I was looking at him from a distance before we became friends. He had said hello to me on several occasions but we never had a real conversation. There was a twist to the way he said hello. It felt like he was trying to say more than hello and yet settled for only that because it was all he can say at that moment. One day when he greeted me, I asked, “How was your day?” He said, It’s been hectic but that’s what I was created for so I can’t complain.” We crossed the hello and hi borderline. “It’s a good step.” I said to myself.”
My head: “Are you in love with him?”
Me: “No it’s not love per se. I’m going through this kind of feeling you go through when there’s someone you like. Yeah, It’s ‘like’ not love.”
I was confused in my head but my heart was very clear about him. Whiles my head tried to remain rational, my heart kept beating faster anytime I set my eyes on him. Anytime he walked by and said hello, my head only responded with a hi but my heart said more than that. Something like “Hi, I’ve been studying you for a while now and think I like you. Can we be more than two adults who exchange only hellos and hi?”
One day our eyes met accidentally. He looked at me and I looked at him. He didn’t want to drop his gaze and I didn’t want to drop mine. I smiled and he looked away. I screamed in my head, “Yes, I won.” In the evening he asked me, “You live far away from this place?” I said, “It’s far but not far. If you take away the hours we spend in traffic, it should be a place closer to this place.” He said, “Then let me drop you off today after work. Call me when you close.” I asked, “How do I call you? I don’t have your number, remember?” He said, “024447 blah blah.” I missed a number. He mentioned them again.
His office was about five blocks away from mine. He came around often because he had a job he was doing for one of the departments in our office. Immediately the clock ticked 4:40pm, I wrote a text, ”I’m about to close so get ready…” I read the text over and over again. I said, “No it sounds some way. Or I should rather call him?” I called. He said, “I will be on my way soon. Just meet me at the entrance.” Everything was going according to plan. I had wished for more ever since I saw him but all I got was a hello. Now I get a ride home. I told my head, “Be sane. If you leave me for my heart, we’ll be in trouble by the time the journey ends.”
I hoped it listened.
Minutes after 5pm his car arrived. By the time I got to the car, he had already opened the door from the inside. My heart: “This is what I’m talking about. He opens doors. Make him your husband.” My head: “Take it slowly Jennifer. There’s more to life than a guy who opens doors for you. What if the opened door leads to hell?” I said, “You’re right. I’m calm. I will behave.”
From my workplace To my house can take three hours because of traffic. That day, all the cars that cause traffic on the road disappeared. Wherever they went to, I cursed them. They’ve been there when I didn’t need them. Why would they disappear when I needed them the most? I sat in his car, I blinked once or twice and we were home.
The conversation was short but good. He asked all the questions I anticipated. I asked him the same too. When he got home, he called to tell me that he was home. I said, “Thanks for the ride today. He said, “We can do it often if you want to. I come home to an empty house so I don’t mind spending some time outside after work.”
The next day we ate diner before he dropped me home. The day after, I followed him to shop for groceries before driving me home. A week later, I went to his house with him. The first thing I saw when I entered was the photo frame on the wall. Four frames in total. One has a beautiful boy on it. The next one had a girl. The next one had the boy, the girl, and himself hugging and laughing. I said, “Beautiful kids.” He said, “Thank you.”
He came to stand beside me and pointed to a frame, “This here is my first child, Kobby. Very intelligent. He took after me. The one there is Abbie, also very smart. She took that from me.” I said awesome. I was waiting for the moment when he’ll talk about their mother. My heart was breaking. My head was rejoicing over the demise of my heart; “I told you. I told you not to listen to your heart. You see? He’s married.”
I asked, “So where’s your wife?” He answered. She’s there. We are going through a divorce. She’s the reason I moved here. We’ve been living apart for the past two years. Soon the divorce would be finalized so I can move on with whatever is left of my life.” I said, “Aww I’m sorry to hear that.” He said, “No you don’t have to be sorry. Divorce is not a bad thing because no good marriage ever ends in divorce.”
I sat down and listened to his story. “She changed. She started living a life I couldn’t afford. She was not bringing anything to the table but wanted to decide where we should place the table. We disagreed on so many things even the school our kids should attend.” I asked, “So what was the breaking point?” He said, “We were not happy. We were constantly fighting so one day I told her that she was the biggest regret of my life. I came back from work and she had locked the doors of the house. I slept out that day. She said she doesn’t want to see me again because I can kill her.” Back and forth for a while so I decided to get a new place.”
I went to his house a happy kid. I came back of it a sorrowful kid. It was like something had been taking away from me. Days later, he proposed to me. I should have been happier. I should have jumped to the skies and pluck the moon but I couldn’t. All I said to him was, “Fix your relationship with your wife first. I’m here. I’m not going anywhere.” He said, “Soon the divorce would be fixed. That’s the only thing left. We haven’t been together for two years, that is the real divorce.”
Our friendship got tighter. We were on the phone every hour and every minute. He’ll tell me he misses me. I will tell him that I miss him too. The next day, I will be with him, cooking, watching movies, and having a dance competition in his hall whiles his kids look at us from the wall. I was happy with him but his situation didn’t excite me. One day a video call came through and he picked. It was his son.
While talking his wife came into the frame. She saw me because I was right next to him. I heard him saying, “She’s my friend.” The wife said, “I didn’t ask you any question. It’s your life.”
What her wife said was all I needed to hear—evidence that they were no longer together. I felt sad for him and wanted to be with I’m the more. He kissed me that day and for the first time, I responded to his kiss. I wasn’t sure so I acted with care throughout until that day. When It came to sex, I told him, “Finalize everything before anything. I’m always here. We are not going anywhere.”
One morning he told me he had to travel to where his wife is so they can finalize everything. He even asked me to go with him. I said, “You know I have to go to work. Just go and come. I will be here.” He went away for one whole week. When he came back, he went again for another week and then went again for another couple of days. He said they were close. He said they had reached an agreement on everything except one. He promised they’ll be done very soon.
We’ve been together for almost a year waiting for the divorce papers to be signed. Days ago he told me, “My wife is pregnant?” I screamed, “Pregnant? She’s been sleeping around while you guys haven’t divorce yet?” He said, “It’s complicated.” I said, ”Yeah, that’s going to complicate the whole process but it will speak in your favor.” He said, “You don’t understand. It’s going to be our third child.”
My head: “I told you. Not all open doors lead to heaven.”
My heart: Frowns and started developing cracks.
I said, “You got her pregnant? How? Why? When? I mean where did that happen?”
All the time he was going back and spending days, they rekindled somehow and that was when the action happened. He apologized to me. I said, “No, you don’t owe me an apology. She’s still your wife so what’s the apology for.” I had to redefine my position in his life. I decided never to have anything to do with him again. I left and never went back to him. He called. He texted. But nothing he said worked. He said, “It doesn’t change anything. We are still incompatible. We are going ahead with the divorce.” I told him, “At first I told you to fix your relationship. Now it’s your life that needs fixing. Go and fix your life.”
I don’t know why I didn’t cry. Me of all people. I broke up with a guy I wasn’t dating and still cried. But this one didn’t tickle my tear buds. My head: “You listened to me. It would have been worse.” My heart: “We will try again until I’m right.”
I’m here. Waiting and wishing. I know somebody’s son will find me one day. I only pray it’s the right kind of son this time.