By Dan Okezue
And my heart went all out for her the moment I saw her walk into the hall. Tears gradually filled my eyes and even my handkerchief got soaked. “What did I do to deserve this?” I cried. The beauty was so overwhelming, the glamour was stunning and even the ambiance made it look like a real-life Hollywood love story. Still, I had to quickly catch my breath the moment I realized that I was in a hall filled with a host of people, friends and loved ones who came all the way to grace this awesome occasion.
God, I know You planned this and I want to take a moment to say “Thank You”
one more time. As she proceeded in her beautiful gown (God bless the fashion designer), I felt my legs shaking right on the spot. “What’s this supposed to mean? It’s my wedding day so this should not be happening to me.” I quickly reached out for my uncle’s hand and asked him if he had a similar experience on his wedding day.
“Relax my boy,” he said. “You are just a little nervous; you’ll get over it pretty soon.
Just wait while she walks closer to you.” he added. It was like I regained my confidence the moment she stood in front of me.
“You may unveil your bride,” the preacher said. “Wow!” was the only word I found to say as I repeatedly muttered the word under my breath. The makeup artist, Dainty Affairs, did a good job too. Trust me when I say this, no single word the preacher said got into my head as I was busy admiring the amazing work God had done on the awesome young lady standing in front of me. Sounds flew over my head like overhead waves, so much so that I had to be tapped by an officiating minister to get back my consciousness. Just like the movies, I gradually flashed back to the very first day I met her.
“Her name is Angela Otunba,” Femi said, asking me if I was attracted to her.
“Hahaha…love at first sight is not really my thing you know, and perhaps I don’t know her yet.”
“There is always a first time,” Femi insisted as he called her attention.
“Angela, meet my friend Dimeji.” “And Dimeji – Angela”… And so the conversation began.
“So Dimeji what do you do?”
“Oh, I’m a photographer and a multimedia consultant,” I replied.
“Wow! That’s good,” she said with a big smile.
“What’s that smile? Or do you smile for a living?”
“The camera is actually my best friend,” she said.
That was all I needed to hear. My heart grinned as I immediately said “Wow! We could do something together then.” And we immediately exchanged Blackberry PINs and phone numbers. “You are very beautiful woman,” I said, before leaving the conversation.
“Thanks Dimeji” she replied. Now, it was like I’d never seen a girl in my entire life as thoughts of her kept running through my head. Who says the beautiful ones are not yet born? Please rethink it because I just found one. We went on as just friends for a long while, even though we only communicated just a few times all the while. That beautiful moment when your mind is completely off everything and then you get a call that eventually starts something new…
“Dimeji, can you create a picture brief like the one I sent to your bbm?”
“Sure I can. That’s what I do, and know how to do best.” She wanted the pictures for a modelling and ushering job she wanted to bid for. “Ok,” she said, and asked how much a photo shoot session would cost her. I felt a little sceptical about telling her how much we offered such services for, as I didn’t want to scare her away. “Let’s talk about this later,” I said, while I asked to drop the call because I was in a class for a leadership training programme.
I thought about it for a while and came to the conclusion that I would do it for free. I called her back and told her to get ready for the shoot at my next call. It took about 3 weeks before I eventually did give her that call. I had an exhibition somewhere in Oregun so I asked her to come. I got a makeup artist to work on her face and we went into the studio. Coming out about an hour later, she asked me again how much her bill was.
“50k,” I replied, explaining to her how the package goes. Thank God she enjoyed our processes and procedure. “Hahahaha, Dimeji, this was the reason I wanted to know before showing up at all ooo. Now I don’t have that kind of money at all.” So I had to quickly tell her that the service I just gave her was for free, and then she caught her breath back. “Thanks so much, Dimeji.”
Now it didn’t look much like it, but I knew I didn’t want it to end there; the relationship just had to move to the next level. She was busy loving the pictures, they were stunning to her and she wanted more, while I was busy falling in love with her.
“Dimeji I want to build a picture portfolio.”
“Sure,” I replied, “but it will cost you the norm.”
Never minding whatever it would cost her, she signed up for it. Like we do, I developed briefs for her and she liked them. It was going to take several shoots, several days, different concepts and several locations. She was absolutely ready, because she expressed happiness when she saw the brief.
With high expectations, she asked when we should start the shoot.
“Well, when I get the first alert,” I replied.
To further confirm her readiness, she made a deposit into my account within 24 hours and so we had to shoot. I assigned a creative stylist to her, got my makeup artist on board, and also got my fashion designer to make some costumes for our briefs. A few days later, everything was ready. We got on board and the process began. We travelled to several places in order to achieve some of our set briefs, and we got along with each other a lot more. We talked about mundane things; our pasts, present realities and our future prospects. She gradually moved from client to friend and then to a family friend (you know what I mean).
I started to visit her house, met her mum and siblings and even all her immediate neighbours got to know me.
We started going out on a personal note after I’d asked her for a date about twice with no response. It became normal, like we men do sometimes; I started giving her pointers wanting to know if there was a parking space for me. With lots of nails pierced through my head at different times, I got few positive green lights. Now I had to make a move regardless of the positive and negative response margin.
I went back into my thinking room trying to find new and more creative ways to pop the 1 billion dollar question. I was so much in love with this girl, so I got all my friends to help me out. I had an idea and I needed to play it out…
To be continued…