So it’s a Sunday afternoon and I’m back from the lazy Sunday festivals, mom made her famous jollof rice and grilled chicken, my mouth is still watering thinking of it. My girlfriend of 3 years wasn’t able to make it to the family dinner again, this is like the 3rd one she’s missing, she’s always out on trips or something comes up, but I do miss her.
I call my best friend Charles to meet me at the mall, not our usual for a hot Sunday. He gets there sweating as he jogged there
“Bro why you looking like this?” I ask him, patting his shoulder
“there better be a good reason you are dragging me out by this time of the afternoon if not, our friendship is over,” he said between breaths, holding his knees, the funny part of all this is that he isn’t even on the heavy side. At 36 Charles doesn’t look a day older than 22, he is tall, muscular and with an athletic structure to deceive everyone. I look like his small uncle, I had a few strands of gray hair my niece picked out last week, I secretly went to get it dyed.
“Well, it’s a marvelous reason. Follow me, my good friend, you’ll be happy.” I tell him and walk on, leading the way like I did while we were younger
He often said I fit the role of a boss then and it’s a good thing I’m the boss of a multinational company if not it will be weird.
I took Charles to the spot where I saw it, the golden ring with a 5-carat diamond resting on top, it isn’t t bulky as it is perfectly designed around the ring and has a simple inscription inside with the word love.
“Are you asking what I think you are asking?” Charles is finally able to say
“Yes, I am ready to take the step. I feel it’s time. I’m not getting any younger” I say, looking at it “and Charles please put your tongue in your mouth your drooling and scaring people”
He jerked back to reality and held my shoulders “Are you sure you are ready? It’s a huge step.”
” Yes, I’m ready. Anna is the perfect woman for me. Smart, beautiful, prayerful, and a bonus she’s funny”
I and Charles go to our favorite lounge and get a private spot with a bottle of champagne and beer to celebrate while we think of how to pop the question.
“Why don’t you do the usual,” Charles suggested “go to her favorite restaurant put it in a covered plate, she opens and tada” Charles takes a sip of champagne
“No it’s not magical too cliché”
“Well read a Nickolas sparks novel. I’m sure you’ll get the inspiration”
I roll my eyes and think a bit “I got it what if, I invite all our families, like a usual dinner and then pop the question. That will save her the idea of gushing about it later”
“You seem to forget you want to propose to a woman, and women want to tell even a chicken their engagement story”
“No they do not” I defend the women
“Yes, they do too. And besides Anna hates the attention remember the time we went to that party when you guys started dating. We found her at the backyard playing with the puppies. And she wasn’t even the center of attention”
I think for a bit “Charles what do I do” he was right Anna hated all eyes on her
“Ask a woman. They will give you a clue”
“You are just spewing out words of wisdom I should get you drunk more often. But both our sisters are horrible at keeping secrets and you don’t have any females around “
“You forget I’m dating a beautiful, igbo girl, Amaka”
“Oh right, yeah and how long has this supposed relationship been on?” I ask
He looked at his watch and calculated something with his fingers “approximately, 6 weeks, 3 days and a couple of hours” he chuckled “I’ve got my eyes on a new prize” I follow his line of sight and see a slim, light skin girl, in a polka dot jumpsuit. She is sitting alone obviously playing candy crush on her phone “excuse me” Charles said, “I need to see a soon to be a good friend”.
Fast forward, my girl is back in town and though we haven’t seen each other, we do talk on the phone and do video calls. I miss her like crazy. It was game time and this Sunday I will propose, I called her family to meet us at a really nice popular restaurant in town, I called my family too, and Charles. I rented the section for us all it’s like a mini introduction, but my girl and her mom are nowhere to be seen. It’s 4 in the even so there’s enough time for chit chat and drinks, the restaurant isn’t full, just a few couples on dates, Charles walks in with the girl from the lounge, he introduces her as Sarah. She sits with my younger sister taking a thousand pictures before they both enter the restroom to take more pictures.
My future mother in law enters, looking all dressed up like from a party, I hug her and take her to the rest of the family “everyone this is Anna’s mom,” My dad freezes on the spot and my mother jerked her chair back
“So you have finally worked your way back into my life” my mother spits, I wonder where this is coming from. My mother knew Anna and loves her like a daughter,
“You… Cecilia?” Anna’s mother says in shock
“can someone tell me what’s going on?” I ask, my heart already racing that my plan to propose in front of both our families is ruined
My mother stands up and walks face to face with Anna’s mother, her hands on her hips and shoulders squared “this woman tried to snatch your father from me. Imagine she’s evil. I don’t want you seeing her daughter again.”
“Yes, and it’s over between my daughter and you” Anna’s mom starts walking out but I stop her and bring her back, I see Charles hiding in a corner,
“guy” he says to me “Amaka just entered, and Sarah dey here with me how we go do? “
This is getting worse, my parents and soon to be in-laws are exchanging words Amaka is confronting Charles as Sarah steps out to throw a drink at Amakas face. This is a nightmare. The world crashes on me as Sarah and Amaka begin tearing at each other, and the mothers about to do the same, I just can’t take it anymore, I have not felt this much anger in my life I hit the table with a loud bang and a falls silent
“will you all shut up. I brought you all together to propose to the love of my life” I bring out the black box and show them the ring “and you all have managed to ruin what was meant to be a perfect day. Charles for the sake of God, you are not a child to be running around with girls and playing football with their hearts be a bloody man and step up for once in your life. Your wealth and money won’t give you a proper home cooked meal.” I turn and face my mother “mother I don’t care who flirted with who or whatever but I love Anna. She is made for me.”
“but my son. If her mother is a man snatcher she is too, you can’t marry her” my mother tries to sway me
“Mama, I love you but Anna will be my wife. Just cause you think her mother did something decades ago doesn’t mean Anna is the same. Anna is a smart, beautiful,” I look at Charles “she is funny and I want to spend the rest of my days with her. I will marry her I just need to find her and think of another perfect way to propose”
“You don’t need to that was perfect.” I turn and see Anna standing there with tears in her eyes, I go down on one knee and waste no time with my proposal
“Anna, please make me the happiest man, and be my wife, be the mother to our children, be my best friend, my sister, my anchor and my rock.”
“yes” Anna says as she kneels with me and hugs me.
The perfect proposal wasn’t what I had expected but it is a day I will forever remember. The day the woman of my dreams said yes to me.