My dream was always to have a beach wedding. I thought it was the most romantic setup and I loved the ocean. Lucky for me, I met a fellow hopeless romantic and we fell head over heels for each other.
Francis was a successful, charming man who swept me off my feet the minute we met. He was a bit older than me but it was very hard to tell. He looked younger than most guys I had been with. Maybe it was the money that kept him young.
However, the thing I loved most about him was that he went along with everything I said. His response was always, “whatever you want, babe.” I was well taken care of and loved in that relationship. Most times, I never even had to ask. He would just give me money randomly or take me out.
For a long time, I was content and happy. We dated for almost three years then I began getting concerned about our future. He didn’t show any intention of proposing to me and my hints fell on deaf ears.
“Babe, look at this ring. Isn’t it beautiful?” I’d ask.
“Yes, it is.”
“I think it would look good on me.”
This was always the conversation whenever I’d bring up marriage. However, when it came to other things, he was always excited to do them. I was persistent since I thought he was just having cold feet like most men when it came to marriage.
I tried for a whole year to convince him to marry me but to no avail. Then, an unexpected miracle happened. His mother and my future mother-in-law intervened. I wasn’t as close to her and I always got the feeling that she didn’t like me at all. When she came to visit us one day, Francis had a complete change of heart instantly.
“I’ve talked to him. He has to marry you now.” She told me in a whisper.
“Thank you, mum,” I responded.
I thought she was joking but as soon as she left, Francis proposed to me. He took me to an upmarket restaurant and proposed. I couldn’t wait to start planning the wedding. I convinced him to have a beach wedding as I had dreamt of. He had no objections and I was more excited to plan my dream wedding. His whole family was also excited about the wedding. They helped me plan everything.
Since it was a small wedding, preparations were done within two months and I was ready to get married.
My bridal team and I made our way to Diani a few days early to settle and celebrate my last days as a single woman. We were all in good spirits and everything was going to plan.
On the day of the wedding, the hair and makeup team got to the hotel in time which I thought was a good sign that the day would go well. It was a beautiful, sunny day and the setup looked like something out of a fairytale.
As I walked down the aisle, I could see everyone looking at me with big smiles on their faces. It was one of the best moments of my life but it quickly turned sour thanks to an uninvited guest.
“Does anyone here have any object…” the pastor didn’t even finish his words before a plump woman appeared out of nowhere shouting.
“Baba Mwende, Baba Mwende!”
We were all puzzled since no one really expected Francis had a wife and children. At first, I thought it was a joke and kept waiting for him to look at me and laugh. However, he remained frozen as the woman came closer and closer. She was soon standing next to me and almost reached out to grab me but my friends intercepted her.
“So, this is what you spend your money on when your children don’t have food or school fees.” She said.
“What is this woman talking about?” I asked, visibly upset.
“It’s nothing, babe. Let me handle it and I’ll be back.”
I was silent as he tried to drag the woman away but she resisted.
“I’m not going anywhere. Why are you keeping your family a secret?” She then turned to me. “This man has three children, in case he didn’t tell you. He hasn’t taken care of them for years.”
“This isn’t the time or place to do it.” Francis tried to say but the damage had already been done.
I found out that my amazing fiancé had a secret family on my wedding day. There’s nothing more embarrassing than that.
I walked off as the two continued to go back and forth. My mother followed me behind to comfort me but I was too shocked to even cry. People slowly dispersed and by evening, the venue was completely empty. Later that evening, Francis came by my hotel room to check on me.
I wanted to believe that it was a big misunderstanding so I gave him a chance to explain.
“I was married before and yes, I had children from that marriage but I hadn’t talked to her for years. Our relationship got to a point where we couldn’t work out and we went our separate ways.”
“So, you didn’t get a divorce?”
“You’re still married to her?”
“I can’t believe this. Why didn’t you tell me?”
“I didn’t know how you would react. Besides, I thought she was out of my life completely. I was just as surprised to see her today as you were. Can we redo the wedding?”
“I think the wedding is the least of your concerns right now. I can’t marry you even if I wanted to.”
“I’ll divorce her. Please don’t leave me.”
We tried to work things out but it was hard to mend the trust after it was broken. Additionally, the divorce process was taking too long which put a strain on our relationship. Eventually, Francis and I decided to go our separate ways and that is how my dream wedding turned into a nightmare. Nowadays, I hardly go to the beach and if I’m to do another wedding, it will be nowhere near the beach.
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