Shadows Part 11
Augusta hummed as she put on her makeup. Jeffrey struggled with his shoes, hating the fact that he had to go with Augusta to a wedding he wasn’t interested in.
“Stop frowning.” She said to him, looking at him through the mirror in front of her.
“I don’t know why I have to go for this wedding and wear this shoe.”
“Jeffrey just trust me. This is going to be a good day. I’m asking you to follow me to a society wedding, do you have any idea how many rich people we can add as clients? Please cheer up and just follow me.”
It was Titi’s wedding day and Augusta was ecstatic about attending a society wedding. She also saw it as a means to acquire new customers, hence her insistence on Jeffrey’s attendance. Jeffrey was unaware that it was Leke’s wedding. Had he known, he would have looked forward to it with great expectation.
Leke adjusted his bowtie in the mirror again, trying to shake the ominous feeling that had plagued him for the past few days.
“You look good man!” his best friend and best man Gbenga, slapped him on the back with a wide grin. “Why’re you looking so gloomy?”
“Just tired.” Leke said as expressionlessly as he could.
“Are you getting cold feet?”
“Hmmn… I don’t know, maybe.”
“She’s a great girl, you don’t have anything to worry about.”
“Easy for you to say.” Leke said a little too sharply.
“No be you say you wan marry?” Gbenga said laughing.
Leke shook his head. “Thanks!” he said sarcastically.
“Don’t worry! Just relax, everything will be okay.” Gbenga smiled.
“You didn’t tell me we were coming to Leke’s wedding?” Jeffrey said excitedly as the bride and groom exchanged their wedding vows.
“Leke, who is Leke?” Augusta’s eyebrows creased in enquiry.
“The guy, my colleague, the one who gave me the money to start my business.” He whispered in Augusta’s ears.
Augusta looked at the invitation. What a coincidence. Now she had mixed feeling, she was at the wedding because of the bride, the lady with a nice smile and not for the groom who she mistrusted. She shrugged, intent on enjoying her day.
Leke exhaled and looked at Titi who looked so beautiful. She was definitely worth marrying, what had he been worried of anyway?
“Stop staring at me.”
“I can’t help it.” He said looking at her as the cameras flashed at them.
“That’s the idea.” Titi whispered and smiled.
“Colleagues of the groom with the couple!” Gbenga said again as people trooped towards Leke and Titi, congratulating them and commenting on their look.
“What do you think you’re doing?” Augusta pulled her husband back.
“They’re calling the colleagues of the groom with the couple.”
“Ehn ehn, and where are you going?”
“To join them now!”
Augusta was horrified. “Jeffrey? Have you no shame? What do you think people will say? They don’t want to see you.”
“Only a guilty man will worry about people are saying about him. I’m innocent and I will go and take a picture with Leke.”
Before Augusta could stop him he sprang forward and joined the people who had surrounded the couple. Just as Augusta had predicted, they greeted him without looking at him, faking their smiles.
Leke searched the crowd and saw Jeffrey walking towards him and smiling widely. There was no where he could hide, this was the disaster he had sensed would happen. How could he have known he was getting married? Who gave him an invite?
“Leke!” Jeffrey said smiling.
“Mr Jeffrey.” Leke forced a smile. “What are you doing here?”
Titi looked at her husband oddly and wondered why he would ask such a question.
“Your wife invited us.” Jeffrey said laughing.
Now Titi and Leke looked at each other.
“Yes, you invited my wife actually, so I am invited.” He laughed awkwardly. “Yes! So, congratulations…”
“I’m sorry, who is your wife?” Titi was confused.
“Augusta, you came to our shop. We sell men’s clothes.”
Titi remembered. “Oh! I remember her. Baby, that’s where I bought those nice brown shoes for you.”
Jeffrey laughed. “You see, your investment is paying off.”
Leke was blinking at Jeffrey but he didn’t take notice of it.
“Your wife came to buy shoes from the shop you actually…”
“It was good to see…” Leke interrupted.
“No, no, no, let him finish what he was saying. What investment are you talking about?”
“Your husband gave me the money I used to start my business.”
“Is that so?” Titi asked out of curiousity, surprise and anger.
“Just thank him for me.” Jeffrey said as Gbenga nudged him away from the couple.
“Please, let’s take the picture quickly!”
Titi tried to make her smile as authentic as she could, Leke did not smile. Jeffrey’s smile was wide, warm and believable.
Kayinsola and Rotimi sat at the reception venue, both thinking about their wedding day and wondering what had happened to them. They used to be very happy but now they could barely stand each other. And they were both tired, each trying to protect a secret from the other person. Kayinsola wondered if Rotimi would forgive her secret, he was certain that she could not forgive his.
Rotimi’s eyes wandered and he caught his Pastor staring at him. He nodded politely and turned away. Why was he looking at him? Kayinsola fiddled with her phone.
“When are we leaving?” Rotimi asked.
“Whenever you’re ready.”
“Can we leave now?”
“The reception just started!”
“You just said we could leave whenever I’m ready.”
Kayinsola bit back her response and breathed. “We can’t leave now, it would be obvious. Besides, Titi needs me.”
“For what exactly?”
Rotimi laughed. “You’re not her best lady.”
“Whatever, I’m not ready to leave. I’m going to sit with my friends.” She got up and left before he could respond.
With her friends Kayinsola laughed loudly, refusing to think about Rotimi.
Her phone buzzed, it was the nanny she had left her son with.
“Mrs Thomas. Hope everything is okay?”
“Madam, problem dey o!”
She sat up. “Which kain problem?”
“Somebody come carry Damola!” she cried.
“What? What are you saying?” she shouted.
Kayinsola’s friends stared at her alarmed, they could tell she was receiving some bad news.
“He carry gun, say if I no give am the boy he go shoot me.” she cried.
“And you gave him my son?”
“Ma?!” the nanny replied incredulously.
“Just stay where you are, I’m coming!” Kayinsola jumped to her feet and ran to her husband. “Damola’s been kidnapped!” she cried.
“What?” Rotimi jumped up. “When? How do you know?”
“Stop asking me stupid questions and let’s go!” she yelled, took off her shoes and ran to the car.
Rotimi ran after her.