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With our tickets all booked for a 2 week-long vacation, off we went to NYC for my pretty big sister’s wedding. Luckily for us, we were able to get seats close to each other on the Emirates airline, and so we can chat and watch movies and all on this long flight.

My baby bro was also with us along with his “saucy” babe (the babe sha wanted to come by force, but it ain’t my shit….LOL). Sinmi and Lolade were sitted side-by-side while Aisha was to my side on the right and another lady to my left.

Before the flight attendant could finish the security announcement, I was knocked off (I hate to fly because of how my ears keep popping and all that, so I would rather sleep through any flight if possible).

We landed and got Uber straight to the rented apartment my parents booked (they had arrived with family few days ahead of us). My granny was so happy to see us and kept hugging and greeting me like she didn’t just see me in Lagos last week – Lol.

Thank God it was summer, so the bleak NYC weather would not spoil this beautiful day for Damilola Victoria (that is my big sis). The ceremony was as brief one, just like any normal American wedding.

With a garden wedding for the exchange of vows in Manhattan, Dammy looked so regal in her beautiful Berta Bridal lace dress, with crystals on the bodice. And Nick her husband looked suave in his tuxedo, OMG this couple be popping (please let the real owambe start jare, so we can drink and shake the booty to baddosneh, Davido and other naija songs. Thank God, the DJ na naija dude).

Been amongst the bridal train, my friends and I all ushered in Dammy with the” Shoki dance” in our champagne. As we settled down in our chairs, I sighted him – what is Caleb doing here? Why did Dammy not tll me she invited him? Why is he smiling from across the hall? wTF? I will kill Dammy for doing this to me (though she is 6 years older than me, she is like my go-to buddy for everything, without the age barriers)

I watched as he peered about, probably looking for me, and I saw the familiar conscientious expression on his face. He was worried he was a little too late, I guess. And I realized in that moment that I still had some ”care” feelings for this first love of mine. I can’t call it love, but maybe some soft spot for his charms.

Not in a way that would threaten my life, but that I loved him with no agenda or self-interest. That he’d left a deep imprint on my life. That I’m a better person for having known him and been the recipient of his generous heart. And that I was sorry I’d been such a sh*t.

I took a sit beside him after exchanging a hug, and my crew – Lolade, Aisha and Sinmi all hugged him in turn (he only knew Sinmi and Aisha from my University days, so I had to introduce Lolade). We ate a scrumptious dinner of pounded yam and egusi, downed several champagne glasses before switching to harder liquor mix of vodka and juice.

After we ate the cake, it was time for Dammy and Nick to dance, we watched as my sister and her new husband dance their first dance. My mum was all teary, but not as much as my dad was – his favorite daughter was leaving him for a white boy LOL.

We, along with some of the other couples took to the dance floor after a little while. Then, we all danced to the typical dance songs, taking steps and turning and all that. And might I mention there was some ABBA, haha! After all the dancing and having fun, everyone went to their hotel rooms and back to our rented apartment. The whole place was filled with love, and we all felt God’s presence with us!

We knew that this day was for my sister and her new husband, but as drunk unmarried ladies, we just couldn’t help but think of our own wedding too, especially since we all had nothing serious going for us except our good jobs and great family and friends.

We saw the joy on their faces, they certainly made a beautiful pair. We decided to hit a bar at the hotel my aunts were lodged for more drinks. Then Caleb chose the wrong time to talk about “us”. Then he made the “wrongest” move of all, he kissed me gently on the mouth the French way… he wrapped his arms around me. As I felt dizzy with alcohol not his love, and for the first time, my “ladyplace” didn’t not get moist LOL.

As I looked down, I noticed a bulge in his pants. I stepped out of his embrace and too quickly it was time to say good-bye. He could have berated me and told me how badly I’d treated him all of those years ago, but instead he was generous. As always.

I’ve lived my life in chapters. Some have been happier than others. The one I’m living right now with my future plans and friends are so sweet and worth looking forward to. And I know, watching my parents age, that there will still be very difficult chapters to come.

But as I write my life here in this space and unearth the stories of the people who have shaped the person I am today and who I will become, I just miss them so much.

XOXO for the night, Shakiti Baby