This date, 23 February 2012, means a lot to Melissa and me. I suppose in any relationship you have highlights or at least days to remember. Now I know every day is special as it should be and you should jealously guard against mediocrity as the years go on. It is the enemy of your love for each other...when your better half is taken for granted and it can easily happen. You get used to each other and in some cases you have resentment for whatever took place in the past. Listen to wise words, go and sort it out and fall in love again or make an end to your marriage. It is either great or a great waste of time. It cannot be mediocre. That is not love and not the way it should be.
I was lucky, whenever I heard or saw my wife I felt in love. That included pictures and images in my head and God knows I am not being blasphemous when I say so but such feelings are not normal to me. Before Melissa I did not know what love was and I never felt supported either. I married for the wrong reasons but with the best of intentions - I will never make such mistakes again and I do not blame them, I blame myself. I suppose I can write books on soul mate love and probably will one day. Well I already tried with a short book called Better Men. In that book I explained the two rules of love, i.e. (1) you will never hurt the other side and (2) you will do what is necessary to keep the other side happy. Actually they run together and once running your love is in a perpetual circle. I will explain more about the phenomena later.
Have you noticed your wedding ring is round, in a circle, like a wheel? It is not because your fingers are perfectly round, they are not. Yes have a look; you will note they are flat on the sides so it is not because of that that we find rings to be round. I know if you are an engineer you will now explain to me with slides and fancy maths why a ring is round but I am a simple fellow. I will tell you it is because there is no place for anyone else in your circle of love. And that the love reverberates from that circle to your immediate family. Like concentric shockwaves if you can imagine that and because it is round, it goes in a circle building its own momentum. If you love someone, really love, you will never hurt that person, it is inconceivable and that one will respond in kind, hence the love becomes perpetual. That by the way is another thing which an engineer will deny there - is nothing perpetual in the world but love is not from this world.
How do you fall in love? I don't know and neither did that wise man of the Bible, King Solomon who said so in Proverbs (30 v 19). However, I know that what one man sees as beautiful another may find rather ugly and this is proven many times in real life. You find two people who just cannot live together, get divorced and then live happily with someone else. That is also why the idea of "starting again" or "trying again" simply makes no sense to me. What irritated you then will irritate you now, it is not meant to be, let it go.
You know the feeling, one day you look up and there she is, gliding towards you (a soul never walks, she glides like a vision) and you feel attached. Then much to your surprise she feels the same way and then you have love. It cannot be forced. Love finds its own way, down the slopes as does water. That anyway is what the poets say about love. Imagine this; I have to force myself to love you! How unreal is that now? It is not love but acting...you either love someone or you don't and if she does not return the honor (and action is louder than words) then she is not your soul mate. She cannot be because souls cannot stay apart; the idea is alien to them. They want to be together and feel quite miserable when not. It also means that there is nothing stronger in this world than soul mate love and when two souls meet it is goodbye to previous partners. We see that in law also, suddenly after twenty odd years a couple get divorced. The signs were always there, that they were not souls, but they held on because of decency, children and affectionate love (but not soul mate love).
When it became clear that I would have serious visa problems to get to Melissa we took a break from each other for a few months. We both agreed afterwards there was nothing harder for us to do and that we both knew we would be back. It was in that period that I started writing Mean Streets. I knew she would be back, souls cannot stay apart and she knew it too. I refer to the episode in our books as my "haircut" and wished it never happened. I wish I was treated as a decent law abiding man instead as a terrorist which I am not. Is it to be wondered that I hold the State Department in contempt? But that is water under the bridge. Peace says I, I have never acted against my wife's tribe. In fact I helped you.
So you may wonder why 23 February 2012 so special to us? That was the day when we got married in the eyes of God. It was not a spur of the moment decision but well planned in advance. She knew what dress she wanted to wear and what music to play and brought it with her. They rest I arranged. It took place in the Kruger National Park and the service conducted by an old friend whose wife acted as maid of honour. There are videos of the ceremony which I will not share with anyone online, it is private. She had wild flowers in her hair. As can be expected, as I type here, I see you, my wife. I see you standing next to me holding my hand. I remember the moment when we said yes and the love in your eyes. I remember earlier the day we took a game drive and it started raining. I protected you from the drops with my body, something you found cute and said so. I remember our love songs and always end music nights with them. The first time I did so almost killed me but today I hold on to those memories. When I think of you, which is often, I always smile. When times are hard and I miss you, which is always, I close my eyes and I hear your voice saying that I came into your life not unexpectedly because you knew I was out there. And you found me, and we became one. And that you love me, always.
Happy anniversary my wife, I love you, always.
Koos Kotze is a former member of the South African Police Force. He served between 1985 and 1991 primarily as a sergeant in the Pretoria Flying Squad. During his police years, he was awarded the South African Police Medal for Combating Terrorism twice besides lesser awards. After leaving the Police Force he obtained the law degrees B Iuris & LLB at the University of the Free State (Bloemfontein, South Africa) and was a commercial law attorney for eight years. These days he is the owner of JKLS Africa and Associates, a specialist legal consultancy which specializes in reducing legal risk in sub Saharan Africa. He wrote several books on business, law, counter-terrorism and security issues. At times he is asked to participate on the Voice of America regarding legal forensic matters.