Moonlight Publishing

WILL YOU MARRY ME?- By Angel Davis and Amadi Ekwutosilam Njoku

“Chinagorom,” she announced one day last year. Pronouncing the first syllable of his name as that of a country in East Asia. “I’ll remain unmarried. I don’t resent being called an old hag. Men are an assortment of assholes and I want nothing to do with them.”

Before saying anything else, he tried telling her, again, it wasn’t “Chai” as in China, but “Chi” as in she; and he struggled to speak like a normal friend, “Julie, your reasons may be… understandable. But you haven’t met someone who respects and admires you as is.”

“Someone who will admire and respect me? Perhaps such a man will fall from the stars. Do you realize what it’s like to be in a series of relationships with Caucasian men that rapidly fizzled out?”

Chinagorom flashed a bright grin, “Oh, I understand but if I heard, you said Caucasian men. They don’t represent all men.”

She squared her shoulders and raised her chin but shuddering, took two steps back, “I never stated so. I‘ve had a few of… you as casual acquaintances, but not as significant others.” 

An Igbo transplant, from first landing in London Chinagorom had often puzzled over why society was entrenched in the biases that walled in the world. He was confident the only reason mankind was fragmented into races and creeds was a lack of love. He personally knew love could shatter ingrained prejudices.

Julie and Chinagorom had been neighbors four years, one month and fourteen days since Chinagorom arrived in London to pursue a master’s degree in Fine Arts. Her father came from a lengthy line of established British Aristocrats. His choice of Julia’s mother, a French woman of unknown origin he’d met during his University days, caused his family to cut off all ties with him. 

For years Chinagorom couldn’t see how extraordinary Julia was. He didn’t even recognize he’d fallen for her until Julie made the first move kissing him one evening under some mistletoe. And that was the start. 

Until now, his only hope had been she wanted to marry. Still, he was seven years younger and less worldly and wealthy than Julia.  His fears spiraled and grew in him like the blackest tumor. And despite their kiss, Chinagorom’s tongue froze with gripping fear whenever he tried to tell Julie he loved her and wanted to spend his life with her. He didn’t want her to presume he was taking advantage of their friendship.

But today, the icy breeze sweeping across the Essex coast, Chinagorom’s worries and apprehension seemed to vaporize on the wind. He felt like a hero, a knight in an old tale.  Clacton-on-Sea with its vast of clean sands looked the ideal place for lovers. Here, Chinagorom felt safe knowing he was in a world lacking barriers. He couldn’t believe his luck! Julie had been with him for a year. Even the wind seemed in love with her, it kept swirling her long fiery hair and scattering it across her soft features.

Despite the weighty gaze of spectators and Julia’s own curious green eyes, Chinagorom plunged his right fist into his dark blue jean pocket and kneeled on the shimmering golden sands to drag out a modest box. He had seen moments like this in movies. Now, he found himself in one of those scenes. Already, he was sweating despite the bitter breeze blowing across the beach. Chinagorom’s moist brown eyes hesitantly met Julia’s.

He sputtered out, “Marry... will… will you marry me, Julie?” Deafening silence roared back at him. “Will you wed me, Julie?" He proposed this time more slowly, more confidently, his voice trembling only slightly. 

Her hand slowly rose cupping her lip. Snatching her left palm from her open mouth, she delivered it up to him, grabbing and hoisting him up to his feet with unrestrained delight. 

Shaking off shock, Chinagorom lurched his crimson lips towards hers, “I’ve longed for this day,” he added as their bodies lingered against each other.

“I love you,” Julie returned, her voice cracking, ‘But I can’t marry a man like you!’ 

Panic shot through him as she raised the ring and hurled it into the ocean before striding away. He ran after her screaming, “Julie!... Julie!… Julie!”

“Wake up… wake up, honey!” He heard Julie’s voice as he opened his eyes to catch her brushing her mouth against his. Were you dreaming about me?” She whispered against his lips. “I heard you calling my name from the kitchen.”

Beside him was a mug of tea and some dry toast, “You made me my favorite breakfast?”

 “It’s not your favorite. You only say that because it’s the only thing I don’t burn. But the truth is I scrape the black off the toast.”

He chuckled under his breath, “I know dear… the crumbs are always in the tea.”

 “It’s about time you even got up. You promised to take me to Essex, remember?”

“What day is it?” He asked struggling up and out of bed.

Julie’s brow furrowed, “Common honey, don’t tell me you have forgotten it‘s Valentine’s day.”

“Did you say… Saint Valentine’s day?” He asked in confusion before dashing towards his closet to confirm the ring he’d hidden in the breast pocket of his jacket was still there.

“Why are you acting strange this morning Chinagorom?” She had learned to pronounce his name only a month ago. 

He swung to her grinning and spread his arms, “Because, I love you more than existence!”

Julia cocked her head, “A man who loves me more than existence. Hu, I would have thought such a man would have to fall from the stars.”

Shuddering, Chinagorom took two steps back. 





Angel Davis is an author, poet, and columnist, with Native American and West African heritage. She has been published in several journals, periodicals, and newspapers, including: Phoebe: A Journal of Literature and Art, So To Speak Feminist Literary Journal, The African American Heritage Journal, and Tansi Indigenous newspaper. She teaches creative writing, literature, African Diaspora studies and academic classes online. 


Amadi Ekwutosilam Njoku, author of ERAZ LITERATURE-IN-ENGLISH for Senior Secondary School, hails from Amasiri in Afikpo North, Ebonyi State, Nigeria. He's a poet, novelist, playwright, short story writer, literary essayist and critical analyst. He resides in Lagos where he has taught the English language and Literature-in-English in many schools and SSCE/UTME examination coaching centres. He is currently with Dorssy High School, Lagos, where he is a preceptor of same subjects. Some of his poems have appeared in Saturday's Daily Sun Newspaper-a bimonthly publication and other national dailies.

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