There was so much back and forth, he asked about something in the area, I can’t remember much but all I can remember were his eyes. They held me bound. I knew we just met but I was so drawn to him in so many ways. I wanted to be his peace. The reason why he’d run home from work. I wanted to put a smile on his face. He just needed to tell me what he wanted and how he wanted it done and I’d do it. I ended up going home by eleven that night.

After I helped him look for what he was looking for, he offered to thank me with a drink and I accepted. We went to Mama Fasila’s bar. We ate goat meat pepper-soup, drank malt and we talked into the night. He told me about himself like he’d known me for years. He showed me a stub he got while learning to ride his bike and I showed him the birthmark on my upper arm. When Onyeka Onwenu’s “Ekwe” came up on the stereo, he asked me to dance. Those five minutes with his arms on my lower back with his beautiful smile making me feel things I wanted to feel, was heaven. There was an eruption of emotions in my stomach and all I wanted to do at that moment was kiss him, but I didn’t want to be too forward, but the night was really young and full of promises. As he dropped me off at home, I thanked him for the most exciting night of my life. As his head lowered and his lips touch mine, I knew I was done. I feared the power this man had over me but I also loved it, I had the opportunity to feel like this in my lifetime and all my heart was, at that point, was grateful.

Days turned into weeks and weeks into months. He would come over to the house after work and play “Ayo” with my dad and he always remembered to get my mum carrots from the roadside seller. The amount of joy he brought into my life and my family kept me on my toes. Being a pessimist, I was waiting for when he would up and leave, waiting for the day he would see me for real, flaws and imperfections and decide he could get better. But like clockwork he was consistent, never missed anything. He was there for the important stuff and the difficult times. Like when I finally got my first job or when my mum died. He held me like a baby in his arms as I cried hot tears. His shirt was almost burned through but he rocked me for hours. Or when my dad was hospitalized, he would come to the hospital every night to sleep with me because he knew I was afraid of sleeping there alone.

So when he asked me to marry me, I couldn’t say no. I just felt like life had finally dealt me a good hand. I won the jackpot with this one. He got Mary from my choir to sing Aretha’s “Ain’t no way”. As she sang, he went down on one knee, and his beautiful eyes were teary as he made so many promises to me. He promised to make me a cup of tea with so much milk every morning. He promised to watch “The Notebook” as much as I wanted to. He promised to always braid my hair so my wig didn’t look awkward. He promised to be there for the long haul. Pretty or not. I cried so much. I really cried. Was this my life? How did I get this blessed? What did I do to deserve such a man? I was so undeserving but God’s blessing came anyway. I was loved and at that moment, that was enough.

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