"To the graduates and the soon to be husband and wife." Ana said.
"Cheers!" We all replied.
We were at the after party at the same place Jason brought me to. It was where I met George and Charles. We had all prepared to meet here for a small party.
They clinked their glasses but I didn't so I wouldn't miss and spill our drinks. I just rose mine up slightly, the way mum thought me to make a toast.
After George proposed, there were series of applause for the newly engaged couple and I was overwhelmed that I had a part in the whole thing. It turned out to be much better than I expected, because Valerie came soon after, crying and hugging me for eternity. Apparently, George had told her I helped him. She thanked me and said it was the most romantic gesture ever. It was simply exhilarating!
Moreover, Tess and Ana praised my romance skills and said they would want me to plan theirs as well. George and Charles hugged me as well. Charles pulled me in the air, my feet dangled. Jason also hugged me and places a kiss on my forehead. But I kissed him instead.
What he said about me during his speech wasn't something I'd ever pay little value to. Because of him, I was proud of myself. During the kiss, saying the words ‘I love you' nearly rolled off my tongue but I had to fight it back in. It wasn't the time to say so.
To be honest, I didn't know the right time.
"May I have this dance?" said Jason behind me. His hands on my waist.
"Of course." I said. With his arms still wrapped around me from behind, we swayed slowly to the rhythm of the song. I didn't know the name of the song or the singer but it sure did sound amazing.
"I have a question I'd like to ask you." he said a while later.
"Go on." I urged
"Would you like to come along with me to England?" he asked and I was slightly alarmed. I turned to face him, although I couldn't see him. My inner fear had been unleashed. Jason had graduated and would leave me alone to stay in England for a long time or perhaps, forever. As much as I wanted to go, I couldn't leave my family.
"Stop over thinking it. It's just for a week. My mum and stepdad want Teresa and I to pay a little visit and I want you to go with me."
Goodness! I had to take deep breaths to calm my heart down. I felt so relieved that I smiled. I knew I could get dad's permission, but would mum agree?
"I don't know what my parents will say." I replied. I had never been to England. I used to go to Scotland to visit my maternal grandparents every Christmas until they passed away. Ireland and Wales were European countries in the United Kingdom that I had also been to. My parents never took me to Britain itself and I never understood why.
"I spoke with them especially your mum. They both agreed but your mum cautioned me a hundred times to take care of you. So will come with us?" He asked hopefully.
"I will." I was uber excited that finally go to England, meet Gemma, Jason's mum and see his step-dad, Tess' dad.
It would be one trip I would never forget.
"Great! Our tickets are ready and we'll leave on Monday." He said immediately I agreed
"You already bought my ticket? But how did you know I'd agree?" I asked dumbstrucked.
"Boyfriend instincts." he responded and I swear I could feel him smirk. All I could do was just keep dancing with him.
We stopped dancing to eat, and I was exceedingly hungry and dived into the wholesome snacks we bought on our way and some wine.
The whole celebration ended and I was beat.
"I really have to go home so I could prepare my luggage." I told Jason, on our way to his car.
"It's all taken care of." He replied.
"What do you mean by that?" I asked. I hope he didn't pick my clothes for me? As much as I appreciated his concern, the only person who could successfully choose my clothes was Ana.
"Ana and Tess packed your things yesterday. So don't worry about it." He answered.
"You thought about it all, didn't you?" I asked with a huge smile.
"I just want to make sure you're comfortable enough for this trip." He said.
He drove me home and after a brief kiss on the porch, I got in and jumped on my bed without a care in the world.
Before I left for the airport the following day, mum hugged me for so long, I knew she didn't want me to leave. But why did she agree if she wasn't thrilled with the idea? I made sure not to ask her that question in case she changed her mind. I wanted to go for this trip.
Mum and dad hardly spoke to each other and I kept wondering why. In all the years I've known them, they were so close, even though they had nothing in common.
But this time, they seemed hesitant to talk to each other. Even as I opened the front door to leave, mum made a comment, "She has fallen too deep." and immediately after that she began to cry. There was no way I could understand what she meant, if she meant me or someone else.
I left with Jason and Tess to the airport and soon we took off. I had never been scared of take offs or landing before. It was something I loved on the contrary. Knowing I would be experiencing something new each time I travelled by air, was overwhelming and I cherished this moment. I closed my eyes to concentrate fully on the way plane ascended into the air, taking us higher and higher and revelled in the feeling. Jason noticed my excitement and commented me for being different from other girls who, according to him, were scared of take offs and heights.
When we were successfully in the air, I plugged in my head phones and listened to some music. Soon I slept off. On intervals, I went to the restroom and then ate the food served by the air hostesses. I also listened to some gospel inspirational quotes about life and the way forward.