Our love story is no fairytale. However, it did begin one dark, gloomy night in 2006. It was my freshman year at Southern University. As a freshman, it was a requirement to attend the “Miss Southern” coronation ceremony. During the event, one of my friends and I went to the restroom. When returning, a guy in a suit with a small gap in his front teeth approached and handed us a flyer to his fraternity [Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.] party.
I responded, “Only if my girls and I can get in for free.” He introduced himself as Keith and said, “Of course, give me your number,” but I wasn’t going for that, so I told him I’d take his number instead. I continued with the rest of my week, preparing for your typical weekend college festivities. A few days later, I was at the student union with my girls, and a guy I knew from high school approached me to say, “My frat brother really likes you. You met him at the coronation.”
At the time, I was in a serious relationship with someone from back home, and I immediately let him know that I was taken and not interested. But he insisted on letting me know how much of a “good guy” Keith truly was. Later that evening, while walking to the game, I noticed Keith sitting under the Alpha tree. He stopped me and asked if I was coming to their party that night. This man was persistent!
My friends and I ended up at the party, and Keith and I were dancing when one of the Alpha line songs began blaring through the speakers. As they strolled and made their way through the crowd, I saw Keith in the front of the line, and honestly, my heart skipped a beat. He took me by complete surprise! I’m still not sure how or why, but it was something about the way he looked at me that made me feel as if I were the only girl in the room. (I ain’t lyin’ y’all!).
After that, we flirted back and forth, and eventually, I became a single woman again. He graduated in the spring of 2007 but decided to return to Southern for graduate school, and that summer, we solidified our relationship status and officially became a couple. Going into my junior year and his last year of grad school, we found out we were expecting our first-born. A shock to us both, but it definitely brought us closer.
Following his graduation, he made a move to Dallas, but I still had one more year left to finish school. Honestly, I had to clue how to balance classes, motherhood, and a long-distance relationship. With the help of family and friends and through our unwavering faith (my 3 F’s), I was fortunate enough not to miss a beat. In the summer of 2010, I finally graduated! I packed my bags and moved to Dallas the next day.
Unfortunately, I believed that finally being together was going to be a smooth transition and an effortless breeze. Still, it proved to be more difficult than I anticipated. Keith is an artist, and with being a creative, there are a lot of late nights involved. I was in a new city without friends, and I lost myself while making sure everyone else was good.
Counseling, church, and communication (my 3 C’s) helped us move past our rough patch, and on October 14th, 2011, he asked me to spend the rest of my life with him. Of course, I said yes! One year later, on October 13th, 2012, we tied the knot. More than seven years together, and we’ve experienced the birth of another beautiful girl, and we’re still hanging tough!
Reflections by @jennilaine