Bride of Us

by Frankbambam

Hark now hear .Tintinnabulation of the wedding bells.Adaku my bride rolls down the aisle with another groom. The walls of the church lay cloaked beneath garments of ribbons and balloons.That wing of the church has more of the crimson type.And the other wing magenta.The alter is clothed in a buffet of colours.And in one way or the other ,all the colours seem to blend into the red carpet-like a confluence of rivers of colors gliding down the pulpit .Like a red anaconda snake,Sliding towards the church entrance.I follow its course as it meanders on.My neck is stiff.My throat is dry.My eyes are frail.My chest pounds. It pounds harder than a pestel.But I still follow its course.Everyone too is following its course.As it glides endlessly to an end.Where it ends.And on that end lay your feet.Clouded gloriously in expensive designer shoes.The very pair which I sent you.There is a verse from the chorus line, so you begin to hoof it.You bring life to the notes of this very song.You sashay forward with grace.You are adorable Adaku,you are adorable.Even as I sit here,drowning in the harrowing pains of betrayal.I still cannot fail to testify.You are adorable. Even in the end I still choose, not to regret my foolish actions.Given a second chance,I would do it all again.Follow the same sequel-An imp man bethrothed to a damsel.The damsel bamboozling the imp. The imp, embarking on an odysseys quest through the sahara.In a search for greener pastures in the whitemans land.Toiling and sending the spoils home.To his beloved,damsel.Adaku. But you deviated from the blueprint Adaku.In the blueprint,there was no this man who you are walking down the aisle with.Yes there was a wedding in the blueprint.But the groom was me.The picture was supposed to be a tall slender,lady strolling down the aisle with an imp man.Not this ragamuffin.This gold digger.This Mr whoever he is. I see Nnamdi,smiling sheepishly, behind him.I hear he is now a doctor.A bigman.Graduated from a big university In the east. With the school fees which I paid, from faraway Alaska.No qualms.Training him was mentioned in the blueprint.Even Onyeka .I hear he is now an engineer .In one of those big oil companies in the south.And earns a fat cheque.And drives a big car.And owns a mansion in one of those areas reserved by the government.No doubt ,weve led different lives.Uve suckled the sweet milk of mother natures breast. The aura surrounds you as you move.Opulence! But we need to break even here Adaku.There is no horse sense in what you are about to do. We need to equilibrate. I have taken a bow to my end of the bargain.Meet me halfway, Adaku.Meet me halfway. Suddenly, the thick clouds of fortune, have clouded your memory.Youve been bewitched by the seductive spells of good tidings.But lets sail backwards through time.Adaku let me take the pain to remind you. Cast your memory to a time, ten years ago.In a small village called Njikokah.A big contrast to warri.This Warri youve chosen to reside in.This kind of Warri city. I cant even describe.But legend has it that describing the location is key, to driving home, the complete image of a good story.So I will try.A big modern city.Oozing of cornucopia.Profits from refinery money.It is apparent.The whiff of money.You can see it in their huge metropolitan mansions.Their posh metropolitan cars.Even their women are classy in a metropolitan way.But our Njikokah is not a metropolis like this.Yes Anambra,is as big as Warri.But for the purpose of this story,Id use Njikokah ,as my reference place.We were in Anambra state.But not in Awka,or other big metropolitan cities of Anambra.So for the purpose of this story,Anambra has no business with us.So instead of refinery money,we at Njikokah still use farm money.And business money.Back to the core.It was at that Njikokah that our ordeal started.It started when I Ignatius Okosisi.A then teacher of Holy childs community grammer school,saw a beautiful flower in your fathers(mazi Odinaka)compound.So as was customary,I had gone to knock.With my kinsmen.To seek your hand in marriage.As tradition required. Well, you were shocked because, you had expected an Adonis. Since you were an epitome of beauty.It was only natural,that you be disappointed by my nanism.And your father,Mazi Odinaka(R.I.P),was vexed.He had expected that,it would be a big business man that would come pluck that lovely flower.Say a foreign based Nigerian tycoon from Japan.Or an intelligent physician.So he could exhort millions off them.He wasnt braced for this-A poor dwarfish ,grammer school English teacher.So he did what he had to do.Drafted the enormous list .Worth millions of naira.And called it your brideprice.And presented it to me and my kinsmen.I still have that list with me Adaku.I carry it around with me .Its always stucked up in the pocket of my briefs.Like a talisman.Let me read the contents to you.With time I have masterminded the craft of doing that offhand.Viz: 1)Train Nnamdi to university level. 2)Train Onyeka to university level. 3)Complete my bungalow building with cement bricks. 4)Three cows,ten goats,Fifty cocks 5)Fifty wrappers of hollandis.Fifty London wax wrappers. 6) Three hundred crates of brewery beer. 7) Sixty rolls of white linen.etc,To name just the obnoxious few. Who the hell does this Adaku.Who sells his daughter off like that. We are not known for this Adaku.We hold to the saying A woman whose brideprice is exuberant,looses respect in her matrimonial home.Its glaring your father didnt consider this.Avarice wont let him rethink.Mazi Odinaka(R.I.P),your father was a greedy fellow. One who thought the act of female child rearing was a business venture. Like poultry farming. Remember when I had tried to lighten the mood.By asking if the Omugwo bill was included in the list.And he had stood up,and in his mightyness,had crossed his hands across his chest.And had stared at me sarcastically,for three minutes.And then to the awe of every visitor present,had thundered,a sardonic laugh.Spat on the ground,Walked towards me.Stared down at me and saidWhen a child decides to chew hard meat,he must prepare his teeth for it.No wonder he died the way he did.Mazi Odinaka,I say no wonder you died the way you did!Gastroenteritis.I tell you from the land of the living ,up in America, gastroenteritis is a disease of the piggish.The esurient.Gluttons.Some call it food poisoning.It is a disease that kills the greedy.People who hurry to ingest anything they see.Thats why its the leading cause of infant death.When the physician ,terms it food poisoning,in igbo land.Everyone begins to look around.For a felon to accuse of witchcraft. To think of that. Who wouldnt want to bewitch a greedy oldman like you Odinaka.If deadmen could die for a second time, in hades, believe me, the folks on the other side would try to eliminate you there.Even in the other land you go to ,after dying in the land of the dead.They will bewitch you. Gone too soon, rest in peace, glorious exit. Captions like these should not accompany an orbituary,like yours.Gone too soon.You died at the age of 63.But in my honest opinion,you left a little too late. Voracious persons like you should die as children.Or better still, be born stillbirths. Well, only the Almighty decides where your rapacious soul ends. And so to the amazement of my kinsmen and everybody present,I accepted the terms of agreement.And that upon completion of my end of the bargain,the wheels of matrimony,will be set rolling.The way and manna in which I carried it out was my business. Then I got missing for some time.With no one knowing my whereabouts.I believe you thought me a coward.Until you started receiving international deliveries in big envelopes. With my name on them. Containing some dollar bills. Which metamorphosed into loads of nairas, after contact with the exchange bureau? In your letters,you didnt even bother asking what I was doing to earn the kind of money I sent you.Maybe you assumed that money falls from the sky in America.Or presumed that as a grammer school teacher ,it was only natural,I continued to teach.Ironical.A black man teaching the Englishman English.Did Lord Lugard teach our forefathers igbo? Adaku did he? Even their English is spoken in a different type of way. There is the type spoken by the white man who is from America. And another type spoken by the white man who is British. Maybe if you had spent little time .And had read the gazette.About the gazillions of Nigerians in diaspora and the type of menial jobs they did to keep body and soul together.Maybe you would have had an insight. Maybe you presumed I went to the whitemans land and lived in my comfort zone.Like their monarchs.But let me serve you the truth.Black and white.Africa is about the only continent that receives completely,colour different people with open hearts.And adore them.And treat them better than their own citizens.The way immigrants are been treated over there is a sharp contrast to what is obtainable here.In plain language Adaku-there are still a lot of racists walking the streets of America.I call them the Xenophobic bastards of the 21st century.Myopic people ,too shortsighted to see past skin colour. In these modern times. Where even animals are accorded, respect.The type that humans get.Pets are clothed in America, Adaku.Pets oh! In designer clothes. They have superstores just meant to sell pet foods.Even, they too,get married.To other pets.And there is a ceremony.And there is a lawyer, in case of a divorce. Prenuptials are even signed. You dont maltreat a dog in America.Animal rights agencies would sue your ass.Until you cough out huge cash.Or you be sent to prison. Prison Adaku.Because of a dog.Nkita!.If pets deserve such treatment,a fortiori blackmen. Now let me paint you a clear picture, woman.I stayed in Alaska for ten years .But the job I did there, was washing corpses. Get that clear, am a washer of stiffs.Baby sitter of cadavers.White bodies, tucked up,in cold freezers.Yes I Ignatius Okosisi,son of Polinus Okosisi is a mortician.And that was the source of all the money used to pay the mighty university fees.And complete your fathers building .And buy the expensive clothes.The same ones you used to entice this ragamuffin.This macaca,you call groom. I heard, you formed an association of spouses of men,living in diaspora.And that you were their novel president.And that to possess,a right to membership,you had to have a foreign based fianc-In London,U.S,scandenevia,Niger,Cameroon,Gabon etc.Anything goes. So long as it was foreign soil.And that your members strolled the perimeter of the village,holding an air of slobbery.And shaking their buttocks like turkeys(tolotolo).Oligarchs.Tying expensive wrappers.And big hair scarfs.A story has it that with the deployment of peacekeeping troops to Somalia,a wife of one of the deployed soldiers,ran to the group.Begging for membership.Somalia oh!Adaku,warring Somalia.Imagine how you coerced gullible women with your sybarice.Cajoled them into misplacing their priorities. Wasnt that the reason ,you fled the village for Warri city,when you stopped hearing from me.Because you couldnt keep up with the extravaganza.And the quidnuncs were starting to meddle.So you thought of where to go,and the first place was Warri, you packed your bags and fled to Warri.And trapped ,the first pot bellied oil worker you met.This bride stealing idiot. You think having a pot stomach,is an indicator of wealth?Funny Adaku,Ignorant Adaku,timid Adaku.Would you ever stumble into enlightenment?Do not let our Nigerian politicians and oil workers deceive you into believing that every person with a sagging tummy is well to do.Compare the bigmen in America.The men who matter the most Adaku.Are they plumpy?Nooo.They are Slim, and lanky,with flat stomachs.Havent you seen their pictures.The incumbent president of the United states?The same one who was spoken about in Martin Luther Kings prophecy?Or that famous pop star(blessed memory).The very one who could walk backwards on his toes,while spinning his hat.Even one of their citizens.Who is called the worlds richestman,is slim Adaku.Slim as stick.So been overweight is not synonymous to affluence,woman.If anything ,it depicts morbidity. All this talk is gibberish.The core here is Adaku,why did you leave Njikokah .And then chose Warri .Of all places.The refinery right.Irrespective of your inability to understand their native tongue,you migrated.You had it all mapped out.Since there was a rumour going around that I was in the prisons in Alaska.It was the right time to dump me.And an oil mogul was your next stop.Like every other average minded ,Nigerian.You felt the need to exploit our oil.The black gold.Like a lot of narrow minds,who feel belonging to an OPEC,means you must be connected to the oil.Lazy people.Armchair dreamers.Dangote wannabees,Otedola hopefuls.I heard the former makes millions from salt .Adaku,salt!These are born entrepreneurs.But you ran chasing oil to Warri.Let me tell you something,soon all these,big countries,spoon feeding us because of our oil,would start depending completely on other energy sources.And by then our pentane would be useless, to them.And there would be no ,more revenues from oil.And all these private oil firms caressing our youths with allowances,would pack up and flee from us.Like a man fleeing from a woman with a prolapsed pudenda. Compromised coitus.Well in their case financial coitus gone sour.And our economy would be thrown in a frenzy.Then we will run back to agriculture.And beg for mercies from our abandoned cocoa trees.Or we will run to entertainment.Since that entails cheaper brain work.Unlike technology,and education. Because we feel those are hard nuts to crack. And we cant reason out innovations. Because we believe the black race is a bird brained race. Okay imagine that the colonial masters had not come and discovered our black gold. Till now I bet you,Adaku,our oil would still be lying inert beneath the ground.Deep within the earth.And we will be tilling the soil,to grow crops,to make millions.Ignorant of the fact that we had trillions of hard currency, sitting deeper, in the ground. In form of unharnessed pentane.Overwhelming potentials.Begging to be explored.And agriculture would still be the economys life wire.And our bigmen would be the farmers.And you would be leaving me for a,farmer.One with a big farmland land of commercial crops.With a sagging stomach,and probably ill with diabetes.Due to overingestion of lots of carbohydrates.Yams and rice from his huge farm land.Hahahahahaha.That was a gibe. Hope you feel the contempt. Adaku, in your next life, learn.Thats a surer means of avoiding an imbroglio such as this.If the Almighty, in his unbounding love, bestows upon you pulchritude, again.Beg for some intelligence from him as well.To complement your looks.In plain language, if you want to double cross,a suitor who resides overseas,do not run to the arms of another,with lots of oversea connections.And relations. Marriage is a big thing in this our Africa., Adaku.The news spreads.It spreads all over .And in the case of some parts of the world like ours; it spreads even to the evil kingdom. In case you go wondering, how I knew, let me inform you.When Nigerians, find themselves outside of the shores of this country, we are one.OHANEZE.In unity we stand. I know this ragamuffin youve chosen over me.Not in the real sense of knowing.But I know someone who knows someone who knows him.In far away overseas,I have this friend.Osas Podosky is his name,alias prettyboy Floyd.He is a kinpin.And deals on illegal ammunitions.He is invincible. He has connections with the police, various lawfirms, infact he is as connected as a spiders web. You see, the gun-running business is a networking business. A gunrunner, in London, is friends with one in Egypt,who inturn knows a seller in Columbia.There are the kingpins.Who have subordinates;that serve as middlemen.Then there are the boys.These are the ones who are directly in contact with the market.The figureheads.They go in for all the busted deals.Whipping boys.That is who they are.And prettyboi Floyd has a lot of them.He pays them good money. When your wedding invitation, arrived,we were seated.All three of us as croonies.In a honkytonk,drinking cheap vodka.You see is not as if Floyd couldnt afford an expensive,club,but we his Nigerian friends,couldnt.And abroad,every person,feels an entitlement to foot his bills. Okay imagine this scene The club was unusually a bevy that night. Myself ,pretty boy Floyd,and patchman X were seated at the VIP lounge.I was siping slowly on my drink.Floyd was chewing on his Cuban cigar,and at the same time,condensing the smoke with some vodka.Patchman X was smoking a shisha pot,uneager to dismiss,the stripper that was giving him a lapdance.She was a blonde.And had on a ruby coloured bikini,with an ill fitted bra,that made the bulk of her tits bulge out,and her exposed skin reflected the club lights. It was obvious Patch man X was hypnotized. He contributed little or nothing to our conversation. So you mean you cant help me on this one? Floyd had asked, staring at me in a rather peevish manner, with a thundering voice.Since the music was loud.Osas, there are no stiffs in the morgue been carried outside of Alaska this month .None of them is headed for Canada.Even the Green lands.I had replied.Trying to make out his face in the dimness of the room.Just make the implants,Ignatius,my boys will take care of the delivery.Even if it means breaking into the morgue and carting away with the cadavers man!.Okay Ill double your cut.He said, flaunting a snicker, and refilling his emptied glass.These bodies, have owners, Floyd,owners who are counting on the morgue to provide security for them.Owners who would stop at nothing to sue the morgue should they suspect any foul play.I said praying hed understand the situation.Screw the fucking owners man,screw them.He removed the cigar, from between his lips,sat straight up, squaring his shoulders,neared his face towards mine,and with a frown said.Ok i will make your cut triple, you see mahn this deliveries need be in Russia in a week mahn.Ive got clients hoping on me mahnI could rot in jail if the plan goes sour man. I had said in a rather confused manner.. There is a tap on my shoulder.It is Patchman X.Hey Laundry,you got 40 dollars on you?he had echoed over the acoustics I dont .I had replied and my name aint laundry. I had said with feigned anger. He looks at me ,as if a part of me is unusually bigger today.You cleanup stiffs,bro,aint no difference with a laundryman.He said looking away from me.With his eyes towards the slattern.He tries removing a dollar bill from his breast pockets,and something falls off.He is too drunk with booze and lust,to notice it drop.I reach out to pick it ,as I do this,I notice it is a wedding card.I open it:we the family of.cordially invitesof our children..and Adaku Odinakaa,which comes up.25/12/2014.Your picture is on the card. You are now walking past the part of the aisle which is adjacent to the pew which am seated on. You cast a glance towards where am seated. For a second, I think that you recognize me, but on a second thought no.Because you have on a pleasurable smile.Not the type one wears when she recognizes an alarum.Your smile is still enchanting Adaku.With those little white pumpkin seeds of yours.. Well there is nothing spectacualar about the way am dressed,.The cream coloured tuxedo am putting on ,is ubiquitous.Nothing resembling something,a fresh from the states person wears.Maybe if I was seated beside a whitewoman,and a mulatto child,as family,the scene would have caught your attention. But God forbid Adaku.Never would that happen.That I marry a woman from a foreign soil.And expect a quadroon as a grandchild someday? Even if the blackrace falls short of women, Ill practice polyandry. Polyandry, Adaku.The both of us shall bed with you. Our members shall stroke your fanny, in concurrence. You shall bear beautiful children for the two of us. No small wonder, why the culture of polyandry is not yet practiced overhere.Considering the rising number of feminists. And propagators of equal gender rights.In my opinion, if a man can be allowed to exploit the sybaritic pleasures of polygamy.So also should the female be allowed to flex polyandry. The bright side to the story is that, hundreds of years from now, when this war on female liberation/gender emancipation must have been won; and affluent women with money to pay for huge dowries would take as many as four men as mates, posterity would have in ink, that ours was the novel case of polyandry in Nigeria. You see? Silver linings. I think we are now at the point where the clergy, saysif there is anyone here who has a reason these two people should not be joined togetheror forever.As I arise everywhere is a graveyard. Adaku, relax.Take a deep breath. Balloon your air sacs. Contract your chest so that enough oxygen gets to your brain-for you shall be needing a lot. My next action is going to put you in a frenzy. It seems youre not alone in your shock.The congregation seems to have slumbered too. Drifted into quietus.But I am unbending. I do this for the millions of midgets around the world .Those who have been unfortunate enough to feel the gnashing effects of victimization. When last did you hear of a midget, holding a political appointment? Say a minister, an ambassador, a director general. Must our physical stuntness spill on our vocations or personal lives too? Rob us of the right to love and be loved? The painful thing is we are neither regarded as disables or complete humans. Neither here nor there. There can never be an appropriate end to this type of story. If I walk up to the alter and object to the wedding. Then the story ends as a comedy for me, but as a tragedy for you. But if out of frustration I had flung myself head down, from the top of the church building and had commited suicide. And youd have a funeral in a wedding. Or a wedding in a funeral. Or both a funeral and a wedding. Then the story would have ended as a comedy to you, and a tragedy to me.Or better still if we lock it up, with polyandry, we trade the luxury of the fun to the congregation.The story becomes a farce, Adaku.People would laugh at us.But since Ive taken the pains of telling the story to this point,Adaku,the story would end my way.The way I want it to.A condusive type of way.First let me justify myself. To the flabbergasted clergy and congregation I begin. Our ordeal started in the year 2004, when I Ignatius Okosisi, son of Mr Polinus Okosisi (RIP), saw a flower in the

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