My birthday was two days away. After the incident with Austin, my determination to celebrate in style was renewed.
Ronke and I had decided to settle for small chops instead of the customary party rice.
“We’d complement with drinks. I’m so not down for cooking rice jare,” she announced.
She was my personal party-planner I had twenty-four seven.
“I’ll take you shopping for the right dress. Something that says slutty and innocent at the same time,” my fashionista friend announced.
“Babe! I don’t do slutty!” I giggled at the thought.
“Well, it’s your birthday! Choose. Do I make a dress or take you shopping?”
“What do you think?” we sat on the bed in my room, notepads in front of us. “I don’t think you can make a dress in two days sha.”
“Try me. If you leave your fate in my hands, I’ll make sure you don’t sleep in this house tonight. Every guy who sets his eye on you would want you…”
“Okay, okay. Shopping then. At least I get to pick. Besides, I want to impress Biyi. I’ll call to remind him today.” I shivered in anticipation. The thought of Biyi seeing me dressed up- slutty, in Ronke’s words, filled me with excitement.
“This Biyi better be fine o!” she admonished. “So, DJ nko? I know someone who can handle that.”
“Just as long as he doesn’t plan on charging me unnecessarily high sha.”
“I’ll talk to him. What about the invites? Word of mouth, abi?”
“Definitely. Too late to make cards.” as I said that, I remembered that the last time I had made cards had been for my…wedding. I closed my eyes to banish the thought and yet I could not dispel the picture of me standing in front of the three hundred plus guests, looking clueless.
When my bridesmaid, Ronke, had whispered in my ears that there was a problem; I almost peed in my new pants. My wedding night lingerie.
Even though I’d had pre-wedding jitters, it had never occurred to me that I would be a victim of being left at the altar.
So, when she told me there was a problem, my first thought was that Austin had been in an accident. Jesus! I’d heard stories of people who had died on their way to their own wedding ceremony.
“Is something wrong with him?” I asked.
“I don’t know. We…we can’t seem to find him.”
My heart had leaped to my throat then. Can’t find him? My husband -to-be? My fiance? What was that supposed to mean?
I turned then to look at the sea of faces waiting to see me joined to the bone of my bones; then I looked down at my dress, the beautiful white gown I had ordered from Dubai a week ago and I suddenly thought that everything would be okay. Austin would not let my dress go to waste. Not the dress he paid for.
And what about the rings? I had wanted pure gold. I couldn’t settle for less for my once-in-a-lifetime wedding!
No, he couldn’t not ‘be found’ on a day like this, after spending this much money to give me the wedding of my dreams.
Ronke’s voice snapped me out of my reverie.
“What?” I asked, timidly.
“You’ve been staring into space for ten minutes now…”
I sniffed. “Sorry, was lost.”
“Thinking about Austin?”
I shook my head vehemently.
“Then why are there tears in your eyes?”