to our first crucial communication in 2003, Aaron and I
had previously met only about 4 or 5 times, in Cameroon,
and this was usually at our Bahá’í meetings and conferences.
He was from the South West Province of the country, and
I was from the North West. Tribally and distance-wise, we
were really from different parts.
frankly, even back then, it was hard not to notice him.
He stood out with his height and coloring and ready smile.
Aaron is a very easy-going and friendly person, and it is
easy to notice that about him the first time you make his
acquaintance. But then, our encounters were always very
brief, and the circumstances at that time did not allow
any sparks to fly between us. Then he left Cameroon to study
abroad, and I didn’t hear from him again, or even think
much about him, except as one of our Bahá’í youth who had
gone to study abroad. It never once crossed my mind that
our paths will cross again.. Then I left for Israel in mid
2002. I did voluntary religious service at our Bahá’í World
Centre in the city of Haifa for 2 years, i.e. until mid
2004. By 2003, I was 24 years old and like most young women
at that age, I started seriously thinking that it was time
that I found that special someone with whom I’d share the
rest of my life. I had to give serious thought to it. So,
I started fervently praying in our Holy Shrines, supplicating
Baha’u’llah (the founder of the Baha’i Faith) to help me
find that person. I had these conversation sessions with
God where I’ll say I wanted someone God-fearing, goal oriented…,
you know, all the good stuff. Then I’d say, “God, but I
also won’t mind someone good-looking, charming…”, and then
I’d wonder if that was contradictory, or too much to ask…
I was especially
intent on this prayer during the month of March, 2003, our
month of Fasting. During this Fasting period, out of the
blues, Aaron called me. Keep in mind, I hadn’t heard from
him in almost 5 years, since 1999. It was weird. The conversation
didn’t last long and was somewhat awkward. But then again,
it is always nice to hear from old friends, especially my
Cameroonian Bahá’í friends. So I managed to be pleasant,
even though immensely surprised. I had no idea that my warm
response was a great boost to Aaron’s confidence, especially
considering what he had in mind. Aaron did not mince words.
He soon came out clear that he wanted to get to know me
better, if that was okay with me, and that he was hoping
that we will be able to build a relationship. I was speechless.
First of all, it is not easy to turn down such a direct
request without good reason upfront, and second, I was intrigued.
So, I said: “No, I don’t mind you calling me again.” Funny,
but I couldn’t think of much else to say at the time.