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My dating mares: When the sworn pagan proposed in church


I was still brooding and nursing my heartbreak and the misfortunes that come along with searching – the boring dates, the fellas that failed to take a bite and leave, the ones that definitely did not mind flirting from a distance and the playboys who kissed and told.

I hadn’t been dating. I was not planning to either. I had just returned from an orientation on how to remain single (and happy). All I needed was space to think – think of me, my new and tasking responsibilities at work and the negativity I was to receive from non-well-wishers. Love, let alone marriage were the last things on my mind. I needed a breather from the unclear guys from my neighbourhood, the ones that only wanted a taste of the Ugandan “samosa”.
My first night in the country was hilarious. Family was excited to see me after a while. Little did I know that my ex too was excited (actually more excited). He said he had been longing to see me again. That he had been craving to live the rest of his life with me and was basically heartbroken when he was told I had left.
One of the littlest reasons we had earlier on broken up was his pagan lifestyle. David, as I know him is not the kind who knows church or how to say the shortest of prayers. He is a sworn pagan. He said his last contact with church had been the time his parents and god parents carried him out of the village church in a white baby shawl, supposedly on his baptism. For the three years I dated him, I never heard of the word church on his lips.

He always made excuses instead, when my pastor asked to meet him. “I am Anglican and born-again churches are not my thing,” he had always said.
At one point I suggested we go to church for mass, he said he was not ready to sit through the four hours for the second (Luganda) mass. I excused him, knowing how boring those can be. When next I asked to go with him for the 8am mass that lasted only two hours, he declined and this time, in all honesty, said church wasn’t his thing. I understood and stopped pushing.

“At least he knew God and believed in him,” I literally consoled myself. That was the last time I tried to persuade him to go to church. When I met an atheist on one of my dating sprees, I was assured George was far better off. I resigned myself to wishing him the best of luck, finding his match.

But, like fate always has it, my exes always have a way of showing up in my life. May be because we just never had those creepy breakups that would make people want to stab each other or worse, bury each other alive. David made a comeback too. A surprise one I should say.

I left home for church. I needed to thank God for this year’s favours. The ones that have knocked me left and right, leaving me speechless. I needed to have a word with the maker and thank him for my life, his providence plus the numerous dating mares.

After three testimonies, I stepped on the pulpit to give mine. The pastor and the rest of the congregation applauded me. They had not seen me in a long time, and here I was with such great news. My testimony overwhelmed me as well. I broke down.

As the pastor’s wife tried to calm me down whispering, “God is in control”, a masculine arm leaned heavily on my shoulder. All this while, my eyes were shut, and head buried from the shame of crying in public. I thought it was the pastor’s. When I finally opened my eyes, a gentleman on one knee, shirt pressed in and a clean shaven head knelt before me. “Who could this be? Why is he kneeling before me?” I thought to myself. Before I could ask him, he stretched out a dark, rocky arm, with a ring, looked up and said he was sorry for all that he put me through. I was speechless.

He then asked me if I would marry him. Jeez! I had seen these things in the movies. I was excited (not facially though), and embarrassed as well. I was still trying to figure out if the pagan had just proposed in church or was only being facetious. I then realised I wasn’t anywhere close to waking up from the long daydream. It was real. He proposed in church and I am certain God would be mad at me if I said NO.

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