Everybody was happy. Jairos Tembo was finally tying the knot with Evelyn Chimfwembe. The couple was immaculately dressed for the wedding. Jairos was in a black tuxedo and the bride wore a white wedding dress. She looked like an angel.
Everybody who was in attendance at the church service watched in admiration as the bride and groom slowly walked towards the alter where the priest was awaiting them. The choir was singing a sweet love song as the couple walked to stand before God and exchange their vows; to declare undying and unconditional love for each other.
Outside the church, a young beautiful woman in her late 20s was crying. A man standing next to her tried to console her but all was in vain. She kept on crying. Her face was flooded with tears like the kamwala shopping centre floods on a rainy day.
The woman’s tears were not tears of joy for Jairos and Evelyn. This woman was crying and wailing like a Bemba widow at a funeral because Jairos, the groom inside the church, walking to the alter with Evelyn, was her one and only true love. He was her fiancé.
What was he doing in there with Evelyn, her worst enemy? She could not believe what was happening.
“Why is this happening to me?” She cried.
Family and friends were all present to witness the bond between Jairos and Evelyn. It could have been her, the lady outside the church thought. It could have been her walking down that aisle, dressed in that white wedding dress. It could have been her saying “I do!” It could have been her in Jairos’ bed, exploring the wonders and joys of a wedding night. It could have been her but it was not.
What about the promises that Jairos had made to her?
What about the dreams they shared together?
What about the children they planned to have?
What about her feelings?
She had to stop this wedding. She had to do something.
Inside the church, Jairos had already said his vows and Evelyn was winding up hers. Next it would be time for that moment most people in the church had come for. The time when the priest would ask Jairos to unveil Evelyn and say:
“You may now kiss the bride.”
Suddenly there was commotion at the back of the church. Everyone swung their heads to the back to see who or what was causing the commotion. They all looked at the entrance. Their eyes bulged in shock like those of a bat. Their mouths opened in disbelief and their faces were filled with a mixture of shame, embarrassment and pity. If what they felt was food, it would have tasted like a mixture of beef, fish and okra. Their expressions of shock were truly reminiscent of a Nigerian movie!
Standing at the entrance to the church was the crying woman. She was stark naked!
“Jairos!” she shouted. “You double crossing snake in the grass!”
Jairos was lost for words. Evelyn collapsed into the priest’s arms and her veil fell off, revealing her beautiful face to the priest.
The woman started walking towards the alter and no one dared to stop her. Jairos was rooted in one position like a statue.
“Jairos, I love you!”