In 2015, our company selected people from different departments to form a committee to plan the end of year party and awards. I got selected from my department. The committee met and we created a Whatsapp group to help us communicate on daily basis. Of Course, in every Whatsapp group, there are those who talk every day and those who prefer to be ghosts. I never said a word and when we are forced to say something, I always said, “I second.”
One morning, I had a call from the committee head. She said, “I’ve paired you with Nancy. The two of you are going to be in charge of purchases.” I asked, “Who’s Nancy?” She answered, “She’s from procurement. You can call her number and start planning on what to do.” I was hesitant until after work that evening I saw a call on my phone. She asked, “How long should I wait before you call me?” I asked, “Who is this?” She said, “So you didn’t even save my number when it was given to you?” I asked again, “May I know who’s speaking?” She said, “I’m Nancy, from Procurement. We are a team, remember?”
The way she spoke to me felt like some sort of a boss. She was firm. On-your-face kind of a girl and always asking questions. I knew the two of us were going to have issues working together. I liked to hold back but she was always on my face dictating the pace and telling me what to do. On our first purchase, we had a standoff for like an hour. She wanted to buy something I believed wasn’t the best thing. We argued and argued until the last minute she agreed to buy what I suggested. When we presented to the committee, they were not impressed. They said so many bad things about our choice but I could only stand there and watch them. Nancy got up and said, “It’s our fault. Next time we would do better.”
She didn’t speak to me for about three days until she sent me a message one evening saying, “If you know you can’t stand and defend your bad choices, next time allow me to decide.” I said in my head, “There she goes again. Always trying to boss me around.” Slowly and painfully we went through the process, had a beautiful end of year party, and the groups were dissolved. I was happy for one reason; I wasn’t going to have to listen to long lectures from Nancy.
It was on Christmas day when I received a Merry Christmas message from her. I was surprised. I responded, “Same to you.” The next minute she called; “I wrote you a long beautiful message and all you could do is to type same to you? I won’t take that. Write your own.” Thirty or so minutes later, she called me, “Are you still writing the message or you need help to write a good one?” I asked her, “Nancy are you serious? Isn’t how we all respond to Xmas messages? I said same to you.” She said, “Ok here’s the truth, I picked mine from Google so you too can go there and select a message and send it to me.” I burst out laughing. “So your too known all you couldn’t write your own message?” She said, “If I cracked my head and wrote one, all I would have had in return was same to you? Thank God I didn’t waste my time.”
I didn’t know she could be this funny so the whole episode got me thinking of her in a different way. “She’s not that bad. Maybe she takes her work seriously but on the outside she’s cool.” On new year, I sent her a long new year message. She responded, “Did you pick that from Google? Let me know before I get excited.” I sent her a laughing emoji and she sent three back. She said, “What are you doing today, any plans?” I said no plans today. Just home. She said, “So why don’t you invite me to a place? I will come. I don’t play hard to get.”
She has her own ways of getting what she wants. Instead of asking for it, she would rather tell you to ask for it so it becomes like the whole thing is your idea. I asked her, “So if I tell you to come and visit me, you would come?” She said, “Try it.” I said, “Ok, come and visit me.” She said, “Ok let’s meet at the mall, from there I would go and see your house.”
Later in the evening, we met at the mall, had some food and drink and talk a lot about everything that came to mind. At some point, she asked, “Would your girlfriend be pleased to see us together?” I answered, “I don’t have a girlfriend. I had one a year ago but things didn’t work out. I’m alone now.” She looked at me the way I haven’t seen her do before. I asked her, “What? You think I’m lying?” She said, “No, I think you and I should be dating. I like you. You’re single and I’m single too. Unless of course, you don’t like someone like me.”
I was taken aback by her bluntness; “You like me? As in you’re serious about that or it’s one of your jokes?” She responded, “This didn’t come from Google so it’s a serious thing.” We were both smiling like two idiots who didn’t know what to do with their lives. I didn’t know how to respond to a love proposal because all my life, I’ve been the one to propose for others to respond. I learned how to toast a girl but I didn’t learn how to respond when a girl toasts you. So I did what all other women did to me when I proposed to them. I asked, “Can I think about it? I mean for some time?” She said, “Yes you can think about it or you can just say yes so we could have our first kiss. The ball is in your court.”
I watched my back and also looked over my shoulders. I kept tapping on the floor with my foot just to ensure the whole thing wasn’t a dream. I held her hand and we left the place. In the car going home, she kissed me and I responded. She said, “So we are dating right? I said, “Yes we are.” When work resumed, she playfully told all her colleagues that we were dating, even her boss. Most of them didn’t believe her because of how she announced it but there was never a dull moment in our lives. She was like a friend I’ve wasted so many years to have in my life. Even when we fought, it was a healthy fight and she brought a lot of comedy to the fight.
On my 28th birthday, she said she had a surprise for me. I said I couldn’t wait to see the surprise. She spent the night at my house and left in the morning. Before she left she told me not to go anywhere else I would spoil the surprise. I said ok. I waited till evening and there was no surprise. I called her phone several times and it was off. At some point I was hungry, so I decided to go out and get some food. I got to the car and realized all four tires had been deflated. “How could this be?” I started getting scared, thinking someone was trying to get at me. I picked a taxi and went to Nancy’s house. Immediately she saw me she started laughing. “Where’s your car? she asked. From the way she laughed, I knew she had something to do with it. I asked, “You deflated my tires?” She said, “Were you not surprised when you saw all the tires deflated?”
I swore she got that crazy joke from Google and she said, “Yeah, it sounded fun so I tried it on you.” I said in my head, “Idiot!”
In 2017, we had a beautiful wedding. The night before the wedding I told her, “No crazy jokes today. Whatever you found on Google, shelf it. I beg you.” I spent all the time at the wedding wondering the kind of prank she was going to pull on me. When I lifted her veil she pulled off this scary face as if to scare me away. Everyone around us burst into loud laughter.
Three years down the line, she still brings comedy and a lot of laughter into our existence. A week or so after our baby was born, she woke me up at dawn and said, “Hey listen, it looks like there’s a baby in this room.” At that time the baby was crying. I said, “Yeah, we have a baby. She screamed, “You brought a baby into our house and you didn’t tell me? Anyway, she’s crying. Go and keep her mute. I want to sleep.” I went to the cot, lifted her up, walked around a little and she stopped crying. The next morning she said, “Sorry, I forgot we had a baby. You did a nice job putting her to sleep. Whenever she cries at dawn, she’s your baby, not mine.”
Whatever I did to deserve such a beautiful love story, I wish I knew so I can do it over and over again.