How could we have known the night would’ve held more surprises? If I had known, I would have avoided the outing. All the same, it was awesome nevertheless. Desmond had other plans which we never saw coming. Just after the meal, he asked us to come spend some time with him at the rooftop of the hotel where we had dinner. He said it was a good sight and was good for relaxation. We used the elevator to the rooftop and waited patiently for the sliding doors to divide. It did eventually and exposed us to one of the most aesthetic and heartwarming experiences of my life.
Rose flowers carpeted a narrow track that bent towards the left with glowing luminous decorations that decorated the flanks of the rose path. We were perplexed and turned Desmond’s way who had halved his face with a broad smile.
“Shall we?” He indicated in the direction forward with a gentlemanly bow. His smile was radiant and brilliant and lined his jaws into a cowboy masculinity. Why were the best things for Vera alone? I thought and shrugged it off almost immediately.
We eased ourselves into the space and followed the track lead to where it bent to the left. Ahead of us was a glowing art of Christmas lights with the shape of a heart. A smoke machine began to smoke and clouded the area where the lights were glowing. Then the fireworks were let out into the air far above us. We read the write up it formed and before I could turn to look at my friend, she had broken down in tears.
When she raised her face again, Desmond was kneeling with one knee and a white little box which he held out before her. When he opened it, the little golden ring with a small diamond stone shimmered against the glowing lights before our eyes. I fought and won the urge to stretch out my finger not minding the words that would come with it. Oh Vera, which God created you?
“My love,” Desmond began to say, “I set all of this up with the first allowance I was paid after training, not because it’s what you would want, but because I can’t explain how much you mean to me but try to show it anyhow I can. Trust me, you’re the reason I got this job. Ever since you came into my life, it’s been goodnews in the morning, good luck in the evening. I want nothing else but to spend the rest of my life with the woman that brought light to my life.” Tears were almost coming down my eyes. “Vera, will you marry me?” He proposed to her.
Vera was sobbing uncontrollably when he was done. I felt tears trickling down my cheeks and wiped with my thumb to save my make-up.
“Yes! Yes!! Yes!!! Baby. I will marry you.” She hurriedly stretched out her fingers to accept the ring. “I will be that woman by your side through thick and thin.” Desmond slid the ring on the ring finger. Her eyes gleamed as she admired the precious stone shimmering against the glowing lights. Desmond rose and they locked in a tight embrace to the applause of a small crowd in a shrouded corner of the roof top.
He had invited a few friends too. We were deceived by the lights as we followed them to the stage oblivious of the quiet audience that observed from the dark corners. I stood smiling amidst the tears that ran down my cheeks, wondering how Vera was feeling. We got around to meeting Desmond’s friends and colleagues who had honoured his invitation. When he introduced Dickson to me, he hesitated before disengaging from the handshake we had.
After the introduction and exchange of pleasantries, Dickson never left my side. We acquainted well and got into deep discussions. He is a doctor and that was what made it easier since I studied pharmacy. We had a lot to talk about. His sense of humour was unique so much that he made me forget the time. He had one of the most perfect dentition I’d ever seen, about 6 feet tall with broad shoulders. Dickson was a perfect gentleman with his plastic eye glasses that gave him the looks of a professor. I didn’t want the night to end but it did anyway. We toasted to their success and wished them well.
Dickson drove me back home as Vera had to go home with Desmond. For real, all through that night, I cried. I loved what happened at the hotel rooftop. I dreamt that night. A very long fairy dream. But then, in the wee hours of the morning, everything changed.
In my dream, I saw Collins sitting with his back to me. I kept on calling him but he didn’t answer. When I approached him and tapped his back, he made an abrupt turn and shot me a glare that stood every hair on my body. His jaw bones stood firm and his temple was wrinkled. He looked like a man out for a kill. I jolted and woke up with that. Beads of sweat soaked my body and my bed. I was so petrified.
To be continued…