Let’s call her Rose. Rose because I can’t think of any better fake name that describes how beautiful she is than a rose. She’s intelligent and well brought up. I trusted her from day one because of the hard times she took me through before saying yes to my proposal. When she finally said yes to me, I knew where our future was going to be. We were going to get married, have our own small family—myself and herself with our two kids; a boy and a girl.
I introduced her to my parent immediately and she also did same. Our affair became known to both side of the family and we decided not waste much time before getting married.
I was working as a sales officer for one of the international distribution companies. My career growth in that company had stalled. I’ve worked for them for almost five years and within those five years, I had not had any chance of being promoted or being trained for a bigger responsibility. I decided to leave and look for better opportunities. I didn’t leave immediately. I found a new job before I tended in my resignation.
Unfortunately for me, there was a power struggle at my new job. The day I reported to work, I was told to hold on for a while till those issues were resolved before I could start working. Apparently, the manager who endorsed my appointment had been fired and the new manager didn’t think my service was needed.
Now I was left hanging. I couldn’t go back to my former place and I couldn’t go forward too. I told Rose and she was sympathetic. She told me; “These things happen for a reason. Let’s trust the Lord for a miracle.” So I trusted. Hoping. Praying that things would happen for my good.
Four months later, I was still home. No salary for four months and the new place kept telling me to hold on until further notice. Further notice took me through nine months without a job and a consistent income. By this time I’d started looking for a new job but nothing turned up.
It was in this term of trouble that Rose came around seeking answers to when we were going to marry. I told her, “Marriage between us has never been in doubt. Wait let’s sort my job situation out and the next thing will be us getting married.” Mostly she nods, indicating acceptance to my explanation. Some days, she gets angry telling me, “It’s always about you and your job. What about me?”
I understood her. What about her? I was in a hurry looking for anything to do to save some money. I did little things. Little things only bring little money and that wasn’t enough to do anything. Soon it has been a year and four months since I’d been home without a job. That was when I knew I was losing Rose.
She hardly called or returned my missed calls. She hardly texted back and she hardly came visiting. She stopped inquiring about my job situation. Everything went cold between us but I didn’t give up. I knew I had to find a job and all things would be settled.
I called her one morning, just like I always did, and she didn’t pick just like she always did. Later in the afternoon, I called her again and she didn’t pick. I called in the evening. I called in the night before I slept, she didn’t pick any of the calls. I was angry. Very angry. I didn’t think I deserve that from anyone, let alone from a woman I’m planning to marry.
The next day I went to see her in her house. I must admit, I acted angrily and somehow said things I wouldn’t have said on hindsight but how was I supposed to act?
That night she sent me a message; “this isn’t working. We need a timeout to think about this relationship. I know you want this to work. I don’t want to lose you too. Let’s begin assessing our priorities and know what we want.”
I agreed. I needed that timeout to also sort myself out with job, life, and relationship. We agreed after two months, we would come together and decide whether we wanted to go on or not.
One month later, Rose had her white wedding in a church and the man she got married to wasn’t me. That has been the forever shock of my life. The mystery of the whole thing was how she was able to plan a wedding that I was not able to get a hint of. All in a month!
I cried. The pain got me paralyzed. I was totally broken. I wanted to pretend it didn’t hurt but it hurt me to the core. I wanted to be a man and walk around with boldface but I couldn’t. Frailties of the incident were evident on my face everywhere I went.
Months after her wedding, we met at a mutual friend’s wedding. She confessed to me that she wasn’t sure how and when I was going to marry her, most especially when I didn’t have a job and when I didn’t know how I was going to get a job. So when her ex in the UK proposed, she accepted and got married to him instead. I asked her; “So why didn’t you ask for a breakup?” She answered, “I didn’t know how to tell you.”
I was disappointed, not in her but in myself. I wasn’t a man enough to hold down a woman’s trust. I moved on from that day.
I got a job later in a different company and got married two years afterward. I live with my wife and two kids—a boy and a girl just as I dreamed.
The husband of Rose went back to the UK after the wedding and never returned. She still wears her ring after six years of marriage. After six years of marriage, she had never laid next to the man she professed love to for better and for worse. I don’t know if she’s happy but I can imagine her happy because that’s the only reason she would still wear her ring.
(SILENTBEADS) Story by Kobby Andoh, Sunyani-Ghana.