The Proposal

the proposal penastory

1st of August 1993, 

Dear Busolami, 

Fiyin came over today. We went out on a date at this fancy restaurant on the island. Of course you know it’s not the first time, oh and I forgot to add he made sure I had a full makeover before we got to the restaurant. The atmosphere was so cool, couples on the dance floor moving to some quality KSA music. From our table I could view the ocean, it was reflecting the moon a bit. I looked at Fiyin; tall handsome, slender with perfect cheek bones and the most intense eyes I’d ever seen. I don’t know why I’m describing him to you. Well he reached across and adjusted the red rose he put in my afro then ran his hands down my temple, my ear lobe and then my cheeks. His hand was trembling so I held it in mine and lightly kissed it. When I looked up, his eyes were teary. He had been so distant this evening so I asked him again, “Fiyin is everything ok dear?” He let go of my hand and got up from his seat, walked to my side of the table and got down on one knee. *I just knew what he was about to do.*

He said “Lapeju my love. I don’t know how to say this, I don’t know where to start from. You broke all my rules, you healed me where I was hurt. You drowned my pride and taught me that I could be a better person. You’re truly wonderful and I can’t ask for more.” *His exact words.* He brought out a beautiful ring and asked, “Peju will you do me the favour of taking up my name? Spending the rest your life with me and raising my kids. Lapeju will you marry me?”

Busolami you won’t believe how I ran three years through my mind in split seconds, made up my mind and said “NO”. Busolami, tears rolled down his eyes freely. By this time more than half the people at the restaurant were watching us, I couldn’t help it. I grabbed my purse, ran out of the restaurant, flagged down the first cab I saw and was on my way home. It was raining by the time I got home, I made myself a cup of tea and wrapped myself up on the sofa thinking of the day. There was this pounding noise in my head which I later realised was someone knocking on my door. Of course I didn’t want to be disturbed so I sat there hoping whoever it was would eventually go away. Three minutes later the person was still there knocking, I finally got up to open the door. I should’ve known it was Fiyin. Standing there, drenched in rain, I quickly pulled him in, took off his wet clothes and poured him a hot cup of tea. He sat there for a while just looking down at his feet. Then he asked, “Why Peju? What did I do or not do. I don’t understand Peju, three years, three solid years Peju…..”

Honestly Busolami I felt bad so I told him. I know I’d always said I’ll tolerate but I had to talk so I said, “Fiyin you’re what most girls would ask for in a boyfriend and I can’t deny the fact that that I’m in love with you. We’ve been through hell together these past three years but in marriage it’s a whole different scenario. In marriage I can’t settle for what is available. It’s either I get what I deserve or nothing. Fiyin I want a husband that would build a family and a marriage with me. I want him to know he has to leave some money for the upkeep of the house and not wait for me to ask. He should be there while I’m birthing our first child & not busy at God knows where. I want him to buy our daughter the most random pair of shitty pink shoes when she’s three. I want him to randomly offer to stay home with the kids. I want him to cook for me on very random days when we are 30, 40, 50, 60, and even when we are 70. The food would be too spicy but I’ll eat it anyway and even when he’s 50 and he’s at the peak of his career and he has a lot of young girlfriends, he should know better than to put them before his family. I want him to be calm when I’m burning in anger. I want him to scold the kids with me. I want him to encourage my choice of profession and not tell me it’s a man’s job. I want him to help teach the kids about God and not be the first to opt out of attending church service on Sundays. I want us to be so in love our kids would be disgusted and when we’re 80 we’ll go to the hospital together for medical examinations. Even when we’re so old and fragile you’d randomly come into my room and lie by my side and fall asleep holding my hands. And you wouldn’t let them admit me at the hospital unless you’re admitted too and placed on a bed right next to mine. And during the course of our marriage even if I meet men more handsome, richer, nicer or more intelligent, I would not even take a second look because I’ll know my husband sees me in a light no one ever will. I just don’t want to argue over money like we do or worry about your relationship with every girl we meet. I don’t want to hear I’m busy from you more than I actually get to see you. You see Fiyin, I don’t want a marriage that would end over financial issues, lack of trust, misunderstanding and miscommunication. I know we’ve been through a lot together already but Fiyin you’re going to have to work on these things and not make empty promises like you used to.”

He just put down the cup of tea, got his clothes and walked out of my apartment. I’m confused.

Your friend


Dear Busolami,

A week and few days ago, I came down with malaria. My blood sugar rose so high. Malaria, diabetes and high blood pressure all weighing me down despite all the drugs I have been using. I was so sick I thought I was going to die. Fiyin was by my side all through the illness. He made Pamilerin’s wife prepare pepper soup for me, God knows he would have cooked it himself if he had the strength. My darling husband is still trying to cook for me even after all these years. I began to feel better anyway. Sometime in the midnight or very early in the morning on February 14th, he came into my room with a rose flower. He placed it on my bedside table and he lay on my bed right by my side. By 7am my daughters-in-law brought breakfast for us and we ate. Not too long after, Fiyin began to throw up seriously. I called people in the house to talk to him. We all tried to convince him to go to the hospital but he refused so we called the doctor over. I put his head on my lap while we awaited the doctor’s arrival. By the time the doctor got home, Fiyin was asleep or so I thought till the doctor pronounced him dead.

I’ve not been the same since. I was the sick one I should have gone instead or we should have gone together. I feel so lonely Busolami. I don’t know how I’m going to live without Fiyin.



I pressed the send button on my mobile phone and placed it down. Tears began to roll down my face again









He’s gone I thought he’s really gone. What am I to do without him???

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2 Responses to The Proposal

  1. xoxo says:

    Wow! What a wonderful piece. This is truly amazing, I almost teared up, and one of the characters is my namesake (Fiyin). God bless you for this wonderful piece Gold.


  2. Kay says:

    This was quite something. It was deep and sad, full of so much emotion. Wonderful work.


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