Glitz and glamour crammed the ambiance of the Boue’lite Hotel, it was a special occasion for JJ Logistics for that was the day it had gone public. He headed to the stage when the master of ceremony beckoned him to, as he made his way there, his potent shoes clicked with authority and he loved how being powerful made him feel.
“A lot of people have been asking me how I made here? Well its simple, potential and time management. I used time to my best advantage, I planned my life whilst I was at my lowest and I didn’t let events determine my fate. Ladies and gentlemen, time is absolute and today I am proud because I refused to be enslaved circumstances that were beyond my control. I invested in JJ Logistics because I believe that I have potential and I possess latent power to sail this ship, before I make a toast I would like to make another very important announcement, Jenna Jokonya please come forward,” he paused as he waited for Jen to reach the stage.
Since he had met Lizzette he had concluded that drama characterised the Jokonya family and all drama mounted to a climax just to stop so that it can gear up all over again. All eyes were on him now, it was the perfect opportunity to stir up more drama and catalyse it to its pinnacle.
When Jenna was by his side, he cleared his throat and said, “Not only am I going to be a board member of JJ Logistics, but I would like to be part of the family as well.”
He turned to face Jenna, he moulded his voice such that it dripped with earnest, “Ladies and gentlemen, I love this woman and tonight I would like to add a ring as well as the Tendero to her name, please Jenna will you marry me,” he bowed down in honour of his queen he knew without a shadow of doubt that Jenna was going to say yes. A sharp voice disturbed his consciousness, he didn’t know whether it was his uneasiness that was convicted him, but because he was Elton Tendero, he squeezed the voice until he no longer heard it. Who was he kidding? He still felt guilty considering how he had reached where he was. The four simple set off a cascade of complex emotions for Jenna, for saying yes meant that she was taking a huge step and a profound transition into adulthood.
Fate had deposited her into the Jokonya’s lives with similar positions and entangled them with the same twine of hate. Like an unchecked cancer, there was hate, the hate Jenna had for the Jokonyas had corroded her personality and ate away its vitality. The demon in her had pushed her to say yes because she wanted to do away with her maiden name, Tendero had fuelled her doubts about being a Jokonya and that ignited into a full flame of hate. She was still glad that at least the love she had for Elton that also prompted her to say yes for she had waited and imagined this day ever since their love blossomed. Their bubble of thoughts were erupted by the round of applause as people were happy with the developments of the night.
Tendero, was very gratified with himself for his pursuit of success had reached its thrust, it was time for him to enjoy his “fruits.” It was an eventful night for everyone who was present at Boue’lite Hotel with the exception of the duo, Lizzette and Joe. Tendero loved the attention he was getting from the guests, dignitaries and the media, despite proposing Jenna out of love and spite he had done it for publicity. Thanks to Adrian, months ago he had made it into the newspapers for misconduct at the university, he knew that the days that were to follow he was going to make it in the papers for marrying into the family of the girl that he had a delinquency with. He didn’t care because after all no publicity was bad instead the Jokonyas had to thank him for putting the company on the map. Out of anger and frustration, Joe dragged Tendero obviously shunning the attention and they retreated into a corner where there was less activity and noise
“You have a special suite made in hell for you imbecile!” Joe swore at Elton,
“You should be congratulating me brother in law, we are now family after all,” Elton said and totally ignored the hostility that had swamped the atmosphere. His voice was full of satire as means to spite Elton.
“Why would I congratulate you hmm? You obviously lured my sister into marrying you! So that you can set your smutty claws into my company! How dare you?” He fumed.
“Oh Joe, nastiness doesn’t suit you I proposed in front of the whole world because of people like you who think am after your fortune. For your own information I am acquiring everything I want because I deserve it. Yes I admit I ruined the life you had planned for Jenna, it was out of goodwill. We both love each other and Jenna did not want to be part of everything that you forced her to do. Did you took time to talk to Jenna and listen to what she wanted or you just imposed the whole business school idea on her?” There was silence.
“My guess is right, you didn’t do that Joe, you channelled your efforts to the wrong things, now whoops,” he gloated, “It’s all in vain practically for you of course, a blessing to me of course because you are perfectionist who demanded superhuman efforts from Jenna. Because of you I am going to be married to the love of my life. All I want is a proper blessing from you brother,” his triumphant voice rustled.
“Over my dead body Tendero! I would never sell my sister to a vulture like you never!” he seethed.
“Elton I was looking all over for you what the hell is going on?” Jenna gasped for she had searched frantically for Elton.
“Sorry I was trying to make with our little brother here Joe,” he said averting his eyes to Joe’s direction.
“Why would you seek his blessing my love? He is not worth it. Remember he disowned me so blessings my foot!” She said and stared Joe with a long unsettling look.
“I m trying here babe,” Elton remarked, he wanted to be the bigger person with shrewd efforts of course.
“Jenna for your sake I hope you have made the right decision, my sixth instinct keeps telling me that your union or whatever it is has been built on a shaky foundation,” Joe said.
“Well am older than you Joe! Respect me! One day you are going to have to mince your words! Mark this day, never mind because you are dead to me!” her face tightened with rage.
“We will see about that,” he picked a defeated step as he mingled in the crowd.
“I tried Jenna,” Elton said as he hugged Jenna.
“Well your efforts were met with a ridicule!” she commented, Elton continued to stroke Jenna’s hair as a means to pacify her. He picked the Jokonya weaknesses, they all had anger issues and most of the times they made life choices using emotions instead of logic. So to him, his union with Jenna was indeed a blessing, he was going to be the common sense in her life and he knew exactly what he was supposed to do next.
The night went on well, just as Elton had anticipated and he was glad that finally everything he had hoped weaved into one enormous web of success. He had chanced the day he met Lizzette too bad she was no longer on her side. Chance to him was a dominant element, because he had casted his hook of chance deep in the Jokonya pool he was awarded with love and power.
Perhaps logic finally kicked in Jenna’s head because days before her big day she became restless but Elton kept assuring her that everything was going to be okay. They settled for a court wedding, because she had no one from her father’s side to partake in the lobola settlement much to her mother’s delight. It was her mother and Elton who were overzealous about the white wedding and they compelled it to Jenna. Elton wanted to generate publicity mayhap prove to people like Mr Matyava and Adrian that he was the “it business mogul of the town.”
“Love I do not understand why the both of you refused to be involved in Jenna’s marriage,” Lizz asked Joe.
“Lizz, your beloved Jenna defied my orders and am honestly getting tired of telling you what she said at the Bou’elite Hotel,” Joe retorted.
“Joe, Jenna is not a baby remember she is an adult better yet she is older than you.”
“Aaargh you are always on her side! Damnit why dont you just marry her?” He said to her.
“Joe can we have a level headed discussion for once!” she took a breather because Joe’s temper was choking every inch of patience out of her.
“I am sorry Lizz its just that I am frustrated,” he confessed.
“Look Joe, we have to be a united front your guess is as good as mine, once Elton marries Jen they will be untouchable. By united front I am including mukoma Jerry and before you protest please listen, we all need each other right now. The anticipated wedding is all over the media now, if we do not show up that will clearly create a bad image. That is the last thing that we need, bad publicity.”
“I hear you wife, what do you suggest we do?” he said to Lizz.
“Tomorrow we are heading to Beatrice and visit mukoma,” she relayed the words in a commanding tone.
“My father trusted you, so I have to trust you right?” He confirmed.
“He also trusted you with Jenna, you are her keeper. Good night Joe.”
The following morning they headed to Jerry’s farm it was awkward because of the void that was between the two brothers.
“Babamukuru, we have visited because we want to resolve the issue of your sister,” Lizz said.
“What about her? She is the basis of all our troubles,” he snapped and Lizz wasn’t surprised.
“She is getting married this Saturday you do realize that right?”
“With all due respect I really don’t care. Is that why you came all the way from Harare? I thought maybe the company had caught fire or something,” his tone oozed with mockery.
“No babamukuru there is more,” Lizz confirmed.
“I thought so, come on go on I don’t have all day,” he was completely aloof. So Lizzette took the opportunity and explained the same implications that she had told Joe.
“Well bravo amainini, my stance is still the same, I am not going to attend the stupid wedding and I want nothing to do with the company,” he highlighted.
“But you still have shares mukoma,” Joe commented.
“I see you have found your voice Joe, I am only holding onto the shares because I need the dividends to start a magnificent project. Once I am done I am going to auction my shares once again,” he said barefacedly. “Joe and you amainini it’s all fault. You warmed that child into our nest and I am glad you are watching everything tumble down!”
“What do you stand to gain in all of this?” Lizz asked.
“I lose nothing but will definitely feast on your misery. You see my life doesn’t revolve around JJ Logistics am building my own legacy and my haven down here,” he grimaced.
“What about mum who entrusted you with her shares?” Joe asked.
“Here is newsflash, mum is dead, gone and is never coming back, I think you are somehow the reason why she is dead,” he said and his eyes were blazing with extreme dislike. “JJ Logistics is your project so attend the damn wedding I give you my blessing am the patriarch after all, now if you could excuse me and yourselves remember both of you are not welcome here,” he said his eyes fixed hawkishly on them.
Lizzette nudged Joe as a signal to leave Jerry’s place.
The lustre of the summer sun filled the sky and the thrill of a new season electrified the atmosphere, it was one of the most important days of her life. In other years, 13 September that date meant nothing special, but for better or worse, this 13 September was the pivot upon which her entire life depended upon. She stepped out of the state of the art car, confusion, excitement, uncertainty, happiness steamed into a sweltering emotion that she was almost reduced into tears. It was indeed an elegant wedding, the ladies wore dresses of sequins, silk and satin and the gentlemen were more subdued in dark slim-fit suits, white shirts and black ties. She couldn’t decipher the kind of mood Joe was in, that didn’t matter, they walked down the aisle, Joe’s hand holding Jenna as they walked they noted that the immaculately dressed guests complemented their outfits with that “weddingy” look of excitement mixed with admiration.
The ceremony began with the usual vows and signing of marriage certificates. After the ceremony everyone proceeded to the reception hall where people lined up for drinks and miniature snacks were being passed around. A buffet table was sumptuously laid with fine silverware, white china and crystal glasses. Conversations were fragmented with so many people trying to chat with each other. People stood over the food and they filled their plates to the brim. Then they talked while they ate, their mouths filled with delectables, which they spat out together with their words. Dessert was a skyscraper cake decorated with a paste of almonds and a miniature confectionary couple graced the top of the cake. After lunch, a prominent musician gathered on the stage and started playing Elton and Jenna were the first couple on the dance floor for their wedding waltz. Soon everyone followed and joined the dance floor, whooped it up, shimmying and bouncing up and down and sideways.
Joe was overwhelmed by all of this, he knew the implications that came with Tendero joining their family so he retreated from all the noise and went to a small garden that was outside the hall. He was surprised when Jerry joined him he had not seen him throughout the wedding proceedings.
“I showed up right,” Jerry said.
“I can see senior, why the change of mind though?” He enquired.
“I wasn’t going to miss the stupid wedding especially your miserable face when you gave up Jenna to Tendero,” he sneered.
“When did everything change senior?” He asked because he was hurt with the razor-sharp words that Jerry had said to him.
“Come on I am kidding little brother,” he laughed as a means to convince Joe otherwise, “In the blinking of an eye, everything changed though,” he fist bumped Joe on the shoulder. Joe didn’t respond instead he just stared into space his mood was to drab for Jerry’s vile comments because he failed to understand his intentions.
People began to disperse after the wedding Elton and Jenna Tendero departed for their honeymoon.
“You know what Jenna, I wanted to correct the marriage officer,” he said
“Till death do us part is morbid to me. I want the fairytale and I want they lived happily ever after. I mean why start a life of love by thinking about death? I choose to believe that you Jenna you are my soul-mate, that we will always be together in this life and beyond. Doesn’t love endure forever my love?” He suggested and Jenna flashed her beautiful smile that reached her eyes.
CLASSIC FRIDAY CLIFFHANGER
Joe and Jenna exchanged unkind words, will love endure a storm declared by Joe on Jen’s life?
Perhaps Joe one day he will mince his words…or he has already done that by showing up at the wedding?
Is Jerry really earnest? So much for being his brother’s keeper.
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