AMAZING LOVE - Episode 44

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THE WEDDING After a long spell of work on her face by her make-up artist, Eka stood up to ad...


After a long spell of work on her face by her make-up artist, Eka stood up to admire herself before the mirror. The make-up artist worked so hard it seemed her work invoked the full strength of Eka’s surreal beauty. Even Eka was stunned by the look of her face. She knew she was beautiful, but her look on this day made her realize why some in the past chose to brand her a witch.  Eka could not help smiling happily at herself, she knew with her new look, she would cause a stir in the church service and would leave Dr. Gerry transfixed the moment he saw her. She and her parents had lodged in a hotel not so far from the reception venue. It was Dr. Gerry’s idea that they all move from the hotel instead of home. Down stairs, Eka’s parents were already dressed and waiting for her. Next to them were rented Mercedes G Wagon G63 and Toyota Camry Spider all set to drive Eka and her parents to the Church service respectively. Nestling close to the Mercedes G wagon were Eka’s flower girls who were waiting for her so they could leave for church service.
Picking her steps like an angel descending from the stairs of heaven, Eka emerged from the hotel. As she flounced toward the G wagon, Simbi and a lady from Eka’s bridal train flanked her keeping watch over her. From where he stood, Mr. Effiong fought back tears at the sight of his daughter.Ufoma, Eka’s mother squirmed her shoulders to shake off the flood of emotions which swooshed through her. Her eyes moistened and she removed her handkerchief and quickly dabbed the corners of her eyes. Choking on his words Mr. Effiong said to his wife in low tone, “In my foolishness I drove this precious gift away…” “Don’t make things harder for me than they already are. Leave the past where it is. If you say one more word about the levity of our past conduct toward Eka, I doubt I will be able to raise a limb to join you to church. Guilt is strangulating me already.” Mr. Effiong pulled his wife closer and gave her a reassuring hug. “We have to find a way to forgive ourselves. That is the only way to move forward.” Ufoma nodded her head. Words had fled from her vocal organ.

Before Eka was neatly tucked into the Mercedes G wagon by Simbi and the other member of her bridal train, she waved at her parents, beckoning on them to get inside the Toyota Camry Spider for them to leave for church service. Her smile was angelic, blending perfectly with her supple fair skin and her wedding gown which fitted her so much that one would have thought she was sewn into it. Her flustered parents pulled themselves together and got in their car. When Eka installed herself on the comfy back seat of the Mercedes G wagon, she shut her eyes and took a deep breath.  In minutes her long awaited dream would become a reality. God in his immeasurable mercy had blessed her with an amazing love and rolled away the rigours of her checkered life. She wanted to keep her eyes shut until they had arrived at the church. However when she remembered Simbi had still not furnished her with what it was Dr. Gerry was planning, she opened her eyes and asked, “Simbi, you still have not told me what Dr. Gerry is up to. Are you with him in what he is planning?” Simbi’s face gave no impression she was in league with Dr. Gerry. As calmly as she could, she replied, “I have the feeling Dr. Gerry knows I am trying to find out what he is up to; even Sammy won’t talk to me about it. But the good thing is that we know he has a surprise for you.”

“I know, but I would be relaxed if I knew what he wants to do. It bothers me that for weeks we could not find out what he has been planning.” “Calm down Eka, it is your wedding day. Give no thought to what Dr. Gerry has up his sleeve.” “I will try.” When they arrived at the church, the church auditorium was full. As her father led her down the aisle with her bridal train behind them, a nasty thought occurred to her and she almost stumbled to the floor. The congregation echoed and cooed in suspense as Eka tottered over her high heel shoes. She was a strong girl. She did well to manage her shoes. Her father could tell something was wrong with his daughter, so he asked, “Eka what is it?” “Nothing,” was her reply. Her voice clearly gave her away. She was afraid. From behind her Simbi asked, “Eka what is it?” “Look around, there is no Dr. Gerry. Where is he? Is he going to keep me waiting today?” Her voice sounded broken, she was dead sure that was the surprise. Before they could reach the seats set for her and her bridal train, sweat had broken over her face, threatening to mess up her make-up.

Simbi was busy darting her eyes about looking for Dr. Gerry. Every one from his family was in the church except him, Sammy and the groom’s men. Dr. Gerry’s mother was sitting with her daughters and family members, eagerly waiting like a child about to receive a Christmas gift. Slowly Simbi got worked up and she swore under her breath, “If Dr. Gerry does this, I will kill him. This is a joke gone too far.” Everyone was in Church and all was ready for the church wedding service. Only Dr. Gerry and his groomsmen were missing. Eka’s heart threatened to stop. She had to be taken away from the auditorium to have her make-up patched up severally. Christy, Ema and their husbands were not bothered a bit that Dr. Gerry had not arrived for the wedding. They seemed happy and overjoyed. Eka had to take confidence in that. However she was still nervy. When Simbi could not take it anymore, she stormed down to where Christy and her family members were and made known her threat, “This is not what Dr. Gerry told me he would do. I he fails to show up to day or too late. I swear by God I will kill him!”

The sound of her voice gave the impression she meant every word of what she said. Christy and the others were smiling. It was either they did not hear Simbi or they were part of the game which was going on. Christy still smiling said to Simbi, “Have you told Eka about the surprise Dr. Gerry has in store for her?” “This is it obviously! I don’t have to tell her anymore!” “Please don’t; Gerald was held up for some time in traffic. This is not what he planned.” When Simbi stood up to return to her seat, Dr. Gerry and the groom’s men ambled into the church like Alexander the great and his close friends, looking fit and proper. Eka almost stood to her feet to run to him. She was obviously happy he was around. For standing her up too long, she would deal with him when the day was over. Dr. Gerry was garbed in charcoal black Ventura Burgundy Slim Fit Three Piece Suit. His shoes reflecting the lights in the auditorium embellished his appearance a tad more than he intended. The groom’s men who flanked him looked no less charming. His face dazzled and radiated with the smile of a man who was getting married to the wife of his youth.

The embarrassing long wait for him to arrive must have made guests in the church auditorium to take little notice of Eka. When Dr. Gerry and his men had taken their seats opposite Eka and her bridal train and she blew him a kiss; it seemed scales fell of the eyes of those in the church. Like the buzzing of bees in a hive, waves of voices swept through the auditorium about Eka. Her hair, eyes, skin, shape, makeup and wedding gown were subjects discussed by the crowd inside the church. Eka could hear them. For a moment she felt taller. A sea of joy welled up on the inside of her. With her man around the the priests ready to officiate the wedding she took more more look at herself. From the moment she arrived at the church and found out Dr. Gerry was not around, she gave no thought to her look. However with him around, she wanted to look her best. Her Martina Liana wedding dress was breathtaking; it fitted on the body from the chest to the knee, and then flared out close to the knee. It was ideal for slender frames and hourglass body types who are willing to show off their curves. With a body shape like hers, Eka was sure a few necks would snap before the wedding was over. She only prayed that Dr. Gerry would not be one of those.

Confident she was looking just the way she wanted, she turned her attention to her wedding vow.She had been rehearsing it for days. She wanted to read it to Dr. Gerry with a slice of passion in her voice. Every word in that vow came from her heart and meant so much to her.  When the officiating priest mounted the altar to preach the wedding sermon, Eka and Dr. Gerry were led to seats set for them in front of the altar. Eka was happy to sit that close to her man. The moment she sat down; she stealthily took his hand, squeezed it firmly and mouthed to him, “I love you with all my soul.” The preacher was looking straight at them. For a moment Dr. Gerry was not sure if he should respond to Eka; but he braved up and whispered, “I love you with all that I am.”


Written by:
Uzoma Ujor

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AMAZING LOVE - Episode 44 An African Literary Blog
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