“My friend,” as we were taking coffee with my old friend Joe whom we met for the first time after our graduation five years ago, after the first sip he paused and called me out to draw my attention. In campus we used to call each other brother. We were like brothers because each cared more of the others feelings. He was my brother-my only brother (I do not have a male sibling) away from home. He made my campus life another home away from home.
“Yes brother,” I answered unsure of whether he remembered how we used to call each other. I paused to swallow my gulp. “Long time man. What have you been up to? Job, wife, children, family… How is everything?” I asked.
“Not always life goes as prior planned. Many things have happened in my life my brother. I got a job…”
“Wow, that’s good. Where?” I interrupted.
“I joined the forces- Kenya army. I am now on leave.”
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“Wow, wow, wow! Let’s then go for a strong drink. I was fearing for our security. But now I can see I am safe.” My friend chuckled. “This is my only favourite drink,’ he said showing his coffee mug. He is a soldier and he does not take beer! “Does he also love women,” I thoughtfully asked myself. When we joined campus, he was still very young and having schooled in a pure boys’ school, in campus he met with a lot of freedom. He used to see every girl being beautiful. All the time as long as we were together he kept asking me, ‘what about that one? This one looks very beautiful. Look at that one brother, wow she is very gorgeous,’ et cetera, until I got tired and openly told him that that was a big problem he had. And from then on, he changed. He ‘ate with his eyes’ silently.
“OK. So where was your first mission?”
“Of course where else, Somalia.” He answered.
“And how is life like being a soldier and being out of the Kenyan soil?” I asked inquisitively.
“Being a soldier is just like any other profession. What matters is, ‘do you love your job, the reason why you applied for the job and above all, how distant are you from your creator.’ Soldiers pray man. You see many people thinks when you become a soldier, you dies very early-that’s not true.”
“Okay, okay, okay. You told me many things have happened- you got a job and…”
“And I have dated but it has never been easy. You see the stupid person is the one who even when grows up, keeps on trying to achieve his/her childhood dreams. I used to think after school, you get a job and then if you are a man, you get a wife and vice versa. That you get the woman/ man of your dream. But that is a lie. There is a way your destiny finds it way in.
“There is what people call checklist as far the person you want to date and marry is concerned. I tried to date the girl who scored above 80% but she was not the wife I wanted. She was not the woman I wanted to stay my entire life with. She was beautiful but very inhuman. Therefore after two years of dating (on and off), it came to an end. I decided to take a one-year break to try to bury the good memories and I thank God it successfully worked- I misses her not anymore.
“But everybody needs somebody. I found myself in the game again but again I ended up being a loser. And in a way is has become my way of life as far as relationships are concerned. Can you imagine, meet with a beautiful woman, you start dating only later to discover she is already married and she is just looking for satisfaction or good times and nothing more.
“In my first case, the husband worked abroad and rarely came home. She was my colleague and we were together in the same mission. There was love everywhere. Even when the bullets came flying to our direction, our smiles diverted their course. We ‘dated’ for about six months only one day when we came home, when I went visiting, I found her husband already in the house. And all she could tell me was, ‘I’m sorry, this is my husband.’ It really hurt me but I had nothing to say. I thought of my gun but I remembered she also had hers. I remembered how together we used to pursue the enemy. How could she or her husband be my enemy now?”
“That was not necessary.” I interrupted.
“Yes. We just introduced each other as colleagues. But I went home feeling a loser.”
“I feels for you brother. What about the second case? I doubt there is a third one.” I asked smiling.
“The second case is very interesting. After meeting with the woman she introduced herself as a wife of somebody. She even had her wedding ring on. But she told me the ‘fire’ in her house is always off and she was therefore looking for a warmth. The matters got worse when she learned that I was a soldier.
‘I can’t do that,’ I told her.
‘You can. Even better than anybody else,’ she said.
‘No. And I mean no. I still have a future. I one day dream of having a family. I dream of being a husband to somebody. I want a family madam. Why are you this selfish?’
‘It’s not me, it’s the time we are living in.’ she said very candidly.
‘I am sorry I can’t.’
‘I just want love nothing else. I have a job. And I have my money. I don’t need anything else from you. What I need is very easy to give. I will allow you to go ahead and marry if you wish. What I want, you can give me even when you are married to seven wives. Many men are doing it. Why not you? Please…’ she pleaded.
‘I said I can’t and I am not like anybody.’ I said with finality and went my way. I thank God she never followed up again with me. I feel for that woman whose husband she went ahead and grabbed.” He explained his ordeal and then paused directly looking at me, waiting for my comment.
“That’s an international decision you made there. Many are those at that point have fallen victims. I am happy for you.” I told him.
“Thanks. But that’s not the end…”
“Okay, tell me the…” I interrupted.
“…the end is, I am now trapped into an abyss of marriage.”
“Trapped, what do you mean?”
“I recently have dated another girl. In fact we have done everything a man and a woman can do. And now you can’t believe it- she is pregnant.”
“Wow, congratulation brother.”
“That’s not the point.”
“The point is?”
“The point is, she has another child that she never told me about for the last one year we have been together. She waited until the game is over. I mean until we can’t now go back- the circle is complete now. What do I do man? Why am I so unlucky?” he finally asked tears welling up.
“That’s not being unlucky.”
“What do you calls that?” he asked.
“Can I asked you a question?”
“As long as not outside the topic, go ahead.”
“After you knew of her first child what have you done so far?”
“In fact you are the first person am talking it out with. After she told me about the child, I just felt the pain. Pretended that that means nothing. It’s just normal. Kept quiet. But the pain is still very harshly pricking into my heart.” he explained.
“Good. That’s how a gentleman does. Many men would have beaten her up. Dumped her. Or forcing her to abort and then dump her.”
“So what do you suggest I do?” he asked confused.
“What are you planning to do?”
“I don’t know man, look, I am really confused. Which among the above do you suggest I do, dump her?”
“None. If so far you haven’t, then why should you now? There are so many reasons why she might not have told you. First, maybe she really need to be married and she thought when she tells you, you might dump her. Second, maybe she hates the baby and her past altogether reason being she was raped or maybe it was her first time and the man thereafter dumped her. Third, she never forgave herself from her past act. Fourth, she just…”
“Please, that’s enough. Tell me what to do.”
“Ok. Just convert sins to blessings. I know she is not the kind of a woman you wanted to marry but you can make her the best wife every man would dream to have. Acceptance is everything my friend. And you should know that you cannot change the course of destiny. As we said earlier, destiny has its own way to find its way into our lives. We plans but God fulfills. And there is no guarantee that it will come as you expect it or when you expect it. So, what we cannot change, we accept. Just love her. Make her your wife. Make her forget her dreadful past. Give her the peace of mind. And allow her to be the mother of your children. Accept her child. Love all of them as are all yours. Never at any particular time remind her that the child is not yours. And definitely she will respect you and give you more love. Respect her past. Love it. Make her forget it. Make her forgive herself and her sins together with yours will turn to be blessings. I promise you will have a blessed family.”
“So you mean nothing is good, we are the one who should make everything good.” Joe philosophically asked.
“Yes, we should always try to look for that good thing in everything considered bad.”
“Thanks my dear friend.”
“Welcome. In fact I am going to start practicing to be your best man.” I said jokingly. We had already finished taking our coffee.
“Hahaha,” just like back then, in unison, we laughed our way out.