I walked up the stairs to that conference hall where hundreds of people from different crannies of Nigeria had gathered to discuss progress made in fighting against AIDS in their domains. And my gaze met his. There he stood, on the right side of the entrance, and the glitter in his blue-green eyes outshone a million supernovas. And I never would have believed in love at first sight. My heart skipped a beat. And I froze. He smiled. And he put the midday sun to shame. My heart melted. And he said hello. We shook hands. And we said things about work. My feet went into the meeting. But my heart stayed at the door. Later that afternoon as I watched his driver drive him away, my heart strings were dragged along with every mile as his car rode off into the distant sunset like a rodeo and left me wishing for the first time in my life that I would see a stranger again. And I didn’t know how. But a force stronger than us both was at work.
We would meet again, occasionally. Always at work. Always at meetings. And we would talk about work things. I wasnt sure. Was he sure? I didnt know. But we never said. Later that year it was Christmas and he was in Holland and I was in Lagos with my best friend and my best friend could tell I was excited about someone. It was like a million lights and as many butterflies. A buzz. Like a schoolgirl. I told him I had wanted to give him a gift from Nigeria to share with his people back home. But we somehow missed each other. He was new in my country then and didnt know his way around very much.
I cried with him in January when he was turned back at the airport in Abuja for not having the right documents. Of course it was a trick by the immigration offficials to extort money. We cried together on phone as I walked up and down the streets in front of my mother’s house that late night listening to him suffer without me.
Weeks later he was back and we moved in together. Our life was a fairy tale. I lived with him oblivious of what people said. And they said a lot. And they stared. But in my mind, it was all beautiful. And so I imagined it seemed to them too.
My first night, our first night. We didn’t plan anything. It just happenned.
And we had our moments. We never thought we would survive. We never got physical. But the emotions were intense.
Today, it is five years since he first penetrated my soul with those other-worldly blue-green eyes.
And we are older and wiser. And still in love.
And he is the purest Love that God has made.