HOW I SPENT MY YESTERDAY
It started like every other day but I knew the moment I had dreaded for a long time has finally come.
The day I was going to set my eyes on him after all these years. I got up had my bath, took my time to apply all the necessary make up and by the time I put on my cream dress, I stared at my reflection in the mirror.
I looked ready but deep down I knew I was not.
I left the house running because i realised time had passed and being the chief bridesmaid I had to be there to make sure everything is set especially with the other bridesmaids.
On getting there, I saw the bride, my friend Ebere. She looked as beautiful as ever with that bridal glow all over her. ‘’Amaka’’, she fondly called me, ‘’How do I look?’’ she asked. ‘’Beautiful’’ I replied and gave her one of those smiles girls give to one another.
We left hurriedly to the venue with all the other bridesmaids dressed beautifully in there sapphire gowns. Then it was time for to escort her down the aisle, the part everyone got up smiling at the bride and her beautiful bridesmaids and yes especially the chief bridesmaid, Me. As we walked towards the aisle, my heart beat fast and got louder with each step.
I looked straight and as expected there he was, with his fitted suit, tie and tuxedo and a smile that has never left my memory.
His name was Kenneth, the groom who was getting married to my friend Ebere. How did this happen? I muttered under my breath.
This should be me and not the other way round. My mind went back to our childhood days, the time our friendship started and how it blossomed into something so much. How we were the envy of everyone in campus because of how our relationship was. Even up to our working days, we always made time for each other not allowing our individual career tear us apart.
I could still remember vividly that day when he asked me to marry him at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport when I was about to leave for the United Kingdom to start my Masters degree, Those words rang through me as if I could hear him repeat them to me”Amaka, you are my friend, my partner and I would like to spend the rest of my life with you……..but please don’t get into that plane, just stay and marry me, you can do your masters degree in Nigeria here, there are many opportunities here’’. I looked at him, tears in my eyes; I saw the sincerity in his eyes. I knew he meant well but the opportunities for my course in Nigeria are limited. Being a Psychologist, I was rarely of help here, a country where people rarely went to the therapist and just seek to get advice from their friends and relations.
A country where people are told to man up when they are depressed. I knew I would be happy everyday by his side earning the little money I make as a psychology lecturer in the University of Lagos but I wanted more.
I wanted a place where i could spread my wings, research whatever topics that deemed me fit and a place that has all the equipment and stuffs i need. ‘’You know I can’t stay but we can make it work I replied.
He looked at me with such sadness and disappointment saying he could not handle the whole long distance stuff and the moment i stepped into that plane that things were not going to be the same. He asked me to choose between my career and him and sadly he knew the answers already.
I walked into the plane with tears filled in my eyes. I was supposed to be happy, I was leaving the shores of Nigeria for the first time, an exciting new life awaited me but i cried because i knew i had lost a part of me, of my history. During my time abroad, thanks to social media, we kept in touch sometimes, liking each other’s pictures on instagram and facebook.
Then one day I got that call, and I knew things had indeed changed.’’ Am getting married’’ he said to a beautiful girl, Ebere. ‘’You should know her we went to school together. The wedding would coincide with your return back to Nigeria, since you guys were friends back then you should meet up’’.
All i could say was,’’ okay’’, I was in shock i knew it would eventually happen but not like this. I mean I could have said no but my pride won’t have let me. ‘’The rings please’’, I heard the preacher ask, then I realised everyone was staring at me, obviously i was so lost in my thoughts that i had not realised I had not given the ring to the preacher.
Then I was jolted back to reality, I was at his wedding and the path I had chosen many years ago has come to haunt me.
After the ceremony, congratulations were all in the air, I gave a smile to him and his beautiful wife and even though I didn’t say it out loud, he knew what my eyes were saying ‘’I wish you well in a life without me’’.
I left the venue happy that this day has finally gone, a day my strength and weakness was tested, a day I had to leave behind.
HOW I SPENT MY YESTERDAY