“Happy birthday Araba,” he said and planted a kiss on her forehead.
“Thanks Zack,” she smiled taking the flowers.
She led him to the dinner table and after the meal they relaxed in the sofa to watch a movie. Araba lay her head on his shoulders and he wrapped his arms around her. She felt safe. She felt loved and most importantly, she was happy.
She was almost dozing off when Zack tapped her on the shoulder and told her he had something very important to tell her.
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“I don’t know how to tell you this Araba. I don’t know how you are going to take it,” he said.
“What is it Zack? You are scaring me now.”
He reached out to his pocket and sat straight staring into her eyes. Araba was anxious. What was it he had to tell her and why was it difficult for him to say it?
“Araba, I love you. I want you to be my girlfriend. I want you to be the mother of my children. I want to spend the rest of my life by your side,” he finally uttered the words out.
Araba was dazed. She knew he would propose to her but she didn’t expect it this early. She didn’t know what to tell him. She just stared at him and she got him confused.
Didn’t she love him too? Zack asked himself.
She startled. She was far away in wonderland. She couldn’t believe what she was hearing.
“Zack…,” there was a long pause then she finally said, “I don’t know what to say. I didn’t expect this. Isn’t it too early to think that you love me? How sure are you? We’ve only known each other these past two months. It’s hard to believe what you are telling me.”
That was not the kind of reaction he expected. He expected her to jump in joy and say yes to his proposal. He was disappointed but managed to compose himself.
“I know how this looks like. But I’ve been doing a lot of thinking and soul searching and I’m sure about my feelings towards you. I know this has come as a shock but my feelings are true.
Nonetheless, I’ll give you some time to think about it. But I love you Araba. That, I know for sure.”
He rose to his feet and placed the ring he had bought back into his pocket. He left disappointed yet confident that Araba would make the right decision.
The next day he called her but avoided a discussion on the events of the previous night. He wanted her to think things through. He was not entirely disappointed at her reaction. It was to be expected especially when their friendship was that young.
A week passed and Araba had still not given him an answer. Then one afternoon as they were chatting on phone Araba informed him she had taken a decision.
“Zack, I love you too.”
“Awww…. I thought I was never going to hear that from you. You just made my day Araba. I love you.”
Their bond grew stronger with each passing day and soon they were talking marriage. A day never passed without a message or a call from him. They virtually spent the whole day together on phone.
He was the first person she spoke to when she woke up and the last person she said good night to.
The year was drawing to an end and Araba was elated than ever. She knew God would come through for her but she didn’t expect it to be this fast. Zack was more than she had asked for. He was caring,
thoughtful and hardworking; but one thing fell short. She wasn’t sure about his relationship with God.
Yes, he went to church occasionally and his only excuse for not being an ardent church goer was the nature of his job; but he had time to pray and he knew and understood the scriptures fairly. He also knew that salvation was important and he had made sure to accepting Jesus as his Lord and Saviour.
So far so good, she thought to herself. He made her happy and that was very important to her.
It was three months into their relationship and everything was perfect. There had been little misunderstandings here and there but they always managed to resolve whatever the problem was. The early morning texts were still Zack’s signature characteristic and even when they quarrelled, he made sure he always checked up on her the first thing in the morning.
That morning was no different except that they had not quarrelled. The week was nearing an end and everything between them was perfect as usual. He sent her a message and she replied. She even called later in the day to ensure everything was ok at his end.
Everything seemed perfect until she called him in the evening.
To be continued...