Idon’t know where to start from and where to end. I shudder to tell it because it doesn’t have a good beginning and I doubt the end would be any different. Let me start from where it all began.
I was twenty-six when I met Andrews. He was all flashy and came smelling of the future. I gave him my heart and all thinking he was the one. At twenty-six I was very careful with men. Many had disappointed me before so I made it a point to choose the next one carefully so he can be my last. Andrews had it all. He had a good job and had a great family that every woman would be proud to belong to. He also said the right things to me. Everything I wanted to hear, he said it without being asked.
On my twenty-seventh birthday, He asked me, “When should we get married because I can’t wait to get married to you.” I said, “Can we do it now?” He laughed and said, “Not now. We can’t plan anything good with now in mind. At what age do you want us to get married?” I said, “Then let’s get married next year. Is that too close?” He said, “It’s not too close. It’s possible so let’s work at it.”
In my mind, I had married him. I took him to meet my parents and he took me to meet his. There was no one in his family that I didn’t know. His mom especially. That woman loved me like I was one of her own. When she needed me to do something for her, she would call and ask if I was available. I was always available to help her. In my mind, she was the in-law from the future so I had to do everything in my power to get her to be on my side.
At twenty-eight, the marriage didn’t happen. His reason? No reason at all. All through the year, he did nothing that showed that indeed we were going to get married. He wasn’t a bad boyfriend. He treated me very well, said the right things, and took me to the right places. We never fought and never had an argument. We were like those friends who knew what each other wanted and provided just that.
By the time I realized it, I was thirty and still going. We had dated for four good years without marriage in sight. I knew I had to bring it to the table again. I said, “We planned to get married two years ago and that didn’t happen. You didn’t give me a reason or maybe it was because I didn’t ask for one. Time has passed but we are still here. What’s happening to us?” He said, “I haven’t forgotten about it. I’ve been discussing it with my parents. Soon we’ll come and see your parents.”
Soon? That time that never comes? I asked, “How soon?’ He said, “When I gave you a specific time I disappointed you. I don’t want this one to be like the first one. I’m saying soon because it could be next week or next month or next year but trust me, it wouldn’t go beyond a year.” I took it as a year. It was just around that time that I met Johnson, a very handsome man who said he was head over heels in love with me. I didn’t consider him as a love object though he was a very kind man. If he wasn’t married, maybe I would have given him a chance to see what comes out of it. After all, Andrews was wasting the time I’d given him.
Johnson was persistent. I was also persistent with my answer; “No, I can’t do that. You have a wife and I also have a fiancé. We can’t start what has no future.” He didn’t back off so I told Andrews about it. He said, “married men and their greed. They’ve taken one and still want more so they chase after ours. Breaking hearts since 1889.” We laughed over it and moved on.
One evening, one of Andrews’s siblings called me on phone. That girl didn’t like me that much. So I thought because she hardly spoke to me or engage with me in any kind. Even when I tried to get closer, she pushed me away with her attitude. That night, she called to tell me what no one had ever told me. She said, “If I were you and I knew what I knew now, I would walk away from Andrews. He’s back together with his ex, the same girl who left him when he helped her to travel abroad.” I asked, “How did you know?” She answered, “For about a month now, he keeps discussing the girl with my mom. At first, my mom was angry about the whole thing but now she had softened her stands. They are talking about marriage and that discussion doesn’t include you.” After everything, she said, “Call him and ask him. If he denies it, tell him I told you. They are pissing me off.”
I called Andrew, “My man, what am I hearing? That you’re back with your ex? That you two are planning marriage?” This is the most painful part of my story so I wouldn’t like to drag it to push me through the whole pain again. He denied it at first but his mother told me everything. I broke down and never recovered. I felt he squeezed the juice out of me and discarded my fibers just as we do to the orange. In my pain and despair, guess who I ran to? Johnson. Bad decision, right? Pain is not a good thing. It’s the only thing that can push you from itself to another worse pain.
So, I gave Johnson a chance in my life. The pain was too much that I needed something to help me forget. I got myself drunk one night but I didn’t like the feeling the day after so I stayed out of the way of alcohol. Johnson became the balm I used to soothe my pain. He was funny and witty and I loved the way he made me laughed off my pain.
By the time I realized it, we were in bed together. I didn’t fight him. The guilt didn’t tickle me. Maybe the pain made me numb. We did it again and again until I started craving for him each day. When he was with me I didn’t want him to leave. I was scared to be alone. Three months later, I got pregnant. The original me would have been shocked and scared but I wasn’t. I knew I wasn’t going to have it and I knew where to go to make it go away. I decided not to tell him because I knew what he would say already.
When the time came for me to go to the hospital, I thought to myself, “After all is done, I will need somebody to be by my side and that person would be Johnson so why don’t I tell him?” I called him. I said, “Johnson, I’m pregnant but don’t worry. I’m on my way to the hospital as we speak. Can you come around when you close from work?” He asked, “Pregnant? When did you notice? Why haven’t you told me? And what are you going to do at the hospital?” I told him everything. Two hours later, he was with me.
He said, “No you won’t do that. It’s mine just as it’s yours. We are going to have it.” I laughed. “I’m thirty-two. I would like to get married someday. Getting a child is a bad idea for me now. I can’t. No, I won’t.” He begged. He even cried. He held my legs asking me to keep it. I asked, “Keep it secretly so your wife wouldn’t know right? For how long?”
It’s been two weeks since all this drama. I’m here and don’t know what to do. My heartbeat has changed. The rhythm is different. Something is growing in me and I wonder how she would look like. I used ‘she’ because I dreamt and it was a girl. She was beautiful. I think I would like to meet her. I’m curious. But then again, I can’t because having her will destroy my chances of getting married someday. Some days, I want to have her. Other times, I don’t want to. I have one more week to decide. Johnson is calling. I know what he’s going to say but I’m not ready to choose what he wants over my happiness.