Wednesday, May 30

Move to Nottingham

Soon the days passed and it was time for me to move to Nottingham. Mr turned up at my doorstep on the evening of 17/09/04 to help me move all my stuff. We finally left London around 11.00pm in the night. The journey was fun though. I remember being so excited about the year ahead. I was glad to be out of the 9 - 5 work life and be going back to student life.
We arrived in Nottingham around 2.00am and popped into a filling station to buy the essentials: a map and two bottles of water. We finally located my flat after about 15 minutes squinting at the A to Z. My flatmate had already moved in, so she had put some things together. She had gone to her parents to spend the night, so she wasn't around when we got there. Fortunately I had the keys to the flat and we were able to get all my stuff in. Mr and I stayed up all night trying to unpack and arrange my stuff. Eventually we dozed off at about 5.00am.
Early the next morning I made a shopping list of things I needed for the house cos it came partly funished and it was almost bare apart from the basics. We popped out to go to Ikea (the haven for student furniture!) and Argos to get stuff. Then we went to the supermarket to stock up on groceries enough to feed an army for a month, lol.
That afternoon when we got back to the house, my flatmate was there with her parents. We introduced ourselves and they left. Mr and I got talking about visiting each other and stuff. But we both agreed that with him in Essex and me in Nottingham, we really couldn't meet up often. And I also knew that with a hectic schedule of lectures and school work, I couldn't really afford to take many weekends off. I remember feeling a bit sad too, cos that day was our second anniversary. Seemed like we had been going out for ages, really it had just been 2 years! We celebrated our anniversary with lunch and a kiss, then it was time for him to go. We promised to speak to each other everyday. I waved him off goodbye and that was it! I was now on my own in Nottingham. Fortunately I already had a group of friends there so I didn't feel too lonely.
First day of school was spent doing the normal stuff: registration on the course, getting my university username and password, registration in the library, the surgery and a welcome lecture from the Vice Principal of the Business School etc. During all these necessary trips, I met three Nigerian Masters students and I found out one of them was on my course! We swapped phone numbers and became friends at once, and we are still good friends now. We went to the freshers' fair together, signed up for the AfroCarribean society and a few other societies/clubs, located where everything was, and caught a bus tour round the university park. It was all cool stuff.
Gradually I settled into life back at uni, woke up to the shock that Masters was a whole different ball game from undergrad and made more friends. My housemate was very cool and we got on quite well. She was training to be a teacher, so she was a responsible level-headed girl. She had a boyfriend who lived and worked in Sheffield, so he came to visit once or twice a month.
Mr and I didn't see each other but we kept in touch over the phone every evening. I don't think a single day passed in that whole year that I didn't talk to him once or twice. Thank God for T-Mobile free call allowances! I missed hanging out with him though, but we made the best out of what we could.
A month after I moved to Nottingham, I invited my friends round for lunch and a discussion and from then on, it became a monthly occurrence. I'll talk more about that in future posts.

Thursday, May 10


Just before we finalised our moves out of London, I went to church one Sunday and after the service, the Senior Pastor said he wanted to see Mr and I, so we should come and visit him after church. Which was cool so we arranged the time and paid him a visit. It was a nice chilled out discussion this time. He asked us a few questions about our relationship and future plans. We told him we were engaged but we hadn't made any definite plans for our wedding yet. Then he asked us when we would most likely want to get married. I said "In about two years' time" at the same time as Mr said "Next week" and then we looked at each other in surprise. The pastor must have thought both of us were not serious. Did we not have our plans laid out yet? I was thinking, "I didn't know this guy was so keen!" LOL. The pastor then asked me why I thought we should get married in 2 years' time. I explained to him that we were making plans to live in different cities, I was due to start a Masters course in two weeks and there was no way I was going to be able to fit in a wedding with my studies. Besides my dad had only just met my boyfriend and he had no idea that we were engaged and getting that serious. The pastor said that I should not worry, and he predicted that by the end of my course, I would be married. In my mind I was thinking, "How is that going to happen?" but I kept my mouth shut. Meanwhile Mr was smiling and agreeing with the pastor when he was talking.
After we left the pastor's house, we got talking in the car. I was quite doubtful as to how we would organise a wedding while we were both taking huge steps in the next two weeks. Then there was the small problem of informing our parents. Eventually we decided to leave things for a bit as they were. We would revisit the issue later on.

Wednesday, May 9


After getting the crush out of my system, I was swimming in the land of bliss in my relationship. Everything was fine. Until six weeks later. Mr called me one day to give me some news. The good news was that he had gotten a job. Yay! The bad news? The job was outside London so he would have to move away. What!?
Okay fine, I knew he had been job hunting since he finished his Masters. Okay I admit I knew he had gone for a few interviews outside London. I can also admit that he told me he had been called for a second interview at some town far away from civilisation. But it hadn't really dawned on me that he might actually get the job, accept their offer and pack his belongings out of London. I had never pictured us being in a 'long-distance' relationship. Fair enough we would still be in the same country, but it just wouldn't be the same anymore! We would be in different cities, so we won't be able to just meet up and hang out whenever we felt like it. He won't be able to pick me up from work anymore. I can't visit him knowing that I can easily catch a tube back to my own house. We will have to book trains to see each other.... and for how long will we be in separate cities again??
All these thoughts were running through my head as he started telling me all about the job, why it was a good move for his career, why he has decided to accept the offer, his plans for the future, etc. I listened in silence. One part of me was thinking, "yeah go for it!" and another part of me was thinking "you can't be serious, what about us?". Eventually he stopped talking and asked me what I thought and I almost burst into tears. I said I needed to think about it. He said he didn't have much time, as he had to give the company his response in less than a week. I told him we should sleep on it and discuss it again when we met up at the weekend.
In the meantime, I went to agonize over this latest turn of events. I thought that telling him not to go for the job would be a completely selfish thing to do. So what was my option? Tell him to go for it? So what about us? I was worried about what the future would hold for us. Eventually I prayed about it but I was still very worried.
Some days later I got a letter from a university. I had applied to them the year I graduated to do my Masters, but when I got a job, I deferred my entry for a year. They were now writing to invite me back to the course. Right, so something more for me to decide. That evening I told Mr about the possibility of me going away for a year at university outside London. So both of us had these decisions to make. He was about to go off to the East of England for a job, and I was about to go off to the Midlands to study! How complicated is that?
What to do? More prayers. I prayed for Mr and his job offer, trying not to pray selfish I also prayed about my offer of admission to the Uni of Nottingham, should I leave my job, leave my family and friends in London and go? I told God about my worries for our relationship and the fact that we would be in two different cities for at least a year.
For some days we discussed it back and forth. Eventually I told Mr that I felt at peace with his plans to go for the job. I also told him that I felt God wanted me to go to Nottingham for my Masters. The timing was convenient as well. I told my parents also that I might be leaving my job in London to go and continue my studies in Nottingham, and they seemed fine with it.
We talked about what the distance would do in our relationship. We would obviously have to rely mostly on phone calls and texts to stay in touch. I was thankful that at least we were both still in the UK and T-mobile gives us free call allowance! We decided that we'll talk about visiting each other once we had settled in to our respective locations.
So in a few weeks, we started making plans. Mr accepted the job and went off to look for accommodation in the town. He set a date for moving out of his place. I emailed the uni and told them that I was accepting the place on the course. I handed in my notice at work and started making plans to move. The uni organised an accomodation event that I went to. There, I met a nice English girl. She was a fellow postgrad student who was also looking for a flat close to campus too. We found a lovely 2-bed flat close to campus and we signed the contract there and then.
Soon everything was arranged. Mr moved out of London first. I remember going to his flat to move his stuff out and thinking of the fun times we had shared in that flat. I was going to miss it. Then a week later, he moved into a flat in the new town. He still had some stuff to do in London for a while so I saw him quite often in that month. In the meantime, I quit my job and my colleagues gave me a lovely send-off! I also told my friends and ushering team in church that I was moving away. They all said they would miss me. Awwwww.... Before we left though, the senior pastor told me he wanted to see Mr and I, so we agreed to meet him at home one Sunday after church.
So here we were, stepping out in faith into unknown pastures...
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