This was the wrong time for her mom to call, her heart was tearing apart and she was on the verge of breaking down, she didn’t want to give her mother any more cause to worry. “Hello, Okiemute, are you alright? It doesn’t sound like you.”
“I’m fine, are you okay?” Kite asked, the test results had finally come back the previous week and she was in the clear. The cells were not cancerous, so she had nothing to fear, they had been elated and overjoyed by the news.
“I’m fine, dear. I just called to let you know something that has been bugging me for some time now.” Kite resisted the temptation to roll her eyes, she suspected it was a talk about marriage.
“Mom, can it wait for a few hours, I call you back later, I promise.”
“No dear, I have to say it now, it’s been weighing me down for a while now.” Kite sighed
“Okay, so what is it?”
“it’s about your father!” Kite frowned not sure she’d heard right
“Yes Kite, I know I’ve never really talked about him, thinking it was my way of protecting you kids when in actual fact it was me being selfish and angry at your dad.”
“Mom, what are you talking about?” She looked up to see Ise watching her intently; she didn’t think she could do this in front of him, so she placed her hand over the mouthpiece
“Please where is your bathroom?”
Ise was now officially an eavesdropper. He couldn’t remember the last time he’d acted this childish as to stand by the door and listen in to someone’s conversation, but that was exactly what he was doing at that moment. The things Kite could get him to do. He told himself he was just making sure she was alright, staying close just in case something happened because he sensed the news she’d been about to receive was going to be a heavy one.
He wondered what news her mother had about her father, surely he hoped the man wasn’t dead. Kite might not know the guy, but if he were alive there was hope that they could someday meet. Even if she’d never admitted it, he was sure never knowing her father had had a huge impact on her. As a result of her father leaving when she’d been young, she had some trust issues, she couldn’t trust him when he said he would never leave her. He loved her, he was ready to get married to her this very second but he would not bother if she didn’t believe in him a hundred percent. Just then the door opened and a tearful Kite hobbled out on the crutch stick.
“Are you okay?” he asked cautiously. Seeing him standing there beside the door, she lounged toward him in a hug and the sobs began in earnest. Ise was suddenly really concerned “What happened? What was that about?” He asked as he led her to the seat. Kite, please talk to me.”
“it’s my dad.” She replied
“Okay..” he urged her on. She shook her head as she dabbed at her eyes
“He was never who I thought he was… my mom … my mom never talked about him and it seemed I made up my own version of things. I just learnt that when I was about four years, they had a fight. His family had never been in support of their getting married but he gone along with it anyway…. Alienating his family to be with her, his father then fell sick and had called for him but my mom hadn’t wanted him to leave fearing that he might never return.
“Well….” She sniffed
“it turned out that his father died, leaving the family possessions to him. My father came back, gave my mom the news but she never wanted any of what his family had to offer. She wanted him to leave them, she was afraid they would turn him away from her and make him do some things like marry other wives and all that. So, she’d refused to go back and refused to let him have us, moving us to a village where he wouldn’t find us.
“Some years later they had reconnected I think I was in secondary school then, he’d offered to do something for us as our father but as usual, she had refused. She wanted nothing from him and wanted us to have no ties with him. Now, since her last illness she’s been thinking things over, and knew she couldn’t keep it from us anymore. She wants me to meet my dad, Ise…..and … I almost can’t believe it. How could she keep a thing like this from us, from me? Do you know the monster I’ve crafted my father up to be in my head? How could she be so stubborn, and mean, refusing him to see his kids, refusing to let him support his own kids? it’s almost as if I never even knew her.” Ise sighed, not at all sure what to say, this was the few moments in life where he was rendered speechless.
“At the time, she probably thought she’d been doing the right thing.” He ventured The right thing? How can keeping a man’s kids away from him be the right thing? If she wasn’t my mother I would have called her wicked.”
“Hey, hey! Now that’s not fair…. She’s human, we’re entitled to make mistakes, hell, you yourself have made countless of them, haven’t you? You’re no saint yourself.” She looked at him. “You used to be a thief, a felon, didn’t you?”
“What? it’s the truth, that was how we met, wasn’t it? You think her sin is greater than yours? Sin is sin in God’s eyes, isn’t it? But I was willing to look past all that and take a chance with you,” He paused, holding her gaze, maybe she needed to be reminded of herself a few months back “and I realised you’re not half bad afterall.” She was forced to smile, playfully punching him in the arm
“Gosh….I hate it when you’re right.”
“Which I almost always am.”
“Can you just stop with the cockiness, Williams? On a serious note, this has all got me confused, speechless and tired. I think I need to leave, I need to …..I need to relax and get this all sorted in my head.” She said trying to stand up but he held her hand back. She looked down at his hand, and then back up at him.
“and how about us?” He asked suddenly.
“Us?” She said dumbly “I thought….you said…. I thought we were over, you said so, didn’t you?”
“I did? I don’t remember saying any such thing.”
“Ise, please be serious. I’m in no mood for this, just a while back you were saying love wouldn’t be enough to save our relationship and now….”
“Hold it,” he cut her off “ You said that, not me…. I only reminded you of what you said before.”
“Okay, so what are you saying now?” Ise sighed
“I.. I just don’t know if you want me for the right reasons, you should want me for me, not for whether anyone approves or disproves of us, not for whether I’m rich or poor, if you want me to hand over my share of the family fortune over to you or give it out to some charity, I will do it without batting an eyelid. Is that when you’ll be convinced that I want you for you? Is that when you’ll be able to trust me?”
“Ise….”She called his name so tenderly “I was wrong, at the time I thought I was doing what was right, that it would be best for the both of us but the past days alone, I realised I couldn’t go on like that but I couldn’t come back and beg. You know I’m too proud for that, not until I spoke to your mom today, and I thought I now had a reason to come back. Ise… I love you and in this case, love will be enough. I promise you, nothing and I mean nothing will ever get me to leave you again.”
“And you mean that?” He asked watching her intently
“with all of my heart.” She took his hand and led it to her heart “My heart beats only for you, Ise, I really do love you.” He let a few seconds pass before asking
“So… if you’re sure now…” He got down on one knee in front of her “ then make me the happiest man in the world right now…..” Her eyes widened “Kitty Omoh, will you be my wife?”
“Oh my goodness… Ise please get up and stop your lame jokes…get up”
“Give me an answer right now, I’m dead serous Kite, and I’m not getting up until you do.”
“Ise….” New tears shimmered in her eyes “Oh Ise… ofcourse I’ll marry you, she said throwing her arms around him. He released the breath, he didn’t know he’d been holding, for a second there, he’d been scared she would say she needed some more time. He didn’t want to wait any longer, he’d known for a long time that she was meant to be his all through the rest of his life. There was no other perfect match for him. He picked her up like she didn’t weigh a thing, he was so happy and was at a loss of words, what he wanted to do was make sweet, long lasting love to her, it had been a while.
“Where are we going, Ise?” He smiled at her question
“We’re adjourning to the bedroom?”
“Whatever for?” She asked laughing at his answer, feigning ignorance
“You’ll find out soon enough, don’t bother your pretty head about things like that, instead you should start planning on where we’ll hold the wedding, you have just three months to prepare, you know?”
“Three months!” She gasped
“Yes, and it will be a grand one, not less than a thousand guests, maybe we could hold it in a castle in Scotland, there’s this one I’ve been to with really large grounds, or a villa in Paris, we could honey moon on a yacht, sail the Mediterranean and visit the bordering towns along it, Italy, Spain and France, It would be awesome. Then, we’ll have to begin looking for our own home……”
“Ise!” Kite yelled getting him to finally stop “If you keep going like this, I’ll have to rethink this marriage proposal!” she said but the smile in her eyes said she was playing.
“You wouldn’t dare.” He mock threatened
“ Ise,” she began condescendingly “ I will make my wedding plans but for now just take me to bed and do what you know how to do best, is that clear?” she asked mimicking the tone he used when being bossy.
“Yes ma’am.” He said laughing
“And watch the foot, please.” She added
“Ofcourse!” He replied knowing they were going to have one fun filled unpredictable married life.
Story By Peju Amadi
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