Written by: Victor Chinoo
“This is a cheque for five million naira, Biola. I know you have the money, but in case you are not willing to spend it, go ahead and get whatever you need for your wedding. I am willing to do anything I can to support you and Bimbo with your wedding. Please, do not think of calling off the wedding. I know you love Bimbo. Perhaps the stress of the wedding is getting at you. You can go ahead and live a simple, quiet life after the wedding, if that is what you want. A big wedding just for one day does not change who you are. Life is all about give and take, my son. Do this for me…for your mother who was best friends with Bimbo’s mother. Don’t let us down, my son.”
Seyi, Biola’s father left the cheque on the side stool beside one of the couches in Biola’s living room. “I am leaving. Biola, I am counting on you,” he stressed. Slowly, he began to shuffle towards the exit, hoping Biola would not turn down his offer. “Dad, please take the cheque with you. I don’t need money for my wedding. You know well enough that I have as much money as I need for five weddings, if I wanted to have five wedding parties. It is not about money. You are asking me to give up the very core of who I am, dad, and I won’t do that! I just won’t!” “What the hell is wrong with you? How can you retract your word after you had proposed to Bimbo? Real men don’t give their word and take it back! You are marrying Bimbo. I will make certain of that!!!”
Seyi stormed out. Outside, he entered his waiting AMG G65 Mercedes SUV and barked orders at his driver. “Drive me home, Kunle! Children of nowadays! They have no respect for their elders. He has no idea what it took to get here. He is marrying Bimbo, whether he likes it or not!!!” Seyi continued to yell at no one in particular. His driver, Kunle steered the massive AMG G65 Mercedes engine out of the compound.
Biola felt bad as he watched his father’s Mercedes roll out of his compound. He had never disobeyed his father but, he was becoming increasingly concerned about Bimbo. Her penchant for material things and her increasing arrogance had spooked him enough to rethink their planned marriage. He was no longer sure that she was the one he wanted to spend the rest of his life with. He picked up his phone and dialed Bimbo’s number. His hands shook as he dialed her number. “Hello!” Bimbo’s voice echoed on the other side of the line. “I need to talk to you, Bimbo. Please, could you come over to my place? If that is not possible, I will come over to yours. We really need to talk.” “I will be at your place in less than an hour,” Bimbo replied, eager to get things parched up and her wedding plans back in full swing. “Thanks. See you shortly,” said Biola.
“Mary, I have a problem,” said Modupe. She and Mary had known each other for years, from their time at University of Illorin. They both studied business administration, after which Modupe returned to University of Illorin to bag a master’s degree in hotel management and tourism. “What is bugging you, Mod?” Mary asked. They were hanging out in Modupe’s apartment in Ikeja as they did most Friday nights. Modupe who had been pacing the floor sank into a couch opposite Mary. She took a deep breath, crossed her legs and she gathered her thoughts. “Lara introduced me to this guy, Biola who was looking for a wedding planner some weeks ago. I…I…I don’t know what is going on. I think he likes me,” she stuttered.
A languid silence hunkered in. Mary was a very methodical thinker…super analytical in nature. She pondered Modupe’s last sentence. Then, she took a deep breath and asked, “Is it that he likes you or you like him, Mod?” she asked, staring keenly at Modupe. “I knew you’d ask me that question, Mary! I am trying my best to pretend that I feel nothing for him. Quite frankly, I’d never fall fully for a client, but…but the way he looks at me…I get goose bumps when our eyes meet! He does not agree on anything with his fiancée. They are not made…I should not say this, as it might sound as though I want him for myself, but they are not in love with each other.”
“You like him?” “I would say yes if he was not already taken. And, he is thinking of calling off their wedding.” “Because of you?” Mary asked with a look of shock on her face. “No, we are not seeing each other.” Modupe went on to narrate Biola and Bimbo’s situation to Mary. “I see. This is a tough one, Mod. I would say…drop them as clients. You have feelings for him. It would be best not to work for them if they decide to go ahead with the wedding. You can’t put yourself in such an awkward and unhealthy position.” “I am really blessed to have you for a friend, Mary. I needed to hear that. I was already thinking of terminating my contract with them.” “You should do that, Mod. I believe it is the right thing to do in this situation. Now, let’s get something to eat.”
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“Bimbo, I have to be very honest with you…” Biola began. “Have you decided to do the right thing, Biola?” Bimbo asked sarcastically. A look of disdain hung boldly on her face. “Yes, I have, Bimbo. I am calling off our engagement. I don’t think we should go ahead with the wedding.” It was as though a sledge hammer was dropped on Bimbo’s head with ferocious force. An angry scowl appeared on her face with royal audacity. Her eyes opened wide, peering intently at him. She could not believe what she had just heard. She could hear the thumping of her heart, which bounced energetically off her rib cage. Her palms were sweating furiously. Clenched. She thought of throwing a feisty punch at him.
“What?” she managed to say. “After we have told everyone? You proposed to me and not the other way round. Why would you do this…why would you even think of this, Biola?” “Can’t you see it Bimbo? We are not made for each other. We are very different. It is not about the wedding or about money. Of course, I can afford the wedding several times over, but the whole idea of us getting married does not sit well with me…not anymore. It is very difficult for me to say this, but I have to…I have to be honest with you.” “Stop it!!!” Bimbo yelled at the top of her voice. “You sound like you are enjoying this. Are you trying to punish me for asking for an expensive wedding gown? Don’t you realize how far you and I have come? We grew up next door to each other. We have loved each other for as long as I can remember. Just tell me you are kidding, Biola.” Biola shook his head despondently, staring feebly at her. Pity and sadness traversed his face, as intense pain gored ruthlessly at Bimbo.
She rose to her feet, picked up her purse and stormed out. She was so angry that her anger could almost be seen walking out alongside her. She stomped on the rug with a flaming rage as she headed for the exit. When she reached her Honda Civic, a streak of tears streamed down her face. Biola watched painfully through the window. Sadness pierced his heart as he looked on. Bimbo’s hands shook violently as though she abruptly came down with a severe case of Parkinson’s disease. A ball of tears descended from her face, crashing onto the door of her Honda Civic. The ball of tears splashed off the silver door as another heavy ball came crashing down.
Her legs were almost frozen. She managed to drop onto the driver’s seat, pulled her heavy legs in, shut the door and began to fiddle in her purse for her key. Her vision was blurred by a wave of tears that poured down with annoying resilience. She rubbed her right hand across her face in an effort to wipe tears off her eyes. Each wipe was followed by a fresh cavalcade of dense tears. She lifted her blouse and attempted to use it to blot her face. Then, she started the Honda Civic and drove off, through a maze of tears.
“Seyi, I can’t believe what I have just heard,” said Dayo, Bimbo’s father over the phone. “What is it?” Seyi asked anxiously. “Can you believe this? Your son Biola has called of his engagement to Bimbo!! What is going on?” “I can’t believe this. No, it is not true.” “It is! Bimbo is here…she is in her room, completely devastated. How could he do that? I am livid with him. He has struck my girl in the chest with a two-edged sword. I can’t have this…not after we have told everyone about the wedding.” “I am going to have a word with him, Dayo. You need not worry about this. I can assure you that I will get him to rescind that flimsy decision of his,” Seyi promised.
“You better do that, Seyi. You had better do that, else, I’d have to talk to him myself, and I am sure you know what would happen if I talked to him. You certainly don’t want me talking about certain things with him, or do you? You gave your word years ago; it is time for you to make good on your promise. I can’t have you and your son ruining my daughter’s life after she has loved Biola with her whole heart. I will spill the beans…I swear, Seyi, I will spill the beans, if you don’t do something soon! I am sure you know what the consequences would be if I talk!!!”