The time was 8pm. Nonye had been anticipating this dinner all day. You see it was Valentine’s Day and of course the entire world was in love. She was not in love. She was soaked, marinated and immersed in love, encased in total euphoria, completely oblivious to the happenings around her. She knew what the night held for her and nothing would blemish this blanket of inexplicable joy. He was going to finally pop the big question, they had been together for two years and he had started asking questions like where she would love to have her children and how many children she wanted. Bamidele was a cheesy man, asking her to marry him on the most cliché day of the year, but it was fine. She loved him for his cheesy cliché self. The doorbell downstairs was ringing.
The time was 8pm. The phone call had come in thirty minutes ago and the order had been given. There was a lone figure in the car. The glowing tip of his burning cigarette was the only indicator of a person in the car. He had been watching that house for the past six months. He knew her schedule, knew when she went to bed, even knew her favourite colour already, she very easy to read, knew things about her that no one else knew. No question asked, he did what was required. Watch her every move he had been told.
When Nonye got downstairs, Bamidele was there waiting for her. In his hand he held a garden that was how big the bouquet was. She quickly took it from him.
“Bami you didn’t have to!” She said but inside her she loved the big big bouquet. It was very hard to not love him. He was the sweetest and most adorable man she ever dated, although not the cutest or richest. He was far too kind and she knew that he loved her so much and to think of all the doubts she had when she first met him, the tribal difference for starters was a big worry. Now she didn’t care he was hers and she was his. He was obviously nervous; he kept adjusting his glasses and wiping his brow although it was quite chilly. His nervousness was very comforting.
“Nonye, you look amazing, are you ready to leave? “He said in his sickly nasal voice, looking at her in awe. “Thank you babe. Yes I am, let’s go” she replied.
When the car drove past him, the lone figure started his car and slowly followed. He wondered where she was going to, after all it was the most annoying day in the world and he really did not want to watch people show love to each other in the easiest way they could think of. She looked beautiful when she had stepped into the car. Snap out of it he told himself your job is to watch and follow, don’t see if she looks beautiful or not.
Bamidele drove into a park, ran to her door and opened it for her. He took her hand, kissed her hard and they started walking. “Bambam, where are we going to?” “shh don’t ask, you will soon see” the excitement was getting too much for her and she had to pee.
They turned a corner and before her eyes there was a path way of cobbled stones that led to a little tent, around them there were other little tents. Nonye slowly followed Bami into a tent, inside was a table clothed with a white table cloth and a lonesome rose, under a cluster of lamps and a quartet playing Ave Maria. It was all very sweet. From nowhere, a man took her handbag and she was still trying to comprehend all that was before her. She couldn’t help the feeling of love she felt. In that moment she knew that she would do absolutely anything to make him happy. When they got to the table, a waiter came with a bottle of wine and two wine glasses. “To new beginnings” he said nervously.
They had gone out of sight when the car had stopped in that park and he couldn’t enter the place with them, too public. He didn’t know what to do. He decided to wait. When the phone rang he jerked awake.
“Is everything alright?” The voice on the other end asked. “Yes” he replied gruffly
“Hope you are fully aware a lot rides on this? The fate of the country lies on the success of this mission”
“I am fully aware sir”. “Good don’t disappoint us.”
Halfway through their amazing meal, he suddenly said “Nonye I beg you to please not say no to me, make me the happiest man in the world and accept this as a promise of my everlasting love for you.” and before her he dropped the biggest ring she had ever seen in her life. It was very large indeed. Acting like she didn’t expect it she shrieked loudly and started crying she couldn’t help the tears.
Twenty minutes after the call he was still angry about his interrupted nap, when she came outside, sobbing and was heading to her car. He knew it was now or never. Quietly and quickly he came out of the car and walked towards her. The handkerchief soaked in chloroform ready to be used and he grabbed her.
Somewhere in the cluster of tents as Nonye agreed to a new chapter in her life, loving the idea of being Bami’s wife. The daughter of the newly elected President was struggling for her life, starting a chapter she was sure she wasn’t going to like.
Submitted by Nkem Oyaghire