Reunion of childhood lovers

by Michelle Ghumania

This story is part of our 'Romantic Travel Stories' series, featuring tales from luxury hotel guests which were sent in for our travel writing competition.

Photo by Zenera.


Gian and I were childhood sweethearts. When I discovered his intention to propose on my 18th birthday I panicked and ended it.

I made some mistakes over the years. Gian and I remained friends and enjoyed nights out together. I really wanted to find ‘the one’, as did he, but deep down I knew that Gian had only ever wanted to be with me. I wasn’t sure after so many years whether I could feel that way about him again. After much cajoling by well wishing friends, I took the very large hints of encouragement. Clearly my friends felt I needed guidance and they were right.

Gian and I discussed the possibility that maybe the one I had been so desperately looking for had been here all along. Well the rest is history, as they say, and we got back together some 16 years after we had originally parted.

Gian’s Dad’s side of the family are Mauritian. In February 2007 we went there with some of the family on holiday. Valentine’s Day is his Mum and Dad’s anniversary and we were going out for dinner to celebrate. As we were leaving, I discovered that they were doing their own thing and would take my stepson with them so that Gian and I could enjoy our first Valentine’s Day back together. We went to a popular restaurant in Grand Baie called Don Camillo and had a lovely meal in this restaurant which is just metres from the sea. I suddenly noticed the strap on my dress had broken and Gian tried to get the waiter to assist. Firstly, I was offered a paperclip, which really wasn’t going to work, as I am rather well endowed. Then he offered the largest stapler I’ve ever seen. I found this highly amusing but I could see Gian becoming increasingly agitated and perspiration beaded his forehead. I guess I put this down to the situation, which was slightly embarrassing. Gian then started holding my hand and looked deep into my eyes. He dropped to one knee and asked whether I would do him the honour of becoming his wife. We both had tears in our eyes as I said yes, and we kissed as the whole restaurant looked on. We then went next door to have a large cocktail to celebrate at the lively and entertaining Banana Bar.

Somewhat later, in a slightly hazy but deliciously happy stumbling manner, we took a stroll along the moonlit beach. The stars twinkled at us and we were both so very happy that we had finally realised what we had all along. When we got back I discovered that everyone knew. My stepson had left me some roses and a note saying how he was looking forward to having me as his step mum. What a perfect Valentine’s Day. Gian and I got married on the 14th June 2008 and now have a beautiful wonderful daughter, Olivia, whom we are both very proud of.

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