For those who missed the last instalment, you can read it first HERE
Well what do you think happens to the Lady in Red? Read on to find out. Also if you feel strongly about how often you want to read this WIP, let me know in the comments. Remember all feedback is welcome including the harshest critique. Also you can enter for the blog anniversary giveaway HERE.
“Tell me more about the riots in Warri,” he asked afterwards. “I heard about them all the way from my base.”
Efe shook her head. “I really don’t know when all these tribal politics and riots will stop. This one was because of some local government headquarters and that sort of thing.”
“I hear they said the Itsekiri will be dominating the new council and the Urhobo are not happy about it?”
“I think the Ijaw are also involved somehow but I’m not sure. I heard the fighting began somewhere along Okumagba Avenue near the Standard Trust Bank. It lasted for two days before soldiers from the Effurun Battalion stopped it.”
“But not before several people were killed and houses burnt down. That’s the way of our security. Have the government set up any inquiry to find out the culprits?”
“I will ask my parents when next I call. My mother’s shop was burnt down and she lost everything inside. Luckily there was no one there at the time. But this makes my parents even more eager to leave the country…”
“I don’t blame them. Are you still applying for the American visa?”
“Yes.” Efe replied. “My father may transfer to Lagos even sooner than that. He is really fed up and my mother can’t wait to leave.”
Their conversation continued when they moved over to the hotel nightclub. Kevwe excused himself to see the DJ and soon some R&B music pervaded the air. As the tape continued, Efe realized that it was exactly the one she’d selected herself and which she favored playing in her room at all times.
It was an unbeatable collection including all her favorites and the entire best hits in the top fifty. When they finished their drinks, he led her to the dance floor. There, they stood close together as they danced dreamily round the dance floor. Kevwe was a very good dancer and simply allowed her body move with his. She was carried away by the feeling of loving and being loved as ‘A whole new world’ played in the background.
When it was time for the live band to start, they went back to their seats. Kevwe excused himself and again she watched him weave his way to the band. He said a few things while pointing at her and the band members all nodded. He came back to his seat and held her hand across the small table.
Love shone from his eyes. “Sweetheart there’s something I wish to ask you.” As she made to speak, he shushed her and continued “Hear me out first okay?”
She nodded, eyes fixed on him.
“Efe, you know I love you. It’s going on two years since we met. It’s over a year since I asked you to be my special friend and you accepted. Over this period, our relationship has grown in mutual love and affection. I want us to take this to the next level. I want us to promise our future together.”
Efe guessed where he was going but remained silent. It was true that she loved him and she knew he did love her. They’d had their share of ups and downs but had weathered them better than most of her friends. But wasn’t she too young to promise the rest of her life to someone else? She was barely twenty-one…
Kevwe interrupted her thoughts. “I know you’ve said sometimes that the university may be a bubble and our love is not real but I don’t agree…”
“Kevwe, but we’re both so young…”
“I’m not so young anymore Efe. I’m twenty-six and have my own business. I know you’re young and have most of your life ahead but you can take this first step now…”
“Kevwe are you sure?”
“Yes I am. There’s no doubt in my mind. I need you, Efe.” He was staring intently into her eyes. “I want to spend the rest of my life with you, to wake up in the morning and see you, to go to bed at night looking at you. I want you to be the mother of my children. I know I’ll not find another person who suits me the same way you do.”
The emotions choked her and Efe looked down at her fingers. She didn’t know why she still felt like hesitating. Her parents had met and liked him and she knew how strongly she felt about him too…
His deep voice twined into her thoughts, “I promise to marry only you. You will be the only woman in my life. I want you to promise me the same. Please say yes…”
After a beat of silence, she answered softly, “Yes Kevwe, yes I promise I’ll marry you.”
He let out a sigh of relief and came to kneel beside her, “You’ll never regret it, I promise.” He kissed her fingers one after the other. When he got to the third, he slipped on the most beautiful promissory ring she’d ever seen.
The people around their table who had noticed what was going on clapped happily.
The band leader stood up and cleared his throat, “This song is dedicated to the lady in red, the most beautiful girl in Mr. Mukoro’s eyes and if I may say so, the most beautiful lady in this room, Miss Efe Sagay. The song is titled “Heart and Soul, all I promise to you.”
As the band started the slow number, Kevwe led her to the dance floor and the whole house applauded before some other couples joined them on the floor.
****image from Gripps Fine Arts.