Meet Nalongo, My Monster-in-Law (II)

It was 9am on my wedding day, and I had not heard from the self- proclaimed matron, Nalongo.

If I had not arranged Plan B (Plan Best), I would have fainted. Nalongo, my sister-in-law, had imposed herself on the role of matron. I never wanted her to be my matron, but she insisted, yet she couldn’t even afford her dresses. Probably she could afford them, but was trying to spoil my wedding. I was thinking hard about it, and I concluded that she was just a loser of a woman.

Nonetheless, I was feeling good that she was failing. My sister Lydia was ready with everything. The bridal entourage was all set, by 10am. My maids looked so beautiful in lime green dresses. I called my husband and he told me that they were also ready. church service at Namirembe was starting at 11am. So, we drove.

In 30 minutes we were there. I saw the groom’s cars from a distance, and learnt that they were already inside the church. At 10:52am, my phone rang.

“Hello, Nalongo,” I said softly, fearing she could have reached before we entered the church

“Mugole,” she hurriedly spoke, “I have just got two dresses for hire, but one is royal blue, the other is maroon. They are the only colours the lady has in size 14. And she says she can give me one now. I will pick the second dress after the service.

She says we have to deposit Shs 100,000. Hiring both dresses is Shs 300,000.

“Nalongo,” I whispered, “Please leave the dresses. I can’t have a blue dress on a lime green theme. Besides, we are already starting to enter church. Lydia is here with me, she is ready with the right colour dress.”

“Mugole, wait… ” said Nalongo as I quickly switched off my phone.

I asked Lydia to switch off hers too. Two minutes to 11am, ushers came to take us into church. The happiest moment of my life had come. I was going to get married to Stephen, the man I loved. My matron and maids, were all over me, holding this or that for me, helping me out on everything. It felt so good.

I could imagine if it had been Nalongo, she would have been ordering my girls around and caring only about how she looks. I met my dad at the main entrance, and he received me with a hug. The warmest, most loving hug ever. My relatives were ululating. We were all happy. I could hear my mother with her group of women singing “Tukutendereza Yesu”.

I joined in. This song was a family identity. I grew up listening to it, and singing it. Tears of joy ran down my cheeks. My gown was nice. I had it made specially to bring out my curves. I started working on it a year before the wedding. I would read magazines, look for the best gown details, and take it to my tailor.

I was size 14, too, and I worked hard to keep that size. Just there at the church entrance, I could see my dream wedding starting to unfold. When dad held my hand, and the organist started playing, ‘Here Comes The Bride’, the whole church went crazy with clapping and dancing. We walked to the rhythm, as slowly as we could, occasionally waving, to the left or to the right, to relatives and friends.

The moment we reached where the groom and his entourage were waiting, we were received by the church choir that sang a hymn. Sweet as the hymn sounded, I cannot remember it, because my focus was centred on reaching out to Stephen.

With the help of Lydia, my matron, I sat just next to Stephen, in front of the reverend, and as I sat, my shoe got stuck in the carpet, and as Lydia helped me straighten the carpet, I looked behind and saw Nalongo, coming in with a friend of hers, dressed in royal blue.

Who cares, anyway?

Source : The Observer

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