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SECRET BETRAYAL – Season 2 Episode 11

Will you take this woman to
be your lawfully wedded wife,
to love and to cherish, in
sickness and in health, in
riches and in poverty, and for
better for worse, till death do
you part?” The priest asked
him.

“Yes I do,” Collins replied​ with
a broad smile.

“Will you take this man,” the
priest turned to me and
started reciting the creed. “To
be your lawfully wedded
husband, to love and to
cherish, in sickness and in
health, in riches and in
poverty, and for better for
worse, till death do you part?”

I stood meditating on Vera’s
text earlier. What if I said no
and ran off from the church?
What if I refused to marry
Collins and flee to safety?
Safety from what? What did I
know Collins did wrong to
Vera? Why was Vera so
pathetic about my union with
him? What could it be I was
missing? My heartbeat
switched rhythm and
eventually lost rhythm.

“Fifi?” Collins’s voice startled
me. I had been engrossed in
my meditation I didn’t realise
everyone was waiting for me.
“The priest is waiting.”

“Oh, okay.” I turned to the
priest and smiled sheepishly.
He frowned and growled
under his breath but loud
enough for me to hear, “The
response is ‘Yes I do‘.”

“Oh, Yes I do. Sorry about
that.” I turned and smiled
apologetically at Collins who
didn’t find it funny at all. He
kept a wrinkled temple even
through to the reception while
I smiled and remained
cheerful. I had resolved to put
my fears behind me and
enjoy my day. It was only
meant to come once.

By dusk, it was all over and we
were back in our hotel room.
It was over and marriage had
begun. The post wedding
party, according to my
husband was for a caucus. I
was wondering what he
meant by that but he
explained I should wait and
see what he meant.

“But I have friends who’d
want to be part of it too?” I
fussed
“Of course you do but how
much is your own contribution
to everything today? Tell me,
how much?” He still seemed
pissed at the morning
incident. “Have you not heard
that he who pays the piper
dictates the tune? Don’t even
try bringing anyone or you’d
end up embarrassing
yourself.” He warned gravely.
While he was speaking, he
was also putting off his
clothes. He started for the
bathroom and paused at the
door. “And by the way, what
was that stunt you pulled
there before the priest?”

“What is that?” I asked.

“Don’t even play dumb with
me. You know, the ‘yes I do’
part? Like you hesitated.”

I forced a chuckle through. I
see that’s why you have been
frowning all day. Hey, I was
just overwhelmed. It happens
to a lot of ladies, especially
those who can’t believe they
are marrying their dream
man.” I angled my head and
smiled.

“Oh really.” He disappeared
into the bathroom while I
sighed and collapsed on the
bed, tired.

We walked out to a loud roar
from the ladies and
gentlemen present. It was a
casual cocktail and poolside
party. The men had jeans and
t-shirts while the ladies wore
skimpy dresses. Why did I call
them dresses? Some had
bikinis, what I call just pants
and bra. Every man had a girl
or two by his side and some
even had three, I could finger
about three of them like that.
I was the holiest in a pair of
bum shorts and a tang top.

Altogether, there were about
thirty people.

“Alright ladies and gentlemen,
with me here is the man of
the day with his Cinderella,” A
guy who had introduced
himself to me as Bright at the
wedding announced. “So
we’re gonna be making a
toast to their arrival so the
party begins in earnest.”
His words were met with
another loud roar of praises
and hailings. Collins smiled
and waved them while I
followed suit. After the toast,
he said a few words of
appreciation for honouring
him on his wedding and
presented me to them as
“Our Wife“. I shot him an
inquisitive stare but he never
bothered to look at me. The
ladies kept smiling and staring
at me with an aura of
acknowledgement. Somehow
they kept me
uncomfortable. Music came
on and the dance floor
opened. Some people
plunged into the pool and
floated with the help of the
rubbers on the water. A lot of
people began approaching me
and kept saying “Welcome to
the family.”

What family were they talking
about? I was wondering when
a still small voice from the
back of my mind whispered
to me, “Don’t you think
you’re playing Vera’s tape in
your head? Do you like to
keep this veil over your face?
Can’t you see? These people
are beautiful and love you so
much, they are family. Just
tell yourself, welcome home
and put Vera to shame.”

The word, Vera injected
vigour from nowhere into me.

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