The first time I saw Ett Venter he was dressed in black. He had long black hair, a black camera slung around his neck and he lay on the ground taking photographs. I thought he was a weirdo.
The first time I met him was a few days later, when he introduced himself to me. I thought nothing of it. Later he would tell me he was intimidated by me.
Through mutual friends, we kept seeing each other at social events. I loved talking to him; he was confident and made me laugh.
A year on, my feelings for Ett had changed. We said to each other: “I’m going to show you my world.”
At the end of that week, he asked me to be his girlfriend. We were on the rooftop of a building. We kissed. Someone saw us from below and whistled.
The first time I realised our love was deeper than I had anticipated was about six months into our relationship, on a beach. As I stared out into the ocean, I felt so vulnerable, but excited too. I turned to him and said: “Ett, I have really fallen in love with you.”
The first time I knew it was forever, was in New York.
We had been skateboarding for about five hours, on the hunt for a photo location that would capture the beauty and adventure that is the Big Apple.
We finally found a spot that felt like “us”. Ett was about to take the photograph, when he got down on one knee. In that moment, when he asked me to marry him, I felt like a little sparkler; there were fireworks everywhere.
I was thinking: “This is too good to be true.” I said “yes” three times! I remember sitting down on the pavement, dead quiet. I couldn’t comprehend the shift. And Ett sat right there with me, waiting patiently, until I knew with certainty this was the man I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. – Shannon Black (24) as told to Roshila Jarosz