I stood before the mirror dressed in a red velvet gown. I turned sideways, taking a cursory inspection of my backside while I dabbed my firmly bonded kinky hair with my coconut oil stained hands. I couldn’t hold back the smile.
The door opened. I turned. Shade walked in, pulling a brown leather box. I hugged her.
“How was the conference?”
“It was splendid. They loved my designs. I can’t believe I’ve hit it big.” Shade muttered, her chin resting firmly on my shoulders.
“You deserve it.” I said.
Shade finally pulled away and gazed at me. “You look stunning.”
“It’s happening today, right?”
I eyed my sister playfully. “Stop acting like he is going to propose. Who knows, It could just be a simple friendly chat.” I picked up my handbag. “I don’t have high expectations for this meeting. I’m calm.”
Shade touched my heart. “Of course you are calm. With your heart beating so fast.”
I pushed her hand away. Shade chuckled.
“Just enjoy your day sis. That’s what is important.”
My phone rang. I sighed quietly.
“I’m so sorry to say this. But we’ll have to reschedule our meeting. Mum was admitted at the hospital yesterday night.”
Twenty minutes later, I was standing at the front of the hospital, waiting for Chuks to lead me to her ward.
My heart skipped the moment he sauntered towards me. He appeared more handsome in his red T-shirt and faded jeans. His dark lashes seem to be fuller and his nose broader. There was something about his eyes that held me spell-bound. How could I have missed all these during our ten years of friendship. For the first time too, I noticed he had dark wavy hair. When he held my hands and walked me down the hospital corridor, I felt safe and protected.
Chuks’ mother smiled. I quietly sat beside her, wondering at her frailty. I touched her hands warmly, watching the slow flow of the liquid that coursed through the drips to her hands. Chuks sat on a chair, staring at me. I swallowed hard. I turned to look at him and for a brief moment, our eyes locked.
Why was I suddenly tense? This was my friend for God’s sake. I stood up from the bed and sat on a chair beside Chuks.
“What did the doctor diagnose?” I asked, breaking the silence.
As Chuks began to explain in details the doctor’s report, I felt relaxed again, just like always. We talked, laughed, sang and I even showed him the latest dance step I had learned. I saw the sick woman’s eyes brighten up. Then she closed her eyes slowly.
Chuks cleared his throat. “I’ve been talking to God for years about settling down.”
I froze. That was certainly unexpected. Was he going to propose here?
” Funmi, I love you.”
I raised my head sharply and cast him a quick glance before returning my attention to his mother.
“I’m convinced we have a future together and I know you are the right person for me. Will you please pray about this?”
Chuks mother opened her eyes. She smiled. Then she closed her eyes again.
I nodded. “Yes, Chuks. I’ll pray about it and I’ll get back to you.”
That afternoon, as I stepped into our compound, I prayed silently. I told God that I loved Chuks dearly but I wanted His choice. I asked Him to deal with my heart if I was being moved by the flesh. I reminded God that it was His will alone that must prevail.
I entered the living room, and what I saw dampened my joy.
Jide was kneeling before my parents, asking for their forgiveness and saying he wanted to make things right again.I stood there, stunned. Shade joined him, trying to convince my parents that Jide was a changed man.
This is not happening? I mutterred.
“How could you let him back into your life, for goodness sake.” I said, after Jide had left the house.
“I still love him and I want to give him another chance. We are getting married in two months time.” Shade uttered slowly.
Dread filled me. “What! That cannot happen.He is a deceiver. You cannot marry him.”
Mum smiled. “To err is human, to forgive is divine.”
“I’m serious Mum. That wedding is not going to hold.”
“Now listen to me, your sister needs all the help she can get at this time. I don’t want you obstructing any part of the preparation for this wedding.” Mum said, sternly.
I walked out of the living room upset. In my room, I rummaged through my bag for my phone. I dialled a number.
“Funmi, what’s up.”
“Bukky, we have a situation here.” I said quickly.
“Your brother has proposed to Shade and the wedding is taking place in two months time.”
“Are you there?”
“I’ll have to tell them who Jide really is.”
“No you won’t” Bukky barked.
“My sister is involved and I can’t let her ruin her life.”
“That information is privileged. You can’t let it slip out.
The line went dead.
The door opened. David, my little nephew ran towards me. I picked him up and placed him on my laps.
“Jide is not as bad as you think.” Shade said, standing at the entrance.
I stared at my only sister. If only she knew she was playing with the devil’s tail. Confusion swept over me.
Should I let the cat out of the bag?
Episode 5 comes up soon.
Photo Credit: Internet.