When most people receive a call from the wrong number, they hang up and continue on with their day.
Banning men from approaching women isn’t the answer to our sexual harassment problem
but not 28-year-old Sofian Loho Dandel.
When the garage mechanic from Indonesia received a call from Martha Potu, a stranger at the time, he fell for her voice so hard that the call ended up lasting for nearly an hour.
The pair continued to talk, not knowing much about each other – and, having completely fallen in love with Martha’s voice, Sofian decided to meet her.
But after reaching her house, he could not believe who answered the door – an 82-year-old widow.
Sofian had had no idea that he’d been speaking to a woman 54 years his senior.
But, while Sofian was shocked that Marthe hadn’t disclosed her age over the phone, he had, after all, expressed his love for her already – and his feelings remained unchanged.
Sofian decided to continue with his visit and stayed with Martha for two hours – where they chatted about everything that came to their minds.
In that time Sofian learned that Martha had been living alone since the death of her husband ten years ago, and had two children who had left the country to work abroad.
Moved by her story, Sofian, who had never dated before, promised to stay with her forever.
And he truly meant those words – as Sofian went on to ask for her hand in marriage, receiving a resounding ‘yes’ from Martha.
The pair tied the knot on 18 February this year, exchanging vows in presence of their family and loved ones in North Sulawesi, Indonesia.
Sofian said: ‘It all started after a call came into my cell phone a year ago. I just answered it not knowing who it was.
‘I loved how she introduced herself and how politely she was talking. Then on, we continued chatting over the phone.
‘She was caring and full of energy and with each passing day, I was [drawn] towards her. I had never dated before and started feeling in love.
‘I could not wait to meet her but I did not know how old she was. But we felt really in love and agreed to continue this relationship.’
While they admit their marriage hasn’t been plain-sailing – Indonesia is a conservative society, where not everyone agrees with the age gap – the pair eventually won their families over by proving their relationship was completely real.
Sofian’s mother, Magdalena, 60, said: ‘We did not know he had chosen a grandmother! He had kept her age hiding from us until we met her.
‘Very surprised at the time, but what can I say. We see them love each other, so we accepted his choice.’
But for Martha, nobody’s opinion but hers matters – as she’s completely besotted with her new husband and couldn’t be happier.
‘I used to pray God for a companion who can take care of me at this old age and he answered my prayers by sending Sofian as a blessing into my life,’ the new bride said.
This post appeared on Metro UK