BusinessDay

I used to know a girl

I left Nigeria about thirteen years ago. I’ve been living in Scotland all this time. The pressure for me to settle down has become so much and only one girl comes to mind.

Fali and I have been friends forever. I’ve been with a few women in my short time on Earth but I’ve never met anyone like Fali. The crazy lawyer dumped her wig and gown to start a clothing line.

Growing up in Mende, Maryland area of Lagos, I used to be her nightmare. Taunting and making her life miserable was my forte. Yes, I used to be an annoying kid.

One time, I returned from boarding school and I saw how beautiful she had become, I knew that I had to stop making fun of her. I really can’t remember how Fali and I became besties, all I know is that along the line we developed a healthy and enviable friendship.

We were in touch even after I left the country. We would face time and chat for hours non stop. There was always something to talk about. We always ended our chats with “I love you” but at some point I would tell her, “I love you more or I love you a lot”. I always noticed the confused expression on her face and it made me blush on her behalf.

Fali didn’t know that I was in town until I gave her a call that morning. She squealed in delight and I could tell that she was going to be distracted for the rest of the day. It was no surprise when she announced her presence at my hotel shortly after. She ran into my arms for a hug and I could not resist the urge to kiss her. She did not pull away or stop me, then I realized that this kiss has been a long time coming after all.

Read also: Marriage

After what seemed like a lifetime, we managed to pull away and come up for air. Nobody said anything but we knew we had a lot to talk about. The narrative was obviously changing from besties to something different.

I started by clearing my throat to tell her my reason for coming home. Then I pulled out a black velvet box from my suitcase and opened it to show her the glistering heart cut diamond engagement ring I got for her. I went down on one knee and asked her to be my wife. Fali just stood there looking at me…she was both speechless and motionless, not exactly the kind of reaction I was expecting after that mind blowing kiss. I was confused. Isn’t this what we both want?

Fali slumped into a nearby chair and cupped her face in her hands, she was choking on her tears and shaking. These were certainly not tears of joy. She eventually told me that nothing in this world would make her happier than for her to be my wife BUT she cannot marry me. For some very personal reasons, she has decided never to get married. She didn’t mind having my child because she would always want to have a part of me with her but marriage was never going to happen. If I didn’t know Fali very well, I would have thought she was crazy. She wasn’t making any sense with the rubbish she was spilling.

I stayed about four weeks in Nigeria and she did very well to avoid me throughout my stay. Her parents shed tears when I told them that Fali had turned down my marriage proposal. Her dad said he would be more than happy to have me for a son in-law but he also understood why Fali did what she did. He believed she would open up to me about her situation whenever she was ready.

Situation?? What could be so serious that would make her say no to me? Why did her parents cry? Was she dying? I needed answers.

I left Nigeria with a badly broken heart. I didn’t expect my trip to turn out this way. I was still airborne when I received Fali’s message. She sounded more heart broken than me. It hurt her that she could not be with the one person she loved more than life just because she had a medical condition…nocturnal enuresis, simply put, Fali bedwets. She has been subjected to different kinds of drinks, herbs, foods and whatnot but nothing changed. She has seen doctors in India and Saudi Arabia to no avail. She has to continue living with the embarrassing situation.

Yes I was shocked to hear this but it didn’t change the way I feel about her. I could not imagine being married to someone else and I tried to make her understand this but it was pointless trying to convince her that I love her ‘regardless’ and will love to be with her no matter what. Fali sent me smile emojis and wished me luck…that was the last I heard from her in three years. Her family moved from Maryland to Lekki and left no forwarding address.

I got married a few months ago but my heart is not with my wife. No day goes by without me thinking about her or something reminding me of her. I miss Fali. I miss her so much.

Recently, a mutual friend of ours ran into Fali in her store in Abu Dhabi where she currently lives. This information is quite interesting and I suddenly feel like visiting the UAE. No, it’s not because of Fali.

I just realized that I’ve not gone on a vacation in a while.

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