The day I proposed to her she said to me, “I got out of a toxic relationship not too long ago. I was in for six years and had the strength to leave just a month ago. Kindly give me some time to heal.” It was understandable and I loved her honesty and straightforwardness. But from then on I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know how to treat the relationship. I thought she needed some space to heal so I started withdrawing from her. A week later she sent me a message, “Are you staying away from me because of what I said? If you truly love me, you’ll stay around and help me heal.”
That also made sense so I started talking to her just like I used to. We could talk on the phone for hours, and sometimes it was hard to say goodbye. If I say hello to her in the morning, the chat would continue until sunset when I would call her and talk for hours before saying goodbye. Yes, I didn’t know my place in her life; a friend? A chatmate? Someone she could call a brother? I was helping her heal but for how long? It took us six months more to address these questions.
She said to me, “You’re more than a friend and there’s no confusion about your place in my life. I love you, especially for being there for me in my hard times. I’m only asking for a few months to heal completely so when I give you my all, it would indeed be my all.” I kept hovering around, providing friendship and care. Providing smiles. Happiness, whenever we go out on a date. She told me about the pain she went through in her last relationship. She said the guy was a monster and she blames herself for sticking around for so long. “I don’t blame him for all the things he did to me. He was consistent in hurting me. Maybe that’s how he is. For him to be that consistent, I should have moved on long ago but I stayed.”
“Don’t blame yourself for what you went through. It’s not your fault. You trusted him and he messed up with you. How could that be your fault?” I told her.
It took me a whole year of sticking around her until I got a yes from her. I must admit, if she didn’t say yes at the time she said it, I might have walked away with all the love I had in my heart. There was no need to stick around someone who gives no love back. Love in the way I’ve wanted it. But one night, while talking on the phone she asked me, “You still love me and think I’m the one for you, after all these months of silence?” I said, “Nothing has changed. I’m still around you all these times because I want you to be my girlfriend.” She said yes to me that day and she said it in a way that gladdened my heart and made me feel like the wait was worth my while.
And then she introduced a caveat; “If only you’ll agree to no sex until marriage.”
That’s what happens to guys who come after the hurt and pain. We always get a raw deal. As if we were the ones who caused the hurt. For six years the wrong guy had it all; the sex, the kiss, all the good things intimacy could bring but here I am. I did nothing wrong yet I’m the one who loses on all that because once upon a time, a guy had it all and still treated her badly. You suffer when you come after the hurt though you were not the one who caused her the pain. I asked her, “You still don’t believe me?” She said, “Not that I don’t believe you. I believe you’ll do the right thing, that’s why I want us to start on the right note.”
I agreed to her request. It was hard but I did agree and still kept hoping that somewhere along the line she’ll change her mind. “Maybe if I play my role as the loving boyfriend that she had always wanted, she might change her mind.”
One week later, it was her mother who was sick and needed money to take her to the hospital. I gave what I had. Not long afterward, it was her fridge. “My fridge. I’ve taken it for repairs on several occasions but it keeps coming back with the same fault.” I bought her a new one. Not long afterward, it was her rent. “I’m not asking you to pay all of it. I know it’s hard. I only need you to help.” I ended up paying about 80% of the rent. The demands kept coming and I proved to be equally capable. Remember, I was playing the role of the best boyfriend. I wanted to prove to her that not all guys come into the lives of women to mess them up.
Three months. Just three months after saying yes to me, she called one late night to tell me this, “Dear, I believe I’m not the best woman for you. You are a very good guy and deserve a woman who will give you her all and open up to you. Currently, I’m not that kind of woman and I believe it’s better we go our separate ways before someone gets hurts.”
I didn’t see that coming. I thought she was joking. “Hey, are you serious? But I’m not complaining? You are good for me that’s why I’ve been here all this while.” She said, “I know myself and I know I’m not good for you. Let’s break it while it’s still young so we don’t give ourselves problems when things get old.”
Nothing I said changed her mind. Nothing I did; the pleading. Involving my friends and even asking her mother to talk on my behalf still didn’t help matters. She said yes to me and because she can say no too, she said no and walked away. Just like that.
Healing comes to everything that’s broken. All it takes is some time. I gave it time. I healed.
It turned out that the ex came back carrying sugar and honey and just like the ants love to carry sugar, she went back to him thinking some stones can turn to sugar in a day. A piece of me died when I realized the whole thing was about the ex. I felt worthless. If a woman will leave my hands just to return to the one who hurt her before then I’m not worth it.
Two years down the line, there’s someone in my life who loves me just the way I am. I don’t even have to do anything special for her to love me. She gives her all because she realizes I’ve given my all. Two years down the line she still stays in the abuse, and that makes it eight years of staying with the same person who abuses her. She called me one day because she needed help. She said, “My rent. It’s been a year already, can you help?”
“Your rent. It’s been a year already. Why is he not helping?”
“I left him a month ago. This time is for good.”
“I hope so. You deserve better.”
Two weeks ago, on her Whatsapp status, she was celebrating the guy on his birthday. “Thanks for being there at my worse moment. People like you are rare. LYF”
They are back together.