High Class Love In The Lower Class Zone

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My mom’s advice to me when I became of age and started dating was; “Date within your class. It’s safer there.” My dad got richer very early in life. He started his first company when he was barely twenty-one years and it is that company that has become the cornerstone to all the wealth of my dad. My mom doesn’t come from a rich home and she wasn’t rich herself when my dad found her. It was love that drew her to my dad and they’ve been able to stay together for over thirty years. So when my mom told me to date within my class I was at a loss.

Love is love and it has no boundaries, that’s what I thought but my mom was very critical about whoever I brought home as my boyfriend. The questions my mom usually asked were as follows;

#1. What work do you do?

#2. Where do you live?

#3. What does your father do? How about your mom?

#4. Do you think you can take care of my daughter?

#5. If you follow your dreams, where would it lead you to?

If the answer to the first two questions isn’t satisfactory to her, she wouldn’t ask the rest of the questions. She’ll only say, “Nice meeting you” and walk away.

My dad was directly opposite to who my mom was. He didn’t care who you brought home and he wouldn’t even ask who you brought home any questions. He would instead ask me, “You think he’s a good man?” That was all.

Because of my mom’s behavior towards people, I became very selective when it came to men. I was looking for what will make my mom happy. I went around with my mom’s questions in my head, looking for a guy who can answer all those questions perfectly. I got some. I got many of them. I dated a few of them and it made my mom happy for a while. Soon they were gone and I was the one who had a broken heart to nurse. When I cried, I cried alone. Days when I was so down and couldn’t wake up and live, my mom would be walking around living her own life.

‘Bring who I will approve of but if things go bad, you’re on your own,” That’s what my mom sought to tell me.

After the break up with Alex, I decided enough was enough. I closed my heart to love and decided to concentrate on helping my father’s business. I was twenty-eight when my dad asked why at twenty-eight I didn’t have a boyfriend. He said, “At twenty-eight, at least you should be dating someone and looking forward to marriage in the next year. Marriage is a long journey whether you start early or late. If I were you, I would start early.”

I told him, “You know I’ve had quite a few men in my life and nothing good came out of them. I’m not searching but if one finds me and it’s a good one, I will say yes.”

Not too long afterward, I met Clement.

After two months of dating, I started assessing him with my mom’s questions;

#1. What work do you do?

Ans: I’m a credit officer for one of the rural banks.

#2. Where do you live?

Ans: Currently I’m living with my parents in Aboabo. Soon I will move out to my own place though.

At this stage, my mom would simply say, “Nice meeting you” and walk away but I’m not my mom so I will go ahead with the rest of the questions; 

#3. What does your father do? And your mom too?

Ans: My father is a retired military man. My mom has a shop she sells in.

#4. Do you think you can take care of my daughter?

Ans: Hmmmmm

Obviously he wasn’t doing very well with my mother’s questions so I decided to use my dad’s question to assess him;

“You think he’s a good man?”

Ans: Hell yes! Clement is a very good man.

He passed my dad’s assessment so that day I took Clement home, it was my dad I took him to. He offered him a drink and had a normal conversation with him. It was during the conversation that my mother joined. It was my dad who introduced Clement to my mom and because of that, she couldn’t ask those crazy questions. 

From that day on, Clement became that guy I could confidently introduce to others as my boyfriend. We dated for a year and a half before talking about marriage. He was eager for us to get married but I was slow to action because I wanted to know him very well. 

Fate brought us to a point where all we could say to each other was “I do.” So on that fateful afternoon in church, dressed in a black and white tuxedo, I took his hand in mine and we both declared our forever love to each other. “The two shall become one” so we became one that day. Everything I owned was his and everything he owned was mine. He had mad love for my car so he took it. It became his car. My dad employed him so we could have a comfortable life.

Three months after our wedding, I got pregnant. That pregnancy was the worse thing that ever happened to me. I started experiencing a series of complications, even seizures. At some point, I thought I was going to die. When the pregnancy was about six months, my mom asked me to come home so she could take care of me.

I discussed it with my husband and he agreed for me to go. He drove me to my parent’s house and that was it.

He wouldn’t call until I call. When he missed my call, he wouldn’t return it until I called back again. For two weeks, he never made an attempt to come to see me. I asked him questions and he got agitated. The job was always the excuse; “I was very busy at work today. So many things to attend to and so many errands to run.” I told him, “Clement, this position you’re occupying was once mine. I was in the second year at the university when I was handling that position. I never was as busy as you claim to be.” He will say, “Well, things have changed now.”

I got the impression that it was because of my mom that was why he wasn’t coming around. He found it very hard to be at ease in the presence of my mom and it was understandable. So mostly I lied to my mom about him. When he hadn’t come around, I told my mom he had come to visit while she was away. When he had never called, I told my mom, “Clement called. He sent his greetings.” I was covering up for him every day while begging him to just drop the work and let me see him.

Somedays he’ll pass by and hurriedly leave. Our calls never lasted for three minutes. He was always in a rush. 

And then I gave birth. He was there the very day I delivered. The day I was discharged from the hospital, I wanted him to drive me home, and again, he chose work over me. Nothing he did make sense. I hadn’t wronged him in any way but he treated me like we’ve had a fight not too long ago. So two weeks after delivery, I told my mom that I wanted to be home with my husband. She didn’t want me to go but I insisted and moved back home.

If I was going to know what the problem was, I had to be closer to him to see it. Things kept getting worse. He would leave home very early in the morning and come back very late in the night. “Work was very demanding so I had to stay late and work.” That was his excuse every day.

I told him one morning, “We need to talk.” He responded, “We’ll talk when I return from work.” I told him, “No you’re not going to work today. We have to talk.” He gave me this quizzical look and walked away. That day, he came back from work at 12am. The next day I spoke to someone at work and asked her to keep an eye on his activities.

It turned out that there was another woman in his life and that lady had been in his life even before I came into the picture. It was that lady he went to after work. Where the lady lives was rented and furnished by my husband. He found home with the other woman than to be with me. One dawn, I woke him up and asked, “Who is that girl?” He said, “You woke me up this early to ask me about another girl? If you can’t sleep, please allow me to sleep.” He pulled his cloth over his head and turned away from me.

I wasn’t going to allow him to get away, I started throwing all the evidence at him, who the girl was, where she lived, the rent he paid, and all. He realized I knew too much so he turned to talk to me:

“Who told you all that?”

“You think I don’t know? So it’s because of that girl that’s why you don’t pay attention to your family?”

“Who told you all that?”

“Why are you going after another woman when you are supposed to be married?”

“I didn’t marry you. You wanted a man and I was there for you. Our wedding, honeymoon, everything was your idea and money because you were looking for a man to be with and I agreed. You should give me credit for that.”

I was shocked to the marrow. All my life that was the most painful thing someone had said to me. I helped with our wedding but every decision concerning our marriage was his idea. The baby started crying so I lifted her up and started walking around with her. The pain was too much for me so I started crying with the baby.

We lived in the same house but he didn’t talk to me. He will wake up, dress up, and go to work. He’ll then come back home whenever he wants to. One morning while he was at work, I packed my things and went to my parents. I couldn’t talk to my mom about it so I confided in my father. He consoled me. He called my husband home and spoke to him at length and he said, “I said that out of anger because of those false accusations.”

He asked me to go home with him but I didn’t. One afternoon, I called his office and they told me he had left. I asked them to call me when he returned. They didn’t call me so it meant he didn’t return. I called my confidant and asked her to meet. I drove with her to the other woman’s house. His car was packed inside the compound at around 8pm. I went in there and knocked with my baby strapped behind me. The lady came out to see who was knocking. She knew me so there was this expression of fear in her eyes when she saw me. I told her, “Tell Clement I’m looking for him.” It took him forever to come out. He stood there, looking at me. I told him, “Now, where’s the lie?”

That day, I felt I’ve seen enough and have experienced enough and had to take action. I asked myself, “Why have I taking so long in taking action?” Maybe it was the fear of other people and what they’ll say. At some point, I felt I was the problem. If I couldn’t keep all the men who came into my life, then maybe the problem was me and not them so I was trying to keep this one to prove a point that there was nothing wrong with me and I was deserved of love and family. But that moment, everything became lucid that I needed to move on. Though I was hurt, I was ready to leave without hurting him.

It took me six months to finally make a move. Within those six months, I saw a lot of change in him. It felt like he had regained his senses. He was doing everything right. He came home early, he stayed home to play with the kid, he helped with other things. He was being the father and husband I knew he could be but it was too late. What he told me that night when we had a conversation kept ringing in my ear every now and then. The day I saw him with the other woman became a picture too hard to erase.

When he least expected it, I served him with the divorce papers. He screamed, “But I thought everything was fine? I’ve been making effort and the two of us are making progress.” I didn’t have any words for him. At some point, he thought I was using the divorce to induce him to commit to the marriage. The day he realized the whole thing was real, he came crying to me to let everything go. I told him, “I’m not angry with you. I’m doing it for my peace of mind and for the safety of us both. I can kill you the next time you make the wrong move. Let’s prevent that.”

It took us a year and a half for us to finalize our divorce. 

I didn’t take anything away from him. The car he was using was in my name but I told him he could use it till he buys his own. He still had his job though he resigned a year later. He was still living in that house we were living until a year later when he resigned from work that he moved out. It was my father’s house so he couldn’t keep it. 

It’s been three years since the divorce but he still drives my car. From all indications, he’s not bringing it back to me but that’s alright. We have a child together. He comes around often to see her and both of us are very good friends. We can only stick around each other if we want to raise a better child. And one secrete; He borrows money from me every now and then and never pays back. He pretends he had forgotten and I pretend I’ve forgiven him. 

That girl who came between us?

It didn’t work out between them.  

Tracy, Ghana


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