Budu and Bette cleared their breakfast items and sang as they did the washing up together. He washed and she dried. Once done, he took her hand and inspected her wedding band. ” We really have to improve on this! What if we renew our wedding vows? I know I should have asked you earlier…(gasp) Take your time, you don’t have to answer now.” He hesitated as he watched her demeanour change. Budu feared the worst and worried he had finally pushed her over the edge.
Bette’s face crumpled and she buried her face in his shirt, wracking sobs shook her petite framed. Her tears soaked his shirt, as he tipped her face toward him. Budu began to apologize, as he wrapped his arms around her. She sobbed some more and managed to whisper, ” I never imagined our marriage meant much to you. I can’t believe you want to renew our vows!” With that Budu kissed her forehead, as she wiped her tears away. He kissed her nose, her lips, cheeks, both eyelids and even her chin. Bette started to giggle and they giggled together. Budu walked her over to the sofa, setting her down gently. He gazed at her, smiling with intent. As soon as Bette was settled, he shifted onto one knee, holding her hand, his voice gruff and said,
“Bette, I love you with all my heart. I am so sorry for my actions in the past, infidelities and indifference toward you and our children. How can you ever forgive me?”
Bette cleared her throat and gasped, “I forgave you as soon as you asked me to last year. All that is behind us. Don’t let it build a new barrier between us. Budu, you have to let go and forgive yourself!” He gently leaned in and kissed her, then pulled away quickly, saying,
“Okay hon! Done! Now will you marry me? Because my knees are killing me!” They laughed together as he struggled to his feet. She rose up to meet him, staring into his eyes, noting the tears forming and said, “Yes Budu, I will marry you! I love you and I am so glad we can make a fresh start. God is so good to us!”
“Well, now that we have that settled, can we go see Pastor Douglas together?” They left, elated and looking forward to meeting with their Pastor. He watched them walk into the Church office, holding hands, chatting away like teens and smiled. The Pastor met them in the corridor and welcomed them in. He listened to their plan to renew their marriage vows, fell silent and asked for some details of their recent history. Budu shared, as did Bette and Pastor Douglas leaned back into his chair. He offered them time to prepare and suggest dates for the event in the near future. The couple bathed in the glow of God’s presence, as the Pastor prayed with them, asking God to bless and protect their marriage, with love, wisdom and joy! They left at peace, chatting away but at a peaceful pace.
“Bette, I honestly believe I am the luckiest man alive. Thank you for honouring me.” Bette smiled at her husband, eyes twinkling at his thoughtful and gentle approach. Budu hummed as they drove to home. His mid drifted off to jewellery shopping, as he made up his mind on buying Bette a wedding gift. Budu had the perfect honeymoon planned; something special and proper. He leaned into the seat and smiled. Bette noticed and turned to her own thoughts, revelling at the peaceful silence and joy. She caught a glimpse of Wana staring at their car as they sped past her favourite hair salon. Wana looked older, face drawn and legs surprisingly spindly. Bette’s eyes narrowed as she fought to keep her composure. So she turned to look at Budu. Humming away as he drove, oblivious of the brief episode that just took place. Bette smiled and put her arm on his shoulder. She prayed in silence, thanking God for mercy. The worst was over. This was the second chapter of a very long and lovely novel, she thought.
Wana stood stock still. Humiliated and infuriated that the man she built her life around did not even see her, as he drove past. Angry at Bette for failing to cower in her presence, she dropped her shopping on the pavement, silky clothes and stocking scattered across the street. She choked up and had to pick up the pieces, as young passers by stared at her lingerie in embarassment. Wana felt humiliated and huffed as she hauled her private clothing items in fashionable bags away. She was glad she wore her dark glasses and resolved to rebuild her life alone. Bette had won. She lost after years of lying, looting and poor choices. Tears streaked her heavy make-up as she cried, accepting her end.
Bette and Budu arrived home and went out into the garden with tea and cookies. They sat side by side, dozing in the warm sun. Budu had never been happier and he caught Bette’s smile as she slept. Budu prayed quietly, thanking God for this new chapter and asked for wisdom. He lay back, dreamed of their wedding day and a fresh future with Bette. Love had found a home in his heart at last!