Stolen From the Altar

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MEN DON’T CRY. GOD FORBID!

When the Pastor said ‘If there’s anyone against these two becoming two in one, come out now or forever keep your peace’, I did not expect anyone to.

And then he did.

No one could have photoshopped the real him. Not even plastic surgery would have done the trick.

Stupefied, I watched the man who had been dead for seven years walk down the aisle to the front of the church where I stood, just seconds away from officially owning the most beautiful woman in the world, the love of my life. All was morgue silent; you could have heard a pin drop and pick it.

Mouths agape, the congregation watched in debilitating flabbergast the unfolding spectacle. A cold breeze whipped sharply, stung my cheeks and watered my eyes.

All my efforts had been in vain; seven years of getting Valencia to accept that her beloved, anorexic version of a Harry Porter boyfriend was dead and gone.

I fell in love with Valencia when my brother brought her home to introduce her to the family. I couldn’t allow my brother, the family Romeo, to have her. Our lifelong sibling rivalry resuscitated, and the mother of all battles ensued—Operation Love Valencia. Diplomacy never worked, yet I couldn’t concede defeat even though Valencia loved Damian like crazy. Every body was against me, the family’s black sheep.

Then it happened—the accident that killed Damian and almost paralysed Valencia, all my craft. What do you think? I am a medical doctor and know people with the Gifted Hands of Ben Carson. At least Valencia lived. Damian’s body was never found because he was reduced to cinders.

And at last, Valencia was all mine.

Now, I was staring at Damian’s handsome face, not even with a single scar or a single strand of hair missing. Mixed feelings crawled up to me, and I felt like crying.

Don’t cry, I told myself.

Then the strangest thing happened. Instead of fainting, as it happens in Nollywood, Valencia rushed to the man we all knew was dead. They hugged and kissed—they ought to get a room, you know.

I stared defiantly at Damian, looked at the couple making out in front of the church and pitied the pathetic figure that was me.

I held back the tears.

Men don’t cry.

It hurt to see Valencia happy with Damian, who, mysteriously, was alive.

And I could never show how much it hurt to know that Valencia was not happy with me.

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