This is the best love story I’ve ever read all my life. This is love untainted by societal expectations. This is unconditional love. This is love to die for. This is the kind of love you do not see in movies. (Chidozie Odogwudozilla Nnachor) ——————————-“About this girl?Her name was Joy Ezeh. Her name now is Joy Okuhu.She was my girlfriend. I had met her in some strange circumstances and somehow, we began to “date”.Notice that rosary on my wrist? She slipped it there on the day of my departure for this NYSC. With prayers.For the three or so years we moved around before my NYSC, I realized that we shared the same birth day, only four years apart. I again discovered she was a good cook.She’d steal food stuff from her parents and bring to me while in school. Other times,she’d cook when her mother was away and bring over. My younger ones also were fed at certain times by this food. Our mum was late then. Life was terrible.So I left for my NYSC. The only means of communication was our letters which sometimes took months. There were a couple I wrote that did not even get to her until I was home from the national service programme.Where I was doing my NYSC, I was only earning N1,640 a month, hardly enough for feeding. The Military battalion we were posted was paying us nothing. It became clear to me that I had to do something else to earn extra income. So I sought and got the contact of an Israeli company, Dragetanos Construction Company, doing some construction works in that area and began to get contracts for the supply of vehicle spare parts.When I got the very first contract, I had to travel to Abuja to buy it and came to the house of my cousin to sleep over. While strolling towards his shop located at Gwagwa, an Abuja suburb, I saw a lady sitting in front of his shop. That lady was my girlfriend.It was like a dream. I was confused. But I welcomed her and learned she was on her way to New Bussa to see me.Up till date, my cousin, Innocent Chibueze Oti would never believe that we had not scheduled to meet in his house, no matter how much I tried to convince.Many things happened that I cannot explain here. But she eventually arrived New Bussa and we spent about a week together.It was after this visit that I was stronger in my belief that she was going to be my wife.She had not visited because she was sure of any ASSURANCE. She knew I did not have. But she visited. With food stuff stolen from her parents. I went to great lengths to take and laminate this picture because of what it meant to me then. That I have not misplaced it speaks of the importance I attached to that visit.By the time she was leaving, Corper Victor, as they called me all over the barracks then, did not have any kobo for her to travel back home but God was faithful (as He still is) as a soldier friend, then Major Omega was travelling to Minna and provided free transport in his car. He also gave her some money.I was to learn when I returned home after the NYSC that her elder brother, who eventually found out that she had come to visit me, and her mum, who was certain I was not good enough for her, gave her the beating of her life for that crime.Life was tough. Loving her was even tougher, given my very terrible circumstances but I prayed God to make it possible for me to be her husband.
This prayer was answered March, 2004 and November 2005 when, against all odds, we had our traditional and white wedding respectively and today we are not just husband and wife, blessed with three lovely children, but we have celebrated our birthday on this historic day ever since… “
Written By Ikem Okuhu
Does my generation still know this kind of love?