It was not that the thought did not cross her mind occasionally. Every girl dreamed of the ‘right’ man after all, that knight in shining armor that would cross over seas and land on his white horse just for her. It was why Barbie came packaged with Ken; so little girls could dream of forever afters with blue–eyed boys with buff bodies.
Nefe had brown eyes that he covered up with his wire glasses and buff was not a word even a blind man would use to describe him. When he asked her to marry him, she was actually convinced that he was either drunk or ill. The voices within her conveniently grouped themselves into two camps: the “yes” camp and the “no” camp. She said yes but the “no” camp never disbanded.
She had considered the disparities between them long before the moment he got down on one knee – He was studious; preferring the company of his books and magazines to that of their friends. He loved numbers and figures. He worked like a clock, steadily and predictably drawing up charts and analysis that made him almost revered at his office.
He did not say ‘I love you’ often but when he did, it was with a finality, a confidence that dwarfed everything else, that buried all her fears and made it hard to remember why she had any doubts in the first place.
She was his opposite in almost every way – She loved the company of people and went out of her way to make friends. She found words much more easier to deal with than numbers and percentages. She said ‘I love you’ at the most inopportune moments and her favorite thing in the world was getting Nefe to blush. Just like that time at the Palms when he was being grumpy because he had to go all the way to the ground floor just to get her an ice cream. Aisha had waited till he was climbing back up the stairs before screaming at the top of her lungs ‘I love you Ufuomanefe.’
It was one of the best days of her life even though Nefe swore never to take her to see another movie.
But sometimes she worried. She worried that love would not be enough to cover their disparities. She worried that Nefe would leave her for someone more suited to his personality. He was the star after all. The man every girl would give an arm and a leg to be with –with his boyish good looks and his warmheartedness. She was just plain old Aisha who snored like a train that had run out of fuel.
‘Did I keep you up?’ she asked him after their first night together and she had seen his puffy, sleep deprived eyes.
‘No. I was trying to do some financial modeling for this new stock the company might be interested in.’
‘On your honeymoon eh Nefe?’ She responded. He smiled sheepishly and went to make them breakfast. She knew he was lying and she had kept him up so that afternoon she bought him some ear plugs.
He had taken her hand as she offered the ear plugs to him, closed it and kissed her – ‘I don’t need them. I like watching you sleep anyhow.’
There was no right woman or man; Aisha had learned that long ago. There was however faith, hope and love; and love covered all ‘wrongs’; snoring wrongs, Wall Street journal wrongs, and every other wrong that needed covering.
Nothing else mattered where love existed, nothing at all.
Song of the day: Keane – Somewhere Only we Know