“So how long were you guys dating for? You know, before you got married?”
Me: we didn’t date at all.
“So was it arranged?”
Me: I guess you could say that.
There’s this… collection of women that I have been friends with since I was 13 years old. We are different, but very much the same. I see all of them at once, at least once a year. We are not close unless we are all together. We are beads on a necklace that only look good in one particular order. I had just turned 20; the host of the dinner party had just had a baby. (he’s precious) There was a cacophony of laughter and food and conversation and my friend, the hostess of this soiree (I asked Siri how to spell that, pathetic, I know) sat down next to me sans baby-on-hip.
“There’s this friend of my husband who I think would be a good match for you”
I looked up and wondered what quality of mine she matched up with this nameless, faceless, stranger.
“You guys come from the same sort of family and he’s handsome”
an interjection was thrown across the table, apparently a few of the ladies knew him. I learnt then that he was interested in getting married for a while but no one had tickled his fancy.
There was no photo. There was no trace of him on social media. HOW WAS I SUPPOSED TO OPERATE LIKE THIS? DO I FEEL IMPRESSED OR AFRAID THAT GOOGLE DOESN’T KNOW WHO HE IS???
Three Days Later
She sent me his father’s number.
(do pardon my use of colloquial language at this juncture) Maaf? what exactly am I supposed to do with his father’s number? “Salaam Uncle-Possible-Future-Father-In-Law I hear you have a son looking to get married I think we should arrange a samoosa run.”
no, no, no, no, no.
And so it slipped my mind.
until my mom asked me about it.
Her reaction to my not wanting to contact the guy first: So let me phone his father, It’s my duty as a muslim mother to find you a good muslim spouse.
And so I gave her the number.
We slid into the car with no destination in mind, it was chilly and shadowy but my husband has one distinct quality of a furnace and he took my hand. He bites my fingers when we’re alone. In a way that makes me not want to be without him. (I’m so glad we’re married and I have a reason to wake up next to him everyday: the reason being I’m his wife, alhamdulillah)
I rolled my window right down as he drove along a lightless road to Hout Bay, salt air filled the car and I smiled at him, remembering all the moments I spent wishing for this moment. It started drizzling, He continued down to Camps Bay. I watched city lights flash across our skin. I wanted to blink my eyes and cause a brief hiatus in time, just to memorise the shape of his nose, lips and lashes. I wanted to make sure I remembered this forever. He sped down through Greenpoint, because he knows how much I love the view. I saw a ray of moonlight dance across the black ocean, felt shapeless rain drops on my face and my heart
skipped 50 000 beats
and all I felt was utter gratitude.