Do you remember that aso ebi palaver I had? You can read the story by clicking here.
After that aso ebi palaver, I didn’t buy Maureen’s aso ebi because I couldn’t afford it. I managed to cough out money for the bridal train. I didn’t even attend her bridal shower because I couldn’t afford the amount for the contribution. Maureen was getting married to the son of a permanent secretary in the state. It was indeed a big wedding and Maureen did everything she could to impress the world. No wonder her aso ebi was 25 thousand naira. I’m sure most of her friends could not afford it and I wondered why she didn’t consider our purse. All she cared about was having a wedding that would be the talk of the town. As if there would be an award for that.
I looked for one of my beautifully sewn traditional attires and that’s what I wore for her traditional marriage. Maureen was too busy to notice I hadn’t worn her aso ebi. She didn’t even sight me that day.
The traditional marriage was on Thursday and the church wedding was two days later. On Friday night, all of us who were supposed to be in her bridal train lodged in a hotel. Maureen had taken care of the bills so I didn’t have to bother about paying for the room or even feeding. After all, we paid 20 thousand naira to be part of the bridal train.
That Friday morning, we went to the salon to make our hair, fix our nails and eyelashes. I had never fixed my nails or eyelashes before. I was okay with fixing nails, but didn’t want to fix artificial eyelashes.
“It’s compulsory,” one of the other bride’s maids said. “Make up is not complete without eyelashes. No professional make up artist will agree to do your make up tomorrow if you don’t fix lashes. And of course, you can’t join the train without professional make up.”
Backing out of the train at this point and because of only artificial eyelashes wouldn’t be nice. How will Maureen get a replacement for tomorrow? I loved my eyelashes the way it was. And my eyes are very delicate to me. I never joke with it. I had once heard a story of a woman who became blind on her wedding day because of fixing artificial eyelashes. She was fixing the lashes for her wedding day and the glue used to stick the lashes to her face entered her eyes and that was the end of her seeing with that eye. I don’t know if her fiancé still went ahead with the wedding. Anything that has to do with eyes scares me. Mascara, eye liner, eye pencil and the worst is this artificial lashes that can cause instant blindness. How will I see my prince charming if I become blind?
“I’m sorry, I can’t fix lashes. I’ll use a mascara to enhance my lashes tomorrow,” I said coming out from my thoughts.
“Eh? See eh. Don’t even allow Maureen to hear this one. And people are waiting so hurry up,” the bride’s maid said.
“Please fix my nails first,” I said to the woman at the salon. I had a plan to sneak out immediately after so that no one will notice that I hadn’t fixed the lashes.
Fixing the nails wasn’t a painful process. We were all supposed to have the same colour of nail polish on our nails. That was okay with me, but the length of the nails was too long for me. It looked like the claws of a vulture. When I told the lady attending to me to trim it, she said she was instructed to fix that length for everybody on the bridal train. I didn’t even bother arguing. I was so uncomfortable for the rest of the day that I really looked forward to the next day so I could pull it off after the wedding.
I successfully sneaked out of the salon to my hotel room without fixing my artificial lashes. I shared the room with two other bride’s maids. The bridal shower was scheduled for 5 pm at the hotel pool side and I didn’t bother going because I didn’t pay for it. I didn’t want to be embarrassed there if anyone asked me if I paid or called out names of those owing. I wanted to stay in the hotel room but changed my mind in case something got lost I wouldn’t be accused.
I decided to take a walk around the hotel. The sun had gone down and the cool breeze kissed my tender cheeks. My new hair swang along with the breeze as the breeze whistled softly. I walked around admiring the beautiful serene environment. It was pure bliss. There was a barbecue joint at one end of the hotel and I stopped to watch how it was being prepared. I knew I wouldn’t even be able to buy one piece so I walked away slowly. I got to a very quiet place and closed my eyes, listening to the soft whispers of the breeze.
I opened my eyes, startled. A macho average height man stood beside me. He was dressed in a caftan and had nicely shaped beards. I stood there staring at him like a mannequin.
“Are you okay?” he asked
“Yes,” I said diverting my gaze.
“I noticed you’ve been standing here all alone for a while. I just thought I should check if you’re fine ”
“That’s thoughtful of you as a stranger. I’m fine. I was just taking an evening walk.”
“A walk? And you’ve been staying at one spot for…. any way. You’re fine that’s all that matters. So since you’re taking a walk, can I join you?”
“Sure,” I said with a smile as I began to walk slowly.
“I’m Idorenyin. But you can call me Idy.” and then he began to tell me where he works, and all the countries he had travelled to and how he comes to the hotel every weekend to chill with his friends.
I rolled my eyes as he talked. Who asked him for his autobiography? Mtchew.
I just allowed his words waste into the thin air and he finally noticed I wasn’t interested in his history talk.
“So tell me about you. Are you here with your guy?”
Is that his way of asking if I’m single?
“I’m here with my friends. ”
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“Oh so where are they?
“By the pool side. They are having a party.”
“You don’t want to join them?”
I was silent.
“It’s getting late. I would like to go back to my room,” I said after a few minutes of silence.
“Let me escort you.
“No thank you,” I said doubling my footsteps.
“Okay, can I get your number so we can take a walk tomorrow evening?”
“I’m sorry. I have a wedding to attend tomorrow and I’ll be leaving the hotel tomorrow.”
“Okay, we could hang out another time. So your number please.”
“I’m sorry, I don’t give out my number to strangers.”
“I’m not a stranger. I’ve told you about me. You are the one who is a stranger to me. You haven’t even told me your name or what you do.”
“My name is Edidiong.”
“Okay since you won’t give me your number, here’s my card. Call me anytime you’re free.”
I quickly collected his card and waved to him with a smile as I hurried off towards my room.