“You may kiss the bride,” the Priest passed freely.
Without hesitation, the couple kissed and the congregation or should I say the five persons they had invited, cheered.
Feeling uneasy, Uloma got up from the back where she had been seated watching the whole thing. She knelt with one knee as she made the sign of the cross. She got up, kissed her Holy Rosary and made to leave the church. The worried look on her face was conspicuous.
“Uloma,” a loud voice startled her as she got to the narthex.
Uloma looked down and saw her standing there, she held herself from spitting on her. She just gave her the bad eyes.
“Uloma eeeeh. Is this how you are?”
“Adanma, Ogini? What is it ehhh? Why are you shouting my name like that? Don’t you know that this is the house of God?” Uloma retorted.
“House of God gba g’oku there,” Adanma returned. “So after warning you to tell your son to stay away from my daughter, you didn’t yield instead you allowed your son to stupidly lead my daughter to this altar. To think you even passed by my shop this morning and you didn’t deem it wise to let me know, okwa ya?” with an evil temper.
“Look at you. So you think I was invited. Well unlike you, I found out about it and I honored the event in ‘peace’. But here you are raving like a madwoman. I don’t have time to exchange words with you. I’m leaving,” Uloma said and pushed her aside.
“You’re leaving, right? Okay. Where is that son of yours?” screamed Adanma as she turned and started marching down the aisle to the altar.
The couple turned to see her when they heard the screams.
Fear crippled the bride.
“You won’t touch my son, you witch,” Uloma yelled as she went after Adanma.
“Did you tell her anything?” Ebube asked his bride.
She directed her attention to him and in surprise, “of course not. How can you ask me that?” Kelechi responded.
“Then how did she find out?” Ebube asked again.
“I don’t know. How did your mother find out too?” Kelechi asked as her ire had been aroused.
“I’ll kill you both today,” Adanma threatened as she drew closer.
She made to seize Kelechi but a hand pulled Kelechi away and dragged her towards the vestry.
“Chibuzor,” Adanma roared.
“This girl won’t kill me.” Immediately she grabbed Ebube by the collar, “you dared me, this boy. Ebube, you dared me,” she vociferated as she choked him by pulling his tie continuously.
“Mummy,” Ebube managed to call out as he choked.
“Let go of my son, witch,” Uloma struggled with her till Adanma let go of her son.
Still fuming, she ran off to where Kelechi had gone to.
“Thank you mother,” Ebube uttered. Uloma eyed him from his head to his toe as she let out a deafening hiss.
Knowing the exact room they were in, she walked up to the door and banged on it.
“Kelechi, Chibuzor, open this door right now,” she ordered.
Chibuzor looked upon her elder sister who was sitting on the floor with her wedding dress. They could hear their own heartbeats.
“Open this door now,” she shouted behind the door.
“No mother. I will not open this door and I’m not coming out of this place,” Kelechi found her voice.
Adanma chuckled, ”so you girls have now grown to defy my orders. Kelechi, I ordered you not marry any man at all; rich or poor, dead or crippled but you went ahead to marry Ebube. Chim o, you’ve killed me,” she whined.
“Why do you always think we should let you ruin our lives because you say so. We do every single stupid thing you’ve asked of us. Mother, I have not offended you in any way. I only got married to the man I love…”
“Shut up your mouth. Lover girl. I got married to the man I love,” Adanma mimicked her.
“Yes mother, I am now Ebube’s wife and there’s nothing you can do about it,” Kelechi stated unapologetically.
Adanma banged on the door more furiously, startling the girls. She couldn’t stand their insolence.
“If you like break the door, I’m not coming out of here,” Kelechi vocalized.
“Mother, we can all talk this out. Just calm down. See, Ebube is a nice guy; he’s intelligent, caring, well to do, handsome and above all, he loves sister,” Chibuzor added.
“Shut up that stinking mouth of yours. What do you know about love, little girl?” Adanma riposted.
“Okay o, all-knowing Mother Oracle, you will sleep out there this night. I’m not saying anything again,” Chibuzor stated as she joined her sister on the floor and held her hands.
“And until you conceive vividly that all your reasons for always hurting us are useless, we are going to remain locked in here. If we die, we die at least it’s better than spending another minute with you,” Kelechi said as she looked into Chibuzor’s eyes. She squeezed her palms and they smiled.