SWEET AMOR - Episode 3

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Nigeria's leading fictional story blog - by the hospital, your dream wedding, terminally ill with prostate cancer, marry me, wedding plan, the doctors, exchanging their vows, conventional wedding dresses, business partner, love.

Just when Joy had given up on ever seeing Emmanuel again, Emmanuel dropped by the hospital to let her know he got her messages but was not disposed to reply to any of them at that time. Surprisingly Emmanuel didn’t look hurt. “He must have gotten over how I reacted to his proposal,” Joy reasoned. Their conversation took its usual form, full excitement and laughter. After an hour of conversing with him, Joy began to wonder if Emmanuel was going to present his proposal again. She wanted to ask him about it, but at the same time, she didn’t want to look desperate. About forty-five minutes later when Emmanuel was about to leave, Joy held his hand and asked him to sit for a while. Emmanuel did and she asked, “Do you still want to marry me?” Emmanuel paused for a while before giving his reply, and while he did, Joy’s heart raced rapidly in suspense. “Yes I still do; though a few things have changed.” “Are you serious? You still want to marry me?” “I do.”

“But I am not fully back to good health, how am I going to…” “Don’t worry about your health Joy. All I want is to love you and to let you have your dream wedding. Sickness robbed you of it, now I want you to have it back.” Joy started to shed a few tears; she couldn’t believe someone could love as selflessly as Emmanuel did. “You said some things have changed; what are those things?” Emmanuel took a heavy sigh and said, “Joy I am dying. I am terminally ill with prostate cancer. The doctors in US think I have just three years to live.” Joy could not believe her ears. “No! No! You are not dying! You will live! This is what is going to happen, I will marry you and get up from this bed of sickness and we will have a wonderful marriage and have children. You are going to live to see your children. I bet you will.” “I want to share your faith with you, but I don’t know how to. All I want to do now is to love you till I die.” “You aren’t dying yet Mr. Emmanuel. Sir, would you please propose to me again?” Emmanuel got down on one knee and asked, “Will you marry me Joy?” This time he had no engagement ring, but Joy knew she would get one in his next round of visit. “Yes I will. I will marry you Emmanuel”. Joy stretched out her left hand and Emmanuel slipped an imaginary ring on her finger.

Their wedding plan started feverishly while Joy was still in the hospital continuing with her treatment. She wasn’t strong enough to handle her wedding plans, nonetheless her siblings and friends had to be her hands and feet. Emmanuel wanted everything Joy had put into her earlier wedding plan with Sule and much more. Joy didn’t care much about her wedding being a show-stopper; all she wanted was to be married to a man who saw her in her worst moment and loved her in spite of it.

Emmanuel, particularly loving her in the midst of the circumstances which made Sule to abandon her meant so much to her. As their wedding drew close, the doctors invited Emmanuel and Joy to a meeting and informed them that Joy would not be able to bear the rigours of a wedding, and insisted that it would be best they put it on hold. They felt that Joy being required to pose for pictures for long spell of time, walk some distance, dance and sit for hours and hand out gifts on that day might be way too much for her to handle. Though the size of the tumour in her head had begun to shrink considerably, she was still considered terminally ill by the doctors. And quite frankly Joy was having occasional tremor in her hands and feet. She still hadn’t regained her body weight and couldn’t walk for long without support. However, Emmanuel and Joy were determined to have their wedding; so they devised a means to have the wedding without putting Joy in harm’s way.

The idea they came up with was simply out of the box. The hospital had a large, lush green lawn, so Emmanuel though they should have the wedding in the lawn. He would pay to have artificial trees and natural flowers moved into the lawn. He would also bring in other decorations like a trellis to focus the ceremony and frame him and Joy as they say their vows; strings of lights and lanterns in the trees; luminarias and torches. Joy and Emmanuel also planned to create a breathtaking lounge in the lawn which would have exotic sofas, chairs and Arabian rug on the floor. They timed the wedding for sunset so that their guests would see them exchange their vows surrounded by the warm glow of the sun. They also planned to have a flock of white pigeons released into the air after exchanging their vows.

Initially Joy and Emmanuel wanted to wear hospital gowns for their wedding, but later changed it. Their earlier plan for the hospital gowns was to tell the unique story behind their love and health challenges. Joy wanted to be pictured in a wedding gown and so they decided to go for conventional wedding dresses. With their wedding and reception planned to take place in the hospital premises, Joy would return to her hospital bed after exchanging marital vows with Emmanuel, and taking photo shots with him, family members and guests. They informed the doctors and the hospital management of their plans and they endorsed them, with minor additions. On the wedding day, the doctors would assign two nurses who would hang around Joy and help her get whatever she might need and to keep an eye on her in case she was to complain of any discomfort.

On their wedding day, they recorded more guests than they had planned to have. The story of a tycoon like Emmanuel, getting married to a sick woman at the hospital where he met her softened many hearts and they came to see the lady. Joy didn’t exactly look her usual dazzling self, but she nonetheless looked good enough for an occasion like wedding. There wasn’t much to preach during the ceremony, their love story said all that was needed to be said. Emmanuel brought the trappings of his high social class into the wedding and blew his guests away. The drinks and food had a feel of celestial bliss; the DJ who handled music was flown in from UK and they also had a lot of live performances by Nigerian music artists. Joy liked Oritse Femi, so when he performed she came out to acknowledge him by trying to dance. Don Jazzy and the Mavin Record crew were the other artists who performed and left the crowd yearning for much more. However, the wedding ceremony had to end. The venue was a hospital, and for that the ceremony was planned to last briefly. It however left a sweet taste in the mouths of the guests to savour for a long time.

Joy was happy to have walked down the aisle (though actually across the lawn) with a man she had come to love so much, but she still had a few questions about him tugging at her mind. Her demons from many failed relationships were still assailing her mind with disturbing thoughts. The class difference between them was too much and Emmanuel seemed to be way richer than she had estimated. She was afraid that there might be secrets hidden behind his hard-to-believe love for her. She decided to press him for answers about why his first wife left him. Emmanuel could understand Joy’s fears and gently tried to knock the bottom off her mounting misgivings about him, “I loved my ex-wife, but she began to cheat on me when I was diagnosed with prostate cancer. I feared she was going to hasten my death. I didn’t want to stain my hands with blood, so I quietly began to work hard to set up our divorce.”

                 CLICK HERE TO READ EPISODE 4
                 CLICK HERE TO READ EPISODE 2

Written by:
Uzoma Ujor

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Moofyme.com: An African Literary Blog: SWEET AMOR - Episode 3
SWEET AMOR - Episode 3
Nigeria's leading fictional story blog - by the hospital, your dream wedding, terminally ill with prostate cancer, marry me, wedding plan, the doctors, exchanging their vows, conventional wedding dresses, business partner, love.
Moofyme.com: An African Literary Blog
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