After junior high, Halima decided she would not go to senior high school because she wanted to learn how to sew. She was very beautiful and for someone with only a basic school certificate, she was too intelligent for her own good. She spoke and wrote English better than so many degree holders.
People admired her for not only that but also her humble nature and kind heart. And this was the lady I had a crush on.
We grew up in the same community but I never mustered the courage to speak to her. Though I was handsome, studying medicine at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology and had a little swag, for some reason, I felt I was no match for her, that I did not deserve to be her friend.
I came back from school one semester and heard that Halima had moved to Kumasi to stay with her Aunt where her sewing business was expected to boom.
To me, it was both good and bad news. Good news because I spent more time in Kumasi than I spent in Cape Coast which meant I had the chance of meeting her someday. Bad news because I had no guarantee of seeing her in Kumasi and the few cherished moments I saw her during vacation would be no more.
The need to meet Halima was overwhelming; she was always on my mind and in my dreams. It was my final year in school and I could hardly concentrate in class.
One sunny Sunday afternoon when I could take it no more, I sent a text message to one number that I had had on my phone for close to three years but had never contacted; Halima’s number.
I started with “Hi Halima, this is Faisal from Cape Coast. I have had a crush on you since….” erase…“hello Halima my name is Faisal…”erase…“Halima I have been your secret admirer…” erase.
Eventually, I ended up sending “hi.” My heart skipped a beat when I received the delivery report. That day, every sound sounded like the tone of my phone. I checked my phone like a hundred times to see if I had a message.
At 8:00pm, my phone beeped; it was a message from her. You may think I opened the message to read immediately but it took me close to 15 minutes to open it. It read, “Hi Faisal”. And this is what started a beautiful love story.
Two years later, after I had graduated as a doctor and was practising at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, I thought it was about time I married Halima so I decided to take her home to meet my parents.
My parents thought Halima had too low a profile to be their doctor son’s wife. Nothing I said could convince them and they swore to disown me should I marry her.
My uncle and grandmother, however, did not see anything wrong with me marrying her so with their blessing, I married Halima.
Today, Halima has a certificate in fashion designing; she owns four boutiques in various parts of the country and has opened a training school for aspiring fashion designers. I may be a doctor but Halima earns five times more than I do.
She is happy with what she does; she followed her passion of becoming a seamstress and has excelled tremendously. I followed my heart and looked beyond barriers and I am a happy man.
As for my parents, don’t be surprised they seem to love Halima more than I do.