The Glass Slippers

April 8, 2021


She was the one that whispered the
words in his ears
It was the best thing she could do
at that moment to save herself from
losing out on the love of her life
He had never looked her way for
years, never treated her more than
he would treat a friend
They moved into the same
neighbourhood the same year
Her father had completed his house
in January that year and they moved
all the way to Ibadan from their base
in Akure because that was where her
Father wanted to live after his
Her father was from Ibadan and he
had always insisted that he would spend
his twilight in the city of his birth
She was sixteen when they relocated
The ninth child of fourteen children
Her father had a first wife that died
after giving birth to Seven children
He remarried her mother and they
had another seven together
Her father was a business tycoon
A serious Christian who was ordained
as a pastor at the age of thirty-five and
was determined to go into full time
ministry after his retirement
Two days after they moved into their
new house, they noticed that another
haulage truck came into the estate
That was the first time she saw him
He was wearing an army green knicker
and a yellow T-shirt
She was going to buy something down
the street when he walked out of their
His eyes latched onto her like a fire to
a burner
She smiled and waved
He smiled too but he only muttered a
few words she couldn’t hear
Her heart went racing in a way she
couldn’t describe
She was never nervous around guys
She had too many brothers and sisters
rubbing off each other every which
way to be nervous at the gaze of a boy
but he was different
Suddenly she was conscious of her
steps and had to walk slowly
He kept his eyes on her until she
got to where she was going
When she had finished conducting
her business, she found him waiting
by the gate of his house
He approached her with extended
hands and said “I am so and so”
She introduced herself too
She was attending Methodist Grammar
School at the time
She was in SS 3
He had just finished his WAEC examinations
He said some other things but her
heart was racing so fast that it was
almost jumping out of her mouth
She chatted with him a bit and hurried
She really wanted to stay with him but
she was afraid she was going to make
a fool of herself
She really liked him
A week later, he came to their house
with her elder brother
They had all played football and from
the football field came over to the
house with her brother to chat and
freshen up
She watched him from the window
Something happens to her whenever
he was around her
The air becomes thinner and her
breathing becomes irregular
She wrote him the first letter
She apologized for running off on him
the day they met and asked him if he
was settling in nicely
It was innocent in all its surface but
she hoped he would get the intention
behind it
He did
He wrote back, thanking her for her
concern and venturing forth some
information about his family and
how they were taking to Ibadan
That was how they started
Nobody knew or suspected that there
was anything between them
Within a year the content of their letters
went beyond friendship
He gained admission into the University
and he continued to write
She gained admission too and she
continued to write
Then she met a guy in her school
A wild, fun-loving, smooth talker
He was 24 and she was 18
Her friends told her it was time
She felt it was better than a crush
with whom she exchanged letters
She went with the smooth talker
and stopped responding to his
He continued to write until she
wrote him the last letter begging
him to stop writing because she
had met someone else and didn’t
see any future with him
He stopped writing after that
He didn’t even respond to her last
She was somehow relieved
She met him during the Christmas
break of that year
He came to see her older brother
at their house
She was with her smooth talker
when he walked in
Her heart started doing that thing
again as soon as he walked in
She couldn’t help herself, she
left her smooth talker and followed
him up the stairs to the second
sitting room
He didn’t say a word to her
She didn’t know what to say too
Her brother saw him and they began
to talk
She went back to her smooth talker
but found herself restless until her
brother saw him off about an hour
They both graduated the same year
He studied law and did a year more
than she did in the university
After their service year, they both
left for the UK to study
By then he was in a relationship
Her smooth talker had left her and
she was all alone
She wanted to pick her phone so
many times to call or text him
explaining how sorry she was to
dump him the way she did but
every time she tried, she talked
herself out of it
She left the UK as soon as she
Her father had helped her secure
a job in his old firm
He stayed in the UK for two more
In that new years, all she did was
stalk him on the social media
She continued to pray he wouldn’t
get married or fall in love with
anybody until she was able to
see him face to face and tell him
how she felt about him
In December 2008, she clocked
Her father and siblings decided to
throw a party for her
The one thing she wanted was
She kept praying he would show up
and he did
He did with a lady in tow
It was a devastating blow to her
She was standing by the pool in
her father’s compound when she
saw them walk in hand in hand
She had been in love with him for
fourteen years
Been in a letter exchange relationship
with him for two years and pined
for him for twelve years
She told herself it was over
She had rehearsed over and over what
she would say to him when they met
It was her joker
Her last resort
And it was a stillbirth
She couldn’t see her plan being
executed as things stood
She watched him as he walked
over to the plastic chairs where
her older brother and his wife
were seated
He watched as he introduced
the lady with him to them and
settled down on his seat
She didn’t know when the tears
started flowing
He was the love of her life, she
was so sure of that
All the other people she had ever
met faded into obscurity even
while she was still with them
He remained real and vivid
His thought had kept her heart
warm for many years
She wiped her tears and walked
over to the table to welcome him
He saw her and rose to his feet
Her eyes were fixed on his
She walked into his arms and
hugged him tight
Then she whispered in his ears
“Marry me”
He said “Hmmm”
She said it again
He didnt say anything, he just
held her
After a few minutes, they sat
She sat right opposite him
She was laughing and crying
It was tough trying to keep her
head and pretend everything
was well
He was quiet, contemplative
He rose to leave at about 9:30 pm
She knew she had made a fool
of herself when he left without as
much as saying goodbye to her
After his departure, she went to
change and decided to sit with
her father and brothers in the
garden and chat until late in the
It turned out to be one of those
She took her time to change
By the time she got back to the
garden, her parents and brothers
were nowhere to be found
He was there, alone, waiting
“You came back” She blurted
“Yes, I will marry you” He replied
They sat in the garden all night
She tried to apologize but he
wouldn’t have it
He said he had planned to have
at least one serious discussion
about “them” with her before
closing the chapter permanently
She was grateful she took the

PS: They got married a year later
and are now proud parents of three
She sent in the story after reading
the story titled “The gift” (A testimony
I shared about how I met my wife)
She said she found the story inspiring
and decided to share her testimony
I hope it blesses somebody




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