Giddy with excitement and love unbound, Njideka smiled at her thoughts, heart beating as loud as the sound of the tracks announcing a train’s arrival. She sat up straight, still, with eyes closed and face forward, waiting for the artist her best friend bought her for the day, to finish making her over.

Her heart swelled with gratitude for this girl she was blessed with at the age of One. They grew up together, right across the street from each other, loving each other’s flaws and wells to their hearts content till this very day. Stealing a look at Ameze, she burst out in an uncontrollable laughter as she caught her bestie with a glass of wine in hand, dirty-flirting with the sultry looking nail designer who was getting ready to fix her nails once the makeup artist was done. The poor guy looked uncomfortable.

Sighing joyfully, she apologized to the quiet interrupted lady standing in front of her, and sat as still as she could, trying her best to gain composure and feign all seriousness. An hour and 45 minutes passed, then Ameze pulled the giant mirror in front of Njideka, eyes glowing with tears that threatened to fall. Seeing herself tall, beautiful, and happy, Njideka staggered backwards a little, hit by the reality she was about to face.
It was today!
..and it was time.

The bells rang loudly as she approached the centre of the well polished room shining beautifully, with gold and silver drapes hanging from above. She looked up at the fresh white roses that filled the room with scent so sweet she could live here forever. Everyone stood, looking at her, smiling and murmuring words of appreciation and awe for her beauty and the dress she wore. She knew it was the most beautiful dress she had ever seen too.

Her eyes swept past them, through the long veil she wore above her well polished hair that flowed onto her dress perfectly, and found the only one she knew. The only one she wanted to know more of. The only one that made her heart pound louder than the tracks announcing the train’s arrival. The only one she wanted. It was then she walked, eyes glued to the man waiting for her on the other end. The song that played in the room as she walked forward sang softly in her ears.

As she got closer, she began to notice him slowly fading away. Confused, she looked around her for clarification, at the people who came to witness this beautiful day, and with eyes wide open in horror, she saw that the people standing on both sides of the Isle were no longer there. The music in the room then sang louder, causing her hands to fly up and cover her ears tightly. The bunch of fresh white roses she held fell from her hand and hit the floor, her eyes followed in complete horror.

Looking up, Njideka saw him moving farther away from her. She threw all caution to the wind and ran, stretching her hand forward to hold him back. She cried out, screaming for him not to leave her. But as she got closer, she saw him kneel in front of her. She heaved, heart beating fast, and stretched out her hands to him to lift him up, but then, he disappeared.

Startled, with sweat pouring from her body, she opened her red swollen eyes to the ceiling. Its color had faded into the darkness that surrounded her. She lay there, numb, still clad in the black chiffon top she wore out that morning looking like a million bucks, with tight dark blue jeans that packed her tall round buttocks in a way that made even girls look back with envy, and sighed as hot tears trickled down her ears onto the pillow she now knew.

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