The minister faced the congregation. “Does anyone have any reasons why these two should not be joined together, let them speak now or forever hold their peace?”
Kayode smiled as he beheld the face of his bride. He had no skeletons in his cupboard and he was sure everyone in attendance wanted he and Tolani married.
He had told them to take out that phrase from his marriage vows but the minister had insisted; saying it was part of the church tradition to include it. He was positive no one would disrupt his wedding and he felt that phrase was useless.
The minister was about to continue with the wedding proceedings when Tolani raised her right hand. There were loud gasps within the hall. Kayode’s smile wiped away immediately giving way to a shocked expression.
The minister looked at Tolani as he nodded his head expecting an explanation from her.
“I can’t do this, Reverend.” Tolani said to the minister. Tears spilled down her cheeks as she looked at Kayode. “I’m sorry.”
Tolani dropped her bouquet on the floor and ran out of the hall. Kayode looked at Lolade; Tolani’s younger sister and chief bride’s maid. Lolade shrugged and ran after her sister with a smile on her face.
Her sister eventually did it and she was proud.
The night before, Tolani had confided in her that she could not go ahead with the wedding. Kayode had proposed to her at a family dinner in the presence of both familes and everyone had urged her to say “yes”. They had only started dating six months before and he was already proposing. She felt she still needed to know him and be comfortable with him. Every time they were together, the only discussion they had was about him, his work and his passions. Whenever she tried to talk, he shut her down by saying, women needed to be seen and not heard. She had said “yes” to his proposal to save his ego. She had however returned the engagement ring the next day telling him that she was not interested in getting married to him.
The next three weeks had been weeks of cajoling and threatening by her parents. They insisted she had to get married to him as he was a suitable choice according to them. His own parents had also done their bit of cajoling. Even though, she loved his parents, she could not bring herself to love their son.
Wedding preparations started against her wish. She begged, cried and explained to her mother but no one listened to her. They all concluded that she was insensitive as Kayode had proved that he loved her.
Lolade held her elder sister in her arms as she cried. “Sis, if you don’t love him, don’t make the mistake of marrying him.” She had concluded. As Lolade ran out of the hall, Tolani was getting into Lolade’s car. She had told her elder sister the night before that if she decided to change her mind and cancel the wedding, she could leave in her car. She had booked a stay in a hotel out of town for her sister. The car key was intentionally left on the ignition for a speedy getaway. Lolade watched as her sister sped off from the church premises.
“Where is she going? You are looking at your sister and you couldn’t stop her?” Her father barked.
“Ah! Tolani has embarrassed me today!” Her mother lamented.
Lolade looked at her mother; disgust written all over her face. “Mum, is that all you can say?”
“C’mon shut up! What do you know?” Her mother shouted at her.
Lolade shrugged as she walked to the car her sister had come in. “Please take me home.” She said to the driver.
As the driver pulled out of the premises, Lolade laid her head on the head rest and smiled. “Finally, her elder sister was taking charge of her life.”