I Made A Terrible Mistake! (Z.T. Fomum)

 

We had been married for three months when I started comparing her with other girls whose tender care I had discouraged. She was not as hard- working as Monique or Chantal. She neither had the wit nor the sense of humour of Marie-Claire or Suzanne. She was far from being as sensuous as Sylvie or Dorotha. She lacked this and she lacked that. I was bored with her. I had made the wrong choice. It was the drama of my life. I needed to divorce her before it was too late. I kept thinking

 

******

It was 2 a.m. I had had a long session in the Clinic for Spiritual Diseases with a couple. It was a hard time. The session had begun at 10 p.m. It was four hours of agony. She said to me, “Dr. Fomum, I am unfortunate.” Then she burst into loud sobs and cried for a long time. “I am unfortunate. I wish I had listened. This man is utterly useless. I do not see one good thing in him. I wish I had listened.” She continued weeping. She was pregnant. The marriage certificate had just recently been signed. She was deeply frustrated. I looked at the man. He was handsome. He had a good job. I told her, “Surely there are many good things in him. He is handsome.” And I tried to point out as many good things about him as were immediately obvious. But she cried on and on and said, “There is nothing beyond the surface. I am ruined. I wish I had a second chance … I have made the mistake of my life and now I must bear it. How will I stand it for a|l these years? I wish I could die and end it all …”

******

He was well placed. She was educated and sophisticated. They had been married for 16 years. They had children. They had possessions. They had position. Then she came for counselling and this is what she said, “I knew from the beginning that it would not work. I always felt that I should say, “No”, but I did not. Then we got married, and it has been sixteen years in hell.”

******

“At the beginning he begged me. He did everything I wanted. I turned him round my small finger. Each time we quarrelled, he was the one who always did everything to re-establish the relationship. He bought me gifts. He gave me everything I wanted. I gave him nothing. I had deep reservations in my heart. I knew I could never be fulfilled with him. He lacked something I could not describe. He just could never pull me out and satisfy me. However, I was very flattered by the fact that he gave me everything. So I decided I would marry him for the joy of having a worshipper around me to supply my needs. Then we got married, and he turned into a tiger! I had the misery of being forced to run after him to be given even an embrace. I wish I had known better.”

******

“It was all arranged by my relatives. He was many years older than me. He was experienced in every way. I was only 17. When I saw him I did not like his appearance, although he was quite handsome. We were married. All through it I never loved him. He loved me and was interested in other women too. I only gave myself to him when I wanted something out of him. There was another man. I loved and respected him. He would have been my ideal husband. He also loved and respected me. It was all pure, but we were from different tribes …”

******

“We had grown up in the same village and were friends. We were the same age. I told her I would marry her. She accepted. That was twelve years ago. I went to the secondary school. She did two years of post primary education and became a village primary school teacher. I went to the high school. We continued to correspond with each other. I entered the University to study medicine. Now I have finished my housemanship. She is still the village teacher. She does not understand me. I do not understand her. I still love her, but it is not the liking that has desire. She is to me like my sister and friend. She is anxiously waiting for me. Years ago I knew that I could not marry her, but I did not have the courage to tell her. I was afraid that it would hurt her. But in my heart the relationship was finished.” Then he said to me, “Look at her letter. Read this part of it.” I drew near and read it: “Oh! Darling, I’ve waited and waited for these years and now my dream is about to be fulfilled. When are you coming? Everything in me is burning. Come quickly. Every minute that now separates me from you is unbearable. We shall be married immediately. All my savings are yours to use as you like and, of course, I am all yours. The money is enough to pay for the bride price and all the expenses of the wedding. There will be enough left for us to live on until you start working. So let nothing worry you. Come at once. Send me a telegram as to your flight. My parents and I will be at the airport to welcome you. Come, my dear. Come, my king. I am waiting and I am longing …” Then he said, “Dr. Fomum, that is my problem. I wish I had told her the truth years ago. What shall I do?”

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