Adewole Bernard Oluwole,
The first time you stumbled on me, running over me like a drunken driver, because someone had literally pushed you to come and talk to me, I thought it was cute. Although your eyes were inseparable from my face, your mouth was like baked clay; unmoving. I thought it was cute. You did not need to say anything, all I had to do was look into your big eyes and I saw what you felt. It was enough for you to be dumbstruck.
I spoke for you. ‘You want to get somewhere to sit and talk about why you almost fell me down?’ You nodded and averted your eyes. Your mouth, like baked clay, still unmoving. But I knew what you wanted. So I called the restaurant girl and asked her to serve us Donuts and Fanta; Sprite for you because you looked like a Sprite guy. You smiled at me and said: Thanks. But what you really wanted to say was: How did you know about my love for Sprite? Surely then, you must also know about my love for you. But you did not say that because you were dumbstruck. And for me, it was enough for you to be dumbstruck.
How did you ask me out? You did not. It was enough for you to buy me things and listen attentively to me. It was enough for you to write me letters and smile shyly at me. It was enough for you to use my picture as your profile picture every other day. It was enough for you to be dumbstruck because even with your mouth like baked clay, I heard words; unspoken words of your promise to be devoted to me. So I helped you to ask myself out. And I said yes.
I have spoken for you to my family, to my friends, to my colleagues, to my God. You won’t speak but somehow I know the words you want to say. It has been enough for you to be dumbstruck, because, somehow, it is a compliment to me. One of those rare moments when you struggled to express yourself, you told me, ‘It is not as though I don’t have words to say when I’m with you, I just don’t know if the words are worthy enough to be spoken to you. It always seems like silence is the right thing to do with you, because right from the moment I met you, I have been awestruck dumbstruck just being in your presence. And now we’re dating? That’s even more knee-weakening for me.’ That was cute.
But Adewole Bernard Oluwole, It is no longer cute. I am 40 years old and I, myself, am not longer cute. We have dated for 12 years and I have always seen in your eyes that you want to marry me. But this mouthpiece thing cannot work for this marriage proposal of a thing. I cannot ask myself to marry me on your behalf. Mister man, please fear God and do it yourself.
It is not enough to be dumbstruck anymore. It is not cute to say nothing anymore. Your clay lips must move, sir. They must say the words that your eyes are saying. If not, you will grow old, and your eyes will grow dim, and my eyes would grow dim too, and I will no longer be able to hear the words that you don’t speak… and we will still be here; unmarried. Ah, Adewole Bernard Oluwole, my head is pounding just thinking about this. It is not enough to be dumbstruck anymore sir.
Your one and only, Adedoyin.