"Never settle for less than your dreams.
Somewhere, sometime, someday, somehow, you'll find them

- Danielle Steel, Bittersweet.

Get more Insight, Inspiration and Self Discovery at The Walkabout.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

When the Deal is Too Good.. - Easy Come, Easy Go

Edwin has recently discovered that being a family man is hard enough. Unwilling to listen and take suggestions, he has lost two wives in one year. Upon reflection however, he learns that being married is like piloting an airplane that is already airborne – it only works when you do the right things to make it work.

Mary Njeri got married at a pretty young age. She was in her late teens, having dropped out of High School. It wasn't lack of fees. She was simply bored of school. Her single mother did little to persuade her only daughter to finish her secondary education. In fact, it is usually whispered that she welcomed Njeri's dropping out, it significantly reduced her school fees burden.

With little to do in the village, Njeri soon got bored of life at her mother's house, and started spending most of her time with her grandmother who lived about a mile away. Here, life was easy: food in plenty, cousins to hang out with and less chores given that it was an extended family. She had lots of free time as well, which she spent hanging out with cousins, and visiting friends and neighbors.

It was while living at her grandmother's that Njeri was introduced to Edwin Njoroge. Edwin was a young lorry driver, having recently graduated from being the turn boy who lends a hand to, and subsequently accompanies every lorry driver.
He worked for a transport company that ferried goods from Mombasa to landlocked countries such as Uganda, Rwanda, and the Congo. Edwin traveled a lot, and made decent cash. In his early twenties, he was full of life and felt that he needed to start a family.

Very "much in love" with each other after dating for several months, Njeri moved into Edwin's house. Essentially, they got married.

Life started great. Edwin was virile, he was a great provider, romantic and fun to be with and made Njeri feel special. She in turn made great food, was great company, a pretty wife and ultimately, the life partner Edwin felt he always wanted. All was bliss. But only for a while.

* * *

Edwin and Njeri seemed to be in a hurry to do everything, including getting kids. In under three years, they had two kids. With this came additional responsibilities for the young pretty lass, and the fairy-tale took a small bump. Time was no longer in abundance to visit with friends every afternoon. Thanks to an apparent increase in his endless long-haul trips, Edwin was rarely around. Now a wife who was near always alone with her two young kids, Njeri became profoundly discontent.

Edwin on the hand no longer found Njeri that much attractive. She had gained weight and shifted all her attention to the little ones. Two, very noisy, little ones. Edwin decided to deliberately stay away. He now preferred to send his wife cash via mobile phone. He started noticing and getting attracted to, other women who to him seemed more appealing than his wife. Thankfully, he didn't submit to his innate impulses. He instead took to heavy drinking and was rarely sober. This naturally adversely affected his pocket. He now had little money to send home in addition to being perennially absent.

Frustrations soon set in. Sexual frustration. Emotional distress.  Physical anguish. Financial stress that made it necessary for Njeri to take on casual jobs to fend for her family. With a husband who was now a drunk and rarely seen, Njeri became estranged and philanderers who seem to home on such women from miles away, started to make passes on her. She was determined to show her husband she could not just try, but make it on her own. She had a strong will, but she however lacked a stronger won't to fend the and sadly succumbed to their overtures. From stinking-rich sugar-daddies to penniless poets, they all found a place in her bosom. Having taken a family planning injection after her second child, she wasn't afraid of getting pregnant, and therefore not keen on protected coitus.

With time, Edwin caught wind of his wife's illicit internal liaisons, and stopped supporting her financially. This put a financial strain on this unworthy wife who was now in all but name widowed. An emotional wreck, stricken with poverty, depression and constantly vexed by malaise, she soon became a mess and only then did she get the message. Looking at the mirror one day, she realized she was selling herself short. That is when she decided to take her kids away and walk from that failed marriage.
Which she did.

* * *

Upon finding out that his wife had left him, Edwin became enraged. There were unsubstantiated rumors that Njeri left him for another "more capable" man, and this made him livid. He wasted no time in getting his two-year old daughter from Njeri's mother, who was currently baby sitting as Njeri settled down elsewhere. And he drank much, much more.

Next, he told his close friends and some neighbors that he was now a bachelor, and a most eligible one at that. This was of course punctuated with gross condemnation of his former wife, if only to vindicate himself and help overlook his glaring inadequacies.

* * *

Less than ninety days following Njeri's unceremonious departure, Edwin Njoroge was again a married man. His new bride, a single mother of a one year old daughter. Edwin proudly introduced her to all and sundry, never hesitating to add that finally, Esther had turned his mourning into dancing and given him beauty for ashes. Even better, Edwin would add, they both had similar initials (E.N.) for Njambi was Esther's maiden name.

It turns out that a friend had introduced Edwin to Essie, who also needed a man to settle down with. The sooner the better. And so it was. Man and wife pronto! They'd get to know each other better with every passing day.

Many openly wished both Njoroge and Njambi the very best in their marriage, but wondered in their hearts just how long this one would last. The general feeling was that Edwin had rushed into another marriage to spite his wife. Also, it was generally felt that just about two months was too brief a time to fall in love, court, date and marry someone. But then again, it was Edwin Njoroge's life to do with it as he pleased.

Edwin continued to drink. He was hopelessly addicted to the brown bottle whose allure was now akin to a light that both attracts and consumes a moth. He knew full well that alcohol was a major contributing factor to the untimely end of his first marriage and harmful to both his new marriage and his health. Beer, actually cheap and mostly illicit liquor, continued to firmly hold him by the balls.

Meanwhile, Esther seemed quite complacent and rarely, if ever, expressed any concerns about Edwin's self-destructive life. She never once spoke ill of Edwin. She woke up early every morning, cooked and washed as a good wife should, and unfailingly loved her husband. Or so it seemed.

Secretly, Esther was planning to once and all register her displeasure . . .

* * *

One day, Edwin returned late in the night, immensely drunk and staggered into a house that he first believed was not his own. Lacking any energy to further interrogate his perception or chastise his eyes and feet for leading him into a stranger's house, he soon fell asleep on the cold floor.

When he woke up the next morning, Edwin was shocked to realize that Essie had left his house. Worse, she had moved out with all his belongings. Each and every one of them.
His worst realization later in the day was that he could no longer reach her on phone. She had switched it off for good measure, and he couldn't trace her since he never knew where her birthplace was. Both Edwin and his friend only of her rented single room in Naivasha. Which she had only inhabited for slightly over a month, the neighbors there claimed.

With his dry mouth wide open, he wasn't even sure that her real name was Esther Njambi as she claimed, for he had never seen her official identification documents. All along, he was married to a conniving stranger had remained blind with his eyes wide open thanks to hubris, alcohol and inexcusable negligence. It was indeed true that still waters run very deep.
Edwin Njoroge ultimately realized that he had been conned. It was over. He shuffled off to the nearest pub.

When the deal is too good, think twice.

* * *