“Babe, today is the day!” Tope screamed excitedly into the phone. “I can feel it deep down in my heart already! He just sent his driver to give me a beautiful red dress and a pair of killer heels!”
She was speaking to her best friend of about ten years. They are both 32-year-old women and her friend, Lara, had already celebrated her 5th year wedding anniversary with two kids!
“I’m so happy for you, dear,” Lara said.
Lara indeed is a good friend; she has been Tope’s prayer partner since she started her relationship with Lanre about seven years ago.
Together they cast and bound every evil spirit that has been weaving cobwebs over Lanre’s eyes, preventing him from seeing the wife material in Tope and doing the needful as timely as possible.
For the past few years, Tope had done nothing else but hint Lanre on the kind of engagement she would like—the kind of ring she would want and how much she would love to be proposed to in a red dress.
And she has indirectly always mentioned her ring size to him too.
There were times she sang loudly with it while in the kitchen.
Sometimes she whispered it into his ears during sex.
Finally she wrote it down on a piece of paper and put in his wallet.
But even with all these, nothing ever happened and Tope’s ring finger remained as barren as ever.
But today, following the arrival of a beautiful red dress, Tope knew that she had finally won the battle.
After speaking to her friend on the phone, she did a little dance around the house, singing different songs of praise.
Then she picked her phone and dialled her mother, who at one time had taken her to different prayer houses over this same ring issue, to share the good news with her.
It was indeed a wonderful news for everyone in Tope’s family.
Her mother made sure she called all her sisters at once and demanded they all call Tope and congratulate her.
Of course her father could not understand everyone’s fuss already and he stated clearly that the poor guy had not even proposed yet and there was no need for all the celebrations, but no one allowed the old man’s misgiving to spoil the joy in the air.
The joy of the ring.
Tope promised to take pictures of the ring and send to them as soon as her soon-to-be fiancé wore it on her.
She ended the call and proceeded to prepare for the best moment that was awaiting her.
Lanre, on the other hand, was more nervous than excited. He knew Tope had been very patient with him over the years, and that she was beginning to get frustrated.
All her sisters and most of her friends, some of which she is way older than, were already married with kids.
And indeed Tope was everything he wanted his wife to be and he knew she loved him too, but it was just that case of waiting to be entirely sure the time is right.
That kind of wait that easily dragged from weeks to months and months to years.
Well, today he has finally decided to take the step.
He has all the details already; he knew the colour of the dress and has for many months been carrying about in his wallet the ring size.
It was now time for him to prepare for the action.
As the message he sent alongside the dress read, he was taking Tope to a very classy restaurant on Lagos Island in about an hour.
Now in front of Tope’s door, he drew in a slow settling breath and knocked lightly.
The door swung open immediately, nearly startling him. It was as though Tope had been standing by it all the while.
And she in fact had.
He smiled, staring desirously at her. The dress was a perfect fit on her and she was every inch a sight to behold.
‘You look amazing,’ he said.
Tope’s painted lips curved slightly in a rather girlish smile. ‘Thank you.’ He held her hand and led her to his car.
Inside the car, the perfumed air around them appeared to harden with tension.
The nervous couple chatted briefly about how their day had gone and finally Lanre started the engine and they made their way to the restaurant.
Stepping inside the neat and classy space, Tope smiled and exhaled.
Lanre had outdone himself, she thought to herself.
He led her to a decorated table for two and pulled out a seat for her.
She lowered herself on the chair, excitement causing saliva to curl in her mouth.
The waiter took their orders and left. The atmosphere was dim and a soft tune played in the background.
Swallowed in the bliss, Tope found it hard to breathe with ease.
Soon, drinks were served and while they were waiting for their meals, Lanre decided that the long awaited moment has arrived.
He reached into his breast pocket and Tope saw him and started to vibrate.
He brought out a ring box and went down on one knee.
Tope’s excitement gave vent at once.
“Oh my God! Oh my God!” she sang, her fingers shaking violently, her loud voice gathering attention.
Lanre smiled, his eyes nearly narrowing in surprise.
He before then never truly understood what a ring does to a woman.
“Tope,” he began, “you have been the light of my life and ever since you stepped into my life, I have wanted no other but you. I know you have been patient with me for years and I should have done this sooner, but it is better late than never.”
He raised the ring and Tope almost swallowed her tongue.
“With this ring, baby, I promise you that in no time, I would be ready and prepared to ask you to marry me. So do me the honour of accepting this promise with the entire of your heart and keep being my girl.”
Instantly, Tope’s parts baked stiff like cake.
It took her moments to recover.
Long, long moments.
She looked round; all eyes in the restaurant were fixed at their table.
Shame hovered round her like a halo.
With what’s left of her dignity, she picked her wine glass and emptied its contents on Lanre’s head.
Then she picked her purse and walked out of the restaurant on stiffened legs.
Meet Temi on Twitter @T3mmie