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Why Was I Stupid at Such an Old Age?

DEAR AUNTIE ABENA,

I am writing not to seek for readers’ advice but just as a place to vent. I’m 36 and have not dated in almost 11years now, due to one single disappointment I suffered.

failed relationship has made me weary of all men until recently when I decided to hang out with someone. Collins and I met at a workshop we both attended 3 years ago. All participants stayed at the same hotel for the 3 days period that the program was running. I am usually a reserved type in public.until you get very close to me before you discover that I am super noisy and outgoing. Most people interpret my reservedness as arrogance, which I’m not bothered about.

From the very first day, his intelligence caught my fancy, in addition to him being 100% from the same tribe as I. But I just wanted him as a friend, nothing romantic. His flaws: The day, we were departing from the hotel, one lawyer, who was a very young lady, and also a participant at the same program offered to give some of us going towards her direction a ride. He happened to be one of such passengers.

Can you imagine the car owner and the rest of us were all at the car park waiting on this guy to check out of his room for a really long time? Anytime we called him, he will say “just 5 mins” until he finally showed up after almost 50mins. I was soo pissed as though the car was mine. Per my upbringing, you never make the one doing you a favor, be the one to wait for you under any circumstances. Moreover, this is a lady, offering you a guy a lift.!!!

I made a whole fuss of the issue but he only made light of the entire situation. We ended up friends as he regularly called to check up on me, and we laughed a lot. The first time I visited him, he tried touching me intimately when I was taking my leave. Though nothing happened, I didn’t like that, and thought he disrespected me. So I made it a point never to visit him at home. I hardly have friends so I was enjoying chatting with him and teasing each other.

Later, I could send him WhatsApp messages but, he will decide to answer after weeks. I got fed up and stopped contacting him. Unfortunately, I got ill weeks later and had to spend months on admission. I remember once, my mom told me someone by name Collins called my phone. I was soo sick and bedridden that I couldn’t talk or move for months. She told him my condition but he only called back after about 6 months to check how I was. I asked how he knew of my condition, and he said my mom picked my phone. So I asked why he never bothered visiting.

All he said was, he was the reason our other colleagues who attended the workshop visited me. So why not him? He is just a friend, right? So I ignored him although once in a while we will say hi. Fast forward to this lockdown, he called me, and I was surprised, because we usually say hi through text. But that call changed everything. We started talking more.

Due to my illness, I’d been depressed for a long time, and seeking counselling from a psychologist to learn how to cope with the autoimmune disease that has no cure. Also, since I’m the breadwinner of my family, all hospital bills were borne by me the sick patient. I lost my job, and my paternal family and few friends later came to my rescue. I still go for review twice every month and have to undergo lab tests and buy drugs. I’ve never depended on anyone in life, so taking help from others before I feed and keep alive frustrates me a lot and I tried to end my life severally.

Unfortunately, my condition doesn’t like stress, so anytime I think a lot, or have any drastic change in emotions, I end up fighting for dear life in hospital for weeks. So this current chat with Collins somehow brightened my mood a little. I’d only been home for just a few weeks after the over 2 years that I’d taken ill so out of boredom, I visited him this October and we ended up sleeping together. I got home soo angry with myself.

After keeping myself for almost 11years, why now? Why him? It’s not like he even proposed to me! 3 weeks after that, I was there again and we had sex. First week this December, it happened again, and it finally hit me never to go to his place again. He still lives in a single room apartment. He’s currently doing his Doctorate degree so he’s always complaining about money since he is a student. I spend the little money benevolent people give me to take uber to and fro his place, which is far from where I live. This is not logical. He’s never asked for once to visit me even when I suggest it. I live in a 2 bedroom apartment.

On phone, the closest endearment he has ever said to me is “you have been missed”. Not “I miss you.” At other times, when he asks that I bring him food or come visit and I decline, he will retort that he’ll go and get a replacement for me oooo. I keep wondering what my position is, that I would be replaced. I know guys tuck away their mess when a lady is coming over, but not him. His bedsheet would be dirty and not laid, and his boxer shorts tucked inside the only swivel chair he has in the room or somewhere on the floor on top of his shoes. This saddens me at the same time annoys me greatly.

I bought him an expensive set of bedsheet, and parceled it down to give him on Christmas day. The parcel is still here by my bedside as I type this story. For all the four times I’ve been with him, he has only escorted me out once !! Even that, because he was going to get food outside. He would sleep immediately after the sex and would just murmur “good-bye ” whenever I wake him up after some hours to inform him that I’m leaving. Until the next day before he would respond to the message I would send him that I had arrived home safely.

Up until today, he has never asked what my illness was, and why I was hospitalized for soo long. I have finally realized exactly what my depressed state has caused me to do. I’ve strongly resolved to stay away and never contact him ever again. Obviously, he will never be serious about me, moreso now that I cheaply crawled into his bed. He sent me the usual seasons greetings text message on Christmas day, which I also replied. That’s it. We’ve not heard from each over since then. I still feel super embarrassed and guilty anytime I remember stooping very low to warm Collin’s bed!

Desiree, Aburi.

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Written by Abena Magis

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