Father, gave me that heart-warming look, that made my heart melt like wax in the sun. The smile plastered over His face and the warmth in His eyes made me ecstatic of the news He was about to give me.

“Tomi”, He called out.

“Yes, Dad”, I replied, eager to hear what he had to say.

“You know how much I love you, right? You also know I have your best interest at heart.” He said as I fastened my gaze on Him, giving Him my full attention.

“Sure, Dad. You’ve always loved me and will forever love me. What will you have me know or do?”, I quizzed, my expectations becoming heightened.

“Daughter, there comes a time in life when you have to go to the next phase of life. Having moulded you to a fashionable, virtuous woman, I deem it fit to hand you over to my son whom I’ve been preparing for you. He has waited for a while, and now is the time for both of you to build a home that reflects my love.”

“All right, dad. We definitely will not disappoint you. You know I’ve equally anticipated this day,” I blurted out, not being able to contain my joy at this great news.

“Good one, dear. I’m so proud of you. You’ll be meeting him in two weeks time.”

The two weeks seemed like two years as the days slowed to a crawl. The joy that flooded my soul could not be explained. Well, the reasons could not be farfetched. I had always been asking Father who this son of His is that was interested in getting hooked up with wonderful me for life. I had always pictured in my head how he will look, talk, his gait, and his composure. I had equally dreamt of having a tall, dark and handsome (TDH) young man for a husband.

The second week from my discussion with Abba came at last, and my heart found a position in my mouth as it was about time my husband to be will be unveiled. On the Saturday that was to mark the end of the two weeks, I found my way to the grocery store to stock up my kitchen that was fast running dry. While shopping, a feeling of nausea swept over my body. I suddenly began feeling dizzy and before I could say jack, I was spilling the content in my intestine to the floor. I was led to the toilet in the Super Mart to stabilize myself, wiping my face with water, rinsing my mouth as well.

“Hey, miss, hope you’re good?” A voice called from behind me. The voice struck a chord, but I could not trace the voice to any face at the moment.

“Just a little discomfort”, I replied, turning my face to meet that of the stranger.

“Who am I seeing here? Tomi!” He called out, surprise written on his face.

“Bayo! Are my eyes deceiving me? How are you, and how is life with you?

“Very well, God has been faithful. I can see you’re not so strong, why don’t you let us get a place to sit so you could be more comfortable.” He responded with every form of care in him.

“Thanks”, I said curtly, following him as he led the way to the adjoining restaurant beside the Super Mart.

We spoke for a long time, catching up on old times and refreshing ourselves with tales of campus life, service year and all. At this point, I was feeling better and I was able to carry on the conversation. Talk was over, and it was time to part ways. This was not without us exchanging contacts.

I had a long day, and all I needed was a warm bath and a good evening nap. Dumping all I got from the store in the kitchen, I headed straight to the bathroom for a refreshing shower and a pleasant nap. Siesta time, and sleep escaped from my eye like a bird will escape from the snare of the fowler. I had planned a good time of sleep and nothing more. My body ached for sleep badly, but my mind waged war against it.

“You just met your husband.” I heard audibly, and there was a corresponding sensation in my spirit, serving as a confirmation. I scoffed at the ‘revelation’ I had just received.

“That can’t be possible”, I thought within myself. This must be my mind messing with me. Perhaps it’s because he showed some sense of care, and my heart received the wrong signal.

“Bayo is the man you’ve been eager to meet.” The audible voice came again, and this time around I burst out in laughter at such imaginations of my mind. In a bid to drown the ‘unholy’ thoughts playing on my mind, I put on the stereo in my room, letting the music permeate my soul.

Days rolled into weeks, and weeks into months, and this nagging voice followed me everywhere I went. The more I fought it, the stronger it became, and the more irritating it was.

Well, you can’t totally blame me for this constant rejection. How could I marry Bayo of all people. Bayo was a far cry from what I expected in a man. Though I loved TDH, it was not a do or die affair, but one thing that attracts me to men is their gait and speech. Bayo was not anything close to TDH, which was the first spoiler. He equally had a slow speech and was poor in body carriage. He often wore this inferior look on his face, and could barely speak boldly in public.

Back on campus, we just never clicked. I used to look at him and shake my head, with one singular thought on my mind- “the woman that will marry him will try gan o.” Anytime the discussion with my clique gets to marital issues, and Tola my friend ‘mistakenly’ attaches his name to me, I rejected it like anyone will avoid a leper. To be the unfortunate woman that will try was just an impossibility.

**************************
During one of my meditations and prayer for a life partner, what dropped in my spirit broke me down completely. “Don’t throw away your golden gift because it is not wrapped in an attractive package.” I wept bitterly and was devastated. “Father, you know I love you and I’m always willing to obey your every word, but as regards this one, let it pass me by,” I said, crying out my eyes and heart.
I had just wiped away my tears when a message came in. “Hello, dear. It was nice seeing you the other day. My heart was really gladdened that we could connect again. I’ll however want to see you to discuss something with you in your spare time. Please give a response when you see this. Thanks.”

“Twas nice seeing you too, but we have nothing to discuss” was my initial response, but I thought against it and just sent “K”, and switched off my phone.

A date was fixed for our meeting. I already knew the outcome of the meeting and I had a prepared answer on my mind already.

“Hey, Tomi. It’s nice seeing you again.” He mumbled, not having the boldness to look at my face. His timidity and lack of poise had begun to irk me. All that was on my mind was just to get out of his presence.

“Same here”, I said, in an absentminded manner.

“Well, it’s something that had been on my mind for a while now. I had been seeking for direction from God about how my future will be. What to do, the wife to marry, and–”

“Go straight to the point”, I cut in, irritation written on my face.

“–erm, meeting with you at the Super Mart was the confirmation given to me, so, I’ll want you to pray about it.” He concluded.

“K”, I replied curtly, taking my leave.

He had always been aware of the fact that my clique and I did not like him, so I’m sure he was not surprised at my rashness towards him. I had the gut feeling that he mustered all the self-esteem he had, and I have successfully washed it all off.

Though I felt terrible about my uncouth response, I had made up my mind as to what to do. I’d rather remain single than get married to Bayo, I reiterated in my mind. Getting home, I gave him my reply.

“I’m sorry for my rude behaviour. However, my answer is a NO. May God give you a wife that matches your type of person.”
Having sent the message, I turned off my phone to avoid any likely barrage of calls. True to my intuition, I received plethora of text messages asking whether or not I was sure. Texts were the only option since my number was not available. After some months of constant nagging to change my mind, I had no choice but to blacklist him, cutting off from every form communication. It payed off, as he got off my back.

Months rolled into years, and no other person showed up. Having received my last warning from God on not being too hasty, and I blatantly refused, the heavens became silent over every of my request for a marriage partner.

One night in my usual state of praying and crying, I received an answer. “According to the idols of your heart will I answer you, and it shall be to your destruction.” My heart trembled at the utterance, and I sought for mercy, albeit the mercy that will allow me go my way but avoid the destruction at the end. I was ready to go any length not to marry Bayo.

…to be continued.