Come lay with me, my beloved coo-ed
Rest twixt my bosom, she sang sweetly
Fool I, went with her expectant…
Wale had dated one girl all his life. A late bloomer, he didn’t get into the game until he was 15 and in SS2. Whilst his Brothers Dare and Tosin had gotten in the game as early as JS1 and JS3 respectively, he was the underachiever where the fair sex was concerned and he didn’t mind his brothers accomplishments.
Dare the eldest was already studying Civil Engineering at the University of Ife and was in his third year of a five-year course. Tosin was a Law student at Unilag in his second year, Bola his only sister was just ahead of him in SS3 when he met Shade.
Characteristically shy, Wale couldn’t contain himself the first time he saw her. Like a favoured movie, that moment was forever etched in his memory. He was playing football during lunch break and had just missed a glorious opportunity to score and win the set. As his team mates berated him, he looked up and for the first time in his life, it was as though he was the protagonist of a well made Indian movie. For on seeing her, the band of heaven came down playing melodious songs, even his Celine Dion collection couldn’t compare.
‘Wale!’ Jide his best friend had pushed him, he stuttered and caught himself before he fell, all the boys on the field looked strangely at him as he stirred up dust and seemed lost at sea. At that moment she looked his way, shook her head and moved closer to her mother who had accompanied her to the school.
‘What possessed you?’ Jide asked indignant, ‘that’s not the kind of chance you miss.’ He was clearly indignant and was panting heavily having dribbled past three of the opposition men to lay a perfect pass through to Wale who squandered the opportunity.
Wale was in another world, he got up,dusted himself and put his arm ’round Jide’s neck and whispered softly to him. ‘There goes my girlfriend.’
‘What?!’ Jide asked rubbing his ears in order to hear clearer. ‘What did you just say?’
‘That is my girlfriend.’ Wale declared defiant. The silence that followed was quieter than a graveyard’s. As if on cue, all the boys on the football field burst into uproarious laughter.
‘How is that going to happen? Seeing as the only girl you ever talk to is that your fine sister…’ Emma said deriding him.
‘You’ll all see, I’ll be the one to date her. Just watch.’ Suddenly, the realization of the daunting task of talking to a girl dawned on him. He felt low because even Jide who was helping him get a girlfriend didn’t believe he had it in him to date. He walked off the field dejected.
Fast forward eight years, Wale had just completed his national service year and had just been employed by a muiltinational company. Shade was a staff of a leading bank having graduated a year ahead of him. He studied Mechanical Engineering whilst she went with Mass Communication.
They had been dating since that fateful year. Though he remembered every little detail of what happened around him when he first saw her, he had no recollection of how they became friends much less how he had convinced her to date him. He just knew that somehow, his words had come true and he became public enemy number one in secondary school. For he went from being the unpopular shy boy to being the popular boy who was dating the prettiest girl in the school.
He readjusted his dark shade for the umpteenth time. Spying himself in the mirror, he couldn’t help the narcissistic tendencies. He smiled satisfied and felt his pocket for the bulge. It was there, he thought, safely hidden in a box. It all depended on tonight he told himself, life was just about to start. If only he knew the weight of that thought.
He checked his wristwatch again, the time was eight pm, she should waltz in anytime now he thought and peace coursed through his members as though cold water was poured on him. She had that effect on him still. After two years in secondary school, five years in the university, and another year serving the nation, Wale couldn’t believe he could be this in love with the same girl.
As he was deep in thought of her, she walked in, a proper banker, she had all the swag and charisma that came with the job. Pride swelled all over him as he stood to offer her a seat at his table. She was the cynosure of all eyes and had shed her light on him. He was grateful and took his seat opposite her.
She smiled sweetly at him. ‘Wale dear, you didn’t have to be this lavish now. We could have had a quiet romantic dinner to celebrate our eighth anniversary.’
He looked incredulous at her, and almost reminded her how she had constantly kept dropping hints on what was expected of him. He had seen her approve with the way her eyes danced, nothing she said afterwards mattered, it was just their way of going back and forth.
They had a wonderful meal, the evening was just pleasant, and everything went according to plan. Then Wale brought out the ring, knelt on one knee and made to propose. That was when all hell was let loose.
As he said the words ‘will you marry me?’ And watched as Shade shrieked in joy offering her left hand, two girls ran to their table.
‘You cannot marry him oo.’ The taller of the two declared. ‘This yeye boy impregnated my friend and ran back to Lagos. We’ve been searching for him and his friend Jide for two months’ she had a look of satisfaction on her face, like a person justified.
Wale stared in horror, his mind reeled as he tried to recollect where he had seen their faces before. It finally dawned and all he could muster was ‘Ginika! Blessing! Na which kain bad thing I do the two of una?’
It was too late though, Shade had turned and started walking away as she realized that he actually knew the girls. She didn’t require any explanation for they had an agreement when he was going to Anambra to serve. He had just completed the national service two months earlier, with his friend Jide who was a Chemical Engineer by training.
Wale slumped into his chair, effectively crowded by both girls. He watched as the love of his life walk out of the restaurant on him on what was supposed to be the beginning of their lives together.
Beaten, he buried his face in his hands and the world around him crashed. Everything blacked out, except the recurring memory of Shade walking away. He was in that state for like five minutes when he felt a gentle hand on his shoulder. Still sobbing he looked up and saw all his friends and family.
He rose from his seat upon seeing Jide and would have pounced on his hapless friend but for the intervention of his brother Dare.
‘Chill dude,’ Dare smiled. ‘Why are you so worked up?’
‘This guy has ruined my life!’ He was surprised he was screaming.
Dare smiled and shook his head, ‘no brother, if you feel like killing tonight, it has to be me.’
Confusion overtook Wale. ‘Huh?’ Was all he could mutter.
Then Dare told him of how he had stumbled on the ring in his brother’s room and guessing that he wanted to ditch his older brothers in bachelorhood had devised a plan to teach him a final lesson by stealing his ring and staging a fake break up.
Wale was beyond words, he just kept staring at his brother who was smiling as though he had done nothing wrong. Minutes passed before he could finally move.
Dare lay a hand of his shoulders and said, ‘I apologise on all our behalf, your bride was late because she actually waited for me to arrive.’ Having said that Dare brought out the ring to Wale’s amazement. Smiling, he said ‘behold, the love of your life.’
On cue, the people parted and Wale saw her standing there, much more beautiful than he had ever noticed. His heart raced again, the smile returned to his face. Armed with the real ring, having discovered that he was carrying an imitation, he walked to her…
Come dance with me
Let us fly into the setting sun
A glorious oblivion,
A perfect end…
PS: I know it kinda reads really long, but please, do let me know what you think about this. Been a really long while that I wrote a story. 🙂