The thing about proposals…you think you know but you have no idea.You never really realize what exactly it is you are doing until it happens.

So there I was, at Rhapsody at Ikeja Mall, ring in my pocket and not a clue as how to proceed. All my months of planning turned out to be a big mess. It was like I had just got off the bus at a lonely park to begin a journey I was much excited about but without a clue as how to proceed.

My friends whom I had invited over at my final hour of indecision to bear witness of the event couldn’t show up: the traffic on the 24th night of December 2014 was impossible.

I had to laugh at myself: I actually thought I was prepared for this but as I sat at the external lounge of Rhapsody sipping on some strange cocktail I had never heard of before while I gazed at the beautiful woman who had in her hands the power to change my life forever, totally oblivious of what unplanned plan I had, I realized that it was much easier to give out proposal ideas than have one for yourself that actually worked.

Here’s the thing: my window of opportunity was fast diminishing before my eyes as we had just purchased two tickets to see the final part of The Hobbits series. We purchased the tickets at about 10.00pm and we had about 50 minutes to kill before the movie started which was when I decided we have a sit out at Rhapsody until it was time for the movie.

With less than 30 minutes left, I mustered the courage to do something. I walked up to the bouncer and asked to be directed to the manager which he did and I walked up straight the tall, muscular Indian or Lebanese guy and introduced myself over the loud music from the live band. He was very friendly and when I told him what I wanted, he gave me a knowing smile and led me to lead singer of the band and explained to her. We made arrangements and I went back to my seat praying this beautiful lady didn’t suspect a thing.

We continued to talk as we had done previously when I decided it was time. I took her by the hand and led her into the lounge. She wasn’t sure what I was doing as we were running late for the movie and so kept asking where we were going. I mumbled a feeble excuse saying I wanted her to meet somebody. I introduced her to the manager and while they exchanged pleasantries, I went to the lead singer and gave her the signal; it was time.

By this time, I think she knew I was up to something though she was unsure. I did my best to mask my shaky legs. I went back to her pulled her closer to the band stand where the music stopped and the mic was handed to me. That was my moment of truth. At that point, my eloquence vanished! So did the words I briefly cultivated in my head.

Was I now going to make a fool out of myself in front of all these people I didn’t know – and worse still, the beautiful lady? I shoved that thought and begun by wishing everybody a Merry Christmas. That’s all I remember I said. I know that at some point, I got down on one knee and asked her to marry me.

She was shocked – wiith her hands over her mouth the entire time as she stared at me in disbelief. At that point, a whole new fear came; what if she said no? Thankfully, the crowd cheered me on and demanded she say yes and without actually waiting for her to say yes, I put the ring on the ring finger on her right hand – the fit was perfect.

That was when she spoke for the first time; I had put the ring on the wrong hand. I frantically corrected my mistake, quite embarrassed and rose to my feet. The cheer from the unknown crowd who had suddenly become my best of friends was thunderous. After several pats on the back, hand shakes, hugs and words of congratulations, we exited the lounge and headed straight to the movie theater in silence.

Thinking back now, I still can’t remember what I really wanted to say. Strange huh? For someone who waxes lyrics so easily. I just know that never in my life have I been surer that all that happened in my life led me to this one moment where I surrendered willfully my life to be bound in love to the woman who has brought me untold joy and happiness.

This is my story…because only afterwards did I realize that I never made any arrangement to have it recorded or have pictures taken. So if you were there and you’re reading this right now and you took pictures, please send it my email address at saymalcolm@yahoo.com.

Have a wonderful Christmas guys…its already a wonderful one for me.

Oh, and her name is Lola. 🙂

Malcolm O. Ifi.

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