Time had passed and I knew I wasn’t as easy to recognise but as soon as he saw me, Deji knew it was me. The first thing he did, after spinning me around, was reach for my hair. 'You changed it!' he exclaimed, half accusingly and half incredulously. He knew how much I cared for my hair in the past and how much money he had personally paid for its upkeep. I smiled and shrugged. My hair tossed a bit in the breeze. 'Well, I like it much better this way’ I replied. We talked some more, exchanged numbers and I left in a cab, leaving him standing, waving at me.
Deji and I dated while I was at university. He was a year ahead of me and from the first day he set eyes on me, he wouldn't let me be. He told me he was certain that I was an angel sent to him from ‘Jah’ above. At first, he was frustrating but I soon started laughing at his words and that’s how we ended up spending the day together. Before he left he asked me if I would go out with him and I asked him how he knew I was ‘his angel’. He said that when I walked in and light shone on my head, he just knew.
I didn’t know whether to laugh or choke! I told him that I had just had my hair done with a 100% human hair weave and it was most likely the gloss from the oil that caught the light. He shook his head and said it didn’t matter, I was still his angel and with that he left. From then on, he visited me frequently, took me out for lunches, ate in my room when I cooked and helped me with some of my assignments. And so we just sort of fell into being a couple.
On one occasion, I had just put in an 18 inch Brazilian hair weave when Deji came over. Although my head felt tight, I looked so good. Deji fell in love with it and could not stop stroking my hair. It would have been a romantic time together if he hadn't caught his fingers in my hair, while he was stroking it, and that hurt terribly. He tried to turn around and sat on some of my weave while I was trying to move and the pain actually brought tears to my eyes! It was disastrous. This was to be the script for the majority of our intimate moments. My hairstyles seemed to be causing us hassles and soon enough we started arguing. I got very angry and kicked him out of my room when he suggested me having less extended tresses. Deji tried to get back with me, to be fair, and I did try to make it work but my hair got in the way.
We broke up, Deji graduated and I never heard from him again. I finished school, traveled to the US for my Masters, my hair went natural and I finally got dredlocs. I had been living in the States for five years when I bumped into Deji again. My phone rang as I got out of the cab. It was Deji. He said it was wonderful to see me again and that I looked amazing with my hair. I smiled to myself and said it was good to see him too. He asked if we could meet up for lunch, we fixed a date and he hung up.
From one lunch date to several other lunch dates and then dinner dates. We realized we were still single and Deji asked me to be his girlfriend. We laughed so much and found a new rhythm with each other. Deji said it was like he was with a different woman and it made him happy.
I look into the mirror to check my reflection one last time. Deji’ is standing behind me and he bends to sink his nose and hands into my hair. I don’t flinch or wave him away. I lean back and remind him we’ll be late for the reception. He smiles at me through the mirror and says the guests can wait; after all we are the bride and groom.