I know a friend whose hackles will rise after reading this title, but none other would have fit without sounding corny. For in truth, he married her last Saturday.
I first noticed him four years ago on one of our trips to the UK. He walked into the crew lounge to access the internet and was reading a book, the title of which I have forgotten. Thing is I wanted to borrow the book, but I did not even know his name. So being me I refrained from asking him. The next time I saw him was a few months later. We had travelled to South Africa together and he was asking for a place where he could get breakfast. Being somewhat more familiar with the locale, I directed him to a coffee shop at the Sandton City Mall. As we were in Johannesburg together for three days, we decided to meet up for breakfast the next day.
We found a restaurant where breakfast was a buffet affair. I could have ignored him, or just made small talk, but he was willing to spend 45Rands on breakfast – which was more than most of our colleagues would do – and that got my attention. We got talking, and on top of being intelligent, I found we shared a lot interests: video games, reading, movies, we both supported MUFC, we both loved women with the only difference being that while I was attracted by courage, he was a reason man. A friendship was forged.
Since I had a girlfriend at the time, it followed that sooner or later they were going to get introduced. It happened sooner. They got along so well, we came to be known as the three Musketeers. And when she lost her father, she became fully one of us – we had both lost our fathers earlier. After eighteen months we grew so close we were more like siblings than friends. The only blight was his not having a girlfriend. Between us, my girlfriend and I set him up with girl after girl, but he found something to complain about: “She’s too dumb.” “She’s too chatty.” “She doesn’t read.” “She’s too much of a prude.” My personal favourite was, “She’s such a wildcat!” And when he finally found someone he was comfortable with, she came with excess baggage.
Then the first signs of trouble which I conveniently ignored. I could not do anything right by my girlfriend. When we started she thought I had a great sense of humour, now I talked too much. When we first met I was spontaneous and a prankster, now I was without vision and unserious. When I first took her out on a date it was for coffee, now I was too cheap and did not know how to have a good time. The list was endless. At a point, if I was not the one being talked about, I would have said to string the fellow up by his toes! Then the cycle began. We started the day all lovey-dovey, by midday someone – usually me – would have upset the other. Before I got home she would have sent me hate texts. By nightfall she would call and say how sorry she was, and how it was all out of anger. The next day we would start all over. After three months of this I had had enough. I told her so and broke up with her. Straight away she informed her family, and then called me to inform me they were waiting for my explanation. By the weekend she wanted us back together! But with her family already involved I didn’t see that happening, plus I did not want that happening.
Through all of this, dude stood by her. He was strong for her, a shoulder to lean on – and cry on. We still hung out, but he started seeing more and more of her. Six months later they were an item. It sent shockwaves through our small community. Friends and colleagues could not understand how this had happened.
People were outraged, colleagues were scandalised when they announced their engagement.
He married her last Saturday. Family thought I should boycott the wedding. Some thought I should attend and then stand up in church and say “I object.” Some even wanted to go and cause trouble on my behalf. Much as I hated to disappoint my fans, I did none of that. How could I when I was the Best Man?