Shall we end ‘Perspectives’on the seventh part? Because 7 is the number of perfection right? Or maybe not? Let’s see!
“I hear she’s found some Nigerian doctor bi ooh?”
“She’s probably desperate, because at 42 de3, why won’t she go and find a Nigerian man? She’s too rich, Ghanaian men will run away from her. Did you see her shoes two weeks ago? I saw something similar online – the price was in big dollars ooh”
“Is any of this your business, why are we even discussing this lady?”
Yaa smiled outwardly but inside, she was bewildered! Why were people always up in her business? How did they even find out about Adeola? They’d been on a total of maybe eight dates so far, and most of them were not even exactly dates!
She listened for about fifteen more minutes, and then walked up to the group of 3 having the conversation.
“Ladies, first of all, I’m 39 not 42, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with Nigerian men. Also I’m so glad I have money, cos I can buy the things all those men would’ve promised me, but wouldn’t have been able to buy for me. Oh and those shoes were $1,000 only. Have your husbands bought you such yet?” They looked so mortified. One of them attempted to apologise, but Yaa was already walking away in her lovely form fitting black dress, and beautiful yellow high heels!
Adeola had closed from church a bit earlier, and wanted to know if she felt up for lunch. She knew she was being stupid. He wore a wedding ring. Yet she’d never asked. Never asked if he was married or if it was a fashion ring, or whatever. She knew she’d have to back off once she knew. Her conscience wouldn’t allow her to continue fantasising about a married man. And why hadn’t he ever volunteered the information? She wasn’t crazy about settling down or anything, but she did not want to be in the way of another woman. She did not want another woman suffering because she was being an idiot. She would not be that woman.
You’re being pretty dense, Yaa! A man in a wedding band doesn’t need to be asked if he’s married! He certainly needs not volunteer any information either! He. Is. Married!
She’d had this internal battle for too long, and now she was ready to be sensible. Maybe the church rumour mill had forced some sense into her brain. She was going to ask him, and his answer would determine if she was going to carry on with this. A part of her knew the answer already, and it made her feel terrible!
God you have such a terrible sense of humour,
you know? The one time I find someone I might actually like, he’s
Bruma was carrying his daughter on his legs, playing a game of ‘see-saw’. It was her favourite thing to do besides hide and seek – she’d sit on his legs, below the knees, and he’d bring them up and down, all the while singing “see-saw, up and down.” Sarah walked into the room, irritated about something. Lately, she was almost always irritated about something or another. “Osofo, the head of the Deacons called me, said he tried to reach you but couldn’t.” “Oh my phone is in the room, I’ll call him later… did he say exactly why he was calling for me?” She shrugged, gave him a look and walked away. He’d given up on his marriage now. The only thing that kept him at home lately was the kids. His appetite had plummeted, he’d lost weight, his moods had gotten really terrible, and he’d had to increase his therapy time. He had turned down so many speaking appointments at church, and explained to the Presbytery that he was a bit unwell, and would bounce back with time. At this rate, he didn’t see himself bouncing back soon. The third time he declined speaking at church, Sarah gave him a very insulting speech when they walked into the bedroom after church. “I don’t know why you’re deliberately trying to fail at everything. You’ve failed as a husband, Bruma, and now you want to fail as a pastor too? I don’t understand you sometimes.” He had no words for her. But her words cut him really deeply. He thought about it for weeks. He didn’t know he’d failed as a husband. He’d tried – Lord knows how he tried. Sarah had become something else, and he found himself thinking daily about Nadia. They’d started video calling each other lately. He called her after each therapy session, which was roughly three times a week, and sometimes, he’d drive to the nearest beach and call her from there. He liked that place. It had this weird serenity to it. It wasn’t the cleanest of beaches and maybe that was a good thing because there was never a crowd there – more often than not, there was nobody there.
There was a deserted tree behind the cluster of huts close to the beach. It had barely any leaves, but its branches looked sturdy enough. He’d wondered once or twice if it would be noticed if he got a rope, and ended it all there. Okay, he’d thought about it more than once or twice. He’d had those voices in his head explaining how worthless he was. He’d taken one of the ropes used to make drying lines from their storage unit once. It’d been in his car trunk ever since.
There were times when he felt he was just being stupid. How is one woman making you want to end your life? Would your mother approve of this nonsense?
She’s the reason I’m here in the first place.
Granted I’m a good speaker, a good teacher, but I don’t think I was meant to be a pastor.
God didn’t call you for your happiness, He called you to feed the sheep.
But how can I feed the sheep when I myself am starving? Not just starving, drowning too! Did God call me to unhappiness?
He’d battled with himself for so long! He was getting tired, and he was certainly not winning the battle.
“Mama, what if I hadn’t become a pastor? What if you hadn’t imposed this on me? What if I had gone on to be the bright Architect I wanted to be? What if I married Nadia? What if… What if I actually had a companion I could hang out with and talk to?”
He’d gotten to the point where turning down speaking invitations was really mainly to spite Sarah. There were days when he woke up and planned how he was going to end it. Maybe he would take an overdose of his drugs, and make his way to his tree with the rope… before he got too drowsy of course. He’d planned it over and over again. But he could never bring himself to do it. He knew he had to tell someone about it. His therapist, or Nadia, someone, anyone. Sarah was not an option – she’d probably even have him arrested for attempted suicide – wait no, she wouldn’t. It would give such a bad image of her, and she didn’t want that. Didn’t want the church to know. It made him laugh. He was going to do it, and he knew it had to be sooner or later. What about the kids? And Nady?
Andrea was on cloud nine – to a large extent. She kept telling herself that this had to end at some point but she didn’t know when, and she was definitely going to enjoy it till it did end. The first time she was at his house, he walked her straight into the kitchen where he was cooking an amazing feast! He didn’t even want her to cut onions… “If there’s any Imodium needed at any point, I want to be sure I’m the cause, and not you, he quipped.” Halfway into making his pasta, he spilled some sauce in his t- shirt, and had to take his shirt off the rest of the meal preparation time. She was awestruck! How could he be so beautiful, and so into her, and such a good cook too. That evening had been magical. She felt something she had never felt before. Intimacy with a man who had not made any sexual advances at her – at least not yet then.
He was interested in what she did, and was ready to give an opinion when she wanted one. He didn’t hold back when it came to pampering her. One day it was a spa day, the next it was taking her boys to the park, on another it was just cuddling in the couch because she wanted to.
And the sex! Oh the love-making! She didn’t know if Gyedu had given her low expectations, or if she had put O.J. on a pedestal because he was just an awesome human. But the sex was gooood! Dream-about-it, have-flash-backs, go-into-random-trances-when-you-think-about-it kind of good! He was a very tender person, wanting to be sure that she was having a good time. She was a bit awkward, and it all felt very foreign to her initially; she kept wondering if after that he was going to up and leave. He didn’t. He seemed to really be into her, and she was all for enjoying whatever it was between them, at least until he decided he didn’t want it anymore. If he ever did.
She hadn’t exactly had the full conversation with him on what led to her divorce. He was content with her ‘it didn’t work out, and we spent too long trying to make it work.’ He asked her to tell him whenever she was ready.
So one afternoon, after very toe-curling sessions, in the throes of her passion, she decided she’d have that discussion with him.
For a minute, he thought she was joking. “You left him because he refused to have proper sex with you? What is he gay?” he chortled. That possibility had never crossed her mind, and she’d spent too long analysing why he didn’t even want to try – she wasn’t going to start thinking about that all over again. He laughed for a bit, and then realised she was serious. “Hey, hey, don’t get moody about this, please…”he whispered. “If he had this sexy, beautiful woman for that long, and didn’t want to make love to her like any sensible man would, then that was really his loss. His loss… my gain. You have an amazing body, and frankly, I enjoy making love to you… you’re a selfless lover, and sometimes, at work, on random occasions, I have flashbacks of the times we spend together, especially the time spent under the sheets.” She was staring at him. Wondering if he was only flattering her, or actually meant what he was saying. “You’re special, Andrea. Gyedu was a lucky man for all the years you were married to him. It’s unfortunate he didn’t realise it.”
She had never gotten this reaction from anyone concerning her divorce. Most people thought she was insane. He’s providing for you and your family, he’s not sleeping around, at least you have no proof; he doesn’t beat you, so why are you leaving him?
She had tears in her eyes, remembering how often she wondered if she was doing the right thing. Wondering if she’d actually ever find someone that made her feel the way she thought a husband should make a wife feel. So much for saving herself till marriage, she’d thought.
The next day, he sent her a large bouquet of flowers at work, and a note that read:
“I’m glad I know that I have a gem, and I’m not going to take this for granted. You’re special, Andrea, and you rock my sheets (also my world)!
Wendy had returned to school, and was happy to be back on track. She’d missed so much that it was not likely she’d be able to graduate with her colleagues. But she was happy to be back nonetheless. There was no race. She would graduate eventually, and that’s really all that mattered to her.
She had heard all the rumours about who could be the actual father of her baby. Some thought it was one of the guys she studied with in school. Some were so sure it was some lecturer she must have slept with for grades. Yet others were convinced it was some family friend.
Truth be told, she couldn’t be bothered who said what. The father of her child was inconsequential now. After shirking his responsibilities – and mostly when she needed him the most – she had given their baby up for adoption. It made her happy that she had made a decision to give the baby up to Yaa. She was at peace, and there was really nothing her baby would lack. Maybe a father, but that was alright, she knew amazing people who’d been raised so well by women. And it wasn’t as if her own father had made so much of a difference in her life anyway.
She knew now that she really needed to focus and make it into the kind of place that Yaa was in – emotionally, financially, and even spiritually. They’d had this discussion once. It felt so good to be able to have these conversations with someone. Someone older and more sensible. And yes she’d gotten quite bitter about men and about the church, and all that, but they’d decided that that was a discussion for another day. Not everything would get fixed immediately. She’d figure life out, one step at a time.
She was definitely in a better place now. Although she didn’t see herself ever returning to church – at least not to that church, she could speak to God without asking anymore whys. She could say a quick prayer about something, without chiding herself.
She was in a much better place now.
Akyiaa had gotten really worried about Papa. He didn’t seem interested in anything that concerned her anymore. She called him religiously on every break she had, yet he picked up only a handful of times, claiming he was busy. Half the time, he’d only pick up to say he’d call her back, and then never actually call back.
She had a few of her friends check up on him at work, but it looked as if he was spending less and less time there. He hadn’t said anything about employment elsewhere, and nobody could actually confirm if he was busy at the times when he claimed he was.
She was constantly tired at work, and whenever she was free, she was stressing about her husband.
So now that you’re finally here, do you consider this worth your marriage?
She was gradually losing it, and she was nowhere near her leave. There was no way she could up and leave. She’d called his parents once, but they didn’t seem to know that there was anything wrong.
She sent him an email after one outrageous shift, when she didn’t know what else to do. She was tired, and didn’t know if she had the energy to deal with his childish ways.
I’m getting increasingly worried about you, about us. I don’t know exactly what’s going on anymore. You hardly return my calls, and I know for sure that it’s not because you’re busy. If there’s something you want to say, please say it with your chest, and stop these disappearing acts. We’re both adults, and this is not necessary. Should I be expecting you to visit soon? I mentioned this in the initial letter I wrote to you, but you haven’t said anything about it yet.
I miss you, and I’m worried about you. And I want to have somebody to tell about my day. You’re that somebody for me, Papa. I get so overwhelmed at work, and then I get home to this tiny cold apartment, hoping to speak to you to make it all worth it. I know you were not exactly excited about this move, but I thought we were past this? I want to hear about your day to, and your new employment, as it looks as if you’ve moved from the hospital? Whatever is going on, talk to me Papa.
Please call me when you can.
I miss you!
“I don’t know how it’s taken you this long to ask me this Yaa, I’ve often wondered if maybe it didn’t make any difference to you?” He said with a smirk.
“Just answer the question, Doc.” she tried to be a bit humorous about it, but she was definitely on the brink of tears.
“Technically I’m still married.” She couldn’t hide her disappointment. It felt so weird. This is probably why I’ve never wanted any man, she thought. Their deceit would have given me a heart attack in my twenties!
“What does technically mean?” She asked with a side eye, slowly getting up from her seat. She was ready to leave. She couldn’t have anyone see her cry.
“Please sit down, Yaa, and listen to the whole story?”
I moved to Ghana a couple of years ago… I already mentioned to you that I’m Ghana-trained. So it only seemed sensible to return here. Been married fifteen years. My wife is a doctor too – soon to be ex-wife. I left Nigeria because the separation was very hard on me, and she seemed to be having a very easy time about it. I didn’t want to stay and watch her move on. We didn’t have any kids. I guess that was a good thing? Because how would a bunch of teenagers or middle school kids deal with a divorce like this? The divorce hasn’t gone through yet because I’m yet to sign my part. It sounds stupid and very selfish, but I guess I didn’t want her moving on until I was ready to move on myself? And she’s sent emails, and notices from lawyers, etc. but I wasn’t ready to sign them. Until about six weeks ago, when I met you.
She rolled her eyes and grabbed her purse. This time she was leaving. Such unnecessary fabrications!
I think the fact that you were unmarried and adopting a baby was what made me notice you in the first place? And no that’s not because you’re not beautiful, because you really are – but then again there are so many Ghanaian women who are too, and so many of them who have moved to me since I moved here.
Many of them couldn’t be bothered wheter I was married or not. I figured it wasn’t a big deal for you?
Yaa walked away without another word.
I’ve made it so many years without men, how did I stupidly fall into this? She refused to be hurt – as if she could command it away. She went straight to bed, and stayed there. The nanny she’d hired must have noticed she didn’t want to talk. She moved out of her way, and didn’t say a word.
“Dear God, you really really make me wonder sometimes. And no I will not cry!”
There’s something I need to tell you. Something I can’t say over the phone on our video calls, because I don’t know if I’ll be able to bear the pain that’ll be in your eyes. Or maybe because I wonder if it would really make a difference to you.
For a couple of weeks now, I’ve been wanting to end everything. I’m not saying this so you feel sorry for me, or anything of the sort. I’m letting you know that you, and the kids, have been that thread of good reason, holding me. I’m grateful. There’s this dream I keep having. You know that thing we do just when we start swim class? Where we go underwater to learn breath control, and see how many seconds we can do that? In the dream, I’m underwater, and I’ve counted and counted, and counted, and I’m out of breath, yet I’m unable to come up! When I first had it I thought it was an indication that somehow God was calling me. I know it sounds stupid, but the first thought that occurred to me was, I can do this – make it easier for Him!
I’ve made a mess of my life, Nadia… a series of decisions I made, and now I don’t even know if I’m going to be able to live out the consequences. I don’t know what else to say, Nadia, other than I’m drowning.
Pain may not be permanent, like you keep saying, but tonight, this pain is drowning me.
I love you Nadia. I always have, always will, no matter what.