… Previously on Roulette Of The Damned!!!
Tunde had already left for work by the time Abbey reached his place. She and her mother sat in the comfortable living room eating the chicken Abbey brought along with her. “How do you feel mum?” she asked
Tari shook her head. “I know I shouldn’t be happy but I’m a little relieved. I thought for sure that your father would find us and make us pay for leaving; me especially.
“I know.” Abbey agreed. “Its unbelievable. I know I wanted him to pay for all the abuse and maltreatment but I would have settled for seeing him in prison uniform, not dead.” On the drive to Tunde’s house, Abbey had decided against telling her mum. The secret was best kept between herself and Bukunmi.
“Yeah, but what’s done is done.” Tari said. “We didn’t kill him. I’m glad I’m free from him but I hope he makes it to heaven. It might sound silly but I don’t think anyone should go to hell. Eternity is a long time to suffer, even for your father.”
“Hmmmm” Abbey mused. She knew deep in her gut that people reaped what they sowed and her dad had been horrible to a lot of people for a long time.
They both feel silent for a moment. Then Tari said, “I spoke to Edirin’s other yesterday.”
That surprised Abbey. Tari and Edirin’s mother had been friends for as long as Abbey had known Edirin. But for some reason, she thought their friendship would have ended with the news of Bukunmi’s affair with Jafar and the pregnancy. “That’s good.” Abbey said. How is she?”
“Managing.” Tari said. “She told me that Edirin has decided to keep the baby. They had a long talk and Edirin is glad your father is out of her life too. I wonder if she has seen the news this morning.” She sighed “Raising a baby alone is going to be hard for her. Perhaps it would be best for her to give the baby up for adoption. She needs to focus on herself and on putting her life back together.”
“I don’t think Edirin could ever had handled giving up her baby no matter the circumstance,” Abbey said honestly.
“Yes,” Tari agreed. “That’s not an easy choice. I’m not sure what I would do in her position.”
Abbey nodded. “Me either.” She said. “No matter what Edirin decides, her life will never be the same. It will never be what she’d planned.”
“And how are you handling all of this?” Tari asked as she took another bite of her chicken wings.
“I don’t know,” Abbey said. “I -”
Abbey stopped mid-sentence, her eyes fixed on the stranger that had broken into the house and was standing a mere couple of feet away. As if the intrusion wasn’t scary enough, the man was wearing a black mask that only revealed two large angry brown eyes. One gloved hand gripped a short black handle with a long steel blade… a cutlass.
Abbey’s voice was frozen from somewhere deep in her throat. She glanced quickly at her mother, whose eyes noticed the fear in Abbey’s composure and mirrored all the fright she was feeling.
The intruder, Saheed, attacked them quickly, without a word. Abbey blocked her face, shrieking as the blade tore into her hands. She was aware of screams through she wasn’t sure whether they were hers or her mother’s.
Saheed, the hired assassin Jafar had employed to find Abbey and Jafar, shoved Abbey backward. She slammed her head against the end table. Glass shattered. The room swam around her. Abbey tried to grab the chair for support but the hands slid off, leaving a bloody trail behind.
========== AND NOW… ==========
========== THE FINAL EPISODE OF ROULETTE OF THE DAMNED!!! ==========
LETTER FROM THE CONTROVERT!
I began writing ROULETTE OF THE DAMNED sometime last year. For months before I started, I had been toying with a storyline in my mind…inventing characters and visualising scenes. As time passed, I started to venture beyond the confines of my imagination. The characters became real to me as I spent countless hours experiencing their lives, living their passions and their struggles in the recesses of my thoughts. It was like having sole access to a great book that could not be found online or in any of the book stores worldwide. In the back of my mind, I always thought that someday I’d write it all down.
And then someday happened.
While indulging with a bottle of Jameson’s on fine evening, I sat in front of my laptop and began typing the first scene that I had already witnessed a thousand times in my head. I could see every last movement and word of the characters; and every last detail of their environment as if they were right in front of me. I struggled, quickly coming to the realization that writing about more than two people is much more difficult than imagining them. When imagining, the scenes just play out and make sense because you are both author and audience; but writing is altogether different. Writing means commitment. Writing means exposing my thoughts through words that someone else may read. And for a fairly private introverted extrovert with a penchant for controversy like myself, that was a scary concept.
Writing was slow at first, but I pushed through and I began to see improvement. I gradually became able to express my thoughts for all the characters without struggle. I no longer spent hours agonizing over a few sentences, but could write a couple of pages in one evening and giving life to the characters you now know and love. Being a fanatic of contemporary art, I decided to infuse pictures, theme songs and choreographies to breathe life into the story.
So… that is how THE ROULETTE OF THE DAMNED came to be. As the story comes to a close today, I sincerely hope you have enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. And if you find that the story finished sooner than you wanted it to, don’t worry, I’ve got more stories in the pipeline– much more!
Prepare yourself for a mind blowing invasion as you join me to toast the herald of THE ERA OF THE CONTROVERT!
Have a great read!
—– MAKE MY HEART!!! —–
This episode is dedicated to that special someone *wink wink*. I Heart you my Lucky Charm!
Tari tried to get to Abbey but the intruder grabbed her hair and yanked her hard, making her fall to her knees. The cutlass danced through the air towards Tari and drops of her blood fell like rain.
Forcing her body to move despite the lacerations on her arms and body, Abbey scrambled across the carpet towards where her mother lay on the floor. Blood was splattered all around. Her mother moaned. Seeing Abbey crawling towards her, Tari weakly called out for Abbey to run.
Her mother’s pained voice awoke the demon within Abbey. Every iota of her being went into kill mode. Abbey crawled her way to the kitchen while the intruder continued to pull on Tari’s hair as he inflicted more lacerations on her with his blunt cutlass. Barely managing to stand up once she got into the kitchen, Abbey frantically searched the drawers for knives or anything large and sharp that she could use to protect herself and her mother.
A torturous scream from the living room sent a cold shiver down Abbey’s spine. Her stomach turned and she tasted vomit coming. Her noisy cluttering of kitchen utensils had alerted the intruder and he had followed the noise. As Abbey turned to go help her mother, she saw the intruder standing menacingly by the kitchen door, a mere feet away from her.
“If you are considering using anything in this kitchen against me, just forget it. I am only meant to deliver you and your mother dead or alive but if you piss me off, I will rape you first just for the fun of it.” His voice was muffled beneath the mask. Fear and adrenaline invaded Abbey’s body and she reacted purely out of survival instinct. Without thinking, Abbey yanked the drawer out and heaved it at the intruder’s face. He easily sidestepped the drawer and it fell to the floor beside him. Unfazed, the intruder strode toward Abbey. Abbey panicked. She started throwing whatever she could grab…the toaster, the kettle, cups and spoons. Her hands left a trail off liquid red on the kitchen cabinet as she did scrambled for something to throw at the intruder. A moment later Abbey was cornered holding a tea spoon, stuck between the wall and Saheed’s bloody cutlass.
“Stop!” Tari stood in the doorway behind him, holding a gun she had stolen from Jafar’s drawer before she had run away from her matrimonial home. Her blouse was torn and drenched in blood. She was still bleeding and droplets of blood fell to the floor around her.
The intruder half turned. Time froze as he stood there, the cutlass inches from Abbey’s face, his gaze fixed on Tari. Taking advantage of the intruder’s loss of concentration on her, Abbey dropped to the floor out of her mother’s aim of the gun. Tari smiled and Saheed looked at her, confused as to what amused her. From the corner of his eye, he saw Abbey crouched on the floor holding her ears tightly. Realization dawned on Saheed as he looked back at Tari. Fear crept into his eyes as Tari’s smile widened. Before he could take a step towards her, four gun shots rang out.
Mofe had gotten home ten minutes ago and he was tired. He had seen the news about Jafar’s death on TV this morning and had called Abbey to see if she was alright. He had wanted to leave work and come home to be with her but she had insisted that he stayed put at work. She had told him she was going to go to spend the day with her mum at Tunde’s place. Mofe had willingly agreed. Even though he didn’t know where Tunde’s place was, he knew Abbey was safe as long as she was with her mum. Besides, her father was dead now so he couldn’t harm her from the grave.
Mofe wanted badly to call Abbey but he decided not to. I’m sure Abbey and her mum are popping open a bottle of wine now and toasting their freedom from Jafar, Mofe told himself. I have nothing to worry about.
Wanting to feel closer to Abbey, Mofe walked over to her work space in his house and sat down on her makeshift work-chair. He could still smell her perfume all around her workspace. Mofe tilted his head back and smiled.
I’ll see her soon, he told himself. We’ll celebrate her freedom from her father’s tyranny in grand style when she returns.
Abbey slowly raised her head. The intruder’s body was sprawled across the kitchen floor. His blood had splattered everywhere. Wet sticky goo clung to her face.
Abbey rose on shaky legs. “Mum…”
Her mother had slumped by the kitchen doorway. she clutched the gun in her hand. A river of blood pooled beside her still body.
“Mum!” Abbey stumbled across to the kitchen door, falling to her knees as she reached her mother. “Mum, can you hear me?”
Still smiling contentedly, Tari’s eyes stared blankly into space. She looked pale and the river of blood just kept on growing in size all around her.
Abbey raced to the living room, snatched her phone and dialled the only number she knew by heart. “Mofe…please help me. Something terrible just happened”
She gave him the highlights and the details of how to get to Tunde’s place. As Mofe asked Abbey more questions over the phone, Tari’s weak voice called out limply to Abbey. “Abbey, it’s no use. I’m not going to make it.”
“Don’t talk like that mum.” Abbey said to her mum whilst still on the phone with Mofe.
“I…I love you.” Tari said before her body went completely still.
Disbelief crawled into Abbey’s eyes as she watched her mother’s hand let go of the gun. “Mum? Mum!!!” Abbey screamed. Without dropping the call, Abbey abandoned the phone and ran towards her mum, resting Tari’s head on her lap and holding her mother’s limp hands in her own. “Mum, please wake up. Mum please! Mummy, please wake up now!”
She forgot all about Mofe on the phone.
And she prayed.
… for the intruder to be dead and be on his way to hell.
… for help to arrive.
…for her mother to live through this.
As Abbey spoke, the walls closed in around him. The minute he had heard her voice in panic, he had already grabbed his keys and was out the door. Mofe wasted no time. He was already starting the ignition when Abbey had screamed for her mother to get up. His tires screeched as he pulled out of his driveway. Clutching the steering with one hand and his phone with the other, Mofe stayed on the phone and tried to keep Abbey talking to him. It didn’t take long for him to realise she had abandoned her phone. All he could hear was Abbey crying out for Tari to wake up.
Mofe cut Abbey’s call and sped all the way to Tunde’s house using the directions Abbey had given him.
The only thing resounding in his head were Abbey’s screams.
So Mofe did the only thing he could do in the heat of the moment as fear invaded his thoughts.
….at himself for ignoring his instincts when he had wanted to call Abbey earlier on.
… the son-of-a-bitch who had attacked Abbey and Tari.
…at every slow driver who drove slowly and tried to block his way to get to Abbey.
When Mofe got to the address Abbey had directed him to, something about the house seemed vaguely familiar to him but he couldn’t place his finger on the why. He didn’t really care about trying to rack his brain to remember either. All he wanted to do was to get to Abbey and help out however he could.
The first thing Mofe saw when he got to the house was that the main gate was open. Moving further, Mofe walked cautiously into the house. The only thing Mofe’s eyes could focus on when he got into Tunde’s house was Abbey holding her mother’s limp body as she sat inside a pool of blood and more blood. Abbey’s beautiful face had streaks of blood in it, her arms were bleeding, and she had dry blood in her hair and clothes. Mofe wasted no time. Moving with the speed of light, he grabbed Tari’s limp body off the floor and into the backseat of his car. Moving just as swiftly, he rushed back into the house and lifted Abbey from where she still sat on the floor as if she was still holding her mum n her arms. Aware of the need for quick action but knowing Abbey was in shock, Mofe helped her gently but swiftly into the car as well. In fifteen minutes, Mofe had broken over seven traffic laws to get to the front entrance of the General Hospital.
Without regard for his car, Mofe carried both women into the hospital one after the other and got them admitted. It was only after he had seen the doctors quickly wheel both women into the emergency ward that Mofe went back to re-park his car in the parking lot. On entering into the hospital, Mofe sank into a chair the first chance he got.
The adrenaline that had carried him from his house to the hospital was slowly fading away and he was glad he was sitting. He didn’t trust his knees could have held him standing. Mofe buried his face in his hands. His mind kept replaying Abbey sitting down in a pool of blood like a broken-down bloodied and helpless doll. On their way to the hospital, Mofe had tried to get Abbey to fill him in on what had transpired before he got there. The details didn’t totally register in his brain. All he could make out from her ramblings and his confused state was that Abbey and her mum had been attacked by a man with a cutlass. She had told him the man that had attacked them was dead but Mofe still wanted to go back and kill the man all over again, just for the fun of it.
She is going to be okay, he said to himself. She has to be.
As he lifted his face from his hands, the doctor attending to both women walked up to Mofe and asked “Are you the gentleman that brought in those two critical women into the hospital?”
Mofe instantly jumped up from his seat and nodded mindlessly.
“Are you okay?” The doctor asked. “You don’t look too good. Maybe you should get a quick check-up just to be sure you are fine.”
All Mofe could remember the doctor saying was the phrase ‘two critical women’. “Doctor, how bad are they?” Mofe asked, ignoring the question about his own health. He wasn’t the one bleeding out on a hospital bed…or worse. Mofe tried to steel himself and prepare for the worst possible scenario.
For a few moments, he listened to the doctor that had come out from the emergency room talk about Abbey. She was alive and but completely disorientated. She had fought the doctors, calling them strangers and requesting to see Mofe before they could touch her. “But you can’t go in now sir,” the doctor said. “Her injuries are extensive and she had to be sedated to reduce her blood pressure level. So far, we cannot determine the extent of her psychological balance but we are hopeful that in the next few –”
Mofe couldn’t take it anymore. He was done listening. He side-stepped the doctor and started walking towards where the doctor had come out from. He could hear the doctor trying to stop him from going any further but he didn’t care. He didn’t know where he was going but he knew he had to see Abbey…to hold her and never leave her side again. The doctor must have noticed Mofe’s determined stride because somewhere far behind him in the distance, Mofe heard someone that sounded like the doctor say something about going to the fourth room on his left. He spotted the room. Mofe stood at the door and looked at the door knob for a second and hesitated. Taking in a deep breath, Mofe turned the doorknob and walked in.
He saw her then.
Her eyes were closed.
Two bags of drip hung beside her hospital bed, pumping blood and a drug-like fluid into her body.
Mofe stood by the door of the room for what seemed like hours. All he could do was put his hands to his mouth as he stared at the dried coats blood in Abbey’s hair and the streaks of tears and blood on her face. Without warning, tears began to fall of their own free will from Mofe’s eyes and he couldn’t stop them from falling, try as he might. Fighting to keep calm, Mofe took a deep breath and wiped the tears from his eyes as best he could. He needed to keep himself together for Abbey’s sake.
She is going to be okay, he repeated to himself. She has to be.
Wearing only his boxers, Andrew had woken up early that morning to make plantain as breakfast for himself and Jiro.
After his apology two days ago, they had both called in sick at work and had taken their time to rekindle their affections for one another and make up for lost time. Andrew had just finished making breakfast and he was cleaning the kitchen. As he worked, his mind replayed the night before.
Andrew’s hands had fidgeted at first, rubbing Jiro’s back and playing with his shirt. It had been a while since they had touched each other. Slowly but surely, Andrew’s nerves had calmed and his fingers had slowed, creating a pathway on Jiro’s body with his hands. He had found a small gap between Jiro’s shirt and jeans, and his fingertips had idly played with a soft patch of pubic hair on Jiro’s skin there. Jiro’s breathing had slowed too, settling into a gentle rhythm of relaxation. Andrew could feel the broad muscles of Jiro’s back soften and relax, unknotting in his embrace.
Three hours later, they had learnt, touched, and tasted every inch of each other. Exhausted but relaxed, Andrew had wrapped himself around his best friend and had listened to him sleep. He had smiled, and had gently covered their naked bodies with the duvet.
Coming out of his reverie, Andrew smiled as he finished cleaning the kitchen. Carrying the tray of plantain, Andrew walked bare feet to Jiro’s room and stood by the doorway, love and joy filling his chest as he watched Jiro sleep on his stomach, naked, regal, and breath-taking without even trying.
“Hey cupcake.” Andrew called out to Jiro. “Wake up with your sexy self. Papi’s back!”
Totally comfortable being butt naked in front of Andrew, Jiro leisurely lifted his head towards Andrew and smiled as he saw the plate of food coming his way. He smiled and said “My Oga at the top…good morning.” Jiro said. “Normally, I’d complain that you left me alone in bed but that plantain smells so good, I’m inclined to let you off the hook with a warning.”
“Anything for my heartbeat.” Andrew said with a killer-smile. “Consider the warning duly noted. Besides, I owe you a decent meal. You haven’t eaten anything proper in 36 hours straight…except chocolates, pringles and some biscuit you found at the edge of your bed.”
Sitting upright on the bed, Jiro said “I have eaten exactly what I needed in the past 36 hours, thank you very much” Jiro smiled. “Besides, I have been preoccupied with other types of meals.” He dragged Andrew back into bed the minute Andrew dropped the tray and ran his tongue over Andrew’s lips before kissing him.
Smokey eyed, Andrew asked “How did I get so lucky to land an awesome man like you?”
“I’ll have to get back to you on that.” Jiro said, making a face at Andrew. “Besides, the jury is still out on how you will make it up to me for being a dick three weeks ago in your office when you broke up with me.” Jiro said with a smile.
“I know.” Andrew said “Which is why I want to give you something to prove just how much you mean to me.” He sat down on the side of the bed, reached into the pockets of the trouser he had worn the day before and brought out a small black box. “Jiro, Would you –”
Jiro’s eyes sunk in immediately. “No.” he said quickly.
“What?” Andrew asked with a worried face. “I haven’t even said anything yet.”
“Its a ‘no’ Drew.” Jiro said quickly. “I’m not going to marry you. You cannot just bring a ring and think it would solve all our problems. And that’s not even scratching the surface of the issue of homosexual marriages in Nigeria. What would we tell everyone? What would I tell anyone? I’m not sure I’m ready for that step Andrew. The cultures and traditions in Nigeria don’t even accept same sex marriages. Don’t think giving me a ring will make me love you more than I do right now because I already love you beyond what I thought possible. But marriage? It’s just not something I want to do just yet with anyone…not after what Abbey put me through. I wasn’t even ready to be married to her. I only proposed to her because she kept pestering me and I thought it was the right thing to do to shut her up and get my parents off my case. And that’s another thing…my parents!!!. And what would I tell my parents? Oh my God what would we tell everyone at work? Where would we find a pastor that would even consider joining two men in hold matrimony in Nigeria? How would we –”
Andrew shut him up with a peck on his lips that quickly turned the peck into a full tongue onslaught. The kiss made Andrew all too aware that he was only wearing a thin layer of fabric and Jiro was still butt naked. When Andrew came up for air, Jiro had shut up, much to Andrew’s delight. “I’m the talker in this relationship remember?” Andrew said. “I have started having an effect on you it seems.” He smiled. “I’m not asking you to marry me.”
“Oh thank God” Jiro breathed
“…Yet!” Andrew added quickly. “I’m not asking you to marry me yet!” Andrew’s smile waned. “Don’t think I won’t ask you to marry me eventually. I know what I want and I know who I want to spend my life with. I would send the rest of the world to hell to have you by my side for a lifetime if I have to, but we’ll have that conversation at a later date. Right now,” Andrew opened the little black box he held in his hands, “I want to give you a ring as a sign of my love and fidelity to you. Consider it a commitment ring.” Andrew took the ring out of the box and slid it on the wedding finger of Jiro’s right hand. “I want you to always have a piece of me with you even when I’m not there.”
“Drew…” Jiro said breathless and overwhelmed. “It’s stunning. I adore it because its coming from you but I didn’t get you anything. I cant accept it. Not yet. When I get you a ring, you can give this one to me.”
“Cupcake,” Andrew said to Jiro, “you are still new to the being-in-love-with-the-same-sex dynamic so I’ll be an awesome best friend and lover and I’ll explain.” Jiro punched him playfully in the gut and Andrew fake-fell into Jiro’s nude lap, but he was careful not to let hit Jiro’s crotch. “Commitment rings come in pairs.” Andrew continued. “I have one of the same kind babe.” He handed the ring to Jiro and Jiro slid it on for Andrew on the wedding finger of his right hand.
“I love you J.” Andrew said, his voice laced with emotion.
“I love you more Drew.” Jiro said. Taking a calculated risk, Jiro added “and I know eventually, your parents will love you too.”
Andrew smiled sadly. “You are so optimistic Jiro.” Andrew said with a sigh. “As much as I love that about you, I cannot let myself fall into that delusion anymore. My parents will never accept what I am. They can’t see past my attraction to men to look at anything else,. They aren’t interested in all the other things I am or I could become. It think it’s time I moved on. I’m done chasing after the love my parents can’t bring themselves to give me. My case is that of the prodigal son that got no love from his parents even after they saw the truth.” he said with so much regret in his voice, his throat ached.
It wasn’t until Jiro leaned forward, kissed a tear from the corner of his eye, and hugged him tight that Andrew realized he was crying. What the hell? he asked himself. I prepared myself for this. I had my emotions under control..at least I did until Jiro spoke about my parents. So he wouldn’t see Jiro’s concerned face, Andrew closed his eyes. Jiro’s chest brushed away the last of Andrew’s tears. “Do you know why I started liking you and why I came into your room all those many nights ago?” Jiro asked Andrew suddenly.
“No.” Andrew replied as he let Jiro’s strength warm him from the inside out. “I don’t have a clue.”
“Its because you say what you mean and you mean what you say.” Jiro said with a sincere smile on his face. “That’s just you. That’s just the way you are. That’s the real Andrew…the same one that wasn’t scared to tell me that he was attracted to me that night and the same one that warned me that he’d kiss me till my knees went weak if I kept tempting him. You are blunt, yes; but that’s a strength, not a weakness. Never forget that.”
At that very moment, for Andrew, trying to push away his feelings for Jiro was like trying to hold onto a fistful of sand in the middle of a strong windstorm. Damn. when did Jiro get so good at finding all my soft spots? And when did he get so good at seeing the man I am inside?
“Are you going to beat yourself up forever for not being perfect?” Jiro asked Andrew with a soothing tone in his voice. “You don’t need to feel like it’s all on you. I’m here and I’m not going anywhere. Your parents should be proud of you. They should be bragging to everyone either earshot how great their son is.” Winding a hand around the back of Andrew’s neck and fitting himself even closer, Jiro kissed him. “If no one else says it, I want you to know that I’m infinitely proud of you.”
A lump formed in Andrew’s throat and he found himself overwhelmed with Jiro’s openness and sincerity. Feeling the need to lighten the mood, Andrew asked playfully, “So I am officially your one and only, right?”
“Absolutely” Jiro answered with a small smile on his face. “Same question goes for you as well Drew. The night we were stuck in the elevator you mentioned something about you ex in the UK still wanting you back. Will you ever go back to him if he came begging? Am I your one and only boyfriend?” Jiro’s voice had a tinge of jealousy in it as he asked the question.
Andrew thought of all the other hot women and men out there, and he considered all the conquests he would miss out on if he said yes to Jiro. There was no contest. Andrew knew that he would rather talk to Jiro, experience that feeling of pride every time he made Jiro laugh, hold his strong yet delicate hand through movies, and keep him warm at night. There wasn’t anything a casual encounter could offer that could compare to the absolute sense of completeness Andrew felt with Jiro.
“No,” Andrew answered. “You are not just my one and only boyfriend. You are me one and only. Period! I’m all yours Jiro.”
Beaming with smiles, Jiro kissed Andrew lightly. “I’m glad we sorted that out.” Jiro said. “Now that it’s all ironed out, I think I’ll have some plantain. I’m starving. I need to brush my mouth first though” Standing up, Jiro grabbed the duvet and started walking away from Andrew but Andrew pulled him down hard on the bed.
“I was thinking about eating as well but I’ve heard food is over-rated.” Andrew said, letting the duvet slide down Jiro’s muscled chest as he licked his lips. Jiro laughed but his eyes were beginning to heat up. “Well, when you put it all sexy like that,” Jiro drawled in his smooth voice. Jiro moved into Andrew’s personal space, his hands already peeling Andrew’s boxers off. “I’m hard to please though. You’d have to sell a far brilliant idea than food to me. What did you have in mind?”
Andrew gave his lover a wicked smile. “If you come back to bed with your naked self, I’m sure we can negotiate.”
Jiro shook his head, even though he was already pulling Andrew’s boxers off Andrew’s body completely. “I don’t know. When I negotiate with you naked, I get very distracted.”
Andrew reached out and grabbed Jiro’s arm as his boxers fell away. “Good thing I never get distracted then. I’ll help you stay focused.” Andrew answered with a twinkle in his eyes.
“Oh yeah?.” Jiro asked teasingly.
“Hell yeah!” Andrew murmured with a wink.
Jiro let Andrew pull him in. They kissed softly, like they had all the time in the world. Jiro lay back to give Andrew ample space for nibbling on his muscles. As Andrew moved in to suck on Jiro’s nipples, his phone rang. Andrew ignored it. “Aren’t you going to answer your phone?” Jiro asked him
“Let it ring babe.” Andrew said, working his wicked lips all over Jiro’s rock hard nipples.
The phone rang again . Fighting to keep his physical need at bay and be the logical one, Jiro said “Pick it up Drew. It might be important. I’m not going anywhere”
Exasperated, Andrew groaned and said “Only because you want me to.” He checked the caller ID. “This better be good.” He picked it up. “Mofe, Hi. Thanks for the other day. I know I promised to call you with details but –”
He stopped mid-sentence and his face turned from a smile to a concerned frown in an instant. Jiro sat upright, noticing the change in Andrew. “What’s wrong?” Jiro mouthed.
Andrew ignored Jiro’s question and kept listening to what Mofe said on the other line. After a minute of listening, Andrew said “I know where that is. We’ll be right there.” He cut the call and sprung himself off the bed and grabbed his boxers.
“What’s going on?” Jiro asked again
Still nursing a hard-on in his boxers, Andrew grabbed his trousers and started wearing it. “Abbey and her mum were attacked. They are at the General hospital but Abbey’s condition is critical. Mofe managed to get Abbey and her mum to the hospital on time but he’s losing his mind with worry. If I know my cousin as well as I do, he’s going to blame himself, lose control, and have a manic episode in the hospital if he doesn’t get an update on her health soon.” Turning to look at Jiro, Andrew kissed Jiro on his forehead and said “I promise, we’ll continue our you-and-me time later. Get dressed. We’ve got to go right now.”
Mofe made his way back towards Abbey’s hospital room after his call to Andrew. Voices floated toward him but the words didn’t register. He had let Abbey down. He hadn’t seen this coming. This had to be Jafar’s doing. No one else could possibly want to make Abbey or Tari suffer like this. Mofe hadn’t expected Abbey’s father to carry out his threats after he had punched him. Until the news of his death that morning, Jafar had been a walking time bomb who was ready to destroy any and everything in his path; even his own daughter. Even from the grave, Jafar still managed to torment Abbey. It was a wonder she wasn’t taking out her daddy issues on him. Still feeling he could have prevented the incident from ever happening, Mofe’s guilt turned his stomach into a churning boiling pit of hate for Jafar and the killer; and rage stole the air from his lungs. He certainly hadn’t expected Abbey to be in danger at any point when she was under his roof. He would never have left her alone or let her go to where her mum was if he had known it would result to this.
As he re-entered Abbey’s hospital room, Mofe forced himself to walk to the empty side of Abbey’s hospital bed, slumped into the chair and stare at her as she slept. “You have to get better baby,” Mofe whispered. “I need you. We have a lot of talking and figuring out to do about our future, our kids, and our life together. There’s so much I want to say but none of that matters now. The bottom line is that I love you Abbey, and I’ll be damned if I lose you.”
The doctor came in and checked Abbey’s vitals. Mofe sat quietly but held Abbey’s hand while the doctor made his notes on Abbey’s progress report sheet. For a few more minutes, Mofe simply sat, held Abbey’s hand, and watched her sleep. Mofe willed with all his energy that all his strength would flow through his grip on her hand and flow into her. Take it. Take everything baby. Take all the strength and time you need. Just don’t leave me. Don’t you dare die on me. I’d never recover from losing you.
As if hearing his wordless admonitions to her, Abbey slowly opened her eyes. She spotted Mofe and almost smiled. In a voice that was impossibly small, she said, “Mofe, thank God you are okay.”
Here she was, lying beneath bloodstained sheets in a hospital and she was worried about him. He fought back the tears that threatened to come crashing down. “Baby. Oh my darling,” He said. The doctor shot him an irritated look but Mofe was too strung up on Abbey to care. He wanted to say something calm and comforting but all that came out was “I’m sorry I wasn’t there to protect you. Don’t you dare die. Don’t you dare leave me. I can’t make it without you.”
She smiled weakly and said “I love you too. My mother… is she…”
“Don’t talk babe.” Mofe insisted gently, caressing her palm as he spoke. “Just try to rest.”
“So much blood.” Abbey shook her head and tears sprang to her eyes. “She may be dying. I have to find her.” Abbey tried sitting up but Mofe gently kept her pinned to the bed. “She’s going to be fine,” Mofe said. He didn’t know that. He hadn’t even asked anyone yet about Tari but he sure as hell wasn’t about to tell Abbey otherwise. Mofe had a sudden flash of what the scene must have looked like. Images Abbey would have forever in her memory, courtesy of her father. His hand tightened into a fist on the hospital bed. His stomach rolled and he tasted the threat of vomit. “Please baby, just rest.” Mofe manages to say with a somewhat soothing voice.
Abbey reluctantly slipped back into unconsciousness. The doctor finished making his notes and exited the room quickly. Mofe kissed Abbey’s forehead and rushed after the doctor. He caught up with the doctor in the hospital corridor at the same time Andrew and Jiro walked up to where he stood with the doctor in the hospital corridor. Too busy to acknowledge their presence, Mofe focused on the doctor and asked “Doctor, was Abbey…” His voice faltered. He didn’t want to ask this question but he had to know the answer. He cleared his throat and tried again. “Was she raped?”
“No, no.” the doctor said. “Thankfully, she was not raped.” More questions from Mofe revealed that Abbey had received fifty-two stitches in her hands and arms…defence wounds, the doctor had assumed. From the location of her injuries, the doctor presumed that Abbey had covered her face with her hands. None of her internal organs had been damaged but she had severe bruises on her thighs, stomach, and left breast. The blood clots around the regions were still fresh but a total recovery was very much expected. “Unfortunately,” the doctor said, “her left index finger was badly severed when she fell. I have to be honest with you, there is a fifty percent chance that she will regain full motion of the finger. That said, you should bear in mind that the other fifty percent means that she may have limited motion on that finger when it heals; that is if it ever heals completely.”
Mofe couldn’t stand upright. He bent over and put his head in his hands. Andrew quickly walked over to his cousin and patted his back as a show of support and understanding. The doctor then added “You should be glad Mr Mofe. Not many people go through what Abbey went through and live to tell the tale. Let’s thank God for her life and pray for speedy recovery.”
Mofe straightened his posture, took in deep breaths, and breathed out a sigh of relief. He thanked the doctor and left him to do his work. As the doctor walked away to attend to other patients, Mofe turned to face Andrew and Jiro. “Thank you guys for coming.” Mofe said “It means a lot to me and I’m sure it’ll mean a lot to Abbey too.”
“Anything for you Mofe.” Andrew said. “Tell us everything that happened.”
Mofe filled them in on the events and let out a shaky sigh when he finished. “I love her so much. I don’t know what I’d do if anything happens to her. I don’t know if I would be able to take it.”
“She’ll be fine.” Andrew encouraged. “Abbey’s a fighter. She’ll get through this. You both will.”
“Thanks cousin!” Mofe attempted a smile. He failed miserably.
“How’s her mum?” Jiro asked
“Oh shit.” Mofe exclaimed. “I don’t know. I haven’t asked. I hope she’s okay. I promised Abbey she was okay. I have to find her.”
“We’ll come with you.” Andrew said
Together, all three men walked off in search of news on Tari.
Mofe found the nurse’s station on the second floor . He stopped one of the nurses and asked for Tari but she gave him a look of distrust that all nurses seemed to have. They must have practiced in front of mirrors in nursing school. “Are you a family member?” the nurse asked.
Technically, the answer to that would be no. Mofe was in no way related to Tari. Then again, what truly constituted family? He didn’t think the nurse would want to get into a long philosophical debate on the matter so he gave the simple answer, “Yes.”
The nurse appeared unconvinced. Thankfully, She looked over-worked and stressed out. That probably was what worked in Mofe’s favour because the nurse decided to give Mofe the information she had. “Mrs. Tari lost a lot of blood and was barely alive when she was brought into the hospital.” the nurse said. “She still in surgery fighting for her life.” “I would expect it to be another hour or so before we can provide any more information.
“You must know more than that surely,” Mofe said, “Even off the record. Please tell me. I can take it. Just how bad is she?”
“Bad.” the nurse said softly. “But I believe she got here just in time.” She motioned to a small waiting room down the hall. “You can wait there with her husband if you like.”
Husband? Mofe was thrown by that remark. He turned to face Andrew and Jiro. “I thought Jafar was dead. Mofe said. “I saw it on the news this morning. If he isn’t, I swear I will drag that bastard outside and kill him myself for what he’s done to Abbey.”
“Calm down,” Andrew said gently as he stepped in front of Mofe to block his way.
“If someone hurt Jiro the way that bastard hurt Abbey, would you calm down?” Mofe asked Andrew. Mofe smirked as he saw the instant protective anger emanate from Andrew for Jiro’s protection. “Exactly,” Mofe said. “So get out of my way Drew.”
Andrew stepped back and let his cousin go. With each step decisive Mofe took, Andrew and Jiro trailed him behind. All three men strode down the waiting hall on the second floor where the nurse had said Tari’s husband was waiting. As Mofe turned into the waiting room, ready to punch Jafar and leave permanent damage in his face and groin, he was confronted with only one man.
And it was not Jafar.
His adrenaline was coursing though him like hot lava. To calm down, Mofe unclenched his fists . He instantly went from angry to confused.
“Uncle Tunde?”, both Andrew and Mofe said it in unison.
Tunde turned around, wishing it was the doctor coming to give him news on Tari’s condition. His disappointed face was also replaced with confused look. “Mofe? Andrew? What are you boys doing here?” Tunde asked.
“We came to see Abbey, Mofe’s girlfriend.” Andrew said. Mofe was still in shock.
“What are you doing here?” Mofe asked.
Tunde looked uneasy. “I’m here to see my Uhm…lady friend, Tari.” he managed to say.
“Oh my God.” Mofe said breathless. “You are the mysterious Tunde? Uncle Tee, You? Great. Just great.” Mofe said. “No wonder the house where I picked Abbey up from a couple of hours ago looked very familiar.” Mofe hadn’t been to his uncle’s new house but he had a faint idea of what it looked like from the pictures that Andrew had sent to him through Skype during one of their long conversations while Andrew was still in the UK.
Wait,” Jiro said to Mofe as he shook his head, trying to understand the situation. “He’s your uncle?”
Mofe and Andrew nodded.
“And you are all related?” Jiro asked Tunde, Mofe, and Andrew.
They all nodded.
“By blood?” Jiro asked still with disbelief.
Tunde, Mofe, and Andrew all looked at each other and took a few moments before nodding again in unison.
“So,” Jiro continued, “Tari and Abbey are dating different men with the same surname that happen to be members of the same extended family? This is one messed up rollercoaster. I’m not sure I can keep up.” Jiro said. No only were mother from the same household, Abbey and Jiro, once ex-lovers, were dating cousins from that very same extended family.
The three other men laughed. Jiro felt it was at his expense and he still had a confused look on his face. Eager to clear the air and put Jiro in the loop, Andrew was the one to speak. “Jiro, its not what you think.” Andrew said. “We were just joking Jiro. Uncle Tunde is Mofe’s dad’s best friend; my uncle’s best friend. We are all so close to him, we grew up calling him uncle Tunde. We are however not related by blood so its safe. There is nothing remotely close to incest or abomination here.”
Jiro gave a small laugh as he scratched his head. “Good to know.”
Mofe sat in the chair closest to Tunde and said “But the nurse said Tari’s husband was here.”
Tunde offered a hint of a smile. “Abbey asked one of the nurses to call me before they sedated her. I guess the nurse assumed I was Tari’s husband. I didn’t correct her because I figured she wouldn’t let me see Tari otherwise. Stupid hospital rules.”
“I hear you loud and clear Uncle Tee.” Mofe said. “I also did the same thing.”
“How’s Abbey?” Tunde asked with concern
“Lots of stitches and a broken pinkie but no internal damage.” Mofe said. “She’ll be okay.”
“Thank God.” Tunde said.
“Just how bad is Tari?” Mofe asked
Tunde nodded. “Lots of internal and external damage. That’s all I know.”
All four men sat together in silence for another hour until the doctor came out of the theatre and said. “She should be okay.” the doctor said. “We managed to contain the internal and external bleeding but we will have to monitor her progress and proceed from there. I’m optimistic she’ll make it though.”
“Thank you doctor.” Tunde said.
Mofe promised to come back downstairs to check on Tunde and Tari in a couple of hours with updates on Abbey. Tunde promised to have more updates on Tari by then. Once Jiro and Andrew said their good bye’s to Tunde, Mofe, Jiro, and Andrew headed back to the emergency room to be with Abbey.
… Eighteen Months Later
The flower arrangements? Ready!!!
Abbey’s bouquet? Ready!!!
Mofe’ Watch? Ready!!!
Abbey’s make-up? Ready!!!
Mofe’s cufflinks? Ready!!!
Abbey’s earrings? Ready!!!
Mofe’s ring? Ready!!!
Abbey’s ring? Ready!!!
Mofe’s shoes? Ready!!!
Abbey’s shoes and bag? Ready!!!
Mofe’s suit? Ready!!!
Abbey’s gown? Ready!!!
Due to the number of weddings booked for the day, the church service was short and precise. When it came to the time for vows, the pastor officiating stressed the need to go strictly by the church’s way of doing things. Personal vows were frowned upon so only the traditional vows were said. After the vows, the couple were asked to shake on their promise as a sign of trust and fidelity.
By the time Abbey and Mofe left the church premises in their wedding car two hours later, Abbey and Mofe were pronounced husband and wife.
The parking lot at the rented hall was jammed. Abbey was shocked when they pulled in. For some reason, she’d assumed this would be a small gathering. “Who are all these people? she asked Mofe “Are all these people here for our wedding reception?”
“You are a popular lady” Mofe teased.
As Abbey got down from the car, she spotted Edirin coming from the front entrance of the hall towards her. She was holding her son. Abbey’s excitement grew. She lifted her long white flowing wedding gown and she waved. “I was hoping I’d get a chance to see you before all the crazy begins.” she said as Edirin approached.
“I’m sorry I couldn’t make it to the church this morning Abbey.” Edirin said. “I had to feed Abdul before we came,” Edirin smiled.”Congratulations darling! You finally got married.”
“Thanks, Edirin.” Abbey said blushing. “Wow. I can’t believe its been eighteen months since you found out you were pregnant.”
“You are one to talk!” Edirin teased. “I still can’t believe its been eighteen months since you were attacked. I’m glad all your injuries are healed and all your scars have faded away”.
“I know right?” Abbey said beaming. “I was just lucky.” Looking down at Abdul, Abbey reached her arms out. ” Oh my goodness. He has grown so much! Can I hold my godson?
“Sure.” Edirin said. “He’s eager to play with Aunty Abbey too. Just be careful. Don’t let him stain your wedding gown or pull out any of the sequins and stick it in his mouth. He’s teething.”
Abbey took the smiling playful baby in her arms “He’s my little prince. I don’t mind getting my wedding dress stained for him.” she said. ” I have already done the most important part of marriage: professing my love for Mofe in front of God and man in church. Now I just want to get my groove on.”
Another car pulled into the large parking lot where they stood and Bukunmi stepped out of the car narrowing her eyes at Abbey. “Young lady,” Bukunmi started, “what did I say about abandoning me in your quest for a little one-on-one time with Mofe? I said to let me know, not abandon me at the church looking for your sorry ass. You are lucky its your wedding day.”
As Abbey rolled her eyes at Bukunmi’s antics, Bukunmi walked over to Edirin and hugged her long and hard. “How are you darling? Oh my goodness, Is that Abdul? He’s such a big boy. He’s so beautiful Edirin.”
“That’s because he looks like his godmother.” Edirin teased.
“Don’t mind his godmother.” Bukunmi said. “She abandoned me in church and went to suck face with Mofe in the car that brought them to the reception. I had to hitch a ride with Jiro and Andrew.
Edirin looked at Abbey with a teasing look on her face. “Abbey! You sef! Why did you leave her?”
Bukunmi answered for Abbey. “Don’t mind her” Bukunmi said. “She’s a little on edge because she and Mofe wrote their own vows but the officiating pastor didn’t let them read it. They went along with the customary church wedding without the twenty first century drama of ‘writing vows yourselves’ as the pastor so put it.”
Abbey pouted. “I really wanted to hear what Mofe was going to say and I really wanted him to know just how I feel our vows are meant to mean something to both of us, not just be a quick everyday church requirement to finish the ceremony.” Sighing, Abbey said “Anyway, its cool. I’m over it.”
Wearing tuxedos and looking good enough to eat, Andrew and Jiro came out of the car Bukunmi had jumped out of and walked over to where Abbey, Bukunmi, and Edirin stood. “Don’t leave us alone with Bukunmi anymore.” Andrew said to Abbey. “She can talk for the ages.” Bukunmi gave him a slight punch and he feigned hurt. Jiro stepped closer to Abbey and gave her a side hug, careful not to squash little Abdul in her arms. He kissed her forehead and said “You look beautiful my darling.”
Abbey blushed and her heart beat fast at Jiro’s words. This man was always going to be in her life somehow. She was glad she had rekindled their friendship. “Thanks Jiro.” she said.
Andrew spotted Mofe a short distance away making a phone call. He kissed Abbey on her forehead, hugged Abdul, and went over to greet him.
“Abdul looks at home in your arms. Abbey.” Jiro said. “You’ll be an awesome mother.”
“And you’ll be an awesome father and husband.” Abbey said to Jiro. “Speaking of husbands,” Abbey looked to see if Andrew was still with Mofe a short distance away. He was. She turned back and faced Jiro. “When are you going to pop the question to Drew? Its been three days since I helped you choose that perfect engagement ring for him. He’s not wearing it yet so I can only assume that you haven’t proposed to him yet. Why haven’t you? It’s time Jiro. Ask him already. He’s an awesome man and you both deserve to be happy”
Jiro turned towards where Andrew and Mofe stood. He watched Mofe say something to Andrew and heart leapt like a kid at the sound of an ice cream truck when his best friend and lover laughed heartily. Jiro couldn’t help but grin. And to think that eighteen months ago, I told him I’d never be ready for marriage. Time does change a lot of things, Jiro mused. He turned to face Abbey “Yeah, he’s pretty awesome.” Jiro said. “We both got our holidays approved for the same time. We’ll leave for London in four days. I’ll propose to him then. As for the being a great dad someday, we are considering looking for a surrogate mother to carry my baby or Andrew’s. I know it will sound weird to our gay, bi, and straight Nigerian friends but I’d rather be happy with Andrew and build a life with him than hurt another woman the way I hurt you by not telling you how I felt about Andrew when I found out. Either way, I’m in it for the long haul with him.”
Abbey gave his hand a squeeze and asked the question she knew had been bugging Jiro ever since he opened up to her about his trip to his parents house. “And how are your parents taking all of this — you being with Andrew. I mean I know they know he’s been your best friend for so long. How are they warming up to the idea of you being with a man?”
“They aren’t.” Jiro said simply. “There’s no warming up to this on their part. I haven’t been able to win them over to see my side of things. My parents have just decided to ignore the man-on-man aspect of my life like it doesn’t exist. I mean, I have heard of parents trying to pray-the-gay-away but trying to ignore-the-gay-away is far worse. Trust me, I tried to do that too. It doesn’t work. Good thing Andrew prepared me for my parents actions as a possibility. As far as my parents are concerned, Andrew and my ‘alternate lifestyle’ don’t exist. Andrew’s fine with it so I guess I’m fine with it too. I’ll get over it… As long as I have Drew, I’m good.”
Abbey hugged Jiro tight “That’s good!” Abbey said. “Don’t let anyone make you feel like you can’t do it. Relocate to another country if you have to but fight for the love you want. When you get to London in four days and you propose, call me the minute he says ‘yes’!. ”
Jiro laughed. “I will, don’t worry.” Jiro promised. “Let me go congratulate your husband and steal Drew away. I’m sure they will call you and Mofe in any minute from now to come into the reception hall.” He kissed her lightly on the cheek, hugged Bukunmi and Edirin, and gave Abdul a kiss on his forehead before walking towards Mofe and Andrew.
All three ladies played with little Abdul for a couple of minutes. The smiles on their faces never wavered…babies have that oga-at-the-top effect on people, Abbey mused. Spotting Mofe walking towards them as Andrew and Jiro entered into the reception hall, Abbey handed Abdul back to his mother and said “Speaking of oga-at-the-top, here comes my husband now — My husband, Abbey repeated to herself. I doubt I’ll ever get tired of saying those words.
“Babe, it’s show time.” Mofe said as he approached her. “They are calling us to dance in.” Abbey started walking but she noticed only Edirin and Abdul were coming along. She turned back to see Bukunmi whisper something into Mofe’s ear. “You coming baby?” she asked.
Mofe looked at her and smiled. “I’m with you till the very end baby.” he said “Let’s go.”
Abbey received a greeting like she’d never expected. More than a hundred people applauded as she walked through the door. The hall was beautifully decorated and they had even managed to get one of her favourite celebrities to attend and perform at her wedding.
After she and Mofe danced to their seats, the wedding procession went by quick. Before long, the next programme on the menu was the father and daughter dance. Mofe had wanted her to cancel it off the wedding programme but Abbey had insisted on keeping it. She knew she had only known him for a short while but in the last eighteen months, Tunde had been more of a father to her than her own father ever was. She had however asked that Mofe and her mother have a Mother and Son dance as well. She got up and met him on the dance floor. As the song started playing in the background, she noticed from the corner of her eyes that Mofe had dragged her mother to the dance floor.
“How’s the guest of honour doing?” Tunde asked as he slow-danced with her, all eyes on the two couples dancing on the dance floor.
“Great,” Abbey said. “I’ve been watching my mum. She looks more beautiful and better every passing day”
“I think so too. The therapy has helped her a lot” Tunde said
“I have a feeling it’s more than the therapy.” Abbey said. “Its all thanks to you that she’s finally fulfilled that dream she’s always had of being happy.” Abbey replied.
“I’m glad you see it that way.” Tunde said. He swirled Abbey around before bringing her back close. “I was going to ask you if you were okay with me asking for you mother’s hand in marriage. I intend on proposing tonight, if that’s okay with you.” Tunde said, his anxiety at her response evident.
Abbey grinned at him and said “I would have it no other way. Welcome to the family, ‘dad’.” She tried the word on for size and it fit Tunde perfectly. She hugged him tightly as the song finished.
After Mofe hugged her mum, Tunde took Tari’s hand and led her to sit. Abbey had already started walking back to her seat when she heard Mofe’s voice through the loudspeakers. What in the world? She turned back to find Mofe holding the microphone and still standing on the dance floor. He winked at her.
“Ladies and gentlemen,” Mofe began. “Can I have your attention please. Thank you for coming and celebrating with me and my beautiful wife. For those of you who weren’t able to make it to the church service, we thank you for gracing us with your presence here.” He walked over to Abbey and continued. “However, today will be a waste if I don’t say how I truly feel in my heart. Thanks to our good friend Bukunmi, I got to know only a couple of minutes ago that my wife was feeling the same way. I wrote down my vows on the altar of my heart and I want my wife to hear them from my lips, in front of God and man, here and now.”
Abbey couldn’t see clearly. Her eyes were clouded with tears as she looked into Mofe’s eyes. She searched the crowd looking for Bukunmi and smiled at her friend as she saw her standing close by with a handkerchief. Bukunmi rushed over, gave Abbey the handkerchief and squeezed her hand tightly. “Thank you BK,” was all Abbey could say.
Bukunmi winked at her and whispered “Its your wedding day. He’s your husband. This is your moment. You deserve it.” With a light kiss to her cheek, Bukunmi exited the dance floor, leaving only husband and wife on the floor.
“Abbey,” Mofe said as he started with his vows; ” I could promise to hold you and to cherish you. I could promise to be there in sickness and in health. I could say ’till death do us part.’ but I wont. Those vows are for optimistic couples, the ones full of hope; and I do not stand here on my wedding day optimistic or full of hope. I an not optimistic, I am not hopeful.”
Abbey twisted the beautiful ring on her wedding finger and looked at Mofe as if he had slapped her. How can he say these things to me? I thought marriage was all about these things…the very things he’s saying he won’t do. Her brows furrowed and she opened her mouth to speak but Mofe held a finger to her lips and continued.
“I do not stand her on my wedding day optimistic or full of hope. I an not optimistic, I am not hopeful. I AM SURE, I AM STEADY AND I KNOW!!! You are a breathtaking reflection of God’s love for me. You are my mate, my soul, my love, and my heart; and it doesn’t matter what happens in this life as long as you are with me. Of this I am sure…you are my partner, my lover, and my very best friend. My heart — my heart — beats for you and you alone. So on this day before God and everyone present here, I promise you this. I promise to lay my heart in the palm of your hands, I promise you: Me.”
Some people in the crowd echoed an “awwww” and Bukunmi wiped the tears from her eyes. Clearing her throat and taking the microphone, Abbey gave her own vows.
“Mofe,” Abbey started. “When I was a little girl, I wanted fairytales, princes, and bouncy castles. As I grew up, I didn’t want any of those things anymore. Instead, I craved heart-breaking, earth-shattering, mind blowing love. You have given me all these and more. Loving you comes with zero pain. You get me in a way that nobody else does. When I look at you, I know that there is a God. Thanks to you, I know that He loves me so much that he took the time to create you just for me. You held my hand in the darkness when no one else bothered to and you pulled me into the light. I love you above my past and beyond my present. I am alive and at my best when I’m with you. I love you from my soul…the space where only you and God dwell. No matter what happens from here on out, I promise to stand by you, be faithful to you, and live everyday thankful to God for you. I promise you; Me.
Overwhelmed with emotion, Mofe whispered “I love you” to Abbey. He kissed her passionately and she opened up for him with willingly and with passion. The crowd applauded in unison and started trooping out to the dance floor to congratulate the couple. In a matter of minutes, the dance floor was covered with money from the guests spraying the couple with different denominations of Naira and other currencies.
Abbey didn’t know when her tears stopped. she kissed Mofe and hugged him. “How was that for wedding vows?” he asked as he dragged her close to himself before anyone else stole her away for a dance.
“Perfect.” She said “Simply perfect.”
“If you think that was perfect, wait until you see what I’ve got planned for tonight.” Mofe said, an evil gleam dancing in his eyes.
“I am a girl with a flair for surprises” Abbey said “So surprise me hubby!” Behind her smile was a smirk as she thought of her own little plans for him tonight.
“I know that smile.” Mofe said as he looked at her curiously. “What do you have up your sleeve Abbey?”
“Lets just say I’m going to –” She whispered the rest of her sentence into his ear and his eyes widened in shock and excitement.
“Are you serious?” Mofe asked breathless. “Don’t get my hopes up Abbey.”
She simply smiled.
“I have to say though, If you are really going to do that to me, you will make my heart –” Mofe whispered the rest of his sentence into her ear.
Abbey gave a hearty laugh. “I look forward to it.”
Mofe’s face turned serious. He brought his lips close to hers and said “I can get us out of here in less than thirty minutes so we can start the honeymoon from the car. That way, you can tell me what else you’ll do to me in the car while I take my time to tear your gown off you.”
She planted a kiss on his lips and laughed into his chest. It feels good to hear her laugh without a worry in the world, Mofe thought. Abbey looked up from his tuxedo and said “Not so fast babe. A girl’s got to have her secrets.” she teased. “Don’t worry, you’ll know eventually. You know what they say: good — no, great — things come to those who wait for it”
“Oh yeah?” Mofe teased. “Say’s who?”
” It’s in the bible babe. Habakkuk 2:3.” Abbey said as a matter-of-factly. “Just in case you don’t know, it says…”
As Abbey opened her mouth to recite the bible verse, Mofe joined her in reciting as well. Together, they said the words in Habakkuk 2:3 together as an acknowledgement of God’s fulfilled promise to them.
“For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end, it shall speak and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.” HABAKKUK 2:3
IT’S BEEN AN AMAZING THREE MONTHS (14 WEEKS)!!!
THANK YOU FOR READING.
THE CONTROVERT WILL RETURN!!!
I look forward to your comments!
Soundtrack for Episode 13: MAKE MY HEART by Toni Braxton