When you meet the one your love, the one your soul wants to be with it, it hits you. No voice comes out of the sky to tell you, “This is the one I’ve “chosen for you” but somehow, deep within your heart you know she’s the one. Their flaws dim in your presence. Their mistakes don’t shine. Their bad life choices don’t put you off. Your heart is in love and you’re ready to go for it.
That’s what happened when I found Akuorkor. To date, I haven’t been able to pinpoint that thing that made me fall in love with her. It’s not her beauty—she doesn’t have a lot of that. It’s not the way she walks or talks to me. I can mention everything about her and say, “No that’s not it” but she was the one my heart fell for. She has a daughter. That was what delayed my plans of proposing to her. I thought the child’s Dad was in her life. She wasn’t wearing a ring but she looked like a woman who had a man in her life.
I got closer just to find out. Friends were not sure. I spoke to a couple of them who told me, “They are still together. She goes to him often and I see the man with the child often.” I pulled the breaks but my intuition was pushing me to go forward. I called her one day, “Akuorkor, are you doing something over the weekend? There’s a wedding I’m attending and would like to go with you.” She found it strange.”Why would you like to go to a wedding with me? What’s happening there?” I answered, “A lot of my old friends would be there. I don’t want them to think I’m still single.” She laughed harder. She said, “So I’m the one you’re going to use to wash away your shame? Don’t worry, I’ll go with you.” I asked, “Your husband-to-be won’t have a problem with it?” She answered, “Who’s that husband to be? Please I’m single.”
In the car going to the wedding, I asked a lot of questions about her daughter and about that man she had her daughter with. She said, “We are no longer together. His plan was to make me a second wife but I’m too mature to fall for that. I didn’t do it. I have his child. He’s 100% involved with the child. He takes care of everything concerning the child so I’m free to live my own life.”
My heart rested. I smiled a lot more than usual. I knew the stars have aligned for me to make her my own. At the wedding when the couple were exchanging vows, I told her, “We can have something like this very soon but you don’t like me so it’s alright.” She stepped on my shoes. When I looked at her she said, “Be a man and go straight to the point.”
I didn’t go straight to the point that day but she still got the point. We talked often and saw each other often. One day I was with her when her daughter’s father came in. She introduced me to him as her boyfriend. The man looked at me from head to toe and said, “I hope he’s a good man?” She answered, “That should be my own problem.” The man came for her daughter and they walked away. That day, I proposed. She said yes. Seven months later, we got married.
Right from the start of our marriage, we started having issues. The issue had to do with the father of her daughter. He was coming around more often than I could contain. It looked like he was doing it to spite me. He would come at odd hours in the name of his daughter. When he had to bring her back, he would bring her late in the night, take my wife outside and talk to her for a while. He would see me looking at them and start acting touchy. I told Akuorkor, “Talk to your man. Things have changed. You’re no longer the single mother he left. You’re married. You need to keep a home and he has to respect that home. He can come around but not the times he comes around and not as often as he comes around.”
She listened. She brought sanity to the issue. She fought him off and asked him to stay away from her. They made a different arrangement concerning the kid. If he wanted to spend the weekend with the kid, he had to go to the kid’s school on Friday and pick her up. He would then have to send the kid to school on Monday so her mom would go for her on that Monday after school. That single arrangement brought sanity into our marriage. I looked at her and I was proud of her resolve to make things work in our marriage.
Along the line, she got pregnant and gave us a boy child. Her daughter had her brother. My son had his sister. We were one complete family with a lot of sunshine in our lives. My son is currently four years and her daughter (She’s also my daughter but to avoid doubt on the mind of readers, I have to differentiate) is also nine years old.
They are both in school together. I have to give praise where praise is due. The girl’s father had been amazing in his child’s life. He pays school fees on time and sends the girl’s monthly allowance on time. When the girl is sick, I will pay the bills while my wife takes the receipt. She would later send the receipt to her ex and get a refund.
I don’t ask her to refund my money. She calls it a bonus and I don’t fight her on it. No matter how much I spend on the girl’s medical bills, she goes for the money and gives me nothing. Somewhere last year, the girl’s father travelled outside of the country. Regardless of the distance, he still pays what he has to pay on time every time. Now, here’s the problem.
When school reopened this year and I was going to pay my child’s fee, my wife said, “Pay the girl’s fee too. She is also your child.” I asked her, “Her father hasn’t brought her fees?” She answered, “That doesn’t matter. You mean if her father wasn’t in the picture you won’t pay her fees?”.
I wasn’t happy with where the argument was going so I left it there. I paid the fees. From my investigation, the man paid the fees to her long before school reopened. I asked no question and made no attempt to ask for an explanation. Apart from her fees, she takes money from me for everything concerning the girl; eating fee, uniform fees, bus fees, books fee, excursion fee and every other miscellaneous fee that come up. I pay for all these things while she takes the money from the girls’ father. I feel like I’m being shortchanged here. I’m not actually taking care of the child but rather beefing up my wife’s purse so I spoke about it.
It turned into an argument. “Love me love my goat,” she said. These two are your kids. Why take care of one and leave the other one out?” My question was simple, “So in future, can I look at the face of this girl and tell her that I took care of her while knowing very that her father pays for everything?” She answered, “Are you doing it for the good of the child or you’re doing it for future glory?” I felt I asked the right question. I felt I had grounds enough to ask that question. She feels I’m being nonsensical.
I didn’t pay her fees last term and vowed not to pay anything concerning the girl. I gave her fees to pay for our boy and she paid for the girl and left the boy out. I had a message from the school telling me my son owes fees. I felt embarrassed because I’d never owed the school. I called my wife. It turned into a fight. She said, “You paid for one child. You’re left to pay for the other. Just send them the fees.”
We are a peaceful family but the way things are going if we don’t take care, this issue would split our family. I’ve spoken to her about it but she still maintains the same stand. I told her, “Then tell the man to stop sending money for his kid. That way, the world would know that I’m the one responsible for her. What I’m doing currently is a useless job. I’m not taking care of this child. You’re ripping me off.”
Of course, she won’t tell the man. Should I be the one to do it? Or you think what my wife is doing is the right thing. I love the human so I should love her pets too? Is that what the proverbs mean?