“Happy Anniversary baby!”
Amaka’s heart began to pound as she caught sight of the little blue box. Relax Amaka it may not be what you think…
“Oh Ehis, you didn’t have to…”
“Aren’t you gonna open it?”
Maybe he wants you to see the ring before he gets down on one knee!
Aisha opened the box slowly. It had been 6 years since the day she agreed to go out with Ehis and it was about time he gave her a ri-
“Earrings? Fantastic! Thanks boo”
“I knew you’d love them. Know how you love Swarovski crystals”
I’d love a ring even better, moron! Amaka shook her head to dispel the evil voice before it made her say something she’d regret. There’d be enough time to act all disappointed later in the safe confines of her bedroom. She put on a big smile.
“Now it’s time for you to open your present!”
“You got me something too? You shouldn’t have! I have the best girlfriend in the whole world…”
Amaka made it through dinner. She even surprised herself and made it through the light make out session on the couch. When Ehis dropped her off at home she had one thing and one thing only on her mind:
Yes that was her crack! She rummaged through the fridge searching for her brand of weed, already craving the sweetness and numbing cold that came with it. She didn’t even bother with the lights. She’d had enough of bright lights to last her for days.
“Why can’t he just be like other men?”
She asked her empty apartment.
“What else does he want from me?”
She’d met him in her 3rd year in university and now she’d been working for 3 years and she was still waiting for the bloody question.
“Aren’t I good enough to be his wife? Haven’t I been the perfect girlfriend?”
She’d given Ehis everything. Been there for him when he was a struggling student. Shared her pocket money and then allowee with him when he was tryna get his s**t together and now that he had the dream job and the dream house, who told him it was ok to just be the perfect boyfriend?
She remembered all the hints she had given him and all the hints his family and hers kept dropping every chance they got. She was tired of the pressure and even dreaded picking up her mother’s phone calls. She’d been a bridesmaid more times than she could count. Had caught the bouquet at 6 different weddings till she stopped responding to the single women’s call at weddings. Ehis had been beside her 4 of those times and still hadn’t gotten the hint.
Her girlfriends said maybe he wasn’t that into her but when they hung out with she and Ehis and noticed his devotion to her they changed their minds and just asked her to be patient!
“If I’m patient for any longer, I’ll just have to change my name to Patience!”
She rolled her eyes at her attempted humour and then took another big, comforting spoon of ice-cream. Did he know what his nonsense delay was costing her? Every missed opportunity to get down on one knee led to some ice-cream binging in the comfort of her house and the cycle always had her gaining weight and then struggling to squeeze out time to go to the gym so she could burn up the fat. She wasn’t getting any younger and after 6 years, she had to struggle to stay in the game. She didn’t want Ehis thinking she had lost her youth or attractiveness and she definitely didn’t want one small girl turning his head and reaping where she did not sow.
“Lord when will I start reaping my harvest oooooh?” She asked in exasperation.
She dreaded christmas nowadays because it meant travelling to the village and being the only female in her age group that was unmarried. Nnenna and Chidex always seized the opportunity to rub their husbands and children in her face and then her aunties would give her long sermons about why she should forget Ehis and marry a decent man from their village.
“This boy doesn’t know the stress I go through for him!”
She’d turned down all her suitors and even Nnamdi who was the most persistent had of recent reduced his calling frequency. What hadn’t she done to sway Ehis but he had constantly refused to tow the line. She’d gotten their pastor to call him to his office and advice him to settle down. She’d bought him marriage books and videos. Urged him to watch many marriage-oriented movies and had even sent his emails on conquering commitment phobia and if all that wasn’t enough, she’d done some desperado moves too. She frowned as she remembered the two times she’d tried to use pregnancy to make him commit. Both times he seemed to consider it and both times her period had come just as he was gonna say something tangible about the whole settling down matter.
Frankly she was tired. What more could she do? She’d considered breaking up with him but the thought of starting all over with a new man whose plans to marry her where not even guaranteed had her staying put with Ehis without a second thought. She even checked his phones and social network every once in a while and she was convinced there was no other woman. Ehis was just not ready and nothing she had said or done had made him change his mind.
It wasn’t like Ehis was anti-marriage. He was fond of calling her the mother of his children or his ‘iyawo’ but he was the first child and it seemed all he was really concerned about was making money. She needed a plan. She was tired of putting up other people’s fingers as her BBM display pic after they got engaged. Life seemed to be passing her by and the anniversaries she used to look forward to had become sad reminders of the time spent unmarried.
She’d lost count of the marriage seminars she’d attended and the self-help books she’d read. She’d been prayed for and prophesied on countless times and was tired of hearing people say ‘This is your year Amaka. This year we will buy your asoebi!’
She had just finished the icecream when she got a phone call from Tina. Tina worked at the jeweller’s shop at shoprite and they’d become friends after she’d come into the store on three separate occasions to stare wistfully at her dream ring. She’d even brought Ehis into the shop and used style to show him the ring. So that he wouldn’t get her the wrong one and ruin her fantasy. She absolutely hated yellow gold rings but at this point, she’d wear a big old gaudy one if that was gonna bring her the wedding she’d always dreamed of.
“Hello Tina, how you dey? It’s pretty late to be calling. Hope no problem?”
“I wanted to congratulate you today before the news becomes stale na”
“Your engagement! That your man came into the store early this morning and he bought that ring you are always looking at and a pair of earrings too. Congrats oh! Me I must wear aso-ebi aunty”
“Thank you Tina. He hasn’t proposed yet but I will let you know when it’s official…” And with that she had hung up, hands shaking, barely able to breathe.
“Finally!!!” And she smiled a big smile as she closed her eyes and began to daydream about her wedding dress…
To be continued…
Have a lovely Sunday peeps! Xoxoxo 🙂 😉