My friend SK got married recently. I was a bridesmaid at the wedding. Truth is, I haven’t had time for our friendship in a while. Different states, work, life etc. but we still try to make it work and be there for each other. So I did not quite “follow” her relationship up to the engagement.
We talked about Dee (her husband) when they first started dating and I saw him a couple of times but I assumed he would not be in the picture for long. I didn’t like the guy and after mentioning it twice we didn’t talk about him much until he proposed and I decided to be supportive of my friend.
Anyways, I planned my leave to coincide with the wedding period to make up for lost time. So a week to the wedding, I travelled to Abuja to be with my friend, rest and flex *wink*.
I turned down her invitation to stay at the family house for obvious reasons. (In case you missed it, I didn’t like the groom, and I wanted to flex) and opted to stay with my single cousin.
When SK picked me up from the airport, I joked about her appearance
“ahn ahn, SK, the wedding gown should fit you and not the other way around o”
She just smiled at me and we played catch-up all the way to my cousin’s place at Life Camp.
I didn’t get to see much of SK afterwards. She always had somewhere to go with her mother-in-law to be and I would end the call with “we sef go get mother-in-law o”.
I started planning a hen night for her to keep myself busy. My cousin is the best part of Abuja. Correct babe! (Single guys, apply within…lol). She got a venue, 2 strippers, picked out a nasty outfit for SK and I codedly invited most of our friends in Abuja.
To get the bride to be to attend was where the wahala came. I eventually had to tell her that it was her hen night and that she would sleep over at a friend’s house. She was excited and I was relieved.
On Wednesday night, (the night of the party) I called my friend at least 12 times and she did not pick up. By 9pm I was worried so I called her fiancé who told me that she was with his mom. He took the phone to her, she picked the call and was whispering that she will call me back. That was when I heard Mummy Dee in the background.
“Who is that person calling you at this time of the night ehn? Give me the phone”
I quickly put on all my manners and cooed “good evening ma” into the phone.
Mummy Dee: Goodnight to you too. Why are you calling my daughter at this time of the night?
Me: “Ma, nothing serious o, some of her friends and I just wanted to hang with her for a bit. We just got into town and…”
Mummy Dee: “Please, hang with her in the afternoon. My daughter-in-law does not roam about in the night. You people should call her tomorrow morning”
She handed the phone back to her son but before he ended the call, I could hear her in the background…
Mummy Dee: “Children of nowadays sha! Where did you find such end time friends?”
My cousin had to tap me before I came to.
“How far? Is she on her way?”
I just told her to start the party anyhow that the babe was running late.
The next day, I dragged my hung over self in a cab to Asokoro to see my friend.
I jumped on her immediately.
SK what happened last night now? Do you know how much that party cost? We planned something for you and you did not show. What was that about?
Shhh shhh. She grabbed my arm. Let us go and talk at the back.
What? I screamed trying to get my balance. Don’t shush me
Are you drunk? Its 11am
So 9pm is late, 11 am is early. What is going on?
My mother-in-law does not think it is proper for a woman to be moving about at night.
I must have looked at her like she had three breasts.
She shook her head.
You won’t understand. When you get married, you …
Abeg abeg, SK, no even start that one.
I’m really sorry about last night. I’ll beg Mummy Dee to approve a reimbursement for you guys.
Yes. You see, Mummy Dee has to….
In 45 minutes that followed, I got a glimpse of the nightmare that had become my friend’s life.
Mummy Dee followed her everywhere. Mummy Dee asked her to lose weight. Mummy Dee picked her wedding gown, Mummy Dee said it would be a good idea for them to move into the house and live upstairs while she stays downstairs since her husband was late and she had the entire house to herself. Mummy Dee is a co-signatory to Dee’s accounts. Mummy Dee said they should invite so & so, Mummy Dee said they should spend only 3 days on their honeymoon. Mummy Dee this, Mummy Dee that. If Mummy Dee had met me before, I would definitely not be invited to the wedding.
I spent 45 minutes with SK only because my cab was delayed. After everything I heard, I could not wait to leave the house which now felt like a prison. I was suddenly claustrophobic. I did not want to become a prisoner too.
I left the house like a dummy and was in dummy mode all wedding long. Mummy Dee had instructed the friends of the bride (those that wore the special asoebi on the traditional wedding day and on the bridal train in church) not to wear earrings and to use only light make up; so I did not bother to take pictures at the wedding.
My cousin had a good laugh on our ride to the airport on Sunday. She said I still looked dumbfounded. I just wanted to return to Lagos where life was familiar.
I thought about SK and her 3-day honeymoon on the flight back to Lagos and I was filled with sadness. How did my friend get into this and most importantly, how is she going to survive/get out of it? What exactly was going on in that household? By the time we touched down in Gidi, I resolved that it was not up to me to “save” her. Maybe she didn’t need “saving”. Maybe I’d just write about it.