“No, which one is dark green? It doesn’t fit you biko. I think you should go for lighter colors. You said wanted Apham’s favorite color to be part of the mix. How do you think royal blue will go with dark green?” Iyora stabbed her fingers at the wedding brochure they were looking at.
Ijeoma had an annoyed look on her face. “I have called three colors- ivory, cream, and peach, but you said all of them are not good. Which other color do you want?” She sipped water from the glass on the table in front of them and murmured discreetly, “Even my favorite color is not there.”
“Don’t even start o.” Iyora sniffed. “It will be hard to get a perfect combination with brown. It’s even a dull color. I don’t know why you like it.”
Ijeoma eyed her spitefully. “So which color are we going for?”
Iyora gasped. “Isn’t it obvious? Royal blue and gold, perfect combo. They both imply royalty.”
“Well, you should have said so since,” Ijeoma said with a snigger. “Instead of going round and round in circles.”
“It’s your wedding, not mine. If I chose one color you will start drawing your mouth that I’m not allowing you to make any choice.” Iyora was writing down in the jotter that was now part of her everyday accessory. She flipped the brochure to the middle page where cakes where displayed. “Now, the cake. Mummy’s friend will be making the cake. She’s the one that made the one for their wedding anniversary. We just have to choose the design and send it to her.”
Ijeoma pinched her nose. It was just three days since they returned from the village and she had not had a second to recover from the arduous journey before Iyora came knocking on her door to start preparing for the wedding. “The earlier the better,” Iyora said when Ijeoma grumbled that the wedding was still three months away. She had spent the majority of the last few days with an excited Iyora as she was still on sick leave from her company.
“If you start work now, you will not have time to do all these things,” Iyora would say when she complained that she could do something at a later time.
In a way, she enjoyed the attention Iyora paid to the details of the wedding. She had already booked a professional make-up artist that would make her up. The day before, they had gone to take measurements with the tailor that would be making the clothes for the traditional wedding. Now that they had chosen the colors for the wedding, Iyora had already planned a trip to go scouring for a good material for the wedding clothes.
She had to admit, Iyora was one heck of a wedding planner. Ijeoma was grateful for the way her sister treated her wedding as though it was hers. She suspected that Iyora had wanted her wedding to take place during the Christmas holiday as well, but she was willing to put it aside for her own. When she broached the topic with her, Iyora had waved her aside. “My wedding can wait, but yours can’t. Garry is not that ready for a wedding now. His finances are tight at the moment with the project his company is working on, so the wedding might as well wait till Easter.”
Garry. Ijeoma thought of the very fair-skinned man that her sister had fallen in love with. Ijeoma could imagine why Iyora fell for him. Despite his very broad features and towering height, he had the heart and soul of a child. Ijeoma enjoyed listening to him. He always maintained an even tone. When he talked, he pronounced words individually and never rushed his speech. In fact, he never rushed anything. Watching him eat was one of her past-times. It always seemed like he was counting the grains of rice before he packed them in his spoon and put it in his mouth. He spent a long time chewing his food, including fufu. Iyora often made fun of his habits, but she said she enjoyed it. He was, as she said, as attentive to her as he was about anything. That was what she needed.
Looking at Iyora now, Ijeoma could feel the happiness radiating from her. From both of them, their mother had said when they went out for dinner after returning from the village. “Just look at the both of you,” their mother’s eyes had been filled with so much affection. “You have both come a long way.”
Despite her father’s request that Apham doesn’t kneel in front of them, he grudgingly accepted Apham’s proposal to take the whole family to dinner. “He’s not coming to the house,” Ijeoma had wisely pointed out as her father cooked up reasons not to go.
She was indeed happy. Despite the fact that they were a married couple still planning their wedding, she still felt the excitement of a young girl that was about to get married. The feeling increased when Apham re-proposed to her in the presence of her family when they went to dinner. When they made love that night, it was their wedding night all over again: the promises, the soft touches, the soft moans. She really felt like a bride ravished by her over-eager groom. Their lovemaking compounded by the fact that it had been almost a month since they had sex.
She was getting married a second time, she told some of her friends when she called them to tell them about her wedding and they had viewed her decision as scandalous. “Did you get divorced?” “I thought you were already married?” She didn’t delve into the details, preferring to tell them that Apham hadn’t had enough money to plan the wedding at that time. They had a hard time believing it, but a wedding was a wedding after all, and all of them despite most of them being married jumped on the opportunity to be among her bridal train. It had seemed the proper decision, after all, she too was married.
“Ijeoma, Ijeoma.” Iyora tapped her impatiently on her thigh. She sighed in exasperation. “Don’t be thinking about your husband all the time. If you go home, you will see him. Which cake do you prefer? I think we should go for a very traditional cake-”
Ijeoma grunted. “The one in the middle is okay, but they should change the color and remove that thing on the top. What is that?” She peered at the picture.
“It’s kola nut. Why should they remove it? It’s part of the tradition. Personally, I like the one at the corner. Look, it has both beads and purse, almost like your-”
“Iyora, let’s go with the middle one, eh? I like the middle one. If you want the one at the corner, use it for your wedding.” She tried to soften the tone of her voice but she was already at her wit’s end.
“Okay.” Iyora said simply and flipped the page.
Ijeoma stared at her. “Are you angry?”
“No,” Iyora muttered, her eyes still on the brochure.
“Come on…” Ijeoma reached her hands to Iyora’s side and wiggled them.
“Ahh!” Iyora screamed and burst into a fit of laughter. “Stop…stop it,” she gasped out. Ijeoma continued her attacks for a while saying, “Are you still angry? Laugh, laugh.”
Iyora was breathing heavily by the time she stopped. “You naughty girl.” She reached and reached for Ijeoma, Ijeoma tried to escape but she was still caught by a vengeful Iyora Soon, both women collapsed on the bed in exhaustion from laughing too much, their arms wrapped around each other.
The brochure had fallen to the ground, opened and facing the ceiling. The page on display was filled with different designs of wedding gowns.