The New Bride (The END)

Michael never saw Frank and Habibat at the entrance of the airport as fate had it. The secret was never revealed to him, this was because Frank and Yvonne needed to stay low to avoid letting their parents know about their plans. Back in Lagos, in Frank’s home, the elopement agreement was signed by Frank and Yvonne. Yvonne had looked for the best opportunity to leave her unhappy marriage with Frank. She knew that he never had an iota of feelings for her, and that he was still deeply in love with Habibat, his ex. She, on the other hand, passionately hated being in the same roof with a man she hardly knew and had no affection for, the thought of Michael everyday drove her crazy. She practically made life miserable for Frank, who equally detested her even more, especially for her rejection of his love making advances. They were both from rich homes, their parents had a good rapport but that was none of her business. To her, Michael was her breath and no one could replace him. Luck shone on her the day Habibat and Frank had a cool love session at Piccadilly suites. She had seen both of them in her car on her way home from work that evening and decided to help her soul out. With the help of an attendance who she bribed enticingly, she got a video clip of Frank’s act with Habibat that evening. She duplicated the clip, entrusting one with her younger sister who she confided in. “I’m so going to let your mother know about this”, she said to Frank throwing the CD to his face. Frank hastily watched the video after receiving further threats and abuses from Yvonne. He thought about the implications of the acts in that clip, his mother’s likely insensitive reactions to it, and all the troubles it would bring him. And when Yvonne finally gave him her conditions, he had no choice but to accept it since it would favour him as well. Yvonne threatened Frank with blackmail; “it was either he lets her elope with Michael or she lets the cat out”. The later would be disastrous. Frank cleverly agreed to the former since he had not even touched her. Calling her his wife was a joke to him because she’s far from being that. They had only come to live together after their traditional marriage which was a few months old. Though their parents had practically forced them to do the church wedding which they had pretended to be planning, they saw the idea as unreasonable as both of them were only two strangers forced to live under the roof.

Their plans went perfectly. What mattered most to Yvonne was to be with her lawfully wedded husband, Michael, and since she had made Frank to let her go the hard way, she had won. She knew also that Frank wouldn’t be that stupid not to elope with Habibat as well, so, it was a game well played.

Returning from the university where Michael and Yvonne applied for Master’s program, they paid Michael’s uncle a visit before returning to their hotel. Michael’s love for Yvonne wasn’t news to him. In fact, he was partly the one who encouraged him to take Yvonne to the registry for their court marriage. They had a nice time with him. He was very happy having them around. He’s of the opinion that marriage shouldn’t be forced or coerced. He had his own share of the pain of forced marriage and wouldn’t let anyone fall into such trap, not even his nephew. Though he’s young, he’s divorced; his wife left him 5 years after their wedding for her heartthrob.

“Honey, there’s some secret I will be revealing to you now”, Yvonne said to Michael as they lay to sleep. “All right then, let the cat out, my Queen”. Yvonne continued,”I saw Frank and Habibat at the airport a few minutes before we went to the grocery shop”. Michael adjusted himself to enable him look Yvonne in the face while she talked. He looked with utter surprise and eagerness to hear the full gist. Yvonne continued,”I threatened him with his sex clip with Habibat, and made him agree to let me go, while he finds his way out of Nigeria with Habibat as well”. “That was the reason why I was able to be in Dubai”. “Inasmuch as I trusted that you would take me out of the marriage, I felt I needed to do something more to make Frank give his consent, that’s the only way I wouldn’t feel guilty at all”. Yvonne explained. Michael couldn’t believe Yvonne’s mischief and smartness, and out of excitement, he jumped down the bed and lifted her up with showers of kisses. That night, he made love to her; the first ever.

Habibat and Frank’s American citizenship made it easier for them to settle within a few months. Her baby was born in the hospital where she worked as a nurse 7 months later. At that point, they had chosen the life they wanted and there was nothing anybody could do about it. Their parents had to deal with it.

Michael and Yvonne worked part time in the same hospital Habibat worked, while doing their program. The four became a family. Yvonne and Michael’s parents had no choice but to consent to their union. “Our children forced us to become in-laws after years of enmity”,Yvonne’s mother joked as she served her husband a glass of wine.

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