I remember the first time I met her. She was an intern at the office. From the first day I saw her, I knew. I just knew. I can’t still explain it. Five weeks later, her programme came to an end, but she had come to my department to ask some questions. And my mind didn’t just let her go.
She read me, like a book, and heard me even when I wasn’t saying anything. I remember the first time I had dropped the hint, she had given me her trademark tired smile and said, ‘I don’t know what you are talking about.’ And she would later tell me, ‘you are an honourable man, you know? How you waited after my internship to talk to me about this. But I am not sure I am interested.’ But she didn’t know, then, how tenacious I could be.
I remember the first time she told me that she missed me. I had an erratic heartbeat each time I recalled her words. I was finally making progress. For a very long time, I did all the calling, all the texting, all the talking. She would merely say, ‘I was just thinking about you sef. Thank you for calling. I appreciate this.’ Or she would reply my text like decades after and say, ’I really apologise for late reply. I got caught up with the application and interview process.’ Or she would just listen while I say everything on my mind and say, ‘I really don’t how to reply that. You worry too much.’ The really really annoying times, she would just say ‘okay’. You may be thinking she was probably not interested. She was, she just needed to be convinced. It was in how she would counter all my negative thoughts with her positive ones. How she was quick to say, ‘No o. I reject that for you in Jesus’ name.’ How she would tell me to talk to God about my problems. How she just always had the right thing to say. How she saw the good in me, and encouraged me to be better. How she really would get upset if I wasn’t taking care of myself. How she would hang her head to the side when I wasn’t feeling too good. How she would silently pester me to cheer me up when I was gloomy.