… There was more hanging out, and longer conversations. Our friends kept telling us how suited we were for each other, but I couldn’t entertain the idea that my friend and I could actually be a couple, and that it would work. I knew his stories in waaaaaay too much detail, and I’d told myself I would be single forever because it seemed monogamy had gone out of fashion. Our friends kept motivating for him behind his back. They were relentless. I said no. I said he was old (he is)…
One day, we found ourselves alone and there was an outpouring of emotions. It also just so happened that drinks were also flowing. My brain couldn’t not accept that his feelings could reveal themselves so quickly, and be met with equal vulnerability and yes from my own heart. I had to apologize to Maria for cussing her out in the detergent aisle of Pick n Pay, that one time, for even suggesting that I give homeboy a chance.
So, we got together around the time of the autumn equinox of 2012. Things got serious very quickly, and I suddenly could not imagine my life without him. He was everything I didn’t even know I wanted.
We started talking about marriage fairly soon. Ain’t nobody got time for surprise marriage proposals. We set a timeline for ourselves to work towards getting married. But I fell pregnant first instead. I knew I was pregnant when I dreamt about scoffing ginger biscuits and beekeeping at my father’s homestead. In the dream, those two things were related and it made perfect sense. To his credit though, he knew I was pregnant before I knew. And he knew the baby would be a boy.
That was in March 2013, just as the psychic said – our relationship changed again. We then accelerated our plans to get married, not because we were pregnant, but our pregnancy coincided with some family stuff.
In May 2013, lobolo negotiations began. His *abakhongi (both of the friends who put in a word or 10 for alliancepartner with me) came for the first leg of negotiations where, amongst other things, they decided when cows would be brought.
After the preliminary negotiations were complete, my aunt helped me escape from my room so I could spend some time alone with my future husband. He surprised me with the ring I’d chosen but said he shouldn’t get me because I was trying to be sensible about money. He went and bought the ring anyway, with Maria’s help, and hid it from me. He did a really romantic proposal but I didn’t know he was proposing like that, so I wasn’t really listening. I was shocked, I cussed him out and wept. I loved it.
*mkhongi : lobolo negotiator and mediator.