There was lots of cheering and jubilation behind the closed door but I stood in agony and anguish on the other side of the door wishing the day away. Suddenly, a familiar song began to play, the doors opened and there she stood, the beautiful bride all dressed in white with her bridal squad in tow.
She walked down the aisle to the rhythm of our song “At Last” by Etta James with so much grace. Tears galore and shouts of joy abounded with every step she took. Nina looked beautiful, angelic to say the least and yet with every step she took, my heart skipped a beat; and not in a good way.
As she made her way to me in what felt like 2 hours (although it was about 4 minutes) I couldn’t hold back the tears. My best man quickly dried my tears and asked me to straighten up but the tears kept pouring. There were Ooooo’s and Aaaaaaas, with every step she took and each tear I shed.
The music kept playing until she was standing next to me; and then the priest took over. “Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to witness …….”. These were the last and only words I heard in the chapel.
How could I explain to the thousands gathered that my tears were not tears of joy, but rather of guilt and shame? Who would understand the depth of my pain and the turmoil I was feeling inside? Who would believe my story? How do I explain to the world that beautiful Nina is not the one for me?
In addition to being gorgeous, Nina is hardworking, successful and respectful but I realize now that those reasons are not sufficient for me to marry her. I need a friend, a true companion to ride with on the quest called life. We were in love, but we were not friends. I knew I should have said something sooner.
How was I going to explain that to my mom who had traveled all the way from the US to Ghana and had invited her diplomatic entourage? The same lady who has been waiting for her only child to bear her grandchildren and who spared no expense, what do I say to her?
How about my dad who had grown so fond of Nina and considered her as the daughter he never had? How do you explain to people that the fact that two people look good together doesn’t mean they have to be together? O, if only I had gathered the courage to have this talk with beautiful Nina about 3 months ago, the situation would have been averted.
I could see the lips of the minister moving, folks clapping, others dancing, and the choir singing but it all felt like I was in a trance. I was numb to the core. O God, I am making the worst mistake of my life, I know I am marrying the wrong person but it’s too late to stop the wheels now, everything is too far gone.
What do I do? If I call off the wedding now, it will bring embarrassment to both families, and if I continue it will bring misery to both of us. I don’t want to be that callous guy who waited until the wedding day to call it off.
No one could understand my dilemma. No one except Stephen my Uncle. As I mastered courage to look in his direction in the front row seat, I saw him staring back at me with a look that said, “don’t do it nephew!!!”. If only looks could talk.
I quickly turned to the priest who by this time was pronouncing his blessings over the ring. Next thing I knew, we were being introduced as Mr. and Mrs. Peniel. O Lord, I am completely finished, I’ve come undone, I’m a wreck. Don’t ask me how the service went because I was barely present mentally.
Next, it was time for pictures and all I could hear was click, click, say cheese, take a picture, smile for the camera. I was exhausted from the charade and frightened about the wedding night. Sunday is thanksgiving service in church. Would I have to pretend all over again? How can I testify in Church about something that was not meant to be? How do I publicly glorify a wrong judgment?
O Lord save me from this mess. Just then, I felt someone calling my name and screaming so loud. “I have been trying to wake you up for the past 1 minute to have dinner and all I could hear you say is “I’m a mess, I’m a mess”, said Helen my 4 year old niece. “Uncle, what’s the meaning of a mess?” Don’t worry, I will explain later.
I looked up and it was past 7pm. Geez, this has been a dream all along. Thank you God. But wait, could this be the sign? I have to talk to Mansa. It’s already past midnight on her side of the globe. It’s been 3 months since we spoke but I need to hear her voice now.
Early the next morning around 6am, I called Mansa. Will she pick my call given the way our last conversation ended? O Lord, I need you now, now, now. I could hear the phone ring on the other side until it went to voicemail. I tried a third time and suddenly, there was a click. A familiar voice answered the call with a “Hello”. “Thank you Jesus”, I muttered beneath my breath.
After 3 good months, here was Mansa on the other side of the phone. That voice that soothed my soul and brought reason whenever I was in despair. How could I have forgotten so quickly. I was immediately speechless and frozen in fear.
“Who is this?” She asked.
O Lord, I need you again, now, now, now. How do I re-introduce myself?
To Be Continued