For my only Tunde.
Kola stood at the altar, struggling to conceal the nervousness drumming in his ears. He stared out at the edgy, anxious faces of his friends and family looking up at him, as though waiting for some kind of an explanation.
He frowned and shifted his feet around a bit. His palms were drowning in their own sweat, his heart was thumping at an alarming speed and he was battling the nausea threatening to overwhelm him. Surreptitiously glancing at the clock, he gave a muffled groan of despair, trying to keep his face expressionless.
This was already 10:42am. Where was she? Kola tried to calm himself down. He prayed quietly, as he had been doing since 10 o’clock, begging God to just keep her safe. Even if she wanted to jilt him, he just prayed that she was OK wherever she was…
Where was she?!!
The church doors burst open and all necks instinctively swivelled around, eyes wide open and breath bated. A little girl toddled in on shaky legs, the yards of pink lace on her dress swirling around her. Pausing to regain her bearings, she ran off in search of her mother, childish laughter echoing behind her.
A collective sigh of disappointment drifted up to the high ceilings as everyone shifted in their seats and coughed delicately. Kola could already detect sympathetic smiles and pitying looks in many of the faces below him.
All eyes turned as an usher scuttled in, frantically gesticulating to the organ player. The heaved sigh of relief was unanimous as everyone settled down, small smiles cloaking their previously worried faces.
Kola stared wide-eyed as the lacy silhouette framed in the doorway, sunlight streaming in all around her. She was actually here! His heart, now beating more regularly, skipped a few beats all over again.
He saw her smile reassuringly at him from beneath her veil and mouth “Sorry I’m late” and his heart melted, just as it had so many times before. How could he ever have doubted her willingness to commit to him? He smiled fondly as her father hugged her, very obviously trying to control his emotions.
A jumble of emotions flickered across his face as Tosin took the final steps to meet him and her hand, at last, was placed in his. They hugged, instinctively; clinging to each other like two baby seals abandoned on a floating iceberg.
The sniggers and playful protests from the congregation cracked them out of their little reverie. Reluctantly disengaging, they stood squeezing hands, smiling sheepishly at each other like juveniles caught behind the tool shed.
Stealing a sideways glance at his almost-wife, with the priest droning on in the background, Kola felt his heart contract gently. This is what riding off into the sunset was all about.
This was written for one of my brothers. I was desperately happy for him shortly before his wedding. I’ve struggled to make the story “flow” a bit more, but failed so far. Hope you like nonetheless. Enjoy! 🙂