Read the daily, non-fictional tales of a young, unmarried Nigerian woman who lives in Lagos at this time.
The days leading up to my uncle's wedding last year were probably the most stressful for my mum.
Her youngest brother, my uncle, had attempted to get married once before then but had never gone through with it.
On the wedding day, we woke up to find him gone. Where he went to, no one knew. He seemed to have disappeared into thin air for whatever reason.
A search party was sent out within minutes. Friends, aunties, uncles, cousins, nephews, nieces, grandmother, and my mum, who was beside herself with worry, went out to find him, while a few people stayed back to watch over the devastated bride.
Uncle did not want to be found, that much was obvious. At the end of the day, we bade farewell to a sad, angry and disappointed bride and her family.
The next day, my uncle sent his jilted bride a short text, which read: "You deserve someone better."
That was it. No explanations of any sort. Just a short text.
Oh, she did find someone better! We heard that she met someone else and got married two or three years later.
For years after that, my uncle never attempted to get married again. Then suddenly, out of the blue, last year, he appeared at our doorstep with an invitation card.
Mum was happy for him but I could tell that she was bothered.
"I am worried about Diran," she said one day while we were in the kitchen.
I think we both knew why. Everyone was anxious. Days before the wedding, his friends watched him like a hawk in case he tried a disappearing act on them. His siblings hovered over him. My mum checked on him all the time. We could not wait for the wedding to be over.
The day finally came but it was not until after the vows were exchanged and the couple was presented to the church as husband and wife that everyone heaved a sigh of relief.
Finally! My uncle was married and we could all rest now. Well, until last night when Mum called to say he had disappeared again.
"Disappeared to where again o?" I asked, not really expecting an answer.
"Your uncle has gone," she responded, almost in a whisper. I could tell that she had been crying.
My heart skipped a bit. Gone? Was he dead?
"Gone where?" I asked stupidly.
"We do not know."
I assumed "we" was the entire family.
"He just left his pregnant wife all alone," Mum offered.
What should I do now? I wondered.
Out loud, I said, "He'll resurface. He always does. You know that now."
"Yes. But I am worried. Why does he always disappear?"
Okay. Here it comes. The your-uncle-needs-prayers song she has been singing since his first attempt at a wedding.
"We have organised a three-day fasting and prayer in the family and we are starting tomorrow," she said.
My mum, very predictable a woman.
"Oh!" was all I said.
"Uh uh! And of course, you will be a part of it, just like the last time."
How could I forget the last time? Those days of dry fasting before the wedding were long and agonizing.
"Okay," I said, even though my mind screamed NO! I did not want to argue and she would never know if I chose not to fast.
Maybe my uncle does need prayers, maybe he does not. But there is only so much prayers can do without an actual plan to find him or put an end to his disappearing acts.