It wasn’t an easy decision for me. I wanted to have the child. I wasn’t a child. “At twenty-six the world may laugh at me when they get to know I got pregnant for a man I wasn’t married to but when the child comes, they’ll call it a blessing from God,” I told him. “I want to have the child. Yes, we are not married but people give birth and marry later. That also works.”
He looked at me pleadingly. He said: “Modesta, don’t let us put the cart before the horse. What you’re carrying is a mistake and you know it. Marriage before children, that’s the norm. Don’t let us put pressure on ourselves and don’t let us invite the world into our home to ridicule us. I beg you (he knelt down) let’s get rid of this. A year from today we’ll get married.”
It wasn’t an easy decision for me but I listened to his pleas and got rid of it. I wasn’t the same person again after doing that. I felt hollow. It was like a piece of me was missing. My emotions were all over the place. I didn’t want to see him again. At some point, I hated him for making me go through all that. When he wanted to see me, I gave him excuses. When he brought me gifts, I didn’t take them. I contemplated breaking up with him but he was all over me until the love I had for him started showing up again. Slowly, I got my emotions settled. I loved him again and we started building from where we left off.
We had dated for three years when that happened. He wasn’t a stranger to my family and I wasn’t a stranger to his too. They knew we were dating and they accepted our relationship wholeheartedly. When we had troubles or the times breakup stared us in the face, our families came in to help us settle. It could be his mother or sisters. It could be my mother or even my brothers. They were rooting for us. They wanted us to succeed because we looked good together in their eyes. My mom looked at Cecil my boyfriend and thought he was too good to lose. I don’t know what he saw in him but she believed he was a good man.
One late night, I was going through photos on his phone when I saw a photo of him wearing a white dress and carrying a baby. His elder sister was standing next to him and his mother could be seen in the background of the photo. The first question that triggered was: “When was that? What family member had a naming ceremony that Cecil didn’t tell me about it? I checked the date when the photo was taken and it was just a week ago. I remember Cecil telling me he was travelling that weekend because of work. I asked myself: “He went to a naming ceremony and he lied about it? How?”
The alarm bells started ringing in my ears. I went to his WhatsApp and he had a lock on it. I went to his messages and saw a message from a name he had saved as “Devil.” Devil said: “The lady doing the pastries is complaining the money we sent was not enough to cater for fifty people so we should send an additional GHC300.” I went through his memo details and saw he had been sending money to Devil every week. I went back to their messages again and scrolled to the top. Devil was asking him why he had blocked her on WhatsApp. At some point there was a hint of pregnancy and Cecil was asking why she waited for four months before telling him.
My mind was racing faster than the F1 racing cars. I woke him up. Once he saw his phone in my hand he asked what I was doing with his phone. I asked him: “Who’s Devil?” His face changed. The slumber in his demeanor vanished. He asked me: “Who’s Devil?” I answered: “There’s a number on your phone saved as Devil. I know she’s a lady. Who is she?” He answered: “She’s the devil in my life that’s why I saved her number like that.” I asked: “What does she do? You send her money almost every week. She took money for pastries recently. Is she your girlfriend? It looks like she got pregnant for you. You were asking why she waited for four months before telling you. What’s going on Cecil?”
He was beating about the bush until I showed him the picture. “You told me you were travelling because of work but here you are with your sister and mom carrying a fresh baby. You gave birth with the devil?” He started fumbling. He was restless. He tried to say something but nothing made sense until he accepted that he has a child with Devil and that the lady lied to him. She hid the pregnancy for four months before telling him.
I became numb. A switch went off in my head and everything around me faded into black and white. The colours were gone. I was like, “Really? Cecil you could make another woman give birth for you while you pushed me to the wall to get rid of mine?” He said the lady didn’t tell him but that was beside the point.
The next day his mom invited me home. I went and she tried her best to make me feel like it wasn’t anything serious so I shouldn’t let it destroy our relationship. His sisters were calling me every day, telling me not to destroy our relationship because of one mistake. “My brother loves you but you know men and their ways. He made a mistake but you’re the one he really wants.”
I wasn’t really listening to them. I was burning on the inside and I felt I should do something to quench the fire in me. I forgave him and didn’t call off the relationship. He became lovely and tried to erase his evil deeds with expensive gifts. He bought me a new phone and even increased the monthly allowance he gave me.
He asked me: “When should we get married? Now everything is in your hands. Tell me and I’ll obey.” I answered, “No need to speed things up. Whenever you’re ready, I’ll be ready.” I said no need for speed but he sped things up. My mom was concerned. She asked if I really wanted to marry him looking at all the lies and hurt. I told her: “Let’s wait and see.” I was taking my time to heal without any pressure from him. If I said I didn’t want to marry him, his family would have descended on me with apologies forcing me to change my mind. I still loved him so I would have indeed changed my mind. I didn’t want that pressure, I wanted to unwind slowly.
He was busy planning our marriage while I was busy falling out of love with him. Eight months after the Devil incident, he came home to perform the knocking rite. At that moment, I had nothing left for him but I was playing the part to make him believe all was well. When he got the list, he promised we’ll get married on his birthday which was seven months away. All that while, I was working on a transfer out of town. The only person who knew about that was my mom. I told her to keep mute about it because we were supposed to start counselling in August so we could get married in November. By early August, I got my transfer letter and left town without telling anyone where I was going.
He called on the day we had to start counselling and I told him I would meet him there. I switched off my phone and wished my mother well because I knew the pressure would be on her. Even my brothers didn’t know about my transfer. My phone was off for three days. When I switched it back on, come and see messages. Everyone had tried to call me. Cecil had gone to my office to ask where I was and it was at the office he got to know that I’d been transferred.
His last message was: “Was that a plan to pay me back? I get it. Let’s talk when you get this message.” I called my mom to get the gist. It was messy. My brothers called to insult me, they even called me ungrateful. I didn’t blame them. They were all fighting for the benefits they got from Cecil.
I blocked his line and blacklisted him from my contact. One day I had a visitor in my office and it was him. “Cecil, you don’t give up, do you?” He said he had come to work things out. I told him there was nothing to work out. “I left town because of you. It wasn’t easy getting a transfer but I went through thick and thin to get it. You think I will go through all that if I wanted to work things out? There’s a devil in your life. She has a child for you. You can make things work with her. I’m too far gone to run back into your arms again.”