Onyeka and Tosin were arguing as usual. They were getting fitted for their bridesmaid’s dresses and they had completely lost me. I was a thousand miles away, lost in thoughts I couldn’t tell anyone about.
“Sewa, please tell Tosin this dress is too tight for your wedding. You know the vicar at your parent’s church already warned you about indecent dressing”. Onyeka said with a firm look on her face.I smiled and didn’t respond. Tosin decided to defend herself.
“Sewa, Onyeka is focused on the two hours we are going to spend in the church instead of the remaining eight hours we are going to spend at the reception. Onyeka is married, in two weeks you would be too and that leaves me, Tosin the single friend who is always wanting to hang out. I need to meet someone at this wedding o and it is not going to happen if I show up there looking like a big ball of bridal satin”!
Her last statement made all three of us laugh. I eventually found my tongue.
“Tosin, Onyeka is right. That dress is way too tight to wear to church. You are my maid of honour and all eyes would be on you too. Plus your mum is going to be there and you know she’d just embarrass you if she feels you are not properly dressed” I said.
“Ok, it can be adjusted but not the way Onyeka is suggesting. I have an idea”. She said as she scurried off to meet the fashion designer who was at the other end of the room attending to another client.
“Sewa are you ok?” Onyeka asked
I nodded and smiled. It was my signature fake smile and she caught it right away.
“That’s your fake smile. Now I know there is something wrong. Truth be told you have been acting so strange lately. I remember how excited you were about your eighteenth birthday, your graduation, my wedding…now it’s your big day. The day we have been dreaming about for so long, it’s the talk of the town like you always wanted, yet you seem to be a passive participant in the whole charade.” She said to me.
I didn’t want to lie to Onyeka. She was a bit uptight and could be occasionally judgmental but she was my best friend and she deserved to know the truth.
“I am worried I won’t be happy being married to Tunji”. I couldn’t believe I had said the words out loud. It had been on my mind for a while but I never dared to say it out loud.
Onyeka was obviously stunned at the revelation.
“Why? You have been with Tunji for forever. Why do you feel he can’t make you happy all of a sudden”? She asked.
“There have just been so many things that are becoming important now that marriage is on the table. For instance, I am worried that he doesn’t take my career aspirations seriously all he wants to talk about is the wedding. Unfortunately, he seems to have my dad’s backing on this issue. Then there is the fact that he sometimes makes me feel like I cannot make decisions on my own. I looked up to him when I was younger and he was sort of a mentor and I think that has just followed us from my teen years into adulthood, because till now he sort of treats me like I am still seventeen. I am also really worried that I haven’t really understood what I want in a man. I have been with Tunji all my life, what if I wake up when I am thirty five or forty and realize I am not in love with him. What happens then?’’. I said as I tried to explain my fears to my friend.
Onyeka laughed out loud and then held both my hands.
‘’There is nothing unusual about the way you feel right now. It’s fine to ask yourself these questions but you need to talk to Tunji about all this. You don’t want to get married and then discover he is not interested in having you work or build a career. As for treating you like a seventeen year old, as long as you have a mind of your own that’s not such a bad thing. Trust me, with the pressures of marriage and motherhood; you want a man that can take charge.” She said.
I nodded and squeezed her hands.
Tosin cleared her throat from where she was standing behind us and that was when we realized she had been listening to our conversation.
“I am sorry to intrude on your little girl talk but Onyeka, Sewa is not being totally honest with us and with herself and we need to help her”. Tosin said.
“What do you mean”? Onyeka asked standing to her feet.
“Sewa is falling in love with someone else and that is the real reason she is questioning her future with Tunji. She has to make up her mind or we cannot let her go through with this wedding”. Tosin declared putting her hands on her hips. Her personal sign that she meant business.
“I hope it’s not that Chigozie guy because I have been uncomfortable about how often his name pops up in our conversations” Onyeka said to me.
“How could you Sewa! I would have expected this from Tosin but not you…”Onyeka was saying before Tosin cut her off.
“Onyeka not everyone is like you that plans everything, even the person you fall in love with. For some people it just happens. Instead of judging Sewa we should be thinking of how to make her decide before her wedding day”. Tosin said.
Onyeka clapped her hands dramatically
“Decide what? Are actually considering calling off the wedding as an option? This Chigozie guy where is he from? What are his values? What’s his family like, what are his plans for the future…does he even want a future with Sewa?” Onyeka asked.
Tosin was about to respond but I held up my hand, signaling to Tosin to hold her peace and then I spoke:
“Both of you are missing the point. This is not about Tunji or Chigozie. This is about me. I need to find myself. Chigozie is a symbol of all the things I feel I missed out on by being with only one guy all my life and living the script my parents wrote for me. It’s not just about him…it’s about my career aspirations, my dreams, my fantasies. I have never lived for myself and spending time with Chigozie is the only thing that I have ever done for myself without considering how it looked or who would be mad at me for doing so! It is not about either of them. It’s about me. It’s not about choosing one of them, it’s about choosing me.I grabbed my purse and left my stunned friends watching me as I walked out. I had finally discovered what I had to do.
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