By Tashinga Wazara, Zimbabwe:
'Tinashe! Tinashe! Wake up bro, we need to get ready.'
That was my best friend Peter waking me up. It was my wedding day and we had to pick up our suits before the wedding, scheduled for later that afternoon. When I opened my eyes, my head felt as if it weighed about a ton and I had a crazy headache. I was suddenly questioning the wisdom in having my bachelor's party the night before my wedding. We had had a wild night though; all my close friends had managed to come and we had started off with a barbeque with my uncles and friends at Pete's house where I was being given advice about married life and it ended with a night out in town with the boys. I think we overdid the partying bit because we only got home at 4am and I'd only had about four hours sleep by the time Pete woke me up. We quickly showered and went to pick up our suits for the wedding mostly out of necessity but also motivated by the fear of feeling the wrath of 'Bridezilla' aka my fiancé Linda if we failed to get those suits on time.
I had met Linda at a friend's birthday dinner and I remember this specifically because when the dinner started, all the guys were sitting on the one side of the table and all the girls were sitting on the other side until the birthday girl suggested that people mix and mingle and sit next to someone that they didn't know. It turned out to be a brilliant idea because I ended up sitting next to Linda. To be honest, when I first started talking to her I thought that she was one of those typical shallow, beautiful girls but the more we spoke the more I began to see how incredibly smart and articulate she was. She was tall and elegant and she had this amazing smile that made me really uncomfortable because then I found it difficult to look at her and not blush. After dinner we had exchanged numbers and about six months later we started dating.
In the beginning our relationship was always very charged because when we were in love and were like two love birds in a world of their own but then when we fought it could get really ugly because I was stubborn and would never back down from a fight; and Linda had such a ferocious temper that she could ignite fear in almost anyone. Over time though, the fights got less and less as we began to understand each other more.
Four years later, I had decided to propose on her birthday. I wanted it to be special so I took her to her favourite restaurant except that this time, I had booked out the restaurant. So it was just me and her, and a jazz band that I had hired playing in the background. On cue, the jazz band had started playing 'Marry Me', a song originally sung by a band called Train, as I got down on one knee and asked her to be my wife. She wasn't expecting it and she wept for a good five minutes before she finally said yes and I held her in an embrace that felt like it lasted forever. It was a really special night.
Today though, was the day we had both been looking forward to. Linda and I were finally getting married. We were now at the venue and I was now in a room with my groomsmen waiting for the ceremony to start. I felt nervous but excited at the same time. This was it. I guess when you're getting married, you can get so caught up in organizing the event that when the day finally comes, it's only then when it hits you that you're getting married and that after this you'll be with this person for the rest of your life.
While waiting, Linda's sister, Pamela came and knocked on our room and asked to see me. I went and stood by the door and she said that she needed to talk to me alone. I closed the door behind me and walked with her into the hallway.
She looked really stressed and I asked, 'What's wrong Pam is it about Linda?' and she said, 'No Tinashe, it's just that… uhm Tinashe, the thing is…' At this point she was starting to tear up and her voice was shaky and I said. 'What is it Pam, just tell me' and then tears started flowing down her cheeks and she said, 'Tinashe, I… I'm pregnant.'
Immediately, she turned round and started walking away, sobbing and I couldn't even call her back. I was stunned. As the news she had just delivered started sinking in, I felt a cold sweat go down my spine and everything in the room just started spinning. This couldn't be happening. Not today. Not now. It wasn't so much the fact that Pamela was pregnant. It was the fact that I knew that the baby was mine. Pete then came into the hallway running and said, 'Tinashe, I've been looking for you. Everyone's waiting for you. It's time to get to the altar.'
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