Our Love Story

In February of 2008, I had just started with university, and I was enjoying every moment of it. I was meeting new friends, having fun experiences and learning a lot.

In most South African universities we have a student-run committee called Reach Out and Give (RAG) that raises money and distributes it to charitable causes. One of the ways in which the RAG Committee raises funds is by hosting various fun events for students and young people all through the year.

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At my university, the biggest event is RAG weekend, which is held at the beginning of the year. RAG weekend kicks off with a big concert at the RAG farm, with loads of South African and sometimes international bands and performances.

On Saturday, there is a big parade where the different residences create huge floats and walk through the streets asking for money from the crowds. This is loads of fun and it draws a huge crowd.

Following the parade on Saturday, an after-party is held at the square (literally a bunch of bars built in a square formation – party central) just off campus, with more music and good times.

Well, being a first year university student, I had decided that I absolutely had to go to RAG farm on Friday to enjoy the party. Unfortunately, while I was waiting for my friend to come pick me up at my home, she informed me that she couldn’t go anymore. I was bummed out and didn’t want to miss the fun, so I asked my older brother to take me and he agreed. So I joined him for a pregame session with some of his friends at one of their apartments. I remember while we were sitting in the traffic behind another car, he said, “Mmm… ProteaGroom has a new car.” I didn’t recognize the name, so he explained that it was a friend of a friend who lived outside our town.

We got to the friend’s apartment, I drank wine while the others drank beer and we had some fun conversations. We decided to walk to RAG farm as it is close to the apartment and it would be better not to drive later that night after drinking. While we were walking, ProteaGroom came up next to me and tried to talk to me, but my protective brother called me up to walk with him instead.

We got to the RAG farm and I met up with my other friends and once again my protective brother was being, well, protective. He questioned my male friends and tried to scare them off (though of course he won’t admit to that now).

After a while I spotted my brother and his friends and went back up to them, where I got to talking with ProteaGroom. He liked what he heard, and asked if he could have my number, so of course I said “sure,” but he never made any move to take out his phone or even a piece of paper to write it down, so I figured, well I’m not going to do all the work.

We spent some more time together, and then I drifted off to meet other friends and before I knew it the night was over. And that cute mystery guy hadn’t gotten my number.

The next day I went to the parade and the after-party with other friends, hoping I would ‘accidentally’ bump into my brother again and see ProteaGroom. Well, the accidental part wasn’t happening, so I called up my brother to meet him. Unfortunately, ProteaGroom wasn’t there and I was informed by the guys that he had gone home to his town that morning.  I didn’t let it get me down, and I spent the evening partying with my friends and having a good time.

On Sunday evening, I was sitting watching TV with my family, when my very protective brother got a text message. “ProteaGroom wants your number. Can I give it to him?” he grunted, clearly annoyed. I decided to play it cool and said, “Sure, why not.”

That was the end of that and we started talking back and forth over text message. He took me on a few dates, I made fun of his choice in music, he made fun of mine, and eventually his visits became more often until we reached the point where we decided that we wanted to be in a relationship with each other.

He lived in another city, about an hour’s drive from where I lived. I realize now that it isn’t a big distance, but at that time it seemed so far. Neither of us enjoyed the distance, but he said that he could only move later that year. Well, that didn’t last long, because a month after we had officially become a couple, he moved to live in the same city as I did. We’ve been going strong for more than five years.

How did you and your partner meet? Do you think you were destined to meet each other?

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