“Ope o! You finally put her in her place.” Derin was ecstatic.

I had told him all that had happened that night, except for the part where she seduced me and drove me crazy to the extent of straffing her. I changed the narrative and told him that I had gotten to hers, met her in lingerie, fought hard and resisted the temptation by telling her that I had a fiancee whom I loved so much and wasn’t ready to lose her.

“I’m proud of you my man!” He patted my shoulder.

How did this guy manage to believe me? Was he that gullible? How could he claim to be my best friend and not know that I was too weak to have resisted fire body Wangi, a woman I was madly in love with.

When I was cooking up my story, I was actually worried that Derin would see through my terrible lie and give me a scolding but apparently, he couldn’t see past his nose. I think the joy that Wangi was out of our hairs overtook his mind and he didn’t really care to question how it happened.

“So we can now face the wedding squarely abi?” Derin enquired enthusiastically.

“I guess so.” I replied.

“Yes! Best man loading.”

Derin was like a woman when it came to weddings. The only wedding that didn’t excite him was his own. He was up in every other person’s face when they were getting married but refused to plan his.

“Don’t go and plan your own, be jumping around other people’s own.” I teased.

“Leave that thing this guy, Dee and I are taking our time.” He said.

The wedding approached slowly and plans were moving on smoothly. I had taken Lenka to Abuja to meet my dad and he was more than happy that I was ready to settle down.

“Alhamudillah.” He said as he patted my back.

We discussed wedding details and I told him of my intentions to go and see her parents the next weekend. He gave me his blessings and urged me to keep him posted with every move I made. My father and I weren’t the best of friends but it was obvious that he was glad that I was ready to get married and he wanted to be there for me as much as possible.

While we were in Abuja, we paid Lenka’s sister a visit. Mo was more than happy to welcome us, she seemed even more excited about the wedding than Lenka and I.

“I’ve been waiting for this day for ages.” She squealed.

“Babe, Mo is coming to Lagos to help with the wedding preps.” Lenka said excitedly.

I looked at Mo’s husband and he smiled weakly. It was obvious that there was no stopping Lenka and her sister. I shrugged and smiled at them, this was going to be interesting.

Lenka’s parents were quite warm even though her father proved difficult initially. I got a scolding for not talking to him and seeking his approval before proposing to his daughter. My mother-in-law to be who had taken a liking to me quickly defended me.

“Oh come on dear, that’s how they do it these days. Besides, I gave my approval and since we are one, I didn’t think he needed to see you about it again.” She smiled at him.

My likeness for the woman escalated to love. She was already taking up my matter as if I was her own son. Lenka sat there and sighed in relief when her father gave in to her mother’s defense.

“The next thing you need to do is meet our relatives, you know, Lenka’s uncles and aunties. Make your intentions known to them and get their blessings too.” Her father said.

“Daddy! We can’t travel all the way Kenya now.” Lenka said.

I secretly hoped her father would yield. I was already spending so much paying for the wedding and I wasn’t ready to start making unnecessary journeys round the continent all in the name of asking for Lenka’s hand.

“I’m not saying you should go to Kenya dear, that would be unreasonable. I’m sure you can take him to meet your mother’s sisters, especially your aunt Eikan.” He smiled.

“Aunty Eikan?! Not her dad, we’d rather go to Kenya.” Lenka shouted.

Her parents laughed knowingly. For Lenka to prefer to go to Kenya, it meant that her aunt Eikan was worse than I thought and for that reason, I was more than willing to go to Kenya. I would rather lose money than go and introduce myself to a nosey aunt who would make my visit to her house miserable.

To our greatest joy, we found out that aunt Eikan was going to be out of town on the day we had planned to meet her.

“You can visit when I return dear.” I heard from the phone.

“We’ll try aunty but if we can’t make it, you’d meet him at the traditional wedding.” Lenka gladly explained.

“But we need to talk about the wedding details now.” Aunt Eikan said.

“Don’t worry aunty, we have a wedding planner, she’s taking care of everything.” Lenka said.

“Asoebi nko?” Aunt Eikan really wanted to be involved.

“She has it covered too. Mo and Faraji’s sister are assisting her, we have it under control aunty, don’t worry.” Lenka was not going to let her penetrate at all.

I was so happy we were going to escape meeting her aunt, that was one of the few things Lenka and I had agreed on concerning the wedding. Lenka seemed to have a different idea of how she wanted the wedding to go. I wanted a small ceremony with only family and a few friends but Lenka wasn’t going to have it.

“That’s impossibile Fa’a. I’m not going to get married like a peasant.” She told me.

I was mad but I tried not to show it. Who said anything about being a peasant? Even wealthy people had small, intimate weddings so why did Lenka think it was okay for us to spend millions to cater for people we had never met before?

“Babe, this wedding is mostly for our families. My mum has six sisters already, their spouses and their children will total to at least 40 and these are just the ones I know. We haven’t even considered my father’s side and your own parents, then our friends and probably their significant others. There’s no way in the world it can be small.” She explained to me.

I sighed in defeat. She was correct after all. Knowing my mother, she was going to go all out for her only son’s wedding, talk less of my sisters and my in-laws.

“There has to be some way to curb the crowd.” I said to Lenka.

“Lola was suggesting an invite only wedding. We were supposed to talk about it, I totally forgot.”

“Yes, that’s it. We’ll tell our parents and siblings to send a list of their guests so we can give out invites, that should help.”

“Perfect, I’ll talk to Lola.” She picked up her phone and walked out of the room.

This wedding planning was stressing me out. I had thought getting a wedding planner would make things easier but it made no difference. Our mothers refused to corporate with her and they kept calling to remind us that employing Lola’s services was a bad idea.

“Your aunt and I could have handled it perfectly, didn’t we plan Mo’s wedding?” Lenka’s mother once told her.

Getting the wedding planner was our own way of saving ourselves from the fights that would happen if one party was more involved than the other. My mother wanted to be as involved as Lenka’s mother, if not more. So imagine the hell she would have raised if we had told her that Lenka’s mother and aunt were in charge of the wedding.

The only things I enjoyed were the cake tasting, menu selections and fittings I had with my friends. We went to the designer about five times before the wedding and each time, we turned the store to a wine party. The designer didn’t mind as he shared a glass us every time.

“I’m glad that Fa’a’s wedding is letting us bond more, we haven’t done this in a while.” Tosan said.

I had five groomsmen, Derin, Amir, Tosan, Mohammed and Tobe. They were my closest friends and I had known each of them for at least five years. Everyone lived in Lagos except Tobe who resided in Canada. Whenever we were together, we would FaceTime him so he wasn’t left out of anything. He told us that he planned to arrive a week before the wedding. When Derin asked him why he was coming back a whole week before, he told him,

“It’s Faraji’s wedding G. What kind of groomsman would I be if I didn’t arrive in time?” He said.

I wanted to stick my tongue out at Derin but I thought against it and pushed my tongue back in my mouth.

We talked about my bachelor’s party and how we wanted it to be. We planned to have it in a strip club with private performances from their best strippers. I didn’t really like the idea because I was trying so hard to stay away from temptation but my friends were very excited about it so I had to go with the flow.

“Don’t worry Fa’a, it’s a strip club not a motel, you don’t have to sleep with any of them if you don’t want to.” Amir put me at ease.

Tobe finally arrived Lagos on Sunday before the wedding activities began. Lenka was away with her bridesmaids at Inagbe beach resort. They were billed to return on Wednesday before the traditional wedding on Thursday. My parents were already in Lagos and so were my aunts and other relatives.

I had been having panic attacks the whole week because of the fear and tension of getting married. I was about to commit to one woman for the rest of my life. I asked myself many times if I was ready and if Lenka was the right woman for me. Thoughts of my escapade with Wangi came to me. The question changed from if Lenka was the right one for me to if I deserved her.

We got to our hotel on Wednesday afternoon, just before Lenka came back to town. We settled in and went to the designer to pick up our clothes. We planned to have dinner with Lenka and her bridesmaids thereafter.

I sat in a corner while the guys were trying making final adjustments to their clothes. I was having one of my panic attacks again and I didn’t notice when Lenka snuck up behind me. She screamed in my ear and I jumped in fright. She laughed hard and our bridal party joined her.

“Bebe.” She kissed me.

“I almost had a heart attack babe. Did you want to kill me?” I asked her.

“I could never do that.” She said.

“Did you have fun at the resort?” I enquired.

“Of course I did, I’ll tell you about it over dinner.” She pulled my hand to meet up with the rest of the group and off we went to dinner.

After weeks of planning, the wedding finally came. Lenka was the most beautiful bride I had seen and I felt like the luckiest man in the world. Our friends were solidly behind us and it was like a total dream. I forgot that I almost didn’t propose to her because of Wangi.

“Thank you.” I said to Farida when I saw her that day.

“For what?” She was puzzled.

“For making me propose to Lenka. This wouldn’t be happening if it wasn’t for you.” Farida smiled and said,

“You can pay me back in kind when you get back from Greece.”

Lenka had decided that we should go to Santorini for our honeymoon and since I didn’t have any other place in mind, I went with her idea. Little did I know that things were going to take a drastic turn on my return.

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