“My name is Julius and you are”
”My name is Mercy.”
“Nice meeting you Mercy.”
“Nice meeting you Julius.”
He sat next to me, picked a bottle of water on the table and started drinking. “Is this program going to start at all?” He questioned. “It’s almost 8pm and we are the only people here.” I responded, “Maybe others are still on their way coming. You know Africans and our time issues. Let’s just hope it starts soon.”
He turned to me and asked, “Your name again?” I wasn’t going to answer that because I just mentioned my name not too long ago. He saw my facial expression and said jokingly, “Don’t worry I’m teasing you. So Mercy, do you always have this patience?” That question started our night-long conversation. We didn’t even realize when the program started. I got to know a little about him. From the way he asked a lot of questions, I believed he got a lot of information about me.
When they started sharing the food, he said, “Just tell me what you want and sit down. I’ll get it for you. And yes he did. He was fun to be with and was straightforward. He looked like a guy who had nothing to hide. He said, “At my age and my experience, if I ever try to hide who I am to a woman, then I don’t deserve to be the man I see myself to be.”
We exchanged contacts and started our friendship from that point going. In our next meeting, he told me what he did for a living. When we met again on another date, he told me I was interesting and wanted to know more about me. After a month or two in friendship, he told me he had been married for two and a half years. I asked him, “So why don’t you wear a ring like all married men do?” He answered, “I don’t wear a ring because we are in the process of getting a divorce?”
I acted calm and indifferent but deep down I wanted to scream, “Why in the name of hell are you getting a divorce after just two and half years of marriage?” Maybe he sensed the questions in my eyes so he started talking, “People always ask why I’m getting a divorce and they think there’s no problem under this sun that married couples can’t resolve. We’ve tried to resolve our differences but it didn’t work out and it’s not as though we are bitter. We are only getting a divorce because it’s the best thing for both of us.”
People don’t usually know what’s best for them. They pretend they know but mostly they don’t. I believed before he married his wife, he thought the best thing for both of them was to get married. They got married so why are they thinking divorce is the best thing for them now? I asked him, “What changed?” He answered, “A lot of things stayed the same and that’s our problem. Usually, things change and you like the change so you don’t complain but in our case, nothing changed.
Julius was a nurse. His wife was once his patient. Just a year after knowing each other, Julius took her to the altar. His wife was in a wheelchair. After the accident that brought her to the hospital where Julius was working, she wasn’t able to walk again. She was rich and she had rich parents. When they got to know each other very well, Julius proposed and she said yes. But when Julius was talking about his marriage to me, he said, “I married her not because of her money. Maybe out of pity and for the fact that she was vulnerable.”
Of all the reasons to get married, pity and vulnerability are the worse combinations but according to Julius, the lady agreed to marry him because he was patient with her while she was at the hospital. People forget one thing; nurses are trained to be patient because they deal with people who are called patients. It doesn’t mean nurses are patient in real life. Julius got it wrong and his wife also got it wrong and that was the reason both of them couldn’t live any longer.
I’ve always been a careful person when it came to other people but Julius had a charm I couldn’t resist. I loved his intelligence and I loved the way he made me feel when I was with him. When he proposed to me I told him, “I’m here. I’m not going anywhere and I can wait until you finalize your divorce. No matter how long it takes, I’ll wait.” After that day, I didn’t know who I was to him. A friend? A girlfriend in-waiting or a wife in-waiting? Nothing made sense anymore. I was waiting for him to be free before running into his arms but time was running slow and my heart couldn’t wait any longer so when he tried to kiss me one night, I didn’t fight him.
We kissed that night and added other stuff to the kissing the next day. It was superb and for once I felt the calm of my own heartbeat. I was a girlfriend in waiting but I’d kissed him and I’ve had sex with him too so who was I to him? Some times a woman has to do what a woman has to do so I went all in and loved him like my life depended on it. His divorce dragged but I had patience. I knew he was going to get it over with so we could have our happily ever after.
Six months after being with him, it became official. Their divorce was granted. He said to me, “You are no more my wife in waiting. You’re the real deal.” I should have been happy but a little bit of me was thinking about the feeling of the other woman who just left the scene. I asked him, “Was she happy when the divorce was officially granted?” He said, “She wanted it as much as I wanted it. I guess she was happy.”
The beginning of me and Julius was neigh and I couldn’t wait to be his official girlfriend. At this point, you can call me naive, stupid or ignorant and you wouldn’t be wrong. Looking back I ask myself, why did I make that boy my one and everything? It’s not as though I hadn’t been in love before or something. So what was it about him that made me so stupid in the whole relationship?
To date, I have had no answer to that question.
Nothing changed between me and Julius. He was that caring guy who always thought of me and tried to give me the best. I was that bubbly girl who built a sandcastle around him, thinking not even an earthquake could shake the foundations of what I’d built with him but the wave pushed through and everything I built came down flat in the sand. It turned out, “Nothing changed” is as bad as “Everything changed.”
Julius didn’t change towards me and I didn’t change towards him but after one and half years in a relationship with him, Julius married another woman. You’re saying aahh! right? Are you surprised? Yeah, he did and I never saw it coming. Not even a hint.
He traveled to Kisumu for only a week and he got married there. Men are magicians, right? Just when you think you’ve seen it all, they come along and pull the best of magic you never thought was possible. That girl he got married to, who was she?
They met on Facebook just around the same time that he was going through with the divorce. I still don’t know whether he met her first before he met me or met me first before her. During our relationship, he traveled to Kisumu often with the excuse of going to see his parents. Some times he would tell me, “The next visit would be you and me where I introduce you to my parents. But the next time was never a good time. It was either his mother was sick or his father had been bitten by a snake or his brother had swallowed a coin and was in critical condition. I was always waiting for the right time to be introduced.
He got married to someone else while I was busy thinking I was the one.
I needed answers. I deserved to be told why and how and what went wrong but I gave myself some time to finish crying first. I didn’t want to call him with tears in my voice. I wanted him to know I was stronger and no man deserved my tears especially cheats and idiots like him. He wasn’t going to call me and confess his sins so when I felt ready, I called him. He didn’t pick the first call and didn’t pick the second one. Some hours later, I saw his call on my phone.
I said to myself, “Be calm. Don’t act stupid. Remember no man deserves your tears.” I picked up the phone. I said, “Why did you do that to me?” He said, “Mercy, please let me explain things to you.” And then my stupid stupid heart gave up on me. It started beating faster. I started getting angry and I was shaking. Then I started crying. In tears, I asked him, “What can you explain? Are you such a coward? Why didn’t you be bold and tell me the truth?”
I couldn’t hold myself together. I cried throughout while he was on the phone trying to put one and one together to make it three. He said he was sorry and I said he should go to hell where he would never have peace and happiness. I hang up and cried more. This story I’m sharing with you isn’t an old story. It happened just a month ago and I still cry.