I dunno why, but this just happens to be one of my favourite episodes! And thanks to the current state of affairs, I get to put it out on a Saturday! Let’s dig in...
“Yesu adi nkunim… over Satan power… Messiah adi nkunim ooo… I’m an overcomer…”
Koda’s ‘Hosanna’ song was on full blast as Larissa and her younger sister Jayla sang along, having themselves a little praise party as they headed for a wedding in Tema. Accompanied by their little daughters, Serwaah and Jayla’s five year old girl, Adjeiwaa, who were asleep in the backseat, they couldn’t have had a better time to enjoy the trip on the Motorway. And with a playlist that included Joe Mettle’s ‘My Everything’, Ohemaa Mercy’s ‘Aseda’ and Diana Hamilton’s ‘Mo Ne Yo’, their singing was nowhere near over.
Five years younger than Larissa, Mrs. Jayla Baafi shared a most delightful bond with her older sister. Given the unfortunate rift that existed deep within the Darteh extended family, which sadly had spilled over into their nuclear family, resulting in a pretty acrimonious split between their parents, the two of them were all they really had. Their cousin, Clayton Benson, was another one who remained on good terms with them, but that was all there was to it.
“Well, we’re here. And we’re late,” Larissa announced as she drove into the church car park about twenty minutes later. Finding a very suitable spot, she immediately moved into it and stopped the car. Checking the mirror to see if the girls were still asleep, she muttered, “This is all your girls’ fault, Jay. Ah, we should’ve reached here long time.”
“Don’t mind them,” Jayla responded, shaking her head. “After telling them to be ready at the mall by 9:30. Ten o’ clock, and now Ekumaa was doing her make up. Ah ah ah! But on the low, though, I get why Baby Boy gets annoyed whenever we’re going out. I can waste time papa!”
“Oh, you’re not alone, Jay!” Larissa laughed. “Sometimes Diamond and I will keep everyone waiting, and the look on Daniel’s face when we come out eh… you can see he wants to explode on us!”
“Hahaha! Mr. Darteh’s daughters can give stress! Well, time to get those lashes done, sis.”
“Of course, lah!” Larissa took out her make-up bag and tossed it at her as she turned to the back seat. “Serwaah! Adjeiwaa! We’re here now!”
Serwaah opened her eyes, then stretched as she looked out and saw the car park. “Ei, Maa, it looks like we’re late,” she commented.
“Yeah, baby girl, we are. But wait a bit. Your auntie’s doing my lashes for me. Hold on to your lil sister before she has you running all over the compound again.”
“Yes! Definitely!” Serwaah replied, a little too enthusiastically. She loved her little cousin and the three year old Barimah, and enjoyed being their big cousin for obvious reasons, but they had given her quite a headache when she and her mother went to pick Jayla. She obviously was not in the mood for part two of that.
She watched as her auntie did her mother’s make-up for her and adjusted her fascinator, then admiringly said in her typical sweet fashion, “Awww, you two are such beautiful queens!”
“AWWW!” Mr. Darteh’s daughters responded gleefully as they turned to her.
“Thank you, honey!” Jayla said, smiling at her. Larissa reached out her hand and stroked Serwaah’s chin.
“Oh, my precious little princess. Kisses!”
A Dolphyne Air Kiss between mother and daughter followed.
“OK now, you can get down. Adjeiwaa, hold your big sister’s hand, OK? Don’t cause trouble for her, OK?”
“Yes, Auntie Lari,” the little girl replied.
The two young girls got down, waiting for their mothers to lock the car. As they took a few steps to the building, Adjeiwaa noticed a young lady walking in the direction of the entrance to the church which was opposite the altar. She held a margarine bucket. She pointed innocently at the lady. “Serwaah, look at the girl with the bucket!”
Serwaah nodded in amusement. To her, that was probably one of the caterers with a bucket full of pastries for the reception.
However, as Larissa locked the door, Serwaah noticed the lady look in their direction, seemingly hearing Adjeiwaa. The look on her face was already straight, but it suddenly turned into a scowl, and she quickened her steps, disappearing out of their sight as she hurried to the entrance.
Serwaah immediately grew suspicious. “Auntie Jayla! Maa!” she called as she started to walk quickly in that direction, Adjeiwaa beside her. “There’s some lady passing the other entrance. She’s holding a bucket. It doesn’t look like she’s up to any good.”
Her police instincts kicking in, Jayla frowned, moving in the direction Serwaah walked. She saw the lady holding the margarine bucket take off the lid. “HEY!” she yelled.
The lady ran into the building.
A second or two later, the church was filled with gasps, screams and shrieks.
Jayla and Larissa rushed to the main entrance and stared in horror at the scene before them.
The groom and bride were covered in what looked like palm oil, and had absolutely stricken expressions on their faces. The bride in particular looked ready to break down and wail as loud as she could.
The lady was being held back by some of the groomsmen, shouting at the top of her voice as she struggled with them.
“You thought I’d let you go scot-free? Huh? After your hit and run, you thought I’ll let you marry your ‘virgin’ girl in peace! You are mad!! F*** you! I’ll disgrace you for the whole world to see you can’t f*** me and dump me and go scot-free! F*** you!”
It had pretty much turned into a mad house at that point. The expressions on the faces of the parents of the couple were that of utter horror and confusion. Some guests had their phones out, recording the entire scene. What should have been a beautiful union of two souls in love was now a spectacle of epic proportions.
Jayla and Larissa remained at the entrance, too stunned to speak.
“Damn,” Larissa murmured.
“Issa catastrophe in here,” Jayla said. “Looks like I’ll need to spring into action, because this is clear cut assault.”
As she marched to the front of the church, ready to delve into what would definitely be one very unpleasant aspect of her job, Serwaah and Agyeiwaa also stood at the entrance, spellbound by the ensuing chaos before them.
“Serwaah, the lady with the bucket is screaming too much. What is she saying?” the five year old complained.
Of course, Serwaah understood everything that was going on. But to explain to her that this was an angry woman who was getting revenge on her ex-boyfriend for breaking her virginity and dumping her to go and marry another girl? Nope. No way would she do that. She wouldn’t even understand.
“Ummm… you know what? Let’s go back to the car and watch some Peppa Pig episodes on your tablet. You’ll understand all this when you grow older.”
“So he got in touch with your sister?” Kwame asked, sitting by the bed in the ward.
Akinyi nodded. “Yep. But I told her he can leave a message. To speak to him is a no-no. He’s history, and I prefer he stays that way.”
“Wow. He really must have been toxic.”
“Oh, he was. I mean, Kwame, I love being a mischievous human being, no doubt. But every jovial personality knows when and where to draw the line. James never ceased to make me feel like I didn’t know how to be serious. Always chastising me, calling me Turd Brain… ugh, that phrase alone invokes so much anger. He really cut me down with his words, and breaking up with him was the best favour I did myself. I don’t need him in my life.”
Kwame’s phone rang. It was Oscar.
“It’s Oscar. I’m sure he’s done with the wedding,” he said before answering. “Yeah, Oscar, what’s up? The wedding ended yet?”
“Hmm,” Oscar responded. “Chale, the low-key drama that went on over here, eh. Serious stuff.”
“Ei! Wow,” Kwame gasped. “Lemme put it on speaker. Aki is here. We have to hear this.”
Hitting the loudspeaker button on his phone, he placed it beside Akinyi, who was looking eager to hear whatever story it was.
“So of course, I was around on time. 11 am. The groom came about ten minutes later. And we know that the bride will delay small. Normal things. But chale, almost 40 minutes, and this woman was nowhere to be found. Ei! So the pastor asked the choir to do some brief praise and worship to while away the time. Another twenty minutes passed before this bride came.”
“After an hour ooo! A whole hour before she came. But what freaked me kraaa was her demeanour. Guys, you know that as for weddings, the bride is always glowing and stuff. One of the happiest days of her life. The atmosphere is full of glee and joy and all that. Chale, that atmosphere was virtually nonexistent.”
Kwame and Akinyi looked at each other in surprise. “Wuuhhhh?” they both said.
“No jokes ooo. The bride was not smiling. Throughout the entire distin. I mean, the worst part was the kiss. You know how some kisses are short coz the couples are shy. Which by the way is so annoying. We want proper lip action, lah!”
“I promise!” Kwame responded in amusement. “Look at Richard and Gloria’s wedding? Aki, you hadn’t come yet. Mad lip lock! Chale, it was obvious Richard had meant the thing.”
“Oh asayyy! That’s the action we like! Anyways, those short kisses mpo, there’s some ‘current’ behind it. This one had none. No spark. No electricity. Nothing. The way the bride pulled away mpo was just… chale. Most awkward wedding I’ve ever witnessed.”
“Ugh, that sounds like the most painful wedding to be at,” Akinyi whined.
“It was. From the vows to the kiss to the best man’s intro. So painful. But the real juice was at the reception.”
“Eiiisshhhh!” Kwame gushed, putting up the volume. “What was that?”
“Well, Salifu and I got ourselves some jollof and chicken and went to our seats to eat. The couple were eating. Same stony expression on the bride’s face. Then this guy came to our table as we were talking about how cringe-inducing the whole wedding was. And he was like, as for this marriage, he doesn’t see it going past 6 months. We were like, oh, that’s harsh. I mean, the atmosphere was like a deep freezer, but that prediction was someway. Then he said he was around the bridal car when it arrived, and the things he heard…
“Apparently, the bride’s mother and the bride were at each other’s throats like crazy. The bride was not happy at all. From what he heard, it looks like she sees her husband as arrogant and stupid, to the extent of calling him a GH version of Nabal. The mother too was blasting her and saying she’s disgracing the family, coz he’s a wealthy nigga and this was an agreement she must adhere to, and all sorts of things. Clearly the mother won.”
Kwame and Akinyi were stunned. “Wow,” Kwame said. “That took a dark turn rather quickly.”
“No joke. Wow. Poor girl. Locked down in a prison she didn’t want to be in,” Akinyi said sadly.
“Chale. I feel bad for her after hearing that. It’s sad when some parents put their reputation and stuff before the happiness of their children in matters like this. It’s the girl who’s gonna suffer in this marriage. And this will most likely damage the relationship between her and her parents.”
“Hmmm,” Kwame said glumly. “Nothing worse than getting married to a person you don’t want to be with. What should be a dream come true becomes a living nightmare.”
“… I mean, the name just bores me. Ah, Archibald? He sounds like some school boy born in the UK in the 1870s, lah! Not like there aren’t men who are called Archibald in this modern era, but it just sounds so damn lame….”
“OK, Mr Explanation Guru, you’ve made your point. Now pleeeeeeeease zip it.”
“Good Lord, Edem, warrisit with all the explanations?”
“I’m shocking, every day, three paragraph essays!”
Edem, Diamond and Maabena were hanging out at Frankie’s, checking out their plans. Things were slowly coming together, and the grand opening was not too far away. Diamond had been telling Maabena about the infamous Desert Eagle episode of her life, and Edem had gone on a rant about his name once again. For reasons only known to him, the fact that Archibald was Desert Eagle’s first name was something he found hard to accept.
The three turned. It was Selasi, clad in a fabulous purple dress, walking with a fine young man. Obviously her husband.
“Queen Cee!” Edem exclaimed as she came over to give him a hug. “And Mr. Jackson!”
Jackson Amenu smirked as he hugged Edem. “Eddy Eddy! Been a while, chale!”
Diamond and Maabena were literally fawning over Selasi’s attire as she moved to greet them. “Oh my God, Queen Cee, your dress is amazing!” Diamond squealed as she hugged her.
“I know, right! You look spectacular, Queen Cee! Sauce in its rawest form!” Maabena agreed.
Selasi laughed. “Thank you, ladies! I appreciate the love. You know a queen’s gotta slay! Gotta give them!”
“Yaaaaaaaassssss! That’s why I love youuuuuuu!” Maabena responded, her Bosom Pyung impression quite hilarious to those around.
“Herh, Attaa Adwoa, behave yourself!” Selasi scolded playfully, shaking her head and smiling as they laughed and took their seats. “Honey, you can go get our orders. I’ll be with them for a moment,” she said to her husband, who nodded and waved at them before heading to the counter.
“So you’re coming from a wedding, I guess,” Edem inquired.
“Oh yeah. One of Jackson’s workmates. Beautiful wedding all round, chale.”
“Sweet! Saturdays are for weddings,” Diamond said.
“No doubt, Dee. Been to quite a few this year, and this was definitely one of the most glamourous ones I’ve witnessed. Chale, love is sweet, but when money enter…”
“…Love is sweeter!” the three responded.
“Thank you! Yeah. I’m really delighted for them. Mr and Mrs Bruce-Lyle.”
Maabena perked up at that familiar surname. “Oh, sweet! My boyfriend has that surname. Robert Bruce-Lyle. Such a romantic name,” she said, giggling as she thought of having that as her last name.
Selasi’s bright expression suddenly changed, however, upon hearing that. She narrowed her eyes, looking a bit uncomfortable by that revelation. Edem noticed the change and asked, “Why? What’s wrong, cuz?”
“Umm… uh… that’s the name of the groom.”
The three were wide-eyed at that. Diamond sucked her breath in, while Maabena froze for a moment. Then she dismissively waved her hand, saying, “Oh, there’s more than one Robert Bruce-Lyle in this country. It’s probably some other guy with a different full name. My guy’s full name is Robert Nii Adamafio Bruce-Lyle.”
The look on Selasi’s face grew even bleaker. “Oh my God.”
Maabena’s face in turn grew paler. “Y-y-you mean…”
Selasi nodded. “That’s the groom’s full name.”
“Oh no,” Edem murmured.
In the space of a couple of seconds, the excited chatter and happiness at that table had turned into an atmosphere of supreme shock, as all four of them could not believe what was transpiring.
“Umm, you have his picture?” Selasi nervously asked, hoping that would settle the issue and that it would be another person.
“Uh… yeah, yeah,” Maabena said, grabbing her phone and turning the screen on, which had a picture of her and Robert as the background. Selasi took it, looked at the faces, and shut her eyes. “Oh, s**t, that’s him. He’s the one.”
“Oh my God!” Diamond gasped in horror.
“What!” Edem exclaimed.
Maabena sat there, tears beginning to form in her eyes as the reality of what had happened slapped her in the face. She had tried calling him the whole day, and his phone had been off. She had never really met his family. Or any very close friend. Their outings were few and far between. She had noticed all these, but never really considered finding out why she was treated as such.
Now it all made sense.
“Oh my God, what a fool I’ve been!” she gasped, as she sprung up from her seat, tears streaming down her face as she rushed out of the restaurant, deaf to the calls of the others.
Selasi put her hand over her face. “Oh God, I feel terrible right now.”
“No, no, no, Cee. You’ve done no wrong,” Edem said, holding her arm as Jackson came around. Seeing his wife’s crestfallen look, he frowned in concern. “Selasi, what’s wrong?”
Selasi sighed as she looked at her husband. “Rita’s husband. Turns out he was dating Maabena. The gorgeous girl who was just here. And she had no idea about it.”
Jackson put his hand over his mouth. “Oh no. Are you serious? Oh God, why do some of us guys do this? Oh no. Poor girl.”
Diamond had her eyes on the exit, where Maabena had tearfully left.
Unbelievable. Just unbelievable…
Well, that was quite a memorable Saturday in Dabarverse. Not your regular day of weddings. Poor Maabena, though. It’s ended in tears for her.
We’ll soon see what’s happening with Toby in the coming episodes!