Looking at me from the other end of the room, which felt like the other end of the world, thanks to the deafening awkward silence that made ten seconds feel like hours and ten feet feel like light years.
With a look of tiredness and anxiety, she asked, sinking into the chair “Do you think we can ever get back to the way we were before?” she asked silently
“No… Never!” I replied as I watched her face switch from one of anxiety to one of confusion with a Lil’ touch of perplexity. I continued “Rather, I hope we can move forward from where we are right now and be better… do better… you know?”
“So err… to better friends then?” she said with an even more confused look.
“Nooo dummy! I mean to better best friends!” I said, with a wide grin on my face.
You see, Yemi and I had been best friends for a long time. Very close, we had so much in common – her sense of humour and sarcasm (which was state-of-the-art by the way); her way of reasoning (which was just deep); our inside jokes were so epic, it was annoying to most of our mutual friends. We just understood each other so well. We clicked! People would often tease that we were forming best friends and all but that at the rate which we were going we might just end up getting married. But of course, we would just laugh it off each time and tell them to mind their own businesses.
Along the line without realising it, we both caught feelings. Someone got jealous, the other person read meanings to normal gestures and statements (which always ended in a fight), normal “insults” suddenly became hurtful and insensitive, weird greetings and “So errr…” became the opening address and awkward moments became our benediction. Long story short… things got complicated. So after a healthy while of mutual silence and avoidance, I decided we should meet and talk at my place and try to sort out our issues. She came. And after running out of the small talk we used to pass time and try to ease ourselves of the inherent tension and imminent awkwardness of our conversion, there came the silence which prevailed at the beginning of this flashback.
“What’s better than best friends?” she replied, in between a soft laugh and rolling eyes.
I smiled, took a deep breath and said…
“Will you marry me?”
Amidst the shrieking sound that she made, I could barely make out a word that she said. All I could make sense of were her arms around my neck and her tears that had wet my shirt. In that moment it seemed like light years had suddenly been reduced to a hair’s breadth and lost time had been regained in the twinkle of an eye.
“I guess that means Yes… right?” I asked softly.
“Oh! Yes! Yes! Yes!” she said in between sobs and laughter.
So I slipped the ring on the appropriate finger
“I love you!”
“I love you!” We kissed. It was our first time, yet it didn’t feel so awkward. Rather, it was magical…like fireworks on the 4th of July. You know, it was the 4th of July. What a coincidence!
I guess those people were right all along. I mean… We did get married after all.
PS: by “Took a deep breath…” I meant “Went down on one knee” *winks*