Growing up with my mother I always wondered why women cried. Then I left home for school and met a lot of ‘hard babes’, the attraction? No tears there! So that got me thinking; Maybe the only women who cry are women who lost their fathers early in life; who had uncles that thought school was wasted on girls; who were married off fairly early to men far older; who had five kids in the space of seven years (and don’t ask about family planning); who lost their husbands before their last child could say “daddy”; who had to fight tooth and nail with in-laws so their children can get some education. In short I thought only my mother, and women like her, cried.
So now I am grown up, have a job flying everywhere; have a girlfriend in every country I have visited; have one back home in every city I fly to. I was balling! All this was before I met HER. In the words of Usher: I got it bad, she made me wanna… And so I decided to put paid to all my philandering, and to love the one I was with. I took a week’s leave and purposed to visit my ‘catchment areas’ to end the affairs. I could have done that via sms, or maybe e-mail, but I had to do it right – face to face.
I travelled first to Ghana armed with a speech that took me three days to prepare, and longer to rehearse. She squealed in delight when she saw me, and was all over me in an instant. When I could not take her fussing anymore, I stated my business. I did not bother with the “we can still be friends” crap, just laid it to her cold. Her face crumpled and her dam broke. She cried so long and hard, my heart bled for her. I felt her anguish, but could not help her.
Next stop was England. I caught a flight from Kotoka International that night. The flight landed at Gatwick Airport the next morning, and I took the Southern train to Victoria station. My M O was: arrive unannounced, break-up and be gone. When I arrived at Her doorstep, I pushed the buzzer and announced myself. I heard her gasp, but thought nothing of it. It took her longer to get the door than I remembered, but again, I thought nothing of it. It was her nervous, jerky movements that got me suspicious. So I asked if there was a problem and she burst into tears!
There I was consoling her for ten minutes before she told me she was engaged to be married. Apparently her ex- had come back on his knees, with a ring. I did all the posturing, and pretended to try and act all brave, while inside I was turning cartwheels. At least I did not have to break someone’s heart. She cried some more, and my departure could not come soon enough. I left her and headed for Heathrow Airport from where I would fly to South Africa. I was so tired I slept throughout the flight.
We landed at O R Tambo International around 8am and I took a taxi to Sandton – She works there. On my way I called and she told me she was at the Doctor’s. She said she had been feeling unwell lately, but that maybe she would feel better now that I was here. “Best surprise ever! Love you”, she gushed over the phone. I took the spare key from under the rock and let myself in. She got home two hours later, and what I saw shocked me! Her eyes were red and swollen. She had been crying. Now alarms were going off in my head like crazy, but I played the concerned boyfriend and took her in my arms.
“I’m pregnant.” My blood ran cold, my heart quickened and you could almost hear the cogs turning in my head. In my mind I went through the usual: When? How? Why? Then in the same small voice she mumbled: “But not for you”. Thinking about it now, I am consumed by shame at the relief that washed over me. She had met this guy at a friend’s party, “and you know how I only get to see you only once every month…” I do not remember the rest of her excuses. After five hours, most of which she spent crying, I left her still crying as I headed for the airport.
Mission accomplished and not a word said. How cool is that? Best of all I was headed home to my heart. From the airport I made my way to her house, and when she opened the door, I gathered her into my arms and kiss her like my sanity depended on it – long and hard. We went from the door to her room, shedding clothes as we went. And there I surrendered all of me to her.
Lying side by side covered in a thin film of sweat, I tug gently on her hair, something I do a lot. And would you believe it? She starts to CRY!! I sat up, and staring at her, I wondered to myself: “Why do women cry?”