“I love you more!” Janet said with her heart full of excitement. “Hahahaha!” Emanuel guffawed. “How many times do we have to go through this? I love you way more than you love me. Don’t even think you can catch up with me in this love game. Janet, you are the air I breathe, the water I drink and the sunshine that lights up my world.” Janet strode across the polished floor and swept him off his feet for a second. “I like it when you say those to me, even though I know I love you more,” she said with her face beaming with resplendent smile. “The reason you feel that way is that deep within, you can sense I love you more,” he said and placed a gentle kiss on her lips.
“I am done arguing about who loves who more. I just can’t wait to show my love to you in our marriage. From all I have read, marriage is where the real test of love is. I hope I won’t become a bad wife soon after our wedding. If I become one to you, then you will have failed the love test,” Janet said strutting about on the polished wood floor. “My love for you has been in training for years, I have over those years developed enough muscles to deal with anything your love comes along with. I still won’t let you scare me. I love you die (so much).” “Okay, I quit. Let our marriage be the proof of it.” “Now you are talking,” Emmanuel said and led her down stairs to continue with their friends to work on their wedding plans.
Over their two-year courtship, they had learned to find some private time for each other to reaffirm their love and to steal a few pecks and light kisses. Their conversation upstairs was one of those. When they rejoined their friends downstairs, they plunged themselves back into the work of planning every detail of their wedding which was a few weeks away.
Three Weeks Ago
Mrs. Eme Asibong, a top bank executive was in her office, hard at work when an old acquaintance she would have paid money just to never to see again, walked in unannounced. “Udo! What are you doing here?! How did you pass the security to get here?” Mrs. Asibong asked, shaking with a measure of fear. Strutting like a peacock, Udo ambled across the floor and reclined into one of the armchairs in her office. There was no smile on his face, and Mrs. Asibong could not remember him ever wearing a smile. “What now? Why are you here?!” she yelled, eager to have him leave her office.
“Your manners stink to the highest heavens. How long ago was it since we saw last?” Udo asked, admiring her office. Since Mrs. Eme Asibong returned from her studies in the UK, she had received multiple promotions and had become one of the highly placed persons in Gold Bank. It was no surprise her office furnishings held Udo’s attention for a few minutes. “My manners are fine! The truth is that I was hoping to hear of your death! How do you do it? How do you manage to keep yourself alive? Can’t you wake up one morning and drop dead. If I could, I would pay to have you killed,” Mrs. Asibong barked.
Much to her shock, Udo smiled, revealing his gold-filled set of teeth. “I didn’t know you hate me this much, Eme Asibong.” “If I had the choice to choose between you and the devil, I would choose the devil over you. What brought you here? Please say it and get out!” Udo cast an angry look at her, but she refused to cower. With all the hatred she had for him, she returned the angry look. “How is your son Emmanuel?” Udo asked. “Oh my God! Please don’t ask me to give him up. He is all I have got left. Please Udo, ask for something else! Ask for my life, I will gladly give it up,” Mrs. Udo knelt on the floor, pleading for her son’s life. “Relax Eme, I haven’t come for his life. No one wants him dead.” Mrs. Asibong sprang to her feet with obvious relief on her face…
She drew closer to the man whom she loathed much more than the devil. “What then do you want with my son Emmanuel?” she asked. “We need his male strength.” Mrs. Asibong’s jaw dropped in shock. “Why do you and the others hate me this much? Have I not given the best I have? Let him be, please!” “It’s been fourteen years since anyone asked a thing of you. That is fair, isn’t it?” “This is cruel! I can’t give that to you. In fact, I have nothing to give you! Go tell them I have nothing left!” “Madam Eme, we know about your sacrifices, losses and pains. We know you have nothing left. So, out of the nothing you have, we have only asked a little of it from you. Do it, and we will ask nothing of you for the next fourteen years,” Udo said and stood up to leave.
“Wait Udo!” Mrs. Asibong pleaded. Just then a call came in. She picked it up quickly to dismiss the caller. “Madam, Virgin Atlantic called in now to inform us that your flight to New York will be delayed by six hours. Should I cancel the flight and put you on another airline, and which one, ma?” that was her personal assistant. “Cancel the flight and put me on another airline!” She was hardly in the manner of yelling. Her personal assistant was surprised to hear her yelling easily. Calmly she asked, “Which one would you prefer ma?” “Put me on any one you like, Geraldine!” she barked and dropped the call. Geraldine wanted to go see what was wrong with her, but balked at the idea on a second thought. “Emirates will be fine with her,” Geraldine whispered to herself.
“Udo, I hope you know what this means. I have only got Emanuel and Arit. If Emanuel cannot procreate, my husband’s lineage will be closed for ever. Please ask for something else,” Mrs. Asibong pleaded. “For every sacrifice you make, there is an equal good attached to it for you. Do it and you will find out that somehow, your husband’s lineage will not close,” Udo said and stepped out of her office. She stood gaping at her door hopelessly. Before she left office that day, she placed a call to Janet, her son’s fiancé, “Hi Janet.” “Good evening mommy!” “How is your wedding plans going? I have been too busy to contribute bits of my ideas, please forgive me.” “Common mommy, I know how busy you are. I am fine with your frequent calls to know how I and Emanuel are doing.” “I would like to see you tomorrow by 2:00 pm at Muri Okunola Park. Can you make that happen?” “Yes mommy, I will do my best to be there.” “Thank you Janet.” “You are welcome mommy.”
“Have you noticed my mother has been moody since she got back from New York? I can’t even have a meaningful conversation with her anymore. Sometimes it feels like there is something she is hiding from me. Have you two spoken lately?” Emanuel asked. “No,” Janet lied. Mrs. Asibong had warned her never to reveal their meeting at Muri Okunola Park to him. Had Emanuel concentrated a bit on the look of Janet’s face, he would have seen she was lying. His attention had been drawn away by the new bum shots Janet was spotting. He top was hanging just a little above her belly button, revealing her sublime figure. Emanuel stroke his hand on her flat tummy and whispered into her ears, “I am fighting very hard not to fall for this temptation.” Grudgingly, Emanuel pulled away from her. “I am very sorry I put this on. It usually gets too hot in here when I am cooking for you,” Janet said, smiling. “Maybe I should fix an air conditioner here for you. What do you think?” “Where did you get the idea from? People don’t install air conditioners in their kitchens, baby.” “Okay, maybe I should sell the house and buy another one with a bigger kitchen for us,” Emanuel offered. “Are you kidding me? I love this house! This is where we are going to have all our babies.”
Just then a frown crept up on her face. She had remembered what her Mrs. Asibong told her about Emanuel possibly being able to have babies. “What is it baby? The smile and glow on your face are gone. Was it something I said?” Emanuel asked. “No. I am just having mood swings. I will be fine in a few minutes,” she lied yet again. There must be something wrong with me. Why are the women in my life suddenly acting strangely ? Emanuel thought to himself.
“Do not let our discussion affect your wedding plans. I am working on the situation. It is all going to work out fine. However, on no account should you tell Emanuel about the problem, it will destroy his ego,” Mrs. Asibong warned her daughter in-law to be, Janet. “Okay mommy, but it bothers me nonetheless. How am I meant to handle such a problem in my marriage?” Janet asked. “There is not going to be any problem at all. Your bedroom will be filled with fireworks, I promise you. The reason I told you about this earlier was for you to have an idea that such a problem is possible and for us to work out a solution for it. My husband had it and we found a way around it. I enjoyed my marriage with him until the day he died.” “Okay, mommy. It is gladdening to know there is a way out of this problem.”
Mrs. Asibong smiled at her and removed her cheque book from her handbag. She wrote a three million naira cheque for her and handed it to her. “This is for my not being part of your wedding plans. Whatever needs to be done that you removed from your budget, I want you to add it right back, and if the money not enough, let me know and I will give you much more money, okay.” Smiling, Janet nodded like a child receiving a new toy from her mother. “But mommy we have everything we need. I am wondering if it would be wise to add this to our already excessive budget.” “Then keep it for any contingencies. It is going to be a big wedding, bills could pop out from blind angles, I have been there before.” “Thanks a lot mommy, you make me very welcome to your family.” “It’s my pleasure. I want the very best for my son, and you happen to be in that category.”
“So you consider me a good woman?” “No, I don’t.” Janet was taken aback by the frank reply. Her eyes were about to moisten when Mrs. Asibong added, “You are far above the ‘good woman’ category. Janet, you are amongst the best. I and my son are in cloud nine because of you. You are a blessing to us. I am not an ordinary mother…” She paused, drew closer to Janet and whispered, “I look into things before I make my decisions. I looked into you when he brought you to see me the first time. Guess what I saw.” Janet who was blushing now, shook her head and whispered back, “I don’t have a clue.” “Okay, I will tell you. I found that you have a heart of gold. You are not a ‘good woman’, you are an exceptionally good woman.”
With beads of tears in the corners of her eyes, Janet mumbled, “Thank you mommy. Your love is overwhelming.” “You are welcome. At my current age, all I can do for those around me is to love them. I want you to know also that Arit my daughter loves you just the same way I do. You will make a great daughter in-law, that much I know already, and so does Arit think.” “I can’t say thank you enough. I am out of words. Thanks mommy,” she said amid tears. Mrs. Asibong took her head in her hands and placed a kiss on her forehead. “I have to go back to work now. I have a meeting with our board of directors, we are thinking of opening new branches in Cayman Islands, Sao Tome and Principe and in Banjul Gambia. For me Gambia offers us a much better market and I have to convince the board to go there first. My meeting with the president of Gambia has a lot of positives I think we should take advantage of now.”
Mrs. Asibong liked to discuss her job with every little chance she would get. She was born for banking job. Janet regarded her happily and said, “Mommy your head is full of your banking job. Go and offload your ideas on the directors.” They did a high five and Mrs. Asibong dashed out of the restaurant.
Since Janet and Emanuel wanted a show stopper for a wedding, they took into consideration much of the plans and ideas their friends provided for them. Though some of them were going to cost lots of money, they did not give a hoot. They were in love and wanted the wedding of their lives; that was what mattered to them. So they went to work implementing the wedding ideas.
One of their plans for the wedding was to keep their guests comfortable all day by thinking ahead. They planned to surprise their out-of-town guests with custom scented soap so they won’t have to rely on the standard hotel samples. Because they planned on dancing until the next morning, they planned to put out baskets of flip-flops (in their wedding colours) so guests could take their shoes off.
To make their guests feel like VIPs, they provided them with welcome bags that went beyond a map and with a few snacks. The personalized tote bags were stuffed with mini bottles of bubbly, a gift certificate to their favorite local shop and an individual “Welcome!” note from the couple.
With lots of cash to spend at their disposal, they planned to send their guests home feeling taken care of by having their valets place small end-of-the-night snacks in guests’ cars before handing over the keys.
They made their toast time delicious by letting guests customize their champagne. Dishes full of fruit purees, lavender sprigs, citrus twists and flavored ice cubes that could be spooned into glasses of bubbly were made available to make the toast much more fun.
For a fresh twist on the hot photo booth trend, they rented a video booth where guests could record a quick on-screen message for them. The plan was to have the videographer edit some of the best clips into their wedding video. For their other favorite video “confessions”, they had them posted on their wedding website and encouraged their guests to check them out in their thank-you notes.
That night, just before Janet and Emanuel left for their hotel room, Mrs. Asibong pulled Janet side and gave her a small box. “There is a ribbon in this box, tonight when he comes to make love to you, find a way to put the ribbon around his male organ…” Mrs. Asibong was saying. “What if he wants to know what it is?” Janet interjected, looking uncomfortable with
the idea. “You are a woman Janet, finding a good reason to explain the ribbon away should not be hard for you. Make no mistakes about it, you must put the ribbon on him to ensure that his organ never fails you in sex,” Mrs. Asibong said. There was a lot of sternness in her face which Janet had not seen before. She mistook that for a mother’s determination to protect her son. “Okay, I will do it.” “Good, now go have fun with your brand new husband,” she said patting Janet on the back. In a jiffy she was out of the bar where they hosted the after wedding bash. For a few seconds, Janet’s eyes followed her till she left the bar and disappeared into the darkness outside.
Janet was worried that her mother in-law was still avoiding Emanuel. She could feel something was wrong but was not able to place her hands on what it was. Outside, Mrs. Asibong placed a call to Udo, “It will be done to night. Before morning his male strength will be deposited in our account. However, his body will not fail him until some weeks after tonight. His wife must never know about what I had her help me do tonight.” “We are proud of you Eme Asibong. Your reward for what you have done tonight will be great.” “I don’t care about your reward, Udo. I have a request to make.” “Eme you don’t make requests through me. You know how this works. In case you have forgotten; when you have a request to make, you go to our chapel and speak to the powers above.” “Udo, I don’t have the time to go down to Ogun State any time soon. Please make the request on my behalf. By tomorrow I will be out of the country to hold meetings with five African presidents and some business executives in Asia, I will not be back for weeks.”
“What is your request Mrs. Asibong?” “I want my son’s male strength returned after three years and my life take in place of his male strength.” “Are you sure about this Eme?” “I am certain of it.” “You are precious to us; I can’t see the lords accepting your request.” “Since it is not in your power to refuse or accept my request, leave that to the lords and present my request to them.” “Okay Eme, I will do that.” “Thank you.” She dropped the call, walked back to her car and asked her driver to take her to an old friend of hers in Lekki.
To be continued…
I hope you enjoyed the story, endeavor to share to others to enjoy too and drop a comment to let me know if I should continue or not… Beautiful day ahead