Her father was celebrating his 50th birthday

Everybody in the estate was invited

They came in droves

Dressed in wealth and status

And then he showed up

Dressed in a neat but very old and faded Ankara native attire

Who invited him? What was the urchin looking for?

He wanted to come into the gate

She told the bouncers to stop him

She got some food items

Put them in a polythene bag

Handed them over to their house girl

“Go and give this to the man in native”

Her friend saw it all

“What are you doing?” her friend asked

“This party is not for the likes of him” she replied

After a few minutes he saw her friend

“I need to see Mr. So and So at the party, he asked me to come and see him here!”

Her friend explained to him that he should either wait at the gate or see the person some other time

He shook his head in utter embarrassment

He left

But he did not collect the food

“Good riddance” she said

She looked away and quickened her step as she walked into the party hall


How could she associate with such a guy?

Though his family lived in their estate

They were the poorest people in the estate by a mile

His father didn’t complete his house in the estate before he died

They moved in and covered all the windows with tattered clothes

For God’s sake!

How much would they pay a carpenter to at least make them wooden windows and doors?

How much would it cost them to buy decent clothes?

Even a car!

They lived in a millionaire’s estate for Christ’s sake!

And how could she ever be caught entertaining such a church rat!

She spat

Few minutes later, her friend returned into the hall

“What is wrong with you? He was invited”

She:  So what? I don’t greet poverty and I will have nothing to do with such a miscreant

How could you even stand him!

I don’t understand you and please next time, make sure I am far away before you go on your mother Theresa mode

Her friend couldn’t believe it

The guy had done nothing to deserve such a cold shoulder

He was a neighbor and a very nice guy

The guy saw her attitude but what could he do?

Some people simply hate you because you don’t fit into their mold of what human dignity is

He had learnt to deal with that reality a long time ago

He was only fatherless

Life did that to him

Threw him a curved ball

He was learning to deal!

He held his head high and walked tall

He was the one who volunteered to stay with his mother on the estate

Right after his father died, his father’s family offered his mother the option of marrying his father’s younger brother

His mother declined

The family offered to help train the three children

His siblings jumped at the opportunity but he understood his mother

Keeping the house, though in an uncompleted state was of grave importance to his mother

His father had told his mother that some of his family members may covet the house in the estate and lure her out of it so that they can sell or even keep it for themselves

His mother had hidden the certificate of ownership for the house and was determined to protect her children’s property

He elected to stay with his mother because he understood the significance of the house to his mother

Weeks later she returned to school and put away all the thoughts of the guy away from her heart

He was a non-issue

She was studying medicine at a prestigious university

Her life was all roses without the thorns

He was the last thing on her mind

Her friend was also studying medicine at another university

Their parents had been friends since their secondary school days

She and her friend gained admission into the university at the age of 17

Their parents had worked very hard to ensure that her future would be golden

He left the estate for another city to live with his father’s younger brother

The very year she graduated, he wrote JAMB and gained admission to a state university

He was aged 24

All he had were a few clothes and his brain

He studied engineering

She started working in a government owned hospital

Her friend traveled abroad for her masters

They kept in touch and life kept moving

He graduated at the age of 30

He got a job immediately at an oil service firm

The pay was good

His immediate younger brother also graduated from a state university

His brother also studied engineering

Together they started an engineering firm

Within two years he was set to get married

By this time they had both completed their father’s house and furnished it to taste

He got a contract from the government to supply an equipment

He traveled abroad

He bought and shipped the equipment home

The company he bought the equipment from invited him to dinner

He attended for the sake of relationship

At the dinner the Managing Director of the company (a citizen of his country) told him about his younger sister who was practicing medicine back at home. The MD assured him the lady wass beautiful, godly, well behaved and would make a good wife

The man sold the lady all night until he caved in and collected her phone number with a promise to call

When he got home he called her

She sounded pleasant

Though they both live in different states, their discussion held a bit of promise

The following weekend he went to see the lady

They had a date for 8 pm at a very popular restaurant

He got to the restaurant early

As he sat in a corner perusing his phone and trying to make sure he memorized the lady’s face in order to recognize her once she arrived

He saw her!

The snob, walking into the restaurant all by herself

He wanted to ignore her at first

But he was no longer the poor guy she treated with derision

He wanted her to see that

He walked up to her

She didn’t recognize him

He turned on the charm

Told her he knew her at so and so estate

She acknowledged the fact that they must have met but still didn’t recognize him

He asked if they could dine together

She said yes

They sat down and talked

(His date sent her apologies an hour later

She had to be in the theater for a surgery)

By the end of the night they were really flowing

They exchanged numbers

The next day she called him to say thank you

He asked her out again

They talked at length

At the end of the night she invited him into her flat

She had told him she had some old James Bond movie collections and he would really like see them

He saw the collections

He also saw the hope in her eyes

He thought about it

He decided the hope was worth it

He pulled her closer

She smiled

Was it the wine?

He kissed her

She kissed him

She turned her head

He turned his head

Doves became pigeons

Like a magician’s trick

Clothes lost their owners

Slow and steady, the object of derision met her as equals

He stayed there all night

The dance continued for a week

She called her friend and told her about the guy

“He said he used to live in the estate but I can’t recollect ever meeting him”

Her friend got curious

Invite him over for the weekend, let’s meet him

He agreed

Weekend came, her friend recognized him immediately

They hugged each other

Her friend reminded her of the meeting they had where she snubbed him

It dawned on her

She didn’t know what to do

Was he serious with her or just taking his revenge?

She didn’t know what to do!

Her attitude changed

She braced herself to be dumped

He proposed

She got scared!

What if she said yes and he laughed her to scorn?

What if she said no and his intentions were pure?

She loved him dearly

She asked him if he remembered the incident

He said yes

“Why didn’t you say something?’’ She said

“Will you marry me” he countered

She went on her knees, “I am sorry for my childish behavior. I was 17 and I was very conceited. I didn’t know how life worked. Please forgive me”

He said he forgave her

She said yes

They got married a year later!


PS: She said she was afraid he was proposing to her just so that he can dump her!

He said he didn’t see her childish behavior as anything but what it was, since they had been together as adults she had been very well behaved

Their marriage is 9 years old

They have 3 children