Aida could not believe her eyes or ears, Effe was on one knee proposing to her. They’ve been together for like 6months. She was speechless and shocked and her face she knew did not hide her emotions. Seconds passed it seemed like hours, Effe’s eyes were fixed on hers, he was expecting an answer.
‘Yes.’ She whispered inaudibly almost to herself but Effe heard all the same because he stood up and put the blue studded ring on her finger, she was dazed.
Effe started ranting, about things she did not hear again, he hugged her and hugged her again then kissed her, he was so happy and excited but her mind was on a voyage, she was only there physically.
‘Are you even listening to me? Effe asked, he must have been talking alot cause he was tugging at her arm gently.
‘What did you say ? She asked, her voice was raspy.
Effe’s eyes narrowed as he repeated what he said.
‘Would you be busy this weekend?’
‘No, why do you ask?
”You weren’t even listening, what is it babe, do you not want this? He asked stroking the ring, the excitement had dimmed considerably from his voice.
She sighed and sat down, he knelt in front of her, his eyes full of questions, he was still stroking the ring.
‘Its not that.’
‘Then what is it, you can tell me anything, I will understand.’
‘I don’t want us to rush, I mean …..’
‘Do you love me?’
‘Then we’re not rushing.’
‘Maybe you should think it through.’
‘I have done that and I’m not saying we should get married this evening.’
‘Okay.’ She said but her heart was in turmoil, Effe had always gone on and on about children, how he wanted to have many, being an only child himself. The thing was that she couldn’t conceive anymore. Her ex boyfriend made sure of that. If she tells him now their love story might end but if she didn’t tell Effe he wouldn’t know, he was anyway obsessed with protection, taking adequate time to make sure the condom was properly worn, double if necessary.
‘What did you want to do on week end.’ She asked.
‘I want us to go to Lagos.’
‘To meet my Mom and spend time together.’ He said with a mischievous smile.
‘Your Mom already?
‘Yes, don’t worry we’ll be fine.’
They had a smooth flight to Lagos where they stayed in a hotel, Effe’s mother had to leave the day they arrived, she’d called Effe that she had to attend an impromptu medical conference in Ibadan.
They had a fun filled weekend, visiting the beach, Cinema and Malls. Effe was so loving that she forgot her past sorrows completely, she let herself believe in love and a happily ever after again.
‘Effe.’ She whispered and tugged at him lightly when she noticed he was going ahead without his usual ritual of protection.
Perhaps Effe understood what she wanted to say but ignored and let passion sweep both of them away.
‘We did not use the ….. ‘ She said again.
‘Let it be today.’ He said.
She pushed him and got up.
‘Why.’ She asked, he sounded condencending just like her Ex, she didn’t like it.
‘We’re engaged, I don’t think we need it anymore, if you get pregnant we’ll get married or even before then.’ H said playfully and pulled her back to finish the surgical procedure he’d started earlier.
Finally Effe’s mother came back from her conference and they went to see her. Their house was cozy and small but attractive with traditional artifacts adorning the living room. Aida sat in the living room while Effe went to fetch his Mom. Her voice which hit Aida with familiarity could be heard before she reached the living room, she was happy.
Effe had told her that his Mom had been awaiting the day he will bring a fiancée home cause she was desperate for grandchildren with Effe being her only child, she had refused to remarry when her husband passed away shortly after Effe was born.
Effe’s mother’s voice froze as soon as she saw Aida, the smile that she wore which was as bright as a rising sun faded gradually like it was setting. Aida was equally shocked as they both stared at each other. She knew her happy relationship with Effe had reached its final page before the climax.
‘Is this the woman you want to marry ? She asked her son.
She was silent for what seemed like eternity as if she was anticipating what step to take in a board game.
She answered absentmindedly to the greeting Aida mumbled perhaps as an after thought.
‘Is everything alright? Effe asked getting concerned as he too had noticed the tension in the air, he deduced they’d met before because he hadn’t even introduced them yet they looked at each other like rivals.
‘No.’ His mother answered, ‘I feel sick I’ll go back to my room but I would like to see you briefly.’
‘Okay.’ He said and nodded to Aida and followed his Mom back inside.
She knew it was bad to eavesdrop but against her better judgement she tiptoed and followed them she didn’t go far cause Effe’s Mom started talking as soon as they were a few paces away from the living room in the narrow corridor.
‘You can’t marry her.’ She told her son flatly, Aida was not surprised.
‘Why? He asked rather shocked.
‘I cant tell you.’
‘Oh no Mom don’t tell me its because she looks like she’s from the north.’
‘Oh please you know I don’t care for all those things.’
‘I can’t tell you.’
‘You hardly said a word to her, just one glance and you concluded, common Mom you can’t be serious.’
‘I’m serious Effe.’
‘Then tell me why.’ Effe was getting super tense but his mother was more tense.
‘Effe if I tell you my 25 years of medical practice would go down the drain, I’d be violating the Hippocratic oath I took and I’ve never done so before.’
Was she ever your patient?
‘Yes and you know I cant divulge what I know to you it’d be unethical.’
‘Mom I had Dr Inyang test her thoroughly for viral diseases in the pretence of HIV test and also took her swab while she slept, she’s clean.’
‘It’s more than that Son.’
‘Mom I’m sorry I know what it would mean to you not to tell me but I really love her and I would marry her if you don’t have any tangible reason.’
‘Take her away first, I cant tell you while she’s here. I will tell you, I can’t let you make a dire mistake.’
With no doubt Aida heard all they said, she also knew what she would tell her son later. She knew the story would not have a happy ending but didn’t expect it to happen so soon.