They said that girls dreamed of their wedding day all their lives. Not Mojolaoluwa. She stared into the full length mirror in her hotel room and almost couldn’t recognize her face. It was her wedding day, and she had got the face beat of the century. Face beat was the term used to explain what professional makeup artists did to your face to turn you into another person. Most girls had their faces beaten every time they had a party, went on a date, or somebody got married, but Mojolaoluwa was not most girls. The luxury of a face beat was reserved exclusively for her wedding day. She thought she looked beautiful, like an exotic flower that only Archangel Michael could name because it only grew in the garden of Eden. Her wedding dress, a beautiful mermaid dress that did everything to accentuate her generous bosom and voluptuous curves, was designed by an award winning fashion designer that was her fiancé’s cousin. Her red bottom shoes were on the bed, she would never understand the craze for Louboutin shoes, but Tolu had insisted it was the way to be married in style, and Korede had ordered custom made jewelry for the perfect finishing touch, but she hadn’t dreamed about her wedding day until her first bridal dress fitting. That was when it dawned on her that she was going to be married. There was a part of her that thought that because it had happened once before, something would go horribly wrong and the bubble of their relationship would burst, leaving them to go their separate ways. So she waited, almost perversely thinking that if she expected it, it wouldn’t hurt as much as if she didn’t, because the other time it had hurt so bad. So she had had no dreams of a wedding when she knew she was in love with Korede, not when he first told her he loved her and he would die if she left him, and not even when he bought her the BMW for her 30th birthday, even though that was one day she knew she would never forget.
She had died. She was too sure of it. She had died and gone to heaven. There was no other explanation for the way she was feeling. It was a heady, otherworldly giddiness, much too unreal for words, and only in heaven could one find such a perfect blend of happiness. So yes, she was in heaven and Okedike was God. To look in his eyes was to lose oneself in the exquisite waters of the river Euphrates, the one that flowed right out of Eden, or was it the throne room of God? Right now, in this moment, Halima couldn’t care less. He was here, in her bed, and she could find no better description of heaven. Nor could she think of anything that mattered more.
Time with Okedike was beyond precious to her. He was married, you see, and even though he never failed to profess his undying mad passionate love for her, he always had to go home to his wife. There were days though, weekends when he could get away under the guise of business trips, and they would spend their time mostly in the comfort of Halima’s plush apartment. Occasionally, they took their affair to a guest house owned by Okedike’s best friend. This was one of those weekends. Halima had kept her fingers crossed, not sure that he could get away. There was a lot going on at the engineering firm he co-founded with Nnamdi, his best friend. On top of that, his missus had been complaining about her health for a couple of days, and it was hardly the time to abandon ship and leave her home alone.
His missus. She didn’t know it, but the languorous smile she wore had slowly morphed into a worried frown under Okedike’s watchful gaze. God knew she had nothing against the very fragile beauty that was his wife, but it didn’t stop Halima from resenting the fact that she had to share him with another woman. It didn’t matter that they were married. Okedike had married Flora – the missus was called Flora – six years ago, and in the same amount of time, they had been trying to get pregnant, but Flora had not been able to carry any of her eight pregnancies to term. The doctors had blamed it on chromosomal abnormalities, trust them to have a name for everything. The first time he bedded her however, it was an instant hit. Sadly though, she had to get rid of it, God have mercy. It was too early in their relationship, and Okedike didn’t think it would be fair to Flora. Neither did she, truth be told. But that’s why she knew, on a subliminal level that Okedike was hers. She knew it in a way that she couldn’t explain. She might never be his missus, but he belonged to her. And who was she to say never? Never say never, right?