Four Months Later
After years of waiting and begging for her heart, Tulani finally got his wish when he wedded Natasha. In Tulani style, it was an extravagant ceremony, a page out of a fairy-tale. At thirty years old, divorced and with a child, Natasha would have never imagined herself being the centre of attention at such a profligate event. But it was exactly what Tulani wanted; a loud statement proclaiming his undying love for the woman of his dreams.
A few minutes before the bride and groom were to make an entrance at the reception that evening, Nataniel Kaponda begged to have a private audience with them in their room.
“That should be him,” Natasha got up from the bed, shaking and almost breaking in a sweat. Tulani went over to her, pushed the train of her second wedding dress for the day to the side and pulled her towards him.
“You’re gonna be just fine Mrs Mulenga.” Tulani said. “However, he is the president of this country. We can’t possibly keep him waiting by the door any longer.”
“Ooh…why did he come?” Natasha whined.
“He was invited!” Tulani laughed.
“We never really expected him to accept the invitation. Has he no shame?”
Tulani chuckled. “He’s a politician love, shame is a rare emotion for them to feel. Besides, he is your biological father. whatever happened between him and your mother in the past is just that; past. He obviously wants to have a relationship with you. Should I open the door for him now?”
“Okay, let him in.” Natasha went to position herself on the edge of the bed while Tulani went to open the door.
“Your Excellency,” Tulani shook the president’s arm.
Mr Kaponda laughed. “I asked you to continue calling me uncle, not this excellency nonsense between family. This is a private event with family and friends. I would like to feel like I am a part of your family…at least.” He was looking at Natasha from the door as he said the last part.
“Come in,” Tulani stepped aside to let him in. “Except I don’t think all these men will fit in the small room….”
“Wait here gentlemen,” Nataniel said to his bodyguards. “I won’t be long.”
Natasha found herself up on her feet again. “Mr President,” she greeted the man she now knew to be her father.
“Sit Tasha,” Nataniel said as he pulled a chair from the dresser to sit in front of her.
“I’ll be out here getting to know your security team uncle while you two chat.” Tulani said and closed the door behind him.
“Why did you come, to both the wedding and the reception?” Natasha asked.
“How can I miss your wedding Natasha?” Nataniel asked.
“Stop.” Natasha held out her hand. “Just stop it. I will never acknowledge who you are to me even if you are the most powerful man in the country.”
“I know that Natasha and I understand. I am not trying to force my way into your life, I promised your mother I wouldn’t…and I intend to keep that promise. As for coming here, I beg that you forgive me.
“It was very selfish of me, I know…but I couldn’t help myself. I have absolutely no right to be here or to expect anything…but, I just had to come and witness the beginning of your new life here. This will be the first and last time. But Tasha, if you ever need to….”
“No, it’s never going to happen.” She cut him off, turning her back to him to fight off the tears.
Looking defeated, Nataniel was forced to agree with her. “I know,” he said. “I am very sorry Natasha…for everything.”
“I know, just leave.” She said with her back still to him.
Nataniel got up but before he could open the door, he stopped and looked back at her. “Congratulations on your marriage Natasha.” Then he opened the door and left the room.
Natasha dropped to the floor and gave in to the flood of tears. Tulani rushed over to her and put his arms around her.
Twenty minutes later, the two of them entered the reception hall with the dance of their lives, all smiles like nothing dramatic had happened just a few minutes ago.
“I think I should teach brother in-law a few moves after the honeymoon.” Natasha’s younger brother Alex told his parents. “What the hell does he think he is doing?” the twenty year old was laughing as he watched Tulani dance.
“Not everyone spends their time parting and clubbing son.” Martha said with a huge smile on her face, her gaze fixed on the dancing pair. “Let my son in-law enjoy himself. This is one of the best days of his life.”
“Is it safe for Tasha to be dancing that much?” Bernard had concern written all over his face.
“She’s only a month old pregnant honey, relax. Other women have done worse things. A little exercise doesn’t hurt.”
“Tasha is pregnant!?” Alex yelled right at the moment when the song was ending and Tulani and Natasha were about to sit at the high table. The whole room had heard him, including Tulani who like all the guests appeared to be hearing the news for the very first time.
“You’re pregnant?” Tulani asked Natasha.
“I wanted to surprise you later tonight but – “ she sent her kid brother a stern look. Alex simply shrugged his shoulders innocently.
Taking everyone by surprise, Tulani put his arm around Natasha’s waist, tilted her back and laid kissed her passionately on the lips, winning himself applause from the guests.
Natasha managed to separate herself from him and hitting him on the chest she said; “Our parent’s are here!”
“So what?” Tulani asked, laughing before taking her hand and leading her in a bow towards the guests before sitting down. The MC immediately sounded off.
Natasha was looking at the guests as they sat down on their seats when she thought she saw someone familiar disappear through the door.
“Isn’t that Luyando?” Natasha asked her husband.
Tulani turned in the direction of his wife’s gaze and caught the last glimpse of a female’s back. “I know that walk very well.” He said. “It’s really her. I thought she had left the country….”
“She’s still fighting for custody of the children with Peter. I heard from mum that his new wife doesn’t want him to have any dealings with her. She thinks Luyando is trying to use the kids to get back with Peter.”
“She is not even his legal wife, what’s her problem?” Tulani asked.
“They’ve been living together ever since he moved out of the house with Luyando and she’s nine months pregnant with his child.”
Luyando ran to her vehicle the moment her feet stepped out of the hall and locked the doors, panting and sweating, she dropped her head onto her steering wheel and cried.
Unbeknownst to her, Alex had seen her enter the hall and followed her out thinking she was out to cause again. He had heard all about her crazy antics from Joshua, his sister’s new father in-law and he had made sure to stay alert during the ceremony and reception to protect his sister.
However, the picture of Luyando crying alone in her car was not the image he had imagined her to be. After five minutes trying to compose herself, Luyando stepped out of her vehicle again and sent Alex hiding behind a car.
He followed her quietly behind and watched her hand an envelope to one of the door bouncers at the door and walked back to her car. Once he was sure she was out of the premises, Alex ran over to the bouncer who had received the envelope and got it from him.
“The lady said to give it to the bride and groom.” The well-built man said in a thick masculine voice.
“I know,” Alex said. “The bride is my sister.” He then opened the enveloped with utmost care and found a cheque and a note inside. “$1000! Is she nuts!?” Alex almost lost it. “Who the hell gives this much as a wedding present?”
None of the bouncers answered him.
Alex opened the note;
I hope you do not take this as me trying to buy your forgiveness. I know that no amount of money can ever make up for all the things I put you two through.
However, this is the only thing I could think of doing. I started at $300, but it seemed so little so I raised it to 500, then 700…and finally settled for 1000. It’s my way of saying congratulations on your marriage…and that I wish you nothing but the best.
I hope that if we ever meet in future, it will be on good terms so we can start all over again. I hope the two of you and the rest of the family can think of everything that’s happened in the past as simply; a twisted fate.
Congratulations Mr and Mrs Mulenga!
Luyando Mulenga Chimeko.
“Wow,” Alex said upon finishing. He folded the note in half again and put it back in the envelope. “A twisted fate indeed.” He said and walked back into the hall.