When i got home, i put off my shoes and laid on the bed. Few minutes later, i heard a knock on my door. I wasn't expecting anyone so quick after i got back home from church. I got up and asked who it was. I heard a familiar voice.
I opened the door and he walked in smiling. I didn't understand what the smile meant. He entered and sat on my bed while i closed the door and joined him. He was still smiling so i decided to keep quiet till he says something. I was still a bit angry at him for deserting me in church anyway.
"So you left me in church just because you were jealous of me talking to other sisters abi" he said and laughed heartily.
-What's funny bayii?-
I rolled my eyes but didn't say a word.
Then he looked at my face like he's trying to read my expression.
"Why should i be jealous?" i frowned a bit and pressed my lips against each other. He shook me with his arm and laughed again.
-Hmmmm, this guy doesn't even know anything yet-
Then suddenly he got serious and faced me.
"So when am i going to hear your yes"
I looked back at him, into his eyes and my anger melted.
-Jesus! Gina! Concentrate! Don't fall my hand ooo-
I cleared my throat and tried to play cool.
"Uhmmmmm......wait sef, who told you I'm gonna end up saying yes" then i frowned again.
-Too proud- i thought
Tosin smiled and then got up. He walked towards the door and opened it to go out, then he looked back at me.
"Don't stretch me far beyond my elastic point", then he went out.
Two days later, Tinu came visiting. I was so happy to see her. I collected her bag and we sat down on the bed to gist.
"So where is the ring na" she asked as she took up my left hand checking for a ring.
"Haha! What do you mean? Tosin's ring of course. Don't tell me you guys haven't started planning the wedding yet oh" she opened her mouth in awe.
"Wedding ko. The person i haven't accepted yet"
"I don't understand. Accepted as in"
"I haven't said yes to his proposal na"
I didn't see it coming but i heard a slap on my back and i felt it seconds later.
"What is wrong with you this girl, ehn Gina. I just hope the poor guy hasn't moved on bayii"
"Moved on? Why would he do that if he really loves me as he claims" i asked innocently. I was only trying to play hard to get, i didn't know there could be a repercussion.
"Hurrrr, stay there ooo. You think you are the only child God has? Abi you think he can't fall in love with another sister when you are still there playing hard to get abi whatever name you may be calling it"
I kept mute.
"It's been over 2months baby girl if I'm not mistaken. God doesn't take forever to speak to his children except you haven't been hearing from him before"
"Well, actually I got the go-ahead 2days after he asked me out"
"Jesus!!!" Tinu exclaimed and put her hands on her head. Her dramatic attitude makes me laugh at times and that moment wasn't an exception. I laughed and she gave me this disdain look.
"It's not funny Gina"
"I know. I just don't want him calling me cheap, you know how these things are na"
"Yes i do and that's the more reason i think you are overdoing it. C'mon! He's been waiting for too long"
The following day, i said yes to Tosin. He was so happy that he gave a hug and swindled me round till i begged him to stop.
"Haha! Finally! So what kept you so long 'cause i know you had the go-ahead 2 days after i proposed to you"
I was dumbstruck.
-How in Christ's name did he know that. Mehn! I had better be careful with dealing with this guy that has the Holy spirit so close to him oo-
"Well, that's what happens when you place your ear on God's chest, listening to his heartbeat. That was the only thing that kept me going 'cause i almost doubted you at a point"
"Wow" was the only thing i could utter.
We spent the rest of the day together, talking and getting to know ourselves more.
Things went well with Tosin and i for months. Soon, everyone in the fellowship knew we were together and the sisters started keeping clear off him. I was happy they did, even though i didn't make any attempt to distance anyone from him.
Tosin finished his project few months later and was preparing to leave school.
I found it so difficult trying to adjust to him not being around but he assured me i'd do just fine.
Two years later, Tosin got a job at Jos where he went for his youth service.
I had also graduated with a degree in Business Administration and was doing my youth service at Delta state. I was full of joy when Tosin broke the news to me. I get to see Tosin once in a while because of the distance. As usual, i gisted Tinu and she couldn't stop reminding how soon my wedding day is coming. I told her Tosin and i are taking things slow.
"Slow ke? That should be for when you guys were still in school oo. C'mon, you guys have been together for how many years now. Abeg, me wan do chief bridesmaid ooo"
"I don hear you ooo. I'm waiting for you too"
"Hurrrr. Don't worry, I'm on it"
We both laughed.
"By the way, have you gone to see his parents at Lagos" she asked immediately
"Uhmm, no. We both haven't gotten the time yet but I've spoken to his Mum many times on phone"
"And does it sounds like she likes you?"
"A lot. She do call to check up on me once in a while. I can feel she's a very nice woman"
"Better o, 'cause i don't want mother-in-law wahala for you" she chuckled and i laughed before she continued
"It's true oo"
Tinu was such a darling. I really don't know where i'd be if she didn't come into my life when she did.
I spoke to Tosin about visiting his parents at Lagos and we fixed the date for the following Saturday. As much as i looked forward to meeting my future Parents-in-law, anxiety still got the best of me.
On Friday night, the night before Tosin and i planned to go see his parents, i had a dream.
In the dream, i saw my whole Family, my Dad, Mum, Femi, Felix and Ayo. They were all dressed in white and the whole place looked cloudy that i found it difficult to see properly.
I was so happy to see them and i ran towards them to hug them but i discovered i couldn't move close to them.
My Mum smiled at me and wouldn't take her eyes off me. Then my Dad spoke.
"Gina!" his voice echoed.
"My daughter! We just want you to know we couldn't have wished for a greater future for you but be careful so you don't lose it out of unforgiveness"
Immediately my Dad said this, he turned back, followed by my Mum and my brothers. My smile suddenly fade away, i couldn't believe they were leaving so soon. It looked so real, i shouted from sleep.
"Daddy! Waaaaait!!!" i shouted
I was already sweating profusely. I sat up on my bed.
"What could this dream mean?" i said out loud, "and what did daddy mean by i shouldn't allow unforgiveness make me lose my great future", i pondered on.
I got out of bed and paced my room for like 5mins before i finally prayed about it and slept.
A call woke me up the following morning. I managed to stretch to pick up my phone and checked the caller's id. It was Tosin. I swiped my phone to the right and his voice sounded from the other end of the line.
"Hello baby. Good morning"
I managed to grumble out a "Good morning to you too"
"Don't tell me you are still on bed" he sounded ridiculous, which made me to go through the stress of checking the time on my wristwatch which i usually put on my bedside table. I gasped when i saw it was already some minutes to 11am and i had promised Tosin i'd be in Lagos latest 12pm.
"Oh my God!" My bedroom voice changed suddenly.
"Like i knew.......Anyway, I'm in Asaba now. Heading to your place, i decided to come pick you up myself"
I blushed. -Tosin is just the best-
"You are so sweet darling. Love you plenty. You are gonna save me a lot of stress"
"I know. Just try take your bath before i finally get there oo"
"I will baby"
I ended the call and hurried to the bathroom. I didn't even know what to wear yet.
Tosin arrived few minutes after i finished taking my bath.
I brought out all my potential outfits for him to choose which one suits the occasion best. He chose a purple jumpsuit for me. I quickly got dressed and within an hour, we were on our way to Lagos.
"Wow, i never knew your parents were this affluent" i said immediately Tosin drove into his father's compound. I couldn't stop admiring the gigantic house. It was a duplex with a boys quarter behind it. It had quite a big compound and i could already picture my kids running around.
Tosin got down and came to my side to open the car door for me. Well, he's such a gentleman. I felt so lucky to have him.
His mother was already at the door waiting for us.
"E kaasan ma" - Good morning ma
I knelt down, she carried me up and hugged me tight.
"Kaasan omo mi" - Afternoon my daughter. She said with a large smile. "How are you?"
"I'm fine ma"
She welcomed me into the house heartily and went inside immediately to call her husband.
"Imagine o, Mummy even forgot to greet me. She's only focusing on you now" Tosin said as he sat down beside me on the cushion chair. His Mum had specially led me to sit there.
"Don't tell me you are jealous o" i said jokingly.
"Why won't i be? She's being partial na, can't you see?"
Few minutes later, Tosin's parents came out and i knelt down to greet his Dad.
"Good afternoon sir"
Whatever anxiety i was feeling before melted with the way Tosin's Mum greeted me. I felt so welcomed into the family.
"How are you dear?" he replied
-That voice!!!- my head echoed -Very familiar-
"I'm fine sir" i managed to reply, then sat back on the chair.
-Where could i have heard this voice from?- i thought.
Tosin must have read my countenance, hence he asked if i was okay
"Yea Yea, i am" i tried to take the thought off.
"So what can we offer you now?" his Dad said.
-That voice!- My head echoed again.
"Uhmmmm, I'm still okay for now sir" i replied. I could feel the enthusiasm i felt before sipping through my skin holes.
"It's okay then. So where are you from and where are your parents" Tosin's Mum asked.
"My Dad was from Ogun state. I lost my family many years ago in a robbery attack"
Tosin's Mum gasped.
"The whole of them?" she asked
Tosin held my left hand and started rubbing it. I smiled.
"I am deeply sorry about that my......."
"......what was your father's name? His Dad suddenly cut in.
-Wait! I think i can remember that voice! That night! Oh my God! Could this be Vincent????-
I got up like i had sat down on a pin.
"Uhmmmm, sorry. I need to go to the ladies"
"Oooh ok. Let me lead you there"
Tosin got up and i followed him.
"Are you okay dear?" i could hear his Mum ask
"Oh yes, I'm fine" his Dad replied
I got into the toilet and locked the door.
I could still picture that night. I could still hear those gunshots like they had just been fired.
"Tosin's dad is Vincent? No, that can't be. I must be dreaming. Just like a flash, i remembered the dream i had the night before.
-Could Dad be referring to this?-
I was bitter. Why was life so unfair to me. It took my family, my innocence, my time and now it's going to take my future away.
Few minutes later, Tosin came knocking.
"Gina, are you okay in there?"
I cleared my throat.
"Yes i am. Will be out in a sec" i replied.
"Okay". I could hear his footsteps back.
Suddenly, i felt this anger rush up in me.
-He ruined my life and now, he's having a nice time with his family?-
I buried my head in my hands and wept bitterly. Why do i have to fall in love with his son. Why does his wife like me so much. Why do i have to feel so welcomed into his house after all he's done to me.
Even though it's been years, what took place that night never left my memory. I reminisce on it everyday of my life. It was so stuck in my memory that i remembered his voice and the name my Dad called, VINCENT!!!