By: Mike Bamiloye

The engagement ceremony was great.
The couple came out in their best.
Family and relatives who were present were happy.
Everything went on well.

The church service has started since 10am as programmed.
It is now 11am.
Rebecca and Esther, her Chief Brides Maid and the Little Bride are in the Silver Mercedes Benz jeep.
Beautifully ribboned in gold and sky blue.

Rebecca and Esther are seriously agitated.
Anxious and Nervous.
Nicholas and Bro. Paul are yet to arrive in their own car.
The Grooms Men also have not come.
The Pastor has engaged the congregation in Praises and Worship.
The Officiating ministers are glancing at their watches.
The Groom and his men are taking too long to arrive.

At last!
The cars have come.
They drove into the church compound in convoy.
Bro. Paul came out of the car first.
He dashes to the car of the Bride.

“Bro. Paul.
What kept you so.long?
We are behind schedule.
The ministers and the church have been waiting. ”

“Esther, this is no time to give explanations.
We have now come.
We are set.”

“Bro. Paul.
I have the right to know,
What has kept Nicho and all of you so long?
You all kept us anxious and nervous. ”

“Sis. Rebecca.
We will talk later, not now.
We are here and set.
We shall inform the head ushers to
Tell the Pastor we are set.
Nicho is in the car.
We will go inside now.”

Soon, the Groom and his men
Walk inside and take their seats
Nicho is looking so excited,
Smiling and waving at people.

Rebecca, still wonders at the
Reason for their late coming.
And Bro. Paul has not given the reasons.

The solemnization procedure has began.
Processional hymn has started.
And Rebecca and her father leads as all other Bride’s trailers follow along the aisle.
They all take their seats.
The service moved on before
The gorgeously dressed friends, relatives and families and church members.

Bro. Paul has left his seat
and has gone other of the church now,
About three times within an hour.
Each time, he would go out
Of the Church with phone in his ears.
This is making Rebecca a bit restless.
Esther whispered in her ears,
That Paul is arranging some things
About the Reception.
She wants her to concentrate.

The Pastor began the Declaration
of Marriage Oath:
” Dearly Beloved,
As we gather here today,
In this Holy Solemnization,…”
Then, there are noises outside.
The noises began to be loud and
The Officiating Ministers are trying
to continue the Service,
But the noises are becoming very distracting.

Someone is being obstructed
From entering the church.
She is making too much noises outside.
Nicholas begins to sweat.
Rebecca begins to be confused.
Bro Paul is not on seat.
He has gone outside the church
The fifth time.
An Usher hastened into the church
And passed a note to the Pastor.
He is looking at the note.

“If you like.
Make you all Arrest me
and Send me to jail,
I no worry.
But this Wedding will not hold.”

The whole congregation look
In the direction of a lady who bursts
Into the church pulling a six year old girl along.

You thought I would not come to church, Ehn?
You left me in Portharcourt
With your daughter,
You want to marry another lady
In Lagos?.
So, what about me?”

Nicholas looks stunned.
Rebecca sits glued on the spot.
Then, she begins to go down
In slow motion.
Esther rushes at her to hold her
Before she hits the ground.
Her mother bursts Into tears.
The Ministers remain perplexed.

Outside the church
Are about six Policemen
They had come with an open jeep.
The most senior walked into the church,
And approached the Pastor.

“Sir, This man is needed in our station for some questioning.
We are sorry.
The Wedding may not proceed.”

The Ministers are speechless.
The police officer leads him out
Of the Church.
And straight into the jeep.
The lady and her daughter enter another car and are driven out
Following the Police keep.

What an embarrassment.
It is like a Nollywood movie.
People were looking around
To see some Cameras and crewmen
If this is a Nollywood feature film.
Then, it dawn on everybody that
This is real and not a movie.

Nicholas has Impregnated
A lady in Portharcourt when he went
For the Youth Service.
He had travelled to Portharcourt when the baby was born
He was in touch in the first two years after.
And after he had cut all communication with Ada ever since.

But Ada had been trailing him since then.
She had hired a private monitor
To keep him tracked up till this morning.
She had arrived from
Portharcourt since three days.
To spring a surprise on Wedding day.

Rebecca was immediately rushed to the hospital in her Wedding Gown.
She did not open her eyes till the third day.
She was given an injection that made her sleep.

Family and relatives had returned to their various Places in shame and embarrassment.

The Church will not get over this for some time.
It is a huge embarrassment.

Story Written By: MIKE BAMILOYE

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