O.R Tambo International Airport is where they met. Phumla was returning to school after the Easter holidays. Stanley was heading to a work related trip to Port Elizabeth. They were sitting next to each other on the plane. Stanley was shy but he knew he had to speak to her. So he introduced himself first, and as courtesy, she did the same.

They started chatting about their trips and before they knew it, they had talked the whole way. Both were not happy that the trip was too short and wanted to continue communication; so they exchanged numbers. Phumla gave her number anyway, even though she had told herself that he was not going to call. He was on going to be in town for three weeks and their meeting could’ve been just by chance.

She got to res and met up with her friends; they had so much to catch up on. Later that day Stanley called. He wanted to check how Phumla’s day went and they ended talking up talking for two hours. She found out that Stanley was staying at a guest house two streets away from hers. So they planned to meet up.

They had dinner later that week and did what they did best; talked the whole night through. They couldn’t deny the chemistry they both felt; they were so comfortable with each other. Stanley had just broken up with his girlfriend and had vowed to take time off relationships. But there was something about Phumla and he knew she would be the right girl for him. They shared their pasts, presents and talked about future goals.

Phumla kept her relationship with Stanley a secret from her friends. She was worried about what they would think of him; he was older. Plus, she was still sceptical about him, thinking that when he returned home he wouldn’t keep contact again. Stanley, on the other hand was telling everybody about Phumla; all his friends and close cousins. They had more dates in the three weeks than normal people would have in their first month of dating. The time came for Stanley to go home.

To Phumla’s surprise, the first person Stanley called when he landed was Phumla. They talked for a while and then all contact seized. She didn’t call him and he didn’t call her; for a week. Then he called on a Sunday afternoon and apologised for not making contact. He explained that he was very busy with work and she understood. He asked her to come visit him during the June holidays, she said she would give it some thought.

She couldn’t believe her luck after her disastrous past relationships. This guy was serious about her! But she decided not to lose her cool and play it real low. The holidays came and there she was, on her way to him. He had booked and paid for her plane ticket. He fetched her from the airport and they drove to Mpumalanga, Secunda, where he lived. She was in total shock of how untidy his room was.

Within a week of her visit, she had changed his room. She bought him a new duvet set, he didn’t have proper bedding, with matching curtains. She bought three lovely ottoman chairs. The room looked and felt like a home. He liked the changes and quickly adjusted to them. He even got used to the idea of having a woman around to take care of him. When it was time for her to leave he was really sad.

He couldn’t take being away from her that the following week he went to see her. He proposed marriage. She was in total shock and she accepted. She told her family and friends about this special man. Everyone, especially her mother, was happy for her. The two families got to know each other and lobola was negotiated and paid.

After her final exam she had moved in with him. They were happy until Stanley saw a different side to Phumla. She was rude, to him, his friends, to everybody. She became demanding and controlling. Stanley was unhappy and he hated this side of Phumla. She had none of the good qualities he had fallen in love with.

He now understood why her previous relationships never worked out. He decided he would never be able to live with her for the rest of his life. He ended things and sent her home. He chose peace and loneliness over insanity.

[The End]

Tell us what you think: Have you ever been so in love, only to find out later that the person you’re with is not right for you? How long must people date before they get married?