Sometimes, promises are death sentences…
I walk into the church like a boss. Stroking my blazers and adjusting my tie. The aisle is decked with a blue rug, same as the groom’s piece of suit.
His groomsmen are seated adjacent the altar. All smiling except one. His face is exactly like Kevin Brown’s face when he’s pissed.
The bride, Sandra is not in the hall yet, so I heave a sigh. She won’t accuse me of lateness. My ex-girlfriend that still cares.
I don’t sit immediately, rather I hover around the door, scanning the environment for familiar faces; in this case, familiar heads.
None except Kemi is seen. She is as gorgeous as ever, draped in an Ankara gown that hugs her body. Kemi is smiling as I approach her seat. She lifts her bag off the pew, pats the side on her left and says,
“Sit, I didn’t think you’d come.”
I ease into a smile and nudge her shoulder,
“You didn’t think I’d come? It’s Sandra’s wedding for crying out loud. If I don’t come, she might think I still hold it against her.”
“So, you are here for closure? Like let your ex know that you’re over her?”
“Something like that. Truth is, I may never be over her. She is still my friend. You’re not here for the same purpose?”
“I am. I mean who wouldn’t want to see their ex marry before them?” her eyes are on me. I know she’s sarcastic and anytime she employs sarcasm, something is up her sleeves.
I don’t probe further. I just laugh and tell her she is beautiful. She flushes, my compliments always have that effect on her.
The choristers rise and sing a rendition of “Ha-lle-lu-yah”. We stand and the bridesmaids catwalk into the building. I spin, same as everyone in the building. They are walking like divas, which they are, painted and all made up.
As conventional as ever, the bride Sandra sashays in, she clutches the flowers like her life depended on it. I give her a smile as our eyes lock. She reciprocates amidst the tug of her father on her left arm.
As she passes, my eyes go to Kemi; she’s tensed and her hands are moulded into fists. I nudge her,
“Smile for her even if you’re sad o.” I say and begin to slid my arms round her back. She doesn’t shush me, she eases freely into my arm and I squeeze.
“Everything will be fine.”
“I hope so.”
The bride and groom are facing each other. The presiding minister asserts the normal bows, then recites. They both perform the rites and slot rings into their fourth fingers. I love the scene, the serenity and silence of it all.
It is time to pronounce them husband and wife and I cork my bottled water. The presiding minister remembers the next thing to say and he says it.
“Is there anybody who has anything against this marriage? Speak up now or forever remain silent.”
“I have!” someone shouts and heads turn. It’s not just someone but Kemi my seatmate. I spill the content of my mouth and stare at her, stunned.
She rises, slings her bag over her shoulder and proceeds to the altar. Joshua freezes. His face is white with fear. Sandra scowls and mutters something to her chief bridesmaid.
Kemi reaches the altar and pause. She looks around, wears her glasses and grabs the mic. There is pin-drop silence.
“Congratulations Joshua,” she flings the bag to her belly. I knew that moment, that she is ready to unleash the injustice she suffered to the world.
“Joshy-love, we both know that ring should be on my finger. I mean, why did you have to wait till I donated my kidney to know we weren’t compatible? Why did you not choose another lady apart from Sandra? I could have lived with you married to another person. Not Sandra.”
She wipes the tears streaming from her eyes and people are empathizing. Others are scowling while some are indifferent. I am stupefied when she starts talking again, her voice is hoarse and that sends a message.
“Josh, I am so sorry to mess up your wedding but I have to say this to the world.”
She turns to leave, having dropped the microphone. And tensions ease. She digs into her bag and spins 180 degrees and I know that life is about to be altered.
In her hand is a pistol and she aims it at Joshua. The auditorium goes silent like a cemetery. “Meet you in hell, Josh!” she mouths and sent two bullet flying into his chest.
People are screaming and racing for safety but she’s not done. Her aim rests on Sandra and she shoots her in the head. There is an uproar and bouncers are approaching but her aims are changing.
She twirls and faces the audience.
“Meet us in hell, where I will be officiating the wedding.”
I’m screaming her name but the gun is on her head. Before I could lift two steps. I hear her laughter and I don’t. Because the gun explodes again and her skull is splattered on the floor.