Previously on Almost a bride.
“No, no, no. I’ve told you to always call the name in full, Captain Shola Eniola Cole.” He said laughing. They both hugged.
“Long time man!” Olaniyan said.
“I was around here and I just thought to drop by.”
Eniola looked at Ihuoma, trying to recount his encounter with her, “hmmn, the shy Nigerian lady, we meet again.”
“Yes, Captain Shola Eniola Cole, and no, I’m not shy.” She said as they all laughed.
This man was sure handsome. He was one of the few people she had met in her life that actually fit the description; tall, dark and handsome. He was dressed in blue jeans and a white shirt that gave him a laid back look.
“You two know each other?” Dr Olaniyan Cole asked with a surprised look.
Ihuoma and Shola shared their encounter with Dr. Cole as they ate and chatted. An hour later, he was ready to leave. They walked him to his Mercedes SL65, “Can I have your contact this time?”
“Yes Captain.” Ihuoma said blushing. He was a fun person.
Three months of calls, chatting, outing and surprises followed that encounter. Ihuoma wasn’t in a hurry and so she enjoyed every moment of it. She was fine with the friendship they shared. She wasn’t in a hurry and didn’t make assumptions about their relationship, she really enjoyed their friendship especially with the show of care and affection he showered her even when it was inconvenient for him because of the nature of his job.
One evening, he came to visit her. They chatted and watched Manchester United, Shola’s football club, play against Arsenal FC. During the half time, Shola in his usual Shakespearean manner smiled and looked at Ihuoma,
“Rise up, my darling! Come away with me my fair one! Look the winter is past, and the rains are over and gone. The flowers are springing up, the season of the singing birds has come and the cooing of turtledoves fills the air. Ihuoma, please be my lover.”
Ihuoma laughed heartily at first until she saw the look on his face and asked him to give her some time. She really loved him and didn’t want to make a mistake with him. After a month of prayers, fasting and consulting her friends, she gave him a positive response. Shola was everything she had always wanted, God fearing, gentle, patient, caring, responsible, he loved her so much she got scared. Being a senior captain, his travel schedule was very flexible and so he always tried to make himself available. Before long, Shola became a household name among the girls, at work and Ihuoma’s family. The Nwagbuorayas’ had never been happier.
After six months of dating, Ihuoma’s fear became a reality. Shola had always been a ladies man, showing equal love and care to the women around him that it was difficult for a stranger to point out his girlfriend. This quality in him had always been a source of worry to her but she trusted him. She waved off her fear until Regina Ugbaki, Shola’s ex girlfriend started threatening her. She didn’t even get the luxury of saying hello after she picked the call from a private number,
“He is mine! I hear you’re a doctor. If you don’t want to become a patient in your hospital, steer clear of my man!” And the line dropped.
When she told Shola, he took it with a pinch of salt. This made Ihuoma furious.
“Today is Friday, I told you about this since Monday but you haven’t done anything about it abi. You are too soft, that is why your ex can talk to me in such manner. Mr. Father Christmas, everyone is your friend. You treat everyone special, I do not see the difference between me and everyone else. There should be a difference between the world and myself. I’ve had enough troubles for a lifetime. Make this work if it’s really what you want!” She said as she alighted his car.
Shola was surprised and sad even though he understood why she reacted in that manner. He pleaded with her but she wouldn’t listen. He called, sent her flowers, voice notes, apology cakes and cards, which yielded no results. After two weeks, her phone rang as she was handing over to the next doctor at pediatrics ward. She had resumed pediatrics rotation that week. It was Shola. She decided to take his call and they made up on the phone. He told her they were going to have a date the next day but he didn’t give details of the date.
At four o’clock, they left Ihuoma’s apartment at RMO 4. The drive to Victoria Island was interesting; they had obviously missed each other’s company. They got to the shore; the other passengers on board had been waiting for them and they got on the yacht immediately. Ihuoma couldn’t believe it. It was the perfect make up outing. While they were having their candle lit dinner on the yacht, Shola got on one knee,
“O most beautiful woman, you have captured my heart, my treasure, my dove, my perfect one, will you marry me?”
She had watched it happen to a few friends and now it was happening to her when she least expected it. She used to wonder why ladies tear up during proposals and here she was doing more than that. Everyone on the yacht cheered them on and out of nowhere, Dona, Anini and Lala appeared. They were screaming, “Yes! Yes!” Ihuoma was blushing. She knelt down, hugged him and screamed, “Yes! I’ll marry you.” He had made sure photographers were on board to capture the moment.
Ihuoma took a picture of the ring on her finger and she changed her display picture. She changed her personal message on BBM; Sorrow may endure for a night but joy comes in the morning. She couldn’t stop asking questions of how he was able to plan the proposal. She was surprised the girls were part of the plan, and he had even gone to tell her parents. She was overwhelmed, “God saved you my nails are perfect.” She said as she admired the 18-carat diamond rock on her left middle finger.
When they got back from the ride, he gave her a handmade thank you card, inscribed on it was,
“Good evening my bride, welcome onboard on Shola’s lifetime airline, flight 142 to forever. My name is Captain Eniola Shola Cole. My assistant officer is Ihuoma Nwabuogaranya. I will be flying on 29,000 feet, the flight to forever will take us infinity hours. The weather is cool at 51ºC. Thank you for choosing Shola Airways. Enjoy your flight, my Lady.”
The tears flowed freely from her eyes. She tried to mutter “thank you” but all she did was cry the more. They were tears of joy and happiness. Two weeks ago she wasn’t sure if he even loved her but here she was, almost a bride.
Two weeks later, Femi Roberts called her. They exchanged pleasantries, “Congratulations again Ihuoma, how’s your fiancé doing?” Ihuoma had received more congratulations in the past few days than she had received even when she became a doctor or got into the residency program.
“Very well dear, how is your lover too? I don’t even get see her these days. Hope you are taking care of her?” She said blushing. She was happy that her two friends; Femi and Dona were dating. They deserved each other.
“That’s why I called you; I want to propose to her on Friday,” Ihuoma interrupted him and screamed.
“Feeeemmmiiii! awww, that’s really lovely.”
“As you started the trend, I thought to follow. It’s her birthday so, I want it to be a surprise but I need you girls to help me plan.”
“No problem. I’ll draw out a plan and let you know about cost and all.”
“Thank you Oma, regards to the Captain.”
Ihuoma called Anini, “How are you doing and hope the twins are kicking?”
“I’m fine, I reject twins o. You want to kill me with work.” She told her of Femi’s intention and how they were to help. “I’ll speak to her boss; I have his card somewhere in the house. He will send her on an annoying official duty to the venue on her birthday. We will surprise her. Its business time for Lala, she should start planning Aso ebi for you two.”
“Yes o. We will keep in touch sha. Take care of yourself and regards to your husband.”
A year later, Ihuoma invited the girls to her house. The girls came knocking on Ihuoma’s door and met her baking. From past experience, she baked only when she was emotionally unstable. Confused, the girls asked, “What has he done again?”
“I’m just restless. Things you do when tiny patters of feet are kicking in your tummy. Shola Junior is on the way.”
The end. 🙂
Next time on Perry’s Tots: Behind the posts of Almost a bride. You don’t want to miss it! Subscribe to Perry’s Tots via mail and Like Facebook page so you don’t miss any Tots! 😉