“I’m so grateful to God that you’re in my life… And I don’t want to spend one more moment alive if I can’t spend every moment with you by my side…”
“Will you marry me?”
I’ve known him like forever. Jake and I were neighbours in the same estate and his room window was directly opposite mine. Way back in junior grade, we would have sleepovers at each other’s houses and in no time, our parents became closest of friends, as we left them no choice but to get closer each time they had to bump into each other’s houses in search of their kids.
“That guy is really fond of you…” He’d say to me each time we headed home from afternoon lessons in high school. “You think? I have no time for boys… mehn. I’ve got enough of you hovering around me since junior grade”, I’d reply.
“You should be grateful you’ve got me, you know. I’ve been ‘keeping the hoodlums out since 1960′”
And so the story goes… Junior school, High school, Jake and I were everything but separable.
The time came for us to pursue our different lines of degree. Mine, Journalism in the Nigerian Institute of Journalism; his, Engineering, overseas. Then, we made a pact.
“If you ever find anyone, much more extraordinary than I am, then give that person a shot; ’cause you deserve only the best.” He said. “I pray that life in the Emirates doesn’t turn me into a jerk, ’cause come what may, I still want to remain that lucky one by your side… Always!” he continued. “Best Friends Always?” he asked. “Best Friends Always.” I answered.
And so my BFA went on to explore life, and I… Well, I had my own share too.
Every day and night, we kept in touch. Not letting any gist or story pass us by. Grades gone up or down, touchy girls, shady guys, and all of the latest adventure we could imagine. We turned to each other anytime we had challenges and we prayed together. It was like “me plus him” yielded results all the time. We chatted away every single free time we could squeeze out of our schedule as days turned into weeks, and weeks into months and before I could say Ja…ke, five years had gone by.
“The peplum… no, a body top and a denim will do… no, you have to look radiant. Go for a flowing gown. Colour? Red! No… the blue one… Arrrggghhh!!!” the confusion went on as I prepared for mom’s get together the night before. The ever delectable, affable Mrs. Adebowale just received an honorary award from the Federal Government and we were celebrating with family and friends. I just had to look my best!
And so as I stepped out in my royal blue flowing gown, I felt like a prom queen once again. “Hey, Janice, how are you doing? It’s so good to see you”, I said, as I moved to give my closest girlfriend a welcome kiss.
“It’s so good to see you too bae…” a male voice whispered from behind me. “Who in heaven’s name is…? (Gasp) JAKE!!!” I took a full swirl as I forgot all about Janice and pounced on Jake. “What a surprise! How come you didn’t say you were coming home? How are you? How was the journey? Did you just arrive?” whew! Too many questions at once.
“shhhhh! Can I just enjoy this hug I’ve missed so dearly?” Jake said. I beckoned on him to take a sit close by, as my feet could barely carry me. After a long moment staring at each other, I broke the silence and asked the one question on my mind all night long since I laid eyes on him. “So… did you find that extraordinary someone?” “Yes”, he said. “Okay, I can’t wait… tell me all about her”, I said eagerly.
“Well, I was so into her, I could not help speaking to her every other day. But with all this rowdiness, that is the last thing I want to talk about right now. Let’s discuss over dinner tomorrow. I made reservations, can I pick you up at 7pm?”, he asked.
“Okay. Great, 7pm it is… So, all this class you’ve acquired… hm, where do you work now?” “Petrofac Emirates”, he said. “WOW! nice… By the way, mom has been looking at this direction for a long while, let’s go say hello”, I said, as we whiled away time, socializing all through the night and feeling so blessed to have my friend back home after many years. Amidst the joy, I couldn’t wait to have that dinner, away from all these prying eyes, wondering who the rich guy talking to me and acting all cozy is… tomorrow night. Tomorrow??? Tomorrow’s Valentine’s Day. Ouch!
The red dinner gown will be just perfect! (Thank God I didn’t wear it today…)
And so, here we are, at the most romantic restaurant ever, with the balcony view taking my breath away, that’s apart from this handsome gentleman, whose eyes I’m so shy to stare into, sitting right in front of me. Just in time, he broke the tension between us as he began the very long epistle, about the extraordinary girl he discovered. Was I even listening? I was lost in his eyes until I heard…”and that lady is you, darling. You. I couldn’t find someone better. Every day, I tried, but I decided to quit trying. I decided to come back home to you…”
“I’m so grateful to God that you’re in my life. And from the look of things, you waited for me. I just knew you would. And I don’t want to spend one more moment alive if I can’t spend every moment with you by my side…”
Then the uncle got down on his knees and asked the billion dollar question I never imagined… “Will you marry me?”
I prayed. I prayed hard for God to give me the best man, one who would cherish me beyond comprehension. And this man, standing before me on Valentine’s Day couldn’t fit that description any less. I loved him, right from our childhood days. I waited for him, serving God in the process and I’m so glad God favoured me this way.
“Yes… Yes… I’ll marry you”, I said.
I’m sure you’re all smiles with me as I narrate this love experience. I wish it were mine, but truth is, it’s not. *smiles*
Someday, love will come knocking, I guess. And the question will be “Dear Jesus, can I open?”
In the meantime, I keep doing what I know how, the best way I know how. Truth is, I’ve turned so many wrong pages, held on dearly to things that didn’t matter. But on this day of love, I’m grateful, grateful to God for the GRACE to love so dearly, care for others and put their needs before mine, like Jesus would. We long for a better world, filled with an atmosphere of Love and Unity and this we can achieve.
Cherish your relationships, in whatever form they come. No matter what, God intends for us to have the best of love He has to give, if only we care to receive.
And maybe you’ve turned many wrong sheets… Like me. Well, it’s time for you to let out the trash.
Sieve through the pages, frame the good stuff and hang them on the wall, maybe. Dispose of the bad stuff. Sometimes, even the overtly good stuff hurt too, so let it all go. And the right page will open up before you get to say… Ja…ke!
You see, it’s just like bananas.
Maybe, just maybe God permitted my share of spotted bananas. I’ll take the cue. I have decided to dig deeper for the fruit, and do away with the peels.
This piece is dedicated to the many people I know who are so in love this season. I pray for a lifetime of bliss for you every moment of your love life.
And to those still waiting. I trust God, it’ll be worthwhile…
Will You Be My Valentine? Share your comments below and as the Spirit leads, I’d love to share a book from my library with you.
Book Title: Love Revolution
Author: Joyce Meyer
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