Read ‘Beautiful Surrender’ here
When Bro Kennedy proposed to me, I almost fell off my seat in shock. Why Bro Kennedy, of all the brothers in the fellowship? I hope they are not ‘doing me’ from the village o, I wondered. I stared at him as he continued ranting about his convictions and persuasions. My brain couldn’t even process what he was saying. To add salt to injury, he ended his ‘speech’ by saying he loved me and looked forward to spending the rest of his life with me.
Unconsciously, my eyes went to his shoes. They were very old and worn out. Someone who can’t even afford to buy a new pair of shoes? Haba!
He waved his hand before my face to draw my attention and I realized he had asked me a question which I didn’t hear.
‘You haven’t said anything, Sister Goodness’, he stated.
‘Em… Okay… Yes… Hmmmm’ I kept mumbling. I didn’t even know what to say. I mean, how do I respond to a proposal from a brother I had no likeness for, not to talk of love?
‘I’ll pray about it Sir’, I managed to reply.
‘Okay. Thank you. So when should I expect an answer?’
I raised my brows. Answer ke? When I wasn’t even sure I was going to pray about his proposal?
‘When the Lord speaks my brother’, I answered with a fake smile on my face.
‘Okay. Thank you so much. I appreciate. Can we go now?’ he asked.
‘Em… You can go. I want to do a few things before I leave’, I replied.
We were inside the school Chapel. He couldn’t even take me out to a nice restaurant or garden. Mtchewww, I hissed silently.
‘Alright, do take care of yourself’, he said as he stood up and walked out.
I quickly searched for my phone in my bag and dialed Ezinma’s number. Ezinma was my roommate and my closest friend. We have been friends for over five years, even before we got admission into the university. She picked at the first ring.
‘Babe how far?’ she greeted.
‘Ezii you won’t believe what just happened o, hei!’ I stood up and started pacing.
‘Guess who just proposed to me?’
‘I said you should take a guess’, I responded.
‘Please answer me jare’, she said. ‘I’ve already poured cold water in this garri I want to drink so I don’t have time for jokes, before the garri rises like balloon’.
‘Okay. It was Bro Kennedy’, I said.
‘Ehn?’ She exclaimed. ‘Which Bro Kennedy?’
‘How many Bro Kennedys do you know? I’m talking of the Bro Kennedy in the evangelism unit na’, I chirped.
‘And what did you say?’ she asked. I could already detect humour in her voice.
‘I told him I will pray about it. Or what else would I have said?’
‘Hmmmm… but you both would make a cute couple o’, she said, almost choking with laughter.
I hissed loudly. ‘That garri you are drinking is giving you so much joy abi? I’m on my way to the room now’, I said as I ended the call.
As I walked back to my hostel, I mulled over Bro Kennedy’s proposal.
Bro Kennedy was a very quiet brother who rarely said anything. He was a final year Agricultural Extension student. His most active moments in fellowship were either when he was handling a Bible study or evangelism session or preaching a sermon. He didn’t smile often, and he had very few friends. He had only five shirts, two trousers and one pair of shoes. You wonder how I know that? Well, since I came into the fellowship three years ago, Bro Kennedy has never put on anything different, except for rare occasions when he put on Ankara. We were never really close and the few times we had conversations was when we were paired for evangelism or outreaches or reports.
The door to my room was ajar when I got there. Ezinma who was in her underwear alone was sprawled on the floor, fanning herself vigorously with the back of her notebook. There was no electricity supply, so the room was quite hot.
Immediately she saw me, she sat up with a smile on her face.
‘Welcome o. What did you bring for me?’
I eyeballed her playfully. ‘Chop Chop’. ‘The garri you drank alone is not enough for you right?’
She laughed out. ‘Oya come and gist me. How did it happen?’
I took a sachet of water from my table, drank it and propped myself on my bed.
‘Ha, Ezii, it is well o,’ I started.
‘I’m listening’, she said.
‘On Wednesday after Bible study, Bro Kennedy met me as I was leaving and said he had something very important to discuss with me. He told me to give him a date and time when I’ll be free and I suggested we meet on Friday by 4pm’.
Ezinma was staring intently at me.
‘My dear, I got to the Chapel today o, where he asked us to meet, only for him to tell me that he wants to marry me’.
‘Just like that?’ Ezinma asked.
‘Just like that… well, he said a lot of things but I wasn’t really paying attention’.
‘Ezii, he’s not my spec. He’s not my type. He’s not even in my class. You know I don’t like quiet people. I can’t live with an introvert. I’m even taller than him. You want me to wear flat slippers on my wedding day? Besides, he’s not even buoyant. I’m not saying that his future is not bright o, but I can’t marry him abeg’, I finished.
Ezinma rolled her eyes. ‘So why didn’t you tell him point blank?’
‘Ah! So that he will think I’m a carnal sister abi? No way!’
Ezinma stretched her legs before her.
‘So what’s your plan now?’ she asked.
‘I don’t really know’, I replied. ‘Let’s see how it goes’.
Ezinma smiled and took a deep breath.
‘Goodness’. She called. ‘You still hope that Bro Gozie will propose to you right?’
I smiled. Gozie was the former Bible Study secretary, and we were very good friends. Right from my first year, God had started speaking to me about him and showing me things about our future together.
‘Well, I’m quite sure of what God told me. I know Gozie is just waiting to graduate so he can propose to me’ I replied.
‘Is that what he told you?’ Ezinma asked.
I threw a glance at her as I stood from the bed.
‘He didn’t tell me. I just know’.
‘Goody, I’ll still suggest that you pray about Bro Kennedy’s proposal so that you don’t keep the poor guy waiting. As long as Bro Gozie has not proposed, you are still very single so you need to pray about any proposal that comes your way’.
I didn’t respond. I opened the fridge to take the cashew nuts I had put in there the previous day but I couldn’t find it. Surprised, I turned and faced Ezinma.
‘Where is the cashew that I put inside this fridge?’
‘Ah…check very well. Is it not there?’ she asked with a twinkle in her eyes.
‘You this girl, you have eaten it abi’, I said as I playfully threw my pillow at her.
She skillfully dodged it and stuck out her tongue at me.
‘I will do my own back’, I promised as I snapped my right thumb and middle finger together.
That night, I couldn’t sleep well. Bro Kennedy’s proposal kept jumping into my heart. I tried to picture myself as his wife but I just couldn’t. We were the complete opposite of each other, and I doubted if he would ever understand me.
He also mentioned that God was calling him into the mission field and he had already answered the call. There was no way I was going to travel from Sambisa forest to Koma and then to Isiala Ngwa with a man, all in the name of marriage and ministry. I loved the Lord and I was ready to serve him, but not in that way.
I can’t marry Bro Kennedy, so there was no point praying about it. After one month, I’ll just tell him that God said he is not my husband, I concluded. I adjusted my pillow and closed my eyes.
That night, I had a dream about Gozie. He was cultivating a large field and I was right beside him, putting the maize seeds in the soil as he tilled. I woke up the next morning with so much excitement. As I knelt down to pray and offer God thanksgiving for another confirmation, my phone vibrated. I checked it and saw that I had an unread message. Guess who? It was from Gozie.
The message read: “Hello Beautiful. I hope you had a night as awesome as you are. May this new day be bountiful for you! I care deeply about you.”
Thanks for reading. Episode 2 comes up next!