WHERE IS THE GUY I MARRIED?
It was as if I woke up from the wrong side of the bed on Sunday morning. I had woken up several times in the midnight to hit my husband so he could change his position in order to stop his snore
On one of the occasions, he had opened his eyes widely with his mouth opened and what was it my eyes saw- drool! I shook my head.
Still very sleepy, he scratched his head, then his moustache and then his hairy chest.
“Oh my God!” I exclaimed loudly. It was just two in the morning.
”Why is this guy like this?’ I asked myself.
“Dear, did you hit me? Like…I mean…did you…” he babbled on, drifting back into sleep. I pulled the blanket over him.
“Dave, is this the great surprise you have for me? Snores, drools and sleepless night, huh!” I exclaimed again, almost shouting but my husband was long asleep.
‘I hope this is not a bad sign o. I pray against bad omen. Since I met Dave, he had never been this strange at night!’ I sat up and stared at his face.
I looked over at my baby’s bed and she was sleeping peacefully, her thumb in her mouth- again!
Then, Dave’s leg started coming towards me as the snores heightened. I quickly blocked it and threw it away but he didn’t wake up still. I was very shocked. Just a touch would have woken Dave up on a norm.
“Dave, Dave…David,” I called as I pulled at him but he didn’t answer.
“In times like this daughter, you don’t think it’s the best time to pray,” My best friend’s voice went on again.
“My prayer time is 3am,” I retorted.
“Start praying now,” he replied with a command. I turned to my back, picked my bible, knelt beside my bed and prayed.
I started singing after a while with my husband’s continual snores as the piano!
“You are my African queen, the girl of my dreams; you’ll take me where I’ve never been…”
My husband’s sonorous voice sang on, waking me up. I stretched and looked up to see my side. He wasn’t there.
“Where is this guy?” I asked myself as I checked the time. It was 4 o’clock. I gently stirred on the bed to the other side, still pretending to be asleep.
Then I saw Dave on the arm chair holding the phone close to his mouth, closing his eyes and singing deeply from his heart. Through the half-open window of my eyes, I watched on and as he concluded his call, I almost fell off the bed.
“More than anything in this world, more than my mum, more than anything in the world, I really love you. Would you be my wife?” he said on and on with the phone still close to his mouth. My heart pumped repeatedly.
“Dave wants to kill me,” I said to myself as I trembled on my bed.
‘Is this the surprise? A new wife?’
I shut my eyes firmly as I looked across the room to see him smiling happily. He walked over to the bedside and I tried myself to quickly compose myself so he didn’t know his secret had leaked. He bent over me and squeezed my shoulder.
“Sleepie sleepie! Wakie wakie!” he said on and on and my heart turned sour. I muttered some prayers and stretched as I sat up, opening my eyes in pretense as if I was just waking up.
“Good morning dear” I said.
“Good morning. How was your night?” he asked
“Terrible? Why?” he asked, obviously bewildered.
“You have a doctorate degree now in snoring and drooling education” I said and he laughed.
“Me?” he asked.
“No! me!” I was almost getting angry.
‘Isn’t he going to greet me like I am his wife? Has he forgotten that today is Val’s Day?’ I asked myself severally.
“Let’s pray. It’s morning already,” he said as he sat well and held my hands.
“You woke up very early this morning. What were you doing?” I asked, giving him a second chance to confess. He smiled coyly.
“Was busy sending Val’s messages to some of my friends” he said.
“Really! Who are the friends?” I found myself asking but I was shocked of my own question. I had always preached against probing one’s husband no matter the condition and now, I was a victim! I shook my head vigorously as if to get my head in the right order.
“Dear, I am sorry. I eat my words. We really need to pray,” I said and he just looked on at my face without a word. He was somewhat surprised. He made a funny sound after sighing and then he closed his eyes.
“Let’s pray dear,” he said and then he started singing. Dave was doing the whole thing wholeheartedly but I was taken aback.
‘Lord, our wedding is a year today and also today is Val’s Day, yet Dave isn’t saying anything,” I murmured as I closed my eyes.
“Daughter, put your mind at rest. It would be for the better” he said and I shook my head in the affirmative.
I had learnt to trust the Holy Spirit no matter the situation but really, I needed to be sure this time!
“No need to be sure daughter. Just trust me,” he said again.
I opened my eyes and looked at Dave. He looked so handsome as he sang ‘How Great Thou Art’. His voice had really been of my admiration since we met in school. He had a very nice tenor. I smiled at this, carried away by him when suddenly he let go of my hands. He pulled me to his side and closed my eyes with his hands.
“We are praying” he said, firmly.
As I opened the wardrobe to bring out the finely sown cord lace I had bought for Dave and I for the occasion of our wedding anniversary, Dave blocked me.
“Dave, what’s it now? It’s time to go to church. Let’s be fast,” I said hastily. He pointed at the bed and I looked backwards.
“What’s that?” I asked.
“That’s what we are wearing to church,” he said with a lovely smile and I went to the bed.
As I tried to check the clothes, there was a knock at the door. Dorcas came in, carrying Blossom in her arms. My eyes moved from Dorcas to Blossom. They were clad in nice flowing white gowns. They really looked beautiful.
“Who wore a tiara on my baby’s head?” I was saying as I walked to them when Sweet mum knocked and ran inside.
“This girl won’t kill me. Why did you bring Blossom here?” Sweet mother said firmly to Dorcas.
“She was crying” Dorcas said. I could not take my eyes off my mother-in-law. She was clad in a green mint and yellow cord lace and her gele mounted up in tiers.
“Mummy toh sure!” I hailed her.
Sweet mother walked majestically and gorgeously to my side, showing off her beautiful curves. I laughed.
“You don’t want to grow old, mum? You look like a new bride,” I said again and she blushed.
“You can say that again and again, dear daughter. It’s your wedding anniversary and it’s Valentine’s Day. We have to dance well for the thanksgiving in church today. Today is the real day.”
“But after making clothes for yourself, Dorcas and Blossom, where is ours?” I asked for my husband and I.
I looked at Dorcas from head to toes. Oh what food can do in one’s life! Within the space of two days, the famished, almost lifeless looking duck had turned to a white goose as Gu Jun Pyo would say in ‘Boys over Flowers’. My love for Korean movies though!
“Daughter, I definitely made for you too.” Mum’s voice stared me up to reality. My husband pulled me back gently.
“Tada!” he exclaimed in Korean. I gasped in surprise and awe as I saw the beautiful dress on our bed.
“Omo! Omo! Aigoo!” I beat my chest as I exclaimed the more in Korean. I picked up the dress and admired the gems and pearl stones on the dress and then and there, I confirmed the description of the news media that my sweet mother could sew so real that the body that wore it would fit in so perfectly.
I went to hug her so tightly that my baby whimpered in distress, smacking my face.
“Don’t kill my baby abeg,” Mum said, still smiling. I hit Blossom on the thigh.
“You are slapping my face, ehn? Don’t worry. I am not ready for you now. When food time comes, I will deal with you,” I said and as I turned back to start dressing up, I covered my mouth in amazement as I saw Dave. He looked so stunning and he knew it as he kept hitting the tiles with the soles of his golden boots.
He was clad in a sky blue blazer embroidered in gold with a white inner top, a very nice gold chinos trouser, a beautiful blue wristwatch and a golden shoe. I wondered how the fashion sense of a man could be this good!
“Mum, is this your handiwork?” I asked her
“It is it o, my baby girl. Don’t forget I am a designer. By the time you wear your own, it would throw all of us off balance.” She said
“Definitely! You know my wife is a sure beauty. In rain, in sunshine, in pregnancy, in good health, she radiates God’s beauty,” Dave said.
“Dave, who is more beautiful? Liz or me?” Mummy asked and Dave laughed.
“Mum, it’s so obvious jhur. My wife is more beautiful. Ten times all over,” he said and I laughed. He was just been courteous. Mum looked too good for her age.
“If you don’t see your mother’s beauty, my husband sees it,” she said as she approached the door. We all laughed.
I made for the dressing table to put on my beautiful, fitted wedding dress to the admiration of Dave!
The church service was beautifully coordinated. We danced, sang, worshipped and prayed like never before. I was really blessed as I totally gave it all to God.
“No matter what I see or what I hear, they won’t matter. They won’t rule me. Only what I have confirmed and affirmed to be true would count especially in my love life. In my marriage,” I prayed so fervently as the Holy Spirit assured me only to leave the thorns and pick the roses in my husband. As a wise woman, I can only pray about the thorns.
“All things are possible!” I exclaimed aloud as I tried to forget the whole African Queen saga.
Dave nudged my nose gently and smiled.
“All things are definitely possible my love, the service is over. Shall we go?” He said and he held my hands as we marched out of the church. The church was almost empty. My rounding off prayers must have taken minutes!
Mum, Dorcas and Blossom had left the church in the Pajero jeep driven by the driver, Dave told me. So we set off in our iconic Lexus car.
The journey back home was in silence- grave silence!
As much as I wanted to overlook everything and wait for probably his surprise, I couldn’t bear the fact that he had not said anything about this Valentine’s day and our wedding anniversary.
I picked up my phone, plugged my ears with the ear piece and checked my WhatsApp Messages. I read on and on till I got to Dave’s contact and saw an audio message. I downloaded it and listened and it was then I knew the African Queen song was for me!
Oh what good patience does in our lives and relationships!
I was happy but I remained mute until I noticed he was passing a different route.
He was heading to Victoria Island but I remained speechless still.
“Wherever he wishes, let him drive me there. If he thinks he wants to surprise me by being mute like this, it’s no longer funny. Whatever stunt he wants to pull has failed,” I kept on saying to myself as I held my chin with my right palm.
Dave pulled off at the Eko Hotels and Suites. I opened my mouth in awe and great surprise.
If nothing, I had heard a lot about this hotel and I have seen pictures snapped in it. Dave had taken me to almost everywhere I loved- Disneyland in Miami for my birthday in March; Sheraton Hotel in Abuja, Waterfalls at Erin Ijesha but Eko Hotels and suites was too expensive for him so I hadn’t gone there. Here we are God!
I smiled a bit but when I sneaked a peep at him, he didn’t even look at me. Cold guy!
I was at the popular Environment of Aquatic Splendor!
I could view as we went up the escalator, the Kuramo lake. Oh what a scene!
We eventually ended up in the 5 star roof top restaurant. It was very quiet and seemed lifeless. I was not comfortable anymore.
At the entrance to the restaurant, Dave waited for me, curved his arm for me to insert mine and I did!
The door opened as we approached and the spray of the decoration that greeted my face was the bomb!
There in my very face was Sunny Neji with his guitar strapped to his body singing with inspiration, my best Yoruba wedding song ‘Oruka’.
Goosebumps took the whole of me!
I started shaking as I looked over the restaurant and the familiar faces greeted me. People from the church had left early to come here! The realization dawned on me!
Dave moved closer and whispered to my ears.
“Is it a bomb or a blast now?” he asked, very happy and satisfied at my trembling.
I looked into his face as tears welled up my face. As we proceeded to the podium that had been created and decorated, I saw my mum and dad!
“Geez! Am I seeing well right now?” I asked myself to be sure. They were not in Nigeria as at the day before yesterday when I called and no one made the mistake of telling me anything.
Then, as we took our seats on the podium, I glanced over the people seated and I saw the bridal train. My sister was the Chief Brides maid and all. She was holding Blossom. I saw my friends from the office, Pastor and his wife, my dad-in-law, my husband’s siblings, neighbors, the restaurant was filled to the brim with rich foods and drinks in front of them.
The instant cold that had descended upon me was so much so that I started shaking, my teeth grinding against one another. Dave rubbed my palms and patted my back, having fun at my discomfort.
“We invite the Groom forward to the microphone. Please put your hands together for him,” that familiar voice sounded and I looked up- Tyler Perry!
I started crying!
“It’s a dream. Obviously a dream,” I started crying and Dave reversed to my side, knelt beside me and wiped my tears. He hugged me and I took hold of him so tightly.
The crowd oohed and wowed as we did. I was ‘flabberwhelmed’ and ‘overgasted’ as Hon. Patrick Obahiagbon would say.
Dave stood up and proceeded to the microphone.
‘Dave, that’s okay dear. You have won. You have not given me a blast or a bomb. You have given me a bomb blast!’ I said to myself.
“Today is our wedding day. We are renewing our vows and our love with all our family and friends as our witnesses.” Dave started and everyone clapped.
“I am the happiest person today because I won!” he said and few people shouted ‘how?’
“How? My wife had always thought she was the best ‘surpriser’ in the whole world and that I couldn’t sway her with my own surprises too. Today, she would learn to appreciate my authority in that regards,” he said and everyone laughed. My mother-in-law’s laughter was the loudest. I scanned the crowd and saw her, enjoying every bit of the whole drama.
“I wish you could all come forward to touch her hands and see how cold they her. See her clueless, shocked face. See how gentle she looks…I wish you could hear her heartbeat. Let’s see if the mic can amplify that,” he said, laughing heartily as the whole hall joined him.
He walked closer to me and placed the mic close to my neck. I wanted to slap his hand off playfully but I was weak!
“Can you hear the heartbeat?” he asked the crowd.
“Yes,” almost all of them chorused.
“God will forgive you all for making jest of my wife,” Dave said and the people clapped again, shouting and whispering to one another.
I felt a tingling in my soul.
Where is the guy I married?
I thought I married a gentle, introvert, holy man and not this comedian, lover boy! So, Dave could be romantic too!
First, it was Eko Hotels and Suites
Then, he rented a whole hall in the expensive hotel
Then, he brought me Sunny Neji
And he burst my brain as he brought Tyler Perry!
And see the crowd!
I was lost in thought when his sonorous voice brought me back to life.
“Today, I am picking back that name that we called each other when we newly got married. Can anybody tell me what name it was?” he asked and few hands were up. Dorcas came forward, took the mic and said beautifully.
“My missing rib!” and there was a round of applause and some hailing
“I will resume that name now so that I would have a reminder always that I am incomplete without Liz,” he said as he came towards me, knelt down and held my hands
“For those times when I had failed you, when my heart had drifted from you, when I didn’t pray enough for you, I am sorry. My missing rib, lets work and walk together now and show the whole world the real definition of a Christian marriage,” he told me so confidently and I nodded, wearing a large smile.
“Also, to all men around, I haven’t become a governor yet, neither have I become a minister as you might wonder how I came about this luxury. I remain a humble sole proprietor in my way. See, it’s not until you have too much money that you can treat your wives like queens. I had to look here and there and I had been saving for this special occasion since 6 months ago.” There was silence all over the hall. People were guilty! I saw the pastor cleaning his face with a handkerchief. Wow!
“My missing rib can do more for me. She can lay her life down for me, so why should I look at other women outside there that have nothing to offer except death!” he added and we heard a man sobbing loudly from the back.
“That’s true bro! That’s very true,” he sobbed. My uncle! He had divorced his wife last year and now my hubby’s speech had pierced his heart. Beautiful!
“Liz, I know if I ask you to come forward to talk, holding the mic would shake off your cold and being well versed, we won’t leave this place until you have poured out your heart. I wish you a happy Valentine’s Day and a happy married life,” he said happily as he dropped in my hands, a fresh bouquet of lilies!
“And the last surprise I have for my wife that would burst her brain is this….” He said and paused. There was a very great and anxious silence. My heart started racing.
“It’s so obvious this guy wants to kill me” I thought to myself, looking down and fumbling with my dress.
“May I tell you if you do not know that during our courtship, My missing rib and I got to the child bearing aspect and what I heard really surprised me. She said she wanted 9 children!” he blurted out to the amazement of everyone seated. They burst into a fit of laughter.
“She was so serious that she almost cried. We negotiated and negotiated till we cut it down to 5,” he exposed our secret but I laughed. I was enjoying the new guy Dave had become.
“Tyler Perry has decided to sponsor our travelling to Paris for our honeymoon. So my missing rib gat to see the Eiffel Tower she had always dreamt of,” he said further and there was a real explosion of emotion a people clapped and clapped.
It all sounded strange in my ears.
“And the greatest surprise is that my missing rib has to be very very prepared for me because we are going there to make babies.” He said and I couldn’t but join in the uproar of laughter. My parents were laughing, my mother-in-law kept hitting her husband’s laps out of ecstasy.
David! David!! David!!! My heart sang aloud.
It’s a new day, a new start, a new love!
I will always pray for this new guy!
I will always yearn for him alone after God!
He is mine,and I am his!
I will fight manfully against the other woman.
There and then, my heart blessed the new Dave- the guy I didn’t marry but have eventually married now!