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BN Prose: Indifference by Blessing Christopher

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The couple stood facing each other in front of the church, the priest, and the whole world. It was the bride’s turn to repeat the vows after the clergyman.
“To have and to hold…” the bride, Uduak, said. Her voice quivered with unshed tears.

I sat with the rest of the bridal party and watched as she vowed her love and her life to him. It was real, she was marrying him. The surreal part was that I was sitting under God’s roof dressed in lavender like the rest of our mutual friends. I could feel veiled glances from people like sharp pin pricks all over my body. People were anticipating drama. It hurt that I was looked at as someone that was capable of providing cheap entertainment. I knew they’d never understand why I was present at a wedding even my family had begged me not to attend.

Anyone looking at my expertly made-up face saw calm and serenity, my favourite masks. I blended in. I smiled when it was called for and danced when songs were raised in the church. I didn’t do too much or too little. Any imbalance would have been noted and dissected later by eager gossips. I kept my eyes on the people standing before God. It was their day.

I remember the first day Uduak had told me about her fiancé.
“I have something to tell you,” She had said over the phone.
“Come over to my house then!” I responded.
“No. Let’s meet at Clara’s.”

Clara was a mutual friend. The three of us had been friends since university, but Clara had known all along that she was an outsider to the closeness that I and Uduak shared.
Clara was on the veranda of her house when I got there. She said hello with averted gaze. She stiffened when I patted her playfully on the back.
“Uduak is inside,” Clara muttered.

I found Uduak on Clara’s bed. Her eyes were hard and in full defence mode.
Air blew into the room through two open windows, but Uduak was sweating. Something was wrong. Whatever it was hadn’t just happened. There were signs before that fateful meeting. There were stiff hugs and half-faced smiles, things not before experienced in the sisterhood.

“Look, I want you to hear it from me,” Uduak said. She cracked her knuckles – her sure sign of nervousness despite the calm façade. “Why I bothered with the meeting thingy is because we are friends and you should know. However, I want to be clear that I owe you nothing. I did nothing wrong.”

My eyes stayed glued to her white wedding dress. She looked up at the groom lovingly. She was small as he was huge and ripped; beautiful contrast. There is something about Uduak, something about her small stature, her beautiful light skin and sensual timidity, which draws people to her. The aura of frailty makes people want to protect and love her. Was it why the groom had fallen for her?

“Till death do us part…” the groom repeated in his husky voice. The voice matched his size, and the determination behind the promise added more character to its smooth baritone. The blue suit fit like he was sewn into it – in a good way. I have never known him not to wear the hell out of his clothes. He was like that even when he had been a skinny twenty-three year old when we first met. I was fifteen and stricken that first day. He gave me a ride because he was going my way. If he noticed the adoring looks I sent him, he never acknowledged them.

He disappeared after the fateful ride. I was broken. I was a young and probably stupid, and in my naiveté, I surmised that we’d meet again…my belief in the Chinese red string of fate cemented my conviction. The legend of the red string has it that two people who are destined to be together are bound by an invisible, unbreakable thread that transcends time and space…
I was eighteen when I met him again in an eatery. He recognised me and smiled.

“You’re all grown up now!” he said. He had left the country the day after giving me a ride. He was home for Christmas because his mother missed him too much. He was glad to see me.
“You’ve filled up in all the right places. I bet all the boys are knocking down your door.”
I said there was no boy.
“They’re blind,” he concluded.
I felt like a woman under his appraising gaze. I preened; I wanted him to notice me. He did.
“You’re too young for me,” he said. “There are seven years between us, Mercy.”
“I know what I want,” I said. He sighed when he kissed me that first time. The rush of air testified that there were inhibitions on his part about our relationship. I had the best Christmas present when I was eighteen. I was given David to love and be loved back.
We wept for each other when he had to leave again.

“Don’t put your life on hold because of me,” he texted from the airport while I wept into my pillow. “You’re young, you should live.”

Before long the calls lost their frequency. If I got any in a fortnight I was thrilled. I called, he seldom answered. He was busy with his second degree programme in the UK. I met Clara and Uduak in our second year in the university and we clicked.

After the vows, the priest pronounced them husband and wife. I clapped with the rest of the wedding guests. Witnesses from both families were called to sign the marriage certificate. Uduak’s mother stood up from the seat directly in front of mine. Our eyes locked when she turned to adjust her wrapper. She looked away sharply and marched out to seal her daughter’s future.

Her mother liked me before the proposal. She used to think I was a good influence.
“Your friend forgets to use her head when dealing with men,” Uduak’s mother had complained to me. “Talk to her. You seem like a sensible girl.”
“You’re just saying that because you don’t have a man in your life,”Uduak mocked when I voiced her mother’s worries.
“First of all, I am telling you to calm your whoring ways because Mama sent me,” I said. “Also, I have a boyfriend. I have told you that before.”
“You mean the imaginary guy in London?”

I made sure David picked me up from school when he came home a year later. My friends met him and had their jaws on the floor. He shook their hands and we drove off. Sweet Jesus! Uduak texted as David took me home in his car.

“I bet he does all kinds of stuff to you,”Uduak said with a wink when I met her the next day.
“Actually, we do nothing…”
“Sister Mary,” she mocked. “I just want to let you know that the university will not issue a certificate of virginity should you graduate a virgin.”
I was embarrassed. I was embarrassed by what I had thought was my good virtue.
“Do you love him?” she asked.
“Very much.”
“Then it’s no biggie if you do it. Only small-minded people will judge you for expressing your love.”
“Does it hurt much the first time?”

She smiled, “I have been an ashewo too long to remember what the first time was like.” We laughed at the truth she had said in jest. She wasn’t commercial with her love of sex though.
David was surprised when I let him take all my clothes off.
“I love you so much,” he whispered.

I met his parents after graduation. It was nothing official, but there was no mistaking the purposefulness of it. He merely invited me over when they were home.
“What kind of wedding do you want?” he asked. It had been a few years then and we had both grown in every aspect.

Most girls get a ring, I didn’t. I had the assurance of his love. I was no longer the dopey fifteen-year-old that had gone gooey- eyed over him. I was a twenty-five year old woman with questions.

“I know you love me, David, but I have noticed something. I love you passionately and it shows. I have never doubted your feeling towards me, but sometimes I feel like you are blasé about the whole thing.”
He wasn’t offended by the question as expected.
“I’m your first love,” he answered. “You aren’t my first, there lies the difference.”
My love for him consumed and blinded me. I wanted us to have the future I had always imagined.

Days, months, years slipped by and there was no mention of marriage again. I told myself that it didn’t matter as long as I had the key to the apartment he had rented when he moved back to the country. I was the only woman in his life. I held on. He was slipping but I had to hold fast. I, a proponent of letting go, was not taking my own advice.
“I can’t do this anymore,” he said one evening.

“Can’t do what?” I asked, cursing the tremor in my voice. I knew what it meant. The numbness began then. I woke up each day with loss of feeling, it started from my shattered heart and as each day progressed, it engulfed every part of me. Holding on to broken dreams is like gripping the blade of a knife; the harder the grip, the deeper the cut.

Three days after Uduak informed me of the relationship with David – which she swore started after we had broken up – Clara told me of the wedding. I didn’t react. The numbness had won.
I visited Uduak to congratulate her personally. Her mother didn’t respond when I greeted, but I went into the house anyway. Uduak was stressed out from preparing for the wedding and angry pimples on her face showed.

“Can I be in your bridal train?” I asked. She eyed me sceptically, “I only ordered for six bridesmaids’ dresses,” she said. “Sorry.”
“I’ll pay for mine.”
“Why do you want it so much?”
“To show you that I love you and support whatever makes you happy.”
“I don’t know…”
“Please…”
I gave her the acne cream in my handbag when I left. I was out of the door when I remembered that I had to get the seamstress’ phone number. When I went back inside for the information, I saw her mother throwing the acne cream through the window.
“Be careful with that girl,” her mother said.
“I’m not stupid, Ma.” Uduak replied.

David sent me a text message a few days to his wedding: “Thanks 4 ur understanding. They say if you love something, let it go…”
I wanted to send a reply telling him the only people who used the phrase were people who wanted to be let go of, and those who were deep in denial. I didn’t send it. I still couldn’t hurt him despite it all.

The couple marched out of the church followed by confetti and good wishes. He looked into her eyes and smiled lovingly. My heart melted like it had been left burning over an open flame. My body – the casing for my heart – remained calm and sunny. It occurred to me that I was scaring people with how calm I was.

Clara squeezed my hand as the whole church stood up to see the couple out.
“Karma…” Clara said reassuringly.
I laughed.
“Don’t cheapen Karma,” I said. “I bet the old dog has really despicable people to bite in the ass.”
I know you’re hurting, Mercy,” Clara said. “You’ll live and love again.”
I laughed.
Clara was appalled, “How can you be so cold?” She hissed. We were dancing out of the church.
“I can’t begrudge anyone love,” I said.

If what David felt for Uduak was what I had felt for him for more than ten years, then he deserved to know what the sweet, heady rush felt like. I had attended the wedding so I could set them free, so I could set me free.

I wondered why our paths had crossed so long ago. It felt like meeting David hadn’t really been for me, it had been so they could meet through me. I am love’s medium…the red string of fate.

After the wedding, after the stares from people who openly wondered at my motive, I retired to my bed, the custodian of my tears. I didn’t cry there either. The tears didn’t come. I suffered from emotional dehydration. I heaved my pain silently. I prayed for healing, I prayed for death.

Photo Credit: Dreamstime | Sam74100

48 Comments

  1. bar 2

    January 13, 2015 at 10:23 am

    Wow……….. Recently had to attend my ex’s wedding, his sister tried to make me feel as though i was there to disrupt the wedding. Glad i went though it gave me closure.

    • food for thoughts

      January 13, 2015 at 12:37 pm

      food for thought, but why do so many women, especially in nigeria run off with their so called best friend’s husbands, boyfriends and fiances?. i have heard and seen this scenario so many times, this cant be coincidences right?. is that why so many women bear the brunt of infidelities from their husbands? maybe because they had affairs to get him?. i think women should be each others biggest supporters, sadly it seems to be the other way round. its baffling how one can claim to be someone’s friend and then have an affair with the other half. what goes through their minds? i wonder……so this uduaq girl will feel happy right? wont she be scared that the hubby might run off with someone else? well, she will be one of the numerous women who will turn a blind eye to his infidelity ( should it come up) why? because of the dishonest way the relationship started

  2. Berry Dakara

    January 13, 2015 at 10:40 am

    Wow. If I were Mercy, there would have been no way I would have attended the wedding. That’s just opening oneself to pain. And why did she need to prove anything

    Nice story though.

  3. prettydordor

    January 13, 2015 at 10:44 am

    How painful!!! I almost cried reading dis. Ppl wil always stare n talk no matter wat u do. If mercy had reacted, it wld v stl been a problem. Love! Love!!.

  4. oj

    January 13, 2015 at 10:45 am

    tears filled my eyes cos I feel her pain. All the ladies who have gone thru this, may u find closure and happiness and someone who would love and cherish u so much that u would be grateful to ur ex and ur ex-friend.

    comment on the story: (1) the friend was lying when she claimed she and the guy started when he and her friend broke up. (2) the friend’s mother knows the real story and may have given the idea to her daughter. (3) they will reap what they sowed

  5. mr_babson

    January 13, 2015 at 10:53 am

    Wonderfully written. It has left me emotionally dehydrated also.

  6. Just me

    January 13, 2015 at 11:19 am

    This is the most horrible emotional experience anyone can go through. God will heal you and definitely cause you to smile very soon. Karma is definitely a bitch, left for me I will reign curses on both of them, they will never experience happiness.

  7. Moi

    January 13, 2015 at 11:27 am

    Oj, I agree with your comments on the story. I would never had gone for such wedding anyway but I’ll definitely forgive. I tried to pull all my exes to my wedding, some of them turned up and some were unavoidably absent, only one said he couldn’t stand it, lol!. Just wanted to have fun anyway, no ulterior motive.

  8. blow

    January 13, 2015 at 11:27 am

    ……The way the writer smoothly flows between the “befores” and “afters” is nothing short of perfection. This is the most well written article I have read in a while now on BN. kudos!

  9. ada

    January 13, 2015 at 11:30 am

    I really thank God I saw this.. at least I know I’m not alone or crazy when I tell my friends that I don’t heave when my friends end up with my ex… that’s not to say it doesn’t hurt but I’m only saying that I feel I had attained the maturity to LET GO, LET LOVE & LET GOD… I’m not exactly too spiritual… but I’m just enough…
    the best I can do… is pray n bless u r relationship n hope that it’s for the best…
    not every girl is that strong but I think that does that are not ought to start understanding and at least see points with the few of us that have that kana strength… itsn’t being heartless or anything… or some girls think maybe u didn’t love him enough… it’s just u have grown to become numb to the pain

  10. Ada Nnewi

    January 13, 2015 at 11:31 am

    Just Wow!!! Had my heart broken so badly once i begged God to kill me to stop the pain…Those songs they sing about not wanting to breathe are true oh…Breathing was painful…..But now i thank God for everything, the only bad side was i probably unknowingly hurt people cause my own pain made me blind to everyone else’s pain especially those that loved me…

  11. Just me

    January 13, 2015 at 11:35 am

    Just had to re-read again and I just feel like getting my own pound of flesh on your behalf, waiting for Karma is too long, May be borrow me and let me do all the nasty things to them, A relationship started after you broke up and she did not tell you about it, only to be told three days to the wedding ??? A lot of questions to be answered

  12. Andrea

    January 13, 2015 at 11:48 am

    Beautiful piece. I could actually feel her pain as i read.
    This feels like something i am going through right now.
    Having to smile at his girlfriend
    I do not hate her. I actually feel she makes him happy but when exactly will my heart stop breaking each time i see them together? They say it gets better with time, it’s been three years already….

    • Ada Nnewi

      January 13, 2015 at 12:13 pm

      big hugs…..I would not recommend how i got over my ex to anybody sha..it was a very “questionable approach…But for you, you need to get over him, Mourn him like he’s dead, cry, wail, Bury a momento of you guys and tell yourself he doesn’t exist anymore, then try and let yourself fall in love…don’t think about him when your with someone knew…Make new memories…

    • Ada Nnewi

      January 13, 2015 at 12:14 pm

      *new

  13. zida

    January 13, 2015 at 11:49 am

    PERFECTION! I am speechless.

  14. Nanya

    January 13, 2015 at 12:08 pm

    So much pain friends bring to eachother… so much good friendships have ended ….
    As a rule of thumb: Never leave the one you love for the one you like because oneday, they will leave you for the one they love.

    This is a nice write-up.
    Kudos Blessing.

  15. Ready

    January 13, 2015 at 12:15 pm

    Serious stuff, mehn! Serious stuff.
    I don’t think I could have done it o. Over 10 years together, and it’s gone just like that…and she attends the wedding like a G? Wheeet? I’m not a believer in you-can’t-date-my-ex, but if it ended in heartbreak for the girl, I think it’s too messy for a friend; best friend at that, to move on with the guy.
    Also, death to that phrase #ICantDoThisAnymore. But where did she go wrong in the relationship? Maybe she should have left when she felt him slipping away. But don’t they say you should at least fight for something you want/love? BTW…all my JAMB questions are thanks to my membership in the long distance, long relationship club. It is well.

  16. tee

    January 13, 2015 at 12:15 pm

    This is singularly the most painful thing I have ever read in my life. wheeeeeewwww

  17. naana

    January 13, 2015 at 12:44 pm

    emotional piece. really intresting and i enjoyed it.

  18. iamwhoiam

    January 13, 2015 at 2:57 pm

    this brings tears to my eyes……..
    just last week my bestie was saying “my dear, you will msg David one day and find out that he is married” (amazing they david is in the story)
    i have tried to let go but, when ever i am with him i feel like i am walking on the clouds, he makes the ordinary seem extra ordinary, he can do no wrong in my eyes…….i keep hoping, hanging on letting him know that i have moved on but i will make myself available just say the word, i still treat him like he is my husband, everyday i wake up praying he would finally come to his senses and realise that no one could love him more than i do…….but in the end its about him, his happiness, his life, his decision………he has slipped, is still slipping but everyday i rub powder on my hands to streghten my grip…….
    God help me.

  19. Nkechi

    January 13, 2015 at 3:03 pm

    awwwww! this is so emotional
    Kudos blessing

  20. nwanyi na aga aga

    January 13, 2015 at 3:22 pm

    The things you read that drain you emotionally… that reminds you of those times… times when your world had come crashing..times sleep fled from you..times you wondered if you will survive…And the times you survived. Wonderful piece, brilliantly captured.

  21. D

    January 13, 2015 at 3:47 pm

    I enjoyed reading this but now I am about to play devil’s advocate. So said dude had broken up with her before hooking up with said friend. This happened a lot amongst some of my acquaintances while in College, it was so crazy at one point I thought it was like they were playing dancing chairs or change partners or something and this were no Nigerians infact none of them were people of color and you know that meant tons of drama amongst the ladies. I always did not understand it because for me once I dump a guy or a guy dumps me even my first love. Yes I hurt for a while but I actually don’t know why but I believe for me to be free is to indeed set him free and yes I consciously emotionally detach myself, I will stop seeing you, looking for you, and get busy. Then my I know my social life became way more active after a break-up, that is, less time to think of you and feel sorry for myself. Within months I am back and it really has never bothered me who my ex (s) hook up with. My first love, who was a two-timing cheat infact did date a couple of my friends after we went our separate ways. I really did not care and no bitterness or sadness…Nothing,,,like I tell people, someone has to still marry him and if that’s her well, wetin be my own??? He is free and so is she. Now, I shant be begging anyone to in the bridal party …say what??? not even for my BEstest friend, if you don’t want me in your party then I trust your judgment. However, I understand that the way we deal with ups and downs in life differs from person to person and for Mercy that was by going to her “friend’s” wedding.

  22. titilola

    January 13, 2015 at 3:59 pm

    Wooow! Almost cried, then I remembered its not real. Keep it up, Blessing!

  23. Mz Socially Awkward...

    January 13, 2015 at 4:02 pm

    I absolutely enjoyed reading this, Blessing. You write very, very well and I (like many women… and perhaps even some men) felt very emotion along with the protagonist. More ink to your pen!! 🙂

  24. Tee

    January 13, 2015 at 4:09 pm

    Karma takes forever . Am in such fix right now. Still. Tlk to him .can’t let go nd he is with some1 else .am so traumatized

  25. mz_daniels

    January 13, 2015 at 4:14 pm

    Wow, both of them deserve each other. The should have told his ex that he was dating her bestie at least and the bestie, issokay. Cunning man die, cunning man bury am.

  26. Juddymak

    January 13, 2015 at 4:18 pm

    Thank you Blessing for such a wonderful story.
    I felt every emotion Mercy, Clara and Uduak felt. I even felt the breeze from the two open windows and that’s inspiring to engage your readers that way. I hope you write scripts like episodes to series since you do short stories. I imagine them coming to life when the actors act them, wow and sigh….please consider it. Cheers

  27. J3nnif3r

    January 13, 2015 at 5:21 pm

    So touching……i cried… May God grant us our true love..Amen

  28. Ivy

    January 13, 2015 at 5:25 pm

    Amazing! Been thru this, did not go for his wedding cuz i don’t think i would have been able to watch him say “i do” to some one else. But guess what? Few months after the wedding, his wife moved to the states when she got a job. Yeah! Its a long distance marriage, he regrets it because i would never have done that. Now? He calls me almost everyday telling me about work and ish…..things he should be telling his wife. I love him with every piece of me and he loves me (stupidly, i believe him, Right? SMH.), but he is taken already. So, dear God….kindly give me my own husband that will see me for the jewel i am and never let me go.

    • Ima

      January 13, 2015 at 8:25 pm

      I feel your pain. Been there, done that, except that after a while, I refused to be his sounding board anymore. Literally told him to get off the phone and go f*%4#*%$K his wife! Years down the line, I barely care that he exists, but he’s the one stalking me on social media, and asking mutual friends and colleagues about me. I kind of don’t envy his wife.

      I pray your husband who sees you as the jewel you are finds you soon, but you need to let go, and make yourself available to said future husband. You’re strong enough. You can do it.

    • papermoon

      February 17, 2015 at 9:21 am

      Ivy, if possible cut him out completely. they some times keep in touch for sympathy and if you dont have your emotions in check, you will soon be in his bed…………cut him out.. Tee savehis phone number as DONT PICK and do just that, dont pick.

  29. Dee Nina

    January 13, 2015 at 5:41 pm

    Well done, Blessing! This is an excellent and very well-written piece. I look forward to reading more from you.

  30. Dr. N

    January 13, 2015 at 6:47 pm

    No wonder they say practice makes perfect. #shouldistartwritingat9pmdaily.

  31. spicyg

    January 13, 2015 at 9:30 pm

    Nice piece. It makes me remember wat just happen to me. Anyways we had to LET GO. What ever would be would be

  32. Efe

    January 15, 2015 at 9:30 am

    Am glad I came across this story. For all those who are going thru or hv gone thru such emotional times, may God heal u all and grant to the strenght to hold and move on. As for the main xter, u didn’t commit a crime by loving David. I believe bcos u r so much better than him, he doesn’t deserve u.

  33. Uzzy

    January 16, 2015 at 4:57 pm

    Wow is all I can say. *speechless*

  34. Yhusiee

    January 25, 2015 at 10:53 am

    A veeeerrrry woooondeeeerfuuuul “FICTION”.
    Don’t mean to sound so off but most of the comments sonds like fictions to me too; I mean does love really exist?

  35. heyhey

    January 26, 2015 at 11:08 am

    this happened to me. although they didnt get married, they merely dated. what hurt me was that i confided in her when the relationship between me and him was rocky only for them to meet up at a wedding that i was at and hit it off all in the space of six months. i was bitter for a while but i moved on. he then came back begging me and stuff and shading my friend.
    the experience just made me realise how much of an asshole he was. Glad i am over him now

  36. Uju Lilian Ikegbune

    January 26, 2015 at 6:14 pm

    Creative writing, really got me glued.

  37. ayo

    January 26, 2015 at 9:02 pm

    Going through this kind of emotion too the one and only guy I ever loved and still loving was taken by my closest friend I rue the day I met her had no choice but to let go of them it just too painful

  38. Ife

    February 2, 2015 at 4:27 pm

    Amazing story, pierced the corners of my heart. I loved someone for quite some time and found out I was just in it all by myself, i had to cease from contacting him and try to move on but i keep thinking: what will happen when i get to know he’s dating someone else or is married??

  39. papermoon

    February 17, 2015 at 9:23 am

    and she felt numb……….really………..heart break feels numb, it feels like a rock on your chest and a thousand stabs in your ribs………that does not feel numb at alllll! well we all feel differently right.

  40. Quirky

    February 19, 2015 at 1:01 pm

    BN, please i would love to contact Blessing Christopher, Is she present in any social media? does she have a blog? i need to be able to reach her please. Help!

  41. eddy

    August 18, 2015 at 9:02 am

    i am a couple of months reading this but i just have to say, this story is briliant. oh i remember!! till this day i dont know how i survived. If i could tell 25 year old me anything, i wouls say, girl it gets better. well done!!

  42. floxyxeni

    October 23, 2015 at 12:19 pm

    #sigh# is all i can do right now.

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