Moyo met Adim on a Saturday morning at the banquet hall of Yellow Sands. She had chosen a table, at a quiet corner, that offered a clear view of the calm lagoon, below. Her presentation wasn’t until twelve, but as an habitual early riser, she couldn’t sleep past six, and was beyond relieved when the clock finally signaled eight and she could join breakfast.
This was her first time at a hotel of that stature, and at a banquet of any stature, but she managed herself, and made her way to her table with only a large plate of unlikely combination as a betrayal of her inexperience…and big appetite.
Rich with time, Moyo chose to eat slowly, in order to taste all the notes in her plate, and was too engrossed in the experience to notice the man walking purposely toward her.
“Good morning.” His voice streamed into her consciousness and her attention fully focused on him, but she couldn’t answer, outrightly, because her mouth was a little occupied. She nodded at him instead and turned to ascertain the vacancy of the tables in front of her.
Adim ignored her silent resistance and settled opposite her. He took another look at her face and noted she was even more beautiful at that range.
He had seen her check-in the previous evening, and thought she looked like how he imagined his wife to look like. Now, sitting across from her, in that light pink dress, he knew she definitely matched the picture in his head.
Moyo felt his eyes on her and looked up just in time for their eyes to lock for a brief second. She tore her eyes away and wondered what it was about that eye-connection that made her feel like there was an exchange between them. Each turned to their food, but the air was heavy with words that wanted to be said. And Moyo took the lead.
“Do you usually eat this little, or you’re not hungry, right now”. Her voice teased him like feather. He leaned sideways on his chair and surveyed her for a full minute before speaking.
“I had an early breakfast. This…,” he motioned to his plate, “…is an excuse to speak with you.” He said, easily, and elicited a coy smile from Moyo, who was half-impressed by his frankness and half-frightened by it. But, in a dramatic show of interest, she put down her fork and straightened her back.
“What do you want to speak about”? She looked straight at him and noticed he had the looks of the sort of man who has a rich collection of perfectly folded briefs. He also had a big presence; the kind that gets attention without asking. Moyo swore to resist that, but to explore her curiosity about the excitement in his eyes. What was it about the world,…this world, that made him walk around with an intense glint in his eyes, like that? Or was it his glossed-out lips?
It couldn’t be his glossed lips, because when he started to speak again, she heard the cheeriness in his voice.
“I want to speak with you about what you think of Jesus Christ, and the kind of date you will like to go on?” He stated, flatly. And Moyo laughed.
“You’re not trying to use the name of our Lord to pick up a girl, are you?”
That was the beginning. In a matter of days, the dynamics of their relationship was known. They were a pair, straight out of a romantic Christmas tale.
He loved her. And she loved him. So, naturally, he took her home to mama.
The opportunity to do so presented itself during a holiday weekend that was set aside to mark a religious ceremony. Adim woke up early and drove the half hour it took to get to Moyo’s studio apartment. He had planned for a sleepover at his, the previous night, but Moyo needed space to clear out her work obligations before heading away.
As he parked, he watched her make her way to him, her luggage and elegance in tow. His heart swelled and sparked. He held it all in.
Moyo got into the car and the chatter began. It started with a complain on power outages, then transitioned to the misery of spending time away from the one you love. They talked on and on, for hours, and didn’t run out of what to talk about. Talking exhausted three hundred and thirty minutes, and shortened the distance to his mom’s house.
When they arrived, Moyo remembered that she had forgotten to have an expectation of his mom’s living situation. Had she remembered, she would have expected a reasonably comfortable life, judging from his life. She would not have drifted far from that, to anything opulent, like the one she was walking into.
The house was speaking riches. The landscape was exuding refinement. The setup of the environment overwhelmed Moyo and made her feel small, even unworthy of a romantic attachment to the son of the house.
The ordinariness of her parent’s sitting room taunted her and she felt her knees grow weak. It helped that Adim was walking beside her and had the sensitivity to put his arm around her shoulder, supportively. She relaxed into him and received the safety he offered. His smile reassured her, and her wilting parts flourished again.
That is how Moyo approached meeting Mama; in no other way than in focusing on the love of her man, and the connection they shared.