Kaine felt like she was a helpless spectator watching a poorly written screenplay. They were at the Registry and waiting for their turn to take their vows. It seemed so surreal that she should be at a Registry waiting to exchange marriage vows with a man she’d met just two days ago.
She’d spent the entire night asking herself—and God—if she really knew what she was doing? There had been no answer, none that was satisfying. None that made her feel more at peace with what she was about to do.
She’d begged God for a miracle that Dominic would call her and say he’d had a rethink and there was no need for them to marry. She’d prayed that, by some divinely prompted miracle, Anwuli would return and stop her from entering into this covenant that already felt like a noose around her neck.
But her prayers—desperate as they were—hadn’t been answered. When morning came, she’d had to face the fact that there was no choice, none other that made sense to her except to marry Dominic Kojo-Edwards and to continue to pretend that she was her sister and the mother of her sister’s son.
She’d wanted to wear black for the ceremony. It had, after all, felt like her life was over and she was going to her own funeral. But Juliet had vehemently protested and had dug out her box-pleated, just-below-the-knees, high-neckline rose-pink dress. It was the best dress in her wardrobe and ironically, it had been a last-Christmas gift from Anwuli. As were the three-inch heeled sandals Juliet had forced on her feet.
She felt ridiculous standing at the halls of a seemingly ordinary public office wearing a girlish dress and having a rose-shaped clip fastened to her hair. The clip, like the silver choker and tiny studs on her ears were gifts from Juliet. She’d given them to her that morning and had brushed aside her protests with a jocular—it’s my big sister’s right.
It had almost made her weep, hearing her say that. Anwuli had always been her big sister, even though there was just a year’s difference between them. She had looked up to her, admired her—wished she’d had her single-minded drive, her fearlessness to pursue whatever she wanted.
She’d always thought that when she finally met the man God had designed for her, the man of her dreams, and was marrying him, that it would be Anwuli standing next to her as her chief bridesmaid.
But that was not to be. She was getting married—to keep Anwuli’s baby with her—and her sister was faraway, God knows where, searching for a man who was dead.
What an irony!