I looked at my ring over and over again. I couldn’t believe that I was engaged to this wonderful man, the man of my dreams. It was a long time coming, but the wait was absolutely worth it.
I picked up my phone and forwarded the pictures Hajara had sent to me earlier to all my mum, siblings and all my friends then I went ahead and called Derin.
“Did you get my message?” I asked excitedly immediately she picked.
“No o, which message?” She asked.
“I’m getting married.” I screamed, not minding the fact that Faraji was on an important call in the kitchen.
“I don’t understand.” Derin said.
I rolled my eyes and gave her the whole gist. She screamed when I told her the ring was from Harry Winston.
“Girl, Faraji just took it to the next level. Deceiving all of us and pulling this kind of stunt unexpectedly.” I commented.
“But you know it’s because of you.” I teased her.
“Ejoor, how?” She asked me.
“Faraji knew that Derin told you about it and he thought I was going to hear since you never keep anything secret.”
“Wow, that’s how it is now abi?” She was offended.
“No now, I was only playing.” I said.
“No o, na me fuck up, it’s me that always tells you everything, that’s why.”
“Derin don’t be like that. I tell you things too now, don’t I?”
Just then, my phone beeped, there was another call waiting. It was my elder sister, Mosha who lived in Abuja with her husband. She had been asking me when Faraji and I were going to settle down and I was so glad that I finally had an answer to give. I told Derin I was going to call her back and before she could say another word, I ended the call.
I answered my sister’s call and she screamed loudly immediately I picked up. I laughed and laughed as I listened to her sing a wedding song in Swahili.
When she was done, I screamed,
“Your girl is getting married.”
“Hatimaye! It’s been a long time coming. Have you told mummy?” She asked.
I told her I had sent my mom pictures but knowing her, she would be sleeping like a log of wood and won’t see the pictures till the next morning. We both laughed because we knew who our mother was, a woman renowned for sleeping.
“I’m so happy Mo. I can’t wait to start planning the wedding.” I told her.
“I already started planning it in my head Lenka.” She told me.
I laughed again.
“It’s not even your wedding Mo, chill.” I said.
“It’s as much mine as it’s yours baby.” She told me. “So let’s start, where would you like to get married? Here? Kenya? Or maybe Paris.”
Mosha was my only sister and she was the more outgoing one of all my father’s children. Our two brothers were nonchalant about almost everything, except women and money. As for me, I was the introverted one, the one they had to force to socialize. When Faraji and I started dating, Mosha asked me how I had managed to get him since I was always at home.
Mosha was the one in the family who was in charge of everything. She would decide on her own what she wanted us to do as a family and trust her to enforce it on everybody, daddy inclusive. My father started calling her mummy GO when she single handedly picked holiday dates, destination and a full itinerary for my parents’ anniversary some years back. So knowing her, this wasn’t going to be different. Luckily for me, she had moved to Abuja so she would only be able to plan over the phone. I was still going to be able to do what I wanted whether it pleased her or not.
We talked about wedding destinations in and outside the country, we discussed the wedding dress, cake, make up, hair, everything. I told her I didn’t want anybody wearing asoebi to my wedding.
“That’s impossible o.” She told me. “You know mummy’s sisters, they’ll want to wear asoebi and show themselves there, aunt Eikan especially.”
My mother is from Edo state and her sisters are the loudest set of people I knew. She had six sisters and one brother and they all liked activity. If they heard that I was engaged that night, my aunt Eikan would start sourcing for asoebi in Balogun market the next morning. For that reason, I didn’t want them knowing about early because knowing them, they would take over the wedding. I made a mental note to text my mother not to tell any of her sisters yet till I told her to.
As I was making all the plans with Mo, Fa’a walked up to me and stood in front of me. I looked up, smiled at him and continued talking on the phone.I noticed he was still staring at me so I paused the conversation and asked him if anything was wrong. He signaled for me to end the call so he could tell me what the problem was.
“Hello.” I heard Mo say.
I put the phone back on my ear and rose a finger to signal him to wait for me to finish talking on the phone. I continued talking to Mo about the wedding, telling her the things I wanted to happen at the wedding and the things I didn’t want.
All of a sudden, Faraji snatched my phone from me and ended the call abruptly. I asked him why he did that and he started asking me why many people knew about our engagement. I was confused, was it a secret? Isn’t good news supposed to be shared with friends? I asked him why he had a problem with people hearing about it then he went ahead to say,
“I’m not saying people shouldn’t know about our engagement but don’t you think it’s too early for everyone to be finding out? I can understand family but not your friends who you haven’t spoken to in months tagging me on Instagram to say congratulations.”
I was wondering how the gist had reached Instagram with all those tags already then I remembered the kind of friends I had. Social media crazy people, who will put gist on Instagram immediately they hear it. But I couldn’t let Faraji blame me for it so I told him I had told only three people, three loudmouthed people for that matter.
He looked at me and sank into the chair next to me. He looked like something was wrong. He didn’t seem to be happy that we were going to get married, rather he was worried, but I couldn’t tell what he was worried about.
I didn’t want anything to change my mood so I didn’t bother asking him what the problem was. Then I remembered that I was supposed to ask him why he had told his mother I wasn’t ready to settle down.
“You know that you owe me an explanation, right?” I said to him.
He looked up at me and started sweating profusely, like he was guilty of something?
“What explanation?” He asked me calmly.
“Why did you tell your mother that I wasn’t ready to settle down? What made you come to that conclusion?” I asked.
He heaved a sigh and said,
“Oh that. I just told her that so she would leave me alone, she was like a bone in my throat.”
“I see.” I nodded.
Just then, my phone rang again. I picked it up and looked at the caller. At that instant, I knew there was going to be trouble.