Today, they would be getting married and Mojolaoluwa couldn’t wait to recite her vows. She was grateful that the church had granted them permission to write their own vows. She wanted to tell him exactly what kind of wife she was going to be to him. She thought all that old school “for better, for worse” talk was very vague and didn’t really make sense. There were people who would never be poor whether they wanted to or not, just as there were people who got married for the money. These days nobody walked out on a marriage just because their partner was sick. These days, people even stuck together through HIV. Besides, people got married for different reasons, so it made more sense to have the couple write out their vows so that they could tailor their vows to the exact kind of marriage they wanted to build, and then recite these vows in the presence of God and loved ones, so everyone would know exactly what to hold them accountable for. Mojolaoluwa didn’t care about anything else, she just wanted to be able to tell Korede the kind of wife she would be to him.
“Iyawo,” Tolu called her from the door. “I’ve called you five times now. What are you thinking about? I was asking if I should hold your phone or put it in your purse. Then, you have like twenty messages and this is your only chance to respond before we leave for church.”
“Is it fifteen minutes already?” Mojolaoluwa asked her.
She had asked everyone to give her fifteen minutes to be alone. She had felt a little overwhelmed, with her five bridesmaids, her little bride, three flower girls, her mother and her aunt in her room clucking over her dress and her hair and her bouquet and her shoes. Whether her veil should cover her face now or if they should wait till they got to the church. All of a sudden it was all too much, and she had let them know. She looked at the small leather book in her hands, where her vows were written. Then she smiled at Tolu, who was nodding.
“Your mum is telling her sister what a strange child you have always been,” Tolu told her. “You better let me tell them to come back in, before she starts to panic.”
“Oya, please tell them to come,” she said, laughing. “I think we should leave my phone in your purse. I’m not in the mood to respond to messages. That photographer has sapped my energy, wish I could get a cup of coffee.” She knew her mother wouldn’t hear of it. She had told them yesterday, Korede and her that they must fast today. She was fasting too, and so was her aunty Tumi.
“I didn’t wait 30 years to see you married for one enemy to scatter your marriage,” her mother had said. “All their plans will scatter in Jesus name. God has given us the victory, He revealed it to me already.”
“Tolu wait,” she called in a hurry. Tolu was on her way out of the room. “Before they come, there’s one Sprite in the fridge. I want a few gulps. I need help to get through the day, just some sugar in my system.”
They shared a smile as she took a few gulps of Sprite, she was careful not to smear her makeup, even though her makeup artist would be around the whole day. That was after all what she had been paid for. Tolu and Mojolaoluwa had been best friends since Secondary School, and even then there were those who thought she was weird, but Tolu understood. When most people thought she was antisocial with mind issues, Tolu knew that she was a great girl with a great sense of humour, a very smart mouth and a very interesting journal, if very intense sometimes. They were four girls who did everything together, but she and Tolu were closer than the rest. They had attended the same university, and were roommates throughout their years in university. Today, Tolu was her chief bridesmaid and Sprite drinking accomplice, but as always Mojolaoluwa knew her secrets were safe with Tolu.
It was a racket again, as everyone came back into her room. Her mother insisted on praying together before they left for the church. They formed an awkward circle and held hands, some of the girls sat on the bed.
“In the mighty matchless name of our Lord Jesus the Anointed,” her mother began. Mojolaoluwa sneaked a glance at Tolu, who knew the glance would come so she was smiling. The drama had begun. Today, for several reasons, would be truly unforgettable.