The Wedding Guest (Final Part)

In the police station, the girl confessed about her role in the hoax. The boy (who was also her boyfriend) had planned with his brothers to defraud Chief Peters but had no way of doing that. Not until they noticed Ayo was frequenting a particular club. They now arranged the whole scenario to make it look as if Ayo had killed the boy. After that, they started the blackmail game on him and his family. But in a surprising twist, Mrs. Umeji had also contracted Tracy to ‘prevent her son from marrying the Yoruba girl’.

Her work was to seduce her son and make it public so as to destroy the wedding.

According to the girl, all her attempts to seduce Ugonna were futile as Ugonna rebuffed her advances.

The time she was caught talking to that boy, they were discussing the next stage of the plan which was to make monetary demands. She had tried killing Chuka because he would definitely thwart their plans, but she was too scared and had fired blindly.

After her confession, we were all too shocked to speak. We headed back to the hotel; Barth Umeji was furious with his wife, who he vowed to ‘set her straight' once he met her at the hotel.

We were a few blocks away from the hotel when the chief inspector in charge of the case called to inform us that the boy had been apprehended. Barth asked that both he and the Tracy be brought to the hotel.

~~~~~

The hotel restaurant was cleared as only those directly concerned with the case were to be there. The boy who had played dead (whose name was William), and his brothers Sam and Bami were also present. It was a most intense atmosphere.

Bami commenced speaking, “We did what we had to do because we wanted revenge on Lanre Peters and his family. He was the cause of our father’s death ten years ago.”

We all fixed our gaze on Chief Peters but he was also looking lost as to what the boy was saying. “What are you blabbing about boy?” the Chief asked.

“Of course you wouldn’t remember and neither would you understand. Well, let me jog your memory. Ten years ago, you had a land dispute with a man. Using your wealth and influence, you managed to steal our father’s lands which were his only source of income.

“A few weeks later, our father was so depressed that he jumped into the lagoon. Tell me, isn’t it your fault?”

“I… I didn’t know,” Lanre stuttered.

It was William who spoke up next, “How could you have known? When you were busy enjoying the proceeds from our father’s lands.”

Barth Umeji chipped in, “Lanre, are you trying to tell me that you forcibly stripped someone off his properties?”

“That was a long time ago. I was deceived by a group of unruly friends. I’m sorry.”

“Sorry? Can ‘sorry’ bring back our father?” Bami questioned. He flexed his muscles as he looked on the verge of jumping on the billionaire.

“No, it cannot bring your father back. I am willing to make amends. I’ll give you back your lands, and some money,” he promised.

In the end, they all agreed to let the matter rest. We now faced another serious issue — why did Mrs. Umeji want the wedding destroyed? She told us that she had an immense hatred for Yoruba people due to her previous youthful encounter with a Yoruba man. When she learnt that her son was getting married to a Yoruba girl, she had vowed to foil his plans.

Both her son and his wife-to-be were dumbfounded by what they heard. How could a mother decide to do such an atrocious thing? What sort of unforgiving heart did she have?

“But I didn’t hurt you or your family!” was all Yemi could say.

Mrs. Umeji hung her head in shame.

Finally, we had gotten to the bottom of the whole fracas. What a situation!

On Sunday, in the presence of over 150 people, Yemi and Ugonna exchanged marital vows and were united as husband and wife. It was truly a memorable experience as tears ran down the faces of the guests. Chuka had been begged to drop the case against Tracy, which he did, and the three brothers were compensated with their father’s lands, ten million naira each and prominent positions in Lanre Peters’ company. It was, in the end, a win-win situation for all. Except me.

She stood at a corner of the reception hall, drinking a glass of clear and expensive champagne. I knew I had to do it. It was now or never. I edged closer to her, and as she saw me, she set her face in rigid lines. How do I bell the cat?

“Hello Julia,” I said, almost pleading.

“Hi Martin. How are you?”

“I’m fine. Julia, I’m sorry for what happened between us. It was a momentary lapse in judgement. Please forgive me.”

I held my breath as she looked at me for some moments which seemed like an eternity. Then she said, “Of course I forgive you. What else can I do?”

“Oh, thank you very much.”

“You’re welcome.”

I had a plethora of things to say to her but suddenly I was afraid. We had grown apart due to my sins. But I hoped that we would grow back together; I still loved her. Maybe we would, one day. For now, I’ll take things slowly.

~~~~~

Two weeks after the wedding and I was stepping out of the courtroom with smiles plastered on my face. I’d won the court case. The defense had pleaded for clemency and his sentence had been changed to life imprisonment. Good riddance if you ask me.

I entered my car and zoomed off, towards my date with Julia.

THE END.

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2 Comments

  1. Wow what a wonderful piece,I love your writing and coordinating skills. Thanks zenpens for making this bam!!!

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    1. You're welcome. And thank you too for your faith in us.

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