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Kamsi – Episode 12

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**This is the last episode of Kamsi. A big thanks to everyone who loved and took ownership of the story. It was very inspiring. Kamsi told her story, the way it went was a bit different from how I envisioned it initially. But I enjoyed writing it and the feedback, comments, encouragements I got. Thank you.

It was a new year. People were screaming loudly, lighting fireworks. We just came back from church. My mom was busy calling everyone in her phone book to wish them a happy new year. Cheta was watching a movie. I was sitting down and trying to organise my thoughts. I didn’t believe in new year resolutions. I have done it so many times and it put me on a threshold instead of me actualising anything. I rather improve on myself daily.

My phone started vibrating, it was Tega calling.
“Happy new year!!!!”
“Happy new year Tega.”
“So, my mom wants you to come over later today to discuss our wedding plans.”
“Is she our wedding planner?”
“Baby, I’m her only child, just let her stress it. What matters is the life after.” I cringe whenever he calls me baby. It was supposed to be cute but literally imagine a crying toddler every time.
“I know the marriage is what matters but I want a wedding I can remember fondly. Tega, the last time she spoke to me, she increased her guest list. From 150 to 175! I want not more than 30 guests at most. Maybe you can talk to her.”
“Kamsi, it’s just a wedding.”
“It is my wedding!”
“Is money the problem?”
“Tega! I want not more than 30 people, please. And I’m not down for all that noise and similar cloth wearing.”
“Okay. So are you still coming?”
“Talk to her first biko.”

The next day, people kept greeting a happy new year. It was exhilarating, to see so people so joyful, making temporary changes, forgetting their problems, grateful for a new year, trying to be nice. A stranger paid for my bus fare. She said her new year resolution was to start giving so she can be blessed this year. There wasn’t much to do at the office, it was more like a day to celebrate. One of the cleaners was celebrating her birthday. Tinu bought a huge cake for her, as an excuse to indulge us. We took lots of pictures, had fun without getting much work done.
I went to Tega’s parent’s house after work. The door was unlocked, I found her in the kitchen. She was frying plantain.
“Kamsi!” She acted guilty instead of surprised.
“I don’t usually fry, but dodo used to one of my favourite food when I was much younger. I am craving it so bad.”
“Wow. It’s okay then. I actually brought a cake from the office. I came for the wedding.”
“Of course! Tega said you want a close-knit wedding.”
“Yes, please.”
She turned and flipped the plantain over. I didn’t know what to do. I moved closer to her.
“I know Tega, is your only child and you have plans but it is my wedding also. Maybe when we go for our honeymoon, you can have a big after-party.”
“Kamsi dear. Really? I would not want to do something you don’t like.”
“It’s okay. May I have some plantain please?”
“Oh dear, I’m starting to love you. Plantain and cake. We mustn’t let Tega know what we had.”
I called Tega and told him about the new wedding arrangement. He was very happy.

Tega and I got married on a Friday. It was intentional. Some Nigerians don’t bother about “strictly by invitation” especially putting into consideration his mom’s initial plans. A friend or family member’s party is automatically theirs. I wanted to spend that day with people I could relate with. We had 19 guests, with 11 coming from Tega. My mom, Cheta, Adora, Nnamdi, Ryan who was my little groom, Tinu who was my maid of honour, Kene were the only people from my side. It held at the beach where he proposed. I was so happy that I cried at one point. Nnamdi was the one who represented my father, he tried so hard to please me. I didn’t know when I hugged him so tight.
My life is crazily full of happiness now. I am married to someone I love, who also happens to be a good man. Not many people get that. I have an actual relationship with my sisters. I have a job that pays my bills. It is not my dream job but I still get satisfaction from it, although I still very much want to be a newscaster.

I’ve come a long way from a jobless graduate in a short time. I still hurt from my father’s betrayal and I wonder about his son. Someday I might try to have a relationship with him. But right now, I just want to dance, pull off my heels and feel sand and water between my feet.

Author:

I'm OnyinyeOlufunmi, a visual artist, writer and psychologist from Lagos, Nigeria.

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