I CONFESS: Girl I dumped has last laugh
OFTEN I READ Dear Christine and either smile or laugh out loud. Then when I read I Confess I realise that so many of the confessions are things which I can relate to or I know people whose situations seem to fit hand in glove with what has been outlined.
There is really nothing new under the sun, and I am sure that the mistakes, misery and missteps which we take daily in life will be replicated time and again.
Take, for instance, an experience I had some years ago with a young lady when I was a younger man. We became involved following what is now referred to as her being “on the rebound” from a relationship which had gone sour and had left her in a wretched state.
This woman’s mind and feelings, her focus and very reason for living at the time were still tied up with the man with whom she had just broken up. It was a bad reaction to all that had taken place.
She was a schoolteacher who lived near my parents’ home and we became friends as I offered her a lift from the bus stop one day.
We started talking and soon I invited her to the movies, the Drive-In to be exact. She accepted and we became close.
As an adventurous young man, I wanted some fun and a good time. She turned out to be everything a man was looking for. We had a good time on a regular basis, often at the said Drive-In cinema.
One of the things I recognised early in the relationships was that she was a very possessive individual – she had to know where I was, with whom and doing what, when she was not in my company. I have never liked anyone breathing down my neck in this way.
I explained the situation to my sister, who told me of a plan. After all, my sibling was and still is to this day, my best and closest friend. She has always wanted the best for me, whether material things, companionship, and even in education.
Our parents had brought us up to respect and build family ties, which we interpreted to include defending each other from what we considered intrusive outsiders.
This particular young school teacher, my sister made clear, was an outsider. She was not the one my sister felt I should be spending the remainder of my life with, but as a young man sampling life and enjoying the things any young man likes, she felt the relationship was worth exploring.
Explore I did.
I had some concerns about the young woman; she had a very bad acne problem and quite honestly even though I enjoyed the intimate relationships, I found her way too easy to score my success. I had been out with her only twice when I got what I wanted; perhaps it was what she also wanted. Yes, there was a level of satisfaction to my heart, head and body.
But I knew there would have been problems on the road ahead for this relationship.
Looking back today, I knew she had to be suffering terribly from the fallout of her previous relationship since all she did on a rather frequent basis during my relationship with her was to speak on the previous two boyfriends, both not from Barbados.
I think what made things particularly troublesome for her was that she had terminated a pregnancy for one of them.
She asked me outright if I wanted to have a baby, and I said no. I told my sister what she had indicated and my sister told me to enjoy [myself] and, within a month, don’t accept any more.
As the true obedient and loyal brother, I did what my sister suggested and a night after we went out for a drive and I dropped her off near home, I told her I didn’t want to continue the relationship.
She slammed the door and it still rings in my ears to this day. I saw her two weeks later in Bridgetown in a store and she acted as if she had never met me.
What was surprising was that about three months later she was holding hands and involved with another guy. She did have a baby. They got married about 15 months later.
I felt the fellow was a joker, a foolish Bajan joker. Indeed, I told him as much one afternoon we were at cricket and asked him if he really knew her. He said very little, but pointed out that she was his wife, for better or for worse. I told him he had made a horrible choice and a terrible mistake.
Here was a decent fellow from a nice family who had choices but opted for what I considered the wrong one. A woman who was not even 25 and had gone through some many – I am sure more than five – men up to that time. Here was a girl with, as Barbadians would say, a lot of pimples in her face and looking disgraceful with a handsome young, intelligent man. The world was ahead of him and he made what seemed to be an unbelievable choice.
Today, more than 20 years after, I am here, happily married. So is this chap and that lady – more than 25 years of marriage, whether happy or not I do not know. He says nothing to me even though we meet often at cricket and now at road tennis.
His wife no longer has the pimples and her face is nowhere as bad looking. They live less than two miles from me and seem to live a successful life.
I have long lost the desire for scoring as many girls as possible; I now recognise and value the power of prayer. My family ties are still strong.
My sister and I remain close, but however she never had the happiness which marriage brings and has now passed the age of bearing a child.
However, she has made the best of life.
We have both learnt to appreciate people regardless of their weaknesses or faults. The lady whom I so cruelly turned my back on those 30 years ago is the one whom my sister’s then boyfriend opted to go after.
I must confess they may have had the last laugh.