By Felly Oyuga
It was the worst time of my life. My marriage was falling apart. I had to remind myself to breath, eat and even shower. I barely combed my hair. He always smiled at me though. Sometimes I tried to smile back. Other times, I’d pretend not to see him.
I cannot remember how I got his number. Well I can. If I said how I got it, his identity might be compromised. Part of his allure was that no one would ever suspect I, we, he, would ever talk even. He was my calm in the storm. My prized secret. He never suggested anything. He was just there. He listened. He answered my calls and just listened as I cried. My marriage was ending and I thought I would just die.
I had to find a way to keep moving through the pain. I had young children who needed me. So he became my crutch. I would be on phone with him every time I thought I could not bear the pain, and that was almost all the time. He was never impatient with me. He listened as I rumbled on and on. Sometimes threatening to sleep and never wake up. My body was so exhausted. During such episodes he would call early in the morning to make sure I made it through.
Once after a particularly horrible day, he told me to go over to his place to talk. I was too nervous to be alone with a man who was not my husband. At thirty-one years old, I had only known my husband. I refused to go at first. When it looked like my husband would not come back home for the second night in a row, I decided to go to his house. Call it revenge, a tantrum or just loneliness. Whatever it was, I called him to let him know I had changed my mind.
I got to his house, and he had opened a bottle of red wine. He invited me to sit on the sofa and we just drunk wine and talked. About nothing in particular. We finished the bottle of wine. I only had one glass because I was breastfeeding at that time. I did not want to go home. I just wanted to sit and talk. And so we talked. Until we started dozing off.
He said I could sleep in his bed. I looked at him blankly. He said he would not try anything. I believed him. So I got into his bed fully clothed. He did to. He held me. I let him. We slept. It was such a waiting-to-exhale moment. I did not want morning to come. For the first time in years I actually felt love. It might not have been real love, but in that moment, it was what I needed to breathe.
I woke up in the morning to find my whole t-shirt wet with breast milk. I was so embarrassed. He pretended not to notice. He hugged me still. Gave me another shirt which I changed into in his bathroom, after I locked the door.
Driving home that morning I felt good about myself again. I do not think he will ever know what he did for me. I do not even think I understand what he did for me. All I know is that I was able to make difficult decisions. I was able to move on knowing that there was nothing wrong with me. My marriage was falling apart, but there was nothing wrong with me.
I still think about him sometimes. My angel without wings. Thank you!