God Forgive Me, I Have Taken My Brother’s Bride (2)

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We all went agog. not only because Michael had always wanted to further his
studies outside the country. Rather we were happier because of the opportunities he would eventually get in the Nigerian labor market when he eventually comes back to settle, you can imagine the type of celebration
that took place in my house; we threw a big send-forth party for Michael and invited all our family friends. The only sad person amongst us was Tricia, as far as she was concerned, that celebration only meant separation between Michael and herself. 

“Common Trish, you don’t have to look so sad. Join in the fun please, it’s your day”, I tried to cheer Tricia up when I caught her staring teary-eyed at the whole reception. 

°But B. this only means that I’m going to be separated from Micky for God knows how long”, she answered solemnly. “How long did he even say it’s going to be?” she asked for the tenth time, 

“It’s only going to be for only a year unless he decides to start work there”, I answered her. 

“But you and I know it is what would happen to Michael if he does well in his masters”, she said. We would have continued to argue it out and fortunately, I was saved from that argument because my brother came and took Trish to dance with him. After the celebrations, Michael said his final goodbyes some days later. Trish insisted that she would follow me to see Michael off at the airport. I
didn’t think it was a good idea considering how emotional Tricia was about the whole thing but Michael allowed her to follow us. On getting to the airport, they hugged themselves so hard that it was impossible to let go, Tricia
created quite a scene when the last boarding announcement was made and Michael needed to board in order not to miss his flight. Tricia refused to let him go and it was with much effort that Michael was able to release himself
from her grasp. I held Tricia and tried to console her as she cried passionately after the earlier incident at the airport, my brother finally traveled and that was when my problem began. Eight months later, my brother called me and told me that he had arranged with the two families (Tricia’s and ours) to get married. 

“But why am I the last person to know about it? I thought I’m supposed to be the first to know about the arrangement”, I’d asked him.

“I’m sorry bros, it’s just that we wanted to finalize everything before we let you know the part you’re going to play:’ he said. 

What part?” I asked again. 

“There’s this pharmaceutical company that’s offering me a job for the next two years when my visa will expire and I’m going to start as soon as I finish my masters. So the plan is that I want you to marry Tricia for me so that I
can bring her over here:’ he said happily.  I had never seen this side of Michael before, he sounded so purposeful, so sure of himself. 

“Wow, that’s good news but what about your dream company? Orange Drugs, I mean?” I had to ask him. 

“I’m working towards that bros but in the meantime, I need to work here to get enough experience so that if I’m returning to Nigeria, I’m coming back as a hot cake,” he told me. 

“Well, it’s okay. Anything for you, hope she told you that I have been taking good care of her since you traveled?” 

“Yeah, she did. Thanks, bro, I appreciate it,” he told me. We chatted about other things before he finally hung up. In less than two months, we have finalized all the
arrangements and have already fixed a date for the wedding. One evening, I went to her house to see her. She was chatting with her friends and showing them the fabrics and shoes she had bought for her wedding. Trust women, they screamed excitedly as she showed them each item. She greeted me with 

smiles as I entered the house and introduced me to her friends. I was
still chatting with them when she brought out some items and accessories. 

“This one is for my husband,’ she said and handed me a pair of expensive suits and shoes. I was excited because I have not even thought of buying my outfit. Maybe because it wasn’t my wedding
proper but I kept wondering why she made that statement. 

Preparations went on in top gear between both families and I tried my best not to be carried away by the euphoria of the moment. l made a mental note to always remind me that I was not getting married to my bride but
I was only standing in for my brother. At the church service on the wedding day, while the priest was asking some questions which I was meant to reply
to; some strange thoughts were going on in my head. 

When he got to the part of till death do you part’, I wanted to correct him that it should be till death do them part’ but I thought against it reminding myself that it would be useless starting an argument that I wouldn’t finish that day because they wouldn’t understand.
But as I said, ‘I do’ something came alive in me. I felt as if I was saying it to my real wife and I felt a tinge of excitement. Tricia was the most beautiful bride ever and wore a fascinating smile on her face. After she said her own part of ‘I do’, we looked at each other for a brief second but I know I saw something in her eyes. 

From that day, I began to feel like a married man, I would go home from work hoping to see my wife, sorry, Tricia at home.
Only to be confronted by an empty house, I would shrug and try to kill my loneliness with music or movies. I was in my house one day and it was a work-free day and the worst happened as Tricia came to my house looking as beautiful as ever. 

“I came to check on you to see how my husband is doing” she joked as she made herself comfortable in the living room. 

“Your husband is managing to survive” I replied to her; we talked about sundry issues for a while. Tricia went inside the kitchen to cook with the foodstuffs she had bought and imagined what it would feel like having a woman in her house. When I voiced out my thoughts for her, she said it was a normal thing for her because it is what she’ll be doing for Micky when she joins him in California. Only God can explain what happened next because I found her in my arms and when she didn’t refuse me, I took that as a yes and of course, the rest became history as we savored ourselves behind closed doors. I just knew there was no
way I would let go of Tricia and I told her how I felt for her, and she said she felt the same way about me as well. 

That was how I took over what was supposed to belong to my kid brother and we started living together as husband and wife.
We even started going out together to the chagrin of everyone. When our parents heard what was happening, Dad threatened to disown me. Mum turned against me and despised everything about us even the mere sound of our voices. One day, my brother called me and asked me about what he heard that was going on between myself and Tricia and when I confirmed his suspicion, he was too shocked to talk and just hung up the phone on me. He has never called me since then. It has been a year since the incident happened and just this morning, my parents called me and told me that Michael is due to come back
in three weeks and he has asked to see me and my wife. As I write this story to you, dear readers, I’m terribly confused. My wife is six months pregnant and I don’t know how I am going to face my family, especially my brother.
Would he and God forgive me for taking his wife? 

…To Be Continued