Foreword: So under the matching orders of ‘not more than 1000 words’, writers and lovers of the Finding Hubby series all over were asked to write an episode of how the love story of Toke and Hawt Pastor, friends of Oyin started. This was my submission. I didn’t win. L
Anyhoo, read and…don’t judge too harshly. 😀
“You’re fretting again, dear,” Biola said, placing a hand over his fiancée’s on the table. “I’ve told you to relax.”
“I can’t help it.” Toke shot an impatient look at her watch. “It’s been so long since I last saw my girls.”
“It’s not been that long,” Biola interjected dryly.
“Six months is a long time for us to be apart from each other,” Toke argued. “It’s not the same with Oyin and Femi away on their honeymoon in the US and Gloria now residing in London.” She turned to look at the man who until six months ago had always been known to her by the innocuous nickname of ‘Hawt Pastor’. Then, Femi had come back into Oyin’s life, resulting in a friendship between Toke and Biola, one that graduated quickly into a romantic dalliance. The chemistry and the rapport they shared were just right. Toke had been recovering from a heartbreak from Lumi, her ex boyfriend, and the relationship with Biola healed her.
But their relationship hadn’t been entirely smooth-sailing.
She felt a kick in her abdomen and winced.
“Are you alright?” Biola asked.
“I’m fine…it’s just the baby kicking…” The baby–Lumi’s child–one of the reasons her relationship with Biola was so rocky.
“He must be very anxious to come out–he’s been kicking a lot these past couple of days,” Biola said as he placed a hand on her swollen belly.
Toke smiled and said, “He?”
Biola smiled back. “Every man likes to think of the baby in his woman’s womb to be a he. But of course, man proposes, God disposes.”
Toke smiled again. Biola was ever the pastor. No conversation went by without something religious or godly slipping in. “Well, Oyin, for one, would beg to differ. She likes to believe she’s in charge of her destiny.”
Biola chuckled. “Indeed she does. Her search for a hubby is a testament to how strong and determined she is.” His eyes traveled away from his girlfriend’s face and brightened. “Speak of the she-devil…”
Toke looked around and rested her gaze on the three people walking towards their table in the restaurant. Oyin’s hand was tucked into the crook of Femi’s arm; the colour and style of the designer beige silk dress she wore was perfect for her slim figure. Her face was turned in laughter towards Gloria who looked equally chic in a yellow suit-dress that suited her well.
For several minutes after they got to the table, the friends exchanged exuberant greetings, hugging, shaking hands, bussing each others’ cheeks, and oohing and aahing over Toke’s advanced pregnancy. Oyin and Gloria gasped with noisy delight when Toke wiggled the fingers of her left hand before them, with a modest diamond ring sparkling on her ring finger. Her engagement to Biola was the reason they had fixed the dinner with their friends who had all just returned to Nigeria from their sojourns abroad. Soon, they settled to drinks and dinner; they spoke and laughed with spirited ease, bouncing from one topic to the next – from the Toshes’ honeymoon to Gloria’s social life in London to talks of motherhood. It felt good for all five of them to be together. And the night flew quickly by.
Soon, dinner was over and the women excused themselves to the Ladies. On the way, they giggled and chatted some more. When they got into the empty restroom, they promptly went into different stalls to ease themselves. Moments after they went in, Toke heard the restroom door swing open; footsteps walked in, the stilettos clacking on the tiled floor of the bathroom. The new arrivals must have stopped before the mirror to repair their makeup. Then Toke heard a woman hiss, “Did you see our pastor with his friends at their table?”
“You mean Pastor Biola?” another female voice responded. “Yes nah. How could I notice him when that woman he calls a girlfriend was with him.”
There was a hiss and a mocking clap of hands.
“Out of all the proper single women in our church, he had to pick her to date. And she’s not even an original member of our church.”
“Abi? In fact, I’m starting to doubt if he’s a real man of God.”
“How can he be when he’s busy cavorting with that pregnant slut–”
“God punish you!”
The door of one of the stalls slammed open, and moments later, Oyin’s voice lashed out at the gossipy women.
“It is both your mothers that are pregnant sluts!” Her friend was in a rage, and her voice was sharp with indignation as she told the women off. As she raged, Toke and Gloria stepped out of their stalls to witness Oyin’s tirade. The women shot flustered looks at Toke, their expressions betraying their mortification that the object of their gossip had been listening to them. They mumbled something and hurried out of the room.
Gloria turned to Toke, concern clouding her features. “Are you alright?”
Toke blinked over her welling eyes. “I’m just…”
“Hey, don’t do that,” Oyin cut in. “Don’t shed any tears over what those bitches said. Focus on the fact that you have a good man who loves you. You should be high on love, floating permanently on cloud nine, not letting what those cows said make you look like a recently widowed woman. Why must the opinion of an entire village matter? Who cares if you deserve Biola or not? The man says you deserve him. He considered all your baggage and still he proposed. He has chosen and only he can choose. Just him, who loves you and sees you fit to be his queen for the rest of his life. Let the joy of this make you deaf to these busybodies. Sweerie, it’s your time, be happy.”