The day Leo proposed to me, the first question I asked was about his age. He looked younger and acted as if he was a boy in his twenties. He said, “What has age got to do with it?” I said, “Maybe my appearance is giving you the impression that I’m a little girl. I’m 36 years old and I don’t want to end up with an eighteen-year-old boy.” He laughed. He asked, “I look like eighteen years old to you? Just say I’m handsome and I will say thank you.” It was his confidence for me. He said, “I’m 35 years old but I doubt your age. You can’t be 36 years. Where are you rushing to?”
The day I accepted his proposal, he asked again, “Is your age correct?” I said, “I won’t lie about my age for anything. It’s the first thing I tell new friends so they don’t give me any treatment meant for teenagers.” He laughed out loud. He said, “Honestly, you don’t look your age. When I saw you, I didn’t think of your age but if anyone asked me, I would have mentioned something around twenty-six.” I said, “God added preservatives when he created me.” He laughed again. Everything I said was funny to him. I recognized that and loved that about him.
We were two weeks old when I asked him the question I was dying to ask him. I asked, “What kept you so long. Being single at your age is quite surprising to me.” He said, “You’re asking the wrong question. You should ask who disappointed me that I’m still single at my age.” So I rephrased my question. “Who disappointed you.” He said, “Annie.” I asked, “Who is Annie and what did she do to you?”
He dated Annie for five years. When their relationship was two years old they started talking about marriage. A year later, he was ready to take the next step but Annie said she wasn’t ready. She requested another year which he granted. They were four years together when Annie told him she wanted out of the relationship. “My world turned upside down,” he said. “I built my whole existence around her. I begged her to stay and after weeks of begging, she agreed to give it one more try. Six months later, she called it quit again. It hurt but I allowed her to go. She’s married now to a guy she dated for only a few months.”
I asked him, “You suspect they were together while you two were dating?” He answered, “I don’t think about that because when I moved on, I moved away completely from everything that has her name in the middle. I didn’t want to think about what is already gone. I had my whole life to plan and I was busy with it.”
He didn’t ask about my past and I was very surprised. I thought he was going to ask me why I was also single at 36 but he didn’t. I was dying to tell him but I wanted him to ask first. One day he kissed me. I allowed it. My mind was flying all over the place so I couldn’t allow myself to enjoy it. I kissed for his sake and not mine. When he stopped, I said, “This is my first kiss.” He shouted, “What? Seriously?” I said, “Yeah it is.” He said, “Don’t tell me I’m your first boyfriend.” I laughed. “How can you be? You’re actually my hundredth boyfriend. I may be underestimating the figure though.” He asked, “So how come?”
That was the moment I was waiting for. I took my time and narrated my story from the beginning to the end. I said, “I dated three different guys in two years. The one who stayed with me the longest stayed for only seven months. They all found a reason to leave me because I didn’t agree to sleep with them.” He asked, “Not even a kiss?” I answered, “Not even a kiss.” He said, “Wow, that was some kind of dry relationship.” I said, “That’s exactly what you’ve found yourself in.” He said, “I’ve had a kiss. I’ve beaten them all.”
I told him, “Let’s see if you can outlast everyone too.”
We didn’t have any further deeper conversation around the topic. To be honest with you, at that moment of my life, I was ready for anything. Leo was such a darling and acted like someone who knew his apples from onions and also knew the reason why he shouldn’t add apples to onions when cooking. He wasn’t pushy. The day I told him about my story, he started treating me with a certain level of care I didn’t see from the beginning. I even thought he was preparing to leave me. One day, I told him, “You’ve changed?” He said, “Really? Is it a negative change?” I said, “I can’t explain. You’ve become reserved.” He said, “I don’t want to scare you.”
One evening we were talking and he said, “I was thinking about those boyfriends who left you because you wouldn’t allow them to do things to you. Honestly, if you met me in my twenties I would have also left. It’s too hard to accept certain conditions when you’re young. When you grow up, life humbles you. You get to know what you want and you learn that it’s only patience that can get you to your destination.” I asked, “What do you mean?” He said, “I don’t know. I’m trying to say something kɛkɛ.” We both laughed.
I started loosening up around him. I felt safe in his presence. His maturity gave me something to dream about. Let me be honest here, if he pushed it—if he pushed me to my limit, I don’t know but I might have given up everything for him. That’s how much I loved him and appreciated the effort he put into the relationship.
During the lockdown, he called and told me, “Marriage is easy in this situation we find ourselves in. Why don’t we get married? Everybody will come out one day and see rings on our fingers. Let’s shock them.” I knew he was joking because had dated for barely a year. I said, “If you’re ready, let’s find a pastor tomorrow.”
We were both joking but it set the tone of the conversation around marriage. We talked about it often. We wanted to be ready when the moment comes. The joke around that time was that everyone was going to die by June 2020. We also made that joke. “He said, “We should marry before June 2020 ooo. We can’t die without enjoying marriage.” June 2020 came and we were alive. We planned to get married In December 2020 which didn’t happen due to one or two things.
December 31st, 2020, I was in church with him. We prayed for a better year together. When the clock struck 12am and we were wishing each other a happy new year, he said, “A year by this time, we would be married.” I said, “A year by this time, your wish should come through.”
I’ve always wanted to share my story here after marriage but I’ve been itching. I read the updates here each day and want to send mine but I tell myself, “Why don’t you wait after you marry?” I couldn’t wait to share it, so here I am with my update. Our wedding is on September 25th, 2021. Everything is in place—even the stars have aligned, waiting for that day to come so they can form a galaxy and watch over our happy moments.
It took me so long but knowing what I know now, I wouldn’t have it any other way but this way. It’s worth the wait and my pastor’s words ring very true when he said “The one God has prepared for you would wait…” It wasn’t even an issue. I didn’t have to warn him to stay away from me until marriage. He just waited. No push. No pull. He decided to wait because he understands what is at stake for me and him. “Bad girls” will have their days but there’s an appointed time for “good girls” too and that time is September 25th.