Katherine eyes darted around the varieties, her confusion was not oblivious.

“What are we doing here?” She whispered.

They were in NaartjieKids Store in Texas.

“Don’t you like it here?” He returned and concentrated on the displayed shoes for boys that were not up to a year.

That was the most ridiculous question she ever heard in her life and she wanted to tell him so but she bit her lower lips. Maybe he just wanted her to assist him shop for a relative who just had a baby or some cousins.

Funny enough the thought didn’t seem to relieve the anxiety that seem to building within her. First she had been surprised that Saturday morning when the doorbell began to ring.

She had planned to remain in bed until noon.

“Go away.” She had repeated over and over but the door alarm had continued ringing as if it was on automatic replay.

Lo and behold, when she opened the door, the sight before her and had made lurched and would have fallen save for his strong arms.

He came in and they stared at each other.

Kelvin wasn’t smiling.

And she wasn’t too.

She allowed her mind to begin to analyse how much of a charmer and handsome he was in a white…

Suddenly, she remembered how she must look and fled.

He smiled but didn’t stop her.

When she came back fifteen minutes later having freshened up and in a simple home dress, he was sipping juice and watching TV.

He looked at from her head to toe and asked her to go change that they were going shopping.

She opened her mouth to protest but he looked away and concentrated back on the television. She had obeyed knowing he won’t accept no for answer.

He had arrived California two days back without informing her.

Now they were shopping and so far so good, he hadn’t put anything in the cart.

With great sparkles in his eyes, he had commented on some lovely gowns for baby girls, shawls, little face caps and so on, always glancing at her like he was expecting her join his commentary.

How could she when she was clueless, surprised to see him and was still longing for her bed.

Soon enough, she begin to smile in admiration at the clothes and began to imagine… her imagine became so deep that she didn’t notice when Kelvin was handed a toy microphone.

“Can I have the attention of everyone please?”

She turned so fast that she almost lost balance. She stared at him wide eyed.

What now?

Like they were grateful for the distraction, they came around, expecting mothers, some with husbands or friends, parents, children, grandparents and babies too.

“This beautiful lady before me is Katherine Sylvester, she is the Bible example of a virtuous woman, she had been through a lot, yet came out strong. Everywhere she goes, positive change is bound to happen. She had single-mindedly fought battles I couldn’t fight in the lives of my loves ones. She knows the value of family and that is partly the reason I brought her here so that in the presence of you all and even babies alike, I’ll love to ask her to make me a complete man.”

Most adults were taking records via their phones and cameras.

He dropped down on a knee and produced a box, he opened it.

Most ladies gasped at the sight of the ring.

Tears were already streaming down her face as her almost unblinking eyes didn’t leave his face.

“I am an inexperienced man and I need your wisdom borne out of your experiences to go through life. Katherine Sylvester, will you marry me?”

She just stared.

Kelvin heartbeats quickened with each second that followed.

The spectators began to cheer.

“Come on already!” An elderly lady said and that seem to do the magic.

“Yes Kelvin…” Her smile was rather shy. “I will marry you.”

He heaved filled with an overwhelming happiness.

He slipped in the engagement ring, emerald with 18k white gold setting with diamonds as its gemstones, it fitted perfectly.

Kelvin stood, gave a low bow to appreciate the spectators who were still cheering and applauding.
He embraced his still stunned fiancée and then kissed her.

The feeling was far more than he anticipated. Soon he swept off her feet, out of the store into the car.

Kelvin drove to one of SIC properties where one of the company helicopters was waiting to take them to California where an engagement party had been organized.

His immediate and extended family were waiting.

*-*

“My o my!” Basirat exclaimed. “This is beautiful, in fact, this is out of this world.”

Kafayat swirled in the sparkling wedding gown designed with imperial pearls.

Basirat shrieked and cheered in obvious delight. “I’ve never seen any wedding gown so beautiful in my entire life.”

“It’s just like my sweetheart’s elder sister in Los Angeles took a peep into my mind. I couldn’t have asked for anything more beautiful.” She hugged her herself.

“I’m so happy for you darling. Saheed is a wonderful man and I’m not surprised, we’ve all been blessed with dedicated husbands.” Basirat beamed and stole a glance at her elder sister who winked at her and she chuckled.

Joyous, Kafayat couldn’t help but cat walk once in the centre of the sitting wing of their father’s house as though she was on the run way.

The Shakirat’s twin daughters and Basirat’s triplet were with their grand mum in her bedroom.

Basirat had begun to bleed about fifteen minutes after delivery and the only way to save her life was an immediate removal of her womb.

It had taken the faces of the triplet, her husband, family and psychotherapy for her to feel like a woman again.

*-*

With her arms outstretched, looking more elegant than ever before in immaculate white wedding gown without a train but fully designed with gem stones she slowly swirled to the music playing.

The last family photograph she took with her family was projected on the screen in the large banquet hall.

Mon enfant, ma baby girl

Voici venu le moment tant appréhendé

Où je dois te conduire,

Bras dessus, bras dessous

A celui qui prendra ta main

Devant Dieu et devant les homes

Ton prince charmant,

A qui tu diras oui

Pour le meilleur et pour le pire

Jesu tche,

Hwelin ganto tche,

Wa se de tche,

Ovi tche we

Nin dji djo ho,

Assou dagbe,

Kpo vi dji dji,

Dona dona ni tche

Gbe he me mite sien

Azon she ma dike,

Ma kpe nou kounwe go

Dje dje vignin baby girl

Dje die hoin be sou gnonnou eh

Omon mi baby girl,

I wo ti mon feran oh,

To fe lo si ilé oko

Adouwa mon gba foun e,

K’oloroun mi ma baelo

Though I hate to see you go

I know you have your life to live

And I can see love in your eyes

The sun shines brightly in your heart

You’re never been so beautiful

And you can see my joy and pride for you

Katherine smiled as she swayed from left to right, she felt so much peace. Now she can think about her family without remorse. God had blessed her beyond comparison and had given her a family who adored her.

Though your smile I see your tears

Take his hand my baby girl,

And be his wife forever more

The time has come for you to go

Wipe your tears and never fear

Cause I will always be right here for you

Katherine did justice to the music with her dance steps, all the dance class she had attended with her mother-in- law and the ones she knew before were paying off and soon enough the Secretary General of the Biennial Business Administration Awards joined her on the dance floor.

She had requested to be alone for the first couple of minutes of the song. Kelvin who was radiating in his grey tuxedo had half expected her to cry because she knew she was taking that time to pay tribute to her departed family.

Franklin joined the duo on the dance floor as the “Afro-akpala-funk”, Nel Oliver’s baby girl still filled the air waves.

He embraced her and they danced together. Franklin had gotten the greatest surprise of his life when she had asked him a couple of week ago to be one to walk her down the aisle. He had wanted to know why and she went ahead to tell him about her family. She had also added that she was choosing him because he was the first fatherly figure that believe in her after the demise of her Dad.

 

Tu sais j’ai tant rêvé

De pouvoir te garder,

Sans jamais t’partager

Mon enfant, ma baby girl,

Ton prince charmant est arrive

I never thought you’d leave me,

Soon for anyone

So hard to let you go,

Oh my child, my baby girl

The time has come to live your life

The song ended with Katherine in her husband arms. “Are you okay my Sweetness?”

She smiled up at him before nodding.

He kissed her.

Just then, the master of ceremony introduced the presence of the one who had being named a legend from birth.

They all cheered at John Legend presence.

Kelvin and Katherine exchanged a surprise look but soon enough, they were dancing so well to the danceable rendition of one of their favourite songs- All of me.

Even though Darlene was dancing with her younger brother, she grinned as she stole another glance at the couple who were laughing at the dance steps Kelvin was doing. She saw to the John Legend’s presence as a wedding gift to her son and her daughter, who had being both a blessing and a bundle of joy to her family. Her eyes drifted to Kayla and Kenneth who were both dancing like it was their wedding. Her eyes strayed to the diamond ring that sat proudly in her engagement finger and beamed.

She was indeed grateful to God.

The transportation division of SIC had released two airplanes for the wedding. One of which had been boarded from Nigeria.

Most of the staff of Nigeria and Ghanaian branch, Katherine’s pastor and his wife, Obika, Chidozie and Oluchukwu alongside their parents had joined the plane.

Dignitaries in Nigeria, USA and other countries had honoured the couple with their presence.

Gifts and well wishes started pouring as soon as the wedding announcement was made.

SIC Nigeria as a joint gift for their formal bosses had invited Flavour to do wedding anthem-Ada Ada.

With Katherine in the centre and all other African guests present, they danced so well tweaking the upper and lower part of their bodies, male and female alike leaving others envious.

Kelvin had handed over to Olaide after he proposed to Katherine. That same weekend, he had gotten married to his heart throb.

He was taking charge of the oldest SIC which was also the headquarters worldwide right there in USA. He didn’t want a distant marriage.

As Lionel Richie crowned the ceremony with -All night long.

Obika, Chidozie and Oluchukwu at the fore front led them all in uniform dance steps that was fun filled.

Soon the couple boarded the helicopter to their honeymoon venue to return in a week to maid of honour and best man to Kayla and Kenneth.

As Camilla said her goodbye barely breathless, she knew there was a part that she would never forget being the wedding planner—Kelvin and Katherine exchange at the church,

“You’re my treasure of inestimable value.” Kelvin began.

“You mean the world to me my love, I won’t give you away for the treasures of this world.” She said looking deep into his eyes.

“You’re my missing rib, sweetheart and now that I am joined to you, I’m complete.”

“You’re the complete epitome of my dream man, the angel of my heart, the very one sent to set my life in order. I love and respect you so very much Kelvin Sigismund.”

“I love you Katherine Sigismund.” He winked at her and pulled her that instant into his arms for a long and passionate kiss.

The congregation had rose to applaud them.

Precious who was now married and in her first trimester had fetched a whistle from her purse and blew unable to contain her joy.

Camilla beamed. She had gathered all the needed knowledge from both of her big sisters and she trusted God for the man from whose rib she was created.

*** ~~~~ ***

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