She took a deep breath.
“I want to specially thank everyone for joining us to celebrate our parents. They are such an amazing couple and every single day they never stop telling each other how much they love each other. It’s either in little ways as when my dad helps out with cooking once in a while, and I never would tell them who’s the best cook no matter how much they ask.” She said and chuckles filled the room. “Or when my mum deliberately sets up the house for him so he can bring his friends over for a football game despite the fact she doesn’t really like football.” She looked at her parents who were smiling at her. Her father had tears in his eyes. He had always been the emotional one.
“They’ve shown my sister and I what true love is all about; a selfless act where you consider the other person’s needs above yours. I’ve learnt a lot from them over the years and I’m happy to call them my parents. Please shall we raise our glasses to this beautiful couple. Happy thirtieth-first anniversary mum and dad! God bless your home. May you have many more years of love and joy. We love you!”
Everyone clinked glasses and her mother came up to her and hugged her. Her eyes glistened with tears. Toke thought that would be the end of it but she didn’t expect her mother to take the microphone from her hand.
Oh no! What is she going to say? God please not another embarassing moment.
“I always thought my daughter here would surprise me at age twenty-four and say she’s getting married. That was the same age I was when her father and I got married. But then wishes are horses. It amazes me how much our times are different. It seems children of these days would rather take their time in getting married.”
Toke swallowed hard as the crowd chuckled and nodded and she wished the ground would swallow her up immediately. Why was her mum doing this to her? Christina came to stand next to her and squeezed her hand as if to give her morale support. Her sister was lucky she was two years shy of their mother’s age preference for marriage.
Her mother continued, “My hope for you my daughters is that you both would find a man that’s more amazing than your dad and would love you as he should. The way God expects him to. Thank you so much for this.” Her mother hugged them both.
Toke forced a smile and hugged her back. She knew her family were longing for her to get married, but the past couple of years she had been unlucky with the kind of men she met. As she had discovered, some wanted sex before marriage, though Toke knew she wasn’t exactly a saint regarding that but thank God that had changed, while others had physical traits that put her off; hairy chest, bad breath, rotten dentition, height deficiency amongst other things.
She had realized not too long ago that finding a husband in this day and age was proving to be difficult. Though, her friends believed she had a hand in her lack of a relationship. They thought she was too picky. Toke believed otherwise.
Everything would probably have been better if only she hadn’t let go of that first opportunity she had years ago.
“I love you Toke . . . I love you. And I want us to get married as soon as possible. . .”
He touched her chin and gently urged her to look at him when she looked down at the beautiful white-gold ring with a solitary diamond that she held in her hand. Her eyes glistened with tears.
It was beautiful.
“I love you too David. But . . . I think it’s sudden. I mean we haven’t really spoken about our plans for the future yet and -”
He raised his finger to her lips to silence her. “We would work it out . . .”
Toke jarred her thoughts away from the past. It was better, that way she wouldn’t let her mother’s words get to her too much.
Dayo knew something was up, but he just didn’t know what. These days it seemed he could smell some sort of desperation in the air drifting from Lola. The other day he had overheard her on the phone, probably talking with one of her fellow single friends judging from her own end of the conversation.
“Are you serious? They are amazing colours. Yeah, it would be very soon by God’s grace. Vera’s wedding? Yeah, I should be there. When is it again? Awww… You won’t be? It is well. We would do our own soon. Just a matter of time.”
He shook his head at the silliness of the conversation. He hoped the ‘we’ she was referring to didn’t have anything to do with him. He walked into his house, being welcomed by the small passageway that had a mirror up on the wall and a small wooden table occupying it, all Lola’s doing, and walked into the living-room on his left. There he saw Lola sprawled on the couch; a bottle of water in her hand.
“Lola . . . you okay?”
She laughed, but it lacked humour.
He dropped his back-pack and suit jacket on a couch and loosened his tie. “What’s the problem?”
“I lost a case . . . my boss thinks I’m losing my ‘A-game’. That I’m becoming too soft. I didn’t want to tell him it was probably ‘cause of certain symptoms.” He frowned, not understanding her but as if reading his mind she said again in explicit terms, “I am expecting your child.”
Dayo looked at her in amazement and chuckled. He waited for her to tell him she was joking after such a bombshell. When she didn’t, he decided to be calm and play along.
“Okay. Congratulations! I wish you safe delivery. Let me know if I can do anything to help.”
She sat up then, dropping her smooth lean legs on the floor. He stared at them briefly and looked away.
“Congratulations to you too Dayo. I hope you would start planning our wedding.”
Marriage again? This woman has really lost it.
He turned his back on her and walked out of the room to the kitchen with Lola following close behind him. “What makes you think you’re pregnant? ‘Cause you missed your period? It could be false. It could be due to a number of reasons. Stress being number one.”
“No, it’s not false. I had a pregnancy test done this morning after throwing up at work consistently for the last couple of days. There are other symptoms as well.”
Like you getting more paranoid? He wanted to say but held back. He was tired and in no mood for her tantrums. But then what if she was really pregnant? Dayo’s heart picked up tempo. He wished for it not to be true. Was he going to enter into a forced marriage ‘cause of an unwanted pregnancy? There was no way that was happening. If she was really pregnant then there were ways to take care of it.
“Where is your doctor’s report?” He tried his best to remain calm, trying not to show how rattled he was by her news.
She didn’t answer and he smiled to himself. Probably she’s lying after all. He opened the fridge and bent down to bring out a can of Pepsi and as he closed the door he saw her standing beside the fridge; a folded white paper in her hand and a smirk on her face.
Dayo snatched the paper from her. He dropped the cold drink on the marble kitchen counter. He opened it quickly and scanned the content of the paper. Shock and anger accosted him at the same time.
Coming out on the 4th of August on Okadabooks! Fam please share with friends. Thanks much to those of you Who have done so. Please let’s do more. Share on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, WhatsApp etc.