Today’s post is inspired by a song, A practical Arrangement by Sting. I advise you listen to it before reading this story. Here’s a link to download it from http://mp3juices.to/mp3/sting-practical-arrangement
I used Italics to emphasize phrases gotten from the song.
Have a good read.
“It’s beautiful,” the lady in green said, gently caressing the rock which laid on the table still carefully placed in its box as she let her eyes study it.
“I know”, the man in a dark suit and boyish face responded. His voice didn’t match his appearance, as a matter of fact, nothing about him matched his looks. His ex-girlfriend was always quick to tell him that if the devil had a face, it would be his because of his cunning ways. Though he must say, that boyish look had saved him several times but this time was different.
The new bank stabilization policy was just about to crash his business. He had just officially started running the bank 2 years ago and only about 45% of the state’s population knew the name of his bank and lesser than that knew the location and much lesser were banking on him. Where now was he supposed to get N25 billion from? This had been the question on his mind since the new policy was announced. Until 3 months ago when his grandmother revealed the conditions of her will which expect him to be married for at least 5 months before he can access over N20 billion cash and N10 billion worth of assets. It seemed an easy thing to do with a wrong time frame but he had to act fast.
“So what do you say?” he pushed the box further towards her.
“I say, I don’t trust you”. She responds swiftly. He chuckles and drags on the cigarette which he holds between his index and middle finger.
“You’ve never trusted me, it’s a wonder how we have remained friends through the years, but you should know I keep to my words and I have no intention of deceiving you, you’re far too clever” She eyes him squarely and in less than a minute, she goes over her N30 million plans in her head; the picture doesn’t look bad. The breeze blows gently but she finds herself shivering as goosebumps build up around her forearm. He notices her body reaction and passes her the cigar which she accepts gratefully and drags on it with grace.
“It’s not forever darling, just for as long as you want it to be”. He persuades
“Darling?” she asked coyly He chuckles,
“Just practicing”. She smiles and shakes her head in that you’re nuts’ manner
“Everything’s about to change you know” she replies with a gloomy expression as though saddened by the idea. He takes her hand in his immediately and responds to her expression with a stern look.
“Listen, I hate to force this on you, but I need you. I need that money.” she makes no attempt to move neither does she respond
“Please, don’t change your mind now” he adds. She releases her hand from his grip and walks towards the glass window.
“I don’t like this position you’re putting me in shebi you know? Forget the money; this is not good.”
“C’mon now, It’s not a death sentence. I mean, how bad can it be for you to be my wife” he responds, returning back to his perky self and standing up to meet her by the window. He reaches her and circles her waist but she brushes his hands off.
“I know I agreed earlier but seeing this ring just makes me realize how real this is. For Christ’s sake, we will be lying to a dying woman” The man sighs and moves back to the table but doesn’t sit. He just stands there with a hand on his temple and thinks of his next response.
“She has just a month to live and it’s really not a lie. We are actually going to get married.”
“A practical arrangement” she says in a whisper as though just realizing what the marriage really meant to him. To them.
“Exactly, it’s really nothing more than that; a practical arrangement”. He replies, not minding the fact that he is lying to himself. A part of him wishes this was true but who was he kidding? She would never date a guy like him not to talk about marriage. She liked the responsible ones. Those who spoke intelligent grammar and drank scotch. Those who spoke about their families and how they could not wait to start one. Those who called four times a day and visited at least 3 times a week. He just didn’t fit into the profile and his work just didn’t give him enough time to spend with a girl whispering sweet nothings.
“It may not be the romance that you had in mind but hey, you never know, you could learn to love me given time” he smiles at the thought and she scoffs but manages to giggle.
“Oh how you’ll love that. Having me join the entourage of girls drooling over you”.
“Well, at least that got you smiling.”
”I’ll have my own bed?” “Of course. You can have a separate room if you want.”
“And no unnecessary female guests trooping in here”
” Absolutely. I know how to sleep alone you know”
“I’m not sure of that” she replies with a coy smile
“So do we have a deal?”
“Awesome.” He said excitedly, then adds “I will be happy if I never have to have this conversation again so just in case you feel like changing your mind again, remember you’re doing this for your best friend and 30 million Naira is a whole lot of cash.” He turns around to the table and picks up the small black box,
“Let’s do this again”, he says with a grin.
She smiles and takes a seat. “If I must marry you, at least do it the right way”. She dumps the cigarette she had still been smoking and crosses her legs.
He follows instruction and takes a knee. His head remains bowed for a few seconds before raising it up and sighing out loud, just the way he would if this was real.
“Subject to Contract, Will you be my wife?”
“This is ridiculous” she responds laughing. He gives her the puppy eye and pouts his lips
“Hahahaha fine.” She takes a deep breath to suppress her laughter then replies,
“Subject to Contract, I will” She giggles again. He slips the ring on her finger and observes her reaction. She just sits there with a smile, admiring the look of the ring now on her finger. Probably, a part of her also wishes it was real.
“You know, this is the part where we kiss” he says winking
“Don’t push your luck silly”. She responds quickly and reaches for another cigarette which he offers to light.