Wedding Blues


I watched Ada walk down the aisle, smiling behind her pretty veil at the tall man standing at the foot of the altar. The old church smelt of sweat and prayers, of damp and mildew, the smells of age. She stared straight ahead, walking on the hibiscus petals strewn on the church floor by the flower girls. When she arrived at the foot of the altar, Nkem took her hand and helped her up the stairs.

Ada had insisted on having our old priest who baptised all of us, officiate at the ceremony. He walked with a dignified tremble, and I worried that the chalice would fall from his hand at consecration.

“When Ada and Nkem came to see me about six months ago to discuss their intention, I thought there was something special about them. I have seen many couples in my lifetime, so I know. ” Fr. Obulu began.

I saw her smile and glance at Nkem who took her hand in his and squeezed it, and it occurred to me, as it had occasionally in the six months that they had been engaged, that my bundle of joy arriving in three months, could potentially be his’. I touched my belly, large and perfectly round, wrapped by flowing bridesmaid’s taffeta, and felt light-headed from joy and from shame all at once. So many questions came to my head; what if he turned out to look exactly like Nkem? Someone was bound to notice.

I turned away guiltily as Ada turned and smiled at me. I focused once more on Fr. Obulu’s words.

“… now allow you to speak your vows to each other.”

“I love you Nkem. I love the kindness and honesty with which we belong to each other….” Her voice shook with the intensity of her emotions.

Nkem stood there and smiled like a fastman who had just hit turkey.

I could not take it anymore, I had to speak. So I cleared my throat and raised my hand.

Word Count: 333

Written for this week’s Trifextra Writing Challenge:

This week’s word is: TURKEY

“…three successive strikes in bowling
Your response must be between 33 and 333 words.
You must use the 3rd definition of the given word in your post.
The word itself needs to be included in your response.
You may not use a variation of the word; it needs to be exactly as stated above…”

Seeing A Shrink Or Being My Own Shrink?

Lately, I have had quite a bit of time for self-reflection prompted by a series of incidents which have occurred in my family, in my personal relationships, and at work. I think the incidents at work have had quite a profound effect on me. In the last four months, three colleagues have passed on from terminal diseases which were fast and furious and did not leave them a fighting chance. The first to fall this year was M whom I worked with closely and blogged about after he passed. While he was ill, I shared my thoughts and fears regarding ill-health, and the lifestyle changes which could potentially give us a fighting chance. Most of it was directed at someone whom I love very much.

In the last four months, these three vibrant people who were much loved, and had very young families, went across the bridge after a good fight, leaving many people confused and saddened. The biggest anguish for most of us was seeing them in pain and suffering, but perhaps that also constitutes our biggest consolation, that they are in a better place, free from suffering.

Yesterday, management thought it may be a good idea to invite a clinical psychologist to speak to staff and have a grieving session because of the peculiar manner and timing during which all these deaths occurred. At first, we were being silly and asking if there would be a couch for everyone since we shall be seeing a shrink. It turned into a waterworks of sort, as emotions that had never been discussed before came to the fore. I surprised myself by opening up and crying quite a bit. It was embarrassing afterwards, because the truth is that you want your colleagues to see you for the strong professional woman who you are. But I am glad it happened, because I spoke my mind and poured my heart out, I feel as though some catharsis of sort has now occurred within me and I hope and pray that their families find or atleast begin the process, of finding such peace.

You see, I worked directly with M, he reported to me on a day to day basis. As a member of my team, he was quite good-natured and a good fit personality wise. However, I felt that there were some things he could have done better work wise and we had a few disagreements on these issues. People complained to me as well, regarding the quality of his work and in a team where under-staffing is a problem, you want your existing hands to be very good and on top of the issues. My biggest regret is that I did not see the signs of ill-health in the errors that he made, I should have sensed ill-health in the confusion and memory loss. But I did not, and that makes me extremely sad. I wish I had insisted that he went to hospital and had himself checked out. I wish I had slowed down, and taken a closer look. These days, when his children tell me about the various plans he had for them and the future, and how much they talked about these plans and wanted to pull it through as a mark of respect to him, it warms my heart and brings tears to my eyes at the same time.

All I can say is that death is the inevitable end, nobody wants to talk about it; and that’s certainly understandable. But recently I have begun to have conversations of death with God and his universe. My father used to say “Onye kwe, Chi ya ekwe”, which basically means that “When one agrees with himself, his God agrees with him”. I have said to him that I would like to die when I am old and have seen my children and my children’s children. I would like to pass after a day spent with the grand children, reading to them and maybe playing a game of chess with other loved ones (I have to learn, seems like such a good game). Then I shall go to bed and die in my sleep; a happy old woman. So till we see again M, G and A, be happy. Godspeed.