My mother picked up the phone and talked to my brother while my sister held on to me. He gave her more details about the happenings in the church. She hang up and came to my side and held me too. I had gone blank and was staring into space. “It is a lie. He’ll show up.” I silently muttered to myself.
There was confusion in the room as everyone wondered what was going on. My mother briefed them on the situation at hand and told them to exercise patience.
“But Gina, why are you so nervous about this? Fine, he hasn’t shown up but he eventually will. A similar thing happened during Fofie’s wedding. It turned out that the car in which her husband-to-be and his best men were riding in, broke down on their way to the church so it had to be replaced. It delayed the ceremony a bit but everything was successful” I heard Bernice, one of my bridesmaids say. Fofie was Bernice’s elder cousin.
I wasn’t even paying attention to her. At least Fofie didn’t have a dream ‘warning’ her about the impending danger.
I was sitting quietly still muttering to myself that Roger would show up. His parents called to apologize and assured us that things would be alright and that they had dispatched some relatives to the hotel where Roger and his best men were lodging in to find them.
Christian called intermittently to brief us on happenings in the church. The place was calm, he assured us. Clara, one of my friends in the church choir was wowing the congregation with her powerful voice in a musical interlude which was serving as a distraction.
Pastor Mark was at the helm of affairs, assuring the few suspicious ones that everything was under control. I felt like giving up but faith, that faith in me kept telling me to press on. Roger would make it. Part of me was hopeful, part of me felt like giving up.
Everyone in the room looked on with worried expressions on their faces. They all started dialing numbers of people who could be around him for information but to no avail. It was only Timothy, one of his friends who told us that he was with Roger and the boys the night before at the hotel and had left before their party started. Roger had told me about the party.
News reached us from Roger’s relatives that they were not at the hotel. They had checked out around 2am. Where could they have gone around that time? I felt a bit relieved after that information because at least he didn’t leave alone. He was definitely with his best men but where exactly?
Five minutes passed, then ten, then fifteen. I was getting nervous by each passing minute. Perhaps the dream was manifesting, I thought. Then I immediately dismissed that fact. I was deep in thoughts when my phone started ringing. It was an unknown number. My mother reached out for the phone but I insisted I would answer it. I put it on speakerphone.
“Hello, am I speaking to Gina?” the voice asked.
“Speaking” I responded.
“This is Doctor Amoako” he spoke.
My heart missed a beat when I heard his identity and I prepared for the worst.
“Roger Pinkrah and his group of friends are in my custody at the moment. Apparently they took in contaminated food last night during a get together and they are reacting to it.”
My jaw dropped and my mother held on more tightly to me.
“They are fine at the moment. I placed them under strict conditions and prevented them from interacting with anyone for some time for the medication to work quickly on them with regards to the occasion today. We’re really sorry if we kept you all in a panicky mood. It wasn’t deliberate.” he continued.
I heaved a sigh of relief and felt some tears in my eyes.
“I’m currently trying to find out what the cause of the contamination is. I’ve discharged them now. They’ll be on their way. And oh, please keep an eye on him. He’s fine but he could get worse if he engages in something too physical. All the best today. I’m handing over the phone to him.” the doctor said.
“I’m really sorry for what has happened and for putting you through such torture.” came Roger’s voice.
I sobbed as I listened to him. I couldn’t believe my ears. Everything was happening too fast for me and I couldn’t process my thoughts well.
“I didn’t want to get you worried in the middle of the night when it happened. I was thinking I’d get a quick remedy to this but things didn’t work out as planned. The treatment dragged on till this morning. I should have informed you. It’s okay if you’re upset with me like the way my parents are” he concluded.
“It’s okay Roger. I’m not upset. Time is no longer on our side. Come quickly,” I managed to say before my mother took the phone and went out to talk to him.
The tensed atmosphere in the room suddenly became relaxed. My friends comforted me and tried to cheer me up.
“It’s okay Gina. We just have to thank God that everything is under control now. I told you there might probably be a problem, otherwise why would he abandon you on such an important day?” Bernice said as she rubbed my back.
“Gina, you’re ruining your beautiful makeup.” my mother warned as she walked into the room a few minutes later and found me still crying. The tears refused to stop flowing. She hugged me tightly and whispered into my ears “It’s okay if you don’t want to continue with this. I understand what you just went through. I’ve spoken to Roger’s parents and they’re willing to take responsibility for what happened”
“I’m doing this Mama. I’m ready to walk down the aisle. I’m not giving up on Roger because he didn’t give up on me, even in his ill health” I said softly amidst my tears.
Moments later, I walked majestically into the church building with no sign of tears or worries on my face. I was beside myself with joy as my father walked me down the aisle to Roger. I could see him flashing a smile at me. It wasn’t his usual smile. It was a grin with a flash of weakness that only I noticed. My father finally handed me over to him and the proceedings began.
We danced out of the church a couple of hours later with our loved ones rejoicing behind us. My greatest wish had been accomplished and I kept praising God silently in my heart.
The wedding reception was super joyous with activities of all kinds in line that spiced up the occasion. Then came the time for our couple dance, the dance Roger and I had rehearsed for over a month.
With cheers and applause, we mounted the dance floor and began. The cheers started increasing as we wowed the crowd with our splendid performance. Midway into the dance, Roger leaned in and complained of dizziness. We had to stop the dance abruptly and take our seats to the disappointment of all because it was that interesting.
I admired Roger for his bold decision and his unconditional love and sacrifice.
As we watched the colourful firecrackers display a while later, I nudged Roger, looked in his eyes, smiled and muttered a “thank you.” I was so glad everything was going as planned. He smiled back and whispered “Team Ginger” into my ears which got me laughing really hard. ‘Ginger’ was coined out of the first three letters of my name and the last three letters of his during our courtship. He laughed too and while we laughed, I spotted Pastor Mark standing a few meters away from us. He smiled at us, nodded and walked away. I just knew in my heart what that nod meant. He was genuinely happy for us.
The night continued happily with chatters and giggles all around us and loved ones popping up every now and then to wish us well and congratulate us. And oh, lest I forget, I never heard from Martha and she failed to show up for the wedding. Well, perhaps she had started the search for her millionaire husband. Who knows?