Teju, Lucy and Ray sat in the sitting room of Lucy’s parents’ house. Her parents had travelled for some function and she missed them. She lay with her head on Raymond’s lap as she talked endlessly with him. Dana went to open the door when they heard a knock and Deolu entered. Teju saw him and her heart skipped. Luciana held her hand and squeezed. She had invited Deolu over, wanting Deolu and Teju to be as happy as she was with Ray. Deolu looked at Ray after greeting.
“If Tinuke hadn’t been such an idiot, I would have said something nasty to you Ray”. Tinuke had gone to meet Tunde who was the real father of the child but he had denied responsibility and threw her out of his house.
“If you hadn’t left my sweetheart, I would have snatched her from you” Ray retorted, giving Lucy a peck. Lucy stood up and walked out of the house with Ray.
Teju stared at Deolu. It had been one month and she hadn’t set her eyes on him. He was looking extremely handsome in casual black trousers and a T shirt. “I figured you liked me better in casual wears”
“I like you in anything you put on.” She swallowed. She stood opposite him and when he tried to speak, she stopped him. “I owe you an apology Dee; I should not have behaved the way I did”
“I expected nothing less than that” he brushed away a stray hair from her face. “Anything is forgiven when you call me Dee”
“You might be sorry you said that in the future” she said when he took her in his arms.
“As long as you would be spending that future with me” he bent his head and kissed her deeply. He had wanted to do that for a very long time. No other thing felt so right or perfect. They held each other, both realizing that they needed the other as much as they needed their next breath.
“Are you planning to seduce me into accepting you?” Teju asked breathlessly.
He grinned. “As long as it makes you accept to be my wife”. Teju gasped. Deolu tensed as he put his hand in his pocket and brought out a tiny box and got down on one knee. Teju gasped as all their friends came out of the various rooms and Lucy entered the house back with Raymond. Suddenly, the house was filled with friends and family members. Teju blinked back tears but they came anyways.
“Teju, I don’t know any romantic word to say in order to soar your heart but I can promise to make you happy for the rest of your life. To put laughter on your face and to love you and you alone. Please be my wife Teju, please”
“Yes… Yes” she screamed and hugged him fiercely, kissing his neck in tears. He slipped the shinning diamond ring into her fingers and kissed her finger with the ring. The cheer in the room was deafening and chants of ‘kiss her, kiss her, kiss her…’ rang out on the large sitting room. Deolu pulled Teju into his arms and kissed her. They both forgot about the crowd and got lost in a world of their own. The kiss ended and they suddenly noticed that the room was dead silent. Teju was not surprised because she had known all along. The sitting room was dark except a spotlight which illuminated a painting.
Luciana gasped as she stared at herself. The painting was of her wearing the gown that Raymond had bought for her in the boutique. Everyone was struck by the mastery of the painting including Teju. Ray appeared and a spotlight captured him as he moved towards Luciana.
“When I picked up a brush to paint again, only one image popped up in my mind. That Sunday, you had entered my room, wanting to drag me to church. I had pretended to be asleep and you stared at me longingly like you won’t mind joining me on the bed” everyone chuckled. Tears streamed down Luciana’s face. She never imagined someone painting her.
“You had been so breathtakingly beautiful that I had taken my time to capture that image of you in my head, hoping that I would be able to paint again.” he got down on one knee. “Lucy, you gave me back my life and made me live again. You drove all my fears away and gave me love. I can’t spend the rest of my life without you; you sweeten my life; that is why I call you ‘sugar’. Please marry me Luciana Jones. I promise to never ever make you know a moment of sadness. I would be with you every time you need me. Please marry me sugar” his heart pounded against his ribs as he stared up at her with a sparkling ring in his hand.
Everyone seemed to hold their breath.
Luciana knelt down, unable to control her tears. She wrapped her arms around him in a tight hug. He quickly pulled her slightly away from him. “Is that a ‘yes’ honey?”
“Yes” she screamed. “Yes… yes…” she continued to say until Ray silenced her with a firm kiss. The kiss was so tender and deep and demanding at the same time. They were both oblivious to the resounding cheers as they held on to each other. Vicky wiped off the tears in her eyes as she stared at the ring in her own fingers. She smiled up at Duke who hugged her protectively, when he noticed the eyes of some guys on Vicky. He kissed her head. Bose smiled at the couple. She was very happy for them. She had also found happiness in the arms of another man and her business was booming.
Lucy stood up and hugged Teju tightly. People started congratulating the two couples.
“I am happy for you Vic” Lucy said to Vicky.
“You said I would not have to try, guess what? I did not try a bit. Duke swept me off my feet”
Lucy laughed. “You deserve it”
“And you and Raymond are made for each other.”
Bose hugged Raymond. “I am glad you could make it Bose” Raymond said and she smiled.
“I would not miss it for anything in the world”
Fred was sentenced to 35 years in prison and the two couples got married two years after on the same day.
Story by Adeola Nissi