He’s fifty-five years old but age is just a number so he walks around pretending he’s thirty-five years. In fact, during our first meeting when he wanted to make an impression on me he said, “I’m not old as you perceive me to be. Ask my friends, I turned thirty-five only a few days ago. I laughed at what he said but his confidence and swag caught my attention immediately. There is something about men who walk up to you uninvited to tell you their hearts as if you deserve to know what’s in their hearts. It was a bar setting. I was sitting with Becky while waiting for Blessing to join. When we walked into the bar, he looked at us because he was facing directly to the entrance. Immediately Becky visited the washroom and I saw him getting up, something told me he was coming to me.
I said straight and stiffened my neck. He got to me and sat in the seat Becky was sitting on. He said, “My name is Captain and I would love to be a friend.” Before I could say a word, his arm was stretched ready for a handshake. I placed my palm in his palm and he said, “Thanks for the acceptance of friendship. Here’s my card. I don’t want to distract you and your friends. Please call me immediately when you leave. We can get along and talk about things that interest us.” I put his card in my purse and let go of my stiff neck.
I called him a day later. I told him I was sorry that I couldn’t call and that we spent all the night at the bar and left very late. He didn’t say much apart from, “It’s ok. I’m even happy that you called.” Our first outing was at the same bar. His friends were there. They were all wearing suits and tie and looked like men who had their shit together. He introduced me to them and one passed the alcohol to me immediately. I smiled and said, “No, I don’t do alcohol. I’m sorry.” The night was great, the food was divine and the music was soothing.
A little over a month later, we were dating. He had his ring on when he proposed to me but that didn’t mean a thing to me. I loved the fact that he loved me enough to bring me into his circle. He has four kids with a woman who looks like she was created with special tools in heaven—polished skin and a face so beautiful. He had been married for twenty-five years and according to him, marriage had lost its spark and that he was living with his wife as if they were siblings. I listened to his story keenly because I wanted to know where I fit and what role he wanted me to play.
He told me, “I love you very much and I’m ready to support this relationship with all I have but it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t address the elephant in the room. I’m married, you’re not. A time will come when you may meet someone. I won’t block your shine and I won’t try to stop you from pursuing what you love. The only thing I will require from you at that moment is the truth. Don’t hide things from me. When he proposes and you accept, please let me know.”
“What will you do if I tell you I’ve met someone? Will you leave me? Will that be the end of us?”
“We haven’t gotten to the bridge yet. We’ll definitely cross it when we get there.”
Our relationship was a stress-free kind of relationship. There were specific days he came to me and that day, I made sure I prepared for him. He never sleeps over but he could stay until around 12am. At some point he told me he didn’t like the neighbourhood I live in so he rented a new place for me, a single room self contain in a prime area. All of a sudden, he was doing everything to change the girl I was when he met me. If I put on a wig and he didn’t like it, the following day we would visit a wig shop. If we were going to a place where he wanted a certain look from me, he would shop the dresses for me himself. I love the care and sunshine he brought my way so for a very long time, I didn’t pay attention to men who came my way.
And then Julius came along and changed everything for me. I told him no a thousand times but each time I said no he told me, “I will wait for you. Whatever is making you say no would someday lose its power. I want to be there at that moment to pick a yes from you.” He pursued me for over a year until I decided to pay attention to him. At some point, I said yes to a relationship but also asked him to give me time to put certain things in order. He understood me. He wasn’t intrusive. He only came around at the times I allowed him to come around. It got to a time I realized he was taking over my attention completely. He came with good dreams and a plan to achieve those dreams and I fell totally for it.
That aside, he was a man I could call my own, someone I wasn’t sharing, a piece of the universe I can have for myself. So I started hatching a plan to communicate my intentions to Captain. Captain isn’t a difficult man but no matter how you look at it, it was a difficult subject to talk about. I walk to him and say, “Captain, I’ve found someone I think I love.” And then what? That question was everything that pulled my breaks.
One evening I sent him a message, “I think it’s about time we talked about what is going on in my life.” He sent a text back, “You have a boyfriend?” “Yes,” I answered.
“He’s someone who has been working hard to get my attention for a while now. I said yes to him a few days ago.”
“Wow, you love him?”
“I don’t know. I love you so how is it possible that I can love another person? I’m confused.”
“So why don’t you give it some time to be sure first?”
“I’ve already said yes to him. He’s serious about us. He has started coming around.”
“Does he know about us?”
“No, I haven’t told him about us.”
“Introduce me to him. I’m a man. I want to assess him and see if he’s the right material for this gown.”
He sounded innocuous but I was careful not to get carried away. No matter what, a man is still a man. He never loses his territorial instinct. I waited until he kept asking and asking and then I said, “OK, I will invite him in so you meet him. But how do I introduce you?” He answered, “I’m your relative. You don’t need to go into details.”
If I listened to my instinct, I wouldn’t have brought Julius in. Everything was telling me I’m embarking on a dangerous adventure but I had huge trust in Captain so I went on anyway. They both met in the evening. He was there before Captain arrived. Julius got up and extended his hand but Captain didn’t take it. He said, “So you’re the Julius guy who’s putting confusion in the head of my princess? Who are you and what do you do?” Julius was about to answer those questions when Captain screamed, “You don’t have to answer that. Obviously, you don’t have anything worthwhile doing. If you love your life and want peace, you’ll stay away from this one. I don’t warn people twice and you won’t be the first.”
I was shaking in my seat. Julius was confused so he kept looking my way for answers. I said, “But Captain, I thought we discussed this so why are you doing this to me?” He answered, “He’s not worth it. I don’t like him. If you also decide to persist with him, you won’t have it kindly with me.”
And then he stormed out.”
Julius kept asking me, “Is that how he behaves? He’s not even your father so why is he assuming this much authority?” I answered, “You don’t understand. He took care of me from infancy. Don’t worry, I will handle it.”
Now, Captain comes to my place without telling me. He comes around at odd hours to knock on my door. He would inspect every place in my room and then leave. He’s trying so hard to catch us together but it’s not happening. This has been going on for the past three months. I want to leave Captain and build something with Julius but the problem now is the financial status of Julius. He lives in a small room and can’t afford to rent what I’m in. That’s not even the issue. He’s not there yet but the dream is solid. Somehow, he thinks I have money due to where I live and the way I carry myself around. If I leave Captain, the change would be so drastic he would know and ask questions.
That’s my confusion now. Slowly I’m moving away from Captain. I don’t call him or text him but he comes around to organize those random searches and he leaves. I don’t know what to do to get out of this mess. I know I created the mess myself but I need help. Thank you.