He stood at the alter; his shoulder high, his heart filled with pride, his uniform glowed like fine wool and his new rank boldly printed on his shirt.
It was a day he has waited for all his life. He may have gotten it wrong the first time, but he was sure this would be the final one, his bus stop, his life time happiness and his future.
The rolling of the drum and the sound of ‘Here comes the bride’ from the huge church Organ announced the arrival of his wife to be. The Naval officers raised and crossed their swords to form a shelter above her head and she walked on the red rug on the church walk-way.
She was breath taken, the most beautiful woman his eyes have seen and his heart has yearned for. Her mother and the bridal train stopped halfway and she walked alone to the alter, her baby-pink wedding gown clung to her body and flowed down, her smile was contagious and it made him smile too.
Their eyes met and he winked; a spontaneous act he picked up when he was a teenager, she shook her head and laughed while the reverend looked from the bride to the groom with a smile on his own face.
Elizabeth climbed one step before she got to where he stood, he took her hand and both stepped closer to the reverend.
He had his eyes on her all the while they stood in front of the reverend who had to clear his throat and called him so he could concentrate
“Admiral Ebube…let’s get this wedding over with so you can look at her as much as you want” the congregation laughed
“dearly beloved, we are gathered here today in the present of God, to witness the joining of this man and this woman in holy matrimony” The reverend looked at both of them “So I ask…is it your will that both of you should be joined together in marriage as husband and wife ?”
“Yes it is” They answered simultaneously
Everything happened so fast; the prayers, the readings, the preaching, taking the vow was so glorious, when he said “I do” to her, his heart said ‘yes’ to something true and pure, his heart beat with sounds of melody. And when she said “I do” to him, she was emotional, her tears were like pearls, he saw no other in that church but her.
When he put the gold ring on her finger, he took her hand and kissed it “You are so beautiful Lizzy, the best thing that has happened to me, I am the most honored and blessed human being on earth, may God blessed the day I met you my lady” he was on one knee.
She was left speechless; there; was a powerful man, a man that would give commands and his subordinates would jump, his man, on his knee professing his love for her. She sobbed
“Aww…I love love” Amaka muttered and dapped the corner of her eyes with a hankie “These tears will ruin my makeups” she said
“You are beautiful, with or without makeup” Doctor Nkama whispered to her
“Admiral, it seems like you have written your own vow” The reverend joked and the congregating laughed amidst few tears of joy
When the Reverend announce “You may kiss the bride” he stepped closer and took her lips in his, with her eyes closed, she kissed him passionately until the cheers of the congregation broke off the moment
“Eyww…” Omalicha said and closed her eyes with her hands, her grandmother laughed at the child.
The reception took place at the senior Officer’s mess, Elizabeth got the chance to breastfeed the twins and extract some breast milk for them, she had plans for the evening.
She was about to change into her dinner gown when her husband entered the room
“You didn’t knock!” she scolded
“Why will I knock to enter my wife’s room” he walked closer to her and circled his arms round her waist from behind “let me help you with that” but instead of zipping the gown up, he slid the sleeveless gown off her body “Close your eyes” he said in a husky voice
“What are you doing?” she wanted to turn towards him but he prevented her
“Close your eye love” he said as he ran his fingers on her skin
“Why?” she chuckled
“Trust me Mrs Ojukwu, just close your eyes”
He put his hand in his breast pocket and brought out the beautiful waist beads he brought from Somalia, he had them all the while but didn’t
know if she would love them or even would want to wear them, he had summoned courage to do this, though he didn’t know what she would think about them.
She felt his fingers as they worked round her waist, then she felt the object
“Don’t touch it yet” he said softly while he locked them. He caressed her body from her waist to her shoulder “Open your eyes love”
She opened her eyes and stood by while she admired the beads, she ran her hands on the three of them, the beautiful costumes balanced on her waist like the ancient ‘ Jigida ’ worn by ancient Igbo women.
“I can take it back if you don’t…”
“They are beautiful…” she exclaimed
“You like them?”
“Yes…yes” she said louder “And you are one weird husband” she walked to him, deliberately swinging her hips and causing the beads to jiggle,
she pushed him on the bed and sat on his laps “You my husband is in love with all the wrong things, a fat woman, ankle chains and waist beads” she kissed him “I love you”
He was pleased, he had his hands on her lacy pant “I want to make love to you like crazy right now dear wife” he sunk in air from the tiny holes between his teeth as he fought his urge
“I want that too…but I want to have you in my mouth first” She said
He gradually eased her off his laps and stood up “Hold that though dear wife, I will make love to you on our bed, I will look you in the eyes and make you scream my name in pleasure…”
“Bube you are torturing me”
He held her waist “It will worth our while, babe” he saw the disappointment in her face “I promise you” he kissed her nose “Our guests are waiting for us”
He didn’t take his eyes off her throughout the night, she was his finally, all his as well as he was hers as long as life would permit. The happiness in her face made him happy. While he smiled at family, friends and colleagues, he glanced at her once in a while.
He got the chance to dance with her after they had cut the cake,
“I am getting jealous” he said as they made some moves on the dance floor
“Everyone is all over you”
“So are they on you” she said and turned her back on him, she danced seductively, swinging her hips
“Wow babe, it’s like you don’t want us to stay till the end of this party” he said
“Really” she bent and rubbed her backside on his groin
He held her waist and drew her close enough to speak to her ears “Can we go home now? This party is not fun anymore; you are”
“No…you said we have to wait, so we are waiting”
“But you started it, Christ! Woman you are irresistible”
“I am sorry Ada, please don’t leave me”
He has been out of prison since three weeks ago, the Soldier that said he was Elizabeth’s husband had made that possible. He didn’t come by himself but had sent someone who spoke on his behalf
“The Admiral is a busy man, he sent his stern warning that you should stay away from his family of you will be locked up forever”
He had signed an undertaken speedily, he wouldn’t want to go back to the prison, his health was worse and he may have died has he stayed there any longer.
Now his wife threatened to walk away. He had nothing; no job, no child and no life “I regret everything, I was stupid and I am so sorry”
“Chike I cannot leave with the hurt of what you put me through, the man you have become…I cannot put up with it anymore”
“Amaka please” he held her hand “I am a change man, you said I should see a counselor and I have been going…believe me Ada, I am changing”
Amaka pushed his hands off her “What do you want me to do Chike? What do you think I am? A robot without emotions and feelings? Well…if you must know, I am a woman, a human being Chike, I hurt so badly, you treated me like I never existed…those night you were never home…the prostitutes you have sex with and took their naked pictures…”
“I didn’t sleep with all of them…”
“But you slept with some of them!” she slapped his chest “I waited for you to realize how much I love you, I waited for you so we can go back to how we were before, but you were busy chasing fat buttocks, now I have forgetting what it feels like to have you around, you want me to stay? No Chike, I need this break…”
“Amaka I am sick; I will die if you leave me” he trembled with pity for himself
“I told your sister to come around, she will take care of you” with that she picked the last of her bags and walked out of the house.
“Care for a ride home?”
Amaka looked into the clean Toyota Corolla that stopped before her, Doctor Nkama drummed his fingers on the steering wheel in anticipation
“Okay” She hopped inside the car and they drove off
“The night is still young, what do you say we go catch a movie at Genesis cinema, treat is on me” Nkama offered
“Doc are you beginning to like me?” Amaka asked before she could stop herself
Nkama gave her a side glance “Maybe…”
“I don’t want you to start staying away from me if I tell you that I like you” he glanced at her again
She laughed “Let’s go to the Cinema please”.
He brought them to their new home, his house as the Rear Admiral was bigger than where he used to leave before, her mother in-law gave the twins a bath and Elizabeth breastfed them before she tucked them in and gently closed the door behind her.
“Shall we?” Ebube took her hands and led her to their room
“Wow! how long did it take you to plan this?” The king size bed was made with baby pink satin bed sheet with rose petals on it
He eased her robe off her shoulder “I can do anything for you” he said and led her to the bed “Let me make love to you tonight Mrs Ojukwu” he kissed the beads on her waist “It will be different from everything I have done to you before”
“When do I get to show you what I can do to you as well” She asked him
“Patience Love, you will do that but tonight is your night, allow me to make sweet love to you” he traced her body with a feather
They have long years of uncertainty ahead of them, but one thing is sure. Their love would conquer every obstacle and fear.
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