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Nigeria's Leading Fictional Story Blog - Jeep, Traditional wedding, Wedding, Ashebis, Hungry, Angry, Food, Marriage, Love, Tears, Stress

“When is this traditional wedding ceremony going to start?” “I am starving. They should at least serve us food before the ceremony starts!!!” “It is nearly 4:00PM and nothing has started yet.” “Is the groom dead, or something?” Complaints poured in like a deluge. Emeka had stood his ground, refusing to make the short trip to Chidera’s village for the traditional wedding ceremony. “I can’t believe this!” Chidera said to her ashebis. “What has come over him? He no longer wants to be married to me? Why now? What is going on? I can’t believe this is really happening,” Chidera said through teary eyes. Her ashebis looked on helplessly. An emissary had been sent to Enugu already to ask Emeka to reconsider his sudden change of heart, but he stood his ground, claiming that he did not know how he got to where he was, with regards to the wedding. 

“Please, I need to be left alone for a moment,” Chidera asked her ashebis who walked out the room, sullenly. “This is terrible,” they mumbled as they left. Gossip began to fly around the compound. “She and her mother used juju (voodoo) to pin her husband to be down. Now the scales have fallen off his eyes…what a time for that to happen,” people mumbled in low tones.  As soon as her ashebis had left, Chidera locked the door and dug frenziedly into her wardrobe and searched frenetically for the talisman which Isiguzo had given her. “How come you can’t find something when you need it the most,” she mumbled under her breath. I am very sure that I brought it with me, she thought, tossing things out of the wardrobe. Finally, she found it in one of her bags. 

Nneka looked in her mirror. She saw Chidera digging around in panic. A malicious smile traversed her face. “This is awful,” he husband remarked. “Yes…terrible indeed,” Nneka answered inattentively, devoting her full attention to the mirror. She would dig into her purse every now and again to rub an offor carving that Isiguzo had given her. It ensured that Emeka remained completely unreachable by Chidera’s talisman, which was also an offor carving. “You are paying quite a lot of attention to that mirror,” her husband pointed out. “Did you not put on enough makeup at home?” “It is very dry today. I feel like I need to apply more makeup,” she lied. “Then, why don’t you go to the restroom or in the car and get that over with?” “You are right. I should not be rude. I will go to the car and take care of things.” She got up and walked briskly to their Jeep. 

“Lord, I trust you have sorted out that young man. I have not seen him in my dream of late. I thank you for answering my prayers. Please continue to protect that him from the powers of darkness. Anything that might get him entangled again, please destroy it,” Nneamak said a quick prayer in the restroom before returning to her counter at work. 

“You are mine, Emeka. You will do as I say. Come down to the village now!!! I declare, come down now!!!” Chidera declared to the offor branch. She spat on her fingers and then rubbed the saliva on the head of the offor branch which was carved into a human-like structure. “Chukwuemeka, I command you to come to my father’s compound now!!!” She repeated while rubbing the offor branch with ebullient passion. 

“Agnes, please do you know where Ifunanya is?” Emeka asked over the phone. He had been busy calling all of Ifunanya’s friends. “Why are you asking me? Aren’t you supposed to be wedding today or the juju don comot from your eyes? (has the power of the voodoo faded?)” Agnes asked caustically. “I have no idea what happened to me, Agnes. I never meant to leave Ifunanya. I have canceled my marriage to Chidera. Please could you tell me where she is?” “I believe she is in Onitsha with her family. Ifunanya has suffered for you, Emeka. I am not sure her family would want to see you. If I were you, I’d go back to Chidera because I doubt that Ifunanya would want you back. I think she is seeing someone, actually.” “She is seeing someone? Are you serious?” “No, she has been lying around the house waiting for you.” “I can assure you, Agnes; I never meant to leave her. I am so sad. I have to see her, somehow. Chidera ruined my life…my love. I don’t know what she did to me.”

Chidera picked up her phone and called Emeka. She expected him to pick up after her frantic work with the offor. “Please pick up!” She cried. “Are you alright, Chidera? Do you want me to come inside?” Miranda asked. She was at the door, hoping that everything would eventually work out well for her dear friend. “Not yet, Miimii. I am not fine at all. I need some more time, please.” Emeka looked at his phone as it vibrated. A frown went across his face as he grumbled. “Evil girl,” he muttered. 

Nneka stared into the mirror with gleaming excitement. She enjoyed every drop of tears that careened down Chidera’s face. “You thought you had figured out the world without me, Chidera. You have met your waterloo,” she said sadistically. “For crying out loud, pick up the phone!!!” Chidera yelled. A wave of poignant pain swept through her. “Open the door now, Chidera,” Miranda demanded. “I am going to ask someone to break this door now,” she added. “Chiichii my daughter, please open the door,” her mother pleaded. Her eyes were swollen. She had been crying for hours. After the mouthwatering dance earlier, she slumped into pain and tears as Emeka would not show up. “Please offer food and drinks to people,” Chidera’s father ordered the young women in charge of food and drinks. “Soon, people will start leaving, so we had better offer them food now,” he explained, managing to keep a tight rein over his agonizing pain. 

What is going on here? What am I doing here? Is that my car over there? Who is in my car?” Nneka’s husband suddenly began to question himself. He was astounded beyond words. He walked towards his Jeep. Nneka saw him coming towards the vehicle, so she quickly hopped out of the Jeep. “I am through with my makeup now, honey,” she announced to him, smiling. “Who are you?” Her husband asked her. “Have you had something to eat, drink or smoke, Chijioke?” Nneka asked him sarcastically. “Why are you asking me such silly questions?” She added.  “I should be asking you the same question…What are you doing in my car? Were you not the same girl that my friend in University, Simon introduced to me years back? What happened to my girlfriend, Lucinda? I am going mad. What are you doing with me?” “Stop acting up Chijioke. I am your wife, of course. I am the mother of your child…our child!!!”

“My God, what is going on? Where have I been all these years? I can’t believe this. Where am I?” “Chijioke, please stop this. I don’t like expensive jokes like this one!!!” “Please get out of my way. I need to go somewhere to clear my head. I feel like I have just risen from the dead. I certainly have not been living all these years. I still can’t understand what is going on.” Chijioke brushed Chidera aside and jumped into his Jeep. “Chijioke, stop that car now!!!” Chidera said authoritatively. Her right hand was in her purse as she rummaged for a different carved offor branch. She found it. Quickly, she began to rub the head of the wooden sculpture. 

“Chijioke, I command you to come back here now,” she said under her breath. Chijioke swerved the car in a hurry and screeched away, raising a massive spurt of dust. “I bet that guy became so hungry and angry that he opted to drive to a restaurant somewhere in town to get something to eat!”  A young man who was waiting agonizingly for food to be served at the traditional wedding said jokingly. He and his friends had been hanging around for hours waiting for food to be served. “I bet he can no longer take the hunger,” one of his friends replied as dust filled the air following Chijioke’s spirited exit in his Jeep. “Come back here Chijioke!!! Nneka shouted, unable to conceal her deep concern anymore. “Wow! The guy was so hungry that he forgot his wife or girlfriend,” one of the boys added, triggering a raucous laughter. 

Nneka’s phone began to ring. It was Chidera. “Nne, are you in my father’s compound,” she asked Nneka who was shaken up following Chijioke’s sudden departure…and the events that led to it. “I have been here all day, Dera. I can imagine how you are feeling.” “Please Nneka. I know you can fix this. Please, you have to do something. This can’t happen. Please can you make something happen? My offor is not working. I am broken to shreds, Nneka. Please help me!!!” A streak of tears lazily journeyed down her face. “I would love to help you Dera, but I am in shock myself as well.” “What do you mean? Can you imagine what I am going through, Nne. I know you can do this for me, just like that.” “Dera, my husband of two years left me in your father’s house. Out of the blues, he started asking me who I am….what he was doing here and how he and I came to be together. I have tried to bring him under control to no avail. I don’t know what is happening!” 

“Isiguzo’s power has failed?” Chidera asked ominously. “I don’t know what is happening,” Nneka replied. “I thought it never failed!!! And I needed you so much now Nneka. I can’t believe this is really happening. Please tell me you are joking. Is this about last time that I kept things from you? I promise, it will never happen again. Please help me, Nneka.” “I need to help myself first, Dera. I am at a loss. I need to call Isiguzo now.”  “Please do. I am sure he can fix this.” “I will try my best,” Nneka said. 

“I want to go to Onitsha first thing tomorrow morning,” Emeka explained to his best friend, who was also his best man in his cancelled wedding. “What for? Are you really serious about seeing Ifunanya?” “She is the love of my life, Rueben!” “You have forgotten that you were the one that brought all these upon yourself – yes, Ifunanya is indeed, the love of your life but you ruined it.” “What do you mean, Rueben? Of course she is the love of my life and I want her. How did I ruin it?” “You still slept with Chidera, Ifunanya’s best friend. Maybe you forgot. She came to campus one evening asking for Ifunanya, who had traveled to Onitsha that weekend. I think she came specifically for you because she could have easily called Ifunanya on her phone to find out where she was. Instead, she came to you and because Ifunanya was out of town, you asked Chidera to stay - in your room, Emeka. You slept with her a few times and before I knew it, you too were sneaking around behind Ifunanya to do your thing. I guess she did something to you in that time or later. You allowed her in…after she had set a trap for you, my friend. You said it was just a cheap, harmless fling. According to you ‘I want to have the taste of a different soup’. Now, look where that soup has brought you.” 

Emeka hung his head in shame and guilt. It was all coming back to him. “I shouldn’t have done that,” he said somberly. “But I warned you!” “I can’t believe I threw away the beautiful thing I had with Ifunanya. I have to try to make up with her somehow. I really love her, Rueben.” “You don’t cheat on people you love!” Rueben said angrily. The whole day had been stressful. “I am still going to see her. I will try to explain everything to her.” “You will tell her that you cheated on her?” “Not that part. It would be harsh to tell her that. No, I can’t mention that to her.” “Why bother then? If you want to come clean, why leave a few skeletons in your cupboard?” “I can’t tell her, Rueben. Please be constructive. I need to see Ifunanya. God please forgive me. I am going to Onitsha tomorrow. I don’t care what happens.”

Umunna stared at his phone. He had been trying to forget Ifunanya but he could not. He thought about her every moment of the day. Stabbing pains gored mercilessly at him each time he thought of her. How am I supposed to live without her? He wondered. Just call her, a thought zipped through his mind. And then what? Instead, he began to type a text for her. He would type, read it and then delete parts of it. Then, he’d type another one and go through the same process. Finally, he settled for one – 

How are you doing? Can I come and visit you tomorrow? Been thinking about you. I really want to visit you tomorrow.

He stared intently at the screen of his phone after sending the text to Ifunanya, wishing she’d reply right away!

Written by:
Victor Chinoo 

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Nigeria's Leading Fictional Story Blog - Jeep, Traditional wedding, Wedding, Ashebis, Hungry, Angry, Food, Marriage, Love, Tears, Stress An African Literary Blog
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