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Maybe My Heart Died When It Got Broken

When I completed SHS, I met Ibrahim and fell madly in love with him. He was not the first boy I dated but he was the one who captured my heart. I didn’t think it would be possible to breathe without him. He was everything to me. I had my whole life planned around him and he fuelled it with his constant “We” “We” talk. “One day we will build a house in this neighbourhood.” “We will have this many kids when we get married.” Those were the kind of things he liked to say. And I held on to every word he uttered as though my life depended on it.

I suppose this is why every time I caught him cheating I forgave him. When I say every time, I am not talking about once or twice. There was a time I found out he was dating three other girls simultaneously. The most painful part was how he never showed remorse for any of it. Whenever I confronted him he would say, “I am an African man, polygamy runs in my blood. And don’t forget that our faith allows me to have more than one wife. So you shouldn’t complain about this.” Yes, I should have left him long ago but you know how some of us leave our senses in our cupboards when we fall in love.

I tolerated his indiscretions until it came to my attention that Ibrahim was dating my closest friend, Faiza. I cried and fought him, “Why did you have to involve my friend in this? You could have gone for anyone at all.” As always, he showed no remorse. When I confronted my friend she told me, “I am already in love with him. What can I do?” “You should have him then,” I said as I walked away from our friendship and a relationship that was long overdue. I didn’t think I could ever leave Ibrahim, but by God’s grace, I had the strength to close his chapter in my life.

A year after the breakup, I met Osman. He was nothing like Ibrahim. He loved me deeply and never held back on how much he cared about my interests. I was in love with him too, or so I thought. Everything was going well. I didn’t have to fight with other women for his attention. I knew he was mine and mine alone. However, two months into the relationship all my feelings for him disappeared. I don’t know how it happened. He didn’t do anything to offend me or put me off. I just stopped caring about him.

I didn’t care whether or not he texted me. I didn’t care if he called me. If he got too busy to check up on me I wouldn’t call him. When he complained, I didn’t even feel bad. I felt he was taking the relationship too seriously. “Your indifference toward me and our relationship is very hurtful, Rahina. If I did anything to offend you, tell me so that we can work it out,” he often pleaded. I would just shrug and tell him nothing was wrong. Even when he started talking about leaving me, I wasn’t bothered. Finally, he left me. I didn’t feel a thing when he left. Nothing. As though what we had didn’t mean a thing.

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I was convinced that my heart was hardened against men until I met Ahmed. It was love right from the start. My hardened heart couldn’t stand a chance. I didn’t even play hard to get when I realized he loved me in equal measure. I told myself, “I will do my best to hold on to this one so I don’t lose him.” We started things on a high note, and we were very happy. Then I woke up one day and all I could feel toward him was nothing. The same thing that happened with Osman is happening here. I don’t call him if he doesn’t call me. I don’t chat with him until he initiates a conversation. I am not bothered if he doesn’t make any attempt to see me. I have a feeling that even if I catch him in the middle of shuperu with another woman, I won’t be moved.

I know I don’t want to lose him but I am also not afraid that he might leave me. I am wondering if all this is happening because of my past with Ibrahim. I feel I have healed. I don’t even care or think about that past anymore. So why does it feel like I left my heart in the past and I am here in the present with nothing in my chest? Ahmed has started complaining the same way Osman did. I can see his patience running thin and very soon he would also leave me.

I do not want this whole thing to rule my life. What if I continue like this and end up getting married with this attitude? Will I wake up one day and lose interest in my husband? I can’t have this happening so I am here looking for a solution to this problem. How can I get my once passionate and loving heart to function properly again?


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