Yes, I decided to marry Yomi. After all, people knowingly marry people who decided to be drug pushers, thieving politicians and all the kinds of thieves and bad men within that wide range of bad-man-ism, and even help them keep the secret. My reasoning (which I came to conclusion of without mumsy in my head) was that I’d just be marrying a man who had made a choice to be something and help him cover up. Omerta. Really no different ba?
Once the decision had been made, everything went into full swing hyper crazy extra super drive and you can guess who the driver of all that was. We had four grades of Aso Ebi, and the cheapest was twenty five thousand. This was the bigz people’s wedding, and you can go and dye your hair green if you couldn’t afford our aso ebi. The most expensive one was one mint green and burnt orange Swiss Voile lace like that. It cost five hundred thousand.
Since I knew what was up, I decided to spend Yomi’s money wella, with two hands, on this wedding. I changed my gown to a Mai Atafo gown, all chosen specially and hand fitted by the bobo himself. My coral bead choker alone for the engagement cost a million Naira. And he didn’t hesitate to spend. He pulled all the stops, signed the cheques and went to town. His mum commented that she had never seen him that happy, ever. Of course no one else knew why he was that happy, everyone thought I was the source of his joy. Toke was of course my chief bridesmaid and Adamu was playing that role for Yomi. I tend to imagine him in my head as a bridesmaid and not the bestman. And I noticed Toke kept him at an arm’s length after what she knew. I chose not to be bothered.
The engagement was a blast. I remember the cows. They turned into a mini tourist attraction, so big that people were taking pictures with the cows and using them as DPs all over. They spawned all sorts of funny broadcasts; you know the kind that goes on for months until they’re no longer funny. Every major blog had photographers at the event. My official photographer was the hottest new one in town, the rave of the moment, Ogheneworo Akara.
The alaga was Madam Kofo herself. She keyed into the mood the families were, the spending mode, and made herself tons of money, milking Yomi and friends wella. Imagine, at some point, she even said that I was coming in a plane and that they had to drop fuel money and they know plane fuel is costlier than car fuel. So they dropped plenty money. Then when I was halfway out, she said the fuel finished and the plane was crashing. They had to drop even more money to save it from crashing and refueling the “plane” midair.
I can give you all the juicy details but let me move forward, en. So the engagement was done and we went to our hotels. Everything was going smoothly with the event, and in a perfect world, I had just had the perfect engagement. But that night, I had to numb the fears I was having with generous doses of alcohol in order to sleep and go through with the next day.
Wedding day came and Toke woke me up as early as 5am. The entourage came into the room right after her and so began my roller coaster preparation to transform me from the mortal called Oyin to a goddess simply known as Bride. The whole operation took three hours of intensive work from the combined team of makeup lady, tailor and hair stylist. The small ringlets under my eyes from last night’s alcohol bout were gone.
As my uncle walked me down the aisle, I decided to immerse myself in the wedding, enjoy the moment and not think of the marriage after (I believe a good number of women do this). Wedding was going smoothly and my heart was at its gymnastic best, I was really going through with it. I was going to be Mrs. Oyin Kester-Jacobs.
The preacher asked the customary “Is there anyone here who has any reason why this couple may not be joined together? Speak now or forever hold your peace”, in a jocular manner. He was about to move to the next bit when a strong voice came from the back of the church auditorium “I do. These two should not be joined”. A hush ran over the congregation and all eyes turned in the direction from which the voice had come. Yomi spun around, a crazed look on his face as he saw who it was. I didn’t need to turn. I knew that voice as well as if I had looked at his face. It was a voice I knew too well. It was Ossy.
Haltingly, the pastor asked him what his reasons were.
“I will not allow my friend to go into this sham.” As he spoke, Yomi’s security details began to move towards him. But he was prepared. As they got to him, and were shutting him up, Gloria stood up as if they had rehearsed the scene and picked up where her husband stopped “Yomi is gay, and the marriage is just arrangy, a sham. I will not stand by and let Oyin make this mistake”. Everyone turned and stared at us, as if waiting for Yomi to say how silly all this was so the wedding could continue. It was like live Jerry Springer show.
I got the shock of my life. Yomi spoke up angrily, facing his mum as if all his anger was directed at her “and what if I’m gay? I’m tired of living trapped in the closet. I am gay and from today on, I will be proud of it and live in the open. I’m tired of all this.” People just sat where they were, as if transfixed. Then he said scornfully, “you can all go home now, there’ll be no Mrs. Kester-Jacobs today”. It was then I turned around and screamed.