don’t even know her name.

Olumide Bello

“By the time I was done, I realised, she didn’t even know my name.”
I burst into laughter, this was actually a funny joke. I was glad I wasn’t having to fake laughter as I had been doing for more than twenty minutes. I looked at my watch, the officers were having a great time and I actually was too but it was time to leave.
“Officer Horseman…” I said.
The officers burst into laughter.
“I will be telling that story to my friends at the wedding, believe me.” I said.
“Can you please not include that my wife didn’t remember my name too?”
The officers laughed again. I didn’t join them this time.
“So at the wedding…”
“Oh sorry.” Officer Horseman said. “You should be getting to the wedding.”
“Thank you.” I said, more than a tad relieved.
“And good luck with the proposal.”
“Thank you. Well, I hope she remembers my name.”
They started laughing again as I walked away. Well, that took a while but at least it wasn’t all doom and gloom like the other stop.
I got to the car and started the engine. I slid the gear into drive and was about to move when I heard a knock on my window. I looked and saw a girl smiling at me, and Officer Horseman beside her.
I rolled down the window.
“Officer…”
“This is my daughter.”
“Oh.” I was glad I didn’t complete the name. “Okay Officer.”
“She was supposed to ride with me to Ibadan later but she said she was ready to go now.”
“No problem, I’ll give her a ride.”
“Thank you.”
She entered the car, waited until her dad was gone and turned to me.
“Are you a police officer?”
I was surprised. “No, I’m not.”
“Good.” She said and smiled.
“Wait, are you?”
“No. Why would you ask me that?”
“Why did you ask me?”
“Okay, fair enough.”
I turned into the road and we started along on our journey. I didn’t say a word to my passenger and she was content to just stare into space for a while.
Then she turned to me and said. “Can I come with you?”
“Come with me where?”
“Where are you going?”
“I’m going to Ilorin for a wedding.”
“Yes, can I come?”
“No.” I said, a little stronger than was polite. “Why on earth will you want to come with me?”
She sighed and was she tearing up?
“Are you okay?”
“I’m running away from home.”
“What? Why?”
“My dad abuses me.”
I smiled. “Okay, wait a minute. The stuff you guys call abuse, we call discipline. So what if he beats you a few times, our dads beat us and we turned out fine.”
“Oh really, your dad started sleeping with you when you were thirteen too?”
I stepped on the break and pulled over to the side of the road.
“Officer Horseman?”
“Great, he told you that story too? The man is shameless.”
“Oh my God.”
What was I supposed to do here? This was none of my business, I couldn’t take another man’s daughter away from him. Officer Horseman was nice to me but I’m sure that would change fast if he found out I helped his daughter escape. But she wasn’t just his daughter, she was his victim.
“I don’t know about this. I don’t think I can take you to Ilorin.”
“Okay, close your eyes.”
“Why?”
“I can’t run away with your car, you’re in it. Just trust me.”
“Okay.” I felt dumb doing this but I closed my eyes.
A few seconds later… “You can open them now.”
I opened my eyes and I closed them immediately.
“Put on your clothes.” I shouted. “Are you crazy?”
“Okay, okay. I’m desperate, okay?”
“And showing me your… your… and you thought… Okay, I still can’t take you to Ilorin, alright? I’m sorry.”
“Okay, there is an option. Can you drop me off at Ogbomosho?”
“I can’t just drop you off at Ogbomosho.”
“No, my mother’s younger sister lives there.”
“Okay but I have to hand you over to her directly.”
“That’s fine.”
“Alright.”
I started the engine and got back on the road. What on earth was happening to me today?
“Hey, whose ring is this?”
“Oh shoot.”
What was I doing? I had a wedding to get to on time.

Felix Umoh

“Don’t you have a wedding to get to on time?”
Ben turned around and saw me.
“Oh my God Felix.” He said and walked up to greet me. “I thought you said you wouldn’t be able to make it.”
“Really? When did I say that?”
“Sharon told me… never mind, I’m glad you are here. How did you know where to find me? Once again, never mind, I’m glad to see you.”
We walked to the girl he was talking to.
“This is my friend, Felix and this is… elevator girl.” He said.
“Elevator girl?” I asked.
“Yeah, I don’t know her name.”
The girl did not seem to mind. Kind of my type of girl.
I didn’t know why Ben was talking to a girl he didn’t know when he was supposed to be getting married in a few minutes. And for the two minutes while I watched them, their conversation looked really intense.
“Is she coming to the wedding?” I whispered into Ben’s ears.
“What wedding?” He asked.
I looked at him, has he gone mad?
“My wedding? Oh no, she’s not coming.”
“Okay.” I said. “Are you coming?”
“Coming where?”
“Your wedding?”
“Oh sure.”
“Yeah, I thought so.”
Whoever this girl was, she was obviously not very good for Ben, I needed to get him very far away from her.
“Can we go back to your room now?” I asked.
“Oh sure.”
“Nice to meet you elevator girl.” I said.
“Yes, I’m so glad we got to…”
“Sure you are glad.” I said and pushed him towards the hotel.
He looked back a couple of times at the girl, what on earth did the girl do to him?
“What is wrong with you Ben?”
“What? Why? I’m fine. And so glad to see you.”
“I’m sure Sharon will be glad you saw me too.” I said. “What was happening with that girl?”
“Nothing was happening. I’m not you Felix, I don’t hook up with girls I meet for the first time.”
“Okay.” Words like that used to be a compliment for me, not today. That stupid roadside girl did something to my head.
We got into the elevator.
“She just opened my eyes to a lot of things I’d never thought about.”
“Really? Like big boobs?”
“Once again, I’m not you.”
“So what could she have possibly told you?”
“It’s not what she told me, more like what she made me realize. Things like trust, the importance of fun, the complexities of sex for two virgins…”
“That girl is a virgin? Wait, she wanted to sleep with you?”
“Once again Felix…”
“You’re not me, I know. What two virgins was she talking about? Oh wait, you and… oh, right.”
“Yeah, that could be really complicated. You remember your first time?”
“Oh yes, long time ago though. So Sharon is a virgin, yeah?”
“Yeah, she is.”
The elevator doors opened and we stepped into his floor.
“And you know this how?”
“She told me.” Ben said. “No, she didn’t really tell me. But she is.”
This was going to be one interesting marriage.
We entered the room.
“Where have you been?” Some guy I didn’t know said to Ben. “Sharon has called you like five times.”
Ben smiled. “She needs to be patient.”
“Do you want to call her back?”
“No, I’ll just see her in church.”
Saint Mary, say a prayer for Ben and Sharon.

20Sep/16

RSVP Episode Two

Olumide Bello

I looked at my watch for the one millionth time, this was not good, not good at all. I had been waiting for about one hour and nothing was happening. The policemen had stopped and released over fifty cars while I was parked by the side of the road. They said they were taking me to their station but were yet to make a move in that direction.
I looked at my watch again, no, I couldn’t take this anymore.
I walked to Officer Tijani still sitting in the squad car.
“Officer, what is going on?” I asked.
“You are still here?” He feigned ignorance, I was not buying it.
“The other guy said he was taking me to the station.”
“Oh, eya. You have to wait for him then.”
“I have been waiting for the past one hour.”
“I’m sorry my brother. He will be done soon and he will take you to the station.”
“Really?” My lips were vibrating, I had to control myself or I would lash out at this idiot.
I turned and walked away from him. I entered my car, turned the ignition and slid the gear into drive. I didn’t know what to expect but I knew I was not waiting for another minute. If I was going to be arrested then I should be. I pushed my turn signal and moved into the road. I held my breath expecting something – a shout, running boots, a gunshot but nothing came. I looked in the rearview mirror, the policemen saw me go but didn’t make any attempt to stop me.
I sighed and shook my head, the bastards.
I was one hour behind already, but according to my estimated time of arrival, I was still good. I couldn’t afford another delay though.
My phone beeped and I picked it up; it was Ben. I answered.
“Ben, what’s up?”
“Are you on your way?” He asked.
“Yes, I left like one hour ago.”
“Okay, nice. You should be closing on Ibadan already then.”
“Well, not really. I had some police problems.”
“Problems? Hey dude, you remember you have to be here on time, right?”
I scoffed. “Oh really? I thought you wanted me to arrive tomorrow.”
“What?”
“Of course I remember, I’ll be there as soon as I can.”
“Alright man, see you when you arrive.”
I looked up the road and… “Oh crap.” I said.
“What is it?” Ben asked.
I ended the call, and slowed the car to a stop and rolled down my window.
“Hello Officer.” I said to the policeman standing in front of my car.
“Were you making a call while driving?” The policeman asked.
“I wasn’t…” Nah, I couldn’t lie, he probably saw me already anyway. “I’m sorry, I was.”
“Please park.” He said.
Not again.
I parked the car and stepped out of it. I could not be proud this time, I was at fault.
“Can I see your license please?” The officer said.
“Sir, I know what I did was wrong but I’m on an important journey and if I arrive late I will ruin a wedding.”
The officer smiled and said. “I’m really sorry about that but I’m just doing my job.”

Benjamin Dara.

“You had one job Mayowa, all you had to do was keep the rings. One freaking job.” Dotun said.
“Hey, you watch how you talk to me, okay? I’m not your mate.” Mayowa said.
“You are not my mate? Because you are friends with my elder brother? I don’t know why he picked you as his best man anyway.”
Mayowa chuckled. “That hurts you, doesn’t it? The fact that he didn’t pick you as his best man. Well, now you know how much your brother values you.”
“Shut up.” I shouted and they both stopped talking.
I walked out of the room and slammed the door behind me. My wedding day wasn’t supposed to start like this. Missing rings, a stupid groomsman and I didn’t know what was going on with Olumide and the car. I walked down the corridor to the elevator and pushed a button, I needed to be away from my feuding friend and brother.
The elevator opened, it wasn’t empty.
“Hello.” I said as I entered.
“Hi.” The girl in the elevator said with a sweet smile.
I returned the smile and stared in front of me as the elevator descended. I couldn’t look at her but I could feel her eyes on me. I waited a few seconds till I could barely stand from the tension and I turned to her. And sure, she was looking at me.
“Hi.” I said. It was the only thing that came to my mouth.
She smiled and looked away. It was my turn to look. She was pretty, that was obvious. There were other things but I couldn’t look too much, I’d learnt not to do that.
“You know the elevator will soon reach the lobby, right?” She said.
“Yeah, sure.” I didn’t understand what she meant by that.
“Okay, so are you going to talk to me or what?”
I laughed and almost choked on it. Why was I so nervous?
“Why are you all dressed up?” She asked.
I had totally forgotten about what I was wearing.
“I am getting married today.” I said.
She looked at me and smiled. “Really?”
“Yeah.”
“Are you sure?”
“Yes.” I arched my eyebrow. “Why… why would you ask if I was sure?”
“How did you talk to her? Or was the marriage arranged for you?”
“What? No, it wasn’t arranged.”
“Did she propose?”
“Okay, what is going on here? Are you saying I couldn’t have proposed?”
The elevator beeped and the door opened.
She smiled and stepped out of the elevator. I waited for a second and walked out. I smiled and watched her walk in front of me for a while then I stepped to her side.
“We were in that elevator for less than a minute and you think you know me?”
She turned to me. “Well, was I right?”
“About the proposal, no. Of course I proposed to her.”
“Okay, my bad.” She said.
I made the ‘sign of the cross’ in the air and said. “You are forgiven.”
“Why are you downstairs anyway? Shouldn’t you be preparing for your wedding?”
I nodded. “I should but my brother and my groomsman are fighting so I had to leave the room.” She did not respond so I continued. “My friend misplaced the rings.”
“That is not good.”
“No, it’s not. I had to leave the room, I needed to calm my nerves.”
“Are they calm now?”

Felix Umoh

I was calm and poised, this was one thing I did without having to think too much. I parked the car next to the girl and like most of girls, she moved on like she did not know I parked for her.
“Hello beautiful.” I called.
She stopped and looked at me and I saw her face in full. I wasn’t really impressed but I had seen something when I was behind her, it would do.
“Hello, please can you point me in the direction of First Baptist Church?”
She looked disappointed, she was expecting something else. Be patient lady. She pointed and started to describe but I wasn’t interested in that.
“Thanks a lot.” I said. “Can you come in, let me give you a lift to where you are going?”
She smiled and entered. “Thank you.”
“You are welcome.” I said. “You live around here?”
“Yes, just down the road.”
“Did you just move here? I’m sure I would have noticed a beautiful girl like you around.”
She smiled. “I’m usually in school.”
“Oh really? I’m usually in Lagos myself, I’m just around for a wedding.”
“So you are going back soon?” She asked.
“Yes, I am. Maybe we can still see before I leave.”
“Let me give you my number, I will come and see you at home.” She said.
She took my phone and typed her number into it. I spent the next three minutes flirting with her while she smiled and responded to everything I said or did. I didn’t even have to bring my ‘A’ game for this one.
Finally she said. “I will stop here.”
I pulled the car over to the side of the road.
“Is this your house?” I asked.
“No, it is my boyfriend…” She stopped but it was too late.
“It is your boyfriend’s house?” She looked away without responding. “That is not a problem, I will be looking forward to seeing you later.”
“Okay.” She said and exit my car.
I shook my head as I pulled back into the road. I didn’t mind that she had a boyfriend, in fact, it was great. I might call her, depending on how lucky I got at the wedding. It was too darn easy these days.
My phone rang, I looked at the phone and looked away; it was my father. I wasn’t in the mood to talk to him. I wondered why he kept calling. He had nothing to offer me. I didn’t need his money, I definitely didn’t need fatherly advice from him. He was the last person I wanted to be like. Cheating bastard.
Too late, you are already like him.
I shook the thought off my mind. I wasn’t like him in anyway. I wasn’t married, I’d never even been in any long-term relationship so nobody could accuse me of cheating.
But I couldn’t help but think, maybe this was how he started.

Sharon almost Dara

“That is how it starts, one day you are minding your business, next day you are still minding your business only your business is now a boy.”
Everybody in the room laughed but I didn’t, I was getting increasingly tensed and my sister’s jokes were not helping at all. What was I doing? Why was I getting married? Why Ben? Oh God, I was in trouble, wasn’t I?
“Are you okay?” Kike asked.
“Hmhmm, I am.” I said.
“If this is how okay looks, I don’t want to be okay.” She said. “You have tears in your eyes for God’s sake.”
I picked a tissue off the dresser and dabbed at my eyes.
“Come, let’s take a walk.” Kike said.
I stood and picked up the edge of my gown.
“What are you doing?” Bola, my sister asked.
“We are taking a walk.” Kike said.
“A walk to where? She’ll get her gown dirty.”
“I’ll be fine.” I said.
We left the room and walked to a patio overlooking the hotel’s swimming pool.
“Okay sit and tell me what is on your mind.” Kike said.
I didn’t know what to say, I couldn’t tell her what was bothering me. I stared into the calm pool and she stared at the not-so-cool me.
“Sharon?”
“Why aren’t you married Kike?”
“What?”
“I know you’ve been in a relationship longer than I and Ben, so why haven’t you gotten married?”
“Well, I don’t know, it’s not time I guess.” She said and looked away.
I knew my friend and I knew I had touched a sore nerve. I was concerned for her but I was not in the mood to be a friend, I was the one in need of help.
“How do you know when it is the right time?” I asked.
“Sharon, this is the right time for you.”
“How do you know that?”
“I’ve seen you and Ben, I know it is time.”
She pulled me close to her and hugged me.
“This is just pre-wedding jitters. It happens to most brides.” She said and added with a smile. “Some grooms too.”
“This isn’t pre-wedding jitters.” I said.
She held me at arms-length and looked into my eyes.
“Is there something you should tell me Sharon?”
Tears began to pour down my face.
“Okay, you are scaring me. What is going on?”
“Remember when I told you Ben had not even kissed me?”
“Yes.” She said then her eyes widened. “He did? He slept with you?”
I shook my head. “No, he didn’t. He said he wanted us to keep our virginities till our wedding night.”
“Yeah, you told me that before.” Kike said. “So what is the problem?”
I wiped the tears in my eyes and looked at Kike, my body trembling badly. “I am not a virgin.”

19Sep/16

RSVP Episode One

Benjamin Dara.
“You are gonna be having sex tonight.”
I looked behind at Dotun, I wanted to tell him to keep shut but yeah, he was right, I was going to have sex tonight. At least, that’s what they say you do on wedding nights. I smiled and returned my attention to the mirror. I’d never looked so good. If he would accept the challenge, I was sure I could give Leonardo DiCaprio a run for his money.
“What’s that stupid smile on your face?” Dotun asked.
“What?”
He moved closer to me and put his hand around my shoulder.
“You are getting married, you didn’t win the lottery.” He said.
“I’m marrying Sharon, of course I won the lottery.”
“Ode.”
He adjusted my tie and straightened my collar.
“Are you sure about this?” Dotun asked.
I looked at him. “Sure about what?”
“About getting married today.”
“What? You want me to wait till next week?” I smiled and pushed him out of my way.
“I’m serious.” He said. “Once you do this, there’s no going back.”
I looked at him and frowned. “Why are you asking me this now?”
“I would have asked at the bachelor’s party but no, you didn’t want one.”
“Okay Dotun, I’ll answer your question. Yes, I am sure about this. Am I scared? Sure. I’m about to change my life forever. But this is the best decision I’ve ever made, so yeah, I’m sure.”
“Okay then. Let’s get you married bro.”
He hugged me. I gave him a couple of pats on the back then pushed him away.
“You’re not even my best man.” I said. “I don’t know why you wanted to organize the bachelors’ party.”
“Because your best man is useless.”
“Hey, he is your elder brother’s friend.”
“Where is he by the way?”
The door burst open and Mayowa entered.
“Speak of the devil.” Dotun said.
I looked at Mayowa and gasped.
“Mayor, why aren’t you dressed yet?”
“I think we have a problem.” Mayowa said.
“Of course we do.” Dotun said and sighed.
“What now?”
“I can’t find the rings.”
“What?” I shouted. “Oh my God, Mayowa. I told you about this, I begged you.”
“I’ve looked all over my room, I can’t find it. Maybe I left it here.” He said.
“You didn’t leave it here because you didn’t bring it here.” I was starting to sweat. “What the hell Mayowa?”
“Wow, Ben said ‘hell’, you’ve made him very angry.” Dotun said.
“What do we do now?” Mayowa asked.
I couldn’t believe my ears. “What do we do? Seriously, what do we do? You had one job Mayor.”
“Shouting is not gonna help us here Ben. I misplaced the ring, I’m sorry but we have to find it.”
“We? We don’t have to do…”
“Calm down everybody.” Dotun said. He walked to Mayowa and pushed him towards the door. “Go and get dressed or you won’t make church on time.”
Mayowa left the room and Dotun walked back to me.
“See you sweating like somebody who just ran a marathon.” He said.
I looked in the mirror and shook my head.
“Well, it’s a good thing all eyes will be on my wife.”

Sharon almost Dara

“I don’t want all eyes on me.” I said, looking in the mirror.
“What?” Banke, my makeup artist could not believe what I’d just said.
“Yeah, why should all eyes be on me? What about Ben?”
“Ben is the groom.” She said.
“Exactly.”
She rolled my chair so I could sit facing her.
“This wedding, every wedding is about the bride. You are the only important person today. Maybe your mother too but that’s all. All eyes will be on you, so shut up and let me finish my job.”
I wanted to protest but I knew she was right. Ben was just a participant in this wedding. He was there for the vows and the exchange of the rings. At least that was what I was told at my bridal shower. I wished I could be the groom.
I looked at Kike, my best friend and chief bridesmaid as she diligently dressed up. I could tell something was on her mind but I knew Kike, she wouldn’t tell me even if I asked.
“I am done here.” Banke said.
She wheeled my chair to face the mirror. She did a good job, I looked beautiful; I was beautiful. Kike walked up behind me and looked at my reflection in the mirror.
“Wow, Ben has no idea what he’s getting.” Kike said.
“No, he doesn’t.” Banke said and left the room.
“I’m happy for you dear, you deserve all the attention you will get today.” Kike said.
“Why?”
She looked at me, puzzled. “Why? Why do you ask why?”
“Yeah, why do I deserve it?”
She shook her head. “Nope, I am not going to answer that question. You are the perfect bride, Ben or any guy will be lucky to have you as a wife. If you don’t know why you deserve this, then you need a therapist, not a fashion designer best friend.”
I smiled. I was used to people calling me perfect. It was not true of course but most of them will never get to know. Except for Ben.
“Do you know that since the day I started going out with Ben up until now, he never kissed me?” I said.
Kike’s eyes widened. “He never tried to? At all?”
“No.”
She shrugged. “I shouldn’t be surprised really. Both of you have always been spirikoko. Even if it crossed his mind he would have taken one look at you and backed off immediately.”
“No, it was him. He told me from the beginning he wasn’t going to kiss me or sleep with me until we got married.”
“So tonight is going to be epic then.” She chuckled.
I looked away from her and stared at myself in the mirror. The night was going to be epic in truth but not in the way Kike thought at all.
Ben was in for a huge surprise.

Olumide Bello

“I hate surprises.” My queen said.
“You’ll love this one, I promise you.”
“I doubt it but just get here as fast as you can.”
“Okay, I’ll see you in a few hours.”
“Wait Mide, don’t get here as fast as you can, just get here, okay?”
“Alright babe, love you.”
I ended the call and turned up the music, I had a long drive ahead of me. I took a look at the box sitting on the passenger seat beside me and a shudder went down my spine, was I ready for this? Do I love my queen as much as I loved…?
I looked up and I stepped on the brake; a policeman had appeared on the road from nowhere. I wasn’t even out of Lagos yet. I pulled over to the side of the road. I had all my papers but I was driving a new car without plates, this could take some time.
I rolled my window down as the officer approached.
“Good morning officer.” I said when he got to my window.
“Please come down.” He didn’t even look at me.
“You want to see my papers?” I asked.
“Please come down sir.”
I grabbed the papers from the glove box anyway. I stepped out of the vehicle.
“Good morning.” I said again, flashing my awesome smile.
“Please, go and see the officer in that car.” He said, pointing to a squad car parked off the road.
I nodded and walked towards the car. This officer was as cold as death, it almost made me feel afraid.
“My brother, good morning o.” The officer in the car called out before I got to him.
Oh, so they were going to play good cop, bad cop with me?
“Good morning officer.” I responded.
“Congratulations on your new car o.” Officer Tijani – according to his tag, said.
“Oh, it’s not my own.” I didn’t have to say that but now that I had started, I’d better complete the story. “It is for my best friend. He is getting married today and he got this car as a present for his wife. I’m taking the car to Ilorin and I need to get there before the reception begins.”
“So it is double celebration.” Officer Tijani said.
“Yeah.”
“Okay then my brother. Don’t let me delay you.”
“Thank you.” I said and turned to walk away.
“Wait brother.” Officer Tijani called and I stopped. “Give us something to celebrate with na.”
I knew this was going to happen and I had a response ready.
“Officer, it is not my car, I’m just the driver.”
“So you won’t wash your friend’s car for us? And new wife too?”
“I’m sorry officer, I just didn’t prepare for washing.”
“Brother, stinginess is not good o. Don’t you want a blessing like this too? Don’t you want to buy a new Mercedes like this and marry chacha wife?”
I already had a Benz and I was in the process of getting a wife, it was part of the reason I needed to get to Ilorin before the reception started but it won’t be smart telling him any of these.
“Officer, maybe when I get my own, I will come and celebrate with you.”
“Okay.” Officer Tijani said. “You can go.”
I nodded and walked away from him. No lazy police officer was going to get a dime from me today. I got to the car and opened the door.
“Mister Man, who asked you to go?”
I stopped and looked behind me; officer scarecrow was there, his gun prominent in front of him.
“Officer Tijani said I could go.” I said.
“He didn’t tell me that.” What now? “Can I see your license and particulars please?”
I smiled, so it is like that? You pay if you don’t pay, alright. I handed him the papers.
“Have a seat please.” The officer said. “You are going to be here for a while.”

Felix Umoh
“You’ve not been here for a while.” Mom said. “And then you turn up one morning unannounced?”
“Are you happy to see me or not?” I asked.
She rolled her eyes and set the plates on the table. This was one of the advantages of coming home; food. Glorious food like I could never get from those crazy restaurants in Lagos. I looked up at my mother, I knew she missed me a lot and I did too sometimes but that was life, I was grown now, she had to deal with it.
“So how long are you here for?” She asked.
“I’m going back tomorrow morning.”
“What?” She could not hide her disappointment. “You know what, never mind. Why are you here anyway? It is obvious you didn’t come to see me.”
I smiled. “Come on mama, I came to see you. I miss you, don’t you miss me?”
“Felix, I always thought you’d do me better than he did.”
My smile disappeared. “Mom, don’t compare me with your husband. I am not him.”
“You are not him, you will never be him in Jesus’ name.”
“So why do you keep comparing me to him? I’ve been busy at work, I didn’t leave you for another woman.”
“I wish you did.” She said. “At least then I will have another person I can call family.”
I stood from my seat and moved over to hers. I pulled her up and hugged her.
“I’m sorry mom, I didn’t mean to snap.”
She patted me on the back, then gently pushed me away.
“Eat your breakfast.” She said and started to leave the table.
“Mom, you remember Benjamin Dara?”
She turned back. “I know him. You boys were friends back in secondary school. How come I never hear you talk about him anymore?”
“Well, he’s getting married today.”
“So that is why you came to town?”
“Mom, come on. You might even know the girl he’s marrying.”
“I do?”
“Sharon, she’s also from school.”
“Oh yeah, I remember. Didn’t you use to…”
“Do you want to come?”
“Me? With this short notice? Sorry, I can’t.”
“Can I take your car?”
“Why didn’t you bring your own?”
“Mom?”
She picked the keys from the centre table and threw them to me.
“Why do you need a car anyway?”
Well, the answer was simple; it was easier to pick up girls at weddings when you had a car.
I took a sip of coffee, this wedding was going to be awesome.