Written by Sonia Okehie
Have you ever been in love with someone you know fully well that the world might not accept but you can’t help it but fall deeply into that abyss of the love you both share because it makes a lot of sense to you only? Have you fallen for someone who’s not in your regular world? Someone older than you, outside your tribe, in a different mental space than you, someone who might not fit into the ‘Perfect Picture’ of your love story, someone who makes sense to you alone? Etc. Well, I suggest you buckle up your seat belts because I’m about to take you on a reality check ride that will be absolutely worth it. Grab your popcorns if you can reach it and enjoy the ride!
Several years back, my heart was fragile, tender and new to the loving experience. The only thing I wanted to concern myself about was my bright future because I figure it was the only thing I could control; as I couldn’t control Love. It was a beautiful time and experience being single till I encountered my First Love. Oh, how I was so in love with this flawless human being. The first day I set my eyes on him, I actually knew he had gotten my heart but I still played tough just to make my first love story a memorable one.
It took my ‘First Love’ quite some time to get my total trust and love and once he got it, our relationship was blissful. To be frank, I wasn’t a Professional then in the matter of love and also how to handle my emotions but I sure knew that I was mature in my thoughts and carried myself well in the relationship.
Still young and tender, one can say that our relationship was innocent and healthy. We focused more on the betterment of each other but what seemed like my first and last love story unfortunately turned out to be a disaster.
After about a year later, things happened so fast and we grew apart. It was a painful experience for the fragile young lady but life had to unfortunately move on. I could remember how many times he called very late at nights just to encourage me to work on our beautiful relationship but I couldn’t take his words seriously after several attempts to make things works but it failed every single time I agreed to put in the effort. My heart broke every time the reality of our relationship never returning back to the way it used to be dawned on me. As hard as it was, I still had to move on.
Years passed by and I entered into a mentally different space than I used to be. My taste and preferences for men changed too. I realised that I was more attracted to guys that were extremely calm, more wiser than I am, soft, tender, not engrossed in the social media world, someone understanding and kind. My taste changed entirely from that of the fragile girl few years back that loved good looks, swag and the glitters.
This part of me came into existence as I grew and matured in age. Regardless of the qualities I wanted, I still came across so many good men that didn’t fit into that ‘Mental Picture’ of the qualities of a man I dearly wanted. It was a tough life for me to try with other people to see if it will work out only for our early stage Love Story to come crushing on the ground. It usually ended before I fully committed because I was overly protective of my fragile heart. It wasn’t easy for me to make decisions because there were always options to reconsider for.
I was stuck in a world I wanted to run away from because I hadn’t found the one that made sense to only me and not the world. Someone I can have peace with and not someone that would snatch peace and happiness out from me. I didn’t want so many ‘Exs’ tied to my existence so I was very careful before I said ‘Yes’ to any proposal.
To be honest, I don’t think I have intimately told so many men these three golden words “I Love You”, the reason is because I usually mean every word and it comes from the bottom of my heart. If I don’t mean it, you would never hear me say it because those words are not just mere words to me; I say them with sincerity of heart. Due to this, a lot of guys are left shocked after I reply “Thank you” to their “I Love You” profession. It might sound unfair but at least it’s genuine and sincere.
Life went on as usually till something unexpected happened one beautiful afternoon. It happened that I closed from work early so I had to visit a nice restaurant in the heart of town just to cool off, eat and also work on some left over assignment from the office. I sat at my favourite hidden spot in that restaurant and brought out all the documents I had to work on and dropped them on the table.
As I relaxed that fateful day and gently munched my Irish potato chips, I perceived one of the most pleasant perfume ever and gently looked up to see where such pleasant smell was coming from and immediately caught the sight of someone that instantly made my heart drop. Just as fast as my attention was caught, I took it back and tried to concentrate on my work and not get too distracted but it was already too late because the mysterious gentleman that looked as though he was in his late thirties had already caught my attention and the funny part of the whole thing was that he’s a foreigner; a white guy.
Just by that fact alone, a lot of people in my regular world might see any reality of the both of us ever being an Item as ‘Not Picture Perfect’ and I wished my heart could have listened but I guess it didn’t because Love Knows No Bound, Colour, Race, Ethnicity or Preferences.
Before then, I had met few foreigners too and also worked with some but was never attracted to any; even those that tried to be my friend but this particular one was different. There was just something about this one that distinguished him from the rest I had seen.
As I majestically ate my lunch and occasionally wrote some important things down in my notepad, I heard the most gently “Hello” of my entire life. It sent chills down my spine and almost brought tears to my shiny eyes. I sat there and stared at this gentleness till I summoned the courage to reply “Hi” with a faint smile of my face. “Can I sit with you? ” he asked, “Yes sure” I gently replied and this gentleman took his seat.
The awkwardness in the atmosphere at that moment was too intense that I almost lost concentration. I tried my best to focus and not lose it but every attempt failed woefully.
In a flash of seconds, the mysterious gentleman could already sense that he was making me uncomfortable but I guess that wasn’t enough reason for him to take his leave or back down on any quest he had in mind. He smiled faintly and tried to strike a conversation between us.
“Are you OK? It seems you have so much to do” he said in a concerned tone, “Not really, I am just trying to get some work done as I eat” I replied, “Do you want some chips?” I continued and he smiled and it was one of the most beautiful thing I had seen. His smile was filled with positivity, good vibes and with an addition of peace that I couldn’t place my hands around. The way he smiled made me smile too and I didn’t know why. Before he could say something else to me, the waiter came with a menu for him to go through and order; that little distraction gave me some space and time to breath properly after few minutes of being uncomfortable.
As I sat there trying to breath, I heard him tell the waiter “I will have the same thing she is having”. I smiled and pushed my plate towards him to have some of my food since he ordered the same thing. He took one of my chips and dipped it into the tomato ketchup that was close to the chips. I let him eat while I concentrated with the little work I was trying to get done.
In one of those times, I caught him staring at me in ways you wouldn’t understand even if I took a whole day to explain to you. That intense stare a person gives you that makes you wonder what they are thinking about. He was just lost and looked ‘Love Struck’, while I looked partially composed and in control of my emotions.
Just before I could write further, he said to me; “has anyone ever told you how beautiful you are?”, I smiled and replied “I get that a lot, thanks”. He smiled, looked at me and asked “Are you single?” and I gently nodded ‘Yes’ then he proceeded to say something that instantly pierced my heart. He said; “I don’t believe anyone has actually seen how beautiful you are because if they did, then they would have never let you slip out of their hands. You are beautiful my dear”.
The cuteness was just too much that I didn’t know when I blushed and gently shook my head. Before I could say anything, the waiter brought his food and said “here’s your order sir”.
He helped the waiter to arranged the table and replied; “Don’t call me sir, my name is Gary”.
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