HAPPILY EVER AFTER LAND

Hello Yarners, I trust that 2017 is going great so far? The Team is here to make sure that we help in making your 2017 beautiful.

Jumoke is taking a rest today and should be back next week for more episodes of your favourite serial – Say You Will Stay.

The Team has however decided that in marking the end of a month widely celebrated as a month of love – it’s time we serve you another installment on the longest running serial on Ai.De.Yarn!True Love Story. The first episode in this series was written two years ago.

You can read up every episode on this series by clicking >>> True Love Story.

Enjoy.

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Love has a meaning, only when I’m with you
My Buddie, My Bestie, and My Papi
I gladly lose my heart to you
Ever mine, Ever thine, Ever ours

I’m smiling as I read Pearl’s toast for the umpteenth time. Yes I constructed the flow of words, but every word in the toast is hers. The ‘Ever mine, Ever thine, Ever ours’ part is something she heard in a movie and had instantly fallen in love with.

Dee, I don’t know how you’re going to do it, but that’s how I’d like the last line of my toast to read as.

Women! They’ll make a man do anything, trust me.

Who would blame her if she wants the last line of her toast to read like something from a movie, when our love story has been nothing but a beautiful movie?

I remember February thirteen, two thousand and ten, as we drank from our glasses of love, texting each other from the comfort of our beds, and consumed by that special feeling of romance that the Valentine season usually brought with it.

I remember us making a promise of love to each other that night, and even though she was not closeby, I could feel her presence as we typed and got drunk in love.

February thirteen became for us Valentine. Yes it was a day early, but we liked it just like that, and that is why when it was time for me to propose, it was just apt to do it on our love day, February thirteen.

Finally!

The pianist strikes a familiar note as he leads the processional hymn, it’s Blessed Assurance – Jesus is mine, that’s what the program in my hands read, as I watch her dad lead her down the aisle, but what I can hear in my head as the church is singing, is, Blessed Assurance – Jessie is mine.

I grin as usual, that familiar mischievous grin that has become a trademark. There are some thoughts in this head of mine that is barred from getting on paper, even though I know those are the kind of thoughts, some of you would rather want me to spill.

All you voyeurs.

Damn! Jess is fine sha! And no, it’s not the make-up. She’s even more beautiful without it, but that’s not to say the make-up artist did not do something beautiful with her face.

She’s just a natural beauty.

The Pastor is talking right now but truthfully I can’t hear him. I’m too busy staring at this wonderful work of art, sitting by my side, to hear anyone.

I don’t know what your first two rules of choosing a life partner is, but if one of the rules doesn’t include, I must be able to stare at my partner with desire like I just saw him/her for the first time, even when we’ve both grown wrinkled and grey, then I suggest you make new rules.

Her fingers are bare.

The emerald crusted ring that I gave her exactly a year ago today is nowhere on her fingers, but it’s all good. I’m going to be replacing it with a more permanent beauty; a platinum band, with glittering diamond stones enclosed in a heart-like formation that is only complete when the ‘His and Hers’ version, band together as one.

I glance backwards at Arthur, my Best-man, ‘the rings?’ I whisper to him. It’s like the tenth time I’m asking that question today.

His hand taps his chest on the right side of his jacket and his face eases into a reassuring smile. He’s been super excellent in executing his job and he’s got me thinking of a start-up –Best-man For Hire.

‘Will the Bride and the Groom please step forward?’ the Pastor calls out to us.

My eye catches a friend in the audience and I give her a wink, smiling like I just won a million dollars as Jess and I step onto the altar.

I know I’m smiling way too much but I can’t help it, if you’re getting married to your best-friend of eight years, you’d smile as much as I am smiling right now, besides I’ve got so many crazy thoughts running around in my head at the moment to keep a straight face.

Okay, I’ll share one.

There was this cool lady one time, who just liked me for God knows why and thought the best way to get close to me and possibly win my heart was to become friends with my sister.

It was a very good strategy, the only flaw though, was that the sister she was making friends with was my girlfriend -Jess.

I know you’re itching to know what happened next, right?

Amebor!

These are the kind of thoughts running around in my head, memories of the craziest moments with my bestie -soon to be my wife.

‘Aideyan Omorogbe Daniel,’ the Pastor’s voice boom, calling my name like it’s judgement day, and rousing me out of my reverie.

I almost reply absentmindedly with a ‘Sir!’, before he continues with, ‘Do you take…’

I exhale in relief, thankful that the ‘Sir!’ had not escaped from my lips. With the microphone in front of me, it would have been really embarrassing.

I’m ‘I do-ing‘ everything in response to every question asked, with my heart set on hearing the six magic words, ‘You may now kiss the Bride.’ Thank God the Pastor didn’t flip the script to ask me, ‘do you want to remain a bachelor?’ cos’ I’m sure I would have also said … – You guessed that right. That is to show you just how eager I am to hear the six magic words, and before your mind begins to run dirty on what my mission is, I’ll lay out the plan for you. My plan is to plant a quick innocent kiss on Jess’ lips when the Pastor says ‘You may now kiss the Bride’ – no passion – just a slight touch of our lips.

You know why?

Ahem…

I’ll tell you… but you have to promise me you won’t share this with anyone. Nobody. It’s going to be our little secret… Promise?

Fine.

In preparing myself for this moment, I had to attend some wedding ceremonies, aszin like taking tutorial classes, and I observed that when the couple share a kiss for like seven seconds, the Pastor would continue with the ceremony, but if the kiss is for like say… three seconds, the Pastor would usually pause the ceremony and ask the couple for a repeat performance, screaming ‘sustain!‘ as the couple tangle in another round of kissing, keeping them in this position for at least a minimum of twenty seconds.

This ‘sustain-mode’ my friends, is what I’m aiming for, and I have my plan well scripted in my head.

A quick kiss first, some chiding from the Pastor who would then ask us for a repeat performance… And Pow! that’s when your boy will show his talent.

Na the Pastor go tire now.

Eighteen seconds -scratch that- make it thirty seconds of intense kissing-

‘I now pronounce you Man and Wife,’ the Pastor’s voice interrupt my thoughts. ‘You may now kiss the Bride.’

Jessy’s dove-like eyes melt my heart as they search into mine with a plea only both of us can understand. Jess can be very shy.

I draw close to her and kiss her innocently, barely touching her lips with mine.

She gazes at me thankfully, the expression of relief sketched on her face with a smile that made her eyes twinkle.

I respond with my ‘don’t mention’ face. If only she could read my thoughts.

‘What’s that?’ The Pastor asks, drawing giggles and chuckles from the audience.
Tankyu Sir!‘ My inner me responds. This definitely was going according to plan.

‘You must repeat that,’ the Pastor instructs as he turns off his microphone, signalling to us that the ceremony will not continue until we pass the kissing test.

I don’t need any further prompting as I set my lips in that ‘dangerous kisser’ mode. My eyes darting to and fro like Frank Dongas’ after he has made a ridiculously stupid statement.

My hands encircle Jess’ waist and I hear approving chuckles from the audience – with one oversabi guest muttering ‘Na so!

I don’t know who that is and truthfully it doesn’t matter. All that matters to me right now is that I must pass this test in flying colours.

Never failed a test in my life before and I don’t intend to start on my wedding day.

I can describe every twist, every turn, and the dancing of our tongues in words so clear you’ll see the kiss, but I won’t – the look on my father in-laws’ face at that moment is still making me ‘scare.din‘ as my young niece would say.

You might just have to see the video for yourself to understand this matter – but the kiss was fire! Very hot!!

The screams and applause from the audience actually confirms that I have passed in flying colours as I hear the Pastor’s voice somewhere in the background going, ‘Halleluyah! Praise the Lord!! Halleluyah!!!

If all of that Halleluyah is meant to break up this holy kiss, this man of God is on a long thing, cos’ this right here, is Legal ‘Public Display of Affection’.

***

Love makes sense, only when it’s connected with you
My Baby, My Bestie, and My Pearlie
The key to my heart is with you
Ever mine, Ever thine, Ever ours

I raise my eyes from the lines of my toast on the program, and rest it on Jess’ face -scratch that- my wife’s face.

I’m still getting used to calling her my wife, considering we’ve only been married for about four hours.

She’s an angel.

I study every feature on her face as she converses with her Chief Bridesmaid and I can’t but be struck with awe at how every part of her face is sculptured to perfection.

Her nose is pointed in the most beautiful way you’ll ever see, and sometimes it makes me wonder that if the nostrils are just holes for breathing, why is Jess’ nose so artistically formed?

Her eyes are the most beautiful pearls ever created. Big, dreamy eyes that glitter when her lips curve into that smile that always makes my heart do the shoki, a dance characterized by its frenetic acrobatics.

Her lips? Don’t let us go there. I could rhapsodize about them all day –

When is the reception starting, it’s almost two ‘o’ clock?

My eyes glance instinctively at my wristwatch as my wife’s voice stir me out of my musings. The time on my watch read five minutes to two ‘o’ clock. That makes it about two hours past the scheduled start time of twelve ‘o’ clock. ‘I’m sure they’ll start off soon,’ I reassure her with a smile, with my arms on my laps and my fingers interlaced as I try to stay calm.

If only Jess knew I had been quietly praying to God that the reception gets postponed indefinitely, or that this part of the wedding program just magically vanishes, she would not have expressed her worry to me.

Don’t get me wrong please – I have nothing against wedding receptions, nah! I’m not selfish enough to want to deprive guests from eating ‘our rice’, afterall, it is only after some guests have eaten, that they get inspired to drop something for the new couple – abi is that not why we have the item 7 before presentation of gifts in wedding reception programs?

Are you okay?

‘Sure. why?’

I don’t know… you have this your ‘I’m thinking – don’t disturb me’ face on.

‘Oh! No I’m fine, it’s nothing. I’m just a little worried about the delay, that’s all.’

That’s the wahala of marrying your best friend. They know you in and out. Imagine I can’t even ‘think my think’ jejely anymore. She says I have my ‘I’m thinking – don’t disturb me’ face on – amazing!

‘I’m sure they’ll call us up soon,’ Jess says with a smile plastered on her face, as she tries to ease my worry.

I know she means that to be comforting but it’s actually disconcerting as the last thing I want to hear right now is that we’re about to be called up.

Okay, I’ll spill it already.

I. Am. A. Terrible. Dancer.

It’s the reason I have been dreading this moment since God knows when. From the day I proposed, which is exactly a year ago today, I have had this gnawing fear in my heart anytime my thoughts wander to our wedding reception, and it’s because of the many dancing, new couples are made to go through.

We will dance to the reception hall. We will now still do first dance. We will dance to cut the cake. We will dance after we cut the cake. We will dance for the guests to comman spray us money. We will dance to thank them for spraying us money – kilode?

This dancing matter bothered me so much I had to download YouTube videos of dancing couples and began to learn how to dance. It was then it hit me – I cannot dance to save the world. My dancing simply put, is pathetic.

On the flipside – Jess is a terrific dancer. She can burst every move, from Shoki to Shakitibobo to Beremole, the babe can do everything, and she does it with such panache that it makes me begin to suspect her salvation.

Please scratch that. That salvation statement is off the records -except of course you want to cause wahala in a happy family – but common, it’s not fair, how can she dance so well and I can’t dance at all? I can’t even do anything relating to dance, except maybe write about it, and then just imagine both of us on the dance floor… with Jess bursting some powerful moves, and yours’ sincerely shuffling his feet like a lost member of the CAC church choir… you get the picture, right?

‘Aideyan, it’s time.’

Arthur’s voice cut into my thoughts as he stands on the doorway with a grin.

The moment is finally here.

I hold my wife’s hand as we walk out into the courtyard from where we’re expected to dance into the hall. She has a big smile on her face as we join up with the train and trudge towards the entrance of the hall.

I see the wedding planner motioning to us to increase our pace but with every step that leads to the doorway, my legs become heavier.

As we arrive at the doorstep of the hall, just before we’re engaged by the full view of the guests -it happens- the DeeJay switches the song.

From the beat and intro of the song, I know I’m in trouble.

Yay…
Zaga…
Alhaji Tekno… Babyoooo
Oh na… Oh nanana
Say na love I dey see for your eyes o
I lovey you baby I no think am twice…

It’s Duro by Tekno – Jess’ favourite dance song. You should see the delight in her eyes.

It’s now very certain that my Plan A has failed – the rapture has not taken place, and it doesn’t seem like it’s going to happen anytime soon, atleast not before I do this dance.

I feel my palms become clammy as it dawns on me that my most dreaded moment has finally arrived, and just as we step into the hall – something in me snaps and I switch to Plan B.

I can’t explain it. It’s like Clark Kent transforming to Superman, or Peter Parker becoming Spiderman.

I feel my hands and legs begin to move in a sequence that’s in rhythm with the music, while my mind conjure up dance steps that I can only execute in a fantasy.

I hear approving screams from the guests as I release my YouTube dance moves that I have spent endless nights practising.

Jess is rooted to one spot, stunned beyond words and staring at me with eyes wide open and with her mouth agape. She clearly never esperrerit.

I’m not deceived that I’m finally a dancer as I hang my left leg midair and bend my stiff knees to do the shakitibobo. I really don’t care about becoming a dancer, as this is not what the plan is about. Plan B is about entertaining the guests, because at the end of the day, that’s what matters, and so far, I’m executing the plan to perfection.

The side of me rocking in the hall right now is the side that very few people know, Jess being one of that very few. You know that side of you that manifests in the bathroom when you sing in your cockroach voice, with the confidence of a Beyonce? The side that you can only let out before very close friends and family? Exactly! That’s the mode I’m in right now, and with Jess knowing how much I like to comport myself in gatherings, I can understand why she’s presently staring at me in such wonderment.

I swirl my left hand in the air, coordinating my body movements like one in the middle of an epileptic fit as I try out what in my mind is the shoki.

The guests respond with a cheer, while many of them bring out their phones to record my foolishness. I swagger back and forth around Jess in drunken steps that seem to particularly please the guests as the MC begins to prod Jess with his words, with the aim of starting off a dancing competition between us. ‘Jess, don’t let Daniel win you o,‘ his voice bellows from the speakers.

Jess begins to sway her body, albeit shyly, as I continue my dramatics, teasing the guests with the Genesis of dance steps that I know nothing about their Revelation. You know the way you do shakara with your legs when you’re sitting down, forming dancing to the madt jam playing over the speakers and making everyone think you’re a powerful dancer? That’s exactly what I’m doing. I even pause one time to do the etighi or something that resembles it, exciting the guests even more as the camera flash flicker from their phones.

Jess is beginning to get in the groove, and just then the Deejay transitions seamlessly to another song. The sound is unmistakeable.

Tinrin.tinrin -Tinrin.tinrin

The siren-like beep rents the air, followed closely by the hurtling of the drums which seems to bring everything in the hall to a stop, before the intro of the vocals – After the reggae play the blues…

This is my jam. Harrisong’s Reggae Blues.

I give Jess a cold stare, shaking my index finger at her theatrically as soon as I hear the intro of the song. I know I’m losing the plot but I can’t help it, I guess if I truly want to fool myself entertain the guests, I’d better just do it without reservations.

Enjoy yourself baby boo
Bae boo bae boo
Cos’ even your boo get a boo
A boo, A boo

The atmosphere in the hall is electric as the guests urge us on to dance, chanting our names to the rhythm of the song. To be honest I’ve run out of dance steps while Jess just seems to be warming up to the show as her friends ginger her on.

It’s time for that last trick up my sleeve.

I swagger back and forth like a drunken sailor and then in a flash of uncommon dexterity, I slip out of my jacket, tossing it to my Best-man who is standing not too far away as the hall erupts and the guests go into a maddening frenzy.

Game Over! I don win!!

Jess and her friends stare at me with their mouths wide open as I go into some spiritual demonstration, combining shoki with shakitibobo and then mixing it with azonto. It’s my finishing move.

Even me ma know that my political career is over after this stunt, plus there’s nothing in this world that will make me sit down to watch this video.

The first round of dancing comes to an end with the MC’s repeated calls to us to step onto the beautifully adorned stage so that the ceremony can continue. I clasp Jess’ hands in mine and we both make our way up the short staircase of the stage.

‘Are you drunk?’ Jess whispers into my ear.

‘Yes,’ I reply with a mischievous grin on my lips. ‘You intoxicate me.’

She smiles and her eyes glitter like a thousand stars trapped in a diamond frame. ‘I love you Dee,’ she says after we settle into the couch on the stage.

I gaze into her eyes and like a convict condemned to truth, I voice my confession.’I love you more.’

 

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3 thoughts on “HAPPILY EVER AFTER LAND

  1. Oga Dan, if we check the tape am sure say na madam win. And what is this kissing twice in front of pastor (I question your salvation). Nice and wishing you both a wonderful life together.

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