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Happily Never After

“Hurry”, from across the room, your mother eagerly called out to you. Everyone was dressed and waiting downstairs; it was the happiest day of their lives, but it wasn’t for you, and no one seemed to notice. Nobody cared about your happiness. They claimed it was for your best interests.

Your elder sister, Nnenà, had sat You down the day before. She mentioned how she was in your shoes years ago and is now living her happiest life; she didn’t regret her decision, and neither would you. She gave long pieces of advice like sermons that seemed to go on indefinitely. No one appeared to comprehend your predicament. Your father had told you not to do anything foolish that would embarrass the family.

 Udó, your older brother, who had previously backed you, had caved in to your father’s demands. As these thoughts continued to pass through your mind, you sobbed.

You were interrupted by your mother, who barged in and gave you a look as if she knew everything that was going on in your head. You flashed a smile at her, stood up and followed her downstairs. Your father wrapped his arms around you and uttered a blessing prayer. You despised him, and you had never felt this way about your own father before. You were able to veil your animosity and appeared happy. He pretended he couldn’t sense your pain; perhaps he couldn’t. No one could.

You all headed to Mr. Okoro’s house for your wedding introduction. Mr Okoro’s son was wealthy. His name, well known in the community. It’s no surprise that your father was blinded by greed that he chose money over your happiness.

The love of your Life, Nedu, Wasn’t well to do, which is why your father rejected him. you loved him with all your heart and anticipated a future together. You couldn’t imagine life without him. The night before, you wept as your whole world had turned upside down.

You all soon arrived at Mr. Okoro’s house. His Mansion was quite beautiful. Everyone exchanged pleasantries and immediately started discussing the wedding.

“It would be the talk of the town”, Mr Okoro bragged.

Mr. Okoro’s son, Doga, arrived shortly. He smiled admiringly at you, and you responded with a smirk. You felt sorry for him because you knew you’d never be able to love him or anyone as much as Nedu. While the family discussed the wedding plans, your father motioned for you to go see Doga. You strolled to Doga as you both went outside to have a talk like two teens in love.

The wedding date was fixed. Two weeks later, you were to marry a complete stranger. You informed Nedu. His voice tinged with sadness, and you both sobbed over the phone. You both decided to spend some time together; one last time. If you were both going to part ways forever, it should be done right, So you both agreed to meet in an hotel two nights before your wedding. “No one would Suspect a thing”, You reasoned.

You Met Nedu and spent the night with him, crying and reminiscing about the past. He spoke of how much he loved and wouldn’t want to lose you. He suggested you should both flee and start a new life but you rejected. It was too late and you wouldn’t do anything silly like your father said. There was nothing you could both do. It was the last time you would ever make love to him.

Two days later, On the morning of your wedding, Your room was crowded. Everyone was busy trying to get you ready for the big day. They were all excited for you. You were going to marry the richest man in the community. Your friends were all envious, some couldn’t stop speaking of how lucky you were.

You were soon dressed in your beautiful white bride’s gown. Your mother complemented and rained praises on you, She felt so proud of the daughter she raised. She reassured you that everything would be fine.

“Doga is a wooondeeerfuuul man for you, you wouldn’t find any better” she said exaggeratedly like he was the best man alive. You managed to crack a grin.

Everyone left you to have a moment to yourself; you received a call, it wasn’t one you were expecting at that time.

“Nedu is Dead, he died last night”, the voice from the other end said. Your voice broke, you hung up the call and cried even more.

In no time, everything was set. The day seemed to be flying by, and you hoped it would soon come to an end.

You moved downstairs and was with your father who smiled at you cheerfully, he talked of how his little girl had grown up so fast, he spoke of how he loved you so much, how he only wished the best for you and how grateful he was to be alive to walk you down the aisle.

You soon arrived at the wedding ceremony. The crowd was beyond what you envisaged. You could see the love and happiness in everyone’s eyes as they stared at you. Sad, they couldn’t see the pain in yours. Doga looked up with glee as your father slowly led you towards him. You wished a miracle would happen to end the drama. You killed the thought, it was too late anyways.

You felt butterflies in your tummy, or were they really butterflies?. It couldn’t have been butterflies, you didn’t love Doga, you thought.

The poison you ingested that morning was reacting sooner than you expected.

It was what you put in Nedu’s drink two nights before. He’d be grateful you did. You’d finally be with him forever. You felt sad; everyone would live happily never after.

And there you slumped.

——

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