I reread the message over and over again, especially the “He’s not the man you think he is” part. What could it be and why would Eric try to hide something from me?” I thought to myself.
Eric didn’t just happen in my life. He was someone I took my time before saying yes to him. I’d known him three years prior and we’ve been dating for three years before finally deciding to marry. In all, I’ve known him for six years, so what could this be?
At first, I wanted to tell Eric about it but then I decided to listen to this stranger first. So I responded; “What do you have to show me and where can I see what is it you want to show me?” The person responded; “Choose a place and I will meet you. You can even come with him and I wouldn’t mind.”
I was getting scared. I wished I could simply ignore and move on with my life but not knowing what this person had to show me would have haunted me for the rest of my life. So I called the number the next morning. A lady picked. Her voice was serene and welcoming. We spoke a lot and agreed to meet in town that evening. I asked her for gist but she humbly declined.
5 pm was the meeting time. I got there a little bit late. I called and she directed me to where she was seated. I found her with another lady who had a baby strapped to her chest. She offered me a seat and ordered a bottle of water for me.
She asked, “How’s Eric? I thought you were going to come with him?” I answered, I thought of that but I also thought I had to get the details first before involving him.”
She went straight to the point, “I’m dating Eric and we’ve been dating for the last two years. A year ago, I found out I was pregnant for him. When I told him, he impressed on me to abort it because he wasn’t ready and he wanted us to marry in grand-style before children. I accepted the offer. He gave me an amount to use for abortion. I traveled to my mom and gave her the news but she kicked against the abortion and decided I should stay with her until I deliver so she takes the child and I come back to live my normal life.”
I was quiet and listening to her but deep down my heart was on fire. I couldn’t sit still. She continued…
“Well, the truth is, I lied to him that I’ve had the abortion. I told him also that because of rent issues in the city, I was going to live with my parents for a while which he gladly accepted. Nine months later, I had this boy (pointing to the baby strapped on the chest of the other lady), and just three months after the baby, I heard he was getting married. Not that we lost contact. He was always talking to me asking about my parents and telling me he was missing me and couldn’t wait to see me and all. I asked if it was true and he denied it. Until a friend showed me the invitation.”
I didn’t know what to say. I had to fight back my tears to appear calm. I looked at the baby and I looked at the mother. I asked her; “So, what do you want me to do?” She answered, “I don’t know but I feel cheated on and I think it’s right for you to also know.”
I couldn’t hold back my tears. I didn’t even see them coming. Instantly my eyes got flooded and they began falling. I thanked her and left. In the car going home, my head felt so heavy as if I was carrying the world. Tears kept flowing and flowing. “A week to my wedding? How am I supposed to handle that?”
I went to my pastor’s house and told him everything. He called Eric to come around immediately and he did. He confirmed the lady’s story but he was so shocked about the fact that the lady lied to him about the abortion and how she was able to get in touch with me.
The pastor asked us to postpone the wedding for Eric to set things right. The pastor then asked me; “After all is said and done, are you ready to marry a man who has a child with another woman?” I couldn’t say anything. I just couldn’t think!
We called the wedding off until further notice. The pastor led a delegation to go and see the lady. The news they brought back was that the lady indeed didn’t want anything from Eric. She didn’t even want Eric to think that he had a child with her.
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The ball was left in my court to decide whether to marry Eric or not. I was given as long as I want to think about it. He called every day and night to apologize. His parents were coming to me every now and then to ask me to reconsider. Finally, I made a decision…
I told my pastor about it and he asked; “Are you sure of what you’re about to do?” I answered;”I’m very sure. I want to go on with the marriage.”
We got married in December last year. We suggested to the lady to allow the child to come live with us but she declined. But we haven’t given up. We’ll try again some other time.
—Dede Yaa, -Ghana