I was fifteen when I met Eddie. We were in the same after-school class in preparation for our Basic Education Certificate Exams (BECE). He caught my eye because of his lack of punctuality. Eddie was always the last person to make it to class, and the first to leave. Before I even spoke a word to him I decided he was not a serious student. So I never bothered to greet him, although I was friendly with everyone else in the class.
I am sure we would have completed the class without ever speaking to each other if fate had not intervened. One day, one of the girls in the class asked to borrow a pen from me. Eddie was sitting right next to me. So I gave the pen to him and politely said: “Please, pass on this pen to Nana for me.” Those were my first words to him. He did as I asked. I couldn’t go back to ignoring him after that, could I? That’s how we started exchanging greetings.
After our BECE results were released, our class went to the national examination office to check the results. Eddie showed up that day with his friends. I said ‘hi’ to them and turned to leave, but one of his friends spoke to me. He asked for my number so we could keep in touch. When I agreed to give it to him he said: “Oh, I don’t have a phone. But I will save it on Eddie’s phone and take it from him later.” I didn’t mind. So I gave my number to Eddie.
Later that day, Eddie sent me a text message. I responded, and that’s how we started talking. He would send me love messages but I wouldn’t reply to them. My teenage mind told me: “If you respond to the love messages you two will become lovers. And if the relationship goes sour, he will tell you he never asked you to be his girlfriend. So just ignore the messages to avoid any confusion.” It was a crazy thought but it made sense to me. We were both in different high schools but our schools were close. Somewhere in 2011, it happened that his school was having its annual Thanksgiving March Past. I went there to cheer on some of my male friends in the school. Eddie saw me and sent for me. The fact that he sat somewhere and sent someone to come and call me annoyed me a great deal. I refused to go and told his messenger: “Tell your friend that if he wants to talk to me he should come to me.” His friend walked away with disappointment in his gait. I was getting ready to go home when Eddie showed up. He apologized for not coming sooner. “Let me see you off to the bus stop,” he offered. I shrugged, “Okay, sure.” We engaged in small talk while we were on the way. I felt awkward in his presence because we hadn’t gotten to a place of easy friendship yet. But I maintained a casual disposition as we sauntered to the bus stop.
When we got to the bus stop I turned to him to say goodbye but the words died in my tongue as Eddie took me by surprise. Without warning, he kissed me. I was so shocked I shivered. No one had ever kissed me before. And that wasn’t how I imagined my first kiss would go. “Why did you do that? We are not even dating.” I managed to say after I regained my composure.
He wore a smile like a cat that got the milk. “Well, this means we are dating now.” “No, I can’t date you. I intend to remain a virgin until I get married.” He smiled again: “What has that got to do with anything? I am willing to wait until we get married.” I was surprised by his declaration. A lot of boys had walked away from me because of my talk of purity. So it meant the world to me that Eddie didn’t mind the wait. I decided to give him a chance and prayed that we would be happy together. I was seventeen then.
As time went by, the awkwardness I felt in his presence was replaced with butterflies fluttering in my tummy. Every time I thought of him, my heart would feel too big for my chest. I longed to see him always. That is how I came to the knowledge that I was in love with Eddie. We dated throughout the rest of our senior high school days. After school, we applied to the same university and gained admission. Our bond got stronger with each year that passed. And you couldn’t come between us if you tried. We were like two voodoo dolls bound together by magic. Life in the university did nothing but add maturity to our love. Where other loves withered, ours bloomed. Two years after we graduated from the university, Eddie popped the question. I knew without a single shred of doubt that he is the man I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. So with a heart full of love and hope, we got married in 2020. We were sure that we would only know happiness in our marriage. However, grief visited us in 2021, when we lost our first child. The pain we felt was unimaginable. I didn’t think the heaviness in my soul would ever depart from me. I thought I would grieve every day. But Eddie was strong for both of us.
We kept each other going through the dark nights and the cloudy days. By and by we started to live again. We started to hope and trust God for a miracle. And today, we have another child who warms our hearts. God turned our mourning into joy. He heard our prayers and gave us beauty for ashes. There is happiness in our home again, and for that I am thankful. I look at my life and I am happy to go through this journey with my first and only ever love.
Courtesy Beads Media