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I CONFESS: They should pity the fool


BARBADOS NATION

I CONFESS: They should pity the fool

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ONE OF THE HURTFUL things in this country is the mock sport people make about men who get hurt by women.

Other men, in particular, think it is a big joke and always try to embarrass you whenever they are in a crowd. Your family, especially those who never thought the woman was any good for you, never miss an opportunity to tell you, “I told you so.”

I’m talking about my situation in the hope that people reading it and knowing some of the details of my case would realise how I got burned. I hope everyone would also appreciate the pain that one suffers from being used in the way I was, and that they would realise when people put their all into relationships and get messed up, it is insensitive to laugh at them.

I was divorced some years ago and pretty much kept to myself afterwards. My first marriage failed because of my not being here with my wife. I got a job overseas and as things were going good for me, I stayed there working and sent home money and barrels.

I never allowed my wife to come to me, as the conditions in which I lived were not the best. And as I never returned home, after three years she gave me an ultimatum – either she was coming to me, or I was returning to her. She could no longer live alone like that. I could not return as I was still getting my papers processed and despite telling her this, she still pulled the plug on our marriage.

After going through that, I decided the best thing for me would be to just work and make as much money as possible so that when I return here I would be able to build my own house and take it easy.

So after 25 years in the cold I returned and did just that. I built a lovely bungalow and I’m pretty comfortable. I don’t really need to work but still do a number of things to keep me busy and to pay bills. But living in a big empty house was not on for me.

I wanted to share my success with someone, and maybe, if she was young enough, to have a child. That was what led me to get involved with the woman who abused me and stole from me. I met her after she was evicted from the house she was renting a little distance from me. She was forced to leave because the owner, a returning national like me, wanted the house cleaned up before he returned.

As she had no place proper to go, I told her she could use one of my rooms until she found someplace of her own, and she readily agreed. She insisted, though, that she would help buy groceries and at least pay half of the water and light bills. I had no problem with that, but the money was not a big deal to me. What mattered was that I could help her because from seeing her as I went to and from home, I thought she was a nice person. Besides it was December and I figured no one should be butting around looking for someplace to live at this time.

After she moved in I had every reason to be happy about my decision. Between her working hours, she somehow managed to fix up the house and made it look like a real home. She put up new curtains, which I had bought the material for, but never got around to get sewn. She got money from me and painted each room on different nights, cleaned the mahogany furniture and floors, and rearranged the whole house. The woman worked as if she was the mistress of the place. I was really impressed.

So we celebrated Christmas together and I really had a good time. She was a lot of fun. After three months of her under my roof, we gradually got closer and I asked her to be my girlfriend. She told me she was reluctant to get into a relationship as she had been hurt very badly. But after I persisted, she gave in.

The first seven months together was terrific. I could not ask for a better partner. She cooked well, kept the house well, and satisfied my manly needs. I felt really good about her and was thinking that possibly she and I could even get married. And as she was not yet 40, I was thinking that she may even be able to have a child.

What happened was that she said she wanted to buy a car but did not have the down payment. So I lent her money for the car and the insurance.

She assured me I would be repaid by the same date the following year in three instalments. You know, I’m still waiting to see that car because when I went out Friday night as usual, she moved out of the house. It took me about seven weeks to track her down and when I finally found her and brought the police, she claimed I gave her the money as a gift, because I had beaten her and was sorry.

Would you believe the woman cry long tears and asked me how I could shame her by bringing the police for her when I know I gave her the money, which I gave her willingly, as I wrote a cheque.

She also said the money could not be for a car as she did not even have a licence – something I never thought of or realised up to then. She said after I gave her the money, she decided to leave my house as she was tired of being beaten up and having to endure forced sex.

The way she behaved, the police were convinced it was a case of a relationship that had gone sour and I was seeking revenge. They told me to stop harassing the woman and warned me not to bother her or they would deal with me. Then they told me if I wanted the money back I should get a lawyer.

That was three years ago and to date I have not seen a cent back from that woman. The only thing I get are jokes on me from the men in my neighbourhood about how I got fooled.

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