Folashade was not in the mood today at all. Bola, her best friend since her childhood days, just sent her an Instant Message about an old classmate’s bridal shower.
“I’m sorry but I can’t make it.”, she replied. “I am getting off work late.”
She preferred messages to calls for this reason, she could lie and get away with it.
“Don’t be a spoil sport.” Bola never gave up easily. She was into all these things.
“I can’t even remember half of our classmates. I will feel very awkward there. Besides it’s a Friday night. Can’t I just get some rest?” She hated all these wedding gigs. One old friend would see you and then invite you to her wedding and you would be compelled to attend because you attended another old classmate’s wedding.
With every wedding came the aso-ebi bill, and then another invite and the cycle continues. Fola’s worst part was everyone asking when her turn was.
“I’ll pick you up by 7PM sharp. Wear something nice.”
Fola started typing out a long reply to her relentless friend but she clicked backspace knowing it would be futile. 7PM it was.
The hours flew by quickly, unlike other Fridays when she was usually eager to get off work. She mentally scanned her wardrobe as she drove home, listening to the radio presenter engage her audience in conversation about their plans for the weekend. Her mind went to Michael. He had not called since he dropped her off at her place a week ago. They had had a huge argument about his new job and him moving away. She had taken it as a sign that he wasn’t the one. It was easier telling herself that.
Fola checked herself out in the mirror one last time before answering Bola’s incessant calls. She smiled at her reflection. For someone who was being forced against her will, she didn’t look bad at all in a Cyan jumpsuit and a pair of yellow platforms.
Bola’s expression when she got into the car was priceless.
“Wow! Looks like you are going to steal the show tonight.”
“Should I quickly go and change? I didn’t want to look too shabby but I guess I overdid it.”
“No way! So you’d bail out on me abi? You look fine, too fine sef.”
They arrived at the venue, a nice restaurant on the Island, in good time. Fola walked in to see a lot of familiar faces- people from her work place, her church, even her neighbors. She was still trying to make sense of it all when her parents along with her aged grandmother walked in. On their heels were her two siblings and their spouses. None of it made sense and to top it all up, Bola was nowhere to be found.
A few minutes later, champagne was being served by waiters to all the guests. Fola took a glass to calm her nerves. She knew something was up but she could not figure it out. People came around to make conversation but her mind was too unsettled to hold a proper or long one.
Half an hour passed before Bola resurfaced. Fola jumped at her as she walked through the restaurant door.
“Where have you been? I have been looking all over for you! And why are all these people here? I mean my whole family! I thought you said it was -“
She was cut short by the sound of a saxophone right behind her. She turned around to see a band she had not noticed before, playing. The biggest surprise of all was the lead singer of the band – Michael. He was singing a classic hit by Luther Vandross, “So amazing”.
She was still spellbound as he approached her and got down on one knee while holding the most beautiful engagement ring in his hand and a microphone in the other. Then it hit her- Michael was proposing. In a flash, she thought about her life and if she had a place for him in it. She couldn’t give herself a satisfactory answer. She thought about their last fight and all their unresolved issues. She needed time to think it through. She looked at him and saw his pleading eyes. She took one glance across the room and saw all the faces that were waiting for her response- her parents, her grandmother who would be so happy to carry her grandchild before she passed on to greater glory, her colleagues from work, her unit members in church who looked up to her, Bola who would give anything to be in her shoes this minute. Even the staff of the restaurant nudged her on with their eyes. Michael had gone through a lot of trouble putting this together. She didn’t have the heart to embarrass him in front of all these people.
The silence in the room was deafening. She knew everyone was waiting for her reply. All eyes were on her.
A loud shout erupted from the crowd of well-wishers. But as Michael held her in a tight embrace, Folashade knew this was a decision she would question for the rest of her days.
Photo Credit: fullerlifefamilytherapy.org
Rolayo Williams is a soon-to-be dentist by profession, a writer when inspired, and a wannabe chef to a certain few. A total product of grace, and a non-apologetic Christian. She loves LOVE and has big dreams. Rolayo shares her thoughts on her blog – Heartstrings & Keynotes.