“U sound like u don’t believe in marriage anymore, if u ever did before. And I mean marriage not wedding.”
A dear friend sent me this after reading last week’s post and it got me wondering how much further from the truth opinion can get.
I believed in marriage; I almost got married myself. I believe in marriage still.
Over the weekend, I was visiting friends and, as is the norm when we meet up and have shared a few drinks, we talked about different things, tongues loosening the more alcohol was consumed. Eventually, the talk came round to relationships.
“I remember the first day I met you,” one said. “What led up to the first kiss.
I remember perfectly certain things, and others not even the faintest glimmer. We were at your brother’s and he had left us home alone. I remember we put in something to watch and the room was getting cold from the air conditioner turned so low. We went under the duvet and you folded your feet over mine, ostensibly to ward off the cold, but then, you started a back and forth tease. I didn’t mind one bit.
You got up and left the room for a bit. I lay there wanting you to kiss me so bad, I decided to strike an ‘innocent sexy’ pose so when you got back in and saw me, you would feel like kissing me straight away. I’ve tried it many times since then and somehow it’s never worked. Not once.
“You returned and came back under the covers and the game of footsie continued, and then finally (after what seemed like an eternity) you turned to face me and kissed me. I hadn’t ever gotten butterflies like that ever before; it was almost painful, but it was sweet as hell. And then you did more than kiss me…”
“You kissed me back first,” the other cut in. “The kiss back emboldened me…” .
“Kiss back?” She fired. “Didn’t you just hear me say it took you an eternity to kiss me in the first place?” She asked. “You are lucky I didn’t rip out your tongue…”
“I love the way you kiss me.” He said softly, “You alone have ever kissed me so. Sometimes it seems we learned to kiss together so that you are the only one who knows how to really kiss me…” His words trailed off at the end.
“I love the way you do too. It always starts off slow, then it seems like we’re trying to devour each other. We kiss deeply and forcefully and I didn’t know one could kiss so long and not get bored…”
“Ahem,” I cleared my throat, reminding them there were three of us there.
“Then there’s the back stairs kisses complete with weak knees and all…” He said again, dreamy-eyed and soft voiced.
“Oi, stop fast forwarding! I’m the one remembering.” She snapped.
“Anyway back to that night that changed everything.
“The room was dark apart from the TV light, and cold besides your body heat which was intoxicating, your hands found their way to my breasts – and we both know how sensitive they are.” At this point, I made gagging sounds with both my hands wrapped around my neck. She completely ignored me and carried on.
“So we were making out and I had lost all sense of time, then we took a much-needed break for things to simmer down (for me to catch my breath really) and then I ask if you had a girlfriend, bloody late, come to think of it,” she chuckled, “And you said you did. A question which was supposed to have been a formality, but well you did have a girlfriend at the time”.
I remember nothing else till your brother came home and was walking me out and I told him I liked you. His reaction was not much of a surprise. “Ahn ahn! Now now now? I’ve been here since you didn’t look at me but this dude comes and in this short time you are claiming likeness. Babe ahn ahn!” He literally got whiplash from how fast I had decided I liked you.
“I think we ended up talking a whole lot that night, you and me. I do remember your voice giving me butterflies all night long. Sweetest little critters.” She said, and it was her turn for her eyes to go dim and smokey.
“Fast forward now to when you left back to Lagos. I tried to stop liking you, you know? The whole girlfriend thing threw me and I had never been the other woman before. Yet, against reason, I stayed. I could not wait for you to get back, but didn’t want to call on your birthday either because I didn’t want to hear you go platonic on me because she was there.
“I don’t remember if eventually I did call, but I heard from your cousin that she had been there. I kinda got heartbroken but told myself the other woman isn’t entitled to shit anyway. I didn’t see you for so long, I forgot what you looked like but other things weren’t so easy to forget:
“And to think we had broken up before then. We broke up a week before my birthday, but I wasn’t going tell you lest you blamed yourself…” He said.
“You asked me to be your girlfriend and all my fears came rushing in. Would he walk past me and not know who I am? Will he think, aww crap I made a mistake? Will he be awkward with me, seeing as we had only seen once before? Will he still want to kiss me? Will he think I look good or smell good or taste good?
I analysed and analysed every single fear with the result that, I was more tense when I got to your brother’s place. You came down to get me and we went up the back stairs. I was wearing high heels and I just kept thinking “I’m sure I’m going to fall, I’m sooo afraid and tense, I’m sure I’m going to fall. Who told me to wear these heels?”
“I had worn a top that I hoped showed my figure. I wanted you to be attracted didn’t I?” She said looking pointedly at him.
“I had pulled it down as far as it would go so a little of my bosom could show, but it kept riding back up and I was too afraid of being obvious I could not pull it back down. Plus, I’ve never really had a cleavage or an impressive rack so I don’t know why I bothered.”
At this, my eyes travelled over the front of the high-necked frilly blouse she was wearing. I gave a nervous cough when I realised they were both looking at me.
“You stopped me going up the stairs and, like in my fantasy, you pulled me back, turned me around and kissed me. And oh boy, what a kiss! I lost control of my legs and almost did fall, damned traitors my knees are. Then I fell, and what a fall…
“So many years after, and the shock waves are still felt.” By this time, they had eyes only for each other. Again, I gave a small cough to break the static that was already beginning to sizzle and crackle in the room.
I had heard this story so many times, I was familiar with most of it, but I had always heard it told by the man. It was quite refreshing hearing the woman tell her side of things. It is amazing how both half of their story fit almost perfectly. Everything accounted for, but even that isn’t amazing enough. What is really amazing is that six years after the events described, they still feel for each other as they did all those years ago. Small wonder he had asked her to marry him and she had said yes; I had been the Best man at their wedding five years ago. Simultaneously, they reached out and locked fingers, both hands resting on her thigh.
Here was a couple who knew why they got married: for the love of each other, and for that other something even they could not place a finger to. Sitting there sipping on my drink and watching them, there was no way I could not believe in marriage. If the example set by my parents was not enough, here were two people in my generation making a believer of me.
I wish them many more happy years together, each the keeper of the other’s heart.
As for myself, I believe in marriage. More than that, I believe that love is out there for as many people who seek it.