They were three guys when I met them. Martin, Joe and Laka. It was Martin who called and talked to me. They were new in town and were looking for friends. I agreed to be friends with them. All of them became my friends and since they were living in the same house, I went there on weekends to help them. They were kind to me. They bought gifts for me when they returned from their travels. They gave me money when I needed it and even extended that help to my parents.
Martin was the one who called me so whenever I went to their house, he was the one who took me in and invited the others to come around. Even before Martin would propose, these two friends started calling me our wife. “Our wife, are you going to sleep here today?” “Our wife, what are you cooking for us?” “Our wife…” until eventually Martin proposed to me.
We’d been friends for over six months so I could beat my chest and say I knew him. It was always about me and I was the one his friends approved so I felt safe. I felt protected. I didn’t take much time before saying yes to his proposal.
I started spending nights with him and he was always considerate. On weekends when they were travelling, they would all hand over their keys to me and ask me to keep their place safe until they return.
One day, Martin came to visit me and saw my parents. We had dated for over a year. My mom cornered him and asked, “When are you coming home officially to ask for my daughter’s hand in marriage?” I interrupted. I didn’t want him to answer. I screamed, “But mom, are you the one to ask this question?”
Martin didn’t mind. He answered anyway; “I’ve been thinking about it lately. She’s a good woman and I won’t think twice about marrying her but I’m waiting for a few months. You’ll hear from me.”
I didn’t want him to answer but once I heard what he said, my heart thawed. While my mom was nodding her head, I was screaming in my head, hoping my mom would hear my question and put it to him, “Ask him how many months? Four? Five? Six? Ask him for me.”
Obviously, Mom didn’t hear me so she left him off the hook. Knowing he had such good intentions about me made me avail myself to his wishes and dreams. The day we were supposed to travel to his hometown to meet his parents, something happened so we postponed. I’ve forgotten what happened but it was so important we had to postpone. It happened thrice or more until he told me, “The first Saturday of next month, both my dad and mom would be available. Noting is going to stop us now so get ready.”
A week before that Saturday, he was travelling home when he had an accident. I called his phone all day but no one picked up until later in the evening a man picked up the phone and told me, “The owner of this phone had an accident. We took them to the hospital.”
Just before I was able to ask questions, the phone went dead. I called again and again but the phone was off. I took it as a joke. Maybe someone stole the phone and was saying something just to stop me from calling. The next morning, his friend Joe called me. He asked, “Have you heard the news? Martin had an accident and he’s in critical condition according to his family.”
My heart sank. Tears started welling in my eyes. I screamed, “Where did the accident happen? So where can I see him? When are you coming so we go to the hospital together to see him?”
A week later, I hadn’t seen him. His friends kept giving me assurances that once the family permits, they would take me there. I felt they were dragging the issue so I started looking for other people who could lead me there. I went to Martin’s office. I spoke to one gentleman there who already knew me very well. He gave me all the information I needed to visit the hospital where he was being kept.
One Saturday morning, I dressed up, picked up my bag and started the journey. It was a three-hour journey but I was there in time. I followed the instructions the guy in his office gave me. The nurses I met were very kind. They led me to the ward and what I saw broke me into pieces.
He had strange machines around him that beeped a very sad tone and from the way he had been bandaged from hair to toe, it looked like he was in a very critical condition. His eyes were open but he couldn’t speak. Once he saw my face, his eyes lit up. I knelt next to his bed, trying to ask questions; “Martin are you OK? Why do you have to do this to me? You know you’re all I have. Please get better soon ok? I need you back. Without you, it;’s not the same.”
I was crying. I saw tears well up in his eyes too. He was trying hard to say something but words weren’t coming. Soon, a woman who looked old enough to be his mother entered. She asked if I was his working colleague. I nodded, waiting to know who she was before I gave her my true identity. She told me, “He’s getting better. If you came here a week ago, you would have been scared. God being so good, his eyes are opened and he can do a sign or two.”
I thanked God with her before asking if she was the mother. She answered, “His parents left yesterday so I’m now in charge of him. I’m the mother of his wife.”
I jolted out of my grief. I asked again as if I didn’t hear her the first time. “That means you’re his mother-in-law?” She responded innocently with a wide grin on her face. “Yeah, I’m the in-law. If you wait for a while, you’ll meet his wife and children.”
My knee started shaking. My heart beat like a stereo on the highest volume. I looked at his wrapped body on the bed and this time his eyes were closed. I told the woman, “I wish I would be here when they come.” I was looking at his face while I said that. His eyes came out of the closed lid and immediately he saw me looking at him, he closed his eyes again.
My heart was breaking but I figured my presence wasn’t helping his health so I asked for permission and left the ward. Immediately I stepped out, I saw Joe coming in with a lady I’d not met before. He said, “Why didn’t you tell me you were coming? We would have come together.” I didn’t say a word but the eye I gave him was enough for him to see that all was not well. I walked past him and left the hospital in one piece before I exploded.
In the car back home, I cried. When I got home, I cried and shook in my bed as though I had contracted malaria. Heartbreak can make you feel like you’re going to die tomorrow. I didn’t tell my mom the truth. When she asked how he was, I lied; “He was ok. He might get well soon.”
When his friends returned, I went to see them. I said, “Just imagine I was your sister. Would you have treated me this way? I wasn’t bad to any of you. You could have given me a clue. I thought you loved me.”
They were both mute. It was Joe who muttered something that sounded like, “I’m sorry but I didn’t know how to tell you.” By that time I was leaving their house so I didn’t pay attention. In the evening Joe came to my house with a very long explanation. In the end, he said, “Let’s pray for him to get well. He would be the best person to explain things to you.”
I don’t know what came over me but my answer was, “He won’t get well. Even if he comes back well, I will curse him with death for how he treated me and I mean it.”
I didn’t mean any of those words. It was my heartbreak talking but I was glad I could let him in on how I was feeling. He started pleading on his friend’s behalf. “Maybe he had a reason. Let’s give him the benefit of the doubt.” I told him, “Be grateful I didn’t add you to the curse. You’re all guilty.”
My mom was on my neck to take her to see him. I kept postponing until one day I told her the truth. She screamed, “Ah! Why did he do that? He’s married and was giving me assurances to marry you? What kind of devil’s agenda is that?”
I could see she was very disappointed but she told me not to worry or curse him or plan anything bad against him. She said, “He’s already in pain. Let’s pray for him to get better. If he dies, he won’t feel the guilt and the burden of what he did to you.”
He was in the hospital for close to two months. I was thinking about him throughout. One day, I decided to get closure and move on. I went to the hospital. He was still not talking but he could make signs in the air to tell what he needed. His wife and kids were there when I entered. Immediately he saw me, he closed his eyes. I wasn’t good for his health, I remembered that but I had things to tell him so I waited until his wife and kids were out of earshot. I told him, “I wanted to hate you for lying to me but you’re already dealing with a lot. I forgive you. When you get well and want to talk, I will be available. Anyway, you have a beautiful wife and kids.”
His eyes were closed but I could see tears escaping from the sides of his eyes. I said my goodbye and left. When I stepped out of the hospital, I breathed out heavily and all of a sudden, I felt like a heavy weight had been lifted off my chest. I looked up the sky and said, “Time to try again.”
It took him several months to be able to get back to something that looked like normal. He didn’t come back to the town again but I was there when his family came to move his things out of his room. His wife was there. I mentioned my name to her and said, “Tell him you saw me. I send my regards.”
I don’t know whether she told him or not. It doesn’t matter anymore. There’s time for a heartbreak so there’s definitely going to be a time to heal what was broken. I had my time and I took advantage of it. Today, I share this story with a free heart as if I weren’t the girl who was shattered at the hospital ward that day. All is well in life and in love.