Some may want to call it coincidental but it was nothing short of destiny that led to their first encounter 10 years ago at Bhena’s Footwear, Regent Street, Georgetown.
Clint Hamilton was a 14-year-old Saint Rose’s High School student, and Shonella Rodney, at just 12 years old, was grooving into secondary school life at the Golden Grove Secondary School. They were just two young people enjoying life and had no thought of romantic involvements.
Although the two lived in the same village, Golden Grove, East Coast Demerara, prior to the day of their initial encounter they had never laid eyes on each other. It was some time around the last weekend before Christmas 2000 that they would be afforded the chance to exchange affectionate gaze.
Hamilton was shopping with his mother and Rodney had accompanied her aunt who had recently arrived from Barbados and cousins to the store. The two adult women knew each other very well and engaged in a bit of conversations, which in fact served as the defining moment.
“I saw her and I gave her the eye and she gave me a look which I thought was interesting…I was a young boy but I knew that meant something,” recounted Hamilton, as a gleeful grin
formed on this face.
He would soon learn from his mother that Rodney lived in the northern section of Golden Grove and in fact had to pass his home everyday to get to her school. “I couldn’t believe it! I’d never seen her before; if I did I perhaps never looked at her before,” Hamilton reflected.
He would learn that they had grown up together as tots but their connection dwindled as they grew older. Having learnt that Rodney attended Golden Grove Secondary School, Hamilton detailed strategies that he implemented in order to learn more about the petite girl.
Through a female cousin of his, he was soon able to establish telephone contact with Rodney and the two would develop a connection unlike any other they had ever had. They remained telephone buddies for close to two years, although they hadn’t seen each other since the Bhena’s encounter, owing to the fact that Rodney’s grandmother, with whom she resided, was very strict.
“My cousin would do the calling and then I would come on and we would talk and talk for hours. She couldn’t let her grandmother know it was a boy she was talking to…and she (grandmother) would not allow her to come out on the road at all to meet friends.”
It was some time later that Rodney started attending lessons in the area, and the two would share another memorable encounter. This time it ended with him stealing a kiss. Though they somehow knew their relationship had the potential of being “the real thing” they both made the conscious decision to “(ease) up because of school and Rodney grandmother’s strictness.
We had this mutual affection and understanding all along…we just did.” Their relationship would eventually kick into full gear, with both their families being fully aware.
Today Rodney is a Senior Nursing Student at the St Joseph Mercy Hospital and Hamilton has since retained a job in Barbados. They have plans to exchange marital vows by August.
However, their engagement was certainly not straight forward as Rodney had envisaged. Hamilton with his dramatic inclination (or romantic way) opted to make the day one that will forever remain etched in Rodney’s memory.
You see they had planned an engagement dinner ahead of the wedding, which saw Hamilton returning to Guyana recently. He would however collaborate with the staff at Bhena’s Footwear to lure Rodney to the store to request her hand in marriage.
His intent was to propose to his sweetheart at the very place where they initially laid eyes on each other. He, however, did not relate his clever plan to Rodney. Fortunately, she accepted when he, on bended knee, before family members and the staff of Bhena’s footwear, made his marriage proposal last Wednesday.
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