By Raymond Ogah
“You are pathetic Adeoluwa. If you knew how long I came around your class hoping you would act. You know, I knew you have always been serious minded, focused and very dedicated. You were not just man enough.” So, I asked “Are you still with Osas?” “Osas and I broke up during service year, he wasn’t serious at all.” After a while, I muttered something somewhat unconsciously “Is it too late, Ella?” She laughed and shook her head. Adeoluwa you are still pathetic. You haven’t changed but it’s still cute though.” “How about your craft business?”
“It’s doing well. I use my house for now but I really need a place because sometimes I get large orders and no space to work. I am thinking of getting a job so I can save up to get a
place for my business.” “Okay… Ella, I know I messed up in the past. I am sorry about that, I was very shy and
immature. I have really changed, trust me on this. I have always admired you, always patronized your crafts even though I never needed them. If There’s nobody you are
seeing, please consider me. I am begging you.” “Aww… how sweet. You know what? Let me have your number. Meanwhile, let’s go meet up with our friends over there.”
I gave her my business card and she was like “Wow!! Adeoluwa , you, here?! I have always known you were special.”
After the reception, I took her home and when I got home I called her and we spent over an hour talking on the phone. We kept on talking for long over the week and the prospect of Ella and I starting a relationship grew by the day. We decided to fix a date the following weekend and we chose Saturday. So on that day, we went to a nice restaurant to have lunch. We cracked school jokes and talked about old times… It was a wonderful moment but I chipped in her business issue. “Ella about your business, how much will it cost you to relocate and restructure your business?” She said, “Well, it will cost me N350,000.” I reached out to my small bag and brought out my cheque book. All of a sudden, she said ”Adeoluwa. What do you think yo are doing?” “I am writing you a cheque of N350,000?” “I can’t take it, I am sorry, I just can’t take it.” “Its a loan, you can pay me when you ready to.” “With how much interest?” she asked. “One naira.”
She laughed, hugged me and that was it. I really wanted to do something very important in her life so she would know that I was very concerned about her future. When I got home my mum called, she wanted to know my next move. Obviously marriage, I told her about Ella and she wanted to see her the following weekend. I then told Ella if she would like to pay my home a visit and meet my family. She delightfully welcomed it. She came over and my mum really liked her. They talked for over an hour and I even felt left out. It was a good thing. She had lunch with us and she also helped in washing the dishes. My mom was so proud of her, even though it was their first meeting. After I had dropped Ella off at her place, I got back home and my mum called me. She said, “Ella is a good lady, she will make an awesome wife. She’s creative, she’s got her own business, she’s going to have time to run and maintain her home, have time for the kids. I mean what else do you need?” I said, “I know Ella is wonderful.” “When are you proposing to her? You better do it soon before someone else does.” “Well, we will be traveling to Calabar in three weeks for her friend’s wedding. I think that’s when I will do it.” “Good, make sure you do your thing.”
Ella and I became so close. I went to see her family and they gave me a warm welcome. Her siblings were so friendly…things were getting more and more interesting. We traveled to Calabar for the wedding. I had with me the engagement ring and I was praying she would say yes, a part of me was sure… She decided we stayed in different hotel rooms because she told me she was still a virgin and that she needed to keep it till that special night. I felt so lucky… After the church ceremony at the reception, I gave someone my phone to make sure he captured the moment. I then called Ella’s attention.
As I knelt down with the ring. She said, “Oh my God…” I then asked. “Will you marry me?” She covered her eyes and screamed. “Yes!! I will!.” To my surprise, people around were clapping and that made me very uncomfortable. After the event, we headed back to our hotel rooms and I called my mum, telling her the good news. My mum was really glad. That night, I went on Facebook to post the proposal picture. I noticed I had several unread mails so I took my time to read them all. There was one mail that took my attention the most. The sender didn’t have a profile picture so I went ahead to read the mail. It read “Please, are you the Adeoluwa that served in Kogi over a year ago? Please call this number ********** Tope.”
I felt very disturbed and I called the number immediately. Unfortunately, the phone was switched off. I checked when the message was sent and it was about four months ago. I got back to Lagos and kept on trying the number with no success. On Wednesday morning, it rang. I waited to hear the voice and it was Tope’s. I exclaimed, “Oh Jesus, Tope I just saw your mail are you okay?”
She began to sob, “Adeoluwa, please come and help me. I need your help now more than ever…”
“I don’t get you, Tope is everything alright?”
“Nothing is alright, please come I need your help.”
“I am at work now, I won’t have the time to travel.”
“How about Saturday, it’s very important…” then line then went off.
Memories of Tope came back. I was confused and very bothered about her situation. I kept on calling but the phone was switched off. I then sent a text message to her, telling her I would be coming on Saturday, but will leave on Sunday morning because I had to prepare to travel to Port Harcourt on Wednesday on an official assignment. She responded the following day with the address and her location. I had made arrangements with a driver to take me there with my car so I told Ella I was going on a business trip to Abuja. I left very early in the morning and I got there around 11:30am. The location was a church far inside the town, it wasn’t easy locating it. I saw Tope by the gate of the church, standing. She looked pale and mucky. She had lost weight and she looked very unpleasant and troubled. I came down from the car and she ran towards me. She embraced me and said, “Oh adeoluwa …” As she wept deeply, I held her back by her shoulders.
“Tope… Please talk to me what is wrong?” “Come to the church with me and you will know everything,” she replied.
Thanks for reading our story. Stay connected for another fresh episode.
By Raymond Ogah