Your wedding day is supposed to be one of the happiest days of your life. It’s especially a big deal for the bride, so Emma was caught off guard by the events of that day.
Emma was worried that the wedding vendors would get something wrong. Perhaps they would decorate the pergola wrongly or run late. She even worried about the weather and almost fasted for a sunny day, but her groom, the love of her life, not showing up, didn’t ever cross her mind.
The alarm rang at 4.30 a.m., and she immediately woke up with her bridesmaids. They needed to dress up, get their hair and makeup done, and have a mini photo shoot before heading to the church. Before preparing for the day, she texted her groom, Arnold. He was forgetful, so she reminded him to carry the rings. He didn’t respond. She should have taken that as a sign, but she assumed he was busy with the preparations too.
In Emma’s household, everything ran smoothly. It was a typical morning in the bride’s home. Although cultural practices dictated that the groom’s family was supposed to pick up the bride from her home before proceeding to the ceremony, Arnold and Emma’s families agreed to meet at the wedding venue to save time.
The happy bride arrived at the wedding venue slightly before 10 a.m. That was when the day started going downhill. Thirty minutes later, the groom had yet to arrive. They started making phone calls to inquire about his whereabouts. The best man, who was also the groom’s best friend, told Emma that they were on the way. He claimed that he had Arnold’s phone, which was why Arnold wasn’t answering.
Emma, her bridal team and the guests waited for the groom and his team for another twenty minutes. Part of the groom’s team arrived, but Arnold and the best man were still a no-show. Emma started panicking and asked her best maid to accompany her to fetch the groom.
“Let’s go find out what’s going on,” said Emma to her best maid.
“Let’s wait for him,” the best maid suggested.
“I can’t stand the waiting. Something is wrong,” said Emma.
“You know he’s not supposed to see you in your wedding dress before the wedding, right?” The best maid asked.
“Those are silly superstitions, let’s go.”
They headed out.
They found Arnold and the best man in deep conversation, and a bottle of tequila was on the table.
“Arnold, what’s going on?” Emma asked.
Arnold looked up and saw Emma. He was blown away by how beautiful she looked. He froze for a few minutes, partly because of her beauty, and he was also surprised by her presence.
“Wow! You look so beautiful babe!” Arnold told Emma.
She blushed. “Is something the matter babe? Are you getting cold feet?” Emma asked Arnold.
“I think I just needed to see you. I’m all good now. Let’s do this,” Arnold responded.
They all headed to the wedding venue. Emma entered the same car she came in, and Arnold joined his best man in a different car. Upon arriving, the groom was supposed to get out first, but he stayed in the car.
“What’s the holdup?” Emma asked. She had been retouching her makeup.
“Arnold won’t come out of the car,” her best maid informed her.
An angry Emma stormed out of the car.
“Arnold, what do you think you’re doing?” Emma asked her groom.
“I’m sorry Emma, I can’t do this,” said Arnold.
Emma could feel strength leave her body.
“Can’t do what exactly?” Emma asked in a shaky voice with tears swelling up in her eyes.
“I can’t marry you. You forced this on me,” responded Arnold as he started the engine.
Emma felt light-headed. Suddenly she felt knots in her belly.
“I forced this on you?” Emma said slowly, as though she was learning how to read.
“Emma, it’s over,” said Arnold, and he started to drive away.
Emma ran in front of the car to prevent him from leaving. She hysterically asked the best man and the people close to her to stop Arnold from leaving. It took her parents dragging her away to end the fiasco. She cried in confusion. “Why is he doing this?” She asked.
Meanwhile, Arnold’s family announced to the guests that the wedding was cancelled. Emma and her family left the wedding venue, but Arnold’s people remained and ate the food. They argued there was no need to waste the food, drinks and DJ services already paid for. The partying stopped when they heard that Arnold had gotten into an accident. He was in the hospital.
The information got to Emma too. She was overwhelmed with emotions. The man she thought she would spend the rest of her life with had just crushed her heart into a million pieces, but he was now fighting for his life. She felt like her chest would burst open. She was angry, sad, scared and hurt. Arnold remained in a coma for a few days. Emma didn’t go to visit him.
During that period, she learnt that Arnold had been living off his parent’s wealth. His parents had paid the bride price and funded the wedding. The car he drove belonged to his parents, and he lived in one of their rentals. She only knew about the house while they were dating. Arnold’s parents had hoped settling down would help him get his act together, so they had been delighted when they discovered he was dating Emma, an educated and hardworking woman. Emma knew Arnold’s parents liked her since they first met, but she didn’t know the whole story.
After Arnold left the hospital, he felt remorse for what he put Emma through, so he reached out. Emma, thinking it would give her closure, agreed to meet him.
“I’m so sorry for what I put you through,” said Arnold.
“Why go through it and then back out?” Emma asked him.
“I was afraid that you would discover I wasn’t the man you thought I was. I wish I could have done it differently, love,” Arnold explained.
The mention of the word love was triggering that it angered and nauseated her simultaneously. She walked out on him, deleted his number, and blocked all avenues of possible communication.
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