HE SAID NO
Mike was sitting at a park, waiting for Grace, his fiancée. They hung out there often, and Grace was quite familiar with the place. He was seated at their favorite spot in front of a beautiful water-fall.
Grace already told him that she was on her way and he looked forward to seeing her.
She was his dream come true.
Their wedding was due in 4 months and he was super excited.
Before then he had been turned down by numerous ladies. He just did not seem to be their type.
So many heartbreaks.
He could still remember vividly how he rehearsed so much prior to his proposal to Nkechi. She was a devoted member of his church, the same church that Blessing attended and she was serving in the music department. They had been friends for a while and he thought they were getting along well. As far as he knew, she was single, because she told him that.
Only for him to gird up his loins and relay his pre-composed and well-rehearsed speech to her after Sunday service that sunny afternoon.
“Nkechi, you are a good woman, one that any man would pray to have. You stole my heart from the first day I spoke to you and I settled it in my heart that you are the woman I want to settle down with.”
Thanks to Jude, who blamed his past rejections on his poor proposal skills, he gave him some pick-up lines which he added.
“Your dad must be a terrorist because you are the bomb and you can call me Pharaoh cos I will never let you go!” he winked as she chuckled, she must have been feeling his rhymes, he told himself and so he continued.
“You must be a broom cos you just swept me off my feet!”
“Are you here to insult me? What’s all this broom, terrorist stuff that you are saying?”
“I was only trying to thrill you.”
“You are obviously doing the direct opposite, “
“Oh… I’m sorry. “he said, feeling awkward. “All I am trying to say is that I love you, Nkechi and I would be elated to have you as my wife. Will you be my wife?”
He must have sounded like a comedian because Nkechi burst into a feat of laughter that lingered for almost 5 minutes. Mike just stood there at the car park in front of her, looking like a joke with his overfull hair and baggy jean.
“Is this one of your jokes, because you have been making jokes all day and this is the only one I seem to find very hilarious.” She chuckled.
“I am serious, Nkechi.” He said, helplessly.
“Maybe you should start by being more serious with your dressing. “
“What do you mean.” He asked as he looked at himself briefly, wondering if it was not serious enough. He was putting on a baggy jean and pink polo which he matched with his brown boots, it was his favorite footwear.
“Maybe you should start by dressing like someone from this part of our world.”
“What’s wrong with my dressing?” he asked, then he quickly added. “ I will adjust and dress just the way you like it, just tell me what you want.”
“See, the thing is I’m in a relationship.”
“A relationship? When? But you told me that you were single?”
“Yeah, I met someone recently and we are now together.”
Mike got her trick immediately and he apologized before dragging his feet away. That was the end of their friendship, so you can imagine how happy he felt to have received an excited yes from Grace just when he thought all hope was lost.
When Mike saw Jude next, he gave him an earful for giving him stale and offensive pick-up lines and Jude returned it in a hotter frequency, blaming his hard-luck on his lack of a convincing proposal prowess.
The memories made him smile, God had indeed given him double for all of his disappointment.
To buy up some time for himself before Grace’s return, he unlocked his phone and saw that he had some pending messages. He set to work, returning his messages.
He looked up just in time to see his beautiful angel, cat-walking towards him in blue jean and red flowery wrap-top. She was indeed a beauty to behold.
He stood up proudly as he gave her a side hug.
“I’m sorry I’m late. Work was a bit hectic today and I had to shower before leaving home.”
“It’s fine my dear.” He smiled as he dragged out a seat for her and he got a beautiful smile in return.
He ordered for ice-cream and meat-pie for the both of them at her request as they talked at length on numerous topics. He told her that he would be going on a business trip on behalf of the telecommunication company that he worked with.
“When would you be back?”
“In a month.” He said, eager to hear her response. Her face framed up into a scowl as she looked away from him and focused on her Vanilla ice-cream.
“Hey! I’m just joking, I’ll be back by the weekend!”
At that announcement, the lit glow in Grace’s eyes returned swiftly and Mike could swear that the chatty woman in front of him loved him very much.
Grace used that opportunity to keep him abreast of her preparations for their wedding and how much Amifel had been of help.
At some minutes to seven, they unanimously decided that it was time to go home. Mike excused himself briefly to use the restroom reserved for visitors at the park.
Grace was waiting for him when his phone beeped, she stole a glance at his phone screen and saw that her picture was his wallpaper, she blushed.
She opened his phone and went to his gallery, her picture was littered all over his gallery, ‘pic mixed’ with his in different folders and she just smiled on.
While she was looking through the pictures, his phone beeped again. It was a WhatsApp message from his friend, Jude. She wanted to swipe it off but the heading that she saw caught her fancy.
She opened his WhatsApp out of curiosity and she saw…
“Guy, I can’t imagine what you went through in that prison. It must have been a terrible experience.”
Her heart raced faster than normal. What prison was Jude talking about or was he joking, she swiped the messages up, trying to figure out what they were saying before they got to that junction and then she saw…
“Don’t even compare that to a prison. A prison is not a place to be, padi. The times I spent there were the most terrible times of my life.”
“What!” she yelled.
She was engrossed in what she was reading that she did not notice that Mike had already returned.
“Baby! What’s wrong?” he asked, looking confused.
“Have you slept in jail before?”
“What? Why that question?”
“Just answer me!”
Grace picked her purse and stood up like a wolf, she ran-walked as fast as her legs could carry her.
“Hey babe, please wait! I can explain!” Mike yelled as he tried to catch up with her but her pace was quicker. He picked up his phone and then he saw what she saw.
To be continued…
Written by Sodamade Olamide Tolulope.
TO BE CONTINUED
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