I’m a banker. I met him through banking. He had issues with the bank twice and he was directed to me. I managed to get his issues resolved and through that we built a working relationship that later became some sort of personal relationship. We went on a date twice—once on his birthday and the second one was on my birthday. Our birthdays are just a week apart. One day he called to ask what we were doing. I didn’t understand the question. He explained, “I mean what are we now? We’ve known each other for a while now and I think I’m developing some feelings for you.” I asked, “You think? It means you are not sure?” He answered, “Definitely I’m sure Don’t mind my words and what they mean. Look at my actions around you and give meaning to them instead.”
I saw it coming and I was preparing my mind and heart for what to say if he finally proposes. I liked him but did I love him? That was the answer I wasn’t sure about. It was mixed feelings. He was a forty-year-old doctor. The question that plagued my mind was, “He’s forty years and he doesn’t have a girlfriend? Or he just wants to play around with my feelings while enjoying his relationship with whoever is in his life? But I gave him a chance to explain. I asked him, “What happened to your last girlfriend? Why did you leave her? What happened?”
He had a girlfriend he loved to marry. The lady was a teacher in one of the reputable high schools in Ghana. They dated for three years before his parents decided to come between them. They didn’t like her background and her profession. They didn’t like a bunch of other stuff that was happening in the lady’s life. So they frustrated him until he let go. There was some sort of regret in his voice when he narrated the story to me. I asked him, “Do you miss her sometimes? When was the last time you two spoke?” He answered, “Naaa I don’t miss her. We haven’t spoken for two years now. I don’t even know where she is.” “And you let her go that easily because your parents didn’t like her?” I asked. He said, “I didn’t. It was her who gave up. I stood by her and fought for months but she said she couldn’t come between me and my parents. She let go of us.”
I took my time to study him. I went to his place on several occasions, trying to pick a hint of another woman’s presence in his life. I went there unannounced. I spent nights there when he didn’t know that I was coming to spend the night there. Finally, I said yes to his proposal. I said yes with a certain level of fear lingering in my mind. He left his ex because of his parents. I wanted to know the kind of parents he had and what exactly his parents want. He told me, “Maybe they didn’t like the fact that she was a teacher. You’re a banker. You have experience in the world of finance, which is their utmost interest.” I got the hint that he was trying to get me just to satisfy the need of his parents and not necessarily because he loved me.
I raised that point too. “Are you doing this for your parents? Just be honest with me.” He screamed, “Hell no! After the issues with my ex, I didn’t want to rush into something that wouldn’t last. I think I got my parents’ point to a certain extent. They want someone who has certain characteristics but that someone should be someone I love. I found you. I love you. And I know they will love you too. No need to fret.”
So I gave my all to him and decided to embark on this love journey with him. He doesn’t like to talk a lot. He’s busy most of the time. I could be with him and he would be on his laptop working. Those are the only negatives about him but I don’t take it in because it comes with the territory he’s in. Apart from that, he’s an awesome man. He doesn’t look at me. He looks through me and sees what I need before I even think about it. I’m transparent before his eyes. I guess he looks at me and sees my interiors. He sees the beating of my heart at the corner of my chest. He looks at my intestines and says, “Hey those are not well arranged. They are coiled inward instead of outward.” Sometimes, I want to approach him with a blanket covering my whole body because I want to hide sometimes.
He met my mother when my mother was sick. I was worried but I didn’t want to bring him into my personal issues. That day when he saw me he said, “You look worried. What’s the matter with you?” I laughed, trying to hide what was already written on my face. I said, “I’m fine. I’m very fine.” He said, “If you have to tell me you’re fine before I know that you’re fine then you’re not fine. Tell me. A call came from the house?” I asked, “Who have you been talking to about me? I do like the way you predict me. Am I that translucent?”
So I took him home to meet my mother. She was freshly discharged from the hospital but she wasn’t feeling well. He held her pulse. Did some physical checks and prescribed drugs for her. I didn’t tell my mom anything because she wasn’t in a good state to receive good news.
The love I had for him kept blooming each day but I couldn’t get the issues of his parents out of my head. I asked him, “When am I meeting your parents? He said, “Next month we’ll go home. I’ve told them about you already and they are willing to receive us.”
The following month we traveled to meet his parents. Immediately I entered the house of his parents I asked him, “Are they royals?” He said, “No, they are ordinary people.” What I saw wasn’t for ordinary people. Big house with people running around in service to his parents. A large beautiful hall fit for kings and royals who have carved their names in history. Everything around the compound had a royal touch to it. I said in my head, “You should have told me, you silly boy. How do you allow me to walk into this without knowing?”
The introduction went like this…
“Dad, this is Michelle. The lady I’ve been telling you about.”
Dad: “Oh ok, the young lady you’re welcome.”
Before I could finish saying thank you, he had already left our presence to attend to something I felt was more important than my presence. Her mother was colder. She looked at me for a split second and said, “Is that the lady?” My boyfriend responded, “Yeah, she’s the one.” She said, “Hmmm?” And then went away. I started feeling uneasy. He kept assuring me that everything would be fine once we settle. “They are expecting some visitors so their minds are all over the place. Everything would be fine. Just relax.”
I stayed in his room until the evening when dinner was ready. The village girl in me was expecting to eat the food in my boyfriend’s room but he said, “No it’s not done like that. We all gather at the table and eat like one big family.”
I joined them at the table when the food was ready. The dining table was so huge it made me feel so small. To make matters worse, my boyfriend went to sit next to his father while I was sandwiched between his mother and his junior sister. Before I could put food in my mouth his junior sister held my hand and said, “Hold it this way. Yeah, now you’re good to go.” She was teaching me how to hold the cutlery. She was so loud about it everyone turned to look at me. It wasn’t my first time using cutlery to eat. There’s a way I hold it that makes me feel comfortable. They didn’t want it that way. How they wanted me to hold it was new to me so I started fumbling. I will pick the food and it will fall. The mother and sister will laugh and make me feel like a clown.
I stopped eating and picked the glass to drink some juice. Before the glass got to my lips, his mother said, “Stem between thumb…” I stopped and looked at her. She repeated the phrase, held my fingers, and showed me how they hold wine glasses. I looked at the face of my boyfriend and he had this subtle laughter on his face. It got me angry. Like he was pleased with the way his family was treating me. His father was very quiet. Once a while he’ll look at me while chewing slowly as the king will chew.
I didn’t enjoy the meal but I couldn’t get up and go because that’s not done in their house. They all wait until the last person is done before they all get up. I stopped eating. I felt out of place. Like a fish in a cup of water. I didn’t belong. After meals when we went inside I told him how they made me feel. The intention was to spend the weekend but I was ready to leave the house the following day. He said it wasn’t proper. He said I will send the wrong signal to his parents.
On Saturday evening he told me to dress up because they were attending another family member’s birthday party or something of that sort. I said I wouldn’t go. “I don’t want a repeat of what happened last night. Let me stay behind. Go and come, I will be here.” He said his parents will ask questions. I have to blend for them to like me. So I dressed up, stepped out to go with them. I was standing with him when his mother came out. She looked at me and signaled to her son. He went to her. While she was whispering something into his ears, his sister came to stand next to me and ask, “Are you sure you’re going with us?” I asked why and she said, “Because of how you are dressed.” When my boyfriend came back from his mother he told me, “Maybe you should wait for us. We’ll come very soon. The whole house is for you.”
I got broken. It was the last straw for me but I said no word. I just went in, took off my clothes, and tried sleeping. My thoughts were all over the place; “When he comes, I will tell him I can’t continue with the relationship. It’s better alone than to be here and get swallowed.” I thought about all the possibilities and all there’s to do. The conclusion was to leave their premises before they killed the little confidence I had left.
They came back around 11pm. I told him, “I will leave tomorrow morning. I don’t want to be here.” He said, “I know you’re hurt. I know you have questions but be patient.” I said, “There’s no patience left in me. I only have to leave. It’s hard living where you’re not wanted. Let me go. Call me when you come back.”
Early morning, I dressed up, said goodbye to him. He took me to his parents and I said bye-bye to them too. The father didn’t even lift his head to look at me. His mother said Ok. I left.
He came back on Monday morning. He called. I told him I couldn’t continue. He told me I was overreacting. “Dear, I’m not overreacting. What happened there was just the beginning of things. It may get worse. Now, I understand why your ex couldn’t stay. Just let me be.” He came over, trying to make me see the sense in what happened. He said, “You have to convince them that you’re better than they think. That’s all.” I told him, “I only came to love you. I didn’t come to do an audition for your family. Let it end here.”
He still wants me. he has tried in several ways to get me to get back with him but I don’t see how I’m going to crack through the defenses of his parents. Some days I want to give it one more try but the task looks daunting. Even the bravest of hearts will give up in the face of such grand embarrassment. He continues to pursue while I continue to drift away.
Source: Silent Beads