It was he who started talking about marriage after two years of being in a relationship with him. I thought it was a good thing. Being with him for that long and knowing who he was, there was no way I was going to say no to his proposal of marriage. But then there was a problem. Not problem per se, let me just call it a hiccup.
He would say; “We can get married next year. By then, I would have gotten some money and be in a better position to get going with the marriage.” He wasn’t joking about it. At least his demeanor and the seriousness in his eyes didn’t give the impression of a guy who was joking. The next year would come and then he would say, “Let’s do it next year instead.” Three consecutive years he did that. I knew there was something he wasn’t telling me.
I asked him; “You keep changing your mind on when we should get married. What actually is the problem?” He told me, “As for next year, it’s coming on live and colored. By then I would have paid off the loan I took from the office and start concentrating on marriage.” Ok, obviously money was the problem.
I had worked in a reputable bank for almost five years. I’d saved enough and I was comfortable. I loved him and wanted to marry him so I thought, “Why don’t I help him with what he lacks so we could get things done?” I asked him; “That means if money wasn’t a problem we would have been married by now?” He responded gleefully, “Oh yeah! Like by now we have two babies koraa.”
I told him, “Let me support you like every loving woman will support her man. Bring what you can and I’ll add the rest.” He agreed and was joyful about it.
So we hit the ground running. Somehow, my best friend who was going to be my maid of honor got a hint that I was the one paying for certain things for the marriage to happen. Maybe I gave her more information than she needed. She was a friend and friends share secrets. She said; “Dear, if a man says he’s ready to marry, his money should be ready too. You’re a woman, you are not supposed to pay for him to marry you? He’s the man. Let him prove his manhood.” I answered her, “I’m only playing my role as a supporting partner. I’m not paying for things. I’m only supporting to get things done.”
The truth is, at some point he stopped contributing, citing every reason that could cause a man not to have money. I understood him. I trusted him because I’ve known him for that long.
Within a year, we were able to get all the material stuff needed to have a wedding except the ring which he agreed to buy later when the time was drawing near. Three days to the wedding, still no ring. He came to me looking all sorts of miserable. He asked me to give him a loan. He said he needed that money to buy the ring and promised to pay in the next month after the wedding.
At first, I didn’t want to but then again, how were we going to have a wedding without a ring? I gave him the money and stressed on the fact that I was going to collect it at exactly the time he had given me. He nodded and went away. He called later to tell me he’d bought the ring and even sent me photos.
It was when we were exchanging vows that I saw the rings he bought for the first time. My heart sunk and started sweating suddenly when I saw the rings. It was nothing close to the images he sent me. It was a fake and cheap ring. It looked like one of those rings you can pick up by the roadside. I was livid. In my head, I was like “Why would this guy do that? What did he use the money he collected for?”
But at that moment I couldn’t let my anger out though it was killing me. I don’t know what happened but tears started flowing when it got to my turn to say the vows. “Oh my God! How do I give these quality vows over cheap ring like that?” The tears kept flowing. People might have thought it was due to the overflow of love. They didn’t know I was hurting. The rings were damn ugly!
After the vows and everything, we took our seats. That was when I got the opportunity to ask what he did with the money. He answered, “This is not the right place to talk about it.” I kept quiet and sat through the rest of the ceremony. I didn’t attend the wedding reception. Yes…I didn’t.
I didn’t know how to pretend. I didn’t know how to put on the everything-is-alright face when indeed something was burning me on the inside. I told him I wasn’t going to attend the reception. My parents came to beg, his parent came with the pastor to convince me to show up but I didn’t. They cooked up a story about a stomach upset to allow the reception to go on. While they were there, I drove off to the hotel room.
Later in the evening, he came with my family to the hotel, along with the gifts that people presented. Everyone was angry about me boycotting the reception. They came and talked and talked but none knew what the problem was. When they left I confronted him. He lied that the money was stolen and there was nothing he could do.
I called him a liar and he called me disrespectful. He said, “You can’t talk to me anyhow just because of some few cedis that I misplaced. I told you I wasn’t ready but you insisted you would pay for the wedding so why are you behaving like a kid? Did I force you to use your money?” The ugly ring was hurting me but his words hurt the more. We were both angry and exchanged a lot of hurting words.
Later when I was going to the bath, I saw one brown envelop in the gift basket that has the inscription; “From Taylor and Family.” Mr. Taylor was my boss. I wanted to check what was inside the envelope but I decided I wasn’t in the right frame of mind to go through the gifts people brought. The next morning when we were going through the things, I realized that envelope was gone. I asked him and he said he didn’t see any envelope bearing that name. I was confused because I saw it.
“Or it was my mind playing tricks on me,” I thought. I was so sure I saw it so on Monday I called my boss and thanked him for his presence and apologized for not being there at the reception. He said, “ Don’t worry about that. Your health is important. Again, I know I should have given more but you don’t worry, cash what is on the cheque. When you resume, I will find a way to sort things out.”
“A cheque? Mr. Taylor, I didn’t find any cheque that has your name on it,” I said. He was so shocked. He said, “Then someone on your gift table might have stolen it. Don’t worry, the bank will have to call me and verify before payment is done. I will make them arrest whoever goes there to cash it.”
Tuesday, nothing happened. Wednesday, Thursday, Friday the bank called my boss that a gentleman was there to cash the cheque. He asked them to arrest him and they did. Two minutes after my boss called to tell me, I saw my husband calling. I didn’t pick. He called and called and called but I never picked. I saw some calls from other family people including my own parents, I didn’t pick. All that while, he was behind bars.
When my boss realized it was my husband, he called me but I told him, “Please let that man rot in jail. I wish he never comes out. He’s a liar, a cheat, a manipulator and everything that’s evil but I was too blind to see. Please let him rot there.” I couldn’t stop myself from crying. He asked where I was and he came over for me to go to the police station.
My husband couldn’t look at me in the eyes. He couldn’t even say sorry. when he came out, I rushed on him and asked, “I thought you said you didn’t see the envelope so why are you here? He didn’t say a word.
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It breaks my heart to say that my marriage lasted for only five days. Five years of time wasted. Wasted emotions, money and everything brought us to a moment where one person’s deceit destroyed everything.
When he left the cells that evening, he didn’t come home and he never called. Two or three days later, he called to tell me he was coming over to pick his stuff. I was there when he came with a friend to pick the few things he brought to the apartment. He didn’t even try to reconcile with me or something. Not that I would have accepted him back but I thought I deserved to hear him say he was sorry.
He left the house and the few times I saw him again were the times we were going through the divorce.