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Dear Tina,

I wonder why I still call you dear after everything that happened between us. When you finally left, one of my sisters said to me: “The way this woman has treated you, I’m sure you won’t look at women the same way again.” She was right. For so long after the divorce, I thought every woman who came close to me was after my blood. I don’t trust their words no matter how sincere. I don’t trust their ways however innocent. In my mind, there is something sinister about a woman and one shouldn’t allow them to prowl without supervision.

It’s been three years already but it still hurts like it only happened yesterday.

Everything was right about you. The way you talked and the way you walked was graceful. The way you said ‘please’ before you made a request always gave the impression of a woman who had been intentionally raised to be courteous. We were only dating but you did things like we were married. You cared for my presence and asked that we made a better future together. What else could I need in a woman? So when the time came for us to marry, we didn’t hesitate. Our hearts have already decided and our minds were also committed to the future of both of us.

Two years after marriage, everything was fine. We had jobs we were grateful for. We had a place we could call home and we had a very great companionship in our marriage. The only thing left was for us to have a child. At some point, you were worried a child wasn’t coming. Well, I was worried too but I couldn’t let it show. I had to be there for you, encourage you so you don’t give up on yourself. God being so good, you took seed the following year. Three months later, you told me you’ve miscarried the baby. That’s when things began to change.

You saw everyone as the problem. You called my mother a witch and responsible for your inability to conceive. Everyone in my family got their share of your anger. You were wrong on all counts but you were my wife—two to become one so I stood behind you at the expense of my family. What did I get in return? Disrespect, insubordination and a clear assault on my emotions. You went to work and came back anytime you wanted, sometimes as late as midnight. You wouldn’t cook for the house and you wouldn’t do any of your duties as a wife. That didn’t bother me. “t’s a phase and it will soon pass,” I encouraged myself. Too many days went by and you still remained the same. Everyone I spoke with about your situation told me you’re suffering from depression so we should seek help. However hard I tried, you wouldn’t let us see or meet anyone. “I am fine!” You screamed at me. I stopped trying.

Then one night you came home very late so I was forced to ask why a married woman would come home this late and also turn her phone off while in town. You looked into my face and said: “I’m tired of this thing you call marriage. I want a divorce.” I stood still and monitored your breath if you had taken in something, but clearly you were okay. I asked: “What has come over you?” You answered, “Your family has come over me. They’ve succeeded in blocking my womb. I need to leave this marriage before they kill me.”

For all those three years that we were married, I don’t ever remember you exchanging words with any person in my family. Nobody ever insulted you or did something that called for that hatred from you. So I asked: “What did my mum do to you? And what has my family gotten to do with anything? We have problems, let’s work it out and stop these blaming antics.” You flared up and walked over me. That hurt. I slept that night believing you’ll wake up the next morning with a sober heart. The morning came and you still insisted on a divorce. To me, it was a phase that we ought to conquer but to you, it was the final phase of love. You told your family about your intention to divorce and they also followed you to break the marriage without asking my version of the story. It felt like a horror movie the day your family returned the schnapps to my family.

We dated for two years. We married for three years. None of these years counted for anything. Everything went down the drain all because of one miscarriage. I seriously didn’t get it. You walked out of the marriage as if it didn’t mean anything to you.

If there is time for a heartbreak then there is time for moving on. Time to move on tarried for me but slowly I did move on. But news of you kept coming to me even when I had not gone to look for it. I heard it when you resigned from your job. Again, I heard it when you traveled out of town to live with your parents. I heard it when you started going out. Everything you did came to me like the news bulletin. Then one day, just a little over a year after our divorce, I heard you’re married. Wow, love comes so easily to some people but who was that man?

That was when I got the shock of my life. You got married to Sampson? The same guy you helped to go abroad but left you immediately he got there? Something didn’t add up so I began searching for the missing pieces to the story. Life is like that—it’s hard to find all the pieces in one place so you travel left and you travel to the south. Somewhere you’ll get lucky and find a piece that fits into what you already have. I started talking to our mutual friends who knew about Sampson. Most of them didn’t talk to me. They said, “Stop following her in the shadows. The marriage didn’t work, allow her to enjoy her life.”

But the issue was this…

If you got married to Sampson then he might have played a part in our divorce. You getting married to Sampson just a year after our divorce meant he was always lurking in the dark even when we were married. The whole thing couldn’t have started just after we divorced. So I kept probing until I got someone who brought a piece that made my story whole. You didn’t have a miscarriage. You got our baby aborted because Sampson promised he was coming back for you. No wonder everything changed right after the supposed miscarriage. You wanted a way out quickly so you can have enough time to plan for the marriage between you and Sampson. You didn’t want our child. You wanted a fresh beginning with someone who left you when you needed him the most.

A piece of me died when I heard this from the friend. I thought I had healed but that day I felt the cracking sound of my heartbreak and I began to bleed all over again. I wished I didn’t go out there looking for the truth. What was I thinking? But a man has to do what a man has to do, so I carried the pain with dignity without letting the world know I was hurting. If someone asked why I was hurting, I couldn’t have told them the truth so I walked around with a smiling face and a bleeding heart.

It’s been three years since you got married to Sampson. The way I see it, both of you are going to remain married longer than you and I were married but let me ask you this, are you happy? Are you happy that he went back after the marriage and he hasn’t come back? Is that how you wanted it? Marry a man who wouldn’t be present in the days of your youth? Time is running fast for you. You’re 33 going on 34. How long can you wait for him, huh? I don’t wish you pain. I’m saying both of us could have been together until our dying days if only you gave us a chance. I will have slept next to you each night and put my hand on your chest to see if you were feeling pains. We would have had our children running around the house and our life would have been better together than apart.

Now, look at us. You’re married but single. I am single and scared, all because of you. Nonetheless, I pray you find joy and have a dream come true so you can smile again because smiles look good on you.

Yours Never,