Leon Rose was love struck instantly when he, two years ago, saw Karen Francis’ profile on social networking site Facebook.
He sent her a friend request. She declined.
He sent her another friend request. She, after much hesitation, accepted it.
Infrequent communication gradually turned frequent.
“She told me about her background and I told her about my background,” Leon told The Beacon, adding: “I started to like her background and she started to like mine.”
Leon invited Karen to leave her home in Clarendon to meet him several miles away in the adjoining St. Catherine parish.
She had no fear, she said, adding that she trusted her gut-feeling.
The two met in Old Harbour, St. Catherine, and headed directly to a staff party hosted by the Ministry of Education. Leon works with the ministry as a watchman and groundsman at Lluidas Vale Primary School in his adopted hometown of Lluidas Vale, St. Catherine.
He is originally from Clarendon – just like Karen. The two, however, did not know each other.
After the staff party, they went to Leon’s home in Lluidas Vale. Karen spent the night there. Yes, she did it.
She told The Beacon that she subsequently stopped communicating with Leon, partly because one of Leon’s former lovers allegedly was pestering her.
Leon, the father of one, explained that he was in another relationship, but it ended three months prior to meeting Karen. There was no love triangle, he said. There was no need for any catfight.
Karen and Leon eventually mended the link and renewed courtship.
Leon popped the big question.
Karen said yes.
The two wedded on the last Sunday of 2019 at Charlton Seventh Day Adventist Church in the Ewarton area of St. Catherine.
Karen told The Beacon that everything appears surreal; she had no clue that accepting a Facebook friend request would have taken her this far.
“I have been through relationships and they never worked out, so I wasn’t looking for this; him surprised me a lot,” she said. “I tried the second time when he sent me the friend request and this is the result.”
The mother-of-four, who has been living with Leon since July last year, expressed elation that, despite financial challenges and family issues encountered along the journey, she and her spouse have remained committed to each other.
Her man, she explained, is a big source of inspiration – always thinking they can overcome any obstacle.
In assessing the relationship, Leon told The Beacon: “There have been ups and downs, but most of the times it is up.”
He is cognizant of the risk that was involved in meeting a stranger after a social media chat – something he wouldn’t encourage other people to do without high caution.
“Be careful who you choose; be careful who you go out with because you may not be as lucky as I am,” Leon advised, adding that he does not regret the turn his romantic escapade has taken – for the better, hopefully.
By Horace Mills, Journalist
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