I was twenty years old and I had never been in a romantic relationship. That year I had read this book (whose title I can’t remember) that was about relationships and in the middle, it explained you should write a list of qualities you would want in your significant other. I love lists so I was all for it. The list was broken down in three; must haves, wish list, and knockouts. I thought about it for a while, wrote a draft and then edited it to get my ideal boyfriend (actual evidence of my overthinking ways). That was somewhere in the middle of that year, by Christmas I had forgotten about the list but decided that the next year I would have a boyfriend.
The following year, I went to varsity and I met TheCameroonian. I remember I was very attracted to him but was trying to play it cool so it didn’t seem so obvious. We had mathematics together every day, with at least 180 other people. He would always go and sit in the back left corner of the room so I positioned myself in the front right. And because of the seats kinda curved, I was always able to see him as he walked into class, despite the size of the class.
Soon we started talking since we had friends in common, and eventually we were hanging out by ourselves. So I have mentioned this before, I’m emotionally challenged. There is a significant buffer time before I acknowledge that I was feeling a certain way, whether I was happy, sad, mad, and everything in between. It could take me days, weeks even months to know how I felt. I mention this because early on I would feel some type of way when TheCameroonian was a girl I didn’t know, who was pretty and friendly. I didn’t know if she was his chick or there was something brewing from the year before, I just didn’t like it.
I didn’t really get why I felt that way but like a month later (in all honesty it may have even been a year later) I realised I was jealous.
You already know part of how we linked up (So ah..Wanna date?). Once we were officially boyfriend and girlfriend, we worked out our own little system. We were both in electrical engineering and had hectic schedules. So we only really saw each other on Fridays and/or Saturdays. On any other day, we were classmates and you would never know anything was going on.
We were so serious about school, we never even texted or called during the school week; all relationship stuff was relegated to the weekend. And only after talking to other girls in couples did I think TheCameroonian and I were a weird couple. But I feel like
Obviously, the first reason I wanted to date TheCameroonian was because he is attractive. He is tall with a medium brown complexion. Very pretty brown eyes framed by long eyelashes and nice thick eyebrows that would make Cara Delevingne jealous. He has a big-ish build that I loved when he hugged me. I would be enveloped in his embrace and it just felt cosy and safe.
But beyond looks, TheCameroonian is a good catholic boy. But like for real though. While we were a couple, he was very sweet and he behaved exactly how you would want your man to. Maybe it was just his nature or that we were each other’s first relationship. He was very respectful. All the attention was on us when we were in each other’s company. He would ensure I was comfortable whenever we would go somewhere and always asked before we did anything.
He was also very receptive.
I remember our very first valentine’s day as a couple, we had (and by that I mean I had) decided that we would meet that night in my room to celebrate. Earlier that day he had decided to go up Devil’s peak with his friends. He did not tell me that. Anyway, the guys got lost and on their hike up, TheCameroonian’s calf cramped. Now it was getting closer to our scheduled time I couldn’t get through to his phone because there was no network while he was up there.
I finally managed to speak to him, quite mad at this point, and he told me what had happened, that he was hurt and wouldn’t be able to make it. I wasn’t aware I did anything different (emotional retard remember) but I guess it makes sense to be hurt. Some time later, he said that he heard the disappointment in my voice when we agreed to cancel our plans. Being the sweetheart that he is, he still came over, limping and in pain, just to make me happy.
Midway through our relationship, I was spring cleaning and I found that list I wrote for my ideal boyfriend. I went through the three different sections and one after the other TheCameroonian met each of the stipulated criteria. I couldn’t believe I got exactly what I wanted, and in retrospect, what I needed.
He completely changed my stance on marriage. I am not talking about that happily ever after BS sold in Disney movies but actually coming together and working to be something better than its parts. Growing up as a Zambian girl, marriage seemed like a transaction where the woman did all of the compromising. The worst part is that she could be returned for minor things like not being able to cook or clean well. And so I was completely put off. Every time Grandma or Aunt Nightingale would say I would be returned if I didn’t do this or that, I just thought, jokes on you,
My relationship with TheCameroonian made me see that marriage is for me, with the right person. He showed me that being with another person is about respect and support. We could make our own rules as a couple, and resolve our problems if, together, we addressed them upfront. Most of all, he showed me how much fun being in a relationship could be.
P.S. I was talking about being in a relationship, what were you thinking of?
Edited by TheWalkingWeave
** Pictures from Google Search