It wasn’t love at first sight when I met Agyeman. He looked responsible, mature, and had some level of grace attached to the way he did things. He had this huge sense of humor that will make you pay attention to him no matter what. That day, I wasn’t in the mood to engage with anybody. All I wanted was to do my work and go my way but this man here wasn’t taking a no for an answer. He said, “Becky, I will go up there to meet your boss and come back here again. Please when you see me, give me a smile. It’s not easy climbing up there and back.”
My name Tag had Rebecca on it but he chose to call me Becky as if I was his friend.
The kind of work he was doing with our company ensured that he came to our office every morning and every late afternoon before we close from work. We got acquainted. He offered to drive me home on some days. We became good friends. It was when we started talking about life that I got to realize we had a lot of things in common. He was always frank and straightforward especially when he was talking to me about marriage life.
From the conversations we had, he had been married to his wife for over ten years but the marriage had hit the rocks. Both of them had agreed on a divorce and had been working on it for over a year. He cut a very sad figure anytime he spoke about marriage—his marriage. I didn’t know what to tell him to warm his heart but I did my best to provide him with a listening ear.
We were going home together each day so we grew a lot more closer. Some months later, he told me he had good news; “Our divorce had been finalized so I’m free to go wherever I want.” He said that with a gleeful face so I said, “If that makes you happy, then congratulations.” His mood changed immediately. He was all of a sudden sober and reflective. He said, “I feel so awful that I’m happy about something like this but it gives me freedom and it gives her freedom. She isn’t a bad woman but sometimes, things just don’t work.” I agreed with him and asked him what next. He said, “The house we live in now belongs to her. I agreed to let her have it for the sake of our two kids. I’m working here now and as soon as this contract is over, I’ll look for a new place, pack my things and begin life anew.”
Because he hadn’t gotten a place yet, anytime he went back to Kumasi, he lived in the same house with his ex. It was an agreement they made until the man finds a new place. Every weekend he went back to Kumasi and returned on Mondays. Some weekends too he stayed to complete some works.
It wasn’t too long afterward when he proposed. “You’re a good woman. I like your candor and what you bring out of me. I’m beginning a new life soon and would like to begin with you. Since you are here, it makes things easier. I would just pack from there and come here to settle with you.” Truth be told, I liked him too. His openness to his situation and the acceptance of is fallibility rubbed me in the right places. I said yes to him and started making life plans with him.
He moved from the hotel he was lodging to come and live with me. I didn’t have a big place but we made plans to move out as soon as possible. We were good and love was lovely to us. Each night after work, we’ll stay up all night talking about nothing but everything. He would crack me up and I will laugh till my ribs hurt.
Our relationship suddenly took a very sharp turn. If a car did that turn, it would have probably fallen off the road and somersaulted into a ditch. Literally that’s what happened to me. I got pregnant.
When I told him about the pregnancy, he didn’t act shocked as I was expecting. He said, “What is the best option available to you right now? Are you comfortable giving birth out of wedlock?” It was too early. I didn’t know what to say. My brain was jammed. “Should I or should I not?”
I was thirty-three years old. I wasn’t a young flower. “Soon the harmattan may come and I might wither along. What if that’s the only child I may bear? Out of wedlock’s children don’t look any different from their counterparts, right? Yes, I will have the baby whether married or not. It’s going to be mine to love and care for. The next morning I told him, “I’ve decided to have the baby. I’m not a child to run from decisions like this. I’m ready.” He said, “If you’ve decided to have it, then I can’t say much about it.”
It was my second trimester when he completed the contract he was doing with my company. He stayed around for a while and went back to Kumasi. The assurance was that he was going to tell his ex-wife about me and move finally to settle with me. He was calling me often when he got to Kumasi. He usually did video calls to check how I look and how the baby was blossoming.
I didn’t expect him to stay in Kumasi for over two months. There were other contracts he said he was pursuing. Some days he said the ex-wife was proving difficult after knowing about me and as such didn’t want to allow him to take certain things from the house. New excuses each day but I was getting close to labor and wanted him to be around when that happened. A week to my due date it became difficult reaching him. Some times his lines were off or the calls will go through but he wouldn’t pick. I thought he was busy because he could get really busy some times.
I called one late night and the voice that responded to the call wasn’t what I expected. It was a female voice. She said, “Hello, I’m Agyeman’s wife. He’s currently sleeping but you can leave a message.” Well, he told me he had already spoken to his ex-wife about me so I didn’t have any reason to be scared. I responded, “Kindly tell him I called so he should give me a call back when he wakes up.” She asked, “Who are you?” I said, “If he sees my name, he’ll know.”
Honestly I didn’t mean to be rude but somehow the woman interpreted my response as rude and went all out on me. “See young woman, your name is not saved on this phone and how dare you call a married man late this night and behave rudely like this towards his wife? Don’t you have manners?” I was closer to delivery and my hormones weren’t right. I wasn’t going to entertain a lecture from an ex-wife who didn’t know her place so I also went turbo on her; “Hasn’t he told you about me already? What else do you want to know huh? And why do you still call yourself a wife when the divorce you sought had been granted?”
“Divorce? Who told you about divorce?”
We stood on the phone for close to ten minutes throwing tantrums. It became clear both of us didn’t know what we were talking about. She even suggested I’d called the wrong line but somehow she dropped the line.
Early the next morning, I received a call from an unknown caller. She said, “Young lady, last night was bad for both of us but it’s a new day now, let’s talk about this woman to woman. Who do you say you are and what divorce were you talking about last night?”
The two of us were on the phone for close to two hours until we both broke down and cried.
He lied about everything. The problems with his wife, the divorce, the moving out, everything! The wife said, “You’re the second victim of his lies. Maybe not the second but the second person I know that has suffered this same fate. The first one was two years ago. He got the lady pregnant but the lady discovered the lies very early so she aborted. That was when I wanted to divorce him. Yes, we had problems and the marriage got shaky but I learned to forgive him. I didn’t want close to a decade marriage to be in vain so I stayed.”
I was beside myself with grief that day. I cried like a baby. “How did I believe him so easily without asking questions?”
When he called me later, he sounded apologetic but the question on my lips for him was Why? “Why me? Why did you tell such a lie? Why did you even come into my life in the first place? How could you be this mean?”
He didn’t have answers. All he said was, “I will make it up to you.” I responded, “How do you make up for the wasted life? How do you restore the tears? How do you mend what’s broken? I’m here broken into pieces when all I need is strength to push a baby. I’m wasting my energy on tears that shouldn’t have happened and all you can say is you will make it up to me? If you get close to me again, I’ll murder you and I mean it.”
I stopped picking his calls. When he kept calling, I blocked his line. His wife was kind. She called every day to check If I was doing well. She kept motivating me and told me not to judge myself but keep going. I appreciated her calls so much I started looking forward to them.
Two weeks later, I delivered. Looking at the baby I remembered this poem I read somewhere;
Ten little fingers
And ten little toes.
The sweetest of smiles
And a cute little nose,
All these add up
To the same precious thing—a baby
The greatest of gifts life can bring!
She was beautiful and so innocent. For some minutes I forgot the story surrounding her birth and just drowned myself in loving her. If that was the price I had to pay for believing in such lies, I will have pains but not regrets.
Two days after delivery, his wife called me to congratulate me. Again she motivated and asked me to remain strong. We spoke about other things too. A week after delivery, my mom came to tell me, “You have a visitor.” Guess who came in…It was the man’s wife. She promised she would come and she indeed came to pay me a visit. Before she left, she said, “Don’t be too hard on yourself and don’t allow people’s opinion of what you went through run you down. You’ll be fine. I’m leaving him too. He would now get the divorce he lied about. I deserve better!
Marriage Chronicles: Ladies, always look before you leap. A good player mostly have awesome personality. Don’t fall prey to his sweet games. Thank God his wife became your lifeline and strength. Every encounter in life is mostly for two things: Blessing and Lesson. You have got both from this experience, use them wisely for the next encounter life will bring your way. Good Luck!