By Histiara.com, another blogger I admire a lot, for her writing and the personality that shines through her blog. I hope these stories are as motivating and inspiring as they are for me, this one has some love and life tips too.
First to comment, please state the chapter you'll prefer, or email it to myne @ mynewhitman.com. Cheers!
"Like playing footsies in the dark, our hearts melded before I saw your beautiful face." ~ Maidofheart 1995
I was a self-sufficient, confident, content single who wasn't searching for a man. I was pretty sure no man could melt my stony heart. I’d had years of practice and the carcases I left behind could attest to my uncanny ability to bruise the ego and grind a man to a halt. Life taught me a lesson: 'How to train your heart and never be taken captive again.' But life deceived me. My heart could melt and beat again. Here's my story:
One mildly hot mid-May Friday evening, I'd gone to spend the weekend with one of my best-friends. We were to be bride's maids at her brother's wedding the next day. As I got out of the car and stepped into the house, Nepa struck and the house was plunged into darkness. I groped around and was quite sure I had my bearing right. I took one step up to get into the dining room and bumped into a stone wall, a warm and moving stone wall and almost lost my balance.
"Oh sorry, excuse me. Are you alright?" A deep velvety male voice reached out a hand to steady me.
"I'm fine." I ignored the hand he offered and I shouted at the top of my voice; "Modele are you home? I hope there's petrol in the gen o."
The man chuckled.
My friend came down the stairs and made introductions whilst the lights were still out. We shook hands and I indulged him in a few minutes of polite small talk. When he was leaving he took my hand, pulled me close and whispered in my ears, "See you soon," and he stepped out of the house. Then the lights came back on.
Shock was not the word but the feeling that zipped through me. Who was this guy and how dare he cross my personal space. I was torn between anger and a strange feeling of excitement.
Excitement was one word I hadn't felt in a very long time.
I wished I got a good glimpse of him. I had no idea what he looked like and he was going to see me soon. How? When? But importantly, why was he interested in a silhouetted stranger?
The next morning we got all set for the wedding amidst the pandemonium and adrenalin typical of weddings.
At the reception, someone bumped into me and my heart raised a bit as I thought perhaps it was the mystery man. No, it was a photographer. Then I subconsciously started looking around for any guy who stared at me longer than a few minutes. But the thought that he'd recognize me was another issue. Since when did I care about a guy, least of all one I'd never seen? For all I knew, he could be dead ugly with warts on his face. But then it didn’t matter, right?
Once or twice my friend asked if I was okay since I kept looking around and over my shoulder as though I was looking for someone. I decided to shrug it all off and enjoy my day.
We got back and were getting ready for the night party when at the last minute I decided to go for a quick walk. I often did that to clear my head and get fresh air when going into a crowded place. When I got back, the house was locked and the wedding troupe had all gone; the guard informed me.
It was 11pm; the party had started and wouldn't end until 6am as was the norm then. If I was already dressed for a party, it wouldn't have been too bad. I would have taken a taxi but in a kaftan on bathroom slippers with no make-up on? There was no way I'd be going to the venue dressed like that even if to collect the keys. Where would I start searching for my friend in the throng of people?
It was getting late and the prospect of sitting beside the guard swatting mosquitoes the entire night wasn't my idea of a cool night. I weighed the options and decided to shake off any embarrassing feeling, grab a cab and go get the keys.
As the saying goes, the party was in full swing when I got there. There was no other way to get inside without being in full view of everyone and my friend was nowhere in sight. "Oh dear,” I mused.
I took a sweeping glance at the nearest table to the door and was glad to see most of my other friends seated at the table. I asked if anyone had seen Modele and they told me she'd gone after one of the caterers and won't be back for a while. I had no other choice but to stay put and not get up from my seat. It was far better than sitting outside.
The MC said a few words, toasted the couple and asked everyone to join the couple on the dance floor. My friends all got asked to the dance floor by husbands, boyfriends or someone, leaving just me at the table. I loved watching people dance so I was in for a treat but that was short-lived. I felt a tap on my shoulder and a guy dressed in buba and sokoto Aso-ebi extended his hand, asking me to the dance floor. Above the din in the background I shook my head and tried to tell him I wasn't interested. He kept nodding, I guessed he wasn’t taking ‘no’ for an answer but I declined his offer over and over again until he gave up and went somewhere else.
When the dance was over, everyone flushed with sweaty face sat down, giggling and rather bubbly.
The MC, who happened to be my friend's other brother, walked over to our table with the microphone in his hands and decided to do something rather funny and unorthodox. He was going to introduce us to the most confirmed bachelor in the group and see if he could pair him up with a lady (Chick was the word he used). He pulled up the guy who earlier asked me to dance with him and told us all how he was the hottest cake and would all the single ladies please stand up. Of course, female etiquette dictates, you dare not stand up. There were about six of us who were still single.
The MC introduced all of the single ladies at the table except me because he knew me well enough to know I wouldn't have liked the idea, so he skipped my table. Jokingly, he asked the guy to pick one of the ladies as he pointed to each of them. The guy shook his head at each person and simply said he had someone else in mind; looked at me, smiled and sat down. Everyone at the table laughed at the entire thing.
That was when it hit me; his voice. It was the same deep yet soft tone I’d come to associate with the mystery man. I tried to match the voice to the face and he was better looking than I expected. In spite of my initial anger at his audacity, my defences still crashed. I felt stripped bare and vulnerable.
The MC hopped back on the stage and announced the last couples' dance. This time, mystery man strode purposeful towards me, smiled and extended his hand. Feeling rather shy without the protection of make-up and nice clothes, I did the most practical thing I could, I pulled out my feet and dangled my bathroom slippers and shrugged.
He laughed and still, he pulled me up and led me to the dance floor.
"I told you I'd see you soon." He whispered and winked.
That night we danced and talked like we'd known each other for ever. Last question I asked him after a zillion and one questions was how he knew I was the one he met the night before.
He said he'd met my mum the day before and he liked her as a nice woman/mother. Then just before I bumped into him at my friend's house, he saw and liked my silhouette from the door and he liked the sound of my voice even when I hollered. lol. But the icing on the cake was after we were introduced and he made the connection to my mum.
Well, we said the 'I do's' a year and half later and we've been together for about a decade and half and we have a beautiful daughter.
My 12 basic tips on marriage:
1. Know yourself: your strengths and weaknesses.
2. Read as many books as you can on marriage and discuss with those who have been there.
3. Marry your best friend.
4. Discuss everything; past, present and future.
5. Be realistic in your expectations. You're joining with another human being who is flawed and fraught with short-comings just like you.
6. Romance is short-lived, comes and goes but love is what keeps you afloat. The goose-pimples of the early days don't stay the same. They translate into something deeper, stable and mature. You won't and don't have to feel them to be in love.
7. Marry someone with similar goals and aspirations. Don't be too poles apart. Yes, opposites attract but you need a meeting point.
8. Handle your in-laws with extra special care.
9. Keep few trusted friends. Not everyone is happy for your successful marriage.
10. Learn to handle money.
11. Forgive quickly and easily.
12. Love God like crazy. When the rough times come, He's the ONLY one who can keep your home.
ps, image courtesy of Google and not of the couple.