You said you would marry me and I ran crying to mother. I was 3 and you were 6, she just smiled at us and nodded her head. I ran around naked and you chased me round the house till I could hear mother’s voice screaming out my name. I laughed so hard that it knocked off the air in my chest. We were our best friends even though you were two years ahead of me at school. We never missed a moment to play and we always walked home together. You said you would marry me but we were both in secondary school and I took it for what it was, a joke! We agreed to study law and you were two years ahead of me. You were the best in literature and I was the best in English. You said you would marry me but we had both grown up and were in different universities. I caught up quite fast because I was in a private university and you were in a public university, the strike had a way of delaying you. I saw the pain in your eyes each time you stayed home for months waiting for the strike to be called off. We were called to the bar the same year even though you were called in the first batch and I was called in the second batch. We both relocated to Lagos and worked for small law firms but you were optimistic and shared your dreams of making lots of money. You always visited me and my Aunty and told us stories about the state of the nation. My Aunty loved your stories and could sit down for hours listening to you and laughing out of sheer entertainment your words brought her.
I was pessimistic, you understood this and lamented with me about my boss, yet we were happy. We jogged every morning before we prepared for work, you did this to burn down your fat and I did it to remain healthy. I cooked meals every weekend and you ate with us. I saw the eagerness at which you hungrily ate my meals and I was amused by this. Then one day you blurted it out, you said you would marry me and that spoilt our friendship. I told you that I was in a relationship and he lived abroad, that he was the prince of my village. Then you disappeared, I did not see nor hear from you until you called me out of the blues, that you were getting married and I said “ok.”
5 years later, I saw you at the supermarket you held the hands of two little children a boy and a girl and they called you “daddy.” Then I saw her, your wife, she alighted from the car and walked towards you, she was elegant but big and I knew she was not your type.
You said you would marry me but you were fat and I was slim. I hated your sweaty palm and I hated the feel of your sweaty and hairy skin on me, my skin crawled each time your skin rubbed off on mine when we took our morning walks. I was a northerner and you were from the east. I couldn’t marry you because we had different values, you loved politics and I hated it, you were big and I was petite. You wanted 6 children and I wanted 2. You said you would marry me but you lived with your brother and I lived with my Aunty, we stayed in similar apartments, one bedroom and a tiny living room. We earned so little and our money was never enough for us.
So I smiled at you because you married a rich woman and you seem to be doing ok. You asked me if I was married and I said No, you asked.
“What happened to your boyfriend who lives in US?”
“We broke up” I said.
I shook my head and smiled and you were upset, your grip tightened on your children’s wrists, I could see them wincing in pain. Then you blurted it out as if there non-existent.
“I said I would marry you and you refused.”
I walked away without so much as a word. I knew you could not marry me even if I wanted you to. It would defile the law of nature.
Written By Flora Martins