My grandma used to tell me that thunderstorms were a sign of Sango’s anger and thunder was his voice booming at the object of his ire. In science class, when my teacher taught me that rain was a product of evaporation and condensation, I had gotten so confused that I stood up to ask where Sango fit into the picture. He laughed and told me Sango was not real. Grandma said he was a fool.
“”Man, I don’t know. Look at the sky. This is a bad omen.”
“Man, shut up.”, I snapped at Lanre. We had known each other for fifteen years, yet his superstitions still got on my nerves. “I’m just saying sha. We should do this another day.” On cue, the sky rumbled its agreement. For a second, I thought of what Lanre was suggesting. Surely, this was not a good sign. I looked out the window. The sky was dark and angry, with lightning constantly flashing streaks of white through the grey. My grandma used to tell me that thunderstorms were a sign of Sango’s anger and thunder was his voice booming at the object of his ire. In science class, when my teacher taught me that rain was a product of evaporation and condensation, I had gotten so confused that I stood up to ask where Sango fit into the picture. He laughed and told me Sango was not real. Grandma said he was a fool.
“Think about it man. No girl wants her big day to look like this.” I stretched an open palm to Lanre, and he placed a small, black box in it. It felt so light, so I opened it to confirm that it wasn’t in fact, empty. Lanre started to say something, then stopped and shook his head. “I’m driving sha. With any luck- God knows we need luck, we’d be there before the rain starts.”
“My boss was just telling me that…babe? Babe, what’s wrong?” Lami was shaking my arm. I was jolted out of my ominous thoughts and smiled at her. She smiled back, and the knot that had already formed in my stomach tightened even more. “You’ve barely even touched your food.”
“I’m not really hungry.”, I said weakly.
“That one na lie sha. You that I know? I hope you’re not falling sick. When was the last time you treated malaria?”
“Lami, I’m fine. Do you want more wine?”
I took the time to look at her as she poured the wine. The box in my hand got heavier by the second. She was saying something, but I couldn’t hear what it was. I could feel my heart racing. My stomach tightened even more. I stood up.
“Where are you going?”, Lami laughed. I got on one knee and opened the box. Behind me, I heard a saxophone start to play Rex Lawrence. That was Lanre’s idea. He insisted that all women loved Rex Lawrence. Lami had stopped talking. Her fork was hanging in the air. The cake she was spooning dropped onto the table. Time stood still. Someone gasped. Then, everything happened so fast. While I was still kneeling, Lami stood up, gathered her things and fled.
I could feel the heat on my face. The saxophone stopped suddenly, leaving silence in the restaurant. Other customers looked at me with pity, some looked amused. “Eyaaaah” somebody whispered. Outside, it began to rain. The loud drops drowned out all the chatter around me and I hoped it was dark enough that nobody would see the tears in my eyes. There was a buzzing sound in my ears. I thought I was going mad. My phone lit up. It was a text from Lami. “Yes, idiot.”