My Abroad Husband - By Onuoha Fay

I'm getting married today. My parents and siblings are very happy because it's 'ndi abroad' that have come to marry Ifeoma, their daughter. I finished from secondary school and I'm working as a sales girl in an outlet to supplement my parents' meager income. They said that my university education will be suspended till a miracle happens to our financial situation. I worked there for six months before Chairlady started coming to our house. She was a very rich widow with most of her children based outside the country. She was the president of our Parish's CWO.

At first, she just came to buy things from where I work. Later, she started spending more time there, conversing with my employer. Occasionally, when my gaze fell on them, she would flash me a reassuring smile. She started getting close to my mother; occasional gifts don't hurt, coming to our house and being exceptionally good to us, me especially. Then, she let us in on her intentions; she wanted me as a wife for her son, Gregory. She called him Greg. She said that he lives in Chicago, Illinois, wherever that was. She showed me his pictures. He was very handsome and fair. She said that he worked with a shipping company there. My parents approved of the arrangement almost immediately, but I had my reservations.

I've been hearing different stories of ladies' escapades with 'abroad husbands' and it never ends well. It's either the lady gets abandoned in the country with a pregnancy and a promise to come back for her later, or she gets engaged in the absence of the guy who she wouldn't get to meet till after about a minimum of five years. All these gave me serious food for thought and I didn't hesitate to ask Chairlady what her son's real intentions were. She reassured me that they meant well for me. I asked for some time with Greg to know him better and she readily obliged.

We got talking over the phone, chatting on the social media and I found him very interesting. He was very caring and loving from the onset. He called me 'Iphy' or 'Baby'. He told me all the things I've been longing to hear; that I was beautiful and intelligent, smart and witty, that I would go places and that he wanted me by his side forever. I was swayed by his words and attitude, but I let him know that I wouldn't take him serious till I saw him. He pleaded with me to give him time to take a leave from his work, and he'll be back as soon as possible. True to his words, he was back after three weeks and the best days of my life began.

He came straight to Enugu when he touched down in Lagos. I was at work that day but his mother came to excuse me from work. That would be the first time I was stepping into their compound. I was blown away by the magnificence of the cream coloured two story building complete with a fountain in the middle of the compound. The flower hedges were neatly trimmed and beautifully arranged into a heart shape. I stayed around with the other people that came to welcome him. He was very jovial and chatted animatedly with his guests. I just sat at a corner and watched him. I doubted if he was aware of my presence. I caught myself  thinking that I wasn't good enough for him. I was so lost in thoughts that I didn't notice that the guests had emptied out. I nearly jumped out of my skin when I felt a warm breath on my neck.

“Hi Baby. Did I startle you?” he drawled.

“Oh, it's you.” I was standing away from my former position and looking down at my feet. 

An awkward silence ensued.

“How was your trip?” I asked and looked up to find his eyes roving my body. I looked away immediately.

“It was uneventful. You're beautiful.” 

I swallowed hard. I was thinking of what to say next when he came forward and enveloped me in a hug. I inhaled his cologne before putting my hands on his waist in an attempt to hug him back. We stayed in that position for very long before he broke it off. He made me feel at ease with him and I was soon laughing at his remarks.

I spent the rest of the day with him and he drove me home in the evening. He went in with me to greet my parents, who welcomed him with open arms and told him to always feel free to visit whenever he wanted. He took me places that were beyond my imaginations; dinners, trips, sightseeing. He loved my family equally, providing for them whatever they needed. He let me figure out my feelings, loving me gently and taking me every step of the way. I knew it was too good to be true and I didn't want it to end. So one day, I asked him in clear terms what he really wanted... I needed to hear from him. He told me of his plans, how he wanted me to be his and help him build a family at his base. He caught a flicker of doubt on my face and proceeded to produce my international passport from his bedside drawer. He said that he wanted it to be a surprise, but had to reveal it so I could believe him. 

I was basking in the joy and relief of knowing that I was in his future that I didn't see what was coming. I was still smiling sheepishly when I looked up to say something and the smile froze on my face while my jaw hung open. Right before me, Greg was kneeling on one knee with a red velvet box in his hand, asking me to marry him. I couldn't process the scene before me and I broke down in tears. This was too good to be true.

“Yes! Yes! I'll marry you”, I sobbed.

He slipped on the ring and kissed me passionately. 

The wedding plans began in earnest and I couldn't wait to get married to the most amazing man I've ever met. The weeks passed in a blur and everything made me realize that what works for one person may not work for another. Today is the D-day, and I'm getting married to my abroad husband who loves me as much as I do him.