The Sacred Bride
Written by Bunmi B. Gabriel
I hummed as I polished mom’s nails very diligently, I had my complete manicure kit laid out on the bed while she watched a boring telenovela series. My ears were blocked with music, I nodded my head, tapping my foot slowly. I sat on the bed with one leg folded and the other on the floor.
‘…you made me do
I’m with somebody new
Oh, baby baby
I’m dancing with a stranger
Look what you made me do
I’m with somebody new
Oh baby baby
I’m dancing with a stranger…’ The music flowed into my ears. The music was to distract me from looking at the television and admiring the romance movie when such romance don’t exist. Okay, maybe they do, Eric and Alis are evidence and of course, Eric’s mother and my uncle but still, not real. Why can’t I find my own romeo and be a Juliet… Hell, I don’t want to die…arch! Love sucks.
‘I wasn’t even going out tonight
But boy I need to get you off my mind
I know exactly what I need to do
I don’t wanna be alone tonight
Alone tonight, alone tonight
Look what you made me do
I’m with somebody new
Oh baby baby
I’m dancing with a stranger
Look what you made me do
I’m with someb…’ Mom tapped me, I raised my head and smiled at her. I removed one earpiece and arched a brow at her.
‘I still don’t understand why you are polishing my nails for me, this makeup you added to my face is too much for someone staring indoor.’
‘You need to look very beautiful, because I’m jobless and just in case you see a sexy old man who is ready to oil your rusty engine…’
‘Ew!’ She laughed, swatting my arm. ‘Don’t need any man, I’m okay.’
‘Oh pe-lease mom,’ I said with an eye roll. ‘Like Bloom and I didn’t see the way you and that Mr. Morocco was allover each other at the hospital canteen yesterday noon.’ Her face turned red. See what I mean? Even old mom is going to get a boyfriend and all I keep doing with my life is playing Cupid.
‘I don’t know what you are talking about,’ she lied sharply, her eyes roaming around.
‘So, you don’t know who the hot widower at ward 169 is, really mom?’
‘I don’t know who you are talking about,’
‘Oh mother,’ I called in a singsong. ‘You’re lying.’
‘Bobby and I are just good friends, he is here because he just had an appendix operation, nothing more.’
‘So, when Bloom and I heard him say “I remember how stubborn and so much of a feminist you were back then in highschool, the stubborn decent angel who would never date.” Was our ears having issues?’ I asked smirkingly, she rolled her eyes away as her face turned red again.
‘Fine, we used to be enemies in school, the classic bad boy – good girl prank war, but unlike the novels and movies, we never fell in love and ended up together.’ She said with a hint of sadness in her tone.
‘Never you say,’ I purred.
‘Oh shut up, what do you know about love.’ She scoffed, I know everything yet I’m stuck with nothing.
‘I know enough to be the reason Eric still has Leila, I know enough to have pinned Alis to Bloom. I knew enough to matchmake your daughter with Paige’s father, I knew enough to keep my annoying parents together and to have saved so many relationships and I also know enough to tell you to your face that your ever best highschool crush is back.’
‘Whose love is back?’ Alis asked as he leaned on the doorframe. Bloom ran to the bed and plopped herself on it. ‘Kristal?’ He asked, looking at mom.
‘Mom is in love…’
‘No I’m not!’
‘Remember that Bobby Morocco she has always blabbed about all our lives?’ I asked smirking mischievously, reminding her that she have mention him too much.
‘The same Morocco that recently partnered up with me? The same one who my ears never rest from?’
‘The very one,’ I said with a nod.
‘For God’s sake! Bobby and I are just friends!’ She exclaimed distraughtly.
‘Bobby and I are just friends,’ Alis mimicked childishly, shaking his head like a golly head. ‘My husband couldn’t cook, he made me do all the cooking. Alis learn how to cook so you will please your future wife one day like I’m sure Bobby is doing now. Oh, my husband is a nice man but he lacks humour like Bobby do. Alis you need to grow more hair so you will look as hot as Bobby…’
‘Kristal, I pray that one day, you will get a good man like Bobby. Seb is just like Bobby, a big time flirt….’ I continued.
‘I said all that?’ She asked quizzically.
‘Should I call Eric and Seb to start the chapters? Even Paige has her own share of BOBBY,’ Alis said with an eye roll at the name. Bloom started laughing as she got on her feet. ‘Anyways, not my business. Bloom and I are going on a quick trip, will be back tomorrow evening or the next.’
‘Second honeymoon,’ she sang. ‘This time, we are going to make babies, right Alis?’ He rolled his eyes. She nudged him which made him laugh. ‘Right babe?’
‘Right, ten babies,’ he laughed. It feels so good to see him so happy with a woman other than me and mom. I sniffed and wiped off imaginary tear out of my eye. ‘You okay Kristal?’
‘They grow up so fast,’ I said in a teary whisper. He rolled his eyes.
‘If I should give you one slap now, your face will break into two.’
‘Bloom baby, if he hits me, starve him of sex, no?’
‘Sí,’ she laughed. ‘But, why is mom wearing makeup and getting her nails done?’
‘For seducing her man, duh!’
‘You children should stop it, please.’ She said sheepishly.
‘Mom, you need to look stunning,’
‘Women,’ Alis muttered and walked over to mom. He hugged her, whispering words to her ears. Bloom whistled, dragging my attention.
‘What’s the plan?’ She asked. We somehow have this weird eye reading conversation ability.
‘Get her laid, what else?’
‘How many children does he have?’
‘His first child and daughter recently had a baby, she’s married and lives in Toronto. The second one is a boy, college and the last one is that teenage girl we saw pushing his wheelchair.’
‘It doesn’t seem like he married early,’ I nodded in agreement. ‘He’s a good man, I trust my instinct.’
‘Yet I suck with love!’ I exclaimed out too. We laughed as mom and Alis looked at us plainly. We giggled.
‘We better start going before we miss our flight,’ Alis said loudly. ‘Or you infect my wife with your madness.’
‘How do we miss the flight to your own private jet?’
‘Okay, time to go,’ he yanked her arm and pulled her out. I sighed, love is sick.
‘Kristal, are you alright?’
‘I’m fine mom,’ I smiled and continued with her nails in silent. After I finished her nails, I packed my kit and put my phone in my pocket. Someone knocked softly.
‘Come in,’ the door push open and Bobby got rolled in by his daughter. I sniggered and smirked at mom. ‘Bobby, you are here?’
‘I came to check on you,’
‘Oh, that’s very nice of you.’
‘Hi, we haven’t introduced ourselves properly,’ he said to me. ‘I’m Bobby…’
‘I know, I’m Kristal Briceno, foster daughter one.’
‘Oh my God! I’m so glad to finally meet you in person Kristal!’ The daughter squealed. ‘I’m Clementina…’
‘Tina, what did we discuss about rambling?’
‘Oh, sorry. I’m just too excited to meet you in person.’
‘You read my articles?’
‘And sleep in your blog! I love what you are doing with your women right organization and…’
‘Why don’t we take a walk Tina? I want to drop this…’ I raised the kit. ‘In my car.’
‘I’ll help!’ She shrieked, ran to me and snatched the kit box. She ran out of the room.
‘You know Mr. Morocco, I saw a movie once, something about old love never dies or related…’
‘Kristal,’ mom whimpered.
‘Oh well, cheerio.’ I winked at her and bounced out. Tina was waiting for me at the elevator down the hall.
‘They are so into each other,’ she said, pressing the elevator button.
‘Mom haven’t been with a man since her husband died twenty years ago…’
‘Wow, that’s long.’
‘Indeed, women mourn longer than men,’ she nodded in agreement. ‘You are not mad about it? That they are allover a woman?’
‘Not a woman, THE woman,’ she exaggerated as the door closed. ‘Mother once told us that father and her were best of friends, two bad friends from highschool. Dad spent years searching for your mother, hoping that one day they would meet and date, she was his first love, the one he never wanted to forget. Unfortunately, mom loved him too but he was too blind to see it but after dad finally found your mother but married, he became heartbroken. You know ladies, mom used that opportunity to get a one-nightstand from him, a night that led to my older sister. Without much to do, he married her but repeatedly made it known that he can never reciprocate her love.’
‘Your mother must have been…’
‘Bitter? No, she wasn’t, she was contended. Her love was big enough for the both of them, she didn’t mind being in the shadow of another woman all her life as long as she was the legal wife and mother of his children. The one thing we are all grateful for is that he never treated her or us badly, even though he didn’t love her, he treated her like a queen. He adored us, made us live well with no regret of having him as a father. That is worth being grateful for.’
‘And your siblings?’
‘Mother had always talked about how grateful she is to your mother because dad was a complete asshole, if it wasn’t for your mother, he would have gotten worse. We all appreciate what she did even though it was unintentional. He deserve to be with someone he loves, seven years of mourning is enough.’
‘You are wiser than you gabble,’
‘I have my moments,’ she said playfully. ‘Does your mom love my dad?’
‘Three chronicles of why we must all be like Bobby Morocco.’ I said with an eye roll.
‘Oh! I’m in love with heartcode, will he marry me if I propose to him? I know he has a girlfriend but she can share, right?’ And there the devil started, she started blabbing about how much she loves Alis and Eric. And I thought I was a talkative. The torture was hard, to and fro from the car, I wanted to die. ‘Cameroon!’ She shouted and ran out of the elevator before I pressed the button. I sighed with relief and pressed it. Before the door shut, a hand blocked it and the person jumped in. It was a doctor, a guy in white lab coat. He pressed the button and went back to lean on the wall, his hands in the pockets.
Oh my God! He’s so hot!
He had razor cut brownish gold hair, jade like eyes and salmon pink lips. My mouth was watering from how hot the guy was, one of those doctors that will have nurses and patients swarming their office for something other than treatment. I scoffed and looked away, remembering how awesome men are. The door dinged open, I walked out to mom’s ward, he was right behind me. I went to open the door but their laughter stopped me from opening the door.
‘Excuse me,’ I flinched and turned around, he was right there. ‘Can you let me pass? I need to check on my patient.’
‘This is my mom’s ward and I wasn’t notified of any change, you can’t just walk in here like that and she is busy,’ I pushed the door open slightly so he would see them almost KISSING! I shut the door back slightly and giggled. He smiled and nodded with understanding.
‘Perhaps later then,’ he turned and walked off to another ward. Brat.
The worse thing about me is that when I see a guy I know will break my heart, I just tend to still like him. It had been three hours since I met him, he came back later to check on mom who was in cloud nine. His scent in the room, his voice and the bright smile on his face just kept ringing a bell, something clicking but I just couldn’t place my hand on it. Somewhere deep down, I had a feeling I already fell in love with that face, already drooled over it but where? I have crushed on and love a lot of guys, too much I can’t even remember their faces again. The thoughts was killing me so I had to move out of the room to the hospital garden, where I could think clearly. That scent, the scent was familiar, all too familiar but where?
There was just this pull, this very powerful pull towards him but why? Where have we met?
‘A penny for your thought,’ I flinched and jerked to my feet. He laughed. ‘Sorry, didn’t mean to do that. Hi, I’m Dr. Ryan Warren Walker, do you mind if I join you?’
‘Er…sure,’ I said stunningly, lowering myself back on the bench.
‘Thank you,’ he sat down too. ‘So, why did you leave the room? Was I bothering you?’
‘Are you Italian?’ I asked instead.
‘Oh no, I stayed there for long and their accent sort of rubbed off on me.’ He offered me a killer boy smile, I gave him a tight smile and tilted my head.
‘Since I was seventeen. Father sent me there to study and after I graduated, I took over his branch there but now father thinks it’s time I start running the headquarter. Right now, I’m starting by just moving like a normal doctor, to get to know everyone for their true self before I let them know I own this place.’ He explained, looking ahead.
‘You miss Italy?’
‘And all my patients and friends, the children and mothers, I miss them all. I expected this, just still feel sad about leaving my whole life behind. There is nothing I can do though, I will just have to get use to it with time. I haven’t made any friends yet and the ones I used to know have become too bad to call friends, they made me do horrible things during my stay here, horrible horrible things that I can’t forgive myself for. That is why dad sent me far away, for me to change and I don’t want that to be ruin.’
‘You just told me a big deal about you, why?’
‘I don’t know,’ he said with clear nonchalance in his voice. ‘I just find my lips moving,’ he looked at me. ‘You are easy to talk to.’
I smiled and stretched my hand to him. ‘Kristal, Kristal Briceno.’
‘Kristal Briceno, that name…’ He trailed off. His names are familiar too. ‘Hmm, I’m going touring tomorrow, to remind myself of my original home.’
‘No one to assist, wanna apply?’ He asked with a boyish grin. I laughed and slapped his arm. ‘Come on, please?’
‘You don’t even know me,’
He shrugged. ‘I feel like I do.’
‘True, I feel the same way. I don’t know, like a pull… What was your name in highschool?’ I asked with widened eyes. ‘What school did you attend?’
‘My name was RW, why?’ My head swelled as images flashed in my head, no wonder I felt it.
‘You are the jerk who got my drink doctored and raped me! You took my virginity!’ I shouted, standing on my feet.
‘Me?’ He asked, shocked by the accusation. I was fourteen then, a naive fourteen years old girl whose friend pulled her to the send off party of the hottest guy in school, he was leaving for college. I didn’t know him much but I knew his name was RW and I was crushing on him. I got to the party, I gave him my present and I remember the way he was looking at me before he rolled his eyes away. His friends forced me to sit with them while other girls threw themselves on the four hot guys.
Somehow along the way, they were talking in whispers, I could hear them but I was too stupid to register their words. His friends were urging him to drug me, something like he have been wanting to for weeks and it was an opportunity to satisfy himself before he left for long. I was so stupid I drank what they gave me, I was just a kid…sort of a kid and he dared drugged me. It happened in a blur but his scent is permanent to my nostrils, his flaming touch is permanent to my body. All these years, no man had been able to meet up to that flame and that is why I never get sexually satisfied.
He raped and dumped me there, I didn’t see him again. In order to forget, I pushed his face deep into my mind and now he even changed face, got more handsomer and is looking at me with realisation, he remembers.
‘Oh God,’ he breathe. ‘I am so sorry Kristal, my f…’ I gave him a backhanded slap as tears ran down my cheeks.
‘That’s for doctoring my drink!’ I slapped him again. ‘That’s for stealing my virginity!’ I shouted, he let me hit him. ‘And this is for turning me to a unsatisfied nymphomaniac!’ I shouted and kicked his leg…well, tried to but he moved it so I ended up kicking the leg of the bench. I screamed and fell down to the floor, nursing my toes instantly as more tears flowed down my cheeks.
‘I’m very sorry Kristal. I told you I did a lot of bad things in the past, things I was lured into doing. I never wished for us to meet like this, I really never forgot about the last horrible thing I did before leaving…’
‘Keep your preaching to yourself,’ I snapped and staggered to my feet. ‘Now I know your name and face, I will stop at knowing until I pull your entire work to the ground. Ask around, research about me, you will know who Kristal Briceno have become. You just revealed yourself to the wrong blogger.’ I hissed with utter hatred and turned to leap away.
‘Kristal,’ he called softly. I looked at him over my shoulder. ‘Believe it or not, I didn’t accept to abandon my life in Italy just to come start allover here, I came back for you and you I will have.’ My mouth fell open. He didn’t say anything else, just stood up, tuck his hands into the pockets of his coat, winked at me and walked off.
Can somebody explain to me what just happened!
To be continued.