The first boy I ever loved was James. We were childhood sweethearts. At some point, we outgrew each other and our relationship came to an end. The break-up was a mutual one. Today, we are still good friends. He is married now with kids. He claims he got married because he was getting old and I wasn’t ready to marry him.
After him, I met Bernard. We were on campus together and our love felt like the kind in ‘young adult’ romance novels. He was the first person I gave my body to. He broke it and proceeded to break my heart. Later he married a girl he had introduced to me as his aunt. Yes, that happened. We still talk, and he still wants to get a piece of me. I don’t do married men so that’s never going to happen.
After Bernard I dated Moses, I call him small Moses. I was still on campus and I honestly didn’t love him. I was just with him because I didn’t want to be alone. On the day we broke up, he introduced me to his mother. The energy I picked from her showed she didn’t like me. That’s why we broke up. He tried to hold on to me but there was nothing to hold on to. I hear he is getting married soon.
After him I met another Moses, I call this one big Moses. He was my boss at my first workstation. He was full of charm and charisma. Before I realized it, I had fallen face flat in love with him. So in love with him that when I found out he was married with a child back in the city, I couldn’t leave him. My mother heard about it. She caused chaos but I still could not leave him. I gave him four years of my life.
I then met Emanuel. That’s how I was able to leave big Moses. Emanuel, my baby daddy. He is the absentee father to my eight-year-old son. This guy swept me off my feet. We were working for the same employer but in different towns. But boy, were we in love. I then got a transfer to another town further away from him. He told me to quit and join him in the city. I thank God I never listened to him. For a whole year, we were in a long-distance relationship. We spent every weekend together. I either travelled to the city or he visited me in my work town. After a while, I met his people. They loved me although we come from different tribes. He had an ex who had his daughter. They come from the same locality. She called me one day and told me “You are the reason he left me. Trust me, he will leave you too. Emanuel and his people assured me that she belonged to the past.
One day my aunt and my mom visited me. My aunt told me, “I had a dream about you. In the dream, there was a tree with your name engraved on it. This tree had beautiful fruits, but when I plucked one, it wasn’t ripe.” They told me not to rush my blessings, and I tried not to. But along the way I got pregnant. Everybody apart from my parents was happy. Being their firstborn, they expected me to do things the right way. My mom started planning a wedding. It couldn’t happen. Emanuel resigned from his job because he had issues with the boss. I later got a better job and moved to the city to be with him. My mom warned me against moving in with him but I was a woman in love. We moved in together and had our baby boy.
I was the sole breadwinner in our home. I acted like a married woman, going around the house fixing what ought to be fixed. Emanuel did not care that he was now a family man. He would come home late. Sometimes he would disappear for a whole weekend. Once, we went out and he got so drunk he pulled my hair and beat me up. I ran away and slept in a hotel only to go home in the morning to find him waiting for me with a knife in his hand. It took God’s intervention for me to escape that day. I took my baby home to my parents and moved in with a cousin. Our families later met and we reconciled. I loved him so I gave him another chance.
After that incident, our relationship never went back to normal though we continued living together. I took a loan to help him start a business but that business never took off.
In 2017, I met Teddy, the man who brought chaos into my life. Emanuel and I had reached a point of no return. Our beautiful love was dead. He went to his sister’s wedding in Germany and left me in debt. Teddy saved me.
We dated for a year and then moved in together. He loved my son from day one. He took him to a good school and catered for him like his own son. For once I felt taken care of. I was used to paying bills and hustling through difficult situations but Teddy came and changed all that. He took good care of me. It was refreshing. But let me tell you this, our relationship was full of physical, emotional, and psychological torture. I still have a scar on my upper left eye to show for it. I will not go into the details but that man destroyed me. He met me at my weakest, rescued me and later damaged me.
After every disagreement, he would tell me to leave his house, a house we sold my car to renovate. Later he bought me a car but he took it away just to cause me more torture. He wanted to buy a matatu. He demanded I top up so I took a loan. He then wanted a truck. I took another Ioan and topped him up. See, I never learn. At a point, I wanted to leave him but my payslip could not pay for accommodation for me and my son.
One day after another disagreement, he asked me to leave his house. For the first time, I left. It was in November 2019. I left even though I didn’t know where to go. I took my child back home to my parents and moved in with a relative. For two months, I was homeless. Teddy went to talk to my parents, and my uncles so I would return to him. But my mind was made up. I never went back. Even today, he still tries to get me back but it’s never happening.
I took a loan, rented a house, and went for my child. My 2020 was a difficult one financially, but we survived. I enrolled my child in a cheaper but good school and life went on.
Fred came into the picture, a work colleague. We had worked together for years but we were just friends until all of a sudden, feelings developed. You see the way doctors prescribe drugs in doses, that’s how Fred’s love was. It was in small good doses that left me yearning for more. Our moments together were beautiful but he had a habit of disappearing and reappearing whenever he pleased. I had not been loved properly for a long time so I had so much love to share. Along the line, I found out that Fred was dating four of us at the workplace. I then understood why he was inconsistent. It was hard but I had to let him go.
Titus came along in November 2020. He had been a friend for a few months before my breakup. I told him about Fred. He was sorry for me. A relationship started. He was everything I wanted at that particular time. He loved me well. I finally found the one I could give all the love I had in my heart to. But Titus was something else. First, he made sure I spent every moment I’m not working with him. I could not meet my friends. Not that he told me not to, but he got moody whenever I had to meet them and I would end up changing my plans for him. He constantly said, “That’s how a relationship should be. Just the two of us, all the time.”
He would go through my phone and track my movements. I felt it was too much but I Ioved him. I tried all I could to assure him that he was the only man in my life. Then he got sick and recuperated in my house for months. I got worried and I looked for his dad’s contact. His father asked; “How come he is living with you? Did he not tell you that he has a family? My son has four children with three women. Don’t be deceived.” Man, I was dejected. When I confronted Titus he said, “Would you have been with me if you knew?” As if that was a good reason for him to lie to me. We were together for one year.
Now to Richard, the person who made me write to Silent Beads. We started dating in February this year. I met him as a client in 2017 and we lost touch for a while. When we reconnected, we were both single. I have good things to say about him. He is kind, loving, intelligent, and a gentleman. Did I say he is handsome? He is. For the first time in my life, I had a man opening doors for me. It’s the little things that steal my heart. He would wake up and pack my breakfast, and lunch when I spent the night at his house. He took me to dinners and romantic places. He bought me gifts when there were no occasions. One day we were out on a walk, and he plucked a flower and tucked it into my hair. I felt like we were in a telenovela.
When I introduced him to my family, they were a bit sceptical. “It hasn’t been so long after your last relationship. Don’t you think you are rushing into another one too soon?” I stood my ground, “You don’t understand. It’s different with Richard. I love him.” As time went on I noticed he had a temper. Not like the one Teddy had, but a bad temper is always a cause for concern. He also used to check out girls in my presence. When I tried to complain, he dismissed me. On his 40th birthday, I booked us a weekend getaway. It was expensive but I felt he deserved it.
Our problems began when he told me, “My friends and their wives are coming over for the weekend. I want us to host them.” I was anxious the entire week. It was the first time I was being introduced to friends by a man. Before his friends arrived Richard started withdrawing from me. I was supposed to go to the market with his cleaning lady to shop for the weekend. When I arrived at his house the cleaning lady said, “Boss left for the market with a friend. Didn’t he tell you?” I shook my head. I started feeling out of place. I was supposed to be the lady of the house but I didn’t even know the plan. During the hangout, I couldn’t bond with the women. It bothered me.
The following week on a Monday, I felt a strong urge to pray for my relationship. I’m not a Catholic but I believe in the novena. I started the 3-day novena to the Holy Spirit. My prayer was very specific, “God if Richard is the man for me, then bless our relationship. But if he is not, show me who is.”
Our communication was still off that week. I remember complaining to him but he said everything was okay. On Thursday after I was done with the novena, we talked. He is a perfectionist while I’m the opposite. For me, leaving an earring on the kitchen counter is not a big deal. I’ll pick it up later. I’ll eat and leave the plate on the table till I’m ready to take it to the sink. While he will take it to the sink immediately after he’s done eating. I put more emphasis on my work because it is how I can afford to cater to my child’s needs. Other things don’t bother me unless they are necessary. He had an issue with that and I was working on it. So that Thursday I asked him, “Do you want to give me time to work on my issues or you will stick with me as I work on them?” He asked me what I wanted. I told him to stick with me. “We will talk more when I get home.” He said.
I waited for his call but it never came. I tried calling him but he didn’t pick up my calls. The next day too I couldn’t reach him. I couldn’t sleep that night so I went to his house at 2:00 AM. I had a key. He was in bed when I got in. He didn’t want to talk to me. I had to beg him to talk to me. He told me, “You are a narcissist. Everything in this relationship is all about you. I am always walking on eggshells around you because I don’t want to trigger your past trauma. It’s exhausting.”
I was shocked at his outburst. “Why didn’t you ever tell me you were not happy? I had to beg you to talk to me just now.” He said seeing me happy made him happy. I apologized for making him feel he had to put my needs above his. He shook his head and said, “It’s too late for apologies now. I don’t want to continue this relationship anymore. It’s not healthy for me.” I begged him to let me love him better. I wasn’t ready to lose him. We went to church together that Sunday, as was our routine. He was the ever-doting dad to my son. He took us to lunch and we had a beautiful day. He spent the night with me that day. The next morning was beautiful as usual. I prepared his breakfast and kissed and hugged him as he left. He even sent me memes that morning. During the day, he went silent on me.
I went to his place in the evening when I couldn’t get a hold of him. He wasn’t home. I waited for him, feeling desperate and so low. When he finally got home he told me, “I need space. I am not sure how I feel about you anymore.” I died that day. Okay, I’m still alive but a piece of me died that day.
It’s been a month. A month of tears, sleepless nights, and panic attacks. He deleted my number and unfollowed me on social media. I would have gone into depression if it wasn’t for my friends, Faith and Makena who have been holding my hand. My mom’s prayers are also keeping me together. I have started therapy.
Slowly I know I will heal. For the first time in a long time, I am single. I will take my time and put myself and my child first.
Love? Give up? Me? No. I’m still optimistic and I’m a hopeless romantic!