How we met...
Michelle, 33, and Rory Ramsay, 36
“I was five years old when I was invited to be a flower girl at the wedding of a couple who went to the same church as my grandparents. I took my role very seriously and walked dutifully down the aisle, all dressed up in pink and purple bows, and holding the hand of an eightyear-old boy called Rory, who was just as excited in his shiny grey suit.
“Twenty-seven years later, my uncle, who is a doctor, asked if he could introduce me to one of his patients, as he believed we would get on well. After being single for many years, I felt quite nervous about dating, but I recognised Rory’s name from all those years ago and was curious to connect with him. We chatted on the phone a couple of times, as Rory was travelling abroad, and then arranged to meet for coffee when he got back.
“I will never forget Rory’s warmth at that first date. My nerves simply vanished the minute I walked in and he gave me a hug to say hello. I felt this sense of familiarity that was amazing, as if we had always known each other. We were close from the very beginning onwards.
“By our second date, a week later, we both knew that this was it and not even a year had passed before we were happily engaged.
“As for that wedding when we had first met as children, the memory was in the air on our wedding day. ‘Look at how Rory is smiling at you,’ said my dad, as he walked me down the aisle. And it was true: Rory was beaming as he had when he was eight years old.”
Faith Raubenheimer, 25, and Blake Sarembock, 26
“In 2012, my friend Lorien Jarzebowski and I went to a Beartrap trance party in the Western Cape. Blake was there with a friend who knew Lorien and the four of us chatted for a while, but I didn’t pay much attention; I was only interested in getting to the dance floor!
“A good few hours later, I found myself wandering through the freezing night, looking for Lorien who had the car keys – and all of my warm clothes locked in the boot of her car. I had forgotten Blake’s name, but I spotted him sleeping in the back of his bakkie between a mountain of very inviting pillows, and I told myself that I had two choices: to freeze my butt off in the cold or to climb in the bakkie and cuddle up to an almost-stranger. I chose the second option.
“When Blake woke up, he was thoroughly confused, but I assured him that I’d only used him for warmth and we went back to the dance floor.
“I really thought this was the end of it, but I was wrong. Blake got my number from Lorien and he pretty much stalked me for five months after that. He was absolutely relentless in his courtship, always going out of his way to make me smile. And so, he become my best friend before we had even started a romance. He told me, ‘I’ll either talk you into hating me or loving me.’ And I ended up loving him, of course!”
I got rather intoxicated. I was looking for a phone charger when I spotted a guy sitting quietly at the back of the room, like a wallflower. He handed me his charger and I dropped my phone about three times, trying to plug it in.
“A few minutes later, he looked at me and said, ‘I know you.’ I rolled my eyes and thought, ‘I haven’t heard that line before.’ But he reminded me of our interview. It was Olwethu and I was at his ex-girlfriend’s farewell party! They had recently split up because she was relocating to Joburg.
“We got talking and it turned out he was also living in Cape Town now. At the end of the evening, he walked me to the train station like a true gentleman. I took his number and called him the next day.
“Our first date, a week later, was a picnic at the Arderne Gardens, and it was the start of two wonderful years of getting to know each other. Amazingly, we discovered that there had been many serendipitous moments when we were at the same event at the same time. The universe was trying to bring us together and it finally succeeded.”