He was a good guy; cool and gentle and goodly to look upon.
He was also funny and had a good job that pays well.
But amidst all these good qualities, there was something about him that needed improvement.
And it seemed this one thing overruled the other good ones-
He lacked the courage to speak his mind.
Three years after finishing school, he had been promoted twice in his workplace and his career path seemed assured and promising.
‘When are you going to marry?’ the usual question was asked of him.
To which he answered, ‘There is this lady in my church who I really like and would like to marry.’
‘Wow, that’s very good to hear.’ I answered. ‘So what’s stopping you? Haven’t you prayed about it?’
He smiled and scratched his jaw, ‘Well, I have actually prayed about it and I also feel she is God’s choice for me too.’
‘This is fantastic. I’m happy for you. Congratulations.’ I shook his hands.
He seemed hesitant to shake my hand and his hand was stiff when it met mine.
He looked unsure and morose and I was forced to ask why he wasn’t his cheerful self.
He grimaced a bit and rubbed his temple before stammering the words out,
‘I… I… I don’t think I can face her…’
‘Face who?’ I asked uncomprehending.
‘I don’t think I can face her and ask her to be my wife.’
I didn’t understand him and I told him so, ‘What do you mean?’
‘I… I.. I don’t… I don’t think I can have the courage to speak with her and say such a thing.’ He finally spoke clearly.
I wanted to laugh but I quickly realized it was a sad situation.
‘So what do you want to do now?’ I spoke gently, ‘You want me or the Pastor to help you?’
‘I won’t mind if any of you can.’ He replied.
‘Is he being serious right now?’ I wondered in thought.
‘Maybe you will speak to the Pastor sha,’ I suggested, ‘Me too, I will see what I can do’.
He smiled a bit and offered a low appreciation. I guess he was still ashamed.
Later that evening of February 2015, I saw the said sister online on Facebook and I sent her a ‘Hello’.
She replied heartily and we chatted for some minutes as I looked for the best way to pitch my proposal.
‘You this sister that is fine like this, brothers will be on queue for you o.’ I said subtly.
She sent two smileys of laughter and replied, ‘Lol! Even you too.’
‘Do you know that my friend who…’ I described my friend to her and she knew him well.
As she talked about my friend in glowing terms and mentioned the good qualities she had seen in him, I quickly seized the opportunity and responded,
‘Ah! This one that you know him very well, it is like you like him o’
I sent smileys after the message to show I meant no harm, and she also laughed in return.
‘I like him small from afar.’
‘I like his biblical posts on Facebook.’
Those were the messages she sent.
As the chance and opening I had been waiting for came for me to tell her of my guy’s proposal, I lost my courage.
Or maybe I saw the folly in what I was about to do and stopped.
In any case, I stopped my fingers from typing any other message in support of my friend.
I deftly changed the topic and we chatted for about one more hour before she went offline.
That was February 2015.
Later that year, around June, I asked my guy if he had made any moves and he said he couldn’t.
‘What did the Pastor say?’
‘He said he would see me later but that even if he helped me along the process, I would still have to make the proposal myself.’ He replied with a tone of defeat in his voice.
I told him the fine sister also liked him and he smiled and couldn’t believe it.
He asked me to show him the chats but I declined.
I read some of her words to his hearing, hoping it would him some ginger to act.
He only smiled and thanked me.
He also promised to try to get to her.
But all I saw were the likes he made on her photos and sometimes, he dropped comments like ‘Continue to shine for the Lord sis’ or ‘You are blessed’.
I even saw his handiwork on my Facebook News feed when it was reported he ‘commented on her photo from September 2013’.
My friend had obviously gone to her old pictures and left his hand prints all over her pictures.
But the one thing that mattered, actually speaking to her, he didn’t do it.
In February 2017, the lady married and I even sent her a hearty congratulatory message into her inbox.
As I left her inbox, my brother’s message entered mine.
He was angry with her, angry with me and angry with his Pastor.
He said she could have waited for him, and that I could have helped him tell her.
He also blamed the Pastor for forgetting to get back to him.
I didn’t mince words when I told him he had only himself to blame.
‘Do you think she will wait around forever? Without any word of promise from you whatsoever?’
He replied in kind and told me he was still gathering courage to tell her his mind.
‘Gathering courage for 2 years? Is your own courage a Diploma certificate?’ I couldn’t remove the slight mockery from my words.
I went on to tell him he didn’t do right.
And I advised that he learn to be decisive in matters of life.
How can a man not have courage to state his case and say his mind?
How long will a man hide under the guise of Facebook posts or the anonymity of Twitter and pretend to declare his intentions when and if he can’t do it directly?
‘Quit ye like men and be strong and of good courage.’
Speak your mind and make your intentions known- and do it fast.
No one will wait for you forever.
Be a man!
Don’t allow the fear of rejection hold you back.
Don’t allow her status or outlook scare you away.
Don’t let anything get in the way of God’s will and your own path.
Strengthen yourself and act.
Make your move, men.
Be a Man!