Cover Stories, People

Our love story…Chinazo and Mekam Okoye

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Chinazo…

Our dads were close friends back in the day when they both lived in Onitsha, Anambra. Apparently, they used to have these hangouts where they would talk about business and cars. They decided to catch up years later, and Mekam’s dad came over to my parents’ house. Mekam came along too and that was the first time we met. We talked briefly about our hobbies and careers and he kept asking me all these questions about myself. I was a bit shy that day so I honestly wanted to escape and get back to my afternoon nap. He came across as really laid back and a bit nerdy, but he was easy to talk to. I didn’t think too much of the visit, plus I wasn’t interested in a doctor that lived so far away. All these obodo oyibo / americana guys that will confuse you up and down. Me I didn’t want. Also, anyone that knows me knows that I swore never to end up with a doctor. Karma.

 

Clearly, he was interested because he insisted that he would accompany me to a wedding I was going to a few days later. His plan was obviously to spoil my market because everyone at the wedding assumed he was my date. Thanks Mekam. Surprisingly, he turned out to be good company but as a real ‘G’ I kept my cool. We stayed in touch even after he returned to the US, and our conversations became longer and deeper. I’m a very reserved person and I rarely open up about my personal life with anyone but somehow with Mekam I shared everything; from things that happened during the day to other guys that were disturbing my life lol. Sometimes we would gist like old classmates, other times we would pray together. It took me some time to figure out that Mekam was exactly the man that God had planned for me and I did my best to fight any feelings that wanted to come up. Again, as a real ‘G’.

 

During one of his few breaks from work, he planned to fly into Lagos on a Friday night and leave on Sunday afternoon. I was really excited about this particular visit only for Mekam to send me a strange message minutes before his flight that he wouldn’t be able to see me until Sunday evening (right before his flight back) because of some ‘complications’. I was half confused, half worried and rather angry. We had basically talked about his visit for weeks and then all of a sudden we could only see for a few hours. I decided to push him to the back of my mind and keep it moving. My sister happened to be in town that weekend, so instead of bothering myself about Mekam, we decided to spend the day together and go to a spa. Little did I know that she and Mekam had concocted an elaborate plan and halfway through a relaxing spa day, Mekam surprised me out of nowhere, got on one knee and asked me to be his wife. I can’t even begin to describe how shocked, emotionally drained and speechless I was, but in that moment, I looked at Mekam and somehow it all made sense.

 

Through the long distance, daily facetime calls and time zone problems, I have fallen more and more in love with my best friend. Of course, we have our little fights and our disagreements, but every single moment…good or bad…has been perfect. I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with this soccer loving, sugar addicted, terrible singing, absolutely caring, refreshingly honest, and big hearted man.

Mekam...

January

Mekam: “Mom, I want to get married. I can’t continue as a single man. I need to find a life partner”.

Mommy: “Just pray about it, God will show you your wife before the end of the year”.

 

July

Mekam: “Mom, we’ve gone past half of the year, what are you saying?”

Mommy: “My son, don’t worry. You will see your wife before the end of the year. Just keep on praying”

 

September

Mekam: “Mom, I have traveled across cities, states, countries and continents in search of my wife. And I’ve been praying about this for a while now. Do you still think that this my 2015 dream will be realized?”

Mommy: “My son, you will see her”

 

December

Mekam: “Mom, it’s the last month of the year. How far???”

Mommy: “It only takes one day to see the person, it will happen. I hope you are still praying about it.”

Mekam: “Ok, fingers crossed”

 

December 30th 2015, a date etched in my memory – when I found “the one”. Track back to three days prior: after a hectic overnight shift in the emergency room, I rushed to the Corpus Christi airport to board my flight to Lagos via Houston but the flight was cancelled due to a thunderstorm. I had planned to meet Chinazo in Nigeria and could not afford not to be there the next day; so I drove with a colleague through the storm to Houston airport (a 3.5 hour drive). Although I got to the airport just before the scheduled departure time, the aircraft door had already been shut and the plane was at the tarmac waiting for the signal to takeoff. Completely livid, I shouted at the airline manager demanding that the plane be brought back and that the door be reopened for me. All my threats were to no avail, of course. Due the weather conditions around Houston, there were tons of other people with disrupted travel plans as well but I stayed up all night negotiating with the airline representatives on phone on how to get me to Nigeria anyway possible. Somehow they were able to get me on a 32 hour trip to Lagos – I finally got to Lagos on the 29th night. On the 30th morning, I was on the first flight from Lagos to the East. I had barely slept, and my eyes were red-shot, by the time I saw Chinazo in her house in Okija on the 30th evening – but even through my blurred vision, her dazzling beauty could not be mistaken. When she walked to me and said hello, I paused for a few seconds to say thank God. Her flawless personality was obvious even in the way she smiled. I knew she was my better half from the very first time I saw her, no doubt in my mind. I could have even proposed to her on that first day but didn’t want to be perceived as a weirdo lol. I couldn’t wait for too long though…

 

Fast forward to present…

Obi m, you’ve made me complete. I am very excited to spend the rest of my life loving you.

 

“Love…rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails” – 1 Corinthians 13: 6-8

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