This wedding was turning out to be more work than I had envisaged. After the first two meetings with the bride and her mother, when they were prospective clients, I had assumed they wanted a simple, straight-forward ceremony. But as the wedding day drew closer, the bride became more and more demanding, and started to change everything.
First, she wanted a different venue, something grander than the one we had agreed on, and I had paid a non-refundable deposit. Then she wanted to change the menu for the reception. Then she changed her mind about the décor and the flowers, among many other things. Even her mother called me several times, asking why I did something, which we had previously agreed on. By the time the day finally arrived, I was tired, and I couldn’t wait for it to be over.
Thankfully, the day had gone without a hitch. It was evening now, and the formal part of reception would soon be coming to an end. I called my assistant and told her that it was time for us to start distributing souvenirs and gifts for the guests to take home. She nodded and went off to the storage room
A few minutes later, she came back to me.
“Ma, the door is locked. Please give me the key.”
“Which door?” I asked.
“The door of the storage room.”
“I didn’t lock it, and I don’t have the key,” I said. “Let’s go and ask at the hotel’s customer service desk.”
We got to the desk and I told the lady that I needed to open the storage room.
“We’ve got boxes of gifts and souvenirs in there, and we need to get them out urgently,” I explained. “I don’t know who locked the door, but we need to get in.”
“Right away ma.”
She fished out a set of spare keys from one of the drawers and we went back to the storage room, where she tried to open the door.
“I can’t open it,” she said after trying a few times. “It’s locked from the inside!”
Worried about the safety of our goods, my assistant and I started knocking the door loudly.
“Who is in there? Open up! We need to get in!”
We heard a scramble and a scuffle, and the sound of boxes being turned over. I was getting frantic. I shouted again:
“Open this door right now! Otherwise we will break in!”
I was about to ask the receptionist to go and get someone to break down the door, when it opened up, and we saw the mother of the bride and the father of the groom half-dressed and looking very guilty indeed.
“Oh!” My assistant gasped.
I stifled a smile. “Sorry ma, sorry sir. We want to take the souvenirs. Let’s give you a few minutes.”
At the end of the night, I got a notification from my bank. I had been paid very handsomely by the mother of the bride. More than enough to compensate me for the extra hassle.
Memoirs of a Lagos Wedding Planner is a flash-fiction series of 8 stories. Stop by next Friday for the next episode. Meanwhile, catch up on past episodes.
About the Author:
Tolulope Popoola is an award winning Author, Publisher and Writing Coach. She is the author of two collections of flash fiction stories, “Fertile Imagination” and “Looking For Something”, and a romance novel “Nothing Comes Close”. She has written extensively for many magazines and publications. Tolulope is the founder of Accomplish Press, a coaching, consulting and publishing company, that provides services to support aspiring authors. She was given a special Award of Excellence at the 2016 Nigerian Writers’ Awards, and has recently been shortlisted for Diaspora Writer of the Year for the 2017 awards.She has also earned the nickname of “Africa’s flash fiction queen” for her unique ways with writing dramatic short stories.