RED FLAGS – Episode 1
WRITTEN BY: OLATOMI ABIODUN
Once in a lifetime, every lady always has the thought or fantasy of getting married to their prince charming and having this extravagant wedding. When a lady is at the age of 16 -20, we see marriage as no big deal because in our mind, we are still little and still have a lot of time ahead of us so we believe is going to come naturally as we grow older since we are still young. Society as tagged we women as a timeline (laugh) like seriously, when a lady is in her teens. We believe she is not ripe of age to get married and when a lady is in her 20’s even her parents start asking her if she has a boyfriend when they noticed she’s secretive. When she clocks 25yrs upward, everyone starts expecting marriage from her. When she is over 30yrs, we tagged her as someone who is not serious… When she’s over 40yrs, we start telling her she has a spiritual problem and when she’s over 50yrs, we believe she is old and out of getting married again.
The pressure to get married is especially strong for women in their 20s and 30s. All the single girls probably have heard “it’s time to settle down already!” from a nosy relative, family, and friends, and girls in relationships hear, “when are you going to tie the knot??” all too frequently. Loved ones often have expectations of when we should get married and who we should get married too and I wonder why this woman took to the race and ended up getting married to the wrong person. I kept asking myself “Are they going to be in the marriage with you?, Why the rush when you are the only one going in there ?” I thought to myself as I sat on my bed scrolling through my news feed on Instagram before I call it a day.
I heard a knock on my door and I knew is no other person than my Mom. She came inside and sat on my bed as I greeted her with my face still glued to my phone watching a funny skit. She cleared her throat trying to gain my attention and said:” Anisha, when are you tying the knot with Suleiman?” .I paused the video I was watching and raised my head up giving her my whole attention and said: “Mummy, you better don’t give yourself hypertension about me because I will get married when the right time comes”.
Let me give myself hypertension o, You are no longer getting young….. I cut her short and said:” I am still 25yrs Mummy so I am still very young ” I replied back and pick up my phone. She yanked my phone from me angrily and said:” Mo be e soro, o fe ma fi mi te phone” (I am talking to you and you still want to press your phone ).
“Mummy! What did you want me to do? Am I Suleiman who hasn’t propose to me yet? Do you want me to propose to him myself ” I asked her with a sarcastic tone? I don’t why am suddenly put under pressure by my mum to get married maybe because am her only child. This topic has constantly been what always cause a rift between us anytime it came up.
“Mummy, I am going to work tomorrow and I would love to take my sleep now so I can wake up very early, ” I told her and laid on my bed turning my back at her. She spanked my buttocks and walked out of my room angrily while I heave a sigh of relief. My relationship with Suleiman is what most people call the perfect and beautiful one. I could still remember clearly how we both met because it was something we always talk and laughed about anytime we both remember. I met Suleiman in my undergraduate days when I went to the nearest GTbank not far from my hostel to complain about why they had to deduct a whole 200 nairas in the only 1,000 nairas I had left before my Mum send me money the following week and Suleiman was the customer care service attendance who attended to me.
I was busy venting my anger about how the bank had to deduct the Sms alert charges twice and he just kept smiling all through as I speak showing his gap tooth and that got me annoyed. “Does it sound funny in your ears?” I asked him angrily even though I knew he should probably be two to three years older than me.
“I am so sorry if my smiles annoy you, I was smiling because I have never seen someone who looks beautiful when angry because the ones I have met looked like a wolf ” he replied me and I had to blush at his choice of words. He apologized for the money being deducted twice and told me it was a mistake that it will be reversed back into my account. I thanked him and was about to stand up when he asked me: “Don’t you mind if I get your number, I would love to see your beautiful face again but is fine if you don’t want to give it out to me ” He stated and I smiled as I wrote my phone number on the book in front of him and that was how our love story started and tomorrow is going to be our 4th anniversary together but lately everyone kept asking when we are going to tie the knot. Suleiman is now the manager in the bank and anytime I came to greet my boyfriend his colleagues and his boss kept calling me “Iyawo wa” (My wife), my friends, Suleiman friends, his family, and most especially my mom’s family and my mom, in particular, kept singing the marriage song in my ears.
Suleiman is the type of guy you will pray for, he is caring, loving, God’s fearing …..I was jolted out of my thoughts by the ringing of my phone. Speaking of the devil, I checked the caller and it displayed “My heart code ” on the phone screen. I smiled sheepishly to myself as I connected the call.
“Hello beautiful ” I heard his voice on the other side.
“Hi, babe” I replied him back smiling.
“What are you doing?” He asked me.
“I am lying on my bed thinking about you,” I told him and I can bet he is smiling.
” I guess that was why I was lovesick because someone was thinking about me,” he told me and I smiled
” Babe, Our MD is holding a party at his new hotel tomorrow evening and I would love you to be my date so will you do me the honor of being my date, ” He asked me.
” Of course babe, why are you asking? You sure know I would love to be your date anytime ” I replied him back rolling my eyes.
” That’s good then, I would have the dress you will be wearing deliver to your place tomorrow morning and I will send you the address now because I will be at the hotel with my colleagues so you will have to meet me there,” He told me happily and we spoke for some while before we call it a day.
“Nisha, let’s go fixed our nails once we are close from work,” My best friend which is Suleiman’s friend’s girlfriend told me as we sat in our office which was opposite to each other. We worked for Yale manufacturing company and we became friends the day we were both employed. Bimpe loves to dress to kill and she likes parties like there’s no tomorrow. She’s the fashionista in our workplace because any fashion trend that comes out, you will first see it on Bimpe. I am not the fan type of having a best friend because I love to be on my own but Bimpe clung on to me the very first day we met at work and I had no choice than to be her best friend especially when she met her boyfriend through Suleiman (Suleiman Best friend at work)
Bimpe will always tell me how her relationship with her boyfriend was going expecting me to tell her mine but I am the type of person who doesn’t discuss my relationship life with anyone and I guess am the secretive type. Despite me not telling Bimpe mine, she still tells me hers and I give her advice on where am supposed to anytime she has a crisis in her relationship. After we closed from work around 4 pm, Bimpe and I branched to a beauty salon where we fixed our nails and after we are done she insisted we had a makeover. I refused because I am not the type that loves to put on makeup but as per Bimpe who never takes no for an answer I had to oblige.
We headed to her place to have a change of dress and I was so surprised at the dress my boyfriend bought for me. I didn’t take a look at it when it was delivered to me this morning because I was in a haste to get to work so I had to just take it along with me to the office since I will be having a change of dress in Bimpe’s place.
“Ha! Bimpe, I don’t think I can wear this dress o. Don’t you think is too flashy and won’t it feel like I overdress if I wear this to the opening of the hotel when am not the wife of the MD. I don’t think I will wear it o ” I told her worriedly as I sat on her bed with my only matching underwear.
“You won’t wear what, come on girlfriend. Nothing is wrong with this dress am seeing o ” Bimpe said as she held my dress checking it out. You should know people of high status will grace the occasion and it won’t be good if you are looking left out because I am sure Suleiman knows why he chooses this kind of dress for you. I will advise you wear it so you won’t hurt his feeling…..I cut Bimpe short and say:” But your boyfriend didn’t get you an expensive dress like this na, this dress looked like something you wear to the red carpet or for a birthday shoot. If I had known this was the way the dress is going to turn out to be, I wouldn’t have done this makeup at least it would have tuned it down ” I told her feeling down.
Anisha, I don’t see anything bad in this dress may be because you aren’t used to this kind of dress that’s why you felt this way ” She told me using the second waist trainer. Bimpe, do you want to kill yourself nii, how many waist trainers do you want to use? You better not choke yourself ” I told her and burst into a laugh when I saw her about to wrap the third waist trainer. Nisha, I don’t think you know how those female bankers used to dress like they are the second wife of God and I noticed one is eyeing my boyfriend so I need to show them they are not in my level ” She told me as she used the third waist trainer.
After many persuasions by Bimpe, I decided to put on the dress and we were both picked up by the Uber my boyfriend ordered for us. We got to the venue and as we were about to get close to the entrance Bimpe stopped me and said:” Nisha, I am so sorry we won’t be able to go inside together. I need to ease myself first. Why would you do that now? I thought we were going to go in together but now you are leaving me alone. If I had known this will happened I wouldn’t have put this dress on because all eyes will just be on me and I was thinking if we both enter together the staring won’t be too much on me ” I replied her worriedly.
” I am so sorry babe but you see this waist trainer I used, I think is pressing my bowel and I might ease on my body if care is not taken, ” She told me and hurriedly excused herself.
” Should I wait for you?” I asked her but she waved her hand at me telling me not to bother waiting for her and I sighed. I can’t go inside dressing like this as if I am going for a pre-wedding shoot. I thought for a while standing at the entrance and decided to call my boyfriend so he can escort me in but he didn’t pick up his call which is so unusual of him. I was about to try to call him again when a message popped up on my phone from him.
I clicked the message and it says:” Babe, I am sorry I can’t pick your calls right now because we were having a little discussion with our business partners. I love you ” I sighed in defeat and decided to brace myself up for what’s to come. I walked inside and was so surprised I didn’t see a single person talkless of a trace that a party is going on. I was about to head outside thinking maybe I entered the wrong building when a man in his security uniform came out and greeted me. He asked me if I came to the event and I told him Yes. He told me to follow him and I tagged along with him until we got to an entrance that leads upstairs and he told me to go up alone because he needs to go back to his post.
“Why are everyone leaving me alone, I hope this is not a bad sign,” I thought to myself as I climbed the stairs. I got up and saw rose petals strewn on the floor which leads to another entrance and I followed it until I got inside a dark hall. I was about to run outside when the light was suddenly turned on and I heard everyone chorused “SURPRISE” at the same time making me scared as roses are poured on me.
To say I was shocked was an understatement when I saw my mum, Suleiman’s colleagues, friends, his two siblings, my colleagues at work, and some faces have never seen before. I was also surprised to see Bimpe who said she wanted to ease herself beside her boyfriend smiling sheepishly at me. I scanned the room and I could not see Suleiman among them. Today wasn’t my birthday so I was trying to figure out what is going on when they suddenly make a path away in the middle and there is my boyfriend on one of his knees with a ring in his hand and signage at the back which inscribed “WILL YOU MARRY ME “.
This time, everyone was holding their phone recording us and I didn’t even notice a photographer was there taking our pictures all along. I mouthed “What are you doing? to Suleiman and he gestures with his hand for me to come forward. I walked slowly to him and stopped when I got in front of him. He cleared his throat and said:” Anisha, 4yrs ago you captured my heart by being exactly who you are. The sweetest, most loving, compassionate, and sensitive person I have ever known. You are the first person I wanna wake up to in the morning and the only one I wanna kiss goodnight. There are many ways to be happy in this life, but all I need is you. I love you so much and I think getting married is the only thing left to do. So will you marry me? He asked me.
I haven’t even given him an answer when everyone kept saying “Please say YES”. I looked at everyone recording us and I felt like slapping each one of them. I smiled down at Suleiman who was still on his knees and said:” I love you so much but I am sorry to say I can’t marry you ” and everywhere went silent immediately I said those words and I could see shock written all over their faces including my mum. I walked out on them and I could hear how Suleiman burst into tears as a commotion ensured.
DO YOU WANT TO KNOW THE REASON WHY I TURNED SULEIMAN’S PROPOSAL DOWN? THEN YOU HAVE TO READ THE NEXT EPISODE.
TO BE CONTINUED………………
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