Who are you in a relationship with after the ecstasy of love fades? When the phone calls you used to be looking forward to all of a sudden becomes a bother? When his or her touch is not always welcomed? When their quirks, instead of being funny, now drives you nuts? – DBM
“My mother had fallen very ill nine years ago and I had gone back to Kumasi to visit her. It was supposed to be just a weekend visit, however, I ended up staying for over two months. I watched my old lady deteriorate every day of my stay with her. That wasn’t the mother I grew up with; Ma was supposed to be too strong to be weak. She was the always active type even at her age then. She was difficult to deal with, and could trade and be moving up and down the business ladder. She loved to work, she loved to sell. She loved to make money. Money loved her, so she was always on the move, healthy and looking good.
I never expected her to die. Even at the hospital, she was trying to assure me that she was in the best of hands. She believed the doctors and nurses could get her sorted and back on her feet again. I had to believe in something if the sick woman had that much hope to hold onto. Unconscious on the bed next to my mother in the ward was a young lady who was also fighting for her life. Her brother had been visiting her that week I was visiting my mother at the hospital. I got to know that anytime he closed from work, he’d rush to the hospital to check on her. His sister couldn’t talk nor move. I think she was in some sort of coma, so he was always the one talking to her by the bedside.
We became friends through the frequent visitations, and even started calling to inform each other of our ward’s condition, anytime the other wasn’t present on time. I had missed visiting my mother on one of those days and it was that day my mother passed on. I was cooking for my mother and the gentleman. I felt since he always rushed to the hospital after work he probably would be needing something to feed on in the evenings. In fact, it was my Mommy’s idea. She said she liked the way he cared about his sick sister, and also loved how we coordinated in the other’s absence. Mum insisted I cooked for him. He was against the idea but mum cut him off the conversation to talk sense into me. I had to do it, and that day was the first day to start.
I was in a taxi to the hospital with the food when he called. For some strange reason, as soon as I saw the caller ID, I felt something couldn’t be right, because we had talked an hour earlier and I had given him the time I was going to arrive at the hospital. When I got there, her body hadn’t been moved yet. He gently took the food from my hand, placed it on a table and tightly hugged me. Dave, I couldn’t cry mpo. He was the one doing all the crying for me. Apparently, he had been cracking jokes with my mother and they were both looking forward to my meal, and then, she died in the process. While in his embrace, nurses came in with two guys to take my mother’s corpse away. That very instant, I saw my friend’s sister’s eyes open but were vacant. She was staring up at the sky when the other nurse attending to her signaled the other nurses to call in a doctor.
Because he had hugged me by the entrance of the ward, his back was facing where his sister was. He couldn’t see what was going on, I could. After all the weeks of hanging on to breath, her body decided not to inhale anymore, the very day my mother had died. That was the moment I started to also cry. We had been shown death that day. We had been shown how to die and neither of us was ready to accept our reality. We cried till it was time for us to leave the hospital. He took the food home to eat it. That was how I met my husband.
I moved back to Accra after the funeral to continue from where I left off. I was at work when he showed up one afternoon to take me out to lunch. He hadn’t called, nothing. And we hadn’t spoken for about a week, prior to his surprise visit. He looked so fine when I set my eyes on him. I couldn’t take them off actually. I made the decision to express love to him in spite of the fact that, we hadn’t talked about ‘us’ in any context whatsoever. I knew he loved me because who would travel from Kumasi to Accra, just to take me out to lunch? I needed to feel loved. That was my deepest emotional need at that moment.
That afternoon all of a sudden looked bright for the both of us. I remember he would hug and kiss me for no reason at all. We weren’t dating, he hadn’t asked me to be his girlfriend… Everything was happening on the reverse. Lol! And come to think of the fact that I was enjoying it? Hehehehe. When I realized what his love language was that afternoon, I started taking the initiative to also want to hug and kiss him out of the blue. He would smile so happily when I did that. He made loving me his highest goal, both in his life and in our relationship. It’s still his goal in our marriage today.
Though I knew he was interested in me, he never waited to receive love from me before giving out his. The guy loved me unconditionally, he would always take the initiative to show me he cares. There were times I would be wondering, ‘why must it be always him making the effort to show me that he loves me, while I also knew how much I cared about him?’, so I changed the game plan. He would be there aaaaah and then I would send him a message:
“Yo” he replied
“I love you”
He would call me after reading the message just to reply with “I love you more.” He felt loved by me. I felt loved by him. It was that magical. I would always be complimenting his deeds and he always would be doing those very same good deeds, over and over again for compliments. For example, we’ve been married for eight years and he still helps me with the house chores. He would wash utensils after meals. I just cook the meals, and he would take over from me. Even days he’s not home on time to clean, when I wash the bowls he takes offense for doing his ‘chore’. He finds delight in helping me with the things of the house. I do the laundry on weekends, and he will be scrubbing and mopping the entire house. He is involved with everything about our children. Nothing is left to only me to do. He irons our stuffs, takes me out on dates every other week, he cooks for me and the kids sometimes, he would take me out to watch football games with his folks on match seasons and pay a neighbor to watch over the kids, etc. I am living a dream.
I was living a dream when we were dating. He would travel every weekend and on holidays to be with me. He found being with me his pleasure. Mind you, all that while I knew I liked him. I knew I loved him. I just did not know to what extent. On one of his holiday visits we were driving to the beach when we passed by a make-up boutique. I wasn’t the type that used any makeups. I was the natural girl type and he was cool with it. But on that day, I saw him staring at a lady who had applied makeup so perfectly on her face. We started talking about the lady and how beautiful she looked. And then, he changed our routine. He wanted us to learn how to do makeup on me instead. He wanted to learn the art himself. He paid for the training session and was in Accra, every weekend to take his class.
Let me chip in this important information before I forget: my husband was the makeup artist for my bridal team. He did my makeup on my wedding day before going to his hotel room to get ready for our big day. This is just something he learnt for my sake. Architecture is his profession. A day before the day he proposed marriage to me, he had picked me up from work after one very successful job interview he had attended. He was relocating to Accra to be with me. We were both excited about his interview and was being briefed into details – how everything went. We were laughing about a question he claimed had been asked by one of the interviewers, when out of nowhere, a car which had lost control drove up at us at high speed to hit the second door of my side of the car.
I couldn’t hear anything. All I think I saw were people pulling over to our car to see if they could be of any help to us. I was barely alive but I managed to move my head as gently as I could to stay alive. My only luck that day was, I was wearing my seatbelt. When I started hearing sounds, all I could hear was, “he’s dead, and he’s dead.”
I lost consciousness after hearing that statement. The next thing I saw when I gained consciousness at the hospital, was my husband, sitting by my bedside, applying makeup on my face. He had cleaned me up thoroughly, with a towel and some warm water. I smelled so good when I woke up. I hadn’t sustained any major injuries, just a few fractures on my side of the body. I opened my eyes only to be staring at myself. He had a mirror to my face and damn, I looked so beautiful in my own eyes to be injured. I felt so better there and then. He always had a way of making me feel beautiful inside out. When he took the mirror off, the next lovely face I saw smiling at me was my husband’s.
He said nothing. He just smiled strength into my body. He smiled healing into my body. When he opened his mouth to utter his first word to me after the incident, he asked me to marry him. I am very happy in my marriage and content with my man, not because he is the right person meant for me; I am very happy and content because I have learnt how to love the man I married. He doesn’t cheat on me not because I’m beautiful or excite him in bed. My husband is content with me because he’s learnt how to love the woman he found in his wife.” – From SOM