#TheProposal

‘Bright’ My Ludu

What was meant for her reached her, even though he was beneath two women. What isn’t meant for you wouldn’t reach you, even if it is between your two lips. There really is that man or woman out there somewhere you’re about to meet someday. And he or she is heading your way, looking very keen on finding you. Regardless how long it may be taking for this to happen to/for you, no matter how impossible it may be seeming to find that man or woman who is wholly in tune with you, never let it get to you. – DBM

#TheProposal

“Hello David,

Thank you for this beautiful platform. I am a huge fan and one of your very silent readers. I would want to share how love happened to, and for me. I will be 59 years old this year, and I got married for the first time in my life, just two years ago (2017). And until two years ago, I never would have believed there is someone out there for everyone. I’ve dated quite a number of men in my lifetime, however, none of those men made me a first choice, good enough for them to want to settle down with. I was always ‘the other girl’ kept in the dark. They enjoyed whatever ‘relationship’ I was made to believe we were having, but the reality was, I was always the only one alone and committed to it.

For the weirdest of reasons, when it was time for any of the men I dated to settle down in a marriage, they chose other women. I was always an afterthought. I gave up on love, to be very frank with you. Because I’ve been unfairly evaluated by men who made me believe they liked me. They professed love and interest to get me interested. Most of those men made me believe I met their basic criteria of whatever qualities it was that they had been searching for in a woman. Some judged my looks, yet drew closer because they loved my character. I believed them to want to commit to them with my all in a relationship. I trusted all of them, so much so that when I was made to understand we were dating, I would always close the thought that there could be someone ‘better’ than them out there. I was faithful in all nine relationships I had been in. I was content with each one of them because I did like all nine in those stages of our lives. They met the basics of what I was also looking for in love.

34 years ago, I was 25 years old, living in a two bedroom rented apartment. My career life started very early for me, so I had a lot of things going according to plan. I could take care of myself, and even cater for the needs of a very good friend who was staying with me. Her name was Sylvia. Sylvia was a very beautiful young lady. And if I am not ashamed to say this, Sylvia’s beauty drew attention on me also – because we were always together whenever I wasn’t at work. She was unemployed, so she was always home. She loved life, and would be attending parties and functions and would sometimes, roll me in her schedules. Most men often spotted me back then, only because Sylvia and I were standing together, or because Sylvia was my friend. All eyes were on her, always! She was a beautiful sight to adore. Even women had to steal a glance at her.

I was happy for her. She taught me a lot of things I couldn’t have learnt on my own. I taught her a lot of things she couldn’t have learned on her own. Because of her, very handsome men visited my home to chat with us. I built solid business contacts and connections also. She wasn’t prostituting herself; she just loved to lead men on with her beauty. She did not have a degree. She could not even finish with her secondary education. All she had was what she had to give. It was all funny to me sometimes. Especially those days she made some of the guys realize they weren’t the only men seeking for her attention. I remember she would let them all contribute money for us to cook for them. And then she’d invite them over for dinner, only for them to come and realize they were more than just one of them in her life, and that, they were part of some sort of competition.

She’d sit them all down after meals and be questioning them, one after the one, on why they thought they liked her, or why she had to choose any of them. She’d pretend as if she couldn’t make the right choice of Mr. Right in their presence, and would fake tiredness, and stress, and bewilderment. Oh, Sylvia was a handful. She would beg me to help assess each contestant, also on my own criteria. She involved me in the decision making process to select the perfect gentleman for her to go out with. Those were the good old days, because I made a lot of male friends through her. Guys who wanted me to be lenient with my grading scheme, guys who promised me ‘the world’ should I have handpicked them to be shortlisted in her final selection. When she finally decided on ‘The One’, and opened up her heart to him for a serious relationship and intimacy, we found out he was married.

Sylvia was already pregnant with his baby. He got to know about the pregnancy but wanted her to abort it. He did not deny responsibility for it. He just wasn’t interested in starting a second family. I had not met any of Sylvia’s parents or siblings, but I knew they were in Kumasi. She used to talk a lot about them. They did not know about me either. They did not even know where she stayed. All they knew was, she was living and working in Accra. She carried the pregnancy to term and delivered safely. The last time we heard of the father of the child was the day he tried talking her into abortion. Nine months after the birth of the baby boy, Sylvia left her son in my care to travel to Kumasi. She made me understand it was a return journey, so I wasn’t terribly concerned. I could babysit for a day.

I never heard from Sylvia till date.

Becoming my son’s mother was scary. I was not sure I knew my way around children so I wasn’t confident of what to do with him. I made a report to the police when she wasn’t returning home. I did not include the information about her son, because I feared they could take him away to be placed in an orphanage or something. I loved the boy too much to let go; and also because Sylvia and I were doing a great job mothering him together. At least, that was what I thought. I was unprepared for the lot of things that came rather too quickly – being his new mother. When Sylvia was with me, I was around to always help her, but when she left, it was all up to me.

Even at nine months, we hadn’t named the baby. We were calling him anything that sounded good to our ears. It was that terrible. When it dawned on me that my friend was not going to return to her child, I made the decision to mother him. I found excitement in the newness of the whole parenting exercise. I fell in love with my son and was willing to give him so much love. I honestly did not know I could love that deep. I would never have believed it was even possible to love someone so deep, had I not taken on this challenge. The parameters of my heart were expanded to love unconditionally because I was mothering this child. Motherhood allowed me to love this boy from a different part of who I am that I never knew I was or even existed.

I stayed awake all night to care for my son. He could cry and wouldn’t just stop. I had to learn how to adapt and figure a lot of things out all by myself. It wasn’t easy, Dave. It wasn’t easy, but it was worth it. I got through the moments without being perfect. I made my share of mistakes in motherhood, but it was all alright. My son challenged me, and also, shaped me in many ways that I felt defined. Nothing has ever made me so vulnerable than caring for this boy. I matured quickly in this process and became a woman out of the blue. I lost the freedom to pursue whatever I wanted. My concentration was no longer on me but on my son. And I loved it. I connected with my baby eventually, and was bold enough to name him after his father. I knew his dad’s full name so that’s his name.

My son will be 33 years of age this year. He’s currently pursuing his MPhil in Canada, and is engaged to a very beautiful lady. He met his fiancée on social media, and the first time they connected the lady thought he resembled a former school mate of hers. She introduced my son to her friend on Facebook, and they both shared the same surname. My son shared images of the guy with me, and truly, they looked so much alike. He also sent images of the guy and his dad, which he had found on Facebook to me – and it was him, my son’s dad… Sylvia’s boyfriend.

My son had been questioning me about his father’s whereabouts for a long time, so when I confirmed it could be him, he was very interested in meeting with him. We got information about where he worked, and paid him a surprise visit one afternoon at his office. When he saw us, he stood up. He recognized me somehow. Of course he had to. I was the one he was often trying to bribe to shortlist him for Sylvia’s consideration. He had been bribing me with foodstuffs and business connections. Well, I liked him generally. He was very courteous and gentle. He made it to the top five, and was definitely my pick for Sylvia’s man. It was her choice at the end of the day, so I respected it. I remember when I had to announce the winner that night. Sylvia had already made her choice out of the five, but because she did not want to hurt their feelings – because she liked all of them, she pretended to gamble with her fate in their presence. She numbered all the guys, and then, brought out a Ludu dice.

Mind you, Sylvia was excellent at that Ludu game. She knew how to throw the dice in such a way that, any number called out for – appeared on the game board. She was an expert on the game. Prior to the night of the announcement, she had practiced for days on how to score three with the dice even with her eyes closed. It was magical to watch. She collaborated with me to number Mr. Oteng, who was her final choice, ‘3’, so everything could seem fair and authentic in their eyes. My choice for her was Mr. Bright. Bright and I had connected in a special way during the elimination process. He was intelligent, had this weird attitude that was so positive and lovely. He was always direct with all of his answers to our questions. He passed every test we set for them with so much maturity. His self-confidence was to die for. Even Sylvia had to admit at a point on that. He was the perfect gentleman, however, she thought Oteng was cute in the looks aspect. And she wanted to date a handsome man.

I arranged them accordingly that night after dinner, and then, placed the Ludu board game in the center of the dining table.  Oteng was number three as preferred, and Bright, number five. I wanted Mr. Bright for my friend. At that same time, I wanted Mr. Bright for myself. We couldn’t stop connecting eye-to-eye that night. We had built something meaningful throughout the whole process. But it wasn’t my game to be played.

Sylvia looked good in her dinner dress. The plan was, whoever won that night, would take my friend to an expensive hotel to spend the night. Before throwing the dice, she gave a dramatic, heartfelt speech to appreciate all five finalists, and then wished them luck. Oh, I knew my friend. She could be theatrical any day. She threw the dice as carefully practiced, and Bright was her Ludu.

She started to cry uncontrollably, feigning tears of joy but I knew why she was crying. She had missed.

My son looked intensely into his dad’s eyes and couldn’t help but cry. He was, indeed, his father’s son.

Son” he cried, “Oh my God!

They hugged tightly for over 10 minutes, crying in each other’s arms and refusing to let go. He turned his head to look at me in the process, and asked in whisper, whether or not I was single. I had to read his lips to understand his question. I nodded, and he smiled. He had been a widower for three years, as at, 2017, March. We had our traditional marriage in May, 2017.

Bright had always committed himself to give his best to me, and a possible relationship, if it were my game to play decades ago. My short friendship with him was genuine. He was authentically excited about my achievements in life. He made every effort to check on ‘Sylvia’, but in really, was to check on me. He always wanted to see ‘Sylvia’, in order to see my face. He was always interested in keeping up with my life. And though he traveled a lot, nothing was so busy in his schedules to take his attention off ‘Sylvia’.

Everyone is busy, but a serious man or woman makes time for whatever is important to them. I gained a new set of eyes to really understand what it meant to be loved by a man.” – From KTE

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