Three Generations

Three generations episode 77 – finale

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Th£ wedd!ng dates were accepted. Josh wanted h¡s family to quickly visit Nwadiuto’s people immediately after h¡s moth£r gave h£r cons£nt. Th£y went for th£ !ntroduction. Uncle Obi, uncle Onyedika, Nwakaego, Paul and Nwanneka were pres£nt alongside oth£r extended family members. Anozie’s sisters were not excited ab©vt Nwadiuto go!ng to Edo state but s!nce th£ men had agreed, th£y didn’t have a choice.

Chidi was !nformed ab©vt everyth!ng happen!ng. h£ chose not to be at th£ !ntroduction. It was Nwakaego’s right to give h£r granddaughter ©vt !n marriage. h£ had ceded h¡s rights to h£r and told h£r so.

Nwadiuto refused to work but rath£r began an onl!ne course. $h£ planned to still travel to !ndia after h£r wedd!ng and rema!n th£re for six months. That was why $h£ started th£ course onl!ne. Josh was f!ne with th£ plan as long as $h£ returned to Nigeria immediately after th£ course. Six months was a long time for a newly married couple but Josh knew Nwadiuto would never be happy unless $h£ fulfilled h£r dreams.

Josh approach£d Malik to be h¡s best man as all th£ir friends were married. Malik decl!ned. Wh£n asked th£ reason, Malik told h¡m it was because h£ didn’t want to be anywh£re near Nwadiuto. It sounded strange to h¡m.

“O boy, you still get feel!ngs?”

“That babe is th£ devil. I hope you know who you are marry!ng”

“Why would you say that? I know who I am marry!ng”

‘You don’t know. Leave me ©vt of your marriage plans. That girl is a terrible human be!ng. Do me a favour; don’t tell h£r anyth!ng. I’m j√$t be!ng honest with you”

“No problem”

Josh was worried as h£ saw Malik looked disturb£d. h£ resolved to ask Nwadiuto if th£y had a [email protected]||!ng ©vt h£ didn’t know ab©vt. Malik’s reaction and comments !n th£ pres£nce of oth£r friends cast doubt on Nwadiuto. h£ could see th£ questions !n th£ir eyes. “Is h£ j√$t jealous?” Josh wondered. “Or was th£re m©r£?” th£re were questions with©vt any answers. h£ asked h¡s broth£r to be h¡s best man !nstead.

Nwadiuto relocated to Lagos j√$t before th£ wedd!ng. Th£ir wedd!ng attires were ready for both th£ traditional and white wedd!ng. Chioma had bought and s£nt h£r wedd!ng gown for h£r with th£ accessories. Josh !nsisted on pay!ng for it.

Nwanneka and Nwakaego agreed to a small traditional wedd!ng to be done !n th£ compound. It ended up be!ng bigger than th£y anticipated. Th£ news of Nwadiuto gett!ng married had circulated th£ villages. All th£ students Nwadiuto h£lped to ensure th£y had a future came togeth£r to plan th£ir activities on h£r wedd!ng day !n th£ village. All those that benefited from Nwanneka and Nwakaego brought gifts to th£m to support th£ wedd!ng.

“It will end up be!ng a carnival at th¡s rate,” uncle Onyedika told th£m as h£ shook h¡s h£ad.

Th£ villagers had to be taken ¢ar£ of. Nwakaego 0rg*nized th£ women meet!ng to h£lp lighten th£ir load. $h£ selected some of th£ women who shared food items to each group and paid th£m to cook for th£mselves and fellow villagers. Th£re was enough to eat. Dr!nks were also shared !n excess. That way, th£ caterer would attend to only !nvited guests.

As th£ entourage from Ben!n entered th£ir community, all th£ students that benefitted from Nwadiuto received th£m from afar. Th£y escorted th£m to th£ village chant!ng Nwadiuto’s name, s!ng!ng songs of praise for h£r. It was unbelievable to Josh’s family. Th£y couldn’t believe th£ crowd that came ©vt of th£ir homes to welcome th£m. All because of Nwadiuto, Nwanneka and Nwakaego. Th£ village had never received th£ turn©vt that welcomed Nwadiuto’s !n-laws.

Uncle Obi and uncle Onyedika welcomed Josh and h¡s family !nto th£ family compound. Th£ men went |ns!de to sort ©vt th£ list. Whatever Josh dropped for th£ rites, th£y accepted with©vt argument. Th£ family pres£nted a bride price which th£y accepted. Uncle Obi opened th£ envelope looked !nto it.

“Th¡s man h£re is Chidi, a repres£ntative of Nwadiuto’s grandmoth£r’s family. Should we accept th¡s dowry?” h£ asked.

“I do not know your family to be one that sells th£ir daughters. We do not !n our own family. Th£refore, I suggest we return th£ money to th£m as our daughter, Nwadiuto, is not for sale” Chidi replied.

“We also don’t sell our daughters !n our family. Our families share th£ same ideologies. Please take [email protected]¢k your dowry. Nwadiuto is free to return to our home if $h£ f!nds liv!ng with you unbearable” uncle Obi concluded.

“We are certa!n it will never happen. Josh and Nwadiuto love each oth£r” Phil¡p, Josh’s fath£r answered confidently.

Th£ proper ceremony began.

Nwakaego had asked Nwadiuto to choose th£ colours of h£r fabrics and leave th£ rest to h£r. Th£ ©vtcome of th£ decision stared h£r !n th£ face. h£r first ©vt!ng had h£r look!ng like a goddess. $h£ couldn’t believe h£r grandmoth£r made a two piece ©vtfit with George for h£r to show off h£r figure.

On h£r second ©vt!ng, $h£ wore an Igbo blouse and double wr*₱per george to f!nd Josh. $h£ found h¡m very easily. h£ wh¡spered to h£r “You look!ng amaz!ng. I can’t believe you are all m!ne” which made Nwadiuto smile $h£epishly.

Uncle Obi blessed th£ couple. h£ called on oth£r members of th£ir family to bless th£m which !ncluded h£r fath£r, Chidi. Th£n Josh’s family blessed th£m. Josh watch£d as th£ family had quietly !nserted Chidi !nto th£ programme with©vt expos!ng anyth!ng.
Th£ last ©vtfit for Nwadiuto was th£ B!ni attire. $h£ dressed !n a fvll B!ni regalia for a married woman. Josh couldn’t believe h£r last ©vtfit as th£y never discussed it. h¡s moth£r was very happy wh£n $h£ saw h£r. $h£ hugged Nwadiuto and thanked h£r for honour!ng th£ir culture. $h£ prayed for h£r that h£r pres£nce !n th£ir family will br!ng only good fortune.

Th£ entire ceremony didn’t last m©r£ than two and a half hours !n total. Th£ guests were well served and everyone was happy.

Josh asked Nwadiuto to stay [email protected]¢k with h£r family until after th£ white wedd!ng. Nwadiuto wondered if th£re was someth!ng wrong that h£ didn’t want h£r to be with h¡m. h£ told h£r th£y had agreed and $h£ couldn’t [email protected]¢k d©wΠ now.

Th£ next day, Nwadiuto flew [email protected]¢k to Lagos because $h£ was upset. $h£ wanted to spend time on h£r own. $h£ wanted to be with Josh and discuss th£ entire event but $h£ couldn’t as Josh wasn’t pick!ng h£r calls and didn’t both£r to call [email protected]¢k.

Two days after h£r traditional wedd!ng, $h£ got a call from a strange number. Wh£n $h£ picked up, th£re was someone Nwadiuto didn’t know on th£ l!ne. Th£ person said, “We have !nformation that you are blackmail!ng a man who you had s£×ual encounters with at th£ Hilton. We have you on record enter!ng th£ h°tel and h¡s room and also of you exit!ng. We also have your accomplice on video. Blackmail is a serious offence !n Nigeria.”

“If you have such a video, why are you contact!ng me?”

“You have someth!ng you want”

“What do you want?”

“Th£ blackmail video you made of my client”

“Who is that?”

“We want th£ video destroyed”

“I don’t know what you are talk!ng ab©vt. What video? I have no video of anyone”

“You are gett!ng married next weekend. We will be th£re to disrupt your wedd!ng”

“Feel free. I have no idea what you are talk!ng ab©vt”

“Why are you deny!ng it? You set up my client and did a shameful video of h¡m. Why are you deny!ng it?”

“Who is th¡s person you are talk!ng ab©vt? Doesn’t th£ person have a name? You are th£ one blackmail!ng me. I will report th¡s case to th£ police as blackmail, !ntimidation and extortion”

Th£ person dropped th£ phone. Nwadiuto couldn’t believe how cool $h£ sounded while talk!ng to th£ guy. $h£ also couldn’t believe Malik would have th£ nerve to s£nd someone to h£r. $h£ anticipated call!ng h¡m but changed h£r m!nd ab©vt it. $h£ decided to call th£ir bluff.

Malik wanted to hurt Nwadiuto and embarra$$!ng h£r was h¡s sure way of do!ng it. h£ had already establi$h£d Nwadiuto had not told Josh ab©vt th£ !ncident. h£ wanted th£ wedd!ng called off by every means possible to teach Nwadiuto a big lesson.

h£ had gotten th£ CCTV footage of th£ day Nwadiuto came to th£ h°tel and everywh£re $h£ entered until $h£ left. h£ saved th£ video and s£nt it to all th£ir friends through an unknown number th£ weekend before th£ wedd!ng. It circulated and eventually got to Josh.

Josh watch£d th£ video very well. It looked like $h£ came to meet a man. Who was th£ man !n th£ video? Was th¡s what Nwadiuto was do!ng !n Abuja? Meet!ng men !n h°tel rooms? h£ was very disappo!nted and hurt especially s!nce all h¡s friends had seen th£ video.

Some of h¡s friends called h¡m up and asked h¡m what next. h£ told th£m h£ was go!ng ah£ad with th£ wedd!ng as h£ trusts Nwadiuto. h£ told th£m Nwadiuto had expla!ned everyth!ng to h¡m and h£ believed h£r. h£ spoke with so much confidence that th£y believed h¡m.

Naomi didn’t. $h£ could see it was weigh!ng h¡m d©wΠ. $h£ s£nt th£ video to Nwadiuto and told h£r, “Josh is h£artbroken. Try and talk to h¡m and expla!n th¡s. All h¡s friends received th¡s video and are talk!ng ab©vt it”

Nwadiuto watch£d th£ video and h£r h£art sank. Why would th£y s£nd th¡s video to Josh? $h£ knew th£ culprit and decided $h£ will not be blackmailed. $h£ waited for Josh’s confrontation but it didn’t happen. $h£ waited for four days and h£ didn’t say a word to h£r ab©vt it. Why didn’t h£ confront h£r?

Meanwhile, Nwadiuto went to see Paul with th£ problem. $h£ chose h¡m because $h£ discovered h£ was trustworthy and loyal. $h£ told h¡m what transpired b£tweeΠ h£r and Malik and how $h£ recorded h¡m !n a way that made it look like h£ was hav!ng illicit relations with h¡s fellow man.

“Why did you do that?” Paul asked.

“h£ wants to have s£×ual relations with me even wh£n Josh and I had told h¡m we were engaged. I wanted to teach h¡m a lesson. I am tell!ng you because I want to deal with h¡m. I want to release th£ video so h¡s reputation will be destroyed forever. Deny!ng th£ video will make h¡m look stupid. How do I go ab©vt it with©vt break!ng th£ law?”

“What does your husband say?”

“h£ hasn’t confronted me yet. h£ is also avoid!ng me. Th£ wedd!ng is already h£re and I can’t go ah£ad with©vt deal!ng with th£ guy”

“Is h£ worth it? Is h£ worth th£ destruction of your beautiful relationship/marriage? I will [email protected] Malik but do not release th£ video. !nstead of mak!ng th£ video, why didn’t you !nform your husband ab©vt h¡s hara$$ment, brought your husband to catch h¡m [email protected]? Th¡s method has cast doubt on your reputation. Your husband’s friends will wonder what type of woman are you? You didn’t th!nk it through very well.”

“h£ deserved to be taught a lesson”

“Now I understand what your moth£r and grandmoth£r were say!ng ab©vt you marry!ng early. Th£ man you are marry!ng is not your schoolmate. h£ values h¡s reputation and that of h¡s family. If th£re is even an iota of doubt @r0vnd you, it affects h¡m. Did you tell your man wh£n th¡s happened? Why did you hide it from h¡m if th£re wasn’t m©r£ to it than th¡s”?

“I didn’t want Josh feel!ng I couldn’t [email protected] situations while far away from h¡m. If I had mentioned Malik’s visit, h£ would m©v£ to Abuja to be with me and protect me. I didn’t want that. I wanted h¡m to cont!nue to grow !n h¡s ¢ar£er. You wouldn’t understand uncle. I don’t want anyth!ng to both£r Josh at all concern!ng me”

“But, h£ would have tackled Malik better with©vt all th£ stress !nvolved. How do we resolve th¡s issue with th£ wedd!ng only a few days away?”

“You can call h¡m and myself and show us th£ video as though you j√$t saw it and confronted me concern!ng it. I will expla!n”

“Will h£ believe it? I doubt if h£ will. h£ will know it is a plot. I am a man and I will [email protected] it th£ best way I believe. I don’t want you defend!ng your actions !n h¡s pres£nce. Apologize and ask for forgiveness; that’s what you will do”

“I have h£ard you, sir”

Nwadiuto was happy with th£ ©vtcome of th£ meet!ng. Paul called Josh to attend a mediation meet!ng. Josh didn’t understand what th£ meet!ng was for but still attended that even!ng. Th£y agreed to meet at a place away from home.

Paul asked Josh if h£ had seen th£ videos mak!ng th£ rounds. Josh replied, “I am not th£ person at th£ receiv!ng end. Nwadiuto is. I had tried to stop th£ d©wΠloads; a few might have escaped. You saw th£ video?”

“Yes, I did. Th£re was noth!ng special th£re unless you know th£ lady !n question. Nwadiuto would like to expla!n to you what th£ video is all ab©vt.”

“$h£ didn’t need to !nvolve you, $h£ would have come to me h£rself”

“Th£re is a reason why $h£ !nvolved me. You were silent on th£ matter and $h£ was told you were hurt!ng. Would you want to listen to h£r alone or you want me to excuse you?”

“$h£ has already !nvolved you, you can stay. What’s th£ story Nwadiuto?”

“Malik came to th£ house to see me a few days after you brought h¡m to th£ house. h£ can late !n th£ even!ng. I refused to let h¡m !nto th£ house. h£ said terrible th!ngs ab©vt you and told me we had unf!ni$h£d bus!ness. I decided to teach h¡m a bitter lesson h£ will never forget. I got a room at Hilton to spend th£ night; it was two rooms that had an adjo!n!ng door. I left th£ door open as part of my plan. I recorded h¡m !n action. h£ is do!ng th¡s to force me to delete th£ video I have of h¡m. I wanted to release th£ video I have of h¡m but Paul asked me not to but to talk to you first”

“What video? I don’t understand anyth!ng you said. What does th£ video s£nt to us have to do with Malik?”

“Watch th¡s” Nwadiuto showed Josh and Paul th£ video.

Josh couldn’t believe h¡s eyes as h£ watch£d th£ video. Paul h¡mself couldn’t watch it at a stage. Josh watch£d th£ video until th£ end. h£ h£ard Malik begg!ng and h£ard Nwadiuto’s voice. h£ j√$t couldn’t believe Nwadiuto made such a video of Malik. If it ever got ©vt, Malik would be ru!ned especially h¡s bus!ness. It would be men that will come after h¡m. It was terrible.

“Nwadiuto, you are not a baby anym©r£. You shouldn’t have gone th¡s far to ru!n h¡s reputation. Now I understand why h£ called you a monster and refused to be my best man. I never thought someth!ng like th¡s transpired b£tweeΠ th£ two of you. Wh£n did th¡s happen?” Nwadiuto showed h¡m th£ date. “It has been a while. You should have told me. Why did you hide it from me? Why?”

“Because you wouldn’t have approved and I didn’t want you [email protected]||!ng ©vt with h¡m because of me. I [email protected] h¡m th£ best way I knew how and taught h¡m a lesson not to talk shit ab©vt you aga!n”

“Malik would have gone all ©vt to destroy you j√$t so th¡s tape would not be released. I know you told h¡m you had s£nt it to people but it wouldn’t have deterred h¡m. You took a big risk, my dear. We had both agreed, we wouldn’t hide anyth!ng from each oth£r. I was hurt wh£n I saw th£ video and I somehow suspected it was Malik’s do!ng. I asked h¡m and h£ denied it completely. I managed it by say!ng I knew ab©vt your trip to th£ h°tel. Some of my friends might not believe me but th£y can’t say oth£rwise. As long as you didn’t go th£re to be with anoth£r man !nappropriately, I am happy but th¡s is too much and also very dangerous. You take very amaz!ng risks. Ok. s£nd me th£ video, I will show it to Malik and warn h¡m off you for good. If I sort that ©vt would you please delete it for good”

“I will. Thank you and I am very sorry. I thought h£ will j√$t leave us alone”

“h£ would have if you had !nformed me came to th£ house. Now I know why you changed accommodation. I thought tak!ng unnecessary risk was a phase it looks like it is part of you. Or did you want to see what h£ looked like?”

“I had already seen it; what was th£ big deal? Th£re is noth!ng special th£re, you are a far better lover. I j√$t wanted h¡m never to say nasty th!ngs ab©vt you. What type of girl did h£ take me for? Why would h£ believe I would agree to sleep with h¡m wh£n I had agreed to marry you? What does h£ take me for? That was my anger”

Paul at h¡s stage talked to th£m and asked to be excused while th£y made up. h£ told Josh to know how to [email protected] th£ situation before it gets ©vt of [email protected]

“I will not do anyth!ng before th£ wedd!ng. I don’t ¢ar£ what anyone th!nks. It is after th£ wedd!ng and honeymoon I will deal with h¡m. I want h¡m to see h¡s threats have no impact on me. I will meet with th£m as though noth!ng happened. I know how to treat h¡s fv¢kup”

After Paul left, th£y sat togeth£r and talked. It had been a long time th£y did that. Nwadiuto had lost some m©r£ weight and looked much taller than h£ could remember. Th£re was some tension b£tweeΠ th£m. Nwadiuto asked to leave while Josh smiled at h£r struggl!ng with resist!ng h£r emotions.

“Come h£re. Do you th!nk I will allow you to leave like that? I warned you not to allow us to meet. Let’s go [email protected]¢k to th£ house”

“I want to go [email protected]¢k with you but it’s j√$t three days away and I know you have plans for me”

“You didn’t tell me you liked BDSM. I could have a few tricks up my sleeves”

“As long as you are th£ one !n [email protected] I like to be !n ¢©Πtr0|”

“I am shocked. How can your husband be !n [email protected] while you are !n charge? Don’t you know I am th£ h£ad of th£ home and !n charge?”

“Save that for your moth£r and th£ church. I will dom!nate you.”

“Don’t worry, [email protected] wouldn’t be !nvolved. Bl!ndfolds would be. Some pa!n too. Are you ready for a honeymoon of adventures?”

“I am always ready as long as it is with you”

“I love you. Please stop tak!ng risks. I would have forgiven you if you had s£× with Malik. That’s how much I love you. Not tell!ng me is wh£re th£ problem is. You need to tell me everyth!ng. We should have no secrets b£tweeΠ us. Please, let us practice th¡s. No secrets and th¡s will make us stick togeth£r forever. I promise you”

“Ok. I believe you.”

Nwanneka and Paul’s house was a beehive of activities as Nwadiuto was gett!ng dressed to get married. Th£ir parents had refused th£ court wedd!ng alone and !nsisted on a church wedd!ng that !nvolved a catholic church wedd!ng. Th£ reception was at a waterfront. Th£y wanted only a hundred people pres£nt at th£ event and also th£ reception wouldn’t last for m©r£ than two hours.

Well, it didn’t work that way. Josh’s crowd was m©r£ than th£ hundred th£y wanted. h¡s friends and colleagues. Nwadiuto got only close friends and relatives !nvolved. Th£y set up for two hundred people and Nwakaego !nsisted on us!ng a transparent marquee wh£re th£y could see th£ water. $h£ would have preferred a hall but th£n th£y got what th£y wanted.

Nwadiuto got ready. h£r reception dress was packed. $h£ wore h£r beautiful off white b©dysuit styled illusion gown flocked with delicate floral designs. Th£ delicate flowers covered part of h£r sleeves, h£r bosom and most of th£ dress. Th£ veil was attach£d to h£r hair. $h£ looked extremely beautiful and elegant. h£r moth£r and grandmoth£r cried wh£n $h£ stepped ©vt. h£r aunties were consol!ng th£m as th£y saw th£ir daughter stand so tall like an amazon.

“Th¡s Nwadiuto was th£ reason we were bonded as a family. Look at h£r now go!ng away from th£ family. $h£ has made all of us proud. See how beautiful $h£ is. Nwadiuto, bold, confident, fearless, !ntelligent, smart, and dar!ng. Josh is a very lucky man. h¡s family will be blessed with Nwadiuto th£re.” Auntie Uloma praised h£r.

“Yes, it was th£ discovery of Nwadiuto as Nwanneka’s daughter that eventually created th¡s bond that can never be broken. See th£ child we made Nwakaego suffer because of mak!ng h£r proud. $h£ graduated top of h£r cla$$. $h£ is still h£lp!ng h£r students !n th£ village to do well academically. A child that is not older than twenty-five has taken up responsibilities that men and women shy away from. I pray $h£ will be m©r£ successful than h£r moth£r and grandmoth£r. Your husband will not die young. You will bear many children, both male and female. Your husband will love you and put you above oth£rs. Your children will honour you. People will s!ng your praise. Wh£n you were born, your moth£r and grandmoth£r were ashamed. Today, th£y stand tall and proud of what you have achieved. You have become th£ child people use for reference. “Look at Nwakaego’s granddaughter Nwadiuto who was born at home. h£r moth£r supported h£r daughter who went [email protected]¢k to school and became an eng!neer. See th£ child Nwadiuto, $h£ has brought so much joy to th£ family.” Th£ pregnancy is not th£ s!n; it is j√$t evidence of th£ s!n. Nwadiuto is an example of someth!ng good com!ng ©vt of s!n. We are proud of h£r” auntie Ch!nyere added.

Uncle Onyedika cleared h¡s throat and said, “I remember wh£n I was called and !nformed Nwadiuto was born. I was h£artbroken. I felt Nwanneka’s life had ended with th¡s mistake. Mama Nwanneka is a strong woman. $h£ told me not to worry and a$$ured me $h£ would take ¢ar£ of everyth!ng, I should j√$t keep th£ secret. I agreed. $h£ took Nwadiuto and Nwanneka with h£r to Port-Harcourt. s£nt Nwanneka to school to furth£r while tak!ng ¢ar£ of Nwadiuto. Wh£n th£ secret was exposed, $h£ didn’t fret. It was as though $h£ had seen th£ future. Nwanneka f!ni$h£d school and got married to a man who loved h£r. Wh£n th£ man died, $h£ has gotten married to anoth£r man who loves h£r even m©r£. Now Nwadiuto has brought honour to th£ family. $h£ is marry!ng a man who loves h£r too. h£ told me m©r£ than ten times wh£n h£ asked for Nwadiuto’s [email protected] !n marriage that h£ loves h£r. We don’t need anyone to tell us h£ loves h£r; h£ had proved it a long time ago. I didn’t want Nwadiuto to marry ©vtside Igboland but I wanted h£r to marry Josh. $h£ deserves to be with Josh as th£y both love each oth£r. Th£ bond th£y share I didn’t see with h£r grandmoth£r and my broth£r or Nwanneka and Chike or Paul. Th£ir bond is special and very strong. Josh isn’t go!ng anywh£re. h£ loves Nwadiuto. So, I implore you, ladies, not to get !nvolved !n th£ir marriage unless !nvited. Don’t !nterfere or make suggestions. Leave th£m alone. Th£y can [email protected] th£ir challenges and differences. I trust th£m. Do we agree? Mama Nwanneka and Nwanneka?”

Everyone agreed with h¡m. Th£y sang Nwadiuto’s praise as th£y left for th£ church service. Nwadiuto made a stop on th£ way to th£ church. $h£ entered th£ h°tel and asked everyone to wait for h£r d©wΠstairs. $h£ went up th£ elevator with h£r chief bride’s maid. Th£y knocked at th£ door and it was opened to h£r.

“Nwadiuto. O my God, you look so beautiful”

“Do I fath£r?”

“Yes, you do” Chidi replied with tears !n h¡s eyes. h¡s wife came and hugged Nwadiuto.

“I wanted you to see me before we get to th£ church and also give me your bless!ngs”

“My child, th£ first fruit of my lo!ns, my bless!ngs will always be with you. We love you dearly. And we pray th£ rest of your life will always be happy. Your marriage will be blessed with love, children, and plenty. You are already blessed Nwadiuto. I love you, child”

“I love you too,”

“Hurry, we don’t want to be late. Let’s go d©wΠstairs”

Th£y arrived at th£ church thirty m!nutes before th£ service was to beg!n. Josh was th£re with h¡s family. Nwadiuto was pres£nt with h£rs. $h£ walked !nto th£ church escorted by uncle Onyedika. $h£ wanted h¡m to do th£ honours because h£ was an !ntegral part of h£r grow!ng up.

$h£ walked up to Josh who was all smiles wh£n h£ saw h£r. h£ couldn’t stop smil!ng. $h£ looked amaz!ng and h£ couldn’t stop h¡mself from hugg!ng h£r and wh¡sper!ng to h£r, “You look so beautiful”. Everyone !n th£ church laugh£d and ch£ered wh£n h£ hugged Nwadiuto.

Wh£n asked, “Who gives th¡s lady away !n holy matrimony?” by th£ priest. Th£ entire family, Nwakaego, Nwanneka, Paul, Chid!ndu, Kasiemobi, Obi, Onyedika, Ch!nyere, Uloma, Chioma, Chidi and h¡s wife all stood up to say, “We do”

Josh’s family were amazed at th£ amount of support Nwadiuto had. h¡s moth£r couldn’t believe how loved and treasured Nwadiuto was. It was obvious $h£ wasn’t raised by h£r parents but by h£r community. It was amaz!ng to see th£ love be!ng shown to h£r. Even th£ wedd!ng expenses were shared by h£r family members. Josh’s family had to put th£ir feet d©wΠ and share !n th£ responsibility. At th£ church, it showed how united th£ family was.

At th£ reception, Nwakaego ©vtdid h£rself. $h£ !nsisted on [email protected]!ng th£ venue and $h£ made it worth it. Th£re was m©r£ than enough to eat and dr!nk. Nwadiuto changed !nto a beautiful bodice lace dress that was l!ned j√$t above th£ knee. Th£ rest of th£ dress at th£ bottom was see-through. It was ₱|@yful and fun. Josh wore a pair of light blue trousers and a white shirt which was buttoned d©wΠ and h£ folded th£ sleeves. h£ put a colourful [email protected] !n th£ pocket of th£ shirt. It was a cla$$ic look that caught everyone’s attention.

Th£ reception didn’t take much time as Josh had !nsisted. Th£y cut th£ cake, fed each oth£r, had th£ir first dance and that was it. It was short, simple and very !nterest!ng. Th£ guests were enterta!ned and th£re was enough to eat and dr!nk.

Immediately after th£ clos!ng prayers, Josh’s family brought Josh and Nwadiuto ©vtside. Th£y gave th£ couple a brand new SUV as a gift. Th£y both thanked h¡s family. Nwadiuto’s family told th£m th£y would [email protected] over th£ gifts for Nwadiuto th£ next day at Josh’s house wh£n th£y come to know h¡s place as custom demanded.

Josh wh¡sked Nwadiuto away. h£ took h£r to wh£re it all started. Th£y went to th£ beach house wh£re h£ first saw h£r. h£ liked h£r th£ moment h£ met h£r. h£ thought h£r crazy and all. h£ wanted to always remember wh£re it all started.

It was a very memorable night for both of th£m. Th£y were so excited and at th£ same time, th£y consummated th£ir marriage with©vt any distraction. Nwadiuto couldn’t stop star!ng at h£r r!ngs. $h£ couldn’t believe $h£ was now Mrs Nwadiuto Osasogie. $h£ looked at Josh who had [email protected]||en asleep beside h£r. So $h£ would [email protected] !n h¡s arms every night shamelessly? Josh was all h£rs.

$h£ knew Josh was h£rs long before th£y became a couple. $h£ mistook h£r love for h¡m for $h£er likeness. Ch!nenye didn’t attend h£r wedd!ng because $h£ believed Nwadiuto made a fool of h£r ₱ush!ng h£r to Josh while $h£ had an !nterest !n h¡m. $h£ wasn’t listen!ng to h£r h£art th£n. And Josh never made any m©v£ to show h£ had an !nterest !n h£r. Now h£r h£art belonged to h¡m and h¡m alone.

Th£y woke up late th£ next morn!ng. Th£y got ready and left for Josh’s home. Wh£n th£y got th£re, only h¡s family members were th£re. Uncle Onyedika had called Josh’s fath£r to !nform h¡m th£y would be com!ng to perform th£ rite. Th£y decided to meet !n th£ eldest family member’s resident !n Lagos. Th£y met at Josh’s uncle’s house.

Wh£n Nwadiuto’s family arrived, th£y came with two trucks. Th£y had come to see off th£ir daughter. Th£re wasn’t any household item miss!ng !n th£ trucks. Even Nwadiuto was embarra$$ed. Uncle Obi and uncle Onyedika addressed th£ family.

“Wh£re we are from, we escort our daughter to h£r new home. Everyth!ng $h£ will need to run h£r home is made available. Both of th£m will start th£ir lives with brand new household items. We have done that for our daughter Nwadiuto as it has been mandated. h£r grandfath£r, who is our broth£r, would have done th£ honours today but s!nce h¡s demise, we have supported h¡s wife and child. Th¡s is our responsibility to Anozie’s granddaughter and we have fulfilled it. Please, take very good ¢ar£ of our daughter”

“Th¡s is too much. We have such traditions too but th¡s is extravagant. While at it, you should have gifted th£m a house to complete it” Josh uncle said obviously embarra$$ed.

Uncle Onyedika replied h¡m. “You are right; th£ gift is !ncomplete. We are gift!ng Josh and Nwadiuto th£ir first house togeth£r. Th£se are th£ do¢vments to th£ property and th£re is a lawyer h£re to oversee th£ sign!ng of th£ do¢vment”

Th£ B!ni people were speechless; th£y didn’t expect th¡s. Phil¡p, Josh’s fath£r, asked everyone to come !n. Nwadiuto couldn’t come !n because $h£ was !n tears and h£ld onto h£r husband. h£ understood how $h£ felt. $h£ knew $h£ was loved but th¡s was too much. Josh allowed h£r to gath£r h£r composure before th£y went |ns!de.

Th£y went to each member of Nwadiuto’s family to thank th£m for th£ gift. Th£n, th£y went to each member of Josh’s family to also thank th£m. Th£ rite was performed and food was served.

Nwadiuto went [email protected]¢k home with h£r family to pick up h£r luggage. Josh was to pick h£r up and th£n th£y would go [email protected]¢k to th£ beach house. Everyone was th£re !nclud!ng h£r fath£r Chidi and h¡s family. h£ gave Nwadiuto an envelope to be opened wh£n $h£ got home.

Nwadiuto was still overwh£lmed with emotions wh£n $h£ came [email protected]¢k d©wΠstairs with h£r luggage. $h£ looked at h£r loved ones who had proved th£mselves to h£r today. $h£ called h£r moth£r, grandmoth£r, uncle Onyedika, h£r fath£r Chidi and h¡s wife !nto a room. $h£ wanted to talk to th£m privately.

“I don’t know if I deserve all th£ love you have showered on me. I can’t believe how loved and appreciated I am.” h£r phone rang and $h£ answered it. It was Josh and $h£ asked h¡m to jo!n th£m !n th£ room th£y were !n. h£ jo!ned th£m and $h£ cont!nued. “I haven’t been th£ best daughter or granddaughter. I know I have been rebellious and stubborn. But somehow !n my subconscious, I h£ld on to th£ values you imbib£d !n me. Like I told my moth£r and grandmoth£r, I didn’t go look!ng for my fath£r, I met a woman dressed !n th£ white garment !n th£ market. $h£ approach£d me and said some th!ngs to me. $h£ was th£ one who told me ab©vt my fath£r and told me h¡s name. I didn’t both£r look!ng for my fath£r wh£n $h£ told me until Josh encouraged me to by shar!ng h¡s story. That wasn’t all $h£ said. $h£ told me to ask h¡m to pray for me which h£ did with©vt know!ng why. Dad, you don’t know how I felt that day. You and your family treated me so well; you had j√$t met me for th£ first time. I love you and I always will. Th£ woman mentioned someth!ng important that day. $h£ told me I shouldn’t marry an Igbo man and a young guy. If I do, h£ will die at a young age like my grandfath£r and stepfath£r. $h£ said my husband is not Igbo and h£ is not young. I questioned h£r furth£r. I didn’t believe h£r so I was sort of mak!ng a jest of h£r. $h£ said someth!ng that day, $h£ said, “h£ will stare you !n th£ face and you wouldn’t know h£ is th£ one. If you marry h¡m, both of you will live very long lives and prosper. But all th£se can only be possible if you f!nd your fath£r first. I met Josh not long after th¡s encounter and we became friends. As I said, I didn’t believe h£r until Josh suggested I f!nd my fath£r. Togeth£r we found my fath£r. Why we had to f!nd my fath£r was expla!ned by th£ chief priest. I began to take what $h£ said seriously at th¡s stage s!nce $h£ gave me my fath£r’s name. Wh£n Josh and I decided to date, I saw h£r !n a dream smil!ng at me. I found it strange. It happened like magic. Josh proposed to me and I accepted and th£n we had serious opposition to our union. If I had mentioned th¡s dream to all of you, you would have all signed off for me to marry Josh. But I refused to ₱|@y that game. I decided all of you will get to know Josh, see why I love h¡m so much and !n turn love h¡m too. Today, with all your wonderful gifts to both of us, I accompli$h£d that. Th¡s marriage was orda!ned by God almighty. Thank you for lov!ng me and my husband. You did th£ right th!ng with©vt coercion. I promise you, we promise you, you will never regret your labour of love !n our lives. May God reward you”

Nwadiuto’s moth£r and grandmoth£r were speechless. Th£y couldn’t believe Nwadiuto could keep someth!ng so s£nsitive away from th£m. Th£ir joy was that th£y didn’t need to worry ab©vt Josh’s life be!ng cut short as th£ revelation so far had come true.

Uncle Onyedika said to everyone “Let us pray.” And th£n th£y all prayed togeth£r.

On th£ir way to th£ airport to catch a flight for th£ir honeymoon, Josh s£nt a cl¡p from a video to Malik with th£ message, “Guy, you no try. You tried to sleep with my woman and wh£n $h£ blackmailed you !nto leav!ng h£r alone, you decided to tarnish h£r image. $h£ told me everyth!ng. I am delet!ng th¡s video. As I delete it, so are you deleted from my life. If you make any attempt to contact me or my wife aga!n, you will regret it. If anyth!ng happens to any of us, th£ fvll cl¡p will go viral. As long as you keep your distance from us, your covetousness is safe with me”

Malik saw it almost immediately. h£ replied, “I messed up big time bro. Please forgive me. I will keep my distance. Happy married life; $h£ is so worth it”

Nwakaego fell asleep as soon as h£r h£ad touch£d th£ pillow. $h£ saw Anozie. h£ laid on th£ b£d with h£r.

“You have done well. You have made me proud” Anozie announced to h£r.

“We should have done th¡s togeth£r. I feel so alone. My work h£re is done, wh£n can I jo!n you?”

“Your mission isn’t accompli$h£d yet. Nwadiuto will have children. Who will take ¢ar£ of th£m? $h£ will be too busy pursu!ng success to pay much attention to th£m. Chid!ndi and Kasiemobi are also th£re. Who will h£lp Nwanneka? What of Onyedika? If you leave now, h£ will [email protected]|| apart; th£ family will be dis!ntegrated. You are still needed. You haven’t fulfilled your dest!ny yet. Relax, we have eternity. I am so proud of you. Nwakaego, you never disappo!nted me. Th¡s is th£ only place we can meet for now”

“That is settled. I will wait. What’s next?”

“Take each day as it comes. You will see your fourth generation. Unfortunately, Nwadiuto is th£ only female !n th£ generations you will witness”

“Thank God. I don’t want anoth£r Nwadiuto. One Nwadiuto is enough for a lifetime”


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