With that icing on the cake, Laura simply relaxed to enjoy what was left of her wedding ceremony. If she thought that her friend at work would simply attend, and waltz off afterwards, then she was wrong and in for a shocker, as it came to pass that no sooner had she taken to the floor for a dance with her hubby, than he came along with his wife for a dance with her, while her hubby was distracted a few feets away by his wife.
She was glad to see him, and obliged him the dance before her husband came for her in a way that made the spectating guests burst into laughter. The minutes and hours after that incident simply flew away like seconds. Her happiness was difficult to conceal for the rest of the day and the days that followed.
It had been difficult to have the wedding fixed for the day it was eventually held, and she wanted the day to be hers and not the “all comers” Saturdays available before the end of the year. Any attempt to move it into the new year would’ve exposed her BABY BUMP, and she wasn’t about to let anyone into that for now, though she had fallen into conversations around her, where speculations relating to that was made, but refused to confirm them the few times such speculators confronted her with it.
This one time she missed her period was one that brought her so much joy, and it was with the right person. The last time something of the likes happened, she went totally berserk. She felt very ashamed and feared that many who would know about it, will be disappointed with her. There was so much at stake for her that made the option of keeping the pregnancy then a NO-OPTION, especially in a society such as hers where single parenthood was heavily frowned at. She also didn’t want to do anything to jeopardize her brother’s walk to priesthood seeing that she was his sponsor. She could’ve been able to bear the ridicule since it doesn’t stick to the body, but again she had (and still has) responsibilities for which adding an unwanted pregnancy could’ve exponentially multiplied.
The guilt she felt after she had been freed of the situation was terrible, she wondered if her “partner in crime” felt any guilt at all, as she hadn’t heard from him since she informed him of the condition he put her in as a result of his lack of self-control. Everything around her seemed to point to her indiscretion, worse still, smack her for it, even when she was sure they couldn’t have been timed to so do at that point in time. The accusing fingers were everywhere, on TV and some call-in programmes on radio, in the church during mass, even at the grotto with the statue of the Virgin Mary apparently pointing (an accusing finger) at her; suddenly it felt like everyone was talking about her, and her conscience seemed to concur with them, even issuing a verdict. She thought she still felt guilty because she didn’t give full disclosure when she made confession, even when she initially intended to.
That was because, on the day she went to make confession, there were lots of people who had showed up waiting to confess, it had been long since she had had cause to engage in that exercise. By reason of the multitude, two other priests had been coopted to hear the confessions that day. She had hoped she’d be lucky to make hers at an enclosure, and not directly as was the case with the other two, but when it came to her turn, she had to go confess directly within the auditorium of the church before one of the coopted priests, and that was how she had to change her story.
But all of that wasn’t even as painful as the reaction of her friend at work, who had been privy to all that had happened, and whom she expected to show some understanding of her peculiar situation, of which she was left with virtually no choice than to career the path she eventually chose. She noticed that he began to ignore her, never starting conversations with her, even making grunting sounds in throwing her his morning salutations. She couldn’t understand what he was particularly angry about. Maybe, she thought, it was because it appeared she didn’t heed his advice, unfortunately by the time it came, it was already too late, and would he have even helped in the many ways that would be required, if she had followed his advice to carry the pregnancy to term?
At a time she needed him most, he turned his back on her, their once platonic relationship became strictly formal, and people at work noticed. She suspected that the rumour mill will be agog as to what could have put asunder the close relationship they shared. She kept her ears to the ground, and was glad to know that none of what was speculated was closer to what obtained. That gave her some satisfaction and some respect for her friend. It was in their state of non communication that she secured an appointment closer to work, without his help. She also got wind of his wedding plans from an outside source. It seemed that the situation between them accelerated his moves to settle down and she was glad when he invited her to his engagement, which she attended, as she did his wedding much later.
Once she moved, she started attending the catholic church within her new vicinity. It was a difficult decision to make, as she already held key positions at her former parish but she humbled herself and started anew. News about her commitment to God’s work soon reached the new parish from the old, and she soon began finding herself in various positions of responsibility, and of course began to be noticed by men in the parish, many of whom wanted only to “milk the cow”, while only a very few wanted to acquire the cow. She knew their antics and was quick witted enough to separate the wheat from the chaff.
Of all those angling for her attention in her new parish, was one man of which she took particular interest despite the fact that he was married with two children. Amongst other things he helped her with, of most importance was the warding off of unserious male interests from her, and she appreciated him for that, because he stood in for her as an uncle would, even though he wasn’t related to her in any way. She however noticed that much later into their friendship he began to be too possessive of her, even poking into things about her that he shouldn’t, or that she wasn’t comfortable with, but because she wasn’t willing to part with the perks she enjoyed having him as a benefactor, she continued to swallow the discomfort.
It was through this benefactor that she met HIM, the only ONE that took her for what she is, that had no cares about her past, or present, but only for the future they would both create. Her benefactor did all he could to dissuade her from considering him as a potential husband material, but she was also beginning to doubt this benefactors’ sincerity because of his now overbearing attitude on her, bordering even on the exhibition of some jealous streak, seeming like he was hatching a plan to have her all to himself. What impressed her about this new man in her life was that (according to what he told her later), he’d been studying her since she started worshipping at the parish, and saw how men thronged to her, and how she tactically deflected most of them, before considering the time he made his move as the appropriate time to strike.
This man did not mince words, he told her on their second date that he’d love to marry her, not sometime in the future, but as soon as possible. It was so unlike her, especially considering that he wasn’t even what she could’ve considered her type a few years back, to say “YES” and agree to his proposal, not even the usual “I will think about it” cut it for her, when he proposed to her. This man did not care about her background, and had the insistence by family and friends, for him to atleast know her extended family not been much, he would’ve gone ahead with the wedding plans sooner than it later happened.
A call from her friend at work startled her and brought her back to the present. She had a lively discussion with him, promising to bring him cake when she resumes from her honeymoon. She was glad how things eventually turned out between them, though it was far from what it used to be, she hoped that with time the little friction that presently exists between them will be blunted out. Her husband had had to resume work that day, while she still had some day to play with. She couldn’t help but smile as she massaged her baby bump, who would’ve thought that things could still go well for her after she hit rock bottom.