Betty had spent weeks trying to finalize the designs for her big client. She was nervous but hoping for the best. If the client was impressed with Betty’s portfolio, it could open up more doors for her. The client was getting married and was having a week-long celebration that required several changes of clothes. She had also asked Betty to come up with designs for her mother and sisters. They would visit her shop the following evening to discuss the designs. Betty had shown the designs to the girls, and if their reaction was anything to go by, she was about to bag a huge deal.
Smiling, she put down her drawing pad and pencil, stretched, and headed to the kitchen for a chilled bottle of water. Just when she tilted the bottle for a sip, her phone rang. Fed up with the constant calls and a bit curious as to why Lanre kept calling, she debated whether to just block him, leave the phone to ring, so he’ll know she was deliberately ignoring him, or pick up the call to hear what he had to say. Reluctantly settling on the last option, she answered the call on the last ring.
“Lanre, WHAT?! Do I owe you???”
“Hello to you too Betty dear! How are you doing?”
“Please cut to the chase and stop with the pretense.”
“I’m not pretending,” Lanre protested.
Betty really wasn’t in the mood for him.
“What do you want?” she hissed, barely hiding her irritation.
“I just want to apologize for everything I did to you Betty,” Lanre responded, sounding genuinely apologetic.
“Ah,” Betty retorted. “Is that why you’ve been burning my phone with calls? To say sorry? Bro, how many years has it been and why now?!”
Silent for a moment, Lanre continued, “Nothing has really gone well for me since you left.”
Bursting in sarcastic laughter, Betty interjected, “Hey, stop right there! Lanre, you made your choice. It hurt, but I’m okay now. Please don’t come and ruin it for me. When you were enjoying yourself, you should have thought of the consequences.”
There was silence at the end of the other line.
“Eheh, do you have anything else to say or we’re done?”
“Betty, I am sorry. I just want you to know it wasn’t my intention to hurt you. I’ve been a fool, and I at least want to talk things out with you so we can both close that chapter.”
“That ship sailed a long time ago. I have already forgiven you, but that’s where it ends. If you want things to go well for you, go and pray…I don’t have anything you want.”
Lanre sighed, “Alright Betty. And just so you know, people like you are not easy to find.”
“Tchhwwww,” Betty answered, ending the call…
“I really hope that guy is not trying to get back into your life,” Kyerewa exclaimed in irritation as Betty filled the girls in on her conversation with Lanre.
“He should forget it, he can’t even,” Betty responded.
“He’s probably going through a lot for him to call so incessantly just to apologize,” Naa mused.
“It’s probably his ancestors whipping him for his bad behaviour,” Ana laughed, not feeling sorry for Lanre one bit.
“As long as you’re at peace and have closed that chapter, there’s no need to encourage any more conversation with him, Betty,” Manza reasoned.
“You don’t even have to tell me twice, I’m done with him,” Betty replied.
“Good riddance to bad rubbish!” Kyerewa hissed as the girls burst into laughter at her outburst.
“Anyway,” Ana interjected, changing the subject, “Let’s go back to our girl Manza.”
All the girls nodded in agreement.
“Didn’t you say you had something to tell us the next time we met?” Naa asked, curious.
“Your ears sweet you ohhh!” Betty and Kyerewa exclaimed together.
“It sweet us all,” Ana responded, giggling.
“So…spill!” Naa continued.
Barely unable to contain her excitement any longer, Manza said, “Kwaku and I are getting married!”
The girls’ jaws dropped before shrieking in delight simultaneously.
“I knew it!” Ana pumped her fist in the air.
“I mean, you remember when Kwaku managed to get all our numbers to tell us what he intended to do?” Betty asked, beaming.
“Yeah, but he didn’t give us any date or time…I even thought it was a next year something o,” Kyerewa responded, bubbling with excitement.
“The guy is smooth!” Betty teased Manza, who was smiling from ear to ear.
“Yesss,” all the girls agreed, surrounding Manza.
Manza could feel the genuine love around her. It was a blessing having these women as her friends and sisters.
“Don’t cry oh,” Ana interjected, sensing Manza’s emotions.
“Our Manza is off the market!” Naa squealed, dancing in excitement. Laughing, all the girls got up to join her, dancing offbeat to an imaginary song only they knew about….
Manza recalled the night Kwaku returned from the airport. They had a lengthy chat as she went to drop him at his house. They agreed to go for dinner that weekend to catch up, even though they had spoken every single day. Kwaku had insisted on choosing the venue, much to Manza’s surprise since he mostly asked her to choose.
“Can’t a man change his mind?” Kwaku had questioned in laughter.
“Suit yourself ohh, I’m game for anything,” Manza had responded.
The weekend arrived pretty quickly. Betty had helped Manza pick an outfit for the occasion, almost as if she knew it would be a special night.
Kwaku arrived at Manza’s house in record time and whistled when she stepped out of her gate.
“You’re always beautiful but today, top top tier!” he said, feigning a British accent.
“You’re not correct,” Manza replied, shaking her head, and laughing simultaneously.
The spot Kwaku had chosen was about a 45-minute drive. On their way, they still had so much to talk about, Manza wondered whether they could ever be bored. Sometimes she wished she could write as much as she and Kwaku could talk.
Manza loved the restaurant Kwaku had selected.
“You should be choosing more often,” she had teased as they got down from his car.
Proud of himself, Kwaku just shrugged.
The ambience was perfect…private and cozy. A brief suspicion flashed across Manza’s mind. There could be no way. She didn’t want anything flashy. Plus, they had already discussed getting married soon, so Manza knew there wouldn’t be anything like a proposal. Maybe she was just overthinking things.
Dismissing her thoughts, Manza sat down as Kwaku pulled out the chair for her. After looking through the menu and agreeing on what to order, they continued their conversation. They had munched on starters while waiting for the main meal. Manza had already finished her first cocktail, and as usual, Kwaku teased her for always being the first to finish her drink. After some minutes, Manza beamed as she saw the main meal approaching.
“Yesss,” she whispered, excited.
“You and food!”
“As if he doesn’t like food,” Manza had retorted, rolling her eyes.
Laughing, they dug into the main meal. It was really good. Manza wasn’t all for overindulging, but tonight, it was going to be cheat day!
“I’m stuffed!” she exclaimed after she and Kwaku finished their meal.
“Don’t be yet…leave a little more room.”
“Eii, for what again? Will you carry me from here?” Manza replied, feigning shock.
Laughing, Kwaku shook his head, tapping his fingers impatiently on the table. He had been relaxed initially but now seemed agitated about something.
“Is everything okay?” Manza had asked, slightly concerned.
“Are you sure? You seem a little tense,” Manza had probed.
“Don’t worry, I’m fine,” Kwaku had responded, looking over Manza’s shoulder. Suddenly, a look of relief flashed over his face. Manza turned to see what exactly was happening when she heard a saxophonist in the background. She loved the sax! She turned towards Kwaku to comment when it hit her all over again what was going on. Kwaku was on one knee.
“Ha!” Manza had exclaimed, forgetting herself.
Kwaku did his best to keep a straight face.
“Kwaku!” Manza exclaimed, getting up from her seat to walk towards him.
“I know, I know, but hear me out.”
Manza shook her head in disbelief. Not at the fact that he was asking her to marry him because they had already discussed that, but because of the extra mile he had gone.
“I know we’ve already talked about everything. You’ve been very patient and understanding. You haven’t asked for much, but you deserve the world and more. So just wanted to be a little extra!”
“Ei, your lyrics have really come today oh,” Manza couldn’t help interjecting.
“Let me finish,” Kwaku grinned. Manza could be so dramatic sometimes.
“I know you don’t care about all this stuff, but I still wanted to make the night extra special for you. Now it’s like I’m talking too much…all I want to say it is I mean it when I say I want to spend the rest of my life with you. And I just want this night to be a reminder of that. We will always find a way to make great memories together. I love you Manza.”
“You should have added tissue Kwaku!” Manza had responded, unable to hold back tears. Touched, she pulled him off his knees.
“Yeah, I was on my knees longer than planned,” Kwaku laughed as she helped him up.
“Aww Kwaku,” Manza hugged him. “This means a lot to me. I’m looking forward to disturbing you for the rest of my life,” she winked as he placed the ring on her finger. She wasn’t even sure which finger it was supposed to be on, but for now, she didn’t care. All she knew was that she was about to take a bold and exciting step…
*Do you think Betty was too hard on Lanre or you’re alll for it!
*Are you ready to get your aso ebi for Manza and Kwaku’s wedding? What hashtag will you give them? 😀
Please help me share this series with others, let’s enjoy it together. Have a blessed weekend!