Highlights: I got married to the love of my life and I’m currently fathering a cat.
The first highlight; I am still in awe at the fact that I’m married. Don’t get me wrong, while I am in awe because it’s one of the best feelings to experience knowing you are married to someone who also chooses you every day, I am also in awe because getting married wasn’t something that I thought would happen in 2023. In Gen Z’s tone, it gives a feeling of, “So, I’m a married man. So, I eventually married this fine wine. Alhamdullilah”
The second highlight is that cats are like kids, they are adorable yet terrific creatures. Here are some random pictures of Sky in action.
In December of 2020, I remember looking stunning and breathtaking in one of the native caps I had taken from my father’s wardrobe. It was a close friend’s wedding — Taofeek, and I had finished dressing only to start scrambling for a cap that would befit the dress I put on. The search was a dead end before it even began because expecting to find a native cap in my wardrobe would be like expecting to see a submarine in the sky. If you look just hard enough, you may find one.
I remember the wedding ended and on our way back to Ibadan, all of us — the groom’s friend joked about who was next, Yuswab, Alabi Azeez, Big Malik (not me though), Habeeb, and the list went on with no one among them mentioning my name. Eventually, I might have mentioned my name and we all burst out hysterically, laughing wildly like we just told a rib-cracking joke. But thinking about it now, it was a perfect rib-cracking joke.
In 2020, I was at my lowest point. The year started with me trying to find an escape and that meant leaving everything and everyone behind. I remember sending out those goodbye emails to a few friends before eventually blocking my sim on midnight of January 1st, 2020. I told myself that I needed to be away from everything and everyone, that I needed to disappear so I could focus on myself. I was just tired and I needed the break, badly.
So, with all of these that went on in 2020, getting into a relationship was the last thing on my mind. I might have said this one or two times to one of my friends that whenever I want to marry, I will just reach out to close friends of mine and ask them if they are ready to get married to me. I always believed I have a nice profile, so it won’t take long before I get a match. It’s that pathetic. Really pathetic.
You would start to wonder how this 2020 story relates to how I got married. Being at my lowest in 2020, I went on to start Bit & Bits (now discontinued) with three of my friends, and one of them would eventually be my wife today. The story that led to our relationship was a special one, it’s a story that sounded, at first to me, too good to be true. And here’s why.
Paraphrasing the words of one of our mutual friends, Maryam, who attended our Aqdu Nikkah, she said, “It feels surreal to say I’ve known these guys getting married today from the time that they didn’t have sense.” And of course, she was right because how would you describe high school kids except for being young and broke? Definitely dumb. In a more relative meaning, dumb can mean “not having sense.”
My wife, Lade, and I have been friends for more than a decade — 13 years approximately. We started as classmates in secondary school. Our class was a competitive one, she was one of the students that we acknowledged was brilliant, and mind you, she still is. In the first week of her joining us in SS1, she gave us a run for our parents’ money. I mean, there was a physics assignment that all of the boys in our class scored 0, 1, or 2 out of 5, and she bagged 4 out of 5, I think. I remember all of the boys strategizing till the end of the day and a few weeks went by on how we would prove our brilliance with a number of us coming out top during the exams.
I reckon we were just casual friends. But thinking about it now, some of the things that happened back then didn’t seem casual or like a random happening. It happened so we could have a beautiful story to tell, so we could look back and say we had been made for each other right from time, we just didn’t know until we got older. One of these random occurrences was sharing the role of the Laboratory Prefects with her. Who would have ever thought that we would go from being paired prefects to helping each other navigate the murky water of life together? This is the journey we have started together, and it’s one I am glad we started.
I have lived most part of my life as if it was a fling. Something that’ll come and pass, so when I picked my phone up in June of 2023 and told a few close friends that I might be getting married in July. It sounded like another rib-cracking joke until it was not. Even my parent at first hearing said, slow down, kid. And I didn’t fully bring myself to it until the day we got married.
If nothing, one thing is sure about my marriage; that it is an answered prayer for me. It’s peace. And It came with ease. It’s being caught staring at her and smiling. It’s the laughter for even the little things. It’s the inside joke of “What are you trying to do?”. And it’s being oneself without compromising on the details. It’s the assurance that I can appear weak without judgements and I can be down knowing there’s someone whose love and touch can help me up. It’s this love that feels like home and everything good. And it’s knowing that this love flourishes because its foundation has been put into Allah’s hand.
Thank you, Lade, for walking this journey with me. Cheers to a lifetime of everything good and in-between.
PS: One downside to this, I no longer have the luxury to fabricate high school life stories that portray me as a big boy without her reminding me that I was the shortest back then. In her words, she’d say, “Is it not you… that short boy back then? Remember you were always staying in front of the line during the assembly. Big boy my foot.” And this, my dear readers, is what I call the complete see finish.