When I met George, there was nothing about him to warn me that he was a married man—no ring on the finger and he lived his life like a bachelor. When he proposed to me, I had a feeling he had a girlfriend but I still thought of giving it a try. I said yes and that began our rollercoaster affair.
He was there for me a lot of times and when he couldn’t, he usually pre-informed me.
I realized something wasn’t right. That was about five months into the affair. Anytime he was with me, there was this one particular number that called. And immediately that call comes, he would usually hasten whatever we were doing so he could rush home. I asked him severally but he denied my suspicion until one night…
He was sleeping when the number called. I picked the phone and went into the washroom to answer it. Immediately I pressed ‘answer’, the voice on the other side, a female voice, said; “It’s almost 11 pm and every responsible married man had returned to his family but husbands like you, without shame would spend the best of the night with their mistresses before going home.”
I couldn’t say a word, I was terrified so I cut off the call…”George is a married man?”
I cut the line and went back to where he was sleeping. “George, you are a married man?” I asked him. He looked up to my face, bewildered, he answered, “How are you able to draw such flimsy conclusion? What have you seen or heard?” I handed his phone back to him and said, “Your wife called…she wants you back home.”
He panicked when I mentioned that his wife called. He immediately checked his call list, realizing I wasn’t joking, he asked, “What did she say?” I didn’t answer that. He kept repeating the question and I still kept mute. Then he said, “It’s too bad to find out this way. I was meaning to tell you but couldn’t muster the courage to do so..”
“So you are married?”
“Yes, I’m married but the marriage is almost ruined”
“Why didn’t you tell me this from the beginning?”
“I simply couldn’t because I didn’t want you to say no to me…”
I started sorbing. I’d been calm through it all but my heart was on fire. I didn’t want to lose George and knowing he was married was indeed a heartbreaking news for me.
He left that night and I told him never to return. Of course, he did return. He came back with the aim of making me understand the whole issues surrounding his marriage and why he thought I’m the best woman for him and how he was going to get a divorce soon so we could marry.
I knew he was lying but the woman in me was convinced to give it a try. “Yeah, he’s married but he’s treated me better than all the single guys I’ve ever met.” I consoled myself. So we started again from where we left off.
Life between us was normal. Though I didn’t ask him about how far his divorce with his wife was going, he thought it wise to give me updates. One day he would tell me, “I’ve told my parents about my intention of leaving my wife.” The next day, he would say, “My wife brought a delegation from her family to plead with me not to divorce her.” On and on he kept talking and explaining himself.
Then one morning he sent me a message; “My wife is getting mad. She has taken your number from my phone to call you. Don’t pick when she calls.” I responded, “She knows about me? How come?”
He didn’t respond but I knew I wasn’t going to pick her calls. For a whole week, the woman kept calling me but I didn’t pick. She sent messages but I deleted them without reading. I didn’t want to hear what she has to say. Also, maybe what she had to say would hurt so bad that I would retaliate. To avoid any altercation, I decided not to talk to her or listen to her.
After George sent me that message in the morning, I never heard from him again for a whole week. He wasn’t answering my calls or responding to my messages. I got scared and thought the wife had done something awful to him. I kept calling and sending him messages but no answer came through.
I went to see him in his office but I was told he wasn’t around. I got a hint from the look of things that he was there but only avoiding me. That was when I got the message; he didn’t want to to see me again.
He wasn’t picking my calls but his wife kept calling me every day and I wasn’t picking too.
A call came through one dawn around 4:27 am. It was the wife of George. I watched the phone screen as it kept ringing and ringing. I wanted to pick but I was scared to listen to her. I picked up the call just as it was about to end…
“Good morning young woman,” the voice said. Before I could say a word, she continued;
“I didn’t give up calling because I knew someday you’ll answer my call. I’m George’s wife and I know you know that already. I know who you are to him but trust me, I have nothing against you. He lied to you just as he’s been lying to me ever since we got married. You’re new, don’t leave your life in the hands of someone like George. He’s selfish. He cares only about what he gets and not what he can give. Guess what, I’ve said this to four other women George is involved with. I don’t know if they’ll listen to me but if you would, you’ll save your life in the end.”
I was dumbfounded…I didn’t know what to say. All I could do was sob and say “Yes mom” to everything that she said. After she’d finished talking, I started explaining myself because I thought I owe her that much. But she said, “Don’t worry dear, you need not explain anything. I’m leaving him very soon but don’t be his next victim.”
I couldn’t hold myself when she finally hung up. I cried and cried and cried. I started hitting myself in rage, “How could I do such a thing to a woman this kind?” I should have walked away when I got the chance but no, I was so selfish and heartless.
Gradually I put the pieces back together but I never forgot what the woman told me, “You’re new, don’t leave your life in the hands of someone like George.” But who or what is “someone like George?”
Everything that is not good for me is called George. I’ve learned to take my life back from everything and everyone that holds me back. That old me died long ago and I’m now a woman running away from all ‘Georges,’ all because of one woman who forgave my wrongs and rescued me with her kind words.
-Firyari, Kisumu, Kenya