When Eric started getting closer to me, I was dating George. I saw his every move and knew that he wanted to date me. I already had George. There was no way I was going to leave George for him but I liked him enough so I kept him as a friend. He never proposed to me. He gave clues but whenever he has to say something about his feeling for me, he made a joke out of it. He’ll say something like, “George is lucky he met you before me. Other than that he would have been in the position I find myself in now.”
That was him talking about his feelings for me. He said it amidst laughter so you wouldn’t know it was serious. He lived closer to my place. He had a huge sense of humor so I always went to his place whenever I was feeling down and needed a good laugh to cure whatever I was going through. Soon, I was telling him about the issues I was going through in life. I told him about the struggles of my job and the fights I had with my boss. He will tell me, “Linda, you have to be patient with these people. You can be right but they won’t let you be right because they are in authority. Just leave them and do your job. You won’t be there forever.”
He has depth and empathy so I gravitated toward him often. That’s why I started telling him about the problems I was facing in my relationship with George. I felt it wasn’t right but he was the only one who could listen to me without judging me. He’ll give me a lot of space to say everything without interruption and then ask, “Are you done? Can I talk now?” When I say yes, he’ll go ahead to give me the best advice. So when I suspected George was cheating on me I told him about it. He said, “You can’t operate on mere suspicion. Until you have evidence to support your claim, it’s just hearsay.”
When I finally got the evidence that George was indeed cheating on me I told him about it. He asked me, ”So what are you going to do?” I answered, “I don’t know. He has asked me to forgive him. It’s his first time so I don’t know.” He said, “Don’t decide now. It’s ok you don’t know. Matters of the heart are like that. You always don’t know until you know. Take your time. Assess the situation very well before you make a decision. Don’t rush out of it and regret it later.”
I didn’t leave George. I stayed. When I told Eric that I was going to give him another chance, he didn’t judge me. He only encouraged me to do what made my heart happy. Months later, I got pregnant. George was responsible for the pregnancy. I told him about it and he didn’t want to have it. I got crushed. “Why will you not have a baby? Are we not old enough? You are working and I’m working. What stops us from getting a baby?” He put it simply as this, “You can’t have a baby when you haven’t prepared for it. This happened by accident. We should let this one go until we are ready. Yes, I’m working but what I do now can’t cater for a baby.”
I needed someone to talk to. I needed another person’s opinion on what to do. I wanted to keep it but it takes two to have a baby. How can I keep what the other partner isn’t ready to keep? In my moment of misery and confusion, I sought the opinions of Eric. Of course, he was the only one I could speak to on issues like this. “Eric, there’s a baby coming. I’m pregnant but George doesn’t want the pregnancy. He’s not ready to be a father. I’m not ready too but I feel I will be ready by the time the baby arrives. Should I keep it? Should I listen to George and let it go?”
He said, “This is hard. Honestly, I can’t decide for you but look deep within you and ask yourself this question, “In the future when George abandons the baby for me, can I take care of it until it grows up? How much of my future would be affected by this decision?” When you get the answer and it’s suitable for you, then keep it. Don’t allow him to force you to throw it away when you want to keep it.”
I spent days thinking about it. Some days I told myself, “Yes, I will keep it.” Other days, I told myself, “No, that would be too hard to do all by myself.” George kept piling pressure on me to get rid of it. He wouldn’t even give me space to think about it so one morning, I got up from bed and went straight to the hospital. I came back home without the baby. End of discussion.
After that episode, I lost everything I had for George. All the love I had for him was gone. I felt he didn’t have the progress of our relationship at heart. “If he did, then why would he ask me to do such a thing?” Slowly, I killed whatever was left in me for him. I told him, “We can’t continue living together and pretend what you made me do doesn’t hurt me. It means so much to my conscience. I think about it every day. A piece of me is dead and will never come back to life again. I don’t think I will ever love you again because loving you is useless and a waste of my time.”
He tried to make me believe that we did the right thing. He tried to push himself back into my life but I kept pulling away until he accepted his fate. He left me alone. The relationship ended.
All the while I was crying for my loss, I was crying on the shoulders of Eric. He’ll come to my house and stay with me all evening, telling me not to kill myself. “It’s not the end of the world. It’s just a blip. You’ll be fine.” He was right. Months later, I was fine. I had moved on from everything. I was no longer thinking about George and what he made me do. I was no longer thinking about my loss. Eric was still there for me. He still wanted a relationship with me and he had come out to say it on several occasions, even when I was not totally healed. I brushed him aside. I told him, “Dating you will destroy everything we’ve built over the years. Who will I turn to when things go bad in my life? Can you listen to my problems without being biased? Without judging?”
It didn’t stop him. He kept pushing and pushing until one day I told him, “It’s ok. Let’s give it a try.”
The relationship didn’t start from a place of love. It started from a solid place of friendship and care. Though I didn’t expect so much from it from the beginning, it kept growing leaps and bounds until I had no option but to fall deeper into it. By the time we were celebrating our first anniversary together, we had started talking about marriage. We knew what we had to do to get there in a year’s time. He was clear when he said, “Next year by this time we should be married.” I was clear when I said, “Next year by this time, I will be your wife.” We started working toward marriage with all the energy we could muster.
The year came and we were not married. He had stopped talking about marriage and was behaving like he wasn’t the one who made that promise. I started asking questions; “Eric, what’s happening? We are in the year we promised to get married. I’m not worried that we are not married. I’m worried that you’ve stopped discussing it. Whenever I bring it up, you find a way of batting it off the table. Have you changed your mind? Have you decided I’m not the woman for you? Tell me what’s on your mind.”
After pushing him for a very long time, he finally opened up; “I’m afraid. Is there a way you can assure me that you’re capable of having a child? I’m asking this question because of what you and George did. It haunts me. It keeps coming to me and I think it’s an issue we have to address.” I didn’t know the response to give him. Honestly, I was shocked. “How could he think of something like that?” I told him, “We can see a specialist together. I went through a safe procedure to get rid of it. It won’t affect me in any way but if you doubt it, let’s see a specialist.”
We did. I was fine. He was with me when the specialist told us that we shouldn’t have any fear because everything was fine. We got home and he started talking about something different. He said., “You can be fine according to the specialist assessment but what if God Gave you only one child? That’s also another question.” At this point, I was getting angry. I told him, “Eric, I’m not forcing you to marry me. If you can’t, just don’t waste my time with those excuses. What do you want me to do? Take you to God and ask him if I will be able to give birth?”
One day he told me that he has a solution. “Get pregnant before we get married. That way, I will be assured that all is well.”
I was three months pregnant when we were getting married. Those with eyes saw it. Those with big mouths went around spreading rumors. It didn’t bother me. We got married and began a journey that has lasted for over seven years now. That pregnancy I carried while getting married gave us twins. A boy and a girl. Two years later, I gave birth to a girl. Two years after the girl, We gave birth to another set of twins. In all, we have five children. He said, “We are done. Five is ok.”
We didn’t do anything to prevent another pregnancy. It’s the reason I’m currently pregnant. I found out a week ago and I told him about it. He said, “No we can’t have another.” I said, “What do you mean by we can’t have another? It’s already in there.” He answered, “No, we have to do something about it. We can’t have a sixth child. Knowing what you can do, it can also be another set of twins. No, we can’t do that.”
He’s asking me to do what I did that nearly cost me a marriage. I’m not ready but he’s bent on not having it. Currently, he doesn’t talk to me. When we sleep, he doesn’t want my skin to touch his skin. He wants me to get rid of it by all means but to me, once it’s inside there, it has to come out.
How long can he stay angry? How long can he divide the bed into two with pillows so my skin doesn’t touch his skin? Whether he likes it or not, our sixth is on the way coming. I’ve even started praying for twins so we can have seven of them. He said he wants kids, why is he running away now?