By the grace of God my mother convinced my father to rent me an apartment off campus so it was easy. Nomtha and I spent our student life together.
I had a second mother. She babied me from day one, and I ended up having that radio. She had this thing saving her stories for what was the best time for me but the worst for her, and that was a few minutes before I fell asleep.
“Love, don’t sleep,” she’d say.
“I’m not sleeping,” I said sleepily.
“Let me guess, you’re resting your eyes.”
“No you’re wrong. I’m closing my eyes so I can imagine spending the rest of my life with you better,” I said, snuggling closer and cuddling her. I knew that would get her to stop.
We graduated and had plans to get married and work at our fathers’ companies. She at her family’s jewellery manufacturing company, Oratile Diamonds. While I would work at my father’s mining company, one of the biggest Diamond mines in the country, Maduna Mining Inc. This was like a match made in heaven. But we never told anyone except for our friends at school. None of our family members knew, as we thought they would turn it into a business opportunity.
One Saturday morning I had just gotten off the phone with my mom.
“My mom is asking about why I don’t go home for the weekends as much as I used to, she even asked, ‘What’s the name of the young lady keeping me away from her?’ can you believe that?” I said with a nervous giggle to Nomatha who was fixing breakfast.
She paused and looked at me, or so I thought. She seemed to be in deep thought. I walked over, held her, and asked, “What’s wrong sthandwa sam?”
“Do you think it’s a wise decision to tell them about our relationship? Besides the fact that my father specifically told me no boys until graduation, I think there’s a lot that could be riding on our relationship,” she said.
“What do you mean?” I asked.
I had an idea of what she meant but I wanted her to say it.
“We come from two families who could go into business together. Imagine if we tell them we’re together, they’d want us to stay together, rush into marriage for the sake of business. I know my father and preserving his legacy, he is capable of such. I love you Luu, but I don’t want to be in a business arrangement. What we have is perfect without any interference from anyone.”
“I also had been thinking about it, I want you to stay with me for love – I love you with every bit of me, let’s enjoy our youth,” I said taking a piece of bacon.
“That’s yours!” she shouted and we laughed, as if we didn’t just have one of the most serious conversations of our relationship.
We wanted to go into the ‘adult’ part of our relationship still enjoying it and not being obligated to maintain it for business deals. Little did we know that our family’s paths had crossed in the world of business. Oratile Diamonds had their diamonds supplied by Maduna Mines. It was when we started working in the two companies that we found out.
Tell us: Do you think it was the right decision not to tell their families about their relationship?