We sat in the dark. The five of us, on a comfy L-seat couch in the sitting room. There was a black-out and a lantern lamp sat on the coffee table, illuminating our faces. Faces eager to listen to one another sharing our stories. Stories of love.
Amidst us was Darell. A chubby ten months old boy – he’s a silent one this one. And, he’s quite a sport. Next to him were his parents. Sam and Vee. Their love story is one full of ups and downs. It’s a beautiful tale of grit. The fight to stand strong together against the world when everything seemed to have turned its back on them. Reina and I were their guests for the night. Our talks led us down memory lane. There’s nothing as rich as a story full of hope. Theirs is one such story.
Every man can do okay all by himself, but with the right woman in his life, he does great. Picture this; you have this lady you’ve been dating for a while now, one day she tells you she’s pregnant! What do you do? You know you’re responsible for it but you’re scared the news won’t be received well by your family and friends. The imminent stigmatization grips you. Even more scary is the big question echoing in your head; ‘How the hell do I provide for them?’ You know you have to find a way no matter what. It will test your manhood and you feel it slink inside of you. You’re about to be a father. That was Sam’s case.
He owned up and took up his responsibility of fatherhood. That’s man enough right there (ahuuu!) It wasn’t easy having to figure out how he’d provide for his own, but he found a way. Still is as Baby Darell is growing by the day. When we spoke, he said something that stuck with me for a while. He said, ‘She completes my jig-saw puzzle.’ That was him referring to his fiancée, Vee. A true testament of what she has meant to him. All the support she’s given him, the encouragement, cheering him up and the unending love and respect.
What makes that powerful statement funny is the fact that when he met Vee a few times in a circle of friends, they didn’t immediately fall head over heels in love for each other. It was a tiny speck of love that would slowly morph into their present future today. At one point, out on a picnic with a group of friends, Vee wore his jacket to shield herself from the cold. He’d left it lying on the grass. When Sam needed it much later, he didn’t do the gentleman thing we all see in the movies of taking the bullet and letting the lady have it. Instead, he demanded to have his jacket back. I mean, he didn’t owe her anything, did he? That’s what he thought.
You know something? Love is an outlaw! She breaks barriers to join together even the most disconnected and disinterested of hearts. The same person you might be pushing away, unable to see how love would spark between both of you, might turn to be your soulmate. Just you wait and see, haha! Today, you see the two of them together and you can’t comprehend their love for each other, you can only admire it.
Vee was from a broken relationship. She had had so much hurt and was taking time off men (and boys) to heal and focus on God, she said. In the grand scheme of things, love would have its own way yet again. Vee met Sam on a lunch date and that day they spoke heart-to-heart. Letting each other into their space. When it was time to pay, Sam had to ask her to chip in and split the bill. Their expense had gone beyond what he had in his pocket. It was embarrassing to say the least. So much for a first date don’t you think? But here’s the silver lining in that situation, Vee didn’t take offence. She was understanding, considerate and reasonable enough. Sam says that her response revealed something about her character and from then on, he felt at ease showing off his true self and emotions to her. To Vee, that act of vulnerability and honesty meant that Sam was a man she could trust. She started warming up to the friendship and soon, they’d date.
He came into their lives unexpected. At a time where Sam’s dough was beyond low. He was broke. Luckily, Vee had a job. I guess what Sauti Sol, Amos & Josh say in that Nerea song is damn true; ‘Mungu akileta mtoto, analeta sahani yake.’ At first it was hell on earth having to take care of his young family with no consistent income. They both hit rock bottom a few times and he’d constantly turn to friends and relatives for help. It was humbling. He had to do anything possible in his power to make sure their basic needs were met. He did it out of love and didn’t care whatever ‘shame’ came with it.
Their faith in God was pretty much the only thing they had to hold on to. And He definitely came through for them. Sam’s graphic design business, Eterno Concepts, started picking up. Better still, his Mceeing and Stand-up comedy gigs started bringing in the money he needed to fend for his family. (By the way, if you’re looking for impeccable MCs cum Stand-up comedy gurus to host your corporate event or wedding, check out this duet called Two Comical; it’s made up of Sam and Alex. These guys are good. Definitely worth the spend.)
In their words, Baby Darell has been a great blessing in their lives. A constant reminder that love never fails. That you have so much power invested in you to endure even the toughest of situations if only you’ve got love backing you up.
Sam recently pulled a surprise on Vee just days towards the end of the year 2016. All along he was planning this grandiose thing behind her back. He gathered a few friends, took her on a date and proposed to her. She said yes. The next step is to walk her down the aisle. They are both quite excited about getting married. It written all over their faces when they talk about it.
When you think about it, Sam and Vee’s story is like a candle in the dark. It sheds beautiful light in the space of relationships that’s constantly marred with narratives of pain and hurt. It’s rewarding to hear a different script once in a while don’t you think?
PS: I’ll mostly be running love centred stories till end of February. If you have or know of a love story worth writing about, please send me one paragraph telling me about it to firstname.lastname@example.org
Photos credit; Sun Africa Studios