Some people argue that marriage is a rewarding experience, while others believe that it’s a completely useless enterprise.
In my young adult life, I have found myself swinging between these two conflicting positions on marriage.
Sometimes when I emcee weddings, I become fascinated by the colourful nature of the ceremony and start fantasising about how having a wedding will look like.
However, because marriage is more than having a colourful ceremony that trends on social media, at other times when I think about the time, patience and all the emotional investments that go into marriage, I become slightly discouraged.
This dilemma was the exact situation in Edna’s head, when her boyfriend first proposed to her. Roland and Edna had been in a relationship for three good years; a union which many observers admired.
As the son a of wealthy politician, Roland made sure that Edna lacked nothing! Apart from showering her with expensive gifts and other generous gestures, Roland also took the responsibility of giving Edna monthly stipends for her upkeep.
But that was not all! During their three-year relationship, Roland also gave Edna one of the cars from his father’s luxurious fleet of vehicles. That gift actually came on Edna’s 26th birthday, during her final year in medical school.
It was a memorable moment between the two lovebirds, and at that point, they were both convinced about wanting to spend the rest of their lives together.
Meanwhile let me add that it was not only Roland who was doing Edna favours. Indeed, some girls like to sit back and enjoy all the pleasantries from their partners without giving anything in return.
Some of these girls actually think that it is a man’s duty to buy gifts, deliver surprises and show other acts of kindness. There are some who even get mad when their boyfriends fail to do these things; revealing their selfish hearts and ugly sense of entitlement.
Well, Edna was not that type. She didn’t have an orientation of expecting her man to be the only one extending all the nice courtesies.
As a result, while Roland kept on suffocating her with love dates, romantic outings and lunch packs, she also returned the gestures; though her pocket was not as deep as Roland’s.
From all indications, both Edna and Roland were mad about each other; with all the signs pointing to a blissful marriage between the two.
However when Roland finally proposed, Edna was a little apprehensive. Her love for Roland was not in question, and there was absolutely no doubt about how she felt about the politician’s son.
Except that in the midst of all her certainty, she was uncomfortable about one thing; which subsequently made her hesitant in readily accepting Roland’s marriage proposal.
Can you guess what it was? Well, it was about Roland’s unrestrained lust for women !!!
Of all his qualities, the only thing that prevented him from passing out as an otherwise 100% partner was Roland’s womanising.
In his case, it was more than just crushing on women and leaving it there. He actually chased and got involved with almost all the women he took a liking for.
Within the space of their three-year relationship alone, Edna had seen over 10 of Roland’s cheating chats with other women.
These were not ordinary chats. Neither were they regular everyday conversations. For the records, they were flirtatious conversations and lewd virtual interactions, including the exchange of nudes in some cases.
Now it may have been okay if Roland’s womanising was only expressed through his keypad. Unfortunately, it was more than what he typed on his two phones!
Roland actually went on casual sex sprees with his girls; exploring his wild fantasies at different locations. Mind you, Edna was in medical school, and it was genuinely difficult for her to make time to spend with Roland on a regular basis.
As a result, anytime Roland was caught in his sins, he gave the excuse of Edna’s unavailability. That was his way out of trouble all the time.
As much as it didn’t make sense, Edna always gave him another chance. Edna’s friends were never happy with the trend, but sometimes they say love can distort your reality and causes you to lose your sense of reasoning even in the face of glaring evidence.
So, basically it was Roland’s muddied womanising profile that gave Edna second thoughts about getting married to him; despite the unquestionable affections they had for each other.
Nonetheless, Roland persisted. According to him, Edna was all that he wanted in a woman, and as such there was no way he was going to give up on his dream wife.
He acknowledged that he was indeed a womaniser; but always made the case it was because of Edna’s tight schedules.
Finally, after months of consistent appeals and persuasive dialogues, Edna gave in to Roland’s proposal. It was a Friday evening at Edna’s hostel, and having accepted the proposal, Roland took her out of campus for a special lover’s date.
Unlike all other dates, this one was a special affair between the two.
Apparently, Roland had booked an entire space for them alone at the restaurant; a space where ordinarily other people would seat to eat. But on this special night, the entire space was reserved for just the soon to be couple; ‘Ro’ and ‘Ed’.
A few minutes into their meal, a team of instrumentalists marched to their table, playing romantic melodies amidst sprinkling of roses.
The act moved Edna, and just before another tear could drop from her eye, another band; this time a team of ladies came in from the other side of the door.
They were 12 in number, each person carrying a box of gifts. For all the time they had been together, Edna had never seen something like this before and as such, she was completely swept off her feet.
Soon, the first team that arrived with their instruments started playing some of Edna’s favourite tunes. She enjoyed the moment; with smiles dotted all over on her face.
The icing on the cake was when out of nowhere, some of Edna’s classmates suddenly walked into the room.
Edna was shocked!!! How did they know about this special date? Clearly, Roland had masterfully orchestrated everything to give his lover a befitting treat after accepting his proposal.
What followed next was an endless session of good music, food and thrilling excitement throughout the night.
“Where am I?”; Edna wondered. It was 8:00am, and opening her eyes, she realised she had spent the night at Roland’s end. If it was all about she sleeping in her boyfriend’s room, that would have been okay. But alas! There was something more!
Edna noticed that, her clothes were not on her body, with one of her waist beads torn and scattered. Before she could find answers to what had happened, Roland came from the washroom, looking fulfilled and jolly.
“Wait, what happened here?”; Edna quizzed, with her eyes filled with tears.
“Come on babe, it’s nothing serious”; Roland replied. Realising that Roland had had sex with her, Edna broke down in tears. At that point, her anguish was not because of the intercourse per se.
Right from the day she entered medical school, she had vowed to remain a virgin till her final completion. Now it was only two weeks to end her days in medical school, and that commitment had been broken. That was what actually pushed her to the uncontrollabe tears.
Sobbing profusely, she decided to leave Roland’s end, but Roland wouldn’t allow that. In his usual persuasive approach, he grabbed her and pleaded with her to stay. That was how they ended up staying together for the rest of Edna’s last days in school.
A month later, their wedding was finally here ! Think about the joy of passing out as a medical doctor and immediately having a grand wedding ceremony with a man you actually like! The feeling is priceless, isn’t it?
Well, that was the euphoria that engulfed Edna. It was a hugely attended event and a well-patronised ceremony; with some of the top flight political friends of Roland’s father gracing the occasion.
Food was in excessive abundance and as for the drinks, it was as though they were being poured from the skies. Everything was just perfect; including the quality of photography and music on play. But doom was lurking.
Two weeks after their wedding, Edna started feeling unusually ill. Her sense of smell kept going off and intermittently, she felt feverish. Her immediate suspicion was pregnancy, so she wasn’t exactly bothered.
In her mind, she was about to conceive and the thoughts of having a child gave her a lot of joy. To confirm her suspicion, Edna went ahead to take a pregnancy test and behold, her guess was right! She was pregnant!
Unfortunately, that was not the only news she received. Shortly after hearing the news from the doctor and smiling happily, the doctor hinted that something else was wrong. What could that be, Edna wondered.
“I’m afraid, but it looks like you have the virus, HIV”; the doctor said reluctantly. Gosh!!! This broke her!!! HIV????? …
“How on earth was that possible, she thought?”. Driving back home, she was lost in all sorts of guesses. Finally, she reached the house and broke the news to Roland, amidst tears.
Just like his wife, he was also taken aback and they both broke down in tears. It was indeed a sour moment for the newly wedded couple. Later the following morning, Roland mustered courage and decided to confirm his status at the hospital.
Surprisingly, the test proved negative! He could not believe his eyes. As far as he was concerned, he was the carrier who may have transmitted the virus to Edna.
But then again, apart from sleeping with Edna on that fateful night of their proposal date, he had never had sex with her again, even after their marriage.
The truth of the matter is that right after their marriage, Roland traveled the next day to handle some urgent deals for his dad, and as a result he was out of town. So if he was HIV negative and his wife had the virus, who could have possibly given it to her?
These were the thoughts that occupied his mind as he drove back home confused. Suddenly, he hit a snag and stopped abruptly in the middle of the road; causing another car to run into his from behind.
Apparently, he figured out how his wife might have contracted the virus. Putting one and two together, he discovered that it was his friend who did the damage.
Recalling the night of his special date with Edna, Roland suddenly remebered that they all drove back to his house for an open house party.
Roland and his friends had a culture of house parties where they indulged in wild fantasies such as binge drinking and casual sex sessions in the dark.
It was then he remembered that when he left his room that night with the lights off, his friend, Julius, also went into his room.
Roland further recalled that Julius came out with some beads in his hands; the very ones Edna had complained were torn the next day.
At this point, everything made sense to him. Julius, his friend had the virus and he was the one who went in to sleep with Edna in the dark when they were all drunk on that night.
Julius was therefore the one who infected Edna!
Returning home, Roland was so devastated, not knowing how to explain the situation to Edna.
Unfortunately, he didn’t meet Edna in her usual beauty. Opening the door to their hall, he saw her lifeless body on the floor; with a small bottle of poison by the side. Edna had taken her own life! She had committed suicide!
Roland yelled! Rushing to Edna’s body, he wept bitterly, screaming on top of his voice.
Clearly, the womanising company he kept, and the excesses he had been indulging in with his friends had finally bitten him hard. Edna, the love of his life was gone!
While you cannot fault Edna for what happened, you can partially blame her for entertaining a womaniser all this while.
Think about it; if she had left the relationship before that fateful night, would this have been the result?
We can debate the answers, but being with a womaniser is always dangerous. And generally, keeping unfaithful partners can be costly! Stay awake. Don’t compromise and don’t be a victim!
Paa Kwesi Schandorf, author of this fiction is a writer, a corporate MC and a broadcast journalist with The Multimedia Group.
Paa Kwesi Schandorf: The doctor who contracted HIV through her boyfriend; a reason to avoid womanisers
You can reach him on (+233) 273141821.
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