I Do? III

The long awaited final part… please see part one here and part 2 here

…Titi was a nervous wreck. It was amazing to her how no one saw or felt the turmoil she was battling inside. Chudi was so supportive and loving and so eager to start his life with her that he just assumed that Titi’s aloof behavior  was her way of dealing with all the wedding stress.  Beep, beep, beep… Titi was jerked back to reality by the reminder that just went off on her phone, : shoot! I have my makeup trial today, she mumbled to herself as she fumbled for her car keys and rushed off to Ikeja for her appointment with her makeup artist.

She was half way on third mainland bridge when she just started shivering and crying inconsolably. The hawkers and people in other cars looked at her funny but she didn’t care, she just sat there bawling her eyes out, she was having the most severe cramps she had ever had in her life and deep down in her heart she knew that something was wrong with the baby. It took all of Titi’s concentration for her to drive and cry at the same time. With one hand on her stomach and another on the steering she drove and drove, until finally she got to the clinic. Parking her car in the middle of the hospital premises was the last thing she remembered before her world went blank.

Titi, Titi can you hear me? She tried to open her eyes but she couldn’t, the lights were too bright. Lights… she croaked and the nurse walked over and turned them off. Where am I? What time is it? She seemed disoriented until it all came rushing back to her. She sat up swiftly and touched her stomach. My baby, my baby, Dr what happened to my child? Dr. Obi held her hand and looked at her sombrely, I am so sorry Titi, you suffered a miscarriage and by the time you arrived here, there was nothing we could do to save the embryo. You became unconscious because of the vast amount of blood you lost so we had to perform an emergency D&C procedure to remove the rest of the…Titi didn’t hear the rest of the doctor’s explanation. The tears came back, deep wrenching sobs. The nurses tried to console her and the doctor walked out of the room to go see his other patients.

She cried and cried till there wasn’t any tears left, she had a terrible headache and she felt empty. As she toyed with her engagement ring, a part of her was immensely relieved that she lost the baby, that the consequence of her momentary lapse of judgement with Wale, had been erased forever but another part of her mourned the loss of her child and her future with Wale. It was time for her to leave but she couldn’t drive herself, she couldn’t call her mother and she definitely couldn’t call chudi so she called bimbo, her older sister. Hello…sister Bimbo, its me. I am at the hospital and I need you to come take me home. Bimbo burst into the room walking straight to Titi, what happened? Kilode? Titi knew she couldn’t keep it to herself anymore and so she told her sister the whole story. How she went to see Wale and one thing led to another and she found out she was pregnant, wale had no clue and neither did her fiancée Chudi.

Hmmmm… Bimbo took a very deep breath and looked at her sister with blatant dismay. How could you Titi? You are engaged to marry Chudi for heaven’s sake! And you very well know that Wale is also about to get married, why couldn’t you let sleeping dogs lie? What if you hadn’t had a miscarriage, what was your plan? Were you going to marry Chudi while carrying another man’s baby? Oh my God…she went on and on and eventually she stopped pacing and turned to Titi: you can never tell anyone about this. You will repair your makeup and I will drive you home. If mummy or daddy asks, you have menstrual cramps. Your wedding is next week and I am not about to let you ruin your life any further that you already have.

If being pregnant was bad, this was certainly worst. Every time she got a loving text or a call from Chudi her heart sank. Her wedding dress arrived and it was gorgeous. Chudi’s mum and her mum were currently out getting pedicures preparing for the big day. Only Bimbo knew how dead Titi felt inside. Against her better judgement, Titi got in her car and drove to Wale’s house, she had to tell him, he had to know, it was his child too. She sat in the drive way for hours till she finally got up and knocked. To her utter shock, it was Wale’s very pregnant fiancée that answered the door. Titi stood transfixed and she couldn’t get her mouth to form any words. Finally she mumbled; hello, is Wale home? No he’s not, who’s asking? Titi just turned around, ran to her car and drove to Chudi’s house.

He wasn’t home. He had gone for a drink with the guys at work so she sat in front of his house and waited. The soft evening breeze lulled her to sleep and she didn’t hear Chudi approach her. Hey babe, wake up. Why didn’t you use your key? She squinted at him, Chudi we need to talk. He sat beside her and took her hands and looked at her. I have been waiting for this talk for a very long time. For the past three months or more I know you haven’t been yourself and  I had hoped that one day you would tell me what’s wrong, I am listening, talk to me. So she told him, every single detail up to the miscarriage. He held her hands while she wept and tried to form coherent words to tell him everything that happened and finally she was done talking. She closed her eyes in sweet relief, feeling like a heavy load had been taken off her shoulders but the relief was closely chased by dread, fear of what Chudi was going to do.

She finally looked up at him and she saw that he had been crying too. He let go of her hands and stood up, and then he faced her and looked into her eyes; if you hadn’t miscarried would you have told me? Would have married me and led me to believe that the baby was mine? No, she said. I was going to tell you today, with or without the miscarriage. Who else have you told? Does wale know? No he doesn’t , the only person that knows is sister Bimbo and that’s because she came to get me from the hospital. Titi knew without a shadow of doubt that her future with Chudi was over, she was just waiting for him to say it and she started crying again. Hey, don’t cry. Look at me, listen..babe, I am glad you told me, and sincerely I forgive you because it could have been me. What if I was the one that cheated and got a girl pregnant, would you have left me? She shook her head no because for the first time she realized with clarity how much she truly loved Chudi. Babe, I am hurt and very angry by all that you’ve just said, but what can I say? I love you and I still want to marry you, you just have to promise me one thing, you can never see or speak to Wale again and we will never talk about this unfortunate incident ever again. Deal? Deal! She flew into his arms and wept with relief that all was well in her world, Chudi still loved her, the wedding was still on, life was good.

Chudi smiled as he hugged her, but she couldn’t see the wicked glimmer in his eyes, because what Titi could not know was that his girlfriend in the States just had a set of twins for him a couple of months ago and he had been looking for how to tell her. I guess they were even now.

The End…

 

Dear Mr. Indecisive…

 

Dear Mr. Indecisive,

Time’s a wastin

What is it that you want?  You remind me of the weather, steady changing

Never sure, never true, neither here nor there…

You’re in love on Monday, you wanna see where things are headed on Tuesday ,

By Wednesday we’re best friends? Sigh…

Maybe you’ll change, maybe someday soon your mind will be made up,

But what if it isn’t? What if you really don’t know what you want?

But If we give honesty a chance, we will see the glaring truth,

Because my dear Mr. Indecisive, your indecision is a decision in its own.

Maybe you’re so unsure because you already know,

But if by some stroke of luck you’re not,

Let me help you out.

I am not an option, neither am I a car at an auction, or a choice at a Chinese buffet,

I’m a person with a timeline, a purpose and not a lot of time for guessing games.

I hope I’ve been of help today,

Because I have made a decision for you and removed myself from the situation.

So goodbye Mr. Indecisive,

Find yourself if you will, then come find me,

Because chasing me when you’re not ready to catch me has ceased to be an option.

 –Adaugo, 2016

 

 

 

 

I Do? Part II

 

To refresh your memory, please see part 1 here. I know it’s been a long time coming, but please enjoy!

Chidi looked into her eyes as the whole congregation waited with bated breath for her to respond, he was searching for a clue. He raised his left brow and tilted his head to the left, wordlessly asking her what was wrong. Titi’s sisters took a break from their photo spree and faced the altar where Titi and Chudi stood facing each other. The priest adjusted his glasses, cleared his throat and asked for the second time: do you Titlayo Smith take Chidi Nze as your lawfully wedded husband, forsaking all others, to have and to hold, for better and for worse, till death do you part?

At this point it was obvious to everyone at the ceremony that something was wrong with Titi. It felt like a Nollywood movie and the atmosphere suddenly became charged with anxiety. After what felt like an eternity, Titi managed to say I do. A deep collective sigh of relief was followed by a nervous round of applause and as the priest hastily concluded the ceremony, it felt almost as if he was rushing through everything before Titi changed her mind again.

As friends and family gathered outside the Church for the mandatory round of pictures, everyone was abuzz and lost in the joy of the occasion, Chidi however was not a happy camper. He took Titi to the car and stood looking at her, because he didn’t even know what to say to her. She was a hot mess! Her flawless makeup had been ruined by all the tears and the pregnancy hormones weren’t helping matters at all. She opened her mouth but the words wouldn’t come. Titi’s eyes were pleading and so filled with emotion that it made Chidi want to cry with her. He took her shaky hands and tried to steady her. What is it? What’s wrong darling? Please tell me. All Titi could do was to open her mouth and close it back again with big fat tear drops streaming down her cheeks and leaving streaks on her makeup, and then to make a bad moment worse, wale started walking very briskly towards them. Titi saw him first and because her frayed senses just couldn’t take it anymore, she passed out.

…And then she woke up! It was all a dream, a really awful nightmare, but just before she heaved a sigh of relief, a wave of nausea had her bolting from the bed and into the bathroom where she retched like there was no tomorrow. As she watched her face and tried to catch her breath, it all came crashing down on her; the wedding might have been a nightmare, but she was still pregnant with Wale’s child, she was still engaged to Chidi and her wedding was still next week.

I Do?

Today, I decided to take a stab at fiction. Enjoy!

The big day had finally arrived. After months and months of planning and stressing out, her wedding day was finally here. Titi could barely sleep the night before her wedding, she was on an emotional roller coaster and her stomach was so uneasy. She tried to chew on her nails like she always did when she was nervous, but she couldn’t because she had acrylic nails on for her wedding. Her sisters and her bride’s maids were lounging in the hotel room and were completely oblivious to the turmoil raging within her. As far as they were concerned she was the luckiest girl on the planet, but was she?

Titi had the same boyfriend from when she was sixteen till she turned twenty seven, she was so sure she was going to spend the rest of her life with wale, they did everything together and nobody knew one without the other, but on the eve of Titi’s twenty seventh birthday, wale proposed to another girl. Titi thought she was going to die, she went as far as attempting suicide, but her sister found her just in time. She had so much pain and bitterness inside of her because she had no clue wale was dating another woman, talk more of proposing to her. Where did he find the time to spend with her? How did they meet? How long did they date for? She had all these questions but the one person that could answer her was in Dubai celebrating his engagement.

Eventually Titi dragged herself up, put herself together and started her life afresh. She was determined to get over wale and she did, even though she had no closure. Fast forward ten months later, she met Chidi. A handsome, dashing Igbo guy who swept her off her feet. It was a whirl wind romance and before she could blink she was engaged and planning her wedding. Chidi loved Titi with every fiber of his being and anybody who had eyes could see, but a part of Titi still clung to the life she had envisioned for she and wale, she thought she was over him but she wasn’t.

Titi couldn’t talk to anyone about how she was feeling, how could she begin to explain that Chidi didn’t make her feel the way wale did? So she did what turned out to be the biggest mistake of her life, one Sunday night exactly three months to her wedding, she got in her car and drove to wale’s house. Titi had worked hard to put that Sunday night out of her mind, to focus on the future and the man she was about to marry and she managed just fine until now. She was marrying Chidi tomorrow but could she? Could she face Chidi and say I do?

Morning finally came. As the makeup artist worked on her face, her heart was racing. Her friends and her sisters were all dressed up, smiling and taking photos, her mother came in, blessed her and veiled her. Nobody saw the anguish in her eyes, nobody saw how badly she was trembling, everybody assumed she was just a nervous bride. Time was going by so fast, soon her hand was draped over her father and he was walking her down the aisle. Titi couldn’t see anyone in the church,all she could hear was her heart pounding in her ears. she had never been so afraid in her life. Chidi stood tall at the altar in his perfect suit, waiting for his bride. Soon the moment came; her father handed her over to Chidi and went back to his seat.

Titi finally looked at the guests seated behind her. She saw her father smiling proudly, her mother delicately dabbing at her tears with her pristine handkerchief, her sisters taking a group photo, Chidi’s parents smiling at her and then she saw him and her heart stopped. Wale was seated right there looking at her with expressionless eyes. Titi looked away and blinked back the tears that were rapidly welling up in her eyes. She looked up at Chidi just in time as the priest asked her if she was willing to take him as her lawfully wedded husband, in sickness and in health, for better or worse, till death did them part.
But how could she say I do, when that fateful Sunday night changed the course of her life, how could she promise to love Chidi forever  when she was carrying wale’s child?