The early days were heaven on earth as if we were on a honeymoon. Breakfast in bed. Moonlight walks. Pampering and massages. Pleasant surprises. Experiences too sweet to be expressed with words.
Granted, I wasn’t officially Mrs. Essuman, but in reality, I played that role so well.
I had nothing to fear, because already I was wearing his promissory ring, and Mrs is just a title, I thought.
Then I got pregnant, I thought that was the ticket for us to get married, because that’s what usually happens here in Africa right?
If a man puts a woman in the family way, he has to marry her.
But in our case, it was different….
Kwame accepted the news with mixed feelings; a part of him wanted the baby and another part of him didn’t.
He said his father had warned him that if he didn’t do his masters abroad before rushing into marriage, he wouldn’t support him any longer…..but if he did, he was assured of support and a good relationship with his dad.
I kept the pregnancy from my mum, because I wanted to be sure what the direction was before informing her or otherwise.
One evening, we made a decision, and that wasn’t to keep the pregnancy but to abort it….
That suggestion didn’t come from Kwame, it came from me.
I could no longer take the mood swings and tension between us….
I didn’t want to be the reason he couldn’t pursue his dreams of doing his masters abroad….
I even feared that if i insisted that he marries me instead of pursuing his dreams, he was going to hate me for the rest of our lives.
He was indifferent about the decision so I went ahead with it.
The abortion was successful, I came out unharmed.
But deep down i felt scarred, dirty and guilty. I didn’t have the courage to go to church nor go for communion. I cooked up excuses every time my Pastor called.
My conscience haunted me day and night. I couldn’t sleep at night so I resorted to taking anti-depressants to put me to sleep.
I smiled when Kwame was around but I was hurting inside.
Five months later, Kwame left the shores of the Country to pursue his masters in the USA.
He asked me to stay in his house, till he returns.
Before he left, we discussed marriage and he promised to marry me as soon as he returns in two years’ time…
Two years later when Kwame returned, but the story was different….
He needed to get a good job and build a house before he settles down.
His reason? Because he wanted to be on his own and no longer depend on his father’s wealth.
That was some months ago.
Fast tracked to now…
Kwame has a good job, and his dad bought him a house but the wedding has still not happened.
For the four years that we’ve lived together,
I have committed abortion twice….all in the name of love.
I have had to change my lifestyle because of him.
I have made sacrifices just to be with him.
And I am still trying hard to please him because I love him.
In the office, there is this manager who is crazy about me.
His name is Ken.
He’s made known his intentions to me, but I keep telling him I am engaged.
We became close as a result if an inter-departmental project we were working on.
The deadline was almost due, and being the team leaders for the project, we had to stay behind after working hours.
On one particular day, we closed a little after 10 pm.
I called Kwame earlier to inform him I would be home late due to the project and he said it was ok.
I didn’t have a car and so it was Ken who came to drop me. Before alighting from the car, he gave me a friendly hug. I bid him good night and then entered our flat.
I entered the door, with a smile on my face to meet a grimaced Kwame.
He didn’t even allow me to say hello when he attacked me
“Who was the guy you were hugging in the car”
“Ho, that’s Ken a colleague from the office. He’s the one -“
He didn’t allow me to finish.
“Wham.” ….he slapped me.
“He’s the one what? So you are sleeping with him too eh… why would you be hugging your colleague in his car at this time of the night… You think I don’t know he’s got a thing for you and you have been seeing each other secretly behind my back?”
I just kept mute staring at him, as tears streamed down my face.
I was lost. I didn’t know the man standing in front of me. This wasn’t my Kwame. He has never ever lifted a finger at me, so what has come over him….
I sat in the hall crying, while he banged the door and locked himself up in the bedroom.
I sat there in a pensive mood thinking about what happened. I knew that Kwame had a bad temper but not to this extent. This Kwame was a stranger to me.
I slept in the hall in my work clothes.
“There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death”
Proverbs 14:12 (NIV)
The story continues next week.
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By: Priscilla Kuukua Akonor | Facebook: @Sister Sister