Friday, 28 October 2016

THE WEDDING THAT NEVER WAS





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David was a happy man. Even his face betrayed this happiness, which he tried so hard to conceal. In fact to say that he was happy was an understatement. The genesis of his happiness was the fact that he was soon to wed in church. He had managed to convince someone’s daughter to desert her homestead and join him in matrimonial union. He had found the perfect girl, which as you all know, tends to be a very difficult exercise. Who I ask you, would not be happy to be in his shoes? In fact many people wished him good luck in his new journey. He was finally kissing the bachelors club goodbye. He was soon crossing over to the place where people ate a balanced diet, as opposed to bachelors who stuff their bellies with a lot of proteins and carbohydrates, with little variation in their meals. It is common knowledge that most unmarried men and the married alike, dislike cooking. So their eating habits follow a regular pattern, where you survive on your saliva for breakfast, take some heavy lunch, and then if you are lucky, prepare a simple concoction for supper. One would wonder how such people manage to stay alive.

I had my reservations though, not that I was not happy for him. It is only that I was not caught up by the excitement, which had swept across our village, like a contagious fever. Having gone to the same school as David, I knew that, though he had found the perfect girl, he was not a perfect man. He had been through several pleasant and unpleasant encounters with a good number of girls. For that reason, I was not sure whether he had not deposited a baby in one or two wombs. You can understand how boys can be cheeky, especially during the adolescent stage. This is due to untamed hormones, which transform a sane, innocent boy into a wild lunatic, preoccupied with the urge to discover experience and describe what goes beyond a girl’s skirt.

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Preparations for the big day were underway. Everything was done to perfection, leaving no room for unwelcome embarrassments. This was made easier by the fact that money was no problem, the only problem being how to spend the money. Who did not know that David had landed a good job at one of the biggest banks in the country? To say the least, money was flowing endlessly in all steps of the wedding preparations. He had even hired wedding planners to ease the burden.

The day finally came. Everyone was dressed to kill. You could have mistaken it for a fashion show. The bridegroom and his escort team did not disappoint. The church was filled to capacity. Some sat on the benches inside the church, while others stood outside, observing what was happening through the windows. Both the invited guests and the gate crashers were well represented. A number of young men were present, whose sole reason for attending the wedding, was to see, admire and wink at ladies, with the hope that this would translate into a fairy tale kind of intimate relationship. The choir members were not left behind. They sang and danced energetically and guess what? They even had a new set of uniforms.

With everything in order, all that remained was the arrival of the bride. The bride and her entourage were just on time. That was at around ten o’clock. She was received with songs and ululations. This time the choir members sang even louder. It did not matter that some voices were misplaced. The bride made her way into the church, marching rhythmically with her escort team, to the sounds of the drums from the choir members. David waited eagerly for her bride. He watched her dancing in awe, “What a beauty!” he marveled, as he smiled sheepishly.

Once the excitement died down, the pastor walked majestically to the pulpit. He took the microphone, cleared his throat and began his summon. I doubt whether the bride and the groom listened to him, for they kept on stealing glances at one another. They might even have been wondering why the pastor was taking too long.

After the pastor’s summon, where half of it was about himself and how he has managed to keep his wife happy, and overcame many difficulties in the past, the second part of the ceremony followed. This was the session where the newly wedded were supposed to exchange vows and everyone had had all along been waiting for it. The climax of this part was the kissing of the bride, as if they had not done that before. The way I knew David, he was not the kind of person, patient enough to wait for the right time, to do something. According to him, everything had to be done without wasting time. It was a case of the ‘Id’ being stronger than the ‘ego’ and the ‘superego’. He believed in eating the egg first, then boiling it later. A number of people, who had long drifted to sleep during the pastor’s summon were now waking up to a new dawn in the lives of the bride and the groom.

The pastor began the usual wedding rituals, and then the inevitable question followed,
“Is there anyone in this room, who for any reason, thinks that these two should not be joined in holy matrimony?”

There was silence. David held his breath. The pastor asked the question again. There was another deafening silence. The pastor repeated the question for the third and final time, with a lot of confidence and a sense of victory. This time you could have heard a pin drop, as the pastor paused a little, for maximum effect. Then something happened, which paralysed the whole church. Two young ladies stood up, each holding an infant high, for all to see. This was a non verbal announcement, to let the church members know that David had sowed some wild oats.
David started sweating. Did he recognize them? I believe so, because this was not a dream, but plain reality. The pastor stammered, the bride fainted and the rest as they say is history.







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