Happy New Year. I'd like to thank all of you for ever visiting my blog. I started this blog last March, 2014 and it already has over 11,000 views. It means a lot to me as I know it takes a lot of patience and commitment to read through a story, so thank you, thank you, thank you! :) I wish you the very best this year and like my dad would say "Last year has come and gone, we are grateful to God and we pray for a better year." So please my dear friends, no matter what you go through, remain hopeful for a better tomorrow.
I cannot mention names of all the people who have supported me in this writing journey as you are so many but please know that I appreciate your support always. Special thanks to my eldest brother for making me start this blog; before now, I just used to write stories and send via emails to a few friends bugging them to read (hee hee, you know yourselves). Shout out and many thanks also to my younger sister, Odi and happy birthday too (New year baby :)). She says she is my biggest fan/AC :p.
Anyway, for today's story I did something I loved to do but I have not done since secondary school. I wrote this story using titles, words or phrases from other sources (this time around, the sources were all the published stories of mine). So where ever you see a highlight in the story, it is got from a different story to which I have the link attached. I hope you enjoy it and it brings back memories from the previous stories for you, just as it did for me. Once again, happy New Year and here is the story:
Adaobi sat down in the restaurant waiting for her boyfriend, Emeka. They had been dating for nearly three years now and most of her friends who had begun their relationships after hers were already married or at least engaged. She had just received a wedding invitation from her friend Blessing and her boo Effiong and even though she was not particularly happy for anybody at the moment, she had sent a “Happy Anniversary” text to her other friend Ije, who was celebrating her first wedding anniversary. Why could it not have been her sending out wedding invitations? She wondered. She had shared her concerns with her grandmother when she travelled to the village for Christmas and Mama had tried to comfort her saying “Oh Nwa'm, don’t worry. You will marry soon.”
“But what is stopping him? He has a good job and I’m not getting any younger!” Adaobi was not convinced.
“You’re looking at things from only one angle; you need to see things from different vantage points. He might be waiting for other things besides a job” Mama said.
“What is he waiting for? What if he never asks me to marry him? What if...?” Adaobi blurted out the voices within her mind bitterly. Her grandmother held her hands and shook her head “Never say never. It will happen in God’s time.” Mama spoke with so much assurance that Adaobi was compelled to believe her and relive her hopes once again. A few hours later, Mama prepared her favourite Uha soup to cheer her up which they delightfully ate together with fufu.
Today marked the beginning of a new year and she was certain that Emeka would propose today. She had expected the ring yesterday but it did not come, just the same way it did not come last April when she thought that it had. Instead of a ring in the box that he had handed to her as a present, she received a brooch inscribed with ‘Happy Easter’. She forced a smile at him as she muttered “Many thanks” even though she knew instantly that she would never wear it. Whilst she waited for Emeka at the restaurant, she reminisced about how they had first met. It was on a Sunday morning, to be precise on Palm Sunday. She had just resigned from her work place and moved back to Nigeria from the UK after living most her life there. Recently heart-broken from a tumultuous relationship with her ex-boyfriend whom she had thought would be that 'special someone' for her, her grandmother had advised her to come back home. She had been away from Nigeria for so long that it had been challenging for her to cope with the environment and she had hated returning at first. She was slowly adapting to the country after having a few hitches and colloquial mishaps. Looking on the greener side, relocating had been very useful in finding her African roots as she got to meet some relatives that she never even knew existed. In fact, she was beginning to enjoy the country except for the terrible traffic in the city. That day, she arrived late to church as usual and had forgotten to bring her palm leaves along. She rushed to a nearby palm tree in the church compound and tried to get herself some for the procession ceremony. That was when Emeka saw her; he came to her and offered her some of his leaves and after that, they became good friends. They shared similar interests and morals about life and it did not take long before they started dating.
Adaobi was awakened from her thoughts when a waitress served her a bottle of Fanta. “It’s on the house” she said with a smile and walked away. Adaobi looked towards the counter and saw the other waiters and waitresses looking her. She felt slightly embarrassed and wondered what was going on inside their minds. She hoped that they did not get it twisted and think that she sat there hoping to meet a stranger or to get free drinks. Emeka was taking too long to show up; she checked her phone to make sure that it was on melody so that she would not miss his call in case of any changed plans. She did not want to call him because she was already getting inpatient about the present matter and she feared that she might use a tone over the phone that would eventually make the conversation a dreaded dialogue.
He strolled in happily fifteen minutes later without giving any reasons for making her wait for over an hour at the restaurant. They quickly ordered some food and ate mostly in silence. By the time they had finished their meals, he had neither offered an apology for his lateness nor a ring to soothe her. As he drove to her house to drop her off, Adaobi was very upset; she wondered if she had been wasting her time with him for the past three years. When they got to her place, she quickly opened the door to get out of the car without saying a word to him. He caught hold of her arm and asked “Sho’ry, why are you looking so down? This is a New Year, 2015! Turn up!” His act of ignorance felt like a slap on her face and she got angrier. Just as she opened her mouth to tell him that she needed a break from their relationship, he had brought out a ring and this time, he popped the question.
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Twitter:@vivio_gogo IG: @ugochiukah
*Uha and fufu are some native foods