Moving for Love: The Gaffney Couple Builds a Life After Long Distance

By |2018-07-11T15:45:15-04:00July 11th, 2018|Entertainment, Features, Wedding|

Khiana Gaffney was living in Birmingham, Alabama, in 2016 when she made a quick trip home to Detroit to celebrate her grandmother’s 90th birthday. While back in the Motor City, Khiana spent a little time on social media to learn a bit about the local girls. One of those girls, one of those who caught her eye, was the woman who is now her wife, Aleeya Gaffney.
“The day we met earlier that morning we were on Facebook in a group and they were like post your picture and a short bio,” Aleeya recalled. “So she posted her pic. She put her age and where she lived at. I was like, ‘Oh she’s cute but she don’t live here so I’m not going to think nothing of it.’ And she was more of the masculine type and I’d never had an attraction to that type. But she was cute and she caught my eye.”
That night at the bar, a place called Boney’s, the two saw each other across the room.
“That night was karaoke and when I went back on Facebook I was like, ‘That couldn’t be her because she don’t live here.’ I would look every now and then in the mirror and catch her looking at me.”
“She was staring at me in the mirror,” Khiana said.
“I was not,” insisted Aleeya.
“Anyway, I sent my friend over to ask her name and see if she had a girlfriend or just to find out something about her,” Khiana said.
“And I told her friend, ‘You tell her we grown,’” said Aleeya. “Tell her, ‘Don’t tell somebody to come over here.’ She has to come talk to me if she wants to talk to me.”
So the couple started talking, talking and talking some more.
“We got to talking, slow dancing the whole night away,” Aleeya said. “Our conversation was good. She was goofy. She tried to be a little charming. She tried to put on this shy act but she’s really not shy.”
Before Khiana headed back to Alabama, the two went out on a date. Then the couple stayed on the phone together for nearly Khiana’s entire 12-hour trip back to Alabama.
“We quickly got in the habit of talking many hours a day,” said Khiana. “We fell asleep on the phone, took baths on the phone, you name it.”
Soon enough, the couple realized they wanted to be together and that somebody was going to have to move.
“I didn’t want her to leave her job to come down South because I felt she had a better job than I did,” Khiana said. “So with me being from Detroit I made a decision to move back home. My mom is deceased and she left me with a house in Detroit so I had somewhere to go. So I moved back home. We dated and I stayed in my house and she stayed in hers.”
Then, just a few months later, disaster struck. Aleeya was involved in a hit-and-run, rollover accident, leaving her in critical condition.
“I was there every night at the hospital with her,” Khiana said. “Once she got home, our daughter was 3, so she couldn’t even bathe our daughter. So I made the decision to move in. I moved in. We never had to talk about it and everything just went from here.”
“I couldn’t even walk in the beginning,” said Aleeya. “I couldn’t bathe myself. I couldn’t get my child off to school. So I was like, ‘You’re not going nowhere. You belong to me.’”
And just like that, the couple was engaged.
“We got engaged and we planned, we planned, we planned,’ Khiana said. “Every detail from the party bus to the antique Bentley to the ice sculptures. We had our faces carved in fruit.”
The couple had their wedding and reception at Regency Manner in Southfield.
“I’m more of a private type of person,” said Aleeya. “She’s an over the top person. I wanted a private wedding but she wanted a big ceremony. So I said, ‘OK, I’ll give you the big ceremony. But if we’re going to do it we’re going to do it right.’ I wanted to make it epic for her … I wanted to give her her rainbow fairytale wedding.”
“Everything worked out,” Khiana said. “We had a lot of family and friends there. It was like a fairytale come true.”
Now, Aleeya relishes in the joys of being a married woman.
“I love being married,” said Aleeya. “Everything I say at the end of it I say ‘I’m married now. Do you want to see my ring? I’m married now.’ It feels good to say it. I truly married my best friend.”

About the Author:

Jason A. Michael
Jason A. Michael joined Between The Lines as a contributing writer in 1999. He has received both the Spirit of Detroit Award (presented by the Detroit City Council) and the Media Award from the Community Pride Banquet & Awards Ceremony for his writing and activism. Jason is also an Essence magazine bestselling author for his authorized biography "Strength Of A Woman: The Phyllis Hyman Story," released on his own JAM Books imprint.