I sat accords from him, not sure how to react to his advice. One he considered to be practical and logical. Should I give him a mouth full about how my personal life isn’t any of his business? Should I give in to that urge to break down and cry? Should I help him confront his desire to seek validation where it isn’t necessary? Should I walk him out of my living room and advice him to go rekindle the spark in his marriage? All these thoughts would have made a very interesting expression on my face and I wished I could see it. But I just sat there, a fake smile frozen on my face.
I met Richard in church.
He was one of those people I considered to be real. He did not play the sanctimonious brother card and says things just as he sees them. I also respected his hustling skills and that he wasn’t apologetic about his small beginnings. Richard also wore his heart on his sleeve in a macho kinda way. He wasn’t afraid to express his feelings and he was good company. We hit it off from get go, he teased me about my curvy figure and does not fail to tell me how sexy he thinks I am. I had just started driving at the time and he always made time to be my chauffeur whenever I needed one. One day, he asked that we start a romantic relationship, no, not a simple relationship, but one that would lead to marriage. I asked him to give me time to think things through, mainly because there are a number of reasons I wasn’t sure it was a good idea. One of such reasons being that he seemed to want marriage for very traditional purposes, like needing someone to cook his meals and also for copulation. All the times he referred to his desires for marriage, never have I heard him talk about purpose, companionship, mutual support or love. While I was thinking this through, I made attempts to get to know him a little better and discovered he does not understand nor did he appreciate my independent lifestyle. It was clear to me that with his mentality and mine, we would have serious problems if we decided to go into a romantic relationship of any kind. We had a little argument over something as trivial as whether or not he should come pick me up from work and I use our attempt at a resolution to tell him what I thought about the proposed relationship. We agreed to remain friends and closed the door on that consideration.
In less than 2 weeks, Richard was in a relationship with another sister in church. I thought that was really fast, but I was grateful it was my decision to walk away in the first place. The relationship did not last and in about a year, he was married to a different sister. I attended the wedding and even played a role among the photographers of the day. I was genuinely happy for him.
3 years and 2 kids later,
Richard was sitting in my living room professing his love for me and his regret for not fighting for what we had. I was shocked and amused at the same time. Shocked because I did not expect this from him at all and amused because I have heard this before. I mean, why do some people do this? What am I supposed to do with such declaration? I definitely am not interested, but how to I respond in a way that protects our friendship? I told him not to forget the reason he made the decision to marry his wife and also to remember that it wouldn’t have worked with us at the time. We were great friends and will always be, but a relationship would have been a disaster.
Richard proceeded to ask me how my love life was doing. That is a very touchy subject especially considering I was in an unrequited love situation and discussing it with him was not comfortable at all. I told him there was nothing new about my love life and reassured him that I was doing just fine. The conversation turned very quickly into how I was coping in the physical intimacy department and if I was getting any action. Richard was doing most of the talking so I had enough time to wonder how the heck we got into this. I looked at him and I felt lucky that I dodged the bullet. This situation could easily have been reversed with me being the woman at home with two children for this man who is spending an entire Saturday with another woman. The mention of ‘baby’ brought me back to what Richard was saying and as I listened, the realization of what he was saying hit me and I froze in my chair.
Richard, my friend was asking me to consider being a ‘baby mama’. His rationale was that for a lady my age, there would be a need for me to ‘proof’ that I was biologically capable of being a mother. And that having a child will answer that question whenever it comes up. He was also subtly offering to be a capable ‘donor’, with a reassurance that he would be there to support me and ‘love’ me till I have my own man. And no, he wasn’t joking. I felt insulted and scared. I was alone in my house with this guy who just attempted to emotionally belittle me just so he can have his way with me? He just painted a picture where my options seemed so bleak that the brightest was to consider being a Baby Mama. He continued talking, using examples to back up his points, I listened, different emotions crashing over me like a wave.
I contemplated what response I should give and willed myself to remain calm. When I opened my mouth to speak, I felt more in control of myself. I told him that what I want isn’t a child but a family, children are a part of the package but not all of it. I would not settle for less just because society tells me my options are limited. I told him he isn’t the first to suggest such to me and I have weighed it objectively. I told him to look around, I am grateful to God for what he has blessed me with and that I will continue to work toward the life that I want. I also told him I will not give up neither will I settle for less than my deepest hearts desire.
The conversation did not end here. He had other things to say but I felt like a winner afterwards. The war isn’t over, but I won this battle. I felt a renewed energy to go after the life I want and I felt this reassurance that I will meet the right companion as long as I remained focused on this journey. I also made a mental note to stop letting Richard in my house. It is my personal space and no negativity is allowed. I also placed the option to have my eggs frozen on the table and made a mental note to research on it. Part of the pressure is usually about the biological clock but thanks to medical advancement, I can diffuse that pressure significantly.
I am not even 35 yet, what is with the rush? Right?
Image Credit: ID 122046896 © Marcos Calvo Mesa | Dreamstime.com