PAY BACK a story by Ahworegba Ewoma Patience (ewomazeal)
Alicia’s nervousness increased as she listened to the words of the priest standing before her. She clutched the well trimmed and beautiful flowers in her hands. Her palms were sweaty. This was to be a very joyous day for her, but she was not happy. Not that she wasn’t, she just felt awkward. She was troubled.
She raised her eyes and peeked. She peered into the face of her husband to be. He had no idea she was staring at him. His look scared her. Amos wasn’t smiling neither did he look happy. He kept his eyes firmly on the priest with a straight face. This wasn’t his usual look. What was happening? On a day like this? If she’d known, she’d have followed her instincts and have not shown up. But how could she not? It was her wedding for Chrissakes! She dare not miss it! The day she’d dreamt for all her life. To finally be in white to be given to the man she loved the most – Amos. Still, she had an odd feeling. Amos too loved her, they’d been together for a year. They were not forced into getting married. They had agreed on it and made preparations. Why was she feeling uneasy? She was suspicious at something but did not know what. Her hands were beginning to tremble. The flowers were still there.
“Honey?” She heard Amos call, dragging her out of her thoughts.
“Huh?” She stared back at him through the veil that covered her beautiful face. She wore a confused look.
Amos bent slightly over her. “He’s talking to you.” he pointed at the priest.
She shifted her gaze from Amos to the priest.
“You have to take your vows,” he whispered.
Why on earth was he whispering? Hee confusion grew. “He hasn’t taken his,” she whispered in a husky voice.
“Its the way he wants it,” the priest replied.
Alicia’s anxiety grew. Were things beginning to go wrong?
“Its my surprise.” Amos winked.
It melted her hear for a while. He’s full of surprises. She smiled at both the priest and Amos nervously. She took a deep breath. “Alright.”
The priest continued.
Alicia’s gaze was on Amos. He still had that look on. She was unable to get all that was happening right before her. She refused to think that he was playing her. Oh, how she wished she could read minds. She desired to know what was going on in Amos’s head in order to save herself from the disaster looming.
Unfortunately, she could not.
“……….till death do you part?”
She quickly composed herself.
“Yes, I do.”
After that answer, she felt joy all of a sudden. She smiled to herself. Maybe things were not so bad after all. It was normal to feel that way. Its just the pressure she thought, cmforting herself.
The priest went on and on. She was not listening. She anxiously waited for Amos to take his vow. She kept staring at him, her heart beat getting slower as each second flew by. He did not say anything.
Alicia was worried. Her heartbeat increased rapidly. She gripped the flowers tightly, placing them close to her heart. For a fleeting moment she offered a brief prayer to God.
Then, the answer she dreaded finally came.
“No,” Amos said into the microphone. “I cannot take Alicia as my wife.”
For a moment, her heart skipped a beat. It was as if the blood flowing in her veins had dried. A terrible trembling came upon her,
filling her bones with dread. Alicia was so shocked that all hairs on her body stood still. Her mouth dropped.
Amos turned to face her. He looked sorry. “i’m sorry, Alicia. I tried to convince myself, but I couldn’t.”
That was all he uttred; he walked away, leaving her standing before the priest.
There was commotion among the audience.
Alicia was thoughtless. She stood there pondering over what had just happened. She did not even know when the tears fell.
Alicia winced as the memory of her supposed wedding day crossed her mind. She closed her eyes and tried to shake off those thoughts. For the umpteenth time, she felt embarrassed again. It’d not been easy dealing with all those feelings. Right now, she felt she was ready to face Amos and question him for making a fool out of her.
She turned the door knob, it creaked open. She would have knocked but decided against that. It was to be her home – if not that he chose to do what he did. Inhaling deeply, Alicia pushed the door and stepped in, she’d been there a thousand times.
Amos turned to the door as he heard it make a sound. He was not surprised when he saw the beautiful figure of Alicia walk in. He’d been expecting her since that day’s event. He knew she’d definitely pay him a visit. Only that she’d taken longer than he expected.
“Alicia,” he breathed out. “Welcome.”
She stood at the door way, watching him icily. She tried to sound cold, to be d–n rude to him. He deserved a lot more than that.
“You don’t need to treat me like you do care.”
“I do-” he tried defending himself.
She cut him off. “Don’t try your schemes on me. It won’t work.”
“Why are you here?”
“What happened on the day we were to get married?” She demanded softly.
He hung his head in shame for a while, then lifted it. “I didn’t know how else to do it.”
His eyes locked onto hers.
“That was the best place and time you chose to end things wth me?” She placed her hand on her head. “What I don’t really get is what I did that you decided to insult me in public. What did I do to deserve that?” Tears were begining to cloud her eyes.
He looked away. He did not like seeing her that way. It pained his heart. He was startng to feel guilty. “I’m really sorry,” he apologised sincerely. “Things can’t go back to the way it once was.”
Something snapped inside her. “I did not come here to beg you to take me back! I still have my dignity. I came to know why and when you turned into a callous animal and dumped me in the most despicable manner ever?”
“I fell out of love for you,” he said flatly.
Alicia shook her head. “Is that all? Does that give you any right to treat me the way you did?”
“I had to do that. I tried to push through wth the wedding and believe I’ll come to love you again. I tried my best, despite all that, it was imposible.”
Alicia scoffed. ‘Your best wasn’t enough.”
She turned her back on him and walked out of the apartment, slamming the door behind her. She let the tears wash her eyes as she found her way back home.
Amos shrugged as Alicia left him. He did what was right, he thought. He’d done what he could. Guilt was not gonna eat him up.
Davina was the most beautiful girl he’d ever set his eyes on. She was an epitome of beauty. A sight to behold. She’d been so sweet ever since he met her and he had no reason to doubt the love she had him. Their relationship blossomed. He could say they were the happiest couple on earth. This was the woman he’d been waiting for. The answer to his prayers from up above. Davina was the reason he believed in love. In her, all his dreams came true. He had a reason to live. In her, he had found a companion, a best friend to spend enternity with. Despite all her flaws, he still saw perfection in her. She was perfect just for him. She was his best so far.
Amos smiled broadly as he glanced at his lovely queen standing beside him. She was elegantly dressed and looked fabulous in white. He could not wait to hold her and have her to himself, what she denied him of during the period of their courtship. There’s no way she could anymore.
Davina caught Amos’s eyes on her and smiled back at him. She had her own plans.
He sent her a genuine smile.
She bent her head and chuckled wickedly.
Amos quickly took his vows. It all reminded him that he’d been there two years back with Alicia. A wave of guilt swept over him. He brushed that feeling aside.
It was Davina’s turn.
She stared at the priest and smiled.
“No,” she said clearly for everyone to hear. “I cannot take Amos as my husband.”
Amos’s throat dried. He swallowed hard.
He gazed at her, shock written all over his face. “What?” he whispered.
She laughed loudly for a long time. “The same thing you did to my sister.” She paused, staring at him for some seconds. She smirked. “You had no idea she was my sister, did you?”
Amos tried to hide himself from shame. “Lets talk outside.”
She disagreed. “I’m more comfortable here.” she searched the astonished guests, “It feels like I’m in a movie. All eyes on me.” She grinned.
He was hurt, pained and unstable. “Davina, please.”
“Don’t act as if you don’t remember my sister.” She was adamant.
“Alicia was….is your sister?”
“Of course. And your break up with her made her miserable. I had to do something.”
“And you decided this?”
“Its called: Pay back.” She gazed murderously into his eyes. “I hope you die miserably. You’ll never be at peace and she’d continue to haunt you as long as you shall live. I’d have killed you, but on a second thought I decided against that. I’ve got better things to do´”
Davina, turned walking away from him.
Amos didn’t get all she had said. He was just intereted in getting married to her. He loved her that much.
“Davina. I love you. Do not do this to me.”
She turned immediately, glaring at him.
“You’d have loved her this much. I did this for her.”
She left Amos and moved out of the building. She had done something to him. She knew he would not survive the next two weeks. She smiled, congratulating herself. She now felt a sense of peace. She felt hope. She knew her mision was complete. She knew she’d done the right thing. She felt a sense of accomplishment having revenged Alicia’s untimely death.
As she walked on, she slowly disappeared into thin air….