Inspired by Proverbs Chapter 7 and Like my other stories, the characters have not been given any names.
Update 19.01.2018 – this story now has a part two. Read “The Wedding Guest 2” HERE.
“For she has been the ruin of many; many men have been her victims. Her house is the road to the grave. Her bedroom is the den of death.” | Proverbs 7:26-27 NLT
His ego would not let him say no to her. The whole night they had teased and flirted with each other it was bound to happen with the way she commanded his attention as she swayed her hips to every rhythm and beat that blared out of the banquet hall speakers. He wanted her. What he did not know was that this was all a part of her plan.
She had planned for this day from the moment she received the invitation to attend this wedding.
“Which mugu go be my victim?” She laughed as she put on her killer wedding outfit.
The dress would not be missed by male and female guests alike. She nicknamed the green dress her “jealousy-jealousy” dress – she would make the girls jealous and cause the guys to get jealous of one another. The knee-length dress was made for her petite frame; it was tight fitted and cut with a deep plunge line in front that stopped just beneath her rib cage but just above her belly-button. Her tanned caramel skin was further displayed in the back, with an even deeper plunge line that stopped on the small of her back, the same part her victim would touch as he guided her to the dance floor once she had caught his attention. Her natural hair was excellently styled in an up-do that made her look expensive and her makeup was applied immaculately, with her eyeliner drawing attention to her mesmerising large brown eyes. She adorned herself with gold jewellery like Christmas lights on a Christmas Tree. Her statement piece was her long lock and key necklace which rested on parts of her torso the fabric of her dress failed to cover. She glittered from head to toe, everything about her was bold.
As she applied her final layer of lipstick she remembered her mother’s look of disapproval and annoyance anytime the fashion shows on TV made a comment about “not bearing all and leaving something to the imagination.” To her devout Christian mother, if you dressed modestly nothing would be or should be imagined. Mid lipstick application she chuckled and shooed the memory of her mother away as she was use to doing on such occasions. Tonight, like the other times, it was all or nothing.
After putting on her black open toe “sexy” heels (that instantly made her dress appear shorter) she picked up her black clutch bag embellished with a gold zip and looked herself in the mirror one last time. She was ready. She was going to STEAL the show, KILL it in this dress and DESTROY the dance floor – she just needed to find the right man to make sure all this planning would not go to waste.
He was the kind of guy who would go to the gym to lift weights and have someone capture his session on Snapchat, he loved himself – it showed and in the weeks that led to the wedding he put in extra work to make sure he looked extra good, he wasn’t the groom, but hey, the best man had to come correct right?
He was a chocolate brother, at five-eight, with broad athletic shoulders and a special shade of brown for eyes; he also had a good set of teeth, people had always teased that he should model for Colgate. His dimple-generating-smile was every girl’s kryptonite and he knew it. He knew very well that he was good looking. For the wedding he would sport his level one fade haircut, the kind that made him look established. It was his idea that the groomsmen all wore a dark blue velvet blazer, with a white shirt and black bow-tie, fitted black trousers and classic patent leather penny loafers for shoes. In typical Naija fashion the outfit was not complete without being accompanied by vintage styled black Ray-bans and a single-stone ring on his baby-finger – the pinky ring. He was BellaNaija ready for this wedding.
The wedding ceremony had gone well, his best friend was officially off the market and he was happy for him and although the concept of marriage never appealed to him personally, he knew Nigerian weddings were the best. They were ‘LIT’. That was what he was looking forward to, the wedding reception, especially now that his official duties were done. He smirked at himself just at the thought of what the night may entail.
The Wedding Reception
“Now ladies and gentlemen, we’d like to welcome the latest couple in town! Give them a big cheer as they enter!” The MC bellowed through the microphone, and at his instruction the guests went wild, howling, clapping and shouting congratulations in various mother tongues.
Following the entrance of the bridal party, the bride and groom danced their way into the banquet hall that seated just about two hundred people. The room was decorated with such class. Ahead was the elegant stage with a table and a regal looking white seat for two – the bride and groom. Behind was a wall of white roses, accented with small Victoria Blue Myosotis Scorpioides (also known as “Forget-Me-Nots” – nobody was going to forget this wedding, that’s for sure). The dimly lit room was celebrated with warm-toned mood lighting reminiscent of the sun setting. The twenty round tables each covered in expensive white linen, sat ten people and were decorated with well-thought floral centre pieces that allowed guests to still see each other across the table.
The cheering had yet to stop, the bride and groom were still boogeying down to the middle of the dance floor. Every guest had their phones out and that one aunty with her iPad struggling to capture the moment, and that’s when she walked in through the side door passing the bar. For a moment he had his eyes on the newlyweds, but he felt like he was being watched, he could not help but put his head up, and there she was staring right at him. Chills ran down his spine, she was gorgeous, but that was not it, it was something else and he could not put his finger on it. He had not seen her at the ceremony, that’s for sure. He struggled to avoid her gaze and tried to get back to what seemed to be a dance battle between the bride and groom – from the brief glimpse he was able to steal, his best friend was definitely losing, even in her unnecessarily big-poofy white wedding dress that she had to hold up, the bride was owning the dance floor even if it looked like she was at a work out session. He laughed at the sight before feeling uneasy again. He looked up, in the direction of the bar, and the girl was no longer there. He rubbed the back of his neck and forced himself to push his uneasiness to the side, “I need a drink.”
The Dance Floor Is Open
It was that part of the evening which everyone was looking forward to. All the guest had eaten from the buffet counter full of well prepared Nigerian delicacies, jollof rice, fried plantains, ewa and efo riro to name a few, a feast for Kings. The bar was no exception, offering all types of drinks and cocktails.
As he leaned over the bar he could not help but notice the twinkle in his glass, he looked over his shoulder and saw her standing next to him, it must have been her necklace that reflected in his glass. He thought her necklace was interesting and as he continued to look at her it felt like time had stopped, with the music and chatter also fading. She was not looking at him, but he was definitely looking at her. “Is this what love at first sight feels like? This babe is fire! AH AH!”
“So are you just going to stare at me all night or will you be a man and order me a drink?” She turned to him, “You seem like a man familiar with his spirits, get me something you think I’d like. And once you’ve given me my drink, we will head to that table and do the small talk thing, I’ll laugh, you’ll look at me some more and then you’ll ask me to dance and in that order. So. My drink please.”
It took a few seconds for him to process everything she had just said. Did she just say that? No! WOW! He had never met a woman so direct in his life, some may have even called it a bit brash. It’s as if she had practiced this speech, you would think she had prepared these words especially for him.
Taken aback, he thought he would regain control of the situation, his ego slightly bruised, but it was fine, she was very cute. “Ahem! And nice to meet you too!” He held out his hand and flashed his award winning smile, she looked at him and at his stretched hand and she offered him a sly smile, a smile of victory while shaking his hand.
“I’m sorry.” She said teasingly, “I have no manners, nice to meet you, and you are?”
Was he blacking out or what because the softness of her hands were something else, he forgot his name.
“Ok, Mr. No Name. How about that drink?”
For the life of him he didn’t know why his mother’s words came to him in an instant “My small King, do not waste your time and strength chasing women about town oh!! The trouble you’ll face at the hands of these small-small girls is no small thing at all. I call you my small King for a reason, because you’ll one day be a King to your wife so please remember it is not for Kings like you to get drunk on wine and all these alcoholic concoctions. That’s how you’ll now go and forget who you are. Se you’ve heard me?”* This was not the time for his mother’s words to be echoing in his mind. He’d been drinking all day, why now? Now he would need another drink for her voice to go away. “Not today Ma! Definitely not today.”
As she predicted, they sat at the table and spoke for what seemed like forever, it was a mere five minutes and they mostly spoke about nothing.
“So you’re a friend of the bride?”
“Yes, I am.” She said bluntly, seeming uninterested.
“So you’re single yeah? I heard you shout when the MC asked all the single ladies to come out for the throwing of the bouquet. You’re into that marriage stuff?” He caught her attention again.
“Marriage stuff.” She repeated while giggling and shaking her head. “So you noticed me? Good. As for me being single, just between you and I, I am as single as you need me to be tonight.” She smirked seductively.
He coughed out of shock, he liked her courage although intimidating. He did not know how to follow up on that statement, but he continued. “Erm…You look beautiful in that dress.”
“You compliment me as if I don’t already know I look beautiful. If it’ll make you feel any better, I wore this dress for you.” Her sly smile came back again, implying all sorts of things.
“But we don’t know each other. How could you have possibly dressed for someone you’ve never met? You’re a strange one, but I like you.” He laughed, this was going to be a wild night.
While he continued to laugh at the fantasies in his mind, she looked at him intently, as if searching for his soul. It scared him – only for a moment but he eventually concluded that it must be the alcohol. He flashed his smile at her to ease himself a little.
Seeing that he seemed unsettled, she leaned forward towards him and whispered in his ear “Now, this is the time you ask me out to the dance floor like a gentleman.” He did as instructed, still smiling, but to prove that he was in control, he stood up and offered out his hand to assist her as she stood, he then occupied the space next to her on her left and placed his right hand on her lower back. She gasped quickly and turned to look at him, “You are a gentleman after all.”
He thought he was winning in all of this.
They danced all night on the dance floor as if they were the only two people in the world though their conversation still remained shallow as they flirted with each other.
Some of the female guests had caught on to her game,
“See what she’s doing now! This girl is a mess I tell you!! Hmmmmm.”
“Oh my gosh! No way! Who is this girl? Na wa for woman! This one is a shopping basket full of things. See her dress sef. Orishi-rishi!”
“A particular Chris Brown song comes to mind… something about loyalty.” They all cackled and laughed at her, some rejecting that they should ever call such a girl their friend, “I reject bad thing in my life.” They laughed again – it must have been the alcohol.
She whispered in his ears, “I think the girls over there are talking about me.” He stood back mid dance and took in inventory of her with his eyes, “They’re jealous of you that’s all.” He smirked in response as he moved closer to her.
They giggled and flirted all the more, caressing each other as if they had known each other for years; an unknowing eye would have thought they were the newlywed couple.
“Let me get us some drinks. What would you like?”
“I thought you’d never ask. I’ll have a glass of white wine.”
He made his way to the bar to place their order, while doing so a few of the guys approached him.
“Oh boy!! How did you get her to speak to you? We know you have game, but dang!! Ohhhh man na this one be another level oh. You don blow. My guy!” One of the groomsmen joked, while offering a congratulatory pat on his back.
Another guy started, adding to the ego boosting session – “Bross! I hail you plenty. How you go handle all of that now? Just be careful sha, if you can’t handle her, make I help you small.” This particular guy was slightly jealous, he thought “every wedding this dude always gets one babe shaaaa, him and his everyday shine-shine Colgate teeth. Kai!”
“My guys, please step back and watch a real player do his thing, take notes if you have to, because this will be the first and last time I show you how I work. Now if you don’t mind, let me go and meet this babe with her drink before one of you decides to snatch her from me.” They all laughed stupidly. It must have been the alcohol.
The Beginning of the End
He made his way to the dance floor but could not find her where he left her, the dance floor had suddenly gotten crowded in the little time he went to the bar and came back.
Drinks in hand, he made his way outside the banquet hall to the adjacent rooftop patio, where some the guests had retreated to for fresh air and to take pictures of the city skyline. He spotted her in the distant corner with her back facing him. He noticed that she was on the phone and the conversation seemed heated just by looking at how she stood. He allowed her a few more seconds on the phone before approaching her with her glass of wine, in the same instant she had finished her phone call and turned to head back in.
In that split second he saw fear in her eyes, he had not seen that all night. She was so bold and it seemed like she was fearless.
“Oh I didn’t see you there. Thanks for the drink.” She took her glass from him hastily and drank her wine in one go.
“Hey. Are you ok?” He asked with concern.
She placed her now empty glass on the glass cocktail table nearby and she did the same with his drink, then threw her arms around him, had she been a wrestler, he would have thought she was about to put him in a headlock. Before he could gather himself, she kissed him. Hard.
There was nothing romantic about this kiss. The kiss had been filled with so much lust and hatred, he could have sworn he was being poisoned, that is what it felt like, but he could not stop her. No… no he could have, but he did not want to.
A few seconds in and she stepped back ever so slightly leaving him no room to run, “Listen, don’t think I’m just an ‘any girl’. I’m a good Christian girl, as a matter of fact I sing lead in the Young Adults Choir. Every Sunday. I make rehearsal on time on Wednesday’s too.” She laughed like a crazy woman. He was confused. “Why is she telling me this?” he thought “it must be the alcohol.” The kiss silenced him more than her soft hands had done earlier and he stayed so as she continued to speak.
“Remember when you asked me if I was single?”
He nodded in response (he was still searching for his voice).
“Well, I’m nowhere near single. I’m actually very, very married.” She gave him a look almost daring him to object. He was about to say something when she put her index finger on his lips to stop him from responding (apparently he had now found his voice).
“Listen. My husband is away for church business with a few of our church leaders, and based on the call I just had with him, he won’t be back anytime soon. Much to my pleasure, I’m too tipsy to drive home this evening, and being the wise woman that I am I already have a room booked downstairs. Fine men like you don’t do well by dismissing such invitations from pretty women like me, so don’t spoil the evening by telling me you won’t join me tonight, because we’ve both anticipated this very moment. The room is cute, you’d like it. I asked the hotel staff to make it extra comfortable and the mini-bar is well stocked.” He was still mute as she continued, “I won’t ask you wether you’re coming or not, because you will and plus, you need to a story to tell the guys right?” She motioned to have him turn his head, the guys and some of the girls were looking at them from the banquet hall.
He smiled as if had won the prize.
She smiled at him “I’m on the sixth floor, room 606. Meet me when you’re ready.”
It Was All A…
He woke up in a cold sweat, panting hard. He was frightened. This same dream had disturbed his sleep week after week since the wedding. He wished he had never set his eyes on her.
He searched for his phone, and dialled an all too familiar number. Thank God for the time difference, because he knew his mum would still be up, probably praying or something.
“My small King! Hope all is well that you are calling so late?”
“Yes Ma, everything is…,” he wanted to lie to his mother but thought better of it. “No Ma, everything is not ok, I… I need you to pray for me.”
He recounted the events of the wedding reception and the reoccurring dreams he had of this girl, to his mother. He was broken by the fact that he knew his mum was disappointed and that she had always advised him against these very things that caused him his sleepless nights.
“My son, wait, let me get your father so we can both pray for you.”
“In Jesus Name, We have prayed. Amen.” His father’s deep pastoral voice ended the prayer but continued, “My son, things will be fine, we have prayed, you have no reason to feel guilty or be afraid but now it’s up to you to turn from the lifestyle that got you here in the first place. It’s time you turn to Christ for yourself. Confess your wrong doings to Him, and with His help you won’t get caught up in such messy situations again. If you can do this you’ll be free to have the best sleep you’ve ever had.”** His dad laughed, as did his mum, meanwhile he tried but could not and instead greeted them good night after expressing his thanks to them for being praying parents.
His dad was the joker in the family but often spoke truth when telling his jokes. He knew that what his father had said was true and as much as he wanted to sleep first, he knew what he had to do right then. He got on his knees.
Read Proverbs Chapter 7 and see if you can pin-point the similarities and themes found in this story. Leave a comment in the comment section when/if you do! 🙂 I have posted another blog to explain the imagery further including other scriptures that influenced this piece.
*Reference to Proverbs Chapter 31 verses 2-7
“O my son, O son of my womb, O son of my vows, do not waste your strength on women, on those who ruin kings. It is not for kings, O Lemuel, to guzzle wine. Rulers should not crave alcohol. For if they drink, they may forget the law and not give justice to the oppressed. Alcohol is for the dying, and wine for those in bitter distress. Let them drink to forget their poverty and remember their troubles no more.”
** Reference to John Chapter 5 verse 14 and Chapter 8 verses 10 &11.
“But afterward Jesus found him in the Temple and told him, “Now you are well; so stop sinning, or something even worse may happen to you.””
“Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?”
“No, Lord,” she said. And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.”