To Have… and to hold…

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“I don’t want Tayo… No.”

That had being her immediate reply to his proposal. For a proud boy, who considered himself quite a catch, that reply was hard to accept. What was even harder to accept was that but for his parents and hers, the girl of his dream would not be standing in front of him today.

“…with this ring, I, Motunrayo Lola Olasope do thee wed, Olatayo Smith. To have and to hold, to love and to cherish, for better and for worse, for richer and for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part.”

He could feel her hands shaking as she pushed the ring onto his finger; he could see the tears shimmering in her eyes and trickling down her face. Her lips were parted as she took in short bouts of breathe. It wasn’t wedding jitters or bridal meltdown, it was just plain old fear.

He wanted to hold her close and tell her something… he didn’t know what he would tell her… but it would be something sweet… that she was beautiful? No… too cliché. You’re the one? No… too random. He’d tell her he loved her, that he would take care of her… He would tell her what a perfect girl she had being for him in the past six years and how much of an awesome wife he knew she was going to be… He would tell her how much he had missed her for the months she had disappeared after leaving that note… he would tell her of the joy in his spirit when he had finally seen her again… he would tell her how he’d be the best-est father ever to the little one in her… He would tell her how he would remember important days for life and not be the husband that forgot anniversaries and birthdays… how he would work at being the best husband ever.

He could literarily feel the fear in her cold hand as he grasped it in his and said his vows. Willing the strength of his love to drive each word and remove all her doubts, all her fears… as her shimmery eyes met his, he whispered the only thing he could: “I love you.” And for the first time that day, his bride smiled

3 years later

“ADAMU!!!!” He shouted, his voice already hoarse from crying and shouting.

He made to rise to get her some help, but she gripped him fast. “Don’t leave me,” she chocked. He held her in his arms. She who he had promised to hold dear, who he had bound to me with bands of gold. He held her now, his wife, in a pool of blood. Her blood. He held her tight. He could feel her heartbeat. It was faint… and then… then… he didn’t feel it anymore…

The tears fell.

She was gone.

The house heaved with the strength of wails skull… deep groans of a someone in pain. But there was no one around.

There was a patter of feet as Adamu ran in shouting, “Oga sir, I was bathing when – ”. He knew the exact moment Adamu saw the body of his life-less wife. When he rose, or grabbed Adamu by the throat he didn’t know, he just started to beat him mercilessly…

“I will kill you today! You!! You killed my wife abi? I will kill you!!!”

“Oga it’s not me oh!! no be me!! It’s that woman that just left now! Blood was on her clothe oh! I thought she was on her period oh!!” Adamu shouted, as he wrestled himself and his, now tattered, shirt from Tayo’s grip.

“which woman?! Answer before I-!!”

“that woman nah… the one I bring to meet you at the hotel…”

Tayo’s hand met my head in a kiss of death… Itunu… and he remembered when she had told him yesterday that she loved him and he had laughed, saying, “you have a  husband, I have a wife, what are you saying?”

“but you love me. Tayo, leave her now…”

“What?!! Leave Lola? For you? Are you mad?”

He remembered the look in her eyes as he dressed… he remembered thinking; if look could kill… But she couldn’t have… she just couldn’t…

The vibration in his pocket pulled him back to the present, hammering the final nail in the coffin.

If I can’t have you, nobody else will.

He fell to his knees, gathering the body of his wife… his lovely, lifeless wife and wept.

 

 

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