Hello! Ewuraesi, here. I’m really glad to meet you. I like Ben’s introduction of me, but if he missed anything of interest to you, please let me know.
To tell you the truth, i’m partially excited and partially nervous about all this. I’m hoping it’ll be both fun and edifying for both you and me. I’m not putting myself in a box, but for the most part, I’ll be talking a lot about relationships and general “taboo” topics we are all thinking but not discussing. Also, things from a woman’s perspective. But if there’s anything else you would like to hear about, I’m all ears.
Speaking of relationships, here’s a post that’s part fiction, part factual about falling in love and cheating. Enjoy!
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WE sat in my car in front of one of the school buildings. He insisted I come and see him. I insisted I had other things to do, but I would pass by for a few minutes. I pulled up in my tiny car and he walked over, popping his head through the rolled-down window.
“Joshua,” I said with a smile.
He walked around and sat in the passenger seat. There we were, sitting in my car, like we had done this many times before. Ignition now turned off because somehow he had convinced me he was worth more than a couple of minutes. Although it was a relatively novel experience, it felt oddly comfortable. It wasn’t hard to replicate the innumerable conversations we had on MSN in real life. Plus he was good-looking, one of those faces that got better the longer you looked at it. We talked about every possible thing, then sat in silence for a while.
“Be my girlfriend,” Josh said, breaking the silence.
I erupted with laughter, which was quickly stopped with my realisation that said laughter wasn’t being echoed. I looked up at him.
“Boss. Slow down small for me eh?” I blurted out.
He was a little taken aback, but clearly determined, he replied.
“Listen, I like you. We have been talking for a while and we have known each other for a few years. Be my girlfriend.”
“I’ll think about it.”
A part of me liked that it was more of a statement than it was a question. Be my girlfriend. Almost as if he was sure I was going to immediately say yes. Except, I didn’t actually want to think about it. I thought he was good-looking and we had talked quite a bit, but I didn’t like him. Not like that, anyway. I had no idea why I said I would think about it. I run a plethora of questions through my mind, toying with the idea.
“I’ll think about it,” I repeated. As if the repetition would help rectify my current dilemma.
Two days later, I threw caution to the wind and said yes. I knew I didn’t like him then, but my heart would come to like him the more time we spent together, I reasoned. Stupid heart. It should learn to stay in its place.
Like with any other fresh relationship, it had all the bells and whistles for the first couple of months. We would spend an endless amount of time on the phone, always ending with the juvenile “no, you hang up.” His mother liked me and she called me “baby”. His sister thought I was good for him. Shr3, I was a part of the family. His friends were relatively indifferent, which was fine, because I wasn’t too fond of them at the time. Sometimes I would pick him up and give him a ride from school and the boys helped me find him by asking each other “you see Josh? In woman dey search am.” In woman. I liked my name, but Josh in woman had a nice ring to it. We became more aware of each others’ idiosyncrasies. He couldn’t, for the life of him, sleep between 2:40 and 3:20 am. I assigned him his own ringtone, so if he called while I was asleep- and he always did- I would be able to pick up immediately. He knew I liked to drive and would always offer whenever we had to go somewhere in his car.
Just as quickly as it began, the honeymoon period ended. Arguments became the norm, he became more distant. If we didn’t talk on the phone, it wasn’t a problem, we would talk whenever it happened. Our conversations felt like pulling teeth. As women, we are gifted with intuition, and yet insistent on ignoring it, because it’s not reason, no? I felt a shift, but I didn’t have concrete evidence so it had to just be my mind. Then it was almost as if my role as “girlfriend” was strictly titular. I was the girlfriend but I didn’t know what was going on with him or when or why, for that matter.
“She’s too closed off. Not emotional. She has her guard up,” Josh mentioned to a friend of mine.
OH! My intuition knew it wasn’t my lack of emotion. As if emotions were black and white and we must all feel them the same way. However, Josh and I had a conversation that helped make things better for the next few weeks. More open, more communicative, more emotional. His kind, anyway. I learned he had a relatively absentee father he didn’t like to talk about. Sometimes he got depressed or dealt with fears. When someone else shares parts of themselves with you, it changes you. And so it did. It made me more accommodating of his arguing and his temperament.
And then it happened. I fell in love. Not the kind where if the person became fat, you aren’t sure you were going to love them anymore. The kind where it was part decision and part emotion, so when they annoyed you you still loved them anyway. We would argue and I would call him and say “I don’t want to talk to you, but you’re the only one who makes me feel better.” I had decided I wanted to love Josh.
When I had decided this is when Josh had made decisions of his own. I got a phone call. No hello, straight to business.
“I think we should take a break”
“Josh, I don’t take breaks. A break is just a nice way of breaking up. If you want to break up, then say so.”
“I don’t want to, I just need a break.”
“Ewuraesi, please. We just argue all the time, the past few weeks have been better, but I think we need time.”
Josh took a break indeed. He cheated. I knew he was cheating, long before this “break” but I refused to listen to my intuition. If cheating were basketball, Josh had made it to the championships and was being awarded MVP. As in, he cheated with more than one girl, in more than one way, more than once. Did he fall for somebody else? Check for that emotional cheating. His frolicking with other girls? Check for that physical cheating. Did he have a local and an international girl? Check for that cyber cheating. I thought I would take a cue from his playbook and call.
“It was fun while it lasted, Josh.”
“Really, Ewuraesi. It was fun?”
Just like that.
Leaving didn’t make it easy or make my heart immediately stop loving him. I had to leave though. There was no salvaging anything. I decided to move on, but I couldn’t. He was always there, someway, somehow. Then one of his friends kissed me and he found out and I was the one left apologising to no end and playing catch up. Surely, one kiss couldn’t compare to the number he pulled on me. I never got an apology for that. Could I get an apology and a reason? All I cared about was finding out why I got cheated on. What was it I did wrong? What could I have changed? What more could I have done?
I never found out why. I spent years dwelling on it. Until I was praying one, uneventful day and the Holy Spirit led me to a prayer of forgiveness for Josh.
“This was two years ago, God. I don’t hate him. I am holding no grudges. We have both moved on.”
I bargained with the Holy Spirit as if He could be wrong. But He wouldn’t let go, so I succumbed and began to pray. All I could muster was “I forgive him” over and over again. I began to cry and not in a cute way either. I fell to my knees, bawling, nose dripping, kim-kardashian-cry-face in tow.
Then God spoke to me. I had nothing to do with the cheating. It wasn’t my fault. I didn’t have to question my ability to love someone unconditionally. I didn’t have to wonder what inadequacies I had and how I could alter myself for someone to be faithful. I had no idea I had held a grudge for two years. Trust God to show you things you thought you already knew.
I wasn’t put in that situation by God. Minami ko p3 mihuas3m. God used it to teach me what it was to truly love, though. Prior to Josh I had no idea if I was capable of that kind of love. Granted, I loved my family and some of my friends, but I didn’t know I could love someone romantically. That was the point. Instead of dwelling on the negativity of that relationship, I finally, two years later, saw it for the teaching point God intended for it to be. I wanted God to show me what love was, but I wasn’t reddaaay! It would have been nice in a fairy-tale. Prince charming and some Rapunzel hair. God was telling me He doesn’t teach through fairy tales.
Josh is where I learned to love. That’s why he was put in my life.
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