He was no longer garbed in black. He looked so smart in his uniform. It was his wedding. In less than ten minutes, he was walking down the aisle to get married to his true love. His heart thumped with excitement. He had always prayed for a love like that of his parents and he knew with Uvie by his side that dream was becoming a reality. She was his dream come true. He smiled as his friend Ani adjusted his uniform. “Congrats Bro. You got your girl.”
“Yeah. I definitely did. Just like you did three months back.”
Ani smiled. “Life with the one you love is the sweetest. I am happy for you.”
They clasped their hands in their secret salute they had perfected over the years from childhood.
“What of your brother?” referring to Dare’s younger brother Ayo.
“He is somewhere around putting final touches to the reception venue. He will soon be here.”
“You know….” Ani said musing “I sometimes think he is not happy not being your best man.”
“I understand but I explained to him. You and I pledged to be each other’s best men years ago.”
He adjusted his lapel pin.
“Besides I need someone I trust to also oversee the planning and his skill as a wedding planner is one I envy and would like him to ensure my wedding to Uvie is perfect. He understands.”
The orchestra music started and giving a final tug to his uniform, Dare alongside Ani prepared to march in.
It was two years after that special day that both of them had pledged for better for worse. Uvie thought happily as she prepared to surprise Dare. It wasn’t easy being an army wife but she had enjoyed every moment especially with Dare supporting and making the transition easy for her. Her hand paused as she dropped the cutlery on the table. She pulled out one of the dining chairs and sat, her left hand caressing her stomach. She had a wonderful anniversary present for him. Throughout the two years he had been supportive even when his family had become antsy that she hadn’t produced a heir to the Ayobami’s empire. Dare was the first son and even though he was in the military, it was an unwritten rule that he was to take over from his father as CEO of Ayobami’s shipping empire when he retired. His own son in turn was to join the family legacy. Dare usually laughed when she voiced her fears, waving them off but she knew within her that his parents especially his mother was beginning to get impatient. Telling him of their unborn child today was a joy to her. She hadn’t failed him. The sound of the car horn jerked her out of her reverie. He was home.
Dare held his wife tightly, his eyes closed as he repeatedly said “thank you.” He knew nothing was wrong with both of them but he hated the pressure his parents kept putting on him. As for his brother…. he knew he was happy with the status quo. Dare truly didn’t care about having a heir apparent. He was more concerned about Uvie being depressed about not being a ‘complete woman’ in the eyes of the society. For him, she was complete in every way.
They pulled apart. He smiled and wiped the tears on her cheek.
“I love you always.”
“I love you too. ” she echoed
“Come on.” He tugged her towards the dining room. “I smell something nice.”
She chuckled as she allowed him to pull her.
They came to a halt in the dining room as his eyes caught the spread on the table.
“Wow! This is a full banquet.” He turned to her.
” For you my love. After this…your favourite dessert ” smiling coyly as she glanced upwards towards the bedroom.
He grabbed her waist smiling. ” Can I take dessert first?” His cheek rubbing hers.
She laughed and smacked his hand. “Food first.”
He pouted as he let go.
It was a happy moment.
Three months. Just three months but that joyous mood was gone. She lay on the hospital bed, her eyes turned away from the door. How was she going to tell him? Her womb was empty again. Hot scalding tears rolled down her eyes. This wasn’t what she bargained for. She held a clenched fist to her mouth to stop the heart rending sob just as the door opened. She turned slightly and saw his uniform. She turned to face the wall, her sobbing audible.
“I am sorry Dare. I tried.”
He entered and sat beside her on the bed looking at her for a long moment before clasping her hand. As her sobbing subsided, he tugged her until she faced him. Cupping her cheeks tenderly he said,
“My love. It wasn’t your fault. Stop berating yourself. When it is time, it is time.”
He took her other hand so she faced him.
“I am not worried about you getting pregnant again. I am worried about you. Your mental state.” He glanced at their clasped hands before raising his eyes to hers again.
“Captain summoned me before the regiment marched out this morning. I came as soon as I could. Please don’t feel that I love you any less because of this.” He looked deeply into her eyes.
“Honestly, I don’t know what happened. One minute I was fine with Ayo and his wife Felica laughing as we finished lunch. Next, I was bowled over in pain. He had to rush me here and called Mummy and Daddy. Oh Dare!” Tears gathered in her eyes.
“I was scared. The pain, the blood.” Her eyes closed, the tears rolling down her cheeks.
He wiped her cheeks. “I understand sweetheart. I wish I could take it all away. I am sorry.”
“It kept flowing Dare, it kept flowing.” She cried, tears rolling down her cheeks unchecked.
He gathered her in his arms as they wept together for their lost child.