I know Valentines Day and the month of love always gets a bit of a bad rap for being a commercial marketing day to get couples to spend money, but that angle of it aside, I thought it was important to tackle the honesty of romance.
I put up a post asking for people to share their stories of how they met their partner, and this is what they had to say.
– Tom and Hedwig’s story was written by Hedwig Taylor. I just retyped it –
Hedwig and Tom:
Tom and Hedwig’s love song began in the summer of 2006 at a large youth camp in Stellenbosch.
The two wide-eyed teenagers caught each other’s attention one afternoon when their friend groups mingled outside of the camp’s main hall.
Despite Hedwig’s shy and timid nature, which contrasted with Tom’s outgoing, eccentric personality, their characters harmonized immediately. They fell into a sweet rhythm of awkward hand-holding by day, and long text messages by night.
Tom would walking his camps crush back to the girls’ residence most evenings and often kept her a seat at his breakfast table the next morning.
On the final night of camp, the love-sick pair danced together at the traditional Barn Dance and eventually parted as swooning sweethearts.
“You are a mystery to me,
yet so familiar
like a song I’ve never heard before
and a tun I’ve known my entire life”
Unfortunately, as these things go, Tom and Hedwig’s teenage romance lasted only a few weeks. After one or two dates, many texts and event attending the annual Valentine’s Ball at the German School together, life returned back to it’s old humdrum.
Nevertheless, thanks to the faithful Facebook, they remained in touch – even bumping into each other at random interludes during their high school and university years.
Despite intermittent phases of written communication and long chapters of silence, their magical connection endured the test of almost a decade.
Towards the end of 2014, their beats attuned again, by which time Tom had entered the restaurant industry and Hedwig had cast off her timidity and embraced her passion for teaching and dance.
Sushi dates, casual drinks and the occasional night out on the town led to a crescendo of old and new melodies.
By the beginning of 2015 the chemistry between them was unmistakable and after having dinner at the Taylor’s house, Tom invited Hedwig to be his girlfriend.
“A soulmate is someone who knows the song in your heart, and can sing it back to you when you have forgotten the words.”
Tom may have used the word “girlfriend”, but they both knew from the start that their relationship was going to to much more than that.
The first year of dating proved to be a demanding test on Tom and Hedwig’s strength as a team. Their merging lives were characterized by the harsh dissonance between impending family tragedy, overwhelming career decisions, and the fiery chaos of falling in love.
In this cacophony of difficult emotions Tom, and Hedwig felt themselves seesawing between supreme euphoria and crashing anguish on a daily basis.
But the discord in their lives only drew them closer together and it was not long before they both felt that their togetherness could last a life time.
On their one-year anniversary, after knowing each other for just over nine years, Tom drove Hedwig back to the place where they met and asked her to be his teammate forever.
[Added note from Hedwig: “I’d written it up for our wedding website. Unfortunately the wedding and engagement were cancelled due to some shitty circumstances buuut things are getting back on track again. Relationships are not for sissies.”]