Wale and Kunbi leave Lagos for Ibadan together on Saturday morning. Wale drives keeping his conversations with her to a minimum. He is still upset with her as he cannot fathom why she intends to continue with an abusive relationship. He expected her to be smarter than this but she was playing the fool. If he believed in superstitions, he would have assumed Ola had placed a supernatural hold on her.
After Sola had confided in him after his break up with Tolu, he had told Sola to give Kunbi some time to heal. “I don’t expect her to jump at your offer immediately. She is probably still hurting from her break up”. He had said. He could see that Sola loved her and there was also a sparkle in Kunbi’s eyes anytime she was with him; even though she vehemently denied having feelings for him anytime he brought up the issue. Her commitment to Ola had beclouded her mind that she failed to see that she was in an abusive relationship. He could not imagine that she never broke up with him after the incident that almost claimed her life. It was beyond reasoning. Her continued relationship with Ola was a slap on his face as far as he was concerned.
They arrive Ibadan at about noon and get to Kunbi’s house in a few minutes. Kunbi would have alighted on the way to go to Ola’s apartment but she did not want to incur Wale’s wrath. The expression on his face all through the journey to Ibadan spoke volumes. Even though he tried to make small talk with her, she figured he was still upset. She had taken a novel to read on the trip as she also wanted to avoid having to talk to him. He had refused to understand how much she loved Ola. Besides, she felt Wale was favourably disposed to Sola as a result of their friendship.
She kneels down to greet her mum and gives her a quick hug before telling her that she needs to see a friend. Wale, after prostrating to greet Kunbi’s mum sits down beside her and is surprised to see that Kunbi is leaving immediately after their arrival.
He calls her. “Kunbi”.
Kunbi gives him a pleading look and he shakes his head in pity. Wunmi notices the unspoken drama between them.
“So, mummy how are you doing?” Wale asks ignoring Kunbi and facing Wunmi.
“I am good. It’s so nice to see you after a long while”. She says smiling.
“I’m sorry mum. I know I should visit more often”.
“It’s okay. As long as both of you are doing well, then I’m happy”.
“Yes, we are well ma”.
“Did Kunbi just leave for Ola’s house?” Wunmi asks.
Wale squeezes his face and shrugs. “Yes, she is going to his place”.
“Hmm….I hope she knows what she is doing”.
“No, mum. She doesn’t”.
Kunbi takes a taxi to Ola’s apartment. She has missed him so much and she is eager to see him. As she walks down the close where his house is located, she sees him from afar standing outside his apartment. He is wearing a green striped short sleeved shirt on dark denim pants. She doesn’t have the familiar butterflies in the tummy feeling as when she sees Sola. She however, dismisses the thought and walks faster. When she gets closer, Ola sees her and she smiles at him but she does not get a welcoming smile back in return. She reaches him and throws her hands around him in a hug. “I have missed you”. She says.
“I thought you weren’t coming. You did not respond to my last text message”. He says ignoring her statement.
“Let’s go in and talk about it”.
She notices that the furnishing in the apartment has been recently changed and she smiles at him. “Wow, you have done some work here. But I told you I wanted us to do it together”.
“And I remember saying I wanted my apartment furnished my own way, right?”
“Yeah, you said so. Anyway, it’s nice”. She sees there’s a mark on his head and she knows instinctively that it was placed there by her.
“I bought some ice cream. I know you love it”.
“That’s so thoughtful of you”. She is about to go to the kitchen but he stops her. “I’ll get it”.
She switches on the TV and feels the couch. She is impressed even though she would have loved to be involved in the decision making as well. Ola walks back into the living room carrying two ice cream bowls. He hands one of the bowls to her and sits beside her. “Thank you”. She says smiling. She knows they should talk about the last incident, but Ola is refusing to. She decides not to bring it up so as not to open old wounds. He has apologized by text anyway.
She scoops a spoonful of ice-cream into her mouth and feels something on her tongue. She is startled and carefully takes the strange object out of her mouth. A silver engagement ring with a massive stone stares at her. She looks at Ola, shock clearly written on her face. She opens her mouth to say something but she is unable to form the words. Ola, seeing that she is still in a confused state, decides to seize the opportunity. He goes down on one knee and asks “Kunbi, please marry me”.
Different thoughts run through Kunbi’s mind. Her heart begins to do a somersault. “Marry Ola? This has always been my heart desire but why don’t I feel happy. I should be all over him right now, laughing and crying tears of joy. Why am I suddenly scared of his proposal when I have always looked forward to today? But I always wanted a romantic proposal; dinner, candle lights, an atmosphere of love filled with music and the like”.
Ola touches her hand and she realizes that he is still on his knees waiting for her answer. She still has the ring in her hands and she looks at it again and smiles. “Yes, I will marry you”. He pulls her up as he stands and kisses her passionately. She returns the kiss but her mind is in disarray.
As Kunbi is about stepping into her mum’s house, she looks at the massive sparkling stone on her left fourth finger. She stops, pulls off the ring and puts it carefully into a zipped portion of her handbag. She is not sure she wants Wale or her mum to see it just yet. She still has misgivings about the proposal but Ola has always remained committed to her. Commitment was important to her and she was not ready to throw it away just because she had feelings for someone else. She tries to force a cheery smile but deep down, her heart is in turmoil.
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