Friday, July 17, 2015

MUST READ: 'Gloria, Will You Marry Me?'



******
The first time I saw her, she was a cute seven old receiving an award for best student in her class. I had gone to her school with my parents for my sister’s graduation from primary school. I was an eleven year old myself, and I had just completed my first year in secondary school. I knew there was something special about this girl but my little eleven year old brain could not figure it out.


I didn’t see her again until she came to my school for her entrance exam. I was fourteen now and I believed I knew everything. Girls, politics, rocket science, dark matter, I was omniscient. And as you can probably imagine, I didn’t know jack. 
I saw her come into the school and remembered her instantly. Once again, I knew there was something about her but even my omniscient brain could not figure it out. I did not disturb myself much though, I had several girls around me, and I was not going to fuss over a ‘small’ girl.

Two years went by and I was done with secondary school. I didn’t notice her very much during that period....except for one day.
It was a few days before graduation. I was sitting with a few friends, doing what boys do when they are gathered – gist about girls. There was this girl I liked in my class, I knew she liked me too but we were almost graduating and I had done nothing about it.
“You’re simply a coward my friend, you can’t talk to the babe.” Rotimi, my big-mouthed friend said.
“No, I’m not.” I retorted.
“You’re not?
“No, I’m not. Just to prove it, pick any girl here and I’ll talk to her right now.”

I immediately regretted saying that. I wasn’t as bold as I was pretending to be but I knew I wasn’t going to get out of it. I simply prayed they would pick an easy girl. And my prayer was answered, they picked a junior student. It was going to be easy – or so I thought.

I walked up to the random girl and there she was, it was her! I mumbled a greeting and she replied with a puzzled look. I did not have a plan and I completely bungled it. She just kept smiling as I rambled on and on. By the time I said goodbye and headed back to my friends, I was so embarrassed I did not want to speak to her ever again.

And I didn’t until a few years later. And that was when it all started for real.

I worked for a publishing company and I was PA to the CEO. I was an accountant and after four years of working at G.K. Press, I still had no idea how I found myself in a publishing company. I was enjoying it though. I didn’t deal with books or accounting, I dealt with people which I discovered was more interesting than crunching numbers. Being the PA to the CEO meant that I met almost all the people he met. If I didn’t have that privilege, I might not be telling this story.

It was a hot Friday afternoon and I was already tired after a long week’s work but my boss refused to go home. If he doesn’t go home, I don’t. It was a great thing I didn’t because the most wonderful thing happened. I was in the lobby flirting with the receptionist when a girl walked in. First, it was her ‘corper’ uniform that caught my attention. She had her full uniform on and even tucked in her trousers into her boots. She was what we used to call an ‘otondo’ back in my NYSC days.
I was about to look away when she talked.
“I’m here to see Mr Afolabi, please.”
Like I have told many people, I believe that was the moment she stole my heart. I didn’t know it was the same girl from my secondary school but I knew, I wanted to know this girl.

I jumped to my feet and walked to her side before the receptionist could say anything.
“Hello, my name is Jude; I’m Mr Afolabi’s PA.”

That was when I saw her face and my eyes widened in a cataclysmic explosion of surprise and pleasure.

“Jude, I know you, right?” She said blessing me with the first sight of her great smile.
“St Mary’s Secondary school.” I said, grinning like a fool.
“Yes, St Mary’s. Janet’s brother?...Sure, wow, it’s really you.”
“You look…” I looked her over, a tad too much. “You look different.”
“Sure I look different. I’m no longer in J S S 2 you know.”
“Of course, don’t mind me. It’s not like I look the same too.”
“Actually you do.”  She saw the confused look on my face and laughed. “I’m just kidding.”

The receptionist shuffled some files on her desk and I looked at her. I had forgotten she was there.
“Mr Afolabi, is not in right now…” the receptionist started to say.
“Don’t worry Molade, I got this.” I said to the receptionist. “Come with me please.”

My boss was around but in a meeting that would not end soon but we would get to that later, I needed to talk to this girl as long as I could. My normal shyness seemed to have taken leave of me because we had already talked for twenty minutes before I realized I had not offered her anything.

“I’m sorry, I did not offer you something.” I hurried to my boss’ refrigerator.
“No, no, thanks, I won’t be staying long. I was just supposed to come pick a request letter from Mr Afolabi.” She said.
“Really? He didn’t mention it and I don’t think we take corpers here.”
“Yeah, he’s my uncle so I guess this falls under special circumstances.”
“Your uncle, wow. Small world.” In my head, I hoped this wouldn’t be a problem for any potential relationship.
“I guess I’ll be back tomorrow and this time I’ll call him before coming.” She said and stood to leave.

I had spoken to her for about thirty minutes but they had been the best thirty minutes of my life. I walked her to the door and then the road where she would take a cab. I spent every possible second talking with her and once again I knew there was something about her. I still I did not know what it was but I knew I wanted to see her again.
So I asked…
“Hey Gloria, can I have your number?”

********+++++++++*******************++++++++++++++++************++++++******
That was a few years ago and now I hold this ring in my hand. 

Tonight I will ask Gloria the ultimate question. 

This is the boring part and between that first question and the one I will ask tonight is the most interesting love story you have ever heard. This story will also explain why I’m not so confident of getting a ‘yes’ when I ask my question.
So I ask…
“Hey reader, do you want to hear our story?”

*******

This interesting Love Series is courtesy of our guest writer, @LordJoshWrites. It will be featured here every Fridays!....you know it's going to be an interesting one, so fingers crossed! :-)


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