By Michael Ngigi
Laughter doesn’t necessarily mean someone is happy. A serious face doesn’t necessarily mean that one lacks humor. A crooked leg does not necessarily mean one cannot run. Neither does a colorful snake mean it does not strike. Why then, is Nelly is crying as she walks towards the alter on her wedding day? One would easily say it is because she is overjoyed that the day has finally come. She looks gorgeous in that ivory gown. Delicate and surreal. This day looks like a dream. The little girls look pretty too as they throw confetti on the bride and her guardians. Every single woman is jealous. The men are hiding their faces and it is evident that this bar has been raised a bit too high. The man who is about to marry this beautiful woman has scored a high ten.
Nelly is crying because she is about to die. She knows it but she chooses to walk on.
Nelly and Kim had been engaged for two years. She’d met him at her friend’s wedding about five years earlier. After talking for a few minutes she decided she wanted to know him more. He was interesting and funny. Kim had a way of making her feel special. It was no surprise when he proposed one evening in the middle of a highway. He was arrested for obstructing traffic, but he had already made his point. Nelly was blown away by his courage and she said yes. After that, they couldn’t stay apart. They started planning for the wedding immediately.
Days flew by first and during the last two weeks these two gave each other space to bid farewell to the single-hood. Kim went first, to his ‘drink’ with the boys. That night, he didn’t pick her calls neither did he answer her messages. Only the next day did he show up with yellow flowers with a note to say how sorry he was. He claimed his phone ran out of units and battery charge. The event was quickly forgotten. After all, no one wants to fight with their fiancé a few days before their wedding.
Then it was Nelly’s turn to attend her own bridal shower. Kim was having a headache and preferred to stay home. So Nelly made sure she made him some food and packed it in a dish so he could warm it when he woke up. She also left him some pills and drinking water on the bedside. She had offered to stay home and nurse him that evening but he would hear none of it. It was her day, he said. He wanted her to be in the company of her best friends. She felt sad to leave him but it looked like he’d be okay. She kissed him goodbye and drove off to meet the girls.
At the bridal shower, Nelly was treated to a hearty applause and tasty cocktails. She was thankful that they’d stood by her most of her life and what’s more, they had finally approved her man. Almost every girlfriend she had was present at the party. What would life be without friends? She was enjoying herself until her friends decided to throw her a surprise. Out of nowhere, there appeared two male strippers. She hadn’t seen this one coming. In the confusion that ensued, the strippers undressed and were completely naked. The women went into a frenzy like canines baying for blood. Nelly was stunned beyond words. She picked up her purse and ran out to her car. This was not who she was and for a moment, her best friends were her worst enemies. She cried and felt guilty as she drove home in the rain that night. She wasn’t about to mess her relationship by participating in what seemed like the beginning of an orgy.
When she got home, the lights in the living room had been turned off. She took off her shoes and coat as she headed towards the bedroom. She opened the door slowly as she didn’t want to wake Kim up. Then she saw something that made her knees turn to jelly. There on her bed, lay a naked Kim in the middle of two equally naked women who were busy arousing him. It was obvious that they’d been having sex. The smell was distinctive. Still trembling, Nelly slowly shut the door and and ran out of the house. The next morning she came back and acted as if nothing had happened. Kim acted extra happy to see her and wanted to know all the details about the party. She wanted to cry but what to do? A wedding is a girl’s ultimate dream.
Nelly cried through out her wedding day. She hated the way her world had changed. Surprisingly, Kim turned out to be a good husband. He was caring and always near. He brought her gifts and supported her ambitions. At some point, Nelly even forgot the ‘incident’. Everything had finally worked for good. She was doing well in her career and marriage felt like the best situation to be in. Bliss.
Six years later, Kim got very sick and died. The doctor said it was meningitis. As Nelly tried to come into terms with his death, she got more confused and weary. Something inside her kept telling her to probe deeper. Memories of that fateful night came flooding back and she decided to confront the doctor.
Kim died of AIDs. Nelly has HIV. Kim had kept it from her all along. She had seen the signs but she chose to ignore. Now the wedding is over, only the end awaits her.
If you see a sign. Take it seriously.
I shed tears for the infected and affected.