In My Next Life, I Won’t Allow My Husband To Travel Anywhere And Leave Me Behind- Woman Narrates
Iwas busily working on a new dress when someone walked into the shop. I didn’t see him walking in until I felt a shadow across my face so I lifted my head up. The first thing he did was smile. I smiled back. He looked like someone I knew so I was thinking where I knew him from. He said, “My sister sent me. She said I should check on her dress for her.” I asked him, “Who is your sister?” He smiled again; “You don’t remember me? I was here with her the other time. Alice. The lady you’re working on her wedding dress.” I slapped my forehead in disappointment; “I should have known. Please forgive me. I’m almost done. If you could sit for a while, I will finish them up and give them to you.”
He sat on the chair next to me. He watched me step on the pedal as I sew. His eyes were on me as I made cuts through materials. As I stitch them together. When I raised the dress up he said, “It’s beautiful. You really know your work.” I said, “Thank you.” Minutes later we were locked up in a conversation. He asked how I started. “That’s what I learned in school. I did fashion.” He asked if I made money. He asked if he could learn. He asked how long it will take him to be like me. He told me about himself. He had completed the university and was looking for a job. I wished him luck.
I attended his sister’s wedding and met him again. I don’t know but he was always eager to talk to me. It looked like there was something about me that drew him in. He was a nice guy too. He wasn’t boring to be around. He called and came around the shop often. When I was free he asked me to teach him a thing or two about sewing. I will sit him behind the machine and everything would turn into laughter. “You don’t want to learn again?” I would ask him. “It’s you who’s making the whole thing funny.” He would say.
One day he waited until I closed. While walking me home he proposed. I said, “You’re my apprentice. I can’t fall in love with you. How would I teach you when you’re the one I kiss?” He asked, “What if that apprentice loves you more than being an apprentice? What if he’s ready to sacrifice his apprenticeship just so he could be the one you kiss?” He held my hand and pulled me closer to himself and kissed me. I didn’t resist it. When the kissing was going on for too long than I expected, I pulled away. “It’s a busy street. Anyone at all can walk in on us.” He said, “Are we committing a crime? It’s just a kiss. He pulled me closer again and we kissed again. This time longer than the first.
He became my boyfriend that very night. He had a lot of time on his hands and he spent those hours with me at the shop. He made my work easier. He was always there to pick things for me. When I needed scissors, he said, “Here you are.” When I needed a blue thread, he fetched it for me. When I made a cut, I showed it to him and asked, ”You think it’s nice?” He’ll nod his head and say, “Have you ever made anything that is ugly?” I will tuck my lips in and fall in love with him all over again.
He had a job three months later. I was happy for him and yet sad that I was losing a companion. I told him, “If I could pay your salary, I’ll rather keep you around than let you work for someone else.” He answered, “If money wasn’t a need, I’d rather stay with you than go to work at a place where you won’t be.” The sweet thing about him was that he always knew what to say to make my heart furl slowly and spread out in the wind.
We were three years in a relationship when we started talking about marriage. We had our challenges but we didn’t sleep on them. The two of us knew how to ask questions when we didn’t understand something. We knew how to initiate conversations. We knew how to get to the crust of a difficult topic. Our strength lied in our receptiveness. We didn’t drag issues when any of us was at a fault. I will say sorry rather than justify the wrong action and he did the same too. Entering into marriage didn’t scare any of us. We knew what wanted in each of us and we knew what each of us brought to the table.
We got married and moved in together. A year after marriage, he got the opportunity to travel. Left to me alone, he wouldn’t have gone. He had a good job and had a steady income. All we needed was time to make the best out of our lives but he was convinced traveling would nudge him closer to his dreams than living in Ghana here. I gave him all the support he needed to travel. I had to go into my account and withdraw everything to make it possible for him to travel. He traveled to the US to live with a friend he knew back in Ghana. When it became hard to reach him, it was that friend I called to get to him. His name is Anderson—Anders for short
He struggled to get a job. For a whole year, he wasn’t getting anything meaningful to do. I remember crying on the phone asking him to come back to Ghana. “This is home. I am here. Your family is here. It wouldn’t be tough as you’re facing there now.” He was optimistic. he said, “It has always been like that for anyone who comes here the way I did. Things will pick up. Just believe.” When I felt like he wasn’t giving me the true picture of his situation, I would call Anders. “How is my husband doing? Has he regretted being there? Has he eaten today? Is he being chased by the police? Please take care of him for me so they don’t arrest him. I will die if that happens.”
He had a job. He worked three different shifts. He was always tired to talk to me. He missed my calls and failed to reply to my text. I knew the times he would be home with Anders so when he didn’t pick up, I called Anders to help me reach him. It got to a time Anders also started making excuses; “Oh he just went out. I will tell him to call you when he comes around.” Or, “I’m currently not in the house. When I get home I will tell him to call you.” That call would never come. Two days, three days, or even four days will run by without talking to each other.
One evening when I got him on the phone I told him, “We are drifting apart. That is so unlike us. What is happening to us? How come we could go four days without talking? That’s not normal. That’s not healthy for a marriage like ours.” All the while I was talking to him he was yawning on the phone. He spoke while yawning, “I just came back from work. I’m too tired to talk. Let’s talk tomorrow.” He cut the line without listening to me. The surprising thing was, anytime I called Anders, he picked up his phone. No matter the hour or day, he’ll pick and talk to me. I told Anders, “Your guy is behaving weird. Please tell me what’s going on. Is there something I need to know?” He’ll sigh and yet say nothing. He’ll defend his friend and later tell me, “You don’t need to worry. I will have a chat with him. Everything will change.”
One night I called his phone. He didn’t pick. I called Anders and he picked. While Talking to Anders, I heard his voice in the background. I said, “I can hear his voice, please give him the phone.” Anders was quiet for a while. He said, “Oh it’s not him ooo. It’s someone else who passed by.” I said, “Anders, the two of us are not kids. Give him the phone I need to talk to him.” We went to and fro for minutes before he finally took the phone from Anders. He had the audacity to be angry with me, questioning why I would call his friend when he hadn’t picked my call. He said, “Stop disturbing his life. He’s not the one married to you. If you call and I don’t pick It means I’m busy. I will call when I’m free.” He cut the line.
I went to his parents and made a report to them. Right in front of me, his father called and he picked. He was on a loudspeaker. His father asked why he doesn’t pick my calls. He had nothing better to say apart from being busy and work getting him tired on most days and what have you. His mother said, “Stop talking nonsense and pick your phone when she calls.” Noting changed. He continued missing my calls and not responding to my messages. I could see him online paaaa in the evening but he won’t respond to my messages. When I complained, he blocked me on Whatsapp.
I stopped trying. After all, I wasn’t relying on him for anything. I had the work that made me money and made me happy. I could take care of myself and take care of my family. Why then stress myself on a man who wasn’t ready to commit to his own vows. When I stopped calling, he called me thrice in two months. “I hope you’re fine.” I said I was fine.” He said, “Ok, I called to check up on you.” I said, “Thanks for calling.” Conversation ends.
So I said I won’t stay married to him again. I told his parents and told my parents. My parents understood my suffering and asked me to do what would make me happy. It was his parents who tried to resolve the issues. In front of my parents and his, he was called and put on a loudspeaker for us to resolve the issues. He was asked if he didn’t want the marriage again. He said he wanted it and he still loved me but I was the one who didn’t understand his situation. His father asked, “Ever since you went abroad, have you sent your wife money before?”He was quiet. His mother added, “You’ve sent us money on several occasions. Do you do the same for your wife?” He said, “Things are hard. I’ve explained to her and she understands. I broke down and cried. He was just lying to get away with the whole thing. But he promised he would change. He promised he’ll turn things around. He promised he’ll work on our marriage.
Again nothing changed. I wasn’t calling so he called once in a blue moon to ask if I was fine.
November 4th, 2021 Anders posted on his Whatsapp status and I commented, “You’re really chilling.” He responded, “What else can I do? I’m left alone now.” Then he went on to ask me, “How is my brother doing?” I said in my head, “I should rather ask you that question.” I texted, “Oh he’s doing well by his grace.” He responded, “Now that he’s around, I hope you guys will resolve everything before he leaves.” “What is he talking about?” I asked myself. “Does that mean my husband is in Ghana?” I played along just to confirm what he was implying. I asked him, “Has he called you since he came to Ghana?” He said, “I spoke to him yesterday when he delivered what I gave him to give to my parents.”
I screamed, “So he’s back in the country?”
I went to his parents and asked if they were aware. They didn’t know their son was in Ghana. His father called his line. He asked him, “Where are you?” He said he was at work. “At work where?” He said, “I’m at work where I work? Where else could I be?” His father said, “You’re in the US so how were you able to deliver your friend’s items to his parents?” He was quiet. He said, “I wanted to surprise you guys.”
He was in Ghana with another woman. So I heard.
We’ve returned his drink to his family. We’ve started the divorce process. Hopefully, it would be over soon so I can have my peace of mind. Whatever he drank when he got there to make him forget about our marriage and us is up to him. I’m not angry. I’m at peace with myself knowing I gave it my all. I’m still young. I will try again when the time is right.