I woke up feeling so lonely….. Why do I feel so much emptiness within me? It’s a holiday today and I’m supposed to be happy and excited about spending the day with my friends as planned. What exactly may be wrong with me?
Suddenly it all came flooding back…… the fight between me and my love. I remember I cried myself to sleep last night because it seemed nothing was working for us anymore.
I met Ebenezer a little over a year ago at a fast food joint on my way back home from work. I was so tired and knowing there was no quick food to bite at home, decided to pick some snacks to eat. As I was trying to make payment at the counter, I heard this rich baritone voice tell me not to bother paying as he would cover the cost of the snacks I had with me. I was too tired to argue and seriously wasn’t in the mood for any “toasting” at that moment so I said “Thanks” took my snack bag and left the counter.
I was almost inside my car when I heard the same voice ask if I had a call card he could get my contact from. Still unable to argue, I checked the pigeon hole of my car, handed one to him and entered into my car. He smiled and promised he would call me. I gave him a nod and drove off….. I couldn’t wait to get into my room, eat and lay on my bed.
I did not get to hear from Ebenezer until about 2 weeks after we met. My phone suddenly rang and on picking it I heard that same baritone voice (it sounded even better on phone…lol). I immediately knew who was calling. He introduced himself and asked me out for lunch the following afternoon. According to him, his office was about two streets away from mine. I thought well…..there isn’t any harm in having lunch with a guy just to get to know him better. Did I mention to you that I was single and waiting for a decent and good looking guy to discover me?
The next day, I dressed cute as usual and during my lunch break, went to meet him at a restaurant not far from my office for a quick lunch. We talked at length and it was fun because we had common grounds to chat about. He came from almost the same school of thought with me and we shared similar views and opinion about almost everything….
I really enjoyed the lunch date with him and was happy when it became a regular thing.
Gradually we became an item. I realized I was in love with him and couldn’t do without him. I began to receive flowers, notes and cards at the office. I became very happy with myself and everyone around noticed the positive change in me. Ebenezer made me feel on top of the world every minute of the day. He was the best man I could ever wish for.
Our relationship went on smoothly for a year then I began to demand to meet with his family members. He however always had one reason or the other why it wasn’t time for me to meet with them. We had an argument over this one evening after work and he assured me, he would take me to his parents when he was ready to.
To my surprise, few days after, Ebenezer gave me a call….
“Becky, I want you to travel to Kano with me next weekend”
“What’s happening there?” I replied
“I want to introduce you to my parents” He said
I was dumbfounded for some seconds. When I eventually got my voice back, I told him I’ll plan towards it. We fixed time and made all arrangements for the trip. I was so excited!
The day we were to travel, he picked me up from my house and we drove down to the airport. He could see the excitement written all over my face. Though I was a little bit nervous, I couldn’t wait to meet his parents.
We arrived at his parent’s house in the afternoon but I was scared when I saw the house they lived in. it was nothing to write home about. Far below what I expected based on how well he seemed to be doing in Lagos. His parents looked unkempt and unhappy. To cap it all, they were not happy to see me. They acted like I wasn’t there at all. It was too much for me to take all at once.
The following day, we travelled back to Lagos. Ben (as I fondly called him) tried all his best to make me understand how much I mattered to him. He told me he was willing to have me as his wife no matter what or how anyone felt. He explained to me that his parents’ condition was because of some issues that were between him and them. I tried all my best to make him explain why their living standard was like that but he assured me it was not what I would like to be involved in. I had to let go.
We continued with our love, he got to know my parents…. They loved him! My siblings loved him too! He was a charmer! He did everything right and my family couldn’t wait to have him as a member.
We had our formal introduction ceremony as is our usual practice in my family, but his parents were represented by an uncle and his wife. Ben assured me it was simply because of the distance between Lagos and Kano. A date was agreed upon at the ceremony (3 months after) for the wedding proper and all arrangements began.
Ben became a different person immediately after the formal introduction ceremony. He began drinking excessively, began to smoke and lost all respect for me. He could look me straight in the eyes and say things that were below my expectation. It got me scared! My siblings also began to know something was wrong somewhere but we all couldn’t lay hands on what it was.
Three weeks to the D-day, I went to his house to have a serious conversation with him. I asked him what exactly was going on between us…. You wouldn’t believe Ben sat there looking at me like he couldn’t understand what I was saying. We had already given out invites to a large number of people and here is my husband-to-be acting like I was wasting my breath.
I began to get upset at his unexpected behavior and told him I was tired and wasn’t sure it was sensible going ahead with the wedding. That was when he spoke……. In his low baritone voice he told me I was free to call the wedding off. I asked him again why he could look me in the eyes and tell me that and he finally opened up to me.
Ebenezer told me he had some issues on his mind and he had been feeling terrible because he knew one way or the other I would be terribly hurt if I found out. I encouraged him to bring it on as I was capable of handling whatever he had to say to me. He asked me again if I was sure and I confirmed to him that I definitely was. That was when he gave me the bombshell I least expected.
Ben told me he had a child and not just that but he also explained that he was willing to have the mother as his wife. I was dumbfounded… I couldn’t believe my ears. He explained further that he had a serious relationship with the mother who he called Labake about 4 years before we met, but the lady suddenly disappeared almost immediately after they began planning their wedding and broke all ties with him. He was devastated, heartbroken and this made him believe women could not be trusted.
He explained to me that this was the mindset he had until he met me at the fast food restaurant almost two years ago. Getting to know me changed his mind set. He was afterwards willing to give love another chance, he explained.
I learnt he didn’t hear from Labake until almost 3 months ago (3 days after we had our introduction precisely); when she suddenly showed up in his house with a little boy whom she claimed was his. According to Ebenezer, Labake explained to him that she was threatened by Ben’s parents to run from him or she loses her life. They were seriously against him getting married to a Yoruba girl.
He told me he was still in love with her and was willing to have her back in his life because he was the father of her child as confirmed by DNA test he carried out.
He pleaded with me and told me I had to understand the situation on ground. He persuaded me to let us end things as friends and that he prays I find a very good man that would be able to love me enough. He also explained that he felt so sorry cause that man couldn’t be him. I became angry and mad at him because it was obvious he had already made up his mind before this conversation, on what he was going to do about our relationship.
I stood up, called him all the bad names I could bring up, and dashed out of his house. That was the worst conversation I ever had in my life…….. It signaled the end of something I have always dreamed of.
Now thinking back to yesterday, I feel maybe I should have gone on my knees and begged with all the strength I could gather. On a second thought again, I know Ben very well…… he thinks deeply before taking his decisions and once taken, he’s a very stubborn guy who doesn’t bend easily. I love this man and wouldn’t want to live my life without him but here I am with no choice than to look ahead and pray life holds better plans for me because I can’t have him anymore.
I love Ben so much but with another woman and a child (for that matter) in the picture, it seriously can’t work between us.
Right now I have a lot of work to do…………………………. Call my parents, friends and colleagues to inform them that the wedding has been called off. I just hope they understand!
Dear readers, what would you have done in a situation like Becky’s?…….. talk true oh! :)