The time was 5.15am. We were sprawled out on each other’s side of the bed. I was looking at the ceiling. “I can’t believe this” I thought. I looked at the man sleeping next to me…He was snoring. In fact his snort could wake up the dead.
How could this man sleep through this? How could he not care? How could he not know we have a problem? In fact how could he not know he had a problem? I wanted to shake him but I didn’t. Maybe when he wakes up, I will tell him to find a solution to his problem. I thought.
I wanted to kick him, scream at him, curse at him or rather beg him to find a solution but he was in a state of oblivion and he looked peaceful like a baby with no care in the world.
This is not the life he promised me, this is not the life I bargained for. This is not the life. This is not life. I covered my head with my pillow and began sobbing silently underneath it.
I met Ekem at a friend’s dinner party a year ago. He stood out in a crowd of well-dressed men-he was the only one not wearing a tie or in his work clothes .
He was the most handsome man I had ever seen. I could hear his voice from where I was standing. It was calm and very soothing to the soul. And so when he lifted his head to looked my way. It was love at first sight.
My heart skipped a beat and did the waltz. I could hear fireworks and church bells in my ears. I turned away embarrassed at how his eyes looked through me.
At dinner time, as if by divine intervention someone placed Ekem across from me. Between taking spoonfuls of my curried rice and lobsters, I had felt his eyes before I looked up. I could barely eat, I guess he couldn’t either.
I excused myself to pick a call. It was one I didn’t want to but I was getting uncomfortable and had to pick it. Walking down the hallway with the phone to my ear, I stopped at a corner and heard footsteps closing in. He came to me like a dream and asked for my number once I had hanged up on the phone. And that began our love story.
I was swept off my feet in no time and three months after our meeting we were talking marriage and kids. One fine night, he proposed to me after a romantic night out. He had always been a man of many words but that night he lacked the words to express his feelings. I looked at him; he looked me in the eye as he professed his undying love to me. It was what I wanted at that time, he was what I needed at that time and I am sure he needed me too. But at that moment we restrained ourselves. We wanted to wait till the wedding day. We wanted that night to be very special.
“Hey beautiful, awake already?” he interrupted my reverie. This time around I had found myself well positioned on the bed. “What were you dreaming about with your eyes open, hmm?” I looked at the man unbelievably. How can he stay calm in times like this. I didn’t say anything but composed myself.
He lightly tugged my earlobe with his teeth, “Are you dreaming of me of doing this to you.”, I flinched and he sensed it. His mouth travelled to my neck. “And this, and this?”
I sprung up from the bed and picked my negligee from the night stand. Somehow in our rush to satisfy ourselves, it had ended up there. “ I am going to have bath”. I said not showing the disappointment in my voice. He gave his most romantic look. “ Hmmm, you want me to join you?” This time, I was just boiling inside.
“ Ekem, Ekem, Ekem” I called
“ Yes, baby” he responded.
“ How many times did I call you” I added. He raised an eyebrow amusedly.
“Three times, my dear, three times?” he smirked.
“Did you even notice what happened or rather what didn’t happen on our wedding night?” I asked.
The loud shrill of his cell phone pierced the air; I reached for it and threw it on the floor. He was shocked at my reaction. Probably because it was rather uncalled for.
“What!? What did you do that for? ” he demanded but I was so angry I couldn’t speak. I went into the connecting bathroom and turned on the shower. He came in there after me not caring if I protested “ Tracy, what did you do that for? “What did you do that for?” He reiterated.
“ Do I have to spell out to you, Ekem, do I have to even tell you that we have a problem” . I was hurting inside. “Do I have to tell you that you have a problem” I whispered. I had been always strong in times like this but this time around I couldn’t stop the tears from flowing. I just had to let it out. The tears just had to flow and so they came out flowing uncontrollably.
Ekem felt uncomfortable and helpless. It was the truth. I was saying the truth. He needed help and he needed help as soon as possible or he was going to make me unhappy.
“Sorry, I just couldn’t get it up, I just couldn’t” He confessed. He looked confused and feeble from where he stood. “Could have been that the mood just wasn’t right?
Is this an explanation for what happened or rather what didn’t happen. He moved towards me. “I don’t have a problem” He denied. “ It was just the mood, ,maybe we should try again tonight, it will happen. I promise it will” He entered the bath cell I was in and pulled me into him and gently caressed me like the caring husband that he was.
He took the soaped sponge from my trembling fingers and began soaping me and rubbing me and gently whispered words of comfort into my ears. In my time of comfort, I become excited. And human as I was, I started caressing him back but he pulled back and gave me the sponge to finish my bath. “Not now, tonight we will try again”. He walked out of the bath cell. I was disappointed.
That night, I prepared for it. This time it was going to be glorious. I thought. I put on my most desirable lingerie. That lingerie was one of the many I had picked out at the lingerie shop with my best friend, Lola.
I was supposed to wear it for the wedding night but I decided, hoping to save it for another special night. I looked myself over in the mirror in the bathroom. I wanted to surprise him and make him happy.
I made my way into the bedroom and strategically slipped under the sheets. His back was turned to me. I rubbed myself against him. The coldness of the night made his warmth body rather invigorating.
I tried to turn him to face my side. But He shrugged off my hands and protested. At that moment, I realized he was asleep. I cursed silently. Disappointed and slowly went to my side of the bed and took to watching the ceiling again.
Didn’t he promised me this night? Didn’t he say we will do it tonight? I thought. I looked at his face and he had tired lines on his face. My heart went out to him immediately. Tomorrow is another day, tomorrow we will try it again. These were the thoughts that kept flocking through my mind until I finally fell into a deep sleep.
The subsequent days were a nightmare. Making me happy in bed wasn’t happening… Ekem blamed it on the fact that the mood just wasn’t right. Each night, he felt into this same pit of lies.
He was living in denial and he was making me unhappy. My best friend Lola sensed my worry and asked me what was eating me up but I chose to keep everything to myself hoping that our night would eventually come.
I waited, I hoped, I prayed. I waited and hoped and prayed but our night was just not coming. This was not what Ekem promised me. This was not what I bargained for. This is not the life I will live. The live I will live for the rest of my life.
Day in day and out, many African women suffer this fate. They are suffering and hurting silently because their men are incapable of giving them the satisfaction they want, come to talk of even giving them children.
When a silent woman in such a marriage is in not able to have children, the brunt of the problem is all pushed unto her. What would you do if you were in my position?
GC Life 101 is feature on GhanaCelebrities.Com. This looks at various life realities in short story forms as we try to entertain, educate and inform our readers on a variety of life experiences. Articles for GC Life 101 will be filed under Blog.