In Love with my brother’s friend episode 13


Chapter 13

The next day, on the eve of the wedding, families and guests started arriving. As soon as Babs’s parents arrived, they summoned him.

“What is this nonsense we are hearing about you and Kemi?” his father inquired sternly.

“Dad, nothing happened, trust me. I explained that to Derin, but she chose to believe what she wanted. I don’t know why she had to come to you. This is between us,” Babs defended.

“Her father told us that she called off the wedding,” his mother announced with concern.

“And we can’t have that,” his father declared.

“Dad, Mum, I know you are thinking about the church, but I also want to be happy. If Derin is calling off the wedding, then it’s for the best.”

“Oh, so you can be with Kemi, right? Kemi is a sweet girl, but she is not a believer,” his father argued.

“She is, Dad, and I love her very much.”

“I don’t want you to jeopardize your relationship and your future because of Kemi. She is from a good family, and her parents are our friends, but she is not what you need. We’ve gone over this before. Derin is our candidate; her father has trained her well. I don’t need to overemphasize the importance of marrying the right person as a Minister.”

Babs took a deep breath before responding.

“Dad, I understand the importance of my role in the church, and I respect the values you’ve instilled in me. But I also believe in love, and Kemi is the one I love. I can’t go through with a marriage if it’s not based on genuine feelings.”

His father’s expression turned stern. “Babalola, you are the future of our church. Your union with Derin is not just about personal happiness; it’s about the legacy of our church. Think about the spiritual welfare of the congregation.”

Babs nodded, conflicted. “I’ve thought about it, Dad, but I can’t ignore my feelings. If Derin and I go ahead with the wedding, it wouldn’t be fair to her or me. It’s not the foundation we should build a marriage on.”

His mother sighed, a mix of disappointment and understanding in her eyes. “Babs, we want what’s best for you, and sometimes, the path to happiness isn’t easy. Listen to you Father, and think of the congregations.”

“So, the congregation goes home to be with their loved ones, and I am stuck with a woman I have no feelings for.”

“You will grow to love her.”

“I doubt that very much. I don’t even like her.”

“This discussion is over. The marriage plans are on track. When her parents get here, you will apologize to them, and if they agree, we will be moving the wedding date forward.” Babs’s father walked to the adjoining bedroom after that announcement.

“Mum, please talk to him. I don’t even want to take over the church. I can go to New York and run the church there. Taiye is the one with the gift; why not give him the church? I don’t want it.”

“You are the first son, Taiye and Kehinde will assist you.”

“Mum, please.”

“Your father’s mind is made up, and you know he won’t change his mind.”

When Derin’s parents arrived, they also summoned her.

“Dad, there is no way I can be with a man like him who is living in sin. He has no respect for me. I watched him since Kemi arrived, and he hasn’t been behaving like a believer. You have trained me to one day stand beside a great man and take the gospel to the ends of the earth. You didn’t do all of this so I could be with a man like him.”

“Yes, Derin, no child of mine will be stuck with a man who is not disciplined. He will soon be here with his parents, and I will let them know my decision; the wedding is cancelled. I thought marrying him would secure your future. His parents are well respected minsters in the country and they have one of the biggest churches in Africa.”

“Even at that, you shouldn’t mortgage my happiness. Why must I marry Dad? I can work in the church. I have no desire to get married.”

“That is not an option; you have to settle down and have your own family,” Derin’s mother added.

She tried to plead her case, hoping to break free from the predetermined path.

“Dad, Mum, I can’t go through with this marriage. It’s not just about him cheating on me, it’s also about my happiness and the authenticity of the relationship. I can work in the church without being married.”

Her father’s stern expression remained unyielding. “Derin, we’ve invested so much in preparing you for this role. A marriage to Pastor Babalola would solidify our connection with a thriving church. You must understand the bigger picture.”

“But, Dad, I can’t sacrifice my happiness for the sake of the church’s growth. I want a marriage built on love.”

Derin’s mother interjected, “You may not fully grasp the importance of this decision now, but in time, you’ll understand.”

When the parents met, Babs didn’t attempt to make excuses. His parents directed him to apologize and promise that such an incident would never happen again, and he complied. Derin’s parents expressed their disappointment but decided to give Babs another chance, considering his parent’s reputation. Both sets of parents agreed that the wedding should be moved forward. Derin felt incredibly frustrated with the outcome.

When Derin reached her room, she was visibly upset. She picked up her phone and dialed a number.

“It didn’t work.”

“What do you mean it didn’t work?”

“After my father had agreed to cancel the wedding, Babs came with his parents to apologize, and my father conceded, the wedding has been moved forward.”

“Listen to me, we can’t give up now. We will find another way. I promise.”

Derin took a deep breath, appreciating the support. “You’re right. We need a plan. I won’t let my life be decided by others.”

Remi also had a heart-to-heart with Kemi. “Kemi, everything I do is to protect you. You’re my only sibling, and I know you can be headstrong. I’m sorry for not being considerate of your feelings, and I regret not creating a safe space where you felt comfortable discussing your feelings for Babs.”

“You would have dismissed it as infatuation,” Kemi responded.

“Look, I was only trying to look out for you. Babs and I have resolved our differences, thanks to Emeka and Shalewa. I’ve realized that I haven’t been a good friend. Anyway, I told him he has my blessings to be with you.”

“You did?” Kemi’s expression immediately brightened with a smile.

“But his parents didn’t accept Derin’s breakup. Both sets of parents have agreed that the engagement stays, and their wedding has been moved forward. They’re getting married in three months.”

Remi empathized with her sister’s pain. “I wish there was something more I could do. I never intended for it to turn out this way. I’m sorry, Kemi.”

Kemi was left heartbroken by the unexpected turn of events.

While in her room, nursing her pain with Moyo attempting to cheer her up, Kemi received a text on her phone.

‘Meet me at the resort Manager’s office in 5.’

Kemi excused herself and headed to the designated meeting spot. Upon arrival, the secretary directed her to go in. There, on the edge of the table, was Babs. Without hesitation, Kemi rushed into his arms, and they embraced each other tightly for a while.

“I’m sorry, Kemi, for causing you so much pain. I tried talking to my parents, but they didn’t budge. I want you to know that even though I’m duty-bound to marry Derin, it’s you I love. I need you to accept this decision and move on with your life.”

“What you’re asking me to do is hard.”

“I know, but it’s in the best interest of all concerned.”

Kemi pulled away from the embrace, “Babs, how am I supposed to just move on? This isn’t something that can be easily forgotten or brushed aside. For ten years we were apart and when we met again our feelings intensified. We have something special,” Kemi said, her voice tinged with a mixture of sadness and frustration.

Babs sighed, “Yes I know but my hands are tied. I never wanted to hurt you, Kemi. But our circumstances are complicated. If there was another way, believe me, I would choose it.”

Kemi took a step back, trying to compose herself. “So, what do we do now?”

Babs looked at her with a pained expression. “For now, we have to be apart. I need to fulfill my duty, and you deserve a chance at happiness without being entangled in this mess. It’s the only way.”
Kemi nodded.

“I’ll always care about you, Kemi.”

As Kemi left the manager’s office, each step away from Babs felt like a step into an uncertain future, and Kemi knew that finding a way to heal would be a journey of its own.

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