“So?” Eric asked as he and Kimberly got into the car after service, re-ady to return home.
“So what?” She asked, looking at him with questioning eyes.
“What do you think? Did you enjoy the service?” He asked with a smile as he turned on the car’s ignition and drove out of the church premises.
“Oh! Yeah, I did. I [email protected] love how it is a big church and no one even spared me a glance. Everyone was just minding their business. Suits me just right,” Kimberly said with a big smile.
“So will you be going to church with me now?”
“As long as you want me to, why not? By the way, I noticed you were dancing so much. I didn’t figure you to be the type to dance in church,” Kimberly said with a teasing smile which made Eric chuckle.
“Why not? I actually prefer dancing in the church to the club. The joy those songs give me is different,” Eric said, turning to spare her a glance, “I noticed you didn’t dance much, though.”
“That is because I didn’t want to draw attention to myself,” Kimberly explained.
“My pastor used to say something, being self-conscious is not a godly attribute.”
“How?” Kimberly asked in confusion.
“You were in God’s pres£nce, yet you were thinking about yourself instead of focusing on God. Isn’t it a form of pride to think that by dancing you can draw the attention of people who are in church to praise God, to yourself?” Eric asked, ma-king Kimberly’s brows crease thoughtfully.
“That isn’t how I thought of it.”
“I know. I’m just trying to say in God’s pres£nce you should relax and focus more on God, and less on yourself. Even King David in the Bible danced so much that his robe was falling,” Eric said, ma-king Kimberly raise a brow.
“I didn’t know you were a preacher. I hope you’re not thinking of becoming a pastor or anything similar in the future?” She asked, and Eric laughed out loud.
“Why? Are you scared of becoming a preacher’s wife?”
“Shouldn’t I be scared? Don’t even think about it,” She warned, ma-king him smile.
“What if you end up becoming the Pastor between us?” Eric asked with a grin.
“I reject it in Jesus’ name. Let’s change the subject before you draw God’s attention to us, and then he will start calling us,” Kimberly pleaded ma-king Eric laugh out loud.
“Awwww!” Kimberly exclaimed in awe when a plane appeared out of nowhere, high above them with the banner suspended in the air, and she re-ad the words on it.
The sides of Eric’sl-ips twitched in amusement at her reaction. If she wasn’t even the one being proposed to yet she was reacting this way, he wondered how the person being proposed to would react… Or maybe he should wonder how Kimberly would react when being proposed to.
Yeah, he knew he had to propose to her before going ahead with the marriage plans. Every lady he knew desired a beautiful proposal. And knowing how Kimberly was, he knew he was going to have to go all the way and be loud about it. Being someone who loved his privacy a lot and hated being within ₱vblic view, he had always thought he would have a low-key engagement and marriage when the time was right. Who would have thought that he would end up with someone like Kimberly who he needed to constantly step up to protect in ₱vblic?
How was he going to propose to her anyway? This plane proposal thing was a good idea though, but now that she had seen it, he couldn’t do the same thing. He needed to come up with his own unique proposal style.
“But the name looks or is it sounds familiar?” Kimberly said after they had driven past it, as she narrowed her eyes thoughtfully
Eric chuckled, “I suppose it should be sounds familiar since you tend to pronounce it in your head as you look at it. You may not have seen it written before, but maybe you’ve heard it… Wait, isn’t that your friend’s name?” Eric asked, turning to look at her.
“Because the name is Kathleen?” Kimberly asked with a scoff, “She isn’t the only one in Lagos bearing that name, besides I don’t think they have even been [email protected]!ngfor up to two weeks,” Kimberly said dismissively.
“Have we [email protected]£d for up to two weeks?” Eric asked.
“Of course it’s been even more than three weeks. We have even been married for more than two weeks alre-ady,” Kimberly said defensively, ma-king him chuckle.
“Anyway, I didn’t say that just because her name is Kathleen. At the club, I remember she mentioned her surname, and I think it was Okorie she said, cause when she mentioned it, it sounded like Okoro to me,” Eric said, ma-king Kimberly giggle.
“Really? I will ask her later then, or maybe she will post it on her WhatsApp status,” Kimberly said with a smile, which slowly turned into a frown when she remembered what Pete had told her that first night. He had said he wasn’t interested in love or marriage. If he was truly the one proposing to Kathleen, then it was clear he had just not liked her from the start, yet she had been trying so [email protected] to f0rç£ herself on him. What was wrong with her? Why did she have to throw herself at men even when they made it obvious that they didn’t want her?
“Are you okay?” Eric asked when he spared her a glance and noticed her frown.
“Yeah, I’m okay,” she said with a sigh as she relaxed against the headrest and shut her eyes.
“Do you mind if we st©p over at my place? I need to pick up something before we return to your house and head for the airport,” Eric said.
Kimberly sat up and looked at him, “Will that your friend be there?”
“Possibly. Are you still mad at him? plea-se don’t be. He really didn’t want to do it. He liked you a lot the first time you both met and asked me to st©p, but I didn’t listen. plea-se,” Eric pleaded.
“He liked me?” Kimberly asked, surprised.
“I don’t think there is anyone who would get to know you and not fall in love with you. When people tend to judge by just one flaw, they miss out on getting to know other amazing aspects of a person. What I’m just saying is that when a person looks past your seeming lifestyle, they get to see how sweet a person you are,” Eric said as he reached out for her hand with his right hand, and patted it [email protected]
“That reminds me, I didn’t happen to tell you that I ran into Pete at the airport on my way back, did I?” He asked as he drove into his estate.
“You did?” Kimberly asked, looking at him curiously as she wondered what they possibly talked about. Did they discuss her?
A lump formed in Kathleen’s throat as she kept looking at the banner on the plane which was still following them. Pete was really asking her to marry him? On her birthday? Her heart went pit-a-pat. This had to be a sign that God’s hand was involved in this. At twenty-nine she was finally getting married? To not just anyone but someone like Pete? Was her mother aware of this? Was that why she had given her that many relationsh!ps advice before leaving?
Why wasn’t Sharon or Isioma saying anything? Were they involved in the surprise plan too? She reluctantly dragged her eyes away from the plan and turned to look at them, and saw the smile on all their faces, while Isioma was busy taking pictures of the plane and banner. Before Kathleen could utter a word, her phone rang, and she picked the call when she saw that it was Pete.
“Happy birthday Queen of my heart,” Pete said immediately the call connected. Kathleen was too speechless to respond, so she focused on breathing instead since that seemed like the easiest thing to do.
“You have until you get home to make up your mind. I’ll be waiting for a yes,” Pete said before hanging up.
“You all knew about this, didn’t you?” Kathleen asked, looking at all of them in disbelief. She couldn’t believe that her talkative friend Sharon could keep a secret so well, and they all kept acting like they didn’t know Pete’s plan for her birthday.
“Shouldn’t you be spending what little time you have left, thinking about the response?” Sharon asked trying not to sound too excited even if she was clearly over the moon with joy on her friend’s behalf.
There was nothing to think about. She knew the answer alre-ady, and it was a big bold YES. Kathleen picked up her phone and took a picture of the banner before s£nding it to Chuka on WhatsApp. She owed this to God, and she knew God had used Chuka to help her almost much as he had used her mother and Sharon. He had been the one who had made her realize that Pete was interested in her in the first place, and that had given her a level of confidence in her communication with Pete.
She looked up when the car st©pped, and then the gate opened, and she saw both Ken and Ella standing by the door. That was when she noticed a red rug that ran from the middle of the compound to the inside of the house. Chidi drove into the compound and st©pped just where the rug was, and she realized the rug was there for her, and she was supposed to walk on it.
Chidi was the first to get out of the car, and she did not mind as her mind was still filled with different thoughts. It was like everything was happening to someone else and she was an observer. Soon Ken walked over to her side of the car and opened the door, and then he stepped to the side, giving her room to get out of the car.
“Even if I know you’re probably going to say yes, plea-se tell him no,” Ken whispered with a mischievous grin that would have amused her had she not been feeling so nervous. Although she appreciated the grand proposal gesture, she was a very pri-vate person and would have loved a simple proposal over dinner.
Next Amanda got out of the car with a bouquet that Kathleen had no idea where she had brou-ght it from, and pres£nted it to Kathleen who was still standing on the rug beside the car.
The wh0le thing looked surreal to her. She was actually the one being proposed to in such a grand style? “What are you waiting for, Kat?” Sharon, who she hadn’t realized was standing behind her, asked.
Kathleen put on foot in front of the other as she slowly approached the door. When she saw the lot of them ma-king videos and taking pictures, she [email protected]£ thankful that she had allowed Sharon to dress her up.
Ella was grinning from ear to ear as she st©pped by the door, “Hello, sister-in-law,” Ella greeted as she stepped to the side to reveal Pete who was kneeling on the other end of the red rug inside the door. As Kathleen stepped inside the house, she noticed that the house had been decorated and there were roses and balloons everywhere. The first thought on her mind was, ‘Who is going to clean this place up?’
“Ngozika Kathleen Okorie, I never realized how boring and empty my life was until I met you. You are my morning sun, the moon that lights my path at night, and the star that decorates my night sky. Your smile brightens my day, and the sound of your laughter resonates in my heart. I want to grow old with you as your husband and the father of your kids. plea-se be my forever [email protected],” he said as he opened the ring box he was holding, revea-ling a beautiful diamond ring.
Kathleen had always wondered why ladies usually cried when they were proposed to, and she had often tried to imagine how she would feel and react when she proposed to. Being here now, she didn’t know what reaction was appropriate. Of course, she was happy, but it wasn’t to the point of tears. She was excited, but not to the point of scre-ming. It seemed like a [email protected] of her had somehow been expecting it.
She looked into Pete’s eyes, and she did not doubt that he was her prayer answered. He smiled at her as if he knew without a doubt that she was his wife and she was going to say yes.
“plea-se marry us,” Amanda who was standing beside her father added, thinking that Kathleen was about to turn her father down.
Her phone rang out before she could come up with a response, and Sharon quic-kly snatched it from her and placed it on silence before running off to accept the call when she realized it was Chuka.
Kathleen smiled, “No, I’m not marrying you,” Kathleen said ma-king Amanda’s face fall, while Pete and the others looked at her in surprise and confusion.
“I mean I’m not marrying you, Amanda. I’m marrying your father, so that would make you my daughter,” Kathleen said to Amanda, ma-king Pete who had looked so confident a while ago, let out a sigh of relief, while the others laughed.
“So?” Pete asked, ma-king her return her attention to him.
“Yes. I will marry you,” She said with a big smile, and the room erupted in cheers and calls of congratulations as Pete slid the ring on her f!nger and stood up to k!ssherl-ips. Ella, Ken, Chidi, Sharon, and Isioma surrounded them and congratulated them while Pete held Kathleen still as she tried to pu-ll away from the k!ssshyly.
“I’m going to keep k!ss!ngyou ₱vblicly until you start initiating the k!sses yourself,” Pete whispered to her.
WATCHOUT FOR EPISODE 20