My wedding was in two days and I still didn’t feel the excitement of spending the rest of my life with the man I was about to walk down the court room with. Don’t get me wrong, Kamsiyochukwu is an amazing guy. Great personality, good job, good looking and kind. He is everything my unborn child deserves and more.
   We met at the gallery when i was about three month’s pregnant. He’d come to get his mum a birthday present, he wanted something elegant and pricy but the man was as oblivious to art as I to  Mandarin. After almost an hour of going round the gallery and being unsure of what to get his mum, he finally went with an African’s take on a Margaret Keane inspired painting of a big eyed, waifish, young black girl. He began to frequent the gallery after that day, buying almost anything. He’d come in, look around the gallery and pick the most random things, from paint brushes, oil paint and some work of art that were clearly not his taste. We spoke for the first time on a rainy Thursday in August. Kamsi came in the gallery soaking wet. He was shivering like a wet kitten as he rushed into the gallery. Laraba’s frustrated look was impossible to ignore, considering she had to clean up when he left. He smiled pitifully at her, but she was in no mood to acknowledged his gesture. He looked lost as usual, going from isle to isle, feigning interest in every piece of art he picked up, then stood in front of an empty canvas, he looked at it for a moment then picked it up. I walked up to him and offered to help him get dried up, as his muddy shoes and dripping clothes were like multiple blows to Laraba’s kidney with every step he took. As we walked to the back room, i asked what kind of paint he was looking to use for his new art project and he seemed lost, then I asked what he wanted an empty canvas for. He looked at the empty canvas, then at me looking like a teenage boy who’s mum just saw naked. He then smiled and told me he had to be honest with me. He said there was an employee he’d been looking forward  to ask on a date, but anytime he got to the gallery he chickened out. Chickened out? How does a 6ft, caramel, hazel eye, well dressed, hot spice chicken out? For one I thought it was adorable. Well that ruled out our suspicion of him being a kleptomaniac. He told me he saw her the very first time he came to the gallery and he couldn’t get her off his mind ever since. I offered to help him get his dream girl as I took him into my studio. My best bet was Caroline was the girl he had a crush on, I mean it only made sense cause she was the most attractive and only single and available staff we had. She was to resume her shift in about 30 minute’s, giving Mr hazel eyes enough time to dry up. I gave him one of the promo shirts for the gallery, as I stood and watched him unbutton his drenched white shirt, he carefully revealed his perfectly toned caramel body. He then put on the gallery promo shirt I’d given him. His broad shoulders and buff chest doing justice to the picture of the gallery resting on his chest. I made for my oil paint and brush, then picked up an empty canvas and wrote;

” Dinner after work? Yes or yes?”

I was so sure Caroline was going to be head over heels when she saw this. Caroline was a helpless romantic. Literally forcing everyone to listen as she either lamented or praised  Nicolas Sparks or any other romance novel authors choice of plot after every read. I was about to write her name when I paused, just to double check the person in question was indeed Caroline.

“And what’s her name?”

He was standing so close to me that I could feel his breath. He said he wasn’t sure, but the security man told him her name was Teniola. I proceeded to write, then the name rang again in my head. Teniola! I froze up, when I heard that name. Teniola! That was me, that was my name. Was he crazy? I looked up at him, his hazel eyes fixed on me, his glasses complimented his diamond shaped face.  I began to laugh and then made to explain that Bala mixed up our names, I told him I was Teniola and Caroline was the hot cashier he wanted to ask out. He stopped laughing and told me he didn’t know who Caroline was. I was the reason he’d been frequenting the gallery for days, I was the one he wanted to ask out on a date. I was perplexed at what he’d said mainly because it didn’t make sense. I instantly turned him down and pleaded with him to stop coming. That didn’t happen, because he came by everyday for the next week. Then I agreed to go on a date with him because the man didn’t seem like he was giving up anytime soon and i was more than certain he’d flee once i told him i was pregnant. But that didn’t happen either.
  Two years older than I was, at thirty two, Kamsi had a lot going on for him. He’d achieved so much at such a young age. At 22 he’d bagged two MSC degree’s, he won his first major case at 26, he was one of the best lawyers in the country. Kamsi what most people would refer to as a classic overachiever. He lost his wife two year’s ago during childbirth, they had a beautiful daughter together. It was easy to tell the man had been crazy about his late wife.  He asked me to be his girlfriend despite me telling him I was pregnant with someone else’s child. I eventually said yes and on our fourth anniversary he asked me to marry him. Being the only son, and putting into consideration that I was the first woman he’d dated since his late wife, though sceptical and initially against this madness as she’d often referred to Kamsi’s decision, his mum finally gave her blessings. Kamsi was a kind hearted, intelligent and humble man. He was everything my unborn child needed in a father. I didn’t want my baby growing up without a father like I did. This was as good as a second chance could get. Kamsi knew I wasn’t in love with him, yet all he wanted was to take care of me and make me happy.  I’d say Kamsi and I were simply drawn by the common love and search for finding a good parent for our kids. I was about 8 months gone When we agreed to have a simple court wedding before our baby was born.
  The day was finally here, I was in the court room, with Laraba and Caroline and two of Kamsi’s friends. I wasn’t ready for this, I felt like leaving all this behind and  starting over for the second time. I could feel contractions, but i wasn’t about to let this young man come into the world before our “I do’s”. Kamsi could tell I was terrified, he had no idea i was about to go into labour. He held my hand and told me we could always get married some other time. This marriage wasn’t about me, my baby deserved better and that is what I was going to get him. The Solemniser went on with the necessities, when we heard loud voices from the other side of the door, as the fragile 15- lite pine double doors swung open. The security man was trying to pull a young man out when I heard that overly familiar voice call my name. It was Nabil. He was bruised, but most surprisingly he was there in that room. My heart sank, I couldn’t move, my back began to hurt, then I felt liquid drip between my leg’s. My water broke.

Love Abenii