Home Essays Valentine’s Day Proposal by Chukwuemeka Oluka

Valentine’s Day Proposal by Chukwuemeka Oluka

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She made kissing advances where we were out on a friendly date. I smiled and turned sideways. She reached to caress my chest, but I held her hand slightly and turned it away, casually smiling in the process. I wasn’t shy, but I was determined to stick to the script.

*

In the meantime, I had gone to bed pretty early. I had had a bad and exhausting day. No sooner had I laid my head on the pillow than I sped off quickly and slept. The cryptograph on my Binance app was pretty contributory to driving me into that fast lane. The coins were all flashing red. None was in green. I was losing a lot and almost became depressed. So, as I sped off, I dashed to a pub to have some romance with a few green bottles and then let some alcohol calm my troubled nerves. Maybe I would come alive again. I would forget any worries associated with crypto.

So, upon stepping into Fantasy Royale, a popular bar at the busy junction down the street, I met this lady. She was seated at the first table flanked to the left of the entrance door. It was 7:00 pm and she was seated all alone, sipping from a glass.

Her immaculate white gown shone like a galaxy of stars, her face beaming with beauty in similitude with Monalisa’s. Effortlessly, she became the cynosure of my eyes as my gaze was locked unto her. I nearly lost control of my steps as I approached my table. I took my seat where I could monitor proceedings and oblige my curiosity on this lady.

‘Why on earth would such a beauty be sitting alone?’

I made a move to approach her but my feeble limbs failed me.

I said to myself, ‘her boo might just be somewhere lurking around. Will you be ready for a fight if he meets you with his bae?’

With those thoughts, I had no choice but to exercise some refrain.

While I held the menu I picked from my table, I would steal some glances intermittently at her, the way a typical Nigerian father would do when he wears a Harry Porter kind of spectacle and holding a newspaper.

I forgot a waiter stood by my table for almost a quarter of an hour waiting for my order. As soon as the waiter touched me, I muttered and stuttered.

‘Erm… erm… sorry…’

Then I flashed a haphazard smile on the waiter, pouched my mouth towards a particular direction, and said, ‘get me whatever that lady in white has ordered; and please, make it double.’

I intended to share the extra order with her.

While the waiter walked away, I soliloquized, ‘today, I’m going to shoot my shot, and hopefully, heaven won’t fall.’

I went for my phone in my breast pocket just so I could keep myself busy while the waiter returned. But was I truly busy with the phone? My eyes shone fixedly at her.

‘What is keeping this waiter for crying out loud?’

‘Is she trying to pay me back for the time she wasted while waiting to take my orders? No! I can’t lose this precious pearl. I can’t let anything distract me. Not even this waiter.’

Then, from nowhere, I felt some push. Immediately, I summoned some courage and I sprang to my feet. I readjusted the pendant on my necklace, licked my lips, rubbed my hands against each other as though I had applied a hand sanitizer, and then made my way to this lady.

‘Hi pretty… Do you mind I take a sit?’

‘No problem,’ she replied.

The sounds I heard raced through my soul like an ECG scan. It found a way to douse any tensions. She sounded like a Nightingale. So soothing was her welcoming voice.

‘My name is Rex.’

‘I am Rita,’ she responded.

With the rush of the wind, my confidence level grew in a geometric progression. It helped me cage any thought of her boyfriend’s appearance to ask the dreaded question, ‘Babe, who is he?’

I sought to know why she was alone and seated lonely, but she said she was with her sister who just stepped out to make some cash withdrawals. Though I couldn’t catch a glimpse of her sister. They had come to celebrate their birthday and had treated themselves to some nice meals and were ready to make payments before they realized the POS machine within the bar was faulty.

No sooner had she finished talking than the waiter approached with the orders I made.

A bar steward also walked up to us and asked, ‘are you, Rita?’

‘Yes, I am’ she replied.

‘Take this money. Zita said you should pay for the food while she flags down a Keke.’

The steward handed some pieces of Naira notes to her. The steward was sent by Zita, Rita’s sister. Zita, after the cash withdrawal, had seen her sister discussing with me but chose not to interfere. So, she sent the money across. Not quite long, Rita’s phone beeped.

‘I must go now. Zita, my sister is waiting. Waiter! Please come and have your bill,’ she said hurriedly.

But I cut in quickly.

‘Permit me to foot the bills,’ I said politely.

After much persuasion, she succumbed. I had also instructed the waiter to quickly put the two orders I made in separate take-away packs.

‘Please take one and give the other to your sister. Make sure you ring me when you get home. I want to be sure no harm came your way on your birthday.’

She bade me goodbye and hurriedly walked to her sister who was waiting outside and already inside a Keke.

While she walked, I became increasingly fascinated. I had the rare privilege to gauge her beauty and subject her appearance to more scrutiny. Was I being silly? Yes, I can be all shades of silly at times, and that makes life fun, you know?

She was tall and walked with an orgasmic gait. The gown she wore accentuated her frontal and rear features, giving her a breath-taking hourglass physique. See swung her beautifully endowed backside left, right, left, right, and so on till she approached the exit door.

I made my hands into a fist, punched the air in excitement, and exclaimed, ‘yes! dis Babe na full package.’

I was seen grinning. The smiles and chuckles that dotted the landscape of my face couldn’t just fade in a hurry. As I saved her number in my phonebook, I smiled a million times. I kissed the phone afterward and threw it back into my breast pocket.

‘Ehen… Where is that waiter?’

‘/’Wei-tuh/!’ I shouted with a fake American accent.

I was elated and in high spirit.

‘Get me my favorite, and ensure you include one for the road,’ I instructed.

That I didn’t see any ring on Rita’s left middle finger gave me reasons to gush all the more.

That was how my path and Rita’s rehearsed a confluence. Our meeting for the first time that evening was love at first sight. Somehow, both of us could tell we were meant to be together. I was so proud of myself that whenever I hung out with my friends, I would extol the decency, poise, carriage, and charm of my newfound love.

It’s often said that men do not gossip; but when we gathered in a round table to have some drinks, we would throw banters at one another and decimate any lady that readily came to mind with lewd words. We would discuss sexual escapades and conclude the character of any girl within the neighborhood. However, no one talked badly about my Rita.

It wasn’t quite long I moved into the neighborhood and Rita to me, was like a jewel found by a merchant in a newly bought field. She was my jewel of priceless value and the love we had for ourselves was beyond that captured in the Titanic. We became inseparable that no amount of iceberg could sink our ship.

However, tragedy struck one day.

‘Check your Whatsapp,’ Alex said and dropped the call abruptly.

This was unusual of him; else, I would have been reluctant and resumed what I was doing. But I got hold of my smartphone and the moment I tapped the green-colored app on my home screen, my heart raced immediately.

I opened and closed my mouth in several successions and in a trembling voice assured myself, ‘this is certainly not Rita.’

But as I saw more video clips and pictures, another voice deep within said, ‘las las, dis babe don break your heart.’

I tried to subdue the voice, but the near unclad images in suggestive positions with a man in his mid-twenties steered at me unceasingly.

‘So, Rita is cheating on me?’

I questioned in a shaky voice and blinked back tears all through.

Meanwhile, I had bragged a few days ago, while we were making merry at Sidewalks that she was an angel sent from above. It was our sixth month of dating and I would always paint a picture of how our wedding invitation card would look. It would bear the caption, REXITA – a coinage from the names, Rex and Rita. I never knew I would have my heart broken beyond what could even be mended by Ben Carson.

But wait for it; I witnessed a killer stroke the following day, and it was a Saturday when Alex and Cheta visited. They knew I would be wrestling with my emotions. So, they came around to awaken my down-trodden spirit.

‘Hey Rex, get ready, we are going swimming today,’ they chorused.

They were going to wear me down with persuasions; so, I wasn’t going to say no. I gave in. While we approached Sidewalks, a black-colored 2022 Mercedes-Benz G-Class pulled up close to the poolside. It was about a distance of 2 – electric pools from our car. We had pulled over for Alex to get some cigarettes.

Upon our hopping into our car again, Cheta exclaimed in a shallow rapid breath, ‘guys! guys! take a look at that G – wagon, Isn’t that Rita? O boy, see Yahoo boys level na…’

She was sighted while disembarking from the car with a young boy who sported a Fendi Boxers and white singlet. He wore a pair of black socks in a palm sandal and had his hands placed around Rita’s shoulders as they walked away.

In a twinkling of an eye, I flung my dark shades away and in an involuntary action, my thumbs and forefingers began to pull my eyelids apart in a frenetic attempt to see them clearer. The moment I ascertained it was her, I froze and stared for a while in a particular direction with my mouth loosely open.

After taking picture evidence with my phone, I tried to mask the rush of emotions that usurped me afterward. That was indeed the hardest thing I had done in a very long while. This was because breaking down amid Cheta and Alex was not bravery at all. So, I drew my lips in tightly, smacked my left palm against my forehead, and smiled.

We made a U-turn immediately and that was the end of our swimming expedition. From that moment, I vowed to stick to the script with her – to tag along. But I made a resolve to strike back when the time is ripe nonetheless.

Each time she came around, I would pretend nothing ever happened.

One day, we decided to go out on a friendly date. Rita was a very sensitive and smart person. I could tell she sensed all wasn’t okay with me. This was why after I turned down her seductive gestures – the kissing advances and the attempt to caress my chest, she got moody and stepped away. But I was determined to play the game. So, I approached her to know what was wrong.

‘I hate being rejected. I hate being turned down. You make me feel bad and unwanted,’ she said.

With a flushed face, she reached for her handbag and dashed out, leaving me alone and bewildered; though, I cared less about busybody onlookers.

‘This gender is a complex creation. How could she be cheating on me and yet have the nerves to act this kind of drama?’ I questioned.

The more I tried to figure out the answer, the more I caved into the emotional cracks within.

Rita and I stopped talking to each other. We kept our distances apart. I also avoided my pals because what appealed to me then was to be left alone. I never picked up their phone calls. I maintained the lifestyle for two weeks until one day I returned from work and saw a note tied to my door handle.

It read, ‘never vouch for a lady again. You should move on with your life, with or without Rita.’

Not quite long that evening, Cheta, Alex, and Zita visited me. The moment I sighted the lady in their midst, my veins popped out from its skin. I clenched my fist, slammed my hands on the table, and roared, ‘what are you doing here, Rita? Aren’t you just a cheap harlot?’ Surprisingly, no sooner had I finished raising my voice than the three of them erupted into uncontrollable laughter.

It later dawned on me it was all a staged cheating – a prank. I shouldn’t have dared my mischievous friends. It was I who broke Rita’s heart instead. The lady standing before me was never Rita. It was Zita, her identical twin, the one who stepped out to make POS cash withdrawals the first day I met her sister, Rita in a bar. She was contracted by Alex and Cheta to execute the cheating prank.

But to erase any iota of doubt, I moved closer to her. I looked carefully at her left earlobe, and truly, there were no birthmarks seen. If I had a gun at that point, probably I would have been in Kuje maximum prison by now.

The three were committed to restoring my happiness afterward as they promised to plead with Rita on my behalf. After all, they were meant to mend fences they had broken.

Rita and I became lovebirds again. But feelings we shared never hit those lofty heights again.

The next weekend coincided with Valentine’s Day celebration. It presented the perfect opportunity for me to salvage the somewhat imploding relationship with Rita; to reignite lost feelings and tell our love stories again.

After work on Friday, I pulled up at Newroxx & Co and made a reservation for Sunday.

Round and round that lovely Sunday evening, the tables were set. The ambiance Newroxx & Co provided was just so perfect; perfect it was to allow me to wear my heart on my sleeve and enjoy the romance.

Before the big moment, I had sneaked the engagement ring inside the box. It was a box containing delectable chocolates and a car key. Rita liked chocolates a lot. But I wasn’t so sure if she had healed completely from the embarrassment I caused her on our last date. So, my feeble heart dangled like the scrotum of a ram as I feared the outcome of the proposal.

I presented her with the gift. She rolled her eyes and chuckled. I encouraged her to open the box and then, I dropped to one knee. As she dismembered the box, she found the engagement ring neatly concealed at the center with the key to a 2021 BMW 8 Series Golden Thunder Edition. She didn’t expect a proposal on Valentine’s Day but I held the ring and managed to put the question before her.

‘Will you marry me, my love?’

She was about to give me a response when suddenly my alarm clock rang and I woke up from the fast lane of sleep. It was truly a long sleep. Did I tell you I noticed some silky liquid stains on my boxers afterward?

 

About the Writer

Chukwuemeka Oluka writes in from Enugu, Nigeria. He is a passionate writer and a research enthusiast. He is also a graduate of Electronic and Computer Engineering from Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka. He tweets @mekus_oluka and can be reached via “write2oluka@gmail.com”

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