Chronicles of ajidara – Wedding steps #3Temitope Oyetunji
11th February 2013
The Head of Department
Lautech Teaching Hospital Ogbomoso
Re: REASON FOR ABSENCE FROM SCHOOL ON THE 8TH AND 9TH OF FEBRUARY
I, OYETUNJI TEMITOPE RANTI, matric no 043183, hereby write at your insistence sir, about the reason why I was absent from clinical activities on the said date.
I know this may sound ridiculous, but I travelled to Lagos to attend a wedding ceremony. I do not intend to bore you sir, but with the benefit of retrospection, I will like to expatiate on the reasons that informed my willingness to pass up clinical activities for this wedding.
FOR THE SAKE OF FRIENDSHIP
When I met the bride, I thought she was one of them. I was in SS 1 and had just changed schools and naturally I knew I had to find my level. At first, I went as a day student, which placed me in the class of local indigenes at the bottom of the social ladder. The girls at the top were boarders who all had similar profiles: they were pretty, wore fitted house wears, spoke ‘Queens’ English, rendezvous with boys in class and lived in either Lagos or IB; they were called posers.
Judging by her pretty face and sonorous phonetics, I was quick to label the bride as one of them. But as I got close, I realized that unlike the others she was simple, friendly and brilliant; so I concluded that since she was in a class of her own, she would make a good friend.
In those days, like a day old chick that had just been hatched and exposed to entirely new surroundings; I needed a mother hen to protect me from prying eyes and introduce me to my new world.
As providence would have it, I found a mother hen in a family friend, who happened to be a friend of the bride. So naturally she became my friend, assuming the position of sister hen, and the three of us began to flock together.
After secondary school, we again found ourselves in the same University where we continued our friendship. And today my story as an undergraduate would never be complete without reference to this lovely bride, who made my early days in the university a memorable one.
A SIGN OF RESPECT FOR THE COUPLE
Eight years ago, I was in 100level and so was the bride. I went to visit her one day and was shocked to learn that the guy who she claimed was a family friend, had suddenly become her fiancé.
Although from the way the guy had been stalking my beautiful friend, I knew he definitely had something up his sleeves but I didn’t think he stood a chance. Perhaps I thought my friend too had her head in the clouds like I did. To convince me she didn’t; she told me she could hear wedding bells.
Stunned by her seriousness, I felt like grabbing her arms and shaking some sense into her:
Are you sure? I didn’t think he was your type……..and wedding bells? Don’t you wanna wait a bit before jumping into a serious relationship? It’s only our first year in school!
But I didn’t say all that, I just smiled and congratulated her. There was a sparkle in her eyes when she talked about those bells that made me realize her heart had been stolen by a guy I didn’t even like. I felt like screaming, but again, I didn’t! I simply began to watch them.
And for eight years I watched them grow inseparable. Not even serving in towns, six hours apart or the bride going far away to study for a whole year could douse the passion of their ‘Nwantinti’ love.
So I had to attend this wedding as a show of respect to that love. I had to be present to see the fruit of their patience and to salute the faith of my friend, who could hear wedding bells ringing from an eight year distance.
IN SEARCH OF ADVENTURE
As a child, Lagos to me was a magical city which I was never given a chance to adequately explore. But even after several trips to the city in the recent past, each time I leave, the city keeps beckoning, drawing me to return.
So when the bride told me about her wedding, I was even more excited that it was taking place in Lagos. A weekend in my dream city attending the wedding of my favorite sister hen, seemed a welcome respite from the rigorous routine of med school.
But there was just one problem.
Even after all these years, being around unfamiliar faces and surroundings still makes me feel like that day old chick. Worse still, mother hen had told me she would most probably not attend the wedding, which meant I would be going alone.
At first, I didn’t like the idea but later when I thought it over, going to the wedding all by myself seemed like an adventure I shouldn’t pass up if I wanted to grow up. Who wants to remain a chick for life? I didn’t! So I steeled myself and set out.
However, if there was any fear I had about this adventure, it was the fear of missing my way, so that my story would not be that of a chick who got lost in magic land. Thus when I reached the bride’s house uneventfully, I breathed a sigh of relief and braced myself for the task ahead – greeting everyone with a confident smiling face.
Once I got inside, the first person I saw was my once chubby friend who would now pass for a model with her trimmed shape, and then other unfamiliar faces started appearing. I met her mum and sisters, and she introduced me to two friends, who I was supposed to know, but I could only recognize one of the faces, the other was just half familiar. I didn’t see much of the bride afterwards; I guess her adrenalin surge wouldn’t allow her to stay in a place for long.
Later that night, we were transported to the accommodation that had been reserved for us. Our ride was a Sienna driven by our hostess and my co-occupants were the one and a half familiar faces and two jolly friends. After a short but bumpy drive, we arrived at a fenced house with a black gate. The interior of the house was all I dreamed it to be and more. It was tastefully furnished and so homey that I had to admit it to our hostess that night before going to bed.
The next morning while getting ready for the wedding, I noticed something on the wall in our room. It was a calendar.
Two weeks prior to this adventurous trip, back in school, I had accompanied my prince to a secondary school to visit his family friend. After we saw the cute little princess, he had told me a little about her family and for some strange reasons the previous night, I had wondered at the possibility of our hostess being the princess’ mum.
So when I saw that calendar which bore the name of my prince’s family church, my suspicion grew. Still, I had no proof.
Later that morning after speaking with our hostess again, I was sure I saw a resemblance with the little princess, so I moved to the living room for the proof I needed- a picture of the members of the family.
Alas, I did not have to look far before I saw the smiling face I had seen two weeks back on one of the frames. I smiled back, amused by my amazing discovery and rushed back to the room. There, I announced excitedly to our hostess that I was the kind lady who had accompanied a family friend to visit her daughter in school. She too was delighted, expressing her astonishment about how small our world indeed is. And just when I thought things could not get more interesting, our hostess informed me that I could meet my soon-to-be mother-in-law that day.
Hearing that, I froze for a minute at least.
I looked down at my skimpy dress struggling to reach my knee, and as I did, my earring, the size and shape of the chandelier in my living room as if also calling attention to itself, made a dangling noise. Then my voice of reason kicked in: Every reasonable girl chooses to wear the most modest dress they own on the day they would meet their mother-in-law for the first time, but here you are, about to meet yours dressed like…….this!
I swallowed hard, trying to revise the reasons that had informed my choice of dress and accessories. I’ve never been the skimpy type; but when the bride had told me the price of the ‘aso-ebi’, I had been forced to do a merger with one of my sisters to reduce cost.
In the end I was left with only three yards, and the skimpy gown in question had been all my tailor could offer me from the material I supplied. Again, since I couldn’t afford to procure a set of accessories befitting for a Lagos wedding, the chandelier and mismatch necklace I had on, had been all I was able to borrow from my sisters.
As I stood bemoaning my predicament, a softer voice kicked in: Do you think I would have allowed you dress like this when I knew you would meet your mother in law? Cheer up! Remember she never said you were going to meet her for a fact ,and even if you do meet her, you came to Lagos for adventure didn’t you?
Comforted by that soothing voice, I brightened up and resumed my anticipation of the real reason why I had come to Lagos.
to be continued….
Read concluding part here