Dial Episode 64 is rolling…
I had never experienced any emotional pain more horrible than I experienced that Saturday afternoon. My heart almost literally leapt into my mouth. The horror crashed into my head, and the pain thudded away relentlessly inside my whole body.
I sagged and would have fallen if I hadn’t reached out to support myself on the arm of one of the deep settees.
“Adobea is getting married?” I whispered, dazed and horrified.
“What?” Maame Ntiriwaa screamed, her face absolutely shattered. “No, that cannot be true! And she didn’t bother to inform me?”
“Oh, no,” my mother, the beautiful Afua Beatrice, said. “She must be hurt. She must be doing it because she’s so hurt!”
“Why didn’t you come earlier?” I groaned, my horrified eyes digging into the Holy Man with anger. “You knew I was looking for her! You knew I came for her! I couldn’t get any message to her because you insisted I couldn’t leave your mountain house! And you now come and give me this?”
“I didn’t know you were looking for her, son,” he said, unfazed, and continued to eat. “As soon as you became a Christian, I no longer had any control over your affairs. You didn’t bother to come and ask me, son. I came here, and gave you that, so you can’t blame me!”
“Oh, Lord!” I breathed hollowly as the weight of my helplessness hit me. “I’ve lost her! The ceremony was supposed to begin at one o’clock! It’s now past two o’clock! Oh, Lord!”
The Holy Man shrugged, and then he pointed at Jerry giving Tom a hiding on the television, and began to laugh uproariously.
I swung away from him because I wanted to hit out at him; I was that angry, and that bitter, and that hurt.
“No, I can’t live without her!” I shouted in agony. “She loves me…yes, Mom, you’re right! She’s doing this out of pain! I’m going to stop her!”
With pain swimming freely in my chest, I grabbed the car keys of the Hummer and turned toward the door.
“Hey, son!” the Holy Man said, and when I turned he spoke without taking his eyes off the television. “There’s a big black chair in the garden of the church, under the long tent. You must sit on that one!”
I gaped at him with incomprehension and bitterness.
“Sit on a big black chair?” I asked dully. “Why?”
“Oh, so you get a better view of the wedding reception,” he said, still without taking his eyes off the television, and then he burst into gales of laughter when Jerry kicked Tom off the deck of a ship into the sea.
I restrained myself.
I could have killed that man that day.
With a sharp grunt I turned from him and rushed for the door.
The sirens on my car wailed, and the lights flashed as I fixed the location of the church on the GPRS and hit the fastest route, driving almost violently through the streets of Accra.
My heart was in agony, and as I raced along it struck me then…Yao Biko, the guy who had had no use for women, who had just spent the better part of his life listing down women, who couldn’t wait to get rid of one girl so that he would go after the next, was now breaking all major traffic rules and risking arrest just to get to one girl!
Time, really, changes, and nothing under the sun is permanent!
Just one girl, one girl…and I couldn’t fit into this world if she were not with me! I could probably find more beautiful girls, sophisticated girls who knew the latest trends and spoke the best English. I could probably get girls form any part of the globe, if I wanted to…
But, no, she was the one.
The only one.
Abena Adobea…yes, I loved her, and I craved her, and needed and wanted her!
Only she could give me this pain, this feeling of sheer helplessness!
That village girl! That uneducated, proud and spirited girl.
Without her, there was no me, no happiness and no air for me!
I almost cried as I drove, wishing for the first time in my life that I could stop the hands of time, but by the time I swung into the parking lot of the church, it was three o’clock!
It wasn’t really a big church. People were dressed in white and gold mostly, and there was a lot of noise all around.
There was a wall around the church, and I dashed through the main gates. I saw the garden to my left, packed with tents and white-covered tables and chairs, but I didn’t stop. There were a lot of people, and I saw the decorated wedding cars to my right.
Those sights told me two things: the wedding ceremony itself wasn’t over, otherwise they would have been at the reception, and secondly, Abena Adobea was still here!
I pushed my way through the entrance and entered the church.
People were screaming and waving white handkerchiefs, their cries of delight echoing around the church, making my heart bleed with fear and tension when I looked at the sight in front of me!
There was a young man in a blue-black suit, and he had taken Abena Adobea in his arms. She was in a wedding dress, the veil off her face, and he was kissing her!
You may kiss the bride? Was that where they were?
I didn’t know wedding procedures much, because I had never cared about them, and I had never thought I would ever be involved in one.
But I knew enough to know that kissing of the bride sealed the ceremony, and happened after the vows had been exchanged!
I could barely stand straight!
Dearest me, oh dear Lord…I had lost my heart.
I had lost my air, my life, the one person who had eclipsed my heart!
Abena Adobea was gone!
Oh, dear…oh, Lord!
I wasn’t aware that I was screaming and running forward until I saw the strange, scared and scandalized eyes turned on me!
I raced down the aisle, totally mad, totally out of control.
“Maa Abena!” I screamed. “Abena Adobea! Don’t, please! Oooooh, Adobea, Adobea, nooooooo! Dooooon’t! I love yooooouuuu!”
I basically couldn’t help myself!
Frantically, I pushed photographers and friends taking photos with their cameras and phones aside.
Two hefty men approached me, evidently to stop me.
I chopped one in the throat and head-butted the other in the face, and then finally I was on the altar.
I grabbed the groom by the back of his coat and pulled him away, throwing him hard and off the podium, and then I grabbed Abena Adobea by the shoulders and stared at her with a shattered expression on my face…