Agnes watched, privately amused, as her daughter, Ify paced the bedroom nervously.
“Calm down, Ify.”
“Calm down?” Ify asked, agitated, “mummy, I don’t think you understand what is happening. Why is it so difficult to find what you’re looking for when you need it most? It’s ridiculous and so frustrating.”
Agnes rolled her eyes, “all this grammar because you’re going on a date with your boyfriend and you can’t find what to wear?”
“Mummy, Tony and I are not going on a date. Something tells me that this date is special. I feel it in my guts.”
Agnes leaned forward, more interested, “is he going to propose?”
“Mummy!” Ify gasped, giggling, “how am I supposed to know that?”
“This isn’t your first date with Tony. You guys have been together for a year. And you said today’s date feels special. The only thing special I can think of is him proposing to you.”
“Well, I don’t know sha. It’s just a feeling. Right now, my problem is finding what to wear.”
“You have a lot of clothes. Pick one.”
“That’s the problem. I can’t. I’m confused.”
Agnes went to the wardrobe and scanned the neatly hung and arranged wears that Ify owned. Ify should have been a Vogue model judging the number of designer wears she had. Agnes finally picked one lovely dress.
“Wear this. It matches your skin color perfectly. Make sure you wear a comfortable shoe so you won’t fall on your face when he proposes.”
Ify laughed and took the dress, “thanks mummy. You’re the best.”
The door bell downstairs rang. Ify gasped in nervous excitement. “It’s him.”
“Go ahead and dress. I’ll get the door.” Her mother replied and left the room.
Agnes headed downstairs to the living room and opened the door. Tony smiled at her, holding an expensive bottle of wine. He looked very handsome in his outfit. How he could look pull off perfectly looking both casual and formal was a mystery to Agnes. She smiled back. Perhaps, Ify was right. Today was very special.
“Good evening, ma,” Tony greeted her.
“Good evening, Tony. Please come in,” she replied and stepped back to allow him enter.
He gave her the wine, “for you.”
She beamed, “thank you. Please have a seat. Ify is upstairs. She’ll join you shortly.”
“Thank you,” he said. They sat down and he told her with amusing stories while they waited for Ify to come down.
Finally, they heard footsteps coming down the stairs. They turned and Tony could practically feel his tongue dangling on the floor. Ify had always been flawlessly beautiful. He didn’t think he could stop his heart from beating any time he saw her. But today, she was stunning.
As he watched her descend, he could feel his eyes almost popping out of their sockets. He couldn’t help grinning as she walked up to him like a river goddess.
She smiled up to him, “hi.”
“Hi.” He replied, still mesmerized. “You look… amazing.”
“So, shall we?” He asked, gesturing to the door.
“Yes,” she replied and turned to her mother, “see you later, mummy.”
Agnes smiled at them. “see you, dear. Enjoy yourselves. Drive safely, Tony.”
“I will,” Tony said and they left.
After they had enjoyed some seafood- she loved seafood- and some glasses of Champagne in a fancy restaurant, they went to dance in one of the best clubs in town. From there, they went for a stroll to enjoy the cool night breeze. Tony was the perfect gentleman throughout the night. He made her laugh her head off with his stories. And he made sure she was comfortable and even wrapped his coat around her when she felt cold. It was a magical night for Ify.
They finally went to sit at a love garden. She was so happy, chattering away like a magpie and only stopping when she realized that he had stopped talking and was staring deeply at her.
“What?” She asked.
“What?” He replied.
“You’re staring at me.”
“Anything wrong with that?”
“No. But you’re staring like you’ve never seen me before.”
“Have I ever told you about my grandmother?”
“Yes, you said she died three years ago,” she replied, slightly confused about the strange question.
“Yeah, I told you I was her favorite grandson. I remember when I was little, she spoiled me silly. She tolerated a lot of nonsense from me, things she never tolerated from my father when he was my age at the time. Then just before she died, she called me and gave me this.”
He brought out small a ring box and opened it to reveal a engagement sparkling ring. Ify gasped, her heart beating wildly. It was finally happening!
Tony knelt before her, his heart in his voice, “she said I should give it to the woman I want to spend the rest of my life with. Ify, you’re that woman. And I’ll be the happiest man alive if you agree to be my wife.”
“Yes, yes, yes,” she nodded excitedly.
Tony beamed and slipped the ring between her finger and kissed her.
The next morning, Ify stepped out of her car and paused in front her company building. She took a deep, happy breath. She had been very lucky. As the last born and the only girl in her family, she was her daddy’s little girl. She had beauty and brains and graduated top of her class. Now she had a great job and she was about to get married. Hers was the perfect life!
She majestically walked into the building greeting her co-workers. They stopped to stare at her curiously. She walked into the office she shared with best friends, Halima and Moji and other colleagues, basking in the attention everyone was giving her. Getting to her cubicle, she settled down to work. Her friends walked up to her.
“Oya, start giving us the gist,” Moji demanded.
“What gist?” She asked, feigning innocence.
“You want to tell us all this your cat walking was for nothing?” Halima asked.
“I’m getting married!” Ify showed off her engagement ring, unable to contain her excitement.
The girls screamed in delight. Noticing that everyone was staring at them, they mellowed down, giggling.
“Oh Ify, I’m so happy for you.” Moji said, admiring her ring.
“Me too.” Halima added.
“Thanks guys, I’m so happy I’m about to burst. I still can’t believe that he proposed.”
“That’s what you’ve always wanted, right?”
“Yes, but I was still surprised when he did. I mean I expected it, but I was surprised when it finally happened.”
“We’re going to celebrate. Should we do it today or leave it till weekend?” Moji asked
“No, not weekend. Tony and I are going to the beach.”
“No wahala na. We’ll celebrate tonight.” Moji said.
“Fine by me as long as we’re going to eat fresh fish.” Ify replied.
“You and fish. Will you ever eat meat in this your life?” Moji teased.
“I eat meat. But I prefer fish. It’s healthier.”
“Seriously, I envy you o. I’ve been dating Ayo for five years now and he hasn’t said anything. Shebi if I tell him to propose now, he’ll say I’m desperate.” Halima said a little sadly.
“I told you to do like I did. Manage him for now. When you see a serious guy, dump his ass. That was how I dumped Segun and married my husband. Segun thought he would frustrate my destiny but God pass am.” Moji said.
“Abi o?” Halima asked. “ Congratulations, Ify.”
“Thank you. Don’t worry. Your own husband will come.”
“Enough talk about unserious boyfriends. We’re going to party tonight.”
The beach was filled with people enjoying the weekend. Families picnicking, music blaring from the bars while people danced, ate and drank. Young guys were swimming and playing football. Girls were busy riding horses and taking selfies. Couples were wrapped in their own romantic world. Tony and Ify were having their romantic time together and ignoring others. Everyone was having fun.
But they didn’t know that somewhere beneath the sea, someone was watching them.