Three Seasons Too Long_A True Story
The three-year relationship was very eventful and full of drama.
I was totally in love with him. He was nice and fun to be with, humorous, generous and kind; he could spring up surprises with gifts, dinner and lunch dates. I could go on.
With all of this was an insecure man. He was jealous, and didn’t trust anyone. I saw him cheat on me and flaunted it a number of times, and each time I reacted, he’d come begging and I’d let go.
Need I say these were already signs to a miserable life ahead as we were planning to get married. Yes, his parents had come to meet mine and we got engaged and wedding plans were on going.
Everyone around, family both extended and immediate, friends saw danger looming except me. I was in love and that was all that mattered to me then or so I thought.
I had refused to be true to myself. I cried very often in that relationship. Behind the facade of excitement and play, my heart bled. I wanted more than I was getting. I desired a truthful, faithful and trustworthy friend.
I got counsel and advice from any one I gave an ear to, against going ahead with the marriage.
Stories filtered out about his nefarious and clandestine activities. Sometimes I confronted him about them but he denied and gave me convincing excuses. In fact, I was convinced the world victimized him.
His bosses, his colleagues and contemporaries would chip in a word and end up with this words that became almost predictable “Well he is a nice guy, it’s your life though, but why don’t you take a little more time to watch this guy before you finally tie the knot?”
I told him about anyone who talked against our relationship. Sometimes he flared up, cursing and swearing, sometimes he held my hand and told me we were in this battle (as it had turned out to be anyway) together, and we would come out victorious. Those were reassuring and comforting words that propelled me to make the relationship work.
The wedding was now just three months away. We slowly began to drift apart as we spent less time together. When I voiced out my observation, he said it was just the pressure of the wedding preparation taking its toll on us. Somehow, I nursed fear and felt uneasy. I was anxious and worried about becoming an object of mockery since I had refused to heed all the warnings. Was this relationship heading to the rocks? I often wondered.
Then came that day and the moment that confirmed my fears. He appeared in my house after having disappeared for four days, wearing this scowl on his face. My heart began to beat faster.
“I am sorry I can’t go on with the wedding as planned. Your family especially, your parents don’t seem to like me and have not given me a sense of belonging. I don’t want you to jeopardize your relationship with them because of marriage. This is Africa, Nigeria where couples don’t live in isolation, families and in-laws visit from time to time, and I don’t see how I’d be able to relate with your family properly, even if we were marrying. So, to avoid hurting you Sandy, I have decided it’s in our best interest to call off the wedding. I wish you find a worthy husband and the best in life.”
I only remember seeing him walk out of the door. It felt like those words pierced right through my heart like a sword. I was heartbroken.
For months following that moment, I became a shadow of myself. I lost weight and zeal to life. I even felt ashamed to go out. I didn’t want people asking about the wedding. I avoided areas and parts of town we had been to together. I broke down and cried as often as I replayed the whole scene in my memory.
Thank God for His grace. My family was praying for me especially my mum and an aunt. Gradually I got over the heart break. Interestingly too, as time passed and I talked about the relationship I realized that it had been prayer topic for various prayer teams that were formed over my matter. The break up was an answer to prayers said through days and nights of vigils.
To crown it all, God caused my husband, a God fearing, responsible man, to find me and at the eighth month after the heart break, we got married.
Fate brought to my hearing the state of his marriage today. His wife is miserable and an emotional wreck.
I have every reason to thank God for His grace, mercy and faithfulness towards me.
My name is Sandra Shimenenge Atera. I am married and blessed with four daughters. I am a Public Servant, and I work in Human Resources. I have an Msc. in Public Administration and Political Science. I like talking with young people, and I enjoy music and dramatic arts.