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Fiction Funny Fantasy

My Nana Elsie always used to say, “when things go wrong three days before your wedding, two days before your wedding, a day before your wedding or on the day of your wedding, just know that the spirits do not accept your marriage and it is never going to be a happy, lasting one.” I had every reason to believe it. Even though she could communicate with these so-called spirits, my Nana Elsie encountered a series of unfortunate events some days preceding her wedding.

About forty-eight hours to hers, her son, my uncle Desmond, her first child - out of wedlock, was involved in a near fatal accident and got admitted at the hospital. He was discharged a day later because his injury was a minor cut on his shin. On their way back, they stopped at the bakeshop to pick up the wedding cake only to discover that the baker was out of town and would be back two days after my Nana’s wedding so she had a “cake-less” reception. Need I say? Six months into the marriage, it was on the rocks, and before we could say Jack (or Jacqueline because it is my grandma we are talking about here), the marriage was dissolved like sugar in a mug of warm water.

My mum did not have a different story. The preparations for her wedding were cumbersome too. The car she and my dad hired ended up having a faulty engine and would not start. The lady who was in charge of adorning the venue could not find the right materials and when she finally did and put it up, it had to be taken down again because the venue was already booked. The couple then had to resort to the backyard of my Nana Elsie’s brother, Grandpa William, and the ceremony turned out to be more of a tea party than a gathering to witness the solemnization of the holy matrimony between my mum and dad. After all this semblance of a skit, their union did not survive either and after a second year, there was no longer mum and dad together – only a mum and a dad at two separate homes.

I was never present when these took place but before I was eighteen, I knew these stories – perhaps, family history – so well and could recount them vividly as my mum who told me had, not excluding her gestures and facial expressions, and vowed to myself that never will I allow any of these slips to occur. Even if it meant living at peace with the spirits – I had no idea how to do that but I was so sure I did not want to get on the wrong side of their books.

I was twenty-one when I met Jeff, at a friend’s after school party. He was a friend of the host’s older brother who had recently moved into town from his hometown, and was hoping to find love and a job, get a home and start a family. He was six years older. If there is a thing as love at first sight, then that was exactly what happened. When I first noticed him, he was not looking my way – he was sipping on a glass, laughing gaily with his “buddies” and talking about only God knows what. And when he noticed me, I was seated on the balcony staring at the star-studded sky and the bright moonlight, pretending not to be interested in the people around me, especially him. A voice in my head was, however, screaming, “walk up to me!”, “look my way!” I turned just in time to see him respond to the beckoning in my head but was intercepted by one of the supposed popular girls from school, whose beauty has never appealed to me and could not distract him either. All the time they spoke, he had his look fixed on me, and shyly, with a nonexistent blush, I stood transfixed, causing our eyes to be locked for what seemed like forever. And similar to the forces that operate in a magnetic field, our gazes drew us closer and closer, and by the time the revelry was over, we were on the verge of professing our love for each. What held us back, I still cannot tell.

One thing led to another, and another to another, and by the third year of our amorous relationship, we were planning our life after marriage. I spoke to Nana Elsie about it and she tried to talk me out of it, claiming nothing good ever comes out of being with a man. An attempt to get my mum to side with me revealed there was not much distinction between herself and her mother, my grandma. I regardless stood aloof to their oppositions and went ahead to get ready for my wedding with Jeff with the aid of my two siblings and my pack of girlfriends.

Day three to my wedding, and nothing went amiss. And day two came with no sign of bad luck. The next twenty-four hours also ended with everyone in a very good mood, and expectant of an even more blissful day. I woke up quite late on my wedding day, and in my bid to get to the church on time, I hurried to get dressed. Suddenly, there was a rip and my gown was in an unrepairable mess. My only choice left was a black gown. Prior to that, my hairdresser had mixed a blue dye instead of the black I had called for, and so I had to appear at my own wedding looking like a clown who had been paid to perform. At this point, I nearly gave up the idea of ever getting married, and my Nana Elsie was not helping with her “I told you so” remarks either.

But it did happen, – after I had cried my eyeballs out and given myself a long motivational speech of a consolatory message encapsulating the successful marriages I had seen. I gave it a shot and twenty-five years later, I’m still happily married to Jeff (until she died, my Nana Elsie kept on saying I was a favorite of the good spirits) – well, not entirely happy because we have had our share of the bittersweet experience of marriage, and I have been a tempted a lot of times to pack out too. Through it all, I have come to accept that what you believe in works for you, and of course, what you do not believe in can never have a hold on your fate. Plus; accept what you cannot change, like I accepted my blue-dyed hair and black wedding gown.

July 21, 2021 20:34

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1 comment

Alex Sultan
20:53 Jul 26, 2021

This is a cool story, and I like the concept for it - especially the first paragraph. If I could give feedback, I just recommend watching for long, run-on sentences. The kind that leaves you out of breathing while reading. It interrupts the pace of the story, and can be fixed with a read over :)

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