But can the ax boast greater power than the person who uses it? Is the saw greater than the person who saws? Can a rod strike unless a hand moves it? Can a wooden cane walk by itself?
I turn my attention back to my food – Jollof rice, Moin Moin (Bean Pudding?), dodo (fried plantain) and Cole slaw. It looks attractive and smells really good. Party Jollof. I hope it tastes better than it looks. I eat self consciously, after all Bella Naija is covering this wedding. I don’t want to be looking like seaweed in a rose garden. The chicken! How could I have forgotten that? It is golden brown and has been stirred in seasoned pepper sauce. What I would do if only I could get my hands on it. But I can’t. The chicken breaks on the first contact with my fork and knife – crispy fried chicken, with firewood cooked Jollof rice. I can’t help rolling my eyes. The food is good. I let out a moan. God! This is good.
A young lady seated to my right looks at me. I can’t help myself. I lean towards her and say, ’the taste of firewood cooked party jollof rice. Delicious stuff.’ She shakes her head and looks away. Well, it didn’t take too long for me to embarrass myself. I look at the plates of the fellow guests. Everybody’s plate looks like rats visited them. They take a little of everything leaving a lot of food on the plate. I look at my plate – devoid of the dodo, moin moin and Cole slaw. I have barely two tablespoons of rice, and I can see the bones of chicken already. Good Lord. In self-preservation, I place my cutlery neatly on the plate and dab the corners of my mouth. Ha! Take that! I look pointedly at the two pretty ladies opposite me. They were probably talking about me. I look at the other occupants of the table. I take in their fancy weaves, on fleek make up, glowing skin, smooth hands. My eardrums are teased by their fancy accents, everything is fancy, sophisticated, polished. I clasp my hand on my laps and wait for dessert. I see red velvet. My stomach does a little jig. How can I wolf down red velvet after demolishing the plate of rice and its accompaniments? I mean, I can, but I shouldn’t.
I interlock my fingers to prevent myself from reaching out for the dessert. I hold the inner flesh of my lower lip to prevent myself from salivating. I can do this. I stare at the them for another minute before finally shifting my focus to him. You – know- who. My boyfriend, whose baby sister is getting married today.
He catches my eye and comes over some minutes later. He whispers into my ear. ‘Dance with me.’ I let him lead me to the dance floor. I tremble as he holds me in his arms. I rest my head on his chest. He is like a teddy bear. Some people look at us curiously. They are probably wondering what he is doing with a lady like me. I may be wearing Christain Louboutin and Chris Aire, I may even be wearing the most expensive weave in the room, but the truth is I will never be one of them. I didn’t have the pedigree and my surname didn’t ring any bell.
The heir to one of the richest men in Nigeria, and a member of one of the influential families is dancing with a nameless average looking girl. I fight back the tears. I know how this will end, and it is definitely not going to be pretty. He releases me and squeezes my hand.
‘Stay. Please. I would like you to meet my parents’
‘Of course.’ I smile at him. I know how this will end. It is definitely not going to be pretty.