“Will you marry me?”
Morayo looked around at all the eager faces urging her on with smiles and nods. She looked down at the man kneeling before her, his face also shining with anticipation. She must have sat there doing nothing for an uncomfortable amount of time; for she began to register that the eager faces were turning into worried looks. “Morayo?” Lekan said tentatively, the hand holding out the ring twitching ever so slightly. “Yes, I will marry you” Morayo whispered finally. The other diners at the restaurant where Lekan had chosen to propose erupted in cheers and she found herself receiving congrats from people she barely knew.
Morayo was in a daze as Lekan led her to the car. She made sure to keep her lips stretched in a smile as some of the diners followed them while recording on their phones and making “aww” sounds. To her relief, they finally got to the car and sped off, leaving the cheering crowd behind them. “What was that Lekan?” she asked after a while. “What was what?” Lekan asked innocently. “I thought we were just going out for dinner?” she said, fighting to maintain her composure. “Well, we were but I decided to surprise you. It was a pleasant one wasn’t it?” Lekan laughed happily. “Lekan…” she started to say before her phone interrupted her.
She scoffed impatiently and rummaged in her bag for it. It was one of her coworkers. On answering, she nearly dropped the phone for she was greeted with a high pitched scream. It took a moment to decipher what was being screamed at her. “Oh my God, I’m so happy for you. I just saw it on my friend’s Instagram story” Jennifer tittered. “You saw what on Instagram?” asked Morayo. “Your man proposing of course” she said impatiently. “Just so you know, my cousin sells lovely and cheap wedding dresses so…” Morayo hung up the phone and put her face in her hands.
“What’s wrong?” Lekan asked concernedly.
“Lekan why would you choose the restaurant out of all places, to propose?” she asked. Lekan glanced at her and said “I don’t know, I thought it would be nice to show the world…” “The world has no business with what goes on between us lekan” she snapped, cutting him off. “What’s the real problem here Morayo? Because you are making a big deal out of nothing?” he asked. Morayo stared straight ahead and stayed silent for a while. “You know what, just drop me off here” she said finally. Lekan complied without arguing and she watched him drive away with mixed emotions.
As soon as Morayo got home, her phone started to blow up with calls from her colleagues at work. All were calling to offer their congratulations on her engagement. After suffering through the fourth call, she switched off her phone and made a mental note to strangle Jennifer the next time she saw her. But Jennifer was not the only person she wanted to strangle. She was confused and angry at herself. Lekan was a good guy generally and didn’t deserve how she was behaving. But she had been questioning their relationship for a while for she had noticed some things about lekan she definitely couldn’t live with. She went to bed, her mind spinning, before she fell into an uneasy sleep.
The next day, Morayo called in sick at her office for she wasn’t in the mood to face her colleagues. She paced around the house thinking, while ignoring calls from lekan. Finally, she decided to visit her mother and seek advice from her. Her mother was surprised to see her and was immediately alarmed at the expression on her daughters face.
“What’s wrong Morayo” she asked when they were seated. Morayo wasted no time in telling her mother what was bothering her. “Mom, Lekan proposed…” she hesitated, not knowing how to express what she wanted to say. “Morayo that’s a thing of joy, so what’s the problem?” her mother prompted. “Mom, I think of spending the rest of my life with lekan and the thought does not make me happy” Morayo busted out, crying.
“We’ve been having issues for a while and I was actually waiting for the right time to tell him I wasn’t interested in continuing the relationship” she continued. “I would have put out my feelings out to him on the spot, but he literally proposed in front of a crowd and I couldn’t turn him down in front of all those people. When we were alone in the car, I tried talking with him, but a whole lot of people now know I’m engaged and I don’t want to be the subject of gossip wherever I go” she finished.
Her mother sighed heavily and said “Look at me Morayo, I so much want for you to be settled down and have a family of your own. But what I want more than that is for you to be happy. I’ve always told you to never let the world decide your happiness and that’s the same thing I’m going to tell you now” “If you aren’t going to be happy married to Lekan, you know what to do” her mother said with an air of finality.
Morayo stood in the park, nervously rubbing her hands together. She was scared of what she was about to do but a hundred percent sure she was making the right decision. She froze when she spotted lekan walking towards her and began to gather her courage.
When he got to her, Lekan stood across from her not saying a word, clearly expecting her to speak first. She cleared her throat and began the speech she had rehearsed a million times in her head. “Lekan, I respect you and I’ve really enjoyed the past few months we’ve been dating, and in all honesty you are a nice guy and you deserve a nice woman, the thing Is you really have a great personality…” “Can you go straight to the point and tell me the reason why you called me here?” Lekan interrupted. “Yes, um… I’m sorry lekan but, I don’t want to marry you” she said, her voice breaking.
Lekan stood there, his hands in his pocket and stared at her. Tears streamed down Morayo’s face as she waited for him to say something. Suddenly, lekan removed his right hand from his pocket and stretched it towards her. She stood there confused and looked at him inquiringly. “My ring” he said shortly. “Oh” was all Morayo could manage and she fumbled to get the ring off her finger. She handed it to him and he turned away. He turned back when he had walked a few steps away from her and said “You’ll never find another man who would put up with you”
Morayo watched him walk away and felt reassured when she searched for regrets in her heart and found none.She walked around the park enjoying the scenery and tried to clear her mind. She stopped when she noticed a small crowd gathered. Her curiosity made her move towards them and she spotted a man on his knees holding out a ring to a confused looking woman while the crowd cheered. Morayo smiled sadly and turned away.
© 2020 Oshinowo Sherif
Oshinowo Sherif (author) from Lagos, Nigeria on September 13, 2020:
Thanks for reading Hertha!
Hertha David from Windhoek, Namibia on September 12, 2020:
What a wonderful story. And the guy obviously was not the one for her with the way he reacted. It's honestly immature to tell a woman she won't find another "good" man.
Izzy on August 06, 2020:
A nicely written piece and heartbreaking for lekan to have committed all those years and be rejected..But still whatever happens, Your happiness should be a priority.
Oshinowo Sherif (author) from Lagos, Nigeria on August 03, 2020:
Thanks haneefah for the feedback! I totally agree
Haneefah on August 03, 2020:
I do agree with the whole 'not letting the world dictate your source of happiness '.
Whether in the quiet of your apartment or in the midst of Central Park, if you love someone, you'll accept the proposal. They weren't just meant for each other.
Oshinowo Sherif (author) from Lagos, Nigeria on August 03, 2020:
Thank you so much Uriel. I really appreciate your feedback.
Uriel Eliane from Toronto on August 03, 2020:
Thanks for this beautifully written piece that exposes a sad truth. Honestly, I believe it all depends on each person's personality, on the couple's story, and even their emotional history. Nothing in a relationship must be done out of compulsion, peer pressure, or trend. Whether private or public proposals, partners must be sure of what each of them really wants.