Diary Of A Shoe Lover – Season Finale – A Birthday and A Fairy Tale.
Is this what being in love truly feels like or am I just being overly emotional?.. I can’t even put my thoughts and feelings into writing, I’d be back later… Good night!!!
Less than a week to my birthday and none of my friends was back in town. And no, they wouldn’t be making it down in time… I felt so empty and lonely. Ivie had sent me an early birthday present through one of her cousins.
As much as I loved my new season Gucci princeton slippers, they could not fill the void I felt knowing i would be spending my birthday alone. A sudden fear gripped me at the thought of being alone forever.. I literally panicked.
“Shally too cute, abi what’s that your Whatsapp name?” My mum cut into my thoughts as she joined me on the dining table where I was having dinner.
I was having wheat pasta and a side of vegetables with chicken wings. This fitfam feeding wasn’t so bad after all even though I slipped once in a while. My body was taking shape and I was loving every bit of it.
“Why not just call me Salewa, Mrs Oni and leave Whatsapp name. How are you Ma?” I replied, offering her a bite from my meal.
“A ni o l’eko, o ba je (You have no moral training, you’re ill mannered) she said, taking the chair right beside me.
“And I love you too mummy” i said as I blew her a kiss.
“Anyway, is it ok to talk? Why am I even asking, I want us to talk” she continued.
“So how far have you gone with Hakeem’s proposal?” She asked
I wasn’t ready for this conversation, I didn’t want to talk about it, why did she have to bring it up now? But I knew I couldn’t get out of this one with her, maybe it was really time to discuss it sef.
“Mummy, to be honest, I don’t know. I haven’t said anything to him still. I don’t even know what to say. Was it this hard for you when you were proposed to?” I answered, turning away from my food and facing her.
She laughed, laughed really hard. My mum could make you look foolish but she still had the best heart ever and most importantly the best counsel.
“Well, me I was waiting for the proposal, the only thing that would have made it hard was if the ring wasn’t up to what I expected and your dad knew better” she laughed again. I couldn’t help but laugh myself.
“So what’s making it hard to make a decision Salewa” she asked sounding serious this time, “open up to me, you know I gat ya back, abi which body part do you people always gat” she said with a straight face.
I almost choked on my water, I was done with this woman. “Mummy free me Abeg. To be honest, the truth is I like Hakeem, a lot! But that’s the big problem, I’m scared that the moment we define our friendship and become intimate, things will start to fall apart and then I might lose that friendship forever. Hakeem’s friendship, just like Aishat and Ivie is one I cherish very much.” I answered feeling better as I let out my thoughts.
“So you kuku friend-zoned him, wehdone Ma” she said, imitating falz the bad guy.
“Mummy pls I’m going to my room, what is this now?, get serious jo” I was laughing uncontrollably.
My mum was a clown, she made light of every situation, no matter how serious.
“Ok, ok , ok. Let’s get serious. Salewa, the first thing you should know is this, no matter who you get married to, you cannot escape the challenges of life that will hit you. You don’t know the half of what your dad and I have gone through over the years, but one thing I can tell you is this.
It is the bond of friendship, not even that intimate love, that got us through and has still continued to keep us together. I hear everything you’re saying about not wanting to lose his friendship. But there’s no time you wouldn’t lose it if you end up with different spouses. Do you think his wife will let him buy you shoes or hang out with you as often as you’d like? Of cos that friendship will go down the drain eventually.
The only way to keep it is to be his wife, so he’s yours forever. I can’t force my opinions on you, my darling child. But you need to search yourself and face the reality of what you really feel for him and if you see him in your future 20 years from now. That should give you a definite answer. If it doesn’t, go for deliverance. Me I want to go and do pepper them gang before my husband will come back, we’re going on a date” She said as she got up to leave.
I shook my head and sighed “Aren’t you guys getting too old for date nights? ” I said waiting to see her reaction.
“Emi old, wait till you see my make up on fleek, oya o baby, o baby. Pepper them gang, oya o baby o baby” she was singing Olamides latest single.
“We need to call a meeting for you mummy” I said laughing as I joined her in the song.
“It is you and Hakeem they will call meeting for” she said going up the stairs to her room.
“Thank you mummy, I love you” I shouted after her and sat down to finish up my food. I felt a lot lighter and was more confident in getting a response across to Hakeem, I just needed to think about the whole thing rationally.
I would do that tonight or no, tomorrow. It had been a long day and I had to get ready for another early morning meeting.
“I thought you were avoiding me o” I had been calling Aishat all evening. It was the eve of my birthday and I was so restless and lonely and sad. I was just about giving up, when she answered.
“No vex jo, I left my phone charging. I’m sorry boo. Wasup?” She replied.
“I’m just here o, I was secretly hoping you’d say you were back and unpacking. I’m really going to spend my birthday alone, Choi!” I said almost tearing up.
“Go and marry and stop feeling sorry for yourself” she said laughing.
“Will you marry me?” I replied. I still hadn’t told her or Ivie about Hakeem. I wanted to see them in person so I could see their reactions, besides it wasn’t phone talk.
“I’m sorry tho, I was really planning to come back today to surprise you o, but popc made me stay back to have dinner tomorrow with his friends family. The man is trying desperately to marry me off. I’d be back on Sunday morning I promise and I’d make it up, besides its not like it’s the big 30” She explained.
I laughed, “You better go with the flow and marry one of those rich men. I can’t wait to see you jo, I really miss you guys. Ivie too is not back till mid week. I’d have lunch by myself and take a long walk on the beach by myself and drive back home by myself”I said trying to sound pitiable.
Aisha laughed “have fun by your damn self bitch, happy birthday in advance and I miss you too. I’d see you on Sunday.”
“Bye mama, at least call and sing for me tomorrow.” I said and hung up.
I still couldn’t come up with anything to do. My parents were away for the weekend, my brother and his wife had gone with them, it was a wedding for a family friend in Akure.
I had toyed with the idea of going with them to at least have company but I backed out eventually and they did little or nothing to persuade me.
I woke up to the smell of toast bread, I opened my eyes and our maid was grinning from ear to ear with a tray in her hands.
“Aunty, i said I should make special breakfast for you as its your birthday, happy birthday!!! She said as she set the tray on my bedside table.
I sat up and smiled at her “Aawww, thank you dear, thank you!, I’d come down soon”
It was a complete English breakfast – Bread, omelettes, sausage, baked beans and pancakes..
This girl was out to ruin my diet. I still had the smile on my face, maybe it won’t be such a bad day after all. I went into the bathroom to brush my teeth and wash my face. I had a bit of everything on the tray and it was really yummy.
I went back to bed and checked my phone… Notifications on every social media app – Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Snap chat- there were shout outs from each one.
I tried to respond to as many as I could. Aisha called in between, we talked briefly. I got a voice note on Whatsapp from Hakeem.
“Hey you, happy birthday! Hope you enjoy your day. I have a busy day ahead, but I’d call you as soon as I can. Bye.”
I replied via text saying “Thanks”.
After about 2 hours on the phone responding to messages and taking calls, I went in and took a bath. I’d go out and have lunch and then maybe go and see a playlet at Terra kulture, there must be something a girl can do alone.
Just as I was getting my bag, my phone rang, it was Aishat.
“How far Salewa, where are you?” She said sounding a bit upset.
“I’m at home o, getting ready to go out, Wasup?” I answered.
” My sales girl just called saying that some tax officials are trying to make some trouble at the surulere store, is it possible to help me go and see what’s going on? I’ve tried to talk to them but they’re not even listening.” She explained.
“Sure, I’d be there in a few minutes. Not like I have anything important to do. Let me go and feel relevant there. But wait, you no dey pay tax?” I answered, going down the stairs.
“Ode, I do o, I have all my payment slips, I’d tell you where they are when you get there. Please take your copy of my office keys o!” She said.
“Ok, it’s in my bunch of keys, let me be on my way. I’d call you back when I’m there.” I replied and cut off.
I got in my car and headed straight to Aishat’s store. As I pulled up the front, I saw her sales girl deep in argument with some guys, I figured it was them. I called Aishat to ask where to get the payment evidence. I wanted to approach them with all the papers in hand so I wouldn’t have to plead with any one.
I opened her office door
“HAPPY BIRTHDAYYYYYYYY” the shouts made me go dizzy. I stopped, it was Hakeem, Aisha and Ivie. I couldn’t smile or cry, I just froze.
Ivie had a cake in one hand, Aisha had balloons and Hakeem had flowers in one hand and Net A Porter gift bags on the other hand. I was too shocked to move or speak.
Hakeem handed me the gift bags and flowers. I looked away as I took them from him. I gave him a hug and then went to hug my girls.
“Please don’t go soft on us” Aisha said handing me a little box, I guessed it was jewelry. I put my gifts and flowers in my car and went back to join them.
“Wait why are you all wearing denim, you planned a dress code too? ” I asked as i noticed Aishat’s denim play suit and Ivie’s Balmain denim shorts.
Ivie laughed, ” I told Aishat, I could bet my wedding ring on it you’d be wearing denim shorts and I wasn’t wrong after all.” They both laughed, Hakeem was outside on the phone.
We headed to a private beach house owned by Hakeem’s boss. He had allowed him have the place for the day and the in house chef had prepared some bad ass sea food okro soup and pounded yam. I couldn’t have had a better day. Ivie’s husband and Hakeem’s friend joined us there.
There was wine, champagne and music. I could never have had a better birthday. Not ever. It was just perfect. We later watched the movie ‘76 which had star actors Ramsey Noah and Rita Dominic in it and headed back to real life.
I picked up my gifts from my car at Aishat’s store where I had left it and joined Hakeem in his, while she drove my car home as she didn’t have hers.
It was a quiet ride most of the time as we listened to “The weeknd” all the way to mine.
“Thanks Hakeem, I don’t even know what to say, I honestly don’t” I said to him as we got to the front of my house.
“Say you’d marry me, Salewa I’ve never felt this way about anyone ever in my life” he paused “I promise, I will never bring it up again after tonight, I promise.” He said as he handed me my gift bags from the back seat.
We stayed sitting there in the dark still listening to “The weeknd”, I leaned in to give him a kiss on the cheek, it became a full on mouth lock. I pulled away to catch my breath.
“When are you going back to Dubai?” I asked.
“I’m due back at work on Tuesday, so Monday at the latest” he replied, his eyes fully on me.
“I guess I’d see you again then, thanks for everything . Thank you Hakeem.” I said, as I opened the door.
He made to kiss me again, this time briefly and said, “You deserve everything and more, I’d call you tomorrow. Good night and I hope you’d like your gifts. Happy birthday again”
I waved goodnight as I had suddenly lost my voice. I watched him drive away before I went into the house.
Hakeem had gotten me 4 pairs of shoes and a Valentino bag.
I went to bed that night feeling like all the Disney princesses rolled together in one.