Sometimes, the devil wears the mask of your ex
The day you proposed to me, I knew I wanted you but I couldn’t bring myself to say yes because I was in a relationship with Abeiku.
I had dated Abeiku for about four years and our relationship seemed established but it wasn’t always rosy. I caught him cheating and I forgave him. Not once and not twice. In my mind, I’d stayed with him for so long and wasn’t ready to let anyone take him away from me. I marked my territory around him and guarded it with all my strength and love. But Abeiku wasn’t someone you could guard. He always had an escape plan and he always succeeded in escaping from my grips.
We called it quit many times and said a lot of hurtful things to each other but a few days later, we’ll take our words back and get together again. In 2012 I left him. A week later he came to apologize and I forgave him.
We got back together again. In 2013, he left me. I woke up one dawn, ran to his house and apologized. He forgave me and we got back together again. Love was love and we enjoyed it while we had it. In 2014, I had enough of his cheating and sneaky attitude so I left him. That was the longest period we ever stayed apart. Without him, it felt like my head was underwater. I suffered until I rescinded my decision to take him back. We enjoyed and had the fun of our lives.
In 2015, everything changed again. He left me. He called me clingy. He said I was overprotective. He said he couldn’t live with a woman who never stops accusing him. Martin, that was the point you came into my life. You showed up at the same point where Abeiku left.
I was broken and looking for a shoulder to lean on. You provided that shoulder—wide shoulder for that matter. I cried and you consoled me. You provided me with the perfect companionship and I took it with both hands. I couldn’t say yes to your proposal because I thought I was too broken to make it work.
You insisted. For a whole year, you kept coming, knocking and peeping in my life to see who was there. There was always none but I was scared to say yes to you until that fateful afternoon when you knocked my off my feet with that question; “Don’t you want someone who could love you the right way or you’re in love with the love that makes you suffer?”
That question made me think about you in a special way. Yes, I’d given in to the kind of love that makes me suffer so I didn’t think I deserved the love that’s right for me. Obviously you were the right one so I said yes.
I remember how my answer made you happy. I remember the promise you made; “Trust me, I’ll keep you safe.” “Trust me I will love you all the time.” “I’ll make you see the joy in being loved right. Just trust me.” Every sentence of yours rested heavily on my need to trust you so I gave you my trust and decided never to look back.
I remember that Year’s Val’s day. The gift you brought me and the places you took me to. I remember the beach moments and I remember the day when you took me to that expensive restaurant because you had some money to spend on me. You didn’t waste time showing me off.
Everything you did said, “Indeed, you’re my pride and love.” It was you who made me realized that being loved right can make people fat. A few months later, my weight went up. I couldn’t fit into my own dresses again. When they asked me what I had been eating, I told them, “True love is fatty food.”
And then the devil I knew showed up. One afternoon, I heard a knock on my door and it was Abeiku. I hadn’t seen him for so long he looked like something brand new. He came in and apologized for his mistakes.
He said he wanted me back. I said, “No I don’t want you back.” He said he was a changed person and was ready to make it work. He said, “My life hadn’t been the same since I left you. It’s like I’ve lost one leg and had to walk with a limp. Please forgive and give me one more chance.”
That guy really knew me and knew what I wanted to hear so he said just that. He made me feel useful like the little cork that keeps the fishing line afloat. He drew closer to me, kissed me, and held me to his chest like a piece of property he owned. I fell for the charm of his words and his warm embrace.
So I asked, “Just one more chance?” He responded, “Just one more chance.” We were back together again as if we never left. How could love so wrong feel so right each time?
I didn’t know how to lie to you about the situation and I didn’t know what to do to keep you both to myself without each of you knowing about the other. Living a lie isn’t an easy thing to do, especially for a girl like me who wants to love and be loved right. Martin, It wasn’t an easy decision to let you go.
Yeah, we had our moments in time but I had built solid memories with Abeiku and if there was a chance in the future for us both, I was ready to take it.
Poor me, I couldn’t tell you the truth. I kept lying about it until you finally found out that I was back together with Abeiku. I couldn’t even deny it or say anything to help cover my shame. I said, “Yes, he came back and I couldn’t resist it. That guy might have done me juju.” I remember the look of deep-seated hurt in your eyes. It was hard to look at you twice but the truth always liberates. I was happy we were going to be liberated so we fly to wherever we deemed fit.
Two years later, I saw your “Save the Date” poster flying around my timeline. The girl was beautiful and the two of you looked like a match made in somewhere sacred. I typed congratulations beneath the photo but I couldn’t press send. I deleted it and scrolled away. I saw your wedding photos too and the smile on your face made me shared a tear. “See how happy he looks. Could I have made him this happy?” I asked.
It took you only two years to marry but I was still fixing things with Abeiku. Within those two years, I caught him cheating twice.
He left me twice and I left him once. He said one more chance but I kept giving him chances he didn’t deserve until one day, he left and came no more. I learned to move on too. I learned to put my life together and make my self worthy of the kind of love that heals. Now, let me tell you the sad thing. Abeiku got married in January this year and guess who he got married to…The last girl I caught him cheating with.
Nooo, I’m not bitter. The two deserve each other and I wish them well. I truly do wish them well. It’s not coming from a place of bitterness but a place of forgiveness. The only thing I’m hurt about is the fact that I allowed him to ruin my life the way he did. He’s the reason I lost you.
He’s the reason I’ve become a restless ghost in your life. He’s the reason I call to ask questions I have no right to ask. He’s the reason I check your Whatsapp status and see you and your lovely wife and tell myself, “This could have been us, had it not been that devil.” He’s the reason I have so much regret in my dating life.
So dear Martin, please talk to me once in a while. I mean no harm. I just want to keep you around as a friend and as someone, I can call to seek advice from. I need that shoulder you provided with no strings attached. I’ll behave if you give me the chance because I’ve wasted a lot of changes already and this one, I’m ready to keep and not mess it up.