It was one of the hardest things hr had ever
done. Coming to Amanda’s engagement. D–
n it! It should have been their party. He
couldn’t understand why she had agreed to
marry Robert, it made no sense at all. She
had turned him down, and it was too
inexplicable, and that made it even more
difficult to accept.
“Give me another drink” Chris said to the
stranger tending the bar. The only good
thing he could say about the party was that
the drinks were first-class.
“It’s a party Chris. Can’t you at least
manage a smile?” Sam said as he appeared
Smiling was one thing Chris couldn’t do.
He had considered travelling to port
Harcourt at least for the main time, but the
thought of being branded a coward had
been worst than seeing Amanda with
“Don’t ruin Amanda’s day” Sam’s voice
echoed in his ears “if you can’t smile, go
home” Sam’s voice was low but his words
were more of a command than a suggestion.
Chris emptied his glass, then turned away
without a word. He blinked thrice. Was that
Ella dancing? And with Dr. Ken? The world
had really turned upside down.
Chris made his way across the dance floor
and tapped ken’s shoulder.
Ken seemed surprised to see Chris behind
him “you’ve been drinking”
“It’s not a surprise that you noticed” as Ella
flinched from his sarcasm. Chris continued
“surely in your vast experience with alcohol,
you can perceive the smell from a thousand
miles” at the back of his mind, he knew he
was just being cruel to Dr. Ken for no
reason. But tonight, his pains was much, all
he wanted to do was inflict it on someone
else. It was not fair that everyone else was
happy when he was miserable.
“Go home, Chris” Ella smiled, though it
wasn’t a real smile “if you loved has like you
claimed, you won’t wanna spoil her day”
How dare Ella talk to him about love!
“What do you know about love?” He
demanded “you are nothing but a cook, all
you know is how to add excess spices to
food to confuse my customers, making them
believe you are a good cook, if you know
much about love, why don’t you have a
boyfriend yet? Or you wanna be a dried-up
spinster before you start thinking about
Ella’s smile faltered, and tears filled her
eyes, ready to spill onto her cheeks. Good!
Chris felt happy that he had succeeded in
“Get out of here!” Ken commanded gripping
his shoulder and propelled him out of the
hall “go home and drink yourself to misery”
ken ordered “but whatever you do, don’t
show your ugly face here again”
Chris stood still and watched as ken walked
back into the hall straight to Ella, to comfort
her, he guessed.
“He didn’t mean that” Ken said “it was just
the alcohol talking, let’s continue our dance”
The drinking and dancing continued like
Chris never existed.
When all of a sudden the music stopped,
and everyone’s attention turned to the
sound of a metal hitting against a glass cup,
a sign for ‘attention please’ and everyone
was shocked to see Chris standing in front
of the DJ with a glass cup in one hand and
a wine opener in the other hand.
“I have an announcement to make” he
proclaimed and everyone’s attention shifted
to Robert who made a move to interrupt him
but was stopped by Amanda.
Amanda was obviously interested in
whatever Chris wanted to say.
“I can see everyone dancing and drinking, so
I guess am not the only person who’s drunk
tonight” he smiled to muster up courage to
continue “the truth is, alcohol makes a man
reveal his innermost secrets, so am just
going to reveal one secret before I go
home” he collected a glass of drink from the
table behind him and emptied it into his
mouth then continued “what on earth on
earth will make a man to wait for one full
year after engagement to get married to the
woman he’s engaging tonight” he smiled ”
the answer is simple, because this
engagement party is just for fun, its not
real” he paused then looked around to
thousands of eyes staring at him
“I know you’re all wondering why I will say a
thing like that, well here is my reason, Rob
and I had a bet of ten million naira on who’s
going to sleep with Amanda first” there was
a loud murmuring inside the hall, till he
cleared his throat and there was silence
again “I had it all in control, I had
opportunities to do it, but I couldn’t, I don’t
know how it happened, but I fell in love with
the prey so I couldn’t treat her like a bait,
so I decided to get married to her instead
so we can do it legally and I was aiming at
achieving two things, the ten million naira
wager and a pretty bride”
At this point tears rounded Amanda’s eyes.
Chris smiled as he saw the tears, he
obviously got her there “But obviously she
was foolish and blind, she couldn’t see the
truth, well it wasn’t her fault, ignorance is a
disease, but never an excuse, so this whole
engagement party and jibbrish bullshit is just
a simple tactics for Rob to get in between
those pretty legs” he turned to get another
glass of drink.
And that was when Dr. Ken, Sam and Frank
lifted him up and carried him out of the hall
as his bottle and glass cup crashed against
the tiled floor.
To be continued