- The Storried Platform
JILTED – By Raphaelmary Chukwudi
He shared his grandmother’s opinion of being meticulous and thorough in choosing a life partner as they are the core dictators of how well and long a man’s life would be depending on his choice of companion. That was why Sydney, overwhelmed with joy, flew to the highest heavens and back when Stella his lifetime love agreed to his proposal.
The day Stella had agreed to his proposal, he’d driven home jubilant and euphoric, uncertain how to break the news to his family.
He’d tap-danced and jerked on getting home-something he’d never done before.
“Are you well my son?” his mother had asked affectionately.
“Never been so well,” he’d replied, grinning.
“Mama is Stella! She made me happy today.”
“Eeeh, do I hear wedding bells?” inquired his mother as she cupped her hand behind her ear.
“Yes, mama! She agreed to marry me.”
The day Stella came to see Sydney’s parents was another episode altogether.
Sydney’s father had outrightly rejected Stella.
“You can’t marry that girl!” he’d said.
“But why?” Sydney had asked, aghast.
“You won’t understand son, I am trying to protect you.”
“From what exactly? Stellagitis? Stellaclosis? Are they communicable? Thanks, but no thanks dad, I’m getting married to Stella.
“Never say I didn’t warn you.”
Sydney had gone ahead to continue with the preparations despite his father’s disapproval and certain inexplicable happenings.
He couldn’t explain why the pastor had suddenly become a huge part of his premarital preparations, why the pastor was always visiting in the office to talk about his fiancée or why the pastor had always reminded to keep an eye on his Stella. He also couldn’t explain why the pastor booked a two hourly weekly marriage counseling session with his fiancée alone and not the couple.
What he couldn’t decipher the most was why Stella had eagerly jumped at the pastor’s session as if she’d been waiting earnestly for it.
Then, there was the issue of his best friend and soon to be best man.
Sydney couldn’t understand why his best friend had become an incessant caller, calling only his wife. He couldn’t fathom why his wife kept late night meetings apart from her suspicious evening sessions with the pastor and when asked for an explanation, proffered an excuse of marriage preparation of which his best friend accompanied her. He also couldn’t figure out why roses were delivered to his wife from his best friend in appreciation for the priceless work she did for him as the attached paper read.
Above all, he couldn’t explain why his best friend had sent a text to his wife, thanking her for bringing love into his life.
It seemed like fate was battling against his wedding, his second wedding but he took solace in the memory of how Stella had vehemently consoled him and kissed him senseless when he had explained how his first bride left him in the altar and how he couldn’t bear an encore of that shame.
Then Stella had come home one evening looking crestfallen, undecided and down-spirited.
“Is Nike,” She had explained when Sydney inquired. “He apologized for his misdeed and asked that I come back to him. He even proposed.”
“Oh! So what did you tell him?”
“Nothing, I gave him a copy of our invitation card,” explained Stella, “and he threatened to destroy our marital plans.”
“But don’t worry Stephen,” she’d continued, “I’m not going back to him, I love you and we’re getting married soonest.”
Next, Sydney’s father had gotten involved in a ghastly motor accident of which he was sent to Lagos for surgery but not before he apologized to Sydney through phone and given his blessings for the marriage to hold in his absence.
The wedding morning was glorious. Sydney had gone to church though without his best man who called the previous night to plead that he’ll come from his home as he’d to tend his frailing mother.
We were at home-I and Sydney’s elder sister- purging our belly of everything in it and faithfully patiently for the reception as we found the I-DO- session boring.
But what we couldn’t understand was why the groom’s car came back solitarily with a screeching sound few hours after they’ve left and why Sydney had run inside his room with red swollen eyes rebuffing all pleas to unlock the door. His body was found dangling from the ceiling the next day.
Nobody could explain why the officiating pastor and the best man had failed to attend the wedding which they helped to organize. Still, nobody could justify why the bride of all people should miss her own wedding.
Suspiciously, nobody could explain why the pastor was found the next day in his room floating in his own blood with two daggers jammed in his belly.
Incriminatingly, nobody could explain why the two daggers found in the pastor’s belly were covered with the bride’s fingerprints.
Amusingly, nobody could explain why the best man showed up the next day with no memory and a cut on his head, feigning ignorance of everything and why the bride’s maid had cried out her eyes seeing his condition.
Most of all, what nobody could explain to date was how Stella was found six years later with Sydney’s father as her husband after he was declared dead and two children of ages five and three.
By Raphaelmary Chukwudi
He shared his grandmother’s opinion of being meticulous and thorough in choosing a life partner as they are the core dictators of how well and long a man’s life would be depending on his choice of companion. That was why Sydney, overwhelmed with joy, flew to the highest