Read Episode 1 here
I was giddy with excitement. I sat on the floor and drifted into dream world. I imagined Gozie in a charming white tuxedo and I in a sparkling white gown, walking down the aisle towards the priest for joining in Holy Matrimony. We would make the perfect couple. Our preferences aligned. Our values aligned. Our tastes aligned. All that was left was for him to propose. I was already prepared to say an outright “yes” to him. I smiled again.
Two weeks after Bro Kennedy’s proposal, Gozie told me he wanted to take me somewhere special. I contemplated telling Ezinma but I thought against it. She would start asking unnecessary questions, and I wasn’t ready for that.
That afternoon, I put on my favourite blue gown and met up with Gozie at the school gate. From there, Gozie took me to Bethel Restaurant, one of the best restaurants in the town. I had never been there before and I fell in love with the place almost immediately. Gozie had reserved a table for us and we were ushered to the table. Gozie kept looking directly at me and I felt very shy. Why had he brought me here? Was he going to propose? My heart beat fast.
‘Do you love this place?’ he asked.
‘Yes’, I replied. ‘It’s so beautiful. I’ve never been here’.
‘What would you like to eat?’ he inquired
I hesitated. Today was supposed to be my fasting day. I usually set aside Fridays to fast, and it wasn’t time for me to break yet. Well, today was a special day so rules had to be broken.
‘Anything you order is fine’, I responded.
Quickly, he ordered food and we ate. It was really delicious. All through the meal, Gozie kept throwing glances at me. His glances made my toes tingle.
‘Goodness’, he called after the waiter had cleared the table.
‘Yes?’ I responded.
‘Do you know why I brought you here today?’
‘No Gozie’. My heart beat fast again.
‘From the first day I saw you’, he started, ‘I knew there was something special about you. I knew you were not an ordinary sister. I’ve watched you for three years now and I’ve seen you grow, both physically and spiritually. I’m amazed at your zeal and passion for the Lord and it is one thing that has endeared me to you. I’ll be graduating in a few weeks, so I thought this is the right time to tell you this’.
My heart kept pounding.
‘Goodness’, he said as he put his hand into his pocket and brought out a small box. He opened it and my mouth fell open when I saw a ring inside it. He took my hand in his.
‘I love you and I want to spend the rest of my life with you’.
I suddenly felt goose bumps.
He continued. ‘I’ve prayed about you and I am convinced that you are my perfect fit, the bone of my bones and the flesh of my flesh. You are my destiny helper and partner, my missing rib’.
By this time, I was blushing uncontrollably.
‘Goodness’, he said looking deep into my eyes. ‘Will you marry me?’
Tears had gathered in my eyes. This was what I had been waiting for all this while! My beloved Gozie had finally popped the question and my heart was so filled with joy that I thought my chest would burst open.
‘I know this may have come as a surprise so you don’t have to give me an answer now’, Gozie said gently.
If Gozie knew how prepared I was to give him an answer, he would not have made his last statement.
‘Yes! Yes I will marry you Gozie’, I screamed.
Gozie slipped the ring into my finger and hugged me.
‘Thank you’, he whispered into my ears, ‘I promise, you won’t regret it’.
I was on cloud nine as I walked back to my hostel. Even the hall porter noticed I was bursting with extra energy and she playfully asked ‘alert don show?’
‘Ah, this one pass bank alert o’, I said happily as I climbed the stairs to my room.
As usual, Ezinma was on her bed in only her underwear. This time she had earphones plugged to her ears while she sang along, off key.
‘Babe it has happened’, I said loudly as I entered the room. She quickly sat up. Her eyes fell on the ring on my finger and she looked at me.
‘Bro Gozie proposed to you?’
‘Yes!’ I exclaimed.
‘And you gave him a reply?’
‘Of course I said yes. I said yes to the King of my heart’, I said with so much excitement.
‘You accepted, just like that?’
‘How do you mean just like that’, I asked, puzzled.
‘You didn’t tell him you were going to pray about it?’
‘Ezii what am I praying about again?’ I asked exasperatedly. I’ve told you God started speaking to me about Gozie since my first year. God has even confirmed it through some persons and circumstances. What other conviction do I need?’
‘What about Bro Kennedy?’
I looked at Ezinma sharply.
‘And what about him? Didn’t I tell you I can’t marry him?’
‘So have you told him?’
‘I will tell him tomorrow please’, I said with a note of dismissal.
‘Did you inform Mummy Okoro about this proposal before giving an answer?’
At the mention of Mummy Okoro, my heart skipped a beat. Mummy Okoro was my spiritual mentor and a mother to me. She was the one who took me through follow up classes when I was just a new convert. She had also given me several instructions, advice and encouragement which had shaped my life today. It was almost impossible for me to take any decision without informing her.
‘Did you?’ Ezinma repeated.
‘I’ll tell her tomorrow’ I said, avoiding Ezinma’s eyes.
‘Did you hear yourself? A brother proposed to you and you accepted without informing Mummy Okoro. Wait sef, all these convictions you have been getting about Bro Gozie, did you share it with her?’ she fired.
‘Goody answer me’.
I rolled my eyes.
‘Well, I shared with her once or twice but she didn’t understand me so I didn’t bother again’.
Ezinma clapped her hands in surprise.
‘So who are those confirming these your convictions to you?’
‘Ezinma it is enough’, I said firmly. I know you have reservations about Gozie but can’t you just be happy for me? Ah! Na wa o’. I sighed. I lay on my bed and turned to the wall.
‘Goody, marriage is a big deal, a very big deal. You cannot afford to handle it casually or carelessly. It is not something you jump into based on feelings or emotions. You need to be properly guided’
I turned to face her. ‘I have the Holy Spirit in me, and wherever he leads me, I will go. He has led me to say yes to Gozie, and I will gladly obey Him’
‘Okay, if you say so. I won’t dispute that with you. But please, inform Mummy Okoro. She needs to be aware of everything’
I didn’t respond to her. Instead, I stared at the ring Gozie gave me. It was beautiful. I’ll deal with Mummy Okoro later, I decided in my mind. Let me revel in my new status for now.
Three days later, I was on my way to see Gozie at the school garden when my phone rang. Immediately I saw the caller ID, my heart skipped. Mummy Okoro was calling. She was a very discerning woman, full of wisdom and knowledge. ‘What if she had sensed that I had taken a major decision without informing her?’ I thought to myself. I put the phone back in my bag and walked on. Shortly after, it rang again. I reluctantly picked the call.
Thank you for reading. Episode 3 comes up next!