New me, new boyfriend? We’re halfway through January and it doesn’t seem promising. I mean what the hekk! Maybe people are hibernating, but I have nobody texting me these days, and so I’m still caught thinking about past loves, or well crushes lost… so let’s reflect on one notable crush from 2015, and it begins in the beautiful country of South Africa. (I know, exotic right?)
I’ve been on a lot of flights in my life, but the 14 hours I spent in the air from Johannesburg, South Africa to JFK were the best 14 hours I could ever ask for, especially up in the clouds.
Disclaimer: this story does not involve the Mile High Club (despite where you may have thought this post was going…).
Running through the Johannesburg airport, I was about to miss my connecting flight to JFK when I was stopped in my tracks. I was sad to be leaving South Africa, but even more devastated that I hadn’t found a boyfriend in my whole two weeks there. But suddenly, as I handed over my boarding pass, I saw him. Here. Now. And even better, boarding the same flight as me.
I immediately distanced myself from my brother, not wanting the South African smokeshow to get the wrong idea (he’s my brother…not my boyfriend!). The flight was pretty empty and I glanced around to look for an open row to claim for the next 14 hours. I spotted *future boyfriend* and saw that the row in front of him was empty. The stars had aligned. And I moved right in, trying to not be obvious, while still staring at him.
He was traveling alone and I was trying to figure out how to strike up a conversation. I decided to take a quick nap to rest up before falling in love, and asked the flight attendant for a glass of red wine to help me fall asleep. When I was handed the plastic up of wine, I put it down on the tray table next to me, leaned down to grab my iPad, and knocked over the entire cup… Smooth. The red wine flew up and landed all over me as well as the seat next to me. Here I am trying to act cool in front of my *new boyfriend* and I have portrayed myself as a clumsy American.
Mortified, I begin cleaning up while cursing myself for blowing my one chance to meet a South African boyfriend. I hear him chuckling behind me, but I am far too embarrassed to turn around.
My heart fluttered while I stuttered and said “Haha, yeah.” That’s what I came up with. “Haha, yeah.” (maybe I am the clumsy American…) He overlooked my speech impediment and decided to keep the conversation going.
We awkwardly talked through the seats for a while, and I was mesmerized. He grew up in Cape Town and was a lifeguard for 10 years, but now works on shipping boats around the world. He was only flying through NYC on his way to his ship in the Caribbean. I was hoping he was staying in NYC so I could lock him down, but sadly that wasn’t in the cards (yet).
After about an hour of talking in between our rows, he stood up and said “Since you haven’t invited me to sit next to you yet, I’m inviting myself.”
Was I still dreaming?
He came to sit next to me, and the only thought running through my head was does my breath smell? After a long plane ride, the answer was most likely (definitely) yes.
Bad breath aside, it was love. We have so much in common and I immediately think that we are destined to be together. However, his accent was super strong so I could barely understand what he said and mostly just nodded and smiled like an idiot. But the love connection was definitely there.
When we landed at JFK, the first thing he did was friend me on Facebook, a true modernday love story ❤
I’m sure the other members of our flight were jealous of this new romance as we held hands while walking through customs and kissed goodbye. Okay, well maybe I made that last part up, but we did walk together and hug goodbye, promising to keep in touch.
Flash-forward to one month later: South African BF and I Whatsapp and Facebook message daily, and have even talked on the phone a few times (!!!!!) He talks about making plans to come visit me, and my father has started to learn a few phrases in Afrikaans to welcome him into our home.
Flash-forward to three months later: South African BF is now in a relationship with a girl on Facebook.
Spoiler alert: I am not that girl.