Chidera by Alikah Deepa


Chidera, that was her name.

As a six-year-old boy, nothing really interested me about weddings and this one was no different.

The hot afternoon sun was already giving me a headache. It didn't help that I was sandwiched between my mother and a fragrantly sweaty man who insisted that I put my bag on my lap otherwise he would throw it out the window. To make matters worse, the only thing in my bag was an empty ring box and a satchet of pure water. The day was already shaping up to be one of the worst days of my life. 

Finally, we arrived at the church. It was a modest building but through the eyes of a six-year-old, it was a Metrodome. I couldn't help but stare in awe at the high ceilings and wonder if I would grow tall enough to touch them someday. I was already imagining how I would swing from the chandeliers when I was roughly pulled into a small room at the entrance to the church. My mother and I had already parted ways at this point and I was somewhat disappointed that I couldn't play now that she wasn't watching me. 

A woman dressed in pink, smelling like my favorite doughnut, started fiddling with my suit and cleaning my face. Before I knew what was what, she was powdering my nose and spritzing my body with strange perfume. 

She took the empty box from my bag without my permission and then put a really shiny ring inside. The small home training inside me was almost slipping away when a girl around my age burst into the room. 

Her face was pale with a tinge of red on her cheeks and lips. She carried herself with the airs of a princess but what really caught my attention was her hair. It was up in a high ponytail with the front slicked back and tiny silver pins dotting the front half of her head. The hairstyle, which I later learned was packing gel, mesmerized me, to say the least. 

Throughout the ceremony I was the epitome of grace and poise, never giving in to my childish desires to play with the bride's train. Even my mother could not believe her eyes but I was in love you see. I was in love with her.

Chidera, that was her name.

Alikah Deepa Ivie is an Esan/Indian medical student at the University of Ibadan, who likes to write about love, life, and scary things sometimes. When she's not writing she can be found crocheting, trying out new recipes, or having existential crises with a bottle of coke

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