Hi guys,
I know you would wanna skip my little notice and get on with today’s episode, but that is the ‘issue’… Sighs… Unfortunately, due to the activities of both seen and unseen forces, Episode 25 wouldnt be coming up today. The economy also affects writers and sadly, despite my sharp mouth, I realize I am not immune… but then, there is good news!!!

You know I would never leave your day spiceless, so, in that light, you’ll be reading a sizzling short story by me. Please do drop your comments and share with both friends and enemies(love your enemies). Thanks for the support and understanding. Maimed Soul continues on Tuesday, unfailingly! Love you all… Kisses!

BITTER by Nissi Inspiration

Lisa paced the length of the medium-sized church with the tail of her wedding gown dragging at her wake. When she reached her best friend, Tola, she paused. “What is going on Tola?” she asked shakily. “Why isn’t he here yet?” Without waiting for the response she knew Tola did not have, she continued her pace, with her heels clicking furiously. It was bad enough that she had reached the church ahead of the groom, but not seeing him even after waiting for about an hour, was downright scary. The crowd which had gathered to witness her happy union to the man she had loved and dated for five years, were now in total confusion. They whispered to one another, trying to decipher the cause of Teju’s absence.

Lisa’s head ran wild, trying to think about what was holding Teju back. They had called his line and that of his close friends, even the distant ones, but no one could explain what was going on. Tears slipped out of Lisa’s eyes as she tried to tune out the voices of friends, who were doing all they could to calm her nerves. ‘It might be a flat tire’ one said, ‘they might have missed their way’, ‘I am sure it is the usual Lagos traffic’…

Something flashed through Lisa’s mind and she froze. Her friends surrounded her with concerned looks. “What if there was an accident?” she gasped out causing them to gasp in turn.

“Don’t say such nonsense Lisa” her mother scolded suddenly, drawing her daughter into a tight motherly hug. No! Lisa did not want to consider that possibility. She saw her best friend, Tola, making several calls with panic written all over her.

All of a sudden, Vera her sister, ran into the church, looking pale and horrified. Tola, who was at the entrance and a few people, circled her. Vera glanced towards Lisa briefly with horror written all over her face before she lowered her eyes, speaking really silently to the few people who surrounded her. They all gasped and before Lisa could stop herself, she grabbed her gown and raced towards the small crowd of people. Tola instantly blocked her way. “You need to relax Liz” she said nervously.

Lisa pushed her out of the way and held on to her sister’s clothes tightly. “Spill it. What happened?” she cried. “Tell me. Is it an accident?” she choked out.

Vera shook her head, almost in tears. The emotion in Vera’s eyes scared the hell out of Lisa and all she wanted to do was scream on the top of her lungs until she got some answers; it was her damn wedding for heaven’s sake! Lisa saw a card clutched tightly in Vera’s hand and snatched it instantly, catching her unawares. When she stared at the card, her eyes nearly popped out of their sockets, jerking for the impact of what she had just read. For a moment, her brain seemed to have stopped functioning as she stared in horror at the flimsy card.

“No” she gasped. This was not just a card, it was a wedding card. The only problem she had was the name of the groom. Could it be a coincidence that the groom just happened to bear the same name and surname with her missing husband-to-be, Teju Thompson? “This must…” she squealed. “…be a mistake”. She was as pale as a ghost. It was like the walls were closing on her. This could not be real, could it? Of course not! Soon, everyone had gathered to find out what the chaos was about.

Vera shook her head and swallowed. “Sorry sis, bit I confirmed this. There is a wedding going on at Ikeja right now and the groom is definitely our very own Teju Thompson” she breathed silently.

“No” she screamed. “It can’t be. No” she bellowed.

Mum and dad grabbed her, but she struggled to break free, throwing her hands and legs in various directions. “Teju won’t do that to me, damn it. He loves me. Me!” she yelled as she was being forced into the car.

The drive home was very tedious because Lisa did not calm down until the car was parked outside the house and Lisa jumped out. “What am I doing in my father’s house? why did you bring me here? If you had not taken me away from the church, Teju would have arrived, married me and I would move to my husband’s house instead of coming here” she cried. “Take me back. Teju is coming”

Tears ran down her mum’s eyes as she tried to pacify her hurt daughter. “Please baby, you need to rest” she begged.

“No. I don’t need rest, I need Teju… I. Want. My. Teju” Lisa crumbled to a heap, crying her eyes out.

**********
**********

“Let’s leave her to sleep” Lisa’s dad said when they finally noticed that Lisa closed her eyes to sleep. It had been a real struggle, calming her down. His heart bled for his daughter. He had never imagined that he would like to see the level of hurt he saw in his daughter’s eyes.

Lisa’s mum, Betty, ran her fingers through her daughter’s hair, in tears. “She does not deserve this pain Deji. God knows my daughter does not deserve this” she breathed out.

Deji squeezed his wife’s shoulder comfortingly. Betty kissed the top of her daughter’s head before reluctantly leaving the room with her husband, closing the door as gently as possible.

Back in the sitting room, they met Lisa’s friends venting their anger verbally, pacing and raining curses. What had been envisaged as a day of joy had brought nothing but pain and sorrow. It was too much for Lisa’s parents to take. Betty sank onto a chair in dejection while her husband paced the sitting room. Tola was looking extremely angry as she also paced the room, thinking of a thousand and one things that she would do to Teju for hurting her best friend. He even had the nerve to fix the two weddings on the same day! ‘I would make him pay’ she vowed internally.

Something occurred to her and she instantly paused. “Where is the IV?” she asked no one in particular.

“Which IV” Lisa’s mum asked back.

Tola remembered that Lisa had snatched the invitation card of the second wedding from Vera but she did not recall anyone taking it back from her. There was this disturbance that she felt about this fact and she decided to check the card in Lisa’s room. Lisa opened the door of Lisa’s room quietly, not to rouse her friend from sleep but immediately her eyes connected with the room, a new level of shock went through her.

“Where is Lisa?” she yelled.

*****
*****

still in her wedding dress, Lisa ran as fast as her legs could carry her.  The only things she had been able to grab in her haste to leave the house was her purse and a pair of slippers, before squeezing her way out of her small bedroom window. It had been particularly difficult because of the massive size and weight of her wedding gown but where there is a will, there is always a way. She had pretended to sleep, knowing that that was the only way she would be left alone in the room. She knew that she would really hurt their feelings when they find her bed empty but she really needed to confirm if truly her own Teju was the one getting married to another woman. How could they expect her to sleep while all these was going on? How could she sleep when there is a possibility that her man was getting married to another woman? Impossible.

She flagged down a taxi and jumped into it. She checked the address on the card and gave him directions, promising to double the fare if he could get there speedily. The taxi driver found it weird that someone who obviously was in a wedding gown was in such a foul mood but he shut his mouth and fired the taxi as fast as he could, like the hosts of the hell were on his tail.

Lisa was still not accepting the fact that Teju was truly getting married to another woman. What she could not come to terms with was how that could be possible. Could it be that he had spent five solid years lying to her? Five years ago, he had appeared in her life and she had fallen head over heels in love with him; they had been inseparable since then. He had been so sweet to her, telling her sweet loving words when necessary, offering encouragements and support when needed, telling her that she meant the world to him; could it be that all those things had been fake? Could he have lied about all that? Could he have played with her emotions for five years, only to stand her up at the altar, letting her deal with the shame and disgrace that came with rejection? No! she shook her head vigorously. I would not believe this trash until I have seen it with my own eyes that Teju Thompson really the groom, she told herself.

The ride was the longest ride of her life, despite the fact that the driver was on top speed. Anxiety gripped her fully when they got to Ikeja and she knew that they couldn’t be far from the church. Getting the venue was extremely because everyone on the road seemed to be aware of the celebration. The wedding must be a big one, she thought vaguely in annoyance.

Few blocks to the venue, she had already started seeing various cars, mostly expensive cars, with different brands and make. She swallowed heavily. One of the celebrants was definitely from a very wealthy family, but Lisa knew that if her own Teju was the groom, he was definitely not the one from a wealthy family. She cancelled that thought and concentrated on believing that the groom was not her own Teju. When they got to the front of the church, she got down and paid the man quickly. She walked like a robot towards the church but stopped dead when she sighted the big banner outside the church.

“Oh no” she turned pale. It was the very same Teju Thompson.

**********
**********

Teju Thompson felt so happy and contented beside his newly wedded wife. Clara Jones had now become Clara Thompson. Who would have thought, about a month ago, that he, Teju Thompson would be in the same congregation with Senators and Commissioners of the state? Who would have assumed that a mere seventy thousand Naira salary earner as a cashier in a low-class bank like him would be able to wine and dine with rich and wealthy people? Yes! This is the life I deserve, he told himself.

Teju had always been someone who loved money more than anything. It had been a real struggle, dealing with the state of insufficient cash and he had vowed to do anything to get money into his empty pockets. Considering the status of the small bank he was working with, Teju had not been able to steal anything, even though he had planned to do just that. Life was already looking frustrating without enough money, until last month, when the stunning lady beside him had walked into the bank. Immediately he had seen her, he had seen vividly that she was in money. All the transactions she had carried out that day had buttressed that point and all he could think about was ways to make her mine. Thanks to his charming looks, he had flirted with her and she had fallen, face down. They had exchanged numbers that day at the bank and he had proposed to her barely two weeks of meeting her. He had concocted a story about how he had been under intense pressure to get married and produce grandchildren. He had said that immediately she walked into the bank, he had known that he would want to spend the rest of her life with her. Clara had fallen like the fool that she was and here they were, already married. The only regret that Teju had was Lisa. They had already fixed the date of their wedding before Clara surfaced, and Clara coincidentally picked a date with her parents which happened to coincide with the date he picked with Lisa. He tried to make either of them postpone the date tactically, but none of them was interested in shifting the date. He was not happy that he hurt Lisa because despite it all, he truly loved her; although, when given a choice between love and money, Teju would choose money a hundred times over.

“Honey, what are you thinking about?” Clara asked beside him.

He shook his head and smiled. “I was thinking about how fortunate I am to have married a woman as beautiful as you.” He said. “Have I told you that you look extremely beautiful today sweetheart?”

Clara blushed. “I believe this is the fifteenth time I am hearing that today”

He kissed her fully on the lips. “I can’t get tired of telling you” he whispered.

“Yes” the voice of the moderator of the reception rang out. “It is time to cut the cake”

The crowd roared in applause and Teju grinned. It was one thing to be seated with dignitaries; it was another thing to be celebrated by dignitaries. His heart swelled with pent up happiness as he stood with pride and helped his wife up. Putting his arm around her waist, he led her towards the massive cake. The knife was not there so he stared at one of the ushers, asking him to bring the knife.

“Are you looking for this?”

Everyone turned to the direction the voice was coming from in unison and saw a lady who was in a massively spectacular wedding gown. Teju blanched until his chocolate skin looked almost as white as snow.

“Why don’t the three of us cut it together, eh, Teju?” Lisa asked as she moved towards the couple.

“Who is she T.J” Clara asked in nervous confusion.

Lisa gasped dramatically. “Teju boy, didn’t you tell your little bride here about me? Awwww… that is too bad”

“Stop that woman!” a man, probably the father of the bride, commanded. Lisa held the knife like a weapon of war, waving it around.

“I will stab anyone who moves close to me. I swear it” She roared. Tears slipped out of her eyes and she quickly rubbed it off.  She moved slowly towards the couple, consciously noting the movements of everyone around her. She looked at the bride who was already shivering. “Little bride, do you see my classic wedding dress?” She asked painfully, as hurt and anger took over her. “I bought this dress six months ago, with almost all the savings I had in my account. I knew my husband would simply melt when he saw me in this and I made sure I bought it, however expensive.” She swallowed as tears rushed down her face. She turned to the already pale Teju. “Is this what you left me for? You left me standing at the altar today because you wanted to marry this money-soaked ajebutter?” She roared, and then laughed like a crazy person. “You left me standing by myself in front of a whole congregation, and what I was worried about was the fact that something might have happened to you. How stupid of me” the church was as silent as a graveyard and the silence was irritating. She turned to the crowd. “How can you all celebrate and rejoice with these people when they have obviously conspired to give me nothing but sadness, sorrow and shame?” she bellowed.

“What the hell is going on Teju?” the bride asked the suddenly dumbfounded Teju. “You better open your stupid mouth and give me an explanation” she yelled.

Teju stammered. “I… I…I can… ex… explain”

Clara’s palm rose and connected with his cheeks soundly and the sound echoed through the large hall. She laughed painfully until she ended up crying profusely. “How could you do this to me Teju? After five years of loving you, you reward me by marrying another woman on my wedding day. What did I ever do to deserve this? You left me because of money?” she roared in bewilderment. She inhaled and a resigned look crossed her face as she tightened her grip on the cold knife. “Well, since you decided to give me pain as a reward for loving you, I would show you what pain is all about”. With lightning speed, she crossed over to where Teju was standing behind the cake and pulled his head backwards, sticking the sharp knife against his Adam’s apple.

**********
**********

“Lisaaaa nooo”

Lisa’s hand froze as she heard the voice of her best friend. She gripped the knife harder and pressed it against Teju’s throat, causing him to gag and shake in terror. He tried to raise his arms probably to use his masculine strength to get rid of her but her glare stopped him in his tracks. She pressed the knife until blood oozed out from beneath the sharp point of the knife. “Try it and you would be dead, faster than you can ever imagine” she hissed tightly. The police arrived and pointed their guns, asking her to drop the knife.

“Please Lisa, don’t do it.” Tola pleaded as she finally came to view. Her hair was in disarray like she had been running a hundred meter race. “He is not worth it my friend, please don’t have his blood on your hands” she pleaded.

Lisa cried as my hand shook terribly. “Please don’t distract me Tola” I cried out.

“You know you can’t kill a fly, Lis, please let him go. God would fight for you. Think of your parents, they would be shattered if you do this. Please Lisa” she walked towards them slowly, until she was standing just beside Lisa. “Please my friend” she said softly, slowly taking her hand to the hand that held the knife. Slowly and carefully, she collected the knife and the entire crowd seemed to exhale at the same time. The police surrounded Lisa and Clara ran into the arms of her father crying. He petted her head softly, before releasing her to speak with the police. Lisa was already in handcuffs when Clara’s father got there. Teju was busy looking for a speedy way of escape when he heard. “Don’t arrest her, arrest him”

Teju almost expired on his feet as his life plunged into darkness. The police released Lisa and placed the handcuffs on Teju. Clara removed the ring on her finger and threw it at his feet. “Perish in hell, you bastard” she yelled.

Tola swallowed and held Lisa in her arms as the police led Teju away. She faced Clara’s father. “Thank you sir”

He nodded. “You don’t have to thank me. I know your friend was not in her proper frame of mind. Frankly, I have her to thank for saving my daughter from such a viper. Their marriage would be annulled instantly.” He stared at Lisa with compassion. “I can’t imagine what she must have felt like, being left at the altar. Please take her home. I would have one of my drivers take you”

Tola smiled gratefully. “Thanks sir for your understanding, I also hope your daughter can get through this” she glanced at Clara, who was now being held in the arms of a woman. “This is sure to affect her negatively too” she said.

He swallowed and nodded. Tola decided that it was time to leave, and after offering her apologies to Clara, she led Lisa out of the hall, and into the car that was provided by Clara’s dad. Without another word, the two girls headed home, and although she was still hurt, Lisa thanked God that she did not complicate things by killing Teju.

THE END

*Maimed Soul continues on Tuesday. Love!*

Thoughts are Real!
Follow on Twitter: @nissi_adeola @inspysworld

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