Our Love Story (Jesse)
I still remember very vividly the first day I saw Alma. It was on NYSC Camp in 2010. I was standing on a queue waiting to be paid our small NYSC allowee lol… just when I noticed a very bright (oyinbo) girl in the typical white T-shirt and shorts camp attire walking towards the queue and she didn’t have a care in the world and was completely oblivious with what was really happening. I thought she was pretty, quiet and I would say she actually caught my attention and truly had me curious.
The following morning as I walked towards our platoon for the morning parade I saw her standing just a few feet away. We were both in the same platoon! Felt amazing. There was something about her that got me excited and wasn’t so sure why. So I made up my mind I was going to talk to her…but hey it was just reflexes at the time. I wasn’t even sure when I found myself in front of her and she immediately smiled at me and I introduced myself and we got lost in conversations with details I can’t even remember now. She made a very good first impression and our friendship began from that day. So you can imagine, I had no idea I had just met the woman that I would later call wife (blushing). How could I have known right? And indeed since camp we remained such good friends.
We kept in touch but sometimes in and out of communication. Then sometime in 2014, we started hanging out more. We’ll go to the cinema to catch up on the latest movies. In fact we became very good movie buds. The bond between us had grown stronger and the truth is I didn’t even know when my emotions came to play. I just knew I always had fun being in her company. We would share our experiences and talk about a lot. The beautiful thing about her was the fact that I wasn’t scared of baring myself before her especially because of the bond of friendship we had. She was the shoulder I could lean on. Wasn’t too long I knew I had found me a soul mate! (Smiles)…
It was so easy to fall in love with her because no one ever made me feel the way she does. I couldn’t explain how connected I felt with her. She is beautiful, smart, fun to be with, loves God and above all she’s humble, warm and loving. Honestly I couldn’t have asked for better ‘cause she is all I ever wanted and more. I love the fact that I am consumed with peace when I am with her. I have the most assurance that God has blessed me with the most amazing woman. It was only logical that I called her my Kumashe (Meaning ‘My Most Beautiful’ in Tiv.
It seemed like my heart started singing to me a thousand songs and I followed the beat. One of the hardest things to do was breaking the news about how I felt about her. As badly as I wanted her to be mine forever, I also loved our friendship and didn’t want anything to come in between our friendship. I feared that she never saw us being more than friends and I worried about how it could strain our relationship if she didn’t feel the same way about me…those were indeed genuine fears. But as God would have it, having destined us from the beginning to be together, he already formed her heart to love me. Our hearts were beating the same rhythm and I loved her more for it. The best feeling ever!
We became committed in a loving relationship and ever since it has been a beautiful journey I wouldn’t trade for anything else or anyone else in the world!
God has been at the center of it all. Our journey, our individual experiences were all geared towards this beautiful moment in our lives. God had destined us to be together even before we were born which is why I can’t help but love her deeply with every ounce of strength within me now and forever.
The Proposal ( Alma)
From the day we officially started dating, we acknowledged the presence of God in our relationship and we both knew we wanted to spend our lives together. We talked about it from time to time and he couldn’t wait to stop dropping me off at my father’s house everyday. Lol. Everything felt so right with him so of course, I expected a proposal but I had no clue WHEN or HOW it would happen. I decided to give my boo the benefit of doubt by waiting patiently…
One Saturday evening while we were together he mentioned that a friend of his would be having an acoustic night/night of soul at Johnny Rockets the following day. It wasn’t surprising to me as he has loads of cousins and friends who were very musically talented. I was a bit skeptical on going but then I figured since it was going to be a Sunday evening and I probably wouldn’t be doing anything, I would rather go than stay home bored. He also asked me to invite my siblings as they were trying to invite as many people as possible out for a fun night.
The following day, Sunday Aug 30, 2015 was like any other day. My brother was in a pretty good mood dancing around the house while we were getting ready for church and I though he was just being his normal goofy self. I even joined him a bit singing and dancing. Lol. After church, Jesse called me to find out if I had invited my siblings for the outing later that evening, truth is I didn’t think they were going to be interested but I told them anyway. My sister was more concerned it was going to be Johnny Rockets as she is such a foodie and my brother just acted indifferent but said he would drop by.
Later that evening, Jesse came to pick my sister and I up and on getting to the venue I saw a handful of his close family and friends which was not surprising at all. We always gather like that for different celebrations. My brother and my cousin had also come in a few minutes later. Jesse’s cousin, Hilary who had gotten married recently had his thanksgiving earlier that day so they wanted to also celebrate the couple that evening as part of the event or so I thought. By the time we were all complete, all the musicians in our midst took turns playing the guitar, singing and free-styling. Some people were also taking pictures and recording each performer. Most of them were love songs I thought were directed at Hilary and his new bride. It was so much fun.
I noticed at some point that Jesse kept disappearing for minutes on end but I just thought he was trying to ensure everything went well. After a while, Jesse came back after taking a phone call from work. Then he said “Babe, you should sing too.” and I was like “Huh, how? ” Before I knew it, my brother started concurring saying ” Alma, abeg go jor. Go and sing”. The next thing I knew everyone started chanting my name “Alma, Alma, Alma”. I could not understand why Jesse would want to put me on the spot like that, I was blank and had no song in mind to even sing. All my pleading fell on deaf ears as he dragged me to the center where I sat and started singing Adele’s ‘Someone like you’ as suggested by his cousin Hilary who was also playing the guitar. I even forgot some of the lyrics because I wasn’t prepared. Anyway, as I was thinking about how to sing the second verse of the song, the waiter tapped me from behind and handed me a bill saying ‘Ma, your bill please”. I was confused as I couldn’t understand why he would give me a bill when I hadn’t even drank as little as a bottle of water there. Opening the bill was even more shocking because the amount was so alarming. While I was still asking aloud, “Why is he giving me the bill” , everyone just kept a straight face, some of them with their phone video cameras still on. Next thing I knew, Jesse came from behind me where he had been standing and moved the paper bill a little to reveal a ring. I freaked out. I didn’t even know when I closed the bill book shut, flung it on the table and started to flee. Lol. I was blocked by Jesse and my sister as I immediately fell to the floor on my knees. Everyone was screaming and I realised what was happening. I couldn’t even stop the tears from flowing. Jesse knelt with me and held me for a bit while I was sobbing still in so much shock. I could not believe it. When he calmed me down a bit, I heard him say ” Babe, you’ve been my friend. I cannot imagine my life without you. (and a bunch of other things I don’t remember), will you marry me?” I said a silent yes nodding my head too still with tears in my eyes. It was so surreal, he placed the ring on my finger and all our loved ones present started to sing in unison. It was so wonderful. I could not believe everyone else knew the real reason we were there except me.
Jesse later filled me in on how they all planned it. I was in shock for the entire week and it is still the best day of my life. Everything was captured on video which went viral on social media and the internet.
We wish Ama and Jesse a happy married life….
Photos by Gabbyz Studios