How We Met
We met in 2012. I had started working in Port-Harcourt then as a geoscientist and I was on the field most of the time; I was single and meeting new babes was a serious challenge for me. Chika, one of my close friends in Lagos, who wanted me to get serious started hooking me up with different ladies whom he thought matched some major specs I had given him earlier. Some of my cousins also tried hooking me up with their friends. I had one complaint or another about each of the ladies, but I made sure I kept a good relationship with all of them. At a point, I got tired of all the match-making thing and made up my mind not to entertain anymore hook-ups.
On 24th March, 2012, Chika called me up again and told me about this cool girl he wanted me to meet. I told him I wasn’t interested, but he managed to convince me to give it a shot. I finally agreed and he sent me the lady’s phone number. I called her that night and I heard the calmest female voice I have ever heard in my life. I introduced myself and we talked a little. She was very polite, simple, funny and cool. Having previously dated different ladies, I had learnt not to get too excited with a good first impression. Ladies can be very deceptive when they’re out to make a guy fall for them. So, I thought this one would likely just be like all the previous hook-ups, but I didn’t mind having a little more fun before cutting off. Some days later, I called her again and we spoke for about thirty minutes. It was as if we had known each other for years. There was consistency in her tone of voice, oral mannerisms etc. I was specially skilled in making ladies tell me a lot about themselves before I tell them anything about myself, and unfortunately most of them fell for the bait. Some even seemed to prefer to talk about themselves and take over most of the conversation than to listen or learn anything about the new friend they are bringing into their lives. It was not the case with this new lady. She made me talk, asking me questions that made me give out some details about my personal life that I rarely tell strangers. She was quite interested in my personality and I couldn’t hold back since she was quite open about her own personality. I started enjoying talking to her, so much that I looked forward to every evening when I would call her after work. We talked everyday- sometimes one hour, other times over an hour. I deliberately didn’t ask if she had a blackberry phone, because I felt it would create over-familiarity too soon, which I wanted to avoid. I also didn’t want to see her photos or whatever she looked like, too early so that it wouldn’t affect my judgement. I also didn’t ask her for her surname or tell her mine so that none of us would be tempted to go and do facebook forensics too early.
However, after almost two weeks of continuous communication, we had gotten so close that we both knew we were becoming good friends. She suddenly asked if I had a BB and I couldn’t deny. She got offended wondering why I preferred to waste money calling everyday and never even bothered to ask if she was on BB. I apologized and claimed that it skipped my mind. She added me to her BB contacts and we exchanged each other’s photos. I was a little happy that she looked pretty and she also teased me that she was glad I did’t look too bad. At that point, the blackberry connection further strengthened our friendship because we could then communicate at any time of the day. After about two months of continuous communication, both of us had become convinced that we really liked each other and would be very close friends for a very long time. So, we decided to meet face-to-face. I took three days off from work and went to Lagos to see her (16th-18th May, 2012). We met at Ocean View Restaurant in Victoria Island on the first day (16th May). I fell for her immediately she walked into the restaurant. She looked awesome, beautiful and charming. We ate and chatted like we did on phone and BBM. She was humble, intelligent in speech and decent in mannerism. I studied her through out the date. We met at different restaurants on subsequent days and I asked her out on the third date. I went back to port-Harcourt and we continued communicating on phone as usual. I returned to Lagos on my birthday, 25th June, 2012, took her out on a date and she agreed to go out with me. That was how it all started.
After two years of dating, I decided to pop the big question. So, I came up with a plan. Being a travel buff, I decided to adopt a natural theme, so picked a beach- Lekki Leisure Lake. I tagged the concept “message from the sea”. It can be very difficult to plan a surprise proposal for an intelligent girl. I had to tell multiple lies to cover up my tracks all through the entire process of planning the proposal. There were different times she almost suspected that I was up to something, but I had to cover up with a story or another. Also, for a guy, the whole process of picking and buying a suitable engagement ring and planning the surprise can sometimes become extremely mentally taxing as it involves finding out the lady’s actual ring size, preferred gold type (white or yellow), choosing a befitting stone setting, choosing a proposal concept, location, timing etc. – all coming with their combined financial implication.
I got a bottle, poured in some snail shells and natural petals of different colours. I made a scroll containing two photos at the top (the picture we took on our first date and the one we took on the day we started going out) and a short proposal poem beneath them. I stopped the top of the bottle with an artificial rose and tied a red ribbon from the rose down to the scroll inside the bottle, such that if one pulls the rose, the scroll inside the bottle automatically comes up along with it. I also placed a red pull ribbon to the neck of the bottle. I went to Lekki leisure Lake on the previous day of the proposal to plan with one of their staff. I gave him the decorated bottle and we picked a nice spot on the beach together. I made sure we picked a spot in which the breaking waves of the ocean and its ebb will sweep through so as to give the buried bottle a ‘natural’ look after it is been placed, half-buried in the sand. I took his phone number and we agreed that once I give him a ‘missed call’ on the morning of the following day, he should go ahead and peg the bottle at the exact spot we picked on the beach. I had earlier notified my girlfriend that we were going to hangout with one of my friends and his girlfriend at the beach that morning. I told her we were going to ride jet skis and quad bikes.
It rained heavily that morning. I was scared the whole plan was gonna get messed up, but went ahead with the plan. By the time we all arrived at the beach, the rains had stopped, but the skies were still set in deep blue tones. The air at the beach was chilly, the lake and ocean waters reflected the colours of the sky and the low grasses at the lake edge flaunted their verdant pigment. As we entered through the gate of the recreation center, I secretly gave ‘accomplice’ at the beach a call and quickly cut it while it rang. The four of us (my girlfriend, my friend, his girlfriend and I) walked to the lake side and I could see the guy at the far side of the beach walking towards the agreed point on the beach. After a few minutes, he rang my phone and cut the line. I figured he was set.
The engagement ring I bought was sitting gracefully in its red velvet box in my pocket. I winked at my friend and he suggested that we all walk to the far side of the beach so take some nice photos. I agreed and the four of us began to stroll down, each couple holding hands. My friend had his camera with him, all set for shooting. The distance was a little long, but the amazing views of the ocean if offered made it worth the walk. As we approached the peg point, I looked back and winked at my friend. I quickly spotted the pegged bottle, close to the edge of the breaking ocean waters. I pointed at it and asked her to go take a look and pick it so we can see what was inside.
She said “What? No way! You want me to turn to yam abii!”, I bursted into laughter and pull her closer to the bottle.
She was wondering what I was doing. I pulled the bottle from the wet sand and looked into her eyes, pulled the rose slowly from its mouth and smiled as I looked at her again. She stood there, shocked and trying to figure out what I was doing. I smiled again and told her the scroll was for her. It finally occurred to her what was going on. She covered her eyes with one palm and stretched the other palm at me and started saying, “Wait! Wait! Wait!”. I became confused. A million thoughts ran through my head in the split of a second. “Is she giving me a NO or what?”, I thought. I held the bottle for half a second, not knowing what to do. Then, I braced up, pulled the scroll out of the bottle and untied it. At this point, she had dropped her palm from her face and her eyes were red and wet with tears. I gave her the scroll to read and as she read it, I dropped to a knee, pulled out the ring box from my pocket and held it open at my eye level. She finished reading the poem, raise her head and couldn’t lift her eyes off the ring I was holding up in the case. She fell in love with the ring.
I began, “Thanks for coming on this journey with me all these years. I have decided to spend the rest of my life with you. Baby, please, will you marry me?”
“Of course”, she said, amidst a short burst of tears.
“Of course what? Tell me yes or no”, I said.
She laughed and said “Yessss!”.
I smiled and mistakenly took her right palm. I guess I was carried away myself. She frowned and pull her right hand away from me and stretched her left palm to me. I laughed and apologized. Then, I slipped the ring into the appropriate finger. The raging waves of the ocean broke on the shores, sweeping over my knee and her feet as she lifted me from the sand and hugged me while she kept sobbing.
That’s the proposal…now see the photos below…