THE WEDDING DRESS. PART 8

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Mark led us to a lone table perched in one corner of the Inn. The fancy lights above us made the place fancier. There were two bottles of stout on the table, all drained. No one was at the table though. Alice asked of Kwaku, a man I assumed was Mark’s cousin and he said he had gone outside to receive a call. I felt at ease now, knowing that Alice’s husband wasn’t my Mike. But part of me felt sad that all my attempts to see Mike had gone down the drain. I opted out of the beer ring and ordered for a medium bottle of water to refresh my soul, I had just put myself on an emotional roller coaster. I couldn’t help but tell Mark what had been gathering in my thoughts.

‘You really look like someone I know’.

‘Really?’ he replied while chuckling. ‘Who is he?’ he asked with a wink.

‘He was a very…’

‘Charley the fitter fool paa, he say make we add GHc100 on top. He think say we share money for bank eh?’ a voice boomed from behind, making me unable to finish my sentence.

I dropped my bottle. That voice!! Thank goodness the bottle was plastic.

Now everyone stared at me. I didn’t know what to do – turn around or vanish.

Like a mechanical doll, I turned around and couldn’t believe my eyes!

‘What are you doing here?’ his voice thundered

‘Where have you been all this while?’ I replied, with tears in my eyes.

I arrived at the reception for the wedding on time. Seeing so many cars parked outside the premises with the room filled to capacity made me teary eyed. My groom was waiting outside, with his groomsmen. He smiled when he saw me approaching. As I got closer, he held my arms and knelt before me. My heart missed a beat. Was he running from me again? No, he had promised never to do that.

‘My dearest Adjoa, I forgot to tell you something’.

‘What is it Kwaku?’ I replied

‘I forgot to make a promise to love you always and never to run away from you. It’s just like running away from my own shadow. I promise to love you till death do us part’

“Hey be a gentleman and take the lady from under the scorching sun before she gets baked!” I heard his father shout. I couldn’t say a word, but the onlookers laughed heartily. I finally managed a giggle.

As my man and I marched into the beautifully decorated room, Tracy Chapman’s Open Arms played in my head. I had sung that song for comfort so many times. There were tears in my eyes and in Kwaku’s as well. It had been a long journey for him too.

He had traveled outside the country right after his service to further his education, in order to forget his ‘heartbreak’. He tried to forget me, thinking I was interested in my cousin Ralph and not him. After learning the truth about the relationship between Ralph and I he felt very stupid. But shame had not permitted him to get in contact with me. And he did suffer as much as I did. But he changed his name along the way from Mike Addo to Kwaku Awuah Addo because he got tired of people mistaking him for his older cousin Mark. Well, they managed to fool even me. He had been looking for me like I was. Now we had found each other. It still is funny to remember how we cuddled all evening following our re-encounter at the Berlin Inn after hugging me tightly when he saw me. I could not decide between both of us, who had missed the other the most.

Well I had him now, and I had no intention of letting him go. Neither did he. Guess who was happiest that day? Alice! She never stopped telling others how her wedding dress had united two lost hearts.

THE END.