Emeka and I had a beautiful relationship. We were young, ambitious, full of life, good looking and so in love! I didn’t care that he didn’t have a car or that his parents lived in a low-cost housing estate in Ogba. I didn’t care that we didn’t travel abroad for summer holidays or that I only got a teddy bear and plastic rose every valentine’s day or a just a cake and card on every birthday. The memories were enough for me but not Banke. She thought I was too beautiful for Emeka. She kept trying to hook me up with one of her rich cousins or family friends. At that age, to me all she did was out of love and concern for me. She felt I deserved the best in life and she wanted me to get it.
The year Emeka was to graduate he failed a main course and got held back a year. I was secretly happy. He was sad because he kept insisting he wanted to be ready for marriage by the time I graduated. I didn’t care I would have married him even if he lived in a tent. When Emeka eventually graduated, I was going into my final year.
When his NYSC posting came through I cried my eyes out. He had been posted to Bayelsa. I cried uncontrollably because I had never been away from him for long and I was scared it would mark the end of our relationship. The day before he left for camp I went to his house to spend the night. His parents said a prayer for him and went to bed so did his two younger sisters. I was to share their room that night. We stayed up for a while talking and dreaming like we always did and then eventually we went to bed.
I was fast asleep when I felt a tug on my feet. I woke up it was Emeka. He pressed his finger to his lips telling me not to make noise. I was careful not to wake his sisters as I followed him back to the living room. Emeka: Angel, I don’t have the money now or I would have bought you a diamond so big you won’t be able to lift your hand. Me: Stop giving me lyrics or go back to bed.
Emeka got on one knee and said: Emeka: I want to marry you Angel. I want to have a daughter with you. One that would have your smile, your heart, your big nose”.I hit him playfully. “Go away” I said.Emeka: I can’t go away I want you always. Promise you’ll wait for me. Angel please promise me. I will make you happy and I will love you forever. I swear. Promise me. Me: Emeka Odiachi, you waited for me, I will wait for you. I promise.
At that point it did not occur to either of us that promises can be broken. Even promises made with the best intentions. I didn’t see Emeka for a few months as he was away in Bayelsa and I was consumed with school work. One Friday as I walked to my hostel from the library I found him waiting in front of my hostel in his NYSC uniform obviously coming straight from Bayelsa. I screamed and ran into his arms. We caused a scene but I didn’t care.
Emeka: Angel pack a bag I am taking you somewhere. Me: Where? Are u taking me to Bayelsa??? I want to follow you. Emeka: Bayelsa ko , Delta ni. Just go and pack your bag. He said chuckling. He had a cab waiting and he took me to a little nice guest house not too far from campus. Emeka: I just want to spend a few days alone with you before I go back to Bayelsa. I won’t be able to come home for a while because I would accompany some of the other engineers on their offshore trips. I just needed to spend some time with you. You will go back to school on Sunday and I will go home to visit my parents for a few days. Me: Ok. I said in excitement. It was the first time we would spend the night together and I didn’t know what it meant or what he wanted it to mean. But I was sure
I wanted to share everything with this man…everything! I went and took a shower and came back wrapped in only my towel. I met Emeka fast asleep on the bed. I woke him up gently. Me: Obi’m Emeka: hmmmm come and sleep now Me: I will sleep …after Emeka: After what? I took off my towel and lay down beside him. Emeka: Anjolaoluwa, are you sure? Me: Yes Emeka: Angel are you sure? Me: Yes Emeka: Light of my world are you sure? Me: Yes.
It was my first time and it wasn’t perfect but it was with Emeka and that was all that mattered. I didn’t tell anyone especially Banke even though she was my best friend because I knew what her reaction would be. *A few weeks later* “Anjola, haven’t you submitted your chapter 3?” Your course mates were reporting you to me today that you are not taking your project seriously.” I knew Banke was sitting beside me on the steps of the Senate building on campus but I couldn’t hear anything. I was in another world and in that world there was trouble. Banke: Anjola answer me now. I will report you to your brother! At the mention of my brother, I came out of my trance. Me: Banke, I’m pregnant.
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