I was a young graduate who was lucky to get employed right after national service. Apart from the suit and tire I wore to the interview, the only valuable thing I had in my name was Cecilia. When I dreamt of the future, it was her face I saw. I told her, “Now that I have a job, I will work my heart out and make as much as I can in a year so the two of us can marry right after you complete school.” She nodded her head with pride and smiled that her infectious smile. The two of us were in tuned and I was determined to make that dream work.
In a year, I rented a new apartment and started filling it up. I would buy a sofa today and buy a carpet tomorrow. When I saw beautiful curtains in a store, I took a photo of them and sent it to her; ”Is it nice? Do you think it will make any difference in our room?” She responded, “Buy them. They are beautiful.” On the weekend, she came home and helped me put the room in order. I remember that day clearly as if it was just yesterday. She stood at the corner of the room and counted everything in the room and mentioned what was left to be purchased.
“You’ll one day buy a large screen TV and when the tides are good, you’ll buy a washing machine and install it at the corner there. I don’t want to come here and be washing,” she told me.
I looked at the room with the same eyes as hers and told myself, “I will get these things before the sun set on us.” By the time she completed school, I had finished putting my room in order. Everything she said, I bought them. A month after writing her final paper, she got pregnant.
She came to me wearing a sad face. She said, “I’m pregnant and I don’t know what we are going to do with it. I have my national service in front of me and my whole life ahead of me. How do I start with a pregnancy?” I was lost too. I was thinking. I didn’t want us to start life with a pregnancy but it had happened. What were we supposed to do?
I asked her that question and she said, “We can’t have it.” The way she said it made it sound like she had already thought through everything and that was her final answer. I told her, “We can work around it if we put our heads together. It looks difficult but we are not kids. We only have to take it a day at a time and we’ll get there.” She asked me, “From what month would you carry the pregnancy so I can rest? If I get a job interview somewhere in the middle, can I give the pregnancy to you and go for the interview? You’re making it look easy because you’re a man. You’re not the one to carry the pregnancy. No matter how you look at it, it’s not going to be easy for me. Let’s get rid of it.”
She came to my place one Saturday and told me, “I’m coming from the hospital. It’s done.” I looked at her with tears welling up in my eyes. “Tell me you’re joking. We didn’t conclude the discussion so why go ahead and do it without my consent?” She told me, “The final conclusion is what I’ve done. There’s no better conclusion than this.” I was angry. Disappointed. I was having a cocktail of emotions. I wanted to scream. I wanted to kick something but deep down, there was this calm voice that said, “Calm down. It’s already done. Your anger won’t solve anything.”
I told her, “That’s fine. It’s alright. No problem.” I was incoherent as if I’d lost my bearings but she got the point that I wasn’t happy about what she did. From there, things slowed down between us. It became difficult for me to see her without remembering what she did. We could be in a room and say nothing to each other. We could spend a weekend together and exchange not more than five words. It looked like there was this invisible thick wall between us. She was not happy and I was not happy too. I felt it was a phase and it will soon go away.
She came over to spend a weekend with me and I told her I was visiting my parents that weekend. She got angry. She screamed at me, “This is my last weekend before I go to the village to start my national service. Why would you not spend it with me? When did you decide you’ll go to your parents that you didn’t tell me?” I was angry so I responded angrily and it turned into a huge fight. We brought issues from the past to justify our current anger. I told her, “If you didn’t kill our child, we wouldn’t be where we are now where we are almost always angry. Murderer.” Of course, she responded in an equal manner before I finally stormed out of the room and left her there.
I got to my parents’ house and didn’t call to check up on her. I came back on Sunday afternoon only to meet my door open wide with nothing inside my room.
I was like, “What happened? Have I been robbed? I went to the bedroom and there was only a bed without a mattress. My bags were intact but nothing else was the same. My TV was gone. Everything in the kitchen was gone too. The curtains were gone. The carpet was nowhere to be found. As I was walking around looking for answers, I dialled her number to call and ask what happened. Her phone could not be reached. I saw a white paper in the kitchen and picked it up. It was a note from her. She said, “I left with what I could manage to carry. I’m paying myself for the years spent with you and the troubles you’ve put me in. Obviously, things won’t ever be the same again. Don’t bother because I’m not coming back.”
That was the most difficult moment in my life. I tried her phone severally and It didn’t go through. I went to work the next day and I couldn’t concentrate. I was crying most often and was trying to hide. My colleagues looked at me and knew there was something wrong with me but I was not ready to open up to any of them. On the third day, my boss called me to his office and asked what the issue was. I broke down and cried while explaining everything to him. He tried his best to get me to relax but it wasn’t working. He said, “I’m bringing Offeibea to your office. You can use today and tomorrow to hand over to her so you can take a week off.” I nodded and left his office.
Minutes later, Offeibea was sitting next to me listening to instructions. I would go off for a while and start to cry. I didn’t even know why I was crying. Whether it was for the loss of my things or for the end of the love between me and Cecelia. Offeibea kept asking me what the issue was but I didn’t talk. I kept trying to give her the best information I could gather but it wasn’t coming. On the second day too the same. I told her, “Don’t worry. While I’m away, you can call and ask questions if you encounter any issues.”
I went to Cecelia’s house to look for her. I was told she had left for her national service station. No one could tell me exactly where. They only mentioned the name of the village she was posted to. I spoke to a few friends of hers and they gave me a few pieces of information I could use. I set off to the village and to the national service office in the district. It was a mountain but I didn’t give up until I was finally directed to the school she was teaching. Immediately she saw me she started walking away. I called out to her. I told her, “If you don’t want any drama, stand there and let’s talk about things.”
“I’ve sold them,” she said.
“Why would you do such a thing? Do you know I can cause your arrest for stealing my things?”
“I’m here. Call the police to come and arrest me. What are you waiting for? I thought you will even come with them.”
We went quiet, contemplating what next to say. “I want you back,” I said. She responded, “There’s no way back. It’s over between us. You called me a murderer. That would never change even if we get married. Go on. Find an angel and marry her because nothing can bring me back to someone who sees me as a murderer.”
And true to her phrases, she by no means got here again. I used to be left to start my life once more and didn’t know the place to begin. Offeibea referred to as day-after-day asking what she ought to do. I attempted to assist her one of the best ways I may. Someday she referred to as and mentioned, “I’m not calling you due to work. I do know what to do now however I don’t know what to do to make you higher since I don’t know what your drawback is. You possibly can belief me that nobody will hear if I get to listen to about it.”
I used to be given just one week’s break however I ended up taking all my go away days. I opened as much as Offeibea and that turned the turning level in my life. I didn’t know I wanted somebody to listen to my story to have the ability to start my therapeutic course of. Offeibea gave me that chance for therapeutic and I by no means stopped speaking to her. She would name each morning asking me how I used to be feeling. I’d be truthful to her, “It’s nonetheless the identical; the ache, the loss, the concern, the uncertainties. Every part remains to be the identical.” She would inform me, “Take it gradual on your self. It will get to fade sooner or later. It’s like our favorite costume. The extra we put on it and expose it to the solar, the sooner it fades. Put on your ache as if it’s all you’ve got. It is going to quickly fade away and life can be regular once more.”
Someday I invited her over to my home. It was nonetheless empty. I took her across the room pointing on the empty areas and telling her what was once there; “That vacant wall, my TV used to hold there. She took it away. That nook there, that was the place my microwave was. She carried that one too away.” I stomped my toes on the bottom and mentioned, “The bottom was once lined with a woollen carpet. That too is gone.” She laughed at me and mentioned, “Then she actually got here ready. She may need include an enormous truck.” I retorted, “A tractor reasonably.”
We each laughed out loud. It was the primary time I’d laughed in over 4 months. I felt the wrinkles on the finish of my lips once I laughed. She instructed me, “These are issues. Issues will be purchased solely when you’ve got life. You might have a life so it’s simple.”
Someday she introduced me curtains. “I don’t know if it’s stunning sufficient to exchange what you’ve misplaced,” she instructed me. I replied, “It’s stunning sufficient so far as it’s coming from you.” One thing was rising between us and it was apparent to each of us and the folks in our workplace. We saved denying it. We instructed them we have been simply mates till we couldn’t mislead ourselves any longer. I proposed. She instructed me I wasn’t absolutely healed. I instructed her, “I shouldn’t be healed by this time I do know however you made it simpler and sooner.” She responded, “Let’s see the way it goes.”
Males suggest and get sure or no as a response. I obtained, “Let’s see the way it goes” as a response however it was all I wanted to begin one thing together with her. Someday she got here to my place and prompt that we should always cook dinner one thing. I requested, “Who cooks in an empty kitchen?” She retorted, “Watch me.”
She borrowed a coal pot from the subsequent home and acquired charcoal from the road. She borrowed a silver bowl from the subsequent home and hours later, we had meals on the desk. She was so completely happy she may do it. She mentioned, “I couldn’t have completed that in my very own neighbourhood as a result of I’m a shy particular person however I may do it right here. Wow.” I mentioned in my coronary heart, “If I don’t marry this woman, I’d be a idiot chasing a idiot’s gold for all times.” And I knew I wasn’t a idiot and there was no manner I used to be going to behave a idiot at any level in my life.
It’s the explanation we’ve been married for 3 years now with a toddler between us. The watch phrase was, “Let’s see the way it goes” so every day we awoke and push ourselves additional a little bit bit so we may keep again and see how far we had come. I’m not attempting to color a rosy story right here. It was exhausting. It even obtained more durable sooner or later however the factor is, if you struggle exhausting battles with the one you like and the one who loves you actually by your facet, regardless of how exhausting the battle will get, you’re comforted figuring out that you simply’re doing it with the one you like. Even in the event you die on the battlefield, you get to die subsequent to the one who loves you actually and that’s sufficient motivation so that you can keep on.
As we speak, I take a look at Offeibea and depend myself fortunate. I even Thank God for the ache I went by means of when it ended with Cecelia. It’s like beginning. You must undergo ache to have one lovely child in your lap. In the long run, the ache doesn’t matter however the pleasure that got here out of the ache. She’s the Pleasure and the explanation I can have a narrative that has a cheerful ending.
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