Iphey looked up briefly in shock to see Chinedu waiting on her answer, half in anticipation, the other half as vulnerable as a child. His eyes glittered like lightning but held Iphey’s gaze and waited for her to do something, anything to show that this was what she wanted too. Iphey gazed into Chinedu’s eyes for a second or so and then she fluttered her own eyes shut to hide her confusion, nothing prepared her for this. Being with him was everything she had ever dreamed, in the short time they had been together, she had come to depend on him so much, she had tried to hold back many times in case it was not that serious and things did not work out but Chinedu had a lust for life that was contagious and what he wanted he got. He did all he did with passion, a quality sometimes alien to her except where work and family were concerned.
When they went out together, he was always the center of attention wherever they ended up. His full throaty laughter made her heart soar and then made her smile every time. She had tried to maintain her routine so that he could be a part of her life and not take over her world but many a times she would find herself listening for the sound of his car, the distinct slapping sound of his Joe Blogg shoes and the jingle of his keys. He invaded her space slowly and consequently her life. She could not deny how his eyes lit up and her heart jumped in her chest every time he turned up at her doorsteps and she looked forward to his warm embrace, she could hug him forever. Why could she not spend the rest of her life with him?
She weighed her options. It was true they had only been seriously dating for three months but their first date had been in November last year, six months ago. From that day, he had been making inroads into her emotions, her mind and her family. The fact was that if every thing worked out as planned, she would be gloriously happy and content but if not, she would never ever forget him. She would be torn and having her heart broken would be an understatement. She would forever miss his presence like a part of her; her soul most likely would be fragmented, forever lost to her. Her family, friends and her work would suffer because she would be unable
to ignore the loss.
She glanced up at him and wondered if she was willing to risk her life with him like that, who was she fooling, it had long been out of her hands, only the decision she would make was in her hands. Her lashes flirted with the silken texture of her face and her eyes widened with complete openness not caring who could see the naked emotions on her face. She saw the possibilities for all the good that could come and she saw the dangers flash before her eyes and she knew this was the moment she had been waiting for all her life.
"Babe? he called, "please don't keep me waiting too long."
She looked into Chinedu’s eyes, hers solemn and quiet, stretched her hand across the table and grasped his own. She looked into his eyes steady and sure, his features beautiful, they could be hard edges one moment and then suddenly soft and compassionate. She looked at his build, he was well toned all over with not a layer of fat, all pure muscle or at least that is what all the ladies say. He carried his brown slacks and neutral colored shirt like a work of art; he swore
his hair short and simple brown leather strapped Calvin Klein watch.
She searched his face, her mind wandering, praying to see the future, to see if he would hurt her, how much he would hurt her. What gave her the courage to go ahead was this: he was a man of integrity with strength of character and a heart full of courage, she looked at him from the corners of her eyes the way only a woman could watch and knew, this was the only man for her, a man comparable to her; they fit like a perfect waltz in all things. She turned limpid pools of her brown colored eyes at him and knew exactly what her answer would be. Yet when she spoke, her voice little more than a whisper.
Chinedu met her soft gaze then but his face was hard, as if ready for battle prepared for whatever came, even a negative answer.
“What did you say?” he asked in a strong voice.
“Nedu,” her voice lifted an octave higher, “I love you and I’ll marry you,” she ended smiling.
She saw relief in his eyes and barely glimpsed his lips descend towards hers, she did not wait for him to land but met him halfway as their tongues dueled and clashed with the force of the attraction they felt one for another, absolutely unimaginable.
She was a bit taken aback and gasped as she felt like he consume her whole, she was vibrating from head to foot at the power behind the kiss they shared and could feel the desire pumping through her veins, she felt Chinedu deepen the kiss again and she made a move quickly as she placed her hand on his chest to stop him.
“Nedu…” she groaned in half surrender “We are in a restaurant...”
She tried to glance around but her gaze was caught in his. He kissed her a little slower, nibbling here and there and then he withdrew, removed a black object from his pocket then knelt in front of her, opened the box gingerly to reveal a simple silver band, nothing setting it apart, except for the fact that he was the one giving it to her.
“This is my mother’s…” he smiled “I have been carrying it around for the last few weeks hoping for a perfect time to give it to you.” He smiled simply “This is not an engagement ring, I didn't know I would propose today. But it is a gift to show you that you're the only one for me. As it is, I don’t think there will be a better time than this,” his voice was a whisper by this time.
Her passion-darkened eyes had filled with surprise he talked and now as slipped the ring he held in his hands to her already outstretched hand and unto her finger inch by inch, a strange calm came over her. Then the enormity of responsibility the ring on her finger placed on Iphey’s shoulders hit almost immediately. She had entrusted her heart, soul and mind to him with seven words, to the one man who had a chance at breaking her heart and she, though her logic tried to point her in another direction, refused to pick another, how difficult was it anyway?
“Nedu…” she whispered in fear and awe, "your mother's?"
"Yes and I want you to have it. You will be the mother of my children and mine too." His smile spread joy over her heart and she wrapped her fingers over the simple ring.
"I love you Nedu, thank you for this."
"I love you too." He punctuated this with a kiss.
Her phone began to ring almost immediately.
“I should have switched this off …” she muttered apologetically as she glanced down at her Nokia BlackBerry “…Oh, it’s James my sister’s husband and I need to take it.”
"Go on," Chinedu waved her ahead. "I'll go settle the bill."
Iphey smiled at him and admired his backside as he walked away. And then she focused on the phone and what James was saying.
"You want to see me? Can I come with Ngozi? No? OK, where? Alright, I'll soon be there."
She hung up just as Chinedu returned. "I have to go home now. James wants us to meet."
"No problem, I'll take you there if you want?"
Iphey was grateful for all his help so far in locating James but now she felt she should do this on her own. She had to speak sense to James to return to his family and best if he wasn't defensive already that she came with someone.
"No thanks," Iphey finally replied. "If you can just take me home?"
Like I said the last time I love the direction of the closing of the series. Even I couldn't have predicted it would end like this. Now we're entering the eye of the storm, so brace yourselves. There is danger everywhere and I have to warn you that we may lose one or two people at the end of this. Anyways, leave your comments and vote for the next chapter.
Our main contributor is Tisha. You all know Tisha, she has contributed before and continues to surprise me with her poetic writing and good internalizations. Apart from the last bit, this is strictly her's. Show her some love please at her entry on Naija Stories.
Till the next time, have fun peeps. Enjoy the coming weekend.