The room grew quiet. So quiet you could hear a pin drop. Speaking of, had anyone ever really heard a pin drop? Like hear it fall to the ground and make the sound that pins make when they drop? Anyway…

Nene blinked. Her throat was suddenly dry. This was weird considering the fact that she had just washed down a delicious serving of grilled chicken caprese pasta with two glasses of white wine less than seven minutes ago.

The room was still quiet and the silence felt heavy. That heavy, expectant kind of silence which was reasonable considering the fact that Sanmi was on one knee in front of her holding open a navy blue box in which sat a gorgeous, princess-cut diamond ring. He must have been in that position for more than 10 seconds now. He was still smiling but it was the kind that looked like a cross between a real smile and a fading one.

Nene say something! Anything! She just stared at the ring. She couldn’t even look up. Her parents, his and their friends had formed a circle around them with like a hundred phones and cameras out, positioned and ready to capture the moment.

She had a few fears in life: snakes, falling off an escalator and losing her iPhone but she had never felt more afraid as she did in this moment. His request was simple and unlike the many women that get lost in the moment and forget, she remembered every single word:

Nene Stephanie Udoka, from the moment I met you, I knew in my heart that you were the one. You are everything I could ever want, hope for or dream of. The last four years have been tough, crazy and beautiful and now I want tough, crazy and beautiful forever. Would you marry me?

Granted that was a beautiful speech but why was Sanmi still on his knee and why was she still frozen? It’s a simple yes or no Nene! Say something!

It was easy to say yes. There were too many people here who had taken the time out to come and share in what was supposed to be a beautiful moment. It was also her kind of proposal. Nothing too crazy. A nice candlelit dinner in a very lovely Italian restaurant. Thankfully the ring had not been served on a plate as dessert or the fourth course or hidden in her food. She would have hated that. He had let her enjoy her meal and when everyone showed up on cue and yelled

Surprise!

he had gotten down on one knee.

The ring was also stunning. She loved that it was a simple, princess-cut, clear diamond ring and not a coloured stone. She didn’t really like those.

Nene felt like she was going to throw up. She felt horrible. It was so easy to say yes but she couldn’t bring herself to say it because saying yes would mean so much.

She hadn’t expected him to propose. She wasn’t actually supposed to because that would have ruined the surprise but generally you kind of know that you’re ready and your man is ready. It’s usually only a question of when. Problem was, that wasn’t the case here. Although they had been together for four long years, she wasn’t ready to marry Sanmi and couldn’t exactly say she was sure he was ready to marry her either although thinking about it, he had been dropping subtle hints here and there in the past few weeks which didn’t make sense to her until now. She knew that it didn’t make sense for her to have stayed in the relationship for this long if she wasn’t ready for a ring, the trip to the altar and babies. She actually did want all of that and then some for a long time but a lot had changed recently.

Saying yes would mean that she was in love with him and wanted to start a life with him and that would be a lie.

She was in love but not with Sanmi. His name was Kolade and it had started six months ago when she was nominated to represent her company at a summit in Greece. It wasn’t exactly defined but it made her feel alive, excited, thrilled and really happy for the first time in over a year. It had happened fast but it was gradual, beautiful, crazy and amazing at the same time.

Basically Sanmi felt like a pair of nice but old flat shoes that felt comfortable and complemented almost every outfit while Kolade felt like a pair of six-inch strappy heeled sandals that you wear with a frilly skirt and makes you want to dance the rumba.

It had to have been over 30 seconds now. Nene cleared her throat as she started…

I’m sorry Sanmi..

The gasps from the crowd in a circle around them were deafening.

Sanmi blinked. He closed the box, put it in his pocket, got up, walked out of the restaurant and basically out of her life. His parents walked out behind him, calling him but he didn’t answer. His friends followed in a single file like they had practised it. She turned to face her family and friends as a lone tear ran down her face. She was going to hear it and all she could think was that Kolade had better offer her oceans, mountains and hills.

********************

Poor Sanmi. Granted whatever it is that is going on with Kolade to some might not be reason enough to throw away a 4 year old relationship but my philosophy is: It should be such a no-brainer that if the girl for some reason other than pure shock or surprise is not either so carried away in the moment or so certain without a doubt in her heart that she doesn’t say yes! at least almost immediately, then she probably shouldn’t say yes at all.

Let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by.

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