-Conflicted Destiny

Must Read: Conflicted Destiny… Part 48

A story written by Jakemond… If you missed part Forty Seven, read it HERE

By the end of February, I had finally collected all my money from my vendors, but I had spent most of it. Around the same time, I received the long-awaited good news: Maria Joana had finally gotten her leave and had bought her ticket to Nigeria; she would arrive in early March. This news made up for all the misfortune I’d had on my trip to Sierra Leone. A few days later, I packed my bags, bade farewell to all my friends, and headed back to Nigeria. As I waited to board my flight, I noticed some commotion in a corner of the departure hall. I went to investigate, and to my surprise, it was her “royal highness” Ngozi, in the company of Prince Y. Johnson, who was also heading to Nigeria. Apparently, he had accepted the offer by ECOWAS to go to Nigeria on exile. Ngozi was just as surprised to see me. We chatted briefly and she introduced me to Prince Johnson. I took a picture with him and then they headed off to the VIP section.
When I got to Lagos, I went to Joy and asked if she and her husband would allow Maria Joana and me spend a few days at their house when she arrived. I also asked Joy to accompany us to the marriage registry to witness our marriage, which would take place as soon as Maria Joana arrived. I had no intention of waiting any longer than necessary to make the marriage a reality—before she could change her mind. Joy was happy to oblige. While I waited for Maria Joana’s arrival, I perfected all the plans and the arrangements for the marriage, and thought about places she might be interested in visiting while in Nigeria. By the end of that week, everything had been arranged and all that was left was the arrival of the bride herself.
Maria Joana arrived Lagos in mid-March, 1994. I was waiting for her at the airport with Obinna, Joy’s husband’s nephew. Obinna had always been my trusted friend; he understood how important this marriage was to me and was willing do everything possible to help, starting by driving me to the airport. Maria Joana’s plane landed around 5 p.m., and by six, she had passed through immigrations and proceeded to baggage claim. I had already educated her on the process of going through the airport in Nigeria. At that time, there were scam artists all over the airport, and the last thing I needed was for some miscreant to jeopardize my opportunity with Maria Joana by duping her on arrival. I had never been happier to see her face again and she seemed delighted to see me, too, though she looked exhausted. We hugged and kissed, and joined Obinna, who was waiting for us outside.
Maria Joana was warmly welcomed by everyone at Joy’s house. We settled into our room and spent hours reminiscing about Barcelona. Later that night, I told her what I had planned for us for the rest of her visit. I informed her that we had to get married the next day since we didn’t have much time to stay in Lagos. She grudgingly accepted this and we went to bed.
The next morning we went to the registry at Victoria Island with Obinna and Joy. Within an hour of our arrival, Maria Joana and I had become husband and wife. We filled out the necessary documents and were issued a marriage license. It was one of the happiest days of my life—not because of the marriage itself, which was clearly one of convenience, but because the marriage certificate would legitimize my relationship with Maria Joana and enable me to obtain a Spanish visa easily. After the ceremony we all drove to a Chinese restaurant to celebrate. I took a slow, deep breath and was flooded with joy. I was closer than ever to achieving my lifelong dream.


To Be Continued…

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