WhenLove wasn’t Enough
Thislife narration is dedicated to…………………………and………………. for their support and being there for me. Theywere the source of love when I felt that love was not enough.
Thesun shone brightly outside my house and attracted my attention towalk outside. I opened the door and walked to embrace the gentlecaress of the morning heat. It had been the first day since the “darkday” to have woken up earlier than ten. It was a day that I hopedwould start a new period marked by the sunshine on the compound. Myfirst stop was at the flower garden behind the house where I used toobserve the birds. This day, there were no birds I wondered whetherthe birds left my world because of the darkness. “Are you talkingto me?” I heard a voice asking. I had not noticed that I wastalking to myself so loudly that my neighbor overheard my personalconversation. “Oh! No, sorry. How is your morning” I replied. Itried to smile as he approached me and warmly shared the greetings.
Westarted sharing about current affairs and how the prime time bulletinwas full of negative news. Most notable that took our discussion isthe plane crash of the Malaysian plane and how people died.Immediately, I tried to avoid the topic because I knew where my mindwas heading to. As we shared about the news, he proceeded to remindme of the lost Malaysian plane. “Gone, gone without a trace” hewondered. At that time, I was not hearing about the plane, but abouthow my child had gone without a trace yes, without a trace because Idid not even see her. I use “her,” because I always believed thatthe baby was a girl and not a boy. As I replaced the plane with mygone baby in my mind, I realized it was time the discussion ended.
“Inlife, many things happen, that explains why the news is full ofworldly sorrows” I said as a started looking back to my house.“Sorry today I will not chat a lot, I have an important appointmentto catch at eleven” I added. Have a nice day” he bid goodbye as Ihastily veered off the corner towards the doorway. The appointmentwas a true excuse. That day, I had my last appointment with my doctorat the hospital.
The“dark day” is the day when I lost my unborn baby through amiscarriage. It was so painful that the pain is still in my nerves asI try to explain why I called it the dark day. It is the day thattook my beloved unknown sweetness that I had only given the name“Angel.” After the miscarriage, the doctor had admitted me to thehospital for a few days and later allowed me to stay back at home. Iwas consistently getting better, and the movement outside the houseconfirmed my growing health. This was because of the care the doctorgave me with appointments every three days. I hoped that my healthwould be regained, but one thing still disturbed me, how I got there.In my entire life, I could not have imagined that life would takesuch a turn.
Ihad not changed a lot in the eyes of my neighbors because I did notshare my personal stories or experiences with them. I had to keep allmy problems to myself. “Don’t share your world issues withpeople, lest they share your worries” I remembered that quote frommy grandmother. The conversation with Daniel was one of the fewdiscussions I had with the neighbors for that month. That was a briefconversation that taught me two important lessons, that I had nothealed about my loss and that the world is also suffering. That cameas a slight consolation, especially when I imagined how people loselives through accidents. Well, my life was still intact, even thoughcrumbled. I was crumbled by the man who I did not want to thinkabout. Worse still, it was hurting to know that I had a baby withhim.
Onone side, I felt a loss of a baby, a baby that I had accepted todeliver and appreciated the situation that I was in. I remembertelling my mum “if it happened, it happened, now it’s about thefuture,” a statement that gave me strength before the dark day. Onthe other side, I felt hate. Hate for the man who put me in thesituation. He was such an insensitive man that he had not told me ofhis irresponsibility and responsibilities. He was an older guy, mucholder, a man I thought to be a good in the beginning. I always lookedforward to seeing him, especially on the weekend after work. We wouldtalk for hours, mostly in hotels, but sometimes on the phone.However, I should have noticed that he was not fully into me. Whiletalking on the phone, he was not always listening to me keenly, hejust engaged in the conversation, to make me happy. I had not noticedit.
Hatewas what I felt inside, even to date. These thoughts flashed back thebittersweet situations of the past that led to my hate and regret. Atthis time, I really hated him, not because he was a bad man, butbecause he was the worst man any woman could meet. Unfortunately,that woman was me. It was time to meet the doctor and affirm myhealth. That day, I was better, much, much better that I did not callmy friend Milly to take me to the hospital, I could drive myself. ButI still felt that I had a third fear, a fear that I could not tell. Ithought it was the fear of the unknown. It was a different kind offear. I felt like I was a dust particle in the thin summer winds thatcould be blown away.
Iheaded to my white car, took a deep breath and sat ready to drive. AsI held the keys of the car in the ignition, I immediately heard aweak cry, so weak yet so loud behind the car. I was shocked and mywhole body chilled as the hands trembled with the keys falling fromthe ignition. At first I thought that I had hit a neighbor’s carbut had not even started the car. A thin sweat runs down my back andmy heartbeat was fast, faster than my ears could hear the drumming onmy chest. I went out to check the problem, a problem that I could notperceive with my eyes, but with my heart. It was such a shockingexperience, that I was sure it was my illusion and not the reality.“Why am I looking for something I will never see?” I asked myselfas I sat on the floor, leaning on the passage door. I sat there forabout twenty minutes with tears running down my eyes and bitterlycrying, crying to no one’s comfort.
Thefear had finally approached me in an audible form. I had felt that Ihad the fear of the unknown, but now the fear had taken the form ofan Angel. I heard the cry, yes I heard the cry like of my gone baby.It would not get any worse than it was. At that time, only one personwas left in my mind, Milly. She assured me on the phone, to come andhelp me to the hospital. As I sat in her car and watched her drivethe car without the cries of the unknown, I knew that the biggestproblem was not the two issues I was worried about the problem wasin my mind. It was a serious problem, so serious that I knew therewas no cure, the cure was me.
Thecheck up proved my healing, but the doctor advised me to take onemore week before going back to work. However, I evaded telling thedoctor about the crying incident, because I did not like the hospitalas well. I had a long list of the things that I did not like, all ofthem did not appeal to me. I hated anything that looked like a man,any substance that smells like tablets or medicine, I hated anythingthat talked like love, I hated the advertisements of love, wedding oranything like a couple. All these, I hated. “I really hate men” Itold Milly, “Do you think men are good, or they have a heart likewomen?” I continued. Milly took time to think and only spoke when Istared at her. “Men are men, they hurt me and so is what they doall over the world,” she replied as she entered the highway out ofthe hospital.
Shedrove along the high speed lane as she tried to remind me what shehas always been telling me’ “men are out to use women, not tolove them,” she affirmed. She has always told me about this,especially when I told her about my relationship with Derrick, theman who had caused me all this pain. Milly had always insisted thatmen are not gentle to women, they only show plastic tenderness whenthey want to satisfy their instant sexual desires. She used to tellme, “Some men are only concerned about opening your pants, nothingelse.” I shook my head in agreement. “Can’t believe this,” Isaid. “What? She asked as she looked at the gate in front of us. Idid not answer instead I asked her why she pulled over at the gate.“Oh! Girl” she answered, “its lunch hour, let’s have somefood, you need it,”
Well,I had not eaten out ever since Derrick, the man I hate taking me toan expensive hotel, before I had confirmed my pregnancy. That waslong before he had told me that we always went out in hotels becausehe was married, and could not go to his place. That is what I toldMilly with regret, “I wish I knew the reason why Derrick alwaystook me out, and not to his home. “My dear” She replied, “Menare there to be used, brush this problem off and you will meet someothers. The problem is allowing a man to tell lies the disaster isto trust the lies.” I listened and did not say a word, “This isjust a lesson you and I have learned, don’t take offense,”“forgive yourself and move on sweetheart.” She continued, “Onceyou forget him, you will learn to hit the road like a girl.”
Ilistened to her as she talked sense combined with an assumption, andnothing related to reality. The reality is that I had a miscarriageof a pregnancy, my first pregnancy, and the man involved is an oldplayer. As much as I agreed with Milly, I also disagreed with herassumption, an assumption that everything will be ok. Milly is a ladywho does not believe in love, not at all. She only believes thatthere are two things, sexual feelings and commitment. She used totell me that sexual feeling made people meet and attract each otherto sexual practices. To her, commitment is what powered people tostart and develop families. Therefore, there is nothing like love.Sometime back, I would tell her that love is when sexual feelingscombined with a commitment, but at that time, I was speechless.
Asmuch as she did not agree with me, she always reminded me someimportant lessons. I thought that I had found my true love inderrick. I thought he was the right guy, but seems he was out to dowhat Milly had warned me against. As we took lunch, I Milly remindedme that life is a journey, “you can`t give up on traveling” said,“This is your time to take things easy and move on,” she added.This was not easy for me, and I am sure she knew it. As we drove out,she told me that she was taking me to a place that I will find somepeace. I knew that she was referring to the bar, a place she used togo and drink beer when she was stressed up. I have always disagreedwith her about the behavior, but that day I knew I would join her.This time, I was to drink not for refreshment, but to cure, to curethe fear, the fear of the unknown.
Itwas the craziest and happy experience I have ever had since the timewe used to drink with derrick. We drank ourselves silly, with millytaking all the bills. I liked her attitude towards men who approachedto buy us a beer. The answer was simple which she gave to all men,“No, I can buy.” The evening approached and the night came, howwe drove home only the heavens know. She slept at my place. Theexperience was the first in two months that I had felt happiness, ashort lived happiness that I woke up in the morning to find it waswashed down the drain. That was a hell of a night, I regretteddrinking, but I was happy because I had forgotten all my worries andfears.
Millyleft, but she left me with a message, “You know where to find melater today.” She whispered as she put the key in the ignition. Shedrove off leaving me at exactly the same place she met me theprevious day, in the parking garage. This was not just the place, sheleft me in the same situation she met me. Surprisingly, I agreed withher. I knew that in some way, the alcohol had found a new heaven tome with the first day of the meeting. While this was not the firstday to take the drink, I felt it was giving me a new company. I tookthe last pair of pills to conclude my treatments from the doctor.Now, strength had resurfaced in my muscles and I felt alive again.
Itwas so surprising that I did not feel a lot of guilt in theactivities of the previous day. When I used to drink with derrick, Ialways felt guilty because it was a deviation from what my mother hadtaught me. I had grown up as a very disciplined lady, a lady who waswell woven into the right morals. It was then that I wondered how mylife had changed, changed for the worse. I could not imagine that Iwould be so crumpled and hurt in life like the situation I was at thetime. The more I reflected on these issues, the more I felt the needfor only one company, Milly’s. The thoughts flew on and on as I satin a cab, heading to the brewers den to meet the courage of the lionsfound in the beer. Yes! The drink gave me courage.
Thatnight was no different. The only different thing for the rave wasthat I settled the bills. It was almost the same trend on a dailybasis. We were two girls, with money and ready to spend. I alwaysraved with Milly, with no company of a man, because I hated men. Iwas still beautiful, which I still am, but I was rude, very rude tomen. Actually, I did not need one. I had my own money I was stillemployed despite having a lengthy sick leave. Days went by andfinally, my sick leave was over. I returned back to work and themorning-evening habit was back. After work, the trend was the sameplace, and the companion would be the drink. During the days thatmilly was in the company of men, I would rave alone. She took men asobjects of play, play with them and dump them. She tried to convinceme, but I could not go the way of men.
Despitefeeling depressed every morning, I knew that I was accustomed to thebottle. I was not fully aware of the situation all I was seeking wasthe quickest route to little happiness. This situation did not go onwithout the notice of one man, Daniel my neighbor. The only closeperson Daniel knew was milly and her mother. That did not bother meat any one time. I knew I was doing things my way, just like I hadalways done. milly’s mother always told us that she will invite usfor a party at her home or one of his friends. “I will be waiting.”That is what I always answered whenever she said so.
OneSaturday morning, milly’s mother called the two party girls, Millyand I to visit her. She claimed that she had been invited to acollege, and was to be feted with an award, an occasion that was asurprise call up. I personally could not refuse the invitationbecause of the statement that I had always replied with whenever shejokingly promised an invitation. However, I felt reluctant to go eventhough I was not doing anything that weekend. The main reason why Iagreed to go was the assurance that Milly was in attendance. Thatmeant one thing, after the event and celebrating her mum, the nextdestination will be our usual place for a drink or two. We alwayssaid that, “a drink or two” even if we took as much as we couldlay our hands on.
Milly’smother sent her to come and pick me up to their home, then we were todrive together. As milly drove to her home, I was wondering, “Whycould I not have just driven here so that I could drive back?” butshe answered that her mum insisted that we should drive in her car. Idid not object, but I knew that we will have to drive back to herhouse because we were using her car. milly and her mum were livingseparately since milly started working at her current job as anindependent consultant. She makes enough money to sustain herselfwith any kind of lifestyle she chooses. She also carried theindependence of her accounting job to her home, by livingindependently away from her mother.
Hermother was happy to meet me and asked to know how I am doing afterthe horrific experience. With the assurance that I was back on myfeet, we took some snacks and drove off. She was the only person whoknew the college that was to award her for her role in education. Shewas a teacher, but retired early to start trainings to schools toencourage students to take sciences and science-based careers. Asmuch as she was financed by the government, she dedicated a lot ofher time and resources to make the program a success. That is why Iliked and respected Milly’s mother even though I had not interactedwith her for a lot of time.
Iwas really anxious to know which college it was, and what award shehad been called for. I wondered which college would call for an awardon such surprise basis, but I had learnt to let go of all worries. Wedrove into a large compound that had a cool surrounding, resembling alarge educational institution. Surprisingly, there was no sign of acelebration of any kind since the compound was silent, with only afew people who looked like staff moving up and about. “I thoughtthere would be a big event” Milly wondered to her mother. “No, itis just an award at the principal’s office” she replied.
Iwondered why she should have invited us at such a simple, privateevent. Milly and I looked at each other wondering how the events wereturning. We entered a large office where we met three people,including a person who shocked me. It was my mother. Immediately Iknew that something was not right, and I knew it was a well plannedmeeting. I had talked with my mother the previous evening, and shehad not mentioned anything like this. Milly and I found the courageto approach the people seated, greet them and take the seats. We evencould afford some plastic smiles as a way of covering our worry. Forsome time, everyone was silent and no one seemed to be ready to talkto anyone.
Milly’smother broke the silence, “I am so sorry for bringing you in thisplace, ” she said, “I am sure you the two of you are wonderingwhat is this meeting about,” she continued while looking at us. Sheintroduced the other two ladies as the administrator of theinstitution and the Senior Resident Counselor. “We have beenobserving you for a while now, and I requested your mother to help meset this meeting up” Milly’s mother said. “I am sorry that Ihad to lie, this is not an award or something like it. This is arehabilitation and counseling center started and run by my friendhere, ” she continued while pointing at one of the other ladies.
Thiswas a well calculated and planned set up, a set up to lead Milly andI into a rehab center. Surprisingly, Milly and I did not talk orobject to anything that was being said or the reality that was beingunfolded. “We felt that the two of you need time to reflect aboutyour life and how you can avoid alcohol” My mother said. “Weunderstand the ordeal that you went through and the need for reliefof your thoughts and forget the fears, but you cannot find any solacein alcohol.” My mom explained. She talked in such a soothing tonethat I had to listen. “But what informs you that we needcounseling, or stay at rehab center” Milly asked. “Love, Our lovefor you,” her mother replied while smiling.
Iheard them talking sense, but I felt extremely patronized by theiractions. They had treated us like kids or people who had no directionin life. They went on to explain their actions and humbly requestingus to take some time at the facility. “I have talked with yourmanager, and told him you are revisiting the hospital. He has noobjections as much as you take time and heal.” My mother said. Ibelieved my mother, because she is a great friend to my manager atwork that is how I landed the job. I believe that milly and I didnot need to be set up like children, and the plan of our parents wasuncalled for to convince mature people like us.
Asmuch as they had taken the wrong approach, milly and I decided toagree to their request. Deep inside my heart, I knew I needed somehelp, but I did not know what sort of help. I was the one who agreedmore to our parents, but milly was insisting otherwise. Despite theresistance, we found ourselves on the other side of the institution,led by the principal and the counselor. Our parents drove off afterachieving their target. We were led to a new compound with severalhouses. At the entrance of the compound, the principal told us thatthey had prepared two separate rooms. I was led to a well organizedand expensively furnished house, where I would spend the next twoweeks. Milly was directed to a different location.
Onthe same day, Milly’s mother brought all the clothing and personaleffects I needed, same for Milly. The facility was well organized andsessions started the very day we arrived. The counselor who helped methat day asked so many questions than I could answer. I had tonarrate all my experiences, giving all the issues that were in myheart. It was so painful to tell of my problems to someone,especially the ordeal of loving a player, getting a baby with him andlosing the baby in the process. I shed tears every time I narratedthe ordeal to the counselor. However, I found the tears verytherapeutic and I was relieved of the burden.
Afterone week at the facility, I had attended a lot of trainings andcounseling sessions than I could ever have imagined. I learned a lotin the weeks I spent at the facility. In the beginning, I was stilldespising the idea of a person helping me face my fears. However, Ihad found a way of appreciating, appreciating the stay and evenbecame comfortable with the people at the facility. I met people whowere facing problems that I felt to be more than what I had faced.
Ithought that the problem I had was the biggest problem that a womancan face. Well, I was wrong, there are people having seriousproblems. I met one such woman who had lost almost everything. Shemet a man who left her devastated after a divorce in barely fiveyears of marriage. She told me that she lost everything after thehusband violently assaulted her on a regular basis. The maritalproblem left her HIV positive and lost in a world of hopelessness.With such honest conversations, I came to appreciate my experiencesand accept my worries. After the two weeks, I was almost transformedby the experiences. I had felt better, healed and ready to start alife, a fresh lease of life.
Smilingas she stepped out of the car, my mum was happy that I made it forthe two weeks. She did not believe that I would take the exercise.This time, I was a different Jane yes, that is my name. It is atthis point in time that I feel confident enough to disclose to you myname, because that is who I am. Before this point, I was nobody. Allthe hate that was in my heart was over, and I felt like I hadforgiven. It was such a fresh type of feeling. As we cleared with theadministrator, I felt happy, so happy that I did not notice collidingwith a member of staff on the corridor. “I am so sorry, ” I said,“Don’t worry” he said. I stood and starred at him as he walkedaway. I still remembered his face as we drove away with my mother. Itwas time to start a new life, yes, a new life.