LIGHTHOUSE - Episode 22

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Nigeria's leading fictional story blog - Lagos operations, Lagos, pool side of Nike Lake Resort Hotel, Enugu, master of ceremonies, the good, the bad and the ugly.

“I can’t thank you enough for being there for my daughter. I have no doubt that you’ll make her a wonderful husband,” Mr. Okoye said to Umunna. “Thank you sir,” he replied. “No, thank you for being a wonderful friend and a reliable neighbor. I am glad that you asked me first before asking my daughter. You have my permission to marry her. I am sure she’d be thrilled to marry you. You will manage my Lagos operations going forward. I have full faith in you. Even before you came to ask for my daughter’s hand in marriage, I was going to make you the offer to run my Lagos operations. All our imports come from Lagos. I will have you coordinate all the activities between China, Indonesia and Lagos,” Mr. Okoye explained. Umunna could not believe his ears. This was the answer to his prayers he had been expecting. “I am very grateful,” he said to Ifunanya’s father. “I will never let you down.” “I know you won’t.”

The next day, Umunna proposed to Ifunanya and she was thrilled to say yes. She had returned to Enugu as she sought to finish off her master’s degree. Her father had already secured a job for her with MTN in Lagos, which was part of the reason he appointed Umunna his manager in Lagos. She melted into Umunna’s arms in tears after he proposed and she said yes. It was a quiet proposal. Umunna did not want too much fanfare given everything she had been through of late. So, he walked into her apartment next to his and lay on the bed beside her. He opened a box bearing a glistening ring and offered it to her. “How do you like it?” He said. Ifunanya’s eyes began to shine with life and excitement. “What do you mean?” she asked him.

“My life is incomplete without you. My world is a narrow lane without you. My freedom is restricted without you. I have stood on the sidelines for quite some time, my dear. I have loved your through all that. I have borne your pains in my heart as an outsider. Now, I want to enter your heart, take your burdens and place them on my shoulders. I want your burdens to be lighter…if not the lightest ever. I want your joy to be full. I want that beautiful smile of yours to blossom and shimmer each day. Please, would you marry me?” “Yes, Umunna. Yes, I will marry you. I will marry the man who loved me when I was unlovable, unacceptable. I will lay down my life if I have to, to be your loving wife.” “You say the finest things my love,” said Umunna. “No, you say the nicest things, darling.” “I asked your father first.” “You did?” “Yes.” And what did he say?” “He was gracious, kind and supportive. He gave his blessings. And, he offered me a job in his company I Lagos.” “Aww!! I…I am so proud of you for doing that.” “I’d do anything for you.

They had been spending a great deal of time in the past weeks following Uduma’s death. While investigating the kidnapping case, police found texts and phone call logs between Uduma and Chidera, whose body was recovered a day after Uduma had shot her. They called Ifeoma’s number and she told them that Uduma had requested information on Chidera from her. They were convinced that Chidera was involved in the kidnap especially after finding out from Ifunanya that she and the late Chidera had a history. When the quizzed Agusi further, he finally spilled the beans. He was sentenced to twenty-four years in prison eventually.

Emeka on the other hand moved to Port Harcourt. He was overwhelmed by the events of his life in the past months. He had his company transfer him to Port Harcourt where he started over on a whole new slate. He missed Ifunanya every now and again, but he knew that chapter was over for good. He was too careful about relationships, so he decided to take some time away from girls for a while.

The Wedding
After a beautiful wedding ceremony in church, Umunna and Ifunanya had their wedding reception at the pool side of Nike Lake Resort Hotel, Enugu. Nike Lake was one of, if not the most beautiful hotel in Enugu. “Ladies and gentlemen, the bride, Ifunanya has something to say to us all. I would be pleased if you could offer her your undivided attention while you devour your food, of course,” the master of ceremonies said. Ifunanya rose to her feet, taking the microphone from the master of ceremonies. “She looked at the crowd, cleared her throat and began to speak. “I have something very dear t my heart, which I would like to share with my wonderful husband here. There is no better time to share this with Umunna than today, in front of you all; our friends and family.” She began to unfold a piece of paper she was holding in her hand. She took a deep breath and began to speak again.

“I have written a poem for Umunna. It is a poem that reflects my deepest feeling towards him. While most of you know me as a good girl, Umunna knows the good, the bad and the ugly about me; yet, he still loves me, unconditionally. Only your true love would know your good, bad and ugly and still love you completely. Here is my poem. It is titled, lighthouse.

Umunna, you are my lighthouse; the beacon of light that sits firmly on the shore, shining day and night through rain and through sunshine.
I have been terribly lost on the sea of life, roaming aimlessly, buffeted and battered by massive waves.
I have sought my own ways, steering dangerously to my own downfall. Amongst huge rocks and icebergs, I ploughed aimlessly like a lost sheep.
Blind I was at sea, unable to see where I was going and where I was coming from.
Unworthy, my old, bruised ship dangled on dangerous waters, hanging perilously to dear life.
Like a leper ravaged by a deadly pathogen, I was isolated amid many. I sought love and validation in all the wrong places, while you stood by the side, loving me when I neglected you.
You, Umunna shone from far away, leading me home, even when I could not see.
When I was headed for jagged rocks that were waiting to sink the ship of my life, you stood firm, glowing and blistering with life and light, restoring hope and direction to my path.
When I steered my ship in the wrong direction, you stood like the true north, calling me home, patiently.
It is easy to love people who do things right, look good and make few mistakes. In truth, that is artificial love.
To love someone when they are smeared with dirt and battered by the mistakes of life…that is what love is truly all about.
That was what you did for me, Umunna. In the darkness of the night, alone at sea, lost and emotionally bruised, your light glowed like stars from the galaxies, sparkling angelically towards my path.
If not for you, I would not be here today. Thank you for loving me, my lighthouse. I have neither silver nor gold, but what I have is my little, poor heart…with it, I will love you until my dying breath. I pledge to shine for you, my love, and stand by your side as you stood by me, when I was lost.
I love you deeply and completely, Umunna!

               CLICK HERE TO READ EPISODE 21
Written by:
Victor Chinoo

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LIGHTHOUSE - Episode 22
Nigeria's leading fictional story blog - Lagos operations, Lagos, pool side of Nike Lake Resort Hotel, Enugu, master of ceremonies, the good, the bad and the ugly. An African Literary Blog
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