We were dating for several months when the grand idea to test out celibacy came about.

Not that the intimate part of our relationship wasn’t satisfying. But more so, when done with the right intention, it can be so advantageous to your relationship. In my mind, focusing on self-disciple and real intimacy in our relationship could only result in an even stronger bond between us. A bond that would be suited for any challenges that may arise.

Keep in mind we were both in our late 20’s and had known each other for years before dating. Expectations and the direction of the relationship were discussed and so I thought the path was all mapped out for us.

We were not just taking pics to splay on social media and going out on fancy dates. Although, the fancy dates are a necessity for me.

We were planning a future together, for goodness sake!

We worked in close proximity to each other to have morning coffee together and even lunch dates several times a week. Our evenings were spent together, hanging out with either his siblings or mine or just doing things that we both loved and in my mind, building a bond.

So I was blindsided when I got an invitation to the wedding, and because of my great skills asked to be the photographer. With the expressed expectation of being charged “friend rates”, none the less.

Not only did the invitation floored me, when I looked at the date of this momentous occasion, it was also set for 3 weeks away. This literally caused my breathing to falter. It coincided with the deadline for my self-imposed celibacy.

Now you would probably ask, “Why TF did you agree to this foolery?!!”

But for me, the real question was “How TF can I not witness this debacle for myself?” Or better yet, to capture what would be my boyfriend’s most cherished moments, in person.

What followed in the next couple of months, I really don’t know. I just do not recall. I operated on autopilot. The only thought swirling in my mind was, my boyfriend is marrying another woman.

Hearing my family and friends telling me that he wasn’t good enough for me or that I dodged a bullet or that he was the scum of the earth, did absolutely NOTHING to comfort me.

My world was crashing down around me and there was nothing I could have done to fix it or even stop it from happening. It was as if I was outside of my body watching this all unfold. Asking him the obvious questions of how and when did this happen didn’t help to ease the pain either. This was beyond comprehension, and so I did the only thing I knew how to do. Which was to overthink and carry on as if I didn’t feel empty and emotionless.

When the day came, I got dressed and called another photographer to work along with me. Which really meant take over in the event my emotions got the better of me and headed out to tackle the toughest job to date.

You see, I’ve always been taught to dress for battle with confidence and valor. With not even a hint of my inner turmoil. And that’s exactly what I did! Donned in a sexy all-black pantsuit paired with some kick-ass heels, my toes paid for that for days afterward, and red lipstick, I captured the beauty amidst my pain.

I delivered like never before, stayed away from the open bar, and then went to the beach and dove in fully clothed.