The first pregnancy nearly killed my wife so after our baby was born we agreed not to have kids again. “One is enough,” I told her. “I can’t risk it again. I’d rather have you here with me than get surrounded by kids without their mother.” She answered, “You don’t have to tell me. What I’ve gone through to deliver this boy, I doubt I will ever go through that again.”
So for two years, we were careful. We put measures in place not to get pregnant again. When our boy was four years old, my wife started complaining, “Don’t you think Kobby is lonely? Look around. Every kid around here has someone but our Kobby is all alone. Let’s try and give him a sister or a brother. One more child wouldn’t hurt anybody.”
At first, I brushed it aside as wishful thinking. We were not going to have kids again and it was final. She never stopped talking about it until I asked her, “Are you serious about having another child?” She said, “Yes I’m serious. Kobby needs a brother or sister. We owe him that much.” I said, “But we agreed…” She won’t let me land. “We agreed. Yes. But that agreement wasn’t written in stone. We can change it. Why am I even talking too much? I’ve already removed the implant. You wait and see.”
She reminded me of a woman who used to be in the neighborhood while growing up. She was called “Mewie.” It’s a Twi language, meaning, “I’m done.” According to my mother, the woman started saying, “Mewie” when she had her second child. But she never stopped giving birth until her sixth child. The funny thing was, after every delivery she would say, “Wei diɛ, mewie.” My mother said, “Never trust a woman who tells you that she’s done giving birth immediately after delivery. Mostly, they talk out of pain. With time, they forget about the pain and are willing to go again.” When my wife brought up the topic of the second child, I remembered what my mother said. I said in my head, “So it’s true…”
A year later she got pregnant again. If the first one nearly killed her, then the second one killed her but got resurrected by the miraculous finger of God. For several months she couldn’t walk. She couldn’t even hold the baby. Each time she tried to pick the baby up she said, “It’s like the bones in my arms have melted. I can’t.” She would cry and eat nothing for days. It got terrible at night when the baby cried and she couldn’t do anything about it. Her mom was there to help but she wished she could do it all by herself.
We met a lot of doctors and even resorted to traditional medicine at some point before my wife could walk again. When she started walking, it was as if she hadn’t walked all her life. She used crutches for days before she started leaning on walls for support while she walks. I was there with her. Through it all, supporting her, feeding her, bathing her, and sometimes cleaning her up. When she finally learned to walk by herself and learned to lift things by herself, the baby was already six months. She had already spent her maternity leave and because the office didn’t know when she was going to resume, they replaced her. They kept paying her until she was strong enough to go back to the office. The very day she went to the office, she was given a termination letter. The HR told her, “I’m sorry. We didn’t know when you were going to report to work. Your work is crucial so we hired someone else to do it.”
Our lives changed drastically. It looked like each day brought new troubles—troubles that sought to push us off balance. My wife was always crying. Even when I assured her of unflinching support, she kept crying. I understood her perfectly. My wife isn’t a woman who sits idle and watches the world goes around. She would rather be the reason the world goes around than just be a spectator so losing her job was really hard for her. A year passed quickly without us noticing it. One day I saw our last baby walking and trying to say, “Mama” or “Dada” I was like, “Hey, when were you born that you’re already talking? My wife said, “He’s already a year old, remember?”
We even forgot to celebrate his birthday because we were going through a lot.
One day she found a new job. She was so happy I got infected by her happiness. That night when we went to sleep, my penis got up for the first time in a very long while. It had been over a year since I slept with my wife. She had been very sick. She had lost a job. She had been very depressed. She had been crying. A husband to such a wife can’t afford an erection. It’s the reason why I didn’t think of shuperu all that while. She asked me, “Do you want to get me pregnant again?” I said, “No, that’s not the idea. You just got a job. What better way to celebrate it than get jiggy again. If you’re scared, I will withdraw so we don’t get into trouble again.” She didn’t want me to do it but I persuaded her until she obliged. She was dryer than the desert.
We used all forms of lube but it never help. Everything dried up as soon as I made an attempt. It continued for several months until we decided to talk to a Therapist. After a whole session the therapist said, “At this moment, all the work rests on your shoulders. You have to work your way into her. You remember those days when you were dating? All the things you did to make her fall in love with you, you have to bring it back. Woo her. Put her in the mood. Seduce her brain first and all other things shall fall in place for you.”
I set to work immediately. I took her to places every night after work. I bought her a gift. I took her to the place we spent our honeymoon. I would call her in the afternoon and be flirty with her. When we chatted, I was very explicit. I went into details of we would do it when we get home; “Do you remember the first time we did it in the shower? How your body twirled and convulsed? Yeah, I’m bringing that vibe back tonight.” I will do everything a man will do to get the cookie but all that my wife will say is, “So, you are doing all these just to get the cookie? Is life all about getting the cookie? Is that all marriage is about? Take your time. I’m all yours. When the time is right, you’ll have it until you can’t have no more.”
We went back to our therapist and I told her everything. Again, she put all the work on me, asking me to go to the moon and chip a piece of it into a plate and bring it back to my wife. The work got harder and harder until I gave up. It had already been over two years without shuperu. One evening, I slid into a random lady’s DM and said, “I need someone to talk to. Can you please hear me out?” She responded, “Please, I’m engaged. I got engaged only yesterday. Talk to the next girl. She might hear you out.” I responded, “Congratulations on your engagement. I wish you well but love has a way of turning one’s life around. I’m not saying it will happen to you. I’m saying it’s not all rosy. Just so you know.” She responded, “Whatever” and blocked me.
I saw a photo of a girl on my friend’s status. I told him, “She’s cute. Link me up if she’s not your girlie.” A week later, I was chatting with that girl. We talked ceaselessly for over four days. She asked me, “What do you have in mind?” I answered, ”I like you. From the very first day I set my eyes on you on his status, life hasn’t been the same for me. I think about you every day. I think I want to be with you.” She said, “He told me you are married or he was lying to me?” I answered, “I’m married and depressed. I won’t lie to you. All I want now is a woman who will understand my situation and give me a chest to lie on.” She asked, “And then what?” I answered, “And then we take it from there.”
She ranted, “You’re married but looking for another woman you can use to cure your depression? Not me. Talk to the next girl. She might hear you out.” Before I could explain further, she cut the line on me. I didn’t even know her name. I hadn’t even met her. That was how desperate I was. I called her number several times afterward. She didn’t pick up so I stopped bothering her. A month or so later she called me; “Have you found someone already?” I answered, “I wasn’t searching. Once you left, it was over for me.” We talked all day that day. She said, “I will help you but it’s not going to be free. I have needs. You’ll satisfy those needs. Once that is done, we are good to go.”
The first time I was visiting her place, she sent me a list of things she needed me to buy and I got them. I got to her place and she looked more beautiful than I saw her in the photos. She cooked for me. She served the drink I bought. After eating she asked me, “So what else?” We made love that day. I felt like a boy who was getting it for the first time. We did it again and again until I ran out of breath. We spent the rest of the day talking. She asked me, “So what’s really wrong with you and your wife?” I held nothing back. I told her everything. She said, “Take your time with her. Time heals. She would be fine and once she’s good, your marriage will heal. Don’t use this as an excuse to be promiscuous. It’s a crazy world out there. Anything at all can happen.”
It wasn’t my intention to fall in love with her but each day when we talked on the phone, she left me thinking about nothing but her. When I was with her I didn’t want to leave. She cooked the best meals and had the best conversation. We connected on a deeper level than I’d ever been with anyone. I asked her, “So why did you agree to be with me? A girl like you should have men running after you. What happened?” She held nothing back. She told me everything—from her first-ever boyfriend to the last one who got married to her friend after breaking up for only eight months. We were two different people but somewhere, our pain collided and we became one.
My wife wasn’t dumb. She saw it in my demeanor. Maybe it was because I was no longer pushing her for it. One evening she asked, “Who is she?” “Who is who? “That girl you’re seeing?” I chuckled and walked away. When we went to bed she brought up the topic again. I said, “Do what a wife must do for a husband. That’s what’s important here. You see shadows because you think a man can’t be faithful for this long. Well, I’m still faithful. There’s no one.” She said, “Don’t hit it raw. There are a lot of diseases hovering around these days.” I didn’t give that conversation any more mileage. I killed it before it got to the point where the two of us would fight about it.
One night I touched my wife and her fountain broke. I was like, “Since when?” She said, “Since you stopped pursuing me.” We had the best time of our life that night. We did it again and again and again and again. Every ‘again’ represents one round. Do the maths.
That night she cried. She said, “I don’t know what was happening to me. It was like all of a sudden my own body has turned against me. I’ve really suffered. Thank God I still have my marriage. I hope it continues the same way.” By then, I had dated the side girl for eight months and growing stronger each day. My wife was back to normal so there was no need to keep her. But that girl was a perfect human. Though she said she had needs, she never took anything material from me. If I bought her anything, she made use of it in such a way that the two of us could benefit from it. It hurt that I had to leave her when our love was growing stronger. I didn’t even know how to tell her that I was leaving so I stopped seeing her and stopped picking up her calls. When she sent a text, I responded, “Sorry. I was very busy.” She replied, “I’m here, call me whenever you’re no longer busy.”
I called her less and less until I stopped. She never called me. We went for two weeks without hearing from each other. I felt guilty so I called her. “The number you’re trying to call cannot be reached at this moment…” For a whole week, I kept getting the same tone so I called her with someone else’s phone and it went through. She heard my voice and said, “Stop trying to call me. You owe me nothing so stop feeling indebted. Go on with your life like the two of us never happened.” I said, “I’m sorry but the truth is my wife caught me so I have to lay low for a while.” She said, “Lay low forever.”
That was her last phrase; “Lay low forever.” That phrase has now become my life’s anthem. I’m laying low from all troubles so I can enjoy my marriage to the fullest. I’m laying low from crazy expenses so I can take better care of my family. I’m laying low Iike a seed in the ground so when it rains, I’ll sprout and become a better fruit. I’m taking life as a ‘low laying’ game—one match at a time. One win at a time. A loss once in a while.
I think about her every now and then as the woman who saved my marriage from sinking when the sea got turbulent. I didn’t have time to say thank you but wherever she is, I pray she finds the love that would make her heart sing and her life dance to the melodies of her heart.