It still felt awkward having the words “my husband” roll off the tip of her tongue, almost as awkward as the first day she had to ‘tolerate’ her wedding ring. Though she had always dreamt of wearing a wedding ring, the very act of wearing it felt very different to what she had imagined. It remains to be said that in most instances in her life “dreams differed significantly to reality”.
She and her husband met in March at a time when she had no interest in men.
Meeting her husband was a very unique experience, the very night they met she was coming from campus after indulging in a ‘few’ drinks and one or two cigarettes with a very dear friend. The friend was going through his first real breakup, having had an extremely painful first break-up herself, she could easily identify with him hence her decision to stay with him for a ‘few’ drinks.
Back to how she met her husband; it was between 22h00 – 23h30 in her hometown, a large township known for its lack of class. The beautiful, unfriendly township sky was unusually bright that night and she was unusually ‘bubbly’ (with the help of the ‘few’ She had had that night). Blame the few if you must but to her that night was the true definition of a imperfectly perfect night; one she had repeatedly read from the novels from the local public library from the age of 12.
Here is why that fateful night became the most imperfectly perfect night; she had just gotten off the taxi, smiling and happy that she had actually made it home despite the time of night (amongst other things). As she got off the taxi she noticed that another taxi had stopped infront of the one she had alighted from. Unconcerned and unbothered by the happenings of the night, she joyfully hopped her own way. She vividly remembers the joy she felt as she was walking towards her gate, it was as though she knew what was going to happen next.
Her joyful, playful hop home was interrupted by a tall, black silhouette of masculinity. The silhouette stood against the moon forming a uniquely colourful shadow. Before she could decode what was happening, she heard an intently deep and masculine voice say “Hi there, may I please accompany you to your gate?”. This sounded so much like something from a Hollywood movie, a Vin Diesel movie without the violence. Alright maybe the above words weren’t the exact words that were uttered but the message was the same. Speaking English in her township is looked down on upon and could potentially get one robbed or attacked; thus making it one of the worst languages to speak, especially at night. It was the choice of words and language (English, her preferred language since she could read) that were used on the night that made setting perfect.
The moment she realized that she had to respond, she could hardly contain her excitement; she was in what appeared to be a semi dream-like state. For no apparent reason she was overly honest and very smitten by the shadow’s voice more than anything else. Night time is ideally NOT the most appropriate or safe time to fraternize with male strangers, that element of the situation was imperfect. Ironically, The way she saw it, that time of night was perfect because had this been in the morning or daytime she would have arrogantly brushed everything off as another failed proposal attempt.
Other elements that astonished her, apart from the texture, tone and volume of the voice were the fact that the voice had uttered the proposal in English and what sounded like a West African accent. Her three years in varsity had exposed her to numerous non-South African accents; she had reached a stage where she was skilled at spotting out accents that weren’t native to South Africa. With her love for West African culture she knew very well what to look out for in a Nigerian accent and she was fascinated by the prospects of the words having rolled off of a Nigerian tongue. That was one of the main reasons she quickly warmed up to the voice. The accent was so familiar, for some reason it made her feel at home.
Before I completely drift away from my story-telling; her response to the voice was in a form of a question which went as follows: “where are you from?”. Being foreign to South Africa, she assumed that the voice had been obligated to respond to this question numerous times. Sure enough it responded “West Africa”, in her semi-sober state she released a soft chuckle at the realization that the voice may be playing his answers safe, in case the lady was one of the average ‘xenophobic locals’.
She further asked “Which country in West Africa?”, the brave deep voice replied with what her ears blissfully longed to hear… “Nigeria”. Being the skilled interrogator that she considered herself to be she further inquired, “Are you Yoruba or Igbo?”. She was overconfident and too talkative due to her semi-sober state. Before she knew it they had reached her gate, she still hadn’t made out the face of the shadow with the deep voice out. She carefully studied the features of the shadow, its masculine gestures, silhouette, voice and all. One aspect that fascinated her was the amount of testosterone required to produce the level of deepness of the voice she had heard in her semi-soberness.
Despite being unable to make out the exact facial features of the voice, the change in tone alerted her to the fact that she had pleasantly surprised the shadow with her limited knowledge of Nigerian tribes. The shadow proceeded to answer her question… “Yoruba”. She was pleasantly delighted to hear that he was from a tribe she knew much about; when the shadow inquired about her knowledge of Nigeria, she simply told him that she was a big lover of West African culture. It had been over 8 months since she felt the warm embrace of masculinity.
After the shadow bombarded her with multiple phone numbers and a BlackBerry Messenger pin, which she jotted on a piece of paper from a notepad she had used earlier in class that same day. She actually wrote and pronounced the shadow’s name wrong; clearly mildly annoyed by her failure to grasp the name, the voice repeated it for her several times before eventually letting her go inside my yard.
She was smitten, never could she have imagined that the voice would turn out to be that of her future husband.
Moral: Sometimes the perfect outcomes come out of imperfect situations. The above is a typical example of how out of the worst setting can come beauty and bliss.
Disclaimer: This story was originally published on my first blog, www.skyflawa.wordpress.com (active 2011 to 2015). However, the story might have been edited slightly prior to publishing on this blog, to suit my current style of writing.