NEW 9JA STORY: THE PROPOSAL || written by Chioma Ejide

Nnenna looked at Emmanuel on bended knee with a small red box. In it was the most beautiful ring she had ever seen. Tears shimmered in her eyes as she thought of all the effort he had put in place to make this proposal perfect. He had told her he wanted them to finally have that moment on the beach, alone that she had always asked for. Nnenna loved the beach. She loved the feel of the wind against her skin as it came crashing in with the water. She loved to get swim father into the water and let the waves bring her back. Emmanuel was always terrified whenever she did that. He was afraid she would drown one day. ‘You swim like you are one with the water’, he told her one day when the waves had brought her back. ‘I just maybe’ she said as she jumped right back in.

‘Marry me Nnenna. I will be the best husband you can ever think of. I will devote my entire life to making you happy. My world revolves around you Nnenna. Marry me.’

‘This ring is sooooooo beautiful Emmanuel. I love it. I’ll keep it. It will fetch me a lot of money when I sell it.

‘What do you mean…sell…I’m proposing and what you can think of is the monetary value…? Are you freaking kidding me’, Emmanuel asked incredulously.

‘No I’m not Emmanuel’, Nnenna said as she stood up and brushed the sand off her legs. Emmanuel stood up and snapped the box close

‘Is this a joke or something? I ask you to marry me and you don’t respond and you want to sell off my ring?

‘Let me tell you what the joke is Emmanuel. The joke is you and your stupid friends placing a bet on which one of you can go through five friends and promise them all marriage without the others finding out.’

Emmanuel’s eyes widened with surprise and shock and then the corner of his lips twitched with amusement.

‘I was almost through. You were no 4 on the list. If you were so smart then why did you let me sleep with you?’

‘Quite simple’, Nnenna said. ‘Sex with you was good. Or so I heard. You know I would have let all these go on. I hardly like to interfere in the affairs of mortals but then there was Ifeyinwa. Remember her? Light skinned petite with the brownest eyes I have ever seen? She almost died having an abortion for you after her invisible boyfriend broke her heart.’

‘Why should I be bothered about what happened to her,’ Emmanuel asked with a smirk on his face.

Nnenna’s eyes flashed with anger. ‘Because I liked her. She was like a sister to me. Now you have to die. Remember when you said I swam like I was one with the water? That’s because I am. Ever heard of mermaids? , Nnenna said as she grabbed Emmanuel’s arm and dragged him into the water with super-human strength. ‘What the hell..let go of me…help,’ Emmanuel screamed as he kicked and fought but Nnenna showed no sign of budging as she dragged him into the water and held him down till he stopped breathing.

Idiotic humans she thought as she started making her way out of the water. Something caught her leg and she tried to kick it loose. She slipped and felt something drag her down into the water. Nnenna opened her eyes under the water to see Emmanuel smiling maniacally at her.

‘What the hell’, she asked surprised. You breathe underwater, like me. What are you?’

‘The water Nnenna. I am the water.’

Nnenna’s eyes went bright with horror as she watched Emmanuel turn slowly into a whirlwind of water. She tried to scream but couldn’t find her voice. Her feet was not moving. She could only watch as the tornado of water slowly came towards her and swallowed her up.

THE END

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