“Kunbi, Kunbi, why are you smiling?” Wunmi asks as she walks into Kunbi’s room.
“Mum, I did not realize you had walked in”.
She holds her daughter’s hands and smiles. “You look beautiful”.
“Thanks mum”. Kunbi returns her smile.
“There’s no time to waste. We’re running late. Wale is waiting outside”. Wunmi claps excitedly. She steps out of the room singing and dancing.
Kunbi smiles as she looks at herself again in the full length mirror. She’s wearing an off-shoulder knee length wedding gown. She hears the chatter of her friends and colleagues in the guest room. She had asked for some time alone and they had all left her room to go get dressed in the other room. She closes her eyes and the events of the past few months come rushing to her.
After her visit to Sola’s aunt, she had confided in her mum about the situation she found herself in. She confessed to her mum that even though she was preparing to get married to Ola, she was still in love with Sola. Her mum had been shocked and told her that she needed to make up her mind. She scolded her for encouraging Sola when she knew she had no plans of being with him and advised that she took some time off both men to think about her future. She told her that staying away from both men for a while will give her a clearer picture of who she wanted to spend the rest of her life with.
Sola was yet to propose but he continued to shower Kunbi with love, gifts and attention. As long as she still had Ola’s ring on her finger, he decided he was going to wait. She needed to make up her mind on whether she wanted to be with him or not. It was obvious she loved him and he believed with time, everything would fall into place. Kunbi told him her fears, her weaknesses, her dreams and he laid his heart bare to her as well. They argued over issues and laughed at each other’s mistakes. When she was quiet and wanted to be alone, he held her and was comfortable with her silence. They visited his aunt two more times and his aunt had called him aside on one occasion and told him to hold on tightly to her and not let her go. He laughed when she told him that the chemistry between them was enough to ignite a fire.
One Saturday, eight weeks to the wedding, Kunbi had gone to Ibadan. Ola accused her of cheating on him. He said he had asked a friend of his who lived in Lagos to check on her in the office during lunch. His friend had seen Sola drop her off in the office after lunch and had informed him. Kunbi had gotten angry that he continued to keep tabs on her. He told her he had a right to as he was her husband-to-be and she couldn’t go on lunch dates with men. He was even angrier that she was still friends with Sola. He told her to resign her job and move back to Ibadan immediately. She said she was doing no such thing and in a fit of fury, he slapped her so hard, she felt bells ringing in her ears.
She removed the engagement ring on her finger, threw it at him and left his house crying. Her mum had comforted her and asked her if she had eventually broken off her engagement. She had nodded and told her mum she was never going back to Ola. She couldn’t tolerate his jealousy, pride and insecurities any more. If he dealt with her this way now that they were yet to get married, she couldn’t imagine what she would go through once they were married. Her mum had hugged her and told her she had made the best decision of her life.
As Kunbi walks her down the aisle in the church, she looks at Sola and Wale standing ahead. Sola smiles and she sees his teeth from afar and remembers how his dentition was her first attraction to him. She smiles beneath her veil and feels silly as she remembers their first encounter in Wale’s office. Wale is also smiling and she remembers how he had stood behind her during her struggles and failures. Her mum, Sola’s aunt and his cousin are seated in the front pew smiling broadly. He had flown into Nigeria from Tanzania two nights ago to attend the wedding of his cousin.
She stands before Sola and as they exchange rings, she looks into his eyes and smiles. I got the man of my dreams. They have both been given a second chance at love.
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