She came to work that day, looking like she had been beaten. She looked pale and troubled and didn’t talk all day. “That’s not like Grace. What’s eating her up?” I thought to myself. So later in the day, when I was alone with her in the office, I went to her desk and asked, “You don’t look like the colorful Grace that I know. Is anything the matter?” She sighed and said, “It’s my husband. I’m already tired of this marriage. Is that the way you treat your wife in the house?”
I knew it was going to be a long marital discussion so I pulled my chair and sat next to her. “If you’ll want to talk about it. I’m here. I will listen.” She began, “My husband, he treats me like toilet paper in the house. I’ve become the doormat on which he cleans the underneath of his shoes before he walks into the house.” I’ve grown to realize that immediately a woman goes into her own soul to speak like this then she had been bearing the pain for so long that it has become unbearable. In the middle of narrating her story, she began to tear up. We were in the office so I told her, “Don’t let our colleagues come to see you like this. Hold on a little bit, we can talk about it after work.”
After work, I went to sit next to her in her car. She began; “I know it’s because we haven’t had a child after seven years of marriage, that’s why he’s behaving like this. He blames it on me. When he’s angry, he tells me I’m unable to get pregnant because I aborted all my children when I was young and busily sleeping around with my boyfriends. I don’t remember the last time he called me by my name. He calls me Hey, herh, or he’ll tap his fingers to draw my attention. I believe he has forgotten my name.” I asked her, “What gives him the impression that you’re the cause of your inability to get pregnant?” “When we were dating,” She said, “I got pregnant for him. We were not in the position to give birth so he asked me to get rid of it and I did. Because I did that for him, he thinks I did that too for all my exes that’s why I can’t get pregnant. We’ve visited doctors upon doctors and they all say we are fine. It’s just a matter of time.”
I sat next to her as she cried throughout the narration of her story. It was getting late. I said a lot of things to encourage her. I’ve been married to my wife for six years and we don’t have a child too but we don’t fight about it. We are trusting the process and all the while enjoying our marriage until the baby comes. I told her to be steadfast and pray. Miracles happen and hers was on the way. She stopped crying at some point and even smiled. All was well, I thought.
The next morning, she came back to work with a different set of stories. I gave her a listening ear. Then it became a daily thing. Sometimes we could stay behind and talk till it was dark in the night. She didn’t have the desire to go home after work. She was scared. She turned into a workaholic and did a lot of unpaid overtime. She won the best worker award for four consecutive years but she couldn’t win her marriage. One afternoon, I saw her call on my phone. She was crying. Her husband had traveled for over two weeks and not a single call from him. He doesn’t pick her calls too. Then she said, “Maybe I should end it once and for all. All these pains. If I die, I’ll have them no more.” She then hung up the phone.
I called several times and she didn’t pick. I was scared she’ll do something to herself so I told my wife I was going to pick something from the office and drove to her house. I knocked several times before she came to open the door. Immediately I entered, she hugged me so tight as if she was drowning and I was the last straw she could hang on to. We talked. She smiled. She said she was happy that I came. She served drinks. She served food. By the time we realized, the two of us were naked in the couch and panting for breath. It was so unexpected we both didn’t understand why we did what we did.
One month later, she came to the office and instead of talking to me she sent me a message; “My guy, I’m pregnant. I should be very happy with it but I’m confused. This pregnancy could be yours.” I went to her desk and pulled her outside;
“Are you serious? How could you even think about that?”
“Yeah, I’m serious. I and my husband has been intimate over the weeks but I doubt he is responsible. Plus I started feeling differently just a couple of weeks after we had done that.”
“So what do you suggest?”
“I suggest nothing. My husband has started jubilating over it already. I didn’t say it was his but he’s jubilating so it’s going to stay like this forever.”
“What if we do a DNA test after delivery. Just so we can confirm our suspicion.”
“So we find out it’s yours and then what?”
I couldn’t answer that question. I kept repeating it to myself over and over again, “And then what?” And then nothing. I planted my seed on someone’s farm and it grew into an oak tree. What right do I have to claim ownership of that tree or try to make a home under its shade? It’s fruitless labor. We move.