How We Met
By the bride, Ijay
It was a random afternoon in the summer of 2010 when our parents told us we were having their childhood friend visit with his family. I was up in my room when I heard the doorbell ring shortly after. Our parents exchanged pleasantries in the typical Nigerian way. While I hurriedly put myself together to welcome our guests. He was already seated with the rest of the family by the time I got downstairs. As usual, the parents recognized me, and so did his older sister. But I was so sure that I had never seen them before. After eating, he and his siblings got up to go hangout upstairs. That was when I noticed his height for the first time, and actually made eye contact with him. My heart skipped. Shyly, I kept my gaze on the dishes I was washing in the kitchen. My junior-high school self thought “he’s cute”. Throughout the day, we became more familiar, he talked a lot and was hilarious.
The next day, our families went out for dinner. Familiarity had become more common amongst all of us. He kept us all entertained with his jokes, chatter, and commentaries. By the time dinner was over, we had all naturally become closer. Obi and I seemed to have developed a different type of close friendship that was obvious to everyone else but myself. When we said goodbye that night, it felt like a quick end to a friendship that barely just started. Especially because he and his family were leaving back to a whole different country. Obi had told me that he didn’t want to leave, but a part of me thought he was just “bluffing”.
Later that night, he sent a Facebook message that came as a surprise to me. The message read “… I have met the girl I have been looking for. The happiest, beautiful and only describable in one word, PERFECT. I love you”. I stared at the message for several minutes, before putting my phone down. For hours, I did not respond as I had what felt like a million feelings and thoughts going through my mind and heart. “ But how does he know he’s in love? We just met”, “Wait, we live in different countries”, “I think he’s cute but isn’t ‘love’ is a big word?”, “Maybe he’s joking”. I then sent a message where I thanked him for his kind words, memories, and visit. And told him that I’d be looking forward to our families visiting again and getting to know him more.
Over the years, we kept in touch and became better friends. In 2014, he made another comment about him thinking I was the one. He also said something about us “tying the knot”. Once again, I thought he was joking, so I responded with a laugh. 2016 Christmas came around, and we met up again during one of our family’s trips. He visited, and when our eyes met, it felt like 2010 all over again. Nothing had changed, and we continued just where we left off. This time, he said he could see a future between us and was certain he had a conviction. Part of me felt the same but of course, I wasn’t about to let any feelings or emotions show. As time went on, we remained connected at a deeper level.
Let’s head over to the groom.
A year later, I admitted my feelings when he asked on a random day. It has been the best decision I have made. As it turns out, his convictions were right all these years. Obi has made life so enjoyable and amazing. Without a doubt, we know we have a tremendous future ahead of us. He proposed in 2019, and we planned our wedding for July 2020. Covid tried to get in the way, but we promised ourselves that 2020 had OUR year of love, and here we are.
Let’s see the second look of the day…