“I want it to be a big surprise for her. Like nothing I’ve ever done before.” Henry said. “I know you love to plan things like this but I feel bad enough that I’m asking you to party when you have your fiancé to take care of.”
Jade smiled, wrapping a strand of hair round her finger.
Maybe this was what she needed to make Femi feel good about himself again. He never wanted to go out anymore and she missed the times they went to clubs on Friday nights or even at the football pitch on Saturday mornings. All he wanted was to be under the duvet.
“I’ll be glad to as long as Femi can come too…” She said.
Henry paused for a minute.
“Okay. That’s fine.”
Henry wanted to propose to his pretty girlfriend Isioma. She remembered they had met just once at the restaurant when he had just come into the country. His plan was to take her out to see a movie, with his friends, and then at the beginning of the movie, propose to her through a recorded video on the screen of the theatre. Jade thought it was not novel anymore. She had seen that kind of proposal already on BellaNaija.
She suggested they all went out on a boat cruise on a private beach, and then propose to her, with some titanic effects like spreading arms wide at the peak of the boat (without the boat capsizing though!)
Femi looked at her as she talked about how Henry wanted to propose and all.
“And you thought I would be able to go on a boat cruise? Watching all your friends with normal legs?”
Jade could not believe her ears.
“Why do you always do this, Femi!” She yelled.
“Because you need to understand that everything has changed.”
“You used to have some faith, you know?”
He let out a small laugh.
“Yeah, I know.”
“Please, Femi. Let’s just go take some fresh air, and have some fun.”
He saw she was not going to let him be so he finally decided to go with her.
Isioma smiled as Henry undid the blindfolds. He said he had a surprise for her. She was already upset with him and she knew this was his way of trying to say sorry. Gifts. Well, she appreciated his gifts. The last gift he’d gotten her; a Chanel purse had come absolutely appreciated. In fact, she had wanted him to offend again and again and again.
She wondered what it was this time.
They had a small-big fight the night before. She had asked where their relationship was leading and why he didn’t want to marry her yet. She complained about all her friends getting married and how she was tired of always being the Chief bridesmaid. He had gotten upset too that she thought he was just in the relationship to waste her time, and then he left her flat.
She opened her eyes and stared at a pair of red sole Louboutins. The shoes were breath-taking!
“Henry!” She exclaimed. They were the very shoes she had been admiring online the previous week.
The ecstasy lasted for a brief moment though because what she wanted was a ring, and not shoes.
“You know this doesn’t solve the question I asked you yesterday.” She said.
Henry was about speaking but controlled himself and paused.
Women! Why did they have to be this way? If only she knew he had planned a surprise proposal.
They got into his car and he drove down to the resort at Ibeju Lekki, off Lekki-Epe express way. He didn’t tell her his friends were coming too. Isioma noticed he was nervous and giddy as he drove down, but she thought to ignore him. She didn’t even have any time for drama. She just wanted to know if to stick around or find a man who was willing and ready to marry her.
They got there and she sighted Henry’s friend, Jade, from afar.
“Isn’t that your friend, Jadesola?” Isioma said, as they walked down. Jade was walking towards them already.
The two ladies hugged, and Henry gave Jadena nervous eye which she returned by signing for him to calm down. They went back to the tent where Femi was seated in a wheel chair.
“Babe, this is Isioma, Henry’s girlfriend.” Jade said, placing her hands on his shoulders and massaging them. She knew he was getting tensed up.
Femi smiled, and took Isioma’s hand.
“You are so lucky, man.” Femi said, signaling at Henry. The two men burst into laughter.
“Yeah, please tell him. He needs to know that.” Isioma said sarcastically, although Henry knew she meant what she said.
The two ladies went to seat somewhere else while Henry and Femi talked.
“So how’s it going with you and Henry? When are you guys getting married?” Jade teased. She was trying to find out if Isioma had any inclination as to what Henry had planned.
Isioma hesitated at first, but decided to talk to Jade.
“Jade, to be honest, I think I’m gonna leave him.” She said.
Jade was shocked.
“I’m not young anymore. I don’t know Henry’s intentions. He doesn’t say anything about us getting married. It’s not just about going to places together and all that. I want to know if this is it or not.”
“Trust me, babe. Henry is serious about you.”
She rolled her eyes, like Jade was just saying that because she was Henry’s friend.
Just then, she heard Henry shout their names. He wanted them to canoeing and fishing.
She looked at Femi who was already looking worried.
“I’ll just sit here and watch you guys, you know.” He said.
Jade smiled, for lack of words. She thought he could get in the canoe with them but then, she didn’t want to risk it. What if something went wrong?
“Henry my guy!” A male voice said from behind them. She knew it was Tokunbo. She turned around immediately. He looked so nice in his Polo Ralph Lauren t-shirt and checkered shorts and Tommy Hilfiger slippers. He hadn’t really seen her because he was hugging Henry and Isioma.
“Jadesola,” He said when he looked her way. It had been a while she saw him. Actually, they had not seen each other nor spoken since the time he had been in her house and held her.
She smiled, and moved forward to hug him, standing on tip toe as he lifted her.
She forgot totally about Femi for a minute, closing her eyes and feeling comfortable in Tokunbo’s hug, with the masculine scent of his suave Polo Ralph Lauren perfume. She felt that connection again, and when the hug was lasting a little too long, she pulled away. Her guess was as good as she had thought. Femi’s expression was cold-stiff.
Tokunbo noticed and then decided to play some politics.
“Femi! You offended me, man. You took our friend from us. Abi, Henry?” He said, smiling and shaking Femi’s hand. Henry joined in the laughter. Anything to make Femi comfortable. Femi smiled.
“He’s my number one responsibility now. You guys are also getting married one after the other.” Jade said, trying to ease Femi’s jealousy. Instead, she caused another wild fire.
“Responsibility? This wheel chair is just momentary, my dear.” He said.
There was obvious silence for a while, before Isioma announced that it was time for the canoeing.
Tokunbo decided he would stay back with Femi, so that Jade could go have fun.
When they got back, they all sat over a table of drinks and barbeque, and then Henry thought it was time to propose to her. He held her hands and went on one knee, professing how deep her felt for her and how he was sorry for making her think he didn’t want to marry her. Then he proposed to her with a stunning shiny diamond rock!
“Oh my good God!” was all Isioma could say, as she stared at the ring, and jumped on Henry, kissing him.
Jade blushed, and held Femi’s hands, as she remembered the time he had propsed to her too.
Tokunbo kept his gaze on Jadesola, and only lifted his eyes to look away when Femi caught him staring.
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